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^.ARLY History of the Northwest. 



Allen & Hicks, Book Printers. 

Entered according to Act of CongresB, in the year 1880, by B. J. Habnet, in the Ofl&ce of the Librarian of CongretB, at W^ashington, D. C. 


In this work the author has attempted to give the leading events in the early history of 
the interior of the Continent; and the progress of that civilization, the course of which was on 
the line of those great water-courses, of which the Fox and Wisconsin rivers were important 
lines of communication, 

The first portion embraces the French-Indian period of history, from the days of Jacques, 
Cartierand Champlain, on the St. Lawrence, to the early days of the American occupation. 

All students of the period of French Indian history are aware that its recital is fragment- 
ary; that in order to learn it, recourse must be had to many volumes; and that to the average 
inteUigcnt reader, the task requires too much time. 

Our Fox River Valley was one of the principal scenes in that history which is here con- 
densed into a comparatively small compass, through the most diligent and careful research 
and labor. 

Nearly fifty volumes of various works have been consulted in ascertaining the facts which 
are recounted, and in many instances the original Indian treaties have been examined. Among 
the works consulted are Charlevoix's History of New France, Schoolcraft's Indian Tribes, 
Parkman's Works, Bancroft's History of the United States, Wisconsin State Historical Collec- 
tions, Mrs. Kenzie's Early Day, Barber's History of the West, etc., etc. 

Although the field occupied by this work has been partly gone over by others, the author 
challenges the closest scrutiny in regard to plagiarism. The facts of history are not the exclu- 
sive property of any writer — the method of telling them, of putting them together, the language 
used in their recital and the style of expression is the work of the writer, and for which he 
either merits praise or censure. In this work the most scrupulous care has been taken to give 
credit for all that has been copied from the writings of others. 

The discovery of the lead mines at Fevre River (Galena) in 1822, led to the so-called 
American settlement of the country. This event was followed by the Winnebago outbreak 
and Black Hawk war; after the close of which, American immigration poured in, the extinguish- 
ment of Indian titles commenced and the old French-Indian occupancy of the country was 
superseded by that of the Americans. A new historical era commenced in 1833, and in 1836 
practically commenced the settlement of Winnebago County. From this period the history of 
Winnebago County is given; from the days of the bark canoe, Indian wigwam and log houses 
of the early settlers, up to its present highly civilized development, with all the details of its 

The history of each city and town in the county is given separately, from the days of their 
earliest settlement. In procuring this data each locality has been visited and hundreds of 
persons, town and county records and files of newspapers consulted. This work has involved 
great labor and expense; and but few people are aware of the time required and the difficulties 
encountered in the accomplishment of such a task. The hope is indulged in that it will be 
justly appreciated by the people of this county, whose interests are subserved by its publica- 
tion, and that it will prove to be of enduring value. 





The Fox River Valley of Central Wisconsin. A Record of Two 
CentxirieB, commeuciog with the First Explorations of the 
Fox and Wisconsin Rivers, the Links connecting the Great 
Water Com-ses of the United States. The Ancient Thor- 
otighfare of the Frontier Traffic and Travel of the Great 
West. Some of the tirst pages of American Civilization 
found in the Early History of Central Wisconsin 9-11 

Samuel de Champlain, the Pioneer Explorer of the Interior of 
the Continent, Founds Quebec. He forms an Alliance with 
the Algonquius and Hurons .■ 11-13 

Indian Tribes. Divisions and Population. Location of the 
various Nations. Green Bay and the Lake Winnebago and 
Fox River Country the centers of large Indian Populations. 
The Belligerent Iroquois ... 12-14 


The Policy of Frauce to Incorporate the Indian Tribes into a 
French-Indian Empire. Alliance formed with the Algon- 
qmn Tribes, for the purpose of Resisting the Raids of the 
Iroquois. Attempt to t^hristianizethe Indians, as a Prepara- 
tory Step to their CiviUzation. The Jesuit Missionaries 1.5- 16 

The Land of the Hurons. ( hamplain's voyage to their Country 
in 1615. A Journey through the Wilderness of Nine Hun- 
dred miles. Champlain discovers Lake Huron. The first 
White Men that ever paddled over its surface. Description 
of the Country of the Hurons 16-19 

Defenseless Condition of Quebec Piratical Attack on Quebec. 
Its Surrender to the English flag. Restoration to the French 
flag. Champlain Commandant of the Post for ten years 
longer. His death in 1635. Quebec becomes the Commer- 
cial Emporium of the Interior of the Continent. Its Trade 
through the Labyrinth of Water Arteries branching from 
the St. Lawrence to the Mississippi 19-21 

The Huron Missious . Arrival of the Jesuits . Their Journey to 
the Hurons. The Bark Mission House. The Founding of 
Montreal. The First Century in the History of the Interior 
Like a Tale of Chivalry 21-26 

Iroquois War. They Boast that they will Exterminate all the 
other Indian Nations and the French. The Capture and 
Sufiferings of Isaac Jouges. Building of Fort Richelieu. . . 2.5- 26 

Iroouois War. Invasion of the Huron Country. Destruction 
of the Hurons and the Hviron Missions, Conflagration of 
the Indian Villages and the Mission Houses. Bravery of 
the Missionaries. Their Terrible Death. The Hurons and 
Ottawas Abandon their Country and settle in the Northwest, 
at Michilimackiuac, Satilt St Marie and Gi-een Bay 27- 30 

Migration of the Algouq\Un Tribes to the South Shore of Lake 
Superior and Green Bay. First Commerce of the North- 
west. Allouez, Marquette and Dablou, Pioneers in Western 
Discover}' and Settlement. First Western Settlements. The 
Fox River Valley a Great Center of Indian Population. 
Allouez and Dablon visit the site of Oshkosh and Butte des 
Morts, and are Hospitably Entertained. Lovely Scenery 
of the Lake Winnebago Coimtry. The Discovery of the 
Upper Mississippi. Marquette's Death and Biu-ial 30- 36 


Count Frontenac and La Salle Secure the Head of the St. Law- 
rence and set out to Establish a line of Communication 
between Quebec and the Mouth of the Mississippi. La 
Salle Builds Fort Frontenac at the Head of the St. Law- 
rence aud another at Niagara Constructs the Griftin and 
Launches her. The first Vessel on the Lakes Her trip up 
the Lakes to Michilimackiuac and Greeu Bay. His voyage 
to the Country of the Illinois. Massacre of the lUinois by 
the Iroquois. La Salle organizts the Illinois and other 
tribes taking the Leaderstiip. Builds a Fort on "StaiTe 
Rock" on the Illinois River. Attempt to Found a Colony at 
the mouth of the Mississippi. Assassination of La Salle. 
Destruction of the Colony 36-43 


Hennepin Explores the Upper Mississippi. Captured by the 
Sioux and taken to their Country. His Rescue and Arrival 
at Green Bay 43- 44 


War Between the French and English Colonies. Frontenac 
Ravages the Iroquois Country. That Nation sues for Peace 
with the French. Detroit Founded. The French in Pos- 
session of the Country from the St. Lawrence to the Gulf of 
Mexico 44- 47 

Fox River and Lake Winnebago Country. Traders and Voy- 
ageurs Beautiful Scenery. The Channel of Aboriginal and 
Frontier Life, Trade and Travel. Here occurred the First 
Intercourse between the Indians of the West and the Whites. 
Capt. Jonathan Carver at Doty Island in 1766. Siege of 
Big Buttes des Morts bv De Louvigny in 1716 48- 53 


Battle of Little Buttes des Morts. Sanguinary Engagement 
The most Populous Village of the Foxes Destroyed. The 
Expulsion of the Foxes from the Fox River Valley. The 
Menominees take Possession of the Fox Country. Tomah, 
the Great Menominee Chief 53- 55 

Wisconsin the Border Ground in the Long Contest between the 
Algonquins and Dacotahs. The Historic Ground of the 
Northwest. The Souix the Original Inhabitants of Wiscon- 
sin. The Sioux expelled by the Chippewas. The Winne- 
bagoes, their villages and Chiefs 55- 60 


The French Posts and Settlements in the West. The Conreuv 
de Bois. His mode of Life and Canoe voyages. French 
OflBcers trained in Forest Warfare in the Campaigns of the 
Fox VaUey. De Beaujeu and Charles De Langlade, the 
pioneer settler of Wisconsin, Defeat Braddock at the cele- 
brated Battle of the Monongehela. Opening and Closiug 
of the French-Indian War. Pontiac's War. Massacre of 
the English Garrison at Michilimackiuac 61-65 

The early French Settlers. Judge Porlier and Griguons. Soci- 
ety of Green Bay in the Early Day The New Comers, the 
Americans. The Northwest in the War of 1812. Siege and 
Surrender of the American Fort at Praii-ie du Chien , Mas- 
sacre of the American Garrison at Chicago in 181'i. The 
Rinzie family of Chicago 

65- 73 


The White Settlements in the Northwest at the close of the War 
of 1812, The Americans first take Possession. First Amer- 
ican vessel at Green Bay. The settlement of the Northwest 
by the Americans virtually commenced with the working of 
the Lead Mines in 1822. The Winnebago Outbreak in 1827 . . 73-76 

The Black Hawk War. Its Origin. Black Hawk's Statement, 
The Battle of Sycamore Creek. Massacre of three Fami- 
lies. Battle of the Wisconsin. Battle of the Bad Axe, 
Capture of Black Hawk 7&- 78 



The American Fur Company. Social Circles in the Early Bay. 
Adventurous Journey from Fort Winnebago to Chicago by 
a Lady on Horseback. Lost and nearly Famished. Relief 
Found in an Indian Wigwam 78-84 

Indian Boundaries and Extinguishment of Indian Titles in Wis- 
consin 84- 86 


The several Territorial organizations of the soil now included in 

the limits of Wisconsin 87 


On Extinguishment of Indian title to aU the territory north of 
Chicago and south and east of the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers 
in 1833, Immigration to the new Purchase set in. Lines of 
Steamers and sail Vessels are place'i on the Lakes, roads 
begin to be used instead of Indian trails. Frink & Walker's 
Line of Stages. First Land Sales. Wheat Shipments begin. 
Wisconsin in 1^38 87-89 


Madison selected as the site of State Government. First Sessions 

of the Legislatiire, etc 89- 90 


The Fox and Wisconsin Rivers Improvement. First Surveys 
and Appropriations of Lands. Purchase of the Rights and 
Franchises by the United States 90-91 


Early settlement of Winnebago Coimty. Its transformation 
from a Wilderness to the abodes of Civilization. The first 
Settlers. Beauty and Rich Resources of the Country. Sev- 
eral of the Principal cities of the State cluster around these 
water course's. Lake Winnebago and its Beautiful Sur- 
roundings 92-94 


The Fox River Valley and Central Wisconsin. Its lovely Water 
Scenery an Especial Feature. The Fox Valley a conjunc- 
tion of three distinct types of country, with great Natural 
Resources, and one of the chief Business Thoroughfares of 
the State 94-95 


Early French Settlers. The Trading Post at Buttes des Morts. 
L. B. Porlier. The Grignons. The Business Center of the 
Upper Fox. Government Agency for the Civilizing of the 
Indians Established at Winnebago Rapids, now Neenah, in 
1835 97- 9K 


First Permanent Settlers in Winnebago County. The Stanleys 
and Gallups. The first Houses in Oshkosh. H. A. Gal- 
lup's Interesting Narrative. New Accessions to the Popu- 
lation 98-102 

Early Settlement of the County at Various Points. Harrison 
Keed commences Operations at Neenah. Governor Doty 
and Curtis Reed commence work at Menasha. L.M. Parsons 
commences the Settlement at Waukau 103-106 

The only White Settlers in the County in 1842 were those in the 
Vicinity of Oshkosh. Products of the Coimty in 1839. 
Naming the Place. Post Office EstabUshed. Organization 
of the County. First Roads. First Stores. First Village 
Plat of Oshkosh. Large Immigration from 1846 to 1850. 
The Villages of Neenah, Menasha, Waukau, Omro and Win- 
neconne in 1848-'50 107-109 


Wolf River Pineries. First Logging Operations. First Logs 
cut on Rat River in 1835 . First Saw Mill on these waters 
built at Shawanaw in 1843-''44. The Beginning of the Great 
Lumber Industry and its Rapid Growth. First Flouring 
Mills. First steamboats, the Manchester and Peytona. 
First Boat through the Portage Canal. Bridges built 
across the Fox. The County in 1850 109-110 


Incidents in the Early Days. Recollections of Early Settlers. 
An old time Scrimmage at Omro between Traders and a 
party of Winnebago Bucks. Doct. Llude, Captain Powell, 
Saml. Clough, C . L Rich. The Lost Partridge hild ....'. 111-119 

Compilation of early Official Data of Winnebago County, com- 
piled from the records and other authentic sources expressly 
for this work. Organization of the County. First Elec- 
tions. Proceedings of County Board. The Locating of the 
County Seat 119-124 


Organization of Towns. Incorporation of the cities of this 

County 124-126 

List of County Officers and C'ouuty Supervisors from the date 

of Organization of County to 1879 ' 126-129 


The Period from 1850 to 1860. The Cheapness and Abundance 
of Building Material greatly Facilitates the L'onstruction of 
Buildings. Progress in Improvement. Improved Methods 
of Farming The Big Crop of 1860. The growth of Native 
Timber that has sprung up since the Settlement of the 
Country. Growth of cities and villages in the County 129-131 

War Times. Business prosperity after the close of the war. 
Prices of tommodities. Manufacturing Stimulated by an 
Increased Demand The progress in Improvements in all 
parts of the ( 'ountry , New Factories and Mills constructed. 
New Railroads. The Great Fires in Oshkosh in 1S74 and 
1875. Big crops in 1875 . The County in 1879. Its Manu- 
factures 131-137 


The Embryo City. First Settlers. First Houses. Stores and 
HotPls. Description of the place in 1846 and 1849. First 
Saw MiUs, Grist Mills and Steamboats. List of the Business 
Firms in oshkosh in 1849-'50. "The Days of Auld Laog 
Syne." Items from the Of'/ikosh Democrat in the Early 
Day. Market Reports High Water, the Country Flooded. 
A Historic Bell. Oshkosh becomes a city. Items from the 
Oahknsli Courier. The Winnebago Railroad 137-144 

Fires. Bonds issued to St. Paul & Fond du Lac Railroad. Osh- 
kosh in 1856. Great Fire of 1859. Northwestern Railroad 
built. Railroad Accident. Items ^rom the Northwestern. 
War Times. Oshkosh Volunteers. The Draft and Filling 
the Quota. The close of the War. Good Times , Progress 
in Improvements. The Fire in 1866. Nicholson Pave- 
ment. High School Building and other Structures erected. 
Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad. Northern Hospital for the 
Insane built near Oshkosh. Gas Works constructed and 
the city hghted 144-150 

The Great Conflagrations of 1874 and 1875. Destruction of the 
Business Portion of the City. Rebuilding of Oshkosh. 
List of Structures erected in 1875 150-159 


The Business Firms of Oshkosh after the Fire in Board Shan- 
ties. A new Impetus in Improvements and Progress. Pub- 
lic and Private Enterprises in 1879. New Branches of 
Manufacture. ( 'onstruction of the Grand Exposition Build- 
ing. The Northern State Fair. Oshkosh market reports 
from 1868 to 1879 159-162 


The City of Oshkosh. Its Situation, Tributary Country, Sur- 
roundings, Water and Railroad Communications. Descrip- 
tion of the City. Its Manufactures, Business streets and 
Elegant Residences and Grounds. Oshkosh a Summer 
Resort and Watering Place The Yachting Center of the 
Northwest. The Oshkosh Yacht <.'lub. Public Buildings. 162-165 

Oshkosh Business Houses. Statistics of Manufacture. Import- 
ance and Facihties of Oshkosh as a Manufacturing Center.. 165-169 


Notices of Manufacturing Establishments Illustrated in this 

work and of Business Houses and Residences 169-182 

City and County Officers, Courts and Judges, Fire and Police 

Department in 1879. Schools, Churches and Societies 182-189 


History of the Newspaper Press of Oshkosh 189-'194 

Municipal Finance. The several issues of Bonds by the < ity of 
Oshkosh. Amount the City has Invested in Permanent 
PubUc Improvements. Present Indebtedness . 194 


Oshkosh taking a new start in the Race of Progress. New Fac- 
tories and Mills Erected in the Winter of 1879-80. Another 
Large Sash and Door Factory Built Four more Saw Mills 
Huilt. Another Machine rthop and a Flouring Mill erected. 
The Oshkosh Carriage Works, a mammoth concern employ- 
ing one hundred and fifteen hands started during the past 
Year Two large Additional Buildings added to the Trunk 
Factory. Other Factories enlarged and their capacities 
Increased. Glazed Sash an industry of Immense Magni- 
tude. Twenty-six car-loads of Glass Ordered, during one 
Week, by the Glazed Sash Factories. Oshkosh the great- 
est Sash and Door Manufacturing Center in the United 
frtates 296t;)-296i//; 




The Early History of Neenah. The Goverument Agency, for 
the ( inUzing of the Menomiuees. A Mill, Shops aud Block 
Houses built in ls;)5 aud 1836, at Wiunebago Rapids, the 
present site of Neenah. Harrison Reed in 1844 purchases 
the site from the Government. George Mansur and Family 
arrive in 1843, aud become the First White Family I'erma- 
nently settled in the present limits of Neenah. In 1845 Gov. 
Doty builds his House on the Island. Gorham P. Vining, 
George Harlow. Ira Baird aud the Rev. O. P. Clinton settle 
in Neenah. First Birth, Marriage and Death. First Religi- 
ous Serrtes. The Joneses become Proprietori!. More new 
comers in 1847. a < ompany chartered for the Improvement 
of the Water I ower. In 1847, the First Village Plat recorded 
by Harrison Reed. In same year Mr. Ladd erects the Win- 
nebago Hotel. The firm of J ones & Yale open a store. 
1S48, the Kimberlys purchase property and commence 
improvements. In 18.50, Board of Village Trustees elected. 
Kimberly bmUs the Pioneer Flouring Mill, i anal Lock 
I'ompleted. steamers Jennie Lind and Barlow built. 
Another Flouring Mill completed. Saw Mill constructed. 
Another Manufacturing Establishment iu Operation and 
two more Flouring Mills. The Village Plats of Winnebago 
Rapids and Neenah consolidated under the corporate name 
of Neeuah. In 18S6 the hrst ) assage of a Steamer between 
Lake Winnebago and Greeu Bay was made, the Aquilla 
passing through Neeuah Lock 194-204 

The Chicago A Northwestern Railroad Constructed to Neenah. 
Banks Established. The Seveuth Flouring Mill Built . Final 
Settlement of the .Tones Estate. Additional Mills Built. 
First I aper Mill Wisconsin t entral Railroad. ( ity of 
Neenah Incorporated, List of t Ity Officers from Date of 
Incoriioration. More Paper Mills. Hotels. Schools. 

Churches 204-210 

Description of Neenah. Scenery, Location and Historical Asso- 
ciations. Summer Resort. .Water and Railroad Communi- 
cations. Manufactories. Business Houses. Illustrations 
and Personal Notices 210-213 

Town of Neenah. Early History. Physical Description. Organ- 
ization. Early Settlers, Etc 213-215 


The Early History of the City of Menasha . Purchase of Site. 
Commencement of Improvements, hirst House Built. First 
School and First Religious Services First Birth. Rivalry 
Betwen Neenah and Menasha for Location of State Canal. 
Menasha Secures the Prize. Store Opened. Poetoffice Estab- 
lished. Dam 1 ompleted. First Saw Mill iu Operation First 
Grist Mill. More Manufactories Established. Steamboat 
Built. Hank Road and Bridge Constructed. Government 
Land Office EstabUshed at Menasha. The Village Incorpor- 
ated. Distinguished Residents. ( aptain BlcKinuon's Blooded 
Stock. Increased Transportation Facilities. Completion of 
Canal Large Shipment of Freight by this Route from 
Green Bay to Fond du Lac. John Kitzgerald Establishes an 
Exchange Office. Another Flouring Mill Built In 1866 
Dniiiterrupted Navigation Opened Between Lake Winnebago 
and Green Bay 215-221 

Doty Island. Its Lovely Scenery. Chicago k Northwestern 
Railroad. More Manufactories. The National Hotel Built 
and Menasha Bauk Established iu 1870 Incorporation of 
the City. List of t ity Officers from Date of Incorporation to 
1879. The Wisconsiu Central Railroad and .Milwaukee & 
Northern Railroad. History of Menasha Churches. Menasha 
Public Schools . City Officials Civic Societies . Menasha 
Newspaper Frees 221-226 

Description of City of Menasha. Location. Historical Associa- 
tions. Siuumer Resort. Water-Power and Water Commu- 
nications. Manufactories and Resources for Manufacturing. 
Statistics of Manufacture. Business Houses. Notices of 
Illustrations 22fi-229 


Blackvolf 279-286 

Clayton .*. 271-273 

Neenah 213-215 

Nekimi 286-291 

Nepeuskun 241-248 

Menasha 230-231 

Omro 294-296 (!) 

OBhkosb 232-241 

Poygan 277-279 

BusMord 248-262 

UUca 262-261 


Vinland 269-271^ 

Winneconne 261-269' 

Winchester 273-274 

Wolf River 275-277 




City of Oehkosh 319-331 

Village of Omro 333-335 

City of Neenah 335-339 

City of Meuasha 341-343 

Village of W iuneconne 343-345 

Village of Waukau . 

Village of Eureka 



Residences of Philetus and Edgar P. Sawyer First Leaf 

Street View, Oshkosh Opposite Title Page 

Residence of L. M. Miller Opposite 

" George Mayer " 

" James L. Clark " 

D. L. Libby 

'* E. L and Geo. M, Paine " 

Robert McMlllen *' 

" A\ iUiam T. EUsworth " 

" Judge D J. Fulliug " 

** Andrew Haben , *' 

" Geo.F. Strond *' 

" Ossian < ook " 

" S M Hay 

" Petersilea Homestead " 

" H. C. Jewell ** 

C. W. Felker " 

" Doct. H. B. Dale " 

" Tom Wall " 

*' Peter Nicolai .' " 

" Gen'l Thos. S. Allen ** 

" Doct. Frederick H. Linde *' 

" H. C. Gustavus " 

" Gustavus Tesch " 

" Augustus Haight " 

Sash and Door h'actory, K. McMillen & Co " 

Sash and Door Factory, Foster a Jones '' 

Sash and Door Factory, Geo. Williamson & Co ... " 

Keystone Klouriug Mill, H O. Gustavus & Co - • " 

Works, Storehouses and Docks of Cook, Brown & Co '* 

Star Match Works, James L, Clark " 

Dry Goods Store, Wm. Hill & Co *' 

Trunk Kactory, Schmit brothers " 

Geo Mayera' Jewelrj' Store .. . *' 

Ferdinand Hermann's Block " 

St. Vincent de Paul Church and Academy ... ... . . " 

Kirst National Bank, Oshkosh " 

High School Building, Oshkosh " 

Court House, Oshkosh ... *' 

Northern Hospital for the Insane *' 

Regatta at Oshkosh, July, 1877 " 

Keckwith House 342 and 179 

Steam Boiler Works, Martin Battis opposite 180 

Carriage Works, Parsons & Goodfellow. 


Street View 

Russell House 

Riverside Park 

High School Building 

John Robert's Summer Resort 

Residence of A . H, F. Krueger 

" 296(^-) 


Residence of E. L. Mathewson 

School Building 

Residence of R. M. Scott 

Residence of A. J. Webster 

Residence of Elbridge Smith 

Hub, Spoke and Bent Work Factory, Webster & Lawson. 


Farm and Residence of George Rogers 

'* " Commodore Rogers 

*' '* Mrs Mark Plummer 

*' *' George M.Wakefield 

•' " C. L. Rich 

Cheese Factory, John Ryf 


Cheese Factory, James G. Pickett, Pickett Homestead 

Farm Residence of J . H. Maxwe'l 

Farm Besldence of David K. Lawrence 

*' E.B.Ransom 

" " The Late George Miller 

*■ " William H Clark 





Farm Residence of William Simmons 

" " Milan Ford 

" '* Hiram B. Cook 


Farm Residence of Carlton Foster 

t» *' Ebenezer Hubbard . . . ; 

" R. C. Wood 


Farm Residence of Charles Morgan 

" " George b lemming 

" " Alexander Bangs 

" " Geo. A. Randall.. 


Farm Residence of Andrew Sutherland 

" " Jerome Betry 

" " Chas. Wm. Kurz 


Waukau Flouring Mills, Bean & Palfrey 

Farm Residence of L. Hinman 

F. L, Bartlett 

Personal Notices. 





ciry OF osHKosH. 


James L. Clark, Star Match Works 169 

Foster & Jones, Sash, Door and Lumber M'f 'rs . 1 '0 

Robert McMillen & Co., Sash, Door and Lumber M'f 'rs ... ^P 

WiUiamson, Libbey k Co., Sash and Door M'f 'rs 1"2 

S Radford & Bro., Sash, Door and Lumber M'f'rs 296 (*) 334 

Geo. W. Pratt, Lumber M'f'r 348-296(0 

C. N. Paine & Co., Lumber M'f 'rs I'S 

296 U) 


Johns. Fraker, Shingle M'f'r ;^.;- •;;;,■,• ' 

Cook, Brown & Co., Brick, Lime and Dram Tile M'f rs 

H. C. GustavuB & Co., Flour .M'f'rs 

Parsons & Goodf eUow, Carriage Works 

Martin Battis, Steam BoUer M'f'r •;■" 

John F. Morse, Foundry and Machine Shop ^9b W^iV 

Wm. Spikes & Co., Furniture M 'f 'rs and Dealers 2% (m) 336 

B. H Soper, Furniture M'f 'rand Dealer 296Cm)34o 

J. R.Loper, Soap iMTr 33j 

W. W. Daggett, Oshkosh Business College '«> 

Wm. Hill & Co., Dry Goods 155 j~„? 

Carswell & Hughes, Dry Goods ,,„ "Jojf 

Sam'l Eckstein, Merchant TaUor 179 and 326 

Andrew Haben, Merchant Tailor „„„ ■ ., ,111 

Schmit Bros ., i runk Factory 296 u) ™d 17J 

Ferdinand Hermann, Grocer j,]A 

Geo. F. Stroud, Oils, Paints and Glass 175anad^u 

Sam'l M. Hay, Hardware }<% 

Tom Wall, Freight Agent M. & St. Paul R. R ™ 

Gustavus r'esch ■ J^ 

Beckwith House ?*? 

E W. Viall, Grocer 296u«)and347 

Leonard Mayer, Grocer ■^^^Pj^"^^^ 

John Begliner, Grocer olo *"^ mo 

A. Lichtenberger, Grocer ■»■* and d^i 

WiUeS: Ploetz, Hardware 296(m)and322 

James Kennedy, Grocer 296(?M) and331 

Chas. Quinlan, Grocer ?S5!"' *°?S 

K. E. Bennett. Grocer 296 ( « ) and dJ8 

Sebastian Ostertag, Grocer ?^5 1"! ''"? oSS 

Holmes & VanDoren, Grocers . 296 («.) and 3d8 

C. A. Johnson & Co., Boots and Shoes 349 and 328 

Geo. F. Eastman, Books and Stationery 296(m.) and 348 

Henry Schneider, Building Contractor 296(0 and 340 

Thos. Policy, Building Contractor 296 (i) and 340 

\l' eisbrod & Harshaw, Lawyers ^60 

Wm. KeUey, Clocks, Watches and Jeweby Back Lover. 

Eugene Fraker ^^ 


A . H . F. Krueger 


Carl J. Kraby, Insurance Agent 

Bergstrom Bros. & Co., Stove Works 

Whitenackfe Mitchell . 

John Roberts' Summer Resort 


Webster & Lawson, Hub and Spoke Factory 227 

Menasha Wooden Ware Company 223 and 342 

S. S. Roby '^^ 


The last paragraph in first column, Page 50, should read: 
procured by Gen. Lewis Cass from the Archives of the War 
Department of France, while he was officiating, etc. 

The last paragraph in second column. Page 60, should be: 
In 1829, the Winnebagoes ceded a portion of their lands near 
the lead mines; and 1833, they ceded all of their lands south 
of the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers, In 1838, they relinquished 
their claims to all of their lands east of the Mississippi. 

The last paragraph in second column. Page 67, should be: 
The Post at Prairie du Chien instead of Green Bay. 

Page 68, the date at head of page should be: 181 2. 

Page 88, in last paragraph, first column should be. Govern- 
ment lands, instead of Government bonds. 

The second paragraph on Page 94 should be : thirty-two 
years ago, instead of twenty-eight. 

On Page 149 should be : the High School Building was 
erected in 1867, instead of 1857. 

Page 139, Geo. Mayer, Watchmaker and Jeweller. His 
name ought to be inserted as one of the firms doing business 
in Oshkosh in 1850. 

The several town officers, mentioned in this work as present 
town officers, are those of 1879. 

Page 195, last paragraph, should read: In September, 1S36, 
the Menominees ceded that portion of Winnebago County, 
which lies north of the Upper Fox Rivtr, except the small 
tract east of the Lower Fox, which was formerly Winnebago 
territory, and ceded by that tribe to the Government in 1833. 








The Fox River Valley of Central Wisconsin — A Record of 
Two Centuries, Commencing with the First Explorations 
of the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers — The Links Connecting 
the Great Water Courses of the United States — The 
Ancient Thoroughfare of the Frontier and Aboriginal 
Traffic and Travel of the Great West — Some of the 
First Pages of American Civilization Found in Central 

fN one of the higher elevations of the 
State of Wisconsin, being in the north- 
T§^ ern portion of Lincohi County, and 
: •' borderingthe northern line of the State, 
iiiiipj is a tract of country embracing about 
i^ two thousand square miles, nearly one- 
fourth of which is comprised of lakes, about 
two hundred in number, beautiful bodies of 
water of crystal transparency, some separated, 
others in groups, dotting the entire surface of 
this large tract like the islands of the Grecian 
Archipelago that of the Mediterranean Sea. 

The rocky ranges and high elevations of this 
region intercept the rain-clouds of Lake Super- 
ior in their southern passage, and gather their 
falling waters into these innumerable rocky 
basins. These lakes are the primitive sources 
of the Wisconsin River which, flowing south- 
erly through nearly the entire length of the 
State, and receiving the tributary streams of 
this great central valley, pours its flood into 
the Mississippi. 

The Wisconsin, after making a large deflec- 
tion to the east, turns suddenly at a point in 

Columbia County called "The Portage," and 
flows from there directly to the southwest. At 
this point it approaches to within about a mile 
of another river, the Fox, which runs in the 
very opposite direction — to the northeast — 
and empties its waters into Lake Winnebago, 
en route for Lake Michigan. This narrow strip, 
dividing the beds of the two rivers, is a very 
interesting natural feature, although its appear- 
ance is very commonplace; for here is almost a 
union of two streams, of which the waters of 
the one flow to mingle with the tropical waves 
of the Gulf of Mexico, and those of the other 
to mix with that flood of waters which, pour- 
ing over Niagara and through the St. Law- 
rence, washes the icebergs of the North Atlantic. 

It was through these great arteries that the 
civilization of the West was pioneered, and all 
the commerce and white settlement of the 
Northwest, for over a hundred years, had its 
initial point in the Valley of the Fox, which 
was the main entrance-way to the vast prairie- 
world of the interior. 

Two centuries ago, the first traflic carried on 
between the French and the Indians instinct- 
ively followed that line of trade which flows 
through the present commercial centers of the 
Valley of the Fox River and Lake Winnebago. 
The French bateau and Indian canoe were the 
primitive flow of that commerce which was 
destined to pour its mighty volume through 
this natural outlet of the Northwest. 

The first record of the white man in the 




West is found in tlic history of his explorations 
and habitations in the Valley of the Fox; 
and that record, too, comprises some of the 
very earliest pages of American history. 

The Fox and Wisconsin Rivers and Lake 
Winnebaf,^) formed important links in that line 
of communication which, with Montreal ami 
Ouebec for a base, extended through the St. 
Lawrence, the Great Lakes, the l''ox and Wis- 
consin, the Mississippi and the Ohio, whose 
upper waters almt)st completed the circuit to 
Lake Erie. The way-stations on this lont( line 
of travel were: Three Rivers, Detroit, Old 
Michilmackinac, Green Hay, Prairie du Chien, 
Kaskaskia and Fort du Ouesne. From 1639 
t(5 1820 this route was almost the exclusive line 
of Western trade and traffic, and all the white 
settlements were confined to the immediate 
borders of these great water courses. The fur 
trade developed into large proportions. Organ- 
ized companies were formed in Montreal and 
Quebec. These were superseded by the Ameri- 
can Fur Company, which frequently sent up 
the Fox River flotillas which numbered from 
fifty to one hundred bateaux and canoes. 
This, too, was the line on which moved the armed 
expeditions in Western warfare for over a cen- 
tury and a half of the white man's history in 
the Valley of the Mississippi. Here, also, was 
the line of travel of thepublic functionaries and 
representatives of the three governments which 
respectively ruled the country during that 
period. It will be seen, therefore, that our 
beautiful Fox River Valley is the location of 
the oldest Western settlement — and intimately 
associated with the earlier pages of Ameiican 

The advent of civilized man in this region is 
nearly contemporaneous with the founding of 
Jamestown and New York; for it was in 1606 
that King James gave the charter for the 
Colonies of Virginia, and in 1609 that Henry 
Hudson discovered the Bay of New York and 
the North River. In 1621 the Dutch West 
India Company purchased Manhattan Island 
from the Indians for twenty-five dollars; and 
as late as 1620 the first permanent settle- 
ment was made in New ICngland; while in 1639 
(and it is now claimed to have been as early as 
1634) Nicollet, interpreter at Three Rivers, 
commissioned by the Government of New 
France, traversed the I'ox Rivers and Lake of 
the Winnebagoes, for the purpose of disco\'ery 
and of making treaties witli the Indians. At 
the time of his voyage, it was believed that 
our Great Lakes and the Western water 
courses afforded a pa.ssage to the East Indies; 
and as the Winnebagoes were a race distinct 
from the Algonquins and Dacotahs, and speak- 

ing a language so different from the other 
Indian dialects that no other Indians ever 
speak it or understand it, the Algonquins 
regarded them as foreigners, and claimed that 
they had intercourse with some distant people. 
Indian imagination so pictured these strangers 
who, it was alleged, visited the Winnebagoes, 
that Nicollet thought it probable that the (ireat 
River afforded a water communication with 

After ascending the Lower Fox to Lake 
Winnebago, and just before reaching the chief 
town of the Winnebagoes, he put on a robe of 
Chinese damask, richly embroidered with 
birds and flowers, as if anticipating a meeting 
with the Celestials; and when he was ushered 
into the presence of the Indians, dressed in 1 
this rich habit, and with a pistol in each hand, 
which he discharged, they regarded him as a 
Manitou armed with thunder and lightning 
His presence was so imposing that the\ 
lavished on him every expression of Indian I 
respect and admiration, and made him the | 
recipient of a most bountiful hospitalitj-, over a I 
hundred beavers being consumed at one feast. 

At the council which was held at the foot of' 
the lake he made the first treaty ever entered 
into between the Indians of the West and 
Europeans, and this at so early a time that 
the Puritans had only, a few years before, 
landed at Plymouth Rock, and had not as yi t 
penetrated the country fifty miles inland. 

This was the first preparatory measurr 
toward that French colonization of the North 
west which has left its historic land-marks ol 
the early progress of civilization in the Missis 
sippi Valley. 

When it is remembered that a Mission was 
established near the mouth of the Lower Fox 
as early as 1668, and atrading post a few years 
later, it will be seen how intimately the ^ Fox ' 
Valley is associated with the great historical ' 
events of the earliest civilized occupancy of the 
continent; and that the early history of tlu 
Northwest is so interwoven with the ver\ 
beginnings of American civilization thai 1 
it cannot be intelligently discussed without! 
considering the initial points of its progress I 
The writer will, therefore, endeavor to briefly 
trace the chief events which led to the present 
occupancy of this region by the mixed Euro- 
pean races which now inhabit it. 

The French occupanc)' of the country orig- ' 
inated in the second voyage of Jaques Cartier; 
to America in 1535. He ascended the St. 
Lawrence and came to anchor opposite that 
grand promontory known as the Gibralter of 
America — the site of Ouebec. It was known 
by the Indian name of Stadicone. The mag- 




nificent St. Lawrence, at this point a mile 
wide, washed the base of the rugged cliff which 
rose in towering majesty from the broad 
stream, and a few Indian wigwams occupied 
the site of the future city of Quebec. Here 
reposed, in the solitude of the vast wilderness, 
oneof the most enduring monuments of Ameri- 
can history. The majestic cliff then in its 
silent grandeur, was destined to become 
famous as the spot where the heroes. Wolf 
and Montcalm, laid down their lives in a 
battle which involved the political destiny of a 
continent. The field of Abraham, upon which 
was to be fought the great, decisive battle for 
American Empire, between the Cross of St. 
George and the Fleur de lis of France, then 
slumbered in savage solitude. 

Cartier returned to France in the Spring, 
and in 1541 again ascended the St. Lawrence, 
as the advance ot a colony under Roberval, 
commissioned by the King of France. He 
anchored off Cap- Rouge. Here he landed, 
built a fort, cleared land and planted it. This 
was the first attempt at agriculture by civilized 
man on the continent. 

For about a year the colonists lived here in 
amity with the Indians. This was twenty- 
four years before the founding of St. Augus- 
tine, and sixty-six years before the settlement 
of Jamestown. In all that vast wilderness, 
from the Gulf of Mexico to the Polar Seas, 
there was not another civilized being. 

Roberval, who was to follow Cartier with 
another fleet and a reinforcement of colonists, 
not arriving long after the expected time, the 
latter abandoned the place and returned to 
France. Rober\al arrived at Cap Rouge 
shortly after Cartier's departure, and landed 
his colonists, composed of soldiers, mechanics, 
laborers, women and children. Here they 
erected a large structure, and, after enduring 
for a short time the hard vicissitudes of a life 
subject to the contingencies of such a situa- 
tion, the remnant of the colony, wasted by dis- 
ease and privations, returned to France. That 
country shortly afterwards entered upon an era 
of fratricidal strife; the civil convulsions of 
Europe left no opportunity for American col- 
onization; the first act in American civilization 
came to a close, and the country for half a cen- 
tury was left in the undisturbed possession of 
its savage occupants. 


Samuel de Champlain, the Pioneer Explorer of the In'.crioi — 
Founds Quebec — Forms an Alliance with the Algonquins 
and Huron?. 

f:FTER an interval of sixty odd years 

French colonization received a new 

impetus, and now was to begin that 

*?^p' mighty process which was to trans- 

form a wilderness continent into a 

civilization whose grandeur, power and useful 

achievements have rivaled the greatest nations 

of Europe. 

And now appears on the scene a name 
deservedly as enduring as American history — 
the great pioneer in the civilized occupancy of 
the interior of the continent — Samuel de Cham • 
plain. This brave explorer and noble Chris- 
tian gentleman was the discoverer of the Great 
Lakes. His arduous and dangerous explora- 
tions, the diligence and accuracy with which 
he mapped out the gcographj^ of a large part 
of the country and its water courses, his noble 
efforts to advance the ends of civilization and 
the exemplary habits of his life, have won for 
him an enviable position in the annals of 
American history. 

In 1603, he sailed up the St. Lawrence, and 
explored it to Mont Ro\'al. The Indian tribes 
that Cartier had found there had disappeared, 
and Algonquins had taken their place. He 
returned to F"rance, and, in the following year, 
accompanied De Monts who, with a feudal 
commission from the King of France, as Lieu- 
tcnant-General of Acadia, went to establish a 
colony in what is now Nova Scotia. After 
exploring the Bay of Funday, of which the 
untiring Champlain made a coast survey, and 
maps and charts, they selected the mouth of 
the St. Croix as the site of their colony, 
erected buildings, and enclosed them with a 
palisade; and now, once more we find the 
French the only European inhabitants on the 
continent, except the Spaniards in Florida. 
The iMiglish had as yet made no settlement. 
Says Parkman: "It was from France that these 
barbarous shores first learned to serve the ends 
of peaceful industry. " 

But the colony at St. Croix must be left to 
its fate while attention is called to the enter- 
prises of Champlain, which pioneered the set- 
tlement of the Northwest — the feeble begin- ' 
nings of that early civilization of the North- 
west, which was a cross with barbarism — a 
romantic mingling of the elements of barbaric 
and civilized life, over which P'rance reared its 
standard and marshaled its dusky retainers in" 
the solitudes of the wilderness, in its efforts to 
erect a French-Indian Empire whose terri- 




torial proportions should embrace the interior 
of the continent. It was a stupendous scheme; 
and for over a century the standard of France 
waved triumphantly over the great Valleys of 
the St. Lawrence and the Mississippi. During 
all that period, the I'Inglish and other European 
colonies were confined to the strip of territory 
skirting the Atlantic, and the Flciir dc lis. of 
I'"rance was the only flag that waved west of 
the Alleghanies. 

Champlain, having returned t(j France, 
again embarked for America in 1608, in charge 
of a colony whose destination was the St. Law- 
rence River. The stately ship sailed up that 
broad stream, through the hush of the mighty 
solitude that brooded over its surrounding for- 
ests, and came to anchor opposite the present 
site of Ouebec, the place selected for a settle- 
ment. Here the colonists landed, and the 
sound of the a.xe is heard reverberating its 
echoes in the wilderness. So«n a number of 
comfortable buildings are erected, and sur- 
rounded by a wooden wall. Their architec- 
tural proportions are a source of wonder to the 
Indians, who are admiring spectators of the 
skill of their white brothers. In the back- 
ground are the rugged cliffs and dense forests. 
In the front the waters of the majestic St. 
Lawrence, on which a ship lies gracefully out- 
lined. At a little distance on the bank is a 
cluster of wigwams, and occasionally a canoe 
glides along, and mysteriously disappears in the 
shadow of cliff or forest. 

The colonists clear up a piece of ground for 
a garden, which they cultivate. They hunt, 
fish and barter with the Indians ; summer 
passes, and the cold weather of a Canadian 
winter approaches. Heavy falls of snow cover 
the ground to such a depth that the)- are 
obliged to learn from their friends — the Indians 
— how to use snow shoes. The Indians occa- 
sionally bring them wild game, and are some- 
times their near neighbors; but the terrible 
scurvy breaks out, and prevails with such 
virulence that only eight of the colony are alive 
in the spring. 

The dreary winter passes awa\% the songs 
of the returning birds and the sounds of insect 
life are again heard; the buds and blossoms 
expand, the hill-side ri\ulets ripple in the 
warm sunshine, and nature assumes the cheer- 
ful hues of her summer-day life. Hope once 
more inspires the survivors, and their hearts 
are further gladdened by the arrival of a ves- 
sel from I'"rance, bringing succor and a rein- 
forcement of colonists. 

Champlain now .set to work for a general 
exploration of the surrounding countrj'; but, 
in this enterprise, he must have the assistance 

of his Indian friends; and from the very begin- 
ning of their intercourse with the Indians, and 
through the whole long period of their intimate 
relations with them, the French seem to have 
had their good will and unbounded confidence 
and respect. 

Champlain soon acquired some knowledge 
of the Algonquin language and the customs of 
that numerous family of Indians; and he 
learned from them that there was a distinct 
nation — the Iroquois — a confederacy of five 
nations, inhabiting the territory now the State 
of New York — a formidable body that were 
the terror of the American wilds. Their war- 
parties were continually out making predatory 
raids, desolating the country of their neigh- 
bors, and keeping other tribes in constant fear 
of ,an attack. The only expedient way for him 
to explore was to join a war-part)' of Algon- 
quins. The)- would ha\e to fight their way, 
for in all probability they would meet war par- 
ties of the Iroquois, and then they must fight 
or be captured. Champlain, therefore, joined 
his fortunes to the Algonquins and Hurons, 
forming an alliance with them for mutual pro- 


I lulian Tribes — Divisioii.s ami I'oimlaliiin — LocalKin nf ihc 
Various Nations — Green Hay and the Lake Winnebago 
aiid Kox River Country the Centers of Large Indian Popu- 
lations — The Bellitjerent Iroi|Uois. 

HE whole Indian population in all the 
territory l)'ing between the Mississippi 
and the Atlantic did not exceed two 
hundred thousand, and this was so 
scattered that vast solitudes intervened 
between the little tracts which were occupied 
by the villages of the several tribes. 

The great body of the country was an unin- 
habited wilderness, with an occasional Indian 
settlement. The traveler, at that day, passing 
from the mouth of the St. Lawrence, on the 
south side of the river, to Lake Ontario, would 
find the country, for nearly the whole distance, 
an uninhabiteil district. On the north side, he 
would tra\'el hundreds of miles without meet- 
ing a human being. At last he would reach 
the huts of Taddousac, and after leaving them 
would again pass through the long, dreary soli- 
tude between that point and Stadicone — the 
site of Ouebec — where evidences of Indian 
population would again begin to appear; from 
there to the mouth of the Ottawa, no inhabi- 
tants were to be found, other than temporary 




sojourners — the deadly Iroquois, lurking in 
the dark recesses of the forest, or a hunting 
party of Algonquins ; but if it were the sea- 
son of the periodical descent of the Ottawas 
and Hurons, with their yearly harvest of furs, 
he would see the St. Lawrence covered with 
fleets of canoes, to enliven tlie scene for a few 
days, when, disappearing as suddenly as they 
came, the place would relapse into a solitude. 
Proceeding up the Ottawa he would trax'erse 
hundreds of miles, through an uninhabited 
region, until he reached the \'illages arid planting 
grounds of the Ottawas; from thence, passing 
through a vast wilderness, to the Lake of the 
Nippissings, another Indian settlement would 
be met. From this point, down French River 
and southward, for over a hundred miles, along 
the shore of Lake Huron, no inhabitants were 
to be found until reaching the pleasant coun- 
try of the Hurons. Skirting the shores of 
.Lake Huron, northward to the shores of Lake 
Superior, he would find a desolate, uninhab- 
ited waste. From that point, in a southwest- 
erly direction to the Mississippi, traveling 
through a portion of what is now the State of 
Wisconsin, he would find only occasional roving 
bands of the Chippewas, contesting with the 
Sioux of the Mississippi for the possession of 
the south shore of Lake Superior — the ancient 
hunting-ground of the Dacotahs. On the Mis- 
sissippi he would find the lodges of the Daco- 
tahs or Siou.x; and stretching from there, away 
toward the Cordilleras, the vast, uninhabited 
plains or hunting-grounds of these tribes. 

If, half a century later, after the maraud- 
ing Iroquois had routed the Hurons, Ottawas 
and other Algonquin tribes from their ancient 
planting-grounds and council-fires in the East, 
he were to retrace his steps, he would pass over 
the historical ground of the Northwest — the 
soil of Wisconsin — the great battle-field in the 
long contest between the Dacotahs of the 
Mississippi, and the Algonquins of the East 
— where these two great divisions of the 
Indian family fought for the possession of the 
rich hunting grounds of Central and Northern 
Wisconsin; and he would find Michilimacki- 
nac, Green Bay and the Lake Winnebago and'' 
Fox River country the centers of large Indian 
populations, who had posessed themselves of 
new homes in the West, and who eventually 
drove the Sioux across the Mississippi. 

The French soon learned that the Indians 
were divided into four or five great families, 
each containing many tribes which were again 
subdivided into bands. The most numerous 
division was the great Algonquin family, inhab- 
iting what is now the greater part of Canada 
and the Eastern and Middle States — Illinois, 

Indiana, Ohio and Virginia, and e\entually 
Wisconsin and Michigan; the Iroquois, a con- 
federacy of five nations, occupying the terri- 
tory now the State of New York, their \'illages 
and planting grounds being on the shores of 
the lakes which now perpetuate their names; 
the Hurons, an alienated branch of the Iro- 
quois family, occupying the peninsula between 
Lake Huron and Lakes Erie and Ontario; the 
Dacotahs, of the Mississippi and the plains 
beyond; and the Mobilians and a few lesser 
divisions in the South. 

Their general habits, customs and mode of 
life were similar, yet varj-ing in a greater or 
lesser degree. The whole country was one 
great battle-ground, and the long, intestine 
strife which, from time immemorial, was waged 
with implacable fury between the several 
divisions, resulted frequently in the extermi- 
nation of tribes — sometimes of nations — and 
the relapse of a settled district into a wilder- 
ness. The ravages of war, pestilence and 
famine frequently decimated a populous nation 
to a mere remnant, to be absorbed b)' some 
more fortunate one. Tribes appeared and dis- 
appeared, changing locations — some in the 
process of extermination, others developing 
new strength and extending their dominion. 

Of this latter class were the Iroquois, a pow- 
erful confederacy of five nations, and which at 
the time of the arrival of the French were 
waging a relentless war on the Algonquins and 
the Hurons. Their location gave them the con- 
trol of the head of the St. Lawrence and tiie 
south shore of Lake Ontario, and consequently 
cut off all communication between that river 
and the lakes. They lived in fortified villages 
which were surrounded with rows of palisades 
twenty to thirty feet high. Champlain 
describes them very minutely. Three or four 
rows of trunks of trees, set slanting from the 
earth upward, intersected each other near the 
top; at this intersection was constructed a gal- 
lery, with breastworks and wooden gutters for 
holding water which could be expeditiously 
discharged on the palisades in the event of 
their being set on fire. The galleries contained 
magazines of stones, to be hurled at assailants, 
and the villages were supplied with water by 
sluices running from the lakes. The countr)- 
of this community was liighly fertile, and they 
cultivated large fields of maize. Their hunting- 
ground was a large district bordering the 
St. Lawrence, and eastward and southward to 
Lake Champlain and the western slopes of the 
Alleghanies. Their location and resources 
were most favorable for peace or war, and they 
made a most industrious use of their oppor- 
tunities. Their war-parties in large numbers 




ravaged the country in all directions, spread- 
ing carnage and desolation from the Illinois to 
the land of their kinsmen, the Hurons and the 
Ottawas. They were the terror of the Ameri- 
can wilds, and kept the whole country in con- 
stant alarm. 

The tribes north of the St. Lawrence were 
chiefly nomads, wandering from place to place 
in that rough district, and subsisting princi- 
pally by the chase. 

The Hurons, in their delightful country, 
were more of an agricultural people, and lived, 
like their kinsmen, the Iroquois, in fortified 
villages, with adjacent planting-grounds in 
which they cultivated fields of maize and 
squash. They numbered from fifteen to 
twenty thousand. 

The Ottawas were their neighbors and 
friends; but, living in a country better adapted 
to hunting and trapping, depended more 
largely on those pursuits for a means of sub- 

Champlain effected an alliance with the two 
latter nations, and, with them for guides and 
assistants, was now ready to make those 
explorations which first made the civilized 
world acquainted with the geography and 
resources of the interior of the continent. 


Chamijlain's Kxplor.-ilioiis — Inili.ui .Mlics — War Dance — lie 
Discovers Lake Chani|ilain — Engagement willi ihe Iro- 

LARCjE number of Indian lodges are 
clustered on the banks of the St. Law- 
rence. They are those of the Huron 
and .Algonquin allies of Champlain, 
assembled preparatory for an expedi- 
tion; and he must now conform to the demands 
of Indian custom. Hefore they start he must 
join them in the war-dance, and partake of the 
dog-feast. He is to be their great war-chief, 
and well did he prove worthy of the leadership. 
The night presents a weird-like scene. The 
camp-fires light up the rrgged banks and som- 
bre forests, the picturesque canoes and groups 
of wigwams; and in its red glare hundreds of 
hideously painted savages, making the woods 
echo with their discordant yells, are writhing 
thrnugh the contortions of the war-dance; 
while Champlain and his I-'rench companions, 
clad in steel armor, look like appariti.nis from 
the spirit-land. 

This preliminary concluded, they proceed on 
the expedition. Their destination was the 

beautiful lake now called Champlain, after its 
illustrious discoverer. For a distance he pro- 
ceeded in a small sail vessel, the Indians accom- 
panying in their canoes. Arriving at a portage, 
the vessel is sent back, and Champlain, with 
two of his followers, join the Indians at the 
portage. The canoes are taken from the 
water, and the stalwart savages, carrying them 
on their shou-lders, file through the forest trail 
to the smooth waters above the rapids. Here 
they re-embarked, and after a day's paddling, 
the lovely scenery of the tranquil lake, with its 
green islands resting like emeralds on its crystal 
waters, greets the delighted vision of Cham- 
plain. They were in an uninhabited country 
— the hunting-grounds of the dangerous Iro- 
quois, whose fortified \'illages were on its 
western border. 

At night they encamped on the shores of 
the lake, taking the usual Indian precaution of 
first reconnoitering the surroundings. The 
Indians now determined to abandon day travel- 
ing, and changing their tactics, remained hid 
in the woods during the daytime, and at night 
were paddling on their way. During one of 
these nocturnal voj'agcs, thc\' di'^covered some 
dark objects on the water, which they soon 
found to be a number of Iroquois canoes. 
The inmates of these also discovered their 
enemy, and took to the shore, and with yells 
which made the forest resound, commenced to 
throw up a barricade of trees, which they felled 
for the purpose. Champlain "Iind his allies 
remained on the lake, but approached quite 
near them. The Indians on both sides agreed 
to put off the fight till nKjrning, and jiasseil the 
night in mutual menaces, and boastings of their 

When daylight dawned, Champlain and his 
two companions put on their steel armor, and 
with swords and guns, each took a ■ separate 
canoe, in which they were kept hidden from 
the enem\-. Champlain's allies now landed in 
battle array, and the Iroqilois, some two hun- 
dred warriors, came filing out of the b^^rri- 
cade to meet them. The Algonquins now 
opened up their ranks for Champlain and 
his two followers to pass to the front. They 
did so, and stood revealed to the astonished 
gaze of the Iroquois, who regarded them as 
apparitions. Champlain levelled his piece, 
loaded with five bullets, and as the report 
echoed through the woods, two war-chiefs fell to 
the ground. The Iroquois were dumfounded 
and the allies sent a shower of arrows into 
their midst. The former rallied from their con- 
sternation, and returned the discharge with 
great spirit. But when Champlain and his 
Frenchmen began firing their pieces with deadly 




rapidity, the Iroquois fled in uncontrollable 
terror. The Algonquins fell upon their 
retreating foe, killing many and taking others 
prisoners. Champlain was horrified at their 
atrocious cruelty to their captives, but he 
endeavored in vain to restrain their ferocity, 
and turned heart-sick from the repulsive scene 
of savage brutality, 

This was a sweet victory for the Algonquins, 
and they must now return to their respective 
villages with their prisoners to e.xult over the 
spectacle of the discomfiture and torture of 
the latter. Champlain was accompanied by 
them to Quebec. He had taught the Iroquois 
a lesson, and they had now found a foeman 
worthy of their valor. 

Champlain now returned to France and 
recounted to the King the results of his obser- 
vation and the information gained of the coun- 
try, and in the Spring of 1610 he came back 
to Quebec, and in that year had another 
engagement with the Iroquois. 


The Policy of France to Incorporate the Indian Tribes into a 
French Indian Empire — Alliance Formed with the Algon- 
quin Tribe.'i, for the Purpose of Resistinj^ the Invasions and 
Ravage^ of the Iroquois — Attempt to Christianize the 
Indians, as a Preparatory Step to Their Civilization — The 
Jesuit Missionaries. 

^«r'T became one of the first airris of Cham- 
, T- plain to perfect an alliance between all 
^lAi| of the Algonquin tribes and the Hurons; 
•ff:^'* that they might live at peace with each 
other, and form a mutual protection against 
the hostile Iroquois, the whole to be under the 
guidance of the government of New France. 
It contemplated the union of the several tribes 
with the French, their gradual conversion to 
Christianity and civilization, and their practi- 
cal incorporation with the French into a 
French-Indian Empire. The alliance was 
formed and gradually embraced all the Algon- 
quin tribes, who, although occasionally at 
strife with each other, maintained an uninter- 
rupted attachment for the French. The policy 
of France was to preserve the Indians — not to 
destroy them. Its weapons of conquest were 
kindness, firmness, courage and energy. It 
did not at that time understand the obduracy 
with which the Indian clings to his savage 
inclinations and habits. It was a species of 
Feudalism and of paternal government, it is 
true, in which the knights of the forest were 
the scions of French aristocracy, and their 
retainers the dusky tribes of the wilderness; 

but it certainly sought the good and advance- 
ment of the Indian, whose improvement and 
ultimate civilization entered into all its hopes 
and aspirations of American empire. 

The christianizing of the Indians was deemed 
of the first importance as a preparator)- 
step to their civilization; and on this task the 
Jesuit Missionaries entered with a courage, 
energy and self-sacrifice that the annals of the 
world does not equal. The Franciscan Friar 
was the first white man who lived .among the 
Indians. He was soon superseded by the 
Jesuits, who became the pioneers in western 
exploration and discovery; making their abode 
in Indian villages, sharing in all the hardships 
of savage life, accompan}-ing the Indians in 
the chase, shooting the dangerous rapids in 
the fragile bark canoe, or aiding to carrj- it 
around the toilsome portage. 

The Jesuit Missionaries, a body of men of 
the highest attainments in learning and scien- 
tific acquirements, and of the most indefatiga- 
ble zeal and heroic fortitude, were especially 
fitted for the task of exploring the interior 
wilds; being proficient in the use of mathemat- 
ical instruments and topographical surveying 
and map making. They were also well versed 
in the linguistics of the Algonquin tribes. 
These self-sacrificing men , animated by the lofty 
purposes of converting the Indians to Chris- 
tianity, and of bringing to them the blessings 
and comforts of civilization, penetrated the 
remotest sections of the wilderness; there was 
no danger that they feared to brave, and no 
hardship and suffering which they hesitated to 
endure. Through their perilous explorations 
these Heralds of the Cross pioneered the civ- 
ilization of the West. 

The Jesuit father was the first white man 
who paddled his can6e over these great inland 
seas and rivers. " Not a cape was turned nor 
a river entered, but a Jesuit led the way;" and 
for a number of years they composed, almost 
exclusively, the only whites living among the 
Western tribes. The sufferings they endured 
and the dangers they bravely encountered no 
pen can describe. From the St. Lawrence to, 
the shores of Lakes Superior and Michigan they 
established their Missions, built their chapels 
and schools in the midst of the wilderness, and 
gathered the Indian tribes around the Banner 
of the Cross and the Flcnr de lisoi France. 

Such were the first civilizing influences of 
the Northwest, The refinement, dignity and 
benevolence of the early Missionaries, and the 
polished manners and chivalrous bearing of 
the earlier traders and adventurers, many of 
whom were French noblemen, favorably 
impressed the Indians, and the effect of that 




intercourse is still visible after the lapse of two 
centuries, in the unalterable attachment of the 
Algonquin tribes for the French, whom they 
ever rej,^arded as their benefactors. 

It is to the Jesuit missionaries that the world 
is indebted for the interesting historical legacy 
that is contained in their detailed records 
of the first century of the white man's inter- 
course with the Indians, and of the character 
and habits of the Indian before it was modi- 
fied by the influences of civilization. They 
also first made known to the world the beauty, 
fertility and rich resources of the Great West; 
and made its early maps, thus preparing the 
uay for the occupation of civilized man. 

The early history of America can never be 
written without giving the French Jesuit amost 
conspicuous and honored place on its pages ; and 
all historians, of whatever religious denomina- 
tion, have heaped praises upon them, and their 
super-human efforts in behalf of the Indian. 
Says Bancroft : " Within three years after 
the second occupation of Canada, the number 
of Jesuit priests in the province reached fif- 
teen, and every tradition bears testimony to 
their worth'." And Parkman says: " Nowhere 
is the power of courage, faith and an unflinching 
purpose more strikingly displayed than in the 
record of these missions. * # * * 

Their \'irtues shine amidst the rubbish of 
error like diamonds and gold in the gra\el of 
the torrent. " 

In theSpringof 1615 four h'ranciscan Friars, 
from France, accompanied Champlain to Que- 
bec. When they landed, their peculiar dress 
was an astonishment to the Indians. They 
selected the site for a convent, erected an altar 
and celebrated the first Mass in Canada. The 
assembled multitude kneeled on the bare earth, 
and the cannon on the ships and fort fired a 
salute in honor of the event. They then 
assigned to each his field in the vast territory 
of their apostolic mission. To Le Caron fell 
the post of the far distant land of the Ihirons. 

ciiai'ti:r VI. 

The Laiul of the Huions — Chainplain's Voyage to their 
Country, in 1615— A Journey Through the Wilderness of 
Nine Hundred Miles — Champlain Discovers Lake Huron 
— Description of the Country of the Hurons, and their 
Villages — Champlain and his Allies again on the War-palh 
Against the Iroquois. 

1 a distance by the Ottawa River of 

Mime 900 miles from Quebec dwelt 

the Hurons, t)n a tract of land whose 

*f^f' northern border was Lake Huron. 

■^" Champlain had no means of knowing 

the location of the Great Sea, for Indian infor- 

mation, he had learned, was \ery indefinite. 
The Ottawas and Hurons had promised Cham- 
plain that they would guide him to the Great 
Lakes, Huron and Superior, and to the cop- 
per mines of the latter, if he would continue to 
champion their cause against the Iroquois. 
The communication with the lakes was by the 
Ottawa River; for the Iroquois were in pos- 
session of the south shore of Lake Ontario, 
and controlled the country at the head of the 
St. Lawrence, so that the lake was not 
approachable by that river. He, therefore, 
determined to join a contemplated expedition 
of the Hurons and Ottawas against their 
enemy, and thus obtain the escort of the for- 
mer to Lake Huron. At this time — 1615 — 
the only civilized beings on the continent, be- 
sides those of the little hamlet of Quebec, 
were the Spainards, of Florida, and the small 
English colony at Jamestown. The vast wil- 
derness stretching away for illimitable distances 
with its great lakes and rivers, its wide- 
spreading prairies and interminable forests, 
silently awaiting the coming civilization, was 
an unexplored, mysterious realm that Cham- 
plain was now preparing to penetrate. For 
many years after this, while New I^ngland was 
yet an unbroken wilderness, and the settlers 
of Plymouth and Jamestown had not passed 
beyond the borders of their settlement, this 
fearless and enterprising pioneer had pushed 
his way into the distant interior, organized the 
Algonquin tribes and led them in battle array 
sgainst their inveterate foe; living in Indian 
camps, paddling his canoe up the lonely river, 
toiling around the wearisome portage, indus- 
triously mapping the topography of the coun- 
try; and then away across the broad Atlantic, 
to mingle in the court circles of France, and 
inspire renewed aspirations for French Ameri- 
can empire. 

In the summer of 161 5, a large body of 
Ottawas and Hurons appear at Mont-royal, 
with their yearly har\'cst of furs. Tiieir canoes 
and lodges line the ri\er shore, and thither 
repaired }*"ather Le Caron, to prevail on them 
to allow him to accompan\- them to their dis- 
tant homes and take up his abode among them. 
To this they consented; but the Indians were 
more desirous of Chaniplain's assistance 
against the Iroquois than of their spiritual 
advancement, and hence eagerly importuned 
him to lead them against their enemies. A 
council was held, in which it was agreed that 
Champlain, with all his force, should join them, 
while they were to muster twenty-five hundred 
warriors. He then went to Quebec, to pre- 
pare for the expedition; but on his return was 
disappointed to find that his allies had disap- 




peared, and the site of their encampment a 
soHtude. Indian-Hke, becoming impatient at 
his delay, they had started for their country, 
Father Le Caron accompanying them. 

The fleet of canoes, with hundreds of Indians, 
glide gracefully along the sparkling waters 
of the Ottawa, and the Father bids adieu to 
the last vestige of civilization. All day long 
they ply their paddles, and at night the wild 
banks of the Ottawa are lit up with their camp- 
fires. In a letter, Le Caron writes: "It 
would be hard to tell you how tired I was with 
paddling all day long, with all my strength, 
among the Indians, carrying the canoe and 
luggage through the woods to avoid the fright- 
ful cataracts. " 

Champlain immediately followed with two 
canoes, several Indians, his skillful woodsman, 
Etiene Brule, and another Frenchman. They 
ply their paddles, and the canoes glide silently 
along; sometimes under the sombre shadows 
of overhanging forests, and again, past rugged 
cliffs torn by the convulsions of nature. At 
places the river flowing placidly through a soli- 
tude that seemed like the weird quiet of dream- 
land, and anon the sound of the cataract is 
heard, first, like a plaintive moan in the far 
distance; louder and louder falls on the ear the 
sound of the falling waters; and now appears 
the foaming torrent, tearing its way among the 
jagged rocks and overhanging cliffs, and pour- 
ing its impetuous flood with a din that roars 
its varying cadences through the ever-listening 
forest. The canoes are lifted from the water, 
and carried along the portage trail, which 
sometimes winds among the barren cliffs, and 
again stretches its wearying line under the dark 
shadows of the ox'erhanging spruce, fir and 
hemlock. The smooth waters are at -last 
reached, the portable canoes are once more 
afloat, and they are again paddling on their 
way. Night comes. The camp-fires light up 
the forest with a ruddy glare; the evening 
meal is prepared; the wild duck, venison or 
trout is temptingly roasting on forked sticks; 
the sagamite is ready, and the voyagers, with 
ravenous appetites, make their repast. The 
forest bed of hemlock boughs is quickly pre- 
pared, and soon all are stretched for a night's 

The summer breeze sings its mournful 
cadences in the tops of the lofty pines, the 
' river murmurs its gurgling melody, and the 
rustling leaves join in the softened music of 
the forest night. At times the hoot of the 
owl is heard, or the howl of the prowling wolf. 
And again, the sound of distant voices startle 
the sleeper's ear, now approaching nearer, now 
afar, at times clear and distinct and then dull 

and undefined. They are not human voices, 
these mysterious, weird -like conversations that 
are heard only at night in the deep recesses of 
the forest. 

Morning comes; the meal is quickly pre- 
pared and eaten, and the travelers again on 
the way. Day after day they paddle their 
canoes, or carry them around the portages. 
Occasionally the scene is varied; they enter 
a lake and camp on its wooded islets; wild 
ducks sport on its surface and the moose is 
seen browsing on its shores. Again, the 
architecture of the beavers is discovered, where 
their skillfully constructed dams have confined 
the waters. 

On, and still on, they follow the turbulent 
Ottawa, and reach the Lakes of the Allu- 
mettes; and again follow the river flowing 
through a rocky gorge. Rough water is 
again encountered, and rapids after rapids are 
passed. At last they reach a small tributary 
which they ascend to a portage leading to 
Lake Nippissing; soon their canoes are mov- 
ing over the glassy surface of the transparent 
waters. They ply their paddles, and an 
Indian village is reached. Here they remain 
two days, fishing, hunting and feasting on the 
proceeds of the sport. They then descend 
the little stream called French River. While 
on this route their provisions give out, and 
they are compelled to resort to the blueberries 
and raspberries, of which an abundance is 
found. Here they meet a large body of 
Indians gathering blueberries, and learn from 
them that it is but a short distance to the sea 
of the Hurons. Champlain was soon to feast 
his eyes on the long-coveted sight. The 
canoes are again on their way. The sound 
of the waves are now heard breaking on the 
beach — the ceaseless moan of the restless 
lake as it chafes the " controlling shore. " And 
now the watery expanse, stretching away as 
far as eye can reach, and only bounded by the 
dim horizon, greets his delighted vision! The 
great inland sea of the Hurons is discovered! 
The broad lake, with its spirit-haunted islands, 
lies before him in its lonely grandeur!! And 
as Champlain stands on the wave-worn peb- 
bles that have rolled for countless centuries in 
its breakers, and gazes on the boundless 
expanse of waters, he conjectures what may 
may lie in the distant realms of the invisible 
shore beyond; while fancy pictures to his 
imaginings the wings of commerce in the 
aftertime, dotting its surface in their busy 
flights, and the noisy industries of the future 
invading its solitude, and arousing it from its 
lonely dream of ages. 

They now coast along the shore of Lake 




Huron for over a luiiulrcd miles; the first white 
man except Le Caron, who had preceded them, 
that ever paddled over its surface, and, reach- 
ini^ the Bay of Matchedash, debarked. Here 
tHcy took the trail, which led through a beau- 
tiful country. He was in the land of the 
Hurons. The growing crops of maize and 
squash were abundant, and he found evidences 
of Indian thrift and comfort that he had never 
before witnessed. It was a land of plenty; the 
broad fields and meadows, with running 
brooks, and the populous villages afforded a 
pleasing contrast to the wild desolations 
through which we had so long traveled. It 
was the center of a dense Indian population. 
In the whole tract occupied by the Hurons, 
there were about twenty villages, with an 
aggregate population of fifteen to twenty 
thousand. The lodges were constructed of 
stout poles covered with bark, and were from 
thirty to fifty feet in length, somewhat sub- 
stantially built, as these were permanent 
dwellings, and not like the temporary wigwam 
of the nomad. On each side was a platform 
four feet from the floor; this was the sleeping 
place. In convenient places were stored the 
bark boxes of smoked fish and meat, and on 
poles traversing the entire length were sus- 
pended implements of the chase, clothing furs 
and clusters of ears of corn. The fire was 
made on the ground, the smoke escaping 
through an aperture in the roof. Some of 
the houses were nearly two hundred feet in 
length, and in those larger houses, generally 
those of chiefs, the councils were held. Here 
at times met the assembled wisdom of the 
nation. The deliberations were conducted 
with the greatest decorum and dignity; it 
being Indian etiquette to never interrupt a 
speaker. The Jesuits were astonished at the 
good sense displayed, and the frequent bursts 
of eloquence which electrified the savage audi- 
tors. They had their questions of great 
moment, which agitated thecommunit)-,and the 
orator and politician of the forest was at such 
times, in great requisition. 

At one of the villages Champlain met Le 
Caron. The Indians had built for him a bark 
lodge, and in it he had erected an altar. On 
the day of Champlain's arrival, the little band 
of Christians gathered around the altar in this 
humble lodge, the father in priestly vestments, 
and joined in thanks that they were made the 
instruments in the introduction of Christianity 
and its attendant blessings to this far-distant 

Champlain exploretl this country in all 
directions, visiting the several villages, in all 
of which he was feasted and honored with due 

Indian ceremon}-. He was delighted with the 
country, its open fields and fertile planting 
grounds; its thickets of wild plum and crab- 
apple intertwined with grape vines, and its 
luxuriant forests of oak, hickory, maple, lin- 
den and walnut, traversed by intersecting 
trails, leading from village to village. Hut 
this indefatigable explorer had now exhausted 
all the knowledge to be gained in this locality, 
and he must away to seek new fields for con- 

At the central village was a great commo- 
tion. The warriors from all directions came 
pouring in. A neighboring nation had promised 
to join them inan invasion of thecountry of Iro- 
quois. Several days were spent in feasting andini 
war dances, when the swarthy army, with canoes 
on their shoulders, took up their line of march. 
They cross lake Simcoe, and then their course 
is through the chain of lakes and little streams 
which form the sources of Trent River. Here 
they encamp for a deer hunt. Hundreds of 
Indians formed in a line and drove the game 
to a point where, as it took to the water, it 
was killed by those lying in wait. Champlain 
highl)' enjo)'cd the sport, the guns of the 
French doing great execution. Their com- 
missariat being plentifully replenished, they 
proceeded on their course down the river 
Trent, and in a short time the fleet of canoes 
emerge from the mouth of the river and speedily 
move across Lake Ontario. They landed 
on the shores of the Iroquois' territory — now 
the State of New York, and hid their canoes 
in the woods. They next traveled for some 
distance on the shore of the lake, when they 
boldly struck inland, and a few day's travel 
brought them within the inhabited portion of 
their enemy's country. Soon the advance 
lines discovered the Iroquois in their fields of 
maize gathering the harvest, when, with that 
impetuousity characteristic of Indians, they 
yelled their war-whoop and blindly rushed 
upon them; but the Iroquois repelled the 
assault, killing several, when the rest retired 
in confusion. They were now near one of 
their fortified towns. Champlain describes its 
defences as consistingof four rows of palisades 
made of trunks of trees thirty feet high, set at 
such an angle as to make them intersect near 
the top, where they supported a galley made 
of timber supplied with wooden gutters for 
holding water, so constructed as to discharge ' 
their contents on the palisades in the e\ent of 
their being set on fire. The water from an 
adjoining lake was led into the town by 

C hamplain, exasperated at the impetuosity 
of his ungovernable followers, proceeded to 




instruct them in tlie art of war. Witli tlie aid 
of his Frenchmen, he caused the Indians to 
construct a large, portable wooden tower, high 
enough to over-look the palisade, and furnish- 
ing shelter to three or four marksmen. The 
Indians now bravely dragged it to the pali- 
sades; when three of the Frenchmen ascended 
it, and opened up a destructive lire on the 
crowded galleries. This was an unlocked for 
mode of attack. It was a fearful monster 
belching forth its deathly peals of fire and 
smoke. Champlain had provided a portion of 
his allies with broad, wooden shields; and 
endeavored to hold a portion in reserve; but 
when they saw the execution of the deadly 
fire arms on the enemy, nothing could exceed 
their exultation; they dropped their shields, 
and, contrary to orders, swarmed into the open 
space before the palisades; yelling like fiends, 
and making such a din, that Champlain found 
it impossible to make them hear him. He 
could not restrain or guide his ungovernable 
crew; so they fought in their own way; Cham- 
plain and his men continuing to do good execu- 
tion with their fire-arms, and the Iroquois 
repelling the attack with great spirit. They 
filled the air with the flight of their arrows. 
Champlain was struck by them twice. 

The attack lasted several hours, but the 
besieged were too strongly fortified for 
Champlain's undisciplined mob to overcome 
them; so with seventeen wounded they fell 
back to the camp, the Hurons refusing to 
renew the attack, until allies, which they were 
expecting, should arrive. After waiting in 
vain five days, for the expected reinforcement, 
the disheartened Hurons began their retreat, 
Champlain, so badly wounded, that with some 
of the others, he had to be carried, he says, 
" bundled in a heap, doubled and strapped 
together after such a fasliion that one coyld 
no more move than an infant in swaddling 
clothes. I lost all patience, and as soon as I 
could bear my weight, got out of this prison. "* 

They reached their canoes, and, crossing 
the lake, are soon ascending the Trent River, 
and in due time reach their villages. They 

*NoTE I. This history is compiled from the most reliable 
authorities, and may be relied on as being accurate. The most 
thorough investigators have found Champlain and Charlevoix 
to be scrupulously exact in their statements ; and all American 
students of the history of the French in America, regard the 
" Jesuit Relations " as reliable and truthful. All contempor- 
aneous authority sustain these records. The official papers of 
New France, in the French Archives, have been diligently 
searched by American writers of high repute, and the historical 
events of the period of French history in this country, as recorded 
by French writers, are now unquestioned. History was never 
more truthfully written than by those writers, and it is so 
regarded by the Historical Associations of this country ; and 
by Bancroft, Parkman, and the other eminent American 

declined to furnish Champlain an escort over 
the long route to Quebec; so he was obliged 
to winter with the Hurons, and in the July 
following he arrived at Quebec. 


Eventful Changes — Reverses — Famine — Defenseless Condi- 
tion of Quebec — Piratical Attack by Three English Ships 
— Surrender of Quebec to the English P'lag — England 
Compelled to Relinquish the Prize — Restoration to the 
French Flag — Champlain Returns from France to Quebec 
as Commandant of the Post — Administers the Affairs of 
the Colony for Ten Years Longer — His Death in 1635 — 
Quebec becomes the Commercial Emporium of the Great 
Interior of the Continent — Its Trade through the Laby- 
rinth of Water Arteries Branching from the St. Lawrence 
to the Mississippi. 

SfiiANY eventful changes took place in 
the fortunes of these intrepid pio- 
neers, in western settlement, in the 
space of time which intervened 
between the discovery of Lake 
Huron, and that of the Mississippi, 
and the commencement of settlement in the 
extreme Northwest, by the establishment of 
Missions at Michillimackinac and Green Bay. 
In 1627, atrading company, called the Com- 
pany of New France, was organized and sov- 
ereign power confered upon them, with a 
grant of all the territorial domain of New 
France, from Florida to the undefined regions 
of Labrador. 

The country was now to be held by a feu- 
dal proprietor, subordinate to the King of 

The colony at Quebec, twenty years from 
the time it was founded, numbered less than 
one hundred and twenty persons. The chief 
business was barter with the Indians, and they 
depended largely forthcirsupplies of the neces- 
saries of life from France. The little colony 
was now suffering from many reverses; but 
Champlain was still its life and hope. It was 
on the verge of starvation, and vessels with 
expected succor and reinforcements from 
France failed to arrive. At last less than a 
hundred men, women and children, living in 
the fort, were reduced to a meagre supply of 
peas and sagamite. The distress was so great 
that Champlain entertained the project 
of attacking one of the Iroquois villages 
to obtain a supply of food. The wretched 
inhabitants had to have recourse to the 
woods to obtain acorns and nutritious 
roots. While in this emergency three English 
ships appeared before Quebec, and its sur- 
render to the British flag was demanded. Six- 
teen starving men was all that Champlain had 




in the garrison to hold it. He was forced to 
capitulate, and the flag of St. George took the 
place of the Flcur dc lis. This occured in July, 

ir)jo. • 

ClKimplain crossed the Atlantic, and went to 
London; where, through the instrumentality 
of the French Embassador, " he obtained a 
promise from the King that in pursuance of a 
treaty concluded the previous April, that New- 
France should be restored to the French 
Crown. " 

From thence he went to France. The scheme 
of colonizing America was becoming unpopu- 
lar. The wilderness empire had only been a 
source of loss. It was of no use unless it could 
be peopled, and France had but small migra- 
tory force. The Huguenots, who were the 
enemies of Absolutism, and frequently in 
revolt against the Government, were excluded 
from the domain of France, in the New 
World. Although this was in keeping with 
the spirit of the age, it proved to be a short- 
sighted policy, for they settled in large num- 
bers in the English colonies, and proved a 
great element in their strength and prosperity, 
and a powerful aid in the future conflict 
between the French and English colonies. 

But there were more sagacious reasoners 
who would not gi\'e up New France; and 
among them Cardinal Richelieu , the great 
champion of Absolutism, and the guiding 
genius of France. This great diplomatist, with 
far reaching political sagacity, comprehended 
the commercial importance to France of her 
American possessions. So by the convention 
of Suza, it was covenanted that New' France 
should be restored to its former possessors, 
and England was compelled to relinquish the 
prize she had piratically obtained. 

Champlain, too, would not abandon his 
beloved New France, and his hopes of convert- 
ing its barbarous tribes to Christianity, and 
its desert wilds into the abode of civilization. 
His aim was far nobler than the accomplishment 
of the mere endsof commercial profit. His aspi- 
rations were high and generous; and he made 
the ends of commerce subservient to the nobler 
purpose of redeeming the savage continent 
from the wretchedness of barbarism, and 
enlarging the field t>f human knowledge, hap- 
piness and usefulness; and he j*ave himself up 
to the task with a spirit of devotion and hero- 
ism, that has made his name imperishable. 

In the spring of 1633, he received from Rich- 
elieu a commission, as commandant of the 
posts of New France, and set out once more 
for Quebec, where he duly arrived, and 
assumed command, the English having the 
year previous struck their flag, and surrendered 

the place into the hands of the authorities 
sent by France to hold it. 

There was great rejoicing among the Indi- 
ans at the return of their old friends, and 
especially over Champlain, whom they regarded 
as something more than human. 

For ten years after this, he administered the 
affairs of New France with that executive aliil- 
ity and integrity of purpose that had ever char- 
acterized his conduct, and now the career of 
the great explorer and the father of New 
P'rance, the benefactor of the Indians, the 
enterprising and industrious pioneer was to 
draw to a close. For twenty-seven years he 
had guided with a master hand that s-ast enter- 
prise which had mapped out the greater part 
of a continentfor a newempire, whose majestic 
proportions were to rival the grandest in 
the Old World. It was he who first learned 
its geography and made its first maps; first 
penetrated its remote wilds; organized its bar- 
barous multitudes, and taught them their first 
lessons in cizilization. With ail this force of 
character and directing genius was united a 
kind, generous and self-sacrificing nature, 
guided by the highest moral impulses and a 
devotion to truth. His whole life attests his 
valor, nobleness of character and usefulness; 
and when he died, in 1635, it seemed as if the 
light of New France was extinguished. 

The little colony, thus bereft of its great 
leader, and seeming like a waif lost in the wil- 
derness, was the feeble beginning of that 
French-Indian empire, which eventually 
embraced in its territorial domain the whole 
valley of the St. Lawrence, the basin of the 
Great Lakes, and the immense valleys of the 
Ohio and Mississippi; absorbing its Indian 
tribes, and organizing them into a semi-civili- 
zation, which held in its control all that vast 
territory for over a century. From its starting 
or initial point on the St. Lawrence — the out- 
let of that labyrinth of water courses, branch- 
ing out to the far-off land of the Dacotahs on 
the west, and to the tropical shores of the Gulf 
of Mexico on the south, it gradually extended 
its lines of communication, establishing its 
forts, missions and trading posts, which, at 
long intcr\'als apart, were mere specks of civili- 
zation in the immensity of the wilderness. 
But we shall see how this little hamlet on the 
wild banks of the St. Lawrence soon became 
the metropolis of the vast regions with which it 
was connected by its trading posts and water 
courses, and where fleets of canoes numbering 
hundreds were arriving and departing, bring- 
ing tribes from Green Baj\ Michillimackinac 
and the Mississippi, to mingle in this common 
center, with those from the Ohio and the dis- 





trict of the Ottawa and the St. Lawrence — the 
canoes frequently covering the broad stream 
for miles, while myriads of wigwams lined the 
shores of the river. Here the various Indian 
dialects were heard mingling in discordant jar- 
gon on the busy marts of Indian barter; and 
here the fragile bark canoe that came a thous- 
and miles from the distant interior, and that 
had run the hazardous rapids of the Ottawa 
and the St. Lawrence, met the stately ships 
that had breasted the waves of the Atlantic. 
Barbarism and civilization here met face to 
face, and mingled their incongruous elements; 
the one to recede, the other to advance, until 
its mighty forces held in its undisputed pos- 
session the once savasje continent. 


The Huron Missions — Arrival of the Jesuits — They Take 
Charge of the American Missions — Jean de Brebeuf, 
Daniel and Davost — Their Journey to the Hurons — The 
Bark Mission House — Instructing the Indians in Defensive 
Works — The Indian's Idea of the Christian Heaven — 
Frightful Ravages of the Pestilence among the Indians — 
They Persecute the Jesuits — Arrival of Nuns at Quebec — 
Founding of Montreal — The First Century of the History 
of the Interior of the Continent Like a Tale of Chivalry. 

HE Franciscan Friars, who had estab- 
lished five missions in the territory 
from Acadia to Lake Huron, found 
^^ their forces inadequate to the require- 
ments of the great task before them, 
and to the charge of the Jesuits was given the 
control of the missionary field of labor. In 
1626, three of the brotherhood embarked from 
France for Quebec, where they duly arrived, 
and commenced that task which will make their 
name forever famous in the early annals of 
American history. Their names were Lalle- 
mant. Masse and Jean de Brebeuf. The latter 
was a Norman, a descendant of a noble family 
of Normandy — a man of most imposing pres- 
ence, born to command, of fine physical pro- 
portions, highly gifted by nature, and of great 
educational attainments. They set themselves 
to work to master the Algonquin and Huron 
languages, which in due time were acquired, 
and then Brebeuf went to his assigned place, 
the distant Huron mission — the post formerly 
occupied by Le Caron. 

When Champlain returned to Quebec after 
its evacuation by the British in 1633, the Jesuit 
force had received accessions, in the person 
of the Father Superior, Paul Le Jeune and 
others; and, among those assembled at Que- 
bec on Champlain's arrival was Brebeuf, who 

had lived for two years at the Huron Mission, 
and who now was to return to his post accom- 
panied by Father Daniel and Davost. But a 
difficulty occurring with the Hurons, the priests 
were obliged to put off their journey for a year. 
In the mean time, they assiduously studied 
the Huron language, and made due prepara- 
tions to be in readiness to accompany the 
Hurons, when they made their next annual trip 
up the Ottawa. 

"Le Jeune had learned the difficulties of the Algonquin 
mission. To imagine that he recoiled or faltered would be an 
injustice to his order; but on two points he had gained convic- 
tions : First, that little progress could be made in convening 
these wandering hordes till they could be settled in fixed 
abodes; and, secondly, that their scanty numbers, their geo- 
graphical position, and their slight influence in the politics of 
the wilderness offered no flattering promise that their conver- 
sion would be fruitful in further triumphs of the Faith. It was 
to another quarter the Jesuits looked most earnestly. By the 
vast lakes of the West dwelt numerous stationary populations, 
and particularly the Hurons, on the lake which beais their 
name. Here was a hopeful basis of indefinite conquests ; for, 
ihe Hurons won over, the Faith would sprei»d in wider and 
wider circlet, embracing, one by one, the kindred tribes — 
•^he Tobacco Nation, the Neutrals, the Fries, and the Andastes. 
Nay, in His own time, God might lead into His fold even the 
potent and ferocious Iroquois." 

''The way was pathless and long, by rock and torrent and 
ihe gloom of savage forests. The goal was more dreary yet_ 
Toil, hardships, famine, filth, sickness, solitude, insult — all 
ihat is most revolting to men nurtured among arts and letters, 
all that is most terrific to monastic credulity : such were the 
promise and the reality of the Huron mission. In the eyes of 
ihe Jesuits, the Huron country was the innermost stronghold of 
Satan, his castle and his donjon-keep. All the weapons of his 
malice were prepared against the bold invader who should 
assail him in this, the heart of his ancient domain. Far from 
shrinking, the priest's zeal rose to tenfold ardor. He signed 
the cross, invoked St. Ignatius, St. Francis Xavier, or St. Fran- 
cis Borgia, kissed his reliquary, said nine masses to the Virgin, 
and stood prompt to battle with all the hosts of Hell." 

"A life sequestered from social intercourse, and remote 
from every prize which ambition holds worth the pursuit, or a 
lonely death, under forms, perhaps, the most appalling — these 
were the missionaries' alternatives. Their maligners may taunt 
them, if they will, with credulity, superstition, or a blind 
enthusiasm ; but slander itself cannot accuse them of hypocrisy 
or ambition. Doubtless, in their propagandism, they were act- 
ing in concurrance with a mundane policy ; but, for the present 
at least, this policy was rational and humane. They were pro- . 
moting the ends of commerce and national expansion. The 
foundations of French dominions were to be laid deep in the 
heart and conscience of the savage. His stubborn neck was 
to be subdueil to the 'yoke of the Faith.' The power of the 
priest established, that of the temporal ruler was secured. 
These sanguinary hordes, weaned from intestine strife, were to 
unite in a common allegiance to God and the King. Mingled 
with French traders and French settlers, softened by French 
manners, guided by French priests, ruled by French officers, 
their now divided bands would become the constituents of a 
vast wilderness empire, which in time might span the conti- 




nent. Spanish civilization crushed the Indian ; English civili- 
zation scorned and neglected him; French civilization 
embraced and cherished him." — Parkman's Jeiuils in North 

In the summer of 1634, the Indians havin^j 
made their yearly descent of the Ottawa, were 
congrej^ated in lesser numbers than usual, at 
Three Kivers. It seems that a terrible pesti- 
lence had broken out in their country and was 
prevailing with great virulence. They were 
much dejected; and it was with the greatest 
difficulty that their consent was obtained, for 
the Jesuits to accompany them to their homes. 
In a few days the wild multitude departed, 
and in their midst were the three black-robed 
Jesuits, paddling with the rest, and on their 
way to the mouth of the Ottawa. Their route 
was the same toilsome one over which Cham- 
plain and Le Caron had travelled years before. 
The distance was some nine hundred miles, and 
required a month to travel it. Brebeuf count- 
ed thirty-five portages where the canoes had 
to be carried around rapids. They were com- 
pelled to go bare-foot, so as not to injure the 
frail canoes and more than fifty times they had 
to wade in the rapid current over the shoal 
places; dragging the canoe by ropes. Their 
bare feet were cut by the sharp stones, and 
although Brebeuf was a man of fine physical 
powers, he doubted if his strength would hold 
out to the journey's end. At last they reach 
the shores of Lake Huron, and then theirplace 
of embarkation. But the three missionaries 
had been separated at some distant point on 
the route, Brebeuf's Indian companions now 
threw his baggage on the ground and strided 
off to their respective villages, leaving him 
alone in the wilderness, on the shore of the 
lake, to his own resources. He was familiar 
with the place; so hiding his luggage in the 
woods, he looked up a trail and following it, 
soon came to an opening in the forest and saw 
the bark lodges of Ihonatiara. As the black- 
robed figure emerged from the forest, the 
crowd rushed out from the \'illage to meet 
him, shouting a glad welcome. They were 
his old friends. A nimiber of young Indians 
went with him to recover his luggage, which 
was obtained and carried to his abode, the 
hospitable roof of a thrifty Indian, whose bark 
lodge was abundantly supplied with corn and 
other staples of Indian food. Here he waited 
for some weeks, in an.xious e.xpectation of the 
arrival of Daniel and Davost. At last, they 
appeared, exhausted with fatigue. They then 
selected the most populous town of the Hurons 
for their abode, which they called Rochelle, 
and where the Indians constructed for them a 
house, thirty feet long and twenty wide. The 

inner construction with its contents was a 
marvel, the fame of which attracted myriads of 
visitors. The clock, mill and magnifying gla-^s 
were wonders of wonders. 

The)' now settled down to the regular rou- 
tine of their daily life. They had four working 
men attached to the mission. There was tluir 
garden plat, for corn and vegetables, to culti- 
vate. This work was done by themselves, and 
their men, who varied the task in hunting and 
fishing. At the stroke of four by the clock, 
all Indian visitors were expected to retire, which 
they did, the demand of the clock beingdeemed 
imperati\e; when the door was barred, and 
the study of the Huron language entered into, 
bj- culti\ated minds that could master all tlie 
peculiarities of theconstruction. Certain hours 
were devoted to the instruction of the children, 
and others to visiting the sick; and as the 
Hurons were kept in constant fear of an attack 
by the Iroquois, a portion of time was used in 
instructing them the art of constructing defen- 
sive works. They found the Indians more apt 
in comprehending the benefits to be derived 
from these, than from the doctrines of the 
christian religion. At times, they secured 
attention to their religious teachings; but the 
Indians were too strongly wedded to their 
savage vices, habits and inclinations, to readily 
give them up; so the converts were few. 
The poor Jesuits were horrified at the shame- 
less sensuality of the Indians, and their 
obscene banter. The young squaws were wan- 
tons, without any moral or modest restraint 
on their inclinations; and frequentl)' had three 
or four temporary marriages, before a perma- 
nent one. The continual protestations of the 
Jesuits were for a long time of no avail, except 
in individual instances. The Indians would 
answer " that they were a different people from 
the French, and not suited for the Frenchman's 
Heaven; and that it did not contain the enjoy- 
ments of Indian life; their was no hunting 
ground there, and no war dances." One 
Indian girl pretended that she died and went 
there, and found that all the converted Indians 
there were slaves to the pale faces. They beat 
them and made drudges of them, and that was 
what they were so anxious to convert them 
for. She escaped and was glad to get back 
and warn her people. The superstitious 
nature of the Indians, inclined to a belief in all 
such improbable stores; and this one, artfully 
told, found many believers. 

During the prevalence of the pestilence, one 
of them said to the Jesuits: "I see plainly 
that your God is angry with us, because we 
will not believe and obey him. Ihonatiara, 
where you first taught his word, is entirely 




ruined. Then you came here to Ossossane, 
and we would not listen; so Ossossane is ruined 
too. This year you have been all through our 
country, and found scarcely any who would do 
what God commands; therefore the pestilence 
is everywhere. " The fathers considered this 
most hopeful and logical reasoning, but their 
anticipations of a profitable application were 
dashed, when he continued: "My opinion is, 
tliat we ought to shut you out from all the 
houses, and stop our ears when you speak of 
God, so that we cannot hear; then we shall 
not be guilty of rejecting the truth, and he will 
not punish us so cruelly. " 

The pestilence, that had now prevailed for 
over a year, was committing terrible ravages, 
and deaths were occurring with frightful 
rapidity. A superstitious fear took possession 
of them, that the mysterious black-robes were 
sorcerers, and were partially answerable for 
their misfortunes, and that they had bewitched 
the nation. They held them in mysterious 
awe, as powers who could perform marvels, 
and yet they and their Great Spirit would not 
relieve them. They gathered in ominous knots 
and in dejection and terror denounced the poor 
Jesuits as evil magicians. Councils were held 
in which they were doomed to death; but each 
feared to execute the sentence. When they 
entered the sick lodge, the inmates would tell 
them to go. If they accosted a sick one, he 
would avert his face and refuse to answer. 
They were abused and insulted at every oppor- 
tunity; but nothing diverted them from their 
purpose of visiting the sick, and baptizing the 
dying infants. 

At last, some of their converts came to them 
secretly, and told them that their death was 
decreed. Their house was set on fire; they 
were persecuted and reviled in every possible 
manner, and then called to appear in council, 
which they did with such an undaunted front, 
as to astonish the Indians, and secure a post- 
ponement of judgment. For some reason, the 
hostility to them somewhat abated; their friends 
multiplied, and comparative safety was assured. 

In 1638, a number of mechanics, from Que- 
bec, arrived at the Huron Mission, and built a 
wooden chapel at Ossossane, where there were 
about sixty converts. This was looked upon 
as a marvel of architecture. Years passed, 
and mission houses multiplied in the Huron 
and Ottawa countries. 

The cause of Christianity in the Americaji 
wilds, aroused a fervor in France, that was like 
the enthusiasm of the days of the Crusades. 
High-born ladies, even, among them, the 
young, beautiful and accomplished, contributjed 
their wealth, and joining religious orders, went 

to Quebec. On their arrival, the cannon roared 
a welcome; soldiers and priests assembled at 
the landing, and when the nuns reached the 
shore, they kneeled and kissed the sacred soil. 
The Indians regarded them as divinities. They 
were conducted to an enclosure of palisades, 
which contained a church and other buildings, 
and among them a number of log cabins, in 
which lived Indian converts. In their demon- 
strations of delight, at meeting their pupils, 
they seized and kissed every female Indian 
child they could find, fondling them "without 
minding," says F"ather Le Juene, "whether 
they were dirty or not. Love and charity 
triumphed over every human consideration. " 

Madame de la Peltrie, a young widow and 
scion of Norman nobility, was of the number. 
She was, in fact, the patronesss of the enter- 
prise, having wealth at her command. In her 
zeal, she was for going to the Huron Mission, 
and it was with difficulty that she could be 
restrained from such an unheard of under- 

They took up their quarters in a small 
wooden building, until the large stone convent 
was built, three years aterwards. Here they 
were crowded with such a number of children 
that the floor was covered with beds, and the 
labor was unceasing. While thus situated, the 
small-pox broke out among the neighboring 
Indians, when they flocked to Quebec for 
relief. A hospital had been formerly estab- 
lished, in which the hospital nuns were now 
ensconced. This was soon filled to overflowing, 
and various cabins were occupied by the sick. 
Here lay the sick and dying savages, on the 
floor and in berths; while in the midst of the 
most revolting scenes of distress, the nuns 
heroically labored, sometimes without sufficient 
food. The disease at last abated, and released 
them from their exhausting toil. 

Among them was a fair, delicate girl, Marie 
de St. Bernard, of whom another sister writes: 
"Her disposition is charming. In our times of 
recreation, she often makes us cry with laugh- 
ing. It would be hard to be melancholy when 
she is near. " 

The site of Montreal, up to this period, was 
merely a camping ground, temporarily occu- 
pied by the traders, during the season of the 
yearly descent of the Indians with their furs. 

In 1642, a colony arrived from France, 
endowed by charitable and religious enthusiasts, 
for the purpose of establishing religious houses 
on the site of Montreal. In May, of that year, 
they proceeded to that point, one of the most 
exposed to the attacks of the Iroquois. Among 
them was Mademoiselle Mance, a nun from 
France, and two other women. They were 





."iccompanicd by Madame de La Peltrie, from 
Quebec, and the new colony was under the 
command of Maisonneuvc, a name honored in 
the early annals of the country for meritorious 
and iieroic conduct. 

They landed and immediately erected an 
altar, which the ladies decorated with great 
taste. The priest put on his vestment, and 
then the ladies, officers in uniform, soldiers and 
laborers assembled before it, and kneeled on 
the bare ground while offering up their adora- 
tions. When the service was over they pitched 
their tents, made their camp fires and partook 
of their repast. The soldiers then stationed 
their guard, and, amid the silence of the forest 
night, they retire to their tents. In the 
morning a provisional chapel was built of bark, 
and then commenced the erection of wooden 
structures. Such was the founding of Mont- 
real. On Sunday afternoon they strolled 
through the pleasant surrounding meadows 
and adjoining forests, admiring the wild 
flowers and the birds which enlivened the scene 
with their gay warblings. 

Hut, lurking in the thickets, were the deadly 
Iroquois, that might at an)' moment make a 
descent on them, and put all their valor and 
heroism to the severest test. 

The first century of the history of the inte- 
rior of this continent is more like a tale of 
chivalry or romance than reality. The glowing 
pages which relate the long struggle between 
the Moorish dynasty of Spain and the Gothic 
Monarchy, and which culminated in the splen- 
did reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, grand as 
they are, in dramatic effect, must pale their 
ineffectual fires before those of the great drama 
that embraced a continent in its scenes. 

The opening act presents the vast, savage 
continent, as a theatre of unceasing war 
betw.een the several Indian nations inhabiting 
it. Groups of painted savages, in every direc- 
tion, aret)n the war-path; some filing through 
the dark recesses of tiie forest; others writhing 
through the contortions of the war-dance. In 
one place a village is in flames, and its lurid 
glare lights up a scene of pillage and massacre, 
in which men, women and children are indis- 
criminately slaughtered amid the most fiend- 
ish exultations. A tribe or a nation is exter- 
minated, and its populous abodes converted 
into a desolation. In another village the whol.e 
population is assembled, to rejoice over the 
return of the victorious warriors and enjoy the 
torture of their prisoners, who must run the 
g.uuitlet, the victims of the most atrocious 
cruelt)- that savage invention can devise. 

New actors appear on the scene. On the 
wild banks of the St. Lawrence a little group 

of heroes — a mere handful — have come, who 
propose to boldlj- push into this vast field of 
carnage, and interpose their feeble numbers 
against the savage multitude, in an effort to 
check the bloody strife, and unite tiie warring 
tribes in the bonds of peace and good will. 
Will they have the temerity to enter this field 
of bloodshed and terror, dependent alone on 
their skill, courage and fortitude? 

The scene shifts, and Champlain is the great 
central figure in the drama, who, with four 
comrades, is seen in the midst of a swarthy 
multitude, who are his allies. He has invaded 
the tigers' den — the hunting grounds of the 
terrible Iroquois, that have been so long licking 
their bloody jaws and revelling in spoils and 
carnage. He has become the great captain of 
the Algonquins, and will lead them against the 
foe which has so long ravaged the country. 

The forests resounds with the sounds of 
battle; the war-whoops' shrill cry is heard; the 
Iroquois have met a foe they cannot conquer, 
and flee in dismay before the victorious legions 
of Champlain's allies. 

Another scene presents the distant solitudes 
of Lake Huron, with Champlain standing on 
its shores, whither he has penetrated — nine 
hundred milesin the interior. Anon the scene 
shifts, and the black-robed Jesuit is seen, pad- 
dling his canoe on some stream in the distant 
forest, or dragging it through the rapids. In 
another, delicate and high-born ladies, even 
the young and accomplished, are surrounded 
by troops of little Indian girls — again the 
scene discloses them in the frightful hospital, 
amid the deadl}- pestilence and the repulsiv 
scenes of disease and death, unremittingly toil 
ing with heroic fortitude. 

On the bank of some forest lake or river, is 
a tableau. A motley crowd is gathered around 
the camp fire, which lights up the sombre for- 
est, and throws its fitful lights and shadows 
on the picturesque group, in which are seen 
promiscuously mingled, the black robe of the 
Jesuit, the red cap and sash of the courrtcr 
lies hois, the half naked sa\age and the gay 
uniform of the French ofiicer. Next comes that 
inexorable event that interrupts all the plans 
of man. The little hamlet of Quebec is shrouded 
in gloom. The tiiisscrcrc is chanted, and 
the whole population is in tears. The light o 
New France is extinguished. The great cap- 
tain and hero will no longer guide its steps ir 
the pathway of its progress. The immortal 
Champlain has yielded to the demands of the 
common lot, and all his cares, ambitions and 
noble aspirations have come to an end. 

The scene shifts; the Iroquois are agam on 
the war-path: their great foeman, Champlain, 





is no longer a terror and obstacle to their ambi- 
tious domination. Their war-party, a thous- 
and strong, glides along the forest trail; the 
war-whoop again rings out its frightful peal — 
the defenseless mission house is in flames, and 
lights up with lurid glare the midnight mas- 
sacre, and the troops of exultant fiends, fren- 
zied with blood and carnage. The beautiful 
country of the Hurons is one wide-spread scene 
of desolation. Its villages arc depopulated 
and its people are scattered outcasts. A nation 
is destroyed! ! 


Iroquois War — They Boast that They will Exterminate all the 
Other Indian Nations and the French — The Capture and 
Sufferings uf Isaac Jouges — Building of Fort Richelieu — 
Defeat of the Iroquois by a Small French Force. 

% E have seen that when the whites 
first came to the country, they found 
the Iroquois waging a relentless war 
JSS'J^^^ against the Algonquins and Hurons. 
For over thirty years the French had 
been endeavoring to suppress these 
hostilities, but in vain. The Iroquois had 
obtained fire-arms from the Dutch traders on 
the Hudson, and the compact organization of 
this confederacy, and their long success on the 
war-path made them defiant. The only obsta- 
cle to their domination was, the handful of 
French, whose whole force at this period did 
not amount to three hundred able-bodied men; 
and this so scattered through the broad region 
they attempted to defend from the ravages of 
the marauders, that they were exposed at all 
points to their attacks. The heroic courage of 
s small band rises to the point of the highest 
sublimity, when they are seen boldly facing 
the formidable enemy, so familiar with forest 
arfare, and before whom all the other Indian 
nations cowered, as from an irresistless scourge. 
The Iroquois, with their formidable weapons 
and war-like skill, were now so confident of 
their strength that they boasted that the whole 
country should yield to their domination; that 
'they would exterminate the French and all the 
other Indian nations; and for a time it seemed 
as if they would make good their threats. They 
would concentrate their whole force in a sud- 
den attack on the villages of the Indian allies of 
the French, coming like a whirlwind and disap- 
pearing as suddenly, leaving their track a 
blackened desolation. The Algonquins now 
leaned on the French as their only hope for 
protection. But the defenseless posts of the 
French were equally exposed. 

The St. Lawrence and the Ottawa rivers 
were so infested with war parties, that com- 
munication between the posts and missions 
was suspended; and it seemed as if nothing 
could save the colony from impending ruin. 
But the Governor Montmagny began a vigor- 
ous defense, and the arrival of forty soldiers, 
sent out by Cardinal Richelieu, was a rein- 
forcement much valued, but totally inadequate. 

The Huron Missions, distant nine-hundred 
miles from Quebec, and approachable only 
through a wilderness beset with blood-thirsty 
foes, was in a most precarious situation, and 
in the greatest destitution. In this emergency 
a brave young Jesuit, Isaac Jouges, volun- 
teered to go to their assistance with a small 
body of men and much needed supplies. He 
had formerly pushed his way to the Sault St. 
Marie, the outlet of Lake Superior, and he 
now undertook the perilous task of relieving 
the destitution of his comrades in the Huron 

In the spring of 1642, he started with three 
Frenchmen and a number of Hurons, in twelve 
canoes, with munitions, provisions and other 
needful supplies. While on the passage, they 
were suddenly attacked by a large body of 
Iroquois. The war-whoop rung out on the 
stillness of the forest, and a shower of bullets 
rattled among the canoes. The Hurons, in 
the rear, pushed rapidly to the shore, jumped 
from the canoes, and, abandoning everything, 
fled in terror through the woods. A number 
of converted Hurons, with the four whites, 
made a valiant resistance, but were over-pow- 
ered by vastly superior numbers. - Jouges and 
his conpanions were now subjected to the crud- 
est torture that the most devilish ingenuity 
could invent. They were taken to a large 
camp of the enemy and made to run the gaunt- 
let, where he was so beaten and bruised in the 
passage, that he fell drenched in blood, which 
fell from his face and naked body like drops 
of rain. Fire was then applied to his muti- 
lated body, and his hands were lacerated, the 
brutes biting them with their teeth. During 
the night, while the sufferers tried to rest, the 
young warriors came and pulled out their hair 
by hands-full and lacerated their wounds. 
They were taken to a village and again com- 
pelled to pass between two rows of savages, 
and beaten with rods. They were next placed 
on a scaffold, and the crowd of fiends, with 
knives in their hands, mounted and hacked 
them, taking care to avoid giving them a fatal 
blow. At night they were bound to stakes in 
a prostrate position, and then given up to the 
children as subjects for torture. 

They were next taken to another town for 




;in exhibition. While crossing a brook, Jougcs, 
iinniincifiil of his sutifering, found consohition 
in the opportunity to bai)tize two of the Huron 
prisoners. Three of the Hurons were now 
burned to death, and Jouges and Goupel, one 
of liis companions, expected to share tiieir 
fate. Goupel was killed by a blow of a hatchet, 
and Jougcs was astonished, day after day, to 
find himself alive. His life was spared, but he 
found it almost unendurable. At last they 
allowed him to go from town to town, to see 
the Indian captives, that they were continually 
bringing in. His time was, therefore, occupied 
in converting and baptizinj,' them, and he began 
to congratulate* himself that his capture was a 
providential means for saving souls. A greater 
heroism and more sublime devotion has seldom 
been recorded. At last he was rescued by 
some Dutch traders, went to their seaport, and 
taking passage in a vessel, reached 1'" ranee. 
Here his mutilated appearance excited the 
greatest commiseration. The following spring, 
he returned to Canada, voluntary exposing 
himself to the same Hazards. Two j'cars after- 
wards the Iroquois were at peace with the 
I*"rcnch, having been taught a salutary lesson, 
and notwithstanding the terrible sufferings he 
endured at their hands, he accepted a mission 
among them, feeling a presentiment of his 
death when he started; for he wrnte: "1 shall 
go, but I shall not return. " When he arrived 
among the Mohawks, crowils assembled to 
gaze at the man they had once so abused, but 
who now represented a power they were taught 
to respect. The old grudge breaking out 
again, a hostile party of Iroquois seized him 
and led him and a companion to their town, 
where he was again subjected to their atrocious 
cruelties. Tiiey cut strips of flesh from his 
back and arms, and at last a blow from a 
hatchet killed him. 

The Governor of New France, Montmagny, 
began a vigorous defense. His allies, the 
Algonquins, were sadly decimated by the rav- 
ages of the enemy, and those of pestilence and 
famine, and were now tractable subjects under 
his management. The mortality among them 
was so great that Fatiicr Vimont records: 
"Where eight years ago, one would sec a hun- 
dred wigwams, one now sees only five or six. 
A chief, who once had eight hundred warriors 
has now but thirty or forty; and in place of 
fleets of three or four hundred canoes, we see 
less than a tenth of that number." 

The eastern Algonquins were being rapidly 
exterminated. Nothing but the French could 
save them. The Iroquois, well provided with 
fire-arms, were sweeping everything before 
them, and the whole country was one vast 

battle-ground. Montmagny now determined to 
establish a fort at the mouth of the Richelieu, 
the present site of the town of Sorel. He, 
therefore, dispatched the soldiers sent by 
Richelieu, and a number of laborers and 
mechanics,' about a hundred in all, to that 
point, where they arrived in August, 1642. 
It was a few days after the cajjture of Jouges, 
and here they found ghastly evidences of the 
blnod)- work — the heads of the slain stuck on 
poles, and Indian picture-writing on the peeled 
trunks of trees, detailing the exploit. 

While they were engaged in erecting their 
defenses, they were suddenly surprised by two 
or three hundred Iroquois; but the French, 
quickly forming in line of battle, repulsed the 
enemy with great loss to the latter, who, aban- 
doning even their guns, fled in terror. 

Finding that they were no match for even the 
small numbers of the French, they hunted out 
the encampments of Algonquins, like blood- 
hounds. One instance, among the many, will 
suffice to show the ferocity of these attacks. A 
part)' of Algonquins on a winter hunt in the 
depths of the northern forests, and, as they 
thought, far removed from danger, were 
suddenly surprised by the enemy, who, hunt- 
ing them out in this remote place, fell upon 
them at midnight. The prisoners taken were 
bound, and some of them were cut into pieces, 
put into kettles, boiled and eaten. " They 
ate men," says Yimont in the Relations, "with 
as much appetite, and with more pleasure, than 
hunters eat a bear or stag." They delighted 
in bantering their prisoners. Said one of them 
to an old Algoncpiin: "L'ncle, )-ou arc a dead 
man. You are going to the land of souls; tell 
them to take heart; they will have good corn- 
pan)' soon, for we are going to send all the 
rest of yoi.'r nation to join them. " 

In the spring of this year. Father Hressani 
started for the Huron country. /\t the mouth 
of the St. Lawrence, he and his small party 
were capturetl by the enemj- and taken to Lake 
Champlain, where there was a fishing camp of 
four hundred Iroquois. Here, he and the other 
prisoners were subjected to the most cruel tor^ 
tures. They split his hand \\ ith a knife, stripped 
him and placed him on a scaffold, burnt 
him w ith hot irons, antl forced him to walk onj 
hot coals to make him dance. For eight nights] 
they enjoyed this entertainment, and then took] 
him to one of their villages, where his torture 
was rencwetl. He was finally ransomed h\ 
some Dutch traders. Some time after this, 
peace was patched up with the Iroquois, whicl' 
only lasted a short time, when hostilities were 
again renewetl. 





