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R 1 90 \ *-• 







The importance of local history is appreciated to-day more than ever before. A general de- 
sire is being manifested by the people to preserve the records made by the pioneers. Old Set- 
tlers' Associations and Historical Societies are being organized in almost every city and county 
throughout the land. The interest in local history is not confined, as some suppose, to men of 
second and third rate ability, but men like Hon, John Went worth, Hon. E. B. Washburn, Hon. 
Isaac N. Arnold, and others of that class, show as much interest in pioneer reminiscences and the 
various little incidents that go to make up the record of a new country, as could be shown by any 
who think the world is comprised in that scope of territory in their own immediate neighborhood. 
Hon. Daniel Durkee, Librarian Wisconsin State Historical Society, has delivered a lecture, which 
has been printed and scattered broadcast throughout the land, urging the people to perpetuate 
their local history, and every county history that is published is purchased by him for that insti- 
tution, of which he is Librarian. In that vast library of the Historical Society of Wisconsin, no 
historical works are more referred to than the local histories of the various counties of the States 
f of the Union. 

• Believing that the county of Vernon afforded material for a good history, the Union Publish- 

p> ing Company of Springfield, Illinois, sent a corps of experienced historians into the field under 

^ the supervision of Prof. C. W. Butterfield with instructions to spare no pains in compiling a com- 

— plete and reliable work. As preliminary to the work, and* in order to insure correctness and a 

. work in which every citizen of the county might feel a just pride, committees were appointed to 

read and revise the general history of each county, and a like committee in each township to ex- 

£ amine and correct the history of their respective townships. With but one or two exceptions, 

y, every man thus appointed served to the best of his ability, and the wisdom of the choice of the 

committees is shown in the work performed. We feel confident that we here present to our pa- 

< trons a history that is correct as possible for human beings to make it. Special care has been 

taken in its compilations, hundreds of men and women being interviewed, and every source of in- 


formation canvassed that facts alone should be incorporated in it. The manuscript was then 
read to the committees, and time given to make such corrections as they deemed necessary, and 
each member was urged to exercise care, and not be backward in making such corrections or such 
suggestions as might be deemed necessary to insure correctness and add to the value of the 
work. Our thanks are certainly due to these men, a number of whom spent much time, with no 
thought of reward than that received in the consciousness of a duty well performed. Among 
others specially entitled to our thanks are: Henry Casson, Jr.,Capt. D. W. C. Wilson, Judge W. 
F. Terhune, Capt. R. S. McMichael, John R. Casson, James E. Newell, N. C. Nichols, Hon. CM. 
Butt, P. J. Layne, Col. Earl M. Rogers, Hon. H. P. Proctor, Hon. O. B. Wyraan, Rev. John 
Whitworth, William Haughton and others. Every county officer, and every deputy employed in 
the various offices showed a perfect willingness and an earnest desire to aid us in obtaining inf or 

The press of the county is also entitled to our special gratitude. Without an exception, we 
have received the kindest treatment from each newspaper, their files being placed at our disposal, 
and from which we obtained much of the information contained in this volume 

In conclusion, we will say that our work is done; the History of Vernon County is placed in 
your hands. We trust that you will be pleased with it. 

Yours Truly, 

Union Publishing Company. 


history OF WISCONSIN. 




First Exploration of the Northwest 18 

Wisconsin visited by fur traders nnd Jesuit mission- 
aries 19 

Founding of Jesuit missions in Wisconsin 20 

Wisconsin under French domination 21 

Wisconsin under English supremacy 23 

Wisconsin as a part of the Northwest Territory 25 

Wisconsin as a part of the Territory of Indiana 27 

Wisconsin as a part of Illinois Territory 29 




Secretaries 36 

United Stales Attorneys 35 

United States Marshals 35 







Area.. 69 

Geographical Position 69 

General Surface Features 7o 

Mississippi River .* 71 

The Baraboo River 72 

The Kickapoo River 73 



Geological Formation 77 



The Mound Builders 79 

The Indians * 80 

The Sioux 81 

The Sacs and Foxes 81 

The Wlnnebaffoes 83 



Expedition of Michael Accau 86 


Expedition of Duluth 87 

The Mississippi visited by Le Sueur 87 

Perrot's voyage to the West. . : 87 

Le Sueur again on the Mississippi 87 

La Perriere builds a fort on Lake Pepin 87 

The journey of Jonathan Carver 88 

Observations bv Malor Pike 92 



Murder of Gag-nier and Lipoap 92 

A Winnebago debauch ... 92 

First battle of Bad Ax 98 

Great alarm upon the border 98 

Arrival of Government Troops 94 

De Kauray*s imprisonment 95 



Battle of Stillman's Run 95 

Battle of Pecatonica 96 

Pursuit of Black Hawk 96 

Battle of Wisconsin Heights 101 

Black Hawk pursued to the Mississippi 108 

Battle of Bad Ax 106 

Official report of the battle 106 






How Vernon County was surveyed 108 

Ci vil Towns and surveyed Townships 109 

Area of each Township 109 

Dates of surveys and notes of surveyors 110 

Land Districts 113 

Wisconsin Land District 114 

La Crosse Land District 116 

La Crosse Land Office 115 



The First Settlers 110 

Vernon County in May, 1847 117 



The Log Cabin : H8 

Pioneer Furniture 119 

Primitive Cookery 119 

Primitive Threshing 120 

GoingtoMill 120 

Wild Animals 121 



First preaching: in the county 128 

First Church organized 128 



Bad Ax County 125 

Origin of * 'Bad Ax" unknown 129 

Unpopularity of • 4 Bad Ax" 130 

Changing the name to Vernon 131 

Efforts to form a new county 186 



Territorial 136 

State 136 

Congressional 337 

Members of Congress 138 



County Commissioners 145 

Supervisors again 147 

County Buildings 160 

Matrimonial 160 

Abstract of Assessment Rolls 163 





The Circuit Court 168 

The Battle of Klckapoo 176 

CountyOourt 183 



The Bar of the Past 1 84 

The present Bar 192 



Wisconsin's Frst Eflorts 196 

The State Aroused 198 

Vernon County Awakened 198 

First War Meeting 199 

WarMeetingin DeSoto •*•• 200 

Company I, Sixth Regiment 200 

Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers 201 

Iron Brigade 202 

Company C, Eighteenth Regiment. ) 

* 'Bad Ax Tigers . f ^ 

Eighteenth Wisconsin Volunteers 204 

Twenty-fifth Regiment m 

Vernon County's Roll of Honor , 210 

In Memorlam -,'17 

Pensioners In Vernon County. 4 >i8 

Company B, Fiftieth Regiment .'".".' 220 

Early Mention of the War 222 

The Brave at home ..... 225 



RoyalC. Blerce f. ".' ' 227 

Mrs. Cyrus D. Turner 234 

Flora De Frees Weeden \\ 2:18 






Treasurer #>3 

Register of Deeds ' 2«5 

County Clerk and Clerk of Circuit Court .' . " 266 

Clerk of the Circuit Court 237 

County Clerk or Clerk of the Board of Supervisors . . . 257 

Sheriff x'58 

County Superintendent of Schools ."." 263 

County Surveyor 265 

County Judge *' ^ 

District Attorney -^ 

Coroner >>&7 



Village ofViroqua 

Town of Viroqua 

Hillsborough Town 








rockton .".7.y . '. ...... .... .... .... .... ' . ' 271 

Town of Webster 271 

Seelyburg 271 

Springville 271 

DeSoto 271 

Victory 271 

Town of Sterling 271 

Newton 272 

Ch A6BBURO 272 

Genoa 272 

Rkadstown 272 

Ontario 273 



Vernon County Agricultural Society 




Northwestern Times 

The Western Times 

Vernon County Censor. 

Viroqua Expositor 

De Soto Republican... . 

DeSoto Leader 

Vernon County Herald, 
Vernon County Leader 



• 'Brick" Poraeroy's Report 

Statement of Dr. E. w. Tinker 

Account written by D . W . C . Wilson . 
What happened to Mrs. W. R. Purdy . . 

W. F. Terhune's Recollection 

Statement of H M. Isham 

Nathan Coe's Narrative 

John Dawson's Account 

Charles C. Brown's Recollection 

Recollections of R. C. Blerce 

A. L. Russell's Statement 










From the Western Times, Sept.6, 1866 -310 

By George Gale, /. 310 

Prom the Milwaukee Sentinel, November, 18«0 315 

By Dr. Lansing-, in The Lansing- Chronicle, Febru- 
ary, 1889 317 

Lute a . Taylor, in the La Crosse Leader. July, 1870.. 818 

By G. W. Nuzum and John R. Casson, 1875 319 

By W. P. Torhune, 1878 320 

From the De Soto Republican, 1870 323 



Vernon County once Sioux Territory 326 

Why the Fox Indians left the lower Wisconsin 827 

Concerning the Fox Indians 328 

Treaties with the Sao and Fox Indians and the Win- 

nebagoes 829 

A sequel to the great Indian Treaty of 1829 333 

The Winnebagoes in 1816 338 

The Winnebagoes in 1818 838 

Up the Mississippi in 1819 339 

War between the Sac and Foxes and the Sioux 341 

Daniel M. Parkinson's Recollections of the Winne- 
bago war 344 

James H. Lockwood's account of the Winnebago 

War 845 

An interesting event of the Winnebago War. 354 

Last act in the Winnebago War. 366 

Indians upon the Mississippi in 1825 867 

Up and down the Mississippi before the Black Hawk 

war. 869 

After the battle of Bad Ax 876 

Capture of Black Hawk and the Prophet 879 

Death of Black Hawk 882 

Western Wisconsin in 1836 384 



Toe Indian 339 

Sunshine in Winter 890 

A Wish 890 

'Twas only a Shell 391 

John Brown 391 

Summer Song 391 

Mount Reno 892 



Original School Code 393 

Agitation for Free Schools 394 

The School System under the State Government 394 

Development of Schools in Vernon County , 895 

School Houses 396 

Examination of Teachers 398 

County Supervision 398 

Prosperity of the Schools 399 

General Statistics 400 



A Pioneer incident 

Censusof 1847 

The Methodist Episcopal Church from 1851 to 1869. . . 

An Aerolite 

Death of Moses Decker .......... 

Starting a paper under difficulties . .... 

The Buckeye on fire 

Whatwasit? "'" 

Wild cats and wolves 

A call for facts '.'/[ 

Bears " 

Climatology of Vernon county 7.7. "7 ' 

Geological history of the underlying formations of 

Vernon county 

A n early deed for Vernon county real estate. . . . . 

A n Indian scare 

To w n of B ° d A x 7 .77 .7 7 7 .7 .7 ! 

Extracts from the "Record of the proceedings of the 

Crawford county board" 

Early roads in Vernon county '.'.'.'.'.'.'..'.'. 

Agriculture in the Vernon county region. 

First white men in Vernon county 7 7 7 7 





An account of their voyage up the Mississippi 429 

Early experience in the northwest 431 

Thomas G. Anderson 478 



Early Settlements 477 

First Things 479 

Organic 479 

Postoffices 479 

Religious 479 

Educational ; 479 

Cemeteries 479 



Early Settlements 480 

Early Events 481 

Organic 481 

Postoffices 482 

Mill 482 

Educational 48.' 

Religious 482 

Cemeteries 484 

Village of Westby 484 

Case of Murder 484 

Biographical 485 



Early Settlement 491 

First Events 495 

Organic 405 

Educational 4115 

Religious 4i»6 

Cemeteries 497 

Mills 497 

Village of Bloom i nod ale 4i>8 

Village of Prbstonvillb t 49* 

Biographical 499 



Settlement 5u5 






First Events. 

Organic , 

Schools , 

Village of Cook Valley. 



Early Sett lement 508 

FirstThings fn«* 

Organic 509 

Religious 509 

Educational....: 5u« 

Postoffices 5(i9 

Cemeteries 510 

Personal -Sketches 510 



Early Settlement 516 

Organic 517 

8chools 517 

Religious 518 

Liberty Pole ms 

Cemeteries .* 519 

Biographical.... 519 



Early Settlement 527 

First Events .5^8 

Organic 528 

Schools .V'8 

Religious ;,*»s 

Postoffices r>:»8 

Village of Genoa :as 

Cemeteries .vi 

Biographical frii 






Early Settlement 686 

First Events 688 

Organic 688 

Schools 688 

Religious Societies 639 

Hansberry's Mill 640 

Cemeteries 640 

Biographical 640 



Early Settlement 651 

Organic 551 

Religious 552 

Schools 558 

Cemeteries 552 

Village of Chaseburg. 552 

Business Directory 553 

Biographical Sketches 653 



Early Settlement 655 

FirstThings 566 

Organic 656 

Religious , 656 

Educational 567 

Postoffloes 667 

Cemeteries. 557 

Mills 567 

Village or Newton 567 

Personal 557 



Settlement 662 

First Events 664 

Organic 567 

Schools 567 

School Statistics 568 

United Brethren Church 668 

cemeteries ; 668 

TrippvlUe Postofflce 669 

Village of Hillsborough 569 

Business Interests 670 

Religious 671 

Biographical 672 



Early Settlers 580 

FirstThings... 581 

Organic 682 

Postoffloes 582 

Educational 682 

Religious Organizations 582 

Mills 685 

Village of Springvillb 685 

Various Manufactories 586 

Cyclone 588 

Fish Ponds 588 

Cemeteries 688 

Biographical ,. 688 



Early Settlement 600 

Organic 605 

Village of Rbadstown 606 

Village of Kick apoo 607 

Educational 607 

Personal 609 



First Settlement "" 621 

Early Events 624 

Organic «24 

Schools ira 

Religious \\* .".".".'.'.".'.'.'.' 626 

Cemeteries «2fi 

Liberty Poetoffice 


Mounds , 

Biographical sketches.. 


.. 625 



Early Settlement 628 

Early Events 629 

Oiganic ^.... 620 

Schools 620 

Religious Societies 680 

Cemeteries 681 

Village of Stab '....'.."".'. 681 

Biographical 681 



Early Settlement 644 

Early Events '.'.'.' 646 

Organic ] " 646 

Educational mq 

Churches '. " * * 647 

Cemeteries 648 

Pos toffi ces v ' * ' 648 

Grand Forks Neighborhood '....' 649 

Personal t 649 



First 8ettlers .... "*' 664 

Early Events... !!*..****! 666 

Organic 666 

Schools 666 

Religious Y.'.'.Y.'.Y. ".'.'. 667 

Discontinued Postofflces 667 

Cemeteries 667 

Sketches of Prominent Citizens /.'.'....'.'...'. 667 



Early Days 675 

Buslness.Development 677 

Banks. ..rT..... .. <$84 

Hoiels 684 

Educational ["['. 686 

Viroqua Postofflce 686 

Fraternal Societies " . "* 687 

Religious 688 

Incorporation .'..'.'.'.".' 693 

Town of Viroqua 694 

Early Settlement - oat 

Religious SE 

Educational 695 

Organic 696 

Biographical Sketches .'.'.".'. Y.Y.Y.Y.Y.'.'. 696 



Early Settlement 720 

Organic 701 

FirstThings 721 

Educational ..'. 701 

Religious 721 

Postofflces .*.■'' 722 

Mills .;•;;; £5 

Village of Avalanche [[ 722 



Settlement "*'" 724 

First Events ['.".'. 725 

Organic '.'."'.'" 726 

Religious Societies 726 

Schools 726 

Red Mound Postofflce... ..'/, 726 

Cemeteries 726 

Village of DeSoto " 726 

Churches 731 

Societies 733 

Disastrous Fires '" ..'.'.' 784 

Oldest Shoemaker in America 734 

Village of Victory '.. .*/*."".". 784 

Personal Histories .. 786 









Postoffices and Postmasters in Bad Ax county, in 


Postoffices an A Postmasters in Vernon county in 1888. 

Changes in Viroqua 

Number of dwellings in Vernon county in 1870 



Mrs. R. C. Bierce - 

Henry Nichols 

Hiram De Lap 



Early Settlement 


Record of First Events 













Village of Ontario 

Business Directory for 1884 




Reminiscence of Nathan Culver 







Population of Vernon County according to the State 
and Federal Census 

Population of Vernon County in 1880, according to 
sex. nativity and color 

Population of Vernon County, in 1870, by towns 

Census of Vernon County, for 1880, by towns and 

Hon. Henry Chase 

Monument Rock , 



Village or Rockton 

Business Directory for 1884 





8ecret Societies 









James R. Savage 

* The last shall be first" 



Gen. Jeremiah M. Rusk, .. ... 



William F. Terhune 






Abbott, Prentiss 541 

Abram8, Belus Shepherd.. ('61 

Adams, D. W 501 

Adams, Josiah 

Adams, L. G. P 594 

Adler, Casper 752 

Aiken, Lorin A 561 

Aiklns, JohnW 713 

Alderman, E. 8 496 

Alexander, Forest W 617 

Allen, Hartwell 569 

Allen, James 720 

Allen, John Wesley 577 

Allen, Josiah F 788 

Allen, J. W 254 

Allen, Martin F 689 

Allison, Daniel P 255 

Amunson, H . . 598 

Anderson, John 549 

Anderson, John H 632 

Anderson, Lewis 618 

Anderson, Thomas G 473 

Appleman, Jesse 499 

Appleman, John W 499 

Armbrustor, Ambrose 570 

Arntzen, Ole 756 

Aumock, Philip, 633 

Austin, William 186 

Babcoek, John D 742 

Bacon, William 640 

Bailey, James M 258-527 

Bailey, Robert 544 

Bakken, Andrew 498 

Ballsmd. Christian H 488 

Barge, John 636 

Barrie. David 610 

Bass, Elijah 614 

Bates, Paul 639 

Bay, Reinhold 479 

Bea', Charles 677 

Beavers, W.F 265 

Bellows, Hiram 660! 

Benn, Henry 614 

Bennett. John M 257 

Bennett, Van 8 765 

Berggum, John 486 

Bergh, E.C 490 

Bergh, M. C 485 

Berts, Charles G 676 


Blckford, I. B v 89 Clarke, George H 717 

Biddison, Philip 52:5 Clarke, Robert P 716 

Bieree, Royal Clifton. . . . 186 Clark, William P 

Blake, I. W 7l3Clawater, William 52) 

Bolstad, ArneJ 663 

Bond, Josephs 62f. 

Bouffleur, Philip 594 

Bowman, William 711 

Clayson, J. W 535 

Clements, William .., ..525 

Coe, Nathan 696 

Coffin, Peleg 726 

Brandon, Hugh 542 Cole, John J 189 

Bratlie, Eriok C 489 l Collins, Brightman 646 

Breidung, Johann 754iCollins, John 642 

Brice, John 589 Cone, Isaac 651 

Brlce, Samuel. . . 589 'Conner, Henry 684 

Brody, Patrick 495 Conway, William 578 

Brown, Charles 532, Cook, James A 697 

Brown, C. C 712 Cooke, James A 263 

Brown, T. B 261 Cooper, Joshua A 742 

Brown, William P 723iCouper, James C 672 

Bryan, Adam 633 Corey, Adelbert 8 611 

Brye, Peter O 

Buchanan, R. H 

Burlingame, A ... 

Burns, Andrew 

Bufh, George W 

Buswell, H. Parker 
Butcher, Robert. . . . 
Butt, C. M 


Cade, John Wesley 661 

Cade, Thomas 520 

Calkins, David 555 

Carlyle, Adam 736 

Carpenter, Amos 641 

Carpenter, John 534 

Carr, CM 613 

Carter, W. N 193 

Cary, Philip W 503 

Casson, Henry Jr 2-<5 

Casson, John R 258 

Castle, B. J. 
Chase, Arvln 

553 Cory, Albert 272 

. . 624 Cowen, Jesse 560 

.... 758 Cox, Edward 531 

.... 526Cox, William 524 

524 (Crevistou, James 695 

.. 559!Crook, William 615 

Culver, Elvarus 753 

Culvdr, Nathan 749 

Curry, H. A 627 

Curry, JohnW 255 

Curry. Samuel Russell 601 

Cushman, James M 610 

Cushing, William 738 

Dach, Jacob 622 

Davis, Jease L 658 

Davis, John C 740 

Davis, Miles G 591 

Davis, Samuel 691 

Davis, Samuel 651 

288' Dawson, John '<02 

736 Decker, Moses 67< 

Chase, Henry 553, De Frees, Thomas J 184 

Chase, Henry A 269 De Jean, Anson W 634 

Chesbro, Lorenzo F . 671 De Jean, Thomas 634 

Chri9topherson, Chris 488'De Lacy, Patrick 734 

Church, John W 623iDelaney, Jesse 515 

Claney, James 614 

Claney, John R14 

Clarke, C . Edward 717 

Clark, George C 742 

Demings, Jedediah 610 

Dennis, George 717 

De Witt, Thomas P 722. 

Dickson, James 500! 


Dickson, John 499 

Dickson, John 8 600 

Dixon, William 668 

Doerr, Adam 693 

Dolen, William 502 

Douglass, Elisha D 572 

Drake, Lyman C 617 

Drake, Reuben 611 

Dunlap, Rufus 676 

Dustin, J. 8 661 

Dyson, C. W 604 

Eastman, John B 668 

Edson, Beth 612 

Eglesou, Even 551 

Ellefson, Christian 626 

Engh, Engrebret 478 

Engler, Christian 564 

Enoehson, Enoch 722 

Estes, Samuel 609 

Favor, Daniei W 706 

Favor, Jerome 593 

Favor, Jonathan 693 

Ferguson, B. F 718 

Field, Albert 673 

Field, Walter 8 193 

Flnstad, Lars 553 

Flanagan, Thomas 614 

Flick, John 681 

Forbes, Stewart 563 

Fopper, John 533 

Foreman, James 612 

Forsyth, Henry Clay.... 194 

Fortney, C C 517 

Fortney, Daniel T 611 

Fortney, John 621 

Fortney, Ole 612 

Fosdlck, William 738 

Foster, James 696 

Fourt, Charles 8 661 

Fransen, Christian 757 

Frazier, William 591 

French, Noah E 740 

Gaines, Levi R 713 

Gale, George 174 

;Gardner, John 253 

Garrett, Jesse 702 

Gauper, Ole 662 

Geddes, William 613 




Getler. Ferdinand 525 1 Ingersoll, C. L 288 McGrath, Timothy 630 

Getter, William 659 Jackson, G. F 597! McGrath, Timothy W 636 

GiMis, Simeon 657 Jackson, W. H 699 McKle, N 715 

Gillett, Rufus 258 Jacobson. Rev. 483 McKitrick, A.James 671 

Gilman. James B 660 Jager. Ertust C 488 McKitrick, Samuel 257 

Glassborn, Alfred 588 James, Thouias 592 McLoes, John M 55 s 

Glenn, Isaiah 721 Jenness, John S 500 McMiehael, Robert S 6*7 

Glenn, Jason 703 J erman, Thomas 703 McMiehael, Samuel 205 

Gochenour, Harrison 718! Johnson, Albert 652! McMiehael, William C — 256 

Goode, William 261 ) Johnson, A njl re w... 49j! McSharey. James 603 

Goodell. E. S 706 Johnson, Andrew J. 522,McVey, Eli (KJ2 

Goodell, Merchant 706 Johnson, Christopher N.. . 651 Medary, T. C 28,^ 

Gott. William A 269 Johnson, David 57t Mcllen, Peter J 653 

, Graham, Carson 190! Johnson, Jacob 507! Mellon, S. A 271 

Graham, Lameh 588 Johnson, Ole 254 Michclct, John 480 

" - - - - -I 64 ; } 


Graham. John 580 Johnson, Robert 652 Millard. Henry. 

Giaves, Charles W 195 Johnston, William 558 j Millard, O. H .... 

Gray, Samuel 636 Joseph, H. C 265, Miller, H. P 

Green, Amos W 711 Joseph, Lemuel 263' Miller, Reuben.... 

Greenman, .1. W. 254 Jordan, Moses 537 Milllgan, Robert.. 

Griffin, G. W 265 Jordan, T. S 670 Millison. Levi 

Groves, I. M 5«4 Miner, P. D.. 

Groves, J. W 701 Kauffman, Abraham 545 Minor, John H 

Groves, William C 623 Kegley, Elias 538 Minor, Thomas 

Guist, John 557 Kellaud, O. O ,Jr 699' Minor, Watson W 003 

Gullord. Ole Peterson 551 Kerr, Hugh 609 Mitchell, Erastus 574 

Guscetti, Ferdinand 532 Kile,* James... 515 

Kimball. Moses 504 

Haflich, Henry 573 Knapp.Henry 501 

Hage, Engebret P 660 Knower, W. H 206-528 

Hall, Ralph 711 Kuehn, Albert F 533 

Hamilton, George W 672 

Hamilton, J. 1 270 Lacy, George 573 

Hamilton, N. W 521 Lake, John R 615 

Hamilton, Seth 59o, Lamb, Anthony 74"; 

Hammer, Otto, Sr 570 1 Lamb, Ransom 617 

Hammer, Otto F 540 j Land rum, Charles 564 

Hammond, John J 71b! Larkie, August 56! 

Hanson, Andrew 69". | Larson, Hans 723 

Hanson, H 506; Larson, Hans K 485 

Hanson, Hans 49* Larson, Helge 615 

Hanson, Hans 758 1 La thro p, John 614 

Hanson, Lars 486 Lathrop, Napoleon B 515 

Harris, C. N 191 ' Latshaw, Alexander 741 

Harris, Edward 666 Latta George 617 

Harris, J. E 596 Latta, Josiah ... 617 Naprud, Elias H 697 

Harris, Richard J 5i:> Lawrence, Thomas 725; Nelson, EIner 54'.'} 

Harris, William 596 Law ton, ChaunceyW 63; Nelson, Hans 487 1 

Hartfhorn, George W 405; Lay ne, James H 704! Neperud, John A 506' 

Haughton, William 263' Lay ue, Newton May 1901 Nesting, Ole Evenson 507 

Hay, Peter 698*Layne, P. J 257l Newman, Alfred W 182 

Haydcn, Alvin M 657 Lee, Henry L ... 546 ' Newman, D. 11 271 

Hay^s, John 69) | Lee, Lars Hanson 5.6 Newell, James Evans 192 

Heal, Stephen G 738 1 Lier, Simon P 507 Newton, Andrew 5*?0 

Healy. Patrick 564 Lincoln, S. C 255 Newville, Abrain 520 

Heinrieh, Heinrich 756| LinJ, Edward 255 1 Nichols, Henry 678 

Hektoen, P. P 714|Llnd, Henry 546-570 \ Nichols, Marshall C 701 

Henderson, John 523i Lindeman, W. F 700 Nixon, AM 594 

Henry, Marvin 700| Lisso, Joseph -4'^ Nixon, Irvin C 640 

Henry, OscarS 524! Longley, John 253 Nixon, R. 8 594 

Hermonson, Hermon 4901 Lowrie, Alexander 202 Norris. John 4^*2 

Herrick, Gilbert 603 1 Lowrie, James 251 Nuzum, George W 7:52 

Herron, William A 590 1 Lowrie, J. P 595i Nuzum, Isaac F 73i 

Hewey, James H 262i Lowrie, William 595 

Hieok, Hiram A 702 Lowrie, W. W 261 l Oakes, E. L 534 

Mockett, Robert S 610 

Mohs, Augustus 576 

Mollinger, John 510 

Monti, Mathew 534 

Moody, Hiram 707 

Moody, Nathan E 70S 

Moore, James 039 

Morgan, George W 715 

Morgan, Henry H 739 

Morley, Calvin 704 

Morley, Calvin E 202 

Morris, C. H 57-» 

Morrison, Nathaniel 712 

Morse, William A 592 

Morterud, Christian A 502 

Mullin, David G 65o 

Mutch, James 673 

Naperua, Torger Nelson.. 487 

Hickok. rhomas J 546 Ludwig, Carl. 

574 Officer, E. C. 

Higgins, Jacob 520 Lyttle, C 742 Older, A. H. 

Hifi, Vilentia B 562 

Olson, Christian C 

( Mson, Frederick 

Olson, Hans.. 

Olson, Knudt 

Olson, Lurs . r K>'.» 

554 Orrison, Hi nun 032 

514 Osborn, Mari.m 497 

Hinkst, Michael 519 Maddin, Patrick 570 

Hodge, William A 740' Mahr, David 542 

Hollingstad, Charles. . . . 499 Mallow, Adolphus P 550 

Hopkins, Albert H 610 Manhart, Joseph 503 

Hopkins, Henry B 610 Markle, J C 

Hornby, James 703 Marshall, J. J 

Hornby, Robert 521 Masterson, John 491 ott, Charles 53 

Horton, D. W 559 Maxwell, James 50u Ott, John 531 

Hosmer, Addison A 730' May, A Ion zo F 598 otteson, Solf- st 059 

Houghton, E. B 271 May, Reuben 598 Out land, Willi-un 605 

Houghton, Edmund 731 May, William J 598 Owen, Pearly J 505 

Ho verso n, Knudt 524 McAuley, H. W 185-735! 

Hoverson. 8 589 McAuley, R. M 736, Parker, Jose, li 035 

Hoy t, Joseph W.... 552 McCartey, J. J 018| Parker, Robot 012 

McClurg, John 707! Parr, John 501 

McClurg, J. Booth 659 Parsch, Frank 478 j 

McConnell, William T 707 Patterson, Robert 555 

McCollough, John 510 Paulsen, Soren 489 

McGrath, John 630i Peterson, Knudt 520 

Hunt, Cyrus 662 

Hnrd, John 689 

Hard. J. Alanson 643 

Hutchison, B. C 616 

Hutchison, William 617 


Peterson, N. Christian ... 536 

Peaslee, Isiac 651 

Peck, P. Melvin 663 

Pelton, EzraO 642 

Phillips, W. F 757 

Pierce, Lorenzo A 184 

Pickerael, Elisha W 267 

Pinch, Francis 1 579 

Pitcher, Charles W 267 

PotT, C. M 272 

Poir, J.M 504 

Pollard, S. R... 263 

Poorman, Isaac D 670 

Poonnan, Jacob N 671 

Porter, Henry G 735 

Potts, Jonathan 499 

Potter, E 635 

Powell, Elijah 528 

Prentice, George 753 

Preus, H. N 255 

Priest, D. B 191-284 

Proctor, Alfred 741 

Proctor, H. P 195 

Pugh, William 605 

Pulham, William 532 

Puis, Christian 658 

Pulver, Wendell H 698 

Purdy, WilUam S 189-698 

Rabbltt, Lemuels 626 

Radcliff, Rev, L. L 263 

Read, Daniel 600 

Reed, Ellis 596 

Reiter, Charles 739 

Rentz, Michael 599 

Revels, John 513 

Rhinehart. Horace A 545 

Richards, J. B 270 

Riley, Aaron 704 

Riley, William S 533 

Roberts, Benjamin 510 

Robinson, H . A 267 

Rogers, Reujamin 618 

Rogers, C. E 261 

Rogers, Earl M*. 712 

I lodgers, J. C 514 

Rogers, James H 737 

Rudie, NclsJ 699 

Rundlett, J. R 270 

Rusk, Allen 621 

Rusk, James 268 

Rusk, Jeremiah M 760 

Sabin, David 671 

Saekot, N. A 595 

Salts, Milam 576 

Salts. William F 574 

Sandon, Elbert W 756 

Sandon, Robert. . 754 

Sandon, William 752 

Sangscad, Even T 487 

Saxtou, A. B 589 

Saxton, Norris W 589 

Seal, John H 534 

Seely, Dempster , . 639 

Schri ell, Fred 578 

Schneider, Philip 609 

Seine n bergcr, John 659 

Schooley, J, H 268 

Schreiner, J. K 718 

Sltattuck, George W 641 

Shaw, Joel T 737 

Shaw, John 514 

Shaw, L. N 599 

Shear, Isaac 575 

Shear, Peter 577 

Shear, Thomas J 576 

Sheets, John 596 

Sheets, William V 596 

Shisler, Elias 531 

shreve, ''aleb 540 

Shreve. He/ekiah 513 

Shreve, James H 543 

Shreve, John S 541 

Shreve, William 543 

Shreve, William Smith 541 

Sidyie, Thomas 653 



Silbaugh, Edward 

Sllbaugh, Jacob 

Sims, Samuel 

Slack, Nathan J 

Small, John, Sr 

Small, John, Jr 

Smith, Ananias* 

Smith, Charles E. ... 

Smith, D. T 

Smith, James C 

Smith, Samuel 

Smith, William 

Smith, William 

Smith, Zachariah 

Solol, Ole E 

Somerby, J . A 

Southwiok, Milton... 

Spellum, John C 

Spencer, John , 

Sperry, G. S 

Spurrier, Green 

Staley, John 

Stark, Ethan A 

Starner, Jonathan 

Steadman, M. W 

Stecnson, Steen 

Steinmetz, Philip F... 
Steltlug, Dederick... 
Stelting, Frederick... 
Stelting, William C... 
Stephenson, Stephen.. 

Sterling, Harvey 

Sterling-, Le Grant. 

Sterling-, Lewis 

Stevens, Ira 


... 70:1 


Stevenson, James 628 [Tinker, Jerome S. 

Stevenson, John 559 Tollefson, O. 

477 Stevenson, William 633 .Tollefson, Louis... 

581|Stoddard, V. A 758 Torgar, Ole T 

63«'storer, Robert 626 Towner, Frank M.. 

630Stout, Stanley 6153 Tripp, Dier N 

699 Strang", Edmund £.3 Trott, Benjamin... 

616Strawn, David 714Turner, H. L 

657 81 ru there, William 555iTurner, William.... 

500 Sudduth, John H 268 

640Suttle, H.J 270 ! Upham, Charles H. 

681. Swain, George A 368-519| y Alexander 

523|Swain, George W ^IvSSwame? Fel?x K 

613 Swan, L. P 506] X nn V a ffncr, *ellx K. 


282Tainter, Anson. 



520Tatc, John 625 

' Vumback, John H. 
516, Wakefield, Adelbert. 


Tate, J.Henry... 715' 

Tate, Robert 625' 

Tederiek, William H 752 ' 

Tcnney, Jeremiah T 739 

Terhune, WiUlam F 772 ' 

Tewalt, Solomon W 850A,auw, «. ** 

Thompson. AndrewT 6521 Ward, (incinnatua 

Thompsnn, Ellis P 597 Watterman, Curios F. 

Wakelleld, Leonard. 
Wakeman, Gay lord S. 
Wakeman, William .. 

Walker , Perry 

Walker, Samuel 

Wallar, Frank A 

VValloe, J. L. 

nil LUUIUJ/O' "» 1J1IIO A. ... ..... •»«' I •• UIWVI Illitll, V. 

757'Thompson, Lewis., 658 j Waters, Clark 


Thompson, Luther 52; 

Thompson, Sever 613 

Thompson, Thomas 700 

Thoreson. Torg-er 560 

Thorp, I. F 265 

Tilton, Elijah 714 

Tilton, Simeon H 714 

"Pi merman, Hiram 755 

Tinker, Elisha W 268 

Waters, Isaac 

Waters, W. S 

Watson, Samuel 

Weaver, Alfred... 

Weber, Henry 

Weber. Nicholas... 
Webster, William.. 
Weeden, Henry G 
Welch, Michael 


... 705 Wells, John H 515 

... 718 Westby, OleT 489 

. 195 Westrum, Arnt 663 

... 522 White, French B 652 

... 715 White, Giles 752 

... 572 White, John W 737 

... 730|White, W. 8 255 

621 Whitworth, John 705 

tWldiner, Arnold 758 

Wigdahl, Peter 627 

! Wilkinson, Mons S 627 

ARnlWniey, Froland 664 

£K Williams, Benjamin .526 

tWillams, Clarke D HI 

* Williams, Howard D 711 

\ Williams, Israel 708 

t Williams, Roger 578 

Williamson, George 590 

I Wilson, De Witt Clinton... 290 

► Winslow, Aaron 2<0 

Winslow, L. B, T 575 

Winsor, Ora 758 

270] Wise George W 623 

624|Wisel, Orin 256 

577! Wolfe, G. W 287 

593 Wood, C. L 596 

581 Wood , .Tonathau 596 

59.-j Wood, L J 596 

511 Wright, J. N 263 

515Wymun, O. B 193 


t Vakey, D. C 500 


, 755 





Zabolie, Albert 535 

Zink. John 478 


Bennett, Van S.. 

Blake, I. W 

Bouffleur, Philip. 

Conner, Henry. 
Ellefson, Chris. 


... 33l'Frazier, William 584'Miilard, O. H 

. .. 700 Frazier, Mrs. Pluma 585 Morterud, Christian A. 

... 295! I 

Graham, Carson 223 Nichols, Marshall C... 

...691 'Nixon, Irvin C 

i McLees, John M 547i 

... 313.McMlchacl, R. S 269iProctor, H. P 


... 745] Sandon, Robert 205 

... 493 Sterling, Le Grant 656 

Sterling, Laura A 657 

... 151 

... 277 Terhune, William F 133 

Tollefson, Louis 187 

... 169 r Tripp, DierN 565 

Genera] Committee Vernon County. 

We the undersigned members of the oommlttee appointed to revise and correct the general chapters of the History of 
Vernon County, certify that we have examined the same and have made all the corrections and additions that 
we, in our judgment and to the best of our recollection, deem necessary, and as corrected we approve and are satisfied with 
the same. Viroqua, Nov. 16, 1888. [Signed.] P. P. Hektoen, 1 

H. Nelson. 1 Com- 

D. W. C. Wilson, f mittee. 
Wm. F. TerhuneJ 

Town Committees. 

We, the undersigned oommlttee, appointed by the old settlers, for the purpose of correcting the history of our respec- 
tive towns for the History of Vernon County, hereby certify that the manuscript has been submitted to us and that we 
have made such additions and corrections as we, in our judgment, deem necessary, and that as corrected, we to the best of 
our recollection, consider it a true hi story and approve of the same : 

Commltte names with townships alphabetically arranged: 

B. C.Dudley, 
William Patterson, 

—Bergen Town. 

Ole Niarlson. 
Peter M. Johnson, 

—Voon Town. 

Chris. Morten* 



Matthew Monti, 
William L. Riley, 

—Genoa Town. 

P. Abbott, 
James H. Shreve, 

—Greenwood Town. 

C. H. Ballsrud, 
John Mltchelet, 

— Christiana Town. 

Nathan Sherman, 
Mrs. Bmma Sherman, 

— Forest Town. 