Iroquois War — Invasion of ihe Huron Country — Destruciion 
of the Hurons and the Huron Missions — Conflagration of 
the fnilian Villages and the Misvion Houses — Bravery of 
the Missionaries — Their Terrible Death — Indian Battle 
— The Hurons iind Ottawas Abandon their Country and 
Settle in the Northwest, at MichilimacUinac, Sault St. 
Marie and Green Bay. 

|N an inlet of the Bay of Matchedash, 
on Lake Huron, is the outlet of a .small 
ake situated two miles inland. Near 
the shore of this lake was the Central 
Huron Mission, Fort Sainte Marie. 
The buildings were in an enclosure, two sides 
of which were built of stone masonry, the 
other two sides of palisades. This was the 
scene of a bountiful hospitality, to which the con- 
verts frequently flocked from the most distant 
villages. Here, on festival days, immense assem- 
blages gathered to witness the ceremonies 
of the church and receive instructions in its 
doctrines. There were, in the Huron country, 
at the several missions, eighteen priests, thirty 
men attached to them in different capacities, 
and eight soldiers. 

The country of the Hurons, as before 
described, was abeautiful and fertile one, inter- 
spersed with meadows, luxuriant forests, and 
cultivated fields. It contained about twenty 
villages. The ravages of the pestilence and 
the Iroquois combined had greatly reduced 
the population; and now, in 1648, the Iro- 
quois had again broken the peace and taken 
the war-path, desolating the country in every 
direction. They had sacked and burned the 
mission of St. Joseph, killed the missionary 
Daniel, and laid waste the country around it. 

In the following spring, 1649, the inmates of 
Sainte Marie saw dense clouds of smoke aris- 
ing to the south-east; it was the conflagration 
of St. Louis. The Iroquois had renewed their 
work. A thousand warriors appeared before 
the mission of St. Louis where were stationed 
Brebeuf and Lalemant. The greater part of 
the Hurons of the village were absent on a 
hunt, and there were only about eighty warriors 
left to defend it. The Jesuits encouraged these to 
make a valiant resistance, which they did, but 
of no avail. They were overcome; the village 
was set on fire, and the inmates slaughtered. 
Brebeuf was bound to a stake; and as he 
threatened them in the most undaunted man- 
ner, showing no signs of fear, and exhorting 
his Huron converts to merit Heaven by their 
conduct, they tried to silence him by scorching 
him, after strippinghim naked. Hecontinuedto 
speak with unchanged countenance; when they 
cut off his lower lip and thrust a red-hot iron 
down his throat. His majestic form, in all the 

dignity of the sublimcst courage, still stood 
erect and undaunted. They then took Lale- 
mant and enveloped him with bark smeared 
with pitch, which they ignited. In his agony 
he threw up his arms in stipplication to Heaven. 
They next cut strips of flesh from Brebeuf and 
poured hot water on him, but he would not 

At last they scalped him, and opened his 
breast, when a number of them drank his 
blood, to imbibe his courage. One tore out 
his heart and ate it. Thus died the brave 
founder of the Huron Missions. 

Lalemant, after suffering protracted tortures, 
was slain by a blow from a hatchet. 

A large body of Huron warriors, appearing 
near Sainte Marie, intercepted a body of the 
Iroquois, whom they defeated, when the latter 
fled toward St. Louis. Although they had 
burned the village, the palisades were yet 
standing, and within them the Iroquois took 
shelter. They were followed by the Hurons, 
who again attacked and dislodged them, put- 
ting them again to rout. The Hurons held the 
place, and the enemy fled to their main body, 
which turned in rage back to St. Louis, to 
obtain revenge for the defeat of their com- 
rades. Here, now, occurred one of the most 
desperate Indian battles on record. The 
Hurons did not exceed two hundred, while the 
Iroquois were more than quadruple that num- 
ber. The latter were largely armed with guns, 
while the arms of the former were principally 
bows and arrows, hatchets and knives; but 
they fought bravely, repelling again and again 
the attacks of their assailants. It was a hand- 
to-hand fight, and was kept up till after night. 
The forests resounded with the yells of battle, 
and it did not end till all of the Hurons were 
slain except twenty. The Iroquois lost a hun- 
dred in killed, while many more were wounded. 

Fearing now that a large force of Hurons 
would come upon them, they made a hasty 
retreat to their homes. 

The priests of St. Marie, learning that the 
invaders had retreated, immediately pro- 
ceeded to the scene of carnage. St. Louis and 
St. Ignace presented a spectacle of horror. 
The ground was strewn with the dead and 
mutilated bodies of men, women and children, 
some of them partly consumed in the confla- 
gration which destroyed the villages. The 
remains of Brebeuf and Lalemant were found, 
and conveyed to St. Marie, and consigned to 
their last resting place. 

War and pestilence had done their work on 
the Hurons; their ranks were sadly decreased; 
large numbers were fugitives; their fields were 
running to waste; their supply of food scanty; 




many of their villages were destroyed, and 
they were without organization or hope. 

Their former beautiful country was a scene 
of havoc and desolation. The ravages of the 
Iroquois were exterminating them. There 
was no alternative, but the abandonment of 
their country, and flight. The Hurons, as a 
nation, had perished, and their country 
relapsed into the solitude of the wilderness. 

Some of them found an as)'lum among kin- 
dred nations, while others sought out new 
homes in the wilds of the islands of Lake 
Huron. The following year, this point was 
abandoned, and the Jesuits returned to Que- 
bec, accompanied by some of the Huron 
bands. Other bands of Hurons and Ottawas 
went to Michilimackinac, Sault St. Marie and 
Green Bay, to seek out new homes in the 
Northwest, where, in alliance with the powerful 
Ojibewas ( Chippewas ) , who had preceeded 
them, they might be able to resist the further 
ravages of their deadly enemy. 

" Several of the priests set out to follow and console the 
scattered bands of fugitive Hurons. One embarked in a canoe, 
and coasted the dreary shores of Lake Huron northward, 
among the labyrinth of rocks and islets, whither his scared 
flock had fled for refuge ; another betook himself to the forest 
with a band of half-famished proselytes, and shared iheir miser- 
able rovings through the thickets and among the mountains. 
Those who remained took counsel together at Sainte Marie. 
Whither should they go, and where should be the new seat of 
the Mission ? They made choice of the Grand Manitoulin 
Island, called by them Isle Sainte Marie, and by the Hurons 
Ekaentoton. It lay near the northern shores of Lake Huron, 
and by its position would give a ready access to numberless 
Algonquin tribes along the borders of all these inland seas. 
Moreover, it would bring the priests and Iheir flock nearer to. 
the French settlements, by the route of the Ottawa, whenever 
the Iroquois should cease to infest that river. The fishing, 
too, was good ; and some of the priests, who knew the island 
well, made a favorable report of the soil. Thither, therefore, 
they had resolved to transplant the mission, when twelve 
Huron chiefs arrived, and asked for an interview with the 
Father Superior and his fellow Jesuits. The conference lasted 
three hours. The deputies declared that many of the scattered 
Hurons had determined to re-unite, and form a settlement on a 
neighboring island of the lake, called by the Jesuits Isle St. 
Joseph ; that they needed the aid of the Fathers ; that without 
them they were helpless, but with them they could hold their 
ground, and repel the attacks of the Iroquois. They urged 
their plea in language which Ragueneau describes as pathetic 
and eloquent ; and, to confirm their words, they gave him ten 
large collars of wampum, saying that these were the voices of 
their wives and children. They gained their point. The 
Jesuits abandoned their former plan, and promised to join the 
Hurons on Isle St. Joseph. 

" They had built a boat, or small vessel, and in this they em- 
barked such of their stores as it would hold. The greater part were 
placed on a large raft made for this purpose, like one of the 
rafts of timber which, every summer, float down the St. Law- 
rence and the Ottawa. Here was their stock of corn in part 

the produce of their own fields, and in part bought from the 
Hurons in former years of plenty — pictures, vestments, sacred 
vessels and images, weapons, ammunition, tools, goods for bar- 
ter with the Indians, cattle, swine and poultry. Sainte Marie 
was stripped of everything that could be moved. Then, lest it 
should harbor the Iroquois, they set it on fire, and saw con- 
sumed in an hour the results of nine or ten years of toil. It 
was near sunset, on the fourteenth of June. The houseless 
band descended to the mouth of the Wye, went on boanl their 
raft, pushed it from the shore, and, with sweeps and oars, 
urged it on its way all night. The lake was calm and the 
weather fair; but it crept so slowly over the water that several 
days elapsed before they reached their destination, about 
twenty miles distant. 

" Near the entrance of Malchedash Bay lie the three islands, 
now known as Faith, Hope and Charity. Of these Charily, or 
Christian Island, called Ahoendoe by the Hurons, and St. 
Joseph by the Jesuits, is by far the largest. It is six or eight 
miles wide ; and, when the Hurons sought refuge here, it was 
densely covered with the primeval forest. The priests landed 
with their men, some forty soldiers, laborers and others, and 
found about three hundred Huron families bivouacked in the 
woods. Here were wigwams and sheds of bark, and smoky 
kettles slung over fires, each on its tripod of poles, while 
around lay groups of famished wretches, v\'ith dark, haggard 
visages, and uncombed hair, in every posture of despondency 
and woe. They had not been wholly idle ; for they had made 
some rough clearings, and planted a little corn ; the arrival of 
the Jesuits gave them new hope; and, weakened as they were 
with famine, they set themselves to the task of hewing and 
burning down the forest, making bark houses, and planting 
palisades. The priests, on their part, chose a favorable spot* 
and began to clear the ground, and mark out the lines of a 
foil. Their men — the greater part serving without pay — 
labored with admirable spirit, and before winter, had built a 
square, bastioned fort of solid masonry, with a deep ditch, and 
walls about twelve feet high. Within were a small chape', 
houses for lodging, and a well, which, with the ruins of the 
walls, may still be seen on the southeastern shore of the island, 
a hundred feet from the water. Detached redoubts were also 
built near at hand, where French nuisketeers could aid in 
defending the adjacent Huron village. Though the island 
was called St. Joseph, the fort, like that on the Wye, received 
the name of Sainte Marie. Jesuit devotion scattered iIilm; 
names broadcast over all the fields of their labors. 

" The island, thanks to the vigilance of the French, escaiwd 
attack throughout the summer; but Iroquois scalping-pariies 
ranged the neighboring shores, killing stragglers, and keeping 
the Hurons in peri)etual alarm. As winter drew near, great 
numbers, who, trembling and by stealth, had gathered a miser- 
able subsistence among the northern forests and islands, 
rejoined their countrymen at St. Joseph, until six or eight 
thousand expatriated wretches were gathered here under the 
protection of the French fort. They were housed in a hun- 
dred or more bark dwellings, each containing eight or ten 
families Here were widows without children, and children 
without parents; for famine and the Iroquois had proved more 
deadly enemies than the pestilence which, a few years before 
had wasted their towns. Of this multitude, but few had strength 
enough to labor, scarcely any had made provision for the win- 
ter, and numbers were already perishing from want, dragging 
themselves from house to house like, living skeletons. Thel 
priests had spared no effort to meet the demands upon their 




charity. They sent men during the autumn to buy smoked fish 
from thj Northern Algonquins, and employed Indians to 
gather acorns in the woods. Of this miserable food they suc- 
ceeded in gathering five or six hundred bushels. To diminish 
its bitterness, the Indians boiled it with ashes, or the priests 
served it out to them pounded, and mixed with corn. 

"As winter advanced, the Huron houses became a frightful 
spectacle. The inmates were dying by scores daily. The 
priests and their men buried the bodies, and the Indians dug 
them from the earth or the snow and fed on them, sometimes 
in secret and sometimes openly ; although, notwithstanding 
their superstitious feasts on the bodies of their enemies, their 
repugnance and horror were extreme at the thought of devour- 
ing those of relatives and friends. An epidemic presently 
appeared to aid the work of famine. Before spiing, about 
half of their number were dead. 

" Late in the preceding autumn the Iroquois had taken the 
war-path in force. At the end of November two escaped pris- 
oners came to Isle St. Joseph with the news, that a band of 
three hundred warriors was hovering in the Huron forests, 
doubting whether to invade the island, or to attack the towns 
of Tobacco Nation, in the valleys of the Blue Mountains. The 
Father Superior, Ragueneau, sent a runner thither in all haste, 
to warn the inhabitants of their danger. 

" There were at this time two missions in the Tobacco 
Nation, St. Jean and St Matthias, the latter under the charge 
of the Jesuits Garreau and Grelon, and the former under that 
of Gamier and Chabanel. St. Jean, the principal seat of the 
mission of the same name, was a town of five or six hundred 
families. Its population was, moreover, greatly augmented by 
the bands of fugitive Hurons who had taken refuge there. 
When the warriors were warned by Ragueneau's messenger of 
a probable attack from the Iroquois, they were far from being 
daunted, but, confiding in their numbers, awaited the enemy in 
one of those fits of valor which characterize the unstable cour- 
age of the savage. At St; Jean all was paint, featheis and 
uproar — singing, dancing, howling, and stamping. Quivers 
were filled, knives whetted and tomahawks sharpened ; but 
when, after two days of eager expectancy, the enemy did not 
appear, the warriors lost patience. Thinking, and probably 
with reason, that the Iroquois were afraid of them, they resolved 
to sally forth, and take the offensive. With yelps and whoops 
they defiled into the forest, where the branches were gray and 
bare, and the ground thickly covered with snow. They pushed 
on rapidly till the following day, but could not discovei their 
wary enemy, who had made a wide circuit, and was approaching 
their town from another quarter. By ill-luck, the Iroquois 
captured a Tobacco Indian and his squaw, straggling in the 
forest not far from St. Jean ; and the two prisoners, to propi- 
tiate them, told them the defenseless condition of the place, 
where none remained but women, children and old men. The 
delighted Iroquois no longer hesitated, but silently and swiftly 
pushed on towards the town. 

" It was two o'clock in the afternoon, of the seventh day of 
December. Chabanel had left the place a day or two before, 
in obedience to a message from Ragueneau, and Garnier was 
here alone. He was making his rounds among the houses, 
visiting the sick and instructing his converts, when the horrible 
din of the war-%\hoop rose from the borders of the clearing, 
and, on the instant the town was mad with terror. Children 
and girls rushed to and fro, blind with fright ; women snatched 
their infants and fled, they knew not whither. Garnier ran to 

his chapel, where a few of his converts had sought asylum. He 
gave them his benediction, exhorted them to hold fast to the 
Faith, and bade them fly while there was yet time. For him- 
self, he hastened back to the houses, running from one to 
another , and giving absolution or baptism to all whom he found. 
An Iroquois met him, shot him with three balls through the 
body and thigh, tore off his cassock, and rushed on in pursuit 
of the fugitives. Garnier lay for a moment on the ground as if 
stunned ; then, recovering his senses, he was seen to rise in a 
kneeling posture. At a little distance from him lay a Huron, 
mortally wounded, but still showing signs of life. With the 
Heaven that awaited him glowing before his fading vision, the 
priest dragged himself towards the dying Indian, to give him 
absolution ; but his strength failed him, and he fell again to 
the earth. He arose once more, and again crept forward, 
when a party of Iroquois rushed upon him, split his head with 
two blows of a hatchet, stripped him, and left his body on the 
ground. At this time the whole town was on fire. The 
invaders, fearing that the absent warriors might return and 
take their revenge, hastened to finish their work, scattering 
fire brands everywhere, and threw children alive into the burn- 
ing houses. They killed many of the fugitives, captured many 
more, and then made a hasty retreat through the forest with 
their prisoners, butchering such of them as lagged on the way. 
St. Jean lay a waste of smoking ruins, thickly strewn with 
blackened corpses of the slain. 

" Towards eveniug, parties of fugitives reached St. Matthias 
with tidings of the catastrophe. The town was wild with 
alarm, and all stood on the watch, in e.\pectation of an attack; 
but when, in the morning scouts came in and reported the 
retreat of the Iroquois, Garreau and Grelon set out with a party 
of converts to visit the scene of havoc. For a long time 
they looked in vain for the body of Garnier ; but at length 
they found him lying where he had fallen — so scorched and 
disfigured that he was recognized with difficulty. The two 
priests wrapped his body in a part of their own clothimg; 
the Indian converts dug a grave on the spot where his church 
had stood ; and here they buried him. Thus, at the age of 
forty-four, died Charles Garnier, the favorite child of wealthy 
and noble parents, nursed in Parisian luxury and ease, then 
living and dying, a more than willing exile, amid the hard- 
ships and horrors of the Huron wilderness. His life and his 
death are his best eulogy. Brebeuf was the lion of the Huron 
mission, and Garnier was the Iamb; but the lamb was as fear- 
'ess as the lion. 

" When, on the following morning, the warriors of St. Jean 
returned frqm their rash and bootless sally, and saw the ashes 
of their desolated homes, and the ghastly relics of their mur. 
dered families, they seated themselves amid the ruin, silent 
and motionless as statues of bronze, with heads bowed down 
and eyes fixed on the ground. They thus remained through 
half the day. Tears and wailing were for women ; this was 
the mourning of warriors.'' — Parkmaii's yesuits in North 

Parkman continues: " ' It was not without 
tears,' writes the Father Superior, 'that we left 
the country of our hopes and our hearts, 
where our brethren had gloriously shed their 
blood. ' The fleet of canoes held its melan- 
choly way along the shores where two years 
before had been the seat of one of the chief sav- 
atre communities of the continent, and where 




now all was a waste of death and desolation. 
Then they steered northward, alonj,' the eastern 
coast of the Geort^ian Hay, with its countless 
rocky islets; and everj'wliere they saw the 
traces of the Iroquois. When they reached 
Lake Nipissintj. tliey found it deserted — noth- 
ing reniainin;4 of the Altijonquins who dwelt 
on its shore, e.xcept the ashes of their burnt 
wigwams. i\ little further on there was a fort 
built of trees, where the Iroquois who made 
this desolation had spent the winter; and a 
league or two below, there was another similar 
fort. The River Ottawa was a solitude. The 
Algonquinsof Aliumette Island and the shores 
adjacent had all been killed or dri\'en awa}', 
never again to return." 

The country was, for j'cars after this, one 
vast battle ground, but the F"rench,_ making 
vigorous war against the Iroquois, subdued 
them, and, in tlic cntl, formed an alliance with 



Migration of the Algoiir|iiin Tribes to the South Shore of L.ike 
Superior, Miclu!imacl<inac, and Green 13.ay — First Com- 
merce of the Northwest — Allouez, Marquette and Dablon 
Pioneers in Western Discovery and Settlement — First 
Western Settlements — The Fox River Valley a Great 
Centre of Indian t'opulation — Alloue/. and Dahlon Visit 
the Present Site of Oshkosh and Buttes des Moris, and are 
Hospitably Entertained — Grand Council of the F>ench 
and Indians — Count Frontcjiac — Joliet and Marquette — 
Lovely Scenery of Lake Winnebago and of the Adjoining 
Country — The Discovery of the Mississippi — Man]uetle's 
Death and Burial. 

I'.OUT the time that Champlain 
Iciiinded Quebec, the Ojibewas (Chip- 
pewas), a powerful Algonquin nation 
s=^'s of Canada, began their migration to 
the south shore of L'ake Superior, and 
cornmenced contesting with the Siou.x for the 
possession of that territory; and were now 
occupying the Sault St. Marie, and the coun- 
try between that point and Michilimackinac. 
Thither, now, went many of the bands of the 
scattered 1 (tirons and Ottawas, for the purpose 
of finding homes adjacent to the Chippewas, 
and where they could unite with the latter in 
resisting the attacks of the Iroquois. 

By the year 1659, the country around the 
Straits of St. Marie and Straits of Mackinaw, 
and from those points to Green Hay, was in 
possession of the Algonquins. 

In 1659, two French traders passed the win- 
ter on the shores of Lake Superior, and caine 
to Ouebec in the sjiring, with sixty canoes 
loaded with furs, aiul paddled b>- three hun- 

dred Algonquins. This was the first commerce 
of the northwest. That region, now- being 
fast peopled by tribes, partially civilized, was 
a promising scene of labor for the Jesuits; and 
notwithstanding that the ruin of the Huron mis- 
sions had been a terrible blow to the courageous 
disciples of Loyola, they renewed their labors 
with great vigor; and, undismayed by the fate 
of Hrebeuf, Jouges and their three other com- 
rades, they still occupied the post of danger. 
Says Bancroft, in his history of the United 
States, "It may be asked if these massacres 
quenched enthusiasm. I answer that the 
Jesuits never receded one foot; but, as in a 
bra\e army, new troops press forward to fill 
the places of the fallen, there were never want- 
ing heroism and enterprise in behalf of the cross 
and French dominion. " 

In all this .dark and trj-ing period, not one 
of those soldiers of the cross flinched. They 
met death under circumstances of the most 
terrifying form. In every direction their mis- 
sion houses were sacked and burned, and the 
inmates slaughtered; but they would not 
desert the field of duty; and new victims 
eagerly sought to take the places <if those who 
fell in the cause. 

Their converts, now settled in the northwest, 
needed their services, and they must follow 
them to this new scene of hardship and danger. 
Hut, in their new enterprise, they united the 
ends of discovery, settlement and commerce, 
with that of Christianizing the Indians. We 
consequently find them mapping out the 
geography of the country, tracing its lakes and 
rivers, to many of them giving the names they 
now bear, examining the soil, mineral and 
vegetable productions of the country, and giv- 
ing to the civilized world its first knowledge 
of the physical features and resources of the 
Great West. 

Their industry was unremitting, and the 
records of their daily journal furnish us with 
the only reliable history of the earlier discov- 
eries in the West, and of the first intercourse of 
the Indians with the whites; and it is they who 
have left us the most faithful description of the 
manners and habits of the original inhabitants 
before they were modified by long social con- 
tact with civilized beings. It was from the 
Jesuits that the Indians learned to believe in 
the existence of a Great Spirit. Prior to the 
advent of the missionaries, Indians believed in 
amultiplicity of manitous. There wasamanitou 
of fire, of water, of animals and of almost 
ever\- phj'sical thing.* 

*NoTE I. There is no more reliable and valued historical 
authority than that of Ihe "Jesuit Relations," and as such it is 




The Algonquins of the West being desirous 
of commerce with the French, and of the assist- 
ance of the latter in resisting the Iroquois, it 
was decided to establish missions and trading 
posts among them. 

In 1665, Father Claude Allouez embarked 
on the Ottawa for Lake Superior. In Septem- 
ber he reached the Straits of St. Mary, and 
carrying his canoe around the rapids, was soon 
paddling along the shore of the great lake. In 
silent admiration he gazed at the pictured 
rocks and the sublime scene of the vast 
expanse of waters, as he glided over their sur 
face. At last he reached the great village of 
the Chippewas, on Che-goe-me-gon Bay. At 
the time of his arrival, there was a grand coun- 
cil of various Algonquin tribes, to determine 
the question of the expediency of taking up 
the hatchet against the warlike Sioux. He 
was admitted to an audience and, in the name 
of the great Frencii F'ather, commanded peace. 
The " F"rench soldiers would smooth the path 
between the Chippewas and Quebec, and 
punish all the piratical tribes who disturbed 
the peace." On the shore of the bay a chapel 
soon arose, and thither thronged the scattered 
tribes to listen to the teaching of the mission- 
ary. After residing two years on the shores 
of Lake Superior, he went to Quebec for the 
purpose of urging the establishment of perma- 
nent missions on Lakes Superior and Michigan, 
to be accompanied b}' little colonies of French 
emigrants. His endeavors were successful; 
and he returned with Fathers Dablon and Mar- 
quette, whose name was soon to become 
famous as the discoverer of the Upper Missis- 
sippi. The two latter went to the Straits of 
St. Mary in 1668, and established the mission 
at that place. In the same year the Sioux 
resisting the intrusion on what they claimed as 
their territory, Father Allouez abandoned the 
mission at La Pointe, and moved to Green 
Bay, and, on the present site of Depere, built a 
chapel. A few years afterwards Nicholas Per- 
rot was commissioned by the Governor of New 
France "to manage the interests of commerce 
of the Indian tribes and people of La Baye des 
Puants (Green Bay) and the western nations 

regarded by Bancroft and other eminent American historians, 
who consider it truthful and accurate in the highest degree. 
It is simply the journals of the several missions, in which each 
recorded the events of their daily lives and the history of the 
times, with discoveries — explorations and descriptions of the 
several sections of the country — their classification of Indian 
tribes, Indian wars — their relations with the Indians, and in 
fact everything appertaining to the history of the country dur- 
ing that period. Each mission was required to keep a journal 
and send a copy to the Father Superior at Quebec. The 
whole collectively form what is known as the "Jesuit Rela- 
tions " of the American missions, a work that is now highly 
valued by the historical associations of this country. 

of the Upper Mississippi, and to take posses- 
sion in the King's name of all the places where 
he has heretofore been and whither he will go. " 
He established his headquarters at Rapide des 
Peres, which place, for more than a century, was 
the initial point of the travel and traffic of the 
great West. Here, then, two centuries ago, 
was the first permanent habitation of civilized 
man in the upper valley of the Mississippi. 

At this period the continent was one vast, 
barbarous solitude, with the exception of a few 
little settlements scattered at long intervals 
apart in the wilderness; for besides the little 
English and Dutch settlements on the sea-coast, 
and the P"rench at Acadia and on the St. Law- 
rence, there were no others in all that illimitable 
territory, stretching away from the Atlantic to 
the Mississippi, e.xcept our pioneer missionaries 
and their attaches, who, undismayed at the 
fate of their comrades, had pushed their way 
into the very heart of the continent, exploring 
the majestic lakes and rivers, the broad prairies 
and vast forests over which rested the silence 
of primeval solitude, and where the adven- 
turous traveler frequently journeyed for weeks 
without meeting a human being. The whole 
Indian population, according to reliable author- 
ity, in all the territory east of the Mississippi, 
did not e.xceed two hundred thousand — not 
much more than half the present population of 
Chicago — and that so widely diffused, that 
uninhabited tracts of hundreds of miles fre- 
quently intervened between the villages and 
planting-grounds of the several tribes. 

Marquette says, that on his voyage down 
the Mississippi, he journeyed two weeks with- 
out meeting a human being. 

The Sioux having made war on the Algon- 
quins, whom they largely outnumbered, the 
latter abandoned their settlement at La Pointe, 
and the Hurons took up their abode at Michili- 
mackinac, whither Marquette accompanied 
them and established a mission on the main- 
land at Point St. Ignace. Many of the Otta- 
was went to the Manitouline Islands; and in 
the following year some of them returned to 
their old homes on the shore of Lake Huron 
and the country on the Ottawa, which had 
remained a desolation since the time it was 
ravaged by the Iroquois. The French, in the 
mean time, had partially suppressed these 
ferocious tribes; their invasions had been 
checked, and the fugitives began to return to 
their former country. 

The Sault St. Marie and Michilimackinac, 
with their Ojibewas, Hurons and Ottawas; 
Green Bay, with its tribes of Menominees and 
Sauks; the Fox River, with its tribes of Foxes 
and Miamis and the adjacent Lake Winne- 




bago, witli the Winncbagocs, now became a 
great center of Indian population. Heing 
one of the most favored regions for game and 
fish, while the lovely country around Lake 
Winnebago and on the Upper Fox afforded 
sites for the most productive planting-grounds, 
the tribes increased in numbers, and enjoyed 
a full share of Indian prosperity. 

The locality, embracing the junction of the 
Great Lakes Superior, Michigan and Huron, 
and the adjacent Green Bay, with its Fox 
River, affording a water communication with 
the Mississippi, by the easy portage between 
the I^'ox and Wisconsin, became a great center 
of Indian travel and commerce — the Indian 
metropolis of the Northwest — and hither 
flocked at seasons, for the purpose of fishing 
and barter, the Pottawattamics and Illinois. 
These tribes, all being of the Algonquin family, 
were on friendly terms. 

Wiien Father Allouez established his mission 
at Green Bay, he was accompanied by Dablon, 
who writes that, "the country is an earthly 
paradise." He says that the Indians so 
honored them that a squad of warriors paraded 
up and down before them, in imitation of the 
guard they had seen before the Governor's 
tent at Montreal. He says: "We could hardly 
keep from laughing, though we were discours- 
ing on the most important subjects, namely, 
the mysteries of our religion. " 

They went up Fox River, and paddled iq^ 
Lake Wiqnebago to the mouth of the Upper 
Fox, which they ascended to visit the town of 
the Mascoutins and Miamis, two tribes living 
together, and whose village was enclosed with 
palisades. They numbered about three thous- 
and souls. This was the present site of Buttes 
dcs Morts. They were charmed with these 
Indians, who gave them a most cordial recep- 
tion and listened to them with the most 
respectful attention. They were delighted 
with the charming country; and well they 
might be, for a lovelier spot is seldom met 
with. Here they were told of the great river, 

Father Allouez next visited the Foxes, but 
found them a more intractable tribe. He was 
horrified at their polygamy, some of the Chiefs 
having eight wives, and their lodges seemed 
like seraglios. They were not well disposed 
towards him, but he succeeded in overcoming 
their hostility; and as a war-party was starting 
out on one of their predatory raids, he told 
them the story of the cross and the Emperor 
Constantine. This so much attracted them, 
as he could talk eloquently in Algonquin, that 
they each daubed the figure of a cross on their 
shields of hide, and took the war-path. As 

they were victorious, they came back exulting, 
and' extolled the sacred symbol as a "big war- 
medicine. " 

The missionary chapels and buildings con- 
nected with them were built of logs and sur- 
rounded with palisades, like a stockade fort, 
and adjacent to them were cultivated fields. 
Attached to each mission were a number of 
mechanics, woodsmen and laborers, who were 
employed in building and repairing the mis- 
sion houses, hunting, fishing and tilling the 
ground. Jean Talon was at this time Intend- 
ant of Canada, and instituted a \'igorous 
administration. He, therefore, deputized Nich- 
olas Perrot, a man of great experience in Indian 
affairs, and whose imposing address and execu- 
tive ability gave him great influence with the 
Indians, to hold a grand council with the vari- 
ous tribes of the Northwest at Sault St. Marie. 
' Notice having been given to the several tribes, 
they repaired in great numbers to the appointed 
rendezvous, Sault St. Marie, in May, 16.71, to 
meet the deputy governor. He was accom- 
panied by a military officer and a body of sol- 
diers. The priests joined them, dressedin their 
vestments, and around them thronged the great 
body of Indians, delighted s[)ectators. A large 
cross of cedar, which had been prepared, was 
then set up by planting the end in the ground, 
while the I'"renchmen sang Vcxilla Regis, 
Uablon pronounced a blessing; then a post, to 
which was attached a metal plate engra\ed 
with the King's arms, was planted near it, and 
the Jesuits made a prayer for the King. St. 
Lusson, the military officer, in full uniform, 
holding his sword in one hand, and raising a 
sod of earth with the other, proclaimed in loud 
tones his announcement of possession, in the 
name of Louis XIV. 

In 1672, Count Frontenac, from F'rance, 
arrived at Quebec, and was installed as Gov- 
ernor. His name occupies a most distin- 
guished position in our history, from the vigor 
with w'hich he pushed forward western explor- 
ations, and his brilliant campaigns against the 
warlike Iroquois. A man of the most impo- 
sing address and personal presence, fearless, 
energetic and enterprising, with a natural vigor 
of mind and high culture, he was well calculated 
forexecutive duties, andleft anenduring impress 
of his administration, in which he saved the 
colony from impending ruin. He appointed 
Louis Joliet to make a voyage for the purpose 
of discovering the Upper Mississippi, and the 
young missionary Marquette, of Michilimack- 
inac, was appointed to accompany him. 

Marquette was one of those saintly charac- 
ters that belong to a past age. Born of one of 
the leading families of France, and highly edu 




cated and accomplished, he was seized with a 
fervor of devotion to the cause of Christianity, 
and with the most intense zeal abandoned all 
the gaitics, comforts and luxuries of life in the 
circles in which he was raised, and subordin- 
ated himself to the strict and hard discipline of 
the life of the Jesuits. This order selected the 
very purest and bravest of its ranks for the 
American missions. He was chosen for one, 
and with the greatest delight embraced the 
opportunity to take up the hard lot of a life 
among the savages of the American wilds. 
Highly gifted by nature, and of great attain- 
ments in learning and science, his proficiency 
as a linguist was so great that he learned in a 
few years to speak six Indian languages 
fluently. Let those who disbelieve in his faith 
call him credulous; but when they have become 
familiar with his life, they must admire his 
transcendant loveliness of character, the sub- 
limity of his faith, his sincerity and truthful- 
ness, his unbounded benevolence and courage- 
ous daring. He was idolized by the Indians, 
and his name and virtues will be forever asso- 
ciated with the early history of the Northwest. 

Our Wisconsin State Historical Society hon- 
ored the event of Marquette and Joliet's dis- 
covery of the Mississippi, by celebrating the 
bi- centennial of the occurrence in 1873, at 
which was read an address, written for the 
occasion by John G. Shea, LL. D., of Can- 
ada, and which was published in the Wiscon- 
sin State Historical Collections, in which he 
says : 

"Even in the hurry and whirl of the active 
life of an energetic nation, we may well pause 
on a day like this, to commemorate the bold 
and Christian energy of men of other days, who 
faced all the dangers of the untried wilderness, 
to explore, for thousands of miles, the heart of 
our Northern Continent in the interest of relig- 
lion and science. " 

"On this day, two hundred years ago, a 
ittle bark canoe that had threaded the marshy 
maze between the Fox and Wisconsin, glided 
from the latter of these Rivers into the clear 
broad bosom of the Mississippi, which still 
bears the simple title Great River, which the 
Northern Algonquin tribes had given it. " 

"From the far North the River came, as its 
volume of water showed. Whither it bore its 
swelling tide, was the question that Louis 
Joliet and Father James Marquette were now 
practically to decide. " 

And who were they? To imagine the one 
a bush-ranger, an ignorant courcur dc hots, 
whose sole knowledge was wood-craft and 
shrewd dealings with the Indians, or the other 
a pious missionary, equally ignorant of all 

human learning and indifferent to progress, 
would be a grave error. " 

"The missionaries who step by step threaded 
the net work of Lakes and Rivers, not only 
reported the data which they obtained, and 
preserved them; but they gleaned from mem- 
bers of distant tribes statements as to the 
geography, fauna and mineralogy of the lands 
beyond. Nearer and nearer they came to the 
Great River — the Mississippi of the Algonquin 
tribes, and they urged the Government at 
Quebec to undertake its exploration. It is 
little wonder that at first their hints and sug- 
gestions remained unheeded, For the little 
Canada colony on the St. Lawrence to seek 
to penetrate some untold thousands of miles 
into interior America, seemed as yet too bold 
and rash. Canada was scientific in tone. This 
may seem a strange view to many, but even 
down to the days of Kalm, a scientific traveler 
would have found more cultivated men in 
Canada than in New England or New York, 
to converse with him in regard to the topo- 
graphy, climate, botany, mineralogy, and 
natural history of America, as well as the 
ethnology and linguistics of its native tribes. " 
"Geography was especially cultivated. France 
had long had at Dieppe and other ports, her 
schools of hydrography, sometimes directed 
by navigators, often, too, by priests, who seem 
to have worked in most heartily with the men 
of the sea. From these schools came men, 
who, on a new coast, at once with practiced 
eye and hand noted down its outline, and, if 
time permitted, gave exact charts. Such was 
Champlain, whose charts of the New England 
coast, overlooked by many students, excited 
the wonder of Thoreau by their accuracy, as 
he followed his course two centuries and a 
half after the founder of Quebec sailed along 
the coast. " 

"In the same spirit, the little hamlet of 
Quebec had a school of hydrography connected 
with its college, and a King's hydrographer 
stationed there. And we may safely aver that 
no English colony of that day had any such 
department for coast survey. 

Louis Joliet was a native of American soil; 
he was born in 1645 at Quebec, where his 
father was a worthy wheel-wright. Talent and 
piety distinguished the boy, who received an 
education at the College of Quebec, the more 
careful and extended as he evinced a desire to 
study for the ministry. He even took the 
preliminary steps and entered the Theological 
Seminary of Quebec. But mathematical and 
geographical study seems to have had its 
charms for him, and it was cultivated as a 
science that in a colony underthe French navy 





department could not come amiss. Even then 
he may have been associated as a pupil with 
Franquelin, the King's hydrographcr. " 

"Gradually his views changed. Plunging 
into the busy world without the cloistered 
life, he sought a field for his talents in the 
West. Soon after 1667, he is reported as explo- 
ring Lake Superior, and as having gone, very 
near the Mississippi. The last writer who has 
thrown light on this period, in his 'Notes on 
the History, Bibliography and Cartology of 
New F"rance and the adjacent country,' sums 
up Joliet's character: 'He was a very well 
educated and upright man. ' 

" His companion in the adventurous journey 
was one of that body to which Joliet owed his 
education. Father James Marcjuette, a young 
native of Laon in Picardy, one of those devoted 
men of skill and learning, in whom devotion to 
his calling and tender piet)' outshine all else. 
He had been nine years on the Western 
missions; was familiar with many of the dia- 
lects, fearless, energetic; who had longed for 
years to thread the course of the Great River 
that lay beyond, ' impelled by his ardent desire 
of extending the kingdom of Jesus Christ, and 
of making him known and adored by all the 
nations of that country; ' that River as to which 
he had gleaned so many details, and down 
whose mighty current the red warriors seeking 
foemen to engage, had day after day plied 
the paddle with nothing to show them where 
it emptied. 

Marquette and Joliet embarked in two birch- 
bark canoes, accompanied by five more men. 
Their provisions were principally smoked meat 
and Indian corn. They ply their paddles, and 
their canoes glide over the transparent waters 
of Michilimackinac. They pass along the 
dreary coast of Lake Michigan, and at night 
build their camp-fireon thcshore. .\t last they 
reach Green Bay and ascend the Fo.x, carrying 
their canoes around the several rapids, and 
soon enter the beautiful lake of the Winneba- 
goes. They paddle along its leafy shores, 
delighted with its picturesque scenery, and 
obtain glimpses of the loxelj- prairies and open- 
ings which at intervals approach its banks, 
and entering the mouth of the Upper F"ox, 
now the site of the city of Oshkosh, pass up 
that stream, and on the seventh of June they 
arrive at the village of the Miamis and Mas- 
coutins. Marquette describes the place as a 
most charming one, on a handsome elevation, 
rising from the river; while adjoining it, 
stretched away the prairie, interspersed with 
gro\'es of trees (oak openings). It was the 
present site of liuttes des Morts. Here they 
obtained two Indian guides to conduct them. 

and were soon on their way. Arriving at the 
portage between the I'^o-X and Wisconsin, they 
transported their canoes and entered upon the 
waters of the Wisconsin. Here their guides 
bid them adieu and they were left alone in the 
midst of thegrand solitude — to pur;;uetheir way 
through unknown lands and dangers. On the 
seventeenth of Junetheyarrived at tlie mouth of 
the river, and the broad current of the Missis- 
sippi, with its high bluffs in thcdistance, greeted 
their delighted vision. The long sought river, 
flowing in mysterious grandeur, was found. 
Floatingalongin the midst of the most])rofound 
solitude, they admire the picturesque scenery, 
and glimpses occasionally obtained of the 
broad prairies stretching away in the illimit- 
able distance, with herds of elk and deer 
browsing undisturbed and frequently approach- 
ing them on the river bank. 

" At what they calculated to be about forty- 
one degrees and twenty-eight minutes north 
latitude, they came upon the bison country 
and gaze with wonder on the vast hertls that 
dotted the plains before them." 

What glowing visions of the splendors of the 
New France, that was to arise out of this 
mighty wilderness, must have inspired Mar- 
quette and his companions, as they viewed 
this vast countr}- in all its primeval grandeur 
and wild loveliness? The mighty ri\'er fiowing 
from the distant north in such majestic volume, 
until its waters laved the banks of far-off south- 
ern shores, overhanging with tropical veiidure 
— the magnificent scenery, which from some 
points of obser\ation, spread out before them, 
like an endless panorama, and the fertile soil 
and luxuriant vegetation, all giving evidence 
of the " most magnificent dwelling place e\er 
prepared for the abode of man." 

Nearly two weeks had now passed since 
leaving the portage on the Wisconsin, and so 
sparsely was the country inhabited, that in all 
that time, they had not obtained the sight of a 
human being. Now, for the first time they 
discovered foot prints, .ind a well worn Indian 
trail. Leaving the men with the canoes, Mar- 
quette and Joliet followed the trail for a ilis- 
tance of six miles, where they discovered an 
Indian \-ill;!ge on the hanks of a small sti'c.i!ii. 
The)' had long tlesireil lo meet with sonic of 
the inhabitants of the country, anil now their 
longings were to be gratified. They halted 
and called out in loud \'oices to announce 
their presence, when the astonishcel Indians 
swarmed out to meet them. 

Fourchiefs approached them, presenting cal- 
umets, or peace pipes. Marquette asked who 
they were, in Algont|uin. They answered tliat 
they were Illinois, and offered the pii)es, 




which were smoked in friendship. They then 
went to the village and had a grand reception, 
the chief addressing them as follows : "French- 
men, how bright the sun shines when you 
come to visit us! All our village awaits you, 
and you shall enter our wigwams in peace." 
Here they were feasted, and Marquette 
announced himself as a messenger sent by 
God, whom they were in duty bound to rec- 
ognize and obey. They were importuned to 
remain with their new friends, but, feeling 
compelled to decline, proceeded on their voy- 
age, down to where the Missouri pours out its 
muddy waters. By the united currents they 
were rapidly borne on, and soon passed the 
mouth of the Ohio. Voyaging onward, they 
met Indians who were in communication with 
the Spaniards ; for they were armed with 
guns, and wore garments of cloth. These 
gave them a kind reception, and feasted Mar- 
quette and his companions on buffalo meat and 
wild plums. Taking leave of these, they 
resumed their course, and reached the mouth 
of the Arkansas, on the bank of which was an 
Indian village. The inhabitants, yelling the 
war-whoop, plunged into their canoes and 
paddled out into the stream, above and below 
them, to cut off their escape; while a number 
of young warriors waded out into the stream 
to attack them. The current prevented them 
from reaching the canoes of the French, but 
one threw his war club at them. 

Marquette, in the meantime, was holding 
out his peace pipe; but this did not restrain 
them, till some of the elder chiefs arrived on 
the scene; when peace was proclaimed, and 
the Frenchmen invited to land, which they did, 
and were again entertained with an Indian 
feast. Proceeding on their voyage, they 
reached an Arkansas tribe that received them 
kindly, and entertained them with every mark 
of Indian hospitality. These Indians had 
earthen pots and platters of their own manu- 
facture. They were also supplied with Euro- 
pean hatchets, guns and trinkets. 

The travelers, having now learned that the 
Mississippi emptied into the gulf of Me.xico, 
resolved on returning, as the natives told them 
that the river below was infested by hostile 
Indians that would be likely to capture them. 

They therefore commenced the toilsome 
ascent, and, after paddling wearily, day after 
day in the mid-summer heat, at length reached 
the mouth of the Illinois. Marquette, suffering 
with a severe attack of dysentery, was much 
exhausted. They ascended the Illinois, and 
Were charmed with the views of its prairies and 
forests abounding in buffalo and deer. They 
stopped at the Illinois village, Kaskaskia, where 

a chief and band of warriors offered to guide 
them to the Lake of the Illinois. They thank- 
fully accepted the escort, and, passing up to 
the head of the Illinois River, crossed the 
portage to the small stream which empties into 
Lake Michigan, at the present site of Chicago, 
which they followed to its mouth. From thence 
they followed the shore of Lake Michigan to 
Green Bay, which they reached the last of 
September, having been absent nearly four 
months on the voyage, in which time they 
had paddled their canoes a distance of two 
thousand five hundred miles. Marquette 

remained at the Green Bay Mission to recu- 
perate; Joliet went to Quebec to report the 
discovery of the Mississippi. At the Rapids, 
above Montreal his canoe was capsized; two 
of his men and an Indian were drowned; the 
valuable record of his voyage was lost, and he 
narrowly escaped losing his life. 

Marquette passed the following year at 
Green Bay, and in the autumn of 1674, though 
still suffering from the effects of his disease, 
he determined on going to establish a mission 
among the Illinois, at their village at Kaskas- 
kia. Embarking with ten canoes, he reached 
Chicago River, and, having ascended it for 
two leagues, was prostrated by sickness; hem- 
orrhage ensued, and he declared to his com- 
panions that this voyage would be his last. 
As it was impossible for him to proceed any 
further, his two men built a log cabin, and 
here they lived through the winter. Wild 
game was abundant, and they were plentifully 
supplied with buffalo meat, venison and wild 
turkeys, which they frequently shot in the 
vicinity of their log cabin. The Indians also 
brought them corn and game. 

In the spring, Marquette, having somewhat 
regained his strength, proceeded on his voy- 
age to Kaskaskia, where he arrived, and was 
received, he says, " like an angel from Hea- 
ven. " Here he held a grand council, in which 
were assembled over three thousand Indians, 
to whom he explained the doctrines of Chris- 
tianity, urging them to adopt the belief in God 
and to conform their lives to His commands. 
As he was an eloquent speaker and familiar 
with the Algonquin language, they were 
charmed with his fervent appeal, and listened 
with great approval. They begged him to 
take up his abode among them; but as he was 
conscious of approaching death, he felt admon- 
ished to hastily return to Michilimackinac. He 
therefore started, and was accompanied as far 
as Lake Michigan by a large body of Indians. 
He was now a confirmed invalid, and, as he 
lay in his canoe exposed to the cold winds of 
the early spring, his two men urged it along 





the eastern shore of the lake. On the nine- 
teenth of Ma)-, he feh that his death was at 
hand, and, as they were passintj a small river, 
he asked his men to land. They complied, 
and built a small bark hut on the bank of the 
stream, into which they carried the dying mis- 
sionary. With the greatest cheerfulness and 
composure, he gave instructions for his burial, 
and, with that kind regard for the happiness of 
others which ever characterized his actions, 
he instructed them on the duties of life, 
expressed his fervent gratitjjde to them for 
their devoted kindness; and, as they were 
tired, requested them to take their sleep, say- 
ing that he would call them when he felt that 
his hour of death had come. A few hours 
afterward they heard his feeble appeal, and 
coming to him, found him at the point of dis- 
solution, which he met with peaceful resigna- 
tion. They dug his grave near the hut on 
that lonely river, as he had directed, and then 
pursued their way to Michilimackinac, where 
they conveyed to the priests of St. Ignace 
the sad intelligence of the decease of their 

A party of Ottawas, in the spring of 1676, 
passing near the place, disinterred the remains 
and placed them in a birch box. Then, in a 
procession of' thirty canoes, they bore them 
to St. Ignace, where they were met by the 
priests, Indians and traders, who received 
them with befitting ceremony, and. chanting 
the funeral rites, consigned them to their last 
resting place, beneath the little chapel of St. 


Count Frontenac and La Salle Secure the Control of the Head 
of the St. Lawrence, and set out to Establish a Line of 
Communication Between Quebec and the Mouth of the 
Mississippi — La Salle Builds Fort Frontenac, at the Head 
of the St. Lawrence, and Another at Niagara — Constructs 
the Griffin and Launches her — The First Vessel on the 
Lakes — Her Trip up the Lakes to Michilimackinac and 
Green Bay — His Voyage to the Country of the Illinois — 
Builds Fort Crevecour, on the Illinois River — Massacre 
of the Illinois by the Iroquois — La Salle Organizes the 
Illinois and Other Tribes, Taking the Leadership — Builds 
a Fort on " Starve Rock," — Attempt to Found a Colony at 
the Mouth of the Mississippi— Lost in the Wilds of Texas 
— Two Months Fruitless Search for the Mississippi — Assas- 
sination of La Salle — Destruction of the Colony. 

TH the accession of Frontenac to 

the Governor-Generalship of New 

•ranee, commenced a new era in its 

^' I 1 ■, histor)'. That enterprising official 

■^'v>j/{^ infused a new life into the colony, 

■^ the fortunes of which had been 

waning since the death of Champlain. Heat 

once took measures for opening up and pro- 

tecting the lines of communication with the 
interior; so as to secure as far as possible an 
uninterrupted communication through the great 
water arteries leading to the Mississippi. 

In accomplishing this, he found an able ally 
in La Salle who had conceived the plan of 
establishing a fortified post at the mouth of 
the Mississippi, with intermediate ones between 
that point and Quebec; so as to hold the con- 
trol of the Mississippi and Ohio valleys. La Salle 
was of a wealthy French family, and from his 
rich relations he obtained the pecuniary means 
for prosecuting his vast enterprises. He laid 
his plans before Frontenac who embraced them 
with great avidity. Those men were well 
matched in all the elements of vigorous, daring 
enterprise, and they began an attempt for the 
occupation of the interior, which, for persistent 
efibrt, comprehensive aim and bold daring, 
eclipses the exaggerations of fiction. They 
determined first to establish a fort at the head 
of the St. Lawrence, on Lake Ontario, to pro- 
tect communication with that lake, and as an 
aid in keeping under control the Iroquois who 
had obtained fire-arms from the Dutch traders 
on the Hudson. They purposed, also, to make 
this point a trading post and means of communi- 
cation with that nation, and check, as far as pos- 
sible, their intercourse with the English colonies. 
Frontenac, therefore, set out in June, 1673, 
with a grand expedition to that point; first 
sending La Salle to the Iroquois country, 
requesting them to send delegates, to meet 
him at the appointed rendezvous. The expe- 
dition consisted of himself, staff officers and 
soldiers of the garrison, and four hundred 
armed militia, with a large body of Indians. 
The flotilla was composed of a hundred and 
twent)' canoes and two barges. 

Reaching Montreal, the new Go\ernor-Gen- 
eral was received with much pomp and cere- 
mony, in which mingled the polished courtesies 
of the court circles of France, with the rougher 
hospitalities and rude surroundings of frontier 

From thence the expedition proceeded up 
the St. Lawrence to the point of i-ts destination, 
now the site of Kingston. Here they landed 
and encamped; the Iroquois having arrived 
before them and now occupying an adjoining 
site. The next morning at beat of drum, they 
were drawn up in martial array. The Indians 
had never before witnessed such a grand mili- 
tary displaj' as here, in this wild solitude, here- 
tofore a stranger almost to the presence of 
man, other than the passing hunter, or war« 
party, now dazzled their eyes with its imposing J 

Two lines of armed men were formed, which i 




reached from the Governor's tent to the Indian 
encampment, and between them filed the sav- 
age representatives to Frontenac's headquar- 
ters. The splendors of the uniforms and the 
long files of soldiers, with their glistening arms 
in all the precision of dress parade, elicited 
from the Indians their highest admiration. 
Frontenac now addressed them in a decisive, 
arrogant manner which, comporting with the 
military bearing and dignity of the man, com- 
manded their respect. 

He addressed them as children whom the 
great French father would treat kindly; but 
he required on their part implicit obedience. 
He was now going to build a fort to keep the 
road open between the lakes and rivers, and 
woe be to those who should break the peace. 
He then proceeded in a more conciliatory tone, 
showing them the advantages to be derived 
from a peaceful intercourse with the French, 
who would prove benefactors to them in the 
event of their meriting it. 

He next gave them presents, winding up the 
business of the day with a feast and entertain- 
ment in the evening, in which he paid them the 
most polite attention, all of which gave them 
a high opinion of the new Father. 

The fort was then built, and garrisoned by 
a body of soldiers; when Frontenac returned 
to Quebec, and for the first time in its history. 
New France held the control of the head of the 
St. Lawrence. 

La Salle, who had made extensive explora- 
tions and had rendered great service to the 
country, went to France and petitioned for a 
patent of nobility, which he received from the 
King; and also a grant in seigniory of Fort 
Frontenac, which he' covenanted to garrison at 
his own expense, and to form a colony around 
it. He returned and took possession, and the 
commerce between the posts of Green Bay and 
Michilimackinac with Quebec was now by way 
of the lakes. 

With Fort Frontenac as a base. La Salle 
began to push forward his enterprise for obtain- 
ing possession of the mouth of the Mississippi. 
The next step in advance was to build a palis- 
aded trading post at the mouth of the Niagara. 
While this was in process of erection. La Salle 
commenced the building of a vessel on the Upper 
Niagara for the navigation of the Upper Lakes. 
She was finished under the greatest difficulties 
and obstacles, the hostilities of the Indians not 
the least, and in due time she was launched 
and called the Griffin. It must be remem- 
bered that her cordage, anchors and equip- 
ment had to be carried long distances overland. 
It required four men to carry the anchor 
around Niagara Falls. 

On the seventh of August, 1679, the Griffin 
weighed anchor, and with a good breeze filling 
her canvas, sailed out of the river, and for the 
first time, the keel of a sail vessel plowed the 
waters of Lake Erie. They sailed up the lake 
and entered the Detroit River, and for the first 
time the site of the future metropolis of Michi- 
gan met the eye of civilized man. They were 
enraptured with the lovely and fertile country, 
in which they landed and supplied their com- 
missariat plentifully with game, of which they 
found an abundance, killing, among other 
animals, several bears. 

On Lake Huron they encountered a severe 
gale, which they weathered, and in due time 
reached Point St. Ignace, near Michili- 

The arrival was a great event to the inhabi- 
tants of this remote post. The Griflin fired 
her cannon, and, as its echoes reverberated 
through the forests, the Indians yelled their 
astonishment and delight. The little craft swing- 
ing gracefully at anchor was soon surrounded 
by a swarm of canoes, with wondering arid 
admiring inmates. The little chapel of St. 
Ignace and its mission houses surrounded with 
palisades on the near shore; the Huron village 
adjacent; the dark back ground of the forest; 
the blue waters of the lake and the little vessel 
at anchor, formed a picture and theme to inspire 
the pencil of an artist. Here was the metropolis 
of the early Northwest, and the beginnings of 
that commerce which has since grown into such 
vast proportions. The Griflin set sail for 
Green Bay, where a large quantity of furs had 
been collected; with those she was laden and 
started for Niagara, with orders to return to 
the Illinois. La Salle then, with fourteen men, 
in four canoes, which were laden with a forge, 
tools and merchandise, among other things, 
started for the mouth of the St. Joseph River, 
at the head of Lake Michigan. 

They were overtaken with a severe gale, 
and, with the greatest difficulty, managed to 
make the mouth of a little inlet, where they 
found shelter. Here they were obliged to 
remain five days, when, the storm having sub- 
sided, they re-embarked. In 4 few days they 
again encountered heavy weather, and were 
obliged to run ashore, where they passed two 
days in a drenching rain. Setting forth once 
more, they reached a Pottawattamie village; a 
heavy surf was rolling on the beach, and came 
near swamping the canoes. Father Gabriel, 
si.vty-four years of age, was unable to resist 
the undertow, when Hennepin took him on 
his lusty shoulders, and carried him through 
the breakers, the old friar laughing heartily as 
Hennepin staggered under his load. La 




Salic, bcini,' distrustful of the Indians, at once 
posted his men in readiness for action, and, 
being sorely in need of food, sent three men to 
the village. In the mean time a number of 
warriors approached, LaSalle presenting the 
peace pipe, when friendly negotiations fol- 
lowed, which resulted in the exchange of goods 
for corn and venison. 

At one period in their journey, they were, for 
some days, nearly famished for want of food, 
Father Gabriel fainting from exhaustion; but 
when they reached the vicinity of the present 
site of Waukcgan, they found game in abund- 
ance, and, with their guns, obtained a plenti- 
ful supply of venison and bear meat. Here 
they encountered a party of Outagamies, who 
kept hidden from them, and, when discovered, 
pretended to have mistaken them for Iroquois; 
but, on recognizing them, professed friendship. 
They, however, during the night, stole a coat 
and some other things, and La Salle, knowing 
that he must adopt bold measures or greater 
aggressions would be made, posted his men 
in position, and sallying forth, a young 
warrior and brought him to the French camp. 
He then sought an Outagamie chief, and told 
him that unless the stolen goods were restored 
or compensation made he would kill the Indian 
prisoner. The Outagamie party numbered 
a hundred and twenty; the French fourteen. 
The Outagamies, in a body, now stealthily 
approached the French for the purpose of res- 
cuing their companion, a portion keeping in 
the shelter of the trees. The French, how- 
ever, were resolute, which the Indians perceiv- 
ing, offered to parley. A conference ensued, 
which resulted in full compensation being made 
for the stolen goods, and an additional remu- 
neration in the form of a gift of beaver skins. 

Re-embarking, they passed around the 
head of the lake and reached St. Joseph's 
River in safety. Here he resolved to wait for 
the arrival of the Griffin, that was to bring a 
reinforcement of men and stores. In the mean 
time he built a fort at the mouth of the river. 
Week after week passed, but the Griffiin did 
not appear. At last he abandoned all hope of 
her return. A.s she was never afterward heard 
of, it was supposed that she foundered in a 
gale on Lake Huron. 

In December, La Salle and his party, 
embarking in their canoes, ascended the St. 
Joseph's Ri\'er as far as the present site of 
South Bend. Here was the portage to the 
head of the Kankakee. Carrj'ing their canoes 
across this portage, they descended the 
Kankakee to its junction with the Illinois. At 
last they arrived at a large Indian town, in 
which Hennepin counted four hundred and 

si.xty lodges. The inhabitants were all 

absent. Pushing forward they entered Peoria 
Lake, which tliey crossed, and again followed 
the river. They soon came to a place where 
each bank of the river was occupied with wig- 
wams. La Salle now had the eight canoes 
placed in line abreast of each other, and the 
men, seizing their guns, were soon borne b\- 
the current opposite the Indian encampment. 
The inhabitants, surprised at their sudden 
appearance, yelled and snatched up their 
weapons; while LaSalle and his little band of 
intrepid followers jumped ashore, ready for the 
altcrnati\e of peace or war. The Indians, 
recovering from their panic, sent forward two 
chiefs with the peace pipe. The offering of 
friendship was accepted, and they were then 
hospitably entertained. La Salle then told 
them his purpose of building a fort and trading 
post in their country. His proposition seemed 
to be well received, but that night an enemy 
appeared in the camp — a Mascoutin chief — 
who warned them against the plans of La Salle; 
that he was in Icauge with the Iroquois, 
and, with them, intended to destroy the Illi- 
nois. Having aroused^ their suspicions by 
his harranguc, he left the camp. La Sallc 
importuned the Illinois to send for him that he 
might refute the stories, but in vain. To add 
to his discomfiture, six of his men deserted; 
they w'cre nowhere to be found. He imme- 
diately mustered the balance of his force, and 
in the strongest terms, denounced the coward- 
ice of those who had deserted him in his peril; 
adding that if any more were afraid to proceed 
on the voyage to the Mississippi, he would 
give them leave to return in the spring to 
Canada; and that he should now go into win- 
ter quarters. 

In the middle of January he selected a site 
for a fort, a little below the present site of 
Peoria. Here he erected some small buildings 
and enclosed them with a palisade. His forge 
tools and goods, which had been transported 
to this distant point, were now in requisition. 

The Griffin, as a means of transportation 
from Fort Niagara to the St. Joseph ri\er, 
was one of the main stays of his enterprise, 
and the painful conviction that she was lost 
now preyed upon his hopes. At this point he 
intended to build another vessel, in which to 
descend the Mississippi ; and her equipments 
were to be brought to St. Joseph's in the 
Griffin; her loss, therefore, seemed to threaten 
the ruin of his enterprise. 

In this emergency, he determined to get the 
hull of his proposed vessel well under way, 
and when she was on the stocks to start for 
Fort F'rontenac, at the head of the St. Law- 




rcnce, and travel directly across the country 
to that point, for the purpose of obtaining his 
necessary supplies. In a few weeks the hull 
of a vessel, of forty tons burden, was nearly 
constructed; and, on the secpnd of March, with 
a trusty Indian guide that hehad brought with 
him from Canada, and four Frenchmen, he 
started on his perilous voyage for his distant 
goal. Fort Frontenac. 

At places the progress of their canoes was 
intercepted by sheets of floating ice, through 
which they made their way with the greatest 
difficulty. Reaching the Des I'laines,they found 
the river so blockaded with ice that they 
abandoned their canoes, and started across 
the country for Lake Michigan. They must 
now furnish their own subsistence with their 
guns. The prairie was a mire of slushy snow 
and wet ground, over which they traveled with 
almost superhuman effort. The marshes were 
filled with water, and the soft prairie soil was 
like a saturated sponge. They at last reached 
Lake Michigan, and, traveling on the shore, 
arrived at the fort they had formerly built at 
mouth of the St. Joseph. From this point 
they struck directly acros.s the country in the 
direction of Detroit River. They now found 
an abundance of game, deer, bears and tur- 
keys, which furnished the camp-fire with most 
savory viands; but this territory was infested 
with war-parties of tribes hostile to each other, 
and, one night, while sitting around their 
camp-fire, they were aroused by the war- 
whoop of a party surrounding them. Seizing 
their guns and seeking the shelter of protect- 
ing trees, they awaited the attack; but the 
prowlers, seeing their readiness for a valorous 
resistance, withdrew, and left in peace. 

On reaching Detroit River, they made a raft 
and crossed over to the peninsula, the former 
country of the Hurons, over which they trav- 
eled to a point on Lake Erie, where they made 
a canoe and proceeded to Niagara. Here La 
Salle met some of his men that he had left to 
hold that position, and from them learned 
that he had not only lost the Griffin, but that a 
ship, from France, laden with a valuable cargo 
for him, was wrecked at the mouth of the St. 
Lawrence. Leaving Niagara, he soon reached 
his base. Fort Frontenac, after a journey of 
more than a thousand miles. 

For sixty-four days he had endured hard- 
ships and perils that would put to the severest 
test the courage and fortitude of the bravest; 
and now his goal was reached, only to find his 
enterprise surrounded by difficulties which 
would seem insurmountable to any one but this 
indomitable and unconquerable hero. 

When he left his post on the Illinois River, 

he placed Tonty in charge. He was a man 
after La Salle's own heart; trustworthy and 
brave in the highest degree, and a man of 
education and executive capacity. At Fort 
Frontenac, La Salle received a letter, brought 
to him by messengers from Tonty, informing 
him, that, after his departure, most of the men 
deserted, carrying off the goods that were 
available to them, and destroying much of the 
rest; also destroying the fort and throwing the 
powder that the magazine contained into the 
ri\'er. The vessel was still safe on the stocks, 
and the forge and tools were preserved. 

Tonty, and the few faithful ones who 
remained with him, now took up their abode 
in the great village of the Illinois, which was 
situated near "Starve Rock," on the Illinois 
River. To this place he had conveyed the 
forge and tools, with what goods had been pre- 

Under these disheartening circumstances, 
that would have crushed almost any one else. 
La Salle renewed his efforts for a vigorous 
prosecution of his enterprise. His credit was 
threatened with ruin and his friends hopeless; 
but his courage and confidence never failed 
him, and now he would rebuild his shattered 
enterprise. He rested his hopes on his 
efficient and faithful lieutenant, Tonty, who was 
still spared him. They would hold the point 
they had gained on the Illinois, build and 
equip the vessel and secure the possession of 
the mouth of the Mississippi. 

In August, 1680, he once more embarked 
for the Illinois, taking with him ship-carpenters, 
laborers and voyageurs [courricrs dcs bois), 
twenty-five men in all, with srpplies, goods, 
and the material for rigging and fitting out his 
vessel. After the long journey they arrived 
at the site of the great town of the Illinois; 
but here a sight met them to blanch their 
cheeks with terror. The plain which had been 
formerly covered with Indian Lodges, and 
populous with human life, was now a scene of 
blackened desolation. On the charred skele- 
tons of the wigwams were stuck human skulls. 
The. planting-grounds were laid waste and 
havoc reigned supreme. 

The Iroquois had again taken the war-path. 
They had long enjoyed a profitable trade with 
the Dutch and English traders; fur-bearing 
animals were scarce in their country, and they 
must have recourse to the resources of the 
distant West; and here the French were cutting 
them off. Their cupidity and ambition was 
aroused, and they resolved to invade the terri- 
tory of the Illinois, and either destroy them, 
as they had the Hurons, or make them tribu- 




tary to them; and so become the factors in the 
exchange of their furs with the Dutch. 

La Salle and his companions camped (jn thi.s 
scene of horror, and all nit^ht lont; the wolves, 
attracted by the remains of the carnage, con- 
tinued their dismal howling, which resounded 
far and near. 

They descended the river, passing a number 
of abandoned camps of the Illinois, and also 
the camps of the invading Iroquois. 

At last they reached the site of the fort. The 
works were demolished, but the vessel was 
still on the stocks. After a diligent search for 
Tonty and his companions, in which La Salle 
failed to obtain any intelligence of his where- 
abouts, he retraced his steps and in due 
course of time reached Fort Miami, at the 
mouth of the St. Joseph. Here he found his 
lieutenant. La Forest, and the men he left to 
occupy the post. They had repaired the fort 
and were getting out the timber for a new 
vessel for the lakes. Here he was glad to find 
a little rest and safety. 

It seems that after the destruction of the 
Illinois \illages by the Iroquois, Lieut. Tonty 
and his companions went to Green Bay, where 
they found refuge among a band of Potta- 

La Salle passed the winter at Fort Miami, 
and notwithstanding the last terrible catas- 
trophe which seemed enough to shatter his last 
hope of success, he now conceived a new plan 
for furthering his scheme. Since the Iroquois 
threatened all the western tribes, he would 
now unite with the latter in a common defense, 
and assume the leadership, establishing a cen- 
tral point in the Illinois country. 

Wisconsin and Western Michigan contained 
many remnants of tribes, that had fled there 
from their old homes, on the invasion of the 
Iroquois; these he would rally around him. 
Near Fort Miami were a lot of fugitives from 
the ICnglish colonies; to those he first appealed; 
They gladly embraced the offer. Next came a 
Shawanoe chief from the Ohio with a hundred 
and fifty warriors, who promised to join him 
in the Illinois country. He then with a party 
set out to the village of the Miamis, at" the 
Kankakee portage. Here he found a band of 
marauding Iroquois, who had been putting on 
the air of conquerors, declaring that all the 
tribes were tributary to them, and expressing 
contempt for the French. When La Salle 
unexpectedly appeared with his little armed 
band, and dared them to speak disparagingly 
of the French, they looked shamefaced and 
terrified. The Miamis were astonished at the 
bravery of the ten Frenchmen, which could 
quiet a large war-party of Iroquois; and the 

latter, when night came, fled with all haste 
from the place. 

Here was an auspicious beginning and it was 
peculiarly fortunate that there were other 
Indians in the town from the east; so La Salle 
called a council of these, and promised them a 
new home in the west under his protection, 
where there were the richest planting and hunt- 
ing grounds, and asked them to aid him in 
making peace between the Miamis and the 
Illinois; they promised their concurrence, and 
he called a council of the Miamis. They met in 
the lodge of their chief, and La Salle addressed 

His imposing presence and bold decisive 
manner had great charms for the Indians. He 
was, also, well skilled in forest eloquence and 
understood all the needs and interests of Indian 
life. He urged them to make peace with the 
Illinois, and, under the leadership of the 
French, join in quelling the murderous Iro- 

The result was all he could have wished; 
they acceded to all he requested. 

While on this journey he learned from a 
party of Outagamies, whom they met, that 
Tonty and his companions were at Green Bay; 
this greatly rejoiced him. 

His affairs in Canada now required his pres- 
ence and thither he repaired. On the way he 
met Tonty and his friends at Michilimackinac. 
It was like the meeting of those who had risen 
from the dead; and here La Salle heard 
the particulars of the horrors of the Iroquois 

F'rom this point they all embarked for Fort 
Frontenac, which, after a perilous voyage, they 
reached in safety. 

La Salle's heavy pecuniary losses had involved 
him deeply in debt, and he was greatly dis- 
tressed with his embarrassments; but Count 
F"rontenac and other friends came to his rescue 
and obtained means to appease his creditors, 
and for the further prosecution of his enter- 
prises. In the fall of 1681, he again, with 
a fleet of canoes and supplies, started for the 
St. Joseph River, and duly arrived at F'ort 
Miami, where the little band in occupancy were 
glad to receive him. From here he set out for 
the Illinois River, in the latter part of Decem- 
ber, with Tonty, twenty other men and a 
number of Indians, the whole force numbering 
fifty-four persons. As it was winter, the streams 
were frozen and they dragged their canoes on 
sledges. Below Peoria they found open waters 
and launcning their canoes, descended the 
river to the Mississippi, which they followed 
to its mouth; here La Salle with due ceremony 
took possession in the King's name. 




He now returned to Michilimackinac, intend- 
ing to go to Quebec, but, learning that the 
Iroquois were abouttoagain invade the Illinois, 
he determined to go to their protection, as the 
ravages of the former, if allowed to go 
unchecked, would be ruinous to his hopes. He 
had observed the cliff on the river, now called 
Starve Rock, and this place he selected as a 
site for a fort Hither he repaired with Tonty 
and a force of men. The top of this rock is a 
level surface of about an acre in extent, and is 
over a hundred feet above the level of the 
river. Three sides are perpendicular, and it is 
accessibli^ only from one point. Here on this 
summit they erected buildings and enclosed 
them with a palisade, and called it Fort St. 

The Indian village lying near it, that had been 
depopulated by the Iroquois, was now again 
teeming with life, the Illinois having returned 
to their former home; other tribes had also 
located in the vicinity, and their villages could 
be seen from the fort, around which they had 
gathered for protection, like the retainers of a 
feudal castle. 

The aggregate population of the several 
adjacent Indian villages was about twenty 
thousand, capable of enrolling four thousand 
warriors; these, under the management of 
La Salle, constituted a formidable force, suffi- 
cient to give him control of the country; and 
success at last attended his efforts. But now 
new difficulties assailed him. His friend. 
Count Frontenac, was called to France, through 
the intrigues of rivals in the fur trade, who 
considered La Salle and Frontenac's enterprise 
for opening up an outlet at the mouth of the 
Mississippi, and the establishmentofthe central 
post on the Illinois, as a monopoly, endanger- 
ing the commercial prosperity of the colonies 
on the St. Lawrence. 

La Barre was commissioned as Governor- 
General of New France. He was surrounded 
by the enemies of La Salle, and he at once 
began to thwart the efforts of the latter, by 
withholding needful men and supplies. 

In this direful emergency there was no alter- 
native other than for La Salle to at once repair 
to France, and appeal to the King for an 
enlargement of his authority. He therefore 
went thither, and ably seconded by Count 
Frontenac, related to the crown his achieve- 
ments, and the great advantages which would 
enure to France through the success of his 
scheme. His diplomacy was highly successful, 
md La Salle's lieutenant of Fort Frontenac, 
who had been ejected and was now in France, 
was dispatched by the King to Canada, with 
orders instructing La Barre to at once surren- 

der to him the possession of Fort Frontenac 
and Fort St. Louis. The King also wrote a 
letter to La Barre, in which he severely repri- 
manded him for his conduct. 

La Salle was now furnished with four vessels, 
and all the needful supplies for a colony at the 
mouth of the Mississippi. He embarked with 
a large number of persons including several 
families. In due time they entered the Gulf 
of Mexico, but sailing too far westward missed 
the mouth of the river. After a fruitless search 
La Salle determined to land at the Bay now 
called Matagorda, in Texas, and search for the 
river by an overland route. 

After sounding for a passage over the bar , 
at the entrance to the bay, one of the vessels got 
underway. La Salle who had formerly landed 
with a party of men, was standing on the 
shore watching her, when one of the men 
approached him, with the information that a 
party of Indians had just attacked him and his 
companions, who were felling trees, and that 
they had taken several of them prisoners. In 
this emergency he must act promptly; so taking 
a few of his men, he proceeded in haste to the 
Indian camp, a few miles distant, where he 
found fifty lodges. As he reached the camp 
he heard the report of a cannon, which paral- 
yzed the Indians with fear. It was to him a 
sound ofill-omen; he turned his eyes in the direc- 
tion of the vessels. The Aimable was furling 
sails; she had struck on the reef, and, as she 
was laden with the principal stores for the 
colony, he felt overwhelmed with distress at 
her probable loss. He dashed into the chief's 
lodge and peremptorily demanded the restora- 
tion of his men. The frightened Indians, 
impressed with his fearless manner, at once 
delivered the prisoners and loaded them with 
buffalo meat, when they returned to their 
camp. On their arrival, the Aimable was 
careened on the reef, and the sea was breaking 
over her. A lot of gunpowder and flour was 
safely transported to the shore, but the wind 
increasing to a gale, broke the vessel up, and 
her precious freight soon strewed the shore. 
The Indians came in swarms, intent on pillage; 
but all night the colonists guarded their injured 
goods, the sentinels walking their dreary rounds 
till morning. 

On the voyage a hostile feeling had sprung 
up between La Salle and the naval commander; 
and the latter, having landed the colonists, 
now determined to return to France. He set 
sail, and they were left in an unknown land. 

The situation was desolate, but they set to 
work to make the best of it. A rude fortifica- 
tion was made, and a few huts erected; and 
here were huddled together a band of 




dejected men and women, surrounded by 
hordes of savages that they must resist at every 
step of their progress. 

The Mississippi now must be found at all 
hazards. It was their only way of communica- 
tion with friends. In fact, their only hope of 
prolonged life. La Salle, therefore, at once 
commenced his explorations. On one of his 
trips he found a more favorable location for a 
temporary refuge for his colony, on a small 
river which entered the Bay, and thither he 
removed it. On this site buildings were 
erected and enclosed with palisades. Their 
animals were provided with pasturage, and 
then ground was prepared and seed sown. 

The adjacent country abounded in game; 
deer, buffalo, turkeys, waterfowland partridges 
were without end, and they shot them at their 
pleasure. The waters of the river and bay 
were well stocked with fish and turtle; so their 
larder was well supplied. 

In November, La Salle, accompanied with 
thirty men, started in search of the great river. 
For months they traversed the plains and 
water courses of Texas, encountering hostile 
tribes through which they had to fight their 
way; but the search was fruitless, and they 
returned to the fort in a sad plight, wearied 
and in rags. To add to their misfortunes, 
their only remaining vesse', the Little Belle, 
was wrecked in coasting along the shore. 

In this emergency. La Salle determined on 
the desperate expedient of a trip to the Illinois 
and Canada, as a means of obtaining succor 
for his colonists and of communication with 
their friends. He, therefore, set out, with 
twenty others, on the long and hazardous jour- 
ney. They would have to be self-sustaining — 
forage their way. So each one, with a pack 
on his back, bid adieu to those who were left 
behind, and took up the line of march. After 
six months' absence, La Salle appeared at the 
fort, having again failed to reach the Missis- 
sippi, by which he intended to travel to the 
Illinois. Only eight of the twenty men that 
went with him returned. They had lived two 
months in an Indian village, where La Salle 
and some of the others were prostrated with a 
fever. The little colony was now in the 
extremest despondency. Of their whole num- 
ber onl)' forty odd were remaining; disease 
and the Indians were rapidly depleting their 
thinned ranks. The journey to Canada was 
imperative, and La Salle again took his depar- 
ture. It was a sad parting, and foreshadowed 
in its ominous presentiments the terrible calam- 
ities that were to befall them. 

In their company were two or three desper- 
adoes, who had formerly been guilty of 

mutinous conduct; and, after having been on 
the route for some weeks, they quarreled with 
some other members of the party, about the 
division of some buffalo meat, and, in a fit of 
revengeful passion, killed three of the party. 
It seems that a number had left the main camp 
on a buffalo hunt. Not appearing in due 
time. La Salle went in pursuit, apprehending 
some evil, and found the murderers skulking 
and endeavoring to hide from him. As he 
drew near, he asked for the missing ones, and 
received an insolent answer from one of them; 
he stepped forward to chastise him, when 
two shots were fired by parties in the grass, 
and La Salle dropped dead. The travels and 
enterprises of the great explorer of oui West- 
ern wilds was ended. 

One of the desperadoes, Duhaut, then 
assumed command of the camp. In a few 
days they packed their goods on their horses, 
and started for the Cenis villages. Among 
the party was a friar, and a brother and nephew 
of LaSalle; the latter only seventeen years of 
age. These, with two or three others, who 
were attached to their leader, were inconsol- 
able and heart-broken with grief, and expected 
from day to day to be assassinated; as it was 
evident that the mutinous crew, who were 
now in power, intended to live among the 
Indians. Arriving at the Cenis village, they 
entered into trade with the Indians, and here 
they found two men who had formerly deserted 
from La Salle, living among the sa\ages; hav- 
ing adopted the dress and mode of life of the 
latter. Here the desperadoes quarreled with 
each other about a di\ision of the plunder; 
some having determined to remain with the 
Indians, and others intending to go to the 
fort, with the intention of building a vessel 
with which to cruise to the West Indies. 

One of them, a German named Heins, drew 
his pistol and fired at Duhaut, who fell dead. 

Another, at the same moment, shot three 
balls into the body of Liotot. The death of 
these two left tWc faithful few in the majority; 
so, obtaining guides from the Cenis Indians, 
they started for the Mississippi. Reaching 
the Arkansas, they were descending that 
stream, when they were gladdened by the 
sight of a tall, wooden cross, and a small hut 
near it. They approached, and were raptur- 
ously welcomed by twt) men, whom Tonty, 
ever thoughtful, had sent out in search of La 
Salle. With them they journeyed to the Illi- 
nois and arrived at the Fort on Starve Rock 
in September, 1687. 

Tonty was absent, engaged in an encounter 
with the ubiquitous Iroquois, who had again 
taken the war-path. 




After a long sojourn, the survivors of La 
Salle's band started for Quebec, where they 
arrived in safety, after making one of the most 
perilous journeys on record. 

Tonty made an attempt to reach the aban- 
doned colony in Texas, for the purpose of 
removing them to the Mississippi, but failed; 
and shortly afterward a Spanish cruiser, 
stopping at Matagorda Bay, the crew 
ascended the river and discovered the 
neglected dwellings and ruined palisades of 
the French fort; but no human sound was 
heard. All was as silent as the grave, and 
desolation reigned supreme. At an Indian 
camp, near by, the Spaniards found two Indians 
who spoke French. They were deserters 
from LaSalle, and from them learned that the 
Indians had massacred the entire colony. Thus 
ended the first attempt at colonization on the 

In the meantime, the Missions, forts and 
trading-posts at Green Bay and Michilimacki- 
nac, surrounded by friendly Indians, were in a 
prosperous condition and in uninterrupted 
communication with Quebec. 


)tennepin Explores the Upper Mississippi — Captured by the 
Soiux and Taken to Their Country — His Rescue and 
Arrival at Green Bay. 

HEN La Salle made his first journey 
to the Illinois, in 1680, he sent Hen- 
nepin to explore the upper Missis- 
^i sippi. This intrepid and adventur- 
ous traveler, with his canoe well 
laden with presents for the Indians, 
and with two companions, started on his voy- 
age. They kill deer and wild turkeys, which 
are plentiful, and proceed pleasantly up the 
great river, charmed with the beautiful and 
fertile country. At one of their camping 
places, while repairing their canoe — Henne- 
pin engaged in daubing on the pitch — his 
nostrils regaled with the savory smell of a wild 
turkey that is roasting before the fire — a fleet 
of canoes suddenly appear, containing a war 
party of Sioux, numbering over a hundred. 
With yells, they paddled for the shore, and 
quickly surrounded the surprised Frenchmen. 
Hennepin presented the peace-pipe, but one of 
them rudely snatched it from him. Then he 
made an offer of tobacco, which was more 
agreeably received. After some further dem- 
onstrations, the Indians compelled them to 
embark and cross the river, where they 

encamped, allowing the French to make their 
own camp-fire and cook their turkey. 

The warriors then seated themselves in a 
circle to consider what disposal to make of the 
prisoners. One of them signed to Hennepin 
that his head was to be split with a hatchet. 
This was an intimation that presents might 
avert the threatened calamity. Hennepin 
therefore, hastened to appease his captors by 
taking from his canoe several articles highly 
prized by Indians, and presented them, while 
at the same time he bent his head to receive 
the blow and offered a hatchet. His compli- 
ance seemed to satisfy them, and they gave 
him and his companions some beaver meat. 
The Indians were of divided councils; some 
in favor of killing them and taking their goods; 
others, desirous of encouraging French traders . 
to come among them to supply their wants, 
were in favor of treating them kindly. In the 
morning they were greatly relieved by a young 
warrior asking them for the peace-pipe, which 
was gladly given, when he filled it, smoked it, 
and passed it to another, who did the same; 
and thus it passed from hand to hand through 
the whole assemblage. They then informed 
their captives that they intended to return to 
their homes, and that they must accompany 
them. This exactly comported with their 
desires, as they would now have the protection 
of a band of friendly Indians. But in the 
morning, when the friar opened his breviary 
and began to repeat his devotions, they gath- 
ered around him and manifested their super- 
stitious fears of the book, which they thought 
was a bad spirit, that he was invoking to 
destroy them. He was therefore obliged to 
resort to the expediency of singing the services, 
which seemed to gratify them, as they sup- 
posed he was singing for their pleasure. 

Day after day they paddled up the river, 
camping on the shores and occasionally stop- 
ping for a hunt, which never failed to give 
them a bountiful supply of provisions. 

After nineteen days they arrived at the site 
of St. Paul, and here theirsorrows commenced. 
As the Indians belonged to different bands, 
each claimed a share of the captives and of their 
goods. They succeeded, however, in amicably 
dividing the spoils, and started across the 
country for their villages near Mille Lac. They 
travelled with such speed that it was torture 
to keep up with them, and as they swam 
the large streams, Hennepin suffered much 
from immersion in the cold waters. He was 
also nearly famished with hunger, receiving 
from them only a small bit of smoked meat 
twice a day; but the rations were the same as 
their own. On the fifth day of March they 




reached an Indian town, and Hennepin was in 
a village of the Sioux. Here they were feasted, 
and afterwards the debate was renewed about 
the distribution of the captives. This being 
settled, they were compelled to part company; 
Hennepin fell to the lot of an old chief, who 
adopted him as his son, and whom he accom- 
panied to his village; here he was well treated, 
and as they perceived that he was weak after 
his exhaustive travels, they made for him 
a sweat bath, where they steamed him 
three times a week, and which he thinks was 

In the summer a large body of the Indians 
went on a buffalo hunt, Hennepin and his two 
companions accompanying them. While on 
this hunt, he induced his captors to permit him 
to start for the mouth of the Wisconsin, where 
he expected to meet some French traders, with 
goods for the Indians. He was furnished with 
a canoe, and Du Gay accompanied him. On 
this trip he discovered the Falls of St. Anthony, 
which he named, and where he saw a number 
of Indians making their votive offering to the 
Spirit of the Waters. Sometimes they were 
short of food. At one time while Du Gay was 
in pursuit of buffalo, Hennepin, who had a 
large turtle in his charge, discovered that his 
canoe had floated off; turning the turtle on his 
back he covered it with his habit, on which he 
placed a number of stones, and plunged into 
the river in pursuit of the canoe, which he 
recovered and brought safely to the shore; 
shortly after, a herd of buffalo approached the 
shore, when DuGay killed a young cow, which 
replenished their larder. 

As they were reduced to ten charges of 
powder, they would run the risk of starvation 
if they attempted to reach Green Bay by the 
Wisconsin. There was no alternative, but for 
them to join a hunting-party of Sioux, who 
were not far off; they did so and while with 
them met five Frenchmen, near St. Anthony's 
Falls. It was Du Lhut and a party oi courier 
de bois, engaged in the fur trade and now 
commissioned by p-rontenac to establish friendly 
relations between the Sioux and a kindred 
tribe, and to explore the Upper Mississippi. 

In the fall, this party having satisfactorily 
arranged their business, started for Green Bay; 
Hennepin and his companions in captivity 
accompanying them, which place they reached 
in safet)'. 


War Between the French and English Colonies — The Aggres- 
sors — Destruction of Port Royal — Terrible Massacre of 
English Settlers on the Frontier — Frontinae Ravages the 
Iroquois Country — That Nation Sues for Peace with the 
French — Detroit Founded — The French in Possession of 
the Country from the St. Lawrence to the Uulf of Mexico. 

^T is not within the province of a work of 
this kind, to discuss the European com- 
plications, which were partly the cause of 
the war between the French and English 
colonies in North America; a war which 
exposed the innocent and defenseless 
frontier settlers of both colonies to all the 
horrors of savage warfare; but those subjects 
of the strife, involving historical events in the 
Northwest, are very pertinent to our present 
inquiries, and will be briefly considered. 

It has been shown in the preceeding pages, 
how the daring enterprise of the French com- 
menced the settlement of the Northern part of 
the country, prior to any other people. In 
the language of Farkman: "Long before the 
ice-coated pines of Plymouth had listened to 
the rugged psalmody of the Puritans, the soli- 
tudes of Western New York and the shaddowy 
wilderness of Lake Huron were trodden by 
the iron heel of the soldier and the sandalled 
foot of the Franciscan friar. France was the 
true pioneer of the Great West. They who 
bore the Fletir de lis were always in the van, 
patient, daring, indomitable; and foremost on 
this bright roll of forest-chivalry, stands the 
half-forgotten name oi Saiiiiiel de Cliainplain." 
The French, as has been shown, endeavored 
to peaceably occupy the country conjointly 
with the Indians, and to raise the savages from 
the depths of barbarous brutality to the plane 
of Christian and civilized morals; to release 
them from the terrible tribal wars that were 
continually desolating the land with their 
ravages, and to unite them in the blessed bonds 
of peace and brotherly amit)-. Their efforts 
were peaceful, benign and nobly magnani- 
mous, and furnish, at least, one chapter in 
the cruel history of the world that sheds a 
luster reflected from the nobler and better 
qualities of the human heart. 

Seventy years after Jaques Cartier and 
Roberval's attempted colonization on the St. 
Lawrence, we find a little French colony at 
Anapolis, Nova Scotia (then called Acadia). 
There were then no other civilized beings on 
the continent north, of the Spanish possessions 
in Florida. 

The little colony peacefully occupying their 
new possessions, and enjoying the friendship 
of the Indians, lived for several years in the 
greatest tranquility. They cleared up and cul- 




tivated large tracts of ground. The bountiful 
waters yielded an ample supply of fish, and 
the forests abounded in game. The beautiful 
Bay of Anapolis and its charming slopes of 
verdure, with its cozy little hamlet, was a scene 
of peaceful content. They joined the Indians 
in hunting and fishing parties, and the lodges 
of the latter were always found in neighborly 
proximity to their white friends. The weather 
was so mild in the winter of 1607, that Lescar- 
bot says: "I remember that on the fourteenth 
day of January, on a Sunday afternoon, we 
amused ourselves with singing and music, on 
the river Equille, and that in the same month 
we went to see the wheat-fields, two leagues 
from the fort, and dined merrily in the sun- 
shine. " 

But this peaceful scene was now to be con- 
verted into one of havoc and desolation. One 
Samuel Argall, commander of a large English 
armed vessel, the same who afterward treacher- 
ously kidnapped Pocahontas, after she had 
saved the life of Smith, suddenly appeared in 
the harbor of Anapolis. She carried fourteen 
guns and sixty men, and was accompanied by 
two other small vessels which she had formerly 
captured from the French, and was now sent 
by the Governor of Virginia, who claimed the 
territory as a British possession. The invasion 
was unauthorized by every law of nations; for 
the two powers were at peace, and the French 
had been in possession long before the English 
had a settlement in America. 

The settlement at Port Royal was tenantless 
when Argall's ships sailed into the harbor. 
Biencourt, the Commander, with a number of 
his men, was at the village of a neighboring 
tribe. The balance of the men were reaping 
their harvest in the fields, two leagues from the 

The assailants found no one to resist them. 
They first captured the animals and killed them, 
carrying the carcasses on board the- ships. 
They then plundered the fort and buildings, 
and afterwards applied the torch, laying the 
whole in ashes. They then went in boats up 
the river, and destroyed the grain fields. 

They were re-embarking when Biencourt 
and his small band arrived on the scene of 
destruction. Although largely outnumbered, 
he tried to lure Argall and his followers to the 
shore, but his efforts were vain. His word of 
honor being given, an interview was obtained. 
Biencourt, who was a young man, raved 
furiously, and threatened future reprisal on the 

The following spring, Poutrincourt, the 
founder of the colony, came to Port Royal 
(Anapolis) and found Biencourt and his men 

houseless in the forests. They had endured 
great privations through the winter, sustaining 
life frequently for days at a time on roots dug 
in the woods. 

Port Royal was rebuilt and again occupied 
by the French. This was the beginning of the 
strife between the French and English. The 
latter were the aggressors again, in the capture 
of Quebec, when it was in a most forlorn and 
defenseless condition, and surrendered by 
Champlain and his little half-starved band. 
But this rapacious power was obliged to disa- 
vow the acts of its agents, and restore the con- 
trol of the country to its lawful posessors. 
The continued aggressions of the English Gov- 
ernment at last involved the colonies in war, 
which resulted in the expulsion of the Acadians 
from what is now Nova Scotia. One of the 
most merciless and malignantly cruel acts 
recorded in history, and of which Bancroft 
says: "I know not if the annals of the human 
race keep the record of sorrows so wantonly 
inflicted, so bitter and perrennial as fell upon 
the French inhabitants of Acadia. " This piti- 
ful event is the theme of Longfellow's beautiful 
poem, Evangeline. 

The two great powers that attempted to 
hold this continent as a fuedal dependency, 
were both destined to lose the prize they 
grasped at; for the very forces which England 
invoked to assist her, viz., the English colonies, 
were the mixed races inhabiting the sea coast; 
and if these, through superior numbers and 
resources, did overcome the French, it was not 
that the flag of St. George might wave trium- 
phant, but that it should be supplanted by the 
new banner representing a free people; a flag 
which France helped to crown with victory at 
the glorious battle of Yorktown. If the Finer 
dc lis had to yield its supremacy in America, 
and bend to remorseless destiny, it was not to 
see the flag of its hated rival take its place, but 
it was to be gloriously associated forever with 
the great event which gave birth to a mighty 

In the struggle between the French and the 
English colonies, the French labored under 
such disadvantages that the result of the con- 
test could not be doubtful. Bancroft declares: 
"If the issue had depended on the condition of 
the colonies, it could hardly have seemed 
doubtful. The French census for the North 
American continent in 1688 showed but eleven 
thousand two hundred and forty-nine; scarcely 
a tenth part of the English population on its 
frontiers. " 

The aim of the French to preserve peace 
between the Indian nations had been thwarted 
from the very beginning of their occupation of 




the country, by the Iroquois, and the French 
had largely exhausted their energies and 
resources in endeavors to suppress those ene- 
mies to peace, and in protecting the other 
nations. They had been partially successful 
and several times had brought that war-like 
nation to submission; and now all of their work 
was to be overthrown, by the English making 
an alliance with the Iroquois, and furnishing 
them with arms and means to resist the French 
and the Algonquin allies of the latter. In the 
vast territory to be guarded, there were only 
three or four defensive posts west of Montreal. 
Those were Forts Frontenac, Niagara, St. 
Louis, on Starve Rock, in the Illinois countr)-, 
St. Ignace, near Mackinaw, and the Mission 
at Green Bay. 

The English had sent the secret wampum 
belt, not only to the Iroquois, but their emmis- 
saries had passed as far west as our Fox River, 
and tampered with the troublesome Foxes and 
Sauks, the only Algonquin tribes against which 
the French ever waged war. It was expected 
by the English, that through the instrumentality 
of the Foxes, a league might be effected with 
the other nations of the West; but the attempt 
failed, and the other Algonquin nations 
remained the steadfast friends of the French. 
The desperate situation of the French was not 
only discouraging, but seemed absolutely 
hopeless. They did not number one-tenth of 
the compact population of the English colonies, 
which were comparatively safe, except on the 
frontier, while the French were exposed on all 
points, except at Quebec and Montreal. 

On the twenty-fifth of August, 1689, fifteen 
hundred Iroquois, well armed, secreted them- 
selves, dui ing the night, on the Isle of Mont- 
real, and at daybreak attacked La Chine. The 
inhabitants were awakened by the noisy war- 
whoop, whose ominous sound foretold their 
fearful doom. The houses were set on fire, 
and a general slaughter ensued, in which 
neither age, sex or condition was spared. In 
an hour over two hundred were massacred 
and the place reduced to ashes. They next 
attacked Montreal, and, after a struggle, 
obtained possession of the fort, and became 
masters of the island. 

In this emergency, a band of brothers, De 
Sainte Helene and D'Iberville, came to the 
rescue. They distinguished themselves through 
marvelous exploits and heroic adventures that 
have made their names famous. In 1686 they 
had conquered the English posts from Fort 
Rupert to Albany River; and now, at the head 
of a force of P"rench and Indians, they marched 
for the English settlements. Cocheco was 
first reached. At this point, thirteen years 

before some three hundred Indians had been 
treacherously captured by the English, and 
shipped to Boston, where they were sold into 
foreign slavery. The memory of this wrong 
rankled in the breasts of the remainder of the 
nation, and they were eager for revenge. As 
usual, in such instances, the innocent, 
unoffending frontier settlers suffered for the 
atrocious wrong done by the guilty parties. 

The settlers at this point were all slain or 
captured. The stockade at Pemaquid, on 
the Penobscot, next captured, and the Indians, 
dividing into war-parties, scoured the country, 
and mercilessly massacred the English settlers. 

In September, commissioners from New 
England met the Mohawks in council, for the 
purpose of perfecting the alliance between 
them. The Indians boasted of their service- 
able achievements in behalf of the English. 
"We have burned Montreal," they said; "we 
are allies of the English and will keep the chain 
unbroken. " 

A party of a hundred P"rench and Indians 
after twenty days travel reached the vicinity of 
Schenectady. At midnight they stealthily 
entered the picketed enclosure, and the sleep- 
ing inhabitants were awakened by the yells of 
the invaders. A dreadful scene of massacre 

" The party from Three Rivers, led by Hertel, and consist- 
ing of but fifty-two persons, of whom three were his sons, and 
two his nephews, surprised the settlement at Salmon Falls, on 
the Piscataqua, and, after a bloody engagement, burned house; 1 
barns, and cattle in the stalls, and took fifty-four prisoners, 
chiefly women and children. The prisoners were laden by the 
victors with spoils from their own houses. Robert Rogers 
rejecting his burden, was bound by the Indians to a tree, and 
dry leaves kindled about him, yet in such heaps as would burn 
but slowly. Mary Furguson, a girl of fifteen, burst into tears 
from fatigue, and was scalped forthwith. Mehetabel Goodwin 
would linger apart in the snow to lull her infant to sleep, lest 
its cries should provoke the savages: angry at the delay, her 
master struck the child against a tree, and hung it among the 
branches. The infant of Mary Plaisted was thrown into the 
river, that, eased of her burden, she might walk faster. " 

" While the people of New England and New York were 
concerting the grand enterprise of the reduction of Canada, the 
French had, by their successes, inspired the savages with 
respect, and renewed their intercourse with the West But, in 
August, Montreal became alarmed. An Indian announced that 
an army of Iroquois and English was busy in constructing 
canoes on Lake George ; and immediately Frontenac himself 
placed the hatchet in the hands of his allies, and, with the 
tomahawk in his own grasp, old as he was, chanted the war- 
song, and danced the wac-dance." — Bancroft. 

Military expeditions were now fitted out 
in New England and sent to Canada, and a 
large fleet from Boston started to aid in the 
reduction of Quebec. These were repulsed, 


1 699] 



and the English colonies, found themselves 
even unable to defend their own frontier. Their 
borders were scenes of sorrows, horrors, cap- 
tivity and death. The heart sickens in the 
contemplation of the terrible massacres of the 
defenseless settlers. 

The Algonquins were e.xasperated at the 
former treachery and bad treatment they had 
received at the hands of the English author- 
ities. From Virginia to Acadia, the Indians 
regarded the English with implacable hatred. 
The kidnapping of Pocahontas by Argall; his 
destruction of Port Royal; the treacherous 
capture of friendly Indians by the hundred, for 
the purpose of selling them into foreign slavery, 
and the many wrongs they had sustained, 
rankled in their breasts as bitter memories. 

It must be remembered, too, that the Indian 
is a bloodthirsty savage, in time of war, who 
neitherasks nor grants quarter. He is a bitter, 
relentless foe, with neither pity nor remorse. 

The French have been censured by some 
writers, for the atrocities committed by their 
Indian allies; but it ought to be remembered 
that the course of the French had been peace- 
ful up to the time of the aggressions of the 
English, and that the French forces did not 
number one-tenth of those of the English; 
that the latter first instigated the Indians to 
make war on the French, and armed the 
Iroquois, preparatory to their massacre of 
La Chine. 

The French were, therefore, compelled to 
have recourse to their Indians allies, as a 
means of self-defense. There is no question 
that the English authorities, knowing the 
defenseless situation of the French, the paucity 
of their numbers, the weakened condition of 
the Algonquin allies, and the formidable power 
of the Iroquois, which threatened them at 
every point, believed that they could make an 
easy conquest of the whole French possessions. 
That they did not do so, under such circum- 
stances, must be a wonder to every discrimin- 
ating reader of the history of that struggle. 

The policy of England was the conquest 
of New France, and then the extermination of 
the Indians. 

English historians, in commenting bitterly on 
the conduct of the French, seem perfectly obliv- 
ious of the fact, that after England's conquest 
of the country, through the valorand enterprise 
of the mixed races who inhabited the English 
colonies, and who suffered untold miseries and 
horrors, on account of the perfidy and incom- 
petency of their aristocratic rulers, she next 
attempted to subject them to her unjust 
demands; and when they resisted her tyran- 
nous authority, she set the Indians upon her 

own people, in the frontier settlements, even 
offering bounties for their scalps. 

Having defeated the English and driven in 
the frontier settlers, Frontenac next turned his 
attention to the Iroquois. La Motte Cadillac, 
Governorat Michilimakinac, had, at the head of 
the Chippewas, Pottawattamies and Ottawas, 
made avigorousresistance to the Iroquois, in the 
West, routing them at all points, and driving 
their marauding bands out of the country; and 
now, that the English had been repulsed, the 
French, as victors, were e.xalted in their eyes. 
Frontenac, therefore, resolved to pursue his 
advantage, and teach them a lasting lesson. 
At the head of a large body of French and 
Indians, he marched for the country of the 
F'ive Nations. He was at this time seventy- 
four years of age, but he conducted the army 
in person. F'rom Fort Frontenac he proceeded 
to Oswego, and ascended the river; arriving at 
the rapids, the canoes were carried over the 
portage at night by torch-light. The next day 
they found the Indian defiance — two bundles 
of reeds suspended in a tree — signifying that 
fourteen hundred warriors defied them. When 
they reached the villages of the Onondagas it 
was night. The inhabitants, on their approach, 
applied the torch, and the invaders witnessed 
the conflagration of the village. The Iroquois 
fled in all directions, and the invading army 
ravaged the country, destroying the growing 
crops and taking many prisoners. The army 
then returned to Montreal. The Indians had 
been humbled, and left to suffer from the effects 
of famine. They were now experiencing 
some of the evils they -had so mercilessly 
inflicted on their Algonquin neighbors. 

By the year 1700, the Five Nations were 
glad to seek for peace. They sent envoys to 
Montreal, "to weep for the French who had 
died in the war, "and a treaty of peace and alli- 
ance was concluded. 

In 1701 , LaMotte Cadillac, with onehundred 
Frenchmen, built a fort and trading-post at 
Detroit, and took possession of the beautiful 
surrounding country. Two years previous to 
this, D'Iberville set sail for the mouth of the 
Mississippi, at which place he subsequently 
established a colony. 

The French were now in the possession of 
the country from the St. Lawrence to the Gulf 
of Mexico, and the trade with the Northwest, 
through the lakes and rivers was uninterrupted. 





The Fox River and Lake Winnebago Country — Traders and 
Voyageurs— Heautiful Scenery — The Busy Channel of 
Aboriginal and Frontier Life, Trade and Travel — Game 
and Fur-bearing Animals — Here Occurred the First Inter- 
course Between the Indians of the West and the Whites — 
Captain Jonathan Carver at Doty Island, in 1766 — Loca- 
tion of the Several Indian Nations — The Hostile Sau1<s and 
Foxes — Siege of Big Buttes des Morts, by De Louvigny, 
in 1716 — Official Account of the Expedition from the 
Archives of France — De Lignery's Expedition to the Fox 
River, and Lake of the Winnebagoes — Official Documents 
from the French Archives, Relative lo Affairs in the Fox 

sHE Fo.x River country had now become 
the initial point in the traffic and travel 
of the Northwest. The traders and 
voyageurs were generally mere birds of 
passage, leading like the natives a 
nomadic life, which was but a slight modifica- 
tion of the aboriginal. The whole country 
bordering these great water-courses, from 
Green Bay to the far-off land of the Dacotahs, 
on the one hand, and the Spanish possessions 
on the other, was their home. They set out 
in their canoes from Green Bay to make voyages 
to distant lands, like vessels sailing for foreign 
countries, and that place became the great 
point of Western travel, and the first perma- 
nent habitation of civilized man in the North- 

These pioneers, after traveling from Michili- 
mackinac, along the dreary coast e.xtending 
from the straits to Green Bay, were enamored, 
after entering the Lower Fo.x, with the beau- 
tiful scenery of that broad river, which, from 
its mouth to Lake Winnebago, is a succession 
of lovely views; its high sloping banks, in some 
places quite open, in others covered with a 
dense forest; the river for distances sweeping 
along in placid flow, and at some points foam- 
ing and tearing along in rapids and falls, which 
in one place are over half a mile in width. 
The head of the river is divided by a large 
island at the outlet of the lake; the present 
beautiful site of the manufacturing cities of 
Neenah and Menasha. Here the broad waters 
of Lake Winnebago break on the view, stretch- 
ing away as far as the eye can reach. 

A few miles travel along its shores, and the 
great prairie and opening country of the West 
is reached. Here is the beginning of the beau- 
tiful tract now known as Winnebago County. 
Its broad rivers and lovely lakes, the pic- 
turesque surface, with its distant views of rolling 
prairie, like vast, smooth, grassy lawns, inter- 
spersed with groves and stretches of dense 
forest; the rank, lu.xuriant vegetation of its 
fertile soil; and the vastness of that great agri- 
cultural territory which stretches from here 
away to the South and West, for an almost 

illimitable distance, in all the wild loveliness of 
a state of nature, formed a scene well calcu- 
lated to inspire the grandest emotions and the 
most glowing visions of the future civilized 
development of this favored region. 

Here was the great, busy channel of frontier 
and aboriginal life, trade and travel. The 
abundance of game, fish and fur-bearing ani- 
mals, the wild rice which grew luxuriantly in 
the shallow portion of its waters, the rich, 
warm soil of its planting-grounds, its facilities 
for canoe-travel, and the easy portages between 
the great water-courses, made it the center of 
Indian population, and one of the chief seats 
of Indian diplomacy and power. Here dwelt 
some of the most powerful tribes of the Sacs, 
Foxes or Outagamies, Winnebagoes and 
Menominees, and their noted chieftains, famous 
in Indian song and legend. On these lakes 
and river-banks were the picturesque sites of 
their villages and planting-grounds, their coun- 
cil fires and war-dances; and here occurred 
great tribal wars and some of the most sangui- 
nary conflicts of Indian warfare, in their strug- 
with a race which was destined to supplant 

Here the first intercourse took place between 
the two races in the west; and here the French- 
men met the diplomats of the Indian tribes to 
form treaties of alliance to facilitate that 
nomadic traffic which pioneered the earlier civili- 
zation of the country; and here, for a century 
and a half, the two races mingled alternateh^ 
in friendly intercourse or deadly conflict. 

Captain Jonathan Carver, of the English 
army, ascended the Fo.x River in 1766. Arriv- 
ing at the Island, now the site of Neenah and 
Menasha, he found a great Indian town — 
Winnebagos. The tribe was ruled by a queen, 
who received him with great civility and enter- 
tained him sumptuously during the four days 
he lemained there. "The town contained fifty 
houses. The land," he says, "was very fertile; 
grapes, plums, and other fruits grew abund- 
antly. The Indians raised large quantities of 
Indian corn, beans, pumpkins, squashes, 
watermelons and some tobacco." On the 
Wisconsin River he foi)nd the largest and best 
built Indian town he ever saw. "It contained 
about ninety houses, each large enough for 
several families, built of hewn planks, neatly 
jointed, and covered so completely with bark 
as to keep out the most penetrating rains. * * 
The streets were both regular and spacious, 
appearing more like a civilized town than the 
abode of savages. The land was rich, and 
corn, beans and melons were raised in large 
quantities. " 

Many of the planting-grounds on the banks 




of the lakes were lovely spots, and in the corn- 
husking time, or in the wild-rice harvest, when 
multitudes of canoes were engaged in gather- 
ing the grain, presented a cheerful scene. 

The voyageur's camping-ground was fre- 
quently adjoining; and many a festive summer 
night has echoed with the song and mirth of 
the backwoods frolic, in which both races have 
enjoyably participated. 

An Indian summer scene on these lakes, 
when nature was garlanded in all the gorgeous 
colors of her autumnal beauty, was an enchant- 
ing sight. The weird-like hush, the softened 
outlines and shadows, the distant vistas fading 
in the hazy air, the reflections in the placid 
waters of the flitting figures in the silently 
gliding canoe, and the picturesque groups of 
wigwams on the banks, all mingled harmon- 
iously in the exquisite picture. 

The wild-rice, which grew spontaneously in 
the shallow waters, in tracts of a thousand 
acres, or more, in a place, furnished great 
quantities of nutritious food. When this 
grain was ripe, the squaws paddled their 
canoes into it, and, bending the stalks in 
bunches over the canoe, threshed off the grain 
by beating it with small sticks, the kernels, of 
course, falling in the bottom of the canoe, 
which, when loaded, was paddled to the place 
of deposit on the shore, and the process 
repeated until the harvest was gathered. The 
grain grew so abundantly that it was a staple 
article of food with the Indians inhabiting this 
section ; hence the name Menominees ( wild 
rice men). 

Myriads of wild water-fowl frequent these 
rice marshes; deer and other wild animals con- 
gregate around these lakes and rivers, and 
the waters abound in fish, among which is the 
sturgeon, generally weighing from fifty to a 
hundred pounds — a valuable fish for food, 
its flesh being very thick and rich — great q-uan- 
tities of which are captured in the season of 
running up the streams. White and black 
bass and pike are also plentiful. 

The soil ofthe planting-grounds was very fer- 
tile, and corn, beans and squash were raised 
with comparatively little labor; and the maple 
forests yielded them a supply of sugar. It 
was, therefore, a land of plenty for the Indian 
— an aboriginal paradise. But their improvi- 
dence and wretched habits of indolence often 
j induced great suffering and want, which was 
frequently aggravated by tribal wars. 

When the French first came to this country, 
the Indians of this vicinity were the Mascou- 
tins, on the Upper Fox; their village occupy- 
ing the site of Buttes des Morts (Hills ofthe 
Dead); the Winnebagoes, inhabiting the tract 

south ofthe Upper Fox, and also what is now 
Doty's Island and the site of Menasha and its 
vicinity. The Ou-ta-ga-mies, or Foxes, at the 
foot of Lake Winnebago, and on the Lower 
Fox, their principal village on the western 
shore of Little Buttes dcs Morts, near the site 
of Neenah; the Sauks at the mouth of the 
Lower Fox, and the Menominees (wild rice 
eaters) occupying the tract from the mouth of 
the Lower Fox to the Menominee, and the 
land adjacent to the latter river.* 

These tribes were all, except the Winneba- 
goes, originally from Canada. Black Hawk, 
the great Sauk chief, said that his people were 
originally from the country near Quebec. 

The original occupants of Wisconsin were 
the Sioux, who were dispossessed of this terri- 
tory by the Chippewas and other Algonquin 
tribes, and driven across the Mississippi. 

The Sauks and Foxes were united by so close 
an alliance, as to be practically one nation. In 
the early days ofthe French traders, they were 
the strong tribes of this valley, warlike and 
hostile to the whites, resisting all the allure- 
ments of civilization and continually making 
predatory incursions on the Menominees and 
other tribes. Their warlike and marauding 
habits kept the country in constant disturb- 
ance; they were the dominant power, and 
seemed determined to compel all others to 
yield to their snpremacy. One of their prin- 
cipal villages was at Petite Buttes des Morts, 
on the handsome rise of ground, on the expan- 
sion of the Fox, below Doty's Island. Some 
time after Allouez's visit to the Mascoutins, in 
the village at Big Buttes des Morts, they 
seem to have come into possession of that 
place; for in 17 16, the}' were fortified at that 
point in resistance to the P'rench and were in 
possession ofthe Upper Fox. The rivers were 
named after the Foxes, they being the occu- 
pants of the country. They were the only 
Algonquin tribes against which the French 
ever made war. The French expelled them 
from this valley and their country came into 
the possession ofthe Menominees. 

War having broken out between the French 
and English colonies, the Foxes leagued with 
the English against the former power. 

In 1712, the Sauks and Foxes attempted the 
destruction of Detroit, the garrison at that 
place numbering only thirty men. The garri- 
son being reinforced by a number of friendly 
Indians, who opportunely came to its rescue, 
then attacked the Foxes, who had entrenched 
themselves in earthworks. After nineteen 

*NoTE — For more specific boundaries of these Indian 
nations, see subsequent page in History of Winnebago County. 




days desperate fighting the Sauks and Foxes 
adroitly escaped in the darkness of the night, 
but being pursued and overtaken at Presque 
Isle, they were attacked, and . suffered great 
loss. This was the beginning of a series of 
battles between these tribes and the French 
which resulted in the expulsion of the former 
from the valley of the Fox. The most noted 
of these are the battles of the Big and Little 
Buttes des Morts, the sites of two of their chief 

Charlevui.x, tlie historian of New F"rance, 
in his relations of De Louvigny's expedition 
against the Sauks and Foxes in 17 16, says: 
"The Outagamies (F"oxes) notwithstanding the 
blow which they had received at Detroit in 
1 712, were more exasperated than ever against 
the French. They collected their scattered 
bands on the Fox River of Green Bay, their 
natural country, and infested all the communi- 
cations between the colony and its most distant 
posts, robbing and murdering travelers, and 
in this they succeeded so well that they brought 
over the Sioux to join them openly, while 
many of the Iroquois favored them clandes- 
tinely. In short, there was some danger of a 
general confederacy amongst all the savages 
against the French." 

"This hostile conduct on the part of the 
Foxes induced the Marquis De Vaudreuil, who 
was then governor-general, to propose a 
union of the friendly tribes with the P"rench, in 
an expedition against the common enemy; the 
other tribes readily gave their consent; a party 
of French was raised and the command of the 
expedition was confided to M. De Louvigny, 
the King's Lieutenant at Quebec. A number 
of savages joined him on the route, and he soon 
found himself at the head of eight hundred 
men, all resolved not to lay down their arms 
while an Outagamie remained in Canada. 
Every one believed that the Fox nation was 
about to be entirely destroyed, and so the 
Outagamies themselves judged, when they saw 
the storm gathering against them, and there- 
fore determined to sell their lives as dearly as 
possible. " 

De Louvigny proceeded with his forces to 
Big Buttes des Morts, where the Foxes with 
five hundred warriors and two thousand women 
and children had surrounded themselves with 
three ranges of oak palisades, with a deep ditch 
in the rear. 