Thomas Cade, 
Michael HinJcst, 

— FranhUn Town. 

George Swain, 
Ole Johnson, 

—Hamburg Town. 

Hartwell Atten, 

Alfred Glassborn, 
Lameh Graham, 

—Jefferson Town. 

Philip Schneider, 
Thomas Flanagan, 

—Kickapoo Town, 

H. L. Turner, 
Allen Rusk, 

—Liberty Town, 

Le Grant Sterling-, 
A. Vance, 

— Sterling Town. 

David Calkins, 
— Bt 

D. N. Tripp, 

-" — l£ 

Albert Field 

Bli MoVey, 
r armonv Town. Dempster Seeley, 

— Stark Town. 
George H. Eastman, 
Robert Butcher, 

—Union Town. 

—HtiUborough Town. 

J. B. Newell, 
Wm. F. Terhune, 
R. S. McMiohael, 

— Viroqua Town. 

Isaiah Glenn, 
Wm. P. Brown, 
Oliver Brian, 

— Webster Town, 

Alex. Latshaw, 
John W. White, 
D. A. Steele. 

—Wheatland Town. 

O. White, 
Wm. Sandon. 
O. H. Millard. 





AT a remote period there lived in this coun- 
try a people now designated mound build- 
ers. Of their origin nothing is known. Their 
history is lost in the lapse of ages. The evi- 
dences, however, of their existence in Wiscon- 
sin and surrounding States are numerous. 
Many of their earth works — the so-called 
mounds — are still to be seen. These are of 
various forms. Some are regularly arranged, 
forming squares, octagons and circles; others are 
like walls or ramparts; while many, especially 
in Wisconsin, are imitative in figure, having 
the shape of implements or animals, resembling 
war clubs, tobacco pipes, beasts, reptiles, fish 
and even man. A few are in the similitude of 

In selecting sites for many of their earth 
works, the mound-builders appear to have been 
influenced by motives which prompt civilized 
men to choose localities for their great marts; 
hence, Milwaukee and other cities of the 
west are founded on ruins of pre-existing struc- 
tures. River terraces and river bottoms seem 

to have been favorite places for these mounds. 
Their works are seen in the basin of the Fox 
river, of the Illinois, and of Rock river and its 
branches, also In the valley of the Fox river of 
Green bay, in that of the Wisconsin, as well as 
near the waters of the Mississippi. As to the 
object of these earth works, all knowledge rests 
upon conjecture alone. It is generally believed 
that some were used for purposes of defense, 
others for the observance of religious rites and 
as burial places. 

In some parts of Wisconsin are seen earth 
works of a different character from those usu- 
ally denominated "mounds." These, from their 
supposed use, are styled "garden beds." They 
are ridges or beds about six inches in height, 
and four feet in width. They are arranged 
methodically and in parallel rows. Some are 
rectangular in shape; others are in regular 
curves. These beds occupy fields of various 
sizes, from ten to a hundred acres. 

The mound builders have left other evidences 
besides mounds and garden beds, to attest their 



presence in this country, in ages past. In the 
Lake Superior region exist ancient copper 
mines, excavations in the solid rock. In these 
mines have been found stone hammers, wooden 
bowls and shovels, props and levers for raising 
and supporting mass copper, and ladders for 
descending into the pits and ascending from 

There are, also, scattered widely over the 
country, numerous relics, evidently the handi- 
work of these p re-historic people; such as stone 
axes, stone and copper spear-heads and arrow 
heads, and various other implements and uten- 
sils. As these articles are frequently discov- 
ered many feet below the surface of the ground, 
it argues a high antiquity for the artificers. 
These relics indicate that the mound builders 
were superior in intelligence to the Indians. 
None of their implements or utensils, however, 
point to a "copper age" as having succeeded a 
"stone age." They all refer alike to one age, 
the indefinite past; to one people, the mound 

There is nothing to connect "the dark back- 
ward and abysm" of mound-building times with 
those of the red race of Wisconsin. And all 
that is known of the savages inhabiting this 
section previous to its discovery, is exceedingly 
dim and shadowy. Upon the extended area 
bounded by Lake Superior on the north, Lake 
Michigan on the east, wide-spreading prairies 
on the south, and the Mississippi river on the 
west, there met and mingled two distinct In- 
dian families, Algonquins and Dakotas. Con- 
cerning the various tribes of these families, 
nothing of importance could be gleaned by the 
earliest explorers; at least, very little has been 
preserved. Tradition, it is true, pointed to the 
Algonquins as having, at some remote period, 
migrated from the east, and this has been con- 
firmed by a study of their language. It indi- 
cated, also, that the Dakotas, at a time far be- 
yond the memory of the most aged, came from 
the west or southwest, fighting their way as 
they came; that one of their tribes once dwelt 

upon the shores of a sea; but when and for 
what purpose they left their home for the 
country of the great lakes there was no evi- 
dence. This was all. In reality, therefore, 
Wisconsin has no veritable history ante-dating 
its discovery by civilized man. The country 
has been heard of, but only through vague re- 
ports of savages.* There were no accounts at 
all, besides these, of the extensive region of 
the upper lakes; while of the valley of the 
upper Mississippi, nothing whatever was known. 


The history of Wisconsin commences with 
the recital of the indomitable perseverance and 
heroic bravery displayed by its first visitant, 
John Nicole t. An investigation of the career 
of this Frenchman shows him, at an early age, 
leaving his home in Normandy for the new 
world, landing at Quebec in 1618, and at once 
seeking a residence among the Algonquins of 
the Ottawa river, in Canada, sent thither by 
the governor to learn their language. In the 
midst of many hardships, and surrounded by 
perils, he applied himself with great zeal to 
his task. Having become familiar with the 
Algonqnin tongue, he was admitted into the 
councils of the savages. 

The return of Nicolet to civilization, after a 
number of years immured in the dark forests of 
Canada, an excellent interpreter, qualified him 
to act as government agent among the wild 
western tribes in promoting peace, to the end 
that all who had been visited by the fur-trader 
might remain firm allies of the French. Nay, 
further: it resulted in his being dispatched to 
Nations far beyond the Ottawa, known only by 
heresay, with whom it was believed might be 
opened a profita* le trade in furs. So he started 
on his perilous voyage. He visited the Hurons, 
upon the Georgian bay. With seven of that 
Nation, he struck boldly into wilds to the north- 
ward and westward never before visited by civ- 
ilized man. He paddled his birch canoe along 

♦Compare Champlain'8 Voyages, 1632, and his map of that 
date; Sagard's, Uistoirt au Canada: Le Jeune Relation, 1032. 



the eastern coast of Lake Huron and up the St. 
Mary's Strait to the falls. He floated hack to 
the Straits of Mackinaw, and courageously 
turned his face toward the west. At the Sault de 
Ste. Marie, he had — the first of white men — set 
foot upon the soil of the northwest. 

Nicolet coasted along the northern shore of 
Lake Michigan, ascended Green Bay, and finally 
entered the mouth of Fox river. It was not 
until he and his swarthy Huron 8 had urged their 
frail canoes six days up that stream, that his 
western exploration was ended. He had, mean- 
while, on his way hither, visited a number of 
tribes; some that had never before been heard 
of by the French upon the St. Lawrence. 
With them all he smoked tlyB pipe of peace; 
with the ancestors of the present Chippewas, 
at the Sault; with the Menomonees,the Winneba- 
goes, the Mascoutins, in what is now the State 
of Wisconsin; with the Ottawas, upon the Man- 
itoulinIsland8,and the Nez Perces,upon the east 
coast of Lake Huron. He made his outward 
voyage in the summer and fall of 1634, and re- 
turned the next year to the St. Lawrence. He 
did not reach the Wisconsin river, but heard 
of a "great water" to the westward, which he 
mistook for the sea. It was, in fact, that stream, 
and the Mississippi, into which it pours its 

"History cannot refrain from saluting Nicolet 
as a distinguished traveler, who, by his explora- 
tions in the northwest, has given clear proofs 
of his energetic character, and whose merits 
have not been disputed, although, subsequently, 
they were temporarily forgotten." The first 
f mite of his daring were gathered by the Jesuit 
fathers, even before his death; for, in the autumn 
of 1641, those of them who were among the 
Huron s at the head of the Georgian bay of 
Lake Huron, received a deputation of Indians 
occupying the "country around a rapid [now 
known as the 'Sault de Ste. Marie'], in the midst 
of the channel by which Lake Superior empties 
into Lake Huron," inviting them to visit their 
tribe. These "missionaries were not displeased 

with the opportunity thus presented of knowing 
the countries lying beyond Lake Huron, which 
no one of them had yet traveled;" so Isaac 
Jogues and Charles Raymbault were detached 
to accompany the Chippewa deputies, and view 
the field simply, not to establish a mission. 
They passed along the shore of Lake Huron, 
northward, and pushed as far up St. Mary's 
strait as the Sault, which they reached after 
seventeen days' sail from their place of starting. 
There they — the first white men to visit the 
northwest after Nicolet — harrangued 2,000 
Chippewas and other Algonquins. Upon their 
return to the St. Lawrence, Jogues was captured 
by the Iroquois, and Raymbault died on the 
2 2d of October, 1642, — a few days before the 
death of Nicolet.* 


Very faint, indeed, are the gleams which 
break in upon the darkness surrounding our 
knowledge of events immediately following the 
visit of Nicolet, in what is now the State of 
Wisconsin. That the Winnebagoes, soon after 
his return, made war upon the Nez Perces, kill- 
ing two of their men, of whom they made a 
feast, we are assured.* We also know that in 
1640, these same Winnebagoes were nearly all 
destroyed by the Illinois ; and that the next 
year, the Pottawattamies took refuge from their 
homes upon the islands at the mouth of Green 
bay, with the Chippewas.f This is all. And 
had it not been for the greed of the fur trader 
and the zeal of the Jesuit, little more, 
for many years, probably, would have been 
learned of the northwest. However, a ques- 
tioning missionary, took from the lips of an 
Indian cap tain J "an account of his having, in 
the month of June, 1658, set out from Green 
Bay for the north, passing the rest of the sum- 
mer and the following winter near Lake Supe- 

* History of the discovery of the northwest by John Nico- 
let in 1634, with a sketch of his life, by C, W. Butterfleld, 
Cincinnati. Robert Clarke & Co . , 1881. 

♦LeJeune, Relation, 1636. 

t Coi. Hist. New York ix, 161. 

t Not * 'captive," as some local histories have it. 



rior ; so called in consequence of being above, 
that of Lake Huron. This Indian informed the 
Jesuit of the havoc and desolation of the Iro- 
quois war in the west ; how it had reduced the 
Algonquin Nations about Lake Superior and 
Green bay. The same missionary saw at Que- 
bec, two Frenchmen who had just arrived 
from the upper countries with 800 Algon- 
quins in sixty canoes, laden with peltries. These 
fur traders had passed the winter of 1659 on the 
shores of Lake Superior, during which time they 
made several trips among the surrounding 
tribes. In their wanderings they probably vis- 
ited some of the northern parts of what is 
now Wisconsin. They saw at six days' jour- 
ney beyond the lake toward the southwest, 
a tribe composed of the remainder of the Hurons 
of the Tobacco Nation, compelled by the 
Iroquois to abandon Mackinaw and to bury 
themselves thus deep in the forests, that they 
could not be found by their enemies. The two 
traders told the tales they had heard of the 
ferocious Sioux, and of a great river upon which 
they dwelt — the great water of Nicolet. Thus 
a knowledge of the Mistissippi began to dawn 
again upon the civilized world."* 

The narratives of the Indian captain and the 
two Frenchmen induced further exploration two 
years later when Father Rene Menard attempted 
to found a mission on Lake Superior, with eight 
Frenchmen and some Ottawas. He made his 
way in 1660 to what is now Keweenaw, Mich. 
He determined while there to visit some II u- 
rons on the islands at the mouth of Green bay. 
He sent three of his companions to explore the 
way. They reached those islands by way of 
the Menominee river, returning to Keweenaw 
with discouraging accounts. But Menard re- 
solved to undertake the journey, starting from 
the lake with one white companion and some 
Hurons ; he perished, however, in the forest, in 
what manner is not known, his companion 
reaching the Green bay islands in safety. 
White men had floated upon the Menominee, 

* History Northern Wisconsin, p. 39. 

so that the northeastern part of what is now 
Wisconsin, as well r as its interior by Nicolet in 
1634, had now been seen by civilized white manf. 


In August, 1665, Father Claude Allouez 
embarked oif a mission to the country visited 
by Menard. Early in September he had 
reached the Sault de Ste. Marie, and on the 
first day of October, arrived in the bay of 
Chegoimegon, at a village of Chippewas. 
Here he erected a chapel of bark, establishing 
the first mission in what is now Wisconsin 
to which he gave the name of the Holy Spirit. 
While Allouez had charge of this field, he 
either visited or saw, at Chegoimegon, scattered 
bands of Hurons and Ottawas ; also Pottawat- 
tamies from Lake Michigan, and the Sacs and 
Foxes, who lived upon the waters of Fox river 
of Green bay. He was likewise visited by the 
Illinois, and at the extremity of Lake Superior 
he met representatives of the Sioux. These 
declared they dwelt on the banks of the river 
"Messipi." Father James Marquette reached 
Chegoimegon in September, 1669, and took 
charge of the mission of the Holy Spirit, 
Allouez proceeding to the Sault de Ste. Marie, 
intending to establish a mission on the shores 
of Green bay. He left the Sault Nov. 3, 1669, 
and on the 25th, reached a Pottawattamie cabin. 
On the 2d of December he founded upon the 
shore of Green bay the mission of St. Francis 
Xavier, the second one established by him 
within what are now the limits of Wisconsin. 
Here Allouez passed the winter. In April, 
1670, he founded another mission ; this one 
was upon Wolf river, a tributary of the Fox 
river of Green bay. Here the missionary 
labored among the Foxes, who had located upon 
that stream. The mission, the third in the 
present Wisconsin, he called St. Mark. 

In 1671 Father Louis Andre was sent to the 

missions of St. Francis Xavier and St. Mark, as 

a co-worker with Allouez. At what is now the 

t Bancroft, in his History of United States, evidently mis- 
takes the oourse pursued from Keweenaw, by Menard. 



village of DePere, Brown Co., Wis., was located 
the central station of the mission of St. Francis 
Xavier. This mission included all the tribes 
inhabiting the vicinity of Green bay. A rude 
chapel, the third one within the present limits 
of Wisconsin, was soon erected. Allouez then 
left for other fields of labor; but Andre re- 
mained here, working with zeal during the 
summer of 1671. However, during a temporary 
absence his chapel was burned, but he speedily 
erected another. Then his dwelling was de- 
stroyed, but although he erected another, it 
soon shared the same fate. He was at this 
time laboring among the Menomonees. When 
he finally left "the bay tribes" is not known. 
In 1 676 Father Charles Albanel was stationed 
at what is now DePere, where a new and better 
chapel was erected than the one left by Andre. 
In 1680 the mission" was supplied by Father 
James Eryalran, who was recalled in 1687. 
When he left, his house and chapel were burned 
by the Winnebagoes. It was the end of the 
mission of St. Francis Xavief. The mission of 
the Holy Spirit was deserted by Father James 
Marquette in 1671. It was the end for 170 
years of a Roman Catholic mission at Che- 


In the year 1671, France took formal posses- 
sion of the whole country of the upper lakes. An 
agent, Daumont de St. Lusson, was dispatched 
to the distant tribes, proposing a congress of 
Indian Nations at the Falls of St. Mary, between 
Lake Huron and Lake Superior. The principal 
chiefs of the Wisconsin tribes were gathered 
there by Nicholas Perrot. When all were assem- 
bled, it was solemnly announced that the great 
northwest was placed under the protection of 
the French government. This was the begin- 
ning of French domination in what is now Wis- 
consin. The act of Daumont de St. Lusson, at 
the Falls of St. Mary, in 1671, in establishing 
the right of France to the regions beyond Lake 
Michigan, not being regarded as sufficiently def- 
inite, Nicholas Perrot, in 1689, at the head of 

Green bay,[ again took possession of the country, 
extending the dominion of New France, not only 
over the territory of the upper Mississippi, but 
"to other places more remote;" so that then, all 
that is now included within the boundaries of 
the State of Wiscousin (and much more) passed 
quietly into the possession of the French king. 

No fur-trader or missionary, no white man, 
had as yet reached the Mississippi above the 
mouth of the Illinois river. But the time for 
its exploration was at hand. Civilized men were 
now to behold its vast tribute rolling onward 
toward the Gulf of Mexico. These men were 
Louis Joliet and James Marquette. Jolietcame 
from Quebec, having been appointed by the gov- 
ernment to "discover" the Mississippi. He found 
Marquette on the north side of the straits of 
Mackinaw, laboring as a missionary among the 
Indians. The latter was solicited and readily 
agreed to accompany Joliet upon his expedition.* 
The outfit of the party was very simple: two 
birch-bark canoes and a supply of smoked meat 
and Indian corn. They had with them five 
white men. They began their voyage on the 
1 7th day of May, 1 073. Passing into Lake Mich- 
igan, they coasted along its northern shore, and 
paddled their canoes up Green bay and Fox 
river to the portage. They then crossed to the 
Wisconsin, down which they floated, until, on 
the 17th of June, they entered the Mississippi. 
After dropping down the river many miles, they 
returned by way of the Illinois and Lake Mich- 
igan to Green bay, where Marquette remained 
to recruit his strength, while Joliet returned to 
Quebec to make known the extent of his dis- 

Fontenac's report of Joliet's return from a 
voyage to discover the South sea, dated Nov. 
14, 1674, is as follows: 

"Sieur Joliet, whom Monsieur Talon advised 

me, on my arrival from France, to dispatch for 

♦That Count Fontenac, governor of New France, andM. 
Tolon, intendant, should have expressed a wish to Joliet 
that Father Marquette be invited to accompany him in his 
contemplated journey, is to be inferred from the words of 
the missionary ; but nothing in the orders of these officers to Joliet 
I in found to confirm thestcUement. 


the discovery of the South sea, has returned 
three months ago, and discovered some very 
fine countries, and a navigation so easy through 
the beautiful rivers he has found, that a person 
can go from Lake Ontario and Fort Fontenac 
in a bark to the Gulf of Mexico, there being 
only one carrying place, half a league in length, 
where Lake Ontario communicates with Lake 
Erie. These are projects which it will be pos- 
sible to effect when peace shall be firmly estab- 
lished and whenever it will please the king to 
prosecute these discoveries. Joliet has been 
within ten days' journey of the Gulf of Mexico, 
and believes that water communications could 
be found leading to the Vermilion and Cali- 
fornia seas, by means of the river that flows 
from the west [the Missouri] into the grand 
river [the Mississippi] that he discovered, 
which runs from north to south, and is as large 
as the St. Lawrence opposite Quebec. 

"I send you by my secretary the map he has 
made of it, and the observations he has been 
able to recollect, as he has lost all his minutes 
and journals in the shipwreck he suffered with- 
in sight of Montreal, where, after having com- 
pleted a voyage of twelve hundred leagues, he 
was near being drowned, and lost all his papers 
and a little Indian, whom he brought from 
those countries. These accidents have caused 
me great regret. Joliet left with the fathers at 
the Sault de Ste. Marie, in Lake Superior, copies 
of his journals; these we cannot get before next 
year. Tou will glean from them additional 
particulars of this discovery, in which he has 
very well acquitted himself." 

It is not known that the copies of Joliet's 
journals, mentioned in Frontenac's report, were 
delivered to the French government; but an ac- 
count of the voyage by Marquette was published 
in 1681 by Thevenat. This fact has caused an 
undue importance to be attached to the name 
of the missionary in connection with the dis- 
covery of the Mississippi, and at the expense of 
the fame of Joliet.* 

♦ * The Count of Frontenac, " says Shea (Wis Hist. Coll., Vol. 
VII. page 119), "on toe lift of November, [1074] inadis 

Explorations begun by Joliet were continued. 
La Salle, in 1679, with Father Louis Hennepin, 
coasted along the western shore of Lake Michi- 
gan, landing frequently. The return of Henry 
de Tonty, one of La Salle's party, down the 
same coast to Green bay, from the Illinois, fol- 
lowed in 1 680. The same year, Father Henne- 
pin from the upper Mississippi, whither he had 
gone from the Illinois, made his way across 
what is now Wisconsin, by the Wisconsin and 
Fox rivers to Green bay.* 

He was accompanied by Daniel Greysolon 
Duluth, who,on his way down the Mississippi had 
met Hennepin in September, 1678. Duluth left 
Quebec to explore, under the authority of the 
governor of New France, the region of the up- 
per Mississippi, and establish relations of 
friendship with the Sioux and their kindred, 
the Assiniboines. In the summer of 1679 he was 
in the Sioux country and early in the autumn 
of that year at the head of Lake Superior hold- 
ing an Indian council. In June, 1680, he set 
out from that point to continue his explorations. 
Going down the Mississippi he met with Henne- 
pin,as8tated abovejourneyed with him to the Je- 
suit station, near the head of Green bay, across 
what is now the State of Wisconsin. Follow- 
ing the voyages of Hennepin and Duluth was 
the one by Le Sueur, in 1683, from Lake Michi- 
gan to the Mississippi, ascending that river to 
the Sioux country in the region about St. An- 
thony, and his subsequent establishment, said 
to have been in 1693, at La Pointe, in the pres- 
ent Ashland Co., Wis. He was, at least, a 
voyageur stationed at Chegoimegon during that 
year. He continued to trade with the Sioux at 
intervals to the year l702.f 

patch to Colbert announced the successful issue of Joliet's 
expedition ;"but Shea then adds: * 'They had to wait forfullde- 
tails till the account drawn up by Father Marquette should be 
sent down," as though such an account was really expected; 
but the fact was, as stated by Fontenac himself, that copie 
of JoJiet's journals were what was looked for. 

♦Hist, of Northern Wis., page 44. 




Nicholas Perrot was again in the northwest 
in 1684. He was commissioned to have chief 
command, not only "at the bay," bat also upon 
the Mississippi, on the east side of which 
stream, at the foot of Lake Pepin, he erected 
a post. Here he spent the winter of 1685-6. 
The next year he had returned to Green bay. 
He vibrated between Montreal and the west 
until 1697. In 1699 St. Cos me and his com- 
panions coasted along the west shore of Lake 
Michigan. Other explorations followed, but 
generally in the tracks of previous ones. 
Except at "the bay," there was not so long as 
the French had dominion over the northwest, 
a single post occupied for any length of time by 
regular soldiers. This post was called Fort St. 
Francis. There were other stockades — one at 
La Pointe in 1726, and, as we have already seen 
one upon the Mississippi; but neither of these 
had cannon. At the commencement of the 
French and Indian War, all three had disap- 
peared. At the ending of hostilities, in 1760, 
there was not a single vestage of civilization 
within what are now the bounds of Wisconsin, 
except a few vagrant Frenchmen among the 
Indians; there was no post; no settlement, west 
of Lake Michigan. But before dismissing the 
subject of French supremacy in the northwest, 
it is proper to mention the hostility that for a 
number of years existed between the Fox Ind- 
ians and Frenchmen. 

In the year 1693, several fur-traders were 
plundered by the Fox Indians (located upon 
Fox river of Green bay), while on their way to 
the Sioux; the Foxes alleging that the French- 
men were carrying arms to their ancient 
enemies. We hear no more of their hostility 
to the French until early in the spring of 1712, 
when they and some Mascoutips, laid a plan to 
burn the fort at Detroit. It was besieged for 
nineteen days by these savages, but the besiegers 
were obliged finally to retreat, as their provis- 
ions had become exhausted. They were pursued, 
however, and near Lake St. Clair suffered a signal 
defeat at the hands of M. Dubisson and his 

Indian allies. The Marquis de Vaudreuil, now 
that the Foxes continued their hostilities, de- 
termined on a war of extermination against 
them. De Lourigny, a lieutenant, left Quebec 
iu March, 1716. He made his way with alacrity, 
entering Green bay and Fox river, it is said, 
with a force of 800 French and Indians, en- 
countering the enemy in a pailisaded fort, 
which would have been soon reduced had not 
the Foxes asked for peace. Hostages were 
given, and Lourigny returned to Quebec. In 
1721 the war was renewed, and in 1728 another 
expedition was organized against these savages, 
commanded by Marchemd de Lignery. This 
officer proceeded by way of the Ottawa river of 
Canada and Lake Huron to Green bay, upon 
the northern shore of which the Menominees, 
who bad also become hostile were attacked and 
defeated. On the 24th of August, a Winnebago 
village on Fox river was reached by De Lignery 
with a force of 400 French and 750 Indians. 
They proceeded thence up the river to the 
home of the Foxes, but did not succeed in meet- 
ing the enemy in force. The expedition was 
a signal failure. But the march of Neyon de 
Villiers, in 1730, against the Foxes, was more 
successful, resulting in their defeat. They 
suffered a loss of 200 killed of warriors, and 
three times as many women and children. Still 
the Foxes were not humbled. Another expedi- 
tion, this time under the direction of Capt. £>e 
Noyelle, marched against them in 1785. The 
result was not decisive. Many places have been 
designated upon Fox river as points where 
conflicts between the French and their allies, 
and the Foxes and their allies took place; but 
all such designations are traditionary and un- 
certain. The Sacs and Foxes finally became 
connected with the government of Canada, and 
during the French and Indian War were 
arrayed against the English. 


On the 9th day of September, 1760, Governor 
Vaudreuil surrendered Canada to General Am- 
herst, of the British army, andgthe supremacy 



over the northwest passed from France to 
Great Britain. But in what is now Wisconsin 
there was little besides savages to be affected by 
the change. The vagrant fur-trader represented 
all that there was of civilization west of Lake 
Michigan. Detroit was soon taken possession 
of; then Mackinaw, and finally, in 1761, a 
squad of English soldiers reached the head of 
Green bay, to garrison the tumble-down post, 
where now is Fort Howard, Brown Co., Wis. 
This was on October 12 of the year just men- 
tioned. Lieut. James Gorrell and one ser- 
geant, one corporal and fifteen privates con- 
stituted the "army of occupation" for the 
whole country west of Lake Michigan from 
this time to June 21, 1768, when the post 
was abandoned by the commandant on ac- 
count of the breaking out of Pontiac's War, 
and the capture of the fort at Macki- 
naw by the savages. The cause of the 
war was this : The Indian tribes saw the dan- 
ger which the downfall of the French interests 
in Canada was sure to bring them. They 
banded together under Pontiac to avert their 
ruin. The struggle was short but fierce — full 
of " scenes of tragic interest, with marvels of 
suffering and vicissitude, of heroism and en- 
durance ;" but the white man conquered. The 
moving incidents in this bloody drama were 
enacted to the eastward of what is now Wis- 
consin, coming no nearer than Mackinaw, but 
it resulted in the evacuation of its territory by 
British troops, who never after took possession 
of it, though they continued until 1796 a nominal 
military rule over it after Mackinaw was again 
occupied by them. 

No sooner had the soldiers under Gorrell 
left the bay than French traders seized upon 
the occasion to again make it headquarters for 
traffic in furs to the westward of Lake Michi- 
gan. Not that only, for a few determined to 
make it their permanent home. By the year 
1760 there were some families living in the de- 
cayed Fort Edward Augustus and opposite 
thereto, on the east side of Fox river, where 

they cultivated the soil in a small way and in 
an extremely primitive manner, living, now 
that peace was again restored, very comfort- 
ably. Of these French Canadians, no one can 
be considered as the pioneer — no one is entitled 
to the renown of having first led the way, be- 
coming, therefore the first settler of the State, 
much less the father and founder of Wisconsin. 
It was simply that "the bay," being, after Pon- 
tiac's war, occupied by Canadian French fur- 
traders, their station finally ripened into a per- 
manent settlement — the first in Wisconsin — the 
leading spirits of ^hich were the two Lang- 
lades, Augustin and Charles, father and son. 
It had ail the characteristics of a French settle- 
ment. Its growth was very slow. The indus- 
tries were few and simple. Besides the em- 
ployments of trading and transporting goods 
and peltries, the inhabitants engaged in hunt- 
ing and trapping. Attention was given to the 
cultivation of the soil only incidently. Gardens 
were cultivated to some extent for a supply of 
vegetables. Gradually, however, a few persons 
turned their chief attention to agriculture.* 

In 1783 four white persons occupied in a per- 
manent manner the tract of land where now is 
Prairie du Chien, in Crawford Co., Wis. They 
were soon followed by a number of persons 
who located there. These became permanent 
traders with the Indians. 

Besides the settlement at "the bay' 9 and the 
one at Prairie du Chien some French traders 
were located where Milwaukee now is in 1795, 
but they could hardly be called settlers. Ten 
years before that date Laurence Barth lived at 
the portage between the Fox and Wisconsin 
rivers, now the site of Portage, Columbia Co., 
Wis., where he was engaged in the carrying 
trade. But his residence could not fairly be 
termed a settlement; so that when, in 1796, the 
English yielded possession of what is now Wis- 
consin to the Americans (a nominal one, how- 
ever,) there were really but two settlements — 
Green Bay and Prairie du Chien. 

♦Hist. Northern Wis., p. 49. 




The Congress of the United States, by their 
act of the 6th day of September, 1780, recom- 
mended to the several States in the Union hav- 
ing claims to waste and unappropriated lands in 
the western country, a liberal cession to the gen- 
eral government of a portion of their respective 
claims for the common benefit of the Union. 
The claiming States were Connecticut, New 
York and Virginia, all under their colonial char- 
ters, and the last mentioned, in addition thereto, 
by right of conquest of the Illinois country. 
The region contended for lay to the northwest 
of the river Ohio. Virginia claimed territory 
westward to the Mississippi and northward to a 
somewhat indefinite extent. New York, and 
especially Connecticut, laid claim to territory 
stretching away to an unbounded extent west- 
ward, but not so far to the south as Virginia. 
The last mentioned State, by virtue of conquests 
largely her own, extended her jurisdiction over 
the Illinois settlements in 1778, and the year 
after, and erected into a county enough to in- 
clude all her conquests. But, what is now the 
State of Wisconsin, she certainly did not exer- 
cise dominion over. The three States finally 
ceded all their rights to the United States, leav- 
ing the general government absolute owner of 
the whole country, subject only to the rights, 
such as they were, of the Indian Nations who 
dwelt therein. 

Under a congressional ordinance, passed in 
1785, for ascertaining the mode of disposing of 
lands in the western territory, the geographer 
of the United States was directed to commence 
the survey of them immediately beyond the 
Ohio river, upon the plan which has ever since 
been followed by the general government, re- 
suiting in regular latitudinal and longitudinal 
lines being run, so as to circumscribe every 640 
acres of land, not only in Wisconsin but in all 
the west, wherever these surveys have been 
brought to completion. Two years subsequent 
to the passage of the first ordinance, was that of 

another and more famous one, providing for the 
government of the territory northwest of the 
river Ohio. This is familiarly known as the" 
ordinance of 1787; and to this day it is a part of 
the fundamental law of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, 
Michigan and Wisconsin, the five states since 
formed out of the region included within the 
limits affected by its provisions; — an act of Con- 
gress, passed in 1789, having adapted it to the 
constitution of the United States. But neither 
the treaty with Great Britain of 1783, nor the 
ordinances of Congress which followed, gave the 
United States anything more than constructive 
possession of the whole of its western territory. 
The mother country, it is true, recognized the 
northern lakes as the boundary between her 
possessions and those of the now independent 
states, but finding an excuse in the fact of some 
of her merchants not being paid their claims as 
stipulated by the treaty of 1783, she retained 
possession of the whole northwest, including 
what is now Wisconsin, until 1796. 

By the ordinance of 1787, the United States 
in Congress assembled declared that the terri- 
tory northwest of the Ohio, should, for the pur- 
poses of temporary government, be one district, 
subject, however, to be divided into districts, as 
future circumstances might, in the opinion of 
Congress, make it expedient. It was ordained, 
that a governor, secretary and three judges 
should be appointed for the territory; a general 
assembly was also provided for; and it was de- 
clared that religion, morality and knowledge, 
being necessary to good government and the 
happiness of mankind, schools and the means of 
education should forever be encouraged. It 
was also ordained that there should be neither 
slavery nor involuntary servitude in the terri- 
tory, "otherwise than in the punishment of 
crimes whereof the party shall have been duly 
convicted." But this organic law was of course 
nugatory over that portion of the territory oi - 
ctipied by the British, and so continued unti I 
the latter yielded possession, and in fact, for 
some time subsequent thereto. 



By the treaty agreed upon in 1794, between 
the United States and Great Britain, usually 
known as the Jay treaty, the evacuation of the 
posts and places occupied by British troops and 
garrisons in the northwest, was to take place on 
or before the 1st day of June, 1796. All set- 
tlers and traders within the precincts or juris- 
diction of these posts were to continue to enjoy 
unmolested, all their property of every kind, 
and to be protected therein. They were at full 
liberty to remain there, or to remove with all 
or any part of their effects; and it was left free 
to them to sell their lands, houses, or effects, or 
to retain the property thereof, at their discre- 
tion. Such of them as should continue to reside 
there were not to be compelled to become citi- 
zens of the United States, or to take any oath 
of allegiance to the government thereof; but 
were at full liberty so to do if they thought 
proper; and they were to make and declare their 
election within one year after the evacuation of 
the posts by the military. Persons continuing 
after the expiration of one year without having 
. declared their intentions of remaining subjects 
of his Britannic majesty, were to be considered 
as having elected to become citizens of the 
United States. It is believed that no citizen of 
Wisconsin, either in the settlement at "the bay" 
or at Prairie du Chien made such a declaration 
but that ail who remained, became thereby citi- 
izens of the new government. 

The Indian war in the west; which followed 
the Revolution, was brought to an end by the 
victorious arms of Gen. Anthony Wayne, upon 
the banks of the Maumee river, in what is now 
the State of Ohio, in the year 1 794. The treaty 
of Greenville was entered into the next year 
with twelve western tribes of Indians, none of 
which resided in Wisconsin. Nevertheless, one 
of the provisions of the treaty was that, in con- 
sideration of the peace then established and 
the cessations and the relinquishments of lands 
made by the Indian tribes there represented, 
and to manifest the liberality of the United 
States, claims to all Indian lands northward o£ 

the Ohio, eastward of the Mississippi, and west- 
ward and southward of the great lakes and the 
waters uniting them, were relinquished by the 
general government to the Indians having a 
right thereto. This included all the lands 
within the present boundaries of Wisconsin. 
The meaning of the relinquishment by the 
United States was that the Indian tribes who 
had a right to those lands were quietly to enjoy 
them, hunting, planting and dwelling thereon 
as long as they pleased, without any molesta- 
tion from the general government; but when 
any tribe should be disposed to sell its lands, 
or any part of them, they were to be sold only 
to the United States; and until such sale, the 
general government would protect all the In- 
dian tribes in the quiet enjoyment of their land 
against all citizens of the country, and against 
all other white persons who might intrude upon 
them. And if any citizen of the United States, 
or any other white person or persons should pre- 
sume to settle upon the lands then relinquished 
by the general government, such citizens or other 
persons should be out of the protection of the 
United States; and the Indian tribe on whose 
land the settlement might be made might drive 
off the settler, or punish him in such manner as 
they might think fit; and because such settle- 
ments made without the consent of the general 
government would be injurious to them as well 
as to the Indians, the United States should be 
at liberty to break them up, and remove and 
punish the settlers, as they might think proper. 
The titles of the Indians to their lands were 
thus acknowledged; and they were unquestion- 
able, because treaties made, or to be made 
with the various tribes had been declared by 
the constitution of the United States, the su- 
preme law of the land. But those titles could 
only be yielded to the general government. 
The principal question to be afterward deter- 
mined was, what lands were each tribe the 
rightful owners of. So long as Wisconsin 
formed a part of the northwestern territory, no 
treaty was made by the United States with any ' 




tribe or tribes occupying any portion of the 
the country now lying within the limits of Wis- 

When, in 1706. Great Britain yielded posses- 
sion of the northwest by withdrawing its garri- 
sons from the military posts therein, in pursu- 
ance of the Jay treaty of 1794, and the United 
States took formal possession thereof, the 
change in the political relations of the few set- 
tlers of Green Bay and Prairie du Chien was 
not felt by them. They had become the adop- 
ted citizens of the United States without any 
realization further than a bare knowledge of 
the fact. British .authority had been so little 
exercised in their domestic affairs, that its. with- 
drawal was unnoticed, while that of the United 
States only reached them in name. Nearly all 
who were engaged in the fur trade were agents 
or employes of the British fur companies, and 
their relation to these remained unbroken. No 
intercourse for several years sprung up with 
the Americans. 

Under the ordinance of 1787, Arthur St. Clair 
was appointed governor of the northwestern 
territory. At different periods counties were 
erected to include various portions of that 
region of country. By the governor's procla- 
mation of the 15th of August, 1796, one was 
formed to include the whole of the present 
area of northern Ohio, west of a point where 
the city of Cleveland is now located; also all of 
the present State of Indiana, north of a line 
drawn from Fort Wayne, "west-northerly to 
the southern part of Lake Michigan," the whole 
of what is now the State of Michigan, except 
the extreme northwest corner on Lake Superior; 
a small corner in the northeast part of the pres- 
ent State of Illinois, including Chicago; and so 
much of what is now Wisconsin as is watered 
by the streams flowing into Lake Michigan, 
which included an extensive portion of its area, 
taking in the territory now constituting many 
of its eastern and interior counties. To this 
county was given the name of Wayne. The 
citizens at the bead of Green bay, from 1796, 

until the 4th of July, 1800, were, therefore, res- 
idents of Wayne county, Northwest territory. 
But the western portion of the present State of 
Wisconsin, including all its area watered by 
streams flowing northward into Lake Superior, 
and westward and southwestward into the Mis- 
sissippi, was daring those years attached to no 
county whatever. Within this part of the State 
was located, of course, the settlement of Prairie 
du Chien. 