The following is the official account of the 
battle, a copy of which was procured by 
General Lewis Cass, while oflFiciating as Ameri- 
can minister in that countrj': 

OCTORER 14. 1 7 16. 
I have ihe honor to lliaiik very hiiinhly the Council for 

the Lieutenancy of the King, which it has pleased them to 
grant me, and I will endeavor to fulfill my duty in such a way 
that they will be satisfied with my services. I will also have the 
honor to render to them an account of the expedition I have 
made against the Foxes, from whence I returned the 12th of 
this month, having started from here the I4'h of March : 

" After three days of open trenches sustained by a continu- 
ous fire of fusileers, with two pieces of cannon, and a grenade 
mortar, they were reduced lo ask for peace, notwithstanding 
they had five hundred warriors in the fort, who fired briskly, 
and more than three thousand women; they also expected 
shortly a reinforcement of three hundred men. But the prompti- 
tude with which the officers who were in this action pushed 
forward the trenches that I had opened at only seventy yards 
from their fort, made the enemy fear, the third night, that they 
would be taken. As I was only twenty-four yards from their 
fort, my design was to reach their triple oak stakes by a ditch of 
a foot and a half in the rear. Perceiving that my balls had 
not the eft'ect I anticipated, I decided to take the place at the 
first onset, and to explode two mines under their curtains. 
The boxes being properly placed for the purpose, I did not 
listen to the enemy's first proposition ; but they having made 
a second one, I submitted it to my allies, who consented to 
it on the following conditions : 

That the Foxes and their allies would make peace with all 
the Indians who are submissive to the King, and with whom 
the French are engaged in trade and commerce ; and that they 
would return to me all the French prisoners that they have, and 
those captured during the war from all our allies. This was 
complied with immediately. That they would take slaves from 
distant nations, and deliver them to our allies to replace their 
dead; that they would hunt to pay the expenses of this war; 
and, as a surety of the keeping of their word, they should 
deliver me six chiefs, or children of chiefs, to take with me to 
M. La Marquis De Vaudreuil as hostages, until the entire exe- 
cution of our treaty; which they did, and I took them with me 
to Quebec. Besides I have reunited the other nations at variance 
among themselves, and have left that country enjoying universal 
peace. " 

" I very humbly beseech the Council to consider, that this 
expedition has been very long and very laborious; that the vic- 
torious armies of the King have been led by me more than five 
hundred leagues from our town=, all of which has not been 
executed without much fatigue and expense ; to which I ask 
the Council lo please give their attention, in order that they 
may allow me the gratification they may think proper, as I have 
not carried on any kind of commerce. On the contrary, I gave 
to all the nations which were with me, the few beaver skins 
that the Foxes had presented me with, to convince them that 
in the war the French were prosecuting, they were not guided 
by motives of interest. All those who served in the campaign 
with me can testify to what I take the liberty to tell the 
Council. Louvigny. 

The following is M. De Vaudreuil's letter, 
dated Quebec, October 30th, 1716, relative 
to the services of M. De Louvigny: 

" By my memorial of the sixteenth of this month, I informed 
the Council of the manner in which the Sieur De Louvigny put 
an end to the war with the Foxes. " 

" I now feel it my duty to call the attention of the Council 
to the merits of that officer. He has always served his country 
with much distinction; but in his expedition against the Foxes, 



he signalized himself still more by his valor, his capacity, and 
his conduct, in which he displayed a great deal of prudence. 
He urged the canoes that ascended with him to make all possi- 
ble speed, and he obliged those in Detroit to accompany 
him. He showed the Hurons and other Indians of that place, 
that he was going to the war in earnest ; that he was not a 
trader, and he could dispense with their services. This brought 
them back to their duty. But it was especially at Michili- 
mackinac, where he was anxiously expected, that his pres- 
ence inspired in all the Frenchmen and Indians a confidence 
which was a presage of victory. Again ; he made the war 
short, but the peace which resulted from it will not be of short 

" I shall be obliged to dispatch him in the very commence 
ment of next spring to return to Michilimackinac to confirm 
this peace, embracing in it all the nations of the Upper Coun- 
try, and to keep the promise he made to the chiefs of the Foxes 
who are to come down to Montreal, that they would find him 
at Michilimackinac. All these movements are not made with- 
out great labor and many expenses, and I cannot omit saying 
that this officer deserves that the Council should grant him some 

Signed : Vaudreuil. 

On the margin is written: Approved by the Council, Feb- 
ruary 26, 1717. 

Signed : La Chapelle. 

Notwithstanding the assurance of peace on 
the part of the Foxes,, and the hopes enter- 
tained by the French that quiet would prevail 
between them and the neighboring tribes, still 
they had committed so many depredations 
when on the war-path in times past, that they 
were regarded with the greatest hostility by 
other tribes, who only waited an opportunity 
for revenge; and while a party of Foxes were 
on a summer hunt, they were attacked by a 
party of Illinois, a tribe that they had long 
aggrieved, who surrounded them, killing and 
capturing the entire band. Hostilities now 
broke out afresh and the various tribes were in 

English emmissaries availed themselves of 

t the general disturbance among the Indians to 
incite them against the French. Secret wam- 
pums were sent by the English to the tribes of 

j the Upper Country, and the Foxes once more 
took the war-path against the French and 
their allies. An expedition was, therefore, 
sent against them under the command of M. 
De Lignery, in 1728, composed of 1,000 
Indians and 450 French. The expedition 
proceeded up the Fox River; but the Foxes 

i and Winnebagoes, who were then in alliance, 
having been apprised of the formidable force 
moving against them, fled, deserting their 
villages and planting grounds in the greatest 
possible haste. The French destroyed the 
four principal Indian villages on the Lower 
and upper Fox; and also the growing crops 
on their planting grounds, and their stores of 

Indian corn, peas, beans and gourds, of which 
they had a great abundance. 

The following is an account of De Lignery 's 
expedition in 1728: 

* * * * * * 

" The tenth of August we left Michilimackinac, and entered 
Lake Michigan. As we had been detained there two days by 
the wind, our savages had had time to take a hunt, in which 
they killed several moose and elk, and they were polite enough 
to offer to share with us. We made some objections at first, but 
they compelled us to accept their present, saying that since 
we had shared with then? the fatigues of the journey, it was 
right that they should share with us the comforts which they 
had found, and that they should not consider themselves as men 
if they acted in a different manner toward others. This dis- 
course, which one of our men rendered in French for me, 
affected me very much. What humanity in savages ! And how 
many men might be found in Europe to whom the title of bar- 
barian might much better be applied than to these inhabitants of 
America. " 

" The generosity of our savages merited the most lively 
gratitude on our pait; already for some time not having been 
able to find suitable hunting grounds, we had been compelled 
to eat nothing but bacon ; the moose and elk which they gave 
us, removed the disgust we began to have for our ordinary 
fare. '' 

" The fourteenth of the same month we continued our 
journey as far as the Detour de Chicagou, and as we were 
doubling Cap a la Mort, which is about five leagues across, we 
encountered a gust of wind, which drove ashore several canoes 
that were unable to double a point in order to obtain a shelter ; 
they were broken by the shock ; and we were obliged to dis- 
tribute among the other canoes the men who, by the greatest 
good foitune in the world, had all escaped from the danger. 
The next day we crossed over to the Folles Avoines, in order 
to entice the inhabitants to come and oppose our landing ; they 
fell into the trap, and were entirely defeated. The following 
day we camped at the mouth of a river called La Gasparde. 
Our savages went into the woods, but soon returned, bringing 
with them several roebucks. This specie of game is very com- 
mon at this place, and we were enabled to lay in several days 
provisions of it. " 

" About mid-day, on the seventeenth, we were ordered to 
halt until evening, in order that we might reach the post at 
the Bay during the night, as we wished to surprise the enemy 
whom we knew were staying with their allies, the Sacquis, 
whose village lies near Fort St. Francis. At twilight we com- 
menced our march, and about midnight we arrived at the 
mouth of Fox River, at which point our fort is built. As 
soon as we had arrived there, M. De Lignery sent some 
Frenchmen to the commandant to ascertain if the enemy were 
really at the village of the Sacquis ; and having learned that we 
ought still to find them there, he caused all the savages and a 
detachment of French troops to cross over the river, in order 
to surround the habitation, and then ordered the rest of our 
troops to enter the village. Notwithstanding precautions that 
had been taken to conceal our arrival, the savages had 
received information of it, and all had escaped with the excep- 
tion of four ; these were presented to our savages, who, after 
having diverted themselves with them, shot them to death with 
their arrows." 

" I was much pained to witness this spectacle ; and the 
pleasure which our savages took in making those unfortunate 





persons suffer, causing them to undergo the horrors of thirty 
ileaths before depriving them of life. I could not make this 
accord with the manner in which they had appeared to think 
some days before. I would willingly have asked them if they 
did not preceive, as i did, this opposition of sentiment, and 
have pointed out to them what I saw condemnable in their pro- 
ceedings; but those of our party who might have served me as 
interpreters were on the other side of the river, and I was 
obliged to postpone until another time the satisfaction of my 

" After this little ioupdemain we went up Fox River, which 
is full of rapids, and is about tffirty-five or forty leagues in 
length. The twenty-fourth of August we arrived at the village 
of the Puants (Winnebagoes) much disposed to destroy any 
inhabitants that might be found there; but their flight had 
preceded our arrival, and we had nothing to do but to burn 
their wigwams, and ravage their fields of Indian corn, which is 
their principal article of food. " 

" We afterwards crossed over the little Fox Lake, at the end 
of which we camped, and the next day (day of St. Louis,) after 
mass, we entered a small river which conducted us into a kind 
of swamp, on the borders of which is situated the grand habita- 
tion of those of whom we were in search. Their allies, the 
Sacquis, doubtless, had informed them of our approach, and 
they did not deem it advisable to wait our arrival, for we found 
in their village only a few women, whom our savages made their 
slaves, and one old man, whom they burnt to death at a slow 
fire, without appearing to entertain the least repugnance towards 
committing so barbarous an act. " 

"This appeared to me a more striking act of cruelty than 
that which had been exercised towards the four savages 
found in the village of the Sacquis. I siezed upon this occasion 
and circumstance to satisfy my curiosity, about that concerning 
which I have just been speaking. There was in our company 
a Frenchman who could speak the Iroquois language. I 
entreated him to tell the savages that I was surprised to see 
them take so much pleasure in torturing this unfortunate old 
man — ■ that the rights of war did not extend so far, and that so 
barbarous an action appeared to me to be in direct opposition 
to the principles which they had professed to entertain towards 
all men. I was answered by an Iroquois, who in order to 
justify his companions, said, that when they fell into the hands 
of the Foxes and Sacquis, they were treated with still greater 
cruelty, and that it was their custom to treat their enemies in the 
same manner that they would bo treated by them if they were 
vanquished. " * * * 

" I was about to give him some further reasons, when orders 
were given to advance upon the last stronghold of the enemy. 
This post is situated upon the borders of a small river which 
empties into another called the Ouisconsin, which latter dis- 
charges itself into the Mississippi, about thirty leagues from 
there. We found no person there, and as we had no orders to 
go any farlher,we employed ourselves several days in destroying 
the fields, in order to deprive the enemy of the means of sub- 
sisting there. The country here is beautiful; the soil is 
fertile, the game plenty and of very fine flavor; the nights are 
very cold, and the days extremely warm. In my next letter 
I will speak to you about my return to Montreal, and of all 
that has happened to me up to the time of my embarking for 
France. " * * * 

Your affectionate brother, 

Emanuel Crespel, Rccollcl. 

From Messrs. De Beaiiharnois and DeArge- 
mait, September 1st, 1728, to the French 
Ministers of War: 

" It having been signified 10 them that his Majesty wished 
that they had awaited his orders before commencing this 
undertaking, they answer, that the information which they 
received from every quarter, of the secret wampums which 
the English had sent among the nations of the Upper Country, 
to cut the throats of the French in all the posts, and the war 
parties which the Foxes were raising every day, did not allow 
them to defer this expedition for a year, without endangering 
the loss of all the posts in the Upper Country. " 

■' They learned with great regret that the Foxes had fled 
before the army had arrived in their country. They will do all 
they can to prevent any results from this, and will attentively 
observe all the movements which any of those nations who 
could enter into the interests of the Foxes might make, so as to 
prevent any surprise. " 

" The Marquis De Beauharnois, by a private letter ol the 
same day, sends the instructions which he had given to 
M. De Lignery for this expedition, and the letter which this 
ofiicer entreated to enclose in his dispatches, and by which he 
attempts to justify himself. This letter slates, that he made use 
of all his skill to succeed in the expedition ; but it was impos- 
sible for him to surprise the enemy, not being able to conceal 
from iheni, any further than the Bay, the knowledge of his 

" He took at this post, before day break, three Puants of the 
Foxes, and one Fox, who were discovered by some Sakis 
whom he had brought from Mackinac. These four savages 
were bound and sent to tribes, who put them to death the next 
day. He afterwards continued his march, composed of 
1,000 savages and 450 French, as far as the village of the 
Puants, and afterwards to the Foxes. They all fled as sooit 
as they heard that we were at the Bay, of which they were 
informed by some of their own people, who escaped by 
swimming. They captured, however, in the four Fox villages, 
two women, a girl and an old man, who were killed and burnt. 
He learned from them that the tribe had fled four days before; 
that it had a collection of canoes, in which the old men, the 
women and children had embarked, and that the warriors had 
gone by land He urged the other tribes to follow in pursuit 
of them, but there was only a portion of them who would 
consent, the others saying the enemy had got too far for them 
to be able to catch up with them. The French had nothing 
but Indian corn to eat, and this, added to the advanced 
season, and a march of 400 leagues on their return, by which 
the safety of half the army was endangered, decided them 
upon burning the four Fox vdlages, their forts and their huts, 
to destroy all that they could find in their fields — Indian 
corn, peas, beans and gourds, of which they had great abund- 
ance. They did the same execution among the Puants. It is 
certain that half of these nations, who number 4,000 souls, 
will die with hunger, and that they will come in and ask 
mercy. Major De Cavagnal, who has been in the whole expe- 
ditiim, and has perfectly performed his duty, is able to certify 
to all this." * ■-■ 

This expedition had the effect of Iceeping 
the Sauks and Foxes in check for a number of 
years; but the Foxes, who had their chief vil- 
lage and stronghold on the banks of Little 
Buttes des Morts, again became troublesome 




to the traders by stopping their boats, and 
compelling them to pay tribute for the privil- 
ege of passage, and this and other griev- 
ances committed by them, caused the French 
authorities to determine upon their expulsion. 

The Sauks, whose principal village was 
opposite the French fort at the Bay, had for 
some time been conducting themseves better 
than their allies — the Foxes; and they were 
ordered to deliver up the Foxes living among 
them. A difficulty occurred about this demand, 
in which De Vielie, the commandant of the 
fort, killed two chiefs, when a young Sauk, 
only twelve years old, named the Black Bird, 
shot the officer dead. 

A severe battle followed this encounter, in 
which many French and Indians were killed. 
It ended disastrously to the Sauks, who fled 
from the country, and located at Sauk Prairie, 
on the Lower Wisconsin River. 


Battle of Little Butte des Morts — Sanguinary Engagement — 
The Most Populous Village of the Foxes Destroyed — The 
Expulsion of the Foxes from the Fo.x River Valley —, The 
Menominees Take Possession of the Fo.x Country — Tomah, 
the Great Menominee Chief. 

APT. MORAND held an office in the 
French Indian Department, and had 
control of several important posts; one 
^S^' near Mackinaw and one on the Mis- 
sissippi. His boats, in their passage up the 
Fox, had been frequently stopped at the 
" Little Butte," and compelled to yield to the 
exactions of the Foxes. A young Canadian 
trader, in command of one of Morand's fleets, 
refused to pay the tribute demanded at the 
"Little Butte," and in the encounter which fol- 
lowed, was killed with some of his men, and 
his boats plundered. This raised the ire of 
Morand; and the French authorities, having 
determined on the expulsion of the Foxes, a 
large force of men were placed under his com- 
mand, and he commenced the preparation of 
his expedition. A number of large Mackinaw 
boats were got in readiness, and Morand then 
opened up negotiations with the Menominee^- 
to take part in the enterprise of expelling theii 
enemies from the Valley of the Fox; declaring 
his intention of not leaving one of the tribe in 
that section, and promising the former the 
possession of the Fox hunting grounds. The 
Menominees replied, that what was said was 

"good talk;" but a little of their fathers' skoo- 
tay tvaivbo would help to quicken their 
thoughts and make them more favorable to the 

Morand complied with these demands, and 
a general Menominee drunk was the conse- 
quence; after the termination of which, the 
expedition, composed of a large force of 
Menominees and a body of French and half- 
breeds, proceeded up the Fox to the belliger- 
ent village. 

The morning sun shone pleasantly on the 
bark and mat wigwams of the Little Buttes des 
Morts. The inhabitants reposed in fancied 
security; the squaws moved about in the per- 
fomance of their usual duties; the dogs quar- 
reled over their bones and refuse; the papooses 
played at their ju\'enile games, and the wax- 
riors lolled about dreamily, comfortably con- 
templating their next foray on the boats of the 
voyagers, which should furnish them a gener- 
ous supply of the white man's delicacies, and 
especially tobacco, and their favorite skootay 
waiibo. They had not long to wait for their 
expected opportunity. Morand's fleet was 
rapidly nearing their village. It was com- 
posed of bateaux and canoes, covered with oil 
cloths, such as the traders used to protect their 
goods from the weather. Under these oil 
cloths were concealed armed men. When the 
expedition approached to within a mile of the 
village, a large detachment of the French and 
the Menominees was sent from that point to 
take a position in the rear, and cut ofl" the 
retreat of the Foxes. Morand's fleet then pro- 
ceeded up the river. As soon as it hove in 
sight of the village, the dogs barked, the 
squaws screamed with delight, and the war- 
riors proceeded in a body to the shore, eagerly 
expectant of the rich booty. 

When the foremost boats came opposite to 
the Indians congregated on the shore, the lat- 
ter commenced to violently gesticulate, and 
demand their stoppage; which, not being com- 
plied with, a number of balls were fired across 
their bows — a peremptory demand for them to 
heave to. The rowers immediately stopped 
their further progress, when Morand asked 
what they required? Skootay watibo was 
yelled by hundreds of voices. "To shore with 
with the boats! " ordered Morand; and they 
were immediately along side the river banks, 
the swarming savages rushing forward impetu- 
ously to board them. "Back! Back! Don't 
touch the boats", warned Morand; but on they 
came. "Ready!" shouted the commander. In 
an instant the oil cloths were thrown ofl", and a 
hundred men, with guns at their shoulders 
arose, as if by magic. "Fire!" shouted Morand. 




A hundred muskets were simultaneously dis- 
charged, and scores of dark forms dropped on 
the river bank, and writhed in the agonies of 
death. The suddenness of the une.xpected 
attack sent the Indians howling and panic 
stricken from the shore. They hastily retreated 
towards their wigwams. Here a more terrible 
foe approached them. They were now greeted 
with the war-whoop of the Menominees, with 
tomahawk and scalping knife in hand, and the 
appalling sight of their blazing wigwams and 
their fleeing squaws and papooses; for the 
Menominees who had come up in the rear, had 
industriously applied the torch. Then came a 
desperate hand to hand conflict; the Foxes 
fighting bravely, but compelled at last to 
retreat to the woods. Here the unfortunate 
wretches were met by the detachment of 
French that formerly landed, and a discharge 
of musketry checked their flight. The pur- 
suing Menominees again came upon them, and 
tomahawk and bayonet completed the bloody 
work. Morand endeavored to stop the 

terrible carnage; but "no quarter" was the 
revengeful war-cry; and they perished, man, 
woman and child — almost the entire village, 
which had contained the most numerous bands 
of the Fox tribe. A few escaped and fled to 
the upper Fox. 

The populous village that, an hour before, 
reposed in the enjoyment of peace, was in that 
short time transformed into a scene of utter 
desolation. There was nothing left but the 
dead bodies of the slain. The storm of war 
had swept over the Petite Buttes des Morts 
like a besom of destruction, and annihilated the 
greater portion of a tribe. Such is the history 
of the memorable battle of the Little Buttes 
des Morts (the hills of the dead ) ; a spot com- 
memorative of the overthrow of the supremacy 
of the Fox Indians, in the Valley of the Fox. 

The few Foxes who had escaped during the 
battle, joined other bands of the tribe, and 
congregated at a point on the south side of the 
river, about three or Tour miles above Big 
Lake Buttes des Morts, near the present site of 
Winneconnee, where they were again attacked 
by Morand, and defeated with great loss. 

Augustin Grignon, in his " Seventy Years 
Recollections," says " My grandfather, De 
Langlade, and aged Indians told me that the 
second battle of Morand with the Foxes took 
place about three miles above the Great Buttes 
des Morts. " 

This tribe next concentrated its remaining 
force near the mouth of the Wisconsin, where 
Morand subsequently followed and again 
defeated them. They then fled, and took 
refuge with the Sauks, on Sauk Prairie, across 

the Wisconsin. The united tribes must have 
recuperated rapidly after their settlement at 
Sauk Prairie; for they had several desperate 
encounters with the Sioux, and became pow- 
erful enough in time, to deprive the Kaskaskias 
of their possessions on the Rock River, where 
Black Hawk, their distinguished chief, was 

The discovery of the lead mines, in 1822, 
on the territory then occupied b\- them, 
brought American settlers into that section, 
and they again were routed from their posses- 
sions, by what Black Hawk alleges to have been 
a fraudulent treaty. They were removed across 
the Mississippi, and here came into conflict 
with the Sioux, their hereditary foes. 

The Foxes and Sauks seem to ha\e affiliated 
with no other tribes. For over a century they 
were known to have been continually on the 
war-path. The other tribes held them in great 
awe. Their children, for generations, may be 
said to have been born on the battle-field, with 
the sound of the warwhoop ringing in their 
mothers' ears. No Indians ever surpassed 
them in bravery or devotion to the cause of 
the red-man in resenting the encroachments 
of the whites; and, as the Black Hawk war was 
the closing scene of the strife of the Sauks 
and Foxes, who had been so long the domi- 
nant tribes of this valley, which will be forever 
associated with their fame, a sketch will be 
given, on a subsequent page, of that last 
struggle of these tribes against the fate closing 
so remorselessly around them. 

After the expulsion of the Sauks and Foxes, 
the Menominees came into the possession of 
the territory formerly occupied by the former 
tribes. As they remained the firm allies of 
the French, and pursued a peaceable course 
in their relations with other Indian nations, 
they rapidly increased in numbers and power; 
and when the Americans commenced the set- 
tlement of this country, the Menominee lands 
included the tract north of the Upper Fox, 
extending from one of the branches of the 
Wisconsin, on the west, to a point on Lake 
Michigan, north of the Menominee River, and 
from there south to the mouth of the Milwau- 
kee River; embracing the tract between Lakes 
Winnebago and Michigan, the Lower Fox 
country and the Wolf and its tributaries. 

The French seem, from the first, to have 
affiliated very closely with the Menominees, 
intermarrying with them to such an extent 
that at one time the population of the Lower 
Fox country was composed largely of people 
of mixed blood. 

About the year 1812, they had a very 
remarkable man for a chief, the great Tomah; 



a man of great abilities and virtues. He was 
held in the highest esteem by the neighboring 
nations, and is spoken of by the whites as one 
of Nature's noblemen. 

James W. Biddle, who had the contract for 
supplying the troops at Green Bay and other 
western posts, in 1816, thus speaks of him in 
his published " Recollections of Green Bay. " 

"When at Mackinaw, early one morning in 
the latter part of May, or early in June, 1817, 
I had come out of my lodgings and observed 
approaching m.e one of the many Indians then 
on the Island; and taking a look at him as he 
emerged from the fog, then very heavy, I was 
struck as he passed, in a most unusual manner, 
by his singularly imposing presence. I had 
never seen, I thought, so magnificent a man. 
He was of the larger size, perhaps six feet, 
with fine proportions, alittle stoop-shouldered, 
and dressed in a somewhat dirty blanket, and had 
scarcely noticed me as he passed. I remember 
it as distinctlyas if it was yesterday. I watched 
him until he disappeared again in the fog, and 
remember almost giving expression to a feel- 
ing which seemed irresistibly to creep over 
me , tliat the earth zvas too mean for such a man 
to ivalk on ! This idea was, of course, dis- 
carded the moment it came up, but existence 
it had, at this, my first view of Tomah. I had 
no knowledge, at the time, of who he was, or 
that Tomah was on the Island, but while stand- 
ing there, before my door, and under the influ- 
ence of the feeling I have described, Henry 
Graverat, the Indian interpreter, came up, and 
I enquired of him whether he knew of an 
Indian who had just passed up. He replied, 
yes, that it was Tomah, chief of the Menom- 
inees. " 

"When Tecumseh visited the Indians at the 
Bay, and addressed them in council, advocating 
a union of tribes against the Americans, his 
eloquent recital of his success in the many 
battles he had fought, was well calculated to 
arouse a war-like spirit in the Indians. Tomah, 
desirous of allaying this, replied, 'that he had 
heard the words of Tecumseh — heard of the 
battles he had fought, enemies they had slain, 
and the scalps he had taken,'" "He then," 
says Biddle, "paused; and while the deepest 
silence reigned throughout the audience, he 
slowly raised his hands, his eyes fixed on them, 
and in a lower, but not less prouda tone, contin- 
ued: ' but it is my boast that these hands are 
unstained with human blood!" 

"The effect is described as tremendous; 
nature obeyed hei own impulse, and admira- 
tion was forced, even from those who could not, 
or did not, approve of the moral to be implied, 
and the gravity of the council was disturbed, 

for an instant, by a murmur of approbation — 
a tribute to genius, overpowering, at the 
moment, the force of education and habit. He 
concluded with remarking, 'that he had ever 
supported the policy of peace, as his nation 
was small and consequently weak; that he was 
fully aware of the injustice of the Americans 
in their encroachments upon the lands of the 
Indians, and for them feared its consequences, 
but that he saw no relief for it in going to 
war, and, therefore, as a national thing, he 
would not do so; but that if any of his young 
men were desirous of leaving their hunting 
grounds and following Tecumseh, they had his 
permission to do so. ' His prudent councils 

The Menominees became partially civilized 
at a very early period of their known history, 
through the christianizing influence of the 
missionaries and intimate association with the 
French, whom they regarded as their greatest 


Wisconsin the Border Ground in the Long Contest Between 
the Algonquins and Dacotahs — The Historic Ground of 
the Northwest — The Sioux the Original Inhabitants of 
Wisconsin — The .Sioux Expelled by the Chippewas — 
Hole-In The- Day, his Exploits and Influence — The Win- 
nebagoes, their Villages and Chiefs — Ludicrous Encounter 
Between the War Chief of the Pottawattamies and the Head 
Chief of the Menominees — The Defeat and Discomfiture 
of a Bully — Hoo-Choup Attempts to Control the Entrance 
to Lake Winnebago. 

S this State was the border ground 
where the great Algonquin and 
Dacotah races first met and came 
into conflict, and as the Fox and 
Lower Wisconsin valleys were the 
scenes of the earliest intercourse of 
whites and Indians of the West, and of the 
sanguinary battles between the French and 
Sauks and Foxes, it is, therefore, the chief his- 
toric ground of the Northwest; and its early 
history is replete with important occurrences 
incidental to the earlier civilization of the coun- 

The Indian tribes that inhabited this 
region, at the time of the advent of the French 
missionaries and traders, were the Chippewas, 
Pottawattamies, Sauks, Foxes, Menominees 
and Winnebagoes. They were all recent 
immigrants from Canada except the Menomi- 
nees, who had emigrated from the east at a 
more remote period, and the Winnebagoes, 
who came from Spanish America, in the 




The earliest known occupants of tlie territory 
now included in the limits of Wisconsin were 
the Dacotahs, or Sioux. Their hunting 
grounds and possessions included the now 
States of Wisconsin and Minnesota, and parts 
of Iowa and Illinois. They were the sole 
inhabitants of the country up to about the 
year 1600, when this district began to be 
invaded by tribes of the Algonquin or Algic 
race, that great branch of the Indian family 
which inhabited Canada and what is now the 
Eastern and Middle States. 

The Chippewas, a branch of the Ojibwa, 
one of the most powerful nations of the Algon- 
quin race, were originally from Canada. They 
traveled by the way of the Lakes, in their birch 
bark canoes, and first met the Sioux at the 
straits of Sault St. Marie. The period of their 
invasion of the south shore of Lake Michigan, 
is, according to tradition, about the year 1600; 
and then began that struggle between the 
Algonquin and the Sioux, which made Wis- 
consin the great battle ground in the long con- 
test between the Dacotah and Algic races. By 
the year 1650, the Chippewas had pushedtheir 
way to the mouth of our Fo.x River; and to 
the northwest as far as the head waters of the 
St. Croi.x But, in 1670. the Sioux had 
driven them back to the Sault St. Marie and 
the mouth of the F"ox. 

The Chippewas, receiving accessions to their 
numbers, and also, getting additional forces 
from the Hurons and Ottawas, who migrated 
to the Northwest after the destruction of their 
country by the Iroquois, eventually recovered 
the ground they had lost, and drove the Sioux 
back to the prairies of the Southwest, beyond 
Ihc Mississippi; and forever after maintained 
their supremac)- and the possession of the 

■^ 1^'rom the tradition of the Chippewas, and 
wliat is known of their history b)- the whites, 
ihc)' seem to have obtained permanent posses- 
sion of what is now Northern Wisconsin, about 
the year 1700. After that time, they dispos- 
sessed the Sioux of the large tract, since occu- 
pied by the Chippewas of the Mississippi. 

For over two centuries these hostile tribes 
waged war against each other, and after the 
Americans had settled in the country, those 
hereditary foes had many a sanguinary conflict. 
No Sioux and Chippewa could meet without 
a trial to obtain a scalp. The following is 
related by the Hon. James H. Lockwood, of 
Prairie du Chien, in the published collections 
of the State Historical Society: 

" In the fall of 1818, a severe fight took 
place on the prairie, between Lac Traverse 
and the head waters of the Mississippi, under 

something like the following circumstances, as 
related to me, immediately after, by some 
Indians who had participated in the action. I 
was then at my wintering station near Lac- 
qui-Parle, on the St. Peters. During the 
summer a Yankton chief, who generally 
resided near Lac Traverse, called by the French 
the Grand Sinore, had met with some Chippe- 
was, with whom he had smoked the pipe of 
peace, and after the council had broken up, 
and the Chippewas were wending their way, as 
they supposed, safely to their homes, when a 
party of Grand Sinore 's band followed them 
and killed some of the men, and took one 
woman prisoner. Upon this, eleven young 
Chippewas armed, provisioned, and provided 
with moccasins, started for the Sioux 
country, declaring that they would not return 
until they had avenged the insult and outrage. 
They traveled in the Sioux country about a 
month without falling in with any Sioux, and 
were apparently on their way home, when, on 
the prairie between Lac Traverse and the head 
waters of the Mississippi, they discovered a 
large camp of Sioux, of about five hundred 
lodges. As they were in the neighborhood of 
the camp, they were discovered by some 
Sioux on horseback, who immediately gave 
notice to the camp. The Chippewas, finding 
that thej' were discovered, and that their fate 
was sealed, sent one of their number home to 
carry tidings of their probable destruction, and 
the other ten got into a copse of timber and 
brush on the prairie, and commenced throwing 
up breast works by digging holes with their 
knives and hands, determined to sell their 
lives as dearly as possible, knowing that there 
was not the remotest hope for their escape. 

"In a short time the warriors from the Sioux 
camp surrounded them, and, it would apjicar, 
made the attack without much order or sys- 
tem, and fought something like the militia in 
the Black Hawk war, at the attack near Kcl- 
logg's, where each one attacked and fought nn 
his own account, without orders. To show 
their bravery, the Siou.x would approach the 
entrenched Chippewas singly, but from the 
covert and deadly fire of the Chippewas, they 
were sure to fall. They continued to fight in 
this way until about seventy of the Sioux 
were killed or wounded, when one of the Sioux 
war chiefs cried out, that the enemy were kill- 
ing them in detail, and directed a general 
onset, when they all, in a bodj', rushed upon 
the Chippewas with knives and tomahawks; 
and, after a severe struggle, overpowered and 
exterminated them, wounding in the melee 
many of their own people. The brave Chip- 
pewas had exliaustcd their ammunition, and 




now fell a sacrifice .to superior numbers. Thus 
perished ten as intrepid warriors as ever 
entered the battle field. The eleventh pur- 
sued his way, and carried to his people the 
news of the probable fate of the others. The 
Siou.x, exulted in their mournful victory, which 
was purchased at the cost of the lives of 
between seventy and eighty of their warriors. " 

In 1825, Gov. Cass assembled the Sioux, 
Chippewas, Winnebagoes, Menominees, Sacs 
and Foxes, for the purpose of determining 
the boundary lines of the territory of the 
respective tribes. The Sioux and Chippewas 
got into a violent dispute about their respect- 
ive claims; the Sioux claiming territory to the 
south shore of Lake Superior. When the 
Governor asked the Sioux upon what ground 
they founded their claim, they answered: "By 
the occupation of our forefathers. " He then 
asked the Chippewas the same question, when 
Hole-in- the-day, the celebrated chief of the 
Chippewas, arose, and in his usual impetuous 
manner, said: "My father, we claim it upon 
the same ground that you claim this country 
from the British King — by conquest! We 
drove them from the country by force of arms, 
and have since occupied it. " Then said the 
Governor: "You have a right to it." 

Hole-in-the-day was at this time the great 
head chief of the Mississippi Chippewas. He 
was not a hereditary chieftain, but had 
risen to that position through his great ability 
in the field, and council, and his acts of daring 
and bravery. His oratory was of the highest 
type of savage eloquence, electrifying his 
auditors by its force and grandeur. He pos- 
sessed all the elements of a great leader; was 
a terror to the Sioux, and none among his own 
people dared to question his authority. 

William W\ Warren, an educated descend- 
ant of the Chippewas, says that "Hole-in-the- 
day and his brother. Strong Ground, distin- 
guished themselves in the warfare of their 
tribes with the Sioux, and by their deeds of 
valor obtained an extensive influence over their 
"ellowsofthe Mississippi. By repeated and 
lelling blows, aided by others, they forced the 
I Sioux to fall back from the woods on to their 
Western prairies, and eventually altogether to 
evacuate that portion of their former country 
ying north of Sac River, and southeast of Leaf 
R.iver to the Mississippi. Strong Ground was 
IS fine a specimen of an Indian as ever trod 
:he soil of America. He was one of those 
lonor-loving chiefs, not only by name, but by 
lature, also, and noted for his unflinching 
Jravery. * * Hole-in-the-day, his 

lounger brother, was equally brave, * * * 
lad not the firmness of his brother. 

Strong Ground, but was more cunning, and 
soon came to understand the policy of the 
whites. He was ambitious, and through his 
cunning, stepped above his more straight-for- 
ward brother, and became head chief. He 
had a proud and domineering spirit, and 
liked to be implicitly obeyed. * * * Notwith- 
standing his harsh and haughty temper, there 
was in the breast of this man much of the milk 
of human kindness, and he had that way 
about him that induced the few who really 
loved him to be willing even to die for him. 
During his life time he distinguished himself in 
eight different fights, where blood was freely 
shed. At St. Peters he was almost mortally 
wounded, a bullet passing through his right 
breast, and coming out near the spine. On 
this occasion his daughter waskilled; and from 
this time can be dated the blood-thirstiness 
with which he ever after pursued his enemies. 
He had married a daughter of Bi Aus Wah, a 
chief so distinguished among the Chippewas, 
that he may be said to have laid the foundation 
of a dynasty of chieftaindom, which has 
descended to his children, and the benefits of 
which they are reaping after him. 

His bravery was fully proved by his crossing 
the Mississippi, and, with but two brave com- 
rades, firing on the large Sioux village, Ka- 
po-sia, below the mouth of the St. Peters. 
They narrowly escaped the general chase that 
was made for them by many Sioux warriors, 
crossing the Mississippi under a shower of bul- 
lets. There is nothing in modern warfare to 
surpass this daring exploit. " 

" His son who succeeded him in the chieftain- 
ship became even more distinguished than his 
father. He ruled like a prince, and declared 
that he was a greater chief than his father, 
because he was equally brave in the field and 
able in council, and had the additional merit 
of birthright. He was imperious and brave in 
the highest degree. 

The St. Paul Press, at the time of his death 
in 1868, in a notice of him says: 
* * * * "Hole-in-the-day has been 
accustomed to play a conspicuous part in all 
.treaty negotiations with the Mississippi Chip- 
pewas, and from long practice had become a 
cunning and unscrupulous intriguer, skilled in 
all the mysteries of Indian diplomacy. * * 
There was something almost romantic in his 
reckless daring on the war-path. He was the 
Chippewa Cid or Coeiir de Lion, from the 
gleam of whose battle-axe, whole armies of 
saracen Sioux fled, as before irresistble fate. 
His exploits would fill a book. 

"The first appearance of the younger Hole-in- 
the-day in public council was at Fond du Lac, 



L 1 700. 

Lake Superior, in July, 1847. At that time 
the Upper Country of the Mississippi, extend- 
ing to Lake Superior, was owned by the Chip- 
pewas of Lake Superior, and the Chippewas 
of the Mississippi. The former were repre- 
sented in force. The Chippewas of the Missis- 
sippi, headed by Hole-in-the-day, owing to 
the great distance they had to travel, had but 
a small delegation in attendance, and Hole-in- 
the-day was late in reaching the council 

"Prior to his coming, several talks v.-ere held 
with the Indians, in which they admitted that 
they had allowed Hole-in-the-day 's father to 
take the lead in their councils, but said that 
were he then alive they would make him take 
a back seat; that his son was a mere boy, and 
were he there he would have nothing to say; 
consequently it was useless to wait for him. 
The commissioners, however, thought differ- 
ently and waited. After his arrival the council 
was formally opened. The comrfiissioners 
stated their business and requested a reply from 
the Indians. Hole-in-the-day was led up to the 
stand by two of his braves and made a speech 
to which all the Indians present gave hearty 
and audible assent. The change in the face of 
things at the appearance of Hole-in-the-day 
showed his bravery and commanding influence; 
but was also somewhat amusing. Here were 
powerful chiefs of all the Chippewa tribes, 
some of them seventy or eighty years old, who 
before his coming spoke of him as a boy who 
could have no voice in the council; saying 
there was no use in waiting for him; but when 
he appeared they became his most submissive 
and obedient servants; and this in a treaty in 
which a million of acres of land were ceded. 
The terms of the treaty were concluded 
between the commissioners and Hole-in-the- 
day alone. Thelatter, after this was done, with- 
drew, and sent word to the chiefs of the Mis- 
sissippi and Lake Superior bands to go and 
sign it. After it had been duly signed by the 
commissioners, the chief head men and war- 
riors, and witnessed by the interpreters and 
other persons present, Hole-in-the-day, who 
had not been present at these little formalities, 
called upon the commissioners with two of his 
attcndent chiefs and had appended to the 
treaty the following words: 

" ' Fathers: The country our Great Father 
sent you to purchase, belongs to me. It was 
once my father's. He took it from the Sioux. 
He, by his bravery, made himself head chief 
of the Chippewa nation. I am a greater man 
than my father was, for I am as brave as he 
was, and on my mother's side, I am hereditary 
head chief of the nation. The land you want 

belongs to me. If I say sell, the Great Father 
will have it; if I say not sell, he will do with- 
out it. These Indians you see behind me have 
nothing to say about it. I approve of this 
treaty and consent to the same. 

Fond du Lac, August 3d, 1847. 

His X Mark. Or, Hole-Ix-The-D.w."' 

' ' He made his influence in negotiations tell to 
his own personal advantage. He spent with 
profusion, for he was as great a prodigal as he 
was a warrior. Disdaining the humble bark 
wigwam of his tribe he lived in a good house, 
near Crow-Wing, and kept horses and sur- 
rounded himself with luxuries. He kept posted 
in national affairs by taking the St. Paul 
Press, of which he was a regular subscriber, 
and other papers which he had read to him by 
art interpreter every day of their arrival. " 

Although the advanced bands of the Chip- 
pewa nation had reached the western extremity 
of Lake Superior as early as 1668, they were 
not, as before stated, insufficient force to main- 
tain possession, and it is supposed that the)- 
did not permanently occupy- the country until 
about 1700. Since that time they drove the 
Sioux from the territory lying between the 
St. Croix and Mississippi. In 1843 there were 
over SiOOO souls in one agency in that district. 

While the Sioux were fully engaged in 
resisting the encroachments of the Chippe- 
was, the Sacs, Foxes and Menominees, who 
were also Algonquin tribes from Canada, 
obtained permanent possession of the country 
bordering Green Bay, and from the lower to 
the Upper Fox. Outagamie county takes its 
name from its former occupants, the Outa- 
gamies (Foxes). 

Bands of other tribes were met there by the^ 
Missionaries, but these were only temporary 
sojourners. The Bay seems to have been a 
favorite place of rendezvous for the various 
tribes of the Algonquin race. F'or after thC' 
Sioux had driven the Chippewas from the mis- 
sion of La Pointe a large number of the latter 
congregated around the newly established mis- 
sion, at the mouth of the F"ox, in 1669. 

Nicolet, at the time of his visit to the Bay, 
1 639, found the Pottawattamies in that locality. 
In 1652, bands of the Hurons were moving 
through the country between Green Bay and 
La Pointe. These, and a band of Ottawas 
were driven out of the country by the Sioux, 
and the Pottawattamies were at the Sault St. 
Marie, in 1641, to which place they had fled 
from the pursuit of the Sioux. From which it 
would appear that it must have been after the 
e.xploration of Nicolet that the Sacs, Fo.xes, 
and Menominees obtained permanent posses- 




sion of the Fox River and Green Bay country. 
The Menominees are first mentioned in the 
Jesuit Relations in 1669, the time of the estab- 
lishment of the mission at La Baye. 

The Winnebagoes inhabited the district west 
of Lake Winnebago and south of the Upper 
Fox, and a large portion of the southern and 
western part of Wisconsin. They also occupied 
the small tract between the head of Lake Win- 
nebago and the Lower Fox, bounded on the 
east by a line from Little Kaukauna to the 
east shore of Lake Winnebago.- This included 
Doty's Island and East Menasha. 

They are called by some authorities a Daco- 
tah tribe; but this is undoubtedly an error; for 
their traditional history is, that they came from 
Spanish America, and Carver, the Northwest- 
ern explorer, says: "The Winnebagoes most 
probably came from Mexico on the approach 
of the Spaniards; and that they had an unal- 
terable attachment to the Sioux, whom, they 
said, gave them the earliest succor duringtheir 
migration." "Which attachment," says Alfred 
Brunson "has continued to this day, there 
never having been a war between them." 

"Their dialect is neither Algonquin nor 
Dacotah, and is," says Mr. Bronson, of 
Prairie Du Chien, who is good authority, 
"totally different from every Indian nation yet 
discovered; it being a very uncouth, gutteral 
jargon, which none of their neighbors will 
attempt to learn. They converse with other 
nations in the Chippewa tongue, which is the 
prevailing language throughout all tribes, from 
the Mohawks of Canada, to those who inhabit 
the borders of the Mississsippi, and from the 
Hurons and Illinois to such as dwell at Green 
•Bay. " 

The French seem to have agreed pretty well 
with the Winnebagoes, but the early American 
settlers, while they generally speak well of the 
Menominees, had a very unfavorable opinion 
of the former tribe. 

Their principal village was at Doty's Island. 
It was here that Capt. Jonathan Carver was so 
hospitably entertained by the princess of this 
village, Ho-po-Ko-e-Kan, (Glory of the 
Morning). She was the daughter of the head 
chief of the Winnebagoes and the widow of a 
French trader, De Kaury, and the mother of 
the celebrated De Kaurys, powerful Winne- 
bago chieftains. 

Pesheu, or Wild Cats' village, was on Garlic 
Island, and Black Wolf, the distinguished head 
chief of the Winnebagoes, had his village at 
the point of that name, on the lake shore, 
about eight miles south of Oshkosh. The 
corn hills of their planting grounds were plainly 
visible a few years ago. 

Mitchell & Osborn's History of Winnebago 
Connty, published in 1856, gives a very 
humorous account of the manner in which this 
shrewd old chief adroitly shifted a bit of 
disagreeable business from his own hands to 
that of another. 

Pow-wa-ga-nieu was a very celebrated chief 
of the Menominees. His great strength was 
only equalled by his bravery and nobleness of 
spirit. He never would take the scalp of a 
woman or child, and it is related of him that 
on several occasions he defended the lives of 
those whom his warriors had subdued in 

" Kish-ke-ne-kat, or Cut Finger, head war chief of the Pot- 
tawattamies of Chicago, was a great brave, and, like some 
successful white braves, somewhat of a bully. Among other of 
his habits was an ugly one, of insulting the greatest brave of 
any tribe he might be visiting, and such was the 
awing effect of his reputation that none, as yet, 
resented it. As was his wont, he sent one of his young men 
to Black Wolf, to inform him of a visit he intended to pay to 
that Chief, moved thereto, by Black Wolf's great reputation as 
a brave. Black Wolf, knowing Cut Finger's habits, thought it 
best to get his Menominee friend, Pow-wa-ga-nieu, to assist in 
dispensing his hospitalities to the Pottawattamie. Therein he 
showed his great wisdom. The Illinois Chief made his 
appearance at Black Wolf's village with three hundred war- 
riors, and, not being expected there, did not find the Chief; so 
according to custom he started after him to Algoma, whither he 
had gone to a corn-husking,on the planting ground of his friend 
Pee-shan. Black Wolf, by this time apprised of his coming, 
assembled his and the Menominee braves to receive him. On 
their arrival they sat down on a pleasant spot within hailing 
distance of their hosts. A young Winnebago, who could 
speak the Pottawottamie tongue, presented the pipe to the 
great Chief with the usual compliments. While the pipe was 
going round. Cut Finger inquired w'nich was Black Wolf. The 
interpreter pointed him out. " Who is that who seems to be as 
great as he, sitting by his side ?" " That's Pow-wa-ga-nieu, 
the great Menominee." Cut Fnger's eyes snapped with 
delight at the prospect of humbling the great warrior before 
his young men. Bidding the Winnebago to tell Black Wolf 
that he would shake his hand; before the young men arose he 
started and paid the usual courtesies to that chief. After these 
preliminaries were settled on both sides. Cut Finger asked : 
'Who is he,this who occupies a place of so much honor? he must 
be a great Indian.' 'This is the bravest Menominee, Pow-wa- 
ga-nieu.' 'Ah, is that the great Pow-wa-ga-nieu, who fills the 
songs of the nations ? let me look at him.' He walked all 
round the chief, examining him with the critical air of a horse 
jockey. Pow-wa-ga-nieu, all this time keeping profound 
silence, having a good idea what it was going to amount to. 
'Well,' at last broke forth Cut Finger, 'you are a fine Indian, a 
great Indian, a strong Indian, but you don't look like a brave 
Indian. I have seen braver looking Indians than you in my 
travels; I am a great traveler. I think you must have got a 
great deal of your reputation by your size. You don't look 
brave — you look sleepy. You have no tongue, you don't 
speak.' Then, telling the young Menominees that he was 
going to satisfy himself as to the courage of their chief, he 
took hold of the bunch of hair the old warrior always kept on 




his crown for the convenience of any Sac or Fox who might 
find it necessary to scalp him, and gave him a good shaking, 
saying all the time, 'You are sleepy, you have no tongue,' and 
a plentiful supply of aborignal banter. Pow-wa-ga nieu, aided 
by his strength and a neck that could withstand anything but 
rum, sustained but little damage from this, and submmitted 
with Indian calmness, until his tormentor had got through. 
After satisfying himself, Cut Finger announced to Black Wolf 
. that he would go and sit among his warriors until Black Wolf 
gave the word to rise. 

" Pow-wa-ga-nieu immediately set himself about fixing the 
flint of his Pottawattamie friend. He opened his sack, and 
drew forth his cap of war-eagle feathers — itself equal to a 
small band of Sacs and Foxes — put it on his head and picked 
up his lance and club. His young men feared an unpleasant 
result, but none dared to speak except his brother, who admon- 
ished him to ' do nothing rash.' One glance of Pow-wa-ga- 
nieu's eye and an emphatic ' I'm mad now! ' sent that respect- 
able Menominee to his seat, excusing himself by saying that 
Pow-waga-nieu ' knew what a fool he always made of him- 
self when he got a-going.' Stretching himself up to his full 
height, he stalked toward the Pottawattamies in a style that 
excited the universal admiration of his friends, especially old 
Black Wolf, who not only admired his friend, but also 
his own tact in shifting this particular scrape on to that friend's 

' My friends,' said the old brave to the Pottawattamies, ' I 
am glad to see you here ; you look brave — you are brave ; many 
of you I have met on the war-path, and know you are brave ; 
some of your youngest I do not know, it being many years 
since I went to war. I am glad to see you look so well. 1 
have heard much of your chief, but I don't think him very 
brave ; I think him a coward. He looks sleepy, and I am 
going to see if he is worthy to lead such braves as you.' 
Whereupon, throwing his weapons upon the ground, he seized 
the Pottawattamie chief by the hair, which he wore very long, 
as in prophetic anticipation of some such retribution as this. He 
shook him with all his might, and continued to shake him until 
the young men remonstrated, saying they were satisfied. He 
stopped without relinquishing his hold.turned around his head, 
looked his followers down into silence, and shook again with 
the vim of a man whose whole heart was in the performance of 
an evident and pious duty. The life was nearly out of Kish-ke- 
ne kat, but the brave Menominee bore that individual's suffering 
with the same fortitude that he had borne his own. Satisfied 
at last, he raised his enemy up by the hair, and threw him 
from him ; at the same time he picked up his club and lance 
and waited to see ' what he was going to do about it.' Cut 
ringer raised himself on his elbow and rubbed his head, not 
daring to look up, while the Menominee invited him to look 
up and see a man, if he was one himself, ' to come and decide 
this matter like men,' which, being unattended to, he went 
back to his seat at the right hand of Black Wolf, who had 
been all this time smoking with the utmost indifference, as, 
indeed, it was no aftair of his. 

" Kish-ke ne kat continued to recline on his arm. Pow- 
wa-ga-nieu eyeing him all the time, and when the Pottawatta- 
mie would steal a glance at the great war cap, the eye under it 
would make him turn again, at the same time his ears were 
assailed with, 'why don't you look up ? what are you afraid 
of ? come and talk to me,' and such taunts. Cut Finger saw 
that his position among his young men was getttng to be rather 
delicate, and the last invitation, as a means of reconciling all 

parties, met his view ; so rising, and laying his hand on his sore 
head, he said : 'My friends; there is no dodging the fact that 
Pow-wa-ga-nieu is a brave, a very brave, Indian ; braver than 
I, and I'll go and tell him so.' Gathering himself up, he 
walked over to the chiefs, and told Pow-wa-ga-nieu that he had 
come over to shake him by the hand. ' You are a great chief: 
I have shook many chiefs ; none have resented till now ; if you 
had submitted, you would have been disgraced in the eyes of 
my young men; now they will honor. I am a great traveler. 1 
am going to all the tribes of the south. I will tell those 
who have spoken well of you how you have used rne. They 
will believe me, for I have pulled all their heads, as you have 
pulled mine ; you are as great as if you had pulled theirs, also. 
Let us shake hands and be friends.' Pow-wa-ga-nieu, who 
was a good fellow at bottom, reciprocated the good feelings of 
the now friendly chief, and a lasting friendship sprung up 
between them, and showed itself in the interchange of presents 
every year, as long as they both lived. 

" The war-eagle cap, which contributed so much toward 
this victory, is, now in the hands of Pow-wa-ga-nieu's son, and 
can be seen any time by those who doubt the truth of the fore- 

Hoo Choup, or Four Legs, had his \illage at 
the outlet of the lake. He was ambitious to 
effect a distinguished alliance for a \'ery ugly 
daughter, and proposed to confer on John H. 
Kinzie, of the American Fur Company, the 
distinction of being his son-in-law. This honor 
was declined b)- Mr. Kinzie, his affections 
being pre-engaged. 

When General Leavenworth, with a body 
of United States troops, passed up the Lower 
Fox, in 1819, he was hailed at Winnebago 
Rapids by Hoo Choup, who appeared before 
him in all the overpowering grandeur of Indian 
ornamentation, and in the most pompous man- 
ner stalked forward and announced "that the 
lake was locked." General Leavenworth 
drawing his rifle up to his shoulder, said to his 
intrepreter, "tell him this is the key that I 
shall unlock it with." Hoo Choup, being 
impressed with this very practicable and sum- 
mary method of opening the lake, and deem- 
ing discretion the better part of valor, with- 
drew his opposition, and the expedition pro- 
ceeded unmolested on its way. 

In 1 829, the Winnebagoes ceded to the gov- 
ernment, all the lands to which they laid claim 
east of the Mississippi. They however, remained 
in the country for many years after; but the 
tribe has dwindled to a mere remnant of its 
former strength and was finallj' remoxed across 
the Mississippi. 





The French Posts and Settlements in the West — The Coureur 
de Bois — His Mode of Life and Canoe Voyages — • French 
Officers Trained in Forest Warfare, in the Campaigns of 
the Fox Valley — De Beaujeu at the Battle of the Monon- 
gahela — De Langlade, the Pioneer Settler of Wisconsin, 
Plans and Executes the Defeat of Braddock — The Opening 
and Closing of the French-Indian War — De Lang- 
lade Attempts to Repeat his Exploit in the Battle of the 
Monongahela, by an Ambuscade of a Large Division of 
Wolf's Army before Quebec — De Langlade Returns to his 
Home in Green Bay — ■ Pontiac's War — Massacre of the 
English Garrison at Michilimackinac. 

FTER the expulsion of the Sauks 
and Foxes from this valley, the 
greatest harmony prevailed between 
the French and Indians of the West. 
The whole net-work of lakes and rivers west 
of the Alleghanies, was now in the possession 
of New France, and a series of posts extended 
from Montreal to the Mississippi. One at 
Niagara guarded the entrance to the lakes. 
One at Detroit controlled the passage between 
Lakes Erie and Huron. Another at the Straits 
of St. Marys, and one at Michilimackinac com- 
manded the entrance to Lakes Superior and 
Michigan. The post at Green Bay secured the 
mouth of the Fox, which was the chief 
entrance-way to the great Mississippi valley. 
One at the mouth of the St. Joseph, controlled 
the route from the head of Lake Michigan to 
the Illinois, by the Kankakee portage; while 
posts on the Wabash and Maumee, with Fort 
Du Quesne on the Ohio, secured the control of 
the Ohio valley, and completed the circuit from 
Quebec and Montreal through the Great 
Lakes, the Fox and Wisconsin, to the Missis- 
sippi, and up the Ohio to its tributaries on the 
Western slope of the Alleghanies. 

Little French settlements sprang up adjacent 
to many of these posts, which constituted in 
1750 the only settlements in the whole interior. 
Their communication with each other was by 
canoe navigation, and the chief business was 
the fur trade. The Indians and French were 
now being rapidly merged into one people, 
and a class of men came into existence who 
were vastly the superiors of the Indians in for- 
est craft, and in all the skill of savage life — 
whites and half-breeds — and known as 
coureicrs de bois. Many of these were born on 
the frontier posts and inured from childhood 
to hardship and danger. No Indians could 
surpass them in the chase or in shooting the 
rapids in the light canoe. In mode of life they 
conformed to that of the Indians; they were 
in fact simply superior savages, leading a half 
civilized life. Dressed in buck-skin hunting- 
frock and leggings gaily ornamented with 
porcupine quills and beads, with eagle feathers 

in his hair — the emblem of the warrior — the 
coiwenr dc bois freely roamed the wilder- 
ness from the Labrador to the Southern 

He explored the most remote recesses of the 
interior, was as familiar with its trails and lines 
of travel as the denizen of a city with its 
streets. He read his way by the moss and 
bark on the trees — by the stars at night, and 
by all ■ those signs so familiar to those accus- 
tomed to forest life. In his canoe, laden with 
furs, and in the enjoyment of the companion- 
ship of the congenial Indians, he cheerily pad- 
dled it along the silvery stream, enlivening his 
toil with song and banter. For a thousand 
miles — from the far-off land of the Dacotah, 
or Illinois, he guided the frail bark through 
river and lake, through foaming rapids and 
stormy seas; through great stretches of dense 
forests, where the sinuous stream was almost 
hidden from the light of day — and again 
through countless leagues of prairie, where 
herds of buffalo, antelope and deer browsed 
unscared at the sight of man, and then over 
the transparent waters of the great inland 
seas. But when his frail canoe shot like a 
startled deer through the milky foam and tear- 
ing rapids, and rushed madly by the jagged 
rocks, then, holding his life in his hands, and 
dependent on his skill and intrepidity, the 
coiweur dc bois was in his glory. 

If his life was one of hardship and danger, it 
was one of pleasurable excitements and of free- 
dom from the cares of civilization. It had its 
fascinations, too, and the camp fire at night 
was always a festive scene, where song and 
merry jest or story, pleasantly whiled away the 
evening hours. 

In the war-dance, or at the dog-feast — by 
the side of his dusky mistress in the wigwam — 
on the war-path or in the chase, he was to all 
intents, Indian — " native to the manor born. 

The other classes in the French-Indian set- 
tlements were the traders, missionaries, mili- 
tary officers and soldiers. 

At the most remote posts were found scions 
of the French nobility mingling in the dusky 
circle of the wigwam — those who were reared 
amid the elegancies and luxuries of the court 
circles of Versailles and Paris. And here were 
found military officers whose earlier years had 
been passed in the feudal camps of Europe. 

Many a gallant, young French officer who 
distinguished himself in the long French-Indian 
war that had its closing scene in the fall of Mon- 
treal, took his first lessons in forest warfare in 
the sanguinary contests of the Fox valley. 

Here the heroic Beaujeu, who fell at the fam- 
ous battle of the Monongahela, organized, with 




De Langlade, of Green Bay, the Indian forces 
who defeated Braddock in that memorable open- 
ing scene in the great drama, whose closing act 
was the English conquest, in itself, but the pre- 
lude to that great contest which established the 
standard of self-government in America, and 
the overthrow of both French and English feu- 

The post at Green Bay was, up to 1745. but 
a military and trading post with the Mission 
attached. In that year was commenced the 
permanent settlement of Wisconsin by August- 
ine and Charles De Langlade, who settled at 
that point and whose descendants still reside 

Augustine De Langlade, born in Three 
Rivers, 1 703, was of patrician extraction — a 
descendant of the house of the Count of Paris. 
He established a trading post among the Otta- 
was at old Michilimackinac, where he married 
Dometilde, widow of Daniel Villeneuve, the 
sister of the principal chief of the Ottawas, 
King Nis-so-wa-quet. Charles Michel De 
Langlade, the issue of the marriage, was born 
at Michilimackinac, in 1729, and, with his father, 
Augustine, removed to the Bay des Puants 
(Green Bay) in 1745, and established there the 
first permanent white settlement in the country. 
After the termination of the French and Indian 
war he married Charlotte Bourassa and returned 
to his home with her, at Green Bay, The sur- 
viving child of this union was Dometilde, who 
was married to Pierre Grignon. A large fam- 
ily sprung from this union, and they and their 
descendants constitute the pioneer settlers of 

Charles De Langlade is one of the historical 
characters of this state. After he had settled at 
"the Bay," England declared war against 

From the accession of William of Orange to 
the throne of England, and the espousal of the 
cause of King James by France, the English 
and French colonies were at strife; but in 1754 
the great drama known as the French and 
Indian war, and which involved the political 
destinies of a continent, had its opening 
scenes at the Great Meadows and Fort Du 
Ouesne, and its closing at the fall and surren- 
der of Montreal — the last stronghold of the 

By the treaties of Utrecht and Aix la Cha- 
pelle, Acadia had been ceded to Great Britain, 
but a dispute sprung up between the two 
powers, respecting the boundaries of that ter- 
ritory. While the question was still pending 
and the courts of Versailles and London were 
holding diplomatic intercourse, so inevitable 

seemed the impending conflict, that both sides 
made vigorous preparations for war. 

The French sent a force to take a position 
on the head waters of the Ohio. They fortified 
themselves at the mouth of the Monongahela, 
and constructed F"ort Du Ouesne, destined to 
become memorable in American History. 

A large English army, under the command 
of Braddock, now marched for Fort Du Ouesne 
for the purpose of its reduction. 

So confident was Braddock of his success, 
that he said to Franklin, "After taking Fort 
Du Ouesne I am to proceed to Niagara, and 
after taking that, to Frontenac. Du Ouesne 
can hardly detain me aboxe three or four days, 
and then I see nothing to obstruct m\- march 
to Niagara." When Franklin replied that the 
Indians and French were skillful in forest war- 
fare, Braddock answered, "The)' may be for- 
midable to your raw American militia, but 
upon the King's regulars and disciplined troops 
it is impossible that they should make any 
impression. ' 

De Beaujeu,the brave young officer who had 
served in the campaigns in the Fox valley, had 
been sent with reinforcements to Fort Du 
Ouesne; and Charles de Langlade, of Green 
Bay, marched to its defense at the head of six 
hundred Indians. Arriving there, they camped 
in bark lodges in the surrounding forests, and 
sent out their scouts to watch the approach of 
the enemy. 

The grand army of the English was slowly 
pushing its way through the unbroken forest. 
So slow was its progress that it was determined 
to push forward with twelve hundred chosen 
men and the light artillery. On the eighth of 
July this ad\'ance body reached the Mononga- 
hela, at a point twelve miles from the French 

The imposing appearance of the formidable 
forces of Braddock, surpassing in military 
grandeur anything the Indians had ever before 
witnessed, discouraged them, for scouts had 
been bringing in accounts of their numbers and 
appearance — exaggerating the force, as usual 
with Indians. 

It was plain, not onl}- to the Indians but to 
Contrecoeur, the commander of the fort, that 
their numbers were insufficient to cope with 
the powerful and well equipped army moving 
upon them, and their only alternative 
seemed retreat, when Beaujeu and De Lang- 
lade proposed an ambuscade. Twice in 
council the Indians refused to go on 
the hazardous enterprise; but at last inspiring 
confidence from the urgent appeals of their 
brave leaders, they started. Their number 
was two hundred and thirty French soldiers 




and six hundred Indians. Before reaching the 
place chosen for an ambuscade, they found 
themselves suddenly in the presence of the 
English army. De Langlade, who saw the 
necessity for immediate action, urged an 
attack, when Beujeu, at the head of his French 
forces, suddenly struck the advancing colnmn. 
The English were taken by surprise. The 
advance saw the gallant Beujeu in his fringed 
hunting shirt, wave his hat to his followers and 
bound forward, when in an instant the woods 
seemed filled with screeching fiends. While 
the French opened a brisk fire on the head of 
the English column, the Indians under De 
Langlade, attacked both flanks. The brave 
Beujeu fell in the first encounter, and the British 
seemed to rally from their consternation and 
madeaspirited fight; but De Langlade's tactics 
were something they were unabletomeet,ashis 
Indians would suddenly attack their flank on 
both sides and disappear; at times the English 
could hardly see an enemy, although a deadly 
storm of lead was continually poured upon 
them. At last every tree and bush was flash- 
ing with a deadly fire and the troops fell by 
scores. Washington with his Virginians was 
cool throughout, and they made a violent 
resistance, but it was of no avail. The British 
troops wasted their fire, shooting over the 
heads of the Indians. The officers behaved 
with great gallantrj-. Fifty-three out ofeighty- 
si.x were killed or wounded, Braddock him- 
self receiving a mortal wound after five horses 
were shot under him. Two horses were also 
shot under Washington, while four bullets 
pierced his clothes. Seven hundred soldiers 
out of the twelve hundred who crossed the 
Monongahela were killed or wounded. After 
the slaughter had continued nearly three houis 
the survivors, panic-stricken, precipitately fled 
to the rear division. The soldiers of this 
division, catching the infection, destroyed their 
cannon and stores and fled in dismay. 
Washington with a handful of men covered 
the disgraceful retreat, feeling chagrined at the 
calamity which had been brought upon them 
through the incompetency and obstinate pride 
of Braddock. 

The English general, Burgoyne, in a letter 
written by him in \JT] , says: "We are expect- 
ing M. de Langlade, the person who at the 
head of the tribe zvhich he now eoniinands, 
planned and executed the defeat of General 
Braddock. " 

In another letter he speaks of De Langlade 
as "the very man who, with these tribes, pro- 
jected and executed Braddock's defeat. " 

De Langlade acted a most distinguished 
part in the subsequent battles of the war, and 

had his importunities for support been heeded 
he would have repeated, on the army of the 
heroic Wolf, a similar disaster, and turned the 
tide of American empire. 

The Plains of Abraham were the Waterloo 
of America. "There is a tide in the affairs of 
men, which, taken at its flood, leads on to 
greatness, glory, and renown." 

In 1759, on the ninth of July, the largest 
division of Wolfs army established itself on 
the left bank of the river, below the falls of 
Montmorency, and, on the twenty-fifth a 
detachment of two thousand men pushed 
a reconnoisance across a belt of forest, almost 
to the F"rench entrenchments. De Langlade 
and his Indians watched theirevery movement, 
unseen by the English, and, ascertaining 
their great number, determined on an ambus- 
cade. He succeeded in placing his Indians in 
ambush, so as to surround the English force; 
and then sent to the Division General, 
acquainting him with the situation, and urging 
him to send a support of French to aid him in 
an immediate attack. The General hesitated 
to do so, without Qrders from head quarters. 
At last M. De Levis ordered a force of 
French forward, but it was too late. 

For five hours the Indians had remained 
crouched in the grass and bushes, impatient 
for the attack, when an English soldier discov- 
ered one of them and fired his piece. The 
Indians could restrain themselves no longer, 
and prematurely commenced their engage- 
ment, when the English effected a retreat to 
their main body. 

In the War Archives at Paris the following 
relation of the affair is recorded. 

"After having lain flat on the ground for five 
hours in the face of the enemy, without 
observing the slightest movement among our 
troops, the Indians, carried away at last by 
their impatience, and seeing, moreover, that 
the enemy was profiting by it, by bringing 
fresh troops into the woods, decided to make 
the attack alone. They were so impetuous, as 
we were subsequently told by a sargeant, who 
had deserted to the enemy, and two Canadi- 
ans, their prisoners, that the English were 
obliged to fight, retreating more than two 
hundred paces from the place of combat before 
they could rally. The alarm was communicated 
even to the main camp, to which Gen. Wolf 
had returned. The savages, seeing themselves 
almost entirely surrounded, effected a retreat, 
after having killed or wounded more than a 
hundred and fifty men, losing only two or 
three of their own number. They met at the 
ford of the River Montmorency, the detach- 
ment coming to their support, which M. De 




Levis had been unwilling to take the responsi- 
bility of sending, until he recei\ed an order 
from M. De Vaudreuil. The whole army 
regretted that they had not profited by so fine 
an opportunit}'. " 

The contest which began at Du Ouesne 
lasted for five years. The celebrated battles 
of Lake George, Ticonderoga and the others 
of this long French Indian war, are matters of 
standard history. The memorable battle on 
the plains of Abraham, where the heroic Wolf 
won imperishable laurels, and where the gal- 
lant Montcalm struggled against adverse fate, 
virtually ended the contest. The subsequent 
surrender of Montreal closed thej'war; and 
F"rench empire in America was ended. 

It was now a century and a half since Cham- 
plain commenced at Quebec, that French 
occupation, which in time embraced the whole 
interior from the Alleghanies to the Missis- 
sippi. But during that period a mighty host 
who peopled the sea coast was gradually 
accumulating a power before whose resistless 
forces, both French and English ascendancy 
were doomed to yield. 

Just before the surrender of Montreal, De 
Langlade received the following commission 
from Louis XV: 

" By the King : 

" His majesty, having made choice of Sieur Langlade to 
serve in the capacity of half-pay lieutenant in connection with 
the troops stationed in Canada, he commands the Lieutenant 
General of New France to receive him, and to cause him to be 
recognized in the said capacity of half-pay lieutenant by all 
those and others whom it may concern. 

" Done at Versailles, February first, 1760. 

" Louis." 

After the surrender of Montreal, Vaudreuil, 
(lovernor General of Canada, sent to De Lang- 
lade the following communication: 

" Montreal, Ninth of September, 1760. 

" I inform you, sir, that I have to-day been obliged to 
capitulate with the army of General Amherst. This city is, as 
you know, without defences. Our troops were considerably 
diminished, our means and resources exhausted. We were 
surrounded by three armies, amounting in all to twenty thous- 
and eighty men. General Amherst was, on the sixth of this 
month, in sight of the walls of this city. General Murray within 
reach of one of our suburbs, and the army of Lake Champlain 
was at La Prairie and Longueil. 

'■ Under these circumstances, with nothing to hope from 
our efforts, nor even from the sacrifice of our troops, I have 
advisedly decided to capitulate with General Amherst upon 
conditions very advantageous for the colonists, and particularly 
for the inhabitants of Michilimackinac. Indeed, they retain 
the free exercise of their religion ; they are maintained in the 
possession of their goods, real and personal, and of their pel- 
tries. They have also free trade, just the same as the proper 
subjects of the King of Great Britain. 

" The same conditions are accorded to the military. They 

can appoint persons to act for them in their absence. They, 
and all citizens in general, can sell to the English or French 
their goods, sending the proceeds, thereof, to France, or taking 
them with them if they choose to return to that country after 
the peace. They return their negroes and Pawnee Indian 
slaves, but will be obliged to restore those which have been 
taken from the English. The English General has declared 
that the Canadians have become the subjects of His Britannic 
Majesty, and consequently the people will not continue to be 
governed as heretofore by the French Code. 

" In regard to the troops, the condition has been imposed 
upon them not to serve during the present war, and to lay down 
their arms before being sent back to France. You will there- 
fore, sir, assemble all the officers and soldiers who are at your 
post. You will cause them to lay down their arms, and you 
will proceed with them to such sea-ports as you think best, to 
pass from thence to France. The citizens and inhabitants of 
Michilimackinac will consequently be under the command of 
the officer whom General Amherst shall appoint to that post. 

" You will forward a copy of my letter to St. Joseph, and to 
the neighboring posts, in order that if any soldiers remain there, 
they and the inhabitants may conform thereto. 

" I count upon the pleasure of seeing you in France, with 
all your officers. 

" I have the honor to be, very sincerly. Monsieur, your very 
humble and very obedient servant, 

" Vaudreuil. 

" Signed in the original draught." 

De Langlade returned to his home at Green 
Bay. He had married a Miss Charlotte 
Bourassa, and with her now returned to the 
enjoyments of domestic life. As before stated, 
his daughter, Domitilde, was the first white 
child born in the limits of Wisconsin, and her 
descendants still live at Green Bay. 

By the treaty of Paris, 1763, France ceded 
all her territory east of the Mississippi. The 
English took possession of all the Western 
posts, and the control of the country passed 
into the hands of that power. But the Indians 
were irreconcilable; they were unalterably 
attached to the French, and hated the Eng- 

The great Pontiac, an Ottawa chief, planned 
a conspiracy. He declared that "the luiglish 
are dogs, disguised as men in garments always 
stained in blood." He united the various 
nations in an attempt to take the several forts 
by stratagem, and then by a general ujjrising 
to drive the English out of the coiintr}-. 

Capt. Etherington was commandant of 
Michilimackinac; and De Langlade, who had 
remonstrated with the Indians against the use- 
less bloodshed, hastened to acquaint I"'ther- 
ington of his danger. But this officer, blinded 
by the treacherous professions of Indians, 
gave no heed to the warning. 

On the birthday of King George, June 
fourth, 1763, there was a grand celebration at 
the fort, and the Chippewas and others were 
invited to participate. The Indians proposed 




to play their game of ball, called la crosse. 
They managed to throw their ball over the 
palisades of the fort, several times, when the 
soldiers threw it back to them. Etherington, 
becoming much interested in the game, and 
desiring to give the Indians all possible facili- 
ties, ordered the gates of the fort to be thrown 
open. The ball was soon thrown inside, when 
the Indians rushed after it. The squaws fol- 
lowed and handed the warriors the weapons, 
which were concealed under their blankets. 
The war-whoop was now yelled, and the 
unsuspecting soldiers fell under the murderous 
blows of the savages. Seventeen were massa- 
cred, and the survivors taken prisoners, Eth- 
erington and Lieut. Leslie among the latter. 
When they were found outside of the fort after 
the massacre, they were taken and stripped of 
their clothing, and fire was prepared to burn 
them at the stake. De Langlade, in anticipa- 
tion of this fearful event, had come to the fort 
with a number of friendly Ottawas from I'Arbre 
Croche. He now hastened to the succor of 
Etherington and his companion, who were 
bound to stakes; and at once cut the cords, 
saying to the Chippewas in a resolute tone: "If 
you are not satisfied with what I have done, I 
am ready to meet you." They knew the 
man and yielded to him their prisoners, whom 
De Langlade subsequently sent with an escort 
of Ottawas to Montreal. 

Nearly all the Western posts fell into the 
hands of the Indians, and Pontiac maintained 
a long siege of Detroit. 

At length a general pacification of the 
Indians was effected, and the posts were again 
garrisoned by the English. 


The Early French Settlers — Judge Porlier and the Grignons 
— Society of Green Bay in the Early Day — The New 
Comers — The Americans. 

j^/j^pBPC FTP^R Pontiac 's war, no very import- 
"^ , ant events occurred in the North- 
_j west, until after the Revolution. 
m^^ The little French settlements at 
pi Michilimackinac, Prairie du Chien 
and Green Bay, cut off from associa- 
ion with the mother country, were left like 
)ut-casts or abandoned waifs in the midst of 
he wilderness. Among this isolated people 
vere a number of the descendants of noble 
rench families, like the De Langlades and 
irignons, the latter lineal descendants of Gov- 
rnor Grignon, of Bretagne, France. 

Judge Advocate Storrow, of the American 
army, in his interesting narrative of Explora- 
tions in the Northwest in 1817, in speaking of 
the little settlement at the Bay, says: "In con- 
versation with this outcast people, I was sur- 
prised at their devotion to the land of their 
fathers; although the memory of no man living 
reached to the period of the connection." 

The lapse of half a century which has made 
them the property of two different nations, 
affords nothing to obliterate the tradition- 
ary remembrance of France, their primitive 
country. " 

There is something peculiarly attractive and 
fascinating in the history of this old place and 
its romantic associations, more ancient than 
many of the renowned revolutionary towns. 

Its whole history is interwoven with the 
leading events of American civilization from 
its remote beginnings, and is contemporaneous 
with the rule of three distinct goverments. 

Two hundred years ago it was the advanced 
outpost of French colonization, and for a cen- 
tury was the local point of the explorations, 
trade and travel of the Mississippi valley; while 
around it clustered all those ambitious hopes 
and aspirations of F" rench empire in the West. 
By the treaty of Paris it was abandoned to 
English domination, and its inhabitants made 
the subjects of a foreign power, but the English 
conciliated them by practically leaving local 
control in the hands of the inhabitants, and by 
wise forbearance made them firm allies. 

After the American revolution, the officers 
stationed at the fort and their families, and the 
families of the American traders and settlers 
introduced a new social element. But the new 
comers found many of the old French families 
to be people of elegant manners, some of 
whom had received a liberal education, and 
whose homes had many evidences of taste and 
refinement. Many of the American settlers, 
too, of that place were men of culture and 
talent — enterprising professional and business 
men, who came to lay the foundation of a 
state; and Green Bay soon came to be noted 
for its genial social manners, gaieties and warm 
hearted hospitality; and it is said still bears 
the impress of the social eclat of its ancient 

It is a pleasure to call to remembrance the 
warm friendships, kindly intercourse and gen- 
erous hospitality of pioneer days in Wisconsin, 
where in the midst of the wilderness were 
found little communities comprised largely of 
men and women of cultured minds and courte- 
ous manners, and warm hearts full of kindness 
and earnest purpose. 

General Ellis, one of Wisconsin's honored 




pioneers and a resident of Green Bay in 1822, 
in his published recollections, in State Histori- 
cal Collections, gives a glimpse of the pleasant 
social life of the times. He says, speaking of 
the old P"rench settlers: 

" The residents on the River, e.\cepl some half a dozen Ameri- 
cans, were retired French voyageurs, and half-breed French 
and Menominees ; they had without let or hindrance, taken up 
the whole shore of the River above the fort, for six miles; 
divided it off into little strips of one or two French arpents in 
width, which they called their farms; they claimed back at 
right angles from the River eighty arpents, about two and 
three-fourths miles in depth. They had reduced most of the fronts 
for an acre, or two, or three, soine more, some less deep, to a 
state of cultivation ; and had growing at the time of our arrivab 
the first of September, very fair crops of potatoes, maize, oats, 
peas, spring wheat, pumpkins, melons, cabbages, onions, and 
other common garden vegetables. Most of them had teams of 
native oxen, and a kind of implement claimed to be a plow, 
with which they broke the soil. This plow went on wheels, 
one of which was twice the size of the other, the larger one 
going in the furrow, the smaller one going on the land. The 
plow beam was fourteen feet in length ; the chip, on which the 
share was fastened, was four feet long, and altogether, when in 
motion was drawn by six or eight bulls, it was a formidable 
object, and answered well the end of its construction. The 
furrows were nearly two feet in width, but quite shallow. The 
style of plowing was what is known as •' back furrowing," and 
only two each way, to a land, forming ridges eight feet wide, 
with a dead furrow between, which insured thorough drainage. 
The breaking was commonly done in June ; then leaving it till 
Ihe next spring, when as soon as the farmer could get at it, 
even before the frost was fairly out of the ground, it was thor- 
oughly harrowed, and if for wheat, the seed put in without 
waiting for warm weather. 

" These bull-teams were a curiosity to a raw American. 
The animals were unblemished — the yoke was a straight 
piece of hickory, worked off smooth and bound to the bulls' 
necks just back of the horns, with a strip of raw hide, to which 
stick was fastened the pole of the cart, on which rested the 
plow beam. Besides these bull-teams for plowing, these set- 
tlers had ponies of a hardy kind, with which they managed to 
propel a rude cart in summer ; and a kind of sled, called a 
train, or another called a cariole, in winter; the ponies were 
always worked singly — no two were ever harnessed abreast. 
With these trains, loaded with ten to fourteen hundred pounds, 
they w'ould undertake journeys in winter to the Rocky Moun- 
tains, if required. It was the common mode of moving mer- 
chandise long distances in winter — taking the place of boat in 
summer. Mi. Daniel Whitney usually employed a caravan of 
these ponies and trains with their French drivers every winter 
to transport supplies from Green Bay to St. Peters. 

" These native settlers of Green Bay lived in primeval 
simplicity ; of all people, they seemed the most innocent, 
honest, truthful and unsuspecting. They had, moreover, a 
most perfect immunity from want; their little fields were pro- 
ductive; the River was alive with fish and fowl; summer and 
winter 'heir food was of the best, and in greatest abundance, 
and only required the taking. A narrator would not dare state 
the truth of the abundance of wild fowl, fish and game, with 
which the country abounded, on pain of being held by the 

listener, an unmitigated Munchausen. Their habiliments were 
obtained with equal facility. Both se.xes, for the most part, 
arrayed themselves in garments procured from the chase ; 
those of the male were almost entirely of deer skin, while 
the females indulged in a few cotton stufifs obtained from the 
traders. All wore the moccasin ; not a boot or shoe was to be 
seen among them. 

"These simple people inherited their lnanner^ from their fore- 
fathers, the French of Lower Canada ; and politeness and strict 
"good-breeding" was the rule, from the highest to the lowest. 
It gave them ease and gracefulness of deportment, often a sur- 
prise and reproach to the brusque, abrupt Yankee, rendering 
their company acceptable and engaging with the most cul- 
tivated and polite, and insuring, in their intercourse with each 
other, the preservation of friendly feeling and good will. They 
had been sought out by the Catholic mini.-.ters, their children 
were all baptised Christians, hnd been taught the creed and 
commandments, and grew up simple hearted, trusting people. 
They were strict observers of the seasons of festivals and feasts. 
From Christmas to Ash-Wednesday, the whole settlement was 
rife with feasting, dancing, and merry-making; but, on the 
approach of Lent, it was suddenly suspended till Easter. 

* ',i a * » * 

'■ The Easter festival was the most joyous of the calendar ; 
with the most of them it was celebrated in the deep forests; 
where they had before repaired, for one of their chief indus- 
tries, the making of maple sugar; which requires a little more 
special notice. It was a source of the greatest amusement, as well 
as profit, occupying two or three months of every year, and 
engaged nearly the whole population, male and female, chil- 
dren and all. They probably got the art froiji the Indians, 
and greatly improved on the savage mode. About the first to 
the fifteenth of February, preparations were made throughout 
the settlement for repairing to the sucrerie, ox sugar- bush — for 
moving from their home cabins on the River bank, into the 
deep wood, often many miles distant ; taking generally most of 
their household treasures, even to their chickens ; and they 
made the business worthy of their preparations. Some of them 
had as many as (we hundred, eight hundred, and some one - 
thousand trees tapped- A few of their sugar-houses were quite ; 
large, and as good as those at the River, well furnished, with' 
buckets, store troughs, kettles, etc. The ground was neatly 
cleared of underbrush, and roads made to every part of it. The 
first of the season, after arriving at the sucrerie, was to 
provide a good store of fuel for purposes of boiling; next to 
overhaul and repair the buckets, which had been carefully 
stored in the sugar-house the spring before. These buckets 
were made from the birch bark — nothing else would suflice. 
This bark, it may be added, is taken from the tree by the 
Indians in June, and made an object of merchandise; like 
peltries, by traders These v.arious preparations would consume 
perhaps a month before ihe commencement of the sap-runniug 

'• As before stated, the E.asler festival was generally 
observed at those siicreries ; for this reason, those who had the 
chickens, and could do it, took them into the woods, made 
houses for them, and saved a store of eggs for this festival. 
Then it was that their friends at the settlement, the Americans 
and army officers, were invited to visit them, and the invita- 
tions were rarely declined. The American citizens, the gen- 
tlemen and ladies of the army, found no greater enjoyment than 
one of these spring festivals, celebrated among their French 




and half-breed entertainers in the depth of the great maple 
woods, in their commodious sugar-houses. There was never- 
failing good cheer, somewhat enlarged, perhaps, by their visit- 
ors in a pic-nic style ; which was followed with strains of the 
merry violin and the dance, and at length the guests retired 
with pleasing, vivid recollections of the Easter festival among 
the French, at the sucreries. These frolics were often enlivened 
by an old fashioned " candy-pull, " when the French girls 
presented their sweet-hearts, on parting, with a cake of candy^ 
folded in a strip of birch bark, which they called their 'billet 

"Augustine Grignon was notedforhis almost 
princely hospitality. No man, woman or 
child ever met a frown at his door, or went 
away hungry. His home was indeed one to the 
weary wayfarer; and we would invariably say, 
"Only let us reach Augustine's and we shall be _ 
happy," and so, indeed, we were. His house 
was often crowded at night to the great incon- 
venience of himself and family; but the cordial 
welcome, the bland smile and the bountiful 
good cheer, never failed, and all without fee or 
reward except that rich one felt by every good 
man, conscious of a generous action. 

"Of all meii of French origin at the Bay when 
I arrived there, Judge James Porlier stood 
foremost. He was known as Judge of Probate 

♦ # * Mr. Porlier was a man of education, 
in the enlarged sense. 

* * * He was well-born, of the French 
nobility, and received corresponding advanta- 
ges in his youth. A very few moments in his 
company assured you of the presence of a man 
of culture and fine taste. His possession of 
these was acknowledged by all. On -his appear- 
ance in the social circle — and none, either 
French or American, was considered complete 
without him, all mirth and impertinence sub- 
sided, and the company — the highest in it — 
deferred to, and awarded him the post of honor. 
He was verygentle in his manner; and his con- 
versation remarkable for the purity and elegance 
of his language, and not less so for the high 
moral tone of his sentiment. The regard awarded 
him by his French neighbors was universal and 
sincere. He commanded the same admiration 
from the American citizens, -as well as gentle- 
men of the army, all of whom tendered Judge 
Porlier every evidence of esteem and respect." 

"Pierre Grignon had the manners of a court- 
ier, was not wanting in intelligence, and was 
liberal, free-hearted and generous; of a tall, 
commanding figure, and open and ingenuous 
countenance, he was calculated to command 
the respect and good will of a stranger. To 
Williams, he was very attentive, and through 
his Indian retainers kept his table bountifully 
supplied with game — venison, fish and fowl. 

Louis Grignon was most active in taking 

measures fot securing educational advantages 
for his family and neighbors, and several of his 
children finished their schooling in Montreal." 

In speaking of a marriage, General Ellis says: 

"This was not the first essay of for a 

wife among the fair damsels of Green Bay; for 
only a few days before, he had laid himself, his 
fortune and his fame at the feet of one of the 
daughters of Louis Grignon, a young lady of 
great personal charins, good education in the 
French language, obtained at Montreal, and 
irreproachable manners and character. The 
lady, her father and friends had a correct appre- 
ciation of the distinguished suitor; and in a 
manner as inoffensive as possible, declined the 
alliance. " 

Miss Grignon was the grand-daughter of 
Charles De Langlade, the first settler in Wis- 
consin; and the personal sketches above given 
are interesting exhibits of the character of the 
leading French families, who constituted the 
first settlers in the State. 

Most of the ancient land marks of Green Bay 
are swept away by that remorseless progress 
that obliterates all but the record of the past, 
and the old straggling French settlement along 
the mouth of the river has been transformed 
into three thriving modern cities — Green Bay, 
Fort Howard and Depere, marts of trade, com- 
merce and manufacture; with stately buildings 
and shipping, and with railroads stretching 
away in every direction. 

At the close of the Revolutionary War, the 
territory of the Northwest was to have been 
surrendered to the United States; but the 
formal delivery of the forts was not made for 
many years after, and the posts continued to 
be occupied with English officials and fur 
traders, conjointly with the French and 

By the treaty of peace of 1783, and by 
Jay's treaty of 1795, it was stipulated that the 
Northwestern Territory, with its forts and 
trading posts, should be transferred to the 
authorities of the United States. The English, 
however, remained in actual possession of the 
country until after the war of 1812. During 
that war the greater portion of the Northwest 
was under the control of the British. 

After the conquest of New France by the 
English, the French inhabitants and the 
Indians considered themselves subjects of the 
English government. They had no associa- 
tions with the Americans, and being under the 
control of English influence, they adhered to 
that power in the war of 18 12. 

The post of Green Bay was one of the few 
places relinquished by the English to the 
United States prior to that war. 



The Americans had built a fort on Macki- 
naw Island. This was attacked and taken by the 
English, under command of Col. Robert Dick- 
son, aided by a party of Winnebagoes and 
Menominces. Oshkosh was in this expedition. 

In 1813, Souligny, a Menominee war-chief, 
and fifty of his braves, participated in the 
hard fighting under Tecumseh, at Fort Meigs. 
Tomah, who had started later with the chiefs 
Grizzly Bear, lometah and Oshkosh, went 
under Proctor, and joined in the attack on the 
fort at Sandusky, which was so gallantly 
defended by young Crogan. The Winnebagoes 
also, took part in this campaign under the lead 
of Pesheu, or the Wild Cat, and Black Wolf, 
De Kaury and others. 

The distinguished pioneer, Henry S. Baird, 
of Green Bay, says: 

"The Menominees were always friendly to 
the whites, and gained the confidence and 
friendship of the latter. It is true, that during 
the war of 181 2, this tribe, together with all 
the Northern and Western tribes, joined the 
British and fought under their standard; but 
this must be attributed to the fact, that the 
whole of this portion of the Northwest was at 
that period in subjection to that power, rather 
than the inclination of the Menominees, who 
were induced to believe that the Government 
of the United States was entirely unable to 
keep possession of the country and protect 
them in their rights." 

It ought to be remembered too, that the 
Menominees regarded themselves as one people 
with theFrench, andthatthey considered them- 
selves with the French the subjects of the new 
power, (the English) whose King had become 
their new father. They also began to perceive 
the dangers to them of the encroachments of 
the Americans, who, unlike the French and 
English traders, were occupying the land and 
absorbing the Indian territory. 

"But," says Henr)' S. Baird, "the descend- 
ants of some of the old American settlers, well 
know that their families were not only rescued 
from the scalping knife, but subsequently 
protected by different individuals of the 
I Menominee tribe. ' 

'^ — The Wisconsin Indians, with the exception 
of the Sauks and Foxes, and a few of the Win- 
nebagoes, never made war on the whites — 
except as allies in war between the whites, 
waged by the whites themselves. 

In the Black Hawk war they promptly went 
to the defense of the Americans. 

After the capture of Mackinaw, an expedi- 
tion went under the command of Lieut. Col. 
Wm. McKay, for the purpose of taking the 
American fort at Prairie du Chien. McKaj''s 

forces arriving at Green Bay, were joined by a 
military company, of which Pierre Grignon was 
captain, and Augustin Grignon and Peter 
Powell, Lieutenants. 

James B. Porlier, now a resident of Buttes 
des Morts, and then a \-outh of eighteen, was 
commissioned as lieutenant of a company of 
regulars. They proceeded by the Fo.x Rivers, 
Lake Winnebago and the Wisconsin in barges 
and canoes. 

The American forces at the garrison num- 
bered about sixty men. 

It was Sunday when the expedition reached 
Prairie du Chien, and as it was a pleasant day, 
the officers were intending to go on a pleasure 

Nicholas Boilvan was American Indian agent 
at that place; he had sent his man out to drive 
up his cattle, when the man, discovering the 
enemy, hastened back and told Boilvan of their 
presence. Boilvan and all the citizens now 
fled from the town, some taking refuge in the 
fort, others going into the country. 

The English and their Indian allies now 
invested the fort, and a flag was sent 
demanding its surrender. The demand was 
promptly declined. 

A si.x pounder was now got in position 
\vhich fired upon the American gun-boat lying 
in the river. The boat returned the fire, 
but as both fired at long range, it was for 
some time ineffectual. At last the gun-boat 
was struck so as to cause leakage, when she 
was compelled to drop down stream. As she 
was starting, the inmates of the fort called to 
her to remain; but as she moved off despite of 
the summons, they fired on her. She was 
struck twice afterward by the shot of the 
English, and was leaking badly before she got 
out of harm's wa}-. 

During the contest with the gun-boat, 
McKay got his regulars in po.sition near the 
fort, and a brisk fire was kept up till night. 

The siege lasted four days without any veryj 
decisive occurrence, when McKay resolved onj 
more efiectual measures. While these were ir 
preparation, the garrison raised a white flagJ 
and its surrender was agreed upon. Itl 
seems it had a scanty supply of ammunition] 
— its chief stores being in the magazine of the! 
gun -boat. 

When the beleaguered garrison marched ou< 
to deli\'er up their small arms, some of the 
Indians made hostile demonstrations, but theyl 
were promptly suppressed, as McKay had 
given the strictest orders to his men and the 
Menominees to guard the Americans from an)- 
assault that the Indians might meditate. One 
of them, a Winnebago, who was loitering b)' 





the palisades, induced a soldier to put out his 
hand through a port hole to shake hands, when 
as quick as thought he whipped out his knife 
and cut ofif one of the man's fingers and fled. 

After the surrender, the Winnebagoes made 
an attempt to plunder the citizens; when 
McKay resolutely told them, that if they did 
not immediately go to their homes he would 
turn his troops upon them. After they left, he 
and his forces departed for Green Bay. The 
contest was a bloodless one. After the close 
of the war, Col. McKay went to Montreal. 
Col. Robert Dickson remained for some time 
in this country. He had been an English 
trader, and had a Sioux wife, and four children 
by her. He was highly esteemed by the 
Americans for his humanity to prisoners dur- 
ing the war. 

One of the most terrible events of the war of 
1 812, was the massacre of the garrison at 

The fort was situated on the south bank 
of the river, at a point where the old river, 
before the harbor was built, made a sharp 
curve before entering the lake On the north 
shore of the river, right opposite the fort, was 
Mr. Kinzie's residence and trading post. The 
writer, when a small child, often played on the 
old place. There were only two other resi- 
dences on the river within a distance of two 
miles. These, with the fort, and a few families 
of discharged soldiers and half-breeds, living 
just outside its palisades, constituted all there 
was of Chicago at that day. 

On the seventh of April, 181 2, while Mr. 
Kinzie's children were dancing to the music of 
his violin, Mrs. Kinzie rushed into the house 
breathless, e.Kclaiming that the Indians were at 
Lee's place, killing and scalping. The family 
now immediately repaired to the fort; and as 
another family was in peril — the Burn? — no 
time was to be lost in going to their rescue. 
A gallant officer, with a party, started in a 
small scow. They reached the place in time, 
and moving Mrs. Burns, with her infant, only 
a day old, on a bed, placed it on the scow and 
brought her and her family safely to the fort. 
A party of soldiers who were out fishing, hear- 
ing the report of a cannon which was fired to 
warn them of danger, stopped at the Lee place 
on their return, and found the mutilated 
bodies of two men. It was afterwards learned 
that the act was committed by a party of 
Winnebagoes. '*• 

On the seventh of August, a Pottawattamie 
chief arrived at the fort, with despatches from 
Gen. Hull, informing them that war was 
declared; that Mackinaw was taken by the 
British; and with orders to Captain Heald to 

evacuate the fort and distribute the goods to 
the Indians. The Pottawattamie chief, who 
knew the nature of the instructions, obtained 
an interview with Mr. Kenzie, and advised 
against such a measure, as one fraught with 
the greatest danger; that it would be better to 
remain until reinforcements could be sent to 
the relief of the garrison. Mr. Kinzie and the 
officers of the garrison urged the same course; 
but Captain Heald determined to evacuate and 
distribute the stores. 

The Indians were daily becoming more defi- 
ant, passing in and out of the fort, contrary to 

The greatest gloom prevailed among the 
little hopeless band, who nightly retired 
expecting to be awakened by the war-whoop. 

A council was held with the Indians, at 
which the commandant informed them, that he 
intended to distribute among them the goods 
and munitions in the fort. He then asked them 
for an escort of safety to Fort Wayne. This 
they promised with the greatest professions of 

Mr. Kinzie and the officers protested against 
giving them the ammunition, arms and liquor, 
and Captain Heald perceiving the impolicy of 
it himself, determined to destroy all of the 
ammunition, except the amount required by 
his own force. 

The goods were delivered to the Indians, 
and in the evening the liquor was poured into 
the river, and the ammunition destroyed. Not- 
withstanding the greatest secrecy had been 
observed, the Indians became aware of the 
destruction of what they coveted, and mani- 
fested their indignation. 

The day fixed fo^fcacuation — the fifteenth 
— arrived. In j^^M morning, Mr. Kinzie 
received informati^Hfrom a friendly Indian, 
that mischief waP^ptended, and urging him 
to accompany MrjWKinzie and the children in 
the boat that jV to carry them to St. 
Joseph's. He dj^Bined, thinking his presence 
would protect fl^doomed band, so highly was 
he esteemed wihe Indians. 

The troops left the fort, the band playing the 
dead march. Mr. Kinzie and his eldest son 
accompanying them, while Mrs. Kinzie and 
her four children were in the boat. 

Captain Wells, who had come from St. 
Joseph's with a band of fifteen friendly Indians 
to aid in their protection, blackened his face 
before leaving the garrison, in anticipation of 
impending doom. 

The procession mournfully filed along the 
shore of the lake. After proceeding a short 
distance, Capt. Wells suddenly announced, 
"They are about to attack us. Form and 




charge upon them." The words were hardly 
uttered, before a shower of lead was poured 
into their ranks. The carnage was frightful. 
The troops fought with desperation, but 
encumbered with women and children and 
contending against such vast odds, there was 
no hope. Still they fought in desperation and 
despair; several of the women making a heroic 
resistance. The terrible scenes that were 
enacted are almost too horrible to be related. 
Mr Kinzie and the members of his family 
were saved; also, Lieut. Helm, and his wife, 
a step-daughter of Mr. Kinzie. The following 
is a part of her narrative of the massacre: 
• »***# 

" At this moment a young Indian raised his tomahawk at 
me. By springing aside, I avoided the blow which was 
intended for my skull, but which alighted on my shoulder. I 
seized him around the neck, and while exerting my utmost 
efforts to get possession of his scalping-knife, which hung in a 
scabbard over his breast, I was dragged from his grasp by 
another and an older Indian. 

" The latter bore me struggling and resisting to the lake. 
Notwithstanding the rapidity with which I was hurried along, 
I recognized as I pissed them, the lifeless remains of the 
unfortunate surgeon. Some murderous tomahawk had stretched 
him upon the very spot where I had last seen him. 

" I was immediately plunged into the water and held there 
with a forcible hand, notwithstanding my resistance. I soon 
preceived, however, that the object of my captor was not to 
drown me; for he held me firmly in such a position as to place 
my head above water. This reassured me, and regarding him 
attentively, I soon recognized, in spite of the paint with which 
he was disguised. The Black Palridge. 

" When the firing had nearly subsided, my preserver bore 
me from the water and conducted me up the sandbanks. It was 
a burning August morning, and walking through the sand in 
my drenched condition was inexpressibly painful and fatiguing. 
I stooped and took off my shoes to free them from the sand 
with which they were nearly filled, when a squaw seized 
and carried them off, and I was obliged to proceed without 

*' When we had gained the prairie, I was met by my father, 
who told me that my husband was safe and but slightly 
wounded. They led me gently back towards the Chicago 
River, along the southern bank of which was the Pottawattamie 
encampment. At one time I was placed upon a horse without 
a saddle, but finding the motion insupportable, I sprang off. 
Supported partly by my kind conductor. Black Palridge, and 
partly by another Indian, Pee-so-tum, who held dangling in 
his hand a scalp, which by the black ribbon around the queue 
I recognized as that of Captain Wells, I dragged my fainting 
steps to one of the wigwams. 

" The wife of Wau-bee-nee-mah, a chief from the Illinois 
River was standing near, and seeing my exhausted condition 
she seized a kettle, dipped up some water from a stream that 
flowed near, threw into it some maple sugar, and stirring it up 
with her hand gave it me to drink. This act of kindness, in 
the midst of so many horrors, touched me most sensibly, but 
my attention was soon diverted to other objects. 

"The fort had become a scene of plunder to such as 
remained after the troops marched out. The cattle had been 

.shot down as they ran at large, and lay dead or dying around. 
This work of butchery had commenced just as we were leaving 
the fort. I well remembered a remark of Ensign Ronan, as 
the firing began : ' Such, ' turning to me, ' is to be our fate — 
to be shot down like brutes ! ' 

" ' Well, sir, ' said the Commanding Officer who overheard 
him , ' are you afraid ? ' 

" ' No, ' replied the high-spirited young man, ' I can march 
up to the enemy where you dare not show your face;' 
and his subsequent gallant behavior showed this to be no idle 
boast. ' 

" As the noise of the firing grew gradually less and the 
stragglers from the victorious party came dropping in, I 
received confirmation of what my father had hurriedly com- 
municated in our rencontre on the lake shore ; namely, that 
the whites had surrendered after the loss of about two-thirds of 
their number. They had stipulated, through the interpreter, 
Peresh Leclerc, for the preservation of their lives, and those of 
the remaining women and children, and for their delivery at 
some of the British posts, unless ransomed by traders in the 
Indian country. It appears that the wounded prisoners were 
not considered as included in the stipulation, and a horrible 
scene ensued upon their being brought into camp. 

" An old squaw infuriated by the loss of friends, or excited 
by the sanguinary scenes around her, seemed possessed by a 
demoniac ferocity. She seized a stable-fork and assaulted one 
miserable victim, who lay groaning and writhing in the agony 
of his wounds, aggravated bv the scorching beams of the sun. 
With a delicacy of feeling scarcely to have been expected 
under such circumstances, Wau-bee-nee-nah stretched a mat 
across two poles, between me and this dreadful scene. ) was 
thus spared in some degree a view of its horrors, although I 
could not entirely close my ears to the cries of the sufferer. The 
following night five more of the wounded prinsoners were 

" The Americans, after their first attack by the Indians, 
charged upon those who had concealed themselves in a sort of 
ravine, intervening between the sand-banks and the prairie. 
The latter gathered themselves into a body, and after some 
hard fighting, in which the number of whites was reduced to 
twenty-eight, this little band succeeded in breaking through 
the enemy, and gaining a rising ground not far from the Oak 
Woods. The contest now seemed hopeless, and Lieutenant 
Helm sent Peresh Lecerc, a half-breed boy in the service of 
Mr. Kinzie, who had accompanied the detachment and fought 
manfully on their side, to propose terms of capitulation. It 
was stipulated that the lives of all the survivors should be 
spared and a ransom permitted as snon as practicable. 

" But, in the mean time, a horrible scene had been enacted 
One young savage, climbing into the baggage-wagon containing 
the children of the white families, twelve in number, toma- 
hawked the children of the entire group. This was during the 
engagement near the Sand-hills. When Captain Wells.wbo was 
fighting near, beheld it, he exclaimed : 

" ' Is that their game, butchering the women and children ? 
Then I will kill too !' 

" So saying, he turned his horse's head, and started for the 
Indian camp, near the fort, where had been left their squaws 
and children. 

"Several Indians pursued him as he galloped along. He 
laid hirasell flat on the neck of his horse, loading and firing in 
that position, as he would occasionally turn on his pursuers. At 
length their balls took effect, killing his horse, and severely 



wounding himself. At this moment he was met by Winnetneg 
and Wau-ban-see, who endeavored to save him from the s-avages 
who had now overtaken him. As they supported him along, 
after having disengaged him from his horse, he received his 
death-blow from another Indian, Pee solum, who stabbed him 
in the back. 

" The heroic resolution of one of the soldier's wives 
deserves to be recorded, She was a Mrs. Corbin, and had, 
from the first expressed the determination never to fall into the 
hands of the savages, believing their prisoners were always 
subjected to tortures worse than death. 

"When, iherefore, a parly came upon her, to make her a 
prisonei, she fought with desperation, refusing to surrender, 
although assured, by signs, of safety and kind treatment, and 
suffered herself to be cut m pieces, rather than become their 

" There was a Sergeant Holt, who, early in the engagement, 
received a ball in the neck. Finding himself badly wounded, 
he gave his sword to his wife, who was on horseback near him 
telling her to defend herself — he then made for the lake to 
keep out of the way of the balls. Mrs. Holt rode a very fine 
horse, which the Indians were desirous of possessing, and 
they therefore attacked her, in hopes of dismounting her. 

" They fought only with the butt-ends of their guns, fortheir 
object was not to kill her. She hacked and hewed at their 
pieces as they were thrust again-t her, now on this side, now 
on that. Finally, she broke loose from them and dashed out 
into the prairie. The Indians pursued her, shouting and laugh- 
ing, and now and then^calling out: 

" ' The brave woman ! do not hurt her ! ' 

" At length they overtook her ugain, and while she was 
engaged with two or three in front, one succeeded in seizing 
her by the neck behind, and dragging her, although a large and 
powerful woman, from her horse. Notwithstanding that their 
guns had been so hacked and injured, and even themselves cut 
severely, they seemed to regard her only with admiration. 
They took her to a trader on the Illinois River, by whom she 
was restore(l to her friends, after having received every kind- 
ness during her captivity. 

"Those of the family of Mr. Kinzie, who 
had remained in the boat, near the mouth of 
the river, were carefully guarded by Kee-po- 
tah and another Indian. They had seen the 
smoke — then the blaze — and immediatelj' 
after the report of the tremendous discharge 
sounded in their ears. Then all was confusion. 
They realized nothing until they saw an Indian 
come towards then from the battle-ground, 
leading a horse on which sat a lady, appar- 
ently wounded. 

"'That is Mrs. Heald,' cried Mrs. Kinzie. 
' That Indian will kill her. Run, Chandonnai,' 
to one of I\lr. Kinzie's clerks, ' take the mule 
that is tied there, and offer it to him to release 
her. ' 

"Her cap'.or, by this time, was in the act of 
disengaging her bonnetfrom her head, in order 
to scalp her. Chandonnai ran up, offered the 
mule as a ransom, with the promise of ten 
bottles of whiskey, as soon as they should 

reach his village. The latter was a strong 

" ' Hut, ' said the Indian, ' she is badly 
wounded — she will die. Will you give me the 
whiskey, at all events ?' 

"Chandonnai promised that he would and 
the bargain was concluded. The savage 
placed the lady's bonnet on his own head, and 
after an ineffectual effort on the part of some 
squaws to rob her of her shoes and stockings, 
she was brought on board the boat, where 
she lay moaning with pain from the many 
bullet wounds she had received in both arms. 
# * * * * * 

"When the boat was at length permitted to 
return to the mansion of Mr. Kinzie, and Mrs. 
Heald was removed to the house, it became 
necessary to dress her wounds. 

"Mr. Kinzie applied to an old chief who 
stood by, and who, like most of his tribe, pos- 
sessed some skill in surgery, to extract a ball 
from the arm of the sufferer. 

" 'No, father,' replied he, ' I cannot do it — it 
makes me sick here ' — (placing his hand to his 

"Mr. Kinzie then performed the operation 
himself with his penknife. 

"At their own mansion the family of Mr. 
Kinzie were closely guarded by their Indian 
friends, whose intention it was to carry them to 
Detroit for sectirity. The rest of the prisoners 
remained at the wigwams of their captors. " 

The family of Mr. Kinzie was subsequently 
taken to Detroit. An Indian released Captain 
Heald, that he might accompany Mrs. Heald to 
St. Joseph ; but this Indian's intended kindness 
was thwarted, and they were sent to Mackinaw 
and delivered up as prisoners of war to the 
British. The soldiers and their wives and 
children who had survived the massacre, were 
held as prisoners in the Indian villages on the 
Illinois, Wabash and Rock rivers, until spring, 
when they were carried to Detroit, where they 
were ransomed. 

In 1816, after the close of the war, Mr. 
Kinzie and family returned to Chicago. P"ort 
Dearborn was constructed that year on the site, 
of the old fort, and the tract of land now 
occupied by Chicago was ceded to the govern- 
ment by the Pottawattamies. 

The story of Mrs, Kinzie's life, as related 
by her daughter-in-law, Mrs. John H. Kinzie, 
is a most romantic one. Her father, Mr. Lytle, 
and family, lived on a tributary of the Alle- 
ghany. In 1779, a party of Iroquois came to 
their house, during the absence of Mr. Lytle, 
and took her and her mother and two of the 
other children, captives. Two of the younger 
escaped by hiding in the bushes. The captives 




were taken by the Indians to a Seneca village 
near Lake Ontario. Mrs. Lytle discovered, 
on their arrival, that her captor was the head 
chief. They were taken to the principal lodge, 
occupied by the chief's mother, where, taking 
the eldest girl, a child of nine years of age 
(afterwards Mrs. Kinzie), by the hand, he 
presented her to his mother, saying: " My 
mother, I bring you a child to supply the place 
of my brother, who was killed by the Lenape, 
six moons ago. She shall dwell in my lodge 
and be to me a sister. Take the white woman 
and her children and treat them kindly; our 
father will give us many horses and guns to 
buy them back again. " 

The captives-were accordingly treated with 
the greatest kindness and consideration, 

When the father returned to his house and 
found what had occurred, he was frantic with 
grief, and summoning his neighbors went in 
pursuit. He soon found the two children who 
had escaped from the Indians ; but they could 
give no tidings of the mother and the others. 

He now applied to the commander of Fort 
Pitt, who furnished him with a detachment of 
soldiers to aid him in recovering his family. 
With these he proceeded to the Seneca vil- 
lages, when he found his loved ones. An 
arrangement was readily entered into for the 
restoration of Mrs. Lytle and the children 
except little Eleanor the eldest girl. The chief 
said " she was his sister, she was dear to him 
and he would not part with her. " 

Every offer was unavailing to obtain her 
release, and the grieved parents were obliged 
to give up their darling child, and to taketheir 
departure without her, trusting that some 
means might be yet devised for obtaining her 

Having placed his faiiiil}- in safety at Pitts- 
burg, he again went to the Seneca village, 
accompanied by the British Agent, Colonel 
Johnson, who offered valuable presents for her 
ransom; but nothing could induce the chief to 
give her up. 

, Years passed, and she became more and 
more endeared to her Indian brother and his 
tribe. She Vi'as so petted, and treated with 
such affectionate consideration, that she became 
attached to them, and, getting accustomed to 
her new mode of life, was comparatively happy. 
" From her activity and energy of character, 
qualities for which she was remarkable to the 
latest period of her life, the name was given 
her of ' The Ship under Full Sail. ' 

" The principal seat and choicest food were 
always reserved for her, and no efforts were 
spared to promote her liappiness and render 

her forgetful of her former home and kin- 

" Four years had now passed since the cap- 
ture of little Nelly. Her heart was by nature 
warm and affectionate, so that the unbounded 
tenderness of those she dwelt among had called 
forth a corresponding feeling of affection in her 
heart. She regarded the chief and his mother 
with love and reverence, and had so completely 
learned their language and customs as almost 
to have forgotten her own. 

" So identified had she become with the 
tribe that the remembrance of her home and 
family had nearly faded from her memory; all 
but her mother — her mother whom she had 
loved with a strength of affection natural to 
her warm heart and ardent character, and to 
whom her heart clung with a fondness that no 
time or change could destroy. " 

"The peace of 1783 between Great Britain 
and the United States now took place. A 
general pacification of the Indian tribes was 
the consequence, and fresh hopes were 
renewed in the bosoms of Mr. and Mrs. 

"They removed with their family to Fort Niag- 
ara, near which, on the American side, was 
the great Coiiiicil Fire of the Senecas. Colonel 
Johnson readily undertook a fresh negotiation 
with the Chief, but in order to ensure every 
chance of success, he again proceeded in person 
to the village of the Big-White-Man. 

"His visit was most opportune. It was the 
" Feast of the Green Corn," when he arri\ed 
among them. This observance which corres- 
ponds so strikingly with the Jewish feast of 
Tabernacles that, together with other customs, 
it has led many to believe the Indians the 
descendants of the lost ten tribes of Israel, 
made it a season of general joy and festi\ity. 
All other occupations were suspended to give 
place to social enjo\-ment in the open air, or 
in arbors formed of the green branches of the 
trees. Every one appeared in his gala dress. 
That of the little adopted child consisted of a 
petticoatof blue broadcloth, boidereti with gay- 
colored ribbons; a sack or upper garment of 
black silk, ornamented with three rows of sil- 
ver brooches, the centre ones from the throat 
to the hem being of large size, and those from 
the shoulders down being no larger than a 
shilling piece, and set as closely as possible. 
Around her neck were innumerable strings of 
white and purple wampum, an Indian orna- 
ment manufactured from the inner surface of 
the muscle-shell. Her hair was clubbed behind, 
and loaded with beads of various colors. Leg- 
gings of scarlet cloth, and moccasins of deer- 




skin embroidered with porcupine quills, com- 
pleted her costume. 

"Colonel Johnson was received with all the 
consideration due to his position, and to the 
long friendship that had subsisted between him 
and the tribe. 

"Observing that the hilarit)- of the festival 
had warmed and opened all hearts, he took 
occasion in an interview with the chief to 
expatiate upon the parental affection which 
had led the father and mother of his little sister 
to give up their friends and home, and come 
hundreds of miles away, in the single hope of 
sometimes looking upon and embracing her. 
The heart of the chief softened as he listened to 
this representation, and he was induced to 
promise that at the Grand Council soon to be 
held at Fort Niagara he would attend, bringing 
his little sister with him. 

"He exacted a promise, however, from Col- 
onel Johnson, that not onh' no effort should be 
made to reclaim the child, but that even no 
proposition to part with her should be offered 

"The time at length arrived when, her heart 
bounding with joy, little Nelly, was placed on 
horseback to accompany her Indian brother to 
the Great Council of the Senecas. She had 
promised him that she would never leave him 
without his permission, and he relied confi- 
dently on her word thus gi\'en. 

"As the chiefs and warriors arrived in suc- 
cessive bands to meet their father, the agent, 
at the council-fire, how did the anxious hearts 
of the parents beat with alternate hope and 
fear! The officers of the fort had kindly given 
them quarters for the time being, and the 
ladies, whose sympathies were strongly excited, 
had accompanied the mother to the place of 
council, and joined in her longing watch for 
the first appearance of the boat from the Alle- 
ghany ri\er. 

"At length the\' were discerned, emerging 
from the forest on the opposite or American 
side. Boats were sent across by the Command- 
ing Officer, to bring the chief and his party. 
The father and mother, attended by all the 
officers and ladies, stood upon the grassy bank 
awaiting their approach. They had seen at a 
glance that the little captive was with them. 

"When about to enter the boat, the chief 
said to some of his young men, 'stand here 
with the horses, and wait until I return.' 

"He was told that the horses should bo fcr- 
ied across and taken care of. 

' No,"' said he. " ' let them wait.' 

" He held his darling by the hand until the 
iver was passed — until the boat touched the 

bank — until the child sprang forward into the 
arms of the mother, from w^hom she had been 
so long separated. 

When the Chief witnessed that outburst of 
affection, he could withstand no longer. 

' She shall go,'" said he. " 'The mother 
must have her child again. I .will go back 

" With one silent gesture of farewell, he 
turned and stepped on board the boat. No 
arguments or entreaties could induce him to 
remain at the council, but, having gained the 
other side of the Niagara, he mounted his 
horse, and, with his young men, was soon lost 
in the depths of the forest. 

"After a sojourn of a few weeks at Niagaia, 
Mr. Lytle, dreading lest the resolution of the 
Big- White-Man should give way, and meas- 
ures be taken to deprive him once more of his 
child, came to the determination of again chang- 
ing his place of abode. He therefore took the 
first opportunity of crossing Lake Erie with 
his family, and settled himself in the neighbor- 
hood of Detroit, where he continued after- 
ward to reside. 

"Little Nelly saw her friend, the Chief, no 
more, but she never forgot him. To the day 
of her death she remembered with tenderness 
and gratitude her brother, the Big- White-Man, 
and her friends and playfellows among the 
Senecas. " 


The White Settlements in the Northwest at the Close of the 
War of 1 812 — The Americans first take Possession — First 
American Vessel at Green Bay — The Settlement of the 
Northwest by the Americans Virtually Commenced with 
the Working of the Lead Mines — The Winnebago CKn- 
break in 1827, 

■ FTER the close of the war, 1816, the 
only white settlements in the North- 
^ west, at this period, were those of 
K#'? Y Detroit, Mackinaw, old Michilimack- 
I inac, La Pointe, Green Bay, Prairie du 
Chien, Chicago, Kaskaskia and Vin- 
cennes, with two or three trading posts on the 

The population of these consisted principal!)' 
of French and half breeds; the few Americans 
w ere generally connected with the American 
Fur Company, at its agencies, or with the mil- 
itary forces, in occupation of the forts. 

This enumeration, of course, does not include 
the more southern settlements of the West. 

After the termination of the war, formal 
possession was taken of the Northwest by the 




American troops. In Ant^ust, if^iG, tlio first 
vessels flying the American flag arrived at 
Green Bay, laden with troops and supplies. 
The troops were under the command of Col- 
onel John Miller, who immediatel>-, on, his 
arrival, visited Tomah, the chief of the Menomi- 
necs, and asked him to consent to the erection 
of a fort; when Tomali replied : 

My brother! how can we oppose your 
locating a council fire among us? You are too 
strongfor us. Even if we wantedto opposeyou, 
we Jiave scarcely got powder and shot enough 
to make tlie attempt. One favor we ask is 
that our French brothers shall not be disturbed, 
or in any way molested. You can choose any 
place you please for your fort, and wc shall 
not object. " 

The colonel thanked Tomah and his people 
for their friendly compliance, and presented 
them with some flour and pork. Some of the 
Indians then requested Tomah to ask their 
new father for a little broth to use with the 
pork and flour. This was also gi\'en in small 

A stockade fort was then built, about four 
miles above the mouth of the river, and gar- 
risoned. Fort Howard was afterward erected, 
in 1820, on the site of the cit)' now bearing its 

The settlement of the Northwest, b\- the so- 
called American settlers, virtually commenced 
with the disco\'er)' of the lead mines. 

For many j'ears the Indians had worked the 
lead mines, unknown to the whites. At last, 
the rich treasures were discovered by the lat- 
ter, and the most glowing accounts were given 
of the Fevre River Mines, (Galena) which 
were discovered and worked b^• an Indian 
called Old Buck. 

The Government having determined to 
lease the mines, sent a detachment of 
troops to accompany a number of miners 
employed by Colonel Johnson to work them. 
The men belonging to the mining compan\-, 
and the troops arrived at Fevre River in July, 
1822. The Sacs and Foxes were then in occu- 
pation of the lead region in northern Illinois. 
They ha\-ing driven off the Kaskaskias, had 
been for a long time in possession of the Fevre 
River and Rock River country. They must 
have possessed themselves of this tract shortly 
after their expulsion from the Fox Valley, for 
the distinguished chief. Black Hawk, was born 
on Rock Island, the site of one of their princi- 
pal villages. At the time of the arrival of the 
miners, they had been the occupants of this 
beautiful country for at least two or three gen- 
erations; and having been routed by the French 
from the Fox River valley, and after their 

rcmo\al to the Lou er Wisconsin fought by the 
Siou.x, the\' felt \ er_\' jealous of any intrusion 
on their new domain. They, therefore, deter- 
mined to resist the landing of these miners, 
w hom they regarded as the pioneers of a migra- 
tion of whites, who would dispossess them of 
their homes. The sequel pro\ed that their 
fears were unfounded. 

When the troops arrived, the Indians were 
awed b)' their formidable appearance, and. 
abandoning their opposition, concluded to make 
a \irtue of necessity by allowing the whites to 
w ork the mines with them. 

In the course of a few years a large settle- 
ment sprung up in the lead region. In 1823 
there were twent)'-four persons, exclusive of 
the Indians; of these, there were about five 
hundred who worked the mines with the whites, 
or rather, the squaws did. The squaws were 
considered the most industrious and successful 
miners. In some places they had made drifts 
forty or fift)' feet deep. 

"While Colonel Johnson's men were sink- 
ing their holes or shafts, in some instances, 
the squaws W(nild drift under them and take 
out all the mineral ore they could find. When 
the men got down into the drift made by the 
women, the latter would have a hearty laugh 
at the white men's expense. " 

The miners and first settlers in the lead 
regions were generall)- from Cincinnati, Ken- 
tucky and Missouri, from which places the\' 
came in keel boats, or barges and canoes. 
Their supplies were brought from those places, 
and their lead shipi)ed to Cincinnati and St. 

By the year 1S26 the miners had extended 
their diggings to what is now known as the 
Southwestern part of this State, which was 
then Winnebago territory, the Winnebagoes 
being the neighbors ot the Sauks and Foxes, 
with whom they were on amicable terms. 

.A miner, in prosjiecting on what is now the 
site of Hazel Green, commenced- sinking a 
shaft; when at the tlepth of four feet, he found 
block mineral. In one day he took out of the 
hole seventeen thousand pounds of the mineral , 
a feat that has not been equalled bj- one man 

By the year 1S27 the lead mines had become 
famous, and a belief in their great wealth 
created an intense excitement in various parts 
of the Union, and immigration began to flow 
in. At this period occurred what is known as 
the Winnebago outbreak. 

In 1825 a grand council was held at Prairie 
du Chien by (jovernors Cass and Clark, at 
which was assembled a large number of the. 
tribes of the Northwest. It had for its chief 



purpose the establishment of friendl)- relations 
between the several Indian nations, as their 
belligerent feelings towards each other kept 
the country in disturbance and endangered the 
safety of the whites. 

They concurred in the proposed boundaries, 
feeling that they were obliged to do so: but 
the Sioux were dissatisfied, as their territorj' 
was greatly abridged. The other tribes com- 
plained that they did not receive such pres- 
ents as the British agents bestowed on them, 
and were especial!)- indignant at the small 
allowance of whiskey 

To show that the liquor w as not w ithhcld on 
account of stinginess, the Commissioners had 
two barrels of it brought on the ground. The 
Indians were now in great glee; but when the 
Commissioners stove in the heads of the casks 
and suffered all the liquor to run to waste on 
the ground, their disappointment and indigna- 
tion knew no bounds. 'Tt was a great pity," 
said old Wakh-pa-koo-tay, speaking of the 
ever-to-be-remembered event; "there was 
enough wasted to have kept me drunk all the 
days of my life. " 

This council was attended with very bad 
results, as the Indians dispersed for their res- 
pective homes in an ugly state of mind. 

The next year a band of Chippewas, on a 
visit to the American Agency at St. Peters, 
were treacherously assailed by a band of Sioux, 
who killed three or four of the former. 

In the spring of 1827 a Frenchman bj- the 
name of Methode went to his sugar camp, two 
miles from Prairie du Chien, to make sugar; 
he was accompanied by his wife, a most beau- 
tiful woman, and his five children. One ofhis 
friends went on a visit to his camp, and found 
that the whole famih' had been murdered by 

A party of militia now went to the nearest 
Winnebago camp, and found what they sup- 
posed to be one of the assassins. Colonel 
Morgan next caused two Winnebago chiefs to 
be seized, and informed the tribe that they 
would not be released until the murderers 
were delivered up. They were brought in 
and sent to St. Peters, for safe keeping. While 
there, a band of Chippewas were encamped on 
the grounds of the agency. A party of Sioux 
made a visit to their wigwams, and was friendly 
received. Just as they took their departure, 
they suddenly turned, and discharged their 
pieces at the Chippewas, reclining in their 
lodge, killing several of the latter. The com- 
mandant of the fort immediately sent out a 
party of a hundred soldiers, which captured 
some thirty Dacotahs, wliom they brought in. 
Among these the survivors of the Chippewas 

recognized two of the assassins, which were 
delivered up to them. "You must not shoot 
them under our walls;" said the officer. The 
Chippewas led theirprisoners a short distance, 
and one of them struck up his death song. 
The party halted, when the Dacotahs were 
told to run for their lives. They were given 
thirty yards start, when six guns were dis- 
charged, and they dropped dead. The chief 
culprit was afterwards captured and suffered 
a similar death. 

The Dacotahs were now incensed at the 
whites, and, as the)- and the Winnebagoes 
were like kindred people, and felt as if they 
had mutual grie\-ances, the former, therefore, 
determined to instigate the Winnebagoes to 
acts of hostilit)- against the common eneni)-. 

Red Bird one oftheWinnebago war chiefs, had 
just returned from an unsuccessful expedition 
against the Chippewas, and v\'as peculiarly 
susceptible to the impressions his Dacotah 
friends desired to make. They succeeded in 
arousing in him a feeling of revenge. "You 
have become a by-word and a reproach among 
our people," said they. "Your kindred have 
been taken by the Big Knives, and killed, and 
you dare not avenge their deaths. The Chip- 
pewas scofi" at you, and ^le Big Knives laugh 
at you. " 

Red Bird was a noble specimen of an Indian 
— young and brave, and had heretofore 
enjoyed a high reputation among the whites 
for his good qualities. He was one of the last 
who would be suspected of any treacherous 
act; but he brooded over the supposed injuries 
ofhis people, until his nature seemed changed. 

The Winnebagoes, too, were in a state of 
great excitement, caused by the intrusion of 
the whites upon their territory. A large num- 
ber of whites were over the prescribed lines, 
and the aspect of affairs was threatening. 

A farmer by the name of Gagnier, with his 
wife and three children, lived about three 
miles from Prairiedu Chien. Whither repaired 
Red Bird with three other Indians. They 
were hospitably received and entertained, when 
suddenly they leveled their pieces and shot 
Gagnier and his man; both dropped dead. 
Madam Gagnier turned to flee with her infant, 
when a wretch snatched it from her, stabbed 
and scalped it, and then threw it on the floor. 
She seized a gun, and presenting it at the 
cowardly brute, he jumped aside, when she 
fled and made her escape to the \illagc. Her 
eldest son also escaped. 

A party of armed men now repaired to the 
scene of massacre, but the Indians had fled. 

Red Bird and his companions in crime imme- 
diately proceeded to a rendezvous, where a 


EAKI.\ HlSroRV OV 11 IK N'( )K IHWHS 1'. 


number of warriurs were assembled. A keg 
of whiskey which they had obtained, tjave zest 
to the proceedings. For two days they con- 
tinued their revels, concluding with the scalp 
dance. They were now ready for a contem- 
plated attack on keel boats which were expected 
down the river from Fort Snelling. These 
were in charge of Mr. Lindsley. When they 
reached the mouth of the Bad Axe, they 
observed the Indians, and their hostile appear- 
ance. The Frenchmen on the boat advised 
keeping out inthe stream; but the Americans, 
more ignorant of the Indian character, urged 
the boat with their sweeps towards the camp; 
when suddenly the woods echoed with the yell 
of the war-whoop, and a shower of balls rattled 
on the sides and deck of the boat. . The first 
fire disabled one man, and the second volley 
another. The Winnebagoes now took to their 
canoes and attempted to board the keel boats, 
when a severe engagement occurred in which 
several of the Indians were killed. They were 
repulsed, but continued their efforts. For three 
hours a most desperate encounter was kept up. 
At last, the boat escaped under cover of the 
darkness of night. Seven Indians were killed, 
and fourteen wounded; of the whites, two 
were killed and two piortally wounded. 

The arrival of the boats at Prairie du Chien 
w ith the news of the encounter, created the 
greatest consternation. 

The settlers in the country fled from their 
homes and took refuge in the fort, and large 
numbers in the mining districts left the country. 

Bodies of volunteers were now formed, and 
the frontier assumed an aspect of war. Gen- 
eral Atkinson arrived with a regiment and a 
force of volunteers from Galena. He pro- 
ceeded to Portage, where Red Bird and his 
associates voluntarily presented themselves as 
prisoners, and thus ended the Winnebago out- 

Emigration now poured into the countr\-,and 
encroachments on the lands of the Sauks and 
Foxes began to occasion new trouble. 


The Black Hawk War— It's Origin — Black Hawk's State- 
ment — The Battle of Sycamore Creek — Massacre of Three 
Families — Baule of the Wisconsin — Battle of Bad Axe — 
Defeat and Capture of Black Hawk. 

V^- S stated in the preceding pages, the 
Sauks and Foxes, after their expul- 
sion from the Fo.x River Valley by the 
F"rench, settled near the mouth of the 
Wisconsin, and gradually extended 
their possessions southward until they 
embraced what now constitutes the Southwest- 

ern portion of Wisconsin and Northwestern 
part of Illinois. One of their principal villages 
was on Rock Island, and there Black Hawk 
was born. Two or three generations must 
have been born there at the time the whites 
commenced to settle in that country. In 1829 
the Indians complained that the whites were 
encroaching on their territor)-. A collision 
seemed imminent, when a treaty was made b)- 
w hich it was alleged that the Indians had relin- 
quished their claims to the Rock River countrj-. 
This treaty Black Hawk declared to be fraud- 
ulent, and that his bands were not parties to 
it. They were, however, induced to move 
across the Mississippi; partly through induce- 
ments, and partly through compulsion. 

In 1831, Black Hawk, with a large bodj- of 
his warriors, crossed back to the east side, 
declaring that they were unjustly deprived of 
their possessions, and that it was their inten- 
tion of again taking possession of their old 
homes. They were induced, by the payment 
of a lot of corn and other provisions to recross. 

Black Hawk says: 

"The trader. Colonel Da\enport, e.xplaineil 
to me the terms of the treaty that had been 
made, and said we would be obliged to leave 
the Illinois side of the Mississippi, and advised 
us to select a good place for our village and 
remove to it in the spring. He has great 
influence with the principal Fox chief, (his 
adopted brother,) and persuaded him to leave 
his village and go to the west side of the Miss- 
issippi River and build another, which he diil 
in the spring following. 

"We learned, during the winter, that part of 
the lands where our village stood had been sold 
to individuals, and that the trader. Colonel 
Davenport, had bought the greater part that 
had been sold. The object was now plain to 
me why he urged us to remove. His object, 
we thought, was to get our lands. We held 
several councils that winter to determine w hat 
we should do, and resolved in one of them to 
return to our village, in the spring, as usual; 
and concluded that if we were removed b)' force 
the trader, agent, and others must be the 
cause, and that if found guilty of having driven 
us from our village, they should be killeil. " 

In 1832 the entire band of Black Hawk with 
the women, children and old men, crossed to 
the Illinois side of the Mississippi, declaring 
their intention of settling on their old possess- 

Although they made no warlike demonstra- 
tions, the white settlers fled from their homes 
and took refuge in the fort. Before any actual 
hostilities commenced, a large body of Illinois 
militia, under Colonel Stillman, marched to 




the Indian encampment, which was on the 
Sycamore, a small stream bordered with a 
heavy growth of timber. Having approached 
the vicinity of the Indians, the regiment, late 
in the afternoon, halted and prepared for 
encamping for the night. While engaged in 
their work they partook liberally of the whiskej' 
with which they were abundantly supplied, 
even knocking in the heads of the barrels to 
facilitate the filling of their canteens. 

Suddenly, three Indians were seen approach- 
ing them across the prairie, who had been sent 
by Black Hawk to procure an interview for 
the purpose of avoiding a collision; he alleging 
that he intended no hostilities, and only con- 
templated peaceably returning to his old home, 
the truth of which would seem to be confirmed 
by the fact of his being accompanied b\- the 
women and children. 

As soon as Black Hawk's messengers were 
seen approaching, a shout was raised "Every 
man draw his rations of Sauk. " Then a rush 
was made for the horses-, and without any 
order or discipline they gave chase. Two of 
the Indians were overtaken and killed. At 
length, the rear of the regiment reached the 
timber. Here they met the whole van in rapid 
retreat with Black Hawk's whole force in pur- 

A company under Captain Adams stood 
their ground and endeavored to cover the 
retreat, or rather, stampede. They lost about 
one-fourth of their men and were obliged to 
fly. The regiment, panic-stricken, fled in 
dismay for Ottawa, where they arrived in 
about four days, many of them without hats, 
coats, guns or horses. 

Black Hawk was now unable to control his 
young men, so exultant were they with their 
victory, and so exasperated at what they 
deemed an uncalled for attack, that they 
divided up into war parties, scoured the country 
and attacked the poor, defenseless settlers. 
Fortunately, most of them had fled to places 
of safety. Three families living near each 
other. Hall's, Pettigrew's and Da\'is', were 
assembled at Davis's house when a partysur- 
rounded it. After a desperate encounter, they 
were all killed except young Hall, who escaped 
and reached Ottawa, and the Misses Hall who 
were taken prisoners, but were subsequently 
delivered up; having sustained no injur)- except 
that arising from the terror of the occurrence, 
the fatigue of their rapid march, and their ago- 
nized feelings at the terrible fate of their rela- 

A large force was now organized to take 
the field against Black Hawk. It was com- 

posed of Illinois and Wisconsin militia, and 
a few companies of U. S. regulars. 

Black Hawk, ha\ing failed in his attempt to 
form a confederac\- of the Northwestern tribes, 
now commenced his retreat up the Rock 
River, with his women and children, intending 
to cross the Mississippi, and find an as\lum 
for the latter. 

From April till July, the Indians had evaded 
the force sent against them, by sometimes 
scattering into small parties, taking separate 
trails and rendezvousing at some place difficult of 
approach. During this time the)' had been 
driven from Sycamore Creek in Illinois, to 
Lake Koshkonong, in Wisconsin. For a period 
of over two months, they had been so closel)- 
pursued and harrassed that they had but little 
time for hunting or fishing. They suffered 
fearfully from hunger, and their women and 
children were exhausted from fatigue and want 
of food. Their dead bodies were frequently 
found on the trail. They endured famine 
rather than to kill and eat the ponies on which 
their squaws and pappqoses rode. 

There are not man)' instances of greater 
devotion to a cause and leader, than that 
exhibited by this warlike tribe, under the terri- 
ble discouragements that surrounded them. 
Encumbered by women and children, har- 
rassed by a superior force, they still desper- 
ately gave battle when overtaken, and then 
pushed forward again, in their effort to reach 
and cross the Mississippi. 

Thecommand havingbeen di\'idcd, one brig- 
ade proceeded to Koshkonong, but the Indians 
apprised by their scouts, had moved up the 
Rock River. 

Dodge & Henry's commands, on the nine- 
teenth of July, struck the trails of the fugitives 
and followed in rapid pursuit. On the bank 
of Third Lake, the advance guard killed an 
Indian who was sitting on the newly made 
grave of his wife, who had probably died from 
exhaustion. He boldly opened his breast and 
invited the shot that killed him. The discon- 
solate creature had resolved to die on the 
grave of his squaw — resolutely facing his 
implacable foes. The next Indian shot was a 
Winnebago, about fi\c miles west of the lake. 
From this point the scouts were continually 
chasing Indians, and on the twenty-first 
inst., came upon a large body of the enemy, 
secreted in the undergrowth of the Wisconsin 
bottom. They attacked the scouts, driving 
them up the slope of a ridge, on the other side 
of which the advance forces of Dodge's com- 
mand were rapidly coming up. They there- 
fore met, near the top, when the Indians com- 
menced firing; this was returned by the 




whites with deadly effect. The Indian.s then 
took shelter in the underbrush, when a vigor- 
ous charge destroyed them, and they fell back- 
to the main body on the Wisconsin bottom. 
It having rained, and being nearly dark, the 
pursuit was not pushed any further. 

It was ascertained that the Indians lost 
some sixty — killed and wounded. The whites 
one killed and seven wounded. 

Black Hawk states that the Indians who 
participated in this engagement — the battle 
of the Wisconsin, were his rear guard, and 
that they only fought to gain time, to get their 
squaws, children and old people across the 

That night tiie camp was startled by the 
clear high sounding \oice of an Indian on an 
adjoining height, addressing his braves, pre- 
paratory to a night attack, as was supposed. 
It was afterwards ascertained that the Indian 
was offering terms of peace; which was to sur- 
render, if protection was offered their women 
and children. Receiving no answer, they con- 
cluded that no mercy was to be e.xpected, 
and undercover of the darkness rapidly took 
up their line of retreat. 

When the command learned that the Indians 
had effected a crossing, it marched to the Blue 
Mounds, and on the twenty-si.xth of July, the 
entire army rendezvoused at a point on the 
Wisconsin, and from there set out again in 
pursuit of the enemy. After striking the trail, 
dead bodies of Indians were found at intervals, 
who had died from wounds. They also lost a 
number of women and children, who died 
from exhaustion, produced by fatigue and hun- 
ger. On the second of August, the Indians 
were overtaken near the mouth of the Had 
Axe, collected together on the bank of the 
Mississippi. The command opened a fire of 
musketry on them, and while the battle was 
in progress, the Steamer Warrior came up 
from Prairie du Chien, and kept passing back 
and forth, running down all who attempted to 
cross the river. The cannon on the Warrior 
poured into the ranks of the Indians, three 
discharges of canister, with fearful effect. On 
board the Warrior was a squad of regular 
troops and a body of Menominee Indians, who 
kept up a rapid fire of musketry on them. The 
Indians fought desperatelj-, returning vigor- 
ously the fire of the boat, and that of the 
attacking party on the shore. It is said that 
many of them, naked to the breech-cloth, slid 
down into the river, where they laid with only 
their mouths and nostrils above water. 

But bravely as they fought, there was no 
chance for them. It was wholesale slaughter. 
The forces of Black Hawk were annihilated. 

He managed to escape after the battle, but 
was captured by a Winnebago chief and deli\- 
ered a captixe to the w hites. 

It is related b\' John H. Fonda, the veteran 
pioneer, and a participant in the battle, that 
"after its close, a little Indian bo>', with one of 
hib arms most shot off, came out of the bushes 
and made signs for something to eat. He 
seemed perfectly indifferent to pain, and only 
sensible of hunger; for when he carried the 
little naked fellow on board the boat some one 
gave him a piece of hard bread, and he stood 
and ate it, with the wounded arm dangling by 
the torn flesh; and sij he remained until the 
arm was taken off. " 

The w retched creatures must have ha\c suf- 
fered fearfully u ith hunger in their rapid march 
to the Mississippi; and cruel and hostile as 
they had been, their fortitude, bra\er>- and 
suffering somewhat relie\es tiie obloquy that 
rests on their name. 

But a small remnant of these once powerful 
tribes was now left in existence. From the 
early days of the French traders they had 
struggled against their fate. They were once 
the dominant tribes of this Fo.x Ri\'er valley, 
with which their name is inseparably asso- 
ciated; and the Battle of the Petite Buttes des- 
Morts and those of the Black Hawk War, will 
make- their name ever memorable in the 
liistoric annals of Wisconsin. 


■["he .4.merican Fur Company — Social Circles in the Early 
iJay — Advenlurous Journey from Fort Winnebago to Chi- 
cago by a Lady on Horse-back — Lost and nearly Famished 
— Relief Found in an Indian Wigwam. 

"P to the close of the Black Hawk War 
the chief business in the Northwest was 
the fur trade; first by F"rench Com- 
'"" panics, then FLnglish, and lastly by 
the American Fur Company, estab- 
lished by John Jacob Astor. 

The agents and traders, and the military 
officers of the several garrisons, with their res- 
pective wives and families, constituted the elite 
of the society of those early days; but if it was 
an aristocracy, it was not snobbish, and merit, 
cultivation and good breeding, were always 
duly appreciated. The social circles of those 
times embraced in the range of intimate 
acquaintances and neighbors, those who lived 
fifty or a hundred miles apart, and included 
many distinguished names. Colonel Zach 
Taylor, in command at Fort Crawford, which 
was constructed under his superintendence in 





I 829-30, and who afterwards became famous 
as the hero of the Mexican war, and was ele- 
vated to the presidency; Jeff Davis, noted at 
Fort Crawford for his mechanical handiwork; 
General Harney, then a Captain at Fort Win- 
nebago, afterwards second in command in the 
American army, and famous among the Indians 
as the great Indian fighter. Mrs. John H. 
Kinzic found a son of Ale.xander Hamilton, a 
hghly educated gentleman, li\"ing in a log cabin 
in the lead mines. 

The social pleasures uf the times were 
entered into with great zest; parties visiting 
one another from great distances, the long 
canoe voyages and camping out on the route, 
or the trip by land with pony trains, afforded 
novelty and enjoyment. Those who never 
lived among the scenes of the early West — 
the West of thirty-fi\e or forty years ago, can 
have no full comprehension of the picturesque 
beauty, the wild loveliness of the country in 
its primeval condition, fresh from the hand of 
nature. Its broad, unbroken expanse of 
prairie, dotted with openings and groves like 
islands in a sea of emerald, with its profusion 
of wild flowers and luxuriant vegetation, all 
blending into one harmonious picture, the vista 
of which was onlj- limited by the encircling 
horizon. The Indian fires then kept down all 
undergrowth e.xcept on the margins of the 
streams, whose meandering course was marked 
by a fringe of dense foliage gracefully outlin- 
ing the domain of prairie. 

Sometimes those lung journeys across the 
country were not journeys of pleasure, and the 
relation of one from Fort Winnebago to 
Chicago in the spring of 1831, made b\- Mrs. 
John H. Kinzie, wife of the agent of the Amer- 
ican Fur Company, will serve to illustrate life 
in the West in those days. Mrs. Kinzie was 
fr(jm New York city, and a lady of much cul- 
ture, as her writings clearly indicate. She 
was young, and this was during the first year 
of her married life. Major Twiggs, the com- 
mandant of the fort, endea\ored to dissuade 
her from making such a journey at such an 
inclement season of the year, but the resolute 
and high-spirited young woman would not be 

" Having taken a tender leave of our friends, the morning 
of the eighth of March saw us mounted and equipped for our 
journey. The weather v\'as fine ; the streams already fringed 
with green, were sparkling in the sun; everything gave promise 
of an early and genial season. In vain, when we reached the 
ferry at the fool of the hill, on which the fort stood, did Major 
Twiggs repeat his endeavors to dissuade us from commencing 
a journey which he assured me would be perilous beyond what 
I could anticipate. I was resolute. 

On reaching Duck Creek, we took leave of our young 

friends, who remained on the bank long enough to witness our 
passage across — ourselves in the canoe, and the poor horses 
swimming the stream, now filled with cakes of floating ice. 

Beyond the rising ground which formed the opposite bank of 
the stream, extended a marsh of, perhaps, three hundred 
yards across. To this the men carried the canoe which was 
to bear us over. The water was not deep, so our attendants 
merely took off the pack-saddle from Brunei, and my side sad- 
dle from Le Gris, for fear of accidents, and then mounted 
their own steeds, leading the two extra ones. My husband 
placed the furniture of the pack horse and my saddle in the cen- 
tre of the canoe, which he was to paddle across. 

" 'Now, wife,' said he, 'jump in, and seat yourself tlat in 
the bottom ot the canoe.' 

" 'Oh, no,' said I; ' I will sit on the little trunk in the cen- 
tre. I shall be so much more comfortable, and 1 can balance 
the canoe exactly.' 

'As you please, Inil I think ymi will hntl it is not the best 

" A vigorous push sent us a few feel from the bank. At 
that instant two favorite greyhounds w horn we had brought 
with us, and who stood whining upon the bank, reluctant to 
lake to the water as they were ordered, gave a sudden bound, 
and alighted full upon me. The canoe balanced a moment — 
then yielded — and, quick as thought, dogs, furniture and lady 
were in the deepest of the water. 

" My husband, who was just prepaaing to spring into the 
canoe when the dogs thus unceremoniously took precedence of 
him, was at my side in a moment, and, seizing me by the collar 
of my cloak, begged me not to be frightened. I was not, in 
the least, and only laughed as he raised nnd placed me again 
upon the bank. 

" There my husband insistetl on my putting on dry shoes 
and stockings, and (must 1 confess it) drinking a little brandy 
to obviate the etfects of my icy bath. He would fain have 
made a halt to kindle a fire and dry my apparel and wardrobe 
properly, but this I would not listen to. I endeavored to prove 
to him that the delay would expose me to more cold than rid- 
ing in my wet habit and cloak, and so, indeed, it might have 
been; but along with my convictions upon the subject, there 
was mingled a spice of reluctance thai our friends at the fort 
should have an opportunity, as they certainly would have done, 
of laughing at our inauspicious commencement. 

".Soon our horses were put in order, and our march com- 
menced. The day was fine for the season. 1 felt no incon- 
venience from my wet garments, the exercise of riding taking 
away all feeling of chilliness. It was to me a new mode of 
traveling, and I enjoyed it the more from having been secluded 
for more than five months within the walls of the fort, scarcely 
varying the tenor of our lives by an occasional walk of half a 
mile into the surrounding woods. 

•• We alighted at an open space, just within the verge nf 
the v\'ood, or, as it is called by western travelers, 'the timber.' 
My husband recommended to me to walk about until a fire 
should be made, which was soon accomplished by our active 
and experienced woodsmen, to whom the felling of a large 
tree was the work of a very few minutes. The dry grass 
around furnished an excellent tinder, which soon ignited by 
the sparks from the flint — there were no loco-focos in those 
days — and, aided by the broken liranches and bits of 
light wood, soon produced a cheering flame. "The bourgeois," 
in the meantime, busied himself in setting up the tent, taking 
care to place it opposite the fire, but in such a direction that the 




wind would carry the smoke or'flame away from the opening 
or door. Within upon the ground were spread, fir.^t a bear 
skin, then two or three blankets, of which each equestriaH had 
carried two, one under the s.addle and one above it, after 
which, the remainder of the lugg.ige being brought in, I wa.s 
able to divest myself of all my wet clothing and replace it with 
dry. .Some idea of the state of the weather may be formed 
from the fact that my riding habit, being placed over the end 
of the huge log against which our fire was made, was, in a 
very few minutes, frozen so stiff as to stand upright, giving the 
appearance of a dress out of which a lady had vanished in 
some unaccountable manner. 

" It would be but a repetition of out experience upon the Vox 
River to describe the ham broiled upon the 'broches.'the toasted 
bread, the steaming coffee, the primitive table furniture. There 
is, however, this difl'erence, that of the latter we carry with us 
in our iourneys on horseback only a coffee pot, a tea kettle, and 
each rider his tin cup and hunting knife. The deportment at 
table is marked by an absence of ceremony. The knife is 
drawn from the scabbard; those who remember to do so, 
vouchsafe it a wipe upon the napkin. Its first office is to stir 
the cup of coffee, ne.xt to divide the piece of ham which is 
placed on the half of a traveling biscuit, which is held in the 
left hand, and fulfills the office of a plate. It is an art only to 
be acquired by long practice, to cut the meat so skillfully as not 
at the same to destroy the dish. 

"March ninth. Our journey this day led us past the first of 
the Four Lakes. .Scattered along its banks was an encampment 
of Winnebagoes. They greeted (heir 'father' with vociferous 
joy. ^Bon-jour, bon-jottr, ShaiO-tit'e-a7V'kee. Nee-ne:.'-korrav- 
i-ay-nooi" (How do you do ?) To this succeeded the usual 
announcement, ^Wy^-knp-rak hhoonsh-koO'fice-710!' (I ha\e 
no breatl.) 

" This is iheir form of bcjjging, but we coidd not afford to 
be generous, for the uncertainty of obtaining a supply, should 
our own be exhausted, obliged us to observe the strictest econ- 

" How beautiful the encampment looked in the morning 
sun 1 The matted lodges, with the blue smoke curling from 
their tops, the trees and hushes powdered with a light snow 
which had fallen through the night, the lake shining and 
sparkling atmostat our feet — even the Indians, in iheir peculiai 
costume, adding to the]iicturesque. 

" When we reached Morrison's, 1 w a^ -o much exhausted 
that, as my husband allempled to lift me from the saddle, I fell 
into his arms. 

" 'This will never do,' said he. 'To morrow we nuisi turn 
our face-s towards Fort Winnebago again.' 

"The door opened hospitably to receive us. VVe were wel- 
comed by a lady with a must sweet, benignant countenance, and 
by her companion, some years younger. The first was Mrs. 
Morrison; the other Miss Elizabeth Dodge, d.iughter of Gen- 
eral Dodge. 

" My husband laid me upon a >mall Ned, in a room where 
the ladies had been sitting at work. They look olV my bonnet 
and riding dress, chafed my hands, aud prepared mc some 
warm wine and water, by which I was soon revived. A half 
hour's repose so refreshed me that I was able to converse 
with the ladies, and to relieve my husband's mind of all anxiety 
on my account. Tea was announced soon after, and we 
repaired to an adjoining building, for Atorrisoii's, like the 
establishment of all settlers of that period, consisted of a group 

of detached log houses, or cabins, each containing one, or, at 
most, two apartments. 

" The table groaned with good cheer, and brought to mind 
some that I have seen among the old-fashioned Dutch residents 
on the banks of the Hudson. 

" I had recovered my spirits; and we were quite a cheerful 
party. Mrs. Morrison told us that during the first eighteen 
months she passed in this country, she did not speak with a 
white woman, the only society she had being that of her bus- 
l)and and two black servant women. 

■'The next morning, after a cheerful breakfast, at » hich we 
were joined by the Rev. Mr. Kent, of Galena, we prepared for 
our journey. I had reconciled my husband to continuing our 
route towards Chicago, by assuring him that I felt as fresh and 
bright as when I first set out from home. 

'"Whose cabins are these,' asked Mr. Kinzieuf a man who 
was cutting wood at the door of one. 

" 'Hamilton's,' was the reply ; and he stepped forward at 
once to assist us to alight, hospitality being a matter of course 
in these wild regions. 

"I soon contrived, with my husband'> aid, to disembarrass 
myself of my wrappings ; and, having seen me comfortably dis- 
posed of, and in a fair way to be thawed after my freezing 
ride, he left me, to see after his men and horses. 

" He was a long time absent, and I expected he wouhl 
return, accompanied by our host ; liut when he reappeared it 
was to tell me, laughing, that Mr. Hamilton hesitated to pre- 
sent himself before me, being unwilling that one who had 
been accpiainted with some of his family at the east, should see 
him in his present mode of life. Hotvever, this feeling appar- 
ently wore off, for before dinner he came in, and was intro- 
duced to me, and was as agreeable and polite as the son of 
Alexander Hamilton would naturally be. 

"The housekeeper, who was the wife of one of the miners, 
prepared us a plain, comfortable dinner, and a table as long as 
the dimensions of the cabin would admit, was set out, the end 
nearest the fire being covered with somewhat nicer furniture, 
and more delicate fare than the remaining portion. 

"Mr. Hamilton passed most of the afternoon with us, for the 
storm raged so without that to proceed on our journey out 
of the question. He gave us many pleasant anecdotes and 
reminiscences of his early life in New York, and of his adven- 
tures since he had come to the western wilderness. When 
obliged to leave us for a while, he furnished us with scunc 
books to entertain us, the most interesting of which was the 
biogr.aphy of his father. 

" Could this illustrious man have forseen in a scene — 
the dwelling of his son, this book was to be one day perused, 
what would have been his sensations ? 

"The next d.ay's sun rose clear aud bright. Refreshed 
and invigorated we looked forward with pleasure to a recom- 
mencement of (rar journey, confident of meeting no more mis. 
ha]is by the way. 

" At length, just at sunset, we reached the dark, rapid 
waters of the Rock River. The 'ferry,' which we had traveled 
so far out of our way to take advantage of, |)roved to be merely 
a small boat or skiff, the larger one having been swept ofl' into 
the stream, and carried down in the breaking up of the ice the 
week previous. 

"My husband's first care was to get me across. He placed 
mc with the saddles, packs, etc., in the boat, aud, as at 
that late hour, no time was to be lost, he ventured, at the same 




lime to hold the bridles of the most docile horses, to guide 
them in swimming the river. 

"All being safely landed, a short walk brought us to the 
house of Mr. Dixon. Although so recently come into the 
country, he had contrived to make everything comfortable 
around him, and when he ushered us into Mrs. Dixon's sitting 
room, and seated us by a glowing wood fire, while Mrs. Dixon 
busied herself in preparing us a nice supper, I felt that the 
comfort overbalanced the inconvenience of such a journey. 

"A most savory supper of ducks and venison, with their 
accompaniments, soon smoked upon the board, and we did 
ample justice to it. Traveling is a great sharpener of the 
appetite, and so is cheerfulness, and the latter was increased by 
the encouraging account Mr. Dixon gave us of the remainder 
of the route yet before us. 

" 'There is no difficuliy,' said he 'if you keep a little to the 
nonh, and strike the Sauk trail. If you get too far to the south 
you will come upon the Winnebago Swamp, and once in that 
there is no telling when you will ever get out again. As for 
the distance, it is nothing at all to speak of. Two young men 
came out here from Chicago, on foot, last fall. They got here 
the evening of the second day; and, even with a lady in your 
party, you could go on horseback in less time than that. The 
only thing is to be sure and get on the right track that the 
Sauks have made in going every year from the Mississippi to 
Canada to receive their presents from the British Indian 

"The following morning, which was a bright and lovely one 
for that season of the year, we took leave of Mr. and Mrs. 
Dixon in high spirits. We traveled for the first few miles 
alou:^ the beautiful, undulating banks of the Rock River, 
always in an easterly direction, keeping the beaten path, or 
rather road, which led to tort Clark, or Peoria. The Sauk 
trail, we had been told, would cross this road at the distance 
of about six miles. 

"After having traveled, as we judged, fully that distance, we 
came upon a trail bearing northeast, and a consultation was 
held as to the probability of its being the one we were in 
search of, 

" Mr. Kinzie was of opinion that it tended too much to the 
rih, and was, moreover, too faint and obscure for a trail so 
much used, and by so large a body of Indians in their annual 

" Plante was positive as to its being the very spot where he 
and 'Piche, ' in their journey to Fort Winnebago the year 
before, struck into the great road. 'On that very rising ground 
at the point of woods, he remembered perfectly stopping to 
shoot ducks, which they ate for their supper.' 

" But Monsieur Plante was convinced of his mistake, when 
the trail brought us to the great bend of the river, with its bold, 
rocky bluffs. 

" 'Are you satisfied now, Plante?' asked Mr. Kinzie. '■ By 
your leave, I will now play pilot myself,' and he struck off 
from '.he trail, in a direction as nearly east as possible. 

" The weather had changed and become intensely cold, and 
we felt that the detention we had met with, even should we 
now be in the right road, was no trifling matter. We had not 
added to our stock of provisions at Dixon's, wishing to carry as 
tnuch forage as we wert able for our horses, for whom the 
scanty picking around our encamping grounds afforded an 
insufficient meal. But we were buoyed up by the hope that 
we were in the right path at last, and we journeyed on until 

night, when we reached a comfortable 'encampment,' in the 
edge of a grove near a small stream. 

"Oh, how bitterly cold that night was ! The salted provis- 
ions, to which I was unaccustomed, occasioned me an intoler- 
erable thirst, and my husband was in the habit of placing the 
little tin coffee-pot, filled with water at my bed's head, when 
we went to rest, but this night it was frozen solid long before 
midnight. We were so well wrapped up in blankets that we 
did not suffer from cold while within the tent, but the open air 
was severe in the extreme. 

" March fifteenth. We were aroused by the 'bourgeois' 
at peep of day, for starting. We must find the Sauk trail this 
day at all hazards. What would become of us should we fail 
to do so ? It was a question no one liked to ask, and certainly 
one that no one could have answered. 

" We pursued our way, however, and a devious one it must 
have been. After traveling in this way many miles, we came 
upon an Indian trail, deeply indented, running at right angles 
with the course we were pursuing. The snow had ceased, 
and, the clouds becoming thinner, we were able to observe the 
direction of the sun, and to perceive that the trail ran nort'n 
and south. What should we do? Was it safest to pursue our 
easterly course, or was it probable that by following this new 
path, we shoul fall into the direct one we had been so long 
seeking ? If we decided to take the trail, should we go north 
or south ? He was of opinion we were still tuo far north — 
somewhere about the Grand Marias or Kish-wau-kee. Mr. 
Kellogg and Plante were for taking the northerly direction. 
The latter was positive his bourgeois had already gone too far 
south — in fact, that we must now be in the neighborhood of the 
Illinois River. Finding himself in the minority, my husband 
yielded, and we turned our horses' heads north, much against 
his will. After proceeding a few miles, however, he took a sud- 
den determination. 'You may go north, if you please,' said he, 
' but I am convinced that the other course is right, and I shal 1 
face about — follow who will.' 

"So we wheeled around and rode south again, and many a 
long and weary mile did we travel. 

" The road, which had continued many miles through the 
prairie, at length, in winding around a point of woods, brought 
us suddenly upon an Indian village. A shout of joy broke 
from the whole party, but no answering shout was returned — 
not even a bark of friendly welcome — as we galloped up to the 
wigwams. All was silent as the grave. We rode round and 
round, then dismounted, and looked into several of the spacious 
huts. They had evidently been long deserted. Nothing 
remained but the bare walls of bark, from which everything in 
the shape of furniture had been stripped by the owners, and 
carried with them to to their wintering-grounds; to be brought 
back in the spring, when they returned to make their corn- 
fields and occupy their summer cabins. 

"Our disappointment may be better imagined than described. 
With heavy hearts we mounted and once more pursued our 
way, the snow again falling and adding to the discomforts of 
our position. At length we halted for the night. We had 
long been aware that our stock of provisions was insufficient 
for another day, and here we were, nobody knew where, in the 
midst of woods and prairies — certainly far from any human 
habitation, with barely enough food for a slender evening's 

"The poor dogs came whining around us to beg their usual 
portion, but they were obliged to content themselves with a 




bare 1)one, and we retired to rest with the feeling that if not 
actually hungry then, we should certainly he so to-morrow. 

"The morrow came. Plante and Roy had a bright fire and 
a nice pot of coftee for us. It was our only breakfast, for on 
shaking the bag and turning it inside out, we could make no 
more of our slock of bread than three crackers, which the rest 
of the family insisted I should put in my pocket for my dinner- 
) was much touched by the kindness of Mr. Kellogg, who 
drew from his wallet a piece of tongue and a slice of fruit-cake, 
which he said he had been saving for the lady since the day 
before, for he saw how matters were a-going. 

"Poor man 1 it would have been well if he had listened to 
Mr. Kinzie, and provided himself at the outset with a larger 
store of provisions. As it was, those he brought with him were 
exhausted early the second day, and he had l)een boarding 
with us for the last two meals. 

" We still had the trail to guide us, and we continued to 
follow it until about nine o'clock, when, in emerging from a 
wood, we came upon a broad and rapid river. A collection o' 
Indian wigwams stood upon the opposite bank, and, as the 
irail led directly to the water, it was fair to infer that the stream 
was fordable. We had no opportunity of testing it, however, 
for the banks were so lined with ice, which, was piled up tier 
upon tier by the breaking up of the previous week, that we 
tried in vain to find a path by which we could descend the 
bank to the water. 

''The men shouted again and again, in hopes some strag- 
gling inhabitant of the village might be at hand with his canoe. 
No answer was returned, save the echoes. What was to be 
done ? I lookecFat my husband and saw that care was on his 
brow, although he still continued to speak cheerfully. 'We 
will follow this cross-trail down the bank of the river,' said he. 
'There must be Indians wintering near in some of these points 
of wood." 

"I must confess that I felt somewhat dismayed at our pros- 
pects, but I kept up a show of courage, and did not allow my 
despondency to be seen. All the party were dull and gloomy 

"We kept along the bank, which was considerably elevated 
above the water, and bordered at a little distance with a thick 
wood. All at once my horse, who was mortally afraid of Indi- 
ans, began to jump and prance, snorting and pricking up his 
ears as if an enemy were at hand. I screamed with delight to 
my husband, who was at the head of the file, "Oh John ! John : 
there are Indians near — look at Jerry.' 

At this instant a little Indian dog ran out from under the 
bushes by the roadside, and began barking at us. Never were 
sounds more welcome. We rode directly into the thicket, and 
descending into a little hollow, found two scpiaws crouching 
behind the bushes, trying to conceal themselves from our 

"They appeared greatly relieved when Mr. Kinzie addressed 
them in the Pottaw attamie language : 

" 'What are you doing here ?' 

" 'Digging Indian potatoes'— (a species of artichoke.) 

" 'Where is your lodge ?' 

" 'On the other side of the river.' 

" 'Good — then you have a canoe here. Can you lake us 
across ?' 

" 'Yes — the canoe is very small.' 

They conducted us down the bank to the water's edge, 
where the canoe was. It was, indeed, very small. My hus- 

band explained to them that they must take me across first, and 
then return for the others of the parly. 

" 'Will yon trust yourself alone over the river ?' incpiired he, 
'You see that but one can cross at a time ' 

'"Oh ! yes' — and I was soon placed in the bottom of the 
canoe, lying flat and looking up at the sky, while the older 
squaw took the pad<lle in her hand, and placed herself on her 
knees at my head, and the younger, a girl of fourteen or fifteen, 
stationed herself at my feet. There was just room enough for 
me to lie in this position, each of the others kneeling in the 
opposite ends of the canoe. 

" While these preparations were making, Mr. Kinzie 
questioned the woman as to our whereabouts. They knew no 
name for the river but Saumanong. This was not definite, it 
being the generic term for any large stream. But he gathered 
that the village we had passed, higher up, on the opposite side 
of the stream, was Wau-ban-see's, and then he. knew that we 
were on the Fox River, and probably about lifty miles from 

"The squaw, in answer to his inquiries, assured him that 
Chicago was 'close by.' 

" 'That means," said he, 'that it iv noi so far oil' as Canada 
We must not be too sanguine.' 

" The men sat about unpacking the horses, and I, in ihe 
meantime, was paddled across the river. The old woman 
immediately returned, leaving the younger one with me for 
company. I seated myself on (he fallen trunk of a tree, in the 
midst of the snow, and looked across ihe dark waters. 

" We followed the old squaw to her lodge, which was at no 
great distance in the woods. I had never before been in an 
Indian lodge, although I had occasionally peeped into one of 
the many clustered around the house of the interpreter at the 
Portage on my visits to his wife. 

"This one was very nicely arranged. Four sticks of wood 
placed to form a sqare in the center, answered the purpose of 
a hearth, within which the fire was built, the smoke escaping 
through an opening in the top. The mats of which the lodge 
was constructed were very neat and new, and against the sides 
depending from the poles or frame work, hung various bags of 
Indian manufacture, containing their dried food and other 
household treasures. .Sundry ladles, small kettles, and wooden 
bowls also hung from the cross poles, and, dangling from the 
center by an iron chain, was alarge kettle, in which some dark 
suspicious looking substance was seething over the scanty fire. 
On the floor of the lodge, between the fire and the ouier wall, 
were spread mats, upon which my husband invited me to be 
seated and make myself comfortable. 

" Two little girls, inmates of the lodge, sat ga/ing at me 
with evident admiration and astonishment, which was increased 
when I took my little prayer book from my pocket and began 
to read. They had, undoubtedly, never .seen a book before, 
and I was amused at the care with which they looked away.' 
from me, while they questioned their mother about my strangel 
employment and listened to her replies. 

" While thus occupied, I was startled by a sudden sound aC 
'hogh !' and the mat which hung over tbe entrance i f the lodg| 
was raised, and an Indian entered with that graceful boun^ 
which is peculiar to themselves. It was the ma.ster of the lodgel 
who had been out to shoot ducks, and was just returned. Hei 
was a tall, finely-formed man, with a cheerful open counte-i 
nance, and he listened to what his wife, in a quiet tone, relate4l 
to him, while he divested himself of his accoutrements in the{ 
most unembarrassed, well-bred manner imaginable. 





"Soon my husband joined us. He had been 
engaged in attending to the comfort of his 
horses, and assisting his men in making their 
fire, and pitching their tent, which the rising 
storm made a matter of some difficult}'. 

"From the Indian he learned we were in 
what was called the 'Big Woods,' or 'Piche's 
Grove,' from a Frenchman of that name living 
not far from that spot — that the river we had 
crossed was the Fox River — that he could 
guide us to Piche's, from which the road was 
perfectly plain, or even into Chicago if we pre- 
ferred, but that we had better remain 
encamped foi- tliat day, as there was a storm 
coming on, and in the meantime he would go 
and shoot some ducks for our dinner and sup- 
per. He was accordingly furnished with some 
powder and shot, and set off again for game 
without delay. 

" I had put into my pocket on leavinghome a 
roll of scarlet ribbon in case a stout string 
should be wanted, and I now drew it forth, and 
with the knife which hung around my neck, I 
cut off a couple of yards for each of the little 
girls. They received it with great delight, and 
their mother, dividing each portion into two, 
tied a piece to each of the little clubs into 
which their hair was knotted on the temples. 
They laughed and exclaimed, "Saum!' as they 
gazed at each other, and their mother joined in 
their mirth, although, as I thought, a little 
unwilling to display her maternal exultation 
before a stranger. 

"The tent being all in order my husband 
came for me, and we took leave of our friends 
in the wigwam with grateful hearts. 

"The storm was raging without. The trees 
were bending and cracking around us, and the 
air was completely filled with the wild fowl 
screaming and quacking as they made their 
way southward before the blast. Our tent 
was among the trees, not far from the river. 
My husband took mc to the bank to look for 
a moment at what we had escaped. The wind 
was sweeping down from the north in a per- 
fect hurricane. The water was filled with 
masses of snow and ice, dancing along upon the 
torrent over which were hurrying thousands of 
wild fowl, making the woods resound to their 
deafening clamor. 

"Had we been one hour later we could not 
possibly have crossed the stream, and there 
seems to have been nothing for us but to have 
"emained and starved in the wilderness. Could 
ive be sufficiently grateful to that kind Provi- 
ience that had brought us safely through such 
Hangers ? 

"The storm raged with ten-fold violence 
luring the night. We were continually star- 

tled by the crashing of falling trees around us, 
and who could tell but that the next would be 
upon us? Spite of our fatigue, we passed an 
almost sleepless night. When we arose in the 
morning we were made fully alive to the perils 
by which we had been surrounded. At least 
fifty trees, the giants of the forest, lay pros- 
trate within view of the tent. 

"When we had taken our scanty breakfast, 
and were mounted and ready for departure, it 
was with difficulty we could tread our way, so 
completely was it obstructed by the fallen 

"Our Indian guide had joined us at an early 
hour, and after conducting us carefully out of 
the wood, and pointing out to us numerous 
bee-trees, for which he said that grove was 
famous, he set off at a long trot, and about 
nine o'clock brought us to Piche's, a log cabin 
on a rising ground, looking off over the broad 
prairie to the east. 

"A long reach of prairie extended from 
Piche's to the Du Page, between the two forks 
of which Mr. Dogherty,our new acquaintance, 
told us we should find the dwelling of a Mr. 
Hawley, who would give us a comfortable 

"The weather was intensely cold. The 
wind, sweeping over the broad prairie, with 
nothing to break its force, chilled our very 
hearts. I beat my feet against the saddle to 
restore the circulation, when they became 
benumbed with the cold, until they became so 
bruised I could beat them no longer. Not a 
house or wigwam, not even a clump of trees 
as a shelter offered itself for many a weary 
mile. At length w« reached the west fork of 
the Du Page. It was frozen but not sufficiently 
so to bear the horses. Our only resource was 
to cut a way for them through the ice. It was 
a work of time, for the ice had frozen to sev- 
eral inches in thickness during the last bitter 
night. Plante went first with an axe, and cut 
as far as he could reach, then mounted one of 
the hardy little ponies, and with some difficulty 
broke the ice before him, until he liad opened 
a passage to the opposite shore. 

"We were all across at last, and spurred on 
our horses, until we reached Hawlcy's, a large, 
commodious dwelling, near the east fork of the 

"The good woman welcomed us kindly, and 
soon made us warm and comfortable. We felt 
as if we were in a civilized land once more. 

"We found, upon inquiry, that we could, by 
pushing on, reach Lawton's, on the Aux 
Plaines that night; we should then be within 
twelve miles of Chicago. Of course, we made 




no unnecessary delay, but set off as soon after 
dinner as possible. 

"A very comfortable house was Lawton's, 
after we did reach it — carpeted, and with a 
warm stove — in fact, quite in civilized style. 
Mr. Weeks, the man who brought us across, was 
the major-domo during the temporary absence 
of Mr. Lawton. 

"Mrs Lawton was a young woman, and 
not ill-looking. She complained bitterly of 
the loneliness of her condition, and having been 
'brought out there into the woods, which was a. 
thing she had not expected when she came 
from the East.' We did not ask her with what 
expectations she had come to a wild, unset- 
tled country; but we tried to comfort her with 
the assurance that things would grow better in 
a few years. She said she did not mean to 
wait for that. She should go back to her 
family in the East if Mr. Lawton did not invite 
some of her young friends to come and stay 
with her and make things agreeable. 

"We could hardly realize, on rising the fol- 
lowing morning, that only twelve miles of 
prairie intervened between us and Chicago Ic 
Desirce, as I could not but name it. 

"We could look across the extended plain, 
and on its farthest verge were visible two tall 
trees, which my husband pointed out to me as 
the planting of his own hand when a boy. 
Already they had become so lofty as to serve 
as landmarks, and they were constantly in view- 
as we traveled the beaten road. I was con- 
stantly repeating to myself: 'There live the 
friends I am so longing to see! There will ter- 
minate all our trials and hardships!' 

"A Mr. Wentvvorth joined us on the road, 
and of him we inquired after the welfare of the 
family, from whom we had, for a long time, 
received no intelligence. When we reached 
Chicago he took us to a little tavern at the 
forks of the river. This portion of the place 
was then called Wolf Point, from its having 
been the residence of an Indian named 'Moa- 
way,' or 'the Wolf.' 

" 'Dear me,' said the old landlady, at the lit- 
tle tavern, 'what dreadful cold weather you 
must have had to travel in I Why, two days 
ago the river was all open here, and now it's 
frozen hard enough for folks to cross a-horse- 

Notwithstanding this assurance, my husband 
did not like to venture, so he determined to 
leave his horses and proceed on foot, to the 
residence of his mother and sister, a distance 
of about half a mile. 

" We sat out on our walk, which was first 
across the ice, then down the northern bank of 
the river. As we approached the house, we 

were espied by Genevieve, a half-breed ser- 
vant of the family. She did not wait to salute 
us, but flew into the house crying: 

" 'Oh! Madame Kinzie, who do you think 
has come? Monsieur Jf)hn and Madame 
John, all the way from Fort Winnebago on 

"Soon we were in the arms of our dear.kiml 
friends. A messenger was dispatched to the 
'garrison' for the remaining members of the 
family, and for that day at least, 1 was the 
wonder and admiration of the whole circle, 
'for the dantrers I had seen.' 


Indian Boundaries and E.Ktinguishment of Indian Titles in 

HEN the Government of the United 
States took formal possession of the 
Northwest in 1 8 16, councils were 
^^ held with the various Indian tribes, 
for the purpose of establishing ami- 
cable relations between them, and 
of defining the boundaries of their respective 

A treaty had, however, been previously 
concluded with the Sauks and Foxes, at a 
council held in St. Louis, Feb. 21st, 1805, 
defining their limits as follows: On the easi 
and southeast, by the Fox River, in thtj 
south, to its confluence with the Illinois 
thence down that stream to its mouth; thenc( 
down the Mississippi to the mouth of thi 
Missouri; and on the southwest by that river 
The boundary on the north, between then 
and the Winnebagoes and the Sioux, is rathe 

The Chippewas and Sioux having long madi 
conflicting claims to territory, in 1826, a coua 
cil was held for the purpose of amicably adjust 
ing the boundary lines between the severs 
tribes in the Northwest. At this council 
treaty was made by which the Siou.x reliij 
quished all territory east of the Mississippi 
The Chippewas of the North were limited 01 
the south and east by a line running from th 
mouth of Black River, in a northeasterl 
direction to a point between Big and Littl 
Bay de Noquet, north of the mouth of (jreq 
Bay. This made a line across the State a|i 
was the southern boundary line of tt 
Chippewas, and the northern bound^ 
of the Menominees and of the Winnebagoa 
The Winnebago countr\' was bounded i 

Commencing at Grand Kaukauna on low* 




Fox River and along that stream to Lake Win- 
nebago by the south channel; thence along 
the west shore of the lake to the inlet of the 
Fox River (Oshkosh), folloAving that river to 
the "portage of the Fox and Wisconsin," and 
across that portage to the Wisconsin River; 
thence up that stream to the mouth of the left 
fork, and along the fork to its source; thence 
due west to a point on Black River, and down 
that stream to the lands of the Chippewas, 
Ottawas and Pottawattamies oflllinois; thence 
southeasterly to a Winnebago village on Rock 
River, about forty miles above its mouth, 
(leaving a strip of land not well defined between 
this line and the Mississippi River belonging 
to the last mentioned tribe); thence up Rock 
River to its source near Lake Winnebago; 
thence northerly by aline along the east shore 
of that lake to the place of beginning, includ- 
ing all of that lake and the island at its outlet. 

The Menominees not conversant with metes 
and bounds at remote points of their territory, 
the limits were not as definite, but for the 
purposes of this treaty they were fixed as fol- 

Beginning at a point on the lower Fox near 
Little Kaukauna, and following the boundaries 
of the Winnebagoes along the Fox, Wisconsin 
and left fork of the Wisconsin until it reaches 
Black River, and North by the Chippewa 
country across to Green Bay, along the west- 
ern shore of the Bay to the mouth of Fox 
River, and up that stream to the place of 
beginning. Also that tract lying east of Green 
Bay and the Winnebago nation, to Lake Mich- 
igan on the east, from the mouth of Green 
Bay on the north, to a line drawn from the 
south extremity of Lake Winnebago to the 
source of the Milwaukee River; thence by that 
stream to its mouth on the south. 

The Chippewas, Ottawas and Pottawata 
mies, of Illinois, were limited by the Milwau- 
kee River on the north, Lake Michigan on the 
east. Rock River and the eastern boundary 
line of the Winnebagoes on the west, extend- 
ing south into Illinois. The Sauks and Foxes 
relinquishing all claims east of the Mississippi, 
that territory seems to have been divided 
between these bands and the Winnebagoes. 

In 1 83 1, the Menomonees ceded to 
the United States for the occupation of the 
New York Indians a tract of land described as 
follows, to-wit: Beginning on the Fox River 
at the dam near Little Kaukauna, thence north- 
west forty miles; thence northeast to Oconto 
Creek, falling into Green Bay; thence down 
said creek and along Green Bay and Fox 
River to place of beginning, to contain five 
hundred thousand acres, with a proviso that 

all New York Indians, who shall settle thereon 
within three years, shall be entitled to the ben- 
efit of this grant to an extent not exceeding 
one hundred acres to each person, and at 
the end of three years whatever lands were not 
required to complete the distribution should 
revert to the United States. It was after- 
wards left optional with the President to extend 
the time of settlement. 

At the same time the Menomonees ceded to 
the United States all the land within the fol- 
lowing limits, to-wit: Lake Michigan on the 
east, a line from the southern extremity of 
Lake Winnebago to the source of Milwaukee 
River and that river on the south, Lake Win- 
nebago and the Indian (Winnebago) boundary 
and Green Bay on the west and north, and 
provided that two townships on the east of 
Lake Winnebago should be set apart for the 
occupation of the Stockbridge and Munsee 
Indians, and one township adjoining the last 
for the benefit of the Brothertown Indians. 
The Government, at this time, expressed their 
intention to fully remunerate the tribes located 
on the east side of the Fox River for the 
improvements they had made, by which it 
appears that the New York Indians had for 
some years been occupying the lands in the 
vicinity of Green Bay, to which they undoubt- 
edly thought they had acquired a title from 
the Menomonees and Winnebagoes, while the 
Menomonees in this treaty emphatically deny 
any rights acquired, and are made to express 
in that instrument that, through their great 
respect, good will, love, confidence, esteem, 
veneration, etc. for the United States, and 
their great desire to secure a home for them- 
selves and their posterity forever, they are 
induced to make these grants for the benefit 
of the New York Indians. This treaty, not 
fully ratified until July 9th, 1832, was, by 
mutual consent, somewhat modified as to the 
boundaries of the five hundred thousand acre 
tract, not material here. Only the Oneidas 
and St. Regis availing themselves of the five 
hundred thousand acre reservation, it was 
reduced to its present limits. 

At this treaty the United States also agreed 
to employ farmers, millers, blacksmiths, etc., 
build mills and make sundry improvements at 
Winnebago Rapids, (see City of Neenah), 
which was partially, or, perhaps, fully per- 
formed, but in the treaty of September 3rd, 
1836, at Cedar Rapids, this agreement was 

January 7th, 1829, the Government made a 
partial treaty for that tract of country south- 
east of the Wisconsin River known as the 




"lead regions," with the Winnebagoes, Potta- 
wattamies, Chippewas and Ottavvas. 

February 13th, 1833, by a treaty heldat Rock- 
Island, the Winnebagoes ceded all lands belong- 
ing to them south and east of the Wisconsin 
River, Fo.x River and Lake Winnebago. 

September 3rd, 1836, a treaty was held at 
Cedar Rapids, (on the Lower Fox River,) at 
which the Menomonees ceded all their land 
bounded by the Fo.v River and Lake Winne- 
bago on the southeast. Wolf River on the 
northwest and the Chippewa country on the 
north. This treaty was proclaimed February 
15th, 1837. 

June i6th, 1838, the Winnebagoes relin- 
quished their claim to all lands east of the 
Mississippi River, and agreed to remove to 
the west of that stream within eight months. 

February 4th, 1847, they ceded everything 
belonging to them, and the Government gave 
them a tract in e.xchange, lying north of the St. 
Peter's River and west of the Mississippi, in 

March 28th, 1866, they made another trade 
and were moved to Nebraska. 

October i8th, 1848, the Government obtained 
the Indian title to all the lands claimed by the 
Menomonees within the State of Wisconsin. 
This treaty was made at Lake Poygan,and the 
purchase included thetract lying north and west, 
ofFox River between theWolfand Wisconsin, 
long known as the "Indian land; "in return the 
Indians accepted a grant of land previously 
ceded by the Chippewas of the Mississippi and 
Lake Superior, and by the Pillager band of 

At a treaty held August 2nd, 1854, the 
Menomonees having become dissatisfied with 
the Chippewa country, and desiring to remain 
in Wisconsin, they deeded back that grant, 
and, partly in lieu thereof, accepted a grant 
or reservation on the upper Wolf River, com- 
prising Townships 28 and 29, Ranges 13, 14, 
15 and 16, eight townships. 

At the treaty of October i8th, 1848, it was 
stipulated that they might remain on the lands 
then ceded for two )'ears, or until notified by 
the Government that the lands were wanted. 
In the fall of 1852 they were so notified, and 
removed to this tract spoken of in the treaty of 
1834, on Wolf River, their principal village 
being at Keshena, from which they intended 
soon to remove to the Chippewa country to 
which they held the title. 

In the meantime the Stockbridge and Mun- 
see Indians on the east side of Lake Winne- 
bago had become divided, some wishing to 
become citizens and have their lands distrib- 
uted among the members, whileotherspreferred 

to retain their Indian customs. To settle this 
matter satisfactorily to all, the Government 
had given the latter the privilege of retaining 
their tribal habits, and of locating west of the Mis- 
sissippi amongst those of like taste. This prop- 
osition was accepted and they went West, but 
were soon desirous of leturning; and at last, 
by a treaty of February i ith, 1856, fully rat- 
ified April 24th of the same year, the Govern- 
ment purchased of the Menomonees two 
townships in the southwest part of their Wolf 
River reservation, upon which was located all 
such of the Stockbridge and Munsee tribes as 
were opposed to citizenship, where they and 
the Menomonees still remain. 

The citizen portion, with the Brothertowns, 
occupying good farms on the original reserva- 
tion, have become industrious and contented. 

We now return to the Chippewas, Ottawas 
and Pottawattamies of Illinois, whom we left 
in possession of the southern portion of Wis- 
consin, extending into Indiana, Illinois and 

By treaties of January 2d, 1830 and I'^ebru- 
ary 21st, 1825, they disposed of all their inter- 
est in Southern Wisconsin; were finally, in 
[846, united with the various bands of the 
Pottawattamie tribes and placed upon a reser- 
vation in Kansas, upon the Kansas River. 

The Chippewas of the North made the 
final cession of all of their lands inWisconsin in 


In 1833, the Foxes, Sauks, Winnebagoes, 
Pottawattamies and Menominces, had ceded to 
the Government all the lands lying south of 
the Fo.x and Wisconsin. 

In 1836, Menominecs ceded a tract, bounded 
on the south and cast by Fox River and 
Lake Winnebago; west by the Wolf; and 
north b)' the Chippewa country. 

In 1848, they ceded allofthe balance of their 

- In 1837, Winnebagoes ceded all of their 

In 1842, Chippewas made a final cession of 
all of their lands in Wisconsin. 

This extinguished all Indian titles in this 
State, excepting the small reservations with 
well defined boundaries. 

Note — This compilation is made from original treaties and 






The Several Territorial Organizations of the Soil, now Included 
in the Limits of Wisconsin — The Old Northwestern Terri- 
tory — The Organization of the Territory of Wisconsin. 

HE territory now included in Wiscon- 
sin, it will be seen from the foregoing 
pages, remained under the govern- 
• CyAyj ' ment of France till 1763; when, by 
' the Treaty of Paris, it was ceded to 
Great Britain, who held it until after the 
acknowledgement of the independence of the 
United States, in 1783, when it was claimed 
by Virginia, as territory conquered by 
her forces, under Colonel George Rogers 

Great Britain, however, remained in posses- 
sion until the ratification of the Jay Treaty, 
1796, which settled the boundary questions; 
and in that year the United States first came 
into actual possession. 

Prior to this, Virginia ceded all her territory 
Northwest of the Ohio River to the Govern- 

By the famous ordinance of 1787: a Govern- 
ment was established over the region known 
as the Nprthwestern Territory, and Arthur 
St. Clair was appointed Governor. By his 
proclamation in 1796, a county was formed, 
which included with other territory, what is 
now Eastern Wisconsin, and all of the State of 
Michigan. It was called Wayne County. In 
1800, the Northwestern Territory was divided 
into two territorial governments; the Western 
one called Indiana, and embraced what is now 
Wisconsin. The seat of government was 
Vincennes, on the Wabash. Illinois territory 
was organized in 1809, and what is now Wis-, 
consin formed a part of it. When Illinois 
became a State in 18 18, the region west of 
Lake Michigan was made a part of Michigan 
territory. General Lewis Cass was Governor, 
and by proclamation he established in 1818, 
three counties, including all the present terri- 
tory of Wisconsin, viz: Michilimackinac, Brown 
and Crawford. 

The County of Michilimackinac, embraced 
all the district, north of a line running east and 
west, from Bay de Noquet to Lake Huron on 
the east, and to the Mississippi on the west. 
Its county seat was Michilimackinac. 

Brown County, which included the territory 
of what is now Winnebago, embraced the tract 
east of a line running north and south, 
through the middle of the Portage, between 
the Fo.x and Wisconsin Rivers. Green Bay 
was designated as its county seat. 

Crawford County included the area west of 
that line to the Mississippi; with Prairie du 
Chien for its County seat. 

In Brown and Crawford counties, courts 
were established, immediately on their con- 

In 1823, an act of Congress created a Dis- 
trict Court for the Counties of Brown, Craw- 
ford and Michilimackinac; James Duane Doty 
was appointed District Judge; and one term 
of court was held in each county, each year. 
In 1824, Judge Doty held his first term in 
Green Bay; Henry S. Baird, the first practic- 
ing lawyer in Wisconsin, officiating as District 

In 1836, the Huron District of Michigan 
was organized into the territory of Wisconsin, 
which had its birth-day July Fourth, of that 
year. It included within its territorial limita- 
tions, the whole region from Lake Michigan, 
westward to the Mississippi River, and the 
head waters of the Mississippi. Its southern 
boundary was the northern line of Illinois, 
and of Missouri. General Dodge was appointed 
the first Governor and also Superintendent of 
Indian affairs. The Territorial Secretary was 
John S. Horner; and the first Legislature 
was convened at Belmont, Grant County. 

It will be seen, from the foregoing, that the 
territory, now embraced in the limits of Wis- 
consin, was under the Government of P'rance 
for ninety-three years; of Great Britain for 
thirty-one years; of Virginia for six years; and 
for short periods under the jurisdiction of 
Indiana, Illinois and Michigan, respectively. 


On Extinguishment of Indian Title to all the Territory North of 
Chicago and South and East of the Fox and Wisconsin 
Rivers in 1S33, Immigration to the New Purchase Set in — 
Lines of Steamers and Sail Ve«els are Placed on the Lakes 
—Roads Begin to be Used Instead of Indian Trails — Frink 
& Walker's Line of Stages— First Land Sales— Hard Times 
of '37 and '38— Wheat Shipments Begin — Wisconsin in 

JHE close of the Black Hawk war left no 
further apprehensions for any serious 
Indian troubles, and closed one epoch 
in the history of Wisconsin The 
fame of this beautiful country, and of its 
rich mineral and agricultural resources, had 
gone abroad, and immigration now began to 
pour in. The settlement of the Northwest 
might almost be said to have begun with the 
close of that war; for previous to it, there were 
no white inhabitantsto speak of,other than those 
of the little hamlets in the lead region, Prairie 
du Chien and Green Bay. Milwaukee and 
Chicago were but little more than trading posts. 
/« /8jj the first frame house was built in 




Chicago, only three j'cars before the family 
o{ the writer, then a small child, moved to that 

The extinguishment of the Indian title to 
the territory of Northern Illinois and Southern 
Wisconsin in that year, opened that tract to 
white settlement, and the "New Purchase" 
attracted great attention. By the spring of 
1834, immigration increased to such an 
extent that lines of steamers and sail vessels 
were put on the lakes to run from Buffalo to 
Chicago. These were loaded to their fullest 
capacity with freight and passengers. "Frink 
and Walker's Line" of stage coaches next made 
their appearance, and roads began to be used 
in place of Indian trails. Captain Knapp and 
others, in 1834, laid claims and commenced 
the settlement on Root River, afterwards 
Racine; and in 1835 a company from the East 
settled at Pike River, now Kenosha. 

In 1 818 Solomon Juneau settled at Milwau- 
kee. In 1834 a number of settlers arrived, 
among them Geo. H. Walker, Byron Kilbourn, 
Daniel Wells and the Dousmans; and in 1835 
Milwaukee was on the high road to prosperity 
and fame, and in 1836 was a promising rival 
of Chicago. In this year an immense immi- 
gration poured into the country. Steamers 
arriving at Milwaukee and Chicago would be 
crowded with passengers, which sometimes 
numbered as high as eight hundred on one 
boat. Business was at high pressure; specu- 
lation ran high, and the laying out of new 
cities and sellingcity lots was a leading branch 
of business. 

Solomon Juneau, the founder of Milwaukee, 
was supposed to be worth $100,000, consid- 
ered vast wealth at that time. The value he 
put on money may be seen from the fact of its 
being his habit of taking the money out of the 
drawer of his store, after business hours, and 
putting it loose in his hat; which being once 
knocked off in a playful crowd, $10,000 in bills 
flew in every direction. He subscribed most 
liberally to every public and charitable enter- 
prise. After seeing others getting rich on the 
property he sold at such low figures, he com- 
menced buying back some of the lots, paying 
in one instance, $3,900 for a lot he had sold 
the year previous for $475. He was a man 
loved and esteemed by all who knew him. 

In 1837 a revulsion set in, and "hard times" 
continued through 1838. Jackson^had issued 
his "specie circular," requiring coin in pay- 
ment for Government bonds. He also removed 
the Government deposits from the Bank of the 
United States to the Government Treasury. 
The bottom fell out of the "wild-cat banks" and 
brought ruin to hundreds of thousands. A 

general business depression pervaded the whole 
country, east and west. In 1840 flour sold in 
Chicago for $3 a barrel , pork from $1.50 to $2 
per hundred, butter si.x cents a pound, etc. 

In 1836 flour sold in Chicago for from $10 
to $15 a barrel, and we had to pay a shilling a 
quart for milk. 

The territory of Wisconsin was set off from 
Michigan and organized the fourth day of July, 

Although times continued dull up to 1840- 
41, immigration continued to pour in and rap- 
idly settled the southern portion of the State. 
The Indian trails now gave way to wagon 
roads, and log houses dotted the country in 
every direction. Long trains of teams daily 
left the lake shore towns carrying the immigrants 
and their goods out into the countr)-. Soon 
the fertile prairies began to ship their prod- 
ucts east, and the long trains of teams would 
load both ways — hauling wheat into iMilwau- 
kee, Racine and Southport, and carrying goods 
and immigrants back. 

W^inter wheat then was the staple, yielding 
forty bushels per acre, and was a never-failing 
crop. The various insects that have come in 
with all the other demoralizing influences of 
a higher civilization, were unknown. The 
festive potato bug, the chinch bug, and all the 
numerous \ariety of pests that prey upon the 
labor of the husbandman, never troubled the 
early settlers. An abundance of everything 
that can be grown in this latitude was raised 
with comparatively little labor. Winter wheat 
was brought to Milwaukee from forty to one 
hundred miles in the interior, by teams and sold 
_ for fifty cents a bushel. 

With the fall frosts came the prairie fires, 
which for weeks would keep the sk\- aglo«' and 
light up the nights. It was one of the features 
of the early day. Night after night we could 
see in every direction the long lines of flame, 
and its lurid reflection in the sky. 

The first sale of Government lands in North- 
ern Illinois was held in Chicago in 1835. The 
tract offered extended onl)' to the North line 
of the State. 

The ne.xt lands coming into market were in 
the Southern part of the territory of Wiscon- 
sin. The land sale took place in Milwaukee 
in 1839. 

The settlers, apprehensixe that the land spec- 
ulators would attempt to bid in their lands, 
organized and appointed committees to take, 
forcible means to prevent it if deemed necr^ 

At the sale a party made a bid against a set-; 
tier, when he was seized by the committee,, 
but he escaped from them and fled into thei 



country. They followed and captured him 
and brought him back to Milwaukee, where 
threats failed to make him withdraw his bid. 
The settler, however, got his land, as all the 
pre-emptors did. 

The opening and prairie lands in Wisconsin 
looked like a paradise to the Eastern immigrant. 
The writer can remember the rapturous excla- 
mations of the new-comers. When a young 
child, I went on a visit with a friend of our 
family, who had formerly been a merchant in 
Chicago, and was then living on a beautiful 
place west of Southport, as Kenosha was 
called. We took the lake steamer at my 
home, Chicago, and in the forenoon arrived at 
Southport. It was in the fall of 1838. The 
village contained one store and a half dozen 
otherbuildings, all "wood-colored," unpainted. 
All the boys from a large distance seemed to 
have congregated on the arrival of the steamer. 
Nearly every boy was barefoot, and I thought I 
never before saw such a large number, for so 
few houses. We started on foot for my friend's 
place, some twelve miles out, and had to ford 
a small stream — the Aux Plaines, which was bor- 
dered by a dense growth of rushes. It was 
evening when we reached it and the prairie 
fires were burning some distance from us, but 
approaching at a rapid rate. I was not 
alarmed, for I was familiar with them. Mr. 
M. simply set fire to the dry grass where 
we stood. In a moment the fire spread to the 
tall rushes, which, blazing to a great height, 
made a noise like a continuous discharge of 
small arms. When a sufficient space was 
burned, we crossed in safety. Our trail was 
well lighted, for the whole country seemed 
in a blaze. I noticed that my companion was 
a little apprehensive that his home was in 
danger; but we found everything safe on our 
arrival. A comfortable log house on a beauti- 
ful elevation, and surrounded by a number of 
huge oaks, presented every appearance of 
thrift and comfort. A sumptuous supper was 
soon prepared; broiled partridge forming 
part of the bill of fare. The next morning the 
lovely country presented a scene of picturesque 
beauty; not another house was in sight. The 
country was rolling prairie and timber inter- 
mingled. The nearest house, hidden in a grove 
of trees, was two miles distant, the occupant, a 
sea captain and his family. The next was a 
young physician, formerly of Chicago. The 
next, a former store-keeper of Chicago, who 
was closed out by the "hard times. " Not one 
of these had ever "farmed" before, and yet 
they became successful in their new vocation. 
The country was full of game; partridges 
were especially plentiful, and the table was 

kept well supplied. A band of Pottawattamies 
from Rock River, encamped near by, afforded 
the only small boy companions. 

I saw the same country a few years after- 
wards, but with all the "improvements" it did 
not look so beautiful as when I first saw it, 
untouched by the hand of man. 

Nothing was ever seen before to equal the 
progress in wealth, population and improve- 
ment, that the West made Irom 1843 to 1850. 
Immigration poured in a continuous tide 
and overspread the whole country. It was esti- 
mated that sixty thousand persons settled in 
Wisconsin in 1843. The settlers up to the 
year 1842, were principally from the South 
and East. In 1843 the immigration was more 
largely European, and that to Wisconsin was 
largely composed of Germans. By the year 
1846, the southern part of this State was well 
settled; villages sprang up, that in a few years 
became great cities, the marts of a vast trade 
and commerce. 

The splendid steamers on the lakes were 
floating palaces, elegantly furnished and 
provided with all the luxuries of life. The 
Southern travel to Northern summer resorts 
was via the lakes, from Chicago to Buffalo. In 
time came the railroads, with all the attendants 
of modern civilization, and the "far West" 
moved five hundred miles toward the setting 



Madison Selected as the Site of the Seat of State Govern- 
ment — Recollections of (Jne of the Members of ihe First 
Session at Madison — Population of the Territory on its 
Organization — Population of State in 1850 — First State 

!T the first session of the Territorial 
Legislature, held at Belmont, several 
rival places contended for the posses- 
sion of the seat of Government; but 
Madison carried off" the prize, and the 
site of the "City of the Four Lakes" was 
selected, and a more lovely spot could not be 

Commissioners were appointed to contract 
for the erection of suitable buildings, and on 
the tenth of June, 1837, the acting commis- 
sioner, with a party of workmen, arrived at 
the site of the future Capitol. They were ten 
days on the route, from Milwaukee. 

In 1838, the Legislature assembled at 

Colonel Ebenezer Childs, a member of the 
Legislature, in his "Recollections of Wiscon- 




sin," published in State Historical Collections, 

" The new Capitol edifice was not yet in suitable condition 
to receive the legislature : so we had to asseinble in the base- 
ment of the old American House, where Governor Dodge deliv- 
ered his first message at the new seat of government. We 
adjourned from day to day, until we could get in the new Cap- 
itol building. At length we took possession of the new Assem- 
bly Hall. The floors were laid with green oak-boards full of 
ice. The walls of the room were iced over ; green-oak seats, 
and desks made of rough boards, one fireplace, and one small 
stove. In a few days the flooring near the stove and fireplace 
so shrunk, on account of the heat, that a person could run his 
hand between the boards. The basement story was all open ; 
and James Morrison's large drove of hogs had taken possess- 
ion. They were awfully poor; and it would have taken two 
of them, standing side by side, to have made a decent shadow 
on a bright day. We had a great many smart members in the 
house, and sometimes they spoke for Buncombe. When mem- 
bers of this kind became too tedious, I would take a long pole, 
go at the hogs, and stir them up; when they would raise a 
young Pandemonium for noise and confusion. The speaker's 
voice would become completely drowned ; and he would be 
compelled to stop, not, however, without giving his squealing 
disturbers a sample of his swearing ability. The weather was 
cold ; the halls were cold ; our ink would freeze : so, when we 
could stand it no longer, we passed a joint resolution to adjourn 
for twenty days. I was appointed by the two houses to procure 
carpeting for both halls during the recess. I bought all I 
could find in the Territory, and brought it to Madison, and put 
it down, after covering the floor with a thick coating of hay. 
After this, we were more comfortable. We used to have tall 
times in those days — days long to be remembered. Stealing 
was carried on in a small way. Occasionally a bill would be 
fairly stolen through the legislature ; and the legislature woidd 
get gouged now and then. " 

The population of the present limits of Wis- 
consin, in 1836, was: In Milwaukee County, 
2,893; Brown County, 2,706; Iowa County, 
5,234; Crawford County, 850; total, 11,683. 
In 1850, the population of the State was 

The Constitution of the State of Wisconsin 
was adopted by the people on the second day 
of March, 1848; and at the election of State 
officers, held on the eighth day of May, of 
that year, Nelson Dewey was elected Gov- 
ernor; John E. Holmes, Lieutenant-Governor; 
Thomas McHugh, Secretary of State; J. C. 
Fairchild, Treasurer; and James S. Brown, 
Attorney-General . 

The State was admitted into the Union, 
May 29th, 1848. 


The Fox and Wisconsin Rivers Improvement — Lands Granted 
to Wisconsin to Aid the Same — Transfer to a Company — 
Purchase of the Improvement by the United Slates. 

^T will be seen from the foregoing pages 
that the water-courses in this State, viz.; 
the Fo.x and Wisconsin Rivers, and Lake 
Winnebago — the links which connect a 
chain from the Gulf of the St. Lawrence 
to the Gulf of Mexico — were the very 
earliest channels of the travel of the West, and 
that they are associated with the leading events 
of the earlier civilization of the continent. In 
all periods of our history this water communi- 
cation has figured as an important national 
feature of the country. 

In 1838, the improvement of this route was 
recommended to Congress by the Secretary 
of War, for the purpose of facilitating the trans- 
portation of troops and munitions of war to 
the frontier. 

In 1839, a preliminary survey was made by 
Captain Cram, under direction of the Secre- 
tary of War. 

In i84(^. Congress granted for this purpose, 
and for the construction of a canal connecting 
the two rivers, a tract of land "equal to one- 
half of three miles wide on each side of Fox 
River and the lakes through which it flows, 
from the junction of the canal with Fox River 
at Portage, to Green Bay, and along each 
side of the canal. " 

On January 29th, 1848, an act was passed 
b}- the Legislature accepting the grant. 

August 8th, 1848, an act was passed to 
provide for the impro\'ement of the Fox and 
Wisconsin Rivers, and to connect the same by 
a canal, and providing for the election of five 
commissioners to be called the "Board of Pub- 
lic Works;" J. B. Estes, A. S. Story, John A. 
Bingham, Curtis Reeil and H. L. Dousman 
were elected. 

The State elected to take the odd numbered 
sections, which amounted to 306,039.98-100 
acres. September 4th, 1848, at a meeting of 
the Board, held at Madison, Mr. C. R. Alton 
was ap[)ointed chief engineer, and instructed 
to make a surve\- of the proposed route. In 
his report of Januar)', 1849, his estimate of cost 
for a canal and the improvement of Fox River 
from Portage City to Green Bay, was $373,- 
706.09, with a depth of four feet at usual low 
water, which was then thought sufficient. 
This estimate included the cost of superinten- 
dence and salaries of officers. 

The Board of Public Works in their report 
of same date take occasion to say "The grant 
of land, (less waste land from which little or 

[849-71 ■] 



nothing will be realized,) will, at $1.25 per 
acre, amount to $350,000." April 2nd, 1849, 
a land office was opened at Oshkosh for the 
sale of these lands, with the Hon. Joseph 
Jackson, Receiver, and Jedediah Brown, Reg- 
ister. During this year a survey was made 
of the Wisconsin River by Chief Engineer 
Alton, and resulted in a recommendation that 
the improvement of the river be confined 
to cutting down trees overhanging the river, 
and removing snags at a cost of $3,500, mak- 
ing the entire estimated cost of improvement 
of both rivers and canal, including "Superin- 
tendence and salaries ofofficers," $377,206.09. 
In the early part of the summer of 1850 the 
lock at Depere was brought into use. 

In 1853, the Legislature passed an act con- 
ferring all the rights, franchises and property 
of the State in and to the Fox and Wisconsin 
Improvement, together with all lands hereto- 
fore granted by Congress for that purpose, 
and remaining unsold, to a corporation styled 
"Fox and Wisconsin River Improvement Com- 
pany. " 

This act provided for completion of the work 
in three years from date. 

In 1855, Congress passed an act enlarging 
the grant formerly made to Wisconsin, which 
gave to the State an additional 277,140 acres, 
makinga total of land granted for thisimprove- 
ment of 639,100 acres. The additional grant 
was claimed by the Company, and obtained by 
act of the Legislature. 

In 1856, the Lower Fox had been improved 
so as to admit the passage of steamers from 
Green Bay to Lake Winnebago, and the first 
passage of a steamer between those points 
was made in June of that year. 

The time having expired, as fixed in the 
contract for the completion of the work, the 
Company transferred all their rights and fran- 
chise to a new company called the Green Bay 
and Mississippi Canal Company, which was 
chartered by the Legislature in 1861. 

In 1867, General Warren, under instructions 
from United States Engineer Department, 
made a survey of the rivers and an estimate of 
the cost of improving the same. 

The following is an extract from his report: 
"To secure five feet of navigation at low 
water, all to be canal, 118 miles. Canal sev- 
enty feet at bottom, eighty feet at top. Locks, 
160x35. Total lock lift, 175 feet. Sides of 
canals in cuts paved to allow the use of steam- 
boats, $4,194,270. In order to finish in third 
year, will require $2,082,130 the first year, the 
remainder the second year, and $60,000 annu- 
ally thereafter. " 

In 1 87 1, the Government proposed to pur- 
chase the work and complete it, and the Com- 
pany consenting to sell, an act of Congress 
was passed the same year, providing for a 
Board of Arbitrators, to be appointed to 
apprise the value of the property. 

By this Board the value was fixed as 

Locks, dams, franchise, etc., $ 868,070.00 

Water power, 140,000.00 

Personal property 40,000.00 

Total 81,048,070.00 

From this was deducted, value 

of lands, at Si. 25 per acre, ^723,070.00 
Value of water power .... 140,000.00 

Personal property 40,000.00 


Balance 8145,000.00 

Which it is supposed the Government has 

Since the Government took possession of 
this work in 1872, there has been more accom- 
plished toward an available and permanent 
improvement, than in the twenty-four years 
preceding, and the improvement of the Fox 
River and canal may be considered virtually 
completed, although some of the old works 
are continually being replaced by new. 

This is the great natural outlet of the heavy 
products of the Northwest. The annual ship- 
ments of wheat alone from points west of Lake 
Michigan eastward, that would natur- 
ally ship over this route, would average 
50,000,000 of bushels, and the estimate cost 
of transportation by rail over that of water is 
on the single item of wheat alone, about 
$5,000,000, being a saving in one year of more 
than the entire estimated cost of the work in 
its most permanent and substantial form. 

The importance of this work in its relation 
to the interests of the whole country cannot 
be over estimated, as it unites the only break 
in the chain of the incomparable water com- 
munication, which is one of the grand physical 
features of this continent. 

The completion of this work by perfecting 
the navigation of the Wisconsin, would do 
more to stimulate the inter-trade and com- 
merce of the country than any other project, 
and the amount of grain, cotton and other 
bulky products that will eventually pass over 
the route will far exceed the highest estimate 
of the most sanguine prophecy That portion 
of the great agricultural empire of the North- 
west, comprised of the states of Wisconsin, 
Iowa and Minnesota, with three hundred 
thousand square miles of grain fields, would 
pour a continuous flow of their products 
through this channel, thus cheapening the 




bread stuffs of the Eastern consumers and 
increasing the profits of the Western grain 


Karly Settlement of Winnebago County — Its Transformation 
friim a Wilderness into the Abodes of Civilization — The 
First Settlers — The Beauty and Rich Resources of the 
Country — .Several of the Principal <.'ities of the State Clus- 
ter Around these Water Courses — (Jshkosh, Neenah and 
Menasha — Lake Winnebago and its Beautiful Surround- 

^^LTHOUGH a century and a half 
had passed since the French estab- 
lished their trading posts in this coun- 
f try, it was, up to the year 1 846, but a 
1 comparatively unbroken wilderness. 
The little straggling French settle- 
ments on the Lower Fox — the Government 
agency at Neenah — half a dozen families at 
the mouth of the Upper Fox, the present site 
of Oshkosh — the trading post of Augustin 
Grignon and James Porlier, near the head of Big 
Lake Butte des Morts, comprised nearly the 
whole civilized inhabitant?, with the exception 
of the troops and traders at Fort Winnebago. 
But this country was soon to witness a won- 
derful, sudden transformation. The age of rail- 
roads and steam machinery was coming on; the 
beaver, otter, mink and their contemporaries, 
the French voyageur and the Indian, were to 
be superseded by that advancing civilization 
which has spread its conquests far and wide, 
and whose forces have opened up the broad 
West to that wave of im.migration which rolls 
ceaselessly across the continent, people- 
ing its most remote solitudes with a race 
which takes permanent possession, and before 
whom the Indian hopelessly flees, disheartened 
and overwhelmed by the destiny which closes 
remorselessly around him, and leaves him an 
alien and outcast in the lands of his nativity. 

That vigorous civilization which sprung up 
on the Atlantic sea-coast of America had now 
developed greater social forces than the world 
had ever before witnessed. The vast physical 
resources of the continent in the possession of 
a free people, opened up an unbounded field 
of enterprise; while the opportunity for gain 
and personal advancement stimulated ambi- 
tion and progress. 

In 1836, the advance guard of that migration, 
which has since overspread the country, made 
its appearance in two families, one of which 
settled at Fond du Lac — the Piers — the 
other, the Gallups and Stanleys, on the pres- 
ent site of Oshkosh; these, at that time, were 

the only settlers between Neenah and Milwau- 
kee, a distance of over a hundred miles. 

This was the period of the early migration 
to the Southern part of the State, and while 
that was being peopled, immigration to this 
section was light. 

In 1842, the County of Winnebago was 
organized, and in 1846, there were but 732 
persons in the whole County; but this inviting 
field was now attracting more general atten- 
tion. The fame of this beautiful lake and river 
country, with its rich prairies and splendid 
woodlands, began to spread, and immigration 
poured in with a rapidity unprecedented in the 
settlement of a country. It surpassed that 
even of the more Southern counties of the 
State. In one year the population of .the 
County increased from 732 to 2,787. 

Thirty-five years ago an unsettled wild, now 
the Counties of Winnebago, Green Lake and 
Fond du Lac present one continuous expanse 
of cultivated farms, with commodious and 
elegant farm houses and suburban villas, sur- 
rounded with all the adornments of wealth and 
taste, with spacious barns and out-buildings, 
as the illustrations in this work serve to show, 
giving evidence of the wealth, thrift and 
prosperity of the inhabitants. 

Cities have sprung up along these water 
courses; steamboats and sail crafts ply the 
waters in every direction; railroads checker 
the whole face of the country; and the scene is 
one of vigorous industrial activity and business 

The great business, manufacturing and agri- 
cultural resources of the valley of the Fox, is 
plainly seen in the growth of its cities, and the 
rapid development of their business industries. 
Clustering around Lake Winnebago and the 
Lower Fox, are five of the principal cities of 
the State. Oshkosh, at the mouth of the 
Upper Fox, the second city in the State in 
wealth, business and population. 

Twelve miles to the north of Oshkosh, at 
the outlet of the lake on, one of the greatest 
water powers of the continent, are the manu- 
facturing cities of Neenah and Menasha, with 
their long lines of manufactories. These cities 
are delightfuU)' situated on either sides of the 
river, and the shore of the lake. Beingon a relia- 
ble line of watercomnuinication,affordingthem 
cheap transportation for the products of their 
manufactures; with a water power measured at 
three thousandhorse-power; a fine agricultural 
district surrounding them, they are destined to 
maintain their position as two of the chief 
manufacturing centers of the State. 

The many splendid residences here are indi- 
cative of the wealth and taste of the owners; 




and the beautiful park on the lake shore, Nee- 
nah Point, is a delightful resort in the summer 

The Lower Fox is the great manufacturing 
district of the State. Its water reservoirs are 
inexhaustable; there are no freshets, the flow of 
the water being gradual, and its volume so 
large that no formations of ice ever interrupt 
the workings of its machinery. 

The central commercial point on these great 
water courses, is the city of Oshkosh, delight- 
fully situated on a handsome plateau, between 
lakes Winnebago and Buttes des Morts; the 
surrounding country is surpassingly beautiful. 
The main business portion of the city, having 
been destroyed by fire, one mile of its main 
street is composed wholly of handsome new 
business blocks. This is one of the finest 
looking business streets in the state — com- 
pactly built with fire proof structures of brick 
and stone. Its palace stores are models of 
elegance, and its handsome residence streets 
are most attractive. The city is compactly 
built up from the shore of Lake Winnebago to 
that of Lake Buttes des Morts, a distance of 
three miles. The residences on its best streets 
are beautiful structures. One street of two 
miles is almost wholly composed of what might 
be called palace residences, embowered in the 
luxuriant foliage of great oaks and shade trees, 
with well-kept lawns and tasteful surround- 
ings. There are twenty-five miles of graveled 
streets, the material of which cements into a 
smooth, hard surface. 

The Fox River, connecting the two lakes, 
bisects the city, and has an average width of 
five hundred feet and a depth of thirty. The 
river shore, for two miles, is lined with manu- 
facturing establishments run by steam power. 
There are some sixty of these, and among 
them are foundries and machines shops, which 
manufacture steam engines, boilers and mill 
machinery; sash and door factories, with a 
capacity of one thousand doors, two thousand 
windows, and four hundred pairs of blinds per 
day; saw and shingle mills, whose products 
have, in good seasons, loaded sixteen thousand 
cars per year; threshing machine works; a 
match factory, which employs three hundred 
hands; grist mills; a large trunk factory, and 
woolen mills. These, with the steamboats and 
sailing crafts plying the river and lake, the 
moving railroad trains and the busy streets 
present a scene of great business life and 

This place is the seat of the State Normal 
School, an institution of a high order of excel- 
lence. There are also a Business College, two 
Academies, and the Oshkosh High School, 

which, with the ward schools, employ about 
one hundred teachers. 

A favorite amusement of the place is yacht- 
ing. The Oshkosh Yacht Club has a fleet of 
twenty yachts, finely modeled crafts, and the 
lake is famous as the best yachting waters in 
the West. Fond du Lac, Neenah and Mena- 
sha also have fleets of yachts; these all join in 
regattas, which make a most attractive sight, 
and one which never fails to delight the vast 
crowd of spectators which always assembles to 
witness it. 

Lake Winnebago, bounding the eastern side 
of Winnebago county, and indenting it with 
deep bays and capacious harbors, forms with 
its handsome sloping shores of prairie, open- 
ings and woodland, one of the finest natural 
scenes to be found. It has no overtowering 
mountains, but this lovely expanse of water, 
stretching away as far as the eye can reach, 
and glittering like a gem in its emerald setting 
of undulating banks and leafy groves until the 
view fades away in the dim distance, among 
the hazy points and headlands, is a scene of 
picturesque beauty that is seldom equaled. 
This lake and its surroundings, possess great 
attractions for the summer tourist. The coun- 
try afi"ords delightful drives over good roads, 
with fine views of lake and river scenery. The 
climate is healthful. The air pure and dry. 
Artesian fountains abound, furnishing the best 
of water; there is good shooting in the season; 
the game is principally ^\•ild water fowl, largely 
teal, mallard and wood-duck. The fishing is 
excellent, the water abounding in white and 
black bass and pike. The shores and harbors 
are accessible at all points, making safe boat- 
ing for ladies, who largely participate in that 
amusement. The shores of the lake have most 
delightful camping-grounds, and steamboat 
and yachting excursions are frequent; parties 
sometimes camping out for a week at a time. 
A favorite place of resort is Island Park, 
a beautiful wooded island on the west shore. 

Another charming place is Clifton, on the 
eastern shore, in Calumet County; a bold 
promontory, rising abruptly from the lake to 
the height of about two hundred feet. Here 
are caverns and grottoes and precipitous ledges 
of limestone, affording many interesting nat- 
ural subjects for the geologist and lover of natural 
studies. The wooded hills of Clifton oxcrlook- 
ing the lake are lovely camping-grounds and a 
favorite resort of excursionists. The \'iew of 
the lake from the summit is magnificent. The 
lox'ely expanse of water, dotted with steamers 
and white sails; while on eitherhand, in the dim 
distance, may be seen the smoke arising from 
the manufacturies of two of the principal cities 




of the State; and the track of railroad lines on 
both shores, may be traced by the smoke of 
the locomotive. 

What a spectacle is here afforded of the 
wonderful progress of the age! Twenty-eight 
years ago this location was one of the frontiers 
of Western civilization; and the Indian title 
not then extinguished to the tract lying west 
of the Fox River, only ten miles distant from 
Oshkosh, then a frontier village. Now popu- 
lous cities, marts of trade and commerce, with 
educational institutions, and all the luxuries, 
and elegancies of modern social life, cluster 
around these waters — highly cultivated farms 
cover the whole face of the country — railroads 
stretch away in every direction ; and the empire of 
modern progress holds undisputed sway. The 
Indian wigwam and the pioneer's log cabin are 
supplanted by the stately mansion and tower- 
ing steeple — the bark canoe and the voy- 
ageur's bateau have given way to the magni- 
ficent steamer and graceful sail craft; and the 
generous hospitalities of the pioneer — his 
hearty welcome — his kindly manners and 
his brave enterprises that opened up the 
pathway of progress, are among the things of 
the past. 

And now, if the writer, who has endeav- 
ored to sketch the country on the line of 
these great water courses, and the outlines of 
its e\entful history of two centuries, with its 
transformations from a wilderness into the pop- 
ulous centers of busy life, has succeeded in 
drawing the picture, that portion of his task is 
ended, and the next subject will be the his- 
tory of Winnebago County, and its several 
cities and towns. 



The Fo.\ River Valley and Central Wisconsin — Indescrib- 
ably Charming in its Picturesque Beauty of Commingled 
Prairie, Woodland, Laltes and Rivers — The Lovely 
Water Scener)' an Especial Feature — The Richest Fertil- 
ity of Soil, with Good Water and a Healthful Climate — - 
The Fox Valley a Conjunction of Three Distinct Types of 
Country, with Great Natural Elements of Productive 
Wealth, and One of the t^hief Business Thoroughfares of 
the State. 

^fH^S^Y an examination of the map of Wis- 
ciinsin, it will be seen that the Wis- 
consin, and Upper and Lower Fox Riv- 

is^^^^" ers, form a water-line through the 
' entire breadth of the State, whosemain 

direction is nearly northeast from the mouth 

of the Wisconsin, on the Mississippi, to that 
of the Lower Fox, at Green Bay. This line 
is the dividing point between two dis- 
tricts of very distinct physical features. The 
territory lying south of this river line, com- 
prises the great rich prairie and opening dis- 
trict of the State, which stretches from Win- 
nebago county to its southern and western 
limits. This vast tract, with the exception of 
the strip of timbered land in the counties bor- 
dering Lake Michigan, constitutes the north- 
eastern section of that great agricultural 
empire of fertile prairie and openings, which 
extends to the south and west for distances 
that include whole States in their vast limita- 
tions, and presenting in almost one continuous 
body a tract of agricultural country, whose 
territorial immensity and fertilit)- is unparal- 
leled in the wide world. That portion of it 
included in the limits of the State of Wiscon- 
sin is more diversified with openings and 
detached bodies of timber, and consequently 
does not present those great monotonous 
stretches of level prairie, which largely abound 
in the more southern portions of the district. 
The face of this prairie and opening country of 
Wisconsin is indescribabl}- charming in its 
picturesquebeauty of commingled prairie, wood 
land, lakes and rivers; forming vast rural 
landscapes of the most exquisite loveliness. 
Here are lakes rivaling the finest in the world, 
with handsome sloping banks rising in the 
most graceful undulations. 

The rolling prairie, in a succession of 
smoothly rounded ridges, stretching away as 
far as eye can reach, dotted with picturesque 
openings and bordered with the dense foliage 
of the more heavily wooded slopes, affording 
views, whose distant vistas fade into a per- 
spective that resembles some enchanting mir- 
age of wooded hills and grassy lawns, with 
glimpses of water flecking the whole scene in 
artistic light and shadows. But in all this 
magnificent countiy, there is no tract that can 
surpass, and but few that can equal, that 
embraced in the counties of Winnebago, 
Green Lake and western Fond du Lac. These 
now present one expanse of highly cultivated 
farms, with farm houses that, in many instan- 
ces are elegant rural villas; spacious barns and 
good fences, giving every evidence of the 
wealth and thrift of their occupants. 

In Green Lake and Winnebago counties, 
the beautiful water scenery is an especial fea- 
ture, which gives additional charms to the 
contrasting varieties of prairie and woodland. 
These large bodies of water modify the heat of 
summer, and purify the air, which is delight- 
fully exhilarating and healthful. These lakes 




and rivers, too, form a great water-course 
through the heart of the country, which is nav- 
igated by steamers, and upon whose banks 
have arisen some of the chief cities of the 
State. Here, then, is a country of the richest 
fertility of soil, with a healthful climate, in 
which malarial diseases are almost unknown; 
with pure air and an abundant supply of the 
best of water; while every portion of it is in 
close proximity to business centers, and 
abounding in great physical resources of agri- 
culture and manufacture. Immediately 
adjoining this country is the heavily timbered 
region, of northeastern Wisconsin, traversed 
by navigable streams, and possessing the 
greatest water-power on the continent, with a 
capacity, at a number of points, for miles of 
mills and factories; at one point on the lower 
Fox the capacity being one hundred and fifteen 
thousand horse-power. This "timbered" 
country of northeastern Wisconsin is also a fine 
agricultural district, in addition to its great 
manufacturing resources. The thirty large 
flouring and paper mills, many of them mam- 
moth establishments, in Neenah and Apple- 
ton, and the extensive iron works and manu- 
factories of wooden ware, at various points on 
the river, already give evidence of the giant 
proportions of its manufacturing capacity, but 
which is yet in the very infancy of its develop- 
ment. The country, collectively, constitutes 
the Fox River Valley; the Upper Fox, prairie 
and openings of the richest fertility; the Lower, 
hard-wood timber lands, with a good, strong 
clay soil, while to the northwest is the belt of 
sandy district, which terminates in the great 
forest lying beyond. This country, to the 
north and west of the Upper Fox, with the 
exception of a portion of Winnebago county, 
is one distinctively different in its physical fea- 
tures to that lying to the south and east, as 
stated in the beginning of this article. 

The vast prairie countrv to the southwest 
has its northeast boundary in the beautiful 
valley of the Upper Fox, in which the face of 
the country, the soil and general features, are 
similar to those of the best part of the southein 
portions of the State, with the additional fea- 
ture of numerous bodies of navigable waters. 
A short distance to the north, after crossing 
the Fox, the character of the country changes, 
and the region called Northern Wisconsin here 
has its beginning. The soil changes from the 
rich, black loam of the prairie, and clay of the 
wooded land into a sandy soil, which very 
generally prevails in Waushara and northern 
Marquette counties, and the southern half of 
Portage and Waupaca, with variable degrees 
of fertility. After crossing the belt of open. 

sandy country, the pine and hardwood forests 
of Northern Wisconsin are reached. The vast 
region lying beyond the Fox Valley, and 
and extending north to the shore of Lake 
Superior, is one of great variety of soil, 
resources and face of country, embracing 
small, sandy plains, handsome openings of fair 
fertility, extensive cranberry marshes, grass 
lands, cedar and tamarack swamps, pine lands, 
and rough, rocky districts, and mineral lands. 
It is well watered by innumerable lakes and 

There are also in Northern Wisconsin large 
tracts of the very finest sugar-maple land, com- 
prising nearly whole townships in a body, with 
a rich, warm, black soil — as fine farming land 
as can be found in the West. There is a wide 
belt of this maple land mixed with other hard- 
wood timber, and an occasional patch of pine, 
extending through Oconto, Shawano and Mar- 
athon counties. Some townships are already 
well settled, and large tracts in a good state of 
cultivation. This whole tract is well supplied 
with the purest of running water, spring brooks, 
rivers, and in many locations, beautiful lakes. 

The country to the north of this is more bro- 
ken, rough and rocky, and constitutes a por- 
tion of the great mineral tract, which extends 
to Lake Superior. It will be seen, therefore, 
that this region has a great variety of natural 
resources in its timber materials, mineral 
deposits, agricultural lands, navigable streams 
and water-power. 

The Wolf River and its large tributaries, 
floiK.<iHg from this region, empties into the 
Upper Fox,, and is navigable for one hundred 
and fifty miles or more, thus giving the Fox 
River Valley eountry ivater communication and 
easy accessibility to its vast material resources. 

It is this conjunction of the respective natu- 
ral elements of three distinct types of country, 
which constitutes the great manufacturing and 
business capacity of the Fox River Valley, 
where Nature, with the most prodigal hand, 
has scattered the richest elements of productive 
wealth; and it is this which makes the beautiful 
country on the line of these water-courses a 
populous thoroughfare, on which have sprung 
up thriving cities — the busy centers of modern 
enterprise and manufacturing activit}-. 





County of Winnebago — Its Area — Face of the County — 
Altitude — Water, Timber, Soil and Productions. 

HE cuiinty (if Winnebago, comprising 
si.xtcen townships, four of which arc 
fractional, constitutes one of the finest 
tracts in the Fox Valley. It is situ- 
ated west of Lake Winnebago, which 
boiinils its entire eastern border. 

The tract embraced in its limits forms the 
northeastern extremity of the great prairie 
and opening countrj' of Wisconsin; and one 
more lovely and picturesque cannot be found 
in the West. 

Its surface is generally rolling; the more 
level districts being on the margin of the 
streams. The greatest altitude is one hundred 
and seventeen feet above the level of Fox 
River. The country, in its natural state, 
resembled avast park, in which prairie, wood- 
land, lake and river combined in one diversi- 
fied scene of natural beauty. 

It is one of the best watered districts of the 
State, being intersected by three navigable 
rivers, the Upper and Lower Fox, and the 
Wolf, and bordered by Lake Winnebago, a 
body of water thirty-five miles long and ten 
to twelve wide. The lovely water scenery of 
the county is one of its charming features. In 
nearly every direction the scene embraces dis- 
tant views, disclosing vistas, in which lake and 
river, prairie and forest are blended together 
in exquisite harmony. The mouth of the 
Upper Fox forms one of the most spacious 
harbors in the State. This stream, between 
Lake Butte des Morts and Lake Winnebago 
averages five hundred feet in width. It 
empties into a handsome bay, on the shores 
of which Oshkosh is situated. The mouth of 
the river is ahalf mile in width, and, with the 
handsome point that forms the northern out- 
line, and the steamers and numerous sailing 
crafts moving on its surface, forms a most 
attractive scene. 