After the fourth day of July, 1800, all that 
portion of the territory of theUnited States north- 
west of the Ohio river, lying to the westward 
of a line beginning upon that stream opposite 
the mouth of the Kentucky river and running 
thence to what is now Fort Recovery, in Mer- 
cer Co., Ohio, thence north until it intersected 
the territorial line between the United States 
and Canada, was for the purposes of temporary 
government, constituted a separate territory, 
called Indiana. Within its boundaries were 
included not only nearly all of what is now the 
State of Indiana, but the whole of the present 
State of Illinois, more than half of what is 
now Michigan, a considerable portion of the 
present State of Minnesota,and the whole of Wis- 
consin. The seat of government was estab- 
lished at "Saint Vincennes on the Wabash." 
now the city of Vincennes,Ind. Upon the form- 
ation of a State government for the State of 
Ohio, in 1802, all the country west of that State, 
but east of the eastern boundary of the territory 
of Indiana, was added to the latter ; so that 
then the area northwest of the Ohio river in- 
cluded but one State and one territory. After- 
ward, civil jurisdiction was exercised by the 
authorities of Indiana territory over the Green 
bay settlement, in a faint way, by the appoint- 
ment, by Gov. William Henry Harrison, of 
Charles Reanme as the justice of the peace 
therein. Prairie du Chien was also recognized 
by the new territorial government by the 
appointment of two persons to a like office — 



Henry M. Fisher and a trader by the name of 

As American emigration was now rapidly 
dotting the wilderness to the westward of the 
State of Ohio with settlements, a treaty with 
some of the Indian tribes who claimed 
lands in that region extending northward into 
what is now Wisconsin, was a necessity, for as 
yet, none of these Nations had met any au- 
thorities of the United States in council. At 
the close of the contest between France and 
Great Britain so disastrous in North America to 
the former, the Sacs and Foxes readily gave in 
their adhesion to the latter, asking that English 
traders might be sent them. TUe two Nations, 
then about equally divided, numbered about 
700 warriors. Neither of the tribes 

took part in Pontiac's war, but they befriended 
the English. The Sacs had, by that date emi- 
grated some distance to the westward, while 
the Foxes, at least a portion of them, still re- 
mained upon the waters of the river of Green 
bay, which perpetuates their name. A few 
years later, however, and the Sacs were occu- 
pants of the upper Wisconsin also to a consid- 
erable extent below the portage between that 
stream and Fox river, where their chief town 
was located. Further down the Wisconsin was 
the upper village of the Foxes, while their 
lower town was situated not far from its mouth, 
near the site of the present city of Prairie du 

Not long after Wisconsin had been taken 
possession of by the British, its northern por- 
tion, including all that part watered by the 
streams flowing north into Lake Superior, was 
the home of the Chippewas. The country 
around nearly the whole of Green bay, was the 
hun ing grounds of the Menomonees. The ter- 
ritory of Winnebago lake and Fox river was 
the seat of the Winnebagoes, while, as just 
stated, the Sacs and Foxes had the region of 
the Wisconsin river as their dwelling place. 
During the war of the Revolution, these 
two tribes continued the firm friends of the 

English, although not engaged in active hostili- 
ties against the Americans. When finally Eng- 
land delivered up to the United States the pos- 
session of the northwest, the Sacs and Foxes had 
only a small portion of their territory in Wis- 
consin, and that in the extreme southwest. 
Their principal possession extended a consider- 
able distance to the south of the mouth of the 
Wisconsin, upon both sides of the Mississppi 

On the 3d of November, 1804, a treaty was 
held at St. Louis between the Sacs and Foxes 
and the United States. These tribes then ceded 
to the general government, a lage tract of land 
on both sides of the Mississippi, extending on 
the east from the mouth of the Illinois to the 
head of that river, thence to the Wisconsin. 
This grant embraces, in what is now Wisconsin, 
the whole of the present counties of Grant and 
La Fayette, and a large portion of those of Iowa 
and Green. It included the lead region. These 
tribes also claimed territory on the upper side 
of the Wisconsin, but they only granted away 
a tract two miles square above that stream, near 
its mouth, with the right of the United States 
to build a fort adjacent thereto. In considera- 
tion of the cession of these lands, the general 
government agreed to protect the two tribes in 
the quiet enjoyment of the residue of their 
possessions against its own citizens and all oth- 
ers who should intrude on them ; carrying out 
the stipulations to that effect embodied in the 
Greenville treaty, of 1795. Thus begun the 
quieting of the Indian title to the eminent do- 
main of Wisconsin by the United States, which 
was carried forward until the whole territory 
(except certain reservations to a few tribes) had 
been fairly purchased of the original proprie- 

So much of Indiana territory as lay to the 
north of a line drawn east from the southern 
bend of Lake Michigan to Lake Erie, and east 
of a line drawn from the same bend through 
the middle of the first mentioned lake to its 
northern extremity, thence due north to the 




northern boundary of the United States, was, 
for the purposes of temporary government, on 
the 30th of June, 1805, constituted a separate 
and distinct territory, called Michigan. This 
new territory did not include within its boun- 
daries any part of Wisconsin as at present de- 


On the 3d of February, 1809, an act of Con- 
gress, entitled an act for dividing the Indiana 
territory into two separate governments, was 
approved by the President and became a law. 
It provided that from and -after the 1st day of 
March thereafter, all that part of the Indiana 
territory lying west of the Wabash river and 
a direct line drawn from that stream and "Post 
Vincennes" due north to the territorial line be- 
tween the United States and Canada, should, 
for the purpose of temporary government, con- 
stitute a separate territory and be called Illinois, 
with the seat of government at Kaskaskia, on 
the Mississippi river, until it should be other- 
wise ordered. By this law, all of what is now 
Wisconsin was transferred from Indiana terri- 
tory to that of Illinois, except that portion lying 
east of the meridian line drawn through Vin- 
cennes. This fraction included nearly the 
whole area between Green bay and Lake Mi- 
chigan and remained a part of the territory of 
Indiana. When, in 1816, Indiana became a 
State, this narrow strip, as it was neither a por- 
tion of Michigan territory on the east or Illinois 
territory on the west, remained without any 
organization until 1818. In that year it became 
a part of Michigan territory. 

In 1809, an effort was made by John Jacob 
Astor, of New York city, to extend the Ameri- 
can fur-trade by way of the lakes to Wiscon- 
sin and parts beyond; but the monopoly 
of the British fur companies was too 
strong. He could only effect his object by uni- 
ting with the northwest company of Montreal, 
in 1811, to form out of the American and Mack- 
inaw companies, a new one, to be known as the 
Southwest company, of which Astor owned a 

half intererest, with the arrangement that, after 
five years, it was to pass into his hands alto- 
gether, being restricted in its operations to the 
territories of the United States. This company 
was suspended by the war with Great Britain, 
which immediately followed. At the close of 
hostilities, British traders were prohibited by 
law from pursuing their calling within the 
jurisdiction of the United States. The result 
was the southwest company closed up its affairs, 
and the American fur company re-appeared un- 
der the exclusive control of Astor, who estab- 
lished his western headquarters at Mackinaw, 
operating extensively in what is now Wiscon- 
sin, especially «t La Pointe, upon Lake Superior, 
where large warehouses were erected; a stock- 
ade built, lands cleared, farms opened, dwell- 
ings and stores put up. But English traders 
evaded the law by sending their goods into the 
United State* in the name of American clerks 
in their employ. These goods being of supe- 
rior quality to those furnished by Astor, they 
continued to command the Indian trade to a 
large extent. It was only when the American 
prince of fur-traders was enabled to import 
goods to New York of equal quality and send 
them by way of the lakes, that he could success- 
fully compete with his rivals and in the end 
drive them from the field. 

At the commencement of the war with Great 
Britain the few settlers at Green Bay and 
Prairie du Chien depended largely upon the 
fur trade for their living, monopolized, as we 
have seen, at that period, by British traders. 
At the beginning of hostilities this dependency 
was promptly secured to the latter by the cap- 
ture, from the Americans, of the post at Macki- 
naw. Naturally enough most of the people of 
Wisconsin, limited in number as they were, ad- 
hered to the English during the continuance of 
hostilities. As to the Indian tribes, within 
what are now the limits of the State, it may be 
said that, in a measure, they, too, all arrayed 
themselves on the side of Great Britain. The 
Menomonees aud Winnebagoes took part in the 



capture of Mackinaw, and subsequently in other 
enterprises against the Americans. Indeed, 
all the tribes in the northwest were firmly at- 
tached to the English by reciprocal interest in 
the fur trade, from which they derived their 
supplies. Great Britain had never ceased since 
the Revolution to foster their friendship by the 
liberal distribution annually of presents; hence, 
they were ready when the War of 1812-15 was 
inaugurated to take up the hatchet against the 
Americans. Just before hostilities began, the 
English traders were especially active in excit- 
ing the Indians against the Americans, more es- 
pecially against American traders. Robert 
Dickson, a resident of Prairie du Chien, an 
Englishman by birth, was among the foremost 
in stirring up the animosity of the savages. 
Soon after the declaration of war he collected a 
body of Indians at Green Bay for the purpose 
of rendering assistance to the British forces in 
their operations on the lakes and in the north- 
west; they were principally Pottawattamies, 
Kickapoos, Ottawas, Winnebagoes and Sacs, 
the la8t mentioned being Black Hawk's band. 
This chief was made commander-in-chief of the 
savages there assembled, by Dickirfson, and 
sent to join the British army under Proctor. 

The English early succeeded in securing the 
Wisconsin Indian tribes as their allies in this 
war; and having taken Mackinaw in July, 1812, 
they were, virtually, put in possession of what 
is now the eastern portion of the State. Early 
in 1814, the government authorities of the 
United States caused to be fitted out at St. 
Louis a large boat, having on board all the men 
that could be mustered and spared from the 
lower country, and sent up the Mississippi to 
protect the upper region and the few settlers 
therein. The troops landed at Prairie du Chien, 
and immediately proceeded to fortify. Not 
long after, Col. McKay, of the British army, 
crossing the country by course of the Fox and 
Wisconsin rivers, with over 500 British and In- 
dians, received the surrender of the whole 
orce. The officers and men were paroled and 

sent down the river. This was the only battle 
fought upon Wisconsin soil during the last war 
with England. The post at Prairie du Chien 
was left in command of a captain with two 
companies from Mackinaw. He remained there 
until after the peace of 1815, when the place 
was evacuated by the British. 
* On the 3d of August, 1814, an expedition of 
about 300 men. under command of Maj. Zachary 
Taylor, left St. Louis in boats for the upper 
Mississippi. When they arrived at Rock Is- 
land they found the British there, apparently 
in force, with a battery on shore commanding 
the river. A severe fight took place, but after 
sustaining a loss of several killed and wounded 
the Americans returned to St. Louis. The 
British afterwards left Rock Island, and upon 
the signing of the treaty of peace by the envoys 
of the two governments, and the ratification of 
the same, the whole northwest, including Fort 
McKay at Prairie du Chien, was evacuated by 
British forces. 

When it was made known to the Indian 
tribes of the west some of them upon the Miss- 
issippi were willing and eager to make treaties 
with the United States. A lucrative trade 
sprung up between the merchants of St. Louis 
and the traders and Indians up that river. 
Goods were periodically sent up the river to 
traders, who in turn transmitted in payment, by 
the same boats, furs and lead. But, generally, 
the savages hovered sullenly around the now 
rapidly increasing settlements in the territories 
of Michigan and Illinois, and the general gov- 
ernment began to consider in earnest how the 
influence of British intercourse might be 
checked, for the savages were still encouraged 
by English traders in their unfriendly disposi- 
tion and supplied with arms by them. Accord- 
ingly, in the winter after the close of the war, 
Congress prohibited foreign trade in the ter- 
ritory of the United States; and, in the summer 
following, steps were taken to make this policy 
effectual, by establishing a chain of military 
posts near the Canadian frontier and upon the 



principal lines of communication thence into the 
interior. These posts were to be occupied by 
Indian agents, with factories, or government 
stores, designed to supply the place of the pro- 
hibited traffic. 

On the 21st of June, 1816, United States 
troops took possession of the fort at Prairie du 
Chien. ^During the next month three schooners 
entered Fox river of Green bay, under the 
American flag, displaying to the astonished 
inhabitants of the small settlement upon that 
stream near its mouth, their decks covered with 
government troops. They were under command 
of Col. John Miller, of the Third United States 
Infantry, whose purpose was the establishment 
of a garrison near the head of the bay. The 
rendezvous of the troops was upon the east side 
some distance up the river, and was called 
"Camp Smith." At the end of two months the 
garrison was established in barracks enclosed 
with a stockade. Oamp Smith was occupied 
until 1820, when a more substantial struc- 
ture was erected on the west side of the 
stream near its mouth, and named Fort Howard. 

The settlement at Green Bay was made up at 
the close o'f the war, of about forty or fifty 
French Canadians. The inhabitants (as at 
Prairie du Chien) were now for a time the 
subjects of military rule. "They received the 
advent of the troops in a hospitable spirit, and 
acquiesced in the authority asserted over them, 
with little evidence of discontent, maintaining 
a character for docility and freedom from tur- 
bulence of disposition remarkably in contrast 
with their surroundings. Military authority 
was, in the main, exerted for the preservation 
of order.'* There was no civil authority worth 
speaking of. It was at a period when important 
changes were taking place. That sometimes 
military authority, under such circumstances, 
should have been exercised in an arbitrary 
manner, is not at ail a matter of surprise. "The 
conduct of the soldiery was also sometimes 
troublesome and offensive ; as a rule, how- 
ever, harmonious relations existed between 

them and the citizens. The abuses were only 
such as were unavoidable, in the absence of any 
lawful restraint on the one hand, or means of 
redress on the other." This state of affairs did 
not long continue, as initiatory steps were not 
long after taken to extend over the community 
both here and at Prairie du Chien the pro- 
tection of civil government. 

The Indians of Wisconsin, upon the arrival 
of United States troops at Prairie du Chien and 
Green bay, gave evident signs of a disposition 
to remain friendly, although some thought the 
advent of soldiers an intrusion. An Indian 
agency under John Boyer and a United States 
factory, well supplied with goods, with Major 
Matthew Irwin at its head, were soon established 
at the bay ; a factory at Prairie du Chien, 
under charge of John W. Johnson, was also 
started. The Menemonee and Winnebago tribes, 
the former upon Green bay, the latter upon the 
Fox and Wisconsin rivers, were now brought 
into nearer relations with the United States. 


Upon the admission of Illinois into the 
Union, in 1818, all "the territory of the United 
States, northwest of the River Ohio," lying west 
of Michigan territory and north of the States of 
Indiana and Illinois, was attached to and made 
a part of Michigan territory; by which act the 
whole of the present State of Wisconsin came 
under the jurisdiction of the latter. At the 
close of the last war with Great Britian, Wis- 
consin began in earnest to be occupied by 
Americans. But the latter were still few in 
number when the country west of Lake Michi- 
gan was attached to Michigan territory. Now, 
however, that the laws of the United States were 
in reality extended over them, they began to 
feel as though they were not altogether beyond 
the protection of a government of their own, 
notwithstanding they were surrounded by 
Indian tribes. On the 26th of Cctober, 1818, 
the governor of the territory erected by procla- 
mation three counties lying in whole or in part 
in what is now Wisconsin— Brown, Crawford 




and Michilimackinac. The county of Michili- 
mackinac not only included all of the present 
State of Wisconsin lying north of a line drawn 
due west from near the head of the Little Noquet 
bay, but territory east and west of it, so as to 
reach from Lake Huron to the Mississippi river. 
Its county seat was established "at the Borough 
of Michilimackinac." The whole area in Michi- 
gan territory south of the county of Michili- 
mackinac, and west of Lake Michigan formed the 
two counties of Brown and Crawford; the 
former to include the area east of a line drawn 
due north and south through the middle of the 
portage between the Fox river of Green bay and 
the Wisconsin; the latter to include the whole 
region west of that line. Prairie du Chien was 
designated as the county seat of [Crawford; 
Green Bay, of Brown county. On the 22d of 
December, 1826, a county named Chippewa was 
formed from the northern portions of Michili- 
mackinac, including the southern shores of Lake 
Superior throughout its entire length, and ex- 
tending from the straits leading from that lake 
into Lake Huron, west to the western boundary 
line of Michigan territory, with the county seat 
"at such point in the vicinity of the Sault de 
Ste. Marie, as a majority of the county com- 
missioners to be appointed shall designate/' 
Embraced within this county — its southern 
boundary being the parallel of 46 degrees 31 min- 
utes north latitude— was all the territory of the 
present State of Wisconsin now bordering on 
Lake Superior. Brown and Crawford counties 
were soon organized, the offices being filled by 
appointments of the governor. County courts 
were also established, to which appeals were 
taken from justices of the peace. In January, 
1823, a district court was established by an act 
of Congress, for the counties last mentioned, 
including also Michilimackinac. One term 
during the year was held in each county. James 
Duane Doty was the judge of this court to May, 
1832, when he was succeeded by David Irvin. 

1 he United States were not unmindful of her 
citizens to the westward of Lake Michigan, in I 

several other important matters. Indian agencies 
were established; treaties were'lield with some 
of the native tribes, and land claims of white 
settlers at Green Bay and Prairie du Chien 
adjusted. Postmasters were also appointed at 
these two places. 

In 1825 and the two following year^ a general 
attention was called to the lead mines in what 
is now the southwestern portion of the State. 
Different places therein were settled with 
American miners. In June, 1827, the Winne- 
bago Indians became hostile; this caused the 
militia of Prairie du Chien to be called out. 
United States troops ascended the Wisconsin 
river to quell the disturbance. There they were 
joined by Illinois volunteers, and the Winneba- 
goes awed into submission. Fort Winnebago 
was thereupon erected by the general govern- 
ment at the portage, near the present site of 
Portage, Columbia Co., Wis. A treaty with the 
Indians followed, and there was no more trouble 
because of raining operations in the "lead 
region." On the 9th of October, 1829, a county 
was formed of all that part of Crawford lying 
south of the Wisconsin, and named Iowa. In 
1831 the United States purchased of the Men- 
omonees all their lands east of Green bay, 
Winnebago lake and the Fox and Milwaukee 
rivers. The general government, before this 
date, had, at several periods, held treaties with 
the Sac and Fox Indians. And the time had 
now come when the two tribes were to have 
the eastern for the western side of the Missis- 
sippi river; but a band headed by Black Hawk 
refused to leave their village near Rock Island, 
111. They contended that they had not sold 
their town to the United States; and upon their 
return early in 1831, from a hunt across the 
Mississippi, finding their village and fields in 
possession of the whites, they determined to 
repossess their homes at all hazards. This was 
looked upon, or called, an encroachment by the 
settlers; so the governor of Illinois took the 
responsibility of declaring the State invaded, 
and asked the United States to drive the refrac- 



tory Indians beyond the Mississippi. The 
result was, the Indian village was destroyed by 
Illinois volunteers. This and the threatened 
advance across the river by the United States 
commander, brought Black Hawk and his fol- 
lowers to terms. They sued for peace — agree- 
ing to remain forever on the west side of the 
Mississippi. But this truce was of short dura- 

Early in the spring of 1832, Black Hawk hav- 
ing assembled his forces on the Mississippi in 
the vicinity of the locality where Fort Madison 
had stood, crossed that stream and ascended 
Rock river. Ihis was the signal for war. The 
governor of Illinois made a call for volunteers, 
and in a brief space of time 1,800 had 
assembled at Beardstown, Cass county. They 
marched for the mouth of Rock river, where a 
council of war was held by their officers and 
Brigadier-General Henry Atkinson, of the reg- 
ular forces. The Indians were sent word by 
General Atkinson that they must return and re- 
cross the Mississippi or they would be driven 
back by force. When the attempt was made to 
compel them to go back a collision occurred 
between the Illinois militia and Black Hawk's 
braves, resulting in the discomfiture of the 
former with the loss of eleven men. Soon af- 
terward the volunteers were discharged, and 
the first campaign of Black Hawk's War was at 
an end. This was in May, 1832. In June fol- 
lowing a new force had been raised and put 
under the command of General Atkinson, who 
commenced his march up Rock river. Before 
this there had been a general "forting" in the 
lead region, in Illinois, and including the whole 
country in what is now Southwest Wisconsin, 
notwithstanding which a number of settlers 
had been killed by the savages, mostly in Illi- 
nois. Squads of volunteers, in two or three in- 
stances, had encountered the Indians, and in 
one with entire success — upon the Pecatonica, 
in the present Lafayette Co., Wis. — every sav- 
age (and there were seventeen of them) being 
killed. The loss of the volunteers was three 

killed and wounded. Atkinson's march up 
Rock river was attended with some skirmish- 
ing, when, being informed that Black Hawk 
and his force were at Lake Eoshkonong, in the 
southwest corner of what is now Jefferson Co., 
Wis., he immediately moved thither with a 
portion of his array, where the whole force was 
ordered to concentrate. But the Sac chief, 
with his people, had flown. Colonels Henry 
Dodge and James D. Henry, with the forces 
under them, discovered the trail of the savages, 
leading in the direction of Wisconsin river. It 
was evident that the retreating force was large, 
and that it had but recently passed. The pur- 
suing troops hastened their march. On the 
21st of July, 1832, they arrived at the hills 
which skirt the left bank of that stream, in 
what is now Roxbury town (township), Dane 
county. Here was Black Hawk's whole force, 
including women and children, the aged and 
infirm, hastening by every effort to escape 
across the river. But that this might now be 
effected it became necessary for that chief to 
make a firm stand, to cover the retreat. The 
Indians were in the bottom lands when the pur- 
suing whites made their appearance upon the 
heights in their rear. Colonel Dodge occupied 
the front and sustained the first attack of the 
Indians. He was soon joined by Henry with 
his force, when they obtained a complete vic- 
tory. The action commenced about 5 o'clock 
in the afternoon and ended at sunset. The 
enemy sustained a loss, it is said, of about sixty 
killed and a large number wounded.* The loss 
of the Americans was one killed and eight 
wounded. During the following night Black 
Hawk made his escape down the Wisconsin. 
He was pursued and finally brought to a stand 
on the Mississippi near the mouth of the Bad 
Axe, on the western boundary of what is now 
Vernon Co., Wis.; and on the 2d of August 
attacked on all sides by the Americans, who 
soon obtained a complete victory. Black Hawk 
escaped, but was soon after captured. This 
ended the war. 

•Black Hawk given a very different account as to bit* 
loss. "In this skirmish." pays be. '"with fifty braves I de- 
fended and accomplished my passag-e over the Wisconsin 
with a loss of only six men." 



The survey of public lands to which the In- 
dian title had been extinguished; the erection 
of Milwaukee county from the southern part of 
Brown; the changing of the eastern boundary 
of Iowa county to correspond with the western 
one of Milwaukee county; the attaching, for 
judicial purposes, of all the country west of the 
Mississippi river and north of the State of Mis- 
souri to the territory of Michigan in 1834, and 
the division of it into the two counties of Des 
Moines and Dubuque, were the important events 
following the close of the Black Hawk war. 
The prospective admission of the State of 

Michigan into the Union, to include all that 
part of the territory lying east of Lake Michi- 
gan, caused, on the 1st of January, 1836, a ses- 
sion (the first one) of the seventh territorial 
council, to legislate for so much of the terri- 
tory as lay to the westward of that lake, to be 
held at Green Bay, when a memorial was 
adopted, asking Congress for the formation of 
a new territory, to include all of Michigan ter- 
ritory not to be admitted as a State. This re- 
quest, it will now be seen, was soon complied 
with by the National Legislature. 



The Territory of Wisconsin* was erected by 
act of Congress of April 20, 1836, to take effect 
from and after the 3d day of July following. 

* Wisconsin takes. Its name from Its principal river, 
which drains an extensive portion of its surface. It rises in 
Lake Vieux Desert (which is partly In Michigan and partly 
in Wisconsin), flows generally a south course to Portage in 
what is now Columbia county, where it turns to the south- 
west, and after a further course of 118 miles, with a rapid 
current, reaches the Mississippi river, four miles below Prai- 
rie du Chien. Its entire length is about 450 miles, descending, 
in that distance, a little more than 1,000 feet. Along the 
lower portion of the stream are the high lands, or river hills. 
Some of these hills present high and precipitous faces to- 
ward the water. Others terminate in knobs. The name is 
supposed to have been taken from this feature; the word 
being derived from mix-is, great, and ossin, a stone or rock. 

Compare Shea's Discovery and Eocploration of the Missts- 
*invi> pp. 6 (note) and 288; Foster's Mississippi VaUey, n. 2 
(note); Schoolcraft's Thirty Yean with the Indian Tribes, p. 
2*0 and note. 

Two definitions of the word are current— as widely differ- 
ing from each other as from the one Just given. (See Wis. 
Hist. Soo. Coll., Vol. I , p. Ill, and Webster's Die, Una- 
bridged. p.1632.) The first— • *the gathering of the waters"— 
has no corresponding words in Algonquin at all resembling 
the name; the same may be said of the second— • 'wild rush- 
ing channel." (See Otchipwe Die. of Kev. P. Baraga. 

Since first used by the French the word * * Wisconsin" has 
undergone considerable change. On the map byJoliet, re- 
cent) v brought to light byGravier, it is given as "Miskon- 
p'ng." In Marquette's journal, published by Thevenot, in 
Paris, 1681, it is noted as the * 'Meskousing." It appeared 
there for the first time in print. Hennepin, in 1683, wrote 
* 'Onisconsin" and "Misconsin;" Charlevoix, 1743, "Ouis- 
con8in;" Carver, 1766, * 'Ouisconsin" (English— "Wiscon- 
sin"); since which last mentioned date the orthography has 
been uniform.— Butterfleld'i Discovery of the Northwest in 

It was made to include all that part of the late 
Michigan territory described within boundaries 
"commencing at the northeast corner of the 
State of Illinois, running thence through the 
middle of Lake Michigan to a point opposite 
the main channel of Green bay; thence through 
that channel and the bay to the mouth of the 
Menomonee river; thence up that stream to its 
head, which is nearest the lake of the Desert; 
thence to the middle of that lake; thence down 
the Montreal river to its mouth; thence with a 
direct line across Lake Superior to where the 
territorial line of the United State* 1 ast touches 
the lake northwest; thence on the north, with 
the territorial line, to the White Earth river; 
on the west by a line drawn down the middle 
of the main channel of that stream to the Mis- 
souri river, and down the middle of the main 
channel of the last mentioned stream to the 
northwest corner of the State of Missouri; and 
thence with the boundaries of the States of 
Missouri and Illinois, as already fixed by act of 



Congress, to the place or point of beginning." 
Its counties were Brown, Milwaukee, Iowa, 
Crawford, Dubuque and Des Moines, with a 
portion of Chippewa and Michilimackinac un- 
organized. Henry Dodge was commissioned 
governor April 30, 1836; Charles Dunn, chief 
justice, and David Irvin and William C. Frazer 
associate justices; by Andrew Jackson, Presi- 
dent of the United States. The following were 
the secretaries, attorneys and marshals, with 
the dates of their commissions who held 
office while the territory was in existence : 


John S. Horner, May 6, 1836; William B. 
Slaughter, Feb. 16, 1837; Francis I. Dunn, Jan. 
25,1841; Alexander P. Field, April 23, 1841; 
George Floyd, Oct. 30, 1843; John Catlin, Feb. 
24, 1846. 


W. W. Chapman, May 6, 1836; Moses M. 
Strong, July 5, 1838; Thomas W. Sutherland, 
April 27, 1841; William P. Lynde, July 14, 


Francis Gehon, May 6, 1836; Edward James, 
June 19, 1838; Daniel Huguniii, March 15, 
1841; Charles M. Prevost, Aug. 31, 1844; John 
S. Rockwell, March 14, 1845. 

The first important measure to be looked af- 
ter by Governor Dodge upon his assuming, in 
the spring of 1836, the executive chair of the 
territory was the organization of the territorial 
Legislature. A census showed the following 
population east of the Mississippi : Milwaukee 
county, 2,891; Brown county, 2,706; Crawford 
county, 850; Iowa county, 5,234. Total, 11,683. 
The enumeration for the two counties west of 
the Mississippi was — Des Moines, 6,257; Du- 
buque, 4,274. Total, 10,531. The population, 
therefore, of both sides of the river aggregated 
22,214. The legislative apportionment, made 
by the governor, gave to the territory thirteen 
councilmen and twenty-six representatives. 
These, of course, were to be elected by the peo- 
jfle. The election was held Oct. 10, 1836. 

Belmont, in the present county of Lafayette, 
Wis., was appointed as the place for the meet- 
ing of the Legislature, where the first session 
began October 25. A quorum of each house 
was in attendance-. Henry S. Baird, of Green 
Bay, was elected president of the council, and 
Peter H. Engle speaker of the house. 

The following persons served as presidents 
of the council while Wisconsin was a territory : 

First session, first Legislative Assembly, 
Henry S. Baird, Brown county. 

Second session, first Legislative Assembly, 
Arthur R. Ingraham, Des Moines county. 

Special session, first Legislative Assembly, 
Arthur R. Ingraham, Des Moines county. 

First session, second Legislative Assembly, 
William Bullen, Racine county. 

Second session, second Legislative Assembly, 
James Collins, Iowa county. 

Third session, second Legislative Assembly, 
James Collins, Iowa county. 

Fourth (extra) session, second Legislative 
Assembly, William A. Prentiss, Milwaukee 

First session, third Legislative Assembly, 
James Maxwell, Walworth county. 

Second session, third Legislative Assembly, 
James Collins, Iowa county. 

First session, fourth Legislative Assembly, 
Moses M. Strong, Iowa county. 

Second session, fourth Legislative Assembly, 
Marshal M. Strong, Racine county. 

Third session, fourth Legislative Assembly, 
Moses M. Strong, Iowa county. 

Fourth session, fourth Legislative Assembly, 
Nelson Dewey, Grant county. 

First session, fifth Legislative Assembly, 
Horatio N. Wells, Milwaukee county. 

Special session, fifth Legislative Assembly, 
Horatio N. Wells, Milwaukee county. 

Second session, fifth Legislative Assembly, 
Horatio N. Wells, Milwaukee county. 

The following personR served as speakers of 
the House during the continuance of Wiscon- 
sin territory : 



First session, first Legislative Assembly, 
Peter H. Engle, Dubuque county. 

Second session, first Legislative Assembly, 
Isaac Leffler, Des Moines county. 

Special session, first Legislative Assembly, 
William B. Sheldon, Milwaukee county. 

First session, second Legislative Assembly, 
John W. Blackstone, Iowa county. 

Second session, second Legislative Assembly, 
Lucius I. Barber, Milwaukee county. 

Third session, second Legislative Assembly, 
Edward V. Whiton, Rock county. 

Fourtb (extra) session, second Legislative 
Assembly, Nelson Dewey, Grant county. 

First session, third Legislative Assembly, 
David Newland, Iowa county. 

Second session, third Legislative Assembly 
David Newland, Iowa county. 

First session, fourth Legislative Assembly, 
Albert 6. Ellis, Portage county. 

Second session, fourth Legislative Assembly, 
George H. Walker, Milwaukee county. 

Third session, fourth Legislative Assembly, 
George H. Walker, Milwaukee county. 

Fourth session, fourth Legislative Assembly, 
Mason C. Darling, Fond du Lac county. 

First session, fifth Legislative Assemb'y, 
William Shew, Milwaukee county. 

Special session, fifth Legislative Assembly, 
Isaac P. Walker, Milwaukee county. 

Second session, fifth Legislative Assembly, 
Timothy Burns, Iowa county. 

Each of the three branches of the infant gov- 
ernment was now (October, 1836) in working 
order, except that it remained for the Legisla- 
tive Assembly to divide the territory into three 
judicial districts, the number required by the 
organic act, and make an assignment of the 
judges. This was speedily done. Crawford 
and Iowa constituted the first district, to which 
the chief justice was assigned; Dubuque and 
Des Moines the second, to which judge Irvin 
was assigned; and Judge Frazer to the third, 
consisting of Milwaukee and Brown counties. 
The principal matters engaging the attention 

of the legislators were the permanent location 
of the capitol, the erection of new counties and 
the location of county seats. Madison was fixed 
upon as the seat of government; and nine coun- 
ties were erected east of the Mississippi: Wal 
worth, Racine, Jefferson, Dane, Dodge, Wash- 
ington, Rock, Grant and Green. West of the 
river six counties were set off: Lee, Van 
Buren, Henry, Louisa, Muscatine and Cook. 
The Legislature adjourned sine die, Dec. 9, 
1836. The first term of the supreme court was 
held at Belmont on the the 8th day of Decem- 
ber, of that year. The appointment of a clerk, 
crier and reporter, and the admission of several 
attorneys to practice, completed the business of 
the first term. The following persons served 
as clerks while Wisconsin was a territory: 

John Catlin, appointed at December term, 
t 1836; Simeon Mills, appointed at July terra, 
1839; La Fayette Kellogg, appointed at July 
term, 1840. Gov. Dodge, appointed Dec. 8, 1836, 
Henry S. Baird, as attorney general. His 
successors were as follows: 

Horatio N. Wells, appointed by Gov. Dodge, 
March 30, 1839; Mortimer M. Jackson, ap- 
pointed by Gov. Dodge, Jan. 26, 1842; William 
Pitt Lynde, appointed by Gov. Tall mage, Feb. 
22, 1845; A. Hyatt Smith, appointed by Gov. 
Dodge Aug. 4, 1845. Upon the organization of 
the territory in 1836, it was necessary that it 
should be represented in the National Legisla- 
ture; so on the day of the election of the terri- 
torial Legislature, George W. Jones, of Iowa 
county, was chosen a delegate in Congress. His 
successors were: 

James Duane Doty, elected Sept. 10, 1838; 
James Duane Doty, elected Aug. 5, 1840; Henry 
Dodge, elected Sept. 27, 1841; Henry Dodge, 
elected Sept. 25, 1843; Morgan L. Martin, 
elected Sept. 22, 1845; John H. Tweedy, 
elected Sept. 6, 1847. 

At the close of the year 1836, there was no 
land in market east of the Mississippi, except a 
narrow strip along the shore of Lake Michigan, 
and in the vicinity of Green bay. The residue 



of the country south and east of the Wisconsin 
and Fox rivers was open only to pre-emption by 
actual settlers. The Indian tribes still claimed 
a large portion of the lands. On the north were 
located the Chippewas. The southern limits 
of their possessions were defined by a line drawn 
from a point on that stream in about latitude 
46 degrees 31 minutes in a southeasterly direc- 
tion to the head of Lake St. Croix; thence in 
the same general direction to what is now 
Stevens Point, in the present Portage Co., Wis.; 
thence nearly east to Wolf river; and thence in 
a direction nearly northeast to the Menomonee 
river. Between the Wisconsin river and the 
Mississippi, and extending north to the south 
line of the Chippewas was the territory of th« 
Winnebagoes. East of the Winnebagoes in the 
country north of the Fox river of Green bay 
were located the Menomonees, their lands ex- 
tending to Wolf river. Such was the general 
outline of Indian occupancy in Wisconsin terri- 
tory, east of the Mississippi, at its organization. 
A portion of the country east of Wolf river and 
north of Green bay and the Fox river; the 
whole of the area lying south of Green bay, 
Fox river and the Wisconsin, constituted the 
extent of country over which the Indians had 
no claim. In this region, as we have seen, was 
a populatian of about 12,000, it was made up 
of the scattered settlers at the lead mines; 
the military establishments, (Fort Crawford, 
Fort Winnebago and Fort Howard), and settle- 
ments at or near them; and the village of 
Milw aukee; these were about all the parts of 
the territory east of the Mississippi, at that 
date, occupied to any extent by the whites. 

The second session of the first Legislative As- 
sembly of the territory of Wisconsin, began at 
Burlington, now the county seat of Des Moines 
Co., Iowa, Nov. 6, 1837, and adjourned Jan. 20, 
1838, to the second Monday of June following. 
The principal acts passe 1 were, one for taking 
another census; one abolishing imprisonment for 
debt; another regulating the sale of school 
lands and to prepare for organizing, reg- 
ulating and perfecting school*. There 
wh also one passed incorporating the 

Milwaukee and Rock River Canal Company. 
This was approved by the governor, Jan. 5, 
1838. By an act of Congress approved June 18 
of the same year, a grant of land was made to 
aid in the construction of the canal. The grant 
consisted of the odd-numbered sections on a 
belt of ten miles in width from Lake Michigan 
to Rock river, amounting to 139,190 acres. Of 
those lands 43,447 acres were sold at public 
sale in July, 1839, at the minimum price 
of $2.50 per acre. Work was commenced on 
the canal at Milwaukee, and the Milwaukee 
river for a short distance from its outlet was 
improved by the construction of a dam across 
the river, which was made available for manu- 
facturing and other purposes. A canal was 
also built about a mile in length and forty 
feet wide, leading from it down on the west 
bank of the river. Much dissatisfaction subse- 
quently arose; the purchasers at this sale, and 
others occupying these canal and reserved 
lands felt the injustice of being compelled to 
pay double price for their lands, and efforts 
were made to repeal all laws authorizing fur- 
ther sales, and to ask Congress to repeal the act 
making this grant. The legislation on the sub- 
ject of this grant is voluminous. In 1862 the 
Legislature of the State passed an act to % ascer- 
tain and settle the liabilities, if any, of Wis- 
consin and the company, and a board of com- 
missioners was appointed for that purpose. At 
the session of the Legislature in 1863, the com- 
mittee made a report with a lengthy opinion of 
the attorney-general of the State. The views 
of that officer were, that the company had no 
valid claims for damages against the State. In 
this opinion the commissioners concurred. On 
the 23d of March, 1875, an act was approved by 
the governor, giving authority to the attorney- 
general to discharge and release of record any 
mortgage before executed to the late territory 
of Wisconsin given to secure the purchase 
money or any part thereof of any lands granted 
by Congress to aid in the construction of this 
canal. The quantity of lands unsold was sub- 



sequently made a part of the 500,000 acre tract 
granted by Congress for school purposes. It is 
believed the whole matter is now closed 
against further legislative enactments. 

There was another important act passed by 
the territorial Legislature of 1837-8, by which 
fourteen counties were erected, but all of them 
west of the Mississippi. The census having 
been taken in May, a special session of the 
first Legislative Assembly was commenced June 
11, 1838, at Burlington, continuing to June 25, of 
that year. This session was pursuant to an 
adjournment of the previous one, mainly for 
the purpose of making a new apportionment of 
members. The population of the several 
counties east of the Mississippi was, by the 
May census, 18,149. By an act of Congress, 
approved June 12, 1838, it was provided that 
from and after the 3d day of July following, all 
that part of Wisconsin territory lying west of 
that river and west of a line drawn due north 
from its headwaters or sources to the territorial 
line for the purposes of a territorial govern- 
ment should be set apart and known by the 
name of Iowa. It was further enacted that 
the territory of Wisconsin should thereafter 
extend westward only to the Mississippi. Be- 
cause pf the passage of this act, the one passed 
at the special session of the territorial Legisla- 
ture making an apportionment of members, be- 
came nugatory — that duty now devolving 
upon Gov. Doty. On the third Monday of July, 
1838, the annual term of supreme court was 
held at Madison this, of course, being the first 
one after the re-organization of the territory; 
the previous one was not held, as there was no 
business for the court. On the 18th of October, 
Judge Frazer died, and on the 8th of Novem- 
ber, Andrew 6. Miller vvas appointed his suc- 
cessor, by Martin Van Buren, President of the 
United States. 

The Legislature of the re-organized territory 
of Wisconsin met at Madison for the first time 
—it being the first session of the second Legis- 
lative Assembly — Nov. 26, 1838. Its attention 

was directed to the mode in which the commis- 
sioners of public buildings had discharged their 
duties. There was an investigation of three 
banks then in operation in the territory — one 
at Green Bay, one at Mineral Point, and the 
other at Milwaukee. A plan, also, for the 
revision of the laws of the territory was con- 
sidered. A new assignment was made for the 
holding of district courts* Chief Justice Dunn 
was assigned to the first district, composed of 
the counties of Iowa, Grant and Crawford; 
Judge Irvin to the second, composed of the 
counties of Dane, Jefferson, Rock, Walworth 
and Green; while Judge Miller was assigned to 
the third district, composed of Milwaukee, 
Brown and Racine counties — including therein 
the unorganized counties of Washington and 
Dodge, which, for judicial purposes, were, 
when constituted, by name and boundary, at- 
tached to Milwaukee county. 'J he Legislature 
adjourned on the 22d of December, to meet 
again on the 21st of the following month. The 
census having been taken during the year, it 
was found that the territory had a population 
v,f 18,130, an increase in two years, of 6,447. 
The second session of the second Legislative 
Assembly began Jan. 21, 1839, agreeable to 
adjournment. An act was passed during this ses- 
sion legalizing a revision of the laws which had 
been perfected by a committee previously; this 
act took effect July 4, and composed the princi- 
pal part of the laws forming the revised statutes 
of 1839. The session ended March 11, 1839. 
On the 8th of March of this year, Henry Dodge,, 
whose term for three years as governor was 
about to expire, was again commissioned by 
the President of the United States. At the 
July term of the supreme court, all the judges 
were present, and several cases were heard aud 
decided. A seal for the court was also adopted. 
From this time, the supreme court met annu- 
ally, as provided by law, until Wisconsin be- 
came a State. 

The next Legislature assembled at Madison, 
on the 2d of December, 1839. This was the 



third session of the second Legislative Assem- 
bly of the territory. The term for whioh mem- 
bers of the house were elected would soon 
expire ; it was therefore desirable that a new 
apportionment should be made. As the census 
would be taken the ensuing June, by the 
United States, it would he unnecessary for the 
territory to make an additional enumeration. 
A short session was resolved upon, and then 
an adjournment until after the completion of 
the census. One of the subjects occupying 
largely the attention of the members, was the 
condition of the capitol, and the conduct of the 
commissioners intrusted with the money ap- 
propriated by Congress to defray the cost of its 
construction. These commissioners were James 
Duane Doty, A. A. Bird and John F. O'Neill. 
They received their appointment from the 
general government. Work began on the 
building in June, 1837, the corner stone being 
laid with appropriate ceremonies July 4. During 
that year and the previous one, Congress ap- 
propriated $40,000, Dane cotmty $4,000, and 
the territorial Legislature, about $16,000, for 
the structure ; so that the entire cost was about 
$60,000. The building, when finished, was a 
substantial structure, which, in architectural 
design and convenience of arrangement, com- 
pared favorably with the capitols of adjacent 
and older States. The capitol proving inade- 
quate to the growing wants of the State, the 
Legislature of 1857 provided for its enlarge- 
ment. By this act, the commissioners of school 
and university lands were directed to sell the 
ten sections of land appropriated by Congress 
"for the completion of public buildings," and 
apply the proceeds toward enlarging and im- 
proving the State capitol. The State also ap- 
propriated $30,000 for the same object, and 
$50,000 was given by the city of Madison. 
The governor and secretary of State were 
made commissioners for conducting the work, 
which was begun in the fall of 1857, and con- 
tinued from year to year until 1869, when the 
I dome was completed. The Legislature of 1 882 

appropriated $200,000 for the construction of 
two transverse wings to the capitol building, 
one on the north and the other on the south 
sides thereof, in order to provide additional 
room for the State historical society, the 
supreme court, the State library, and for the 
increasing work of the State offices. The gov- 
ernor, secretary of State, attorney general, 
with others, representing the supreme court 
and the historical society, were made commis- 
sioners for carrying out the work. The cost 
will be within the amount appropriated by the 
State. The total appropriations for the en- 
largement of the capitol and for the improve- 
ment of the park, to the present time, are $629, 
992.54. This does not include the sum of 
$0,500 appropriated in 1875, for macadamizing 
to the center of the streets around the park, 
nor the $200,000 appropriated in 1882. The 
park is 914 feet square, cornering north, south, 
east and west, contains fourteen and four-tenths 
acres, and is situated on an elevation command- 
ing a view of the third and fourth lakes and 
the surrounding country. In the center of the 
square stands the capitol. The height of the 
building from the basement to the top of the 
flag staff is 225£ feet, while the total length of 
its north and south wings, exclusive of steps 
and porticoes, with the addition of the new 
wings, is 396 feet, and of the east and west 
wings, 226 feet. 

The Legislature of 1839-40, adjourned Janu- 
ary 13, to meet again on the 3d of the ensuing 
August. The completion of the federal census 
of 1840 showed a population for the territory of 
30,744. Upon the re-assembling of the Legisla- 
ture—which is known as the extra session of 
the second Legislative Assembly — some changes 
were made in the apportionment of members to 
the House of Representatives. The session 
lasted but a few days, a final adjournment 
taking place Aug. 14, 1840. The first session 
of the third Legislative Assembly began Dec. 7, 
1840, and ended Feb. 19, 1841, with only three 
members who had served in the previous Assem- 



bly. All had recently been elected under the 
new apportionment. 

On the 13th of September, 1841, Gov. Dodge 
was removed from office by John Tyler, then 
President of the United States, and James 
Puane Doty appointed in his place, the com- 
mission of the latter being dated the 5th of 
October following. 

The second session of the third Legislative 
Assembly began at Madison, on the 6th of 
December, 1841. Gov. Doty, in his message to 
that body, boldly avowed the doctrine that no 
law of the territory was effective until expressly 
approved by Congress. This construction of 
the organic act resulted in a lengthy warfare 
between the governor and the Legislative As- 
sembly. On the 11th of February, 1842, an 
event occurred in the Legislative council, caus- 
ing a great excitement over the whole territory. 
On that day, Charles C. P. Arndt, a member 
from Brown county, was, while that body was 
in session, shot dead by James R. Vineyard, a 
member from Grant county. The difficulty 
grew out of a debate on a motion to lay on the 
table the nomination of Enos S. Baker to the 
office of sheriff of Grant county. Immediately 
before adjournment of the council, the parties 
who had come together, after loud and angry 
words had been spoken, were separated by the 
by-standers. When an adjournment had been 
announced, they met again ; whereupon Arndt 
struck at Vineyard. The latter then drew a 
pistol and shot Arndt. He died in a few mo- 
ments. Vineyard immediately surrendered him- 
self to the sheriff of the county, waived an ex- 
amination, and was committed to jail. After a 
short confinement, he was brought before the 
chief justice of the territory, on a writ of habeas 
corpus, and admitted to bail. He was after- 
ward indicted for manslaughter, was tried and 
acquitted. Three days after shooting Arndt, 
Vineyard sent in his resignation as member of 
the council. That body refused to receive it, 
or to have it read even ; but at once expelled 
him. The second and last session of the third 

Legislative Assembly came to a close Feb. 18, 

For the next six years there were seven ses- 
sions of the territorial legislature, as follows: 
First session, 4th Legislative Assembly, com- 
menced Dec. 5, 1842, ended April 17, 1843; 
second sesssion, 4th Legislative Assembly, com- 
menced Dec. 4, 1843, ended Jan. 31, 1844; 
third session, 4th Legislative Assembly, com- 
menced Jan. 6, 1845, ended Feb. 24, 1845; 
fourth session, 4th Legislative Assembly, com- 
menced Jan 5, 1846, ended Feb. 3, 1846; first ses- 
sion,5th Legislative Assembly,commenced J an. 4, 
1847, ended Feb. 11, 1847; special session, 5th 
Legislative Assembly, commenced Oct. 18, 
1847, ended Oct. 27, 1847; second session, 5th 
Legislative Assembly, commenced Feb. 7, 1848, 
ended March 13, 1848. 

The members of the first session of the 
fourth legislative assembly had been elected 
unded a new apportionment based upon a 
census taken in June, showing a total popula- 
tion of 46,678. In each house there was a 
democratic majority. Gov. Doty was a 
whig. It was a stormy session. After the two 
houses had organized, the governor refused to 
communicate with them, as a body legally 
assembled, according to the organic act, he 
claiming that no appropriation for that object 
had been made by Congress. The houses con- 
tinued in session until the 10th day of Deftember, 
when they adjourned until the 13th of January, 
1843, they having meanwhile made representa- 
tion to the National Legislature, then in session, 
of the objections of the governor. It was not 
until the 4 th of February that a quorum in both 
houses had assembled. Previous to this, Con- 
gress had made an appropriation to cover the 
expenses of the session; and the governor, on 
the 13th of January, had issued a proclamation 
convening a special session on the 6th of March. 
Both houses in February adjourned to the day 
fixed by the governor, which ended the troubles; 
and the final adjournment took place, as already 
stated, April 17, 1843. Nathaniel P. Tallmadge 



was appointed governor in place of Doty on 
the 21st of June, 1844, his commission bearing 
date the 16th of September. James K. Polk 
having been elected President of the United 
States in the fall of that year, Henry Dodge 
was again put in the executive chair of the ter- 
ritory, receiving his appointment April 8, 1845, 
and being commissioned May 13 following. 

It was during the fourth session of the fourth 
legislative assembly that preliminary steps 
were taken, which resulted in the formation of 
a State government. The first Tuesday in 
April, 1846, was the day fixed upon for the 
people to vote for or against the proposition. 
When taken it resulted in a large majority 
voting in favor of the measure. An act was 
passed providing for taking the census of the 
territory, and for the apportionment by the 
governor of delegates to form a State constitu- 
tion, based upon the new enumeration. The 
delegates were to be elected on the first Mon- 
day in September, and the convention was to 
assemble on the first Monday in October, 1846. 
The constitution when formed was to be sub- 
mitted to the vote of the people for adoption or 
rejection, as, at the close of the session, the 
the terms of members of the council who had 
been elected for four years, and of the house, 
who had been elected for two years, all ended. 
The legislature re-organized the election dis- 
tricts, and conferred on the governor the power 
and duty of making an apportionment, based on 
the census to be taken, for the next Legislative 
Assembly, when, on the 3d of February, 1846, 
both houses adjourned sine die. The census 
taken in the following June showed a popula- 
tion for the territory of 155,217. Delegates 
having been elected to form a constitution for 
the proposed new State, met at Madison on the 
5th day of October. After completing their 
labors, they adjourned. This event took place 
on the 16th of December, 1846. The constitu- 
tion thus formed was submitted to a popular 

vote on the first Tuesday of April, 1847, and 
rejected. A special session of the legislature, 
to take action concerning the admission of Wis- 
consin into the Union began Oct. 18, 1847, and 
a law was passed for the holding of another 
convention to frame a constitution. Delegates 
to the new convention were elected on the last 
Monday of November, and that body met at 
Madison the 15th of December, 1847. A census 
of the territory was taken this "year, which 
showed a population of 210,546. The result of 
the labors of the second constitutional conven- 
tion was the formation of a constitution, 
which, being submitted to the people on the 
second Monday of March, 1848, was duly ratified. 
On the 29th of May, 1848, by act of Congress, 
Wisconsin became a State. 

It may be here premised that the western 
boundary of the new State left out a full or- 
ganized county, with a sheriff, clerk of court, 
judge of probate, and justices of the peace. A 
bill had been introduced at a previous session 
in Congress, by Morgan L. Martin, the delegate 
from Wisconsin, to organize a territorial govern- 
ment for Minnesota, including the district left 
out on the admission of Wisconsin; but which 
failed to become a law. The citizens of what 
is now Minnesota were very anxious to obtain a 
territorial government, and two public meetings 
were held — one at St. Paul, and the other at 
Stillwater — advising John Catlin, who was 
secretary of Wisconsin, to issue a proclamation 
as the acting governor, for the election of a 
delegate to represent what was left of the 
territory of Wisconsin. Mr. Catlin repaired to 
Stillwater and issued a proclamation accordingly. 
H. H. Sibley was elected; nearly 400 votes hav- 
ing been polled at the election. Sibley was 
admitted to his seat on the floor of Congress by 
a vote of two to one. His admission facilitated 
and hastened the passage of a bill for the or- 
ganization of a territorial government for Min- 





The State of Wisconsin is bounded on the 
north by Minnesota and Michigan; on the east 
by the State last mentioned; on the south, by 
Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota; and on the west, 
by the two last named States. Its boundaries, 
as more particularly described, are as follows: 
Beginning at its northeast corner of the State 
of Illinois, that is to say, at a point in the center 
of Lake Michigan, where the line of forty-two 
degrees and thirty minutes of north latitude, 
crosses the same; thence running with the boun- 
dary line of the State of Michigan, through Lake 
Michigan [andj Green bay to the mouth of the 
Menomonee river; thence up the channel of the 
said river to the Brule river; thence up said 
last mentioned river to Lake Brule; thence along 
the southern shore of Lake Brule, in a direct 
line to the center of the channel between Mid- 
dle and South islands, in the Lake of the Desert; 
thence in a direct line to the head waters of the 
Montreal river, as marked upon the survey made 
by Captain Cram; thence down the main chan- 
nel of the Montreal river to the middle of Lake 
Superior; thence through the center of Lake 
Superior to the mouth of the St. Louis river; 
thence up the main channel of said river to the 
first rapids in the same, above the Indian vil- 
lage, according to Nicollett's map, thence due 
south to the main branch of the River St. Croix; 
thence down the main channel of said river to 
the Mississippi; thence down the center of the 
main channel of that river to the northwest 
corner of the State of Illinois; thence due east 
with the northern boundary of the State of 
Illinois to the place of beginning. The gen- 
eral shape of Wisconsin is that of an 

irregular pentagon. Its land area is 53,- 
924 square miles; and, in respect to size, it 
ranks with the other States as the 15th. It is 
known as one of the North Central States, east 
of the Mississippi. It extends from 9 degrees 
50 minutes to 15 degrees 50 minutes west longi- 
tude from Washington city, and from 42 de- 
grees 30 minutes to about 47 degrees 30 minutes 
north latitude. It has Lake Michigan on the 
east, Green bay, Menomonee and Brule rivers, 
Lake Vieux Desert, the Montreal river, Lake 
Superior and the St. Louis river; on the north- 
east and north; and, on the west, the St. Croix 
and the Mississippi rivers.* The average length 
of the State is about 260 miles; its average 
breadth 215 miles. The surface features of 
Wisconsin present a configuration between the 
mountainous, on the one hand, and a monoto- 
nous level, on the other. The State occupies a 
swell of land lying between three notable de- 
pressions: Lake Michigan, on the east; Lake 
Superior, on the north; and the valley of the 
Mississippi, on the west. From these depress- 
ions the surface slopes upward to the summit 
altitudes. Scattered over the State are promi- 
nent hills, but no mountains. Some of these 
hills swell upward into rounded domes, some 
ascend precipitously into castellated towers; and 
some reach prominence without regard to beauty 

* '*The boundary of Wisconsin is commonly given as Lake 
Superior and the State of Michigan on the north, and Michi- 
igan and Lake Michigan on the east, and sometimes, also, 
the Mississippi river is given as a part of the western boun- 
dary. These boundaries are not the true ones. The State of 
Wisconsin extends to the center of Lakes Michigan and Su- 
perior, and to the center of the main channel of the Missis- 
sippi river. As the States of Wisconsin and Michigan meet 
in the oentrr of Lake Michigan, it is not Lake Michigan that 
bounds Wisconsin on the east, but the State of Michigan, and 
so on. The correct boundary of Wisconsin in general terms, 
is as follows: Wisconsin is bounded north by Minnesota and 
Michigan, east by Michigan, south by Illinois, and west by 
Iowa and Minnesota."— 1. O. Wright. 



or form or convenience of description. The 
highest peak, in the southwestern part of the 
State, is the West Blue Mound, 1,151 feet above 
Lake Michigan; in the eastern part, Lapham's 
Peak, 824 feet; in the central part, Rib Hill, 
1,263 feet; while the crest of the Penokee Range, 
in the northern part, rises upward of 1,000 feet. 
The drainage systems correspond, in general, to 
the topographical features before described. 
The face, of the State is the growth of geologic 
ages furrowed by the teardrops of the skies. 

The constitution of Wisconsin provided for 
the election of a governor, lieutenant governor, 
secretary of State, treasurer and attorney gen- 
eral, as the officers of State. The first State 
election was held May 8, 1848, when, not only 
State officers were chosen, but members of the 
Legislature and members of Congress. The fol- 
lowing are the names of the governors elected 
and the terms they have served, since Wisconsin 
became a State: Nelson Dewey, June 7, 1848 
to Jan. 5, 1852; Leonard J. Farwell, Jan. 5, 
1852, to Jan. 5, 1854; William A. Barstow, Jan. 
2, 1854, to March 21, 1856; Arthur McArthur, f 
March 21, to March 25, 1866; Coles Bashford, 
March 25, 1856, to Jan. 4, 1858; Alexander W. 
Randall, Jan. 4, 1858, to Jan. 6, 1864; Louis P. 
Harvey, Jan. 6, 1862, to April 19, 1862; Edward 
Solomon, f April 19, 1862, to Jan. 4, 1864; 
James T. Lewis, Jan. 4, 1864, to Jan. 1, 1866; 
Lucius Farchild, Jan. 1, 1866, to Jan. 1, 1872: 
C. C. Washburn, Jan. 1, 1872, to Jan. 5, 1874; 
William R. Taylor, Jan. 5, 1874, to Jan. 3, 1876; 
Harrison Ludington, Jan. 3, 1876, to Jan. 7, 1878; 
William E. Smith, Jan. 7, 1878 to Jan. 2. 1882, 
Jeremiah M. Rusk, Jan. 2, 1882, and still in 

The gubernatorial vote of Wisconsin since its 
admission into the Union was as follows : 


Dewey, democrat 19, 588 

Tweedy, whig 14,449 

Dewey's majority. 


Dewey, democrat 16,649 

Collins, whig 11,817 

Dewey's majority 5,882 


Farwell, whig 22,819 

Upham, democrat 21, 812 

Fai well's majority. 



Barstow, democrat 80,405 

Holton, republican 21,886 

Baird, whig 8,884 

Barstow's pluralitv 8,519 


Barstow, democrat 86, 855 

Bashford, republican 86,198 

barstow's majority. 



Randall, republican 44, < 

Cross, democrat 44, 5 

Randall's majority. 



Randall, republican 59,999 

Hobart, democrat 52, 589 

Randall's majority 7.460 


Harvey, republican 58,777 

Ferguson, democrat 45, 456 

Harvey's majority 8, 821 


Lewis, republican 72,717 

Palmer, democrat 49,058 

Lewis' majority 28,664 


Fairchild, republican 58, 832 

Hobart, democrat 48, 880 

Fairchild's majority , 10, 002 


Fairchiid, republican 78, 687 

Tallmadge, democrat 68,878 

o,0H» Fairchild'e majority 4,764 

♦Phis certificate was set aside by the supreme court. 




Fairchild, republican 69, 502 

Robinson, democrat 61, 289 

Fairchilds' majority 8, 268 


Washburn, republican 78, 801 

Doolitlle, democrat 68, 910 

Washburn's majority M, 391 


Taylor, democrat 81, 599 

Washburn, republican 66,224 

Tabor's majority 15,875 


Ludington, republican 85, 155 

Taylor, democrat 84,814 

Luding ton's majority * 841 


Smith, republican 78, 759 

Mallory, democrat 70.486 

Allis, greenback 26,216 

Smith's majority 8, 273 


Smith, republican 100, 535 

Jenkins, democrat 75 f 080 

May, greenback 12,096 

Smith's majority over both 12.509 


Husk, republican 81,754 

Fratt, democrat 09 f 797 

Kunouse. prohibition 13, 225 

Allis, greenback 7, 002 

Rusk's plurality 11, 957 

The following are the names of the lieuten- 
ant governors and their terms of service, since 
Wisconsin, became a State: John E. Holmes 
June 7, 1848, to Jan. 7, 1850; Samuel W. Beall, 
Jan. 7, 1850, to Jan. 5, 1852; Timothy Burns, 
Jan. 5, 1852, to Jan. 2, 1854; James T. Lewis,' 
Jan. 2, 1854, to Jan. 7, 1856; Arthur McArthur, 
Jan. 7, 1856, to Jan. 4, 1858; E. D. Campbell, Jan. 
4, 1858. to Jan. 2, 1860; Butler G. Noble, Jan. 
2,) 1860 to Jan. 6, 1862; Edward Solomon, Jan. 
6, 1862, to April 19, 1862; Gerry W. Hazelton, 
(ix-officio), Sept. 10, 1862, to Sept. 26, 1862; 

Wyman Spooner, Jan. 14, 1863, to Jan. 3, 1870; 
Thaddeus C. Pound, Jan. 3, 1870, to Jan. 1, 
1872; Milton H. Pettit, Jan. 1, 1872, to March 
23, 1873: Charles D. Parker, Jan. 5, 1874, to 
Jan. 7, 1878; James M. Bingham, Jan. 7, 1878, 
to Jan. 2, 1882; Samuel S. Fifield, Jan. 2, 1882, 
and still in office. 

The following are the persons that have been 
elected secretaries of State, with their terms of 
office, since the State was admitted into the 

Thomas McHugh, June 7, 1848, to Jan. 7, 1850; 
William A. Barstow, Jan. 7, 1850, to Jan. 5, 
1852; CD. Robinson, Jan. 5, 1852, to Jan. 2, 
1854; Alexander T. Gray, Jan. 2, 1854, to Jan. 
7, 1856; David W. Jones, Jan. 7, 1856, to Jan. 

2, 1860; Louis P. Harvey, Jan. 2, 1860, to Jan. 

6, 1862; James T. Lewis, Jan. 6, 1862, to Jan. 

4, 1864; Lucius Fairchild, Jan. 4, 1864, to Jan. 

1, 1866; Thomas S. Allen, Jan. 1, 1836, to Jan. 

3, 1870; Llywelyn Breese, Jan.* 3, 1870, to Jan. 

5, 1874; Peter Doyle, Jan. 5, 1874, to January 

7, 1878; Ham B. Warner, Jan. 7, 1878, to Jan. 

2, 1882; Ernest G. Timme, Jan. 2, 1882 and 
still in office. 

The treasurers, with their terms of office, 
have been as follows: 

Jairus C. Fairchild, June 7, 1848, to Jan. 5, 
1852; Edward H. Janssen, Jan. 5, 1852, to Jan. 
7, 1856; Charles Kuehn, Jan. 7, 1856, to Jan 4. 
1858; Samuel D. Hastings, Jan. 4, 1858, to Jan. 
1, l866;WilliamE. Smith, Jan. 1, 1866, to Jan. 3, 
1870; Henry Baetz, Jan. 3, 1870 to Jan. 5, 1874; 
Ferdinand Kuehn, Jan. 5, 1874, to Jan. 7, 187S; 
Richard Guenther, Jan. 7, 1878, to Jan. 2, 1882; 
Edward C. McFetridge, Jan. 2, 1882 and still in 

Attorneys-General, with their terms of office, 
have been elected as follows: 

James S. Brown, June 7, 1848, to Jan. 7, 1850; 
S. Park Coon, Jan. 7, 1850, to Jan. 5, 1852; Ex- 
perience Estabrook, Jan. 5, 1852, to Jan. 2, 1R54; 
George B. Smith, Jan. 2, 1854, to Jan. 7, 1856; 
William R. Smith, Jan. 7, 1856, to Jan. 4, 1858; 
Gabriel Bouck, Jan. 4, 1858 to Jan. 2, 1860;J 



James H. Howe, Jan. 2, 1860, to Oct. 7, 1862; 
Winfield Smith, Oct. 7, 1862, to Jan. 1, 1866; 
Charles R. Gill, Jan. 2, 1866 to Jan. 8, 1870; 
Stephen S. Barlow, Jan. 3, 1870, to Jan. 5, 1874; 
A. Scott Sloan, Jan. 5, 1874, to Jan. 7, 1878; 
Alexander Wilson, Jan. 7, 1878, to Jan. :', 1882; 
Leander F. Frisby, Jan. 2, 1862, and still in 

The constitution divided the State into nine- 
teen senatorial and sixty-six assembly districts. 
In each of these districts, on the 8th of May, 
1848, one member was elected. 

The first Legislature of the State began its 
session at Madison, the capital, where all subse- 
quent ones have convened. The commencement 
and ending of each session, with the names of 
the speakers, were as follows. 

Ninean E. Whiteside, June 5, 1848, to Aug- 
ust 21. 

Harrison C. Hobart, Jan. 10, 1849, to April 2. 
Moses M. Strong, Jan. 9, 1850, to February 11. 
Frederick W. Horn, Jan. 8, 1851, to March 1 7. 
James M. Shafer, Jan. 14, 1852, to April 19. 
Henry L. Palmer, Jan. 12, 1853, to April 4. 
Henry L. Palmer, June 6, 1853, to July 13. 
Frederick W. Horn, Jan. 1 1, 1854, to April 3. 
Charles C. Sholes, Jan. 10, 1855, to April 2. 
William Hull, Jan. 9, 1856, to March 31. 
William Hull, Sept. 3, 1856, to October 14. 
Wyman Spoon er, Jan. 14, 1857, to March 9. 
Frederick S. I^vell, Jan. 13, 1858, to May 17. 
William P. Lyon, Jan. 12, 1859, to March 21. 
William P. Lyon, Jan. 11, 1860, to April 2. 
Amasa Cobb, Jan. 9, 1861, to April 17. 
Amasa Cobb, May 15, 1861, to May 27. 
James W. Beardsley, Jan. 8, 1862, to April 7. 
James W. Beardsley, June 3, 1862, to June 17. 
James W. Beardsley, Sept. 10, 1862, to Sept. 
J.Allen Barker, Jan. 14, 1863, to April 2. 
William W. Field, Jan. 13, 1864, to April 4. 
William W. Field, Jan. 11, 1865, to April 10. 
Henry D. Barron, Jan. 10, 1866, to April 12. 
Angus Cameron, Jan. 9, 1867, to April 11. 

Alexander M. Thomson, Jan. 8, 1868 to 
March 6. 

Alexander M. Thomson, Jan. 13, 1869, to 
March 11. 

James M. Bingham, Jan. 12, 1870, to March 

William E. Smith, Jan. 11, 1871, to March 25. 

Daniel Hall, Jan. 10, 1872, to March 26. 

Henry D. Barron, Jan. 8, 1873, to March 20. 

Gabe Bouck, Jan. 14, 1874, to March 12. 

Frederick W. Horn, Jan. 13, 1875, to March 6. 

Samuel S. Fifield, Jan. 12, 1876, to March 14. 

John B. Cassoday, Jan; 10, 1877, to March 8. 

Augustus R. Barrows, Jan. 9, 1878, to March 

Augustus R. Barrows, June 4, 1878, to June 7. 

David M. Kelley, Jan. 8, 1879, to March ft. 

Alexander A. Arnold, Jan. 14, 1880, to 
March 17. 

Ira D. Bradford, Jan. 12, 1881, to April 4. 

Franklin L. Gilson, Jan. 11, 1882, to March 31. 

Karl P. Finch, Jan. 10, 1883, to April 4. 

The constitution divided the State into two 
congressional districts, in each of which one 
member of Congress was elected May 8, 1848 
The first district embraced the counties of Mil 
waukee,Waukesha, Jefferson, Racine, Walworth 
Rock and Green; the second district was com 
posed of the counties of Washington, Sheboy 
gan, Manitowoc, Calumet, Brown, Winnebago, 
Fond du Lac, Marquette, Sauk, Portage, Colum 
bia, Dodge, Dane, Iowa, Lafayette, Grant, 
Richland, Crawford, Chippewa, St. Croix and 
La Pointe — the counties of Richland, Chippewa 
and La Pointe being unorganized. (It may 
here be stated that the first Legislature changed 
the apportionment, making three districts; 
other apportionments have been made at each 
decade, so that there are now nine congress- 
ional districts.) The first members were elected 
to the XXXth Congress, which expired March 4, 
1849. The members elected from Wisconsin to 
that and subsequent Congresses are; 



XXXth Congress, 1847-9. 
First District.— William Pitt Lynde. * 
Second District.— Mason C. Darling. * 

XXXist Congress, 1849—51. 
Firat District. — Charles Durkee. 
Second District. — Orsamiis Cole. 
Third District. —James DuaWDot/*. 

XXXTTd Congress, 1851-58. 
First District.— Charles Durkee. 
Second District.— Ben. C Eastman. 
Third District. — John B. Macy. 

XXXIIId Congress, 1853-55. 
First District —Daniel Wells, Jr. 
8econd District —Ben C. Eastman. 
Third District.— John B. Macy. 

XXXIVth Congress, 1855-57. 
First District .—Daniel Wells, Jr. 
Second District.— C. C. Washburn. 
Third District.— Charles Billinghurst. 

XXXVth Congress, 1857-59. 
First District— John F. Potter. 
Second District. — C. C. Washburn. 
Third District.— Charles Billinghurst. 

XXX Vlth Congress, 1859-61. 
First District.— John F. Potter. 
Second District.— C. C. Washburn. 
Third District.— Charles H. Ltrrabec. 

XXXVIIth Congress, 1861-63. 
First District.— John F. Potter. 
Second District.— Luther Hanchett, t Walter Mc- 

Third District. —A. 8cott Sloan. 

XXXVIIIth Congress, 1863-65. 
First District. — James S. Brown." 
Second District. —Ithamar C. Sloan. 
Third District.— Amasa Cobb. 
Fourth District.— Charles A. Eldredge. 
Fifth District.— Ezra Wheeler. 
Sixth District.— Waiter D. Mclndoe. 

XXXIXth Congress, 1865-67. 
First District.— Halbert E. Paine. 
Second District. — Ithamar C. Sloan. 
Third District —Amasa Cobb. 
Fourth District.— Charles A. Eldredge. 
Fifth District.— Philetus8awyer. 
Sixth District.— Walter D. Mclndoe. 

* Took their seats June 5 and 9, 1848. 
t Died Nov. 24, 1862; Mclndoe elected to fill the vacancy. 
Pec. 80, 1898. 

XLth Congress, 1867-69. 
First District— Halbert E. Paine. 
Second District. —Benjamin F. Hopkins. 
Third District. — Amasa Cobb. 
Fourth District — Charles A. Eldredge. 
Fifth District.— Philetus Sawyer. 
Sixth District.— CadwalladerC. Washburn. 

XLIst Congress, 1869-71 . 
First District.— Halbert E. Paine. 
Second District. — Benjamin F. Hopkins. t 

David Atwood. 
Third District. — Amasa Cobb. 
Fourth District.— Charles A. Eldredge. 
Fifth District.— Phietus Sawyer. 
Sixth District — Cadwallader C. Washburn. 

XLIId Congress, 1871-73. 
First District. — Alexander Mitchell. 
Second District. — Gerry W. Hazeltoi*. 
Third District.— J. Allen Barber. 
Fourth District. —Charles A. Eldredge. 
Fifth District.— Philetus Sawyer. 
Sixth District. — Jeremiah M. Rusk. 

XLIIId Congress, 1873-75. 
First District.— Charles Q Williams. 
Second District. — Gerry W. Hazelton. 
Third District.— J. Allen Barber. 
Fourth District . — Alexander Mitchell . 
Fifth District.— Charles A. Eldredge. 
Sixth District.— Philetus Sawyer 
Seventh District. — Jeremiah M. Rusk. 
Eighth District.— Alexander S. McDill. 

XLIVth Congress, 1875-77. 
First District.— Charles G. Williams. 
Second District. — Lucien B. Caswell. 
Third District.— Henry S. Magoon. 
Fourth District.— William Pitt Lynde. 
Fifth District.— Samuel D. Burchard. 
Sixth District. — Alanson M. Kimball. 
Seventh District. — Jeremiah M. Rusk. 
Eighth District.— George W. Cate. 

XLVth Congress, 1877-79. 

First District.— Charles G. Williams. 

Second District.— Lucien B. Caswell. 

Thiid District.— George C. Hazelton. 

Fourth District.— William Pitt Lynde. 

hifth District.— Edward 8. Bragg. 

Sixth District. — Gabriel Bouck. 

Seventh District. — Herman L. Humphrey. 

Eighth District. — Thaddeus C. Pound. 

% Died Jan. 1, 1970, and David Atwood elected toQl . vacancy 
Feb. 16, 1870, * 



XLVIth Congress, 1879-81*. 
First District.— Charles G Williams. 
Second District. — Lucien B. Caswell. 
Third District.— George C. Hazel too. 
Fourth District. — Peter V. Deuster. 
Fifth District.— EdwardS. Bragg. 
Sixth District.— Gabriel Bouck. 
Seventh District.— Herman L. Humphrey. 
Eighth Dbtrict — Thaddeus C. Pound. 

XLVIIth Congress, 1881-83. 
First District.— Charles G. Williams. 
Second District.— Lucien B. Caswell. 
Third District.— George C. Hazelton. 
Fourth District.— Peter V. Deuster. 
Fifth District.— Edward S. Bragg. 
Sixth District.— Richard Guenther. 
Seventh District. — Herman L. Humphrey. 
Eighth District — Thaddeus C. Pound. 

XLVIIIth Congress, 1883-85. 
First District. — John Winans. 
8econd District. — Daniel H. Sumner. 
Third District.— Burr W. Jones. 
Fourth District.— Peter V. Deuster. 
Fifth District. -Joseph Rankin. 
Sixth District —Richard Guenther, 
Seventh District.— Gilbert M. Woodward. 
Eighth District.— William T. Price. 
Ninth District. — Isaac Stephenson. 

The first Legislature in joint convention, 
on the 7th of June 1848, canvassed, in accord- 
ance with the constitution, the votes given on 
the 8th of May, for the State officers, and the 
two representatives in Congress. On the same 
day the State officers were sworn into office. 
The next day Gov. Dewey delivered his 
first message to the Legislature. The first im- 
portant business of the first State Legislature 
was the election of two United States senators; 
Henry Dodge and Isaac P. Walker, both 
democrats, were elected. The latter drew the 
short term; so that his office expired on the 4th 
day of March, 1849, at the end of the thirteenth 
Congress; as Dodge drew the long term; his 
office expired on the 4th day of March, 1851, 
at the end of thirty-first Congress. Both were 
elected, June 8, 1848. Their successors, with 
the date of their elections, were as follows: 
Isaac P. Walker, Jan. 17, 1849; Henry Dodge, 
Jan. 20, 1851 ; Charles Durkee, Feb. 1, 1855; 

James R. Doolittle, Jan. 23, 1857; Timothy O. 
Howe, Jan. 23, 1861; James R. Doolittle, Jan. 
22, 1863; Timothy O. Howe, Jan. 24, 1867; 
Matthew H. Carpenter, Jan. 26, 1869 ; Timothy 
O. Howe, Jan. 21, 1873; Angus Cameron, Feb. 
3, 1875 ; Matthew H. Carpenter, Jan. 22, 1879; 
Philetus Sawyer, Jan. 26, 1881 ; Angus Cam- 
eron, March 10, 1881. 

The constitution vested the judicial power of 
the State in a supreme court, circuit court, 
courts of probate, and justices of the peace, 
giving the Legislature power to vest such juris- 
diction as should be deemed necessary in mu- 
nicipal courts. Judges were not to be elected 
at any State or county election, nor within 
thirty days before or after one. The State was 
divided into five judicial circuits, Edward V. 
W hi ton being chosen judge at the election on 
the first Monday in August, 1848, of the first 
circuit, composed of the counties of Racine, 
Walworth, Rock and Green as then constituted; 
Levi Hubbell, of the second, composed of 
Milwaukee, Waukesha, Jefferson and Dane; 
Charles H. Larrabee, of the third, composed of 
Washington, Dodge, Columbia, Marquette, 
Sauk and Portage, as then formed; Alexander 
W. Stow, of the fourth, composed of Brown, 
Manitowoc, Sheboygan, Fond du Lac, Winne- 
bago and Calumet; and Mortimer M. Jackson, 
of the fifth, composed of the counties of Iowa, 
LaFayette, Grant, Crawford and St Croix, as 
then organized ; the county of Richland being 
attached to Iowa coimly ; the county of 
Chippewa to the county of Crawford ; and 
the county of LaPointe to the county of 
St. Croix, for judicial purposes. In 1850, a sixth 
circuit was formed. By an act, which took ef- 
fect in 1854, a seventh circuit was formed. On 
the 1st day of January, 185*, an eighth and 
ninth circuit was formed. In the same year 
was also formed a tenth circuit. An eleventh 
circuit was formed in 1864. By an act which 
took effect the 1st day of January, 1871, the 
twelfth circuit was formed. In 1876 a thir- 
teenth circuit was "constituted *nd re-organ 



ized." At the present time John M. Went- 
worth is judge of the first circuit, which is com- 
posed of the counties of Walworth, Racine, and 
Kenosha; Charles A. Hamilton of the second, 
which includes Milwaukee county; David J. 
Pulling of the third, composed of Calumet, 
Green Lake and Winnebago; Norman S. Gil- 
son of the fourth, composed of Sheboygan, Mani- 
towoc, Kewaunee and Fond du Lac; t^ebrge 
Clementson of the fifth, composed of Grant, 
Iowa, La Fayette, Hichland .and Crawford; 
Alfred W. Newman of the sixth, composed of 
Clark, Jackson, La Crosse, Monroe, Trem- 
pealeau and Vernon; Charles M. Webb of the 
seventh, composed of Portage, Marathon, Wau- 
paca, Wood, Waushara, Lincoln, Price, and Tay- 
lor; Egbert B. Bundy of the eighth, composed 
of Buffalo, Dunn, Eau Claire, Pepin, Pierce, and 
St. Croix; Alva Stewart of the ninth, composed 
of Adams, Columbia, Dane, Juneau, Sauk, 
M rquette; George H. My res, of the tenth, 
composed of Florence, Langkide, Outagamie, and 
Shawano; Solon C. Clough of the eleventh, 
composed of Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Burnett, 
Chippewa, Douglas, Polk, and Washburn; John 
R. Bennett of the twelfth, composed of Rock, 
Green, and Jefferson; A. Scott Sloan, of the thir- 
teenth, composed of Dodge, Ozaukee, Washing- 
ton, and Waukesha; Samuel D. Hastings of the 
fourteenth, composed of Brown, Door, Mainette 
and Oconto. 