The shores of the lake were originally forest, 
a belt of "timber" extending inland from two 
to five miles, which was composed chiefly of 
oak, sugar-maple, hickory, elm and basswood. 
Adjoining this were heavy burr-oak openings, 
which, in some places, approached the shore 
of the lake. Along the shore, in the town of 
Black Wolf, were what were called "timber 
openings," and Indian planting grounds; being 
very large, tall oaks scattered at intervals 
through open spaces, with occasional thick- 
ets of hazel brush, plum and crab-apple. The 
undergrowth was so kept down by the annual 
fires, that large tracts presented the appearance 

of great, well-kept parks. At some points the 
lake could be seen through the trees from a 
distance of one or two miles back from the 
shore. The Indian planting grounds were 
mere open spaces, with an occasional tree or 
clump of bushes, and were the sites of the 
Indian villages that previously occupied the 
most eligible points on the lake shore. On 
Lakes Butte des Morts, Winneconne and Poy- 
gan were also many large Indian clearings, the 
sites of villages and planting grounds; for, as 
stated in previous pages, this count)- was the 
center of a large Indian population. 

A large proportion of the shores of the 
lakes is handsome, undulating land, frequently 
forming points with gravel and sand beaches. 
In some places on the margin of the streams 
and lakes, were extensive hay marshes, with a 
luxuriant growth of red top and wild pea vine. 
The bottoms of the smaller streams and the 
"interval lands" also furnished natural 

The soil, though varying much in different 
localities, when taken as a whole, is nowhere 
surpassed, — from a deep, purely vegetable 
mold to a vegetable loam, clay and sand, all 
resting upon a sub-soil of clay, and small 
areas of sand mixed with ochre, which makes 
the earliest and richest soil known. The pre- 
vailing rock is of limestone, which is found in 
extensive quantities, supplying an abimdance 
of hard, durable building stone, and superior 
grain growing qualities to the soil. Sand 
stone is also found to a limited extent. 

Good water is everywhere abundant; the 
lakes and streams meandering through the 
country from various directions, with innumer- 
able springs as feeders, furnish a lavish and 
never failing supply, while excellent wells are 
readily obtained at a depth of from ten to 
thirty feet, and by drilling from fifteen to one 
hnndred feet (generally within forty-five feet), 
constant flowing fountains of purest water 
are produced, discharging from two to five 
feet above the surface, in any part of the 
county, the deeper fountains supplying water 
of remarkable medicinal qualities. 

The lakes and streams abound in a great 
variety of the finest fish, of which the black 
bass, rock bass, pickerel, pike, perch and 
sturgeon, are prominent, affording rare sport 
to those whose inclination leads in that direc- 
tion; and added to these are the sucker (red 
horse), buffalo fish, cat-fish, and other 

In the northeastern, as in some other por- 
tions, extensive beds of brick clay of superior 
quality are found and largely utilized, produc- 
ing the cream-colored brick. 




The notable products of the county are 
wheat, rye, oats, corn, barley, buckwheat, 
hops, potatoes, butter and cheese, horses, cat- 
tle, sheep and hogs; apples, plums, pears, 
cherries, grapes, and a profusion of the smaller 
fruits, with an abundance of hay, both natural 
and cultivated. 

As evidence of the inexhaustible fertility of 
the soil, Mr. Commodore Rogers, of the town 
of Oshkosh, pointed out a field of wheat, just 
harvested, the twenty-fourth consecutive crop 
on that piece of land; which was equal to the 
average of this year's growth within the town. 


Early French Settlers of Winnebago — The Trading-Post at 
Butte des Morts — L. B. Porlier — The Grignons — The 
Business Center of the Upper Fox — Trading-Post at Coon's 
Point, Algoma — Captain William Powell — William John- 
son, the Interpreter — Charles Grignon and Family — James 
Knagg's Trading Post and Ferry, Near the Site of Algoma 
Bridge — Government Agency for the Instruction and Civil- 
ization of the Indians, Established at Winnebago Rapids ( now 
Neenah) — Mills and Buildings Erected for the Use of the 
Indians at that Place in 1835-36 — Archibald Caldwell — 
The Abandonment of the Enterprise and Sale of the Site 
and Buildings to Harrison Reed. 

^j^N 1818, Augustin Grignon and James 
wlw Porlier established a trading post, just 
g^5b) below the present village of Butte des- 
''fK Morts, on the bank of the lake. Mr. 
il Grignon was at that time a resident of 
Kaukauna, and Mr. Porlier resided at Green 
Bay. Robert Grignon had charge of the post 
for a time, but subsequently went to Algoma, 
and started another. In 1832, Mr. L. B. 
Porlier took charge of the post at Butte des- 
Morts, and for many years did an extensive 
business at that point. He still resides at that 
place, which is one of the oldest historical 
land-marks of the country; while he is a sur- 
viving representative of the old French-Indian 

This place in its day was the business center 
of the Upper Fox; the Indian trail from Green 
Bay to Fort Winnebago crossed the Fox at this 
point. The opposite shore, now a wet marsh, 
afforded solid footing for a horse. A ferry was 
kept and a public house for the accommoda- 
tion of travelers. At times a large number of 
Indians were congregated at this post, trading 
their furs for Indian goods, and many a festive 
backwoods frolic has occurred there. 

Augustin Grignon, a man most highly 
esteemed by the old settlers, also kept a pub- 
lic house at Kaukauna, which was a favorite 
resor]fe of officers from forts Howard and Win- 
nebago, who on great occasions used to assem- 

ble with their ladies, to trip the light fantastic 

General Cass, Governor Dodge, and other 
high dignitaries, even, have participated in 
these festive occasions. 

Another early settler was Peter Powell. He 
built a place on the shore of the lake in 1832. 
His son. Captain William Powell, who lived 
with him at that time, acted a conspicuous 
part in the early day, and was very popular with 
both the white settlers and the Indians. He 
was noted for his fine address and pleasing, 
genial ways, and for being one of the dryest 
jokers in the country. 

In 1835, another trail was adopted for the 
mail route between forts Howard and Winne- 
bago. This trail crossed the river just below 
the foot of Lake Butte des Morts, near the 
present Algoma bridge, and in that year, 
George Johnson, father of William Johnson, 
well known to the old settlers," as the Indian 
interpreter, built on what was afterwards 
known as Coon's point, two log houses, estab- 
lished a ferry, and opened a tavern. He sub- 
sequently sold the whole establishment to 
Robert Grignon and William Powell. They 
afterwards sold the same to James Knaggs, a 
half-breed, who immediately opened up at this 
point, a trading post, with a large stock of 
Indian goods. This was the first business 
concern within what is now the limits of 

In 1839, Charles Grignon, with his family, 
settled on what is now known as Jackson's 
Point. A band of Menominees soon joined 
him, and an Indian village, with adjacent 
planting-grounds, sprung up on that site. 

In 1 83 1, a treaty was concluded with the 
Menominee Indians, which provided for the 
payment to them from the Government, of 
$5,000 per annum, for four years, and after the 
expiration of that time, $6,000 for twelve 
years; $4,000 of this latter yearly annuity was 
to be expended in arms and ammunition; and 
in pursuance of a plan adopted by the Gov- 
ernment for the civilizing of the Indians, it 
was agreed upon, that an agency should be 
established at some suitable place, a Govern- 
ment grist and saw mill erected, and log dwell- 
ing houses for the use of such Indians as would 
live in them. It was also provided that five 
farmers should be established at the agency, at 
a salary of $300 each per annum, fi\-e female 
school teachers, at $60 each per annum, and 
mechanics, tools and farming implements. In 
1834, Winnebago Rapids (the site of Neenah), 
was selected for the location of the agency, 
where the Indians were to be instructed in the 
arts of civilized life; and in that year Nathaniel 




Pcny, appointed by the Government, as one I 
of the farmers, came to this site and erected a 
h)g house, into wliich he mo\ed with his 
famii\-. In 1 <S35, the Government made con- 
tracts for tlie building of the saw and grist 
mills, and the erection of the log houses, with 
\Yilliam Dickenson and David Whitney of 
(ireen Hay. These parties, with a large num- 
ber of mechanics, entered upon the work, and 
erected the mills and the bodies of some thirty 
odd log-houses. 

The mill occupied the present site of the 
Winnebago Paper Mills, I)a\is, Ford & Co., 
and adjacent to them were the residences of 
the miller. Colonel Daviil Johnson, and of the 
blacksmiths, Jourdan & Hunter. The saw- 
mill had one upright saw and the gristmill two 
runs of stone. 

Four log 'louses in ditt'erent localities were 
occupied respectively by Nathaniel Perry, 
Clark Dickenson, Robert Irwin and Ira Baird, 
who w ere appointed by the Government to act 
in the capacity of instructors of the Indians in 
the art of agriculture. 

Some thirty odd log-houses in three rows, 
were in various stages of completion, and par- 
tially occupied by the Menominces, who 
seemed to be generally averse to living in 
them; preferring to pitch their wigwams outside. 
About this time, Richard Pritchett settled 
at the Rapids, and was allowed to occupy one 
of the houses. Archibald Caldwell came about 
the same time and li\eil with a Menominee 
woman as his consort. He took a deep inter- 
est in the welfare of the Indians and was highh' 
esteemed by them. 

The Indians, not pri)ving very apt pupils in 
anj'thing requiring very steady application anil 
industry, the project was soon abandoned; 
and the whites, who were in the employment 
of the Government, left the place. Clark 
Dickenson moving into the southern part of 
the County, finally settled at Oslikosh, and 
was at one time Register of Deeds. 

In 1838, the small pox broke out auKuig the 
Indians at the Winnebago Rapids agency, and 
the Government surgeon was sent from Kau- 
kauna, by the agent at that place; but on his 
arrival, instead of \-isiting the patients, he 
sought out Caldwell, left his medicine chest 
with him, gave him instructions for treating 
the disease and fled to a place of -afcty. Cald- 
well and his wife faithfuU)- administered to the 
sick ones, and were untiring in their exertions, 
until the)' were at last stricken themselves witli 
the contagion. Caldwell's wife died, but he 
recovered, and continued to reside in the 
vicinity of Neenah for man}- _\ears, and fmalK- 
removed to Shiocton. 

The buildings at the Rapids fell into neglect 
and deca\-, and the Government advertised 
for sale the land, buildings, tools and imple- 
ments. In 1844, Harrison Reed purchased 
the same, and commenced the permanent set- 
tlement of Neenah. 


I'iiM I'ermaiienl Settlers in Winnebago County — The Stanleys 
and Gallups — The First Houses in Oshkosh — Henry A. 
Gallup's Interesting Narrative — New Accessions to the 
Population in the Arrival of the Wrights and Evanses — 
First Matrimonial Event in the County — Joseph Jackson 
Sets a Gooil Example to the Bachelors. 

HI", first permanent settlers in Winne- 
bago County, in its American occu- 
pation, were the Stanleys and the • 
s^S^S*^ Ciallups, who settled at the present 

' siteol Oshkosh, in 1836. Those who 

preceded them were temporary occupants, 
either connected with the old French-Indian 
occupation, or in the empK)yment of the Gov- 
ernment, and mo\-ing with the Indians from 
place to place. That settlement which pro- 
duces substantial results in the progress and 
improvement of a country, was now to com- 

Webster Staiile}', while in the emplo}-n-ient 
of the Government, engaged in transporting 
supplies from Fort Howard to P'ort VVinne-' 
bago, in 1835, obser\x'd, as he passed this 
place, its natural beauty and great advantageSj 
and was %o fa\'orably impressed with it that he 
resoKed to settle on the same. 

In 1836, he was engaged in the construction 
of the Government buildings at Winnebago 
Rapids, and, on their completion, he procured 
one of the agenc\'s Durjiam boats, and load- 
ing it witli a year's supply of provisions, htm 
ber, tools and such furniture as he was posses- 
sed of, he and his famiK' embarked, and were 
on their way to the foot of Lake Butte des 
Morts, a localit\- that had ])articularly charmed 
hi 111. 

The\- reached Cjarlic Island the first night, 
where they remained till morning, when they 
again started and reached the mouth of the 
Fox in the afternoon. They landed on the 
south side, and Mr. Stanley, and his son Henr\-, 
thoroughly explored the location, and then 
encamped for the night. The next morning 
they started for the locality afterwards known 
as Coon's Point, now in the Fifth Ward of the 
City of (Oshkosh, where they duly arrived and 
unloaded their t/oods. The crew assisted hii-n 




to erect a shanty, into which the family moved, 
and then the former took their departure. 

Stanley's nearest neighbor was one Knaggs, 
an Indian trader on the opposite side of the 
river. With him Mr. Stanley soon became 
acquainted, and accepted an offer to take the 
ferry and tavern business of Knagg's, on shares. 
He therefore moved the establishment to his 
side of the ri\'er, and commenced his new- 

During that year the Government made a 
treaty at Cedar Rapids with the Menominee 
Indians, Governor Dodge acting as com 
missioner, which resulted in the cession 
to the United States of about four million 
acres of land, lying north of Fox River and 
west of Lake Winnebago. The Governor, 
while on his return home from the treaty-coun- 
cil, was ferried across the river by Mr. Stan- 
ley, whom he informed of the result. Our 
pioneer then lost no time in availing himself of 
the knowledge of the purcliase, and being- 
joined by Mr. Gallup and the sons of the lat- 
ter, they made claims to the tract lying on the 
north side of the mouth of the rivei-. Mr. 
Gallop's claim embraced the beautiful point 
formed by the mouth of the river and Lake 
Winnebago; and contained one hundred and 
seventy acres. Mr. Stanley's tract adjoined 
Mr. Gallup's to the west, one hundred and 
seventeen acres. The}- erected a house on 
Mr. Stanley's claim, in -which both families 
•lived until the following November, when Mr. 
Gallup built a log house on his own land, and 
the future city of Oshkosh had its first perma- 
nent residents. 

These two families led the way in the 
present occupancy of the country. We find 
them here in the midst of an unsettled wilder- 
ness, the nearest point of intercourse with civ- 
ilization being Green Bay and Milwaukee, 
some fifty and seventy-five miles distant, 
respectively; with no lines of travel, and the 
nearest settler at Neenah, thirteen miles dis- 
tant, and the Piers at Fond du Lac, the only 
white settlers and civilized habitation between 
here and Milwaukee. But this part of the 
early history of Oshkosh is best told in the 
following very interesting and well-written 
narrative, from the pen of Henry A. Gallup. 
After mentioning their arrival at Green Ha\', 
and describing that place, he says; 

~: " When we left Ohio our destination was Lake Winnebago, 
and leaving our father, and mother, and sister, in good quar- 
ters, myself and brother started for that particular locality 
without making any inquiries, except as to the direction and 
distance. We started on foot, our course being up the Fox 
River. A sandy road of five miles, thickly settled by French 
and half-breeds, with quaint-looking houses, many of them sur- 

rounded by palisades and' the windows secured by shutters, 
lirought us to Depere, a rival of Green Bay. Here we found 
quite a number of houses, and extensive preparations for build- 
ing more. We were told here it was necessar}- to cross ihe 
river, and were accordingly ferried over in a skiff, an Indian 
trail pointed out to us to follow, and were told it was ten miles 
to the first house. Five miles carried us beyond civilization. 
We expected to find a new country, l)ut were quite unprepared 
to find it entirely unsettled, and a foot path ten miles in length 
struck me as remarkable. Our trail led us directly along the 
river. Sometimes we were on the top of the hill, and then our 
path would wind down to the very water's edge to avoid some 
deep ravine, as nature seldom makes bridges. The scenery 
was beautiful, the side of tlie river we were upon was quite 
open, while the other side was heavily timbered. The waters 
of the broad river undisturbed, except by an occasional Indian 
canoe, which seemed to float so beautifully, we were son-y we 
had not adopted that mode of travel. Our trail would some- 
times pass through a grove of wild plum or crab apple trees 
with scarcely room enough for a person to pass, which "sug- 
dested to us ambuscades, and we were always glad when we 
were through with them. Indian file was the mode of travel- 
ing in those days. Our ten miles was soon over ; when we 
came down upon a low natural prairie, covered with a luxur- 
iant growth of grass; the river had quite an expansion, and in 
it were several little grass islands. This was Petit Kackalin, 
and here was the house spoken of; a log house with the usual 
lay-out buildings, and surrounded by a dozen Indian wigwams. 
This was the residence of Eleazer Williams. The veritable 
Dauphin of France ; but he was as ignorant of the fact at that 
time, as we were ourselves. As we approached the house, we 
were beset by an army of Indian dogs, and their bark was as 
intelligible to us as anything we heard on the premises. The 
Indians looked their astonishment at seeing two Kich-e-ma-ka- 
man boys in their encampment. We made many ini[uirie» of 
them, but got laughed at for our pains. As none of Williams' 
family__ could be found, it seemed like seeking information 
under difficulties ; and finding the trail that led up the river, 
we pushed on, feeling satisfied that if we had gained no inform- 
ation, we had not imparted any, so the Indians and we were 
even. Our next point, we had been told, was Grand Kack-a- 
lin, which, for some reason — perhaps the name — we supposed 
was quite a place. . About sundown, we came down from the 
high bank upon which our trail had been, upon the most beau- 
tiful flat of land I ever saw, covered with a tuft of short grass 
and dotted all over with little groves of crab-apple and plum 
trees. The flat contained perhaps a hundred acres, the hill 
enclosing it in the shape of a crescent, and the boiling rapid 
river in front, which here is more than half a mile in width. 
Here we found several large springs, \ery strongly impreg- 
nated with sulphur, at which we drank. Upon this flat we 
discovered a large pile of buildings which consisted of a large 
dwelling-house and trading-post, with the necessary out build- 
ings, and belonging to Mr. Grignon, an Indian trader. This 
was the Grand Kackalin, but the name is applied to the rapids 
in the river. 

"Our greeting here was still more cordial than at our last 
place of calling, as there were more dogs. At this house we 
applied for food and lodging, but without success. Things 
began to have rather an unpleasant look, and we began to 
think we were too far from home — twenty miles from Green 
Bay and fifteen from any place. 

"On looking about the premises we discovered, for the first 




time after crossing the river, something that wore pantaloons ; 
and on accosting him, found that he could speak English. 
He was half negro, and the balance Stockbridge Indian. He 
informed us that Mr. Grignon was not at home, and there 
would be no use of trying to get accommodations in his absence. 
That he lived directly on the opposite side of the river — that 
his canoe would not carry us — but he would get an Indian to 
lake us over, and that we should be his guest over night. To 
all these propositions we readily consented, and procuring an 
Indian to take us across, we got into a log canoe, when our 
ferryman, an old Indian of perhaps eighty or ninety years, tak- 
ing his position in the stern with a shoving pole, shoved us 
safely through the boiling waters. Passing the night under 
the hospitable roof of our mixed friend, we hailed our native 
ferryman, and were again soon upon our march. 

"At a point five miles from the Grand Kack-a-lin, called 
Little Chute, we found a Catholic Mission in course of erection, 
to which Nym Crynkle gives a very ancient origin. The man- 
ner of building was a very curious one, which was by setting 
up posts about eight feet apart, and then filling up between 
with small logs and pinning through the posts into the corners 
of the logs. There were but one or two men at work upon it. 
It was afterwards occupied by a Catholic priest, who was also 
a physician, and administered to one band of the Menomonee 
Indians, both bodily and spiritually, with very beneficial 
results. Five miles further brought us to the Grand Chute, 
now Appleton. Here was a perpendicular fall in the river of 
seven feet, but close to the shore the rock had worn away so 
that a boat could take the plunge in going down, and be led 
up by ropes if quite light. Here the Durham boats, which 
did all the freighting at that time up and down the river, were 
obliged to discharge their freight and roll it along under the 
bank on poles to above the falls. The boats were then lifted 
and dragged up by a large party of Indians and reloaded 
above. The amount of freighting was then considerable. All 
the Government supplies for Fort Winnebago were passed up 
this way and detachments of soldiers often passed in the same 
manner. Nothing could exceed the grandeur of the scenery 
at this point, everything at that time being in its wild and nat- 
ural state, and no habitation within miles. Just below the 
falls, at the mouth of a little ravine, was a little plat of grass turf 
among a grove of plum and forest trees, entwined with wild 
grape vines, which was the favorite camping-ground, and a 
more enchanting spot was never found. Ihad the pleasure of 
camping here two nights that same fall, in the month of Novem- 
ber under most unfavorable circumstances — a crew of drunken 
Indians with nothing but the canopy of Heaven above us. But 
still the place had attractions for me. following the bank of 
the river a short distance above, our trail suddenly diverged 
fiom the river, and we found ourselves floundering through 
the woods and mud of Mud Creek. This was the first place 
we had found but what had some attractions. This was dis- 
mal enough. A few miles and we emerged into another 
enchanting spot of ground known as Little Bntte des Morts, or 
Mounds of the Dead. Here on a rising piece of ground are 
several large mounds where the dead of some Indian battle had 
been buried. An expansion of the river here is called Little 
Butte des Morts Lake, at the upper end of which appears to be 
quite a village. This was Winnebago Rapids, (now Neenah.) 
Here the Government had built a grist .and saw mill and had 
commenced the building of a large number of small log houses 
for the Menominee Indians, which were in diflTerent stages of 
completion, when the work was slopped by the Indians con- 

senting to sell the land to the Government. Some of the houses 
the Indians had taken possession of by tearing out the floors 
and pitching their tent on the ground inside the walls. They 
were also furnished with four farmers to instruct the Indians in 
farming, at a salary of $300 per annum, which the Indians 
paid. These farmers were the only inhabitants of the place, at 
the house of one of whom, Mr. Clark Dickinson, we were 
welcomed and furnished with our dinner. We could make 
but a short stay, as we still had sixteen miles to travel without 
a habitation. 

" Our trail now ran across the country, through prairies 
and openings, to Knagg's Ferry, now in the Fifth Ward of the 
City of Oshkosh, and just above Algoma Bridge. I do not 
suppose I could, at this time, trace that trail through all the 
highly cultivated fields between these two points. But at that 
time it was a lonesome journey, indeed; all the low ground 
was covered with water a foot deep, and grass up to our arms, 
and in the whole distance we did not see a living thing with 
the exception of a few prairie chickens. Arriving at the river 
at the point mentioned, we found a log house belonging to Mr. 
Knaggs, a half-breed, and owner of the ferry, but which was 
then run by Webster Stanley, who lived on the opposite side of 
the river in a board shanty, and who, in answer to our call, 
came over for us. We were once more among friends. Mr. 
Stanley had, about two years before, left Ohio and went to 
Green Bay, and then to Winnebago Rapids, and had, within 
thirty days previous to our arrival at the ferry, moved to thjj 
point. We now learned that our journey, from where we had 
crossed the river five miles from Green Bay, had all been 
through Indian territory, and that we were now for the first 
time on Government land. 

" We had at last arrived at our journey s end, and our next 
object was to bring up the family. There were just two ways 
to do it. One way was on horseback, by land ; the other by 
waier. We adopted the latter, and, procuring a large bark 
canoe and an Indian, we started. Passing down the river we 
stopped at an Indian encampment on what is now Jackson's 
Point, and procured another Indian, which was thought to be 
sufficient crew — respectively named No-to-kee-sleek and 
Kish-e-quom — two fellows who were full of fun and frolic, 
and who, if we could have talked with them would, no doubt, 
have been very companionable. We then saw, for the first 
time, the spot on which the City of Oshkosh now stands. Our 
Indians worked with a will, and we very soon passed through 
Lake Winnebago, and were in the rapid waters of the Lower 
Fox. Here the Indians laid aside their paddles and taking 
long poles confined themselves entirely to steering the boat 
clear of rocks, the sharp points of many of which were above 
water. We were leisurely enjoying the beautiful scenery of 
the river when we were startled by the sudden velocity of out 
canoe and the wild whoop of our Indians. On looking about 
us we found ourselves on the very brink of the falls. The 
Indians had, from a listless manner and sitting posture, sud- 
denly sprang to their feet, one in the bow, and the other in the 
stern, and every nerve was strung, for their energies were to be 
tried to the utmost. Their manner was really terrifying. We 
had hardly time to notice so much before we had taken the 
fearful leap and were in the breakers below. One false set 
with the steering pole and we were surely lost. I watched the 
Indians closely — they were as pale and slern as marble stat- 
ues. The bow of our canoe, when we descended into the 
breakers, struck a rock, which stove considerable of a hole 
through it, when our leeward Indian, with the quickness of 




thought, had his blanket over the hole and his foot upon it. 
We were going with the speed of a race-horse. About a mile 
below the falls we were enabled to make a landing and repair 
damages. We again encountered very rapid and rough water 
at the Kack-a-lin, but the Indians were masters of the situation 
and we passed through in safety, and arrived at Green Bay 
towards night of the same day. Taking the family and a few 
necessary articles into our frail craft, the next day we started 
on our return, which we accomplished in two days ; the Indians 
using paddles in still water, poles in moderately swift water, 
and walking and leading the canofe when it was very rapid. 

"The appearance of the country on the west shore of Lake 
Winnebago, from Neenah up, was beautiful to look upon from 
our canoe — heavily timbered from Neenah to Garlic Island, 
and the balance of the way openings. 

"We had now arrived at the point started for 
when we left Ohio — the veritable Lake Win- 
nebago. Now the questions to decide were: 
Where to locate? Who to buy of? Should 
we buy? The country from Oshkosh to Nee- 
nah then belonged to the Menominee Indians. 
From Oshkosh (or Fox River) south to where 
Fond du Lac now is, and around on the east 
side of the lake as far as Calumet, belonged to 
the Government. Then came the Brother- 
town Indians' land, fronting six miles on the 
lake ; and, adjoining them north, the Stock- 
bridge Indians, with the same amount of front- 
age ; the Government owning the balance of 
the country around to Menasha. 

"We now decided to make the circuit of the 
lake, so as to better understand the situation, 
which we accomplished in about a week's time, 
using a pack-horse to carry our baggage, and 
encountering but one white family in the round 
trip, which was Mr. Pier, who had just built a 
log house on the Fond du Lac Creek. After 
getting back and comparing notes, the follow- 
ing was the summing up of all we had seen 
and heard : First from Green Bay to this point 
of our sojournment on the west side of the 
river and lake belonged to the Indians, and 
but three white families the entire distance of 
fifty miles, and but one family between i3s and 
Fort Winnebago (now Portage City) and Mr. 
Pier's the only house between here and Mil- 
waukee and Sheboygan. Being better pleased 
with the west side of the lake than any other 
place we had seen, and learning that the Gov- 
ernment intended trying to purchase it of the 
Indians the coming fall, we decided to await 
the issue, in the meantime amusing ourselves 
with hunting and fishing and explorations. In 
September I had the pleasure of ferrying Gov- 
ernor Dodge and suite over the river myself — 
the ferryman being absent — who was on his 
way to the annual Indian payment then held 
at Cedar Rapids, near the Grand Chute, (now 
Appleton.) The entire party (six I think) 
were on horseback, the Governor armed to the 

teeth. He had two pairs of pistols, and a 
bowie knife on his person, and a brace of large 
horse pistols in his saddle holsters, I suppose 
to impress upon the Menominees, what he told 
the Winnebagoes a few years before — that he 
was as brave as Julius Ca;sar At this pay- 
ment then held, the treaty was formed, ceding 
to the Government the territory from here to 
Green Bay, and although the treaty could not 
be ratified until December, we did not choose 
to wait — never doubting but what the old vet- 
eran Governor knew what he was about. 
Accordingly in the month of October, 1836, 
we commenced the erection of two log houses 
on ground now within the city of Oshkosh. 
The Indians were quite plenty here at that 
time and manifested some curiosity as to what 
we were doing, but were perfectly friendly. 
Mr. Webster Stanley was the owner and occu- 
pant of the first house. About the first of Novem- 
ber we had to make another trip to Green Bay 
for our goods. We hired a boat called a lighter, 
this time, of about six tons capacity, and with 
a crew often or twelve Indians we made the 
trip up in seven days, arriving at home on the 
evening of the sixteenth of November. Camp- 
ing out and cooking rations for that trip was 
anything but pleasant at that season of the 
year. It was the last day that a boat could 
have passed through, the lake freezing entirely 
over that night. 

"Although liking the excitement of a new 
country, I must confess that that first winter 
was rather tedious. Our two families were the 
only ones nearer than Neenah or Fond du Lac, 
with no roads but the Lake, and surrounded 
by Indians, no less than five hundred winter- 
ing within what is now the City of Oshkosh. 
The next summer was passed rather more 
pleasantly, the monotony being relieved by an 
occasional Durham boat passing up the river 
with supplies for Fort Winnebago, and fre- 
quently a company of United States soldiers. 

"We had made some little progress in the 
way of farming, and in the fall of 1837 had 
raised some few crops, and sowed the first acre 
of winter wheat ever sowed in Wisconsin, and 
only to have the most of it stolen by the Indians, 
the next summer, as soon as harvested, they 
carrying it off in the sheaf in their canoe. 

"In the winter of 1837 we had the first 
accession to our population by the arrival of 
two more families, Messrs. Evans and Wright, 
and from that time the country began to set- 
tle slowly on both sides of the river — that 
upon the north side not coming into market 
until 1840. W'C had given this point (the 
mouth of the river) the name of "Athens," 
and goods were so marked at Green Bay des- 




lined for this place ; but at a niLCting of the 
inhabitants, called for the purpose of choosing 
a name for this particular locality, which was 
held at the house of George Wright, and which 
was attended by all the French and half-breeds 
from as far up the river as Hutte des Morts, 
and who, in fact, had no interest in the place 
or its name, it was decided by an even vote 
that the place or localit)- should be known 
hereafter and forever as"Oshkosh." Hut it 
came nearer to universal suffrage than any 
election I everattended, and smoking was par- 
ticipated in to that extent that you could not 
recognize a person across the room, the smoke 
was so dense — plug tobacco and kinnikinick 
(the bark of a bush by that name) mixed in 
about equal quantities. Such was the christen- 
ing of Oshkosh. 

In 1837, Mr. George Wright Sr., and his 
family, and Da\id and Thomas E\ans, settled 
on land adjoining the Gallups and Stanleys. 
These four families now comprised the set- 
tlement, which was called Athens (rather more 
classical than the present name), and they are 
to be regarded as the early founders of the city 
of Oshkosh. They have all taken an active 
part in advancing its enterprises, and have 
proved useful and \aluable citizens. 

in the following spring, an e\ent of much 
local interest occurred, chronicled in the 
Green Ray papers as follows: 

Married — Al Athens, March S, 183S, al the house of Chester 
Gallup, Esi|., by the Rev. S. Peet, Mr. Joseph Jackson, 
and Miss Emeline Wright, daughter of George Wright, 
Esrp, all of that place. 

Mr. Jackson and wife shortl)- after went to 
Green Bay, where- he resided for a short time, 
and came to Oshkosh again in 1839. 

Mr. Stanley lived to see the transition from 
a wilderness to a populous and thriving cit}'; 
but he derived but little benefit from his fron- 
tier enterprise, having, in one way or another, 
lost all his property, and removed from here a 
few years since, one of the numerous exam- 
ples of the pioneers who endure the hardships 
and privations incident to the early settlement, 
and the fruits of whose labors are enjoyed by 
those who come intt) after-possession. 

Mr. Chester Gallup, an enterprising and 
deserving man, highly esteemed in the new 
communit)-, died in 1849; leaving to his chil- 
dren the inheritance of a good name, and the 
possession of valuable lands. This land, hav- 
ing become desirable for village lots, the Gal- 
lups sold the same, and moved on to farms 
adjoining the present city limits. But Henry 
and John were always identified with Oshkosh 
and its interests, and although a large portion 
t)f their earl}- )-ears was passed among the 

rough scenes of frontier life, yet they were 
gentlemen of much culture, fine address and 
courteous manners, and had acquired, through 
contact with leading minds and events, and the 
incongruous social elements which surrounded 
them, that intimate knowledge of men and 
things which rather characterize men of \aried 
experience in the great channels of business 
life. The\- will be kindly remembered fi)r 
their hearty and generous hospitality; for 
their unremitting kindness to neighbors and 
friends, and their pleasant, companionable 
qualifications ofheart and mind. The writer 
of this could not pass in this connection with- 
out paying the abo\e trifling tribute to their 

Amos Gallup, who will be well remembered 
b\- the old settlers as an enterprising and 
intelligent man, a kind and good neighbor, 
moved from here to Missouri, about the )-ear 
i860, and died a few years subsequent. John 
continued to reside in Oshkosh till the time of 
his death, which occurred in 1876, and Henry 
lived on his place adjoining the citj- limits until 
1877, when he moved to California. 

Mr. George Wright, Sr. , died in 1841, uni- 
versally lamented. His sons, George F., W. 
W., and P. V. Wright, who succeeded to the 
estate, have ever taken a prominent part in 
advancing the interests of the city, and have 
been among its honored and influential citi- 
zens George V. will be remembered for his 
efi'orts, in conjunction with Albert Lull and 
others, to build a railroad to the southwest I'/a 
Ripon. He was the first County Clerk of this 
county, and held other responsible ofiRces. He 
died a few years ago, lamented by a large cir- 
cle of friends. 

W. .W. Wright was the first Count)- Treas- 
urer, and was associated with Joseph Jackson 
in the survey of the first \illage plat. P. V. 
Wright alst) took an active part in improving 
and "building up the cit\-. A year ago he 
mo\ed to California, on account of failing 





Enrly Settlement of Winnebago County — More Accessions to the 
Population — Chester Ford — Milan Ford — Jason Wilkins 

— J. C. Coon — J. L. Schooley — Stephen Brooks — Samuel 
Brooks — W. C. Isbell — Doctor Christian Linde — Carl 
Linde — Wm. A.Boyd — Jefferson Eaton — Simon Quai- 
lermass — Clark Dickenson — C. B. Luce — G. H. Mansur 

— Harrison Reed Commences Operations at Neenah — 
Governor Doty and Curtis Reed Commence Work at 
Menasha — The First House Built at that Place — L. M. 
Parsons Commences the Settlement at Waukau — First Set- 
tlers in the Several Towns of the County. 

HE next settlers in the county were 
Chester F'ord and his son Milan, who 
arrived in the fall of 1837. Mr. Ford 
soon assumed prominence in public 
affairs, and was a leading member of 
the Board of Supervisors, and one of 
the chief business men of Oshkosh. His son, 
Milan, has risen to the dignity of an "Hon.," 
and is now ser\'ing his second term as a mem- 
ber of the Legislature. 

The next settlers in this county were Jason 
Wilkins, who arrived in the fall of 1837, and 
took up a claim on the lake shore, north of 
Miller's point, and Ira Aiken., who settled on 
the lake shore, near the site of the asylum. 

Josepii Jackson, after his marriage, returned 
to Green Bay. He mo\'ed to Oshksoh from that 
place ini839,and btiilt a log-house on the pres- 
ent site of Kahler's brewery. In i844he builtthe 
first frame house in Oshkosh; it occupied the 
present site of the Beckwith. In 1846, in con- 
nection with W^ W. Wright, he surveyed and 
platted a tract into village lots, now the west 
side of Main street. He contributed liberally 
toward the growth of the city; was elected the 
second ma\-or; re-elected, and has held man\' 
other offices of trust and honor. 

Mr. C. J. Coon arrived in 1839, and pur- 
chased land from Robert Grignon. It is the 
site of the Sawyer and Paine property. He 
built his hotise near the site of the Paine mill. 
Mr. Coon was looked upon as a substantial 
addition to to the infant settlement, and was a 
man of much influence. 

Joseph L. Schooley made a claim the same 
year in what is now the town of Oshkosh. He 
worked, at times, as a printer on the Green 
Bay IntcUii^ciiccr, the first newspaper printed 
in Wisconsin. 

Stephen Brooks and family came in 1839, 
and took up land near the site of the asylum. 
Samuel Brooks came in 1842, and subse- 
quently settled at what is now called Brooks' 
Corners. He was a surveyor, and run out the 
first roads which were opened in the coiintr\-,' 
and was the first County Surveyor. 

W. C. Isbell came next, and took a \er)' 
prominent part in public affairs, and was a 

member of the first Board of Supervisors, the 
members of which were Chester Ford, W. C. 
Isbell and L. B. Porlier. 

William A. Boyd, son-in-law of Chester 
Ford, settled on what is now the Roe farm, 
about a mile from the city limits, in June, 
1840. He brought withhim twenty-one sheep, 
the first ever brought into this count)'. He 
shipped them by water from Cleveland to 
Green Bay, and drove them from that place, 
on an Indian trail. He also brought in the 
first stock of leather, and manufactured the 
first boots and shoes ever made in this county, 
and was one of the first mail carriers. His 
route was semi-monthly, on an Indian trail, 
from Green Ba)- to Stanley's Ferry. 

When Mr. Boyd was moving into the country 
he met, at Green Bay, Mr. Clark Dickenson, 
who was intimately acquainted with Mr. Boyd's 
friends, at the mouth of the Fox; and that 
gentleman kindly proffered to Mrs. Boyd the 
loan of his saddle horse as a means of convey- 
ance, which offer was thankfully accepted; 
and, seated on the horse with an infant in her 
arms, she made the trip from the Bay to this 
place, Mr. Boyd on foot driving the sheep. 

Doctor Christian Linde, now a resident of 
the city of Oshkosh, emigrated from Denmark 
to this country in 1842. He was accc^mpanied 
by his brother Carl, and, on the seventeenth of 
July they purchased from Col. Tuliartwo hun- 
dred and eighty acres of land, now occupied 
by the Northern Insane Asylum, on which 
they built a log house, very nearly where the 
Asylum now stands, into which they imme- 
diately moved. In 1843 the doctor married a 
daughter of Clark Dickinson. 

In November, 1844, Carl Linde, under the 
necessity of obtaining flour, crossed the lake 
to the mill at Stockbridge (the only accessible 
mill then in operation) in a small boat with a 
grist. Arriving at the mill, he was unable to 
obtain his grist in time to return the same day, 
and as it was very cold, with every prospect of 
the lake freezing over, he left his boat, and, 
procuring a canoe, started for home. After 
leaving the Stockbridge shore, he was not 
seen again until his body was found by Col- 
onel Tullar and some Indians, near Grand 
Chute, the following spring; but the day after 
his departure from Stockbridge, his canoe 
could be seen from that shore, and, sufficient 
ice having formed during the night to enable 
the neighbors to walk out to it, the}- found it 
had not been upset, but judged from appear- 
ances that he had endeavored to convert his 
blanket into a sail, and in the attempt had lost 
his balance, and fallen overboard. The sides 
of the canoe gave ample evidence that he had 




clung to it until exhausted with cold, and in 
his efforts had cut his hands with tlic ice, the 
gunwales being covered with blood. 

Doctor Linde remaining on the farm until 
1846, removed to Green Ba)', where he prac- 
ticed his profession for about one year, during 
which time his son, Doctor F"red Linde, was 
born, March twenty-ninth, i 847, the only child 
of the first marriage. 

Returning to Oshkosh, he traded his farm to 
Colonel L. M. Miller, for one and a half acres 
where the First National bank now stands. 

In 1850, he moved to Fonddu Lac, practic- 
ing his profession for some two years. In 
1853, tired of his profession, and longing for a 
"life in the woods," he, in partnership with 
Colonel L. M. Miller, Edward Eastman, Nel- 
son Davis, and Caleb Hubbard, purchased a 
site and laid out a town at Mukwa, on Wolf 
River, where he built a comfortable frame 
house, and for six \ears dispensed a generous 
hospitality to his numerous friends, particu- 
larly to those who, like himself, derived great 
pleasure from the use of the rod and the gun. 
Here he was assisted by the embryo physician 
and surgeon Fred, (we never called him doc- 
tor in those days), who did the honor of the 
house in his father's absence, and acted as pur- 
veyor general. 

Mr. Jefferson Eaton migrated to Wisconsin 
in 1843. Arriving at the Fond du Lac settle- 
ment, he left his family at that place, and took 
the trail for Oshkosh, where he duly arrived. 
In the fall he moved his family on to the tract 
of land, in the town of Oshkosh, where he has 
since resided — two hundred and twenty acres, 
one hundred of which he has since sold to the 
Northern Insane Asylum. He acted as one 
o( the commissioners in laying out the first 
roads in the county. 

Mr. George H. Mansur and family settled 
at Neenah in 1843 — the first white family per- 
manently settled at that place. For particu- 
lars, see "History of Neenah," in this work. 

Harrison Reed, in 1844, purchased from the 
government the five hundred and sixty-two 
and fort\--four-one hundredths acres of land, 
which constituted the agencj- ground at Win- 
nebago Rapids, with the buildings on the 
same, tools and implements, moved his family 
there that year, and commenced laying the 
foundations of the future city of Neenah. (See 
history of that city on subsequent pages.) 

Governor Doty, in 1845, built his log house 
on the island, and took up his residence in the 
same. (jo\ernor Doty was a man who acted 
a very conspicuous part in the history of Wis- 
consin. In 1820, he was secretary fo the 
expedition of Governor Cass, and with him 

traveled through the great lakes, the Fo.x and 
Wisconsin, and ascended to the sources of the 
Mississippi in birch bark canoes. In I823 he 
was appointed United States District Judge 
for the northern district of Michigan, which 
included the northern part of the present 
State of Michigan, all of Wisconsin, Iowa and 
Minnesota. This year he was married, and 
moved, with his wife, to Prairie du Chien, 
traveling from Green Bay to that place in a 
birch bark canoe. The next year he moved 
to Green Bay. In 1836 he donated the 
land for the site of a State Capitol. In 1841 
he was appointed Governor of the territory of 
Wisconsin, which position he held three years. 

It seems that in all his travels, he found no 
place more attractive to him than the beautiful 
island at the foot of the lake, called after him, 
for he continued to reside there from 1845 till 
he was appointed, in 1861, Superintendent of 
Indian Affairs in Utah. He died at Salt Lake 
City, in 1865. His cosy looking cottage on 
the island is in a good state of preservation, 
and one of the attractive features of John Rob- 
erts' Summer Resort, being a historical relic 
of the early times. 

Curtis Reed, associated with Governor Dotj- 
in the ownership ofthe water power at Menasha 
and of the adjoining land, went to that 
place in June, 1848, forthe purpose of improv- 
ing the water power and starting the future 
city of Menasha. Hfe built a log house at the 
head of the canal which was used as a tavern 
and boarding house. At this time the site of 
the present city of Menasha was a wilderness, 
untouched by the hand of man. He next 
erected another log building which he occu- 
pied as a store, and then commenced the con- 
struction of the present dam. Before the close 
ofthe year some eight or ten families had set- 
tled in Menasha, so called by Mrs. Governor 

L. M. Parsons, still a resident of the tow n of 
Rushford, made the first settlement in that 
town March 7th, 1846, erecting at that time a 
house ten by twelve, in which he afterwards 
accommodated the travelling public to the 
e.xtent of its capacitj'. 

The same year J. R. and Uriah Hall, the 
Stones, Deyoes, John Johnson, J. Mallory and, 
the Palfreys settled in the vicinity. Mr. Par- 
sons erected a saw-mill the same fall, and in 
1850 completed a grist mill which was very 
popular in its day. The present fine mill of 
Bean & Palfrey, celebrated for the superiority 
of its flour, now occupies the site. 

The first settlers in the Town of Winneconne, 
after the old French settlers, were Samuel 
Champion andhjs son John, S;imuel Lobb and 




George Bell and family, who located here in 
the spring of 1846. 

Mrs. Bel! was the first white woman in the 
town, and in the fall when the fe\'er and ague 
prevailed to such an extent that she was the 
onl\" well person in the settlement, she har- 
rowed in a field of winter wheat. The same 
fall, having lived for some time on boiled wheat, 
she yoked the oxen, and loading a grist on the 
wagon started for Neenah, twelve miles dis- 
tant, with no road but an Indian trail. Return- 
ing in the night with her grist she was enter- 
tained with the howling of the wolves, and 
arrived home about midnight. 

About a month after the advent of the Bell's, 
Mr. (ireenbury Wright accompanied b)- Ur. 
A. B. Wright, now of this city, located on the 
present site of Buttes des Morts, and now 
enjoys the distinction of being the oldest resi- 
dent famil\- in town. 

In that year the settlement received acces- 
sions in the arrival of George Cross, J. Ashby, 
I,. McConifcr, Stephen Allen, William Caulk- 
ins, I'Mwin Boulden and George Snider. 

Mr. George Cross was engaged at a very 
earl}- day in Western explorations, having vis- 
ited Wisconsin in 1835, and was engaged in 
running the line of the Fourth Principal Merid- 
ian; he also accompanied Governor Doty in his 
explorations. (See history of Winneconne.) 

Joseph II. Osborn and John Smith built 
houses on tiieir present farms in the now Town 
of Algoma in 1846. Mr. Osborn took a 
prominent [)art in the early affairs of the 
Count)', for which see history. 

C. L. Rich migrated to this County in 1845. 
On reaching Ceresco, he took the Indian trail 
for Stanle)'sferr)-, and reaching his destination, 
was ferried across and put up at Stanley's 
tavern, which, with Amos Dodge's little store 
and a few log houses, comprised all of the 
beginning of the future City of Oshkosh. 
About t\\ I) hundred Indians were encamped on 
the river shore at the time. In that year he 
selected his present fine farm in the Town of 
Oshkosh. The country was almost an unset- 
tled wilderness, there being only three or four 
log houses between his place and the Neenah 

The Town of Utica had its first settler in 
the person of Erwin Heath, afterwards post- 
master of the City of Oshkosh. 

In February, 1846, Mr. Heath selected a 
claim in the now town of Utica, and built a log 
house on the same. On the first of April, of 
that year, he started from Jefferson County, 
Wisconsin, where he had been living, for his 
new home in Winnebago. He took with him 
four yoke of oxen, hitched to a wagon, loaded 

with household goods, farming tools feed and 
provisions; and also, drove a lot of live stock, 
composed of neat cattle, sheep and hogs. He 
was compelled to ford the streams, there being 
no bridges this side of Bea\er Dam, and in 
fact, no road cut for a long portion of the 

Arriving at his place on the tenth of 
April, he found himself monarch of all he sur- 
veyed; the nearest house being at Ceresco, 
the Fourierite settlement, eight miles distant. 
The next, were the settlers near the mouth of 
the Fox, Oshkosh. On the night of his 
arrival, a heavy snow storm set in, and snow 
fell to the depth of fourteen inches. In the 
morning, Mr. Heath set two men, who were 
with him, to work chinking and mudding up 
the house, and then started with an ox team 
and sled for Daikens, near Green Lake, twelve 
miles distant, to procure a load of hay. A 
heavy crust had formed that would hold a man, 
but the cattle broke through at every step, 
which made very painful and tedious traveling. 
He arrived at Daikens that night, got his load 
of hay, and reached home with it the next 
night. While he was gone the men had fed 
all the feed they had to the slock, and when 
Mr. Heath approached his place, all the stock 
came running to meet him, bellowing a wel- 
come, and commenced to help themselves, 
eating as he moved it along. Leaving it over 
night on the sled where they could feed at 
their pleasure, he found it all gone in the 
morning. The snow disappeared as suddenly 
as it came, and the stock found abundant feed 
on the Rush Lake marshes, from that time on. 

E. B. Fisk was the next settler in Utica, 
locating on the beautiful place now known as 
Fisk's Corners, where he dispensed a bountiful 
hospitality in the early day. 

Armine Pickett and David H. Nash arrived 
in May, 1846, with their families, and settled 
on places which they had selected the previous 

George Ransom and family were also among 
the very earliest settlers in this town, having 
settled on the beautiful farm near Fisk's Cor- 
ners, now occupied by one of his sons, E. B. 
Ransom, in the same month of Heath's and 
Pickett's settlement, viz: April, 1846. 

These were soon followed by C. W. Thrall, 
T. J. Bowles, H. Styles and others. 

Thefirstsettlement in the Townof Nepeuskun 
was made by Jonathan Foote and family, in 
March 1846. The Footes, after living in their 
wagon some w'eeks, finished a shanty, thirteen 
by sixteen feet, in which they entertained new- 

In May, of that year, Lucius Townsend and 




brother arrived and took up claims. On the 
dayof theirarrival.they took a plow from their 
wagon and turned the first furrow ever plowed 
tn the soil of Nepeuskun. Before the close of 
the year they received as accessions to the 
settlement A. B. and J. H. Foster, Samuel 
Clough, Jerome Betry, S. Van Kirk, J. Nash, 
D. Barnum.T. F. Lathrop, George Walbridge, 
W. C. Dickerson, L. B. Johnson, H. F. 
Grant, John Van Kirk, Solomo« Andrews, H, 
Stratton, and Alonzo J. Lewis. 

The first settlement made in the Town of 
Vinland was in the spring of 1846, by N. P. 
Tuttle, followed immediately by Horace Clem- 
ans, who settled on Section twenty-five, now 
Clemansville, and Jeremiah Vosburg on Sec- 
tion fifteen. The same year came W. W. 
Libby, Charles Scott, W. Partridge, Silas M. 
Allen, Samuel Pratt, Jacob and Walter Weed, 
William Gumaer, and Thomas Knott, Jr. In 
1849 came A. T. Cronkhite, L. Beemis, Chas. 
Libby, Henry Robinson, and others. 

The first settlers in the Town of Clayton were 
D. C. Darrow and William Berry, who came 
in 1846. They were followed by Alexander 
Murray, John Axtell, William Robinson, Ben- 
jamin Strong. L. H. Brown, William M. Stew- 
art, George W. Giddings, W, H. Scott, L. 
Hinman, J. F. Roblee,and others as early set- 

Tlie Town of Omro was first organized under 
the name of Buttes des Morts; it had for its 
first permanent residents, Edward West, A. 
Quick and Hezekiah Gifford, who settled there 
in the spring of 1846. The town filled up so 
rapidly after this that it is difficult to determine 
the respective priorit}- in settlement of the 
next new comers. 

At the town election held the following year, 
April sixth, 1847, Edward West, John Mon- 
roe and Frederick Tice were elected Supervis- 
ors; Nelson Olin, Clerk, John M. Perry, Treas- 
urer, Barna Haskell Assessor, and Isaac Ger- 
main, Justice. Among the earliest settlers 
were John R. Paddleford, M. C. Bushnell and 
S. D. Paddleford. 

The plat of the Village of Omro was recorded 
September fifth, 1849, Dean, Beckwith, and 
others, proprietors. 

The first settler within the limits of the Town 
of Nekimi was A. M. Howard, who located 
on Section two, in the summer of 1846. A 
large number followed so soon after that it is 
difficult, at this day, to fix their respective pri- 
ority of settlement. Among the early settlers 
were Hiram B. Cook, who moved on his farm 
in 1847; Wm. Abrams and his brothers, in 
the same )-ear. John Joyce, John Ross, the 

Lords and Powells were among the early 

The first settlers in the Town of Algoma 
were Chester F"ord and his son-in-law, W. A. 
Boyd, and Milan Ford. J. H. Osborn next 
followed in the spring of 1846. During the 
same spring came J. Botsford, E. S. Durfee, 
John Smith, Noah and Clark Miles, Elisha 
Hall and Doctor James Whipple. By 1848 the 
land in this town was very generally taken up. 

The first permanent resident of the Town of 
Black Wolf was Clark Dickenson, who built 
his house and moved into the same in 1841. 
He was soon followed by C. B. Luce, Ira 
Aikens, Wm. Armstrong, Charles Gay, T. 
Hicks, Henry Hicks, Frank Weyerhorst and 
others. Armstrong and Ga\- settled there in 


The first settlement in the Town of Win- 
chester was made by Jerome Hopkins in the 
winter of 1847-8, followed in the spring by 
Samuel Rogers and family, and James H. Jones. 
This town was organized in 1852. 

The first settlers in the Town of Poygan 
were Jerry Caulkins, George Rowson and 
brother, Thomas Robbins, Thomas Mettam, 
Thomas Brogden', Henry Cole, Richard Bar- 
ron, the Maxons and Reed Case. The first 
settler came in the spring of 1849, and most 
of the rest mentioned came during that year. 

The first white settler within the limits of 
the Town of Wolf River was Andrew Merton, 
who settled on what has been known since as 
Merton's Landing, Wolf River, in the fall of 
1849, and was immediately joined by Albert 
Neuschaefer and Herman Page. 

These few persons, for several years, con- 
stituted the only white inhabitants in that 
town. The population is now almost exclu- 
sively German. 

The foregoing shows the progress of settle- 
ment in the various localities of the county, at 
the dates mentioned.* 

■■■■ Note. — For full clelails of the history of the several towns, 
cities, and villages of this county, see their respective histories 
in subsequent pages of this work. 





The only White Settlers in the County, in 1842, were Those 
Located in the Vicinity of Oshkosh — Products of the 
County in 1839 — Naming the Place — Post Office Estab- 
lished — The County Organized — Population — First Births 
and Fi rst Death of White Persons — Fourth of July Cele- 
bration — Religious Services — School — Ferry Established 
— First Roads — First Stores — First Village Plat of Osh- 
kosh — Large Migration from 1846 to '50 — The Villages 
of Neenah, Menusha, Waukau, Omro and Winneconne, 
in 1848-50. 

is will be seen from the preceding 
pages, the only white settlers within 
the present limits of Winnebago 
County in 1 842, were those located in 
the immediate vicinity of Oshkosh, 
which, at that date was merely a little settle- 
ment of a few log houses on the farms of their 
respective owners. 

From among the letters written from here 
in the years, 1838 and 1839, one writer, a 
lady, says: "We have little of the world's 
goods, but the promise of a hereafter shines 
brightly here. " Another says: "We are 
working hard, with but few enjoyments, but 
the progress of the settlement, the rich soil 
promising food in abundance, the good health 
enjoyed by all, and the care of our families, 
keep us from repining, and fill us with hope 
for the future." One writer says: "I have 
two heifers worth fift)' dollars a piece, and 
two pigs, and shall get a yoke of oxen, if 
they can be found, as they are scarce and 
dear." Another says he "has raised one acre 
of spring wheat, yielding twenty-eight bush- 
els, and three acres of winter wheat, produc- 
ing thirty bushels to the acre, and one acre 
of buckwheat. Flour here is $12; mess pork 
$30; potatoes 25 cents; beans $3; corn $1.50; 
wheat $2." 

The products of Winnebago County in 1839; 
were 362 bushclsof wheat; 446 bushels of oats; 
21 bushels of buckwheat; 1,000 bushels of 
corn; 1,960 bushels of potatoes; 200 tons of 
hay; 4,400 pounds of maple sugar; 2 barrels 
offish, and $9,000 worth of furs. 

About this time a meeting was held at the 
house of George Wright, for the purpose of 
voting a name. The names proposed were 
Athens, Fairview, Oceola, Stanford, and Osh- 
kosh; but Robert Grignon and associates 
from the river at Buttes des Morts, were the 
strong party, and formed a majority in favor 
of the name of Oskosh, in honor of the 
Menominee chief. The orthography of the 
original word was, by some mischance, changed 
to its present form, Oshkosh. The original 
was pronounced without the "h" in the first 
syllable, and was accented on the last, Os- 
kosh. There is a difference of opinion about 

the signification of the word, many claiming 
that it means brave. 

In 1840, a post office was established, and J. 
P. Gallup appointed postmaster. The first 
mail from this county was made up by j. P. 
Gallup, done up in a piece of brown paper, 
and carried by Chester Ford, ;««// contractor, 
in his vest pocket, whose route was semi- 
monthly, from Wrightstown to P'ond du Lac, 
on an Indian trail. 

In 1842, the County of Winnebago was 
organized. An idea of the public economy 
of the time may be formed from the fact of the 
first Board of Supervisors voting to raise a tax 
of fifty dollars for Cotinty expenses. The num- 
ber of inhabitants at this time was 135, and in 
1845, the population of the whole County was 
but 500. 

The first birth of a white child in the county 
was that of George W. Stanley, on the 26th of 
August, of 1838. The first female white child 
born in the County was Elizabeth, daughter 
of Chester P"ord. 

In 1 840, the first P'ourth of July celebration 
was held. The entire population assembled 
in grand array on the lake shore, at the foot 
of Merritt street. A procession was formed in 
which a number of Indians joined, who seemed 
to enjoy this outburst of enthusiasm as fully 
as their white neighbors. John P. Gallup 
delivered the oration, and Joseph H. Osborn 
read the Declaration. 

In 1841, a religious meeting was held at 
Mr. Stanley's house, at which a sermon was 
preached by Jesse Halstead, of Brothertown. 
Religious services were frequently held in the 
settlement, at which Clark Dickenson exhorted. 

Miss. Emeline Cook, a sister-in-law of Jason 
Wilkins, taught a school for some time; but 
Henry A Gallup, regardless ot the educational 
interests of the community, married the school 
ma'am, and selfishly appropriated her services 
to his education in the science of domestic 

In 1842, Webster Stanley was authorized, 
by act of the Legislature, to maintain a pub- 
lic ferry. It was located at the present site 
of the gang mill. 

In 1843, the town of Winnebago was 
organized, comprising the whole county, and 
the Legislature passed an act requi^ring that 
"all elections shall be held at the house of 
Webster Stanley. " 

In 1843, Jefferson P2aton, with Amos Gallup, 
and Stephen Brooks as commissioners, and 
Samuel Brooks as surveyor, laid out the 
first road in the County, the same being from 
Stanley's Ferry to Neenah. 

In 1844, the second road in the County was 




laid out on the town line, between townships 
eighteen and nineteen, from Lake Winnebago 
to Lake Buttes des Morts. 

The lack of a grist mill was a want severely 
felt by the earliest settlers, and large coffee- 
mills were frequently brought into requisition 
for grinding wheat. The nearest available mill 
for a long time was the one at Manchester 
(Stockbridge), across the lake; and, as there 
were no sail crafts or large boats, the grist had 
to be carried in canoes, in the summer time. 
In the winter the ice afforded a good road. 
Until roads were cut out, the settlers had to 
pack in on their backs groceries, flour and 
such other necessaries as they needed from 
Green Bay; and many a load of sixty to eighty 
pounds of flour or pork has Doctor Linde and 
others, packed on their backs over an Indian 
trail from Green Bay to this place. The 
doctor's muscle was pretty good then, and if 
any one were to question its tension now, he 
would feel a little indignant. 

Green Bay was the great emporium of this 
section in those days, from whence all the sup- 
plies of civilized life, except home productions, 
had to be obtained. 

In 1844, Joseph Jackson built the first frame 
house in the County on the present site of the 
Beckwith. In the same year the first store 
was opened by J. H. Osborn, and the second 
by Smith & Gillet, .ind the third by Miller & 
Eastman, in 1846. The first store, that of 
Osborn's, was in a little addition to Stanley's 
house — that location was the business center 
then. In the spring of 1844 Mr. Osborn 
united with Amos Dodge under the . firm 
name of Dodge & Osborn. They also had a 
trading post near the present site of Montello, 
and in that year put a sail boat on these 

In 1844 Joseph Jackson and W. W. Wright 
platted a tract into village lots — the west side 
of lower Main Street. 

Up to the year 1846, the progress of the 
settlement was slow, and the population of the 
County was but 732, but this inviting field for 
immigration was now attracting general atten- 
tion. The fame of this beautiful lake and 
river country, with its rich prairies and wood- 
lands, had gone abroad and immigration began 
to pour in with a rapidity almojit unprece- 
dented in the settlement of a country. A con- 
tinuous stream rolled in and overspread the 

In the spring ot 1846, Lucas M. Miller and 
Edward Eastman, attracted by the apparent 
advantages of the site of Oshkosh and the rich 
surrounding country, purchased a tract of land 
from Joseph Jackson, and erected a store 

near the present site of Hutchinson's store. 
Business was now to commence in earnest. 
They also bought a frame building opposite, 
which had been erected a short time before 
for a tavern, and which Manoah Griffin after- 
wards bought from Miller and converted into 
the Oshkosh House. The " business center " 
of Oshkosh then consisted of those two build- 
ings opposite each other — the store on one 
side of Pa-ma-cha-mit Road and the country 
tavern on the other. The residence portion 
was the one frame house occupied b}' L. M. 
Miller for a dwelling, and which stood on the 
present site of the Beckwith House. This was 
the Oshkosh of 1846 — the store, the tavern 
the dwelling house, and the ferrj- consti- 
tuted all there was of Pa-ma-cha-mit (the 
crossing) e.xcept the little store on the present 
Gang Mill site. Its suburban district was 
extensive, composed of the adjoining farms 
and their log houses, with a plentiful supply 
of Indian wigwams. 

Miller & Eastman diil a rushing business in 
groceries, provisions, dr\- L'oods and Indian 

The growth of the county in population, 
might now be said to have commenced, ten 
years after the advent of the first settlers (the 
Stanleys and Gallups, in 1836). The popula- 
tion of the county increased in one year from 
732 to 2,787. Hotels, stores and dwellings 
were erected in Oshkosh and Neenah, saw- 
mills and grist mills were built, various 
branches of industry were established; and the 
year 1850, found Oshkosh a thriving frontier 
village, with a population of 1,392; and Nee- 
nah also a promising village, with stores and 
several branches of industrj- started; among 
others, the pioneer flouring mill of the place, 
Kimbcrly's, known after as the Neenah Mills. 

In 1847, the first store for the sale of gen- 
eral merchandise, in Neenah, was opened b)' 
Jones & Yale, and in the fall of that year Dan- 
iel Priest put in operation a carding mill. The 
town of Neenah was organized the same year, 
and a company chartered to construct dams 
across both channels of the river. In that year 
the first \illage plat of Neenah was recorded 
by Harrison Reed The dam was built, but 
not fully completed, that fall, and the same 
year the first two fran^e buildings (excepting 
the old Government mill) were erected by 
James Ladd, the same being the Winnebago 
Hotel, still standing, and the barn of the same, 
which was first built and useil for a boarding 

In 1850, the \illage of Winnebago Rapids 
(Neenah) was incorporated b\- the Circuit 




Court of Winnebago County (See history of 
Neenah, on subsequent pages.) 

Menasha, which was commenced in the 
erection of two log houses, by Curtis Reed, in 
1848, was beginning, in 1850 to assume the pro- 
portions of a village. The first frame house was 
erected by Elbridge Smith. The first store was 
opened by Curtis Reed, in 184S. In 1S49 the 
first mill — a saw mill — was built by Cornelius 
Northrup and Harrison Reed; and the dam, 
which was commenced in 1848, was completed 
in 1S50, the saw mill set in operation and 
Menasha started in that career of manufactur- 
ing enterprise which has since distinguished 
the place 

In 1S50, Waukau was also a promising vil- 
lage, and at thattime, could claim no mean pre- 
tensions. The first saw mill in the county, 
excepting the government mill at Neenah, was 
put in operation by L. M. Parsons, in 1S47. 
It was a small concern, but it has the honor 
of priority. In 1S47 the first store was opened 
there by Elliott & White; and James Deyoe 
erected the first frame house. In the same 
year a log school house was built, and a school 

In iS4Sa postoffice was established, another 
store opened by Lester Rounds, and mechanic 
shop started. A plat of the village of Wau- 
kau was made, and the same recorded 
December 30th, 1S48, and in 1S50 a grist mill 
was completed. (See history of Rushford.) 

The village of Omro was started later than 
Waukau. A plat of the village was recorded 
in 1849, '^'icl '" 1850 the place commenced to 
make that growth which has since developed 
the stirring and prosperous village of Omro, 
for full history of which see subsequent pages. 

In the early day, the village of Butte des 
Mortswas the rival of Oshkosh, for the pos- 
session of location of county seat. In 1849 
the first frame building was erected by F. T. 
Hamilton, and the first store, for the sale of 
general merchandise;, opened by the same 
party. A post office was established the 
same year. The second frame structure was 
erected by Augustine Grignon, for a hotel. 
In 1850 a saw mill was completed and set 
in operation, and quite a village had sprung 
up on the site of Buttes des Morts. 

E. D. Gumaer completed the first frame 
building in Winneconne, in 1849. The same 
year Charles Gumaer and John Atchley con- 
structed buildings, and the Mumbrues erected 
a frame building for a hotel. In 1850, H. C. 
Mumbrue built a chair factory, and, during the 
^ame year, the Hyde Brothers constructed a 
^aw mill. John Scott, in 1S49, opened the 
tiist store, followed the same season by H. C. 

Rogers; and, in 1S50, Winneconne was a vil- 
lage of muqh promise. (For full history of 
these places see subsequent pages.) 


Wolf River Pineries — First Logging Operations — t'irst Logs 
in the Pineries Cut on Rat River in 1835 — First Saw Mill 
on These Waters Built at Shawano in 1S43-44 — First Saw 
Mill in Oshkosh Built in 1847 — The Beginning of the 
Great Lumber Industiy of Oshkosh and Its Rapid Growth — 
First Flouring Mills — First Steamboats, the Manchester 
and Peytona — First Boat Through the Portage Canal — 
Bridges Across the Fox — Telegraph Line — The First 
Newspapers — The Condition of the County in 1850. 

5HE Wolf River, a large stream, and 
navigable for one hundred and fifty 
% miles, flows from the pine forests of 
'f^* Northern Wisconsin, and traverses 
I this county to its outlet, in Lake 
Winnebago. This fine river, with its numer- 
ous tributaries, is one of the best lumbering 
streams in the State; and gives this county 
the readiest means for floating the products 
of the pineries to the many mills engaged 
in the manufacture of lumber. Winnebago 
County, therefore, although not a pine grow- 
ing country itself, being one of the richest 
prairie and opening districts of the State, is, 
through its water communication with the pine 
forests, one of the chief lumber manufacturing 
centers of the Northwest; Oshkosh alone man- 
ufacturing one hundred million feet of lumber, 
and more, per annum, in good years, and over 
a hundred million shingles, which, with its 
sash and doors, are sufficient to /otrt/ over fif- 
teen thousand railroad ears. 

The first saw logs cut, in the Wolf River 
pineries, were those got out by David Whit- 
ney, of Green Bay, to be used in the construc- 
tion of the Government buildings at Neenah. 
They were cut on the shores of Rat River, in 


The next "logging" was done b)' one, Clark, 
of Taycheedah, and Thomas Evans, of Osh- 
kosh, in the winter of 1843. The next winter, 
Gilbert Brooks, Milan Ford and Phillip 
Wright, all of Oshkosh, cut 30,000 feet, on Rat 
River, which they sold to Harrison Reed for 
$2.50 per M. 

The first saw -mill on the Wolf River waters 
was built at Shawano, in 1843, by Samuel 
Farnsworth, and lumber from that point was 
floated in rafts to Oshkosh during the same 
year, and sold for $5.00 per M, 

The beginning of that lumber industry of 
Oshkosh which developed into such vast pro- 
portions, was the building of the two steam 




saw mills by Morris Firman and Forman & 

In 1847, Morris Firman built a mill near the 
present site of the gang mill. Forman & 
Bashford constructed one at the same time at 
Algoma, and succeeded in completing it a 
short time before that of F"irman's was finished. 
The third mill was built by Geer & Co., which 
was followed by those of Ebenezer Hubbard 
and L. F. Sheldon. 

By the year 1852 the lumber business was 
overdone. The supply was greater than the 
demand; lumber that would now be called 
good second clear, sold for five dollars per 

For several years the manufacture of lumber 
was not a very profitable business, and that 
interest struggled against serious difficulties. 
The buiding of the Chicago & Northwestern 
railroad to this point in 1858, opened up a 
wider market and afforded a means of trans- 
portation to the great prairie conntry to the 
southwest. Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, as well 
as Southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois, 
now became a great market ground for the 
Oshkosh mills. New mills were now con- 
structed on a large scale with improved 
machinery and with circular and gang saws; 
and in 1871 there were in Oshkosh twenty- 
four large saw mills, si.xteen shingle mills and 
seven sash and door factories — employing 
from twenty to eighty hands each. In this 
year there were sixty odd establishments in 
Oshkosh run by steam. 

The first flouring mill was built at the vil- 
lage of Algoma, now the Fifth Ward of Osh- 
kosh, by D. W. Forman & Co. m 1848. This 
and the Waukau mill supplied a want that had 
long been severely felt. 

The first steam boat navigating these waters 
was the little Manchester, built on the oppo- 
site shore of the lake, and which made her first 
trip in 1844. She was the only boat on this 
lake until the Peytona made her appearance 
in 1849. The Peytona was a fine boat, built 
at Neenah by Captain Estis, who also sailed 
her for some time. She had a very successful 
career. The old settlers will remember the 
crowd of passengers she used to carry on her 
daily trips from Fond du Lac to this place. 

In 1 85 I, the Portage Canal was so far con- 
structed that two steamers passed from the 
Fo.x into the Wisconsin. 

The fine steamer, Menasha, made her 
appearance in 1852, and in 1853 the passenger 
and freight business on these waters had 
increased to such an extent that daily lines of 
steamboats were run to various points. 

The travel and immigration to the "Indian 

Land " was at that time, and previous to it, 7'in 
Oshhosh and the Wolf River. 

The fine water communications branching 
from Oshkosh in different directions made it a 
central point in travel, and in the transporta- 
tion of freight to various points.' The steam- 
boats, therefore, did a good business, and the 
docks presented a scene of great business 

In 1850, a telegraph line was completed from 
Milwaukee to Green Baj', passing through this 
county and connecting with its business 

In 1847, Stanley's Ferr}', \\hich had been 
removed from its original location, at the site 
of the Gang Mill, to the present location of 
the bridge, was superseded by a float bridge, 
on the third day of July, 1847, the first 
team passing over it on that daj-. 

In 1850, Messrs. Weed, Gumaer & Coon 
built a bridge across the river at Algoma. At 
that time Algoma was a rival of Oshkosh, and 
confidently expected to outstrip the latter place 
in growth, business and population. 

The county, at this time — 1850 — was pretty 
well settled, and plentifully dotted with log 
houses, with an occasional frame house and 
frame barn. 

The land was so easil)- brought into cultiva- 
tion and was so productive, that a large area 
was soon under culti\ation, and large crops 
were raised. 

The county now began to assume the appear- 
ance of a settled country; and, as building 
material was cheap, large frame barns began to 
spring up in every direction. Soon a better 
class of farm houses were built, and by the 
year i86ono countyinthe State surpassed, and 
few equaled Winnebago, in the appearance of 
highly cultivated farms, with handsome dwell- j 
ings and soacious barns and out-buildings. 
The well-painted, substantial farm buildings, 
giving an air of thrift and comfort, were a 
matter of surprise to the new-comers from the 
East. The building of school-houses and 
churches also kept pace with other improve- 
ments; every community had its district school, 
and its educational interests well attended to. 

The population of the county had in this 
year, 1850, reached 10,167. The population 
of Oshkosh was 1,392. It contained twenty 
odd stores, and hotels, mills, mechanic shops, 
etc., and was making a rapid growth. 

The first newspaper in the county was the 
Oshkosh True Democrat, first published on 
the ninth day of February, 1849, in the vil- 
lage of Oshkosh by Densmore & Cooley. Thei 
next was the Winnebago Telegraph, by Mor- 
ley & Edwards (Hiram Morlej'). Then camel 




the Oshkosh Republican, by Morley & 
Hyman. Then the Fox River Courier by 
McAvoy and Crowley, first published in June, 
1852. About the same time the Anzcigcr dcs 
Nordtvestern by Kohlmann Brothers. The 
Menasha Advocate was started by Jere Crowley 
at Menasha in 1853, and the Conservator and 
Bulletin, the first by Harrison Reed and the 
latter by W. H. Mitchell, were published in 
Neenah in that year. 


Incidents in tiie Early Day — Recollections of Early Settlers — 
The Partridge Child Alleged to Have Been Stolen by the 
Indians — Great Excitement and Trial for the Recovery of 
the Child — Recollections of Sam Cloiigh and of Doctor 
Linde — Desperate Encounter Between Walter James, Son 
of G. P. R. James, the English Novelist, and Three 
Indians — An Old Time Scrimmage at Omro with a Lot 
of Young Winnebago Bucks — C L. Rich Witnesses an 
Encounter at Stanley's Feny. 

R. Samuel Clough, at the present 
time a highly respected citizen of 
Nepeuskun, started, in 1844, for what 
was then considered the out-posts of 
civilization, and in his peregrinations 
reached Rock Prairie in the vicinity of Janes- 
ville, Wisconsin; remaining in that neighbor- 
hood about one year, during which time he 
made explorations as far north as Seven Mile 
Creek in Fond du Lac County. In 1845 he 
started with a view of making a permanent 
settlement, and made a purchase about one 
and a half miles west of his present residence 
on land now owned by T. McLelland and M. 
Thomas, this being the first land entered in the 
town of Berlin. 

Mr. Clough after making his selection set 
out for Green Bay to purchase; but on his 
arrival at the farm of John Bannister, about 
two miles south of Fond du Lac, he learned 
that Mr. Bannister was acting as land agent, 
and to save the walk to Green Bay and back 
entrusted his money for entering the land to 
him, retaining only one dollar and eighteen 
cents as the sum of his worldly possessions, 
with anticipations of a patent for 160 acres of 
Uncle Sam's domain, and again turned hisface 
toward Rock Prairie about one hundred miles 
distant. Weary and footsore, with his shoes 
in his hand and traveling in his stockings, he 
was soon overtaken by a gentleman with a 
horse and comfortable buggy, who asked him 
if he would like to ride. He replied he would 
but was short of money. 

'How much have you got, ' was asked. 

"One dollar and eighteen cents," was the 

"Good; that's more than I've got; where are 
you going? " 

"To Rock Prairie." 

"Well, get in here; I am going to take this 
horse to Racine andhave got just one shilling. 
If you will pay for feeding the horse at Wau- 
■pun I will carry you to Watertown." 

Arriving at " Wilcox's " at Waupun, the 
stranger took the horse to the stable, and, see- 
ing a barrel of barley there, very dexterously 
transferred a peck to the manger; then walk- 
ing into the house, he saw a pan of cookies in 
an unoccupied room and filled his pockets. 

Rejoining Mr. Clough in the kitchen, Mr. 
C. proposed to invest in a bowl of bread and 
milk, each involving an outlay of twenty cents. 
This the stranger declined, and after Mr. C. 
had relieved the inner man in manner aforesaid, 
and resting the horse sufficiently as the stranger 
expressed it to Mr. Wilcox, they started 
again and arrived in Watertown before five 
o'clock. Here Mr. C. discovered the well- 
known mule team of uncle Jo Goodrich of 
Prairie du Lac (Milton) and froni thence con- 
tinued his journey on foot Working here 
through harvest, he went to Metomen, Fond 
du Lac County, and after splitting \Cm. rails 
started for his Berlin estate. Arriving there 
he sold out in April, 1846, and takingthe pro- 
ceeds started for Green Bay, where he purchased 
200 acres, his present farm. 

Returning from Green Bay, he, with an 
acquaintance, set out for Oshkosh with the 
intention of purchasing a boat, and with the 
requisite provisions as freight, proceeding to 
Wolf River to procure logs, which when floated 
down the Wolfand up the Fox to a point most 
convenient to his purchase were to be con- 
verted into shingles. Reaching Omro on his 
way to Oshkosh, he found Jed Smalley (at the 
time an Indian merchant), where he stopped 
for dinner which consisted of boiled peas, the 
only solids obtainable. 

Arriving at Oshkosh they found Webster 
Stanley, George Wright, P. V. Wright, Amos 
Dodge, two Gallups, and what was supposed 
to be a town site. Unable to procure boat or 
provisions, the expedition to Wolf River w as 
abandoned, and while considering the next 
best thing, Mr. Sam Farnsworth (who had 
built a dam and saw mill at Shawano the year 
before) made his appearance in search of 
assistance to rebuild his dam which had been 
washed out, and a millwright to repair the mill 
which had been badly damaged. Mr. C. and 
nine others enlisted. Purchasing three orfour 
barrels of pork and beef at Fond du Lac, and 




some thirty bushels of potatoes, Mr. Farns- 
worth's boat was loaded, and with eight oars 
the boat was rowed to Shawano, the dam and 
mill completed and the party returned to Osh- 
kosh in six weeks, arriving on the evening of 
July 2d. 

ImmediateK- on arri\al Mr. C. was accosted 
by a young gamin with, "we're going to have a 
celebration here to-morrow." There being 
no settlers in the region where Mr. C. left he 
\'cry naturally asked the bo)', "where are the 
folks coming from?" 

"Oh, the country is full of folks!" 

"But," says Mr. C. "to-morrow is not the 
Fourth of July. " 

. "Well, we've got to celebrate to-morrow, 
'cause the steamboat (the old Manchester) is 
going to celebrate at Fond du Lac the Fourth. " 

And they did celebrate, Anu)s Uodgc and 
a key bugle comprising the band, and Mr. C. 
was greatly interested to see the increase o( 
population during his absence of a few weeks. 

The same year Mr. C. had fourteen acres 
broke at a qost of two dollars per acre, and in 
the spring of 1 847 purchased tweKe bushels 
of seetl wheat (of William Uaikiii of CJreen 
Lake) at tift_v cents per bushel, and with it 
sowed si.\- acres of his breaking from which he 
harvested 126 bushels. Up to this time he had 
purchased his flour and pork on Rock Prairie. 
The flour was manufactured at Whitewater 
from wheat that cost thirty-nine cents per 
bushel, (first quality of wheat.) Fork and 
beef were purchased at one and a half cents 
per pound. 

Having raisetl the wheat the giinding was 
the ne.xt consideration. Joining with a neigh- 
bor each put in twenty-two and a halfbushels, 
making forty-five bushels, which was taken to 
Watertown, a distance of fifty-three miles, 
ground and returned, feeding the bran on the 
w a\- home. 

In the winter of 1848-9, Mr. C. contracted 
with Messrs. Brand & Sawyer, of Algoma, for 
sixteen thousand feet of pine lumber at eight 
dollars per thousand, to be one-third clear 
stuff, and drawing it home erected his present 
residence in the spring of 1849. 


Doctor Linde gives the following recital of 
a most tragical event which occurred near his 
place at Muckwa, during his residence there: 

On a fine hunting-night, in the latter part of 
June, 1856, Mr. Walter James went to a small 
lake near Muckwa, with his canoe, ft)r the 
purpose of night-hunting deer. Fortunately 
he took the doctor's hunting-knife, a formida- 
ble weapon, made of the best steel, and weigh- 

ing two and a half pounds. He found plenty 
of deer, but they would not take to the water 
on account of the carousals of three Indians, 
who w ith their families were encamped near 
the lake. James, being fiimiliar witii the 
Indians, and not anticipating any trouble, 
then went to their wigwams, and asked them 
not to make so much noise, and let him ha\e 
a chance at the deer. The Indians who had 
drank just about whiskey enough to make 
them excitable and quarrelsome, then 
attacked him. One grabbed him by the 
throat; when James pulled out his big hunting 
knife, and then the Indian grasped him b\' the 
fore arm, to prevent James from striking with 
it; but his desperation lent him strength; and 
the great weight of the weapon enabled him 
b)' the strength of his wrist alone, to strike a 
blow which split the Indian's skull, when he 
fell unconscious. This was the work of a few 
seconds. The Indian had no sc)oner released 
his hold on James and fallen, than another 
made a thrust at him with a knife; but James 
being a skillful swordsman, easily parried the 
thrust, anil struck his antagonist on the right 
arm with the intention of crippling him. The 
blow se\ered the bone between the shoulder 
and the elbow , barely leax'ing the artery uncut 
and a shred b\' which the arm dangled. At 
the same instant that the second Indian maile 
the thrust with his knife, the other grasped the 
gun which James hekl in his left hand. The 
latter clung to the gun, which was loaded with 
buckshot, well knowing that his life dejiended 
on keeping it in his possession; but after he 
had disabled the second Indian, the third kept 
beyond the reach of the knife, holding the gun 
by the barrel, while James held it b\- the 
breech. Seeing'that be could not get within 
reach of the Indian without releasing his hold 
on the gun, he let go and at the same instant 
jumped forward and made a desperate stroke 
at the Indian's head. The latter threw his 
head back and received the blow in the left 
breast, which partly cut four of the ribs, and 
expended its force on the wrist, cutting 
deeply into the bone. The Indian then fled 
with the gun and James ft)llowed in close pur- 
suit, knowing well that it was a race for life; for ifi 
the Indian could get sufficient distance to turn 
and get a shot at him, he was gone. After 
running a short distance, in which the Indian 
barely succeeded in keeping but a little more 
than arm's length from James, the latter was 
tripped by a wild grape vine and fell. At the 
same instant the Indian turned and leveled the 
piece at him and pulled the trigger. When' 
James saw the muzzle of the glistening barrel 
that cont.iined lwent\-four buck-shot, he felt.i 




far an instant, that his chances for life were 
narrow. The Indian, however, failed to dis- 
charge the gun, and James, quickly compre- 
hending the reason, which was that the gun 
was at half-cock, jumped up and plunged down 
the bank of the stream which was the outlet of 
the lake. As the place where he happened 
to fall was near where he had left his canoe, it 
was the work of but a few moments to reach 
it, when he quickly paddled out in the 
lake, trusting that the obscurity of the night 
would prevent the Indian from getting a shot 
at him. This desperate encounter, up to the 
time when the Indian fled with the gun, occu- 
pied but a few seconds; as the three Indians 
attacked James simultaneously, and in fact it 
was but a few minutes from the time he had 
landed to visit the Indians, until he was again 
out on the lake. 

Another man was on the lake in a canoe 
watching for a chance at deer; a Mr. Jerroux, 
who owned the adjoining land. As the Indians 
were making such a racket, he had lain down 
in his canoe to rest, till the noise subsided; 
and had fallen asleep, unconscious of the trag- 
ical events transpiring so near him. James 
paddled out to him and awakening him, 
related, what had occurred, and requested 
him to go to the wigwam and see what condi- 
tion the wounded were in. He went, came 
back and reported to James, who immediately 
started for Doctor Linde, feeling that his 
surgical services were much needed; but the 
Doctor who had been at Weyauwega, was then 
on his return on a steamboat, which met James' 
canoe in the river. The latter was taken on 
board and gave a recital of what hadoccurred. 
He showed the marks of the encounter; his 
neck still retaining the indentations of all the 
finger nails of the hand which had grasped it. 

On their arrival at Mukwa, the Doctor 
took his surgical instruments and accompanied 
by James, went immediately to the wigwam. 
The Indian, whose skull was cleaved, was still 
alive, but unconscious, and beyond the reach 
of surgical skill. He soon died. The one 
whose arm was nearly severed was attended to. 
The bone being cut slanting, it was found 
necessary to cut off the points, so as to square 
the ends; which was done. In due time the 
bone united, but the main nerve having been 
severed, caused paralysis of the arm and left 
him a cripple for life. The wounds of the 
other were dressed and the gashes sewed up, 
but about a year afterwards he died; it was 
reported from necrosis of the ribs occasioned 
by the injury. 

The fatal quarrel caused great excitement 
among the Indians, who flocked from all direc- 

tions, to the scene of the tragedy; and congre- 
gated in large numbers, in the vicinity of 
Linde's, assuming a most threatening attitude. 
The settlers were in such great fear from appre- 
hension that the Indians had assembled for the 
purpose of taking revenge, that they dared 
not afford Linde any protection. He thought 
it a necessary precaution to send his little son 
Fred, to Oshkosh. The Doctor seemed to be 
involved in the trouble, from the fact that it was 
supposed hostility to him that provoked the 
attack on James; they having in the night and 
the phrensy of the moment mistaken James for 
Linde; as the latter had caused the arrest and 
fine of some parties who had been selling 
whiskey to the Indians, for the purpose of 
suppressing the evil; considering his life in 
danger when the Indians, were in liquor, 
whereas, he had no fear of them when they 
were sober. 

The Doctor resolved to brave out the excite- 
ment which for a time ran very high. One of 
his neighbors deserves to be remembered in 
this connection. A man by the name of John 
Thorn, a blacksmith, who offered to help 
Linde in the event of any attack on him. 
Linde believed if any hostile demonstration 
were made, it would be immediately; so the 
night he had sent F"red away, he determined 
to keep a vigilant watch. Knowing that his 
dogs would give prompt notice of any hostile 
approach, it was arranged that he should give 
Thorn notice, if he were needed, by discharg- 
ing a gun. The night passed without any dis- 
turbance, and in the morning Linde decided 
to empty one of his revolvers, that had been 
loaded a long time, and, forgetting his arrange- 
ment with Thorn, commenced discharging the 
piece. After firing a few shots he happened 
to look in the direction of Thorn's house, which 
was just across a little marsh, when he discov- 
ered Thorn running toward him at full speed, 
with his rifle in one hand and hunting-knife in 
the other. There was, however, no need of his 
services, so they amused themselves for some 
time in shooting at a mark. 

James Clark, of Winchester, as soon as he 
heard of the danger surrounding his friends, 
promptly came to their defense, and offered to 
stand by them till the danger was over. 

After the Indians and their friends had fully 
investigated the sad encounter, it was settled 
— Indian fashion — one of the conditions of the 
settlement requiring James to consent to be 
adopted by the tribe as one of its members, 
taking the place of the one who was killed. He 
therefore became a Menominee by adoption. 

Many who read the foregoing statement of 
James' desperate struggle on that, to him, mem- 




orablc night, may deem it an exaggeration, but 
the people who were living here at the time, 
know the facts to be as they are here substan- 
tially stated, and will distinctly remember the 
circumstances. There were, it is true, some 
differences of opinion as to where the chief 
blame of the encounter rested; some alleging 
that the Indians had cause of provocation, in 
former attempts to drive them from Linde's 
hunting grounds; but the general opinion 
seemed to be that it was not reasonable to sup- 
pose that James would go alone in the night, 
with any hostile intentions, to a wigwam of 
three able-bodied Indians; and that the rea- 
sonable conclusion was, that he thought he 
could get them to quiet down and give him a 
chance to hunt; but they, mistaking him in the 
night for Linde, and being in the first stages 
of intoxication, construed the visit into an 
attempt to drive them off, and feeling belli- 
gerent, attacked him. 


Among the Indian scrimmages, which the 
Doctor participated in, was one which threat- 
ened serious consequences. 

Captain William Powell had a trading-post 
near the present site of Omro; and in the sum- 
mer of 1844, the Winnebagoes were encamped, 
two hundred strong under old Yellow Thunder, 
at the outlet of Rush Lake. Yellow Thunder's 
boy, with eleven other young bucks, came 
down to Powell's to rob him of his whiskey 
and have a spree. There happened to be at 
Powell's shanty, at the time, three other whites: 
Jed Smalley, Leb Dickinson and Charles Car- 
ron, a Menominee half-breed. They resisted 
the attempt of the Winnebago bucks to get 
the whiskey, and a general fight ensued; but 
both whites and Indians, well knowing the 
consequences ofusing any deadly weapon, con- 
fined themselves to their fists and clubs. Just 
as the struggle was at its full height, and after 
Captain Powell had his right arm broken, but 
was still using his club with his left, Doctor 
Linde, who happened to come on a visit, 
appeared on the scene. The combatants 
were so engaged that neither party observed 
the accession to the force of the whites. Tlie 
Doctor quickly comprehending the situation, 
and the necessity of prompt action, as the 
whites were getting the worst of it, threw down 
his pack, cocked both barrels of his rifle and 
laid it down on his pack, and went into the 
scrimmage with his tomahawk. He first struck 
Yellow Thunder's boy; the Indian turning his 
head as he received the blow, the tomahawk 
peeled the skin entirely across the forehead. 
He fell senseless, when Linde struck another 

Indian. The fight now proceeded so vigor- 
ously that the Doctor had no time for observa- 
tion, until a cessation of hostilities revealed 
to the sight twelve Indians liors du combat. 
Things now looked more serious than ever, 
for if one Indian was killed the band at Rush 
Lake would seek revenge in an attempt to kill 
the whole party; whereas, if no life was lost, 
it would only be looked on as deserved pun- 
ishment, and the whites entitled to the highest 
respect for their \ictory over such superior 

Measures of safety now had to be taken 
until it was ascertained whether any of the 
Indians were killed. Charley Carron was, 
therefore, sent out to a point, about a mile dis- 
tant on the trail to Rush Lake with orders to 
shoot any Indians that were en route for Pow- 
ell's. Then the party of whites proceeded to 
pack their goods into their canoes and get 
everything ready for a sudden start, for if one 
Indian out of the lot did not recover, they 
must, with all dispatch, get out of the Winne- 
bago country into the Lower Fox region and 
down to Green Bay. If all proved well, Carron 
was to be notified with a signal of two shots. 

Powell's arm was next dressed and set. and 
then the Indians were attended to, most of 
them getting upon their feet, ha\ing received 
no serious injur)-. The wounds of some had 
to be dressed, but one by one they came out 
all right : that is, alive; a broken arm or a 
badly gashed head was no very serious matter. 
So the young bucks very gratefully partook of 
the hospitalities, including a little whiskey, 
which concluded the ceremonies of the occa- 
sion; only regretting that their plan forgetting 
on a big drunk had miscarried, and laughing 
at the affair as a bad joke on themselves. Old 
Yellow Thunder laughed at the discomfiture of 
the Indians, wlu), when the)- returned, sadder, 
but wiserlndians, had to own up that the good 
joke of stealing Powell's whiskc)-, though well 
conceived, had materiall)- failed in its practical 

Doctor Linde was well acquainted with 
Cha-ka-mo-ca-sin,warchief of thcMenominees. 
From the Doctor we learn the following inci- 
dents in his career. Like all the war chiefs of 
Indian tribes he arose to the position through 
an established reputation for bravery and skill 
on the war-path. He once made the trip alone 
from here to the Pacific Coast, stating that he 
crossed mountains whose tops were covered 
with snow, and went from the land of sweet 
waters to those of bitter. This was before the 
days of over-land travel, when travelers had to 
be self-sustaining. He was a man of great' 
physical strength and great power of endur- 



ance. On one occasion, when lying drunk in 
his lodge, an enemy stabbed him, the knife 
passing through the lung. His friends discov- 
ering him l>'ing dead, as they thought, put on 
their mourning paint and were singing around 
him, when, to their surprise, he rose up and 
asked who was dead. On being informed that 
he was, and what killed him, he immediately 
took his knife and went to the lodge of his 
enemy who was sitting down with his blanket 
drawn over his head in expectant retribution. 
Cha-ka-mo-ca-^in pulled oft' the blanket and told 
him to "look up if he wanted to see a man." 
The Indian stared as if at an apparition. Said 
Cha-ka-mo-ca-sin: "Do you supposej'flw could 
kill a waj- chief. You don't know how to strike. 
This is the way;" and suiting the action to the 
words, drove the knife into him, up to the hilt, 
when the Indian fell dead. 

On one occasion the Doctor saw him sitting 
on a log smoking, with ail the nonchalance of 
Indian imperturbability, while his squaw was 
belaboring him angrily, with all her strength, 
over the back with a paddle, and accusing him 
of lying around drunk, when he ought to be 
hunting and trapping. As the blows increased 
in number and vigor, he quietly looked around 
to her and said "it hurts." "I make it hurt 
more," she replied, renewing the blows with 
all her strength. After taking his punishment 
for some time longer with true Indian stolidity, 
he cooly laid down his pipe and getting up told 
his squaw to take his place on the log. She 
obeyed, for she saw he meant business. He 
then took up the paddle and returned measure 
for measure. She squalled and said "it hurts." 
"That is what 1 told you, now you beliex'e it," 
he replied, and cooly resumed his pipe. 

Doctor Linde occupies a' prominent place in 
the pioneer history of this county. He 
migrated here from Denmark, in 1842, and 
immediately purchased 280 acres, the present 
site of the Northern Hospital for the Insane. 
The patent for this land was issued to him. 
The first fifteen acres which he cleared and 
broke, is now the vegetable garden of the hos- 
pital. On this place he built a log-house, in 
which he resided for three years, in pioneer 
style — hunting, trapping, clearing land, splitting 
rails, and the other incidental work of a new- 
comer, excepting when at times important 
surgical operations demanded his services. 
He married Miss Sarah Adelaide Dickenson, 
daughter of Clark Dickenson, who was one of 
the very early settlers of the county. The 
Doctor had selected this locality for his future 
home, then on the very confines of civiliza- 
tion, for the purpose of gratifying his taste for 
a frontier life, and his love for hunting, trap- 

ping and backwood sports, and consequently 
did not practice his profession; but being one 
of the only two professional surgeons in the 
territor}' at that time, he was reluctantly com- 
pelled to practice, when occasion demanded 
his services. 

The country, on his arrival here, was a 
comparative wilderness, his house and two 
others, being the only ones between Oshkosh 
and Winnebago Rapids (now Neenah). The 
only roads in the country were Indian trails, 
and the means of transportation, packing by 
land or in canoes by water, and many a weary 
mile has he packed his heavy load. The 
pioneer hospitality of the day is illustrated by 
his keeping a light burning till late in the night, 
to guide the traveler on the lake to a place of 
shelter, and whether Indian or white man, he 
was welcome to a place by the fireside. 
Speaking French fluently, and from similarit}- 
of tastes, he found most congenial companions 
among the old French settlers. Being one of 
the very best rifle shots in the country, he soon 
became famous among the Indians and whites, 
and passed a large portion of his time in the 
chase. His mark was so well known and 
respected by the Indians, that they never 
intruded on ground occupied by him, when 
hunting and trapping. The incidents of his 
years of backwoods life, would make an inter- 
esting \olume. On one occasion, having a 
number of guns out of doors which he had 
been cleaning, he observed a band of Potta- 
wattamies on their travels, who, in passing 
along near the guns, stopped and contemptu- 
ously remarked in their language, "White man 
have heap guns, but can't shoot much. " The 
Doctor came up and by those significant signs 
with which Indians so readily express them- 
selves, pointed at the guns and then at the 
Indians, and holding his other hand about two 
feet from the ground, to signify that they were 
little children in the use of fire-arms, and then 
straightening up and pointing to himself as 
big man. who would try them. He then took 
out one of his pistols and got an Indian boy to 
hold out at arm's length a bit of board, about 
six inches square, at which he fired, putting a 
ball nearly in the center. The second shot he 
struck the center. The boy showed nerve — 
never flinching a hair's breadth. The Indians 
then cut off a bit of bark on a tree — long 
range; on the second shot the doctor's ball 
struck the center. The Indians, without a 
word, turned on to the trail and left. The 
Doctor regards himself an instance of the degen- 
erating effects of civilization, as he was known 
among the Indians as White Bear, and by the 
settlers, as the Hunting-Doctor," Whereas now," 




he says, he is "only Old Doct Linde. " He did 
not take the precaution of Nicodemus Easy, 
the father of Marryatt's hero, who, when it was 
proposed to name his first born after him, 
objected, on the ground that the boy would be 
called Young Nick, and he would in contra- 
distinction be called Old Nick. 

After a residence of four years on his land, 
he moved to Green Bay, wliere he lived about 
a year, practicing his profession. While at the 
Bay, he made the acquaintance of an old 
Indian, who had been scalped, when a boy, by 
a Chippewa. A portion of the skull was bare, 
where the scalp-lock was cut ofif; this was one 
of the survivors of a famous event in Menom- 
inee tradition, and is celebrated by the "Dance 
of the three Menominees " When this Indian 
was a boy, he was, with some women and chil- 
dren, taken captive by a party of Chippewas. 
A short time after the Chippewas had departed 
with their captives, three Menominees on a hunt, 
who had just killed a deer, came upon the 
scene of the capture. With the unerring 
sagacity of Indians, they readily perceived what 
had taken place, and that the party who 
attacked and carried oft' their women and chil- 
dren, was composed of twenty-one Chippewas. 
Dividing up the deer among them, which 
afforded a plentiful supply of food for several 
days, they immediately took the trail of the 
Chippewas, and notwithstanding the great dis- 
parity in numbers, determined, without wait- 
ing for any accession to their forces, to attempt 
the recovery of their people, and obtain 
revenge for the injury. They followed the 
trail to a point in the Chippewa country, be- 
yond Post Lake, where they discovered the 
smoke of their camp. They now proceeded 
cautiously, and stealthily creeping up, saw the 
captives and the twenty-one Chippewas. The 
latter had deposited their fire-arms in a place a 
little removed from their camp-fire. By a 
strategic movement the three Menominees suc- 
ceeded in getting between the Chippewas and 
their guns, and then quickly possessed them- 
selves of the latter. P^ach Menominee then 
picked out his Chippewa, and fired; three fell 
dead. They then repeated their shots with 
fatal rapidity; after which the)- closed in with 
the remainder in a hand to hand fight. Every 
Chippewa was killed, except one old man, 
whose life was spared for the purpose of send- 
ing the compliments of the three Menominees 
to his tribe, and informing them how the 
Menominees avenged an injury. This event 
is celebrated by the Menominees with one of 
their most popular dances. 

After something more than ayear's residence 
at Green Baj', Doctor Linde removed to Osh- 

kosh. He purchased one and a half acres of 
land, the present site of the First National 
Bank and postofiice. While living on this place 
his wife died, when he sold the place to Col- 
onel Lucas Miller, and moved to Fond du 
Lac, and again engaged in the practice of his 
profession, which he followed for about a year, 
when he embarked in the fur trade. At this 
time, about 1852, he married a niece of Gov- 
ernor Doty — Miss Sarah M. Davis — who 
died the next year in child-birth. Shortly after 
this event, he moved with his son F"red, eight 
years old, to Mukwa, where he lived for fi\e 
years, chiefly trappingand hunting. * * 

For two years Walter James, son of G. P. R. 
James, the English novelist, lived with him. 
James, the elder, was Consul at Norfolk, and 
for a period, acting as English Embassador to 
the United States. He made a visit to his 
son and the Doctor, participating with much 
zest in all the novel incidents of a back-woods 
life. After a morning's hunt, of a fine Indian 
summer day in October, during which G.P. R. 
James killed a deer, and while they were sit- 
ting down in the house after dinner, the dogs 
gave signs of the near approach of game. The 
Doctor, who was lying down comfortably 
smoking, called to Walter James to take his 
rifle. He did so, and no. sooner reached the 
door, than he fired, standing just inside the 
door-step, bringing down a large buck, whose 
last jump was in the vegetable garden, where 
he fell dead. 

After a residence of five years at Mukwa, 
Doctor Linde removed to Oshkosh, where he 
has since resided and engaged in the practice 
of his profession, and is now associated with 
his son. Doctor F. H. Linde, in an extensive 
practice. He has risen to eminence as one of the 
leading physicians of the State, and among 
the highest of the State Medical Association. 
His son, Fred, has already established his rep- 
utation as a successful practitioner, and is 
devotedly attentive to his profession. 

The old hunter and trapper has had to suc- 
cumb to the civilization which crowded him 
and the Indians from theirold hunting-grounds; 
but the Doctor says, were it not for his child- 
ren, he would return with the greatest pleasure 
to his beloved frontier life, and the enjoj'ments 
and hardships of the chase. 


In April, 1852, a great excitement pre\'ailed 
throughout the county, occasioned b)' the 
supposed discovery of a white child among the 
Menominees, that they were suspected of hav- 
ing stolen two j-ears prexious. 

The father of the lost child w as Mr. Alvin 




Partridge, who lived on a farm in the Town of 
Vinland, and owned a piece of woodland 
which was situated about five miles from his 
residence. To this place he repaired with his 
family early in the spring, and lived in a camp 
while he was engaged in making maple sugar. 
His little son, Casper, three or four years old, 
wandered away from the camp, and was missed 
immediatel}' after his disappearance, when 
search was made for him; but night came on 
and the child could not be found. The ago- 
nized parents were frantic with grief, and the 
sympathising settlers from far and near, num- 
bering hundreds, turned out and searched 
night and day, scouring the woods in every 
direction; but no trace of him could be discov- 
ered, with the exception of a small piece of 
his dress, which was found near the edge of a 
marsh. What became of the poor little fellow 
is to this day, a matter of conjecture; many 
believing that he wandered off to the Rat 
River marshes, which were partly frozen and 
got into some deep hole of mud and water. 

Two years after this sad occurrence, the 
bereaved parents were informed that a Menom- 
inee woman, named Nah-Kom, was in posses- 
sion of a child that was suspected to be the 
lost one. Mr. Partridge at once went to see 
Nah-Kom, who very kindly consented to go 
with her little boy to see Mrs. Partridge, and 
remained at Partridge's house over night. It 
became very evident to Mrs. Partridge that 
the child was not hers, as she failed to 
recognize any resemblance, and the boy 
showed no signs of remembering any of the 
things about the house, that the lost child was 
so familiar with; so Nah-Kom was suffered to 
depart with her child, who was a half-breed, 
and bore some resemblance to a white child, 
which was all the reason for the suspicion that 
it had been stolen. 

Although the parents of the lost child, and 
especially the mother, were convinced at first 
that the boy with Nah-Kom was not their 
child, they seem to have been afterwards per- 
suaded through the persistent efforts of friends, 
to take legal measures for the recovery of the 
child. Therefore, Mr. Partridge's brother, 
who was most persistent in the matter, took 
out the necessar}' papers, and accompanied by 
a deputy sheriff of Winnebago County, 
Kendrick Kimball, went to Nah-Kom's camp, 
which was then in the western part of Wau- 
shara County, and demanded the boy, who 
was to remain in the custody of the officer till 
the court determined the case. The Indians 
at once complied with the demands of the law, 
although poor Nah-Kom cried until she found 
she could accompany the child. Although the 

Menominees had been invariably kind to the 
whites, and had in many instances saved many 
white families from perishing with hunger; 
still, the sheriff found eight or ten teams 
loaded with armed men, which shows how 
easy it is to create an unjust hostility toward 
the poor Indian. 

Mr. Kimball, however, took no one with 
him but the parties immediately concerned, 
and found no difficulty with the Indians. He 
brought Nah-Kom with her little boy, and 
another Menominee woman for company for 
her, to Oshkosh, and kept the boy at his house 
over two weeks. 

The trial was before Court Commissioner 
Buttrick, and was attended b}- an immense 
concourse of people. 

Those who were familiar with Indians, on 
seeing Nah-Kom and the child, had not the 
least doubt that the child was hers, and that it 
was a half-breed. The most conclusive evi- 
dence was given in favor of Nah-Kom's claim 
to be the mother of the boy; among other, 
that of a most estimable lady, Mrs. Dousman, 
of Keshena, who was cognizant of the child's 
baptism, and had seen him frequently from 
babyhood to the time of the trial. The interper- 
ter and traders, and the chief, Oshkosh, also 
testified to a personal knowledge of the child 
from the time of its birth. 

After hearing all the evidence in the case 
the court allowed- Mr. Partridge to keep the 
child in his family, pending the decision. 
After duly considering the case, the court 
decided in favor of the claim of Nah-Kom, 
and the sheriff, with an order, started for the 
boy. Arriving at Partridge's house, the sheriff 
was told that if the boy went, Mr. Partridge 
must go too, and he was requested to wait till 
a team could be harnessed. The sheriff con- 
sented, but before the team was harnessed, 
some twenty men assembled and informed the 
sheriff that he could not have the boy. The 
child was then spirited away; but the Indian 
agent took measures by which the Menom- 
inees recovered him. The Partridges 
then instituted another trial before Judge 
Smith in Milwaukee. The court again decided 
in favor of the Indians, but that the child 
should remain in the hands of the sheriff for 
two days, to give the Partridges time to com- 
mence new proceedings, if the\' desired; but 
instead of taking legal measures to obtain him, 
they managed in some way to get possession 
of him and ran him off. This is what the 
Indians call white man's justice, and is to the 
certain knowledge of the writer, about a fair 
sample of the general treatment thej' have 
received at the hands of the whites. 




The father and the mother of the lost child, 
if left to their own judgment, would not have 
made any effort to get the boy, believing it 
was not theirs; but the over-officiousness of 
irresponsible parties, worked up their feelings 
to a high pitch, which were intensified by the 
painful uncertainty ot the fate of their lost one. 
The bereaved parents were to be pitied, and 
so was the poor Indian mother, so unjustly 
bereft of her child. 

The Partridges fled to Kansas with the boy, 
where he grew to manhood in their family, and 
served as a soldier in the late war. 

The skeleton of a four or five year old child 
was afterwards found on a marsh, not far from 
the site of the Partridge sugar-camp. 

The head men of the Menominees were in 
Milwaukee in attendance at the trial, and when 
the child was thus unlawfully taken away, they 
went to the Scntir/c/ office, accompanied by 
William Johnson, the interpreter. Captain 
William Powell, and Robert Grignon, to tell 
the world, through the medium of the press, of 
the wrong that had been done them. Their 
request was readily granted, when Oshkosh 
spoke as follows: 

"We have called upon you, and have shaken 
hands with you with a good heart. We have 
come to ask your aid We want you to pub- 
lish what we say. You see that I am grow- 
ing gray. I am an old man. I have seen 
many years. I was quite a young man when 
the Americans came to my place at Green 
Bay. It was in \?>\C They shook hands 
with us, and told us they had come to live 
among us, and make us happy, and that if we 
followed their counsel, we should have no 
trouble. At a council we held, in 1827. at 
Little Buttes des Morts, General Cass told us 
the same thing — that the Americans were our 
friends, and if we followed their advice we 
should always be happy. Again, in 1836, at 
Cedar Point, we met Governor Dodge, who 
came from the General Government to treat 
with us, and told us that whatever he prom- 
ised, our Great P'ather, the President, would 
perform. Our Great Father, he said, was very 
glad that we had submitted to his wishes, and 
made a treaty to cede a part of our lands. And 
he promised that our Great Father, the Pres- 
ident, would always protect us like his own 
children, and would always hold our hands in 
his. Governor Dodge told us that our Great 
Father was very strong, and owned all the 
country, and that no one would dare to trouble 
us, or do us wrong, as he would protect us. 
He told us, too, that whenever we got into 
difficulty or anything happened we did not like, 
to call upon our Great I""ather, and he would 

have justice done. And now we come to you 
to remind our Great Father, through your 
paper, of his promise, and ask him to fulfill it. 
We alwaj's thought much of Governor Dodge, 
as an honest man, and we thought more of 
him when he came to us on the part of the 
Government. We believed all that he told us. 
We have done what we agreed to do. We 
have been always friendly with the whites, and 
have taken up arms for them against our 
Indian brothers. If any of our young men 
were foolish, the chiefs were the first to rebuke 
them, and to give them advice. We have 
respected our white neighbors, and now we 
want their help. It was at the paj'ment, at 
Lake Pauwaygan (Poygan), made by Colonel 
Jones, that this boy was born. I then lixed 
on the Wisconsin River, and was notified to 
come to the payment with my tribe. The roll 
had all been made up, and the payment was to 
be made the next day. During the night this 
boy was born. I was told of it in the morn- 
ing, and asked Colonel Jones to put his name 
on the roll. The Colonel said this could not 
be, but if the chiefs were willing, the child 
should have his share. They were all willing; 
the boy's share was given to me, and I gave it 
to his mother. It was this same child — the 
same one now taken from us. And now we 
want your help to get back the child. We still 
hope to find him. We cannot give him up. 
We want you to satisfy the public that the 
child is ours. We hoped to take him home 
with us this time. We came from a great dis- 
tance. Once before the child was carried off 
by force, after the law had decided in our 
favor, and now he is again carried away. We 
are grieved and disappointed. This is why we 
ask your help. " 


Mr. Rich migrated from Lewis County, New 
\"ork, to this county in October, 1845, and 
entered the lands now comprised in his pres- 
ent farm. At that time the county was a 
wilderness, with onl)- three or four log-houses 
between Oshkosh and Neenali. 

Mr. Rich in his migrations landed at She- ' 
boygan, and started on foot for Winnebago 
County. After reaching Ceresco he took the 
Indian trail which passed around the head of 
Rush Lake for Stanley's Ferry (now Oshkosh), 
and arrived at the river shore at dark, when he 
was ferried over and put up at Stanley's tav^. 
ern, on the present site of the Gang Mill. This 
tavern, with Amos Dodge's little Indian trad- 
ing post and a few log-houses, constituted the 
Oshkosh of that day. 

About two hundred Indians were encamped 




on the river shores near the ferry; and just 
after Mr. Rich's arrival Mr. Stanley came into 
the house with a pail of water and remarked 
to his family, "Charley Carron pushed me 
as I passed him, " when a woman said: 
"Stanley! You have got to kill that Indian, 
and you may as well do it now as any time. " 

In a little while Stanley, who had again went 
out, came back to the house and saidthat Car- 
ron had struck at Dodge with a knife, and 
that the knife had entered a plug of tobacco in 
the pocket of the latter. 

Mr. Rich now witnessed the scene that fol- 
lowed. Dodge picked up a handspike and 
struck Carron a blow with it that felled him, 
and then followed up the blow by giving Car- 
ron a terrible mauling. In the melee another 
Indian was accidentally struck by Dodge, 
which occasioned considerable feeling among 
the Indians who thought it had been done pur- 
posely. The only whites on the scene were 
the Stanleys, Amos Dodge, Charley Wescott, 
C. L. Rich and two other travellers. The row 
was kept up until midnight, when the Indians 
got Carrovv back to his camp and quiet pre- 

In the morning Carron came into the house 
and took breakfast with them, and friendly 
feelings prevailed between the formerly bellig- 
erent parties. The fumes of the whiskey had 
passed off, and Carrow, for the time being, 
was a sadder but wiser man. The principal 
dish on the breakfast table was muskrat stew, 
and this was the first time Mr. Rich had ever 
tested its excellency. 

After a general exploration of the country, 
he selected his present location and entered 
and paid for the same. Sometimes parties of 
Indians would camp on his place, and at first 
he was a little apprehensive. During the next 
year (1846), an immense immigration poured 
into this county and log-cabins sprang up in 
every direction; breaking and splitting rails 
was pushed with great vigor, and the work of 
improvement continued, until Winnebago 
County presented an expanse of cultivated 

In 1S46 Mr. Whittemore, one of Mr. Rich's 
neighbors sowed two hundred acres of winter 
wheat, and harvested a splendid crop, thirty 
bushels per .".ere of the finest quality of grain. 
Mr. Rich w as also successful in raising winter 
wheat. The herds of Indian ponies, which, at 
that time, were running at large, sometimes 
grazed it too close, but the settlers had the use 
of the ponies as a compensation. The best 
quality of w heat sold at the time for fifty cents 
a bushel. 

Mr. Rich's fine farm which he settled on at 

that early day is now in a high state of culti- 
vation. It is situated on Section 35 
of the Town of Oshkosh, and contains 345 acres, 
with spacious barns and outbuildings, one of 
which is one hundred and twenty-five feet by 
forty-five feet, with twenty-four foot posts 
The yield of wheat has averaged twenty bush- 
els per acre In connection with this farm Mr. 
Rich has a stock farm in Outagamie County, 
containing one thousand acres, on which he 
pastures all his young stock and where he keeps 
seventy milch cows, the milk of which is con- 
verted into cheese at the factory on his place. 
The old pioneer seems to have stuck his 
stakes in a good place for him, for he has pros- 
pered financially, physically and socially, hav- 
ing been a representative man of this county 
since his advent. He has been for several 
terms a leading member of the County Board, 
and represented his county in the State Legis- 
lature as senator. 


Compilation of Early Official Data of Winnebago County — i> 
Compiled from the Records and Other Authentic Sources, 
Expressly for this Work, by W. H. Webster — Organiza- 
tion of County — First Election — Proceedings of County 
Board — Elections — first Town Organization Embraces the 
Whole County — County E.xpenses — Locating County 
Seat — First Term of Court — Organization of Towns — 
Erection of County Buildings — Court House, Etc. 

llNNEBAGO COUNTY was first 
set off from Brown County, by act of 
^ the Legislature, January 6th, 1840, 
with following boundaries: North, by 
I the north line of Township 20; east, 
by the line dividing Ranges 17 and 
extending through Lake Winnebago; 
south, by the north line of Township 16, 
extending into the lake, until it intersects the 
aforesaid line, and west by the lines divid- 
ing Ranges 13 and 14 (the same as at 

Nathaniel Perry, Robert Cirignon, and Mor- 
gan L. Martin, were, by the same act, appointed 
Commissioners to locate a seat of justice at 
any point in the county, and to purchase the 
quarter section of land, for the use of the 
County, upon which the same was located. 

We find no record showing that these duties 
were ever performed or any organization per- 
fected or authorized by or under this act; but 
prior to this, by an act approved March 8th, 
1839, a town was organized from Townships 
20 and 21, Ranges 16 and 17, to be called 
Winnebago, the first election to be held at 
Perry's dwelling-house; also, the Town of 




Buttcs des Morts, from Townships iSand 19, 
Ranges 15, 16 and the fractions in 17, the first 
election to be held in the house of Webster 

February 18th, 1842, an act was approved 
organizing the counties of Winnebago and 
Calumet, from and after the first Monday in 
April, 1843; the first election to be held in the 
school-house in Manchester (CalumetCounty), 
the firstMonday in April, 1843, the said coun- 
ties to remain attached to Brown County for 
judicial purposes. The same date, an act 
authorizing Webster Stanley to keep a ferry 
on Section 23, Town 18, Range 16. 

Monday, April 4th, and Tuesday, April 5th, 

1842, an election was held at the house of 
Webster Stanley in the Town of Buttes des 
Morts, without authority of any kind, and 
town officers were elected (for result see Town 
of Oshkosh). This was the first election within 
the county, and, being unauthorized, was legal- 
ized by the Legislature, March 29, 1843. 

By an act of the Legislature, approved 
December6 ,1836, to amend certain acts passed 
by the Legislature of Michigan, dated March 
6th, April 17th and 22nd, 1833 it was pro- 
A vided " That each county within this territory 
now organized, or that may be hereafter organ- 
ized, be, and the same is declared, one town- 
ship for all purposes of raising taxes, and pro- 
viding for defraying the pubHc and necessary 
expenses in tiie respective counties, and to reg- 
ulate highways; and that there shall be elected, 
at the annual town meeting in each county, 
three supervisors, who shall perform, in addi- 
tion to their duties assigned them as a county 
board, the duties heretofore performed by the 
township board. " (The clerk was also to act 
as county and town clerk.) 

An act approved December 20, 1837, pro- 
vides for the organization of a board of county 
commissioners to consist of three qualified 
electors. - 

Act of April I, 1843: "The Town of Buttes 
des Morts, County of Winnebago, shall here- 
after be known as Winnebago, embracing all 
territory within the limits of said county, and 
future elections shall be held at the house of 
Webster Stanley." 


in accordance with the act of 1842, the 
annual town election was held at the house of 
Webster Stanley, the first, Monday, April 4, 

1843, and"on motion, W. C. Isbell was chosen 
moderator, and sworn by W. A. Boyd, clerk." 
The result was the election of Wm. C. Isbell, 
chairman; L. B. Porlier and Chester Ford, 
supervisors, and Geo. F. Wright, clerk, with a 

full set of officers. (See Town of Oshkosh.) 
These supervisors and the clerk subsequently 
performed the duties of the Count)- Board in 
pursuance of the law of December. 6, i 836, and 
April, 1 , 1843, already quoted, and the follow- 
ing is a verbatim copy of the record of pro- 
ceedings at the first meetingas a county board. 


"Board of County Super\isors met at the 
house of Webster Stanlej-, May i, 1843 Pres- 
ent, Wm. C. Isbell, Chairman, and Chester 
Ford, Supervisor; a quorum. Wm. W. Wright, 
County Treasurer, filed his bond, with C. J. 
Coon and Edward E. Brennan as sureties; 
approved. George F. Wright was unanimously 
appointed Clerk of Board of Supervisors. 
The Board adjourned to meet again on Satur- 
day, the sixth instant, at one o'clock P. M." 

May 6, Supervisors met according to 
adjournment. Present: Their honors, Wm. C. 
Isbell, Chairman, and Chester Ford, Super- 
visor. Voted to raise by tax, for county pur- 
poses, fifty dollars. Resolved to adopt this 
seal; device, an eagle holding a snake in iiis 
claws. May 6, 1843, covnty estimates: 

Dickenson §2 25 

"Election, Sept., 1842 7 00 

Election, May, 1843 8 00 

Stationery 25 

Clerk Board Supervisors 2 00 

Election Returns S 00 

September Election, 1843 10 25 

Supervisors' Annual Meeting S 00 

" Special " 10 00 

Clerks, stationery 2 00 

Treasurer I 00 

Total Ss8 75 

SI'KCl.M. Kl.iaTIOXS. 

Ma}- I, 1843, a special election was held for 
sheriff in the district; of Brown County, at the 
same time and place (house of Webster Stan- 
ley), and by the same officers, for judge of 
probate, for the district composed of Winne- 
bago, Calumet, Fond du Lac and Marquette 
counties; also, for justice for the Town of 
Buttes des Morts; Clark Dickenson, Ebenezer 
Childs and Jason Wilkins, received the highest 
number of votes for justices, of which tliere 
were twenty polled, si.xteen for sheritT, and 
twenty-five for judge of probate. 

These election returns are each certified by 
Wm. C. Isbell, chairman, Chester Ford, 
supervisor, G. F. Wright, and Clark Dicken- 1 
son, clerks. 

January 22, 1844, the Legislature passed an 
act, authorizing the voters of Winnebago to 1 
vote at the next town meeting, for and againsti 
being attached to Fond du Lac County, fori 

[ 1 844-47 ■ 



judicial purposes; and on the twenty-sixth of 
the same month, to vote at the general elec- 
tion, on the fourth Monday in September, 
next, for and against State Government. 


At the annual town election held at the 
house of Webster Stanley, April 2, 1844, 
for the Town of Winnebago, under act of 
April I, 1843, Harrison Reed was elected 
Chairman; Wm. C. Isbell and C. R. Luce, 
Supervisors; Chester Ford, Jason Wilkins and 
George F. Wright, Justices. 

The highest number of votes cast for these 
officers was twenty-three. F"or being attached 
to Fond du Lac County, twenty-five votes; for 
remaining attached to Brown County, five 

The first county election was held the fourth 
Monday in September, 1844, resulting in the 
election'of W. C. Isbell, Register of Deeds; 
George F. Wright, Clerk of the Board of 
Supervisors; Wm. W. Wright, Treasurer; Ira 
F. Aiken, Cororier ; Samuel L. Brooks, Dis- 
trict Attorney. Highest number of votes 
polled was nineteen. For State government, 
four; against, nineteen. 

Representatives and members of the coun- 
cil were also voted for; also judge of probate, 
of which T. J. Townsend received twenty, and 
R. ¥. Eaton two. A sheriff" was also voted 

October 1, 1844, the County Treasurer 
made the following (%'crbatini) report: 
To the Board of Supervisors of Winnebago 

County, Wisconsin Territory: 

The undersigned submit the following 
report of the state of the treasury, for the cur- 
rent year. There has been received into the 
treasury, of 

H. A. Gallup, colleciorof taxe^^ $36 75 

J. L. Mead i 60 

J. L. Mead 30 

W. C. Isbell and G. F. Wright i 99 

Emmett Coon I 84 

2 50 


G. F. bright 

J. L. Mead 3 55 

C. J. Coon 116 

Making 549 76 

To costs on lands sold to county, on thirteen 

tracts S 3 80 

Two per cent, commission, for receiving and 

paying out moneys I oo 

One quire writing paper 25 

Orders redeemed 44 71 

Total ^49 76 

All of which is respectfully submitted, 

William W. Wright, 

April 21, 1844, report of County Treasurer, 

of lands sold for ta.xes of 1843: twenty-eight 
descriptions sold; amount of tax, $25.47; 
costs, $7.97; total, $33.44. 


February 22, 1845, an act was i)assed pro- 
viding for the election of three commissioners, 
to locate the seat of justice in Winnebago 

At the annual town meeting, April, 1845, 
Clark Dickenson and Robert Grignon, were 
elected such commissioners. H. Reed and 
Joseph Jackson receiving an equal number of 
votes, a special election was held April 24th, 
when Harrison Reed was elected. 

July i6th, the Board met at the house of 
Webster Stanley. Robert Grignon presented 
a proposition from Augustine Grignon, for 
locating the county seat at Big Buttes des 
Morts. Clark Dickenson presented a like 
proposition from Chester Ford, for locating 
near the mouth of the river; and Harrison 
Reed a verbal oft"er for a location on Section 
27, Town 20, Range 17, near Winnebago 
Rapids. Board adjourned to July 3 ist. 

July 31, 1845, Board met, pursuant to 
adjournment, and located seat of justice on 
land off'ered by Augustine Grignon, according 
to the survey of the County Surveyor, viz: 
Three hundred feet square in Section 24, 
Town 19, Range 16 (Buttes des Morts). This 
land was deeded by Mr. Grignon to the county 
October, 1845. 


In 1846, settlements were made in various 
parts of the county, and February 11, 1847, 
the Legislature set off" and organized four 
additional towns, viz: Buttes des Morts, (see 
Omro), Brighton (see Nekimi, Neenah and 
Rushford); also organized Winnebago (see 
Oshkosh). For the territory and particulars 
of organization of these towns, the reader 
is referred to their history, by the names just 


February 8, 1847, three days prior to this 
last act, was passed an act fully organizing 
Winnebago County for judicial purposes, 
from and after Jannary i, 1848, the county 
seat to be located on Section 24, Town 18, 
Range 16, for the next three years; provided, 
the proprietors of said town shall furnish suit- 
able buildings for holding court, free of cost 
to the county; and after the expiration of that 
time the voters of the county may vote on the 
question of raising a tax for the erection of 
county buildings. 

March 13, 1847, L- M. Miller and Edward 




Eastman made a proposition to donate land 
for the buildings. 

The Board of Supervisors examined the land 
offered, but considered it inexpedient to locate 
the county seat at that time. 

March 24, 1847, proposals were offered by 
Miller & Wolcott, by Wm. W. Wright, andby 
Joseph Jackson. After due deliberation the 
board accepted the proposition of L. M. Mil- 
ler and S. A. Wolcott, and located the pres- 
ent site. 

April 2, 1847, L. M. Miller, Samuel H. 
I^"arnsworth and Sewell A. Wolcott, proprie- 
tors of the plat of the first addition to the vil- 
lage of Oshkosh, presented a deed of ten lots 
in block 19 of said addition, which was accepted 


January 12, 1848, Judge A. G. Miller of the 
Third Judicial district of the Territory of Wis- 
consin, issued an order for holding a term of 
court for Winnebago County, in pursuance of 
the act of February 8, 1847, on the second 
Thursday of May next at eleven o'clock in the 
forenoon, to which time all writs are return- 

March 28, 1848, Edward Eastman, having 
been appointed clerk of said court, was, by the 
County Board, directed to furnish suitable 
rooms for the convening of the term of court 
on the second Thursday of May. 

On the second Thursday, Maj' 11, 1848, 
the following grand jurors reported: Asahel 
B. Foster, Thomas Palfrey, Lloyd Chaffee, 
Commodore C. Stickles, Wm. M. Frost, 
Thomas Kimball, George W. Giddings, Albert 
Pride, Edwin B. Fisk, David Evans, Joseph 
Jackson, Lucius B. Townsend, Henry C. Finch, 
Luke B. Brien, James M. Gerlick, James 
Ladd, Samuel Mitchell, Chester P. Gallup, 
Nathan Ripley, David Chamberlain, Clark 

Judge Miller not being present, the clerk 
adjourned to the twelfth, when the jury were 

On the seventh of August a special election 
for circuit judge was held, at which Alexander 
W. Stowe was elected, and "October i6th a 
session of the Circuit Court was begun and 
held at the school-house in the Village of Osh- 
kosh. Present, A. W. Stowe, Chief Justice; 
N. P. Tuttle, Sheriff; Edward Eastman, clerk 
of the late District Court. " The following per- 
sons appeared and were sworn as grandjurors: 
Benjamin Strong, Theodore Pillsbury, Samuel 
Clough, Barna Haskell, Henry C. Finch, Irvin 
(Erwin) Heath, Luther M. Parsons, Josiah 
Woodworth, J. L. Schooley, John Monroe, 
A. H. Green, James Woodruff, Eli Stilson, 

William Luckey, David Chamberlain, W. N 
Moulthrop and John Nelson. 

Under the act of February 8, 1847, before 
m.entioned, the first court-house was erected 
by a subscription of the citizens, and so far 
completed that aterm of court convened therein 
April 9, 1849. This building was erected on 
the present court-house square. 


The towns of Utica and Winneconne were 
set off and organized by act of the Legislature, 
March 11, 1848. (See Uticaand Winneconne.) 

August 28, 1847, an act of the Legislature 
was approved, authorizing county boards to 
set off, organize and change the name of towns. 

By an act of March 15, 1849, the name of 
the town of Buttes des Morts was changed to 
Bloomingdale; and the Town of Vinland set 
off and organized. (See Vinland.) On the 
twenty-first of the same month an act was 
approved setting off and organizing the Town 
of Clayton, and on March 22, re-organizing 
the towns of Winnebago and Brighton. 

November 7, 1849, the Town of Nepeuskun 
was set off from Rushford, (see Nepeuskun) 
and organized by the County Board in pur- 
suance of the act of August 28, 1848; and on 
the same day a resolution was passed by the 
Count)' Board, appropriating three hundred 
dollars from the county treasury for buildingj 
a jail; provided, the people of the Town of 
Winnebago shall raise two hundred dolla 
for the same purpose; said jail to be built 
of oak timber, the walls and floor to be 
twelve inches thick, fourteen feet wide bj 
twenty-eight feet long, and not less than ter| 
feet between joists. It was voted that Alber 
G. Lull be employed to superintend the build 
ing of the jail, and instructed to let the con 
tract to the lowest bidder. The contract wa 
let to Kendrick Kimball, and the jail com 
pleted and accepted Februarys, 1850. 

The Town of Algoma was setoffanjd organ 
ized by authority of the County Board, Febru 
ary 5, 1850 (see Algoma), and the same date 
by the same authority, the name of Brighto 
was changed to Nekimi. On the fourteenth c 
November of same year the Town of Blac 
Wolf was also set off from Nekimi and orgar 
ized by the County Board. 


April 2, 1850, at an election held in Winnt 
bago County, for and against the removal c 
the county seat to Buttes des Morts, there we 
472 votes for removal and 690 against; th 
towns of Algoma, Utica and Neenah not mat 
ing returns to the Clerk. 





On the 8th of March, 1849, the boundaries 
of the county were largely extended by the 
addition of a number of townships acquired by 
the United States at the treaty with the 
Menominee Indians, October 18, 1848, and 
known at the time as the "Indian Land " This 
tract was subsequently set off to other counties 
at various times, until March 28, 1856, when 
eight townships were attached to Shawano 
county, and the remainder to Oconto county; 
again reducing the county to its present 

November 4, 185 i , the counties of Winne- 
bago and Waupaca elected an assemblyman, 
Winnebago casting 1,563 votes, and Waupaca 

November 11, 1851, the town of Winchester 
was organized by the County Board. (See 

December 30, same year, the County Clerk 
was order to quit-claim to August Grignon 
the land heretofore conveyed to the county for 
seat of justice. 

Winnebago and Waupaca counties jointly 
elected a county judge. May 29, 1852. 

November 11, 1852, the Town of Poygan 
was organized by the County Board. 


In 1853, the subject of erecting county 
buildings was agitated, and a petition was pre- 
sented to the County Board to that end. A 
committee was appointed, November 19th, to 
consider the matter and report. This commit- 
tee reported December 15, that they had 
examined several sites, but recommend the 
present one, and the erection of a fire- 
proof building for county offices, twenty- 
four by thirty-four feet, and fifteen feet 
high, with three rooms, one for the Reg- 
ister, one for Clerk of the Court and 
Sheriff, and one for Clerk of the Board 
of Supervisors and Treasurer. They also 
reported against undertaking to build a 
court house and jail, until the Legislature of 
the State should pass an act authorizing the 
county to issue bonds for that purpose. This 
report was adopted, and Eli Stilson, Joseph 
H. Osborn and Seth Wyman were appointed 
a committee to let and superintend the erect- 
ing of the fire-proof offices. The contract was 
let to Markham and Dexter, who completed 
the low brick building, in the northwest cor- 
ner of the square, which will be generally 
remembered. The contract was eighteen hun- 
dred and eighty-five dollars; completed in 

The town of Orihula was organized by the 
County Board, January 4, i855i and the name 
subsequently changed to Wolf River. (See 
Town of Wolf River.) 

Two days later, January 6, the Town of 
Menasha was set off from Neenah, and organ- 
ized. (See Town of Menasha.) 

In November, 1856, representations hav- 
ing been made to the Board of Supervisors, 
that no suitable place could be found for hold- 
ing court, Mr. Markham, one of the mem- 
bers, submitted a resolution for the appoint- 
ment of a committee of five, to enquire into 
the expediency of erecting county buildings, 
to procure plans, specifications and estimates; 
and to enquire into, and report as to the proper 
manner of raising funds therefor. This reso- 
lution was adopted November 13, 1856, 
and Messrs. William Markham, Theodore 
Schintz, Andrew Merton, Charles Weisbrod, 
and C. L. Rich were appointed such commit- 
tee. January 15, 1857, the committee recom- 
mended a plan, and the erection of buildings 
this year, provided they do not cost over 
twenty-five hundred dollars.* 

This report being adopted, proposals were 
received, and on the fourth of March following 
a resolution was adopted letting the contract 
to A.V. Parker, the lowest bidder, forthesum 
of $23,975. Nothing further seems to have 
been done towards the final consummation of 
this enterprise, until January 28, 1859, 
when a resolution was adopted by the 
Board of Supervisors, to appoint a committee 
of three to enter into a contract for the erec- 
tion of county buildings, and superintend the 
same, limited to a cost of fifteen thousaijd dol- 
lars. Messrs Eli Stilson, of ' the Oshkosh 
Assembly District, D. K. Pingborn, of the 
North District, and G. Miller, of the South 
District, were appointed, and on the 29th of 
January, a resolution was adopted "that the 
contract with A. V. Parker, in relation to 
county buildings (if any exist, or ever did 
exist) is hereby declared void, and the said 
Parker ishereb)' notified to that effect." 

November 17, 1S59, the committee reported 
"that they had let the contract for building the 
court house and jail for a sum not to exceed 
fifteen thousand dollars, and over twelve thous- 
and if the work was completed." The con- 
tracts were made March 25, 1859, for masonry 
with A. W. Parker; carpentery with Sharpe & 
Fitzgerald; iron work with Moore and Wells. 
A resolution was adopted November 18, 1859, 
to raise twenty-threehundred dollars additional 

*NoTE — This is probably an error in the records; twenty- 
five thousand dollars, no doubt, intended. 




to carry out the original plan. The total cost 

Carpenter and Joiner Work $7,3(>7 37 

Mason Work and Material 9,049 71 

Iron Work 2,065 00 

Incidental Expenses 1,207 5^ 

Total $19,689 60 

The laws relating to county government, 
have, from the first organization of the terri- 
tory, received their full share of attention, and 
scarcely a legislative session has passed during 
that time, without additions, alterations, or 
repeals in some form; often of little or no con- 
sequence, while occasionally the whole system 
has undergone a change. 

The original law, of December 6, 1836, pro- 
vided that there should be but one town in 
each county; that three supervisors should per- 
form the functions of town and county govern- 
ment. In December, 1837, a law was enacted 
for the organization of a county board in 
each county, called a Board of Commissioners, 
to consist of three persons, to be elected at the 
general election. This system of three com- 
missioners seems to have prevailed (with vari- 
ous changes as to powers and duties) until 1 841. 

February 18, of that year, an act was 
approved providing that the chairman of the 
Board of Supervisors of each town shall meet 
at some place within the county, and shall con- 
stitute a county board of supervisors, and 
in cases where there was but one town in the 
county, the supervisors of the town should 
also officiate as county board. 

It was not until 1 847 that Winnebago County 
could boast of more than one town, and to 
that time was consequently governed by three 

By act approved March 8, 1861, that sys- 
tem was abolished, and providing for the elec- 
tion of three supervisors in each county, except 
when there arc three or more assembly dis- 
tricts in the county, when one supcrx'isor shall 
be elected from each assemblj- district, and in 
case of an even nun^ber of districts, a super- 
visor at large. 

Again, March 16, 1870, an act was approved 
repealing the last-mentioned law, reviving and 
reinstating the previous law, authorzing the 
chairman of each town board, and supervis- 
ors from cities, duly authorized, to constitute a 
count}' board. 


State, County and Town Organization — Incorporation of the 
Cities of this County. 

jHE following list shows the political 
subdivisions of the county. To make 
it complete and convenient for refer- 
ence, the date of territorial, state and 
county organizations, with the extin- 
guishment of Indian title to all the land 
in the limits of the county, and the organiza- 
tion of each town, in its regular order, is given. 
This last will be found valuable, as it is the 
only one which gives a full list of the organi- 
zation of the towns in this count}-; the county 
records being defective. 

STATE <)R(;ANIZ.\TI()\. 

Territory of Wisconsin, organized Julv 4, 

State of Wisconsin admitted into the Union 
May 29, 1848. 

Towns ofWiniiebago and Buttes des Morts 
were organized in pursuance of act of Territor- 
ial Legislature, March 8, 1839. 


Winnebago County set off from Brown 
County, by act of Territorial Legislature, 
approved January 6, 1840, and commissioners 
appointed by same act to select a location for 
count}' seat. 

The territor}' now constituting the County 
of Winnebago, the Indian title to which was 
extinguished at various dates and obtained 
by the United States from different sources, 
was acquired and offered for sale in something 
like the following order: 

At a treaty held at Rock Island, February 
'3. I'^SS- the Winnebagoes ceded that portion 
lying east of Lower Fo.x Riverj including 
Doty's Island, being Sections i, 2, 10, 11, i; 
I3i I4> 15. 22, 23, and the fraction of 3, Town 
20, Range 17, which was offered for sale 
August 31, 1835; also, all that portion of 
the county lying south of Fox River, viz: 
Township 17, Ranges 14, 15, 16 and 17; 
Towns i8 and 19, Range 15; and Town 18, 
Ranges 14 and 16, south of the river; offered 
for sale in June and November, 1838. 

September 3, 1836, the Menominees relin- 
quished their claim, at the Cedar Rapids | 
Treaty, to all that portion north of Fox River 
and Lake Winnebago, and east of Wolf River. 
In April, 1840, a portion of this (the greateq 
portion) was placed in market, viz: Town-j 
ship 18, Range 17; Township 19, Ranges 16^ 
and 17; and so much of Township 18, Range 
16, Township 19, Range 15, and Township 20, 




Range 14, as lay within the prescribed limits; 
also, Town 20, Range 15 and 16, 

October 2, 1843, all that portion of Town- 
ship 20, Range 17, not before offered for 
sale or reserved (Winnebago Rapids Reserva- 
tion, see City of Neenah), was offered for sale 
for two weeks, and all that was not sold at 
that time was withdrawn from market. 

January 12, 1846, all lands in Township 20, 
Range 17, previously offered (August 31, 
183s, and October 2, 1843), and not sold were 
now offered at private entry; the sale of 1835 
being an auction sale, to the highest bidder. 

October 18, 1848, the Government obtained 
the title to all lands belonging to the Menom- 
inees within the State, and included Town- 
ship 18, Range 14, north ofFox River; Town- 
ship 19, Range 15, north of the Fox and west 
of the Wolf Rivers; Township 20, Range 14, 
west of Wolf River, and Township 19, Range 
14, previously known as the Indian lands, and 
which was offered for sale in November, 

The earliest dates that titles could be 
obtained and the consequent inducements to 
settlers, is thus indicated. 


Town of Winnebago, by act of April I, 
1843, is made to include all the territory in the 

, Oshkosh — Originally organized as the 
Town of Winnebago, and reorganized as Town 
of Winnebago in pursuance of act of Legisla- 
ture, February II, 1847. The first election 
held in pursuance of act of reorganization, 
was on April 6, 1847. November lo, 1852, by 
order of the County Board, the name of the 
Town of Winnebago was changed to Oshkosh. 
By resolution of the County Board, dated 
July 8, 1856, all that part of Township 19, 
Ranges 16 and 17, lying south of the south 
line of Sections 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 and 24, was 
taken from the Town of Vinland, and attached 
to the Town of Oshkosh, establishing the 
boundaries of the latter as they now exist, 
except such changes as have resulted from the 
various limits assigned to the city. 

Neenah — This town was organized in pur- 
suance of act of territorial legislature of Febru- 
ary II, 1847. Organic election April 6, 1847. 

Oiiiro — By act of territorial legislature of 
February II, 1847, all ofTownships 18 and 19 
in Range 15, lying south of F"ox River, was set 
off and organized as a separate town called 
Buttes des Morts. This included the present 
Town of Omro. The organic election was 
held April 6, 1847. On March II, 1848, Win- 

neconne was set off, and on March 15, 1849, 
the name of Buttes des Morts was changed to 
Bloomingdale; in 1852 the name of the town 
was again changed to Omro b)' act of the 
County Board. 

Riishford — This town was organized in pur- 
suance of act of territorial legislature of Febru- 
ary II, 1847, comprising, in addition to the pres- 
ent town, the territory now comprised in the 
Towns of Utica and Nepeuskun. The organic 
election was held April 5, 1847. 

Nekinii — This town was organized in pur- 
suance of the act of the Legislature of Febru- 
ary II, 1847, under the name of Brighton, and 
included what is now Black Wolf The organic 
election was held April 5, 1847. In 1850 the 
name was changed from Brighton to Nekimi 
by act of the County Board. 

Utica — The organic election of this town 
was held April 4, 1848, in pursuance of the act 
of the Legislature of March II, 1848. 

Winnccotinc — The organic election of this 
town was held April 4, 1848, in pursuance of 
act of the Legislature of March II, 1848. 

County Boards were authorized to set off, 
organize and change names of towns by virtue of 
act passed by the Legislature August 21, 1848: 

Vinland — Organized by election held April 
3, 1849, in pursuance of act of Legislature 
■approved March 15, 1849. 

Clayton — Organic election held second 
Tuesday in April, 1849, in pursuance of act 
of Legislature passed March 21, 1849. 

Ncpciiskiin — Set off from Rushford by act 
of County Board November 17, 1849. Organic 
election held first Tuesday in April, 1850. 

Algonia — Organized in oursuance of act of 
County Board, Februarys, 1850. Organic 
election April 5, 1850. 

Black Wolf — This town was set off from 
Nekimi by act of County Board, November 14, 
1850. Organic election, April, 1851. 

Winchester — This town was organized in 
pursuance of act of County Board of Novem- 
ber II, 1851. Organic election April 6, 1852. 

Poygan — This town was organized by act 
of County Board, November II, 1852. Organic 
election April, 5, 1853. 

Wolf River — This town was organized 
under the name of Orihula in pursuance of act 
of County Board of January 4, 1855. Organic 
election April 3, 1855. The name was changed 
to Wolf River by act of County Board, July 6, 

Meuasha — This town was set off from Nee- 
nah by act of the County Board January 6, 
1855. The organic election was held April 3, 





County seat located at Oshkosh by act of the 
Legislature of February 8, 1847, which act 
also organized the county for judicial purposes. 

Term of Circuit Court held in the school- 
house in the village of Oshkosh, commencing 
October 16, 1848. 

Court house built and term of court held 
therein April 9, 1849. Present court house 
built in 1859. 


The City of Oshkosh was incorporated 1853; 
City of Neenah incorporated 1873; City of 
Menasha incorporated 1874. 


List of County Officers and County Supervisors from the Date 
of Organization to 1879. 

IhE first sheriff was N. P, Tuttle, 
elected September 6, 1847; succeeded 
byM. N. Moulthrop, elected in Novem- 
ber, 1848; A. B.Cooley, in November, 
1850; A. F. David, in 1852; John P. 

Gallup, in 1854; Jeremiah Hunt, in 1856; 

Josiah Woodworth, 1858; C. R. Hanjlin, i860; 

Erwin Heath, 1862; A. J. White, 1864; A. B. 

Smith, 1866; J. S. Cavert, 1868; Josiah Wood-. 

worth, 1870; O. P. White, 1872; Eberfeezer 

Stevens, 1874; W, D. Harshaw, i87(^; Frank 

Morgan, 1878. 

Edward Eastman was appointed by Judge 
A. G. Miller, January 12, 1848, and was fol- 
lowed by Dudley C. Blodgett, who was 
appointed by Judge A. W. Stowe, October 
16, 1848. E. R. Baldwin was elected to the 
office at the general election, November, 1848; 
re-elected 1850 and 1852; Charles A. Weis- 
brod, in 1854; Jedediah H. Smalley, 1856; 
George Gary, in 1857 and 1858; W. G. Rich, 
in i860 and 1862; H. B. Harshaw in 1864, 
retaining the position by successive elections, 
every two years, until his resignation, January 
I, 1878, when T. D. Grimmer was appointed 
to the vacancy, and elected in 1878. 


A. A. Austin was first elected November 7, 
1848; Jedediah Brown, September 3, 1849, 
and May 6, 1850; Edwin Wheeler, May 29, 
1852; Dudley C. Blodgett, September 3, 1853; 
Alexander P. Hodges, April, 1857 and 1868; 

In November, 1868 Mr. Hodges was elected 
State Prison Commissioner, when G. W. Wash- 
burn was appointed to fill the xacancy until 

1865 (the term of County Judge being four 
years), but on the fifth of April, 1864, Judge 
Washburn was elected Judge of the Tenth 
Judicial Circuit, and J. B. Hamilton was 
appointed to succeed him. In the meantime 
it was claimed that A. P. Hodges, having 
resigned in 1868, a new election should be 
held in April, 1862, and in accordance with 
that belief of a few, Earl P. Finch and J. A. 
Bryan became candidates for the office. There 
were but few votes polled, of which E. P. Finch 
received the majority, but never qualified. J. 
B. Hamilton was elected in April 1864, for a 
full term; George Gary in 1869-73-77. 

An act of the Legislature approved April 2, 
i860, constituted this a court of record equal in 
jurisdiction with the Circuit Court in all civil 
actions for all sums not exceeding $500. 

The first District Attorney was J. J. Bar- 
wick, elected November, 1848; J. B. Hamil- 
ton in 1850, Elbridge Smith in 1852, Edwin 
Wheeler in 1854, A A.Austin in 1856-58-60, 
H. B. Jackson in 1861, A. A. Austin in 
1864, H. B. Jackson in 1866, A. A. Austin 
in 1868-70, G. W. Burnell in 1872, A. A. 
Austin in 1874, G. W. Burnellin 1876-78. 


George F. Wright was elected in 1843 ^"<^ 
retained the office until 1848, inclusive; Silas 
M. White elected November 7, 1848, entered 
upon the duties January 8, 1849; William Den- 
nison was elected in November, 1849, E. A. 
Rowley in November, 1850, J. H. Osborne in 
1853-54, Wm. M. Greenwood in 1856-58, 
A. H. Read in 1860-62-64, O. F. Cha?e in 
1866, and has continued to officiate since that 


Clark Dickenson performed the duties of 
Register in 1843, although we find no record 
of election; Wm. C. Isbell was elected in Sep- 
tember, 1844; S. L. Brooks in September, 
1845, and September, 1846; Henry Dickenson- 
in 1847, but died before the expiration of his 
term and his brother, Clark Dickenson, was 
appointed to the vacancy, elected in 1848 and 
'50; E. A. Rowley in 1852 and 1854, Edgai 
Cronkhite in 1856; James H. Foster in 1858 
and i860, Andrew Merton in 1862 and 1864; 
Robert McCurdy in 1866, 1868, 1870; WiUianc 
Gudden in 1872 and 1874; Gunder Larsen ii 
1876, Carl Kraby in 1878. 


W. W. Wright was the first County Treas 

urer, elected in 1843, and again in 1844, sue 

ceeded by Chester Ford, elected in 1845 




Edward West in 1846, Conrad J. Coonin 1847, 
F. F. Hamilton in 1848 and 1849, W, W. Wil- 
cox in 1850, W. P. McAllister in 1858, Jona- 
than Dougherty in 1852 and 1854, butdyingin 
March, 1856, Barna Haskell was appointed, 
and at the election the same fall was elected; 
J. M. Ball, 1858 and i86o,S. N. Bronson, 1862, 
James H. Jones in 1864-66-68, R. D. Tor- 
rey in 1870-72-74, Stephen Bowron in 1876 
and L. W. Hull in 1878. 


1848— ErasmuB D. Hall. 

1819— L J. Townseiid. 

18.50 — Leonard P. ( rary. 

1851 — Edward Eastman, 

1852— Dudley C. Blodgett. 

1853— L M Miller, Oirtis Keed 

1854— Corydon L. Rich,George Gary. 

1856— E S. Welch, George Gary. 

1866 — John Annunson, L. B. Town- 

1857 — Philetus Sawyer, John Annun- 
son, W P Mc AUlBter. 

1868— S. M. Hay,William Duchman, 
W. P McAllister. 

1859— E. P. Eighme, John D. Rush, 
G. W. Beckwith. 

1860— Gabriel Bouck, G. B. Good- 
win, Geo S. baruum 

1861— Philetus Sawyer, t urtis Reed, 
Armine Pickett. 

1862— WiUiam E. Hanson, Michael 
Hogan, David R Bean. 

1863- William E. Hanson, Michael 
Hogan, Emory F. Davis. 

1864 — Richard C Russell, . I eremiah 
Hunt, George S. Barniun. 

1865 — William A. Knapp, Nathan 
l.obb, William Simmons 

1866— William H. Doe, John Proc- 
tor, William Simmons. 

1867— Henry C. Jewell, John Proc- 
tor, Milo C, Bushnell. 

1868— Luther Buxton, George W 
Trask, Milo C . Bushnell' 

1872— T. D. Grimmer, A W. 

Patten, N. E Beckwith, 

Alson Wood, 
1873--Tom Wall, Thomas McCon- 

nell,Carlton Fo8ter,Alson 

1874— Gabriel Bouck, W. P. Peck- 
ham, » 'arlton Foster, 

Frank Leach. 
1875 — Asa Rogers, N. S. Robinson, 

Leroy S. Uhase, Frank 


1876— Tom Wall, Eric McArthur, 

Leroy S. Chase, Sydney 

A. Schufelt. 
1877- Tom Wall, H. P. Leavens, 

Levi E. Knapp, Sydney 

A. Schufelt. 

1878— James V. Jones, John Potter 

Jr.. L. E. Knapp, Milan 

1879- Milan Ford, Jno. Potter, Jr., 

William Wall, Hiram 

W. Webster. 


185S-4-5— Coles Bashford. 
1866 —John Fitzgerald. 
1857-8 —Edwin Wheeler. 
1859-60 — G. W. Washburne. 

1861 — H. O. Crane, 

1862 — S. M Hay. 
1863-4 —J. B. Hamilton. 
1865-6 -Georges. Barnum 

1867 —George Gary. 

1868 —WiUiam G Rich. 
1869-70 —Ira W . Fisher. 
1871-2 — I ames H . Foster. 
1873-4 —Robert McCurdy . 
1876-6 — WUliam P, Rounds. 
1877-8 — R. D. Torrey. 

1879 -Andrew Haben. 

Note — In the early days of the organization oi the county 
it was attached to Brown or Fond du Lac county for judicial 
purposes, and with Calumet, Fond du Lac and Marquette 
counties, forming a probate district. Under this order of affairs. 
Mason C, Darling of Fond du Lac County was voted for for 
Probate Judge ; in 1843 Seth Reese and John J. Driggs, (prob 
ably from Brown County), for the office of Sheriff at the same 
election. May I, 1843. In 1844 Samuel L. Brooks was a can- 
didate for District Attorney. In 1846 Henry Conklin and 
John Bannister, both of Fond du Lac County, were candidates 
for the office of Probate Judge, and in 1847 Walter H. Weed, 
of Oshkosh, for the same office. These were all voted for in 
this county, but as we have no record from other counties we 
are unable to determine whether they were elected. Under 
the territorial form ofgovernment this county was attached to 
several others in forming senatorial and assembly districts, but 
at the first session of the State Legislature in 1848, Winnebago 
County sent one Member of Assembly. 


Winnnebago County . 

Winnebago , . . 
Butte dee Mortu 

■ Rushf ord 




Winneconne . . . 



Nepeuskun .... 


Black Wolf 

\v. c. Isbell, Chairman 
Chester Ford, Sup'rvs'r 
1 L. B. Porlier, " 

Edward Eastman 

Edward West 

Erasmus D . Hall. 

Cornelius Northrup . . . 
Noah Miles 


Bloomingdale . . 

Black Wolf 





Rushf ord 






let Ward, Oshkosh 

Algoma . . . 
Black Wolf 
Clayton .. 
Meuasha . 
Neenah . . . 
Nekimi . . . 
Oshkosh . . 




Harrison Reed, Ch'm' 
Wm. C. Isbell, Supr'6 
0. R. Luce, " 

G. W. Washburn.. . . 

Edward West 

B. Townsend 
C. Northrup . , , 
Noah Miles 
David H. Nash 
James Fisk , . 


Josiah Woodworth 
G. W. Beckwith... 
Wm. A. Boyd . . . . 
G. W. Giddings . . . 

C. Baruum ... . 
E. B. Ranney . . . 
Geo. Jackson ... . 
J. A. C. Steele 

H. Woodruff ... 
Watson Bowron . . 

A. F. David 

J. Dougherty. . . . 


Elihu Hall 

Henry Schintz, Sr. 
W. M. Stewart .... 
Jeremiah Crowley. 

J. M. BaU 

Robert S.Morth... 

John Joyce 

Corydon L. Rich. . 
W. P. McAllister.. 
Lymau Pomeroy . . 

Poygan James Grays 

Eushford Ih. W. Nicholson 

J. Coon, Chairman 
A. Grignon, Supervisor 

C. W. Gay " 

John P. Gallup 

Nelson OUn 

L. B. Townsend 

C Northrup 
I. S. Clapp. 

D. H. Nash 

Wilham E. Cross 

Geo. W. Giddings 

O. B. Reed 


C. Jewell . . . 
Lewis F. Arnold 
Theo. Schintz . . . 
Benjamin Strong. 

Wm. Elliott 

Ed. F. O'Counell 
M. D. Newell 

D. HaU 

J. H. Woodruff. 
Silas M. AUen . . . 
Eh Stilson . . 

S. A. Gallup . . . 
John Annunson 
Thomas Brogden 
Wm. G. Gumaer . 
Anton Andrea . . . 
Seth Wyman . . . 

Elihu Hall . . . 
D. B. Ford . . . 
J. S. Roblee... 
M. Hogan ... 
a. p. Vining.. 
R. S. Morth . . . 
R. Bennett .... 

Eli Stilson 

N. OUn 

L. Page 

Joseph Jackson Ch'm'n 

Ford Supervisor, 
Wm. C. Isbell, " 

.. Austin 

W. W. Wilcox 

E. D HaU 

I. Boaworth 

Milan Ford 

D. P. Babcock 

• m. E. Cross 

W. M. Stewart 

Watson Bowron 

L. B. Townsend 

E. S . Durfee 

H. C. Wood .. 
W. P. McAllister 
David B. Ford . 

Ira Baird 

L. B. Townsend 
Jeremiah Hunt . . . 
Ebenezer Tibbitts 
Chancey Bromley 
Armine Pickett. 
Wm. H. Scott . 
EU StUson . . . 
Charles Church . , 

J. Annunson 

Orson Case 

E. R. Cotton 

Albert G. LuU 

E. Hubbard 

Josiah Woodworth 

t'harles Rauer 

Benjamin Strong . . 

Phllo Hine 

W. S. Hubbard 

P. RandaU 

Owen Hughes 

Eli StUson 

N. OUn 

Benj. Brickley 

James Craya 

H. W. Nicholson . 


Josiah Woodworth 
W. P. McAUister... 

H. Schintz, Sen 

W. M. Stewart 

L. B. Townsend. . . . 

J. B. HamUton 

Sam'l StancUft 

E. D. HaU 


1. H. Scott 

Eli Stilson 

mes risk 


Michael O'Rieley . . . 

A. B. Smedley 

C. A. Weisbrod 

Ebenezer Hubbard . 

Jeremiah Hunt 

Andrew Merton. . 

C. P. Houghton 

James Sanderson. 

W. Robinson 

John Potter, Jr. . . 

G. P. Vining 

P. RandaU 

Owen Hughes 

Eli StUsou 

H. W. Webster 

W. B. Snyder 

1851 ' 

A. F. David 

John Munroe ...... 

J. A. C. Steele 

E. B. Ranney 

D. Chamberlain 

Armine Pickett. . . . 

Stephen AUen 

G. W. Giddings 

Watson Bowron . . 

D. C. Barnum 

Josiah Woodworth. 
J. W. Crosby 


John S. Smith . . . 
Charles Morgan.. 
W. M. Stewart ... 

O. J. HaU 

G. P. Vining 

H. C. BatteU 

Charles Sweet. . . . 

EU StUson 

H. W. Webster. . . 

W. B. Snyder 

R. B. Barron 

H. W. Nicholson. 









iBt Ward, Oehkosh . . 
2d " " .. 

3d " ** 

4th " 
5th " " 

t'ity of OnhkoBh 

Menasha Village . . . 

Neeeuah Village 

Oraro Village 

Winueconue Village. 


Black Wolf 






OshkoBb _ 








w olf Kiver 

Menasha Village 

Neenah Village 

Omro Village 

W' iuueconue Village . 

iBt Ward, OfihkoBh . . 


3d " " 


Black Wolf 



" Village 


" Village 





** Village 


Kuahford , 



" Village. 


Wolf River 

let Ward, Menasha . 


Black Wolf 





NepeuBkuu '. 



" Village 





Wolf River 



" Village. 

Ist Ward, Menasha . . 
*2d " " .. 

3d " " .. 

George Miller 

Horace Clemens. . . . 

Levi Morton 

James H. Jones 

Wm. Markham. . . 
Chas. A. Weisbrod . 
Lorenzo B. Reed... 
G. W. Washburn. . 
J. F, Mills 


J. C. Wheeler 

Charles Morgan . . . 
W. M. Stewart .... 
John Potter, Jr. . 

Edward Smith 

E. F. Davis 

H.C. Battell 

Eli Stilson 

H, W. W ebster... 

K. B. Barrou 

D. U. Bean 

H. C. Knapp 

Charles Church . . . 

John Scott 

J. Annunsou 

Joseph Hofbergcr 

Charles Doty 

Charles Packard.. 

J. B. Taylor 

A. Mclutyre 

D. L. Libby 

M. Strong 

J. H. Osboru .... 

1. Wagner .... 
H. C.Jewell 

James Caldwell 
Charles Morgan . . 

A. B. Brien 

A E Bates 

Elbridge Smith.... 
O. L. Olmstead. . . . 
A. W. Patten... 

E. F. Davis 

Samuel Atkins . 

Ell Stilson . 

Peter Samphier . . 

E D. Henry. 


A, Matteson 

A. Pickett 

Rufus Robie 

A , J Decker 

E. M. Danforth 

Jesse Scott 

Ira Griffin 

M. Powers 

H. C. Jewell 


I. C. Hubbard 

Charles Morgan 

M. R. Babcock 


Joshua Kurtz 

William Simmons, . 

T. P. Chappel 

Eli Stilson 

G. W. BushneU 

E. D. Henry 

M. O. ReUey 

'I. Trow 

T. A. Lockhart 

J. M. Emmons 

Joseph Hildebrand. . . 

James H. Jones 

J. H. Merrill 

J. D. Rush 

Silas Billiard 

Pliil. Senseubreuner. 

Tyler Phillips 

Ciutis Reed. ......... 

. Hamilton 

H. E. Gustavus 

1857. I 1858. I 1859 . I 1660. 

J. A. Story George MiUer Armine Pickett H. Knapp 

Horace Clemens 'Charles Church J. B. Uussell J. B. Russell. . . 

L- A. Stewart l James Fisk A. V. Dudrey W. G. Caulkiiis 

H. Jones James H. Jones [John Blust 'John Auuuusun 

Vm. Markham 
C. A. Weisbrod. . . 

L. B. Reed 

G. W. Washburn 

J. F.. Mills 

Joseph Jackson.. 

Cu'tis Reed 

J. B. Hamilton. . . 

J. L. Mead J. L- Mead. 

John Fitzgerald ■ W. L. Williamc, 

W. N. Peaelee |0. L. Lane ... 

James Murdock ;G. Arnold 

H. C. Jewell j P. Sawyer 

S. M. Hay ;S. M. Hay 

Curtis Reed J. A. Bryan .... 

D. R. Pangl)orn II. A. Marsh 'D, C. VanOstrand 

W. B. Bray 
Theo. Schiutz. . . 

O. L. Lane 

Sam'l Schaub 

Charles Kohlraauu 

B. S. Henuiug 

J. A. Bryan 

C. Bigelow C. Bigelo 

A. B. Cady, 

J. D. Rush A. Mclntyre 

By an act approved March 8th, 1861, it was provided that Boards of County SupervisorB 
should consist of three Supervisors in each County, except where there are three or more Assem- 
bly Districts in each County, when one Supervisor shall be elected from each Assembly DiBtrict. 
Under this law the following were elect©!: 



Eh StilBou, Ist district; Edward Smith, '2d district; Samuel Stauclift, 3d tlistrict. 


Stephen Bowtou, let district; H. P. Leavens, 2d district; H. W. Webster, 3d district. 

Stephen Bowron, 1st district; H. P. Leavens, 2d district; H. W. Webster, 3d district. 
The law was now changed, the term of office being three years, one member elected aunually. 
H. P. Leavens, elected from the 2d district. 
C. Bromlej', from the 3d district. 
Stephen Bowrou, from the 1st district. 
By an act approved March 16, 1870, the law of March 8th, 1861, was repealed and the Revised 
Statutes of 1858, revised, constituting the chairman of the various Town Boards as Couutj' Board. 


A. G. Cusick 

Chas. Morgan 

E. D. Matteson 

Frederick Schnellen. 

Elbridge Smith 

H. P. Leavens 

J. B. Hamilton 

E. F. Davis 

Samuel Atkins 

Joseph BovvTon 

H. W. Webster 

E. D. Henry 

Michael O'Reiley 

A. Matteson 

Evan L. Jones 

Rufus Robie 

A. J. Decker 

E. M. Danforth . . . 
J. F. Gruenhageu. 

Ira Griffin 

L. M . MiUer 

H. C. PureU 

J. H. 08bo;n . , 

T. C. Little 

Carles Morgan 

C. F. BrowTtt 

A. Fredrickson 

G. P. Viniug 

■"ra- Simmons . . . 


C. L. Rich 

C. H. Marshall , . . 
H. W. Webster... 

s. Mettam 

D. R. Bean 

T. A. Lockhart ... 
J. M. Emmons 

.. Hofberger 

John Annunson . . . 

J. D. Rush 

G. S. Bamum 

R. M. Scott 

Philo Hine 

John Harbeck 

Curtis Reed 

Stephen Bowrou . . 
M. E. Soriey 


A. G. Cusick 

James Sanderson 
M. K. Babcock... 
Fred Schuelleu . . , , 
Elbridge Smith . . . 

D. L. Kimberly. . . . 
J. B. Hamilton.. . . 

E. F. Davis 

Samuel Atkins . , . 
Joseph Bowron . . . 
Peter Samphier . . . 
M. C . Bushnell . . , 

M. O'Reiley 

D R. Bean 

Evan L.Jones. . . . 
C. C. Vosburg . . 
J. H.Merrill 

J. Libby 

M Strong 

Ira Griffin 

CM. Miller 

3. Jewell 

L, E. Knapp 


R. C. Wood 

Charles Morgan. . 

C. F. Brown 

Phillip Verbeck . . 

F. S. TiUlar 

Richard Bennett. 

W. Fridd 

C. L. Rich 

. H. Marshall... 
H. W. Webster.. 

Wm. Tritt 

Alsou Wood 

T, J. Bowles 

RufuB Robie.. .. . 


Jas. H. Jones 

G. W. Trask 

\ Henton .... 

R. M. Scott 

:. Fisher 

John Harbeck .... 

Silas BuUard 

J. B. Hamilton . . . 

;. Gustavns . . 


B. L. Cornish 

James Sanderson . . 

a. Babcock 

O , J. HaU 

Elbridge Smith . . . 
G. P. Viuiug 

Richard Bennett . 
Thos P. Chappell 
Stephen Bowrou . . , 

P. Siraphier 

E. D. Henry 

M. O'Reiley . 

H. H. G. Bradt .. 
Frank Leach 

C. C Vosburg 

. M. Harney 

John B. Russell... 

A. W. Patten 

I. F. Krueger 

D. L. Libby 

C. S Weeton .... 

Ira Griffin 


. t ". Jewell 

. E Kuapp 


C. Whiting 

Charles Morgan 

. Jacob Howard.. . 

P. Verbeck 

F. S. TuUar 

Milan Ford 

J. W. Fridd 

, L. Rich 

M. Beals 

Piatt M. Wright.. 

M. O. Reiley 

Alson Wood 

J . Bowles 

< ^. VoBburg 

J. Hofberger 

. Jas. H. Jones.. .. 

John Scott 

. Rush 

R. M. Scott 

Thos. Mitchell .. 
P. V. Lawson, Jr... 
Henry Fitzgibbon . . 

I. Krueger 

, Geo. Schmith 

. J . W. Cross . . . 
. (has. Rauer . ... 
. M. K. Babcock 
. A. Fredrickson ... 

G. P. Viuing 

. E.F. Davis 

. T. P. Chappell. .. 
. Stephen Bowrou. 
. H. W. Webster... 
. E. D. Henry . . . 
. Thomas Mettam . . . 

. A S. Trow 

. Frank Leach 

. C. O, Vosburg 

. J. H. Merrill 

. J. D Rush 

. J. H. Jones ... . . . 

. Charles Hahu . , . 
. A E. Bates 

Thos. Mitchell 

. L. D. PhiUips... . 

. r. W. Fisher 

. H P. Leavens . . . 

. M. E. Soriey 

. M.J. O'Brien.. .. 

. Orville Beach 

. r S. Weston .... 
. M. Kremer 

L. M. MiUer 

. H. C.Jewell 

. L E . Kuapp 

. Robinson Henry.. 
. Clias. Rauer. .... 

Jacob Howard 

, P. Verbeck 

Geo. Harlow 

. Milan Ford 

, George Slingsby.. 
, Eli Stilson 

J. M. Beals 

, Michael Morris 

Wm. Tritt 

, Alson Wood 

T. J. Bowles 

Anthony Bowers.. 

, Jos. Hofberger 

, Wesly Mott 

J. D. Rush , 

T. S. Wood 

C. P. Northrop. .. 
M. C. Fisher 

, L. C Shepard 

, Silas Bullard 

J. B. Hamilton... 

D. C. VauOstraud. 





Sd Ward, Neeniih 

City of OBhkosh. 

Wm. Hewitt. . . . 
J. W. Tobey. . 


C. S. Westou., 
Ira Griffin 
L. M. MiUer. . . . 
H. C. JeweU.... 
L. E. Knapp . . . 


C. N. Herrick 

Jerome Bailey .... 

O. Beach 

C. S. Weston 

Theo. Daum 

L.M. Miller 

H.C. JeweU 

Montrose Morgan. 


John Roberts 

W. H. Dudry 

a. H. Gile 

F. A. Mueller 

Theo. Daum 

Jas. Glllinghaui . . . 

H. C. JeweU 

Montrose Morgan . 
A, Haben, Mayor. . 


G. H. Albee 

J. Bailey 

G. H. Gile 

H. Morley 

Geo. H. Bucksfaff 

L. M. Miller 

0. Kahler 

A. Gebauer 

S. M. Beckwith, Mayor. 

Jas. W. Brown.... 

E. B. Ranney 

G. H. Gile 

Pat. KeUey 

Geo. H. Buckstaff . 
L. M. MiUer . .. 

M. Prock 

A. Gebauer 

H. B. Dale, Mayor. 


The Period from 185010 i860 — The Cheapness and Abund- 
ance of Building Material Greatly Facilitates the Construc- 
tion of Buildings — Breaking up Land — Fertility of the 
Soil and Large Crops — Prices for Farm Produce — Market 
Report for 1858 — The Big Crop of i860 — Improved 
Methods of Farming — The Cultivation of Tame Grasses — 
County Agricultural Society — Stock Growers' Association 

— The Growth of Native Timber that has Sprung Up Since 
the Settlement of the County — First Effort at Fruit Raising 

— Improvement of Roads. 

iS will be seen by proceeding pages, 
the county was, in 1850, making rapid 
progress in improvement and popula- 
tion. The cheapness of building 
material greatly facilitated the erec- 
tion of comfortable farm buildings, 
and a better class of farm houses began to take 
the place of the primitive log structures. The 
breaking of new lands and fencing in the same, 
was one of the chief occupations of the pioneer 
farmer, and this work went on in every direc- 
tion. The breaking was generally done in the 
months of June and July. 

The land was very productive and abundant 
crops rewarded the labor of the farmer; good 
wheat soil yielding from twenty-five to thirty 
bushels ot spring wheat per acre; large crops 
of corn and oats were also raised. The pre- 
vailing varieties of wheat for some years was the 
Canada Club and Hedgerow. Upto 1858, small 
grain was principally cut with a cradle. Farm 
machinery was gradually introduced until the 
reaper and mower very generally took the place 
of cradle and scythe. 

The price of wheat was from fifty to sixty 
cents per bushel. The market report for April, 
1858, gives the following prices at Oshkosh: 
Wheat, 45cg)52 cents; oats, l8@20 cents; pota- 
toes, i8(ai20; beans, 50(«75 cents; butter, 
l6@20 cents. 

Occasionally an enlarged foreign demand 
raised the price of wheat, but the general price 
price, for some years, was fifty to seventy 

In 1849, the large immigration created a 
demand beyond the supply of home produc- 
tion, and wheat was $l.OO per bushel; flour, 
$4.o6(«j$5.oo; pork, $5.00 per cwt, and beef, 
$4-00; but the large area that was soon 
brought under cultivation, reduced the prices 
of farm products. 


In i860, an immense crop was raised. In 
some instances, ten acre fields yielded fifty 
bushels per acre of number one wheat. Oats 
was also a very lar^e crop. Wheat made such 
a growth that much of it lodged; but even the 
lodged grain gave a good yield. The season 
was a peculiar one; the spring very early, 
and wheat nearly all sown in March. Timely 
rains occurred all through the growing season, 
and the weather was moderately cool, nearly 
up to the time of the ripening of the grain. 

In the earlier years in this country, the tame 
grasses were very generally a failure; herds 
grass killed out badly, and the native grasses 
were the principal resource for hay; but of 
later years, timothy has been more successfully 
raised, and with red clover has become a very 
important crop; red top, too, on the moist 
land, mixed with timothy, now grows 

In the earlier times, wheat formed a much 
larger proportion of the farm products of the 
county, than at the present, and the straw 
accumulated in such large quantities, that the 
practice prevailed of burning it. The more 
provident system of converting it into manure, 
is now practiced, and no farmer is anxious to 
get rid of his straw. A system of mixed farm- 
ing has been gradually introduced, and stock 
raising has been more largely engaged in. 
White and red clover does well and affords 
good pasturage. Wool has become one of the 
staples of the county, and cheesemaking one 
of the leading agricultural industries; cheese 
factories on an extensive scale, are found in 
many of the towns. Those of George Rogers, 
of Oshkosh, and James Pickett, of Utica, arc 
famous for their choice productions. John 
Ryf, of Oshkosh, has a large factory, in which 
Swiss cheese is exclusively made. The pro- 
ducts of thi? factory stand high in the market, 
and there is a good demand for it for foreign 

Hop raising was, a few years ago, largely 
engaged in with expectations of great profit, 
but the supply soon so largely exceeded the 
demand, that prices became ruinously low, 
and occasioned great loss to those engaged in 
its cultivation. 




A County Agricultural Society was formed 
in 1856, and held the first fair in the county on 
the tenth and eleventh of October of that year 
at Oshkosh; and afterwards, fairs were held 
yearly at that place, until the organization of 
the Northern Wisconsin Agricultural and 
Mechanical Association, which took theirplace. 
The exhibitions at these county fairs were highly 
creditable to the county in the fine display of 
fruits, vegetables, grain and live stock. 

A Stock Growers Association was formed, 
which purchased a large tract of land adjoin- 
ing the City of Oshkosh and fitted up the same 
for exhibitions, with a fine mile track for races. 
The grounds are now appropriated to the use 
of the Northern Wisconsin Agricultural and 
Mechanical Association. The raising of blooded 
stock has received much attention, and there 
are several fine herds in the county. 

In the early day, the prairie and openings 
portion of the county was more open even, than 
at present. The annual fires kept down the 
young growth. Since they have been stopped 
a native growth has sprung up on the unculti- 
vated ground, and especially in the towns of 
Utica and Nepeuskun that used to be con- 
sidered prairie towns, large groves of good 
sized trees have grown up within the past 
twenty-five years. The writer has seen many 
places that were but little more than mere cop- 
ses of hazel brush and grubs through which a 
wagon could be driven, that are now covered 
Vv'ith a dense growth of trees which, in many 
instances, have attained a heighth of from thirty 
to forty feet, composed principally of oak and 
poplar with an occasional hickory. The tim- 
ber growsso rapidly thattwenty acres, formerly 
grub land, furnishes a farm with an ample sup- 
ply of fire-wood. 

In the earlier years of the settlement of this 
county the apple trees that were planted were 
generally the old favorite varieties of the East, 
and the method of culture the same as of that 
section. The orchards that were planted very 
generally proved failures, and a belief generally 
prevailed that it was "a poor fruit country," 
and the fact greatly deplored. It was soon 
ascertained by the more observing that the 
richness of the soil occasioning too rank a 
growth, and the bright, clear, dry air causing 
a rapid evaporation, were among the circum- 
stances inimical to the health of the apple tree. 
Persistent in\'cstigation and effort to produce 

slower growing and harder wooded varieties, 
soon discovered kinds better adapted to the 
rich soil and climatic conditions of the North- 
west, and ascertained more judicious methods 
of culture. The consequence^was, thatthecul- 
ture of the apple tree was more successfully 
conducted, and several varieties producing a 
fine quality of fruit have become very popular. 
Before the year i860 a large portion of the 
farms had bearing orchards; many of them 
small, it is true, and in many instances in a 
poor condition, but in the aggregate produc- 
ing quite a large yield of apples and making a 
a very promising show of fine fruit at the 
County Fair. 

Small fruits, from the first, ha\-e been culti- 
vated with the highest success; strawberries, 
currants and especially grapes of the choicest 
quality ha\'e been grown in profusion 


In the early daj' the roads in the timbered 
portions of the county were, in rainy periods, 
almost impassable; and many of the small 
streams had, in the absence of hxidges, to be 
forded; but the roads were rapidly improved, 
streams bridged, and, by the year i860, the 
roads throughout the county were compara- 
tively good. During the last ten years, great 
progress has been made in the improvement of 
roads; and this county can now boast of as 
good roads as can be found in the West. 

Gravel beds are found throughout the 
county at short intervals, which furnish an 
abundance of bank gravel, which has proved 
an e.xccllent material for road-making. This 
has been largely utilized, and in every direc- 
tion is found excellent, hard-surfaced roads, 
extending from one extreme of the county to 
the other. This bank-gravel cements into a 
hard surface, and makes most enduring roads, 
over which it is a great pleasure to drive, and 
view the beautiful lake and river scenery. 


In 1853, Oshkosh had attained sufficient 
size to be incorporated as a city, and in 1855 
had a population of 4,118. Her manufacto- 
ries, in 1856, consisted of fifteen saw, shingle, 
planing mills, and sash and door factories. The 
aggregate of lumber manufactured during the 
year was about thirty million feet. There were 
two grist mills, a machine shop, two plow fac- 
tories, two steam boiler factories, and a large 
number of mechanic shops. 

The village of Neenah, in 1856, had about 
twenty-fi\'e stores, four flouring mills, and 
another in process of construction. Three 
saw mills, a planing mill, sash and door fac- 




tory, barrel factory, machine shop, two furni- 
ture factories. 

The population in 1855 was 1,074. 

The village of Menasha, in 1856 had four 
dry good stores, one hardware store, two 
clothing stores, two drug stores, five grocery 
stores, a tub and pail factory — an extensive 
establishment, three saw mills, two flouring 
mills, three furniture factories, two sash and 
blind factories, a pottery, one turning shop, 
and a number of mechanic shops. The Gov- 
ernment Land Office was in this place. Its 
population was 1,700. 

The village of Omro, in 1856, had nine 
stores, three saw mills, one planing mill, one 
flouring mill, and mechanic shops. 

The village of Winneconne, in 1855, con- 
tained five stores, a saw mill, and several 
mechanic shops. 

The village of Buttes des Morts had two or 
three stores and shops. 

The village of Waukau had, in 1855, three 
country stores, a flouring mill, and several 
mechanic shops; and had a population of five 

In 1856, Eureka had one store, two steam 
mills and mechanic shops. 

In 1855, the population of the county had 
reached 17,439. 


In 1859, May 10, occurred the first great 
fire in Oshkosh, which destroyed almost the 
entire business portion of the city. For the 
particulars of this, see history of Oshkosh 
in this work. 

During the same year the Chicago & North- 
western Railroad reached this county in the 
course of its construction, and the first through 
passenger train arrived at Oshkosh. 

This was an event hailed with much joy, 
and the county now, for the first time, had 
railroad connection, and a new outlet for the 
products of its farms and manufactories. 


War Times — Business Prosperity After the Close of the War — 
Prices of Commodities — Manufactiuing Stimulated by an 
Incieased Demand — The Progress in Improvements in all 
Parts of the County — New Factories and Mills Constructed 
— New Railroad Lines through the County — The Great 
Fire in Oshkosh in 1874 and 1875 — Big Crops in 1875. 

jHE war which broke out between the 
North and the South, in 1861, con- 
p vulsed this county with the excitement 
common to all other sections of the 
On the first call for troops, the count)' 

promptly responded, and companies were 
formed and assigned to various regiments, 
which marched to the scene of action. The first 
company formed in Oshkosh became a part of 
tiie famous Second Wisconsin, which acted so 
distinguished a part in the campaigns of the 
Iron Brigade. 

In 1862 a regiment was in camp here. Its 
quarters were in the old fair ground, and the 
place had a very martial appearance. 

The bodies of armed men passing through 
here, from other points, to the seat of war, the 
new companies forming, the soldiers home 
from time to time on furlough, the return of 
the wounded, and sometimes the remains of 
those who had perished in battle, gave 
evidence of the trying scenes through which 
the country was passing. 

In 1862 the prices of all kinds of commodi- 
ties had advanced fifty per cent., and more, 
and coritinued to advance, until calicoes and 
sheetings, that formerly sold for eight and ten 
cents, brought twenty-five to forty cents. 
Woolen goods doubled in price. Boots that 
used to be sold for five dollars, advanced to 
ten dollars. Groceries, in common with every 
thing else, went up to high figures, and farm 
products also took an upward bound. 

During the first year ot the war, times were 
dull, but after that, improved. Mechanics' 
wages were three dollars a day, and laborers' 
wages two dollars. 

The close of the war ushered in a long 
period of business prosperity. The vast 
expenditures stimulated business; the exten- 
sion of railroad lines opened up new sections 
of country to settlement, and the lumber busi- 
ness received great impetus from foreign and 
local demand. Farm products, of all kinds, 
commanded good prices, and all branches of 
industry flourished. 

The manufactories of Oshkosh, Neenah and 
Menasha, and the villages in the county, were 
in the full tide of prosperity. There was an 
enlarged demand for their products, money 
was plenty, and in rapid circulation; trade 
brisk, and business of all kinds good. 

The progress in improvement, in all local- 
ities, was rapid. New farm buildings and 
barns sprung up in every direction; while in 
the cities and villages, handsome structures 
were erected by the hundreds. At Neenah, 
new mammoth paper and flouring mills were 
constructed. At Menasha new works erected 
and old manufactories enlarged. At Oshkosh, 
new mills were built on an enlarged scale. The 
capacity of sash and door factories increased, 
and new ones were constructed. New 
branches of manufacture were also established. 




and businesss blocks and costly residences 
were rapidly added, increasing the comely 
appearance of the city. 

The Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad 
extended its lines to this county as far as Win- 
neconne, giving the county another railroad 
connection. This gave a great impetus to the 
growth of Omro and Winneconne; and new 
manufacturing establishments sprang up in 
those towns. 

In 1 87 1, the Wisconsin Central completed 
its line to Stevens Point, passing through the 
northern portion of the county, and gave Nee- 
nah and Menasha another railroad outlet. 

In 1 87 1 the Oshkosh & Mississippi Railroad 
was constructed as far as Ripon, and the road 
let to the Milwaukee & St. Paul, which imme- 
diately put on the rolling stock, and thus 
extened its lines to Oshkosh. The first reg- 
ular passenger train from Milwaukee reached 
Oshkosh December 14, 187 1. 

The city of Oshkosh has, this year (1879), 
issued its bonds to the amount of seventy-five 
thousand dollars, in aid of the construction of 
a Northern railroad. This will be one of the 
lines of the Milwaukee, Lake Shore and West- 
ern Railroad, from Milwaukee to Lake Supe- 
rior. It is expected that this road will be com- 
pleted next winter, giving the county another 
direct connection with Lake Superior. 


Among the notable events of the county 
were the great Oshkosh fires of 1874 and 
1875, the particulars of which are given in the 
history of Oshkosh, in this work. 

The fire of July 14, 1874, destroyed all the 
compactly built portion of Main Street above 
the Beckwith House, and, spreading from 
there, burnt nearly every building in its 
course for a distance of more than a mile from 
the point of its origin. 

During this year, between six and sc\cn 
hundred structures were erected in Oshkosh. 

The fire of April 28, 1875, was a still greater 
disaster. This fire destroyed the business 
center of the city, and, spreading from there, 
extended for over half a mile through the Sec- 
ond Ward, burning every thing in its track, 
but the court house and one dwelling, in a 
tract over a quarter of a mile in width. 

This fire was followed by the immediate 
rebuilding of the city. 


The enterprise and vigor which characterized 
the rebuilding of Oshkosh, added to the fame 
of the city, and was a matter of favorable 
comment by the newspapers of the country. 
Oshkosh astonished the outside world by the 

wonderful recuperative force she exhibited. 
Her courage and enterprise under such dis- 
heartening circumstances excited universal 

(From the Oshkosh Norlhwesteru.l 

The year 1875 was a bounteous one to the farmer, and sel- 
dom, if ever, in the history of this section of country, have the 
harvests yielded so plentifully. The spring set in rather later 
than usual, the snow not melting away until the second iif 
May. The excellent summer weather, especially propitious fo"" 
grain and vegetables, quickly repaid with interest the back- 
wardness of the season, and the harvest rounded up with the 
fullest store. The early frosts in August nipped and stinted 
the corn crop, which, however, is of but secondary import- 
ance in this section, and the crop was exceedingly light, and 
almost a failure in some places. Everything else developed 
and yielded to its fullest measure. The wheat and oat crops 
were never better, and reports ai threshing time came in thick 
and fast from every locality, of immense yields, which were 
considered astonishing. It was a common occurrence to find 
wheat turning out thirty to forty bushels to the acre, and in 
some instances fifty bushels to the acre has been claimed. The 
oat, barley and rye crops were proportionately up to the wheat. 

The vegetable crop surpassed anything in the history of the 
country. The exhibition of vegetables at the Northern State 
Fair, held in this city in October, was the the theme of remark 
and wonderment by all who visited it. The crop of potatoes, 
which had been destroyed each season for several years previ. 
ous by the potato bug, came through without a scratch, and 
with an enormous yield. Potato vines that season were entirely 
relieved from the usual pest; where for several years before 
potatoes had sold at an average price of one dollar per bushel, 
the ruling price since the crop of 1875, is thirty cents. 

There was raised in Winnebago county, in 1875, the follow- 
ing cereals, according to the best estimates : 


Wheat 1,500,650 

Oats 600,000 

Corn, poor in quality 400,000 

Barley ... 27,900 

According to the assessment returns of 1S75, 'here was in 
the county of Winnebago the foUowinglive stock. 

Horses 8,119 

Neat Cattle 18,533 

Sheep 36,885 

Swine 6,418 

Mules and Asses 122 


The navigable water courses traversing this 
county, with its beautiful lakes, are one of its 
most attracti\'e features. They also give it 
great commercial advantages, in affording 
steamboat communication with Lake Michigan 
on the one hand, and the Mississippi on the 
other; but above all, the Wolf River, flowing 
from the pineries, affordingthe best of facilities 
for floating their products to this county, has, 
from the beginning, been largely tributary to 





its prosperity. For the last twenty years, 
from one hundred to two hundred miUion feet 
of pine logs, per annum have been got out in 
these pineries, and floated down the Wolf, and 
the great portion of it ma>iufactured at 
that point into lumber, shingles, sash and 
doors. The magnitude of these manufactures 
may be comprehended, when it is stated, that 
the products of the Oshkosh mills and facto- 
ries, have, in some seasons, loaded fifteen 
thousand railroad cars. 

A large force of men have found employ- 
ment in this business. In the fall, supplies are 
first hauled to the camps, and, on the first fall 
of snow, hundreds of men take their departure 
for the woods. In the spring the logs come 
down, and the boom, which is situated about 
twenty miles from Oshkosh, where the logs 
are rafted is a scene of great activity. Here, 
large crowds of men are seen in every direc- 
tion, engaged in sorting and rafting the logs, 
which, when formed into fleets, are towed by 
tugs to Oshkosh, and other points. The stir 
and bustle at Boom Bay, which is a lively 
place in the rafting season, isfurther increased 
by the noisy little steam tugs, coming and 
going, and by the passenger steamers, arriv- 
ing and departing daily. 

Winnebago County, in the value of its man- 
ufactuTCd products, is second on the list of the 
counties of the State. The immense timber 
products of the Wolf pineries, have formed one 
of the staple materials of manufacture. In the 
whole county, there has been for a long series 
of years, about forty odd saw and shingle 
mills — twenty-five to thirty of them in Osh- 
kosh — one running gangs of sixty saws, and 
the others, large establishments, manufacturing 
yearly from i 50,000,000 to 200,000,000 feet 
of logs into lumber and shingles, and aggre- 
gating not far from two million dollars. 


The manufacture of sash, doors and blinds 
is carried on very largely, there being in Osh- 
kosh alone, eight large factories, several of 
them employing seventy to a hundred hands 
each, and with a daily capacity for making 
1,000 doors, 2,000 windows, and 450 pair 
of blinds. They manufacture per annum, 
200,000. doors, and 600,000 windov/s, besides 
a vast amount of blinds, dressed lumber, 
prepared casings, mouldings, etc. 


The vast amount of steam machinery run- 
ning in the county has created a large demand 
for machine work; the manufacture, therefore. 

of steam engines, steam boilers, castings, and 
machinery of various kinds, is large, and car- 
ried on by several extensive establishments. 


The manufacture of flour ranks in import- 
ance next to that of lumber, and is an immense 
production. The fine water power atNeenah, 
makes that point a great flour manufacturing 
center. Here are some of the finest mills in 
the State. There are also large mills at Osh- 
kosh, Menasha, Waukau and Omro. Their 
aggregate productions are estimated to be 
about six hundred thousand barrels per 


The manufacture of print paper is a leading 
industr)'. The mammoth establishments at 
Neenah, averaging a daily production of 
twenty-two thousand pounds. 

The match works of J. L. Clark, of Osh- 
kosh, employ about three hundred and fifty 
hands, and its products amount to about half 
a million dollars per year. 

Webster & Lawson's hub, spoke and bent 
work factory, at Menasha, is another mammoth 
concern, the works covering some ten acres of 
ground. (See history of Menasha.) 

The brick and lime works, of Cook, Brown 
& Co., of Oshkosh, employ a large force, and 
a steamboat and two sail vessels, of their own, 
in the transportation of material. 

The trunk factory, of Schmit Brothers, Osh- 
kosh, is another large concern. 

The tub and pail factory, of Menasha, is 
a large establishment. 

The carriage works, of Parsons, Neville & 
Company, of Oshkosh, is on a large scale, 
employing over a hundred hands. 

Thompson & Hayward's carriage works, of 
Omro, is also a large concern. 

The manufacture of furnitflre, wagons, 
leather, soap, clothing, woolen goods and 
other miscellaneous branches is extensively 
engaged in, and produce, in the aggregate, an 
amount of much value. 


The railroads traversing the county are the 
Chicago & Northwestern, from Chicago to 
Lake Superior. The Milwaukee & St. Paul, 
with two lines, one to Oshkosh, and one to 
Waukau, Omro and Winneconne. The Wis- 
consin Central, from Milwaukee to Lake 
Superior 7'z« Neenah and Menasha. The Mil- 
waukee Lake Shore and Western is now pur- 

*NoTE — For statistics of manufactures of each place in the 
county, see History of Oshkosh, Neenah, Menasha; and the 
other places. 




chasing the right of way for a line from Osh- 
kosh to Hortonviile, which is to be com- 
pleted the present season. 


These are the State Normal School, in Osh- 
kosh, and the Northern Hospital for the 
Insane, an immense structure. (See view of 
same in this book.) 


These are, thecourt house, Exposition build- 
ing of the Northern Agricultural and Mechan- 
ical Association, and the various fine school 
structures, for some of which see views in this 


There are a great many fine church edifices 
in the cities; and in many of the county towns, 
neat, tasty structures of various denomina- 


F. A. Morgan. County Superintendent of 
Schools, appeared before the Board of Super- 
visors, and read and submitted his annual 
report, for 1878, as follows: 

To the Hon. Board of )^u/)eiTisor>: of Wiitnt'biigo Vouiity: 

Gentlemen :— My annual report to the State Superintendent of Pub- 
lic InBtruction, a copy of wliicii is on file with the County Clerk, shows 
the following facts concerning the schools of the county : 







° £ 






A ta 



d S 











Algoraa . . . . 
Black Wolf . 


Menasha . . . 
Neenah . . . 


Nepeuskun . 


Oshkosh* . . . 
Poyean . . . . 
Bnshford .. 



Wolf Kiver . 


i!56| 149 

% 1 


343 179 


509 395 

3B 40 


284 170 


21fi 103 

30 00 


438 309 

32 87 1 


446 '281 

32 58 


1,011 747 

66 96 


262 150 


347 2i)4 

25 Oil 


7181 572 

40 70 


371] 274 

33 00 


405 356 

35 76 


442 256 

40 00 


639 482 

58 50 


373 250 

$23 70 

$ 859 

23 22 


22 87 


22 40 


21 75 


23 62 


25 40 


26 96 


22 67 


19 51 


22 66 


21 17 


25 61 


25 00 


31 78 


23 00 


The total number of children in the county of scliool-age is 7,060, 
LftBt year the number was 7,535, 476 more than this year. The number 
who have attended school is 4,02''. Last year the enrollment was 4,4fi7, 
461 less than this year, showing a decided improvement in attendance. 

The total nimiber of days a school has been tanght is 14,768 against 
13,962 last year, showing an average of nearly two weeks more school for 
each district. 

Of one hundred and one school districts in the coimty, ten have main- 
tained nine months school ; twenty-four have maintained eight months 
school; forty-three have maintained seven months school; sixteen have 

*NoTE — The schools of the City of Oshkosh are not enum- 
erated in this table. The statistics of those are given in the 
history of Oshkosh. 

maintained six months school ; eight have raaintaiued five mouths 
school. No district has maintained lees than five month's school. 

The amount of money raised in the county, outside the cites fo*" 
School purposes 

For the year ending August 31, 1878 ... . . . . $26,390 Oti 

lieceived from income of school fund 3,332 73 

From all other sources 1,576 88 

Amount on hand Augiist 31. 1877 8,351 74 

Total $39,650 41 

The disbiu-sements have been as follows : 

For building and repairing $1,816 09 

Salaries of M ale teachers 9 416 22 

Old Indebtedness 427 95 

All other pun>oae8 3,299 67 

Apparatus and Library 87 45 

Salaries of female teachers 13,932 75 

School fumiiure, registers, etc . . 791 24 

Amount ou hand Aug 31, 1878 9,879 04 


The number of teachers required to teach the schools is one hundred 
and fourteen. During the year one hundred and eighty-four difl'ereut 
persons have been employed. Forty-four districts have not changed 
teachers the second year, 

A majority of coimtry districts do not employ the same teacher the 
second term. Tliis fact tends to keep these schools in a disorganized 
condition. Teachers should be engaged for at least a year, and retained 
for that time unless removed for a good cause. 

I am satisfied, from observation, that the advancement of pupils is 
much more satisfactory in those schools where the teacher is retained as 
long as possible. 


Ten meetings have been held during the year, for the examination of 
teachers, viz : Four in Oshkosh, two in Neenah, two in Winneconne, 
one in Omro, and one in Waukau. 

Three hundred and ten applicants have presented themselves for 
examination. Two hundred and twenty-seven certificates have been 
issued; ten of the first grade, thirteen of the second grade, and two him- 
dred and four ol the third grade. Of this number foriy-five were gen- 
tlemen and two hundred and four ladies. Only thirty teachers holding 
certificates four years ago have received certificates this year, showing 
that in the coui-se of four years there has been an almost entire change 
of teachers, and that a large portion of our teachers have had but Umited 


The institute this year was held at Neenah, beginning August 19, and 
continued two weeks. I believe it was the first ever held in this county 
of more than one week's duration. Nearly one hundred iiersons were 
enrolled as working members. A large porrion were teachers, and the 
remainder persons who were fitting themselves for that occupation. The 
institute was conducted by Prof. A. O. Wright, of Fox Lake, assisted by 
the County Superintendant. A. A. Si)encer, of the Omro High School, 
was present the first week, and conducted exercises. The second week 
Prof. Zimmerraaun, of Milwaukee, conducted two exercises dailj' in 
drawing. Pres. Albee, of the State Normal School and Prof. Wood, of 
the Oshkosh High School, were each present one day, and delivered 
instructive lectures. 

Evening addresses were delivered by State Superintendent Wlutiord 
and Prof. Wright and Zimmermann. The attandance at this institute 
was larger than any that has been held for several years. The interest 
was maintained to the close, and the members expressed themselves as 
satisfied that they had been generally benefitted. 

In conclusion I will say that while the instruction given in most of 
our schools is defective, and the education acquired limited, we have 
reason to congratulate om-selves upon their present efficiency. The 
district school is \vithin reach of every child in the county, and ver>' few 
neglect the opportnnily thus oB'ered of acquiring the rudiments of edu- 

Very respectfully submitted, 

Counfij Supfirinfendeiit of .^chooln* 


Buttcs des Morts, south-east part of Town 
of Winneconne. 

Clemens\^ille, southern part of Town ofVin 

Elo, center of Town of Utica. : 

Eureka, center of Town of Rusliford. 




Fisk's Corners, north-east part of Town of 

Koro, north-west part of Town of 

Menasha, City and Town of Menasha. 

Neenah, City and Town of Neenah. 

Nekimi, Nekimi. 

Nepeuskun, center of Town of Nepeuskun. 

Omro, Omro. 

Orihula, WolfRiver. 

Oshkosh, City of Oshkosh. 

Pickett Station, south-west part of Town of 

Poygan, Poygan. 

Ring, south-east part of Town of Utica. 

Snell Station, south part of Town of 

Vinland, north part of Town of Oshkosh. 

Waukau, south-part of the Town of Rush- 

Winchester, Winchester. 

Winnebago, east part of Town of Oshkosh. 

Winneconne, Winneconne. 

Zoar, south-east part of Town of Wolf 


IS40 135 

1S5O 10,167 

1S55 >7.439 

IS60 23,770 

IS65 29,767 

i'^7o 37.325 

IS75 45.043 


1^548 $ 258,545.07 

1850 874,09325 

1855 962,658 64 

1861 3,681,37300 

1865 3,668,237 00 

1870. 12,356,816.00 

1875 i2;454,287.oo 


Menasha Press, George B. Pratt, Editor. 

Menasha Observer, John C. KUnker, 

Neenah Ganette, H. L. Webster, Editor. 

Neenah City Times, J. N. Stone, Editor. 

Neenah Herald, Frank S. Verbeck, Editor. 

Oshkosh Noi'tlrMestern, Daily and Weekly, 
Allen & Hicks, Editors. 

Oshkosh Times, Fernandez & Glaze, 

Oshkosh Telegraph, Kohlmann Brothers, 

Oshkosh Greenback Standard, Morley & 
Kaime, Editors. 

Oshkosh Early Daivn, M. T. Carhart, 

Omro Journal, P. M. Wright, Editor. 

The following is an Abstract of the Assess- 
ment Rolls of the several towns and cities in 
the county of Winnebago, as returned to the 
County Clerk for the year 1879, under the 
provisions of section i ,066 of the revised 
statutes. Also the average value of each of 
said items: 


Algoma, . . 
Black Wolf, 
Clayton, . , 
Menasha, . . 
Neenah, . . 
Nekimi, . . 
Oshkosh, . . 
Omro, . . . 
Poygan, . . 
Rushford, . 
Utica, . . . 
Vinland,. . 
Wolf River, 
Menasha City 
Neenah City, 
Oshkosh City, 



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This Count)' has had among its residents, 
some who have taken a very distinguished 
part in State and National affairs. 

First on the list is Governor Doty, whose 
residence was on Doty Island, now part of the 
City of Neenah, and a brief sketch of whose 
career is given on Page 105. He took 
a most distinguished part in the public affairs 
of the Northwest and its early explorations, 
naming many of its localities, examining the 
country and its resources, and collecting valu- 
able information in regard to the same. He 
took apart in the making of treaties with the 
Indians, and held the first court west of the 
lakes. He also donated to the State the 
present site of the State Capitol, and in 1841, 
was appointed Governor of the Territory of 
Wisconsin. He was a man highly esteemed 
for his valuable public services and for his 
ability, and integrity of character. 

Governor Coles Bashford, now of Arizona, 
was Governor of the State of Wisconsin, in 
1856 and 1857. He reached the executive 
chair through one of the most exciting political 
contests in the State, and his title to the office 
was obtained through a decision of the 
Supreme Court. His administration involved 
questions which occasioned bitter party 
and some local and individual dissensi 
account of the disposal of the large land gran/ 
which eventually fell into the possession of th 
Chicago & Northwestern Railroad. He was 'a" 
man of very fine address and genial manners, 
of much culture and ability, and had many 
warm friends. 


Probably no one, for the last ten years, has 
been more influential in the public affairs of 
the Northwest, than Hon. Phiictus Sawyer, of 
this city, a man whose whole business and 
political career has been one long series of 

Mr. Sawyer commenced his business career 
as a manufacturer of lumber, in 1850, in the 
village of Algoma, now the Fifth Ward of the 
City ofOshkosh, and soon became the leading 
manufacturer of that staple from the Wolf 
River pineries. 

His business energy, promptness, and prac- 
tical efficiency and sagacity, ha\'e led to the 
highest success in the accumulation of great 
wealth, and in an unremitting business pros- 
perity which still attends his efforts. 

Mr. Sawyer's integrity and practical ability 
soon attracted the attention of his townsmen^ 
who called him from private life to public 


rty strifer 
sions, oj 

1 849-79-] 



position. Hecommencedhis long and successful 
political career, as Member of the State Legis- 
lature in 1857, was again elected in 1861, was 
Mayor of Oshkosh in 1863 and 1864, was 
elected Member of Congress from this District 
in 1864, and was re-elected for four consecutive 
terms; making a continuous term of service as 
Member of Congress ten years. 

His political career has been as successful as 
his business one, having never been defeated 
in any election in which he was a candidate. 

His ten consecutive years in Congress, gave 
him an e.xperience, which, added to his prac- 
tical ability, caused him to be regarded as one 
of the most influential members of that body, 
and as one of the leaders in the public affairs 
of the Northwest. 

After the close of his fifth Congressional 
term, he declined a renomination, and has 
since devoted his energies to the pursuit of his 
personal affairs. He has since been frequently 
and persistently urged to accept nominations 
for the highest positions, but has invariably 
and positively declined. 

But few men of such a long political career, 
are so universally esteemed as Mr. Sawyer, 
and whatever bitter things may have been 
said in the heat of party strife, his morals and 
integrity of character have never been 

He has been very liberal in his donations to 
benevolent associations and churches, and many 
of his benefactions will be known only to 
those he has kindly assisted in their pecuniary 
troubles; and if Mr. Sawyer is energetic in his 
struggle for wealth, he has been liberal in 
assisting those whom he considered worthy, 
and has contributed largely to the business 
success of many, who, without his assistance 
would have failed in their enterprises. 

HON. c;abe bouck, 

Of Oshkosh, now Member of Congress from 
"this District, was elected Attorney-General of 
the State of Wisconsin in 1857 and served for 
the term of two years. In i860 and again in 
1864, he was elected to the State Legislature, 
and in 1876 was elected Member of Congress, 
carrying this district by a large majority. In 
1878, he was re-elected. 

Mr. Bouck came to Oshkosh in 1849, and 
entered upon the practice of his profession — 
Attorney at Law, in which he has attained 
great success, having had an extensive and 
successful practice, from which he has realized 
much wealth. His professional career has 
been signalized by the closest attention to 
business entrusted to his hands, and by his 

promptness, efficiency and professional 

He has been known as a political leader 
since his first arrival in the State and has 
exercised much influence in political circles. 



The Embryo City — First Settlers — First Houses, Stores and 
Hotels — Description of the Place in 1846 and in 1S49 — 
First Saw Mills — First Grist Mill — Steamboats — Busi- 
ness Films in '49 and '50 — "The Days of Auld Lang 
Syne" — Items from the Oshkosh Democrat in the Early 
Day — Market Reports — High Water — The Country 
Flooded — A Historic Bell — Oshkosh becomes a City — 
Items from the Oshkosh Courier — Organization of First 
Fire Engine Company — Work Commenced on the Win- 
nebago Railroad — Bonds Issued to the Chicago & St. Paul 

H E history of the city of Oshkosh, 
from the advent of the first perma- 
nent settlers, the Stanleys and Gallups 
in 1836, up to 1846, is related in the 
early history of the county. Up to 
this period, the progress of the settlement was 
slow, and the place consisted simply of a few 
log houses on the farms of their respective 
owners, and the little stores of Osborne & 
Dodge, Smith & Gillett and Miller & East- 
man. This was the embryo city of Oshkosh 
in 1846, destined to become the second city 
in wealth, business and population in the State 
of Wisconsin. 

In 1846 Mr. Stanley opened the first public 
house, a small structure, on the corner of High 
and Main streets, opposite the present Union 
National Bank. The next public house was 
opened by Manoah Griffin on the siteof Stroud's 
oil store, and nearly opposite to this was the 
store of Miller & Eastman. These two estab- 
lishments constituted the business center of 
Oshkosh at that time. 

The following article, copied from the Osh- 
kosh Democrat of March 2, 1849, gives a very 
good description of Oshkosh in its earlier days. 

Oshkosh was so named in honor of Oshko'-h, the principal 
chief of the Menominee Indians, whose lands, in and adjoin- 
ing our immediate neighborhood, were lately purchased by the 
General Government. 

The village is located on the north side of the Neenah, or 
Fox River, near its confluence with Lake Winnebago, about 
twenty miles north of Fond du Lac, and fifty south of Green 

No steps were taken towards the formation of a village until 
the summer of 1846. At that time there were no dwellings, 




except one store or trading post, owned by Mr. A. Dodge, and 
four or five farm houses within a circuit of as many miles. Dur- 
ng the summer settlers began to arrive, and Messrs. Wright & 
Jackson surveyed ofi a portion of their lands into lots, and these 
met with ready sale, and almost instantaneously buildings of 
every grade were erected, although there was then the greatest 
difficulty in procuring the necessary materials. But the pio- 
neers went to work with a persevering determinntion, hewing 
the whole of their frame work, studs, beams and rafters, from 
the woods, and obtaining lumber as best they could, so that in 
the month of September there was one tavern, three stores, one 
shoe shop, shingle factory, and about twenty dwellings finished 
or in progress, and settlers were arriving every day, and most 
interesting scenes of bustling excitement and industry were to 
be seen at all times. 

Early in the winter an addition to the village was surveyed 
out from a purchase of Messrs. Miller & Eastman from Colonel 
Conklin, of Taycheedah, and in an incredible short time, the 
whole of the principal and best lots were sold, and through the 
winter building was going on lively, rafts of timber having 
arrived from the pinery before the season closed, but it sold a 
exorbitant prices. f 

A new interest was given to the village, while the territo- 
rial Legislature was in session, by the passage of a bill removing 
the county seat from an isolated and unsettled point to Osh- 
kosh, at which the good citizens took occasion to rejoice liber- 

Such was the first settlement of Oshkosh, and since that 
time its growth has exceeded the most sanguine hopes and 
expectations of every one. At the present date the village con- 
tains a population of four hundred and eighty-six, of which 
two hundred and seven are females, and two hundred and sev- 
enty-nine males. There are six extensive dry goods stores, 
four groceries, seven lawyers, two shoe shops, two tavernsi 
one recess, one steam saw mill, one tin shop, one sash, shingle 
and furniture factory, two cabinet makers, one physician, one 
watch maker, one gun smith, one harness maker, three black- 
smith shops, employing eleven hands, and one newspaper 
establishment. Besides these there are a good assortment of 
mechanics, and the necessary offices and county buildings, 
etc., and every day witnesses the arrival of some one or more 
families, and since the census was taken for this article, several 
large families have come amongst us. It is also computed that 
not less than one hundred of our male population are at the 
time engaged in the lumbering business in the pinery. 

In the spring of 1847, the Fox River Bridge 
Company was incorporated for the purpose of 
building a bridge from thefoot of Ferry street. 
The incorporators were Edward Eastman, 
Chester Ford, S. H. Farnsworth, John Smith, 
G. F. Wright, L. M. Miller, Albert Lull, and 
others. They commenced work on the bridge, 
but it was finally completed by Abel Neff on 
the third day of July, 1849; and on the day 
following (the Fourth of July), a celebration 
being held, the procession marched acroFS the 
bridge to the hotel of Otis & Earl. 


In 1847 two saw mills were erected at about 
the same time; one by Morris Firman near the 
site of the present gang mill, and one by For- 

man & Bashford at Algoma. The latter, it 
is claimed, sawed the first lumber. The third 
mill was built by Sheldon & Hubbard; the 
fourth by Reed, Wyman & Company. These 
were soon followed by the building of mills 
by J. P. Coon, Geer & Company, Stilson & 
Chase, and Joseph Porter. The firm of Brand 
& Sawyer, in 1848, came into the possession 
of the first mill, built at Algoma the year pre- 

This was the beginning of that vast lumber 
industry of Oshkosh that has since grown to 
such great proportions. 


The first grist mill was built by Forman & 
Company at Algoma. This supplied a want 
that had been badly felt; for previous to the 
building of this mill much of the grist of the 
county had to be sent to Manchester on the east 
shore of the lake; and in the earlier days, flour 
had to be packed in from Green Bay on an 
Indian trail. 


The first steamboat plying these waters was 
the little Manchester. She was the only boat 
until the Peytona made her appearance in 1849. 
This fine boat had a most successful career, and 
for years plied regularly between Fond du Lac 
and Oshkosh The roads were frequently 
impassable, and for months at a time the onl)' 
means of communication between the places 
was by steamers. From '49 to '53 an immense 
immigration was pouring in, and the Peytona 
was loaded with passengers on her daily trips. 

The D. B. Whitacre, another steamer, was 
put on the lake about the same time, and in 
1852, the Menasha, a splendid-looking boat, 
eclipsing in appearance anything yet seen in 
these waters, commenced making regular trips. 
The Jenny Lind, Oshkosh, Badger State, A. 
W. Knapp, John Mitchell and Berlin were soon 
added to the marine force, and Oshkosh had 
daily lines from her docks; one to F"ond du 
Lac, one up the Wolf to Gill's Landing and 
New London, one up the Fox to Berlin and 
one t'l'a the Lower Fox to Green Bay. The 
coming and going of these steamers, with the 
tugs which were soon introduced to tow the 
rafts and the sail craft which began to multiply 
in numbers, imparted a very business-like- 
appearance to the place, and added much toi 
its commercial importance. 


On the ninth day of February, 1849, the 
first newspaper published in the County, the 
Oshkosh Democrat, made its appearance.i 
This was hailed as a great event. 





In the advertising columns of the Oshkosh 
Democrat, the following named firms appear. 
If there were any others, they will not be 
handed down to posterity, from the fact of not 
having advertised in their local paper: 

Dry Goods, Groceries, Etc. — Weed & 
Baldwin, Andrea & Papendick, J. Davis, 
Whitacre & Langworthy, W. A. Knapp & 
Co., David & Ford, M. J. Baker, James A. 
Chesley, who also included drugs, paints and 
oils; J. C. Hayes, Eastman, Cottrell & 
Ames, George Warren. 

Clotliing Stores — Samuel Eckstein, David 
Robinson & Co. 

Boot and Shoe Store — Petersilea & 
Geschwender, Henry Priess. 

Hardivare Store — Hay & Hall. 

Books and Stationery — E. R. Baldwin. 

Groceries and Provisions — P. V. Wright, 
B. F. Phillips, J. K. & J. Hicks. 

Jewelry Store — J. W. Scott. 

Storage, Forwarding and Commission — 
Gordon & Dodge. 

Hotels — Oshkosh House, by Manoah 
Griffin; Winnebago Hotel, by A. Olcott. 

Liquor Store — A. Sittig. 

Shoemaker — Edward Edwards. 

Blacksmithing — Edward Eastman, C. T. 
Kimball, C. A. Garrett. 

Oshkosh Steam Saw Mill — M. Firman. 

Fox River Iron Works — G. S. Olin, Pro- 
prietor; Grist mill and saw mill gearing, steam 
engines, etc., made to order. 

Sash Factory — John J. Fort. 

Furniture Dealer — J. Y. Davis.. 

Architect and Builder — George Williams. 

Harness Maker — Albert Pride. 

Gunsmith — J . Craig. 

Livery Stable — J. Harris. 

Attorneys-at-Law — Rowlev & Austin, G. 
W. Washburn, L. P. Crary, Buttrick & Spaul- 
ding, Blodgett & Hobart, Gabe Bouck, Eighme 
& Onstine. 

Pliysicians — A. B. Wright, B. S. Henning, 
G. H. Kleffler. 

Notaries — Clark Dickenson, E. A. Cooley. 
; In 1850 the additional firms advertising are 
as follows: 

Steam Saw Mills — D. W. Forman & Co., 
Reed & Wyman, Chase & Stilson, Gere & 
Co.; Planing mill, Hubbard & Ridlon, and 

Foundry — Williams. 

Flouring Mill — D. W. Forman & Co. 

Clothing Houses — McCourt & Marks, Anton 

Dry Goods, Groceries, etc. — G. C. Ames, 
Gruenhagen & Son, A. H. Read; H. Hicks & 

Brother, L. H. Cottrill, Reardon & Brother. 

Groceries and Provisions — R. Vessey. 

Wine and Cigar Store — Theodore Frentz. 

Drug Store — M. J. Williams. 

Iron and Hardware Stores — A. N. and A. 
H. Raymond. 

Sash, Door and Blind Factory — Chapman 
& Abbott. 

Tannery — G. D. Bullen. 

Oshkosh Brewery — Scheussler & Freund. 

Furniture Warerooins — Henry Reynolds. 

Tobacconist — A. H. L. Dias. 

Wagon and Carriage Shop — Barnes & 

Stage Line from Oshkosh to Fort Winne- 

Furniture — Samuel Schaub. 
Eagle Hotel — ]. F. Mills. 
Algoma House — Cooley & Moody. 
Meat Market — Conrad Ernst. 



The Democrat announces the breaking out 
of the California gold fever, and has an article 
on the "Importance of the Wilmot Proviso," 
and the great merit of the Free Soil Party. 
The issue of July 6, 1849, says: 

'Tn our tramp last week we passed through 
Omro, a new town started on Fox River five 
miles above the junction with the Wolf. It is 
not a town yet, but its proprietors tell us that 
it is a central place, that several new leading 
roads cross the river at that place and that it 
cannot fail to grow. Dean, Beckwith & Co. 
are building a steam saw mill there. " 

September 21, 1849. "Mr. Edwards, School 
District Clerk, last Tuesday took the census of 
this district to ascertain the number of school 
children between the age of four and twenty. 
He also, while doing this, numbered the whole 
population of our town. The census shows 
187 school children and 1,032 inhabitants. 
There are in Oshkosh si.x dry goods stores, 
nine grocery stores, three taverns and another 
nearly completed, five shoe establishments, 
three meat markets, one brewery, one bakery, 
two forwarding houses, one tin manufactory, 
one silversmith, one saddler, four blacksmiths, 
one wagon shop, two tailoring establishments, 
etc. Of professional men in town there were 
four doctors, eight lawyers, two money lend- 
ers and several others whose professions are 
rather precarious. " 

A stage is advertised to run between Osh- 
kosh, Fond du Lac and Winnebago Rapids. 

The steamer Manchester it is announced will 




ply between Fond du Lac and Oshkosh. F"or 
freight or passage apply to P. Hotaling. 

The True Democrat, of October 26, 1849, 
has at the head of its columns the following 
county ticket: 

For Senator — L. M. Miller. 

Clerk of Board — Frank Powers. 

Treasurer — Edward Edwards. 

Surveyor — Joseph Osborn. 

Independent Candidate for Member of 
Assembly — John P. Gallup. 

"The Board of Public W^orks met here last 
week, to receive proposalsfor contracts for the 
works at the Rapids and Grand Chute. 

"The Board were all present, together with 
Governor Dewey. 

"The work at the Rapids was let to Curtis 
Reed. The conditions of the contract are that 
Mr. Reed binds himself in good and sufficient 
sureties to build the work without charge to 
the State, and to pay to the State, in addition, 
$5, 000 for making it. In consideration of this, 
the Board permits the work to be made on the 
north channel (the Menasha side). 

"The work at Grand Chute was not let, as 
the bids in the aggregate amounted to more 
than the Board are allowed to expend at this 

"Thus it will be seen that the Board are push- 
ing everything just as fast as they can. And 
what is more, it will be seen that every circum- 
stance seems to work favorably to the State. 
All interested can congratulate themselves on 
the good luck that seems to attend the progress 
of the Improvement." 

November 9, 1849. "Last week we were 
down to those growing towns at the foot of the 
lake after an absence of a little more than two 
months, and things new and almost strange, 
(we say almost, because we have learned to 
call nothing strange in these times of progress), 
met our gaze on all sides. New houses and 
new stores going up at Neenah, and since the 
letting a new rush is setting in to Menasha. 
Two saw mills are already in operation there, 
two more are about commencing, and other 
manufacturing establishments are to be com- 
menced immediately. These two towns will 
soon eclipse all around them." 

"This town shows an improving appearance. 
Parson & Bocker's flouring mill is in rapid 
process of completion. The appearance is that 
it will be a great advantage to the town and 
surrounding country, and will add much to its 
prosperity. " 


"This place is rapidly improving. Its loca- 
tion is beautiful, the ground being high and the 

landing one of the best on the river. It is but 
a few months since the village was laid out, 
but quite a number of good buildings have 
already been erected and everything there 
wears a business-like appearance. " 

May 31, 1850. The arrival of the new 
steamer, Peytona, is announced. "Provisions 
are very high here now, and the indications are 
that a scarcity pervades the entire West. " 


May3i,i85o. "Wheat, 5oc@56c; flour, $4 
per barrel; hams, I2c; pork, $20 per barrel; 
butter, 18 and 20c; cheese, $.12; eggs, 
I2c; beef, $5(a;$5.50; potatoes, 87c; oats, 
75c; corn, 56c; lard, ioc{g;iic." 

August 9, 1850. "The new steamer, Bad- 
ger State, is announced to run to Strong's 
Landing. " 


September 6, 1850. "In all our experience 
we have never seen such long, uninterrupted, 
continued and excessively wet and cold 
weather, for the time of year, as we have had 
since the first of July. The whole country is 
a perfect ocean. It is useless to think of trav- 
eling; the oat and potato crops are ruined. 
During the week past it has rained almost 
incessantly, and has been so cold as to require 
overcoats. " 

January 3, 1851. Raymond's select school 
is commended as a praiseworthy institution.) 

January 12, 1851. "It is announced that 
the Legislature elected Dr. B. S. Henning of 
this place Register of the Land Office, and 
James Murdock, of Dodge County, Treasurer." 

January 17. 1851. "We are requested to 
give notice that the Right Reverend Bishop 
Kemper, D. D. , Bishop of the Protestant Epis- 
copal Church forthe diocese of Wisconsin, will 
hold service in the rooms over A. N. and A. 
H. Raymond's hardware store on Tuesday 
evening next." 

January 24, 185 1. "R. P. Eighme will 
lecture before the Young Men's Association. 
Subject, Knowledge and its Exercise. " 


January 24, 1851. "We learn that $8,000 
has been taken of the stock of the Company, 
and that preparations are making for the rapid 
progress of the work." 

February 7, 1851. "The German concert, 
Wednesday evening, went off to the satisfaction 
of all who were present. Mrs. Andrea sang 
'The Ship on Fire' with exceeding taste and 

March 28, 1851. "The new steamer, John 
Mitchell, we learn is completed and will be 




here on Wednesday next. W. A. Knapp & 
Co. have finished their wharf." 

"We think no enterprise in this town would 
pay better than a good flouring mill. The 
whole country up the Wolf River gets its flour 
from this place, which we have to get mostly 
from Dodge County." 

"The Board of Public Works (Fox and Wis- 
consin Improvement) held a session here on 
Monday last. The members were all present. 
The Land Office is now open for entries." 

April 4, 1851. "The weather here during 
all March was fair and delightful." 

April 25, 185 1. "The weather the past 
week has been most beautiful. The steamer 
Badger State has made a trip up the Wolf. 
Last Saturday the John Mitchell started on a 
trip to the Little Wolf 

"Our neighbors on the south side of the 
river must be prospering. We noticed several 
new grocery stores started and preparations 
for more, and any quantity of new buildings. 
Prosperity seems to be the word with all. 

"The circular steam saw mill of Arnold & 
Gates is doing most excellent work." 

May 2, 1851. "Samuel Eckstein is receiv 
ing a large stock of clothing." 

May 16, 185 1. "The steamer Oshkosh is 
expected here to-morrow. " 

May 23, 1851. "On Monday evening we 
were visited with another deluge. It com- 
menced about three P. M and continued until 
nine, and the whole country was nearly sub- 
merged. " 

May 30, 1851. "Mr. Rowley informs us that 
a couple of companies commenced the survey 
of the Indian Land west of Wolf River and ■ 
north of the north line of this county a few 
days since." 

May 30, 1851. "Flood! Flood! We men- 
tioned last week the excessive rains we had 
been visited with. No sooner had we got to 
press than it commenced raining again, and 
continued for an entire day, harder than ever. 
Again, on Monday of this week, itcommenced 
and continued almost incessantly until 
Wednesday. The river is higher than we have 
I ever seen it before by many feet. The whole 
I county is afloat and it is utterly impossible to 
' get about. We have been building a shanty 
on a lot which we thought to be high and dry, 
I but we have had to build a raft to get from the 
I door to the woodpile. " 

This was the season of the high water which 

will be remembered by the old settlers. The 

writer sailed a boat that drew about three feet 

j when loaded, from Fond du Lac, and came into 

the river here with a good strong sailing breeze, 
and sailed directly up to the platform of the 
Oshkosh House, which occupied the present 
site of Stroud's oil store. Between this point 
and the river it was flooded all the season, the 
water from two to four feet deep. 

Meadow lands on the Fox and Wolf Rivers, 
and on Lake Winnebago, that had formerly 
been fine hay marshes were destroyed. The 
writer sailed over a cornfield on Long 
Point, and also sailed a boat drawing two feet 
of water from Partridge Lake directly across 
the large meadow between that lake and Gill's 
Landing. Large tracts of timber on the low- 
lands were destroyed; for the high water pre 
vailed all the season, and only partially subsided 
the next. It was thought that the dams at 
Neenah and Menasha were partially the cause, 
and meetings were held and an organized 
efl'ort made to compel the corporations to lower 

The Democrat of August 31, says: 
"On Thursday last five steamers were leav- 
ing this place at the same time. The Menasha 
and Peytona for foot of the lake, the Oshkosh 
and Badger State for Berlin, and the Mitchell 
for Mukwa." 


One of the events of the early day was Indian 
payments. One took place on October 30, 
1851. It was held at the "Pay Grounds" on 
Lake Poygan, and a great concourse of people 
flocked thither with all those articles that 
j Indians are likely to purchase. Indian trad- 
ers from all directions, and merchants from 
the several villages came with their goods. 
Eating shanties were erected and every means 
resorted to to tempt the Indian to squander 
his money. For full description of these pay- 
ments see history of Town of Poygan. 

In 1852 the continuance of high water created 
much excitement. The river and lake had 
risen about two feet above the usual high 
water mark, and a belief prevailed that it was 
occasioned by the Neenah and Menasha dams. 
Meetings were held and counsel employed to 
commence an action against the corporations 
at the foot of the lake, but nothing effective 
was accomplished. 


May, 1853. "Oshkosh glories in a new bell, 
and we feel so proud of it that we keep contin- 
ually ringing it, as a boy blows upon his new 

This bell had an eventful record. It was 
cast in Oshkosh and it is claimed that it was the 
first bell cast in the State. After it was cast 
it was found that there was not material 




enough to form the yoke, when more bell-metal 
was procured and it was recast. 

It was little thought when the new bell first 
rung out its joyful peals, that it would give 
warning of the dreadful fire calamity of 1859. 
In this fire it was fused into a mass of metal 
which Hon. Samuel Hay, then Mayor, shipped 
to Troy, where it was recast and sent back to 
Oshkosh to be hung in No. i Engine House, 
where it did service for many years, and its 
ominous tones frequently startled our citizens, 
as it gave warning of the many fires that des- 
olated the city. 

May, 1853. "Business opens in a very flat- 
tering manner this spring. There is more build- 
ing, more life and activity all around town than 
formerly. Last season untenanted houses 
abounded here; they are occupied now, and 
the demand for houses exceeds the supply. All 
our dealers are receiving heavy stocks of goods 
in their respective lines of trade, and prosper- 
ity and activity is apparent on every side. " 

March 25, 1853 "J. H. Osborn is compil- 
ing an abstract of the titles to all the real 
estate in the county. 


"In these progressive days, when boys are 
'young men' at fifteen, and girls 'young 
ladies' at twelve — in an age when everything 
is decidedly 'fast' — we do not know why a 
burg of two or three thousand inhabitants may 
not shake off the reproach implied in the word 
village, and assume a place among the mature 
characters of the age. Is there any good rea- 
son why Oshkosh should not be a city. A 
majority of our citizens believed that no such 
reason existed, and on last Friday the City 
charter was adopted by 177 majority. The 
charter election has been held, and mayor, 
aldermen, etc., have been chosen. Oshkosh 
is a city. " 

" The two houses of the Legislature met in 
joint convention on the 28th of March 1853, 
when the nominees of the Democratic caucus 
were elected: 

Board of Public Works — L. M. Miller, Ben- 
jamin Allen, A. Froudfit. 

Register — R. P. Eighme, 

Treasurer — James Murdock. 

May 6, 1853. "Mr. Ames, we hear, has 
just purchased of Mr. McNeil, eighty feet on 
Ferry Street for two thousand dollars. Tiventy 
five dollars a foot. This tells something for 
the growing business of the place." 

The Democrat, of May 13, 1853, contains 
the following extract from an article in the 
Milvvaukee Sentinel, in favor of a railroad 
from Oshkosh to Milwaukee: 

"Here are two large rivers — the Wolf a very 
large one — converging at Oshkosh, the central 
point of Winnebago County, and emptying by 
a common mouth into Lake Winnebago, the 
one a hundred and twenty miles long from the 
southwest, and the other a hundred and 
twenty miles of navigable water from the north, 
and sending their united business to their 
common business center — Oshkosh. On the 
Fo.\ are the thriving villages of Omro, Delhi, 
Eureka, Sacramento, Berlin, St. Marie, 
Princeton, Marquette and Montello. South of 
this, bordering on it, is the county of Colum- 
bia, and parts of Marquette and Winnebago. 
On the Wolf are the villages ofAlgoma, Buttes j 
des Morts, Winneconne, Fremont, Mukwa, J 
Benton and Shawano. East of the Wolf are 
the counties of Oconto and Outagamie, and 
part of Winnebago. In the angle formed by 
the two rivers, are the entire counties of Wau- 
shara, Waupaca, and Shawano, and parts of 
Marquette and Winnebago. These rivers are 
the outlet of this whole extent of country, and 
Oshkosh is the key and commanding mart of 
the whole. " 

For quite a period at this time — 1853 — the 
Maine liquor law seems to have been the great 
sensation. Number after number of the paper 
contains temperance articles and notices of 
temperance meetings. 

The organic election under the charter 
organization of the city of Oshkosh, was held 
on the fifth day of April, 1853; and on that 
day, Oshkosh commenced her career as a full- 
fledged city, having adopted the city charter 
by 177 majority. 

The following named persons were elected 
for the first municipal officers of the newly 
made city, viz: 

Mayor — Edward Eastman. 

City Clerk — William Luscher. 

Treasurer — W. H. Weed. 

Marshal—'^. Neff. 

School Snperinteiideiit — E. R. Baldwin. 

Alderiiteu — First Ward: W. G. Gumaer, 
H. Swart. 

Assessor — D. Dopp. 

Justice — C. Coolbaugh. 

Constable — James Ray. 

Aldcr'Hcn — Second Ward: Manoah Grififin, 
A: Andrea. 

Assessor — W. A. Knapp. 

Justice — J. R. Forbes. 

Constable — F. M. Crary. 