The first Legislature provided for the re-elec- 
tion of judges of the circuit courts on the first 
Monday of August, 1848. By the same act it 
was provided that the first term of the supreme 
court should be held in Madison, on the sec- 
ond Monday of January, 1849, and thereafter 
at the same place and on the same day, 
yearly ; afterward changed so as to hold 
a January and June term in each year. 
Under the constitution, the circuit judges ' 
were also judges of the supreme court. One 
of their own number under an act of June 29, 
1848, was to be, by themselves, elected chief 
justice. Under this arrangement, the following 

were the justices of the supreme court, at the 
times indicated: Alex. W. Stow, C. J., fourth, 
district, Aug. 28, 1848, to Jan. 1, 1851; Edward 
V. Whiton, A. J., first circuit, Aug. 28, 1848, 
to June 1, 1858; Levi Hubbell, A. J., 
elected chief justice, June 18, 1851, second 
circuit, Aug. 28, 1848, to June 1, 1853; Charles 
H. Larrabee, A. J., third circuit, Aug. 28, 1848, 
to Jnne 1, 1.853; Mortimer M. Jackson, A. J., 
fifth circuit, Aug. 28, 1848, to June 1, 1853; 
Timothy O. Howe, A. J., fourth circuit, Jan. 
1, 1851, to June 1, 1853; Wiram Knowlton, A. 
J.,sixth circuit, organized by the Legislature in 
1850, Aug. 6, 1850,to June 1, 1853. In 1853, the 
supreme court was separately organized, the 
chief justice and associate justices being voted 
for as such. The following persons have con- 
stituted that court during the terms indicated, 
since its separate organization: Edward V. 
Whiton, C. J., June 1, 1853, to April 12, 1859; 
Luther S. Dixon, C. J., April 20, 1859, to June 
17 1874; Edward G. Ryan, C. J., June 17, 1874, 
to Oct. 19, 1880; Orsamus Cole, C. J., Nov. 11, 
1880, (in office); Samuel Crawford, A. J., June 
1, 1853, to June 19, 1855 ; Abraham D. Smith, 
A. J., June 1, 1853, to June 21, 1859; Orsamus 
Cole, A. J., June 19,1855, to Nov. 11, 1880; 
Byron Paine, A. J., June 21, 1859, to Nov. 15, 
1864; Jason Downer, A. J., Nov. 15, 1864, to 
Sept. 11, 1867; Byron Paine, A. J., Sept. 11, 
18*57, to Jan. 13, 1871; William P. Lyon, A. J., 
Jan. 20, 1870, (in office); David Taylor, A. J., 
April 18, 1878, (in office); Harlow S. Orton, A. 
J., April 18, 1878, (in office); John B. Casso- 
day, A. J., Nov. 11, 1880, (in office). 

The act of Congress entitled "An act to en a 
ble the people of Wisconsin territory to form a 
constitution and State government, and for the 
admission of such State into the Union," ap- 
proved Aug.6, 1846, provided for one I'nited 
States judicial district to be called the district 
of Wisconsin. It was also provided that a dis- 
trict court should be held therein by one judg« 
who should reside in the district and be called 
a district judge. The court was to hold two ' 




terms a year in the capital, Madison. This was 
afterward ohanged so that one term only was 
held at the seat of the State government, while 
the other was to be held at Milwaukee. Special 
terms could be held at either of these places. 
On the 12th day of June, 1848, Andrew 6. 
Miller was appointed by the President district 
judge. By the act of Congress of July 1 5, 1862, 
a circuit court of the United States was created 
to he held in Wisconsin. The district judge 
was given power to hold the circuit court in 
Wisconsin in company with the circuit judge 
and circuit justice, or either of them, or alone 
in their absence. Wisconsin now composes a 
portion of the seventh judicial circuit of the 
United States, Thomas Drummond being cir- 
cuit judge. He resides at Chicago. The cir- 
cuit justice is one of judges of the United States 
supreme court. Two terms of the circuit court 
are held each year at Milwaukee and one term 
in Madison. 

In 1870 the State was divided into two dis- 
tricts, the eastern and western. In the western 
district, one term of the United States district 
court each year was to be held at Madison and 
one at La Crosse; in the eastern district, two 
terms were to be held at Milwaukee and one at 
Oshkosh. On the 0th day of July, 1870, James 
C. Hopkins was appointed judge of the western 
district, Andrew G. Miller remaining judge of 
the eastern district. The latter resigned to 
take effect Jan. 1, 1874, and James H. Howe 
was appointed to fill the vacancy; but Judge 
Howe soon resigned, and Charles E. Dyer, on 
the 10th of February, 1875, appointed in his 
place. He is still in office. Judge Hopkins, of 
the western district, died Sept. 4, 1877; when, 
on the 13th of October following, Roman zo 
Bunn was appointed his successor, and now fills 
that office. 

An act was passed by the first Legislature pro- 
viding for the election and defining the duties 
of a State superintendent of public instruction. 
The persons holding that office, with the term 
of each, arg as follows: Eleazer Root, from 

Jan. 1, 1849, to Jan. 5, 1852; Azel P. Ladd, 
from Jan, 5, 1852, to Jan. 2, 1854; Hiram A. 
Wright, from Jan. 5, 1854, to May 29,1855; 
A. Constantine Barry, from June 26, 1855, to 
Jan. 4, 1858; Lyman C. Draper, from Jan. 4, 
1858, to Jan. 2, 1860; Josiah L. Pickard, from 
Jan. 2, 1860, to Sept. 30, 1864; John G. Mc- 
Mynn, from Oct. 1, 1864, to Jan. 6, 1868; Alex- 
ander J. Craig, from Jan. 6, 1868, to Jan. 3, 
1870; Samuel Fallows, from Jan. 6, 1870, to 
Jan. 4, 1874; Edward Searing, from Jan. 4, 
1874, to Jan 7, 1878; William C. Whitford, 
from Jan. 7, 1878, to Jan. 2, 1882; Robert Gra- 
ham, from Jan. 2, 1882, (now in office.) By the 
same Legislature, a State University was estab- 
lished. The school system of Wisconsin^ em- 
braces graded schools, to be fonnd in all the 
cities and larger villages, the district schools, 
organized in the smaller villages and in the 
country generally, besides the University of 
Wisconsin, (located at Madison, the capital of 
the State). The university has three depart- 
ments: the college of letters, the college of arts, 
and the college of law. It was founded upon a 
grant of seventy-two sections of land made by 
Congress to the territory of Wisconsin. That 
act required the secretary of the treasury to set 
apart and reserve from sale, out of any public 
lands within the territory of Wisconsin, "a 
quantity of land, not exceeding two entire town- 
ships, for the support of a university within the 
said territory and for no other use or purpose 
whatsoever; to be located in tracts of land not 
less than an entire section corresponding with 
any of the legal divisions into which the public 
lands are authorized to be surveyed." The 
territorial Legislature, at its session in 1838, 
passed a law incorporating the "University of 
the Territory* of Wisconsin," locating the same 
at or near Madison. In 1841 a commissioner 
was appointed to select the lands donated to 
the State for the maintenance of the university, 
who performed the duty assigned to him in a 
most acceptable manner. Section 6 of article 
X of the State constitution provides that "pro- 



vision shall be made by law for the establish- 
ment of a State University at or near the seat of 
government. The proceeds of all lands that 
have been or may hereafter be granted by the 
United States to the State, for the support of a 
University shall be and remain a perpetual fund, 
to be called the 'University fund,' the interest 
of which shall be appropriated to the support 
of the State University." Immediately upon 
the organization of the State government an 
act was passed incorporating the State Univer- 
sity, and a board of regents appointed, who at 
once organized the institution. 

The University was formally opened by the 
public inauguration of a chancellor, Jan. 16, 
1 850. The preparatory department of the Uni- 
versity was opened Feb. 5, 1849, with twenty 
pupils. In 1849 the regents purchased nearly 
200 acres of land, comprising what is known as 
the "University Addition to the City of Madi- 
son," and the old "University Grounds." In 
1851 the north dormitory was completed, and 
the first college classes formed. In 1854 the 
south dormitory was erected. Owing to the 
fact that the lands comprising the original grant 
had produced a fund wholly inadequate to the 
support of the university, in 1854 a further 
grant of seventy-two sections of land was made 
by Congress to the State for that purpose. In 
1866 the University was completely re-organized, 
so as to meet the requirements of a law of Con- 
gress passed in 1862, providing for the endow- 
ment of agricultural colleges. That act granted 
to the several States a quantity of land equal to 
30,000 acres for each senator and representa- 
tive in Congress, by the apportionment under 
the census of 1860. The objects of that grant 
are fully set forth in sections four and five of 
said act. The lands received by Wisconsin 
under said act of Congress, and conferred upon 
the State University for the support of an agri- 
cultural college, amounted to 240,000 acres, 
making a total of 322,160 acres of land donated 
to this State by the general government for the 
endowment and support of this institution. Up 

to the time of its re-organization, the University 
had not received one dollar from the State or 
from any municipal corporation. In pursuance 
of a law passed in 1866, Dane county issued 
bonds to the amount of $40,000 for the pur- 
chase of about 200 acres of land contiguous to 
the University grounds for an experimental 
farm, and for the erection of suitable buildings 
thereon. The next winter the Legislature passed 
a law which appropriated annually for ten years 
to the income of the University Fund, $7,308.76, 
that being the interest upon the sum illegally 
taken from the fund by the law of 1862 to pay 
for the erection of buildings. 

In 1870 the Legislature appropriated $50,000 
for the erection of a female college, which is 
the first contribution made outright to the up- 
building of any institution of learning in this 
State. In order to comply with the law grant- 
ing lands for the support of agricultural colleges, 
the University was compelled to make large 
outlays in fitting up laboratories and purchas- 
ing the apparatus necessary for instruction and 
practical advancement in the arts immediately 
connected with the industrial interests of the 
State, a burden which the Legislature very gen- 
erously shared by making a further annual ap- 
propriation in 1872 of $10,000 to the income of 
the University Fund. The increased facilities 
offered by improvements in the old and by the 
erection of a new college building proved 
wholly inadequate to meet the growing wants 
of the institution. In its report for 1874, the 
board of visitors said: "A hall of natural sci- 
ences is just now the one desideratum of the Uni- 
versity. It can never do the work it ought to do, 
the work the State expects it to do, without 
some speedily increased facilities." 1 he Leg- 
islature promptly responded to this demand, 
and at its next session appropriated $60,000 for 
the erection of a building for scientific pur- 
poses. In order to permanently provide for de- 
ficiencies in the University Fund income, and to 
establish the institution upon a firm and endur- 
ing foundation, the Legislature of 1876 enacted . 




"That there shall be levied and collected for 
the year 1876 and annually thereafter, a State 
tax of one-tenth of one mill for each dollar of 
the assessed valuation of the taxable property of 
this State, and the amount so levied and col- 
lected is hereby appropriated to the University 
Fund income, to be used as a part thereof." 
This is in lieu of all other appropriations for 
the benefit of this fund, and all tuition fees for 
students in the regular classes are abolished by 
this act. 

The fourth section of the act of 187(5, to per- 
manently provide for deficiencies in the Uni- 
versity Fund income, is as follows: "From and 
out of the receipts of said tax, the sum of$3,000 
annually shall be set apart for astronomical 
work and for instruction in astronomy, to be 
expended under the direction of the regents of 
the University of Wisconsin, as soon as a com- 
plete and well equipped observatory shall be 
given the University, on its own grounds with- 
out cost to the State: Provided, that such ob- 
servatory shall be completed within three years 
from the passage of this act." The astronomi- 
cal observatory whose construction was provided 
for by this act, was erected by the wise liber- 
ality of ex-Gov. Washburn. It is a beautiful 
stone building, finely situated and well fitted 
for its work. Its length is eighty feet, its 
breadth forty-two feet, and its height forty- 
eight feet. Over the door to the rotunda is a 
marble tablet bearing this inscription: "Erected 
and furnished, A. D. 1878, by the munificence 
of Cad wall ad er C. Washburn, and by him pre- 
sented to the University of Wisconsin; a tribute 
to general science. In recognition of this gift, 
this tablet is inserted by the regents of the 
University." The telescope has a sixteen inch 
object-glass. The size is a most desirable one 
for the great mass of astronomical work. In 
1881 a students' observatory was erected and a 
wing was added to the east side of the Wash- 
burn observatory. 

In the fall of 1848 there was a Presidential 
election. There were then three organized 

political parties in the State — whig, democrat 
and free-soil, each having a ticket in the field ; 
but the democrats were in the majority. The 
successful electors for that year and for each 
four years since that date, were as follows : 

1848. Elected November 7. 

At Large— Francis Huebschmann. 

Wm. Dtinwiddie. 
First District— David P. Maples 
Second District— Samutl F. Nichlos. 

Elected November 2. 


At Large— Montgomery M 
Satterlee Clark. 
First District— Philo White. 
Second District— Beriah Brown. 
Third District— Charles Billinghurst, 

1856. Elected November 4. 

At Large— Edward D. Hoi ton. 

James H. Know] ton. 
First District— Gregor Mencel. 
Second District— Walter D. Mclndoe. 
Third District— Bille Williams. 

1860. Elected November 6. 

At Large— Walter D. Mclndoe. 

Bradford Rizford. 
First District— William W, Vaughan. 
Second District— J. Allen Barber. 
Third District— Herman Lindeman. 

1864. Elected November 8. 

At Large— William W. Field 

Henry L. Blood. 
First District — George C. Northrop. 
Second District— Jonathan Bowman. 
Third District— Allen Warden. 
Fourth District— Henry J. Turner. 
Flfih District— Henry F. Belitz. 
Sixth District— Alexander S. McDill. 

1868. Elected November 3. 

At Large— Stephen S. Rarlow, 
Henry D. Barron. 



First District— Elihu Bnos. 
Second District— Charles G. Williams. 
Third District— Alleii Warden. 
Fourth District— Leander F. Frisby. 
Fifth District— William G. Ritch. 
Sixth District— William T. Price. 

1872. Elected November 5. 

At Large— William E. Cramer. 
Frederick Fleischer. 
First District— Jerome S. Nickles. 
Second District — George G. Swain. 
Third District— Ormsby B. Thomas. 
Fourth District— Frederick Hilgen. 
Fifth District— Edward C. McFetridge. 
Sixth District— George B. Hoskinson. 
Seventh District— RomanzoBunn. 
Eighth District— Henry D. Barron. 

1876. Elected November 7. 

At Large— William H. Hiner. 
Francis Campbell. 
First District— T D. Weeks. 
Second District— T. D. Lang. 
Third District— Daniel L. Downs. 
Fourth District — Casper M. 8anger. 
Fifth District— Charles Luling. 
Sixth District — James H . Foster. 
Seventh District— Charles B.Solberg. 
Eighth District — JohnH. Knapp. 

1880. Elected November 2. 

At Large— George End. 

Knud Langland. 
First District — Lucius 8. Blake. 
Second District — John Kellogg. 
Third District— George B. Weatherby. 
Fourth District— William P. McLaren. 
Fifth District— C. T. Lovell. 
Sixth District — E. L Browne. 
Seventh District— F. H. Kribbs. 
Eighth District— John T. Kingston. 

The popular vote cast for President at each 
of the Presidential elections in Wisconsin, and 

the electoral vote cast for each successful can- 
didate, were as follows : 





Zachary Taylor 

Lewis Cass 

Martin Van Buren 

Franklin Pierce 

Winfield Scott 

John P. Hale 

James Buchanan 

John C. Fremont 

Millard Fillmore 

Abraham Lincoln 

John C. Breckinridge. 

John Bell 

8. A. Douglas 

Abraham Lincoln 

Geo B. McClellan. . . . 
TJIyspes 8. Grant 

Horatio Seymour 

Ulysses 8. Grant 

Horace Greeley 

Charles O'Connor. . . . 
Rutherford B. Hayes... 

Samuel J. Tilden 

Peter Cooper 

G C.Smith 

James A Garfield .... 

Winfield 8. Hancock. 

J. B. Weaver 

Neal Dow 

J B. Phelps 


























The act of the first Legislature of the State, 
exempting a homestead from forced sale on 
any debt or liability contracted after Jan. 1, 
1849, and another act exempting certain per- 
sonal property, were laws the most liberal in 
their nature passed by any State in the Union 
previous to that time. Other acts were passed 
— such as were deemed necessary to put the 
machinery of the State government in all its 
branches, in fair running order. And, by the 
second Legislature (1849) were enacted a num- 
ber of laws of public utility. The statutes were 
revised, making a volume of over 900 pages. 
The year 1848 was one of general prosperity to 
the rapidly increasing population of the State ; 
and that of 1849 developed in an increased 
ratio its productive capacity in every depart- 
ment of labor. The agriculturist, the artisan, 



the miner, reaped the well-earned reward of 
his honest labor. The commercial and manu- 
facturing interests were extended in a manner 
highly creditable to the enterprise of the people. 
The educational interests of the State began to 
assume a more systematic organization. The 
tide of immigration suffered no decrease during 
the year. Within the limits of Wiscon- 
sin, the oppressed of other climes continued to 
find welcome and happy homes. There were 
many attractions for emigrants from the Old 
World, especially from northern Europe — from 
Germany, Norway, Sweden and Denmark ; 
also from Ireland and England. 

The third Legislature changed the January 
term of the supreme court to December and or- 
ganized a sixth judicial circuit. The first 
charitable institution in Wisconsin, incorporated 
by the State, was the "Wisconsin Institute for 
the Education of the Blind." A school for 
that unfortunate class had been opened in Janes- 
ville, in the latter part of 1849, receiving its 
support from the citizens of that place and 
vicinity. By an act of the Legislature, approved 
Feb. 9, 1850, this school was taken under the 
care of the Institute, to continue and maintain 
it, at Janesville, and to qualify, as far as might 
be, the blind of the State for the enjoyment of 
the blessings of a free government; for obtain- 
ing the means of subsistence; and. for the dis- 
charge 'of those duties, social and political, 
devolving upon American citizens. It has since 
been supported from the treasury of the State. 
On the 7th of October, 1850, it was opened for 
the reception of pupils, under the direction of a 
board of trustees appointed by the governor. 
The other charitable institutions of the State 
are the State Hospital for the Insane, located 
near Madison, and opened for patients in July, 
1860; Northern Hospital for the Insane, located 
near Oshkosh, to which patients were first ad- 
mitted in April, 1873, and the Institution for 
the Deaf and Dumb, located at Delavan, in 
Walworth county. 

The entire length of the building of the Wis- 
consin State Hospital for the Insane, situated 
on the north shore of Lake Mendota, in Dane 
county, is 569 feet, the center building being 
65x120 feet. The first longitudinal wing on 
each side of the eenter is 132 feet, and the last 
on each extremity is 119 feet. 1 he transverse 
wings are eighty-seven feet long. This com- 
modious building is surrounded by ornamental 
grounds, woods and farming lands, to the extent 
of 393 acres, and is well adapted for the care 
of the unfortunate needing its protection. In 
1879, additional room for 180 patients was 
added, by converting the old chapel into wards, 
and by the addition of cross wings in front of 
the old building. The hospital will now accom- 
modate comfortably 550 patients. In 1870 a law 
was passed authorizing the erection of the build- 
ing for the Northern Hospital, on a tract, con- 
sisting of 337 acres of land, about four miles 
north of the city of Oshkosh on the west shore 
of Lake Winnebago. The necessary appropri- 
ations were made,and the north wing and central 
building were completed. Further appro} ri- 
ations were made from time to time for addi- 
tional wings, and in 1875 the hospital was com- 
pleted according to the original design, at a 
total oost to the State of $625,250. The build- 
ing has been constructed on the most approved 
plan, and is suited to accomodate 600 patients. 

The land first occupied by the W isconsin 
Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, comprising 
11 46-100 acres, was donated by Hon. F. K. 
Phoenix, one of the first trustees, but the 
original boundaries have since been enlarged 
by the purchase of twenty-two acres. The main 
building was burned to the ground on the 16th 
of September, 1879; but during the year 1880 
four new buildings were erected, and. with the 
increased facilities provided, 250 children may 
be well cared for. The new buildings are a 
school house, boys' dormitory, diuing-room and 
chapel, with a main or administration building. 
These buildings are plain, neat, substantial 
structures, and well fitted for the uses intended. 



The Institution was originally a private school 
for the deaf, but was incorporated by act of the 
Legislature, April 19, 1852. It designs to educate 
that portion of the children and youth of the 
State, who, on account of deafness, cannot be 
educated in the public schools. Instruction is 
given by signs, by written language, and by 
articulation. In the primary department few 
books are used, slates, pencils, crayons, pictures, 
blocks and other illustrative apparatus being the 
means employed. In the intermediate depart- 
ment the books used are prepared especially for 
the deaf and dumb; more advanced pupils study 
text-books used in our common schools. The 
shoe shop commenced business in 1867 ;the print- 
ing office in 1878, and the bakery in 1881. The 
law provides that all deaf and dumb residents 
of the State of the age of ten years and under 
twenty-five, of suitable age and capacity to 
receive instruction, shall be received and taught 
free of charge for board and tuition, but 
parents and guardians are expected to furnish 
clothing and pay traveling expenses. 

The taking of the census by the United 
State, this year, 1850, showed a population for 
Wisconsin of 805,391 — the astonishing increase 
in two years of nearly 95,000. Many, as already 
stated, were German, Scandinavian and Irish; 
but the larger proportion were,of course,f rom the 
Eastern and Middle States of the Union. The 
principal attractions of Wisconsin were the 
excellency and cheapness of its lands, its valu- 
able mines of lead, its extensive forests of pine, 
and the unlimited water-power of its numerous 
streams. In 1860 the population had increased 
to 775,881; in 1870 to 1,054,670, and in 1880 to 
1,315,480. By an act of the fourth Legislature 
of the State, approved March 14, 1851, the loca- 
tion and erection of a State prison for Wiscon- 
sin was provided for, Waupim, Dodge county, 
being afterwards the point selected for it. The 
office of State prison commissioner was created 
in 1853, but was abolished in 1874. During 
that time the following persons held the office: 
John Taylor, from March 28, 1853 to April 2, 

1853; Henry Brown, from April 2, 1858 to Jan. 
2, 1854; Argalus W. Starks, from Jan. 2, 1854 
to Jan. 7, 1856; Edward McGarry, from Jan 7, 
1856 to Jan 4, 1858; Edward M. MacGraw, from 
Jan. 4, 1858 to Jan. 2, 1860; Hans C. Heg, from 
Jan. 2, I860 to Jan. 6, 1862; Alexander P. Hod- 
ges, from Jan 6, 1862 to Jan. 4, 1864; Henry 
Cordier, from Jan 4, 1864 to Jan. 3, 1870; 
George F. Wheeler, from Jan. 3, 1870 to Jan. 
4, 1874. The State (Law) Library had its 
origin in the generous appropriation of $5,000 out 
of the general treasury, by Congress, contained 
in the seventeenth section of the organic act 
creating the territory of Wisconsin. At the 
first session of the territorial Legislature, held 
at Belmont in 1836, a joint resolution was 
adopted appointing a committee to select and 
purchase a library for the use of the territory. 
The first appropriation by the State, to replenish 
the library, was made in 1851. Since that time, 
several appropriations have been made. The 
number of volumes in the library at the begin- 
ning of 1883 was 16,285. 

The fifth Legislature — the Assembly, whig, 
the Senate, democratic — passed an act authoriz- 
ing banking. This was approved by the gover- 
nor, L. J. Farwell, April 19,1852. The ques- 
tion of "bank or no bank" having been sub- 
mitted to the people in November previous, and 
decided in favor of banks; the power was thereby 
given to the Legislature of 1852 to grant bank 
charters or to pass a general banking law. By 
the act just mentioned, the office of bank comp- 
troller was created, but was abolished by an 
act of Jan. 3, 1870. During the continuance of 
the law, the following persons filled the office, 
at the time given: James S. Baker, from Nov. 
20,1852 to Jan. 2, 1854; William M.Dennis, 
from Jan. 2, 1854 to Jan. 4, 1858; Joel C. 
Squires, from Jan. 4, 1858 to Jan 2, 1860; Gys- 
bert Van Steenwyk, from Jan 2, 1860 to Jan. 6, 
1862; William H. Ramsey, from Jan 6, 1862 to 
Jan. 1, 1866; Jeremiah M. Rusk, from Jan. I, 
1866 to Jan. 3, 1870. The sixth Wisconsin 
Legislature commenced its session, as we have 



seen, Jan. 12, 1853. On the 26th of that month 
charges were preferred in the Assembly against 
Levi Hubbell, judge of the second circuit court,for 
divers acts of corruption and malfeasance in 
office. A resolution directed a committee to go 
to the Senate and impeach Hubbell. On the 
trial he was acquitted. By an act of the same 
Legislature, the State Agricultural Society was 
incorporated. Since its organization the society 
has printed a number of volumes of transactions, 
and has held, except during the" civil war, 
annual fairs. Its aid to the agricultural interests 
of the State are clearly manifest. Farming, in 
Wisconsin, is confined at the present time to 
the south half of the State, the northern half 
being still largely covered by forests. The 
surface of the agricultural portion is, for the 
most part, gently undulating, consisting largely 
of prairies alternating with "oak openings." 
The State is essentially a grain-growing one, 
though stock-raising and dairy farming are 
rapidly gaining in importance. Wheat, the 
staple product of Wisconsin, is gradually losing 
its prestige as the farmer's sole dependence, 
and mixed farming is coming to the front. 
About twenty bushels of wheat are raised 
annually to each inhabitant of the State. Much 
more attention is now paid to fertilizers than 
formerly, clover and plaster being looked upon 
with constantly increasing favor. While within 
the last ten years stock-raising has been a grow- 
ing interest, yet it has not been a rapid one; 
not so, however, with dairying — no other 
agricultural interest has kept pace with this. 
The principal markets for the farm products of 
Wisconsin are Milwaukee and Chicago. 

By an act approved March 4, 1853, the State 
Historical Society was incorporated, it having 
been previously organized. The society is 
under the fostering care of the State, each Leg- 
islature voting a respectable sum for its benefit. 
It has published a number of volumes of "Col 
lections" and of catalogues. Its rooms are in 
the capitol at Madison, where are to be found 
its library of historical books and pamphlets, 

the largest in the northwest. On the 21st 
of September, 1853, Timothy Burns, lieu- 
tenant-governor of the State, died at La Crosse. 
As a testimonial of respect for the deceased, 
the several State departments, in accordance 
with a proclamation of Gov. Farwell, were 
closed for one day, October 3. The year 1850, 
to the agriculturalist, was not one of much pros- 
perity in Wisconsin, owing to the partial 
failure of the wheat crop. The State was vis- 
ited during the year by cholera, not, however, 
to a very alarming extent. In 1851 the State 
was prosperous. In 1852 the citizens of Wis- 
consin enjoyed unusual prosperity. There were 
abundant harvests and high markets; an increase 
of money and a downward tendency of the rates 
of interest. The next year (1853) was also one 
in which every branch of industry prospered. 
There was an especial increase in commerce 
and manufactures. And here it might be said 
that next to agriculture the most important 
pursuit in Wisconsin is manufacturing; fore- 
most in this interest is lumber, of which the 
pineries furnish the raw material. The pine 
region extends through the northern counties of 
the State from Green Bay to the St. Croix river. 
The demand for lumber is constantly increas- 
ing, while the facilities for its manufacture are 
continually enlarging. Over one billion feet of 
logs are cut annually. The lumber mills have 
a capacity exceeding one and one-half billion 
feet. The products of these find their way to 
market, either by the Mississippi and its tribu- 
taries, by the various lines of railwaye, or 
through the great lakes. The other leading 
articles of manufacture are flour, agricultural 
implements and malt liquors. 

The fourth administration — William A. Bar- 
stow, governor — was signalized by a fugitive 
slave case, which greatly excited the people of 
Wisconsin. Sherman M. Booth, for assisting 
in the rescue of Joshua Glover, a fugitive slave, 
was arrested, but discharged by the supreme 
court. He was again arrested under an indict- 
ment in the United States district court, and a 



second time discharged by the supreme court; 
but the supreme court of the United States 
reversed the action of the *3tate court in its 
second discharge of Booth, and he was re- 
arrested in 1860; the sentence of the district 
court was executed in part upon him,when he was 
pardoned by the President. The eighth Legis- 
lature, of the State (Jan. 10— April 2, 1855), 
passed an act very liberal in its provisions rela- 
tive to the rights of married women. On 
the 27th of June, 1855, Hiram A. Wright, 
superintendent of public instruction, died at 
Prairie du Chien. The State census, taken in 
this year (1855), showed a population of 552,- 
109. In 1865, the number had increased to 
868,325; in 1875, to 1,236,729. Industrial occu- 
pations in Wisconsin were prosperous during 
the years 1854 and 1855. The fifth administra- 
tion began with William A. Barstow in the 
executive chair, by virtue of a certificate from 
the board of canvassers, that he had been a 
second time elected governor by a majority (as 
previously shown) of 157. But this certificate 
was set aside by the supreme court, giving the 
office to Coles JSashford, not, however, until 
Barstow had resigned, and Arthur McArthur, 
acting, by virtue of his office of lieutenant-gov- 
ernor, as governor from March 21, to March 25, 
1856. A dry season during this year dimin- 
ished the wheat crop. The tenth Legislature of 
Wisconsin — Jan. 14 to March 9, 1857 — passed 
an act establishing at Waukesha a house of 
refuge for juvenile delinquents, afterwards 
called the State Reform School; now known as 
the Wisconsin Industrial School for boys. It 
was opened in 1860. The buildings are located 
on the southern bank of Fox river, in view of 
the trains as they pass to and from Milwaukee 
and Madison, presenting an attractive front to 
the traveling public, and furnishing the best 
evidence of the parental care of the State 
authorities for the juvenile wards within its 
borders. The buildings include a main central 
building, three stories high, used for the resi- 
dence of the superintendent's family, office 

chapel, school rooms, reading room and library, 
officers kitchen, dining room, and lodging, fur- 
nace room and cellar. On the east of the main 
central building are three family buildings, 
three stories high, each with dining hall, 
play room, bath room, dressing room, hospi- 
tal room, officers' rooms, dormitory and store 
room. On the west of the main central 
building are four family buildings like those 
on the east in all respects, with the exception 
of the building at the west end of this line, 
which is a modern building with stone base- 
ment. In the rear of this line of buildings is 
the shop building, 38x258 feet, three stories 
high, which embrace boot factory, sock and 
knitting factory, tailor shop, carpenter shop, 
engine room, laundry and steam dyeing room, 
bath rooms, store, store rooms, bakery and cel- 
lar. The correction house, 44x80 feet, (intended 
for the most refractory boys) and will accommo- 
date forty; a double family building 38x117 
feet for the accommodation of two families 
of boys of fifty each. There is on the farm, 
which consists of 233 acres of land, a com- 
fortable house, a stone carriage and horse barn 
two stories high, built in the most substantial 

The constitution of the State, adopted in 1848, 
provides, "that the revenue of the school fund 
shall be exclusively applied to the following 
objects: "1st. To the support and maintenance 
of common schools in each school district, and 
the purchase of suitable libraries and appurte- 
nances therefor. "2d. That the residue of the 
income of the school fund shall be appropriated 
to the support of academies and normal schools, 
and suitable libraries and appurtenances there- 
for." No effort was made to take advantage of 
this provision of the constitution for the endow- 
ment of normal schools until 1857, when an act 
was passed providing "that the income of twen- 
ty-five per cent, of the proceeds arising from the 
sale of swamp and overflowed lands should be 
appropriated to normal institutes and academies, 
under the supervision and direction of a " 'board 




of regents of normal schools,' " who were to 
he appointed in pursuance of the provisions of 
that act. Under this law, the income placed at 
the disposal of the regents was distributed for 
several years to such colleges, academies and 
high schools as maintained a normal class, and 
in proportion to the number of pupils in the 
class who passed satisfactory examinations, con- 
ducted by an agent of the board. In 1865, the 
Legislature divided the swamp lands and swamp 
land fund into two equal parts, one for drain- 
age purposes, the other to constitute a normal 
school fund. The income of the latter was to 
be applied to establishing, supporting and main- 
taining normal schools, under the direction and 
management of the board of regents of normal 
schools, with a proviso that one-fourth of such 
income should be transferred to the common 
school fund, until the annual income of that 
fund should reach $200,000. During the same 
year, proposals were invited for extending aid 
in the establishment of a normal school, and 
propositions were received from various places. 
In 1866, the board of regents was incorpo- 
rated by the Legislature. In February, Platte- 
ville was conditionally selected as the site of a 
school, and as it had become apparent that a 
productive fund of about $600,000, with a net 
income of over $30,000, was already in hand, 
with a prospect of a steady increase as fast as 
lands were sold, the board, after a careful in- 
vestigation and consideration of the different 
methods, decided upon the policy of establish- 
ing several schools, and of locating them in 
different parts of the State. At a meeting held 
on the 2d day of May, in the same year, the 
board designated Whitewater as the site of a 
school for the southeastern section of the State, 
where a building was subsequently erected; and 
on the 16th permanently located a school at 
Platteville, the academy building having been 
donated for that purpose. The school at Platte- 
ville was opened Oct. 9, 1866. The school at 
Whitewater was opened on the 21st of April, 

A building was completed during the year 
1870 for a third normal school, at Oshkosh, but 
owing to a lack of funds, it wa? not opened for 
the admission of pupils during that year. The 
opening and the ceremony of dedicating the build- 
ing took place Sept. 19, 1871. A fourth normal 
school was opened in September, 1875, at River 
Falls, Pierce county. It is understood to be the 
policy of the board of regents to establish 
eventually, when the means at their disposal 
shall permit, not less than six normal schools, 
but several years must elapse before so many 
can go into operation. The law under which 
these schools are organized provides that "The 
exclusive purpose of each normal school shall 
be the instruction and training of persons, both 
male and female, in the theory and art of teach- 
ing, and in all the various branches that per- 
tain to a good common school education, and in 
all subjects needful to qualify for teaching in 
the public schools; also to give instruction in 
the fundamental laws of the United States and 
of this State, and in what regards the rights and 
duties of citizens." 

Subsidiary to the State normal schools are 
teachers' institutes, held annually in nearly 
every settled county, and the State teachers' 
association, which has been organized for a 
quarter of a century. Besides the public schools 
of the State, there are a number of denomina- 
tional and other colleges, the principal of which 
are Racine College, Beloit College, Milton Col- 
lege, Ripon College, Carroll College, at Wau- 
kesha; Lawrence University, at Appleton; St. 
John's College, at Prairie du Chien; Galesville 
University; Northwestern University, at Water- 
town; and Pio Nono College, at St. Francis 
Station, south of Milwaukee. There is also 
quite a large number of incorporated academies 
and seminaries, the more prominent ones being 
the Milwaukee Academy and St. Mary's Insti- 
tute, at Milwaukee; Kemper Hall, at Kenosha; 
St. Catharine's Academy, at Racine; Rochester 
Seminary, Lake Geneva Seminary, Fox Lake 
Seminary, Albion Academy, Elroy Seminary, 



Wayland Institute, at Beaver Dam, and Santa 
Clara Academy, at Sinsinawa Mound. There 
are also about 700 private schools in Wisconsin. 
The whole number of children in Wisconsin 
between four and twenty years of age is 483,071 ; 
the number of pupils in attendance in public 
schools, 299,019. The aggregate valuation of 
school property in the State is $5,297,678.24. 

The sixth administration, Alexander W. 
Randal], governor, was noted for its "long par- 
liament,' 9 the eleventh Legislature of the State 
having been in session 125 days. A report of 
commissioners previously appointed to revise 
the statutes, was acted upon during the session, 
the result being the publication, in one volume, 
of the "Revised Statutes of 1858." The 
twelfth Legislature (Jan. 12, to March 21, 1859) 
was, like the two previous Legistatures, republi- 
can. At the commencement of the seventh ad- 
ministration, Randall's second term as gov- 
ernor, that party not only had control of the 
thirteenth Legislature, but of all the State offices. 
The governor, in his message to the fourteenth 
Legislature, on the 10th of January, 1861, de 
clared that the right of a State to secede from 
the Union, could never be admitted. " The gov- 
ernment mvst be sustained^ the laws shall be en- 
forced.?" An extra session of the Legislature 
was convened on the 15th of May, at which, no 
acts were passed except such as appertained to 
the military exigencies of the times. Mean- 
while a demand made upon the governor by the 
President, for troops to sustain the federal arm, 
met with a quick response. During the year, 
9,991 men, in ten regiments, for three years' 
service, and one regiment for three months 
service, of 810 men, were sent out of the State. 
The number of volunteers originally in the sev- 
eral military organizations, from Wisconsin 
during the war, were as follows: 

First Infantry, three months 810 

First Infantry, three years 945 

Second Infantry, three years 1051 

Third Infantry, threeyears 979 

Fifth Infantry, three years 1058 

Sixth Infantry, threeyears 1108 

Seventh Infantry, threeyears 1029 

Eighth Infantry, three years 978 

Ninth Infantry, * three years 870 

Tenth Infantry, three years 916 

Eleventh Infantry, threeyears 1029 

Twelfth Infantry, three years 1045 

Thirteenth Infantry,* three years 970 

Fourteenth Infantry, three years 970 

Fifteenth Infantry, three years 801 

Sixteenth Infantry, three years 1006 

Seventeenth Infantry, three years 941 

Eighteenth Infantry, three years 962 

Nineteenth Infantry, three years 978 

Twentieth Infantry, three years 990 

Twenty-first Infantry, threeyears 1002 

Twenty-second Infantry, three years 1009 

Twenty-third Infantry, three years 994 

Twenty fourth Infantry, three years 1008 

Twenty-fifth Infantry, three years 1018 

Twenty-sixth Infantry, three years 1002 

Twenty-seventh Infantry, three years 865 

Twenty-eighth Infantry, three years 961 

Twenty -ninth Infantry, three years 961 

Thirtieth Infantry, three yoars 906 

Thirty-first Infantry, three years . . 878 

Thirty-second Infantry, three years 998 

Thirty-third Infantry, three years 892 

Thirty-fourth Infantry, nine months 961 

Thirty -fifth Infantry,* threeyears 1066 

Thirty sixth Infantry, three years 990 

Thirty-seventh Infantry, one, two and three years 708 
Thirty -eighth Infantry, one, two and three years. 918 

Thirty-ninth Infantry, one hundred days 780 

Fortieth Infantry, one hundred days 776 

Forty-first Infantry, one hundred days 578 

Forty-second Infantry, one year 877 

Forty-third Infantry, one year 867 

Forty -fourth Infantry, one year 877 

Forty fifth Infantry, one year 859 

Forty-sixth Infantry, one year 914 

Forty-seventh Infantry, one year 927 

Forty-eighth Infantry, one year 828 

Forty-ninth Infantry, one year 986 

Fiftieth Infantry, one year 942 

Fifty-first Infantry, one year 841 

Fifty-second Infantry, one year 486 

Fifty third Infantry, one year 880 

First Cavalry, threeyears 1124 

Second Cavalry, three years 1127 

Third Cavalry, three years 1186 

Fourth Cavalry, three years 1047 

Milwaukee 88 

•Nov. 1, 1S86. ' 




First Battery Light Artillery 155 

8econd Battery Light Artillery 158 

Third Battery Light Artillery 1 70 

Fourth Battery Light Artillery 151 

Fifth Battery Light Artillery 155 

Sixth Battery Light Artillery 157 

8eventh Battery Light Artillery 158 

Eighth Battery Light Artillery 161 

Ninth Battery Light Artillery 155 

Tenth Battery Light Artillery 47 

Eleventh Battery Light Artillery 87 

Twelfth Battery Light Artillery 99 

Tbiiteenth Battery Light Artillery 156 

Battery A, Heavy Artillery 129 

Battery B, Heavy Artillery 149 

BatteryC, Heavy Artillery 146 

Battery D, Heavy Artillery 146 

Battery E, Heavy Artillery 151 

Battery F, Heavy Artillery 151 

Battery G, Heavy Artillery 152 

Battery H, Heavy Artillery 151 

Battery I, Heavy Artillery 150 

Battery K, Heavy Artillery 148 

Battery i>, Heavy Artillery 152 

Battery M, Heavy Artillery 152 

Sharpshooter? 105 

Gibbons' Brigade Band 18 

On the 10th of April, 1862, Gov. Louis P. 
Harvey, the successor of AlexanderW. Randall, 
started, along with others, from Wisconsin on 
a tour to relieve the wounded and suffering 
soldiers from this State, at Mound City, Padu- 
cah and Savannah. Having completed his 
mission, he made preparations to return. He 
went on board a" boat, the Dunleith, at the 
landing in Savannah, and there awaited the ar- 
rival of the Minnehaha, which was to convey him 
and his'party to Cairo, 111. It was late in the 
evening of the 19th of April when the steamer 
arrived; and as she rounded to, her bow touched 
the Dunleith precipitating the governor into 
the river. Every effort was made to save his 
life, but in vain. His body was afterward re- 
covered and brought home for interment. 

Edward Salomon, lieutenant-governor, by 
virtue of a provision of the constitution of the 
State, succeeded to the office of governor. The 
enlisting, organization and mustering into the 
United States service during Randall's adminis- 

tration of thirteen regiments of infantry — the 
First to the Thirteenth inclusive, and the march- 
ing of ten of them out of the State before the 
close of 1861, also, of one company of cavalry 
and one company of sharpshooters constituted 
the effective aid abroad of Wisconsin during 
that year to suppress the Rebellion. But for the 
year 1862, this aid, as to number of organiza- 
tions, was more than doubled. At the end of 
the year 1863 thirty-three regiments left the 
State — the Thirteenth regiment being the only 
remaining one of the thirty-four in Wisconsin. 
The ninth administration, James T. Lewis, gov- 
ernor, saw the close of the Rebellion. On the 
10th of April, -1865, Lewis announced to the 
Legislature, then in session, the surrender of 
Gen. Lee and his army. 

Fifty-three regiments during the war were 
raised in Wisconsin, all, sooner or later, mov- 
ing south and engaging in one way or other in 
suppressing the Rebellion. Twelve of these 
regiments were assigned to duty in the eastern 
division, which constituted the territory on both 
sides of the Potomac and upon the seaboard 
from Baltimore to Savannah. These twelve 
regiments were: 

The First (three months), Second, Third, 
Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Nineteenth, 
Twenty-sixth, Thirty-sixth, Thirty-seventh and 
Thirty -eighth. 

Ten regiments were assigned to the central 
division, including Kentucky, Tennessee, 
Northern Alabama and Georgia. These ten 

The Tenth, Twenty-first, Twenty-second, 
Twenty -fourth, Thirtieth, Forty-third, Forty- 
fourth, Forty-fifth, Forty-sixth and Forty- 
seventh. Added to these was the First (re-or- 

Thirty-one regiments were ordered to the 
western division, embraci* g the country west 
and northwest of the central division. .These 

Eighth, Ninth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Thirteenth, 
Fourteenth, Fifteenth, Sixteenth, Seventeenth, 




Eighteenth, Twentieth, Twenty-third, Twenty- 
fifth, Twenty-seventh, Twenty-eighth, Twenty- 
ninth, Thirty-first, Thirty-second, Thirty-third, 
Thirty-fourth, Thirty-fifth, Thirty-ninth, For- 
tieth, Forty-first, Forty-second, Forty-eighth, 
Forty-ninth, Fiftieth, Fifty-first, Fifty-second 
and Fifty-third. 

During the war several transfers were made 
from one district to another. There were taken 
from the eastern division the Third and Twenty- 
sixth and sent to the central division; also the 
Fourth, which was sent to the department of 
the gulf. The Twelfth, Thirteenth, Fifteenth, 
Sixteenth, Seventeenth, Eighteenth, Twenty- 
fifth, Thirtieth, Thirty-first and Thirty-second 
were transferred from the western to the cen- 
tral department. The other military organiza- 
tions from Wisconsin had various assignments 
Recruiting ceased in the State on the 13th of 
April, 1865. It was not many months before 
Wisconsin's last soldier was mustered out of 
service. The State furnished during the war 
over 75,000 men, of which number nearly 11,000 
died in the service. 

Among all the noble women who gave them- 
selves to the sanitary work of the civil war 
perhaps few were more peculiarly fitted for 
forming and carrying out plans than Mrs. C. A. 
P. Harvey, widow of the late lamented Gov. 
Louis P. Harvey. She was appointed by Gov. 
Salomon one of the sanitary agents of the 
State. She soon procured the establishment of 
a convalesent hospital at Madison, Wis. The 
building when no longer needed as a hospital, 
Mrs. Harvey conceived the idea of having it con- 
verted into a home for soldiers' orphans. On 
Jan. 1, 1866, the home was opened with eighty- 
four orphans, Mrs. Harvey at the head. The 
necessary funds had been raised by subscription; 
but it soon became a State institution. The or- 
phans were not only maintained but brought up 
to habits of industry. But it was not long be- 
fore the number of the inmates began to de- 
crease, owing to the fact that homes were found 
or many, while some were returned to their, 

mothers; none were kept in the institution after 
they had reached the age of fifteen. At length 
when the number had diminished to less than 
forty children, it was thought best to close the 
institution. This was in 1875. The whole 
number of orphans cared for during the contin- 
uance of the home was about 700. The Legisla- 
ture then transferred the building to the re- 
gents of the University of Wisconsin, who dis- 
posed of it; and a Norwegian seminary is now 
established therein. 

JDuring the tenth administration, Lucius 
Fairchild, governor, the National Home for 
Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, the northwest- 
ern branch of the National institution, was es- 
tablished in Wisconsin, three miles from Mil- 
waukee. It has a capacious brick building, con- 
taining accommodations for 1,000 inmates. In 
addition to this building which contains the 
main halls, eating apartment, offices, dormitory 
and engine room, are shops, granaries, stables 
and other out-buildings. The Home farm con- 
tains 410 acres, of which over one-half is culti- 
vated The remainder is a wooded park tra- 
versed by shaded walks and drives, beautifully 
undulating. The main line of the Chicago, 
Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad runs through 
the farm, and the track of the northern division 
passes beside it. Soldiers who were disabled 
in the service of the United States in the War 
of the Rebellion, the Mexican War, or the War 
of 1812, and have been honorably discharged, 
are entited to admission to the Soldiers' Home. 
A law was passed in 1867 creating the office 
of insurance commissioner, the secretary of 
State being assigned to its duties. But, in 1878, 
it was made a distinct office, to be filled by the 
governor's appointment. It was, however, 
made elective in 1881. Philip L. Spoon er has 
served since April 1, 1878, and is still in office. 
The joint-stock fire insurance companies of Wis- 
consin are three in number, its mutual compa- 
nies also three. There is but one life insurance 
company in the State. A large number of lire 
and life insurance companies located outside of 



Wisconsin transact business under State law 
within its borders. 

Early in 1870, during Gov. Fairchild's 
third term, was organized, and in March of 
that year incorporated, the "Wisconsin Acad- 
emy of Sciences, Arts and Letters," having 
among its specific objects researches and inves- 
tigations in the various departments of the ma- 
terial, metaphysical, ethical, ethnological and 
social sciences; a progressive and thorough 
scientific survey of the State, with a view of 
determining its mineral, agricultural and other 
resources; the advancement of the useful arts, 
through the application of science and by the 
encouragement of original invention; the en- 
couragement of the fine arts by means of hon- 
ors and prizes awarded to artists for original 
works of superior merit; the formation of scien- 
tific, economical and art museums; the encour- 
agement of philological and historical research; 
the collection and preservation of historic rec- 
ords and the formation of a general library, 
and the diffusion of knowledge by the public i- 
tion of original contributions to science, liter- 
ature and the arts. The academy has already 
published several volumes of transactions, un- 
der authority of the State. On the 3d day of 
July of that year A. J. Craig, superintendent of 
public instruction, died of consumption, and 
on the 13th of January following occurred the 
death of associate justice, Byron Paine, of the 
supreme court. At the twenty-fourth regular 
session of the Legislature (January 11 — March 
25, 1871,) a commissioner of emigration, to be 
elected by the people, was provided for. The 
office was abolished Jan. 3, 1876. During this 
time but two persons held the office — Ole C. 
Johnson, from April 3, 1871, to Jan. 5, 1874; 
Martin J. Argard, from Jan. 5, 1874, to Jan. 3, 
1876. By an act of the Legislature, approved 
March 4, 1879, the board of immigration of the 
State of Wisconsin was created, to consist 
of five members, of which number two are 
ex-officio — the governor and secretary of State. 
The principal office is located in Milwaukee, 

with a branch office at Chicago. The object is 
to encourage i migration from Europe to Wis- 
consin. On the 23d of March, 1871, the State 
board of charities and reforms was created, to 
consist of five members to be appointed by the 
governor of the State, the duties of the mem- 
bers being to investigate and supervise the 
whole system of charitable and correctional in- 
stitutions supported by the State or receiving 
aid from the State treasury. This board have 
since reported annually to the governor their 
proceedings. The Wisconsin State horticultural 
Society, although previously organized, first un- 
der the name of the "Wisconsin Fruit Growers' 
Association," was not incorporated until the 
24th of March, 1871 — the object of the society 
being to improve the condition of horticulture, 
rural adornment and landscape gardening. By 
a law of 1868 provision was made for the pub- 
lication of the society's transactions in connec- 
tion with the State Agricultural Society; but 
by the act of 1871 this law was repealed and an 
appropriation made for their yearly publication 
in separate form. The society holds annual 
meeting* at Madison. 

In October, 1871, occurred great fires in 
northeastern Wisconsin. The counties of 
Oconto, Brown, Kewaunee, Door, Manitowoc, 
Outagamie and Shawano suffered more or less. 
More than 1,000 men, women and children per- 
ished. More than 3,000 were rendered destitute. 
The loss of property has been estimated at $4,- 
000,000. No other calamity so awful in its results 
has ever visited Wisconsin. A compilation of 
the public statutes of the State was prepared 
during the year 1871 by David Taylor (now 
associate justice of the supreme court), and 
published in two volumes, known as the "Re- 
vised Statutes of 1871." It was wholly a pri- 
vate undertaking, but a very creditable one. 

The Wisconsin Dairymen's Association origi- 
nated in a resolution offered in the Jefferson 
County Dairymen's Association, Jan. 26, 1872, 
to issue a call for a meeting of Wisconsin 
dairymen, to be held at Watertown, Feb. 15, 



1872. A few gentlemen met and organized the 
Wisconsin Dairymen's Association. The aim 
of the organization has been to secure improved 
methods of making butter and cheese and the 
best markets for shipment and sale. 1 he asso- 
ciation holds its annual meeting in January of 
each year for the discussion of the dairy inter- 
ests. Dairy fairs are held at each meeting. 
There is printed annually by the State printer 
2,000 copies of the transactions of the associa- 
tion. The Legislature receives 600 copies, the 
State Historical Society, Academy of Sciences, 
Arts and Letters, State Agricultural Society 
and Northern Wisconsin Agricultural Associa- 
tion receive forty copies each; the remainder 
are distributed to the members of the associa- 
tion and generally over the State to all who 
make application for them. The association 
receives its support from members who join 
each year, paying the sum of $1, and by 
appropriations from the State. Wisconsin won 
iirst premium on butter in competition with the 
world; the second premium on Cheddar cheese 
(the first going to Canada), and the second on 
fancy shaped cheese at the International Dairy 
Fair, held in New York city in December, 1877. 
To the Dairy men ? s Association belongs the 
credit of raising the reputation of Wisconsin 
cheese and butter from the lowest to the high- 
est rank. 

On the 23d of March, 1873, Lieut.-Gov. 
Milton H. Pettitt died suddenly and unex- 
pectedly. The Legislature this year passed an 
act providing for a geological survey of the 
State, to be completed within four years, by a 
chief geologist and four assistants, to be ap- 
pointed by the governor, appropriating for the 
work an annual payment of $13,000. An act, 
approved March 25, 1 853, authorized the gov- 
ernor to appoint a State geologist, who was to 
select a suitable person as assistant geologist. 
Under this law Edward Daniels, on the 1st day 
of April, 1853, was appointed State geologist, 
superseded on the 12th day of August, 1854, by 
James G. Percival, who died in office on the 2d 

of May, 1856. By an act approved March 3, 
1857, James Hall, Ezra Carr and Edward Dan- 
iels were appointed by the Legislature geolog- 
ical commissioners. By an act approved April 
2, 1860, Hall was made principal of the com- 
mission. The survey was interrupted by a re- 
peal March 21, 1862, of previous laws promoting 
it. However, to complete the survey, the mat- 
ter was re-instated by the act of this Legisla- 
ture, approved March 29, the governor, under 
that act, appointing as chief geologist Increase 
A. Lapham, April 10, 1873. On the 16th of 
February, 1875, O. W. Wight succeeded Lap- 
ham, but on the 2d of February, 1876, T. C. 
Chamberlain was appointed Wight's successor, 
and still holds the office. He has published 
four volumes of reports in a very able mannei, 
extending from 1873 to 1879, inclusive. Re- 
ports were also published by his predecessors. 

And just here it may not be inappropriate to 
say a word concerning the physical history of 
Wisconsin. "This can be traced back with 
certainty to a state of complete submergence 
beneath the waters of the ancient ocean, by 
which the material of our oldest and deepest 
strata were deposited. Let an extensive but 
shallow sea, covering the whole of the present 
territory of the State, be pictured to the mind, 
and let it be imagined to be depositing mud and 
sand, as at the present day, and we have before 
us the first authentic stage of the history under 
consideration. Back of that the history is lost 
in the mists of geologic antiquity. The thick- 
ness of the sediments that accumulated in that 
early period was immense, being measured by 
thousands of feet. These sediments occupied, 
of course, an essentially horizontal position, and 
were doubtless in a large degree hardened into 
beds of impure sandstone, shale and other sedi- 
mentary rock. But in the progress of time an 
enormous pressure, attended by heat, was 
brought to bear upon them laterally, or edge- 
wise, by which they were folded and crumpled 
and forced up out of the water, giving rise to 
an island, the nucleus of Wisconsin. The force 



which produced this upheaval is believed to 
have arisen from the cooling and consequent 
contraction of the globe/ The foldings may be 
imagined as the wrinkles of a shrinking earth. 
But the contortion of the beds was a scarcely 
more wonderful result than the change in the 
character of the rock which seems to have taken 
place simultaneously with the folding, indeed, 
as the result of the heat and pressure attending 
it. The sediments, that seem to have previously 
taken the form of impure sandstone and shale 
for the most part, underwent a change, in which, 
re-arrangement and crystal izal ion of the ingre- 
dients played a conspicuous part. By this met- 
amorphism granite, gneiss, mica schist, syenite, 
hornblende rocks, chloritic schists and other 
crystalline rocks were formed."* But to pur- 
sue further an inquiry into the geological struc- 
ture of the State would be foreign to this brief 
historical sketch of Wisconsin. The subject is 
ably treated of in the geological reports before 
referred to. 

The actual mineral resources of Wisconsin 
remain very largely to be developed, Its useful 
mineral material comes under the head of me- 
tal ic ores and non-metalic substances. Of the 
first class are the ores of lead, zinc, iron and 
copper; of the second class are the principal 
substances found in brick-clay, kaolin, cement 
rock, limestone for burning into quick lime, 
limestone for flux, glass-sand, peat and build- 
ing stone. In Wisconsin lead and zinc are 
found together ; the former has been utilized 
since 1826, the latter since 1660. The coun- 
ties of La Fayette, Iowa and Grant — the 
southwestern counties of the State — are known 
as the " lead region." All the lead and zinc 
obtained in Wisconsin are from these counties. 
The lead ore is of one kind only — that known 
as galena. A large amount is produced yearly 
from the various mining districts in the lead 
region. The number of pounds raised from 
single crevices has often been several hun- 

* T. C. Chamberlain, State Geologist, in Illustrated Hist, 
AtlM of WltoontlD, 

dred thousand. The zinc ores werelformerly 
rejected as useless, but their value is, beyond 
doubt, very great, and they will be a source 
of wealth to the lead region for a long time 
to come, as they are now extensively utilized. 
Iron mining in the State is yet in its infancy. 
Numbers of blast furnaces have sprung up in 
the eastern portion, but these smelt Michigan 
ores almost entirely. The several ores in Wis- 
consin are red hematites, brown hematites, 
magnetic ores and specular hematites ; the 
first are found in Dodge county ; the second 
in Portage, Wood and Juneau ; the two last 
in Bayfield, Ashland, Lincoln and Oconto 

The thirteenth administration (C. C. Wash- 
burn, governor) ended with the year 1873, 
the republican party in the State being de- 
feated for the first time since the commence- 
ment of Randall's administration. The session 
of the Legislature of 1874 was a noted on* for 
the passage of the "Potter Law," limiting the 
compensation for the transportation of passen- 
gers, classifying freight, and regulating prices 
for its carriage on railroads within Wisconsin. 
Three railroad commissioners were to be ap- 
pointed by the governor ; one for one year, 
one for two years, and one for three years, 
whose terms of office should commence on the 
14th day of May, and the governor, thereafter, 
on the first day of May, of each year, should 
appoint one commissioner for three years. Un- 
der this law the governor appointed J. H. Os- 
born, for three years ; George II. Paul, for two 
years ; and J. W. Hoyt, for one year. Under 
executive direction, this commission inaugura- 
ted its labors by compiling, classifying, and 
putting into convenient form for public use for 
the first time, all the railroad legislation of the 
State. In 1876 this board was abolished and a 
railroad commissioner, to be appointed by the 
governor every two years, was to take its place. 
This latter office was made elective in 1881. 
The commissioners who have held office under 
these various laws are ; John W, Hoyt, from 



April 29, 1874, to March 10, 1876; George H. 
Paul, from April 29, 1874, to March 10, 1876 ; 
Joseph H. Osborn, from April '9, 1874, to 
March 10, 1876; Dana C. Lamb, from March 
10, 1876, to Feb. 1, 1878; A. J. Turner, from 
Feb. 1, 1878, to Feb. 15, 1882; N. P, Haugen, 
from Feb. 15, 1881, and now in office. The 
"Potter Law" was resisted by the railroad com- 
panies, but ultimately the complete and abso- 
lute power of the people, through the Legisla- 
ture, to modify or altogether repeal their char- 
ters was fully sustained by the courts both of 
the State and the United States. The necessity 
for railroads in Wisconsin began to be felt 
while yet it was an appendage of Michigan 
territory. Great advantages were anticipated 
from thejr construction. There was a reason 
for this. Explorers had published accounts of 
the wonderful fertility of Wisconsin's soil, the 
wealth of its broad prairies and forest open- 
ings, and the beauty of its lakes and rivers. 
From 1836, with the hope of improving their 
condition, thousands of the enterprising 
yeomanry of New England, New York 
and Ohio started for the territory. Ger- 
mans, Scandinavians, and other Nationali- 
ties, attracted by the glowing accounts 
sent abroad, crossed the ocean on their 
way to the new world ; steamers and sail-craft 
laden with families and their household goods 
left Buffalo and other lake ports, all bound for 
Wisconsin. With the development of the 
agricultural resources of the territory, grain 
raising became the most prominent interest, 
and as the settlements extended back from the 
lake shore the difficulties of transportation of 
the products of the soil were seriously felt. 
The expense incurred in moving a load of pro- 
duce seventy or eighty miles to a market town 
on the lake shore frequently exceeded the gross 
sum obtained for the same. All goods, wares 
and merchandise, and most of the lumber used 
were hauled by teams from Lake Michigan. 
To meet the great want, better facilities for 
transportation, railroads were an indispensable 

necessity. Between the years 1838 and 1841, 
the territorial Legislature of Wisconsin char 
tered several railroad companies, but with the 
exception of the Milwaukee & Waukesha Rail- 
road Company, incorporated in 1847, none of 
the corporations thus created took any particu- 
lar shape. There are now in Wisconsin the 
following railroads, costing, in round numbers, 
$150,000,000: Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul; 
Chicago & Northwestern; Chicago, St. Paul, 
Minneapolis •& Omaha; Milwaukee, Lake Shore 
& Western; Wisconsin Central; Green Bay <fc 
Minnesota; Green Bay, Winona & St. Paul; 
Wisconsin & Minnesota; Chippewa Falls & 
Western; Fond du Lac, Amboy & Peoria; 
Prairie du Chien <fc McGregor; Milwaukee & 
Northern; Chippewa Falls & Northern, and 
Wisconsin & Michigan. Other lines are still 
needed, and present lines should be extended by 
branch roads. The questions, as we have seen, 
upon which great issues have been raised 
between railway corporations in Wisconsin and 
the people, are now happily settled by securing 
to the latter their rights , and the^ former, 
under the wise and conciliatory policy pursued 
by their managers, are assured of the safety of 
their investments. An era of good feeling^has 
succeeded one of distrust and antagonism. 
The people must use the railroads, and the rail- 
roads depend upon the people for sustenance 
and protection. 

In 1874 the Wisconsin commission for the 
purpose of fish culture was organized. The 
next year, by reason of State aid, the commis- 
sion was enabled to commence work. In 1876 
was completed the purchase of grounds, the 
erection of the buildings, and the construction 
of the ponds (seven in number) of the Madi- 
son hatchery, situated in the town of Fitch- 
burg, Dane county. A temporary hatching 
house was continued for some time in Milwau- 
kee, for the hatching of spawn of the white 
fish and lake trout. The commission was re- 
organized in 1878, the number of the members 
being increased from four to seven. Appro" 



priations by the Legislature have been con- 
tinued, and the work promises favorable results 
to the State. 

Under an act of 1875 an Industrial School 
forgirls was organized in Milwaukee, where 
buildings have been erected, capable of accom- 
modating 150 inmates. Its proper subjects are: 
(1.) Viciously inclined girls under sixteen, and 
boys under ten years of age; (2.) The stubborn 
and unruly, who refuse to obey their proper 
guardians; (3.) Truants, vagrants and beggars; 
(4.) Those found in circumstances of manifest 
danger of falling into habits of vice and im- 
morality; (5.) Those under the above ages who 
have committed any offense punishable by fine 
or imprisonment in adult offenders. Although 
the school was founded by private charity, and 
is under the control of a self-perpetuating board 
of managers, it is incorporated and employed 
by the State for the custody, guardianship, 
discipline and instruction of the aforenamed 
children. In default of responsible and efficient 
guardianship, they are treated as the minors 
and wards of the State, and by it are committed 
to the guardianship of this board of ladies- 
during minority. 

The application of Miss Lavinia Goodell for 
admission to the bar of Wisconsin, was rejected 
by the supreme court at its January term, 1876; 
but as a law subsequently passed the Legisla- 
ture, making ladies eligib'e to practice in the 
several courts of the State, she was, upon a 
second application, admitted. 

By an act approved March 13, 1876, a State 
board of health was established, the appoint- 
ment of a superintendent of vital statistics pro- 
vided for, and certain duties assigned to local 
boards of health. The State board was organ- 
ized soon after, seven persons having been ap- 
pointed by the governor as its members. And 
here it is proper to say a word as to the health 
of Wisconsin. "When we compare the general 
death-rate of Wisconsin with that of the other 
States of the Union, we find that it compares 
*&ost favorably with that of Vermont, the 

healthiest of the New England States. The 
United States census of 1850, 1860 and 1870, 
gives Wisconsin ninety-four deaths to 10,000 of 
the population, while it gives Vermont 101 to 
every 10,000 of her inhabitants. The census of 
1870 shows that the death-rate from consump- 
tion in Minnesota, Iowa, California and Wis- 
consin are alike. These four States show the 
lowest death-rate among the States from con- 
sumption, the mortality being thirteen to fourteen 
per cent, of the whole death-rate. Climatologic- 
ally considered, then, there is not a more healthy 
State in the Union than the State of Wiscon- 
sin. But for health purposes something more * 
is requisite than climate. Climate and soil 
must be equally good. Men should shun the 
soil, no matter how rich it be, if the climate is 
inimical to health, and rather choose the cli- 
mate that is salubrious, even if the soil is not so 
rich. In Wisconsin, generally speaking, the 
soil and climate are equally conducive to health, 
and alike good for agricultural purposes."* 

There was in Wisconsin a general feeling of 
patriotism (if the acts of its citizens, both native 
and foreign born, are to be taken as an indica- 
tion of their attachment to their country), mani- 
fested throughout the centennial year, 1876. 
A board of State centennial managers was pro- 
vided for by the Legislature, to represent Wis- 
consin at the Philadelphia exhibition, and $20, 
000 appropriated for their use, to make there a 
proper exhibition of the products, resources and 
advantages of the State. Under a law of this 
year, three revisors, afterward increased to five, 
were appointed to revise the statutes of the 
State. The result was a large volume, ably col- 
lated, known as the Revised Statutes of 1878, 
which was legalized by act of the June session 
of the Legislature of that year. On the 19th of 
October, 1880, Chief Justice Edward G. Ryan 
departed this life, in the seventieth year of his 
age. He was buried in Milwaukee, with honors 
becoming the position held by him at the time 

♦Dr. Joseph HobMns, in Illustrated Historical Atlas of 




of his death. His successor, as previously 
stated, is Chief Justice Orsamus Cole. 

By an act of the Legislature of 1881, a board 
of supervision of Wisconsin charitable, re- 
formatory and penal institutions was founded. 
The boards of trustees by which these insti- 
tutions had been governed since their organi- 
zation were abolished by the same law. The 
board of supervision consists of five members, 
who hold their office for five years, and who 
are appointed by the governor, the Senate con- 
curring. The board acts as commissioners of 
lunacy, and has full power to investigate all 
complaints against any of the institutions un 'er 
its control, to send for books and papers, sum- 
mon, compel the attendance of, and swear wit- 
nesses. The powers delegated to this board 
are so extraordinary, and its duties so manifold, 
that a recital of them will be found of interest. 
They are as follows : 

(I.) To maintain and govern the Wisconsin 
State Hospital for the Insane, the Northern 
Hospital for the Insane, the Wisconsin State 
Prison, the Wisconsin Industrial School for 
Boys, the Wisconsin Institution for the Educa- 
tion of the Blind, and the Wisconsin Institution 
for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb ; and 
such other charitable and penal institutions as 
may hereafter be established or maintained by 
the State. (2.) To carefully supervise and 
direct the management and affairs of said in- 
stitutions, and faithfully and diligently promote 
the objects for which the same have been 
established. (3) To preserve and care for the 
buildings, grounds and all property connected 
with the said institutions. (4.) To take and 
hold in trust for the said several institutions 
any land conveyed or devised, or money or 
property given or bequeathed, to be applied for 
any purpose connected therewith, and faithfully 
to apply the same as directed by the donor, and 
faithfully to apply all funds, effects and property 
which may be received for the use of such 
institutions. (5.) To make on or before Octo- 
ber 1 in each year, full and complete annual in- 

ventories and appraisals of all the property of 
each of said institutions, which inventories and 
appraisals shall be recorded, and shall be so 
classified as to separately show the amount, 
kind and value of all real and personal property 
belonging to such institutions. (6.) To make 
such by-laws, rules and regulations, not incom- 
patible with law, as it shall deem convenient or 
necessary for the government of the said insti- 
tutions and for its own government, and cause 
the same to be printed. (7.) To visit and care- 
fully inspect each of said institutions as often 
as once in each month, either by the full board 
or by some member thereof, and ascertain 
whether all officers, teachers, servants and em- 
ployees in such institutions are competent and 
faithful in the discharge of their duties, and all 
inmates thereof properly cared for and governed, 
and all accounts, account books and vouchers 
properly kept, and all the business affairs 
thereof properly conducted. (8.) To fix the 
number of subordinate officers, teachers, ser- 
vants and employees in each of said institutions, 
and prescribe the duties and compensation of 
each, and to employ the same upon the nomi- 
nation of the respective superintendents and 
wardens. (9.) To promptly remove or discharge 
any officer, teacher or employe in any of said 
institutions, who shall be guilty of any malfeas- 
ance or misbehavior in office, or of neglect, or 
improper discharge of duty. (10.) To annually 
appoint for the Wisconsin State Hospital for 
the Insane and for the Northern Hospital for 
the Insane, for each, a superintendent, one 
assistant physician, a matron, a steward and a 
treasurer ; and for the Institution for the Edu- 
cation of the Blind, and the Institution for the 
Education of the Deaf and Dumb, and the In- 
dustrial School for Boys, for each, a superin- 
tendent, a steward, a treasurer, and ail necessary 
teachers ; and for the State prison, a warden, 
a steward and a treasurer, who shall be the 
officers of said institutions respectively and 
whose duties shall be fixed by said board, 
except as herein otherwise provided. (11.) To 



maintain and govern the school, prescribe the 
course of study and provide the necessary ap- 
paratus and means of instruction for the Insti- 
tution for the Education of the Blind, and for 
the Institution for the Education of the Deaf 
and Dumb. (12) To prescribe and collect 
such charges as it may think just, for tuition and 
maintenance of pupils not entitled to the same 
free of charge, in the Institution for the Educa- 
tion of the Blind and in the Institution for the 
Education of the Deaf and Dumb. (13.) To 
fix the period of the academic year, not less 
than forty weeks, and prescribe the school 
terms in the Institution for the Education of 
the Blind and the Institution for the Education 
of the Deaf and Dumb. (14.) To confer, in 
its discretion, upon meritorious pupils, such 
academic and literary degrees as are usually 
conferred by similar institutions, and grant 
diplomas accordingly, in the Institution for the 
Education of the Blind and in the Institution 
for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb. 

On the 20th of April, 1883, a commissioner 
was appointed by the governor, for two years, 
in accordance with the provisions of an act 
passed by the Legislature of that year creating 
a bureau of labor statistics. The object of this 
office, now filled by Frank A. Flower, is to col- 
lect manufacturing and labor statistics, report 
violations of laws for benefit of artisans, and 
generally to show the manufacturing condition 
and resources of the State. 

In her political divisions Wisconsin has 
copied, to a considerable extent, from some of 
her sister States. These divisions are counties, 
towns, cities and incorporated villages. The 
county government is in charge of a county 
board of supervisors, consisting of the chairman 
of each town board, a supervisor from each 
ward of every city, and one from each incorpo- 
rated village. The county officers are : Clerk, 
treasurer, sheriff, coroner, clerk of circuit court, 
district attorney, register of deeds, surveyor, 
and one or two superintendents of schools, all 
elected biennially. There are sixty-five coun- 

ties in the State. The government of the 
towns is in charge of a town board of super- 
visors. The other officers are clerk, treasurer, 
assessors, justices of the peace, overseers of 
highways and constables. The government of 
cities depends upon charters granted by the 
State Legislature. Generally, there is a mayor, 
common council, clerk, treasurer, attorney, chief 
of police, fire marshal and surveyor. Incorpo- 
rated villages are governed by a president and 
six trustees. The other officers are clerk, treas- 
urer, supervisor, marshal and constable, and 
sometimes a justice of the peace or police jus- 

The constitution of Wisconsin, adopted by 
the people in 1848, is still "the supreme law of 
the State ;" but it has several times been 
amended, or had material additions made to it : 

(I.) Article V, section 21, relating to the pay 
of the members of the Legislature. This was 
amended in 1867. 

(2.) Article VI, sections 5 and 9, relating to 
the salaries of the governor and lieutenant-gov- 
ernor. This was amended in 1 869. 

(3.) Article I, section 8, relating to grand 
juries. This was amended in 1870. 

(4.) Article IV, sections 31 and 32, relating to 
special legislation. These sections were added 
in 1871. 

(5.) Article XI, section 3, relating to munic- 
ipal taxation. This was amended in 1874. 

(6.) Article VII, section 4, relating to the 
number and term of the judges of the supreme 
court. This was substituted for the original 
section in 1877. 

(7.) Article VIII, section 2, relating to claims 
against the State. This was amended in 1877. 

(8.) Article IV, sections 4, 5, 11 and 21, re- 
lating to biennial sessions, and a change in 
salaries and perquisites of members of the 
Legislature. These were thus amended in 

68 '• 


(9) Article HI, section 1, relating to resi- 
dence of voters in election districts some time 
before the election, and to registration of voters 
in cities and villages. Amended to this effect 
in 1882. 

(10.) Article VI, section 4, article VII, sec- 
tion 12, and article XIII, section 1, all relating 
to biennial elections. Amended to this effect 
in 1882 * 

* A. O. Wright, In Exposition of the Constitution of the 
State of Wisconsin. 







Before entering upon a consideration of the 
history of Vernon county, past and present, 
it is a matter of importance to understand its area 
and geographical position; also its general sur- 
face features. We begin with its 


Vernon is properly considered one of the 
large counties of Wisconsin, it having a total 
area of nearly 815 square miles, or, to be more 
specific, it contains 521,5»2.61 acres of land. 
From east to west, in its longest distance, it 
measures forty-eight miles; from north to south, 
twenty-one miles. It embraces eighteen whole 
congressional townships; four half townships; 
and four fractional townships, all included in 
twenty-one towns: Greenwood, Hillsborough, 
Forest, Lincoln, Stark, Whites town, Clinton, 
Webster, Liberty, Eickapoo, Franklin, Viroqua, 

Christiana, Coon, Jefferson, Sterling, Harmony, 
Hamburg, Bergen, Genoa and Wheatland. 


The county has a position lying immediately 
on the Mississippi river, north of Crawford and 
Richland counties, and south of Monroe and 
La Crohse counties. It lies west of the counties 
of Richland, Sauk and Juneau. Its most 
southerly limits are sixty-three miles in a 
straight line north of the northern boundary 
line of the State of Illinois; its most easterly 
limits are in a straight line west, 126 miles 
from Lake Michigan; its most northerly limits 
are in a straight line south, 198 miles from Lake 
Superior. West of the town of Wheatland 
and a small part of the town of Genoa, is 
(across the Mississippi river) the State of Iowa; 
but west of the residue of the last mentioned 



town, and that of Bergen is (across the Miss- 
issippi) the State of Minnesota. If the bound- 
ary line between these two States were ex- 
tended across the Mississippi, it would strike 
about the center of section 21, in the town of 


Some of the islands in the Mississippi, along 
the west side of the town of Bergen, are in 
Vernon county. What is known as "raft chan- 
nel," in the upper half of that part of the 
stream which washes the western side of the 
county, is the true Mississippi — the dividing 
line between Wisconsin and Minnesota. This 
extends down to the southwest corner of Ber- 
gen. Coon slough leaves the true Mississippi 
on section 19, in Bergen, and extends south to 
its southern line, where it again unites with the 
parent stream. Steamers, in low stages of 
water, usually take the slough in preference to 
the main or "raft" channel. The Mississippi, 
on an average, along the whole western limits 
of the county, is about three-fourths of a mile in 
width; and from bluff to bluff on each side of 
the river, containing the basin proper of the 
river, is about five miles. The base of the bluffs 
proper, of the Mississippi, extends down to 
within one-third of a mile of the water's edge, 
on an average. These bluffs are indented by 
ravines, the outlets of water courses; the princi- 
pal of the latter are the Chipmunk creek, Coon 
river, Spring creek, Bad Ax river and Battle 
creek. Chipmunk creek rises on section 4, town 
of Hamburg, runs westerly and empties i to 
Coon slough, on section 3, in Bergen. It is a 
small stream and is fed by springs. Coon river 
rises in the town of Christiana on section 21, 
flows northeasterly, westerly and southwesterly 
until it empties into Coon slough, on section 32, 
in Bergen. The stream is rapid and is fed by 
springs. It affords water privileges for the 
running of several mills. There is also one 
flouring mill on Chipmunk. The next stream 
south is the Bad Ax river with northern and 
southern tributaries. The north branch of th 

Bad Ax rises on section 31, town of Christiana; 
the south branch rises in the town of Frank- 
lin; the two unite on section 12, in the town of 
Genoa, forming the Bad Ax proper, which thence 
flows westerly into the Mississippi on section 16, 
in Genoa. Battle creek rises on section 2, town 
of Wheatland, runs southwesterly and flows 
into Winnebago slough. Sloughs are arms of the 
main river; some have currents while others are 
simply formed of back water. The term coolie 
is still used in this vicinity for valley. 