Aldermen— i:\\\x^ Ward: A. Neff, Seth 

Assessor — F. Leach. 

Justice— \^. B. Reed. 

Constable — M. Moody. 




The Council, in May, 1853, passed a resolu- 
tion granting licenses for the sale of spirituous 
liquors to hotels for $20, and to saloons for 
$25, and fixing the salary of watchman at $20 
per month, and an additional $5 a month, to 
be paid him for his services in ringing the city 
bell at nine a. m., twelve m., and six p. m. 

February 10, 1854. The concert of the 
Oshkosh Glee Club is favorably noticed, and 
Mrs. Voellner's solo singing is especially 

February 17, 1854. The city is stirred 
to its profoundest depths on the subject of a 
railroad to Milwaukee. 

Same date, a Free Bridge meetingwas held. 


Oshkosh, February 24, 1854. Flour, $6.00 
@6.SO; corn Meal $2.00; winter wheat $1.00 
@i.IO; spring 95 c@$ 1. 05; oats 25c; barley 40c; 
beans 62@75c; corn shelled, 45c; porkperbbl., 
$1 1.OO@14.OO; fresh $4.25(0)4.75; beef, on 
foot $4.75@5.oo; butter I2@i5c. 

At same date wheat is quoted in Milwaukee: 
Winter $i.20@i.30; spring $I.lO(g)i.20. 

In 1855 Mr. John Fitzgerald purchased the 
entire steamboat force on the lake and rivers, 
and systematized the business, running regu- 
lar lines. The passenger and freight business 
was very large and highly remunerative. 

In this year the present cemetery was pur- 
chased by order of the Common Council. 

Mayor Jackson, in his inaugural of this year, 
states that there is six hundred and seventy- 
five rods of p'.ank side-walk in the First Ward, 
four hundred rods of street, which has been 
graded. In the Second Ward, 950 rods of 
side-walk, an J 80 rods of graded streets. That 
the whole amount expended since the organi- 
zation of the city, is about six thousand dol- 
lars; this sum includes the amount paid for the 


" The transportation business on the waters 
of Lake Winnebago, and the Wolf and Fox 
Rivers, is beyond all precedent this season, 
and is far exceeding he anticipations of the 
most sanguine of our business men. The 
amount of travel and emigration to, and 
through this place is astonishing. This fore- 
noon no less than five steamers cleared from 
our docks, bound for various places on the lake 
and rivers. The 'Oshkosh City' for Menasha, 
the 'Queen City' for Berlin, the 'Eureka' for 
Gills Landing, the 'Menominee' for New Lon- 
don, and the 'Shioc' and 'Peytona' for Fond 
du Lac. All had full loads of passengers, and 
as much freight as could be stowed upon their 
decks. Two of them had barges in tow, heav- 

ily loaded with merchandise, mill machinery, 
and the furniture and baggage of emigrants. 
Oshkosh is the liveliest town of its size in the 
State, and is growing, both in business and 
population, at a rate which those who are igno- 
rant of her unrivalled location, and command- 
ing position would hardly believe unless they 
were hereto witness it." (May 13th. 1856.) 

May 28th, the Courier announces that "The 
contractors have gone to work in earnest on 
the Winnebago Railroad between this city and 
and Ripon." 


June II, 1856. "The work on the Lower 
Fox between this city and Green Bay has been 
so far completed that two boats, the Ajax and 
Pioneer, have passed successfully through the 
locks and canal from below Appleton. The 
steamer Aquila has for some weeks made 
regular trips between this city and Appleton, 
passing through the lock and channel at Nee- 
nah, so that our water communication with 
Green Bay is now open. It is hardly possible 
to over estimate the importance to Oshkosh 
of the completion and successful operation of 
this great enterprise." 

October 31, 1856. "At a meeting held 
October 23, at Mark's Hall, for the purpose 
of the organization of an Engine Company, 
Mr. O. Cook, was called to the chair, and 
after a few remarks the company was enrolled 
as the Pioneer No. i, of the City of Oshkosh, 
Foreman, Wm. Wall; Assistant Foreman, Rob- 
ert Howell. " t 

November 25, 1856. "No Eastern mail since 
night before last, and we are compelled to go 
to press without late news of any kind. It 
has rained every day for four days, and the 
roads between here and Fond du Lac are 
impassible. " 

January 6, 1857. "Milwaukee market report: 
Flour, $5.5o@$6.oo. Wheat, winter, .95® 
$1.00, spring, .88, Pork, $6.00." 

February 4, 1857. "Niagara Company, 
No. I , paraded yesterday for the first time, 
with their new engine, escorted by the Osh- 
kosh City, Band. The appearance of the Com- 
pany was highly creditable to the public spir- 
ited young men of which it was composed. 
* * * The Company has been fortunate in 
the selection of its officers; Wm. Wall, Fore- 
man; Robert Howell, Assistant." * * * 

February 4, 1857. "We understand the:t 
an arangement has been concluded between 
the Wisconsin & Superior Railroad Company, 
and the proprietors of the land on the south 
side of the river, opposite the foot of Broad 
street, in the Third Ward, by which the Com- 




pany are to have the right of way, and the free 
use and occupancy of about tvventy-eiyht acres 
for depot grounds, and other purposes con- 
nected with the business of the Company. The 
Company stipulate to estabUsh and maintain 
both passenger and freight depots upon the 
land so ceded, and that they are not to estab- 
lish any other depots, either for freight or pas- 
sengers, in any other part of the city. 

The work on the line of the road between 
this city and Fond du Lac is progressing 
finely; about one-third of the entire distance is 
already graded, and if the balance of the sea- 
son should be ordinarily favorable for opera- 
tions of this nature, the whole route will be 
ready for the iron by the first of June. " 

February 9, 1857. "The Common Council 
of the City of Oshkosh have received the nec- 
essary securities and will immediately issue 
the city bonds to the Ripon & Oshkosh Rail- 
road. " 

February 11, 1857. * * * " Real estate 
is advancing steadily in value and will con- 
tinue to advance with the increase of popula- 
tion and business. 

Among the buildings and other improve- 
ments contemplated, are the new church edi- 
fices, to cost from $6,000 to $10,000 each, a 
new court house, a railroad bridge across the 
Fox River, a new bridge at the foot of Ferry 
street, and another at the foot of Jackson 
street. " * * * 

February 26, 1857. "Germania Fire Com- 
pany, No. I. This Company paraded this 
afternoon, for the first time, with their new 
engine This Company is composed of about 
forty active young men, who made a fine 
appearance in their neat uniforms, and looked 
as if they were capable of doing good services 
in case of an emergency. 

We have now two as good fire companies 
as any town of our size can boast of " 

May I, 1857. "Our City. Never, since 
Oshkosh was first laid out, has its prospects 
been so encouraging as at present. Although 
navigation has hardly commenced yet, there 
are more new buildings in course of erection 
than ever before. Six or seven stages arrive 
daily, filled with passengers, most of whom 
reniain permanently. Mechanics of all kinds 
are in demand at good wages, and day labor- 
ers can choose between two railroads and 
street grading, as all these works are going 

The Fond du Lac Railroad is graded to 
within four miles of our city, and the remain- 
der will be done early, while the iron for the 
road is already on its way from New York. The 

work will undoubtedly be finished by the first 
of September. 

The Winnebago Railroad Company are 
making arrangements to finish their road as 
far as Ripon by the first of December, and to 
Portage City during the next season. The 
people along the line from here to Portage 
City are anxious to take hold of the matter 
with a will, as it offers them their most favora- 
ble route for a railroad. When this road is 
finished, it cannot fail to be of great help to 
our city in a commercial point of view, as it 
passes through the most productive portion 
of our State, which will take this route for an 
outlet, making this a place for transhipment. 
The offices of the road are to be located at this 
place, and with the business of building and 
repairing would build up quite a town of itself. 
Already there are two lumber yards at Portage 
City, furnished with Wolf River lumber, and 
in Fond du Lac, Beaver Dam, &c., on the 
completion of this road, a largelumber market 
will be opened up; not only at Portage 
but the whole line of the road will have to be 

Our steamboats are all prepared to do a 
large business, and they will all be needed. 
There are eight steamboats owned at this 
place, all of vi'hich run from or to this point 
each day, besides one or two more owned at 
different places. During the boating season 
our docks present quite a city like appearance 
on the arrival and departure of boats. Emi- 
grants from all parts of the world center here 
on their way either to the north, via Lake and 
Lower Fox River; north-west, via Wolf River; 
or west, via Fox River. 

Our lumbering business is immense and 
increasing each year; acres and acres of logs 
are coming down Wolf River, and are either 
used up at our mills or are disposed of for the 
mills below us. The amount of lumber manu- 
factured and the capital employed in this city 
alone, would astonish even our own citizens. 
There are eighteen saw mills, running near 
one hundred saws altogether, besides shingle, 
lath and sash machines; two grist mills kept 
constantly going with custom work; two heavy, 
foundry and machine shops; two large shops 
for the manufacture of agricultural imple- 
ments, besides a host of other manufacturing 
mechanical establishments. Our population, 
has increased from four thousand one 
hundred and eighty-four, on the first, 
day of June, 185S1 to over eight thous- 
and at the present time, as ascer- 
tained by Messrs. Kohlmann & Brother, whol 
heve been engaged in taking the census pre- 
paratory to getting out a city directory. Take! 




it all in all, Oshkosh is far ahead of any of its 
rivals, and is bound to take its position as the 
second city in Wisconsin. " 


Fires — Bonds Issued to St. Paul & Fond du Lac Railroad — 
Oshkosh in '56 — Great Fire of 1859 — Northwestern Rail- 
road Built — Railroad Accident — Items from The North- 
western — War Times — Oshkosh Volunteers — The Draft 
and Filling the Quota — The Close of the War — Good 
Times — Progresss in Improvements —The Fire of 1S56 — 
Nicholson Pavement — High School Building and other 
Structures Erected — Improvement of the Streets. 

|N February 6, 1856, the planing mill of 
Phelps, Carlton & Co., and the saw 
mill of Joseph Porter was destroyed by 
fire. At the charter election April 6, 
1856, Thomas A. Follett was elected 
Mayor; J. R. Forbes, City Clerk; D. 
C. Hicks, Treasurer; John La Dow, Marshal, 
and Edwin Wheeler, Superintendent 

The corner stone of the Episcopal Church 
was laid June 30, 1856. 

Another fire occurred July I, 1856, destroy- 
ing the foundry of Williams & Stearns, and 
several other buildings. The loss was esti- 
mated at $12,000, and was severely felt at that 

The Common Council, on the sixth of Aug- 
ust, 1856, authorized the Mayor and City Clerk 
to issue the bonds of the city to the amount 
of $150,000, and to deliver them to the Chi- 
cago, St. Paul & Fond du Lac Railroad Com- 
pany, on the condition that said Company 
pledge to the City of Oshkosh $200,000 of its 
first mortgage bonds as security for the faithful 
performance of the conditions on which such 
bonds were issued, and conditioned that the 
said Company shall expend the proceeds aris- 
ing from the sale of such bonds, in construct- 
ing the road from Fond du Lac to Oshkosh; 
that they shall pay the interest on said bonds 
as the same may become due, until the road is 
completed to Oshkosh, and shall make cash 
dividends to the city sufficient to pay the inter- 
est on said bonds, if the earnings of the road 
be sufficient to enable it to do so; and that the 
Company shall deliver to the city certificates of 
full paid stock of said Company to the amount 
$150,000; and provided, that the Mayor and 
Clerk shall not be authorized under the reso- 
lution authorizing the issue of said bonds, to 
deliver any of the same to said Company, until 
all the conditions above are fully complied 

Oshkosh, in the year 1856, was making rapid 
progress; real estate was rapidly increasing in 
value, and improvements were visible on every 
hand. The future was promising, and every- 
body hopeful. It was a busy little city and 
made a good deal of noise and bustle even in 
that day. 

The market report in the Courier of April, 
1858, was as follows: 

"Flour, $3@$3. 25; wheat, 45c@52c; oats, 
1 8c to 20c; potatoes, i8c to 20c; beans, 
50c to 75c; butter, i6c to 20c; sugar, lie; 
Rio coffise, I2C to 15c. 

In 1859 S. M. Hay was elected Mayor, Geo. 
Burnside, Clerk and J. H. Osborn, Superin- 
tendent of Schools. 


On the night of May 10, 1859, the startling 
fire alarm aroused the citizens of Oshkosh. An 
unoccupied barn in the rear of the Oshkosh 
House was in flames, which soon communicated 
to other buildings and speedily spread until 
beyond all control. It was plainly seen that 
the city was doomed to destruction. A terri- 
fying scene now ensued as the flames spread 
with frightful rapidity, sweeping everything 
before them. Every building on both sides of 
Ferry street, from Ceape to Washington and 
Algoma Streets, were destroyed. This was 
almost the entire business portion of the city, 
which was in a few hours converted into a field 
of smoking ruins. 

The courage of the strongest wavered under 
the disheartening effect of such wide-spread 
destruction, and for a moment the hope of the 
whole community was paralyzed at the inevit- 
able ruin which stared them in the face, as 
only a small part of the loss was covered by- 
insurance. But the courage and energy of the 
people proved equal to the emergency. They 
were not a people to sit mourning in hopeless 
imbecility; and so, with praiseworthy effort, 
theyset themselves resolutely to workto rebuild 
the city, and in twenty-four hours after the 
flames had subsided, the work of restoration 
had commenced. So rapid was the progress 
that in six months nearly the entire burnt dis- 
trict was rebuilt with a better class of buildings, 
and Oshkosh resumed her place in the business 
world. Such recuperative force, even in the 
West, e.Kcited general surprise, and established 
the fact of the great strength of her resources 
and expansive power, which the most disast- 
rous circumstances could not repress. 


The next great event was the completion to 
this point of the Chicago & Northwestern Rail- 




road. The first through passenger train arrived 
on October 13, 1859. 


Shortly afrer the completion of the road, an 
excursion party comprised principally of per- 
sons from towns on the line of the road, started 
on a trip to Chicago. There were four cars 
from this place filled with residents of this city 
and vicinity, the excursionists little anticipat- 
ing the tragical termination of their pleasure 

The train while going at full speed near 
Watertown ran over an ox that attempted to 
cross the track, when a number of cars were 
thrown from the rails and wrecked. A large 
number of persons were killed and wounded. 
Five from this place were among the number 
killed, and several more of our citizens were 
wounded. This heart-rending disaster plunged 
our entire community in the deepest grief; and 
following so soon alter the fire that destroyed 
the city, seemed to fill the chapter of calami- 
ties. Among the killed were some of the most 
highly esteemed members of this community — 
E. R. Baldwin, Charles Petersilea and John 

Their funerals were attended by an immense 
concourse of people. 

In one year from the time of the fire, the 
burnt district was entirely rebuilt, and all 
traces of the fire had disappeared. 

In the spring of i860, the new court house 
was completed, and, at the time, was said to 
be the finest in the State. 

In May, 1861, a fire occurred on the South 
Side, which burnt every building on the south 
side of Kansas Street, from the Seymour 
House to the river. 

In 1 86 1, the Northwestern Railroad bridge 
was built. 


Februarys, 1861. Wheat, club, 68 to 70c; 
No. 2, 64 to 65c; rejected 45 to 52c; corn 20 to 
25c; oats 17 to 20c; potatoes i8c. 

Retail market: Flour $3.75 to 4.00; salt 
pork loc; hams i ic; butter l6c; beef, dressed, 
$3.25 to 3.50; pork $4.00 to 5.50. 


The breaking out of civil war now plunged 
the country into excitement. War meetings 
were held, and military companies formed and 
daily drilled. As the war progressed, it 
largely decreased the population; real estate 
shrank in value, and, at first, times were dull. 
Soon prices of all commodities began to 
advance, business improved, and the day 

wages of working men rose to two to three 



April 13, 1 861. "Yesterday saw the com- 
mencement of Civil War in this republic. " 

The surrender of Fort Sumter is announced, 
and the President's Proclamation, calling out 
75,000 of the militia, to suppress sedition, and 
execute the laws. 

April 17, a war meeting is called in Osh- 
kosh; the call signed by John Fitzgerald, S. 
M. Hay, Edward P^astman, Joseph Jackson, 
William R. Kennedy. 

The Northwestern says: " We are informed 
that preliminary measures have been taken 
for a grand demonstration at Washington 
Hall to-morrow night. Let the hall be crowded 
to its utmost capacity, and make its walls echo 
with our renewed pledges of devotion to the 
Union. The country is stirred to its profound- 
est depths. " 

April 19, 1861. "Last evening saw the 
greatest and most enthusiastic gathering which 
ever assembled in Oshkosh. John Fitzgerald 
was called to the chair, and resolutions were 
reported by Chas. E. Pike, George Gary and 
others, which were adopted with great 

The war spirit was now full)' aroused and 
the subject monopolized public attention. 

April 22, 1861. "The meeting of Fire Com- 
pany No. I at Washington Hall Saturday was 
a rouser. Large numbers were unable to gain 
admission. Short, stirring speeches were 
made. The Company volunteered their ser- 
vices to the Governor and then enrolled their 
names. The list is headed by Gabe Bouck, 
Ex- Attorney General, and John Hancock, 
Circuit Court Commissioner." 

"The Oshkosh volunteers were accepted for 
the Second Regiment, and received orders to 
be in readiness for marching to place of ren- 
dezvous at any moment. " 

"The drill in the city grove by Captain 
Bouck 's Company is going on every day, and 
the success of the officers is very great. A 
finer set of men than the Oshkosh volunteers 
can rarely be seen anywhere, and we don't 
believe a better company will go from Wis- 
consin during the war." 

" The events of to-day have marked an era in the history of 
Oshkosh. Soldiers, enlisted from among our best citizens, 
have left their homes to t.ike upon themselves the hardships of 
a campaign. Men of high character and position in society 
have gone to vindicate the honor of the National Flag, and to 
fight for the maintenance of the National Government. They 
have gone under no compulsion but that of duty. Their depart- 




ure, at any time, would be an occasion for remark ; but, at 
such a time as this, and going upon such an errand as they do, 
the great heart of the whole community was deeply moved, and 
the multitude filled the public square and streets, and pressed 
the railroad station to give them a sincere God-speed and Fare- 

The place of rendezvous, this morning, was the City Grove. 
At an early hour the people began to come together there, and 
at nine o'clock there were several thousand gathered to witness 
the ceremony of presenting the Flag which had been prepared 
by the ladies of this city for the volunteers under command of 
Captain Bouck. About nine, the German Rifles, Captain Scherfif, 
made their appearance ; and though few in numbers, showed 
their usual military excellence in theirappearance and maneuv- 
res. Soon after, the Scott Volunteers came upon the grounds 
with full ranks, followed immedtately by the Fire Companies 
No. I and 2, and by the Hook and Ladder Company. All these 
did escort duty for the day. 

As soon as the Oshkosh Volunteers were formed in line, the 
united German and American brass band played " Hail Colum- 
bia, " followed by the "Red, White and Blue," sung by a sel- 
ect choir under the lead of Mr. Chandler, assisted by a part of 
Weidnei's Orchestra. 

A committee of ladies was then introduced, bearing a beau- 
tiful banner made of silk and surmounted by an eagle. 

Miss Carrie Weed here came forward and spoke as follows : 

"Gentlemen: It is with mingled feelings of sadness and 
joy that we meet you to day ; sadness that our beloved country 
should be so rent by treason as to make our parting with friends 
necessary ; joy that, at the first call, so many bravely volunteer 
to defend what is dear to us all, our Constitution and Union. 

Our hopes and prayers go with you ; and may you be incited 
to go forth earnestly and with dependence upon Him, who 
only can reward your efforts and save our country. 

We now, in behalf of the ladies of this city, present to you 
the flag of our Union — firmly believing it will never be dis- 
graced by you, and fervently hoping that it may ever remain 
the proud emblem of an undivided, free and happy people. '' 

The banner was then presented, and received with a military 
salute. After which Captain Bouck replied as follows : 
Ladies of Oshkosh : 

" On behalf of the Oshkosh Volunteers I receive with many 
thanks the flag you have presented to them this day. 

It is the flag under which most of us were born; the flag 
under which most of us have received protection from our 
birth ; the flag to which we have a// sworn allegiance ; and 
whether born beneath its protecting folds or not, it is a flag 
which we shall always defend to the utmost of our ability. 

And while doing all in our power to maintain the Govern- 
ment of which this flag is the emblem, we shall never forget 
that those whom we leave behind us are as generous as they 
are patriotic. 

To those who have friends and relatives among these volun- 
teers, I wish to give the assurance, that I shall not only be 
their commander in the field, but everywhere, and at all times, 
especially in time of sickness and casuality, I shall be their 
personal friend. " 

The "Star Spangled Banner" was then sung by Mr. Chand- 
ler, all the people present joining in the chorus, and also in 
singing the last verse of that admirable song. 

The proceedings were occasionally interrupted by demon- 
strations of applause, but the prevailing sentiment was too 
apparent to permit anything like levity ; and the countenances 

of friends and relatives gave unmistakable evidence of the 
depth of their emotion." 


The following is a correct list of the names of 
the officers and men of 'Oshkosh Volunteers,' 
Company E, of the Second Regiment of Wis- 
consin Militia: 

Cap/uin—OAB. BODCK. 

1st Lieutenant— John Hancock. 

2a " — H. B. Jackson. 

let Sargeanl—'L. H. Smith 

2(i " —. James N. Kuby. 

3d " —Joseph "A'. Roberts. 

4th '* — .Johu -J. Sprague. 

5th " —Johu B. Thompson. 

1st Corporal— K. M, Thomba. 

2d " — M. B. Baldwiu. 

3d •' — W. S. Eouee. 

«h " —J. v\'ait. 

5th " — Reuben Ash. 

6th " —I. W. Potter. 

7th " — C. E. Ford. 

8th " — Charles Graves. 

Leader of Keriimentat lirass Bantl—U. S. Chaudler. 

Drummers— Ed* Fiuuey and Hiram Miug. 

Fife?'—V/m. Taylor. 


Thoa. Hudson, 

Geo. Abrams, 

Henry Adaiiis, 
Johu Rerch 
Darid T. Buawell, 
E. L. Billings, 
James Bartlett, 
John Banderol", 
John Barton, 
Wm. Boyd, 
U'm. Brene, 
Wm. Bryant, 
Wellington Bridge, 
Alvlu Bugbee, 
John Callahan, 
Gilefe Carpenter, 
John Carj', 
George Cowardiue, 
Gilman C lendeuiu, 
Augustus Clark, 
Edwin Cooper, 
Nicholas Coslow, 
Oscar. F. Crary, 
James Daugherty, 
John B. Davids, 
William G. Davis, 
Louis Defoe, 
Wilham Dihon, 
E. T. Ellsworth, 
D. J. Ellenwood, 
Luke English, 
Lotridge Firmin, 
Vincent Flanegan, 
Matthew Ghenson, 
Charles Graves, 
Steve Graham, 
B. B. Hart, 
M. Hay, 
S. F. Hackett, 
Cheater Hugunin, 
J. H. Hamhn, 
S. M. Hays, 
Henry Heth, 
John Holland, 
Charlea Howe, 
William Holland. 

C M. Hugenon, 
H, J. Jacory, 
S. Karbach, 
Wm. KeUock, 
.Jonas Leach. 
Richard Lester, 
J. Lull, 

A. P. H. Martin, 
L. L. Mcintosh, 
H. McDauiels, 
Pat. McDennouth, 
J. F. Miles, 
J. L. MUler, 
Pat Merty, 

Charlea Montgomery, 
Edward Moscript, 
George Nutter, 
Isaac Oatman, 
Ole Oleson, 
S. Osterday, 
It. J. Perry, 
E. P. Perry, 
S. D. Pitcher, 
K. J. Richard, 
Henry Scovial, 
Louis Schintz, 
John Sexton, 
George E. Smith, 
James Spencer, 
P. Simaon, 
Horace Stroud, 
S. Stever, 
Robert Stever, 
O. D. Taphn, 
S. A. Turner, 
James Vanscork, 
H. C. Weed, 
L. C. Wood, 
Benjamin Whitney, 
N. H. Whittemore, 
Abraham White, 

E. B. Wing, 

F. A. Zahn. 

"Junes, i86i. At this date the bills of 




niany of the Wisconsin banks were quoted at 
fifty and sixty cents on the dollar. " 

"John P""itzgerald, Mayor, issues a proclama- 
tion iu regard to the number of incendiary 
fires, and calls attention to the burglars infest- 
ing the city. " 

"Scott's Volunteers were sworn into the ser- 
vice on the sixth, instant, the members taking 
the oath kneeling. " 


June II, 1861. "Thii Fountain City, of this 
line, left on her first trip on Saturday, the 8th 
instant, having on board 104 tons of flour and 
wheat. Captain J. Lapham is in command, and 
we have no doubt that this boat will soon 
become a great favorite with the community." 
"The Fannie Fisk alternates with the Fonnt- 
ain City every other day, in making trips 
between this city and Green Bay, affording an 
opportunity to passengers to ride easily from 
the terminus of the Chicago & N. W. R. R. to 
Green Bay, which no one will attempt to do 
the second time over the wagon road between 
those points. 

July 23 to 27. "The greatest excitement 
and anxiety prevails in regard to the news of 
the battle of Bull Run. A letter received at 
this date gives a list of the killed, wounded 
and missing from this place. The fears of 
some are confirmed, and those of others par- 
tially relieved." 

August 14, 1862. "Two more military com- 
panies are now forming in this city. These two 
companies make seven that have been organ- 
in Oshkosh for the war, up to this date. "We 
have paid our war tax (of this sort) in advance 
all along. " 

"Our city committee collected and paid out 
to volunteers, as bounty money, $6,600 in two 
days last week. " 

"The Twenty-first Regiment at Oshkosh was 
the first regiment reported as full under the 
new call for volunteers." 

"At a meeting it was voted to recommend to 
the merchants to close their stores at two 
o'clock, and devote their time to raising 

Febrary 5, 1863: The unexpected death of 
the Hon. John Fitzgerald, long a prominent 
citizen of Oshkosh, occasioned universal grief 
in this community. His remains were brought 
here from New York, and the funeral services 
were conducted by the Masonic societies, with 
a large representation from abroad. 

February 19th: A fire occurred which 

destroyed seven stores on lower Main Street. 

January 22, I863: Prices advancing, the 

market reports are: Wheat, Club, extra, i.oo 

to 1.08; No. I, I.oo to 1.05; No. 2, 1.00 
to 1.04; Retail Flour, 5.25 to 5.50; Butter 16 
to 18; Potatoes, 30 to 40; oats, 40 to 45, 
corn, 44- 

May, 1864. Wheat, 1.15; corn,. 85; oats, 
,58; potatoes, .80; pork 25.00 per bbl.; flour, 
6.00; butter, .20c«;.25; lumber, clear, 25.00; 
lumber, common, 10.00. 

August 1866. Wheat, i. 70(0;!. 71; corn, 
1.35; oats, .90; pork, per bbl , 40.00; flour, 
9.00; butter, .30(^.35, lumber, clear, .35.00; 
lumber, common, 12.00. 


In 1852, the firm of Darling, Wright & 
Kellogg, opened the banking business in one 
side of Scott's jewelry store. In 1856, the firm 
was changed into that of Kellogg, Fitzgerald 
& Co. , with a capital of $30,000, and in the 
following year organized under the general 
banking law of the State. In 1863, this bank 
reorganized as the First National Bank of 
Oshkosh, with a capital of $50,000. In 1865, 
Mr. Samuel Hay became President and has 
held the position to the present time. In 
1872, the capital of the bank was increased to 
$100,000. The average amount held on 
deposit is $500,000. The First National Bank 
building is one of the finest structures in the 
citv; (see view of same in this work.) It was 
erected after the great fire in 1875, and with 
the site cost $40,000. President S. M. Hay; 
Vice-President, P. Sawyer; Cashier, Chas. 
Schriber; Directors, P. Sawyer, S. M. Hay, 
Robert McMillen, Sumner Bartlet, J. H. 
Porter, R. B. Kellogg. 

The next bank established v\as the Oshkosh 
Commercial Bank, in 1856; capital $50,000. 
Nelson Pletcher, President, and Henry 
Strong, Cashier. In November, 1858, Reeves 
& Roe succeeded Fletcher & Strong, and have 
continued to the present time. Thomas T. 
Reeves, President, and G. W. Roe, Cashier. 

The Union National Bank was organized in 
1871, with a capital of $100,000, with D. L. 
Libbey, President, and R. C. Russell, Cashier, 
and who still remain in those positions. After 
the great fire of 1875, the bank erected its 
present fine building, on the corner of Main 
and High streets, at a cost of $25,000. 


In 1863, the draft and filling the quotas 
were the great events. Prices were still 
advancing, and all kinds of commodities at 
high figures. 

The close of the war, in 1865, brought 
relief, and filled the country with renewed 
hopes. The return of a vast multitude of peo- 
ple to the vocations of peace, with the great 







expenditures of the government, which 
brought into circulation a large amount of 
money, stimulated business. 

The extension of railroad lines opened up 
new sections of country to settlement; 
improvement and progress were the order of 
the day; new buildings went up in every 
direction in the city and country; farm pro- 
ducts commanded good prices, and all branches 
of industry were prosperous. Elegant resi- 
dences were erected in this city; business 
blocks were constructed, and Oshkosh was in 
the full tide of business prosperity. 


Among the improvements of 1865 was the 
new bridge, which replaced the old float 
bridge, which had done service since the year 
1849. The draw is a Howe Truss, and is one 
hundred and fifty feet long. The whole 
bridge is six hundred and odd feet in length, 
and cost $21 ,100. The contractor was David 
McCartney. The engineer was Edward Sar- 

THE FIRE IN 1 866. 

In May, 1866, occurred another great fire. 
It commenced on the west side of Main Street, 
and swept the whole block, from High to 
Algoma Street, and, crossing to the east side, 
destroyed nearly the whole block from Wau- 
goo to Washington. It then crossed to the 
north side of Washington, and burnt all the 
buildings on that street from Main to Jefferson 
Avenue, including the postoffice and public 

This left a large burnt district in the center 
of the city, and was the second time this tract 
had been swept over by fire. The desolate 
appearance of the place, and the impending 
danger which continually threatened the city 
with destruction, were sufficient to dishearten 
the most courageous. But Oshkosh, with her 
characteristic energy and pluck, would not 
yield to any discouragements, and in a few 
months both sides of Main Street were rebuilt 
with a better class of buildings than those 
destroyed; the west side being exclusively of 


In this year, February 24th, a sad calamity 
occurred. The boiler in the machine shop of 
J. F. Morse & Co. exploded, killing four men. 
It was a heart rending scene, when the lifeless 
remains were exhumed from the ruins, and the 
sobbing relations, frantic with grief, stood by 
in heart-broken expectancy. 

The streets of Oshkosh, in rainy periods. 

were in a most deplorable condition, and 
especially so in the spring, when the frost was 
coming out of the ground; for at that season 
the streets were sometimes almost impassable. 

The necessity for improvement of the streets 
was imperative. 

The building of the new bridge seems to 
mark an epoch in the advancement of this city 
in the line of public improvements; for it was 
followed by street improvements that have 
resulted in giving us as fine streets as can be 
found in any city in the State. 

In the fall of 1866 the city contracted with 
William Sharp and Michael McCourt for the 
paving of Main Street v/ith the Nicholson 
pavement. The work was done with dispatch 
and to the full satisfaction of the city, being 
completed and accepted early in December. 

This fine structure was erected in 1857; a 
view of which is given in this work. When it 
was erected, it was the best High School 
building in the State, and cost over $40,000. 
Its size is eighty-five by seventy-one feet; and 
height from base to top of tower is one hun- 
dred and thirty-one feet. The first story is 
sixteen feet high, and is divided up into 
school and recitation rooms; the former thirty- 
four by forty-four each. The building is 
admirably constructed throughout, and is an 
institution in which our citizens take a just 


This fine structure was erected in 1871. It 
occupies a beautiful site on Algoma Street, 
and is an architectural ornament to the city. 
The opening exercises took place September 
15th, 1 871, under the supervision of President 
Albee and an efficient corps of assistants. 

A large addition was constructed in 1877, 
increasing the capacity of the school about 
fifty per cent. 


The next great event in the history of Osh- 
kosh was the completion of the Oshkosh & 
Mississippi Railroad, to Ripon, in 1871. The 
road was then leased to the Milwaukee & St. 
Paul Company, which immediately put on the 
rolling stock, and thus extended its lines to 
Oshkosh. The first regular passenger train 
from Milwaukee reached Oshkosh December 
14, 1871. 

The splendid bridge of the Milwaukee & St. 
Paul Railroad was also constructed the same 
year, and is about 600 feet in length. This 
makes three fine, massive bridges crossing the 
river. A fourth bridge for wagons and foot- 




passengers across the river from Light to Ore- 
gon St;eet is now being built at a cost of 


Shortly after the laying of the Nicholson 
pavement, on Main Street, the question of 
improving the other thoroughfares of the city 
began to be agitated. The result was an 
experiment on Algoma Street of putting on 
twelve inches of gravel, which was found to 
make an excellent and enduring road. The 
plan was then adopted of graveling streets, at 
the expense of the adjoining property; and 
several of the main thoroughfares were grav- 
eled to the depth of twelve inches. This sys- 
tem of improving the streets was followed up, 
until the present time, at which there are 
some thirty odd miles of graveled streets 
in this city, with a smooth hard surface, 
and always in excellent condition. These 
streets, in their cleanly appearance, add much 
to the attractiveness of the city. 


This immense structure, which covers about 
three acres of land; is located about four miles 
from Oshkosh, on a delightful situation, on the 
lake shore. It was completed and accepted 
from the contractors on the i ith day of Janu- 
ary, 1875. The cost of construction was 
$495,484.80, and for land, out-buildings and 
furnishing, $129,765.20, making a total of 

Additional appropriations have been made 
for enlargements, and new wings have been 
added. It is a mammoth pile of imposing 
architectural proportions, and admirably man- 
aged under the superintendence of Doctor 
Walter Kempster. 

For view of this institution, and history, 
and statistics of same, see subsequent pages, 
per index. 


In 1869. Mr. J. B. Davis, constructed gas 
works, and laid mains through the principal 
streets, and on the 5th of December, of that 
year, gas was turned on, and the city lighted. 

it will be seen from the foregoing that the 
city made rapid progress during the period 
from 1865 to '73. the date we have now reached 
in its history. During that time great changes 
and many improvements were made, many 
new mills and sash and door factories were 
erected, and other branches of manufacture 
were established. Hundreds of elegant resi- 
dences and massive business blocks were built. 
The High School and Normal School building, 
and several fine churches added to the archi- 

tectural ornaments of the city. Two splendid 
bridges were built, Main street paved with the 
Nicholson, and between twenty and thirty 
miles of street graveled; the streets lighted 
with gas, and another railroad added to its 
lines of communication. 

It was now in the full tide of prosperity, when 
a series of fire calamities commenced, which 
completely transformed the city. Probably no 
other place, except Chicago, was socompletely 
changed in so short a period. The two great 
fires which occurred in 1874 and '75. and not 
a year apart, destroyed nearly the whole bus- 
iness portion ofthe city, and manj'entire streets 
of private residences. 


The Great Conflagrations of 1874, and of April 28, 1875 — 
Destruction of the Business Portion ofthe City — Rebuild- 
ing of Oshkosh — Rebuilt Oshkosh — List of Structures 
Erected in 1875. 

\ Ma\' 9, 1874, a fire broke out in a 
itter pile of straw and manure adja- 
cent to a barn belonging to Spalding 
& Peck. The fire was discovered when 
the blaze first started, but before it was 
reached with water, it ignited the barn, 
and as a furious wind was blowing, the flames 
rapidl)' spread to lumber piles and adjacent 
dwelling houses. It soon became uncontrolla- 
ble, and the sheet of flames swept everything! 
before them. The fire crossed Warren Street, 
burning up the buildings on two entire blocks, 
then leaped across Pearl Street, sweeping 
everything comubustable in its track. Then 
crossed High Street, to Algoma Street, where 
its further progress was arrested. Thirty odd 
structures were consumed in the conflagration, 
and the loss was estimated at $45,000. Insur- 
ance on the same, $32,900. It was followed 
by the great fire of July 14, in the same 
year, (1874). This fire broke out in a stable 
in the rear of McCabe's Block, on upper Main 
street, and laid waste all the compactly built 
portion of Main street above the Beck\\ith 
House, and all of North Division street. From 
there it spread, burning nearly every building 
in its course for a distance of more than a mile 
from the point of its origin. Several persons 
were so overcome with the intense heat and 
their e.xertions to save life and property, that 
they were carried nearly lifeless from the scene. 
One ofthe saddest occurrences during this fire 
was the death of William P. Taylor, City 
Treasurer, who was internally injured by his 




efforts to assist a crippled woman to save her 

Oshkosh, with her usual energy, built up the 
entire portion of Main street that was burned, 
before the winter set in, and about half of the 
residences. During this year, i Sj 4, some scvc/i 
liundi-cd structures were erected in various parts 
of the city, and it was demonstrated that 
although fires might burn up Oshkosh, they 
could not paralyze her energies or courage, nor 
check her rapid growth, which continues with 
undiminished vigor in the face of the greatest 
discouragements. She now set herself to work 
resolutely to meet her old enemy with oppos- 
ing forces, and fire-proof structures took the 
place of the combustible wooden buildings that 
had so long menaced the safety of the city and 
invited the devouring elements. All the com- 
pactly-built portion of upper Main street was 
rebuilt, during the same year of the fire, with 
fire-proof buildings. The progress that Osh- 
kosh made in building during that year sur- 
passed anything of the kind that ever occurred 
before in the history of cities. Over 700 struct- 
ures were erected in one summer in a city of a 
population of 17,000. 

But she was destined to distinguish her 
capacity on a still grander scale; for the next 
year was to witness the complete transforma- 
tion of the city by the destruction and rebuild- 
ing of its chief business centre. This was the 

It was a turning point in her history, and is 
undoubtedly the concluding chapter of her 
great fire calamities — for the new Oshkosh is 
built on a foundation of safety. The old 
wooden buildings have disappeared, and her 
business center is now exclusively brick and 
stone, with metal roofs. 

The following description of the great con- 
flagration of April 28, 1875, is from the Osh- 
kosh Nortlnvcstcrn, written by C. W, Bowron, 
city editor: 


It was about one o'clock P. M., and while 
the wind had reached its greatest fury, that the 
startling whistles screamed out the alarm of 
fire all along the line of mills and steam factor- 
ies. It w as a fearful day, and ten thousand 
souls started in wild excitement as they heard 
those first peals of the alarm whistles, and well 
they might. The deep volume of smoke, thick 
and black, that rolled up from Morgan's mill, 
showed too plainly what danger might be 
expected. Hardly had the great crowd gath- 
ered from all directions, when the spreading 
flames were already coiling and winding around 
the huge lumber piles that lay adjoining the 

mill. The wind was too strong, and the vol- 
ume of flame too sudden for effective Opera- 
tion on the part of anybody. Great chunks of 
burning cinders came floating over into the 
lumber piles more adjacent to Main street, and 
they quickly caught. A fierce fight was waged 
among these piles; but the cinders became too 
numerous, and the ignitions too frequent to be 
baffled. The wind was blowing from the south- 
west. On came the rushing tide of flame, more 
furious than the descending floods of Mill 
River. The steamers seemed powerless to 
check such a fearless adversary. No sooner 
could they get set at work than the enemy 
would charge with bayonets of fire, and drive 
them from their work. 

It bOon became apparent that it would 
sweep everything before it, and the merchants 
on Main street began to more seriously con- 
sider the situation. In less than twenty min- 
utes the fire had swept from Morgan's mill to 
the Milwaukee & St. Paul depot and freight 
house, and they were swept away like leaves 
in a blast furnace. The fire ripped through 
the planing, sash and blind mill of Lines, Lib- 
bey & Co., leaped to the sash, door and blind 
factory of Geo. Williamson & Co., taking the 
mill and yard of James & Stille in its course, 
and swept down to the planing mills of Bell & 
Rogers aud Ben Henze, on Market street. In 
the meantime it had veered to the northward, 
up Light street to High, taking the North- 
western House and the large frame buildings 
opposite. The grocery store of W. H. Ballou, 
corner of High and Light streets, caught fire, 
and the flames swept along eastward, demol- 
ishing the handsome brick residence of J. C. 
Spalding, corner of High and Bond streets. 


Thompson & Sprague's livery stable finally 
caughtfire, and being a large wooden structure * 
filled with hay and combustible matter, served 
to scattei- fires all over the buildings on the 
west side of Main street. The first point of 
contact on Main street was in Wright's wooden 
block, ne.xt to S. M. Hay's brick building, and 
directly to leeward of the livery stable. From 
this building the flames traveled with terrible 
swiftness in each direction, burning up ^o^- 
dirds the Northwcstcrji ofiice on the north, and 
spreading to the row of wooden buildings 
south from Hay & Bro's. store. 


When the flames swept over Main street, 
the sight on that and on adjoining streets beg- 
gars descprition. For a time those having 
stores and business places along Main street, 
had great hopes that the fire would bear to the 




river, and would be kept from crossing Divis- 
ion street. When at length there was no doubt 
upon that point there was no time to be lost. 
Everything was in the wildest confusion. There 
was running to and fro in not haste. Teams 
were eagerly sought for, empty vehicles were 
ravenously seized, and the sacking of those 
beautiful stores, and the piling of goods pro- 
miscuously into wagons, carts or any available 
conveyance, commenced in good earnest. The 
clerks in R. L. Digger's had the omnibuses 
employed in removing their goods, and every 
available truck was employed by the dry goods 
interests in that vicinity, to remove their goods 
to a place of safety. But, in spite of their untir- 
ing efforts, the dry goods men suffered large 
losses. The smoke became blinding, and the 
strife along Main street was terrible. Unbridled 
horses let loose from the livery stables, came 
dashing through the crowded streets; running 
teams came tearing by, while the yelling from 
man to man became perfectly terrifying. It 
was a wild scene which pen cannot picture. 
The part of Main street north of High street 
was attacked in a different direction, and from 
an entire different source than that south of 
High Street. The doom of the Postoffice was 
what settled the fate of that part of the street. 
From the Postoffice the fire quickly crossed to 
the rear of the fine brick rows between High 
and Algoma, consigning them to the general 
ruin. The rear end of the Beckwith House 
caught from the burning of Mrs. Bailey's build- 
ing, corner of Algoma and Division streets, and 
this, together with the Cottrill Block next to 
it, were totally destroyed, the walls falling 
with a terrible crash. The upper story of Cot- 
trill's block was used as a lodge room by the 
Good Templar lodge of this city, and by For- 
ward Grange, P. of H. 


With the destruction of the Beckwith House 
came the fall of the Harding Opera House. 
The fire first caught in the large windows of 
the Temple of Honor, and the wooden balcony 
which projected in front. It was sad to see 
this finest place of amusement in the city, and 
one which the citizens of Oshkosh had so long 
desired and so lately got, fall among the gen- 
eral ruin; but there was no water or any facil- 
ities to work with to save it, aud the heat from 
the tall brick buildings opposite was very 
intense. The Temple of Honor, which occu- 
pied the large front hall, saved everything but 
their billiard table. 


Curiously enough, the fire went northward 

just far enough to meet the line of the burnt 
district of last July, as though the fates had 
decreed that none should go unscathed. 

Boles' block marks the south limits of the 
fire on Main street on the west side. It was 
hard Svork to check it here, but the building 
being fire-proof, about fifty men with buckets, 
succeeded in saving it. Undoubtedly thesav- 
ing of this block was the means of saving the 
city offices, the Revere House and all that por- 
tion of Ceape street not burned. 


The fire swept onward east of Main street as 
far as Bowen, taking everything in its path 
between Washington and Ceape streets, includ- 
ing the north side of Washington street for 
about two blocks, with all the beautiful and 
costly residences on that fashionable thorough 

The Presbyterian church on Jefferson Ave- 
nue, in the rear of Harding's Opera House, 
followed suit, and Dr. Barber's residence and 
those of Marshal Harris, Dr. Goe, W. B. Fel- 
ker, C. E. Wefton and a score of others soon 
followed them. 

The fire raged with tremendous fury down 
Otter street, spreading from the Adams House 
to the German Church, and swept through, 
laying everything waste with fearful rapidity, 
till it reached Court House street. The resi- 
dences of Dr. Wright and J. E. Kennedy were 
burned, and Wm. Hume, Henry Bailey, next 
east of the Court House, were also reduced to 
ashes. The fire kept on its furious raid 
unchecked until it reached Bowen street, where 
it turned northward, and on Waugoo street, 
went a block be}-ond. -I 

bird's EYE VIEW. ! 

A view of the great conflagration from the 
top of a tall building, presented a sublime, 
yet an awful picture. Standing to the north- 
ward of the fire, on Main street, the scene was 
grand in the extreme. The whole area of the 
burnt district was burning at the same time. 
The buildings west of Main street had not yet 
burned down, while the flames had already 
spread far to the eastward, and the whole sur- 
face of the scene was one lurid glare of writh- 
ing, twisting, mocking flames. To the west, 
the farther buildings were mostly gone, while 
the tall walls along Main stood for a moment 
tottering and swaying, then fell with terrible 
roar and crash. Far to the eastward, the house 
tops seemed but the playground of a thousand 
dancing demons reveling in the dire destruct- 
ion of the hour. The steeple of the German 
church on Otter street, and the dome of the 
Adams House shone up amidst the blaeknesj 




bf the upper smoke, glowingin columnsof solid 
crimson, like the faint flickering of the setting 
sun through a dark storm-cloud. 

Small dwellings afar to the eastward, looked 
;ike so many bon-fires in some e.xciting cele- 
Dration, while men, women and children, away 
lown beneath, looked like pigmies in frantic 
gesture, hastening to and fro. The scene was 
\ild, awful, grand. Chaos ruled monarch of 
:hehour, and man was dumb with awe. 


Night came on, and as darkness stole grad- 
lally upon the footsteps of the retreating sun, 
he scene was changed. Excitement and anx- 
ous fear gave way to quiet despair and resig- 
lation. Tired humanity, rela.xed and weary, 
jegan to seek a rest and refuge from the toils 
ind fatigues of that awful day. Woe-begone 
md half discouraged, the outcast and the 
lomeless began to gather their little store 
ibout them and seek a shelter from the raw 
light air. Where the hundreds went to, and 
vhere they found a roof to shelter them, is a 
nystery. Even before the fire, house room 
vas scarce, but now it seemed almost an impos- 
libility to find it But the unpleasantness of 
he circumstances was relieved, in a measure, 
)y the kindness and sympathy of those who 
vere among the more fortunate. All who had 
t corner of room freely offered it to the 


The view of the city by night from a dis- 
ance was picturesque. The night itself was 
earfully dark, and the red reflection from the 
•uins lit up the hazy atmosphere with a soft 
adiance, making a most beautiful sight. The 
;hin smoke curling up from the heated 
tiass of brick and mortar, looked like incense 
burning upon some mighty altar. The long 
ne of light, half vivid, and half smothered 
n the darkness, gave a distinct outline of the 
(urnt district. The tall, black buildings still 
emaining, loomed up in perfect outline upon 
he light beyond, like dark and solemn spec- 
res upon a moonlit sea. The ruin was over, 
destruction had wrought its work, and the 
reat day died like a Dolphin. 


One of the saddest things connected with 
11 the sad things of the great fire was the 
leath of Thomas J. Davis, who yielded up his 
ife in heroic efforts to avert what proved in 
he end to be the greatest conflagration 
ve have ever seen. At the time the fire broke 
lut, Mr. Davis, with another man, was load 
ng lumber near the mill of Morgan & Bro. 

Thinking of the chemical fire extinguisher, 
which was generally kept in the office, he has- 
tened to it, strapped it on his back, and 
mounted the high platform that fronted the 
mill. At this time Mr. Morgan was on the 
roof of the mill. The front doors of the mill 
hung like great flaps, being hinged at the top. 
Mr. Davis, with the help of his companion, 
succeeded in raising the door sufficiently to 
admit him and the extinguisher, and he disap- 
peared amidst the smoke within. Nothing 
was seen of him for several minutes, although 
the flames and smoke began to belch out of 
the doors and the gable-end of the mill above. 

The door was raised and propped up with a 
stick, when out rushed the unfortunate man, 
the extinguisher gone from his back, panting, 
choking, writhing in the agonies of his terri- 
ble suffering. His clothes were almost wholly 
burned off, and his body under hisarms horribly 
burned. His sufferings were awful to wit- 
ness. He could but barely tell those who 
crowded around him, that after getting into the 
mill the flames broke out in terrible volumes 
behind and all around him, and he was forced 
to run a horrid gauntlet of flame and fire. 
Before reaching the door he was obliged to 
leap through solid volumes of roaring flame. 
He was removed to Dr. Russell's office, and 
when it became evident that that, too, must 
burn, he was carried on a mattrass to his resi- 
dence. He was about unconscious when he 
reached there, and lingered until about half- 
past nine o'clock in the evening, when death 
put an end to his misery. Mr. Davis was a 
Welshman, about thirty-five years of age and 
an exemplary man in every particular. He 
left a wife and five children. A purse of over 
$300 was made up among the friends of the 
afflicted family. 

Another death ^\'as that of Charles Dunn, 
an old man, who was crushed to death by the 
falling of the walls of the Harding Opera 
House. He was squeezed into jelly, his head 
being crushed into a shapeless mass of flesh 
and bones. His body was carried to String- 
ham's Elevator, where it was viewed by crowds 
of curious people. 


The burned district consists of a strip over a 
mile long and something over a quarter of a 
mile wide. Its boundaries may be briefly 
stated as follows; Starting from Morgan's 
Mill, on the river, it runs northeast to the cor- 
ner of Pearl and Light streets, thence north on 
Light to High Street; east on High to Bond; 
north on Bond to Algoma Street, thence north- 
easterly across the corner of Main and Algoma 




streets, taking in the southern portion of the 
block north of Washington Street, between 
Main and Mount Vernon streets; east on 
Washington Street, taking in several houses 
on the north side of the street, till it reaches 
Bowen Street; making a circle southeast, it 
comes back to Bowen on Otter Street; thence 
back on Otter, to Mill Street; down Mill to the 
alley between Otter and Ceape streets; thence 
west to the Court House; the line then contin- 
ues on Ceape to Main Street; thence north to 
43 Main Street and the Eagle Foundry, and 
along Marion Street to place of beginning. 
The loss, as near as can be estimated, will 
reach nearly $2,500,000. The assessed valu- 
ation of the property destroyed was about 

Hotels. — Adams House, C. P.&G. Adams, 
proprietors; Beckwith House, E. & F. Blood, 
proprietors; Tremont House, Joseph Stauden- 
raus, proprietor; Northwestern House, J. 
Wagner, proprietor; Carter Boarding House, 
G. T. Carter, proprietor. 

Banks. — First National, Union National, 

Churches. — Universalist, Salem Church, 
Lutheran, German Methodist, Norwegian 
and parsonage. 

Schools. — Otter Street, two buildings, and 
the German and English Academy. 

Public Halls. — Harding Opera House, Cas- 
sino Hall, Gewerbeverin Hall. 

Printing Offices.— K\\<t\\ & Hicks, North- 
zvestern and stationery store; Fernandez & 
Co., Times; Kohlman & Bro., Telegraph and 
book-bindery; Kaime & Livermore, Indepen- 
dent; Sarau & Weidner, job office and book- 

Dry Goods Dealers. — Clarks & Forbes, R. 
L. Bigger, Jones Bros., Kuehmstead Bros., 
McKey & Folds, E. L. Hughes. 

Millinery, Etc. — A. M, Weber, Mrs. John- 
son, Mrs. Nash, Miss Turner, A. Rodgers, 
Kittie Neis, Miss Tarrant. 

Harness Shops. — A. P. Allen, Henry Bar- 
low and C. F. Shroeder. 

Grocers. — R. Ash & Co., J. Fowler, G. J. 
Hatch, Jones Bros., Newton & Keen, Snell & 
Bliss,, Koch & Nehoda, H. Sherk, K. Dich- 
mann & Son, B. Gores, W. H. Ballon, Maine 
& Reed, Charles Ouinlan, E. W. Viall, 
Voigt & Wendorff, F. Hermann, L. Mayer. 

Furniture. — Badger Bros. 

Jeu'clry.—S. B. Boynton, I. G. Hatch, J. 
H. Shourds, V. E. Dake. 

Ciga r Dealers. — H . B a m m e s s c 1 , J . B a u m 

&Co., W. G. Brauer, Neumann Bros., T. V, 
Dercksen & Son, N. S. Robinson. 

Boots and Shoes. — N. T. Stickney & Co. 
R. F. Farrington, J. M. Rollins & Co., Geo 
Henkle, J. B. Stone, Richard Lawless, C. A. 
Johnson, M. C. Rock, I. Barta, Carl Rchs, 
A. Baumgartner, F. Runger, C. Bowen, C. 

SczL'ing Machines. — J. H. Barr & Co. 
Remington; C. W. Bloss, Domestic; L. C. 
Sessions, Singer; A. P. Bailey, Wheeler & 
Wilson; W. Lake, Victor. 

Music and Musical Instruments. — F. A. 
Beckel, G. R. Lampard, W. G. Brauer. 

Drugs and Medicines. — J. Bauman & Co., 
R. Guenther, J. R. Forbes, M. J. Williams, 
W. L. Williams & Co. 

Fur Dealers. — T. H. Bishop, Frank Percy, 
F. Thrall, A. Richter. 

Flour and Feed. — Blissett & Son, H. M. 
Woodworth, F. LaBudde. 

Real Estate.— C. D. Church, O. H. Harris, 
A. Norton. 

Hardz.<are.—S. M. Hay & Bro., W. H. 
Crawford, P. Z. Wilson, L. Dimpsey & Co., 
Geo. Kelley. 

Insurance. — Daniel & ]\IcCurdy, Gary & 
Harmon, Creutzburg & Schintz, 1^ S. Tuttle, 

A. Norton, Palmer & McLaren, King & Law- 
son, O. E. Carrier. 

Book Stores.— KWcw & Hicks, G. F. & 1. 
M. Eastman, W. G. Brauer. 

News Rooms.— ^. Hellard, Mrs. W. B 

Lleat Markets.-]. Muller, Wakeman 8 
Son, Conrad Ernst, C. Herrmann, Pitcher 8 
Woodworth, John Hcerning, Lochnian Bros 

Hides and Leather. — Metz & Schlcerb 
Hcehne & Jasnicke. 

Painters and J\iiuts and Oil Dealers. — D 

B. Alverson, A. Benedict, A. E. Chase 
M. Hasbrouck, James Willock, T. Frazcr, H 
M. Harmon, Lord & Kelsey, L. Schwahii 
Co., C. II. Maxwell, S. C. Spore. 

Carriage Shops. — P. L. Smith & Co., Clein 
ens& Wayland, J. Litfin, W. Griffith. 

Blacksmith Shops. — A. Sanford, P. Cliai 
boncau,J. F. Corrigal, James Kane, D. M 

Clothiers and Tailors. — McCourt iS: Can 
eron, J. T. Masse. F. Anger. 

Pump Works. — VV. Clough, C. Carter 

Hats and Caps. — J. B. Last, A. Richte 

Boiler Works.— U. T. Battis. 

Wholesale Liquor Dealers. — Masse & Be; 
nah, A. Meisner, J. Nicholson. 

Livery Stables. — Hobart & Holmes, Cole 
Forbes, G. W. Athearn & Co. (Omnibi 
Line), Thompson & Sprague, C. P. Mallelt 




Stencil Works.— ^M. C. Wheeler, J. H. 

Crockery Dealer. — J. F. W. Decker. 

Willozv Ware. — J ohn Bismark . 

Bakers. — L. Mayer, Heisinger Bros., J. 

Saw Mills. — Morgan Bros., James & Stille. 

Planing Mills, and Sash, Door and Blind 
Factoi'ics. — Lines, Libby & Co., G. M. Wil- 
liamson & Co., Kitz, Newell & Brown, Bell & 
Rogers, Ben Henze. 

Gnn Shops. — Frank Percy, George Schloerb. 

Miscellaneous. — I. J. Hoile, seed store; H. 
S. Janes, glazed sash, Jones & Frentz, abstract 
office; J. R. Loper, soap and candles; Bur- 
dick, Roberts &Co., rotary harrow; Alfred 
Chappie, stone works; J. H. Ward, plow 
shop; Daniel Pratt, cooper; Wm. Waters archi- 
tect; Bell & Rogers, architects; Mrs. Billings, 
patterns; Mrs. Davis, hair goods; C. R. Ham- 
lin, United States Deputy Marshal; A. K. 
Osborne, Collector United States Internal 
Revenue; United States Postoffice; City 
Library; Alf Ford, fruit and confectionery; 
W. D. Curtis, match factory; Northwestern 
Telegraph Office; V. E. Dake, plated ware; 
Pratt & Son, spring bed factory; Milwaukee 
& St. Paul Railroad depot; police station; 
Germania engine house; Wolf River Boom 
Company; City Surveyor's Office; S. Nash, 

Between 200 and 300 residences were 


A fair city smiling lies 
Underneath the April skies, 
Rears aloft its steepled crests, 
Where the swallows bviild their nests. 
Massive blocks of brick and stoue 
Show what enterprise has done ; 
Tasteful homes and gardens fair 
Show that wealth resideth there. 
Mills stand on the river's side, 
Lumber floats upon the tide; 
Rises smoke from furnace throats, 
Loaded are the passing boats ; 
While, like hum of monster tops, 
Sounds the labor of the shops. 
' Gazing up at April skies, 

This fair city smiling lies, 
Rears aloft its steepled crests, 
Where the swallows build their nests. 

Through the hum of busy trade, growing, nearer, rising higher, 

Speeding on the wings of fear comes the dreadful cry of fire. 

Past the shops where labor toils, through the mart where Mammon 

In the doors of happy homes, down the misery-haunted lanes. 

Presage of destruction dire, 

Swells and roars this cry of fire. 

Peal on peal of wild alarm, ring forth from each brazen bell, 

And shrieking mill and wliistUng boat the mournful story tell, 

While crashing through the crowded sti-eets the ponderous engines go, 

To mingle in the flaming fray, and battle with the foe, 
"Who every moment sendeth higher 
His breath of smoke and tongues of fire. 
The hurrying crowd, with gleaming eyes and faces pale as death. 
Sweeps on to where the Demon stalks, in all his fiery wrath. 
They see his thousand lurid flames, in triumph spreading faster, 
And vainly strive to beat them back, for Fire to-day is master. 
And slaves who bondage break. 
The worst of tyrants make. 

He shakes on high his crested head, in scorn at man's endeavor. 
Breaks every bound and rushes by, a swollen, flaming river, 
Which, gathering strength as it rolls o'er blocks of wood and stone. 
Becomes a mighty molten flood, whose fiery breath alone. 

To tree and house became 

Presage of death and flame. 

Rushed the towering flames, like torrents breaking from a mountain't 

Hissing, roaring, whirling, leaping on their blazing ( 
Melting granite, as a furnace melts a heap of softest wax ; 
Sweeping through the sternest iron, as through walls of driest flax, 

Flooding loftiest roof and spire 

With deluge of consuming fire. 

Stately mansion, humble cottage, block of brick and wood; 
Buildings that were half completed, buil lings that for years had stood; 
Lowly workshop, mill gigantic, feeble store and massive bank, 
AU beneath the flood of lava, in one common ruin sank ; 

For raging fire, like death, is quite 

Too powerful to be parasite. 

Swept this flood of fiery ruin on that fearful, fatal day. 
Seized with fury unrelenting, on its unresisting prey, 
Happy homes rbduced to ashes, haunts of vice in ruin fell. 
And the place in smoke and cinders, glowed with all the fires of heU, 
Or what is much the same. 
Glowed with a burning sea of flame. 

And while on its broad and blackened pathway countless homes in ruin 

Overhead the flood had painted flaming colors on the sky, 
Flags triumphant, banners crimson, showing all the victor's glow, 
O'er the blazing triumph gathered in the siege below; 
For 'twould be a species of insanity 
If every Wctor didn't show a Uttle vanity. 

And ,,the flames kept up their scourge, onward rolled their moulten 

'Till their blazing column's gathered at the very river's verge. 
There they faltered in confusion— fiery strength and fury gone- 
Turned to sparks and smouldering embers, and the day of wrath was 


Thus Heaven, in kindness, has decreed 
One element may stay another's greed. 
Where the fiend foimd strength and beauty, left he but a blackened 

Like some field of bloody battle covered with its thousand slain ; 
Smoke and ashes, frowning ruins, crumbling walls on every side, 
Marked the place where splendid buildings once had towered in their 

Gone were all the grace and beauty of the structures man had made, 
All the pride of this fair city in the tomb of ashes laid ; 
Gone, the labor years had taken, gone like fleeting of a breath. 
Wealth ana spiendor, grandem-, glory, swallowed up in fiery death. 
For Fii*e, Uke Death, his brother shark. 
Is prone to "love a shining mark." 
While the past is desolation, in the future Hope is flying; 
Sijilt our milk is, therefore let us waste no time iu useless crying. 
Gird our loins up, seize the hammer, sound forth labor's cheering cries, 
Till once more we see our city in its strength and beauty rise. 
For who win spend his time in weeping over home and fortune slain. 
When liis tears, though like a torrent, will not bring them back again ? 
Who will idly gaze distracted on the scenes of fiery strife? 
Folded hands and eyes of anguish cannot bring the dead to life. 
"Let us then be up and doing, with a heart for every fate, 
'Still achieving, still pursuing, learn to labor and to wait." 
Remembering that 'tis said the Heavenly Host 
Giveth him the greatest help, who helps himself the most. 

A sad city, wailing, lies 
Under mournful April skies. 




Fallen are its steepled crests, 
Where the swallows had their nests ; 
Massive blocks of brick and stoue 
Into dust and ashes gone. 
Tasteful homes aud gardens fair 
Scenes of desolation are. 
ALills upon the river's side, 
Swallowed up by flaming tide, 
Furnaces that poured forth smoke 
Into sombre ntius broke ; 
Workshop's hum, that went aud came, 
Vanished in a sheet of flame. 
Like some fair garden of the Lord 
Hewn and hacked by fiery sword; 
Under mournful April skies 
Our sad city wailing lies, 
Fallen are its steepled crests, 
Where the swallows had their nests. 


[Special Corresxjondeuoe of Chicago Tribune. | 

A visit to the City of Oshkosh, now so vig- 
orously springing up from the ashes of its late 
fire, discloses to the most casual observer the 
fact of its recuperative force, and the great 
vitality of its business resources. 

The work of rebuilding is being pushed for- 
ward with great vigor, and everything indi- 
cates that spirit of enterprise and business 
activity for which Oshkosh has been distin- 

The courageous enterprise manifested must 
arise from the firmest faith in the future pros- 
perous career of the place — a faith that is not 
only well sustained by the splendid progress in 
the past, but which a knowledge of her 
unbounded resources for trade and manufac- 
ture will conclusively show to be well founded. 

Two months have not elapsed since the fire, 
and during that time several brick blocks have 
been erected; many more are well advancedin 
their construction; and on nearly every other 
site of the business portion of the burnt dis- 
trict, foundations are being laid and building 
material stored in readiness for immediate work. 

Bricklaying is an extensive business in Osh- 
kosh at the present time, and the incessant 
click of the hundreds of mason's trowels adds 
a new chord to the music of Oshkosh, and 
minglessonorously with the noisy chorus of her 
machinery and business hum. 

It would be naturally supposed that such a 
fire would have paralyzed the hopes of a com- 
munity; but no sign of despondcnc)' is to be 
seen in Oshkosh. These peopleare determined 
to build up a city here worthy of the beautiful 
and advantageous site it occupies. They will 
succeed even beyond their highest anticipa- 
tions, for nothing can check the progress of a 
place like this. 

No one can become familiar with the beau- 
tiful and fertile country surrounding Oshkosh, 
and look at its magnificent river, 600 feet wide 
at this point, flowing from the great forests of 

Northern Wisconsin, and floating to this city 
their timber products, and the splendid sheet 
of water, Lake Winnebago, and the steamers 
and sail craft which ply in every direction, 
to the Mississippi on the west and Lake Mich- 
igan on the east — without seeing the plainest 
evidences that Nature has laid here the found- 
ations for a city of large proportions, and one 
that must necessarily be a great manufacturing 
and business center. The immense quantities 
of commercial timber, in the shape of hard 
wood, as well as pine, in the country to the 
north of Oshkosh, on its tributary rivers, and 
the vast deposits of iron ore, which can be 
shipped south on the line of its demand through 
the forests which furnish the fuel for its man- 
ufacture, must ever make this region one of 

This tract of forest land also comprises large 
bodies of the finest grass and grain lands in the 
West. The country is well watered and not 
subject to droughts. There is every variety 
and character of soil and face of country, from 
the sandy, and rough, and rocky, and mining 
lands, hay-marsh, cranberry bog, cedar and 
tamarack swamps, to the very finest sugar- 
maple lands, comprising nearly whole town- 
ships in a body — the latter as fine farming 
lands as can be found in the West, with all the 
coveted advantages of rich soil, best of timber, 
plentifully supplied with the purest of running] 
water — spring brooks, large rivers and beau- 
tiful lakes; with railroads, business and manu- 
facturing facilities, and a healthful climate. 


This country has but just been opened up to 
settlement by the railroads. Its trade and 
business are developing with wonderful 
rapidity; villages and manufacturing ham- 
lets are springing ud along the lines o) 
the railroads. The manufacture of pine 
lumber and hard wood lumber, staves, spokes, 
wagon and furniture timber, now consti- 
tute the principal articles of manufacture, 
to which must soon be added iron work; 
and the various staple iron manufactures: for, 
let it be understood, that the railroads run fron- 
the iron and copper mines southward, througl 
the great tract of timber and farming lands, b) 
which the ore can be moved to meet the fue 
on the very lines of its natural shipment an< 
ultimate demand. The lines of road traversi 
ing this country must necessarily become i 
continuous hive of industry, and pour ai 
immense trade into the first available busines: 
center; and Oshkosh is the point. This 
plainly foreshadowed. 

Here is the splendid ri\er flowing from thi 

Residence or Genl.Tho mas S.Allen, Jackson St.Oshkosh,Wis. 





great forest tract and uniting at this point with 
Lake Winnebago and its continuous water 
communications east and west. The flow of 
trade from the North naturally runs to the 
west side of Lake Winnebago. This is the line 
of the direction of the demand of its products, 
and here is the natural center of trade and busi- 
ness between it and the beautiful prairie and 
open country which stretches from here away 
to the south and west. 

The country immediately surrounding Osh- 
kosh, and, in fact, the adjoining counties, is 
among the most fertile and beautiful in the 
West — prairie and woodland commingled 
with lakes and rivers. 

The resources of Oshkosh stimulate 
a growth which no disaster like her great fire 
can suppress. Last year over seven hundred 
buildings were erected, and this year, although 
the great fire destroyed the business portion of 
the city, its rapid progress is unchecked. 


The danger of fire, so long menacing Osh- 
kosh, is now, in a great degree, removed. The 
large quantities of combustible material which 
were stored in such dangerous proximity to 
the business portion of the city, are now tor- 
ever banished by a city ordinance to that effect. 
The old wooden buildings are all destroyed in 
that locality, and nothing but fire-proof struc- 
tures are to be permitted to take their place. 
The safety of the city from further conflagra- 
tion can be very readily secured, for very few 
cities have better natural facilities for protec- 
tion. The splendid river, 6oo feet wide, which 
bisects the city, forms an effectual barrier of 
non— communication and gives an immense 
water frontage, with an ever ready and most 
available supply of water at the immediate 
points of greatest danger. There is no doubt 
that Oshkosh will profit by her experience and 
avail herself of her superior advantages to 
secure immunity from any further extensive 
conflagrations, and that the city is rebuilt on a 
foundation of safety. 

It is rare to find a place with such fine busi- 
ness facilities, possessing so many attractions 
as a place of residence The wealthier classes, 
the business and professional men, of large 
cities, are glad to find pleasant places of resi- 
dence from ten to twenty miles from their 
places of business, where their homes are 
exempt from the stifling, impure air, heat, 
dust and smoke of the crowded marts; 
while the citizens of Oshkosh have, within ten 
or fifteen minutes' carriage-drive of their busi- 
ness center, the most delightful sites for sub- 

urban residences, embracing a lake front of 
surpassing beauty. The drive to Winneconne 
discloses a most picturesque view of lake 
and river, and beautiful slopes of prairie, 
groves and cultivated fields. The shores of 
Lake Winnebago, a most magnificent sheet of 
water, and the finest yachting waters in the 
West, are among the most beautiful situations 
for suburban residences to be found in the 
countr)'. The shore in the immediate vicinity 
of Oshkosh, and for several miles, has a fine 
gravelly or stony beach, with many beautiful 
points and bays. Steamboats, sail craft and 
pleasure yachts ply its waters, and add addi- 
tional attractiveness to the lovely scene. No 
finer location can be found for a delightful 
watering-place and summer hotel. It is sur- 
passing strange that such an opportunity 
should have been so long over-looked, and I 
call the attention of those who are looking to 
enterprise in that direction to this most attrac- 
tive place. 

R. J. H. 


[Special Correspondence Chicago Times.] 
" I saw from out the wave her structures rise, 
A.S from the stroke of the enchanter's wand." 

A year ago, Oshkosh built up a half mile of 
upper Main Street, which had been formerly 
destroyed by the great fire of that year, and 
this year she performed a similar operation on 
a scale of greater magnitude, being the whole 
business part of the immense burnt district 
which was laid waste by the memorable con- 
flagration of last April. She now enjoys the 
distinction of being the only bran new city, 
with all the modern improvements, that was 
ever built in the short period of one year. 

Although so terribly scourged by the two 
great fires which, in one year, burnt up two 
miles of the densely populated portion of the 
city, including nearly the whole of its business 
buildings, hardly a trace of the fire can now be 
seen on the business streets. Her fire scars 
were healed over in a single season, and her 
calamity is forgotten in the prosperity which 
attends her vigorous enterprise. 


The structures erected in Oshkosh during the 
summer of 1875, were: One hundred and 
twelve fire-proof stores, two first-class hotels, 
twelve manufacturing establishments, two 
school buildings, one elegant opera house, two 
bank buildings, five churches, fifty-six build- 
ings comprising frame stores, mechanic shops, 
livery stables, etc., and 284 dwelling houses — 
being 476 buildings in all. Nearly ten miles 
of sidewalk have been laid, and upper Main 




street has been graded and graveled, and long 
lines of sewers constructed. Of the residences, 
over half are elegant and costly structures. 
The business streets are metropolitan in appear- 
ance, with their palace stores and magnificent 
plate-glass windows of the largest size. Main 
street, for nearly a mile, is compactly built up, 
there being but three vacant spaces on lower 
Main, the scene of the spring fire. It presents 
a splendid appearance in its long line of hand- 
some new structures. 

The change effected by the fire has com- 
pletely transformed the place. The old wooden 
structures were all swept away, and the old 
familiar landmarks have disappeared forever. 
It was hopefully predicted, early in the sum- 
mer, by the local papers, that half of the busi- 
ness portion of the burnt district would be 
rebuilt by fall. The progress of Oshkosh in 
this instance, as in all others, has surpassed the 
most sanguine expectations. Instead of half 
the space being filled up, it is nearly all rebuilt, 
and more than fifty of the finest structures have 
been erected on lots formerly vacant or occu- 
pied by frame buildings. In fact, a building 
mania prevailed, that seized upon every avail- 
able place with a determination to fill the whole 
thing up, and it has accomplished its purpose. 
One remarkable feature of this unparallelled 
rebuilding is that it is very generally paid for. 
There is but a trifling indebtedness as the busi- 
ness property in the burnt district is princi- 
pally owned by men of ample means. 

L()C.\I, WE.\LTH. 

The local wealth of Oshkosh is rarely 
equalled by cities of its size. The average 
deposits in its three banks is nearly $1 ,000,000. 
This, in connection with the heavy capital 
invested in some seventy manufacturing estab- 
lishments and the large class of mercantile 
houses, makes a sum total which plainly tells 
the story of the business capacity of the place. 
Oshkosh, therefore, renews her business career 
under the favorable circumstance of freedom 
from burdensome indebtedness. Her business 
firms, with one or two exceptions, all resumed 
business immediately after the fire, and 
although there were individual losses involv- 
ing large amounts, their solvency was unshaken. 
There was probably never another instance of 
such a wholesale destruction of property 
attended with so few failures. The business 
men of Oshkosh asked no compromise with 
creditors, and amid the loss and wreck of their 
property, and the great discouragements of the 
interruption of their business and lack of facil- 
ities, they prompth- met their demands. 


The municipal indebtedness is compara- 
tively nothing, being only some $70,000. The 
city has invested largely, too, in local improve- 
ments, but they are paid for. Her school 
buildings are among the finest in the State. 
One of them is the State Normal School, 
towards the erection of which Oshkosh contrib- 
uted some $30,000 — and the Oshkosh High 
School buildings, v.hich cost about $40,000. 
Several of the Ward Schools are fine buildings, 
costing from $10,000 to $20,000 each. In the 
construction of two magnificent bridges, 600 
feet long, the width of the river, which bisects 
the city, $50,000 was expended. There are 
over twenty miles of graveled streets. Algoma 
and Washington streets are almost one contin- 
uous line of three miles of elegant residences. 

The value of manufactured products for the 
year 1875, is over $4,000,000. Although 
Oshkosh is a great lumbering center, rough 
lumber now constitutes but little over one- 
third of the value of her manufactures. 

R. J. H. 

0.shUush, .\])iil, 1876. 


McKey & Folds § l,"™ 

J. M. Rollins 4,000 

Win. Hill & Co 15,000 

P. Kelly 4,000 

Moses Hooper and George Mayer 9,000 

Mrs. McCabe 4,000 

Wolcotfs Block 10,(X)0 

R. Gueuther 6,000 

Mrs. Carter 4,500 

J. F. W. Decker 4,600 

A. B Wright 8,000 

G. F ,t L. M. Kastmau 4,000 

Alf Ford 4,000 

Mrs. Watts ". 4,500 

H. L. Bigger IB.IXKl 

E. W. ViaU and .lames .Icukius 10,000 

Clarks & Forbes 3,500 

H. Kuehnistcd 4,500 

S. M. Hay 1<I,000 

C. M. McCabe 4,000 

Cameron & McCo\irt 4,000 

Williims & FroehUch 4,000 

LaBudd & Habeu B,000 

L. Mayer & G. W. Newman ... . fi.ooii 

Haben & Ruck ,. 7,1100 

Voigt & Wendorff 7,00(1 

Win. Wakemnu 7,000 

Mrs, Hardy .. 4.000 

David Evans . B,000 

.f. Horuiug J: .1. Bamngnrtiipr .^OOO 

Hoisiuger Bros 7,000 

Jul. Heisiuger .'>,000 

K. Dichmauu & Sou H,000 

Kaerwer & Henkle 3,000 

Peters & McKenzie .6,000 

V . Hermann . lo,000 

Metz & Schloerb 0,000 

.1. M. Weisbrod 3,000 

L. Bridge 3,000 

H. Bammessel 10,000 

W. 11. Kennedy 4,000 

If. McKenzie 5,000 




H. B. Jackaou 

P. KeUy 

Jos. Striugham 

A. Andrea 

C. Ernst 

E. Hubbard 

M. Griffin 

A. Meisuer 

Wm. Klotsch and E. W. Tiltou. 

M. T. Battis 

Nelson Gill 

Mrs. Bailey 

VoiKt & Weudorff 

E. Luhm 

George Condie 

A. Tietzen 

H. Peck . . 

C. Kolilman & Bros 


T. J. Kelly 

C. Spore 

Dichmahu's Block 

Hancock's Block 

J. Wlllock ... ■. 

Beckwith House 

Treraout House 

Union National Bank 

First National Bank 

\\'n\. Suhl's Steam Bakery .. .. 

Postoffice block 

Masonic Hall 

M &8t. P. R. B. Depot 

Fraker's Opera House 

Jail and Vaults 

Bell k Rogers, Planing Mill 

Williamson, Jones * Co.. 

Perry Ransom 

J. K. Loper 

M. T. Battis 

Coles & Forbes 

First Baptist Church 

St. Peters Catholic Church 

















3,000 , 


■2 000 

, 3,000 

. 3,5''0 

, 8,000 


. 4,000 

. ■25,001 

. 20,000 


, '22,000 

. 7,000 


. 16,000 

. 18,001) 

. 15,000 

. 25,000 



. 10,000 

. 6,000 

. 3,000 

. 2,000 

. 15,00!) 

. 20,000 

In the above list are included ii2 fire-proof 


Griffith and V akelield S 7,000 

Schmidt Bros 5,000 

Oshkosh Wool . Ti Mills 6,000 

B. J. Musser ;j ''o 


Germau-Eneli-di Academy 4,5,0 

Evangelical Church 6,000 

Danish Churca 3,000 

German Methodist Church lo,noi) 

Fifty other frame structures were erected 
during the -eason, comprising frame stores, 
livery stables, barns and mechanic shops; also 
five mechanic shops of brick. 


Fire proof BtoL-33 112 

First class hotels '2 

Banks - 2 

Mauufacturi ag Establishmeuts 12 

School Buildiugs 2 

Opera House 1 

Churches 5 

Dwellings 2R4 

Mechanic shops, brick 5 

Frame stores, shops, etc 51 

Total 476 

The actual amount expended in the con- 
struction of buildings, between the time of the 

great fire, of April 28, 1875, and the 12th of 
January following, was $1,050,490. 


The Business Firms of Oshkosh After the Fire in Board Shan- 
ties — The City Protected Against Further Extensive Con- 
flagrations — A new Impetus in Progress and Improvement — 
The Public and Private Enterprises in Oshkosh in 1879 — 
Nicholson Pavement on Kansas Street — New Bridge in 
Course of Construction — New Iron Railroad Bridge — 
Another Railroad Added to the Communications of Osh- 
jjosh — The Construction of the Grand Exposition Build- 
ing—New Branches of Manufacture — The Government 
Ship Yard — State Editorial Convention — Popular Gather- 
ings and Amusements — The Northern State Fair — Geo. 
Peck's Comments on Oshkosh. 

H E burnt district was a desolate look- 
ing tract immediately after the fire. 
One vast field of ashes and debris — 
the remains of the wreck of a city; but 
it soon began to assume the appear- 
ance of life and activity. The rapidity 
with which firms resumed business was a mat- 
ter of surprise to people at home and abroad. 
Little shanties began to spring up before the 
ashes were cold. In fact, the erection of tem- 
porary structures began the day after the fire, 
and in a few days many of the business firms 
were in new quarters — rough board structures 
which were erected principally on the side 
streets and intended for temporary occupancy. 
There probably was never another instance of 
such a wide-spread conflagrati on attended with 
so few failures and so slight an interruption to 

Oshkosh, arisen from the ashes of her late 
conflagration, was, in 1876, a newly-made 
city. The immense district, over a mile in 
length, of bran new buildings, was a sight that 
is seldom witnessed. Donned in her new attire 
she was now ready to renew her career in the 
race of progress. 

This was the third time that a large portion 
of the burnt district had been rebuilt, and this 
time it was wholly composed of fire-proof 
buildings. The danger of fire so long menac- 
ing Oshkosh, was bow, to a great extent, 
removed, as all the wooden structures that for- 
merly endangered the business portion of the 
city were destroyed, and an ordinance pro- 
hibiting the erection of wooden buildings in 
the newly prescribed fire limits enforced. 

The fires that have occurred since that time 
in that portion of the city have been rare, and 
have not spread beyond the building where 
they originated — in fact, no building on Main 
street since it was rebuilt has been wholly 




destroyed, the fire simply consumingthe inside 
finish. The business center of Oshkosh is, 
therefore, placed on a foundation of safety, and 
the danger which so long menaced the place 

Although times were unusually dull through- 
out the country at the time of the great fire, 
many of the business and manufacturing firms 
enlarged their facilities, and this was especially 
the case with the mammoth sash and door f: c- 

KVKNTS IN 1877, 1878 AND 1 879. 

In 1877-8 a number of fine residences 
were erected, and some additional business 
buildings. On Wednesday morning, January 
24, 1877, the Revere House was destroyed by 
fire. This was a sad calamity as it involved 
the loss of life. Jefferson Murdock in attempt- 
ing to find egress from the burning building 
was intercepted by the flames and perished. 
His untimel)- death caused a wide-spread 
grief, as he was a young man of much promise, 
whose untimely end was mourned by a large 
circle of relatives and friends. 

Among the events of the year was the 
Northern State Fair, which is held annually in 
this city. It was attended by an immense con- 
course of people and was universally pro- 
nounced one of the finest agricultural exhib- 
itions ever held in the Northwest. 

In 1878 the Schmit Brothers erected the 
new trunk factory, which employs from forty 
to fifty hands, and is quite an accession to the 
manufactures of the city. 


The year 1879 ushers in an awakened spirit 
of progress and marks a new epoch in the 
advancement ofthis city. Thespirit of improve- 
ment and enterprise is fully aroused, and Osh- 
kosh is making rapid strides in public and pri- 
vate enterprise, giving her future an appearance 
of the brightest promise. Among the public 
improvements of theyear is the new Nicholson 
pavement on Kansas street. This fine piece 
of work was done by William Sharpe,with his 
usual dispatch and thoroughness, and adds 
very much to the handsome appearance of that 
main business thoroughfare. The new brick 
block just constructed on that street is an addi- 
tional improvement. Kansas street, with its 
fine brick blocks and Nicholson pavement 
crowded with teams, wears a decidedly busi- 
ness-like look and is a credit to the city. 

The new bridge, now in course of construct- 
ion, to cross the river from Oregon to Light 
street is to be a massive iron structure, and is 
contracted to cost $27,000. Henry Schneider 
is the contractorforbuiltlingthe stone supports, 

which is sufficient warrant that that part of the 
work will be well done. 

Theexpositionbuildingof the Northern Wis- 
consin Agricultural and Mechanical Associa- 
tion was completed in August. This is an 
immense structure, and is the largest agricul- 
tural exposition building in the Northwest. 
Oshkosh may well feel proud of her achieve- 
ments in the year 1879, and this and the new 
railroad are the crowning glories. 

This mammoth building is four hundred feet 
long and sixty feet wide, and is another evi- 
dence of Oshkosh enterprise. A grand har- 
vest ball was held in the building on the sec- 
ond of September, The building was lighted 
with over one hundred lamps and presented a 
gay scene. Over 600 persons were dancing 
on the floor at one time. 


In May, 1879, the Milwaukee, Lake Shore 
& Western Railway submitted to this city a 
proposition in substance as follows, viz: To 
issue to said Company its bonds to the amount 
of$7S,000, bearing interest at therate of seven 
per cent, and payable $15,000 fifteen years 
from date of issue, and that amount annually 
thereafter until the whole is paid; and said 
bonds to be placed in the hands of Alexander 
Mitchell in escrow, to be delivered to said 
Company when they shall build and fully com- 
plete a road from Oshkosh to connect with the 
road at Hortonville; and at the time of deliv- 
ery of said bonds, that the Company deliver to 
said City of Oshkosh certificates of stock in 
said road to the amount of $75,000, the said 
proposition to be binding on the City of Osh- 
kosh if approved by a vote of the people ofthis 
city. , 

The above proposition was submitted to avote 
of the people on Tuesday, June 24th. The 
election resulted in an almost unanimous vote 
in its favor, nine \otes out often being cast for 
the proposition. 

The route was immediately surveyed and 
the right of way purchased. The construction 
of the road is now in progress, and it is 
expected that it will be completed early in the 
coming winter. This gives the city a direct 
road to the Northwest and is a much needed 

The summing up of public improvements 
in this city for the year 1879, as will be seen 
from the foregoing, are the Nicholson pave- 
ment on Kansas street, the new bridge to cost 
$27,000, the exposition building, the northern 
railroad and the iron bridge of the Chicago & 
Nothwestern Railroad. 

Residence of Hon.S.M.HAY,Algoma.ST'.,oskosh.Wis. 

Pete RSI LEA , Homestead J853 Oshkosh.Wis. 

1 879] 



IN 1879. 
The manufactures of Oshkosh have received 
an important accession in the establishment of 
the extensive carriage works of Parsons, Nev- 
ille & Co. This firm was doing a heavy busi- 
ness in Chicago, but believing that this city 
was a favorable location for their business, 
they moved their works to this place last spring. 
They occupy the building formerly known as 
the Vulcan Iron Works, which has been 
remodeled and is to be further enlarged. One 
hundred hands arc employed and the force is 
to be largely increased, 

The moving of a grist-mill to this place from 
^^'inneconne is one of the novel events of this 
season. It was floated on barges and is prob- 
ably the only instance of a large building being 
moved in this manner. 

The handsome residence and grounds of J. 
J. Moore have been purchased for the pur- 
pose of turning it into a hospital by the Broth- 
ers of Mercy. 

Among the business and manufacturing 
structures erected the present season are the 
large saw-mill of Geo. W. Pratt, Horn's large 
brewery, the brick block on Kansas street, 
Geo. Cameron's livery and sale stable, and 
several fine residences. 

The inside construction of the Fraker Opera 
House is to be remodeled on a grand scale, so 
as to convert that splendid building into a first- 
class opera hall. 

The Government ship-yards were in full 
blast last winter. A large steam dredge and 
steamboat were built to be used in the improve- 
ment of the Fox and Wisconsin rivers. This 
work in the ship-yard gave employment to a 
number of men. 

The favorable weather last winter for lum- 
bering operations gave full employment to a 
large force of men, and the log crop is esti- 
mated at I 20,000,000 feet. 


Among the events of the season was the 
assembling of the State Editorial Convention 
in this city, the regatta of the Oshkosh Yacht 
Club, the rendition of the operetta of the Naiad 
Queen, which was given for seven successive 
nights to crowded houses; the Pinafore also 
raged extensively. The Hess Opera Company 
also gave two entertainments. These drew 
large crowds here from neighboring cities. 
Oshkosh is, in fact, becoming quite a center 
for popular amusements. 

The annual fair of the Northern State Agri- 
cultural and Mechanical Association was 
attended by an immense assemblage, the 

attendance one day being estimated at 12,000, 
and the fair is unanimously declared to be the 
best ever held in the State. 

George Peck, during his attendance at the 
editorial convention sent to his paper, the Sun, 
the following communication: 

They took the crowd of editors and their wives, and other 
female relatives all over town, through the busy streets, around 
the residence streets, where some of the houses and yards 
would do great credit to Grand Avenue, or Cass, or Marshall, 
or Division streets in Milwaukee. We could see the outside of 
the fine homes reared by hard labor of rich men who com 
menced life riding a saw-log, and are now honored by the state 
and by the nation. We passed mills that turn out the best of 
lumber in quantities to suit, and we drove to the bank of Lake 
Winnebago, where one day Oshkosh will have as fine a park 
as there is in the State. We passed the stores where men have 
been burned out so often that when they smell pine burning 
they put their insurance policies in their pocket and go to pack- 
ing up their goods, in the belief that they will soon have to put 
up a board shanty to do business in. Every business man has 
the appearance of a man who is prepared for any emergency, 
be it from fire, flood, chinch-bugs, grasshoppers or the devil. 
Oshkosh has a crowd of men that know no such word as fail. 
If I were asked to pick out a hundred men would illus- 
trate Western pluck and enterprise, I would go to Oshkosh, 
pick up the first man with a slouch hat on, and ask him to ring 
afire bell and get the boys together, and the hundred men 
could be picked out in four minutes by the watch. 


March, 1S68 — Wheat, No. I, $1.90; flour, 
$iO! oats, 60c; corn, 90c; potatoes, 70c; 
pork, per barrel, $24. 

Marcli, i86g — Wheat, No. i, $i.90(g<i.95; 
flour, 10.50; oats, 62c; corn, 65c; pork, mess, 
32.00; potatoes, 75c; hay, tame, 14.00 to 
18. OO; lumber, common, 10. OO; dimension, 
12.00; cleasboards, 30.00; clear plank, 40.00; 
sugar, i6c; coffee, 25 to 40c; tea, i. 00 to 1. 80; 

Jtmc, 1870 — Wheat, No. i, $i.8S(q;i.90; 
flour, 9.50; corn, 90c; oats, 50c; potatoes 60c; 
hay, tame, io.oocSj 12.00; pork, mess, per bar- 
rel, 32.00; butter. 20c; cheese, i6c; coffee 25 
to 3Sc; sugar, 11 to 14c; tea, i.ooto 1.60; 
lumber, common, 9.00; clear boards, 28.00; 
plank, first clear, 35.00 

December, 1871 — Wheat, No. i, $1.10; 
flour, spring, 6.50 per barrel; flour, winter, 
8.00 per barrel; corn 75c; oats, 45c; pork, 
mess, 13.00; hay, tame, 12.00; potatoes, 80c; 
butter, i8(a;20c; eggs, 15c; coffee, 25 to 35c; 
sugar, 10 to I2c; beans, i.oo to 1.50; lumber, 
common boards, 12.00; dimension, 12.00; 
fencing, 14.00; siding, clear dressed, 20.00; 
clear boards, 25@30.OO; plank, first clear, 30 

January, i8yj — Wheat, $1.12 to 1.15; 
wheat, winter, 1.26; flour, per barrel, 5-5°; 
corn, 46c; oats, 35c; potatoes, i .00; butter, 
20 to 22c; pork, mess, 13.00, lumber, com- 





mon boards, 12.00; clear boards, 25.0010 30.00; 
first clear plank, 40.00. 

April, /.y/^ — Wheat, No. i, $1.20; flour, 
6.50; pork mess, per barrel, 17.00; beans, 
navy, 2.50; potatoes, i.OO; corn, 70c; oats, 
50c; butter, 35c; coffee, 25 to 40c; sugar, 10 
to I2c; cheese, i8c; lumber, common, 10.00; 
clear, 25.00 to 40.00. 

August, iSjs — Wheat, No. i, $1.05 to 
1. 1 5; corn, 75c; oats, 55 to 6oc; flour, spring, 
6.00 per barrel; winter, 7.00 per barrel; but- 
ter, iSc; cheese, 14c; potatoes, 55 to 60c; 
pork, mess, 18.00; lumber, common, 1 1 ; clear, 
25.00 to 40.00. 

June, 1 8^6 — Wheat, No. i,$; corn, 
55c; oats, 35c; potatoes, 20c; butter, 20c; 
pork, dressed, 9. 00; beef, by the quarter, 5 
to 7.00. 

May 18, /cy77 — Wheat, No. i, $1.85, 
corn, 60c; oats, 45c; flour, per cwt., 5.00; 
patent, 5.75; potatoes, 90c; butter, 15 to i6c; 
beans, 1. 75; pork, mess, 16.00; beef, by quar- 
ter, 4.50 to 6.00; hay, tame, 9.00, lumber, 
common, 9 to 10. 00; clear, 20 to 30.00. 

January, iSj8 — Wheat, No. i, $l.OO; 
corn, 40c; oats, 28c; potatoes, 30c; beans, 
2.00; beef, dressed, 3 to 4.00; pork, dressed, 
3.25 to 4.00; tame hay, 9. 00; lumber, com- 
mon, 8.00; clear, 20 to 30.00. 

April i^, [8j^ — Wheat, No. i, 88 to 90c; 
corn, 32c; oats, 28c; flour, spring, 2.38- per 
cwt. j patent, 3.75; beef, dressed, 3.50 to 
5.00; pork, dressed, 4 to 4.25. 

August I, i8jg — Wheat, No. i, $.98 to 
1.00; corn, 35c; oats, 33c; flour, per cwt., 
common, 2. 50; patent, 3.50; pork, dressed, 
3.50 to 4.00; tame hay, 6 to 7.00; potatoes, 
35 to 40c; wool, 25 to 28c; butter, 11 tol2c; 
cheese, ^c; coffee, 25 to 35c; tea, 50c to i.oo; 
sugar, 8 to 1 1 c. 


The City of Oshkosh — Its Situation, Tributary Country, Local 
Surroundings — Water and Railroad Communications — 
Description of the City — Its Manufacturing District — Busi- 
ness Streets — Elegant Residences and Grounds — Oshkosh 
as a Summer Resort and Watering- Place — The Yachting 
Center of the Northwest — The Oshkosh Yacht Club — Pub- 
lic Building's. 

E City of Oshkosh is situated on one 
of the finest commercial sites in the 
Northwest; at the mouth of the Upper 
Fox river on the western shore of 
Lake Winnebago, a magnificent sheet 
of water thirty-five miles long and ten 
It is a situation of great natural beauty- 


overlooking the picturesque lake and river 
scenery of the vicinity. It attracted the at- 
tention of the early explorers and adventurers 
who made it their favorite stopping place in 
their travels from the great lakes to the Missis- 
sippi. Lake Winnebago and the Fox and 
Wisconsin rivers formed the great commercial 
highway of the northwest, before the age of 
railroads, and ntany a glowing description was 
then written of the beautiful lake and river 
country now called Winnebago county — of its 
lovely prairies, openings and woodlands, its 
magnificent lakes and broad rivers, its fertile 
soil and salubrious climate, and it has well 
maintained its early reputation, and is regard- 
ed to day as one of the most favored spots for 
the habitation and enjoyment of man. 


The adjacent country and that stretching 
away from here to the south west, for hund- 
reds of miles is the richest agricultural district 
to be found in the habitable world. Its sur- 
face is undulating prairie and openings, with 
its rivers and lakes skirted with timber. The 
scenery of this combined woodland, prairie, 
lakes and rivers is surpassingly beautiful ; dis- 
closing picturesque views which stretch away 
in the far distance, like the varying pictures of 
a lovely panorama. The rivers and lakes 
abound in fish and water-fowl, the woodlands 
in game. The facilities for rural and aquatic] 
sports have already made the locality famous 
for those enjoyments. 

The well cultivated farms, spacious barns, 
and comfortable, well painted farm houses, 
with their tasty surroundings and orchards, 
very plainly indicate the general wealth and 
thrift of the farming community. 

This county has taken the first premium at 
state fairs on its apples and grapes, and many 
of its agricultural products, and is famous for 
the excellent quality of its choice grapes, 
which are grown in profusion. At the 
World's Industrial Exhibition at Paris, it took 
the first premium on wheat, against the com- 
petition of the world. 

The tract of country lying between Oshkosh 
and Lake Superior, and cast of the Central 
R. R., embracing the valleys of the Wolf and 
Wisconsin, is about eighty miles in breadth 
and a hundred and fifty miles in length. This 
territory is naturall)' tributary to Oshkosh, 
and is one of the most valuable timbered 
tracts in the west, pine and hardwood inter- 
spersed. It is a country of vast resources — 
timber, mineral and agricultural. There is 

Res OF Judge D J. Pulling, Jackson St. OsHKOSH Wis. 




every variety of character of soil, and face of 
country, from the sandy and rough and rocky, 
to the very finest sugar-maple lands, compris- 
ing whole townships in a body. The latter 
are as fine farming lands as can be found, with 
all the coveted advantages of rich soil, best of 
timber, plentifully supplied with the purest of 
running water — springs, brooks, large rivers 
and beautiful lakes. 

Some portions of this country are already 
well populated and in a high state of cultiva- 
tion, with fine farms, good houses and barns. 
Villages and manufacturing hamlets are spring- 
ing up on its water-powers and natural 
thoroughfares, and its resources are develop- 
ing with wonderful rapidity. 

This is the country of the new railroad from 
Oshkosh north; a country that can pour into 
the lap of Oshkosh a flood of trade and busi- 
ness if railroad facilities are provided. 

There is a large section of this country as 
yet comparatively unsettled, but immigrants 
are rapidly occupying it, and it soon will be 
one of the populous portions of the State. 

The building of a railroad through this ter- 
ritory, which is large enough for twenty-five 
counties of the size of Winnebago, would 
facilitate its rapid settlement and conversion 
into farms and manufacturing villages, which 
would necessarily peur a copious trade on the 
line of their outlet. 

Fortunately for Oshkosh, the richest and 
finest tract of Northern Wisconsin is open to 
the channels of her trade. 


The Wolf river, flowing from the great pine 
and hardwood timber regions of the north, for 
a distance of over two hundred miles, forms 
a junction with the Upper Fox, about twelve 
miles from this city. The Wolf is navigable 
for steamers as far as Shawano, a distance of 
one hundred and fifty miles. A daily line of 
fine, commodious steamers run from Oshkosh 
to New London, a point on the Wolf river, 
seventy miles distant. Another daily line of 
steamers run from here to Berlin, on the 
Upper Fox. Steamboats also ply between 
here and Green Bay, making steamboat con- 
nection with Lake Michigan, while others run 
transiently to the different ports on Lake Win- 
nebago. Numerous sail vessels also ply 
between here and the east shore of the lake, 
engaged in freighting lumber, timber, building 
stone, sand and brick. The best of building 
stone, and the finest quality of material for 
brick-making is abundant on the opposite 
shore, and the trade in the same is an exten- 
sive one. 

This unrivaled water communication is one 
of the commercial features of this city, 
as it occupies a commanding situation on that 
great chain of rivers and lakes, which is one of 
the grand, distinguishing characteristics of 
this continent, and of which Fox river and 
Lake Winnebago are important links in the 
connection of the Mississippi with the Great 
Lakes. It is, in fact, the great natural water 
thoroughfare of the continent, and the de- 
mands of our inland commerce have induced 
the Government to make the improvement of 
the rivers a national work. It will be seen, 
therefore, that the city has steamboat com- 
munication north by the Wolf River, southwest 
by the Fox and Wisconsin to the Mississippi, 
and east by the Lower Fox to Lake Michigan. 
These intersecting lines of trade, center 
here into a natural distributing point. It is 
here where the immense products of the pine 
and hard wood timber region of the Wolf 
river and its tributaries are brought to be 
manufactured and distributed through the 
agricultural districts bordering us on the south 
and west. A large portion of this " up-river " 
country is good farming land, and is rapidly 
" settling up. " This city is the natural outlet 
of its trade, from whence it obtains its supplies, 
and where its products find their most acces- 
sible market. 

These are the Chicago & Northwestern, 
with its southern and western connections, and 
by the same, north to Green Bay, on Lake 
Michigan, and thence to Lake Superior; con- 
necting with the inexhaustible iron mines of 
that region; the Oshkosh & Mississippi 
Railroad, connecting with the eastern and 
and western lines of the Milwaukee & St. 
Paul. The Milwaukee, Lake Shore and West- 
ern Railroad is now in process of construc- 

Is a tract with an elevation from twelve to 
twenty feet above the level of the lake. The 
city extends for a distance of nearly three 
miles from the shore of Lake Winnebago up 
the Fox River to Lake Buttes des Morts, 
occupying the tract between the two lakes and 
covering a territorial area of nearly eight 
square miles, about half of which is closely 
built over, the balance suburban. The river 
connecting these two bodies of water, and 
bisecting the city, is about 600 hundred feet 
wide, forming a spacious harbor, and being 
of slow current and not subject to freshets, 
affords great facilities for steamers, vessels and 
rafts. It is spanned at this point with four 





magnificent bridges, each about 600 feet long; 
two of which are the respective railroad bridges 
of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad 
and the Oshkosh & Mississippi Railroad ; the 
others for the accommodation of city travel — 
structures involving a cost of $100,000. 
Another bridge is now in process of construc- 
tion — an iron structure to cost $27,000, 

The river shore for a distance of nearly 
three miles, is an almost unbroken line of 
saw-mills, foundries and machine-shops, plan- 
ing-mills. sash and door factories, grist- 
mills, elevators, ship-yards, lime and 
stone yards, shipping docks and depots of 
the Chicago & Northwestern, and Oshkosh & 
Mississippi Railroads. 

The constant hum of this machinery, pro- 
pelled by over seventy steam engines — the 
steamboats, tugs and sail-craft, plying the 
river and lake — the long line of railroad trains 
coming and going, and the crowded and busy 
streets adjoining, present a scene of businesslife 
and activity, which clearly proclaims the manu- 
facturing and commercial character of this 
lively and thriving city. 

The main business street presents a fine 
appearance and extends for nearly a mile, and 
is compactly built up with business blocks, of 
brick and stone. It is paved with the Nichol- 
son, and lighted with gas, as are all the other 
principal streets. Kansas Street, on the south 
side of the river is also a fine business street, 
containing a large number of business blocks, 
built of brick. Several of the streets devoted 
to private residences are not excelled in the 
State, and are rarely equaled by eastern cities 
of the same size. Among the most beautiful 
are Algoma and Washington streets, which 
are practically one street, extending from the 
lake shore of Winnebago almost to Lake Buttes 
des Morts, a distance of nearly three miles; 
and which are built up for their whole distance 
with tasty residences, many of them being 
beautiful and costly structures, with the sur- 
rounding adornments of wealth and taste. 
The High School building and State Normal 
School, with their spacious grounds, are on 
this street. The luxuriant shade trees and 
original forest trees are among not the least 
of its attractions. It is graveled with a mater- 
ial which cements into a smooth, hard surface, 
and affords a beautiful drive. Irving, Merritt, 
Waugoo, Otter and Ceape streets extend from 
Main street to the lake shore, a distance of a 
mile, and with High, Jackson, Church and 
Jefferson Avenue, and the principle streets on 
the south side, are all attractive, well graveled, 
and built up with fine residences; many of 
them spacious buildings, with beautiful 

grounds and ornamental surroundings. The 
lake shore locality is one of the beautiful fea- 
tures of the city, which attracts the admiration 
of all, and which affords delightful sites for 
surburban residences. 

Oshkosh is justly proud of the distinction 
she enjoys in having thirty odd miles of beau 
tiful smooth streets of cemented gravel, afford- 
ing delightful drives and lovely views of her 
lake and river scenery. 

The many beautiful illustrations in this 
work, of the palatial residences and handsome 
surrounding grounds, and esoecially the 
attractive water scenery fully confirms the 
description here given. These views are all 
sketched from nature by G. W. Salisbury, for 
this book and are correct representations. 


This city possesses a rare combination of 
natural features for a delightful summer resort 
and watering-place. The climate is not sur- 
passed in healthfulness; the air ispurc and dry; 
the invigorating breezes from the lake temper 
the heats of summer, while the adjacent large 
bodies of water, to a great extent, have the 
effect of preventing those sudden extreme 
changes of temperature to which nearly all 
western localities arc much subjected. The 
water is wholesome, artesian fonntains abound, 
the scenery is lovely, the lake the most mag- 
nificent sheet of water, with beautiful shores 
and good harbors that are accessible in 
every direction, thus affording the best of 
)-achting facilities. The surrounding countrj- 
is beautiful, with excellent roads, aft'ordin^ 
delightful drives and picturesque views of the 
lake and river scenery. Wild game is abund- 
ant in the vicinity, and is composed of blue 
and green-winged teal, mallard and wood-duck, 
snipe, wood-cock, quail and prairie chicken. 
The waters abound in black and white bass and 
other fish; brook-trout are plentiful in streams 
within a day's travel; therefore, steamboat 
excursions, picnics; yachting, fishing, shooting 
and pleasure drives are among the available 
recreations of the place. Thissecures immunity 
from that monotonous routine of tame and 
insipid pleasures which prevails in so many 
celebrated watering-places; for the range of 
exciting and attractive out-door enjoyments, 
is here so extensive and varied, that the tastesi 
of all can be gratified; combining the gaieties,; 
public amusements and social enjoyments of 
city life, with the most delightful rural! 

The market is well supplied with wild game, 
and with the choicest fruits and vegetables of 
northern latitudes, fresh from the gardens and 




orchards of the vicinity which are very differ- 
ent to the stale products shipped from long 
distances. The choicest varieties of American 
grapes are grown in profusion; apples, plums, 
and small fruits are abundant in their season. 
The market is also kept as well supplied as 
those of the larger cities, with foreign fruits 
and delicacies, and shell fish from the sea- 

The same local circumstances also make 
Oshkosh a most desirable place for a residence, 
and it would be difficult to find another, where 
people of limited means can avail themselves 
of so many of the enjoyments and comforts of 
life — the amenities of society, the opportuni- 
ties for mental culture, public amusement and 
the best of advantages for the education of 
their children. For instance, a family with a 
capital of $20,000 would be wealthy here, and 
could live in princely style, if their taste lay in 
that direction. They could possess a home 
here with the greatest comforts and luxuries 
of life and ample means for the gratification of 
cultivated tastes, and maintain it on the 
income, ^2,000. The children could have good 
social and educational advantages, while oppor- 
tunities for a profitable investment of the cap- 
ital in industrial business are abundant. The 
same capital in a city like Chicago, could 
afford its owner but a very ordinary home- 
place, requiring the practice of a very rigid 
economy, the closest attention to business, and 
a stinted enjoyment of the pleasures of life. 


Oshkosh has become famous as the yachting 
center of the Northwest. The superior facili- 
ties of Lake Winnebago for yachting purposes 
has created a great interest in that sport in this 
locality. The fine harbors on the lake, the 
accessibility of its shores, the steadiness of the 
winds and the long sailing distances offered by 
the broad expanse of water, give peculiar 
advantages. The interest in yachting seems 
to be increasing from year to year, and attracts 
many from abroad who arc interested in that 


This club was organized in 1870, and ranks 
as the leading club west of the Hudson in num- 
ber of membership and the size and sailing 
qualities of its fleet. Its members number 
one hundred and twenty odd, and Its fleet con- 
sists of some thirty beautifully-modeled and 
elegantly-equipped yachts. The officers of 
the club are Geo. W. Burnell, Commodore, 
Geo. F. Stroud, Vice-Commodore; John 
Dickinson, Fleet Captain; Frank Heilig, 
Treasurer; Frank Clark, Secretary. 

An annual cruise takes place in June, in 
which the whole fleet joins, making a beautiful 
sight. The cruise generally lasts a week; dur- 
ing which the party visit the many attractive 
points on the lake. Camping-out, sailing and 
fishing vary the amusements. 

The annual regatta forms a most attractive 
scene, andis witnessed yearly by large crowds 
of delighted spectators. 

The facilities for yachting and steamboat 
excursions are among the attractive features of 
Oshkosh, and Lake Winnebago as a summer 
resort; and the lovely wooded points on the 
lake shore afford delightful camping-grounds, 
which are generally occupied through the sum- 
mer months. 


These are the Northern State Hospital, 
State Normal School, Oshkosh High School, 
one of the finest school structures in the State; 
eight ward school buildings, three of which 
are massive brick edifices and two of which 
cost over ^12,000 each; the Court House, 
Masonic Temple, Fraker's Opera House, Post 
Office building, three public halls, St. Vincent 
de Paul School, English and German Academy; 
three large hotels, theBeckwith, Seymour and 
Tremont; and the exposition building of the 
Northern Wisconsin Agricultural and Mechan- 
ical Association. 

In church architecture, Oshkosh partic- 
ularly excels. The First Congregational, First 
Methodist, First Baptist, St. Vincent de Paul, 
Catholic, and St. Peter's Catholic are fine 
structures, and many of the others are of a 
large and handsome design, and taken as a 
whole are highly ornamental to the city. 
There arc in all twenty-four church edifices. 


Oshkosh Business Houses — Factories — • Statistics of Manu- 
facture — Importance and Facilities of Oshkosh as a 
Manufacturing Center. 

HERE are three banks, the First 
National, the Union National and the 
Commercial. The last is not a bank 
of issue. The average deposits of the First 
National are $500,000. 

In nothing has Oshkosh made greater 
advancement since the fire than in that of 
enlarging the facilities for the dry goods trade. 
The magnificent store of Wm. Hill & Co., of 
which a view is given in this work, is a palace 




store in finish and proportion. It has a front- 
age of forty feet and is a hundred and ten in 
depth. The interior presents a grand and 
imposing display with its lofty ceiling and r4ch 
and elaborate finish, and mammoth stock of 
elegant goods in endless profusion. Carsvvell 
& Hughes is another splendid establishment, 
doing an immense business. D. R. Forbes, A. 
Leach, Josslyn Brothers andj ones Brothers, also 
make an imposing display. These elegantstores 
with plate glass windows rival in appearance the 
finest stores in metropolitan cities. They are 
divided into departments devoted to the vari- 
ous branches of the trade, and are filled with 
goods from the basement to the second story. 
The inducements they hold out to purchasers 
in quantity, variety and price of goods, draws 
a large patronage from the suburban towns 
and villages, and Oshkosh now has the facili- 
ties for competing successfully with the larger 
cities in prices. Every style and quality of 
dress goods, and fancy and domestic goods are 
in large stock and sold at the closest figures of 
the central markets of the trade. There are 
six stores dealing exclusively in dry goods, 
and taken collectively they are a credit to the 
city. The carpet warerooms, especially, are 
not excelled in the State. 


There are four leading millinery and fancy 
dry goods stores, elegant establishments, carry- 
ing large stocks of fashionable goods in great 


There are nine clothing stores. For the firm 
names, see classified directory in this work, 
and their advertisements. 

From an early day Oshkosh has been a 
great center for the clothing trade for a large 
stretch of country, and has been famous as the 
place to buy clothing at the lowest figures. 
The very best of business men have long 
been engaged herein that line, and long expe- 
rience and ample capital has enabled them to 
ofter their customers the greatest advantages 
in purchases. They have now enlarged their 
facilities, and the great number of first-class 
firms in this city aft"ord a wide range to the 
purchaser. The most recherche fit and style 
are made to order; artistic cutters are 
employed, and all varieties of cloths are held 
in large stock. The manufacture of clothing 
in this city is an industry of no small propor- 
tions. It furnishes work to a large number and 
adds greatly to the business of the place. 

There are twelve stores under the above 
head. The large amount of machiner\- run- 

ning in Oshkosh and in the "Up-River" 
country has made Oshkosh the center of a 
large trade in iron and mill-furnishing goods 
and mill machinery, and there are consequently 
some heavy houses here, of large capital and 
with ample facilities for this special trade, and 
there is not another place of the size of Osh- 
kosh that does a larger business in this line. 
In hardware, nails, stoves, iron and tin-ware, 
the business is also large, and the several firms 
are augmenting their trade. 

There are thirteen of these stores, exclusive 
of the smaller shops. A number of them are 
large concerns, doing a heavy business, some 
of them wholesale, with large stock in great 


There are sixty odd grocery stores. The 
leading houses in this line occupy some of the 
handsomest stores on the street, and which 
are filled up with large stocks. All the luxur- 
ies of the eastern and southern markets, in 
their season, including fruits, shell-fish and 
other delicacies, are kept on sale, making a 
most tempting display. The market gardens 
of the vicinity also furnish fruits and vege- 


The number of these is ten, and there is not 
to be found in the City more beautiful fronts 
than those of some of the drug stores which 
ornament Main Street. These stores are 
models of elegance in all their appointments. 