There are ridges all nearly of the same alti- 
tude extending back from the Mississippi 
between the various streams before mentioned, 
having a southern and northern slope to them. 
On the south side of the South Bad Ax was 
originally an undulating prairie, named by the 
early sett'ers of ihe county, and still called, 
West Prairie. This is in the town of Sterling. 
The residue of the western half of the county 
was formerly, for the most part, timbered, and 
had a heavy growth of white and red oak, 
interspersed with oak grub-lands, except along 
the streams where burr oak and the different 
varieties of elm and maple prevailed. There is 
also in the towns of Coon and Chris iana, and 
extending into Viroqua, and part of Jefferson, 
an open country known as Coon Prairie. 

The towns of Christiana, Viroqua and Frank- 
lin form the water-shed between the streams 
flowing into the Mississippi and those empty- 
ing into the Kickapoo and its west branch. 
The east central part of the county is drained 
by the Kickapoo and its two branches. This 
includes the towns of Clinton, Webster, 
Liberty, Kickapoo, Whitestown and Stark and 
portions of Forest, Union, Christiana, Viroqua 
and Franklin. The general course of the west 
branch of the Kickapoo is nearly south, while 
that of the east branch is southwesterly. They 
unite in the town of Kickapoo, on section 33 ; 
thence, the main stream flows southwesterly 
until it crosses into the county of Crawford, on 
section 18. There are numerous creeks all 
having a southeast course, flowing into th 



Kickapoo and the west branch, from the east- 
ern side of the towns of Christiana, Viroqua 
and Franklin, and the western side of the town 
of Kickapoo. Geographically then, it may be 
said, in general terms, that the dividing ridge, 
or table land, running north and south through 
the county, is situated about twenty mile^east 
of the Mississippi, and from six to eight miles 
west of the west branch of Kickapoo and the 
Kickapoo proper, having an altitude above the 
Mississippi, of about 1,000 feet. And it may 
be here remarked, that all the waters which 
drain Vernon county either flow directly into 
the Mississippi, or find their way thither 
through the Wisconsin. 

From either side of the ridge between the 
east and west branches, spurs put off but of no 
very great extent. Both the branches head in 
Monroe county. Between the east branch and 
the head waters of the Baraboo, there is a table 
land known as the dividing ridge as it divides 
the waters of the Kickapoo from those of the 
Baraboo and Lemon weir. The whole of the 
town of Hillsborough and the northern portion 
of Greenwood are drained by the Baraboo; 
while the southern portion of the town last 
mentioned is drained by Pine river, as well as 
the southeast portion of the town of Union. 
A large part of the town of Forest, the whole 
of Wliitestown and Stark, and the eastern por- 
tion of Clinton and Webster are drained by the 
east branch or main Kickapoo, as it may be 
termed, as it carries more water than the west 
branch. It forms a drainage also for the east 
side of Liberty and the northeast part of the 
town of Kickapoo. The east sides of the 
towns of Christiana and Viroqua, and the west 
sides of Clinton, Webster and Liberty, are 
drained into the west branch ; while the parent 
stream drains in Vernon county, only the south- 
west portion of the town of Kickapoo and the 
northeast corner of Franklin. 

The soil of the east half of Vernon county 
is a clay loam, and is timbered with red and 
white oak, pine, soft maple, sugar maple and 

the elm ; also with other less numerous varie- 
ties. At an early day the Kickapoo proper and 
the east branch were bordered on either side 
withiu the limits of the county by a heavy pine 
forest, but these have disappeared by the hands 
of man. 

On the whole, it may be said that the surface 
of Vernon county along the water courses is 
rather broken and bluffy ; elsewhere, undulat- 
ing and favorable for tillage. The three prairies, 
Coon prairie, Round prairie and West prairie, 
early attracted the attention of the pioneer and 
emigrant, and invited occupancy and cultiva- 
tion in the first general settlement of we tern 
Wisconsin. The surface of these prairies 
and that of the valleys throughout the county 
form a soil especially valuable for agriculture. 
It is rich in the elements of vegetable life and 
favorably constituted for the production ot all 
the cereals and grasses adapted to this climate. 
In other portions the grasses grow luxuriantly. 

All the western slope of the county is a deep 
clay subsoil except on the prairies, covered 
with black loam from four to eight inches in 
thickness. The prairies are of a deep vegeta- 
ble loam, black in color extending to the depth 
of a number of feet. 

Mississippi EIVEE. 

But the great and distinctive feature of the 
county of Vernon is the Mississippi river, 
which washes the whole of its western bound- 
ary, and nearly the whole of the western 
boundary of the State. This river (Indian 
Miche Sepe, Great Water, or Great River,) 
is the principal one of North America ; and in- 
cluding its chief branch, the Missouri, the long- 
est in the world. It rises in the high lands of 
Minnesota, in a cluster of small lakes, and 
near the sources of the Red River of the 
North and the rivers which flow into Lake Su- 
perior. Its sources are 1680 feet above the 
Gulf of Mexico, iuto which it enters. It ranks 
after the Amazon as the mightiest stream on the 
world's surface. It drains a superficial area ot* 
one-seventh part of North America, and con - 



stitutes with its numerous affluents and feeders 
one of the grandest riparian systems known to 
to exist. From north to south it embraces a 
length of 4,400 miles, included between the 29th 
and 48th parallels of north latitude, and drains 
a basin computed at 1,226,000 square miles. 

The actual rise of the Mississippi is in Lake 
Itasca, Minnesota, flowing thence south-south- 
east as far as the point of junction of the States 
of Missouri, Illinois and Kentucky, where it is 
joined by the Ohio — having previously received 
the waters of the Missouri a few miles above 
St. Louis. Its upper course is broken in many 
places by considerable cataracts, such as the 
falls of St. Anthony. Its next great arm below 
the Ohio is the Arkansas, next the Red river, 
which unite 8 with it in Louisiana. Besides these 
main arteries, it receives the Wisconsin, Iowa, 
Des Moines, Illinois, White, St. Francis and 
Washita rivers, and finally emerges into the Gulf 
of Mexico, 120 miles below New Orleans, by a 
delta of several mouths, three of which— the 
northeast pass, the main or southeast pass, 
and the southwest pass, are the principal ones. 
The last 300 miles of its course intersects a 
country so low and level, that embankments 
called levees have been constructed to protect 
the lands on either side from freshets and inun- 

The Mississippi is navigable from its mouth 
to the Falls of St. Anthony, 2,200 miles, and 
by smaller boats above the Falls ; or by the 
Missouri, 3,950 miles, and has many navigable 
branches, the chief of which are the Red River 
.540 miles from its mouth; the Yazoo, 534 miles; 
the Arkansas, 700 miles ; the Ohio, 1,053 ; the 
Missouri, 1,253. The Mississippi thus furnishes 
an inland means of water communication such 
as no other country in the world can parallel. 
The navigation of this great stream is, however, 
impeded in many parts by contrary currents, 
and by obstacles in the shape of large trees, 
the trunks of which are imbedded far below 
the water's surface. The river forms a portion 
of the boundaries of ten States, having the 

southern part of Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Ar- 
kansas and most of Louisiana on the west bank; 
and Wisconsin, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee 
and Mississippi on the east. The chief towns 
situated on its banks are New Orleans, Nat- 
chez, Vicksburg, Memphis, St. Louis, Quincy, 
Keokuk, Galena, St. Paul and Minneapolis. 

The upper Mississippi, above the junction of 
the Missouri, flows through a picturesque and 
beautiful country. The great lower valley is 
500 miles long, and from thirty to fifty miles 
wide. The delta, through which flows its 
numerous bayous, is 150 miles wide. The 
alluvial plain through which the river winds 
has an area of 31,200 square miles ; and the 
delta, 14,000 square miles, much of which, 
except a few bluffs, is protected by levees. The 
descent of the plain is 320 feet, or eight inches 
per mile. The river at high water is higher 
than the plain, and the banks higher than the 
swamps of the interior. The great floods rise 
forty feet above low water at the head of the 
plain, and twenty feet at New Orleans, and for 
the whole distance the river averages 3,000 feet 
wide, and is from seventy-five to 120 deep. 
There is no apparent increase from the largest 
branches ; and it is estimated that forty per 
cent of the floods are lost in the great marshes. 
Thousands of acres of land upon its banks are 
annually carried away by the current, with their 
growth of timber. Such, in brief, is the won- 
derful river which washes the whole western 
boundary of Vernon county. 


The Baraboo river rises in the northeastern 
part of Vernon county, and in the southeastern 
part of Monroe county, runs in a general south- 
east course through Sauk county, where it 
breaks into the valley between the two east and 
west ranges, through a narrow gorge in the 
northern range. Turning then east, it runs 
along the middle of the valley, between the 
two ranges for about fifteen miles, and then 
breaking northward, through the north range, 
follows its northern side in an easterly direction 




to the Wisconsin river, into which it empties on 
section 28, township 12, rauge 9 east, in the 
town of Caledonia, Columbia county. The 
Baraboo is a stream of considerable size, and 
yields a number of very excellent water-po * ers. 


The Kickapoo rises in Monroe county, that is, 
its main or east branch ; which is frequently 
termed the Kickapoo proper. It runs a south- 
west course after entering Vernon county, 
through the towns of Whitestown, Stark, 

touching Webster, and then after crossing into 
Richland, in which county it flows in a south 
course, returns to Vernon, in the town of 
Liberty, and at a point on section 33, in the 
town of Kickapoo, receives the west branch. 
The river afterward takes a southwesterly 
course, leaving Vernon county on section 16, in 
the town last mentioned. The river runs 
through Crawford county, in a southerly direc- 
tion and empties into the Wisconsin, on section 
17, in the town of Wauzeka, just below the 
village of the same name. 



Having given the general physical aspects of 
the county so that a correct idea can be formed 
of the surface features as a whole, we now give 
the physical geography and surface geology of 
each congressional township, beginning with 
township 13, of range 1 east, (town of Green- 
wood). In these descriptions will be noticed, 
briefly, the principal characteristics of each 
township in the county, with referepce to its 
general features, its water sheds, streams, 
springs, prairies, forests, soils aud subsoils, 
clays and underlying formations. 

Township 13, range 1 east, (Greenwood). — 
The water shed or dividing ridge between Pine 
river and the Baraboo, passes through the 
township in a northwesterly direction, from 
sections 36 to 18. This causes considerable 
high, rolling land. The remainder of the town- 
ship is very hilly and rough. It is heavily tim- 
bered with maple, elm and basswood. The 
soil is a clay loam. The formations are Pots- 
dam and Lower Magnesian; the former occupy- 

ing two-thirds of the township. A small one 
of St. Peter's sandstone exists in the north half 
of section 21. 

Township 14, range 1 east, (Hillsborough) — 
This township is well watered by numerous 
branches of the Baraboo river, and contains 
many fine springs. The country is rolling, but 
the hills are not so high or so steep as in Green- 
wood, and the valleys are quite wide. 1 he 
country is well settled. The timber is chiefly 
white oak, and confined to the ridges. The 
formations are Potsdam and Lower Magnesian; 
the latter is found only on high ridges, and 
its area does not exceed one-seventh of the 

Township 13, range 1 west, (Union). — The 
divide between the Kickapoo and Pine rivers 
runs irregularly through the township in a 
southwest direction from section 2 to section 
32. It is generally narrow, and much cut up 
with ravines. The soil is clay with a subsoil of 
stiff red clay, containing many flints, and often 



eight or ten feet deep. The valleys are wide. 
The soil is sometimes sandy and sometimes a 
black and swampy clay. The township is very 
heavily timbered with maple, elm and bass- 
wood. Good springs are numerous; a very 
large one is on the southwest quarter of section 
2. The formations are Potsdam and Lower 
Magnesian; the area of which is about equal. 

Township 14, range I west (Forest). — The 
divide between the Kickapoo and Pine rivers 
runs nearly north and south from section 35 to 
section 1. It is much wider and better adapted 
for farming than in township 13 (town of 
Union), and is about all under cultivation, pro- 
ducing heavy crops of wheat and oats. The 
principal streams are Varner and Billings 
creeks. Their valleys are often half a mile 
wide, with a rich black soil. The valleys are 
heavily timbered, chiefly with maple. The 
Potsdam sandstone covers about one-third of 
the country, and the Lower Magnesian the rest. 

Township 13, range 2 west (Stark).— This 
township is very rough, hilly, and heavily tim- 
bered. It is watered by the Kickapoo, Otter, 
Bear, Jug and Weister creeks and their tribu- 
taries. The Potsdam covers about two-thirds 
and the Lower Magnesian one-third of the 

Township 14, range 2 west (Whitestown).— 
The principal stream is the Kickapoo. The 
best land is on the ridges on the western side of 
the township. The soil is clay, somewhat 
sandy in the valleys. The timber is maple, 
elm and basswood, with occasional white oak 
groves on the ridges. The formations are the 
same as township 13, just mentioned. 

North half op Township 11, range 3 west, 
(Kickapoo, in part).— The eastern and central 
parts of this township, only the north half of 
which is in Vernon county, consists of high, 
wide, rolling ridges ; and the western part of 
steep, rocky bluffs. The township is watered 
by the Kickapoo river on the west and north. 
Fine springs are very numerous. The valley 
of the Kickapoo averages about a mile in width. 

The soil throughout the township is clay, and 
the timber very heavy. Th"e Potsdam covers 
about one-third of the township, the Lower 
Magnesian one-half, and the St. Peters one- 
sixth. Many loose boulders of St. Peters are 
found on the ridges, where the formation can 
not be found in place. The general character of 
the formation in this township, f rom theridge to 
the Kickapoo, is as follows: 

Namb. Fibt. 

St. Peters sandstone 50 

Lower Magnesian limestone 160 

Potsdam sandstone 300 

From ridge to valley, total 600 

Township 12, range 3 west, (Liberty and part 
of Kickapoo). — This township is very hilly, 
being cut up by the Kickapoo, west fork of 
the Kickapoo, tast fork of the same and the 
Harrison and Bishop branches. The interven- 
ing- ridges are very high and steep. The west 
fork of the Kickapoo forms a dividing line as 
regards the timber. On the east side of the 
stream the timber is very dense, consisting of 
maple, elm and basswood; but in the country on 
the west side, the timber is thin and small, and 
consists chiefly of oak groves on the ridges. It 
is a very striking feature of the country. The 
formations are the Potsdam and Lower Mag- 
nesian, and about equally divided. 

Township 13, range 3 west (Webster). — The 
general features of this township are similar to 
those of* township 12, same range. It is well 
timbered and watered. Clay beds are fre- 
quently met with in the valleys in the Pots- 
dam, on the surface of which the water comes 
out in springs for long distances. There is a 
good deal of handsome scenery on the west 
fork of the Kickapoo. The formations are the 
same as in township 12, same range. 

Township 14, range 3 west (Clinton). — The 
ridge dividing the Kickapoo from the west fork 
runs from section 34 to section 3, making con- 
siderable good farming land in the center of the 
township; in other parts the land is very broken, 
with steep hills and ravines. The soil is clay 




and the timber heavy. The formations are 
Potsdam and Lower Magnesian in nearly equal 

North Half op Township 11, range 4 west, 
(parts of Franklin and Kickapoo). — This town- 
ship is composed chiefly of high, rolling, ridge 
land, with a clay soil. In the central part of 
the town the soil is rather sandy, owing to a 
long belt of St. Peters, which crosses the town- 
ship from section 4, to section 34. The limber 
consists of groves of large white oak. 
The formations are : Potsdam, one-sixth, 
Lower Magnesian, two-thirds, and St. Peters 
sandstone, one-sixth. 

Township 12, range 4 west, (parts of Frank- 
lin and Viroqua). — The divide between the 
Kickapoo and the Mississippi passes through 
the township from section 30 to section 5. The 
land is high and rolling, and covered with 
groves of small timber, chiefly black and white 
oak. It is well watered by numerous small 
streams and is fine farming land. The soil is a 
sand clay. There are numerous mounds of St. 
Peters on the ridges. Small sink holes are also 
quite frequent. Formations : St. Peters and 
Lower Magnesian in nearly equal parts. 

Township 13, range 4 west, (Viroqua). — 
The divide continues from section 32 to section 
5. The greater part of the township is high, 
rolling prairie, well watered by numerous small 
streams and springs. The soil is clay. The 
timber is rather thin and small, consisting 
chiefly of black oak. The country resembles 
that of the lead region. The formations are 
the same as in township 12, same range. 

Township 14, range 4 west, (Christiana). — 
The topographical features of this township 
greatly resemble those of township f3, same 
range. The divide continues from section 35 
to section 1, and is very high, wide and level. 
The soil is a deep clay, owing to the absence of 
any sandstone formation. The timber is a 
small second growth of black oak, and is 
chiefly confined to the ravines. It is very diffi- 
cult to obtain water on the ridge, as it lies from 

fifty to 160 feet deep. The formation is chiefly 
Lower Magnesian. 

Noeth Half op Township 11, range 6 west, 
(parts of Franklin and Sterling). — This is 
chiefly a prairie country, the divide is high, 
extending from section 35, in Crawford county, 
to section 1, in the town of Franklin. 1 here 
are no large streams in the township, but numer- 
ous small streams running east and west from 
the divide. Small springs are quite numerous. 
The formations are St. Peters and Lower Mag- 
nesian, in about equal parts. 

Township 12, range 5 west, ( parts of Jeffer- 
son, Sterling and Franklin ). — The township is 
very hilly and broken, watered by the branches 
of the Bad Ax river. The valleys average 
about a quarter of a mile in width. The ridges 
are wide ; soil is clay ; timber, small oak. The 
formations are Potsdam, Lower Magnesian and 
St. Peters. 

Township 13, range 5 west, (Jefferson). — 
The township is well watered by two branches 
of the Bad Ax river, flowing in the central and 
northern parts. The southern and eastern parts 
are a fine prairie country; the northern, central, 
and western parts, are heavily timbered, with 
maple, elm, oak, etc. This timber is confined 
to the higher parts of the ridges, that about 
the streams being comparatively small and 
sparse. The formations are the same as in 
township 12, same range. 

Township 14, range 5 west, (Coon). — The 
country in this township is chiefly rolling 
ridge land, but broken by numerous streams 
and small ravines. It is well watered by the 
several branches of Coon creek. The valleys 
of the two principal branches are from one- 
half to one mile wide, with a rich loamy soil 
and sandy subsoil. Towards the head of the 
streams and on the ridges, the soil is clay and 
the timber large white oak. The formations 
are Potsdam, Lower Magnesian and St. Peters ; 
the second being the principal one. 

North half op township 11, range 6 west 
(parts of Sterling and Wheatland). — This town 



consists chiefly of high, rolling, ridge land, 
having an elevation from 400 to 550 feet above 
the Mississippi. The principal ridge is very 
wide and runs east and west through the north- 
ern part of the township, with numerous small 
ridges running north and south. The soil is 
clay, in some parts rather sandy ; the timber 
small but abundant. Water is very scarce on 
the ridges. The formations are Potsdam, Lower 
Magnesian and St. Peters ; the two latter pre- 

Township 12, range 6 west (parts of Sterling, 
Wheatland, Genoa and Harmony). — The prin- 
cipal stream is the Bad Ax river, which, with 
its numerous. small tributaries and springs, sup- 
plies the township abundantly with water. The 
valley averages about half a mile in width, 
with a rich. loamy soil and sandy sub-soil. The 
timber in the valleys is small and scattering 
black oak. The ridges are wide and rolling; 
soil, clay ; and timber, large white oak. The 
formations are the same as in township 11, 
same range. 

Township 13, range 6 west (Harmony)— 
There are two high, rolling ridges in this town, 
each about a mile in width, running in an east 
and west course ; one in the northern and the 
other in the southern part of the township. The 
soil on each is clay. The timber on the south- 
ern ridge is small and scattering black oak ; on 
the northern ridge, it consists of groves of 
large white oak. The northeast quarter of the 
township is especially heavily timbered. Water 
is very scarce in the vicinity of the ridges. 
There is but one stream, the north fork of the 
Bad Ax, which runs westerly through the cen- 
ter of the township. Its valley is about half 
a mile wide ; soil rather sandy. The formation 
is Lower Magnesian, with the exception of a 
narrow strip of Potsdam in the valley of the 
Bad Ax. 

Township 14, range 6 west (Hamburg)— The 
general topographical features of this township 
are about the same as in township 13, same 
range, consisting of high, broken ridges, and 

one principal stream. The soil on the ridges is 
clay ; the timber is white oak and black oak. 
The valley of Coon creek varies from a half 
mile to a mile in width. The soil is a rich 
loam, with sandy sub-soil. There are numer- 
ous small hills and benches of alluvium in the 
valley, the materials of which appear to have 
been derived from the hills above during the 
progress of denudation, and have since been 
partially cut away by the changes in the stream, 
so that exposures are frequently seen as much 
as fifty feet thick, of irregularly stratified clay 
and sand. About one-third of the township is 
covered with Potsdam and the remainder with 
Lower Magnesian. 


range 7 west (part of Wheatland) — This town- 
ship, like all of townships of the same number, 
lies in both Crawford and Vernon counties, 
and is made fractional by the Mississippi. Only 
its north half lies in Vernon. As a township, 
it is hilly, and the best land lies on a high and 
narrow ridge in the eastern part of the town- 
ship, which is parallel to the river, and about 
500 feet above it. The river runs close to the 
bluffs, which are- high and precipitous. The 
soil is clay and the timber white oak. The 
formations are Potsdam, Lower Magnesian and 
St. Peters, the second being the prevailing one. 
Fractional Township 12, range 7 west (part 
of Genoa). — This, like township 11, same- 
range, is a fractional one. It is well watered 
by the Mississippi and Bad Ax rivers and their 
small tributaries. About the larger streams 
there is a great deal of low, flat, swampy land. 
The soil is clay throughout the town, aud the 
timber chiefly small oak. The valley of the 
Bad Ax frequently contains very large and 
thick beds of alluvium. The ridges lie about 
500 feet above the river, and form a rolling 
prairie country, with small groves of oak. All 
the formations from the Trenton to the Pots- 
dam inclusive are present. The Trenton con- 
sists of a small outlier in the southeast part of 
the township. The general sections of thia 



township, from the ridge to the Mississippi 
rivery is as follows: 


8t. Peters sandstone 

Lower Majrnesian limestone 
Potsdam sandstone 



Total from ridge to yalley 400 

There are about twenty-two square miles in 
this township. 

Fractional Township 13, range 7 west, (part 
of Genoa and Bergen). — There are about 
twenty-four square miles contained in this 
township, of which the greater part is hilly 
and broken. The ridge dividing Coon creek 
and the Bad Ax river passes northeasterly 
through the township. It is much cut up with 
ravines and has but little timber. The soil is 
clay. The formation is chiefly lower magne- 

Fractional Township 14, range 7 west, 
(Bergen). — The western half of this township 
lies in the immediate valley of the Mississippi, 
and is an alluvial bottom, consisting of swamps, 
hay-meadows and timbered islands. The east- 
ern half comprises the valleys of Coon creek 
and Chipmunk "coolie," each about a mile 
wide, and the intervening ridge. The soil 
is clay on the ridges; and more sandy in the 
valleys. The timber is small and confined 
to the ridges. The formations are Potsdam and 
Lower Magnesian, in about equal quantities. 


Potsdam Sandstone. — On the southwest quar- 
ter of section 18, township 11, range 3 west, in 
the town of Kickapoo, this county, is one of 
the finest exposures of Potsdam sandstone in 
all this section of country. The remarkable 
alterations of thin beds of sandstone and Mag- 
nesian limestone, near the top of the Potsdam, 
have not their counterpart in all this part of 
the State. 

The productions of the Potsdam, which are 
of importance in an economical point of view, 
are iron, building stone and mineral waters. 
lion is found in Vernon county, where it usu- 

ally occurs as a hematite. It is found on the 
northeast quarter of section 10, in township 11, 
range 3 west, in the town of Kickapoo; on the 
northwest quarter of section 6, in to» nship 14, 
range 3 west, in the town of Clinton; also on the 
northeast quarter of section 20, and the south- 
east quarter of section 17, in the same town; 
and some very good specimens of hematite have 
been found on the southwest quarter of section 
3, in that town. The same may be said of the 
corners of sections 15, 16, 21 and 22. This min- 
eral has also been found on the northwest quar- 
ter ef section 21, in township 13, range 3 west, 
in the town of Webster. 

Lower Magnesian Limestone.— On the south- 
east quarter of section 14, in township 1', 
range 3 west, in the town of Kickapoo, the 
junction of the St. Peters and Lower Magnesian 
is clearly marked by a bed of soft, yellow- 
ish white clay, about four feet thick. This 
clay resembles the pipe clay of the Trenton 
limestone, found in the lead region, south of 
the Wisconsin. At De Soto, on the Mis- 
sissippi river, the Lower Magnesian limestone 
affords a fine, close-grained and durable build- 
ing stone. It is of a very light color, and often 
nearly white. In the village of Springville, in 
the town of Jefferson, and along the banks of 
the stream a short distance below the village, 
the Lower Magnesian presents good outcrops. 
It occurs in beds from one to four feet thick, of 
a light yellow color, free from flints, and makes 
a very handsome building stone. Along Coon 
river, in the town of Hamburg, there are numer- 
ous good exposures of the lower beds of the form- 
ation. There are many other exposures in the 
county, but the foregoing are among the best. 
In general, they may be found on all streams. 

No very extensive or valuable deposits of 
metallic ore are found in the Lower Magnesian 
formation, in the southwestern part of Wiscon- 
sin. A few localities of copper and lead exist, 
which shows that the formation is not entirely 
destitute of metallic contents. Economically 
considered, this formation is most useful in af- 




fording good building stone and lime, both of 
which articles are abundant in all parts of the 
country where the Lower Magnesian limestone 
becomes the surface rock. 

The only localities where copper has been 
found in Vernon county, are in the towns of 
Webster and Clinton, one in each, where only 
a single specimen has been discovered; but 
building stone and lime are obtained in many 

St. Peters Sandstone. — In this county the 
St. Peters sandstone becomes the surface 
rock in many localities. At the village of 
Coon Prairie, section 5, in township 13, 
range 4 west, in the town of Viroqua, on 
the ridge dividing the Kickapoo from the 
Mississippi, this formation forms the surface 
rock. A spur of it also extends in a north- 
westerly direction as far as section 22, township 
14, range 5 west (the town of Coon), forming a 
belt averaging a mile and a half in width. 
Proceeding south from Coon Prairie village to 
Viroqua, the sandstone covers nearly all of the 
western half of township 13, range 4 west (town 
of Viroqua), and presents a number of fine 

1. A mound in the southwest quarter of sec- 
tion 5, and one in the northwest quarter of sec- 
tion 8, all near the south line of section 5. 

2. Three mounds in the northwest quarter of 
section 2', all near the north line of the section 
and about fifty feet high. 

3. A ridge consisting of ledges of sandstone 
fifty feet high, extending from near the center 
of section 17, nearly to the northwest comer of 
section 18, presenting good exposures through 
almost the entire distance. 

At Viroqua, a branch of the main ridge 
extends to the west, a distance of twelve miles, 
between the north and south forks of the Bad 
Ax river. The sandstone on this ridge averages 
a mile and a quarter in width, with several 
small lateral branches. Continuing along the 
principal divide from Viroqua to the south line 
of township 1 2, range 4 west (town of Franklin), 

the St.Peters covers nearly all the western half of 
that township. 

In township 1 1 , range 4 west (town of Frank- 
lin), a spur of the principal divide, covered 
with sandstone from half a mile to two miles in 
width, occupies the central part of the town- 
ship, extending from section 4, in Vernon 
county, to section 34, in Crawford county. 

In township 11, range 5 west, in Vernon 
and Crawford counties, the sandstone on the 
principle divide covers the greater part of the 
township, with a fine exposure in two mounds 
near the center of section 5, (town of Sterling), 
Vernon county. From the northeast corner of 
this township (town of Sterling), a high and 
very irregular ridge, with numerous lateral 
branches, extends west nearly to the Mississippi 
river, dividing Rush creek in Crawford county, 
from the south fork of the Bad Ax, in Vernon 
county. This ridge is covered with sandstone, 
the width of the belt varying from one to three 
miles. There are two good exposures formed 
by mounds; one a short distance south of the 
center of section 16, township 1 1, range 6 west 
(southwest section of Sterling), and the other 
in the southeast quarter of the same section. 

In addition to the foregoing, there are a num- 
ber of stated areas in Vernon county of which 
the following may be mentioned : 

1. In townshipl2, range 5 west, (townships of 
Jefferson, Sterling and Franklin), on sections 
15, 16,21 and 22 there is an area equal to a 
section and a half. 

2. In township 14, range 4 west, (Christiana), 
on sections 20, 21, 28 and 29 is a sandstone 
area equal to a little more than half a square 
mile; also, west of the quarter post of sections 
34 and 3, on the south line of the township is 
an isolated mound of sandstone forming a good 

3. On section 3, township 13, range 7 west, 
(town of Bergen), an area of sandstone extends 
into section 34, comprising about half a section. 

4. In township 11, range 4 west, (towns of 
Kickapoo and Franklin), is a large area /of 




sandstone lying on the ridge west of the Kiok- 
apoo river. It is situated on sections 1, 2, 11, 
12, 13, 14, and 15 in Vernon county, and on 
sections 24, 25, 28, 33, 35 and 36 in Crawford 
county, comprising an area of about five sections. 

5. In township 12, range 3 west, (town of 
Liberty), on the ridge between the Kickapoo 
river and its western branch, is a narrow ridge 
of sandstone, about four miles long and a half 
a mile wide, running through sections 2, 3, 10, 
11, 13 and 14, and ending on sections 34 and 35 
in township 13, range 3 west, (town of Web- 

6. In township 14, range 3 west, (town of 
Clinton), on the ridge just mentioned, is an 
area of sandstone lying on sections 15, 16, 21, 
22, 27 and 28, and covering a surface equal to 
one section. 

Trenton Limestone* — This formation forms 
the surface rock in the following places in 
Vernon county: 

1. In township 11, range 5 west, (town of 
Franklin), on sections 14 and 15; and sections 
21, 22, 23, 26, 27 and 35 in Crawford county; 
and on the divide between the Mississippi and 
Kickapoo rivers. 

2. On the same divide and on sections 15, 16 
and 21, of township 12, range 4 west, (town of 
Franklin), is an area equal to about three-quar- 
ters of a section. This is the most northerly 
point to which the Trenton formation has been 
traced in this part of the State. 

3. In township II, range 6 west, (town of 
Sterling), on section 1 is an area equal to half a 
section. There is also on section 10. an area 
equal to a quarter section. These last two 
areas are situated on the high ridge which sep- 
arates the Bad Ax river from Rush creek in 
Crawford county. 



The first people of Vernon county, who were 
they ? This question, of course, can never be 
answered. We know that, scattered over it, 
in vafious directions, there once lived a race 
concerning which all that has come down to up. 
is exceedingly shadowy. These people are 
usually denominated 


Vestiges of the labor of the so-called Mound 
Builders still exist in various parts of the county 
of Vernon, in the form of earth * orks, consist- 
ing of mounds, some rudely representing ani- 
mals ; others seemingly like low battlements; 
while a third variety are simply elevations, 
usually conical in shape. Although more plen- 

tiful in the vicinity of the Mississippi and the 
Kickapoo rivers, yet they are all above the high 
water mark. They are numerous in the towns 
of Liberty, Sterli' g and Wheatland, and are 
in existence in Viroqua, and in other towns. 
What all these earthworks were for — what uses 
they subserved — is absolutely unknown. It is 
probable that the ingenuity and research of man 
may never reach beyond conjecture in determin- 
ing the object of these mounds. And of the 
hands that shaped them, we know nothing. 

The most noted of these earthworks in the 
county are those to be seen on the farm of H. 
L. Turner, on section 24, township 12, range 3 
west, in the town of Liberty. In some respects 




they are the most remarkable of any in the 
State as yet discovered. We give a sketch of 
them, the first one that has been given to the 
public. It isfrom the pen of Mr. Turner him- 
self : 

"There are thirty-two mounds on the place. 
Scattered around in groups of one or more on 
about 100 acres of land, of a dry, sandy soil, 
being above high water mark, the mounds are 
always on good dry land. r J hey are of an even 
texture of earth throughout, showing that they 
are built of soil from the surface where they 
are constructed. They are of various forms 
and sizes. Some are round, some are long, 
straight mounds of earth ; some are in the form 
of animals and some are in the form of birds ; 
all are very distinct, and show clearly what 
they are. But they vary from the animals and 
birds of the present time. 

"The first group consists of three mounds. 
Two of these are nearly in the form of deer 
lying on their sides, facing each other, their 
heads about two rods apart. They are about 
six rods long in their bodies ; their tails six or 
eight rods long. The knee joints of both 
forward and hind legs are bent back, and the 
tails are very long for deer. The other mound 
is in the form of a bear lying on his side, and 
is about five rods long. 

About fifty rods northwest from this is group 
No 2. consisting of two mounds in the 
form of a bear lying on his side, the knee joint 
of the fore and hind legs bending back. They 
are some six rods long ; their legs are toward 
each other. They are about six rods apart, 
one about its length ahead of the other. 

About forty rods to the north of this group 
is group No. 3 consisting of thirteen round 
mounds, in two rows ; one of the rows 
is straight — the largest mounds are in the mid- 
dle. The other row is in a curve, in which 
there are seven mounds. From this group of 
mounds in a southwest direction, about forty 
rods, is group No. 4 consisting of two 
mounds ; one a straight mound of earth about 

four rods long ; the other one is a round mound 
directly in line with the other. 

About fifty rods to the southeast of this fourth 
group is a large mound in the form of a bird, 
his wings and tail extended as though sailing 
in the air. From tip to tip of wings is about 
thirty rods. This mound is called the Eagle, 
on account of its large size, being the largest on 
the place. About thirty rods to the northwest 
of the Eagle is another mound in the form of a 
bird, about eight rods in length, of a more 
compact form then the Eagle. Its wings and 
tail are extended like a bird sailing in the air. 
Hawk is the name of this mound. About fifty 
rods to the south of the Hawk is a small round 
mound. From this round mound in a south- 
west direction is group No. 5, consisting of 
two mounds, one is in the form of a beaver 
crouched on the ground, his legs under him; the 
other mound is the same animal lying on his 
side, and forward of the other. Those mounds 
are about six rods in length. To the north 
of group No. 5 about twenty-five rods dis- 
tant, is group No. 6 consisting of two mounds 
in the form of birds. They are alike, 
both flying the same way. They are side by 
side, the tips of the wings just touching each 
other. They are flying south. These are called 
the Wild Geese. To the northwest of the Wild 
Geese, about thirty rods distant, is a straight 
mound about six rods in length. To the north 
of the Wild Geeae,about thirty rods distant, is a 
group of four mounds, two of them are in the 
form of a beaver crouched upon the ground with 
his feet under him. The two other mounds are 
straight in line with each other, with about two 
rods between them; the length of these mounds 
are from six to eight rods each. 

On the same section in the Kickapoo valley, 
or) the farm now owned by David Sommers, are 
numerous earthworks of like character as those 
on the farm of Mr. Turner. The average height 
of these mounds was, when the country was 
first settled, from two to three feet. 


The earliest record we have of the occupation 
of Vernon county and contiguous territory* by 





the Indians, is that given on the map of 
Samuel Champlain, dated in 1632. It is there 
seen that reports had reached the ears of the 
French upon the waters of the St. Lawrence, of 
a great river to the westward of Lake Huron 
and to the southward of Lake Superior, hut 
which it was said flowed north into the lake 
last mentioned. This was a vague account of 
the Mississippi. Upon that river are located 
savages, which, probably, were those afterward 
known as 

THJB sioux. 

Band! of this Nation occupied the whole 
country immediately north of the Wisconsin 
and adjacent to the Mississippi. It is not 
known that they had any village within what 
is now Vernon county; but this region was, 
probably, their hunting grounds, if they did not 
actually occupy it with their wigwams. 

It was known to the French, also, before any 
white man had ever set foot upon any part of W is- 
consin or the northwest, that these Sioux were 
in the habit of going in their canoes to trade 
with the Winnebagoes, who were located at 
that time (before 1634) around Lake Winne- 
bago. Farther than this, no knowledge had 
been gained of these savages. Not many years 
afterward they must have withdrawn farther 
up the Mississippi, leaving the country upon 
and down this river for some distance from the 
mouth of the Wisconsin, without inhabitants. 
At this time, the nearest savages, eastward, 
were the Kickapoos, Miamis and Mascoutins, 
who were loca ed on Fox river above Lake 
Winnebago. Such was the casein 1634, when 
John Nicollet, the first man to explore the 
present State of Wisconsin, reached that river. 


What is now Vernon county and its surround- 
ing country remained a derelict region until 
finally the Sacs and Foxes from the east came 
to Fox river and then moved westward to the 

Wisconsin. Of all the tribes who have 
inhabited this State, they are the most 
noted. The Sacs were sometimes called 'Sauks 
or Saukies and the Foxes were frequently 
known as the Out agamies. They are of the 
Algonquin family, and are first mentioned in 
1665, by Father Allouez, but as separate tribes. 
Afterward, however, because of the identity of 
their language, and their associations, they were 
and still are considered one Nation. In Decem- 
ber, 1669, Allouez found upon the shores of 
Green bay a village of Sacs, occupied also by 
members of other tribes; and early in 1670 he 
visited a village of the same Indians located up- 
on the Fox river of Green bay, at a distance of 
four leagues from its mouth. Here a de- 
vice of these Indians for catching fish arrested 
the attention of the missionary. "From one 
side of the river to the other," he writes, "they 
made a barricade, planting great stakes, two 
fathoms from the water, in such a manner that 
there is, as it were, a bridge above for the 
fishes, who by the aid of a little bow-net, easily 
take sturgeons and all other kinds of fish which 
this pier stops, although the water does not 
cease to flow between the stakes." When the 
Jesuit father first obtained, five years previous, 
a knowledge of this tribe, they were represented 
as savage above all others, great in numbers, 
and without any permanent dwelling place. 
The Foxes were of two stocks — one calling 
themselves Outagamies or Foxes, whence our 
English name; the other, Musquakink, or men 
of red clay, the name now used by the tribe. 
They lived in early times with their kindred 
the Sacs east of Detroit, and as some say near 
the St. Lawrence. They were driven west, and 
settled at Saginaw, a name derived from the 
Sacs. Thence they w ere forced by the Iroquois 
to Green bay; but were compelled to leave that 
place and settle on Fox river. 