Two of these, with a large stock of pianos, 
organs and a general assortment of musical 
instruments and merchandise. These stores 
make a fine display of instruments, and are 
conducted by gentlemen of experience in the 


There are four book stores in this line, with 
large stocks of books, wall paper and station- 
ers' goods. 


Several of these are largely stocked with 
rich orname.ntal goods, embracing silver and 
plated ware of the most beautiful design and 


One large establishment whose stock em- 
braces everything in the trade. Several 
grocers are also dealing in the articles. 

W^.HiLL&Co.Nos^WS&ISI MainSt.Oshkosh,Wis. 

No^,6.,7AND,B g'^o^g/JLETp^^)^ Manufactury.ScHMIT BR03,PR0P'^.oshkosh.wTs^' 

NO-' ?// AND 213 MAIN ST 




There are three hat cap and fur stores. 

Five furniture warerooms, two of which are 
large estabUshments that can suit the most 
fastidious tastes in the articles of their trade. 

One wholesale oil, paint and glass house, 
which does a heavy business, and two retail 
oil, paint and glass stores. 

Two houses in leather and shoe findings, 
which have an extensive trade, locally and 
with the northern country. 

Eleven flour and feed stores. 

Four dealers in agricultural implements. 

Two dealers in brick, lime and stone. 
This is a large business in Oshkosh. One of 
those firms. Cook, Brown & Co., docs an 
annual business of $70,000. 

Three wholesale and retail liquor stores. 

Five dealers in harness and saddlery hard- 

In addition to the above are a proportionate 
number of confectionaries, baker's shops, 
tobacconists, meat markets, etc. 

For agents, professional men, and other 
branches of business and manufacture, sec 
classified directory in this work. 


C. C. Paige, John F. Morse, Perry Ran- 
som, Chas. Avery. These establishments 
manufacture steam engines, circular mills, por- 
table engines, mill machinery and castings of 
various kinds. 

Martin Battis, A. Burns. These establish- 
ments do a large business, viz: the manufac- 
turing of steam boilers. 

Foster & Jones, R. McMillen & Co., Conlee 
Brothers, G. M. Williamson & Co., J. P. 
Gould, Hume & Washburn. These large 
establishments employ, in the aggregate, four 
hundred and fifty hands. 

These factories manufacture yearly 360,000 
doors, 700,000 windows and 150,000 pairs of 
blinds. Their daily capacity is 1,200 doors, 
2,500 windows, and 600 pairs of blinds. This 
is the largest manufacture of doors and win- 
dows in any one place in the United States. 
They also manufacture wood mouldings to the 
value of $100,000 per annum, and dress large 
quantities of lumber. The yearly aggregate 
value of their manufactures is $625,000. 


J. L. Clark proprietor, employs 350 hands. 

The value of its manufactures for the year 
1878 was ^488,945,83. 


Parsons, Neville and Goodfellow. Number 
of hands employed, one hundred; and the 
force is to be increased when an additional 
building nowincourse of construction, is com- 
pleted. This firm commenced fitting up their 
workslast March, and before six months elapsed 
they had manufactured over one thousand 
vehicles. These arc shipped by the car-load 
to various places where they find a ready sale. 

Rudd & Holdcn also carry on an extensive 
establishment, and turn out first-class w.ork. 

There are five wagon shops. 

Robert Brand, E. S. Thompson, E. S. Hay- 
den, Wm. Spikes & Co. B. H. Sopcr. 

Bell & Cole, Foster & Jones, James P. 
Gould, Williamson, Libby & Co., C. R. Par- 
sons, C. N. Paine & Co., R. McMillen & Co. 

Cook, Brown & Co. employ a large force of 
men, and run one steamer and a sail vessel 
of their own in their business, and employ two 
other sail crafts. 

J. R. Loper, manufactures a popular brand 
of soap in large quantities. 
There are five of these whose products 
aggregate a large amount. 

Manufacture cheese and fruit boxes. 

Schmit Brothers. Employ sixty hands. 

B. J. Musser & Co. Baking powder, per- 
fumery, etc. 

Metz &Schlocrb, Hoehne & Jaenicke. 


Foote Brothers & Co., H. C. Gustavus & 
Co., F. W. Mase. 


There are two of these and a large business 
is done in the building of steamboats, yachts 
and sail vessels, and in the repairs on the same. 

Buckstaft' Brothers & Chase, Campbell, 
Libby & Co. , Conlee Brothers, Foster & Jones, 




Marshall Harris, R. McMillcn & Co., John 
Laabs & Co., Morgan & Brother, C.N. Paine 
& Co., Oscar D. Peck, Geo. W. Pratt, S. Rad- 
ford & Brother, Ripley & Mead, P. Sawyer & 
Son, Jas. H. Weed. 


Buckstaff Brothers & Chase, Campbell, 
Libby & Co., James L. Clark, Conlec Ikoth- 
ers, Derby & Curran, John S. Fraker, G. C. 
Griffith, R. McMillen & Co., Morgan & 
Brother, Geo. W. Pratt, S. Radford & Brother, 
Ripley & Mead, Andrew Thompson, George 
Van Every, Webb & Albert, James H. Weed. 

The lumber business of Oshkosh is an indus- 
try of vast proportions. In prosperous sea- 
sons, from a hundred to a hundred and fifty 
million feet of logs have been manufactured 
into lumber and shingles. The log crop this 
year on the—Wolf and its tributaries is esti- 
■ mated at one hundred and twenty millions of 
feet. This will furnish an ample supply for 
our mills and sash and door factories which 
are now beginning to recover from the depres- 
sion that for the past two years has affected 
all branches of business. The advance in the 
price of lumber is also stimulating production, 
and Oshkosh has taken a new start in the race 
of progress and begins to assume her old-time 
appearance of business and manufacturing 

The prediction that the railroads which are 
being built into the pine forests would facili- 
tate the production of pine lumber in the up- 
river country to an extent disastrous to our 
lumber industry, has proved groundless, for 
it was soon ascertained by practical experience, 
which is the best teacher, that the timber can 
be more profitably manufactured in Oshkosh 
than in the woods, for many reasons, some of 
which are that the lumber, when sawed, mustbe 
moved by rail over the same distance that 
Oshkosh is from the pineries in transporting it 
to market, so that if the logs be brought by 
rail to this place, the lumber is practically 
moved that distance toward its ultimate 
market The transportation of the offal, or 
material wasted in sawing, is no additional 
expense; for the slabs and even the sawdust 
have a cash value, and are worth more than the 
cost of transportation. Another thing, the 
proximity to machine-shops, affording the 
best facilities for promptly repairing mill 
machinery, is a great advantage. Oshkosh, 
too, has long been the great lumber center of 
central Wisconsin, and it has its established 
lines of trade and offers greater inducements 
to purchasers in quantity and variety, and in 
the number of mills. Outside purchasers often 

find it difficult to get long timber, joist, scant- 
ling and other dimension stuff. Here they 
know that they can readily have their orders 
filled by reliable firms who have every facility. 
The place also manufactures the largest quan- 
tity of doors, sash, blinds and dressed lumber, 
of any place inthc Northwest. In fact, every- 
thing can be furnished for a building from raw 
material to a cornice — inside finish, brackets, 
mouldings, etc., all ready to be nailed in their 
places. Consequently, the purchaser by car- 
loads will go where he can get his whole bill 
readily filled. 

Confidence in the future is shown in the 
fact that in late j'ears several of the mills 
which were burnt have been replaced by larger 
ones, viz: Campbell & Libby 's, Morgan 
Brothers and Geo. W. Pratt's, just constructed. 
In passing, attention may be called to the fact 
that several who have gone from here to other 
points have been disappointed, and have 
learned to justly appreciate the local advanta- 
ges of this place. One of our heavy shingle 
manufacturers who tried his fortune at 
another place, was glad to get back and rebuild 
his shingle mill here, and has since been doing 
a successful business. It is true that the inter- 
ests of Oshkosh were criminally neglected by 
those who ought to have known better than to 
have looked on while railroads were being built 
from other points to tap the pineries and cut- 
ting off her supplies; but she has awakened 
from her lethargic indifference and the prize 
threatening to slip from her grasp has been 
secured through connection with the Milwau- 
kee, Lake Shore & Western Railroad. This road 
will be finished early this winter and gives 
direct connection with the other roads tapping 
the pineries, thus securing ready access to 
pine lands remote from dri\'ing streams, and 
to a new source of supply for our mills and sash 
and door factories. 

The favorable weather of last winter for 
logging has furnished a large supply of logs and 
will bring the lumber business here, up to some- 
thing like its old-time proportions. Other man- 
ufactories are being enlarged and new ones 
established. Oshkosh is therefore started once 
more on the high road ofprosperity, and the out- 
look for the future is hopeful. 


No place ever obtained a more sudden 
celebrity as a manufacturing point than Osh- 
kosh, which, from a little obscure village in 
1852, with three or four saw-mills, arose in the 
short space often years, to the distinction of 
being one of the greatest lumber manufactur- 




ing centers in the Northwest, with twenty odd 
saw-mills, producing over one hundred million 
feet of lumber per annum — sufficient with her 
shingles, sash and doors, to load fifteen thous- 
and railroad cars, and aggregating, with the 
lumber products, a value of over two million 

This immense business and that inci- 
dental to it, the manufacture and repairing of 
steam machinery, the building of steam tug- 
boats, the shipping of lumber, the manufac- 
ture of sash, doors and dressed lumber, the 
products of the iron foundries, and machine 
shops, the traffic of the resident population, 
and the farming community, and the trade 
and travel by railroad and steamboat lines, 
have made Oshkosh the liveliest center in the 
state outside of Milwaukee. 

The din of the machinery of her mills and 
factories, with their sixty steam engines, the 
steamboats and sail craft plying the lakes and 
rivers, the long lines of railroad trains bearing 
abroad the products of her manufactures, and 
her crowded thoroughfares, combine in a 
scene of business life and activity that is no 
where surpassed in this country by any city of 
its size. 

The first branch of manufacturing here was 
naturally that of pine lumber, and the machin- 
ery incident to its production. The unsur- 
passed facilities for remunerative business in 
that line rapidly absorbed the chief capital 
of a new community like that of Oshkosh, to 
the exclusion of other manufactures; but it has 
created a wealth here, and established a manu- 
facturing prestige of success and practical 
experience that must ensure confidence in 
entering the new fields of manufacturing 
enterprise that are now awaiting her occu- 
pancy. The first work in her destiny was to 
make available the immense pine lumber re- 
sources. This work has been partially accom- 
plished, and now a step in advance is marked 
by the greatly increased manufactures of sash 
and doors, which has become the leading 
branch of our industries. Glazed sash is 
another, which, from a small beginning, is 
rapidly developing into importance. 

Oshkosh has the most ample resources and 
enduring facilities, for manufactures of 
hardwood material. Her proximity to the 
source of supply, with her central location, 
and the great market ground of the rich agri- 
cultural territory, which stretches from here 
away to the south, and west, gives local 
advantages which promise the most hopeful 
manufacturing future for this city. 

Oshkosh from her earlier years, has been 
accustomed to the din of machinery. She 

has served a most thorough apprenticeship; 
and can proudly point to a practical success in 
the past, which presages her future triumph. 


Notices of Manufacturing Establishments Illustrateil in this 
Work, and of Business Houses and Residences. 

;tak match works of james l. clark. 

iHIS mammoth establishment is one of 
the largest manufactories of any kind 
in the State. The value of its products 
for the past year amounted to the sum 
of $488,945,83 and at the rate it has 
increased will far exceed that amount 
in the present year. Its rapid growth 
may be seen in the fact that the value of its 
matches manufactured in 1872, was $90,000; in 
1875, it was $374,000; while for the year 
ending 1878 it reached the sum of nearly half 
a million of dollars. 

The works, and storage ground for lumber, 
occupy some ten acres, and the buildings have 
a frontage of nearly five hundred feet. 

For the purpose of obtaining a full supply of 
the best of straight-grained timber, for splints, 
Mr. Clark erected last year, a saw mill, in 
addition to the works proper. 

The following exhibits the business for the 
year ending January 1st, 1879: Number of 
hands employed, 350; two million five 
hundred feet of timber; two hundred and 
ten tons of straw-board and paper for making 
boxes; seven thousand pounds of phospho- 
rus, sixty tons of brimstone. Average 
monthly wages paid to hands, $5000,00; ag- 
gregate yearly payment to hands $60,000,00. 
Value of products for the 1878, $488,945.83. 
One of the advantages possessed by this 
factory is the facilities for obtaining the very 
best of straight-grained timber, for splints, 
which ensures with other qualities, the superi- 
ority for which these matches are distinguished. 
The large amount of complicated machinery 
running in these works would astonish any one 
who had never witnessed the details of the 
manufacture of matches. There is in the first 
place, the steam engines, and the complicated 
system of belting for connecting power with 
the endless machinery in the various depart- 
ments. Next comes the lathe in the machine 
shop, where the repairing is done to disabled 
machinery. Then the circular saws that cut 
the timber into the proper dimemsions — the 




match-splint macliines, of which there are 
eight, with a capacity of making 115,400 
match-sphnts per minute. In the racking 
room are five racking machines, which 
place the matches in proper fixtures for dip- 
ping. In another room are six cutting 
machines which cut the splints, which are 
made double-length, in two. Another depart- 
ment contains the heating furnace and 
dipping machines. But the most ingenious 
machinery, working with the precision of an 
intelligent being, is that of the paper-box 
machines. There are four of these, which 
cost $10,000, and which turn out 4,200 paper 
boxes per hour. No description can do jus- 
tice to these wonderful, ingenious, and beauti- 
ful contrivances. There are other machines 
in the same room, which cut at each move- 
ment about 100 pieces of paper into the proper 
shape for making the boxes. These are 
placed, several hundred at a time, in the box 
machine, which rapidly manipulates them into 
the finished box. There are ten separate 
machines in this department. There are, 
including engines, saws, racking and splint 
machines, box machines, etc, over forty 
separate machines in the various departments; 
so it will be seen, that to make so small a 
thing as a match, with profitable facility, avast 
amount of complicated machinery is necessary, 
involving multifarious details, requiring the 
nicest accuracy in their practical management. 

This busy hive of human industry works 
like some vast machine, performing the details 
of its complicated movements with the pre- 
cision of clock-work. Its management 
requires the greatest practical skill and a clear 
headed comprehension of all its various move- 
ments, and there are but comparatively few 
persons competent to perform the task. 

The history ofthese works shows at least one 
instance in which the highest success is not- 
accidental. In the fall of 1863 Mr. Clark 
perfected a match-splint machine. He was 
previously engaged in filing the saws in Mc- 
Millen'smill. At that time Daniel Ruggleswas 
engaged in the manufacture of splints, and at 
a cost of about $500 procured a round-splint 
machine, which worked so imperfectly that 
he sold the same to Mr. Clark for $30. The 
latter finding this machine impracticable, con- 
structed a new one which worked so success- 
fully that he engaged exclusively in the manu- 
facture of splints. At that time his capital 
was less than a hundred dollars. At first 
he took the splints to his house for 
the purpose of sorting them, and employed 
only one hand for the work. In time, every 
room in the lower part of the house was used 

by occupants sorting splints. The business 
had increased to such an extent that Mr. 
Clark determined to start a factory, and conse- 
quently erected a building, now a pa:rt of the 
works, in 1864. In 1868 he commenced the 
manufacture of matches, on a small scale. 
From these small beginnings the business so 
rapidly increased, that in seven years the 
product of the factory reached the amount of 
$374,000 in one year. 

In the building up of this very successful 
business, Mr. Clark was very ably seconded 
by his wife, who evinced great executive 
ability in the management of its details and 
especially in organizing the help, and Mr. 
Clark attributes much of his success to the 
very valuable assistance of Mrs. Clark. The 
management is now so systematically organ- 
ized that the various departments work 
like some vast machine, each of which is 
dependent on the other. 

The superiority ofthese matches has secured 
for them a widely extended popularity, and at 
the rate in which the product of the works is 
increasing it will soon reach a million of dol- 
lars per annum, giving employment to six or 
seven hundred hands. 

The benefit of this factory to the city cannot 
be over-estimated. It has never received or 
asked for one cent of bonus, or any municipal 
favors, being self-sustaining from the first, 
and is the result of dilligence, well directed 
enterprise, good business management and 
honest dealing. 

The work is all done by the piece. By this 
system each hand gets all that he earns, and it 
seems to give the fullest satisfaction to em- 
ployer and employed; as the hands all seem 
cheerful and interested in their work and 
habits of industry and good morals are incul- 
cated by the admirable management. 

This institution has graduated a new man- 
ager in the person of Mr. Clark's son, Herbert 
M. Clark, who is said to be fully competent 
to the post he now occupies, that of general 

The book-keeper, cashier and general corres- 
pondent, is Mr. Arthur W. Jones, and this 
department is in the hands of a faithful and 
competent manager. 

Sash, Door and Fttind Manufactureis. 

Among the illustrations in this work will be 
found that of the sash and door factory, and 
planing mill of Foster & Jones. This is one 
of the heaviest manufacturing concerns in this 
city, and its proprietors stand in the fronl 
ranksof its business men. The firm was estab- 

Star Match Works,Oshkosh,Wis.-Jas. L.Clark Prop. 




lished in 1865, and has since that time been 
enlarging its facilities. 

Their business is conducted with that 
vigor and enterprise for which Oshkosh men 
have long been distinguished. 

This factory contains all the best improved 
machinery and every facility for the manufac- 
ture of their products at the lowest possible 
cost, enabling them to successfully meet any 
competition in the market. They employ 
from seventy to eighty hands and have a 
capacity for manufacturing yearly 80,000 doors, 
200,000 windows, and 40,000 pairs of blinds, 
besides wood-mouldings and dressed lumber. 

The actual manufactures fall but little short 
of the capacity of the works. They manufac- 
ture wood-mouldings to the value of $25,000 
per annum, which they ship by the car-load. 
They dress over 5,000,000 feet of lumber on 
an average each year. Their yearly products 
aggregate a value of $150,000. 

The members of this firm have always been 
foremost in aiding every public enterprise for 
the benefit of this place, and both have received 
from their townsmen the compliment of the 
highest ofiicial position within the gift of the 
city. Hon. Carlton Foster, who is a skillful mill- 
wright, moved from Essex County, New York, 
his native place, to Oshkosh in 1855; in 1859 
he purchased a saw-mill in this place and 
engaged in the manufacture of lumber, which 
business he conducted very successfully. In 
1865 he formed a partnership with Hon. Jas. 
V. Jones in the manufacture of sash, blinds, 
doors and mouldings. Mr. Foster rapidly 
grew in the esteem of the people of this city 
and was elected mayor for two terms and 
chosen to serve two terms in. the State Legis- 
lature, acquitting himself in both positions to 
the fullest satisfaction of his constituency. He 
is conservative in politics and of rather anti- 
partisan tendencies, and is a man of sound 
judgment and of the strictest integrity. His 
handsome residence is situated just outside of 
the city limits in the Town of Algoma on a 
handsome tract of eighty acres. A view of 
the same is given in this work. 

Hon. James V. Jones moved from his birth- 
place, Oswego, New York, to Oshkosh in 1855, 
and though poor in pocket vigorously com- 
menced that business career in which he has 
been so successful. First, as a building con- 
tractor, which he followed for some years, and 
next as a partner of Carlton Foster. Mr. Jones, 
in his new business, soon gave evidence of that 
executive force, business vim and spiritof enter- 
prise for which he has since become dis- 
tinguished, being one of those men who act 
with great vigor and force in whatever they 

undertake. He is a strong partisan and has 
taken an active part in political strife, and has 
the aggressive qualities of a leader. He has 
received from his townsmen the highest marks 
of their favor and esteem, having been three 
times elected mayor, and once chosen to rep- 
resent his district in the Legislature. In both 
capacities he served with much distinction. 
He is a man of much public spirit and a will- 
ing leader in all public enterprises, ready to do 
all in his power to promote the interests of the 
city. As a business man he possesses fine 
qualifications, and his dealings are character- 
ized by the strictest integrity. 

Brick, Lime and Drain Tile Works. 

The members of this firm are Ossian Cook, 
R. C. Brown, F. E. Waite and B. F. Carter. 
They manufacture, on a large scale, drain tile, 
brick and lime; and employ eighty hands, and 
have a large steamer and a sail vessel of their 
own, which are kept engaged in transporting 
material. They also employ two other sail 
vessels in freighting brick, stone and wood. 

Their two large brick-yards are on the 
east shore of the lake, where a fine quality of 
brick-clay exists in inexhaustible quantities, 
and from which they manufacture superior 
cream-colored brick and drain tile. Their 
stone quarries are also located on the east 
shore, from whence they ship the stone which 
is here manufactured into lime. They have 
two patent kilns, situated near their shipping 
dock, which is always a scene of great business 
activity. The greater part of the handsome 
buildings on Main Street have been built of 
brick of their manufacture. Among these 
are the Beckwith, Fraker Opera Hall, Masonic 
Temple, Wolcott and other business blocks. 

Their lime and drain tile are of such super- 
ior quality that there is a large demand for 
shipment to other States; and they ship large 
quantities to Michigan, Illinois, Nebraska and 

Their average j'early manufactures are 
3,000,000 of brick, 30,000 barrels of lime and 
200,000 drain tile. They also do a large busi- 
ness in cement, stucco, land-plaster, sewer 
pipe, fire-brick and hardwood; of the latter, 
about 5,000 cords pass through their hands 

One of the firm, Hon. B. F. Carter, resides 
on the east shore, and represents that district 
in the State Legislature. The others are 
regarded as among the most enterprising and 
thorough-going business men of this city, who 
contribute largely to its prosperity. On an- 




other page will be found a fine view of their 
lime works and shipping docks. 

Manufacturers of Lumber, Sash, Doors and Blinds. 

Attention is called to the fine view of 
this mammoth concern; one of the largest in 
this city. It consists of a saw-mill, shingle 
mill and sash, door and blind factory. The 
capacity of the saw-mill is 50,000 feet per day. 
The sash and door factory turns out on an 
average, 200 doors, 400 windows and lOO pairs 
of blinds per day. One hundred odd hands 
are employed. The members of the firm are 
Robert McMillen and C. W. Davis. 

Their present saw-mill was built in 1868, and 
in 1873 they constructed their mammoth sash, 
door and blind factory, which has been en- 
larged from time to time to meet the increas- 
ing demands of their business. This is one of 
the establishments that gives Oshkosh her 
reputation abroad, as the greatest sash and 
door manufacturing point in the West. They 
have the facilities in the best of machinery for 
promptly filling the largest orders, and turn 
out work which, for quality, is not excelled. 
The cars are continually at their shipping 
house, in the process of loading with their 
wares, which arc shipped by the car-load in 
various directions. This firm enjoys a high 
business reputation and conduct their aftairs 
on the principles of the strictest integrity. 

Mr. McMillen came from Warren County, 
New York, to Oshkosh in 1854, and by dili- 
gence and business sagacity has successfully 
pushed his fortunes. He is one of the direc- 
tors of the First National Bank, and is regard- 
ed as a man of first-class business ability, and 
kind and generous in his relations with all. 
A view of his beautiful residence and grounds 
on Algoma Street, is given in this work. It 
was formerly the residence of Governor 
Bashford, and is one of the handsomest places 
in the city. 

Mr. Charles W. Davis moved to this place 
in i860, and was for some years in the foundry 
and machine-shop business. He superintends 
the manufacturing department, and it is in 
energetichands. Mr. Davisis highly esteemed 
as a useful business man and good citizen. 
In 1868 he was elected mayor of this city, and 
filled the position satisfactorily to the public. 

The Eagle Trunk Factory 

A view of this establishment will be found 
on another page. It gives employment to 
some 60 hands, and contributes largely to this 
city's business and prosperity. The enter- 

prising proprietors have enlarged their works 
from time to time so as to increase the facili- 
ties, for meeting the general demand for their 
trunks, which theyship by the carload. Their 
facilities enable them to enter the market 
successfully against all competitors in price 
and quality. The value of such a factory as 
this to Oshkosh cannot be over estimated, as 
it gives employment to so large a number of 
hands throughout the year, and is the means 
of putting in circulation a large amount of 
money. The Schmit Brothers exhibit that 
push and energy in the management of their 
affairs which is so essential to success, and 
have proved a valuable accession to the manu- 
facturing interests of this city. 

Planing Mill, Sash, Door and Blind Manufacturers. 

This is another of the leading manufactories 
of this city, and is the oldest sash and door 
factory in Oshkosh, having been established 
in i860. The members of the firm are Geo. 
M. William.son, D. L. Libbey, J. R. Jones 
and J.J. Cameron. 

They are all men of life-long practical exper 
ience in their business, having graduated in 
the Oshkosh School of Lumber Industries. 

The factory of this firm was destroyed in 
the great fire of i860, but, with undaunted 
courage, they immediately rebuilt on a larger 
scale. Their main building is 125 feet by 75, 
and in addition to this are dry-houses and 
ware-houses of large capacity. Their factory 
is supplied with all the best machinery, for the 
manufacture of sash, doors, blinds, and 
wood-mouldings, and for the dressing of lum- 
ber, which is an important branch of the 
business — the planing mill dressing not less 
than 6,000,000 feet per annum. 

They employ sixty hands, and manufacture, 
per week, on an average, l,000 doors, 3,000 
windows and 400 pair of blinds. 

They have the best of shipping facilities, 
and, like the other factories, ship by the car 
load. Their work has a high reputation in 
the market, and is well known from Wisconsin 
to Texas. See view of factory on another 
page. Geo. Williamson is the business man- 
ager, a gentleman of good business capacity, 
and well-known integrity. J. R. Jones and 
J.J. Cameron superintend the manufacturing 
departments; as both are practical mechanics 
and of large experience in their line, their 
work has a high reputation in a widely extended 



Flouring Mills. 

The members of this firm are H. 

C. Gus- 






tavus and Casper Smith. They have lately 
remodeled their mill machinery, and the mill 
now contains seven run of stone and a patent 
middlings purifier. Their grades of flour 
rank high in the market, and especially their 
" straight " and patent flour, which is unex- 
celled. These gentlemen are determined to 
build up a successful business, by straight 
dealing and by furnishing their customers with 
a superior article. The capacity of the mills 
is lOO barrels a day; and about one third of 
the product is shipped to the East. The 
members of this firm are stirring, enterprising 
men, who keep pace with the progress of the 
age. They purchased their mill, known as 
the South Side Flouring Mills, in 1875, since 
which time they have put in the modern 
improvements, and brought the mill up to a 
high rank. A view of it is given in this work. 

Proprietor Union Steam Boiler Works. 

Attention is called to a fine view of these 
works, which will be found among the illus- 
trations in this book. Oshkosh is justly 
proud of her manufacturing institutions, and 
this is among the most useful. The large 
amount of steam machinery in Oshkosh, and in 
Northern Wisconsin, and the number of 
steamboats plying its water-courses, creates a 
large demand for steam boilers. When we 
consider the important function they perform, 
and the danger to life and property involved 
in defective boilers, it will be seen how neces- 
sary it is that mechanical skill, thorough 
experience and a sense of great responsibility 
should be the qualifications of those who 
superintend their manufacture. 

Martin Battis through the uniform superiority 
of the boilers he has manufactured in his long 
years of experience has given the fullest 
evidence of these qualifications; for during the 
twenty odd years he has been engaged here in 
the manufacture of boilers, not an accident 
has occurred with a boiler of his own make. 
Mr. Battis has followed this business from 
boyhood, and is a mechanic of acknowledged 
skill. He is regarded as one of the most en- 
terprising business men of this city, and ever 
ready to do all in his power to advance its 
interests. Suffering, with many otlicrs, in the 
heavy losses and interruptions of business by 
the great fire, he nevertheless entered with 
much vigor into the rebuilding of Oshkosh, 
and immediately erected his well-apoointed 
boiler works, and two elegant brick stores. 
He is one of the men who have the fullest faith 
in Oshkosh, and who help to give life and 
vigor to its enterprises. 

Dry Goods Store. 

This magnificent store is forty feet wide and 
one hundred and ten in depth. The lower 
story front is plate-glass and iron. The inside 
is of rich finish and design, with lofty ceilings, 
handsomely frescoed. It is divided into dif- 
ferent departments of the trade, and makes a 
most imposing display of rich goods. In the 
second story is the carpet wareroom, with an 
immense stock of various qualities and design. 

The individual members of the firm are, 
William Hill, J. M. S. Mayand A. F. Baehr, 
names of the highest business standing in this 
community. They are all gentlemen of life- 
long experience in the dry goods trade, and 
the senior partner has been engaged in the 
business in this city for twenty-four years. 

Attention is called to the view of this fine 
store which is one of the largest dry goods 
establishments in the State. 


The beautiful residence of Hon. Samuel M. 
Hay, a view of which appears among the illus- 
trations in this book, is one of the finest in this 
city. Mr. Hay is one of the pioneer business 
men of Oshkosh, having established his pres- 
ent house in 1848. His is, in fact, the only 
surviving business house of that day. He 
commenced with the very beginning of the 
growth of Oshkosh, has kept pace with her 
progress and been identified with her interests 
from the start. On his advent here the place 
was but a little hamlet of twenty or thirty 
houses scattered through the stumps and 
ti-ees. Mr. Hay, then a very young man, 
opened a stove, tinware and hardware store, 
in partnership with a Mr. Hall. They did a 
most successful business. After a time, Mr. 
Clark took the place of Mr. Hall in the firm; 
and on the death of Mr. Clark he wss suc- 
ceeded by Mr. Hay's brother, the firm now 
being S. M. Hay & Brother. 

The large amount of mill machinery running 
in Oshkosh and the "Up-River" country 
created a great demand for mill-furnishing 
goods, belting, etc., and the firm entered 
largely into this branch, in addition to iron, tin- 
ware, stoves and hardware. This opened up 
an immense business, involving a large outlay 
of capital; but this firm had the pecuniary 
forces to handle it, and prosecuted it with the 
greatest vigor and success until the house 
became one of the heaviest firms of the kind 
in the State Mr. Hay's fine business quali- 
fications and integrity have given given him a 
very high standing, and he is widely an pop- 




ularly known as one of the representative men 
of the city. 

His brother, Wm. Hay, now has the chief 
management of the business of the firm; as 
much of Mr. S. M. Hay's time is largely occu- 
pied in the affairs of the First National Bank of 
Oshkosh, of which institution he is president. 
He is also one of the Regents of the State Nor- 
mal School, and has held many high public 
positions, among others that of mayor of the 
city for two terms, State Senator and repre- 
sentative in the Legislature from this Assembly 
district. Mr. Hay's career, since he came to 
Oshkosh in 1848, has been one long, continued 
success, and furnishes an instance of one 
who, by faithful attention to business and a 
sagacious use of opportunity, has earned a sub- 
stantial reward. 


Among the fine illustrations in this work is 
that of the handsome residence and grounds of 
D. L. Libbey. This gentleman is one of the 
most enterprising of our citizens, and one of 
our heaviest manufacturers, being associated 
in three different firms. Mr. Libbey has for a 
long scries of years been one of the largest 
manufacturers of lumber, and is now one of the 
partners in the sash and door factory of Wil- 
liamson & Co. He is also the owner of much 
real estate in the city, among which is the 
property occupied by the carriage works, and 
which he is now enlarging. In addition to his 
other branches of business he is President of 
the Union National Bank. 

Mr. Libbey is a man of great business 
capacity, quiet and unostentatious, but ener- 
getic and thoroughgoing, and is recognized as 
one of the leaders in public enterprise, and as 
one who is deeply interested in the prosperity 
of this city. His business career has been 
highly successful, and he stands high in the 
esteem of the community as a good and useful 


One of the finest residences in this city, as 
will be seen from a view of the same in this 
work, is thatof Ossian Cook, onChurch Street. 

Mr. Cook moved to this city from Chicago 
in 1855, and engaged in his present business 
in 1859, and is now the senior member of the 
firm of Cook, Brown & Co., a description and 
view of whose works and shipping dock is 
given on another page. Mr. Cook is regarded 
as one of the most prominent leaders here in 
all enterprises having for their object the 
advancement of the city. He has been par- 
ticularly zealous and active in his efforts to 
obtain a new railroad route to the north, and 

was one of the leading advocates of the road 
now being built from this city to Hortonville. 
He is one of the stirring and enterprising busi- 
ness men who have given Oshkosh the name 
and fame she now enjoys, and who are deter- 
mined to push her fortunes to the farthest 
limits of success. 


The handsome block of F. Hermann, cor- 
ner of Main and Waugoo, is among the fine 
illustrations here presented. This building was 
erected immediately after the great fire, and is 
one of the finest business blocks in the city. 

Mr. Hermann emigrated in 1850, from Sax- 
ony to Milwaukee, where he resided until 1853, 
when he came to Oshkosh and engaged in the 
business of building contractor, which he fol- 
lowed until the year 1862, at which time he 
went into the grocery business on the site of 
his present block; and from small beginnings 
has built up a large and constantly increasing 
business. His house now ranks among the 
leading ones of the city and he is recognized 
as one of its best business men. Mr. Hermann 
has every element of a popular dealer, and is 
a man of unquestioned integrity. 

Mr. Gustavus is an old resident, and widely 
and popularly known, having resided in this 
city from 1851 to 1867. At the latter date he 
went to Neenah and had several years practi- 
cal experience in the milling business, after 
which he moved back to Oshkosh and in part- 
nership with Mr. Caspar Smith purchased the 
South Side Flouring Mill. Shortly after his 
return to this city he built his elegant residence 
on Oregon street, one of the handsomest in 
the Third Ward, and is now one of the estab- 
lished leading business men of the city. A 
\-iew of his residence is given in this work. 


Managing editor of the Oshkosh Northivcsicr7i, 
is one of the early western pioneers, having 
moved from his native place, Alleghany 
County, New York, to Chicago in 1846, and 
being a piactical printer, engaged as foreman 
on a daily paper. His vocation proving inju- 
rious to his health, he went to Mineral Point, 
Wisconsin, and engaged in mining and land 
surveying. In 1857 he was elected to repre- 
sent that district in the State Legislature. In 
i860 he was appointed assistant chief clerk of 
the State land office, and on the breaking out 
of the late war he resigned his position and 
enlisted as private in the Governor's Guards. 
He was soon after chosen Captain of the 
Miners' Guards from Mineral Point, and 





received a commision from Governor Randall. 
The company was assigned to the Second Reg- 
iment, which afterwards became famous for 
gallant conduct and hard service. After the 
battle of Bull Run he was promoted to the 
rank of Major, and subsequently to that of 
Lieutenant-Colonel. In 1863 he received a 
commission as Colonel of the Fifth Wisconsin, 
and was brevetted Brigadier-General in March, 
1865. General Allen participated in several 
of the most sanguinary engagements of the 
war, and became conspicuous for his gallant 
and heroic conduct. He was twice wounded 
in the battle of Gainsville, when he was Major 
of the Second Regiment,, but did not leave the 
field; and was again wounded at Antietam, 
while commanding the regiment in the absence 
of Colonel Fairchild. In that engagement he 
had his right arm broken. While Colonel of 
the Fifth, his regiment took the lead in the fam- 
ous charge on Mary's Height. At the charge 
at Rappahannock Station, as his regiment was 
crossing the parapet of that redoubt, his hand 
was so badly shattered by a ball as to unfit 
him for duty, and he was complimented for 
his gallant service in that action by a general 
order of Major General H. G. Wright. 

After the time of hisregimenthadexpired he 
returned to Wisconsin, raised seven new 
companies, and went with them to the seat of 
war and served in the campaign of the Shenan- 
doah Valley under General Sheridan. In an 
attack on the enemy's lines on the second of 
April, 1865, lie led the advance and again dis- 
tinguished himself for gallant conduct. 

After the close of the war he returned to his 
home in Wisconsin, and was shortly after- 
wards elected Secretary of State. In 1870 he 
moved to Oshkosh and became a partner in the 
Oshkosh Nvrtlnvcstcru, and has been since 
that time its managing editor. As a writer he 
wields "a vigorous pen, and his varied experi- 
ence has gi\ en him a large fund of general 
information which is invaluable in an editor. 
His paper takes a high rank among the pub- 
lications of the State, and he exercises much 
influence in the councils of his party. 

GEO. ]•'. STROUD. 

A view of the residence of Geo. F. Stroud 
will be found among the illustrations. Mr. 
Stroud is one of the old settlers, having come 
to this place in 1851, when in his boyhood, 
and has been ever closely identified with the 
interests of this city. No one is more untiring 
in efforts to promote its prosperity than he, 
and to lend a willing hand to any enterprise 
which is calculated to advance its interests. 
He is one (jf our most successful business men, 

and his oil, paint and glass house is one of 
the popular institutions of this city, and stands 
in the front ranks of our heaviest business 

Mr. Stroud's sagacity, and energy is well 
attested by his great business success; for he 
has in a few years, from small beginnings, 
worked up a wholesale trade in oil, paints 
and glass, that is not exceeded by that of any- 
other house in the State. 


The beautiful residence of Judge D. J. Pul- 
ling, corner of Church and Jackson streets, as 
will be seen by the illustration, is one of the 
finest in the city. Judge Pulling is now serv- 
ing his second term of six years, as Judge of 
this Judicial Circuit; and was elected two 
years ago by an immense majority. He is 
regarded as one of the ablest judges in the 
State, and is noted for his prompt rulings, his 
punctuality, order and expeditious despatch of 
business, and for the remarkable clearness and 
comprehensiveness of his diction in charges to 
the jury. He stands very high in the esti- 
mation of the members of the bar, and his 
general popularity is well attested by the 
heavy majorities with which he was elected. 


Among the leading business men of this 
city the name of Hon. Andrew Haben stands 
prominent. Mr. Haben came to Oshkosh in 
1855, and established his present business 
house in 1862, He has been remarkably suc- 
cessful in conducting his financial affairs, and 
through a long series of years has kept his 
house continually on a sound basis. He is a 
heavy real estate owner, being the possessor of 
several brick stores on Main Street. He has 
been twice elected mayor of this City, and is 
now State Senator,, representing this county 
in the Legislature. Public honors seem to 
shower upon Mr. Haben, as he- has received 
from his party the nomination for State Treas- 
urer. A view of his handsome residence on 
Washington street is given. 


The beautiful residences and grounds of the 
above-named gentlemen are on West Algoma 
Street. They are associates in the firm of C. 
N. Paine & Co., one of the heaviest lumber 
manufacturers in the city, and have been 
engaged in the business since an early day. 

C. N. and George M. Paine are among the 
most enterprising and thorough-going ot our 
business men. They employ a large force of 
hands and have contributed very materially 
toward the business prosperit}' of this city. 




Their mill is one of immense capacity and 
contains all the best improved machinery, and 
their business is conducted with^ the most 
systematic precision. 


One of the most beautiful places to be found 
is that of Colonel Miller's, on the Lake Shore. 
This lovely place possesses every feature for 
making one of the most attractive watering- 
places in the country; as will be seen from the 
fine view to be found in these pages. It 
affords one of the most delightful drives, with 
fine views of the Lake scenery. Skirting the 
shore is a thicket of native forest trees, which 
adds much to its attractiveness. 

Col. Miller has been identified with the 
interests of Oshkosh almost from the very 
starting of the place, having come here in 
1846, at which time he opened a store which 
was the third store started. He has, from the 
beginning, been one of the heaviest real estate 
owners in Oshkosh; and, as will be seen by a 
perusal of these pages has taken a conspic- 
ious part in its history. He has held many 
public positions of trust and responsibility, 
and has always proved faithful and capable in 
the discharge of their duties. He has repre- 
sented this district in the State Legislature, 
and is at present chairman of the County 
Board of Supervisors. He proved particu- 
larly efficient as chairman of a committee to 
procure and dispense aid to the sufferers 
in the two great fires. 


One of the most widely known and popular 
men in Oshkosh, is the genial Freight Agent 
of the Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad — the 
Hon, Tom Wall. He is also superintendent 
of the Wolf River Line of Steamers, and is 
one of the most energetic thorough-going 
business men in this community. A view of 
his fine residence will be found among the 
illustrations in this work. Mr. Wall came to 
Oshkosh in 1857, and shortly after, took the 
position of clerk on one of the Wolf River Line 
of Steamers. In a few years he became one of 
the large stock holders, and finally was intrusted 
with the general management of the line. He 
has also for years engaged in extensive lumber- 
ing operations, and has dealt largely in pine 
lands. He is a young man of great executive 
ability and of fine business capacity, as his 
career well attests. He came here a mere boy, 
and unaided, has pushed his way to distinct- 
ion. He has been three times elected by large 
majorities, to represent the Oshkosh District 
in the State Legislature, and served as a mem- 

ber of Assembly, with much credit to himself 
and satisfaction to his constituency. 

This pleasant place was a part of the estate 
of Charles Petersilea, deceased, a man who 
was highly esteemed in the community as one 
of its most useful and enterprising citizens, and 
whose untimely and melancholy end was 
greatly deplored. He met with his death in 
the terrible railroad accident near Watertown 
in 1859. The widow resides on the place, and 
a nephew, Edwin Petersilea, who very credit- 
ably represents the name. 

Mr. Edwin Petersilea is a young lawyer of 
fine ability and much promise. He has become 
quite notorious for his extreme political views, 
and is one of the most bold, energetic and 
aggressive leaders of the Greenback-Labor 
party, and one of the most able advocates of 
its doctrines. 


Among the former business men of Osh- 
kosh the name of George Mayer stands prom- 
inent. He emigrated from Bavaria to Mil- 
waukee, Wisconsin, in 1849, and in 1850, he 
moved to Oshkosh where he immediately 
opened a watch-making and jewelry store, in 
which business he continued until the spring 
of the year 1879, when he closed out his estab- 
lishment here and, moved with his family to 
Cottonwood Falls, Chase County, Kansas, near 
which place he had purchased a large tract of 
land for the purpose of stock raising. 

His store was the pioneer jewelry store, and 
was one of five of the surviving firms of tht 
early day. After the great fire of 1875 he 
erected his fine store on upper Main, and fin- 
ished the interior in elegant style, which he 
filled with an immense stock of jewelry, 
watches, silver and plated ware, pianos and 
other musical instruments, making an. impos- 
ing display of rich and costly goods, and one 
which is seldom surpassed by the leading 
houses of the larger cities. Mr. Mayer was a 
popular dealer and did a large and successful 
business, and his many friends here regret his 
leaving, which is a loss to this city of one of its 
enterprising business men and one of its best 
and most useful citizens, who has helped to 
build it up to its present comely proportions. 

Mr. Mayer built two brick stores on Main, 
Street and an elegant brick residence on Ceape. 
This is a delightful place with spacious groundsi 
and commanding a fine view of the lake. A\ 
view of it and of the jewelry store is given ini 
this work. 


Among the illustrations in these pages \S 





that of the handsome residence of C. W. 
Felker, on Washington street. This is a most 
attractive-looking place, with spacious lawn, 
shaded with fine forest trees. Mr. Felker came 
to Oshkosh at an early day, and, in 1 856 and '57 
was engaged in the publication of a newspaper, 
the Oshkosh Democrat. He subsequently 
adopted the profession of the law, in which he 
has risen to eminence, and is now enjoying a 
large and lucrative practice. During the war he 
went to the field, andserved as Captain of Com- 
pany A, Forty-Eighth Regiment. At its close 
he resumed the practice of his profession and 
through his energy, application and natural 
ability has pushed his way to distinction, and 
now ranks among the most eminent lawyers of 
State. Among the public positions he has 
held is that of City Superintendent of Schools, 
which he filled with great efficiency. 


H. C.Jewell was born December 181 1, in Sal- 
isbury Litchfield County Connecticut, and emi- 
grated to Wisconsin in 1843, settling first in 
what is now Green Lake County, then apart of 
Marquette County — there being but eleven fami- 
lies residing at thattime in Marquette County. 
He was the firstRegisterof Deeds ofthe County, 
and the second Postmaster. He removed to 
the Village of Algoma (now included within 
the city limits of Oshkosh), in 1848, and with 
his brother, the late G. N. Jewell, engaged in 
the mercantile and lumber business, which he 
followed for many years. 

He has frequently held offices of trust and 
has ever been noted for his integrity. Was 
alderman of the Fifth Ward for seven years, 
and mayor ofthe City of Oshkosh in 1862, 
and a member ofthe Legislature in 1867. He 
has lived to see great changes in Winnebago 
County; particularly in schools and churches, 
in beautiful homes, and increased and im- 
proved facilities for travel. Then, merchant- 
dise was brought by team over almost impass- 
able roads, from the Lake via Green Bay, She- 
boygan or Milwaukee. 

Mr. Jewell has been a member ofthe Win- 
nebago County Board for eight successive 
terms, and for two terms has held the position 
of chairman of said board. 

In 1849 a postofiice was established at the 
Village of Algoma, and Mr. Jewell was subse- 
quently appointed Postmaster. This office 
was discontinued in 1856, at which time the 
village merged into the Fifth Ward of this city. 

One ofthe finest places on Otter Street is 
the handsome residence of Peter Nicolai, a 
view of which is amon? our illustrations. 

Mr. Nicolai is one ofthe financially solid men 
of this city. He commenced here at a very 
early day, 1849, as building contractor, which 
business he followed for five years and 
has seen this city grow from a little 
village into its present handsome propor- 
tion, and reach the distinction of the second 
city ofthe State, in wealth and population, 
and having joined in its fortunes when it was 
poor he has the satisfaction now of enjoying 
its prosperity. He was burned out in the 
great fire of 1859, and again in 1875, and isone 
of those who largely helped in the rebuilding 
ofthe city, by furnishing money to those who 
had not sufficient means to rebuild. Mr. 
Nicolai is a man of good business capacity 
and ofthe strictest integrity. 


Among the residences which illustrate this 
work is that of Gustavus Tesch, on Algoma 
Street. Mr. Tesch migrated from Germany 
in 1859, and settled in Oshkosh in that year. 
On the outbreak of the war he volunteered 
and served in the field during its continuance. 
On its conclusion he returned to this city, and 
shortly afterward engaged in the grocery 
business, which he has conducted very success- 
fully to the present time. He posesses every 
qualification for a successful business man; 
being energetic, prompt, diligent and enter- 
prising, while his pleasing and obliging ways 
makes him popular with his customers. Gus 
is one of those who will always give good 
weight and measure, and his store is the pic- 
ture of neatness and order. He passed 
through the severe ordeal of four of the great 
fires; in each of which his property was totally 
destroyed. His heavy losses reduced his 
resources to a very limited amount, but des- 
pite of the most disheartening circumstances, 
he never yielded to discouragement, but man- 
fully struggled against his misfortunes, and is 
now reaping the reward of his courageous 
eff'orts; standing on a solid financial basis, and 
ranking among the sound business men of this 

He has received the compliment of being 
appointed Deputy United States Marshal for 
the Eastern District of Wisconsin. 

Mr. Tesch has a large vinyard, in the cul- 
ture of which he takes a great interest This 
is cultivated with the same thoroughness with 
which he does everything, and the luxuriant 
growth of the vines, their fruitfulness and 
thrifty appearance, give every evidence of 
good management. 


Among the fine residences on Washington 




Street is that of Augustus Haight, and which 
is one of the illustrations in this work. Mr. 
Haight came from his native place, Saratoga 
County, New York, to this city in 1856, and 
engaged largely in the purchase and sale of 
pine lands, and in logging operations. Shortly 
after this a depression in the lumber business 
occasioned heavy losses to those engaged in 
that industry, Mr. Haight suffering in common 
with others; but by energetic effort and good 
management he recovered from his losses and 
soon became one of the financially substantial 
men of this city. Though not a lumber manu- 
facturer he has been connected intimately 
with that industry, having carried on heavy 
logging operations and fitted out crews to 
work on contract. 

Mr. Haight has taken a vcr)- active part in 
the business life of this city, and his pecuniary 
means have been almost wholly used in help- 
ing to carry on its industries. 

He is a lawyer by profession, a man of good 
ability and much culture. He has always 
taken a great interest in educational affairs, 
and has been one of the most persistant advo- 
cates for enlarged school facilities in this city. 
He has taken especial pains in the education of 
his children. In June, of this year, his son 
James, a native of this place, graduated, atthe 
age of twenty, in the Cornell University, with 
the highest honors, receiving the endorsement 
of the president as one of the best scholars in 
the institution. He has adopted the profession 
of the law and gives promise in his industry 
and talent of attaining eminence. 

Among the names mentioned in the preced- 
ing pages, in connection with the early history 
of Oshkosh, some of the following appear more 
or less conspicuous: 


A name that occupies a prominent place in 
that history is that of Edward Eastman. He 
was one of the pioneer business men, having 
started the third store in Oshkosh. He was 
also the first mayor of the city, and among 
other public positions held that of postmaster. 
He was highly esteemed in the community, 
and his name will be held in affectionate 
and respectful remembrance by the old settlers. 

The present Superintendent of Schools came 
to this city in 1853, and engaged in the publi- 
cation of the Oshkosh Courier, of which he was 
editor for ten years, and took high rank among 
the ablest writers of the State. His style is 
peculiarly terse, pointed and comprehensive. 
He has been closely identified with the inter- 
ests of the citv as one of its large real estate 

owners, and has contributed much in building 
it up. He was a joint owner in three of the 
additions to the city, and among other build- 
ings erected by him are three brick stores on 
Main Street. 

Mr. Read is now serving his third term as 
Superintendent of City Schools, a position he 
fills with the greatest efficiency. His able 
school reports are distinguished for the ability 
with which he advocates reform in the present 
system — claiming that the present higher 
departments in our public schools detract from 
the usefulness and capacity of those which are 
devoted to what are called the common Eng- 
lish branches; that the latter departments of 
the common schools are the only ones avail- 
able to the masses of the people, and that those 
ought to be brought up to the Inghcst possible 
degree of efficieney, instead of having their 
capacity lessened, in order to create special 
advantages that can only necessarily be avail- 
able to those whose means enable them to 
devote their time to the higher branches. He 
claims that it is anti-republican to sacrifice the 
usefulness of the common schools, which are the 
schools for the people, by using means that 
could be profitably employed in their behalf 
for purposes foreign to their object. 

Mr. Read has expressed his convictions on 
this subject in a very emphatic manner; and 
his reports, which are very ably written, have 
attracted much attention throughout the State, 
and have been the subject of very flattering| 

He will probably modify his views somewhat;] 
as he must see when he fully investigates thai 
subject, that the Normal School is certainly aj 
powerful adjunct of the common school, whilei^ 
if some branches were eliminated from thai 
studies of the High School, it would be mad 
yet more instrumental in effecting the end an 
aim of the common-school system. 

Came to Oshkosh in 1850, and engaged 
in the practice of his profession, that of the 
law, in which he had a large and successfu 
practice. He has held many important public 
positions, among others that of representative 
from this district in the State Legislature, anc 
city justice, the respective duties of which he 
performed ably and faithfully. 

Came here in 1849, and a few years after| 
w^ard engaged in the compilation of an abstrac 
of real estate title, and has followed that busi 
ness to the present time. He has for a long 
series of years been connected with the eduJ 
cational interests of the city as school com^ 




missioner, and is the veteran member of the 
school board. Mr. Frentz is widely and pop- 
ularly known, and among his other achieve- 
ments was that of publishing and editing a 
paper here at an early day, of which due men- 
tion is made in the history of the press. As 
a compliment to him for his faithful services 
as school commissioner, the handsome build- 
ing in the Second Ward is called the Frentz 

Is a partner with Mr. Frentz, and com- 
piled the first abstract of real estate title in this 
county, and is one of the most clear-headed 
men in this community, and of unquestioned 
authority in real estate title; a man of fine 
business ability and of the strictest integrity. 

Opened the third clothing store in this 
place, and in the early day was one of the 
most enterprising of the business men of Osh- 
kosh, and a devoted friend to the interests of 
this city. He was eminently successful for 
many years, but suffered heavily from a series 
of fires which seriously crippled his resources. 
He is still in his old business. 

Is one of the very early settlers. He came 
here when the present site of Oshkosh was a 
w ilderness, with the exception of a few scat- 
tered clearings and a half-dozen premature 
structures. He helped to build the second 
saw-mill in this place, and was head sawyer in 
the same, and sawed some of the first lumber 
manufactured. He subsequently invested 
largely in real estate, and became one of the 
prominent and influential men of the city, in 
which he is to-day a very heavy real estate 
owner. Mr. Lull took a leading part in the 
early enterprises which developed the energies 
of Oshkosh, and has always been a devoted 
friend to its interests. He was one of the 
large stockholders in the original Oshkosh & 
Mississippi Railroad, and labored energetically 
to further that enterprise, which was, unfortCi- 
nately for the interests of the place, nipped in 
the bud, through adverse circumstances. He 
has held many important public positions, 
among other, that of acting County Treasurer. 
He is a man of great natural ability, and of 
the best of business qualifications. 


Is another of the old settlers, and a man highly 
esteemed. He has also held important public 
positions, and among others, those of Alder- 
man and School Commissioner, and has always 
proved a faithful and efficient recipient of pub- 

lic trust. He is an influential member of the 
present Common Council. 

Came to Oshkosh in 1849, and opened the 
second clothing store and merchant tailoring 
establishment in the place. His name will be 
found mentioned among the business firms in 
our early history. He is still doing a large 
and successful business. His house and that 
of Hon. S. M. Hay are the only two surviv- 
ing firms which were doing business here in 
1S49. Mr. Eckstein has ever held a high place 
in the popular estimation, and is one of our 
most respectable citizens, and one of this city's 
leading business men. His establishment is 
one of the popular institutions of the place, 
and is always well stocked with a large assort- 
ment of cloths. Mr. Eckstein is always fortu- 
nate in securing the services of the most artis- 
tic cutters. Mr. Michael Maloney has offi- 
ciated in this house, in that capacity, for eight 
years, and gives the fullest satisfaction to their 
many customers, in the most recherche fit and 


One of the most popular houses with the 
traveling public is the Beckwith. It is the 
largest among the elegant structures of rebuilt 
Oshkosh, and supplies a want which was long 
felt in this city, namely, enlarged hotel facilities. 

Immediately after the great fire of 1875, Mr. 
Beckwith commenced the enterprise of con- 
structing this elegant building, and the result 
is a hotel that will rank with the very first-class 
houses of the larger cities. 

Our splendid lake and yachting facilities 
and delightful summer climate are attracting 
the attention of summer tourists, and the 
Beckwith furnishes the most ample accommo- 
dation for the entertainment of guests. 

The buildinsj has a front on Main Street of 




132 feet, and on Algoma of iio. It contains 
seventy-five rooms, which are high, airy and 
well ventilated. The house is constructed on 
the modern hotel principles. The inside 
finish and embellishments are elegant, the 
furniture new throughout, and every pains 
taken to make this house a credit to the city. 
Mr. Beckwith's pleasant manners and kind 
attention to his guests, the comforts o'f the 
house, its scrupulous neatness, and its well 
spread tables, have already earned for it a 
wide-spread popularity. 


Among the most prominent citizens of Osh- 
kosh is Doctor H. B. Dale, the present popu- 
lar mayor of the city. He moved from Steu- 
ben County, New York, his native place, in 
i860, which was the year he graduated, and 
immediately entered upon the practice of his 

He attained so rapid a popularity here that 
in 1867 he was elected from his ward, where a 
strong party majority existed against him, as 
alderman, and was the first Democrat elected 
from that ward. At the same election he was 
elected as city superintendent of schools, and 
was re-elected for eight consecutive terms. He 
was then nominated by both political parties 
for the ninth term, and declined. He proved 
a most efficient superintendent, as his popular- 
ity as such attests, and devoted much of his 
time in attending to the interests of the schools, 
which were in the most flourishing condition 
during his long term of service. 

When he commenced there were eighteen 
teachers, and when he surrendered the office 
there were fifty-six. The Dale school building, 
a magnificent brick structure, was named in 
compliment to him for his long, faithful and 
competent service. He also received the high 
compliment of a nomination for State Superin- 
tendent of schools, but was defeated with the 
balance of the Democratic state ticket. Last 
spring, 1879, he was elected mayor of this 
city, a position he fills very creditably. 


But few men have left a more enduring 
impression on this city than the late Hon. 
George Hyer. He was one of the early 
Western pioneers, and came to Milwaukee 
in 1836, and was engaged in printing on the 
first newspaper published in the Territory of 
Wisconsin. The following year he carried the 
first mail to the Rock River settlement that 
was sent west from Milwaukee. In 1838 he 
set the first type on the Wisconsin Enquirer, 
the first paper published in Madison. After a 
long newspaper career, in which he was closely 

associated with public life, and during which 
he took a very prominent part in territorial 
and state affairs, he retired to a farm near 
Beloit; but longing for his old vocation, he 
came to Oshkosh in 1867, and purchased the 
Democrat , refitted the office, and commenced 
the publication of the Oshkosh Times, which, 
under his able editorial management, became 
one of the leading papers of the State. 

George Hyer, from his very earliest man- 
hood having been associated with that spirit 
of enterprise, progress and improvement, for 
which the early settlers of the State were 
distinguished, was imbued with that feeling, 
and soon became recognized, in Oshkosh as 
one of the champions of public and private 
enterprise. The Times soon exercised a great 
influence, and aided very much in awakening 
a renewed spirit of progress and improvement 
in this city, with which the name of George 
Hyer will be long associated. He was a great 
advocate of a northern railroad — a consuma- 
tion now reached — and was chiefly instru- 
mental in establishing the Northern State Agri- 
cultural and Mechanical Association. 

His death, which occured in the spring of 
1872, was greatly deplored bj- this community 
and a wide circle of friends extending through- 
out the State, and deprived this city of one of 
its best friends. 


Among the former newspaper editors in 
this city now engaged in other vocations the 
names of Geo. H. Read, C. R. Nevitt, Geo. 
Gary, C. W. Felker, Hiram Morley and C. E. 
Pike, are prominent. Their connection with 
the press is fully related in the history of the 
newspaper press of Oshkosh on another page. 
Of Mr. Read full mention has been made. Mr. 
Charles Nevitt was his associate in the Courier 
and the business-manager of that paper, and 
was one of the chief originators of the North- 
western. He was regarded as one of the best 
printers in the Northwest, being master of his 
profession, and was and is now a very active 
business man. 

Hon. Geo. Gary, now County Judge, was 
for many years in the editorial harness. He 
was an able writer, and the papers under his 
management took a high rank among the pub- 
lications of the State. 

Mr. C. E. Pike came to Oshkosh, from Bos- 
ton, in November, 1859, and joined Mr. Nev- 
itt in the publication of the Nortlnvestern, and 
was editor-in-chief of that paper during the 
first three years of the war — a stormy period 
for a newspaper editor. Mr. Pike proved to ; 
be a very polished and vigorous writer, and j 

-■ s^ -Jy-tl^sffiar- 

'**^ t 


■ " '^il^ .:m >ik 

Residence of UH. h. L.DALE, Algoivia,St.,OShkosh ,Wis. 

Union Steam boiler works, Wl.T.BAinS Prop. Manuf.of Steam Boilers, Smoke Stacks, 
Britchens, Tanks ficc'.. MARKET, St. OshkoSh, Wis. 




made his paper a very able champion of the 
measures of the Government. In the fall of 
1864 he ended his connection with the North- 
western and shortly afterwards removed from 
this city. In the spring of 1878 he returned to 
Oshkosh, and engaged in the practice of his 
profession — that of the law. Mr. Pike is a 
man of fine natural abilities cultivated by a lib- 
eral education, foreign travel and wide expe- 
rience, with a fine address and pleasing 

Hiram Morley, although mentioned as a 
former editor is still in his old vocation, and 
is now editor of the Oshkosh Standard. He 
s one of the earlier settlers and came to reside 
in Oshkosh in 1848, at a time when the site of 
this city was covered with trees and stumps. 
His connection with the early newspaper press 
is fully related in a separate article. As will 
be seen, he was engaged here in the publication 
of papers in 1849-50-51, at which time he 
removed to Fond du Lac, where he published 
a paper until 1863. In 1863, he becameoneof 
the proprietors of the Oshkosh Courier, and 
in 1 864 merged that paper into the Northwest- 
ern and joined in the publication of the lat- 
ter. He has held many public positions in 
this city, among others that of alderman for 
five years, and member of the Board of Super- 
visors. He is a master of his profession, and 
has a wide circle of friends. ■ 

Marcellus Strong was, for a few years, an 
associate of Mr. Read, in the Courier. He 
is a good printer, and a man highly esteemed. 

Jere Crowley will be remembered by the 
old settlers. He edited the Courier in the 
first years of its existence, and after he sold it 
to Read & Nevitt, went to Menasha, where he 
published the Advocate. Jere was at home in 
a printing office, "native and to the manor 
born, " and knew how to get out a " live paper. " 
In 1878 and 1879 he was Assistant Attorney 
General of the State, and subsequently went 
to Manitowoc, where he published a newspaper 
up to the time of his death. Jere was warmly 
attached to a wide circle of friends, who will 
ever hold in fond remembrance his many good 

Charles G. Finney, now of California, and 
whose connection with the Oshkosh North- 
western is related in the article on that subject, 
conducted that paper very ably. He met with 
an unfortunate accident through the premature 
discharge of a gun, which badly shattered his 
hand and left his life in a very precarious con- 
dition. He is a man of very warm attach- 
ments and had a host of friends here, by 
whom he is held in kindly remembrance for 
his many genial and generous qualities. 


Among the early business firms of Oshkosh 
will be found the name of M. J. Williams, 
who opened the first drug store, and who is 
now one of the surviving firms of that day, 
and still as flourishing and popular as ever. 

Alexander Read, who kept a dry goods 
store, and afterwards was clerk of the County 
Board, and now deputy clerk of the court, is 
a man very popular with the early settlers. 

Henry Hicks, who in the olden time was 
one of the leading business men, is one of the 
numerous instances of those who have been 
overtaken by reverses — a kind neighbor and 
true friend, and liked by all who know him. 

Among the early settlers George Cameron's 
name appears conspicuously. He is still here 
and maintains his old-time popularity; he has 
held the office of assessor for several terms and 
has lately resumed his old business, having 
this year erected a large livery and sale stable. 

William D. Stroud is one of the early set- 
tlers. He moved with his family from Ver- 
gennes, Vermont, to this place in 1 851, and 
purchased a tract of 160 acres, now within 
the city limits, on which he resided till 1866, 
when he sold the same and moved into his 
handsome residence in the Third Ward. He 
has contributed his quota towards building up 
the place, and is one of its most respected 

Jefferson Bray is one of the honored names 
of the olden time — a man highly respected 
by all who know him. 

Among the physicians of the early day Doc- 
tor Schenich will be long remembered for his 
kindness of heart and the many generous qual- 
ities that so endeared him to all who knew 

Doctors A. P. Barber, Thomas Russell and 
A. B. Wright, old practitioners, are still here 
and in the possession of a large and successful 

Among the attorneys of the early day still 
here are the names of W. R. Kennedy, who 
has for several terms held the position of city 
attorney; A. A. Austin, who came here in 
1849, and has held for several terms the office 
of district attorney, and G. W. Washburn, 
who also came in 1849 and held many import- 
ant public positions, among others that of 
judge of this judicial circuit. 

Among those who have disappeared from 
the arena of human action are the names of 
C. Coolbaugh, who long enjoyed a successful 
practice; L. P. Crary, one of the most elo- 
quent speakers in the State in his day, and C. 
R. Weisbrod, who also held many important 
public positions, and was a man of great influ- 




ence, and built up a large and successful law 
practice to which his son Albert succeeds. 

A. B. Bowen, still a resident and the occu- 
pant of one of the most beautiful places in 
the city, was among the earlier residents, and 
one of the most enterprising of the business 
men of the place. 

Abram Sawdy will long be remembered by 
the old settlers as one of nature's noblemen. 

Matt Kremer, now in the grocery business, 
came here in 1852. He is still flourishing and 
always has a kind spot in his heart for the old 

William Greenwood, who has just returned 
here from Chicago, and commenced the prac- 
tice of his profession, first came to this county 
in 1850. Reverses overtook him, but full of 
energy, even in his old age, he is trying to 
redeem his fallen fortunes, and his old friends 
are glad to welcome him back. 

" Bone " Millard , the pioneer of the Wolf River 
pineries, is still here, and is the same energetic 
and generous-hearted man and kind friend that 
he was thirty years ago. 

A. F. David, now a resident of Oregon, 
was one of the leading business men of the 
early days, and very popular in his time. He 
was at one time sheriff of this county. 

A. K. Osborne, late United States Collector 
and now a resident of this place, is one of the 
early settlers. He has long held important 
public positions, among others. Judge of the 
Waupaca County Court, member of the State 
Legislature and United States Collector. He 
is a man of the strictest integrity, and has 
proved faithful to every trust reposed in his 

James Murdoch, Doctor Henning, and other 
early residents, have been fully mentioned in 
the pages on the early history of Oshkosh. 
Other prominent business and professional 
names of the present time will be mentioned 
in connection with the classified business direc- 
tory in the subsequent pages of this work. 


City .111(1 County Officers — Courts, Judges — Fire and Police 
Dejiartments — Schools, Churches and Societies. 


AYOR, H. B. Dale; Superintendent 

of Schools, George H. Read; City 

J Clerk, Josiah B. Powers; Treasurer, 

John H. Lopcr; Attorney, Manzo 

Eaton; Chief of Police, Allsworth Ford. 


First Ward — R. A. Spink, Leander 
Choate, M. T. Battis. 

Second Ward — Jos. Staudenraus, R. J. 
Weisbrod, Jas. Kenney. 

Third Ward — Joseph Kilp, John Laabs, 
Bruno Martin. 

Fourth Ward— J. C. Noyes, Wm. Wake- 
man, Sr. , A. M. Brainerd. 

Fifth Ward — James McNair, Loren Tyler, 
Thomas Policy. 

Sixth Ward—E. M. Lull, Patrick Flynn, 
James Rankel. 


James D. Campbell, Theodore Frentz, Ira 
Griffin, H. L. Lawson, Milton Frock, Wm. 

These constitute the School Board, with 
Superintendent Read, President, cx-officio. 

Geo. Cameron, R. W. Ryckman, GusThom. 

Joseph Jackson, Chris Sarau. 

Allsworth Ford, chief; assistants, S. F. 
Cutts, J. C. Merton, J. B. Raggatz, Cornelius 
Gorman and Wm. Hogan. Merchant Police, 
John Blake, Joseph Burster. 


This department is noted for its efficiency 
and sees much hard service. It is so well 
disciplined and constantly ready for any 
emergency, that on the first sound of the 
alarm the steamers are on their way to the 
scene of disaster, every man in his place and 
ready for the most arduous duty. 

There are three fire steamers, one hand 
engine, five hose carts and a hook-and-ladder 
truck. There is an ample supply of hose, and 
excellent water facilities are now provided. 
Henry P. Schmidt is chief engineer and Chas. 
Ricf first assistant. 

Steamer Phcenix, No. i, is located on Main 
Street, near Merritt. Anson W. Farrand is 
engineer, and one of the best machinists in 
the State. His assistants are Lewis Sweet, 
James D. Lewis, David Montgomery, John 
Dickinson, John Sargent, Samuel Chambersj 
and Albert Farrand. 

Steamer W. H. Doe, No. 2, is located at' 
134 High street. Harvey C. Nash, engineer;^ 
assistants, Cornelius McCusker, James Kellet,' 
John O'Brien, Pliny Yount, Frank Rief and: 
Geo. H. Princ. \ 

Steamer Brooklyn, No. 4, is located oni 
Si.xth Street, near Kansas. Thomas Roach' 




engineer; assistants, Anson Littlefield, Michael 
Monahan, John Monahan, Louis Ganzer, John 
Cowling, Robert Brauer, Albert Brauer, 
Lathrop Littlefield and Geo. H. Robinson. 

Sheriff, Frank B. Morgan; Register of 
Detds, Carl J. Kraby; Treasurer, L. W. Hull; 
Clerk of the Board, Otis Chase; Clerk of the 
Court, Thomas D. Grimmer; District Attor- 
ney, George W. Burnell; County Surveyor, 
H. W. Leach. 

Hon. D. y. Pulling, Judge Third Judicial Cirniil. 

Terms of Court — Tuesday next after the 
second Monday of April, and Tuesday ne.xt 
after the fourth Monday of November. By 
statute, the terms in this county are the 
special terms, for all the other counties in the 
circuit, and the court is open for the trans- 
action of business at any time when the judge 
is present. 

Hon George Gary, County Judge 

Probate Terms — Regular terms, first Tues- 
day in every month. Special terms when 
ordered, on other Tuesdays. 

Civil Jjirisdiction — Regular terms, second 
Monday in February, May and October. 
Special terms, first Monday in each month, 
except February, May, October, July and 


Mayors — Edward Eastman, 1853. Joseph 
Jackson, 1854-55. Thomas A. Follett, 1856. 
Joseph Jackson, 1857. S. M. Hay, 1858-59. 
B. S. Henning, i860. John Fitzgerald, 1861 . 
H. C. Jewell, 1862. Philetus Sawyer, 1863- 
64 Carlton Foster, 1865-66. J. H.Porter, 
1867. C. W. Davis, 1868. J. H. Porter, 1869. 
Joseph Stringham, 1870. James V. Jones, 
1871. James Jenkins, 1872. James V. Jones, 
1873-74. Joseph Stringham, 1875. Andrew 
Haben, 1876-77. Sanford Beckwith, 1878. 
Dr. H. B. Dale, 1879. 

City Clerks — Wm. Luscher, 1853-54. M. 
A. Edmonds, 1855. John R. Forbes, 1856. 
Wm. Luscher, 1867 to 58. George Burnside, 
1859. J. B. Powers, i86oto 1880. 

City Treasurers — Walter H. Weed, 1853- 
54-55. D. A. Hicks, 1856. A. H. Read, 1857. 
M. E. Tremble, 1858-59-60. James Lankton, 
1861. Benj. Granger, 1862. Robert Mc- 
Curdy, 1863-64-65. Wm. H. Boyd, 1866. 
F. X. Haben, 1867. W. P. Taylor, 1868 to 
1874. John H. Loper, 1875 to 1879. 

City Attorneys — Wm. R. Kennedy, 1853. 

T. L. Kennan, 1854. B. Rexford, 1854. C. 
A. Weisbrod, 1857-58. B. Rexford, 1859- 
60. N. Whittemore, 1861. H. B Jackson, 
1862. Wm. R. Kennedy, 1863-64. H. B. 
Jackson, 1865-66. E. P. Finch, 1867. James 
Freeman, 1868. John Hancock, 1869. Jeff 
Murdock, 1870. James Freeman, 1871. Wm. 
R. Kennedy, 1872 to 1876. James R. Mer- 
rill, 1877-78. W. S. Wheeler, 1879. M. 
H. Eaton, 1879. 

City Marshals — E. M. Neff, 1853, James 
A. Rea, 1854. E. M. Neff, 1855. John La 
Dow, 1856-57. N. T. Merritt, 1858. Joseph 
Jackson, 1859. John La Dow, i860. Joseph 
Jackson, 1861 to 1867. 

Chief of Police — Joseph Jackson 1868. Asa 
Worden, 1869-70. Joseph Jackson, 1871 to 
1876. Horace Stroud, 1877. Alsworth F"ord, 


The achievements of this city in providing 
enlarged facilities for the education of youth, 
reflect upon it the highest credit. No city in 
in the State, in proportion to its population, 
can compare favorably with it in elegant 
school structures. 

The people have taken the deepest interest 
in the welfare of our schools, and have been 
most lavish in their e.xpenditure, and Oshkosh, 
with all her other social advantages, has 
become one of the educational centers of the 
State. Her public schools and spacious 
school buildings, are nowhere surpassed in the 
West, and only equaled by much larger cities. 

The High School building is a magnificent 
structure, erected at a cost of $43,000. The 
Dale School building is another elegant brick 
edifice, costing $16,000, exclusive of the 
land. The Frentz School building, a fine 
brick edifice, cost $9,000, and the Read School 
building, now in course of construction, will 
cost, when completed and furnished, about 
$10,000. These are all buildings of imposing 
proportions and of much architectural beauty, 
as the view of the High School on the opposite 
page plainly shows. The Sixth Ward School 
is another large brick structure, and in addition 
to these, are the two large frame buildings in 
the Third Ward, and three other frame school 
houses; making five brick structures and five 
frame. There arc also, the State Normal 
School, the Business College, the St. Vincent 
de Paul Academy, the German and English 
Academy, five denominational schools and 
the " Kindergarten. 

The public school system of this city is the 
graded .plan, with a prescribed course of study 
from the primary up to the higher departments. 




Semi-annual examinations in scholarship are 
made for the purpose of grading the pupils, 
and by which they progress, as fast as qualified, 
into more advanced classes. 

The course of instruction is. Second 
Primary, First Primary, Second Inter- 
mediate, First Intermediate, Grammar 
Department, ClassB, Class A; and High School 
Department. The course in the Grammer 
Department includes reading, oral spelling, 
geography, arithmetic, English grammer and 

There are three courses in the High 
School: The Full course, the English course 
and the Latin course. 

The number of children in the city between 
the ages of four and twenty, as per the school 
census of 1879, is 5,409. 

The following from tlie very able report of 
School Superintendent Geo. H. Read gives 
very full information in regard to the present 
condition of our public schools: 

* * i "The general conduct of the children in the observ- 
ance of discipline and good order, has been very praiseworthy. 
There have been not more than six cases of misconduct 
requiring temporary suspension ; and but one where expulsion 
was deemed necessary. This, considering the average enroll- 
ment in all the schools approximates two thousand in number, 
is very creditable, as well to the children as to the teachers who 
have them in charge. It proves that our free public schools 
can be schools for inculcating proper habits of deportment and 
manners, as well as for intellectual cultivation. In this matter 
of orderly conduct, there has been a noticeable improvement 
within the past two or three years ; and the complaints of peo- 
ple living in the vicinity of school-houses, of improper and dis- 
orderly behavior during the recesses, and before and after 
school hours, have almost entirely ceased. I attribute this 
improvement mainly to the adoption of the system of employ- 
ing male teachers for the principals of the Ward Schools, and 
making them responsible for the discipline and government of 
the entire school, in all its departments. When the principal 
is firmly supported by the school authorities in the exercise of 
his rightful power as the governing head of the school, he 
secures respect and obedience, and has no difficulty in main- 
taining discipline .and decorum among the pupils. 

I congratulate the Board on the very favorable exhibit of the 
condition of the school finances, as shown by the annual finan- 
cial statement, which has already been published in the official 
paper, as reijuired by the city charter. The account of expen- 
ditures is brought down to April I, 1S79, and includes all sal- 
aries of officers, teachers and janitore to that dale. The total 
cost of supporting the schools for the official year ending on 
the 31st inst. is $27,358 02. This includes all sums paid for 
repairs of buildings and for school-room equipments. It is a 
less amount by $2,002.87 'li^n "'^^ expended for the same pur- 
poses for the year ending March 31 , 187S, and $8,301.88 less 
than the like expenditures for the year ending March 31, 1877. 
The disbursements on account of current expenses for the 
three next preceding years were as follows : 
For the Year 1875-6 $34,831.63 

For the Year 1876-7 35,659.90 

" " 1877-H 29,360.89 

" " 1878-9 27,358.02 

The balance on hand in the treasury April i. 1879, '^ JS22,- 
243.88, a sum more than sufficient, with prudent management. 
to meet all ordinary liabilities on account of the school ser- 
vice, until the next tax levy is realized. 
There was on baud iu the Treasury, at the begiiiiiuig of the 

School Year, September 1, 1878 $16^.52 90 

The amouut ou hand at the beginuing of the preceding Bchool 

year was 7,321. C^ 

Total amount of salaries paid to male teachers at the present ^ 

time 4,750.01^ 

Total amount paid to female teachers 15,080. Od 

Number of male teachers employed 

Number of female teachers employed 

■Number of Public School buildings in the city 

Number of Pupils the houses will accommodate 2,50 

Number of schools in the city with three or more departraenta 

Number with two departments 

Number of ungraded schools of one department 

The whole number of children in the city, who are are inca- 
pacitated fur instruction in the Common Schools from defect 
of vision, hearing or intellect, is reported at 


The current expenses for the High and Grammar schools for 

the year ending March 31, 1877. were 813,881.62 

And the pro rata share of General Kxpeuditiu'es 458.08 

Total $14,339.7(1 

For the year ending March 31, 1878, the same expenditures 

amount to $ 9,240.95 

For the year ending March 31, 1879, the same aggregated.. .. 7,959.0] 

Included, however, in the expenses for the year ending 
March 31, 1877, is an item for $1,023, for 'h^ outside iroii 
stairway, attached that to the building, which should noj 
be regarded as part of the current expense, it being more in 
the nature of a permanent investment. 

The cost per capita for educating the pupils of the High and 

Grammar schools, based on the average attendance and the 

current expenditures, was for the year just closed, $38.08 


The graduating exercises at the High School, at the close of 
the last school year, were more than usually interesting, and 
drew a large audience to witness the ceremonies. The essays 
and or.itions of the graduates were all creditable, and some of 
them of more than ordinary merit, exhibiting much originality 
of thought and grace of composition. The ceremonies were 
conducted by Prof. Wood, who closed the exercises by con' 
ferring the diplomas and delivering a short but appropriate 

The following paragraph is well worthy of 
republication, and is creditable to Mr. Read's 
head and heart. 

In connection with these graduating, it will not, ' 
perhaps, be considered out of place if I make a suggestion in ■ 
regard to the style of dress and adornment pruper to be dis- 
played by the graduates on such occasions. Setting aside the 
question of taste involved at such times, in the parade of elab- 
orate and expensive costumes, it should be borne in mind that 
our public schools are established for the use and benefit of the 
children of all the people of the city — rich and poor alike. A 
showy and costly style of dress, indulged in by those who are 
in circumstances to afford it, tends to discourage those who are- 
not so well situated, from completing their studies to the grad- 
uating point. It seems to me that good taste and good feeling ^ 
should rather dictate the adoption of a style, plain and inex-j 
pensive, such as would become all conditions and be equally! 




within the reach of all; thus preserving the self-respect of all 
by subjecting none to mortifying contrasts on account of a dis- 
parity of conditions. 

E. Barton Wood, Clara Everett, Mary E. Murdock, 

Sarah J. Ellsworth, Anna L. Wood, Vanie Doe, 
Jennie D. Adams, Mary E. Blackburn, Myra Manning. 

Albert Evans, Ella F. Jackman, Jessie Goe, 

Jennie Harshaw, Marv Camburn, Katie A. Glynn, 
Georgie Ellsworth, Lucy Rafferty, Henry C. Thom, 

Libbie Sprague, Ida Webster, Mary Marble, 

Carrie Lamb, Lillie Kimball, Carrie Lawrence, 

Katie C. Grady, James Brainerd, Alice Gill, 
Mary Turner, Grace Lindsley, Cora Griffin, 

Ida Jutton, Angle L. Greenlaw, Flora Gill, 

Maggie Hawthorne, A. A. Spencer, Libbie Watts, 

Minnie Williamson, Genie Murdock, Rilla Sanders, 
Ella Jones, Ellen Brainerd, Mary Schenich, 

Nettie Freeman, Maggie Mason, Mary E. Prock, 

J. F. Hyer, Rosa C. Quinn, Martina O'Hanlon, 

Carrie E. Siroud, Cora B. Wyman. 

Geo. S. Atbec, President. 

The Normal School building is one of the 
finest structures in this city, and the school, 
under the management of its efficient faculty, 
ha.s reached a high standard of excellence. It 
is, in fact, conceded to be one of the best educa- 
tional institutions in the State. 

The President, Mr. George S. Albee, is a 
gentleman eminently qualified for the respon- 
sible position which he holds; and the faculty 
generally have given the fullest evidence of 
their qualifications, in the successful discharge 
of the duties of their respective positions. 
The scholars in this school are noted for 
thoroughness in their acquirements, and for 
their generally correct deportment — the 
discipline requiring the strictest conformity 
to the requirements of good morals. 

There are two courses of professional 
instruction ; the elementary, especially intended 
to prepare students for teaching in the com- 
mon district schools; the advanced, which pre- 
pares teachers for the higher grades of our 
public schools. The model department is 
organized as a school of observation, for the 
exemplification of the best methods of instruc- 
tion, and is also a school of practice, in which 
the students are trained in the business of 

[teaching. Its appointments include a good 
library, a well-equipped chemical and physical 
laboratory, and ample cabinets of natural his- 

"In giving the needful academic culture in the higher courses, 
a correct method of dealing with mind is impressed by a care- 
ful unfolding of mental processes in the pupil's experience 

with each branch, so as to substitute habits of correct and def- 
inite thinking for thoughtless memorizing. 

Certain branches are dwelt upon until a clear understanding 
of the processes by which they are built up is gained ; while 
others, because of limited time, are treated more briefly, and 
with special reference to the information which they contam. 

In the former class are the elementary, or " common school' 

branches ; those natural sciences which most nearly concern 

daily work and life, and those branches which tend most 

directly to cultivate logical thought and definite expression. 


A record of each pupil's standing in Recitation and Written 
Examination is kept, and the pupil's fitness to pass from any 
branch is determined by the combined average of his class 
standing and final examination. 


Experience has proved that knowledge and method in 
instruction are of little worth without prompt and close atten-. 
tion to school duties on the part of every pupil. 

The discipline of the school is, therefore, closely observant 
of all departures from needful regulations. The student is 
expected to exhibit in his deportment all those qualities which 
he would have displayed by pupils in his own school. His 
character for courtesy, industry and integrity will, beyond mere 
scholarly attainments, mark his fitness for the teacher's work, 
and be made an imperative condition of certificate or gradu- 

Thirty-nine counties are represented in the 
enrollment of the school. 

The Normal School was organized in 1871. 
Its growth is well indicated by the following 
table of enrollment in the Normal Depart- 

School year 1871-72 15S 

•' 1872-73 224 

" 1873-74 262 

'• 1874-75 293 

" 1875-76 325 

•' 1876-77 374 

" 1877-78 374 

" 1878 79 427 


George S. Albee (President), School Man- 
agement, Didactics and j^Mental Science; 
Robert Graham, Vocal Music, Reading and 
Conductor of Institute; Waldo E. Dennis, 
Natural Science; L. W. Briggs, Book-Keep- 
ing; Anna W. Moody, History and Civil 
Government; Mary H. Ladd, Mathematics; 
Helen E. Bateman, English Grammar and 
Composition; Emily F. Webster, Latin; Lucy 
C. Andrews, Geography; Amelia E. Banning 
Drawing and Penmanship; Fannie Tower, • 
Mathematics and Grammar. 

Preparatory Classes — Mrs. L. L.Cochran. 

Model Department — L. W. Briggs, director; 
Maria S. Hill, Teacher and Critic, Grammar 
Grade; Frances E. Albee, Teacher and Critic, 
Intermediate Grade, Elizabeth B. Armstead, 




Teacher and Critic, Primary Grade; Carrie E. 
McNutt, Vocal and Instrumental Music. 


W. W. Daggett, Principal. This is one of 
the institutions that Oshkosh is proud of, and 
which draws a large number of pupils from 
abroad and has the reputation of being one of 
the best-conducted Commercial Colleges in 
the Northwest. It has acquired a national 
reputation for possessing iDicqualcd facilities 
in every department for imparting a Found, 
practical business education. This educational 
institution is designed to supply the constant 
demand for thorough practical training in 
studies essential to business. It is so organ- 
ized as to accommodate either regular stu- 
dents, or those having but a few hours to spare 
from business pursuits during the day or even- 
ing. To accomplish this the instruction is 
individual, and adapted to the needs of each 
pupil who advances as fast as his abilities will 
allow, without the embarrassments of class 
organizations. Persons whose education is 
deficient, are thus, without regard to age, 
enabled to remedy the defect speedily, without 
publicity, and fit themselves for lucrative and 
responsible positions. Young men, on leaving 
the ordinary public or private schools, can 
here obtain what is usually omitted or imper- 
fectly taught in such schools, and become 
qualified to assume advanced positions on 
account of their superior attainments. 

This college was organized by E. C. Atkin- 
son in September, 1867. Professor W. W. 
Daggett took charge of the school in Septem- 
ber, 1870, and became its sole proprietor in 
1 87 1. Mr. Daggett has that natural aptitude 
for teaching which is one of the essential 
requirements for the attainment of success in 
his calling, and possesses the most eminent 
qualifications for imparting to his pupils the 
most thorough knowledge of the branches 

All branches of a full academical course are 
taught, and the most competent assistants are 
employed. The general estimation in which 
the institution is held will be seen in the fact, 
that over three thousand students of both sexes 
have attended it since it was first organized. 

This school was founded in 1858, and its 
•special object is teaching the different branches 
in reading, grammar, arithmetic, history of the 
United States and of the world, geography, 
penmanship, drawing, singing, rhetoric, etc., 
in both the German and P^nglish languages; 
and to give, thereby, the scholar not only a per- 
fect English education, but also a thorough 

knowledge of the German language. Gym- 
nastics is also one of the exercises. 

In connection with the school proper is a 
Kindergarten, conducted on Froebel's system, 
for children from three to six years, and also 
a department for instructing the girls in handi- 

The school is in a flourishing condition and 
the present teachers are: Professor Bareuther, 
Principal; Miss Helen Crary, Assistant; Miss 
Bertha Leist, teacher of Kindergarten; Miss 
Bates, Assistant; Mrs. Streuver teacher in 
female handiwork. 

The management of the school is intrusted 
to the following officers: H. Bammessell, pres- 
ident; Val. Kohlmsnn, secretary; Ferd. Her- 
mann, treasurer; J. Staudenraus, Henry Zinn, 
Wm. Dichmann, A. F. Baehr, trustees. 

The school building was destroyed by the 
great fire of 1875, but the society, by the liberal 
aid of the citizens of Oshkosh and of other 
cities in Wisconsin was enabled to erect a much 
larger and more commodious one, containing, 
besides the school-rooms, a fine hall for recita- 
tions. It is located on Court House Street. 


St. Vincent's Academy and Parochial School, 
situated on Twelfth and Oregon streets, was 
built in the year 1874, and opened on the 
twenty-seventh ofjanuary, 1875, and is con- 
ducted by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, 
and combines both the academic and paro- 
chial courses in its system of instruction. 
Small in the beginning, it flourished as time 
passed, until at the close of the session, July 
15. 1*^79. 't averaged about two hundred 
pupils. The parochial course embraces the 
common branches of study in the English and 
German languages. The academic course for 
young ladies comprises all the higher branches 
of a complete and refined education. Music 
taught on piano, organ and the stringed instru- 
ments, with painting, drawingand fancy needle- 
work, form part of the optional course of 
s-tudy in this school. 

Religious instruction constitutes the basis of, 
the educational plan of this school, but differ 
ence of religion forms no obstacle to th 
admission of dissenting pupils. Originally 
intended as a school for day pupils, provisions 
have since been made to accommodate board- 
ers at moderate rates. 

Among the incentives to study arc the 
monthly bulletins to parents and guardians* 
and the Gold Cross of Honor at the annual 
commencement, held at the close of the sum- 
mer session. 






St. Peter's parochial school on Pearl Street, 
conducted by the Sisters of St. Dominic, has 
an attendance of about one hundred andthirty 


St. Mary's church school, on Merritt Street, 
in charge of Sister Superior Mary Regis, has 
about the same number of scholars as St. 
Peter's school. 


The school of this denomination, on Fifth 
Street, Second Ward, is in a flourishing con- 
dition, and has an attendance of one hundred 
and thirty-five pupils. J. D F"redk. Meier is 

The school of the above donomination, on 
Eighth Street, Third Ward, is also in a pros- 
perous condition, with an attendance of one 
hundred and forty-six pupils. John L. Gru- 
ber is principal, and Herman Grule, assistant. 



One of the first church organizations in Osh- 
kosh was that of the Congregational. On July 
II, 1849, a number of persons assembled in 
the village school-house for the purpose of 
effecting an organization of that denomination; 
among them were Joseph Jackson, Emeline 
Jackson, Martha Anderson, Nodiah Sackett, 
Homer Barnes, Fanny B. Kellogg and others, 
assisted by the Rev. C. Marsh and Rev. H. 

The first pastor was the Rev. H. Freeman, 
who remained in that position until January, 
1856, when the Rev. William H. Marble took 
his place, which he retained until July, 1862. 

In 1850 the society commenced the erection 
of a house of worship, which was completed in 
June, 185 1. This building was afterwards 
purchased with tlie lot on which it stood, on 
Upper Mi-in Street, and was subsequently 
converted by C. McCabe into three stores. 

In the spring of 1857, the society purchased 
the site of their present edifice, and com- 
menced the construction of a large church, 
which, in time was completed. It was 
destroyed by fire on the tenth of July, 1872. 

The present edifice was completed on the 
14th of December, 1873, but services were 
held for some time afterwards in the basement, 
as it was determined not to have the dedica- 
tory service until the church was out of debt. 
On the 24th of October, 1875, the dedication 
took place. The sermon was preached by the 
Rev. F. B. Doe; the Rev. W. A. Chamber- 
lain, and the Rev. Thos. G. Grassie, pastor of 

the church, assisting in the ceremonies. It is 
an elegant structure and one of the chief archi- 
tectural ornaments of the city. Its cost, in- 
cluding pipe organ and furniture, was $30,- 
000, and the church is out of debt, 


The first religious meeting held in Oshkosh 
was in 1841, at the house of Webster Stanley, 
on which occasion a sermon was preached by 
the Rev. Jesse Halstead, of Brothertown. 
Afterwards, religious meetings were frequently 
held, at which Clark Dickinson exhorted. 

In 1850, the Methodist Episcopal Society 
erected the edifice on Church Street, which 
they occupied as a place of worship until 1875, 
when they purchased their present handsome 
building on the corner of Main and Merritt 
Streets, and converted it into one of the finest 
churches in the city. 


In 1850, St. Peter's Catholic Church was 
erected. It was a small structure, afterwards 
enlarged, and occupied the site of the present 
St. Peter's. 

Before the construction of the former build- 
ing, divine services were held in Peter McCourt's 
house, and the first mass was celebrated in a 
small house on Ceape Street, although it is 
highly probable that the Jesuit missionaries, in 
the days of the F"rench-Indian occupation, held 
divine services within the present limits of the 
city. The first Catholic clergyman officiating 
here was the Rev. F. J. Bonduel, who was sta- 
tioned for twelve years with the Indians at 
Lake Poygan. 

The present fine edifice of St. Peter's is now 
approaching completion, and adds much to the 
church architecture of the city. 


This is one of the largest and handsomest 
churches in the city, and was erected in the 
year 1867 when the diocese of Milwaukee, 
at that time comprising the whole State of 
Wisconsin, was divided into three dioceses, 
viz: Milwaukee, La Crosse and Green Bay. 
That portion of Oshkosh on the south side of 
Fox River remained in the Milwaukee diocese. 
The church therefore belongs to that jurisdic- 

The parish house was erected the next year. 
The Rev. J. B. Reindl is the parish priest. A 
view of the church and the St. Vincent de Paul 
Academy will be found among the illustra- 
tions in this work. 


Among the earlier church organizations here 
is the Welch Congregational, which was organ- 




ized in the fall of 1849 with the Rev. David 
Lewis as pastor. 


As early as 1850, religious services were 
held here by visiting clergymen of the above 
denomination. On January 17, 1851, the 
Right Reverend Bishop Kemper, D. D. , Bishop 
of the Protestanl Episcopal Church for the Dio- 
cese of Wisconsin, held divine service in the 
rooms over A. N. and A. H. Raymond's store. 
In 1853, the Rev. S. G. Callahan officiated 
here for a time, and in 1854 the Rev. D. A. 
Talford became the resident clergyman. In 
1859 the present handsome church was built, 
and in 1866 enlarged and improved. , 


In March, 1854, six persons met in the 
Court House to unite as a conference. In the 
following May a number of representatives of 
Baptist churches met in the Congregational 
Church of this place, as a council of recogni- 
tion, when eleven persons who were present 
were recognized under the name of the First 
Baptist Church of the City of Oshkosh, and in 
June of that year Rev. E. C. Sanders became 
its resident pastor. In 1859, the society erected 
a meeting-house on Jefferson Avenue, which 
was destroyed in the great fire of 1874. In 
1876, the present beautiful edifice on the cor- 
ner of Church and May streets was completed. 


After the date of these earlierorganizations, 
churches of various denominations rapidly 
multiplied. They will all be found in the fol- 
lowing list: 

Baptist Church — (First), 26 Church Street; 
Rev. H. O. Rowland, pastor. 

Baptist Church — (Second), 31 Ninth Street; 
no regular pastor. 

Calvinist Methodist Chiirch — (Welch), 19^ 
Division Street; Rev. D. Davies, pastor. 

Catholic Church — (St. Peter's), 59 High 
Street; Rev. J. O'Malley, pastor. 

Catholic Church — (St. Mary's), 66 Merritt 
Street; Rev. J. Jaster, pastor. 

Catholic Church — (St. Vincent de Paul), 
corner of Oregon and Thirteenth streets; Rev. 
J. B. Reindl, pastor. 

Congregational Church — (First), corner of 
Algoma and Bond streets; Rev. K. C. Ander- 
son, pastor. 

Congregational Church — (Welch), corner 
of Church and Franklin streets; Rev B. J. 
Evans, pastor. 

Episcopal Church — (Trinity), corner of, 
Algoma and Light streets; Rev. F. R. Haff, 

Episcopal Church — (Grace Chapel), corner 
of Eleventh and Minnesota streets; no regu- 
lar rector. 

Episcopal Church — (St. Paul's), 9 Melvin 
Street; Rev. J. Blyman, rector. 

Evangelical Reform Church — 49 Eighth 
Street; Rev. J. H. Boesch, pastor. 

Evangelical Society — Corner of Bay and 
Washington streets; Rev. A. Tarnutzer, pas- 

Lutheran Church — (Danish), Baj' near 
Otter Street; Rev. T. H. Wald, pastor. 

Lutheran Church — (German), 55 Eighth 
Street; Rev. P. Brenner, pastor. 

Lutheran Church — (German), 36 Bowen 
Street; Rev. J. L. Daib, pastor. 

Methodist Episcopal Church — (Algoma 
Street), corner of James; Rev. A. J. Mead, 

Methodist Episcopal Church — (First), cor- 
ner of Main and Merritt streets; Rev. D. J. 
Holmes, pastor. 

Methodist Episcopal Church — (German), 
15 Tenth Street; Rev. A. H. Kopplin, pas- 

Metliodist Episcopal Church — (Second), 
corner of Eleventh and Minnesota streets; 
Rev. J. W. Olmsted, pastor. • 

Metliodist Episcopal Church — (Wesleyan), 
Knapp, south of Ninth; Rev. C. C. Holcomb. 

Presbyterian Church — (First), 16 Church 
Street; Rev. F. Z. Rossiter, pastor. 

Presbyterian Church — (United), 21 Church 
Street; Rev, Wm. K. Ferguson, pastor. 

Union Church — Punhoqua, north of Gra- 
ham Street; no regular pastor. 




Oshkosh Lodge, A'o. 2j — Instituted April 
23, 1849. 

Centennial Lodge, Xo. 20j — Instituted April 
12, 1876. 

Tyrian Chapter, No. ij — Instituted in 1856, 
and reorganized P^ebruary i860. 

Oshkosh Conimandery, No. 11 — Was insti- 
tuted July 3, 1873. 


Winnebago Lodge, No. 120 — Was organized 
February 15, 1868. 

Oshkosh Encampment , No. ji . 
Ivy Lodge, No. jS — Daughters of Rebecca, 
was organized in 1874. 

1 879-1 



Union Lodge No. ijp — Was organized Jan. 
19, 1871. 


Oshkosh Lodge, No 28, I. O. G. T—Was 
organized Feb, 8, 1858. 

Reform Lodge, No. 2, /. 0. G. T. —Organ- 
ized Aug. 16, 1877. 

Brooklyn Lodge, No. 26 — Organized Nov. 
II, 1869. 

Sons of Temperance, Oslikosh Division, No. 
2j — Organized June 4, 1873. 

Winnebago Lake Division, No. 156 — Organ- 
ized March 27, 1876. 

OshkosJi Temple of Honor, No. ^ — Organ- 
ized Nov. 4, 1874. 

Iron Clad No. §8 — Organized May 20, 

Fidelity Council, No. 2, T. of H. &■ T. — 
Organized July 1876. 

St . Peter s Temperance Association , {Catholic) 

— Organized 1872. 

Oslikosh Union, T. of H. & T. — Organized 
Sept. 22, 1877. 

Woman's Christian Temperance Union — 
Was organized April 14, 1874. 


Oshkosh Lodge, No. 5/ — Organized Jan. 

Brooklyn Lodge, No. jj — Organized March 


St. John's Lodge, No. p — Organized March 
22, 1879. 

Oshkosh Lodge, No. 2j — Organized March 
22, 1879 


Young Men's Christian Association — Reor- 
ganized May 22, 1879 

Knights of Honor, {Crescent Lodge) A'o. J82 

— Organized 1876. 

German United Brothers — Organized in 
December 1853. 

Druids, Colwnbns Grove, No. 6 — Organ- 
ized March 22, 1867. 

Sons of Herman Lodge, No. 2 — Organized 
in 1849. 

Sons of Herman, {Det mold Lodge), N'o. 2p — 
Organized Nov. 11, 1875. 

Royal Arcanum, {Oshkosh Council), No. 2jj 

— Organized Dec. 1878. 

Casino Society — Organized in 1864. 

Oshkosh Shooting Club — Organized in 1873. 

Oshkosh Yacht Club — Organized in 1868. 

Oshkosh Stock Grozcers Association — Incor- 
porated in 1872 with a capital of $15,000. 

Northern Wisconsin Agricultural and 
Mechanical Association — Organized March 

Oshkosh Library Association — Organized in 

Oshkosh Turnvercin — Hall corner Merritt 
and Jefferson Avenue. 

St. Aloy sins' Benevolent Society, {Catholic), 
— Organized in 1872. 

St. Joseph's Society, {Catholic) — Organized 
in 1867. 


Oshkosh Post No. 10, G. A. R. — Reorgan- 
ized 1873. 

Oshkosh Guards — Organized 1875. 


History of ihe Newspaper Press of Oshkosh . — Municipal 
Finance — The Several Issues of City Bonds — Amount 
Expended in Permanent Public Improvements. 

iH E history of the newspaper enter- 
prises of Oshkosh presents a theme of 
§ interest, in a historical point of view, 
and is a subject of curiosity as exhibit- 
ing the vicissitudes and rapid changes, 
the rise and fall, the struggles, and suc- 
cesses as well as failures, in the more 
early journalism of the now metropolitan city, 
with its vigorous and enterprising newspapers, 
filled with news of the latest events, even to 
the hour of going to press, from not only all 
parts of this country but also by cable from the 
most remote parts of the Old World. 

The various issues, local and political, which 
gave rise to the earlier newspapers of Oshkosh., 
were too complicated to be of any interest, or 
even admit, in a brief chapter, of thorough 
explanation. Suffice it to say, that the editor- 
ial fire and the heated controversies of those 
days were only commensurate with the feeling 
engendered by the issues involved. It must 
be said of early journalism in Oshkosh 
that, although the newspapers were compara- 
tively small and meager, some of them were 
exceedingly bitter in their editorial tone, and 
the warmest rivalry existed between opposing 
publications which too often resulted in personal 
encounters between the editors and parties 
affected by the hot-headed articles that often 

In early times, newspapers were started 
almost in a day, generally in the advocacy of 
some leadingquestion or issue which absorbed 
special attention, and seldom outlived the 
settlement of the questions involved. To the 
large number of these questions, principally 
local, which, in fact, appertain to almost any 
newly settled and rapidly developing country. 




is due the multiplicity of newspapers that 
had their origin in the support of one faction 
or another engaged in those controversies. 
One fact is a matter of mention, that the first 
paper ever started in Oshkosh exists, in its 
lineal dcscendency to thistime. The Oshkosh 
Northwestern is the direct lineal outgrowth of 
the Oshkosh True Democrat, established in 
1849. The antiquated material of the latter 
was burned in the NortIiivester)i office in the 
great fire of April 28, 1875. 


The first number of the Oshkosh True 
Democrat, which was a free-soil paper, 
appeared on P'ebruary 9, 1849, bearing the 
nam-es of Densmore & Cooley, publishers, and 
James Densmore, editor. It was heralded 
with great expectations by the people of the 
village, being the first newspaper ever pub- 
lished here; and the people naturally took 
some pride in the distinction of possessing a 
" home paper. " Moreover, the citizens and 
business men, as an inducement towards start- 
ing a paper here, had advanced the money for 
the printing material, and office outfit, agree- 
ing to be reimbursed in subscriptions and job 
printing, so that many of the citizens had a 
direct interest in the success of the under- 
taking. Densmore was the prime mover and 
leading spirit in the enterprise, and managed 
and edited the paper, while Mr. Cooley 
superintended the mechanical part of the work. 
About eighteen months after the paper was 
started, Densmore bought out Mr. Cooley and 
shortly afterwards sold the paper to George 
Burnside, and went to Milwaukee. He 
returned in about three months, however, and 
again assumed the editorship of the paper, 
although, it is thought, he had no further pro- 
prietary interest in it. The name of the paper 
was then changed to the Oshkosh Democrat, 
and the announcement made that henceforth 
it would be independent in politics. On April 
I, 1853, Mr. Densmore retired from the 
paper, and Chauncey J. Allen took his place, 
having purchased an interest, the style of the 
firm being George Burnside & Co. On July 
8th. of that year Mr. Jonathan Dougherty, 
of Oshkosh, who was at that time the candi- 
date for lieutenant governor on the free soil 
ticket, became a partner in the concern and 
assumed the duties of business manager, the 
style of the firm remaining the same. On 
March 10, 1854, Mr. Allen withdrew from the 
firm. Just a year afterwards Mr. Martin 
Mitchell became the editor and manager. In 
August 1856, Mr. Markham andC. W. Felker 
purchasedthe paper and changed it to Republi- 

can in politics, that party havingby this time se- 
cured a strongfoothold throughout the country. 
January 20, 1857, Mr. Markham sold his 
interest to Charles G. Finney Jr. and the firm was 
changed to Finne)' & Felker and continued so 
until April 1858 when Mr. F'elker disposed of 
his interest to B. F. Davis, and the firm then 
became Finney & Davis. In the same month 
that Markham & Felker became proprietors 
of the paper, they started a daily issue and 
continued it until December 1857, when it was 
discontinued simultaneously with the discon- 
tinuance of its rival contemporary, the Daily 
Courier, both dailies ceasing publication on 
the same day, by a mutual agreement between 
its editors who had carried on a bitter warfare 
for some time and had continued their daily 
issues at a pecuniary loss to both offices. On 
July 21, i860. George Gary became sole pro- 
prietor of the paper, and conducted it until 
Oct. 3rd. following, when he sold out to 
Nevitt & Pike, proprietors of a new paper 
called the Xorthivesterii, started the spring 
previous, and the two papers were consoli- 
dated under the title of the Nortlnvestern. 


The second leading newspaper started in 
Oshkosh was the Courier, which was founded 
in June 1853 by J. H. McAvoy, who issued 
but a few numbers and sold it to Jere Crowley 
who conducted it until August 17, 1853, when 
he disposed of it to George H. Read and 
Charles R. Nevitt, who had just settled here 
from Buffalo, New York. Mr. Nevitt was a 
practical printer, direct from one of the leading 
newspaper offices of that city. Mr. Read, a 
writer of acknowledged ability assumed the 
position of editorial manager, and the Courier 
soon became a substantial and influential 
paper, noted for its force of character and 
independence. It became the leading Demo- 
cratic paper in the vicinity. In August 1857, 
Mr. Nevitt sold his interest in the business to 
Marcellus Strong, and the firm became Read 
& Strong, and so continued until the spring of 

1863, when Hiram Morley and B. F. Davis 
bought it and conducted it until August 12, 

1864, under the firm name of Morley & Davis. 
The Courier printed the first daily paper ever 

issued in Oshkosh The Daily Courier was 
first issued on July 10, 1854, and was published 
until December 1857, when it was dis- 
continued on the same day that its rival, the 
Daily Democrat, sank to rest, as previously 

As before stated, the weekly Courier 
was continued by Morlej- & Davis until 
August 12, 1864. On thatdate it was merged 





into the Nortlnvcstern, then conducted by 
Nevitt&Co., a new firm was formed, (sec 
history of the Nortliwestcrii) and the Courier, 
as a distinct publication, ceased to exist. 


In May i860, two years and a half after Mr. 
Nevitt withdrew from the Courier, he associ- 
ated himself with D. C. Felton, F. C. Mes- 
senger, and C. H. Messenger, usder the firm 
name of D. C. Felton & Co., for the publi- 
cation of the A'(;7'//«t'nVi-r;/. On the iSth. of 
that month the first number was issued. This 
firm continued the publication until October 
3rd. of that year. Upon the ist. of October, 
i860, we find three leading and well estab- 
lished English newspapers in Oshkbsh, the 
Democrat and Nortlnvcsterti Republican 
papers, and the Courier, a Democratic paper. 
On the third of that month an arragement was 
consummated whereby Mr. Gary sold out the 
Democrat to the Northwestern, thus consoli- 
dating the two Republican papers, and at the 
. same time the firm of D. C. Felton & Co., 
then conducting the Nortlnvcstern, was dis- 
olved, and a new firm formed, consisting of 
C. R. Nevitt and C. E. Pike, under the style 
ofC. R. Nevitt & Co. On January 12th. 
following, a daily issue was started and con- 
tinued until August 28th. of the same year, 
when, like its daily predecessors, two years 
previous, it was discontinued as an unprofitable 
undertaking. In 1863, R. C. Eden purchased 
a third interest in the Nortlnvcstern and 
became the local editor, the firm still retaining 
its former title of C. R. Nevitt & Co. On 
August 12, 1864, another important consoli- 
dation took place. The Courier, then con- 
ducted by Morley & Davis, on that date 
merged into and was consolidated with the 
Northwestern, and a new firm was formed. 
Nevitt & Co. withdrew and Morley & Davis 
remained, taking in George Gary with them, 
forming the firm of Gary, Morley & Davis, 
which continued until November of that year 
when Mr. Morley withdrew leaving the firm, 
Gary & Davis. In March 1866, Mr. Gary 
sold out to C. G. Finney Jr. and the firm 
became Finney & Davis. In the spring of 
1870 Mr. Finney sold out to Mr. Davis who 
conducted it, with John Hicks as local editor, 
until October 13, 1870, when Mr. Hicks and 
Thomas S. Allen, of Madison, whose term as 
Secretary of State had expired the January 
previous, bought out the concern and have since 
conducted it under the firm name of Allen & 
Hicks. In April, 1873, the Nortlnvcstern 
absorbed the Oshkosh Journal, then being 
published by Rounds & Morley. 

Thus the Nortlnvcstern is the consolidation 
and embodiment of four of the leading news- 
papers started in Oshkosh. On January 6, 
1868, the dailywasre-established,and has con- 
tinued until thistime in a flourishing condition, 
being enabled, by the liberal patronage given 
it, to take the regular associated press dis- 
patches, and maintain reporters and corres- 
pondents in all the cities and villages in this 
part of the state. 

In the great fire of April 28, 1875, the entire 
office was swept away, none of the material 
being saved. This, however, did not deter it 
from issuing its regular daily edition with a 
stroke of enterprise which deserves to be 

Before the office had fully succumbed 
to the flames, a new location was rented in 
Moore's block, just outside the fire limits; and 
even while the fire was burning on Broad 
Street, and the eyeningtrain southward had to 
run the gauntlet of flame and smoke on that 
street, Gen. Allen, the senior partner of the 
firm, taking the foreman of the office with him, 
boarded the train for Chicago, to purchase a 
new outfit. The city editor, Mr. C. W. 
Bowron, taking with him several compositors 
went by the same train to Fond du Lac, where a 
printing office was rented temporarily, and the 
small force set determinedly to work to get 
out a paper on the following morning. All 
night long, after a day of hard work fighting 
fire, they strove like heroes, and the early 
morning train to Oshkosh brought back the 
Daily Northwestern on the streets, with a full 
and detailed account of the great conflagra- 
tion, and an accurate diagram of the burnt 
district, and bearing, in a conspicuous line 
beneath the heading of the paper, the cheer- 
ing words: " We still Live. " The paper was 
issued in this manner for four days, the city 
editor collecting his news and further details 
of the great calamity through the day, going 
to Fond du Lac in the evening, writing out 
his copy and having it set during the night and 
returning to Oshkosh with an enormous edition 
in the morning. Four days after the fire, a 
new office was in full operation; and the daily 
never missed an issue, except the one that was 
burned upon the press the afternoon of the 


Inthefallof 1862, a democraticpaper, called 
'the Reviciv, was started by A. P. Swineford, 
and conducted with much ability for some- 
thing over a year, when it was discontinued. 

Ipthesummerof i864,Mr. Robert V. Shirley 
purchased the material and revived the paper 
under the name of the Oshkosh Democrat. 





Mr. Shirley, who was one of the best printers 
in the northwest, published a very interesting 
local paper. He was very popular and was 
building up a good busines, when his office 
was burned in the fire of May 1866. His 
insurance had run out, and he lost very 
heavily. In the following June he started the 
paper anew and continued its publication until 
the fall of 1867, when it was bought by George 
Hyer and D. W. Fernandez, formerly of Madi- 
son, who changed the name of the paper to 
the Os/ikos/i 'fillies, and on October i, 1867, 
issued the first number. Mr. Hyer, who was 
widely known as one of the leading journalists 
of the west and one of the ablest writers, soon 
brought the paper up to a high standard, and 
it became one of the most influential journals 
in the State. 

Mr. Hyer died April 20, 1872, and in the 
summer of that year S. D. Carpenter, of 
Madison, became associated with Fernandez 
in the publication, under the firm name of 
Carpenter & Fernandez. After the close of 
the campaign of that year, Mr. Carpenter 
retired, and in the spring following Mr. Gus 
O'Brien became the editorial writer of the 
paper, which post he held until the summer 
of 1874, when he ended his connection with it, 
and Mr. Fernandez continued the publication 
alone, until the 28th. of April, when the office 
was destroyed in the great fire. Shortly after- 
wards new material was obtained and the 
republication of the paper commenced by 
Fernandez and A. T. Glaze — the latter a gen- 
tleman long identified with the press of Fond 
du Lac and Ripon — under the firm name of 
hY-rnandcz & Glaze, and so continues to