Allouez, on the 24th of April, 1670, arrived 
at a village of the Foxes, situated on Wolf 
river, a northern tributary of the Fox. "The 
Nation," he declares, "is renowned for being 



numerous; they have more than 400 men bear- 
ing arms; the number of women and children is 
greater, on account of polygamy which exists 
among them — each man having commonly four 
wives, some of them six, and others as high as 
ten.'' The missionary found that the Foxes 
had retreated to those parts to escape the perse- 
cutions of the Iroquois. Allouez established 
among these Indians his mission of St. Mark, 
rejoicing in the fact that in less than two years 
he had baptized "sixty children and some 
adults." The Foxes, at the summons of De la 
Barre, in 1684, sent warriors against the Five 
Nations. They also took part in Denonville's 
more serious campaign; but soon after became 
hostile to the French. As early as 1693, they 
had plundered several on their way to trade 
with the Sioux, alleging that they were carry- 
ing arms and amunitions to their ancient ene- 
mies frequently causing them to make port- 
ages to the southward in crossing from Lake 
Michigan to the Mississippi. Afterward they 
became reconciled to the French; but the rec- 
onciliation was of short duration. In 1712, 
Fort Detroit, then defended by only a handful 
of men, was attacked by them in conjunction 
with the Mascoutins and Kickapoos. However, 
in the end, by calling in friendly Indians, the 
garrison not only protected themselves but were 
enabled to act on the offensive, destroying the 
greater part of the besieging force. 

The Nation continued their ill will to the 
French. The consequence was that their terri- 
tory in 1716 had been invaded and they were 
reduced to sue for peace. But their friendship 
was not of long continuance. In 1718 the Foxes 
numbered 500 men and "abounded in women 
and children." They are spoken of at that date 
as being very industrious, raising large quanti- 
ties of Indian corn. In 1728 another expedi- 
tion was sent against them by the French. Mean- 
while the Menomonees had also become hostile; 
so, too, the Sacs, who were now the allies of 
the Foxes. The resu't of the enterprise was, 
an attack upon and the defeat of a number of 

Monomonees; the burning of the wigwams of 
the Winnebagoes (after passing the deserted vil- 
lage of the Sacs upon the Fox river), that tribe, 
also, at this date being hostile; and the destruc- 
tion of the fields of the Foxes. They were again 
attacked in their own country by the French, in 
1730, and defeated. In 1734 both the Sacs and 
Foxes came in conflict with the same foe; but 
this time the French were not as successful as 
on previous expeditions. In 1 736 the Sacs and 
Foxes' were "connected with the government of 
Canada;" but it is certain they were far from 
being friendly to the French. 

The conflict between France and Great Brit- 
ain, commencing in 1754, found the Sacs and 
Foxes allied with the former power, against the 
English, although not long previous to this time 
they were the bitter enemies of the French. At 
the close of that contest so disastrous to the in- 
terests of France in North America, therfe tribes 
readily gave in their adhesion to the conquerors, 
asking that English traders might be sent them. 
The two Nations, then about equally divided, 
numbered, in 1761, about 700 warriors. Neither 
of the tribes took part in Pontiac's war, but they 
befriended the English. The Sacs had emigrated 
farther to the westward;' but the Foxes, at least 
a portion of them, still remained upon the wa- 
ters of the river of Green bay, which perpet- 
uates their name. A few years later, however, 
and the former were occupants of the upper 
Wisconsin; also, to a considerable distance be- 
low the portage, where their chief town was 
located. Further down the same stream was 
the upper village of the Foxes, while their lower 
one was situated near its mouth at the site of 
the present city of Prairie du Chien. At this 
date, 1766, and even later, what is now Vernon 
county, was within the territory claimed as 
theirs. Gradually, however, they retreated 
down the Mississippi until, before the close of 
the century, all their possessions in what is now 
Wisconsin, was in the extreme southwest. They 
no longer had their hunting grounds to the 




northward of the Wisconsin river. Another 
tribe had, as it were, crowded them out. 

During the war of the Revolution, the Sacs 
and Foxes continued the firm friends of the 
English. In 1804 they ceded their lands south 
of the Wisconsin river to the United States; so 
that they no longer were owners of any lands 
within this State. From that date, therefore, 
these allied tribes can not be considered as be- 
longing to th* Indian Nations of Wisconsin. 
They were generally friendly to Great Britain 
during the War of 1812-15, but they soon made 
peace with the United States after that contest 
ended. A striking episode in their subsequent 
history, is the Black Hawk war, which will be 
narrated in a subsequent chapter. The exact 
date of the Foxes leaving the Wisconsin river 
country is unknown. They sold the prairie at 
the mouth of that stream, to some Canadian 
French traders in 1781, and subsequently va- 
cated their village. Probably about the begin- 
ning of the present century they had abandoned 
this region as their home, although they long 
after visited it for the purposes of trade. 


The Nation which displaced the Sacs and 
Foxes upon the Wisconsin river and its contig- 
uous territory, including what is now Vernon 
county, was the Winnebagos. It is now 250 
'years since the civilized world began to get a 
knowledge of the Winnebagoes— the "men of 
the sea," as they were called, pointing, possibly, 
to their early emigration from the shores of the 
Mexican gulf, or the Pacific. The territory 
now included within the limits of Wisconsin, 
and so much of the State of Michigan as lies 
north of Green bay, Lake Michigan, the Straits 
of Mackinaw and Lake Huron were, in early 
times, inhabited by several tribes of the Algon- 
quin race, forming a barrier to the Dakotas, or 
Sioux, who had advanced eastward to the Mis- 
sissippi. But the Winnebagoes, although one 
of the tribes belonging to the family of the 
latter, had passed the great river, at some un- 
known period, and settled upon Winnebago 

lake. Here, as early as 1634, they were visited 
by John Nicolet, an agent of France, and a 
treaty concluded with them. Little more was 
heard of the Winnebagoes for the next thirty- 
five years, when, on the 2d of December, 1669, 
some of that Nation were seen at a Sac village 
on Green bay, by Father Allouez. 

As early at least, as 1670, the French were ac- 
tively engaged among the Winnebagoes trading. 
"We found affairs," says one the Jesuit mission- 
aries, who arrived among them in September 
of that year, " we found affairs there in a 
pretty bad posture, and the minds of the sava- 
ges much soured against the French, who were 
there trading ; ill treating them in deeds and 
words, pillaging and carrying away their mer- 
chandise in spite of them, and conducting 
themselves toward them with insupportable in- 
solences and indignities. The cause of this 
disorder," add* the missionary, " is that they 
had received some bad treatment from the 
French, to whom they had this year come 
to trade, and particularly from the soldiers, from 
whom they pretended to have received many 
wrongs and injuries." It is thus made certain 
th it the arms of France were carried into the 
territory of the Winnebagoes over 200 years 

The Fox river of Green bay was found at 
that date a difficult stream to navigate. Two 
Jesuits who ascended the river in 1670, had 
" three or four leagues of rapids to coutend 
with," when they had advanced " one day's 
journey" from the head of the bay, "more diffi- 
cult than those which are common in other 
rivers, in this, that the flints, over which" they 
had to walk with naked feet to drag their ca- 
noes, were so "sharp and so cutting, that one 
has all the trouble in the world to hold one's 
self steady against the great rushing of the 
waters." At the falls they found an idol that 
the savages honored ; "never failing, in pass- 
ing, to make him some sacrifice of tobacco, or 
arrows, or paintings, or other things, to thank 
him that, by his assistance, they had, in ascend- 



ing, avoided the dangers of the waterfalls 
which are in this stream; or else, if they had to 
ascend, to pray him to aid them in this perilous 
navigation." The missionaries caused the idol 
"to be lifted up by the strength of the arm, 
and cast into the depths of the river, to appear 
no more," to the idolatrous savages. 

The Winnebagoes, by this time, had not only 
received considerable spiritual instruction from 
the Jesuit fathers, but had obtained quite an 
insight into the mysteries of trading and traffick- 
ing with white men ; for, following the foot- 
steps of the missionaries, and sometimes pre- 
ceding them, were the ubiquitous French fur 
traders. It is impossible to determine precisely 
what territory was occupied by the Winneba- 
goes at this early date, farther than that they 
lived near the head of Green bay. 

A direct trade with the French upon the St. 
Lawrence was not carried on by the Winneba- 
goes to any great extent until the beginning of 
the 18th century. As early as 1679, an advance 
party of LaSalle had collected a large store of 
furs at the mouth of Green bay, doubtless in a 
traffic with this tribe and others contiguous to 
them; generally, however, the surrounding Na- 
tions sold their peltries to the Ottawa*, who 
disposed of them, in turn, to the French. The 
commencement of the eighteenth century found 
the Winnebagoes firmly in alliance with France, 
and in peace with the dreaded Iroquois. In 
1718, the nation numbered 600 They had 
moved from the Fox river to Green bay. They 
were afterward found to have moved up Fox 
river, locating upon Winnebago lake, which lake 
was their ancient seat, and from which they had 
been driven either by fear or the prowess of 
more powerful tribes of the west and south- 
west. Their intercourse with the French was 
gradually extended and generally peaceful, 
though not always so, joining with them, as did 
the Menominees, in their wars with the Iro- 
quois, and subsequently in their conflicts with 
the English, which finally ended in 1760. 

When the British, in October, 1761, took pos- 
session of the French post, at the head of Green 
bay, the Winnebagoes were found to number 
150 warriors only ; their nearest village being 
at the lower end of Winnebago lake. They 
had in all, not less than three towns. Their 
country, at this period, included, not only that 
lake, but all the streams flowing into it, espe- 
cially Fox river; afterward extended to the 
Wisconsin and Rock rivers. They readily 
changed their course of trade — asking now of 
the commandant at the fort for English traders to 
be sent among them. In the Indian outbreak 
under Pontiac in 1763, they joined with the Me- 
nomonees and other tribes to befriend the Brit- 
ish garrison at the head of the bay, assisting in 
conducting them to a place of safety. 

They continued their friendship to the Eng- 
lish during the revolution, by joining with 
them against the colonies, and were active in 
the Indian war of 1790-4, taking part in the at- 
tack on Fort Recovery, upon the Maumee, in 
the present State of Ohio, in 1793. They fought 
also on the side of the British iu the War of 
1812-15, aiding, in 1814, to reduce Prairie du 
Chien. They were then estimated at 4,5v,0. 
When, in 1816, the government of the United 
States sent troop to take possession of the Green 
bay country, by establishing a garrison there, 
some trouble was anticipated from these Indians, 
who, at that date, had the reputation of being a 
bold and warlike tribe. A deputation from the 
Nation came down Fox river and remonstrated 
with the American commandant at what was 
thought to be an intrusion. They were de- 
sirous of knowing why a fort was to be estab- 
lished so near them. The reply was that, al- 
though the troops were armed for war if nec- 
essary, their purpose was peace. Their response 
was an old one : "If your object is peace, you 
have too many men; if war, you have too few." 
However, the display of a number of cannon, 
which had not yet been mounted, satisfied the 
Winnebagoes that the Americans were masters 





of the situation, and the deputation gave the 
garrison no farther trouble. 

On the 3d of June, 1816, at St Louis, the 
tribe made a treaty of peace and friendship with 
the general government; but they continued to 
levy tribute on all white people who passed up 
Fox river. English annuities also kept up a 
bad feeling. At this time, a portion of the 
tribe was living upon the Wisconsin river, 
away from the rest of the Nation, which was 
still seated upon the waters flowing into Green 
bay. In 1820 they had five villages on Win- 
nebago lake and fourteen on Rock river. 
In 1825, the claim of the Winnebagoes was 
an extensive one, so far as territory was con- 
cerned. Its southeast boundary stretched away 
from the source of Rock river, to within forty 
miles of its mouth, in II inois, where they had 
a village. On the west it extended to the heads 
of the 8 mall streams flowing into the Missis- 
sippi. To the northward, it reached Black 
river and the upper Wisconsin, in other words, 
to the Chippewa territory including what is 
now Vernon county, but did not extend across 
Fox river, although they contended for the 
whole of Winnebago lake. In 1829 a large 
part of their territory in southwest Wisconsin, 
lying between Sugar river and the Mississippi, 
and extending to the Wisconsin river was sold 
to the general government. 

Just previous to this time, occurred the Win- 
nebago war, an account of which will be found 

in the next chapter. In 1832, all the residue 
of the Winnebago territory south and east of 
the Wisconsin and the Fox river of Green bay, 
was disposed of to the United States. 

Finally, in the brief language of the treaty 
between this tribe (which had become unsettled 
and wasteful) and the United States, of the 1st 
of November, 1837, "the Winnebago Nation of 
Indians" ceded to the general government "all 
their lands east of the Mississippi." Not an 
acre was reserved. And the Indians agreed 
that, within eight months from that date, they 
would move west of "the great river." This 
arrangement, however, was not carried out 
fully. In 1842, there were only 756 at 
Turkey river, Iowa, their new home, with as 
many in Wisconsin, and smaller bands else- 
where. All had become lawless and roving. 
Some removed in 1848; while a party to the 
number of over 800 left the State as 
late as 1873. The present home of the 
tribe is in Nebraska, where they have a reser- 
vation north of, and adjacent to the Omahas, 
containing over 100,000 acres. However, 
since their first removal beyond the Missis- 
sippi, they have several times changed their 
place of abode. The period of Winnebago 
occupancy of Vernon county and the re- 
gion of country contiguous thereto, properly 
began about the commencement of the present 
century and ended, virtually, in 1848. 





The territory now included within the limits 
of Vernon county, was first visited along its 
western border over 200 years ago by French- 
men, from the river St. Lawrence, in "Canada. 
The first to approach this region of country 
was John Nicolet, in 1634, who came no nearer 
than to the village of the Mascoutins, on Fox 
river, supposed to have been located somewhere 
on that stream within the present boundaries of 
Green Lake Co., Wis. A Jesuit missionary, in 
1670, also visited the Mascoutins. His name 
was Claude Allouez; but he came no nearer 
what is now Vernon county, than did 
Nicolet, in 1634. In 1673, Louis Joliet, accom- 
panied by a missionary, James Marquette and 
five other Frenchmen, ascended the Fox river 
to the portage, now Portage, Columbia Co., 
Wis.; crossed over to the Wisconsin river and 
dropped down that river to its mouth. Thence, 
Joliet journeyed down the Mississippi ; so, of 
course, no part of the present Vernon county 
was seen by him. 


Iii 1680 La Salle, who was then on the 
Illinois river, was desirous to have the Mississ- 
ippi explored above the point where it was first 
seen by Joliet ; that is, above the mouth of the 
Wisconsin river ; so he dispatched one Michael 
Accau, on an expedition thither; with him 
went Antoine Auguel and the Rev. Louis Hen- 
nepin, a recollet friar. The party proceeded 
d )wu the Illinois river in April and up the 
Mississippi river. They were the first white 
men who ever saw any portion of what is, at 
this time, Vernon county, or who set foot upon 
its territory. This was in May, 1680. 

The description of the voyage along what is 
now the western boundary of Wisconsin 
(including, of course, Vernon county) is inter- 
esting, as given by Hennepin : 

" On the eastern side ( of the Mississippi ) 
you meet first an inconsiderable river ( Rock 
river) and then further on another, called by 
the Indians Ouisconsin (Wisconsin) which 
comes from the east and east-northeast. ** * 
* It is almost as broad as the river Seignelay, 
or Islinois ( Illinois river), and empties into 
the river Colbert (Mississippi), 100 leagues 
"above the river Seignelay. 

"Twenty-four leagues above (the Wisconsin 
river ), you come to the Black river, called by 
the Nadouessious, or Issate (the modern Sioux) 
Chabadeba, or Chabaoudeba ; it seems incon- 
siderable. Thirty leagues higher up, you find 
the lake of Tears (Lake Pepin), which we so 
named, because the Indians who had taken us, 
wishing to kill us, some of them wept the 
whole night to induce the others to consent to 
our death. This lake which is formed by the 
river Colbert is seven leagues long and about 
four wide ; there is no considerable current in 
the middle that we could perceive, but only at 
its entrance and exit. Half a league below the 
lake of Tears, on the south side, is Buffalo 
river (the Chippewa), full of turtles. It is so 
called by the Indians on account of the num- 
bers of buffalo found there. We followed it 
for ten or twelve leagues ; it empties with 
rapidity into the river Colbert, but as you 
ascend it, it is always gentle and free from 
rapids. It is skirted by mountains, far enough 
off in some places to form prairies. The mouth 




is wooded on both sides, and is fall as wide as 
the Seignelay. 

"Forty leagues above is a river (St. Croix) 
full of rapids, by which, striking northwest, 
you can proceed to Lake Conde (Lake Superior) 
as far as Minissakouat river ( the St. Louis), 
which empties into that lake. The first river 
(St. Croix) is called Tomb river, because the 
Issati left there the body of one of their 
warriors, killed by a rattle snake, on whom 
according to their custom, I put a blanket. 
This act of humanity gained me much impor- 
tance by the gratitude displayed by the men of 
the deceased's tribe, in a great banquet which 
they gave me in their country, and to which 
more than 100 Indians were invited." 


The next expedition independent of that of 
Accau, and dmcn the Mississippi from the St. 
Croix to the Wisconsin, river, and, therefore, 
along the western border of what is now Vernon 
county, was that of Daniel Greysolon Du Lhut, 
generally known as Duluth. He and some 
companions, in 1680, made the journey across 
from Lake Superior to the Mississippi, by way 
of Bois Brule river and the St. Croix. Upon 
reaching the Mississippi, he learned the fact that 
some Frenchmen had passed up and had 
been robbtrd and carried off by the Sioux. This 
was Aceau and his party. These, however, he 
finally induced the Indians to liberate, and the 
whole party floated down the river to the 
mouth of the Wisconsin, returning by that 
stream to Mackinaw. 


Le Sueur, a Frenchman, passed up the Missis- 
sippi from the mouth of the Wisconsin in 1683; 
bat of this voyage we have no account, only 
that he was on his way to the Sioux country. 
perrot's voyage to the west. 

Nicholas Perrot was the next to ascend 
the Mississippi ; and his was the fourth expedi- 
tion that had floated along the western border 
of what is now Vernon county. This was in 
1684. Perrot had been appointed by the gov- 

ernor of Canada to command in the west, 
leaving Montreal with twenty men. His object 
was the establishing of a post on the Missis- 
sippi. He proceeded from the St. Lawrence to 
Green bay, and up the Fox river to the portage; 
thence down the Wisconsin and up the Missis- 
sippi to Lake Pepin, on the east side of which, 
near its mouth, he erected a stockade. 

The next year he prevented with a good deal 
of difficulty the capture of his post by the Fox 
Indians and their allies. He passed the winter 
of 1685-6 in his stockade, and then returned to 
Green bay by the same route traveled by him 
when going out. In 1688 he again ascended 
the Mississippi from the mouth of the Wiscon- 
sin to the mouth of the St. Peters, and returned 
by the same route to Green bay. This ended 
the explorations of Perrot in the valley of the 


In the year 1700 the fifth explorer ascended 
the Mississippi. His name was Le Sueur, the 
same who had seventeen years before been 
among the Sioux. From the 1 st of September 
until the 5th he advanced but fourteen leagues. 
It is probable he landed several times in what 
is now Vernon county. Le Sueur was the last to 
ascend the Mississippi until 1727, when Sieur 
LaPerriere attempted a renewal of the fur 
trade which the governor of Canada had re- 
solved to abandon west of Mackinaw, some 
time previous. 


"Fort Beauharnais," on Lake Pepin, was 
erected by LaPerriere, but it was not long oc- 
cupied as a military post. The same year, a 
Jesuit missionary, Louis Ignatius Guignas, at- 
tempted to found a mission among the Sioux 
on the upper Mississippi, passing up the river 
for that purpose to Fort Beauharnais, but it 
proved a failure. He was on the Mississippi 
again in 1736, and at Lake Pepin, with M. de 
St. Pierre, but of his latter voyage little i< 
known. From this time until the war of 1755- 
00, between France and Great Britain, French 



traders at intervals passed up the Misssssippi ; 
but during that conflict the river was totally 
abandoned by Frenchmen. 


The first to ascend the river after Great 
Britain had assumed control of the country, 
was Jonathan Carver. In 1766 he reached the 
mouth of the Wisconsin, just above which he 
• found an Indian village called La Prairies les 
Chiens by the French, the site of the present 
village of Prairie du Chien, in Crawford Co., 
Wis. It was inhabited by the Fox Indians. 
He says the name meant Dog Plains. 

"It ('Prairies les Chiens') is a large town and 
coatains about 300 families; the houses are well 
built after the Indian manner, and pleasantly 
situated on a very rich soil, from which they 
raise every necessary of life in great abundance. 
I saw here many horses of a good size and 
shape. This town is the great mart where all 
the adjacent tribes, and even those who inhabit 
the most remote branches of the Mississippi, 
annually assemble about the latter end of May, 
bringing with them their furs to dispose of to 
the traders. But it is not always that they con- 
clude their sale here; this is determined by a 
general council of the chiefs, who consult 
whether it would be more conducive to their in- 
terest to sell their goods at this place, or carry 
them on to Louisiana or Mitchillimackinac. 
According to the decision of this council they 
either proceed further, or return to their differ- 
ent homes. 

"The Mississippi, at the entrance of the Wis- 
consin, near which stands a mountain of consid- 
erable height, is about half a mile over; but 
opposite to the last mentioned town it appears 
to be more than a mile wide, and full of islands, 
the soil of which is extraordinarily rich, and 
but thinly wooded. 

"A little further to the west, on the contrary 
side, a small river flows into the Mississippi, 
which the French call Le Jaun riviere, or the 
Yellow river. I then bought a canoe, and with 
two servants, one a French Canadian and the 

other 'a Mohawk of Canada, on the 19th pro- 
ceeded up the Mississippi." * * * 

About sixty miles below this lake is a moun- 
tain remarkably situated; for it stands by it- 
self exactly in the middle of the river, and 
looks as if it had slidden from the adjacent 
shore into the stream. It cannot be termed an 
island, as it rises immediately from the brink 
of the water to a considerable height. Both 
the Indians and the French call it the mountain 
in the river." 

"One day, having landed on the shore of the 
Mississippi, some miles below Lake Pepin, 
whilst my attendants were preparing my din- 
ner, I walked out to take a view of the adjacent 
country. I had not proceeded far before I came 
to a fine, level, open plain, on which I per- 
ceived at a little distance a partial elevation 
that had the appearance of an intrenchment. 
On a nearer inspection I had greater reason to 
suppose that it had really been intended for 
this many centuries ago. Notwithstanding it 
was now covered with grass, I could plainly 
discern that it had once been a breast work of 
about four feet in height, extending the best 
part of a mile, and sufficiently capacious to 
cover 5,000 men. Its form was somewhat cir- 
cular, and its flanks reached to the river. 
Though much defaced by time, every angle was 
distinguishable, and appeared as regular, and 
fashioned with as much military skill, as if 
planned by Vauban himself. T he ditch was 
not visible, but I thought on examining more 
curiously, that I could perceive there certainly 
had been one. From this situation also, I am 
convinced that it must have been for this pur- 
pose. It fronted the country, and the rear was 
covered by the river; nor was there any rising 
ground for a considerable way that commanded 
it; a few straggling oaks were alone to be seen 
near it. In many places small tracks were 
across it by the feet of the elk and deer, and 
from the depth of the bed of earth by which it 
was covered, I was able to draw certain conclus- 
ions of its great antiquity. I examined all the 



angles and every part with great attention, and 
have often blamed myself since fof not encamp- 
ing on the spot, and drawing an exact plan of 
it. To show that this description is not the off- 
spring of a heated imagination, or the chimeri- 
cal tale of a mistaken traveler, I find on in- 
quiry since my return, that Mons St. Pierre, 
and several traders, have, at different times, 
taken notice of similar appearances, on which 
they have formed the same conjectures, but 
without examining them so minutely as I did. 
How a work of this kind could exist in a coun- 
try that has hitherto (according to the general 
received opinion) been the seat of war to un- 
tutored Indians alone, whose whole stock of 
military knowledge has only, till within two 
centuries, amounted to drawing the bow, and 
whose only breast work even at present is the 
thicket, I know not. I have given as exact an 
account as possible of this singular appearance, 
and leave to future explorers of these distant 
regions to discover whether it is a production 
of nature or art. Perhaps the hints I have here 
given might lead to a more perfect investiga- 
tion of it, and give us very different ideas of 
the ancient state of realms that we at present 
believe to have been from the earliest periods 
only in the habitations of savages. 

"The Mississippi below this lake flows with 
a gentle current, but the breadth of it very 
uncertain, in some places being upward of a 
mile, in others not more than a quarter. This 
river has a range of mountains on each side 
throughout the whole of the way, which in par- 
ticular parts approach near to it, in others lie at a 
greater distance. The land betwixt the moun- 
tains, and on their sides, is generally covered 
with grasSj with a few groves of trees inter- 
spersed, near which large droves of deer and 
elk are frequently seen feeding. In many 
places pyramids of rocks appeared, resembling 
old ruinous towers; at others amazing preci- 
pices, and what is very remarkable, whilst this 
scene presented itself on one side, the opposite 
side of the same mountain was covered with the 

finest herbage, which gradually ascended to its 
summit. From thence the most beautiful and 
extensive prospect that imagination can form 
opens to your view. Verdant plains, fruitful 
meadows, numerous islands, and all these 
abounding with a variety of trees that yield 
amazing quantities of fruit, without care or 
cultivation, such as the nut-tree,the maple which 
produces sugar, vines loaded with rich grapes, 
and plum trees bending under their blooming 
burdens; but above all, the fine river flow- 
ing gently beneath, and reaching as far as the 
eye can extend, by turns attract your attention 
and excite your wonder." 

It was nearly forty years subsequent to Car- 
ver's visit before the Mississippi was ascended 
by any one who left a record of his journey. 
In 1805 Major Z. M. Pike made a reconnoi- 
sance up the river. We give his description of 
what he saw as he passed from a point just 
below the mouth of the Wisconsin up to "a 
prairie called La Cross:" 

"September 4th, 1805, Wednesday. — Break- 
fasted just below the mouth of the Wisconsin. 
Arrived at the Prairie Les Chiens about 1 1 
o'clock; took quarters at Capt. Fisher's, and 
were politely received by him and Mr. Frazer. 

"September 5th, Thursday. — Embarked about 
half past 10 o'clock in a Schenectady boat, to go 
to the mouth of the Wisconsin, in order to take 
the latitude, and look at the situation of the 
adjacent hills for a post. Was accompanied 
by Judge Fisher, Mr. Frazer and Mr. Woods. 
We ascended the hill on the west side of the 
Mississippi, and made a choice of a spot which 
I thought most eligible, being level on the top, 
having a spring in the rear, and commanding a 
view of the country around. A shower of rain 
came on which wet us, and we returned to the 
village without having ascended the Wisconsin 
as we intended. Marked four trees with A, B, 
C, D, and squared the sides of one in the center. 
Wrote to the General. 

"September 6th, Friday. — Had a small council 
with the Puants and Winnebagoes; and a chief 



of the lower band of the Sioux. Visited and 
laid out a position for a post, on a hill called 
Petit Gris, on the Wisconsin, three miles above 
its mouth. Mr. Fisher accompanied me; was 
taken very sick, in consequence of drinking 
some water out of the Wisconsin. The Puants 
never have any white interpreters, nor have the 
Fols Avoin (Menomonee) Nation. In my coun- 
cil I spoke to a Frenchman, he to a Sioux, who 
interpreted to some of the Puants. 

"September 7th, Saturday. — My men beat all 
the villagers hopping and jumping. Began to 
load my new boats. 

"September 8th., Sunday. — Embarked at 
half past 11 o'clock in two batteaux. The wind 
fair and fresh. I found myself very much 
embarrassed and cramped, in my new boat >», with 
provision and baggage. I embarked two in- 
terpreters, one to perform the whole voyage, 
whose name was Pierre Rosseau, and the other 
named Joseph Reinulle, paid by Mr. Frazer to 
accompany me as high as the Falls of St. 
Anthony. Mr. Frazer is a young gentleman, 
clerk to Mr. Blakely, of Montreal; he was born 
in Vermont, but has latterly resided in Canada. 
To the attention of this gentleman I am much 
indebted; he procured for me everything in his 
power that I stood in need of; dispatched his 
bark canoes and remained himself to go on with 
me. His design was to winter with some of 
the Sioux bands. We sailed well, came 
eighteen miles and encamped on the west 
bank. I must not omit here to bear testi- 
mony to the politeness of all the principal 
inhabitants of the village. There is, however, 
a material distinction to be made in the nature 
of those attentions. The kindness of Messrs. 
Fisher, Frazer and Woods (all Americans), 
seemed to be the spontaneous effusions of good 
will, and partiality to their countrymen; it ex- 
tended to the accomodation, convenience, exer- 
cises and pastimes of my men; and whenever 
they proved superior to the French openly 
showed their pleasure. But the French 
Canadians appeared attentive, rather from their 

natural good manners, the sincere friendship; 
however, it produced from them the same effect 
that natural good-will did in others. 

"September 9th, Monday. — Embarked early. 
Dined at Cape Garlic, or at Garlic river, after 
which we came on to an island on the east side 
about five miles below the river Iowa, and 
encamped. Rained before sunset. Distance 
twenty-eight miles. 

"September 10th, Tuesday. — Rain still con- 
tinuing, we remained at onr camp. Having 
shot at some pigeons, the report was heard at 
the Sioux lodges; when La Yieulle sent down 
six of his young men to inform me that he had 
waited three days with meat, etc., but last 
night they had began to drink, and, that on the 
next day he would receive me with his people 
sober. I returned him for answer, that the 
season was advanced, that time was pressing, 
and that if the rain ceased, I must go on. 
Mr. Frazer and the interpreter went home with 
the Indians. We embarked about 1 o'clock. 
Frazer returning, informed me that the chief 
acquieaed in my reasons for pressing forward, 
but that he had prepared a pipe (by way of 
letter) to present me, to show to all the Sioux 
above, with a message to inform them that I 
was a chief of their new fathers, and that he 
wished me to be treated with friendship and 
respect. * * * We embarked about half 
past 3 o'clock, c*me three miles and encamped 
on the west side. Mr. Frazer we left behind, 
but he came up with his two peroques about 
dusk. It commenced raining very hard. In 
the night a peroque arrived from the lodges at 
his camp. During our stay at their camp, there 
were soldiers appointed to keep the crowd from 
my boats. At my departure their soldiers said: 
As I had shaken hands with their chief, they 
must shake hands with my soldiers. In which 
request I willingly indulged them. 

"September 1 Ith, Wednesday. Embarked at 
7 o'clock, although rainiug. Mr. Frazer's 



canoes also came on until 9 o'olook. Stopped 
for breakfast, and made a fire. Mr. Frazer 
staid with me, and finding his peroques not quite 
able to keep up, he dispatched them. We em- 
barked; came on until near 6 o'clock, and en- 
camped on the west side. Saw nothing of his 
peroques, after they left us. Supposed to have 
come sixteen miles this day. Rain and cold 
winds, all day ahead. The river has never been 
clear of islands since I left Prairie Les Chieu. 
I absolutely believe it, here, to be two miles 
wide. Hills, or rather prairie knobs, on both 

"September 12th, Thursday. It raining very 
hard in the morning, we did not embark until 
10 o'clock. Mr. Frazer's peroques then com- 
ing up. It was still raining, and was very cold. 
Passed the Racine river, also a prairie called La 
Cross, from a game of ball played frequently on 
it by the Sioux Indians. This prairie is very 
handsome, it has a small square hill, similar to 
some mentioned by Carver. It is bounded in 
the rear, by hills similar to the Prairie Les 
Cliicn. On this prairie Mr. Frazer showed me 
some holes, dug by the Sioux, when in expecta- 
tion of an attack into which they first put their 
women and children, and then crawl them- 
selves. They were generally round, and about 
ten feet in diameter; but some were half moons 
and quite a breastwork. This I understood was 
the chief work, which was the principle redoubt. 
Their modes of constructing are, the moment 
they apprehend, or discover, an enemy on a 
prairie, they commence digging with their 
knives, tomahawks and a wooden ladle; and in 
an incredibly short space of time, they have a 
hole sufficiently deep to cover themselves and 
their family, from the balls or arrows of the 
enemy. They have no idea of taking those sub- 
terraneous redoubts by storm; as they would 
probably lose a great number of men in the 
attack; and although they might be successful 
in the event, it would be considered a very im- 
prudent action. Mr. Frazer finding his canoes 
not able to keep up, staid at this prairie to or- 

ganize one of them, intending then, to over- 
take us." 


"The village of the Prairie Les Chiens is situ- 
ated about one league above the mouth of the 
Wisconsin river. * * * * The prairie on 
which the village is situated is bounded in the 
rear by high bald hills. It is from one mile to 
three-quarters of a mile from the river, and ex- 
tends about eight miles from the Mississippi, to 
where it strikes the Wisconsin at the Petit Grey, 
which bears from the village southeast by east. 

* * * From the village to Lake Pepin, * e 
have, on the west shore, first Yellow river, of 
about twenty yards wide, bearing from the 
Mississippi nearly due west. Second the Iowa 
river, about 100 yards wide, bearing from the 
Mississippi about northwest. Third, the Racine 
river, about twenty yards wide, bearing from 
the Mississippi nearly west, and navigable for 
canoes sixty miles. Fourth, the rivers Embarra 
and L'Eau Claire, which joins their waters just 
as they form a confluence with the Mississippi, 
and are about sixty yards wide, and bear nearly 

"On the east shore, in the same distance, is 
the river de la Prairie la Cross, which empties 
into the Mississippi, at the head of the prairie 
of that name. It is about twenty yards wide, 
and bears north north-west. 

"We then meet with the Black river. * * 

* * In this division of the Mississippi the 
shores are more than three-fourths prairie on 
both sides, or, more properly speaking, bald 
hills, which, instead of running parallel with 
the river, form a continual succession of high 
perpendicular cliffs and low valleys; they ap- 
pear to head on the river, and to transverse the 
country in an angular direction. Those hills 
and valleys give rise to some of the most sub- 
lime and romantic views I ever saw. But this 
irregular scenery is sometimes interrupted by a 
wide extended plain, which brings to mind the 


verdant lawn of civilized life, and would almost 
induce the traveler to imagine himself in the 
center of a highly cultivated plantation. The 
timber of this division is generally birch, elm 
and cottonwood, all the cliffs being bordered 
by cedar." 

After the expedition of Maj. Pike, voyages 
up the river soon became common and the pub- 
lished naratives of them are numerous; but noth- 
ing is elicited in such as have been examined 
that is of particular importance not elsewhere 
given in this history. 



During the winter of 1825-6, there were con- 
fined in the guard house of Fort Crawford, at 
Prairie du Chien, because of some alleged dis- 
honest act, two Winnebago Indians. In Octo- 
ber, 1826, the fort was abandoned and the gar- 
rison removed to Fort Snelling. The com- 
mandant took with him the two Winnebagoes. 
During the spring of 1827, the reports about 
the two Indians, around Prairie du Chien, was 
to the effect that they had been killed. It was 
soon apparent that a spirit of enmity between 
the tribe and the settlers in southwestern Wis- 
consin was effectually stirred up. In addition to 
this, were the daily encroachments of miners 
in the lead region; for these miners had, by this 
time, overrun the mining country from Galena 
to the Wisconsin river. Finally the difficulties 
led to an open rupture. 


On the 28th of June, 1827, two Winnebago 
Indians, Red Bird and We-Kaw and three of 
their companions, entered the house of Rigeste 
Gagnier, about two miles from Prairie du 
Chien, where they remained several hours. At 
last, when Mr. Gagnier least expected it, Red 
Bird leveled his gun and shot him dead on his 
hearthstone. A person in the building by the 
name of Lipcap, who was a hired man, was 
slain at the same time by We-Kaw. Madame 
Gagnier turned to fly with her infant of eigh- 

teen months. As she was about to leap through 
the window, the child was torn from her arms 
by We-Kaw, stabbed, scalped and thrown vio- 
lently on the floor as dead. The murderer then 
attacked the woman, but gave way when she 
snatched up a gun that was leaning against the 
wall, and presented it to Jiis breast. She then 
effected her escape. Her eldest son, a lad of 
ten years, also shunned the murderers, and they 
both arrived in the village at the same time. 
The alarm was soon given; but, when the 
avengers of blood arrived at Gagnier's house, 
they found in it nothing living but his mangled 
infant. It was carried to the village, and, in- 
credible as it may seem, it recovered. 


Red Bird and his companions immediately 
proceeded from the scene of their crime to the 
rendezvous of their band. During their ab- 
sence, thirty-seven of the warriors who ac- 
knowledged the authority of Red Bird, had as- 
sembled with their wives and children, near the 
mouth of the Bad Ax river in what is now 
Vernon county. They received the murderers 
with joy and loud approbations of their exploit 
A keg of liquor which they had secured was set 
abroach, and the Indians began to drink and as 
their spirits rose, to boast of what they had al- 
ready done and intended to do. They continued 
their revel for two days, but on the third the 



source of their excitement gave out — their liquor 
was gone. They were, at about 4 o'clock in the 
afternoon, dissipating the last fumes of their 
excitement in the scalp-dance, when they de- 
scried one of the keel-boats, which had a few 
days before passed up the river with provisions 
for the troops at Fort Snelling, on her return, 
in charge of Mr. Lindsay. Forthwith, a pro- 
posal to take her and massacre the crew was 
made and carried by acclamation. They counted 
on doing this without risk, for they had exam- 
ined her on her way up and supposed there 
were no arms on board. But in this they were 
mistaken as the sequel shows. 


There were indications of hostilities on the 
part of the Sioux on the upper Mississippi, and 
the boats when they left Fort Snelling had been 
supplied with arms. In descending the river 
they expected an. attack at Wabasha w, where 
the Sioux were dancing the war dance, and 
hailed their approach with insults and menaces, 
but did not offer to attack the boats, or obstruct 
their passage. The whites now supposed the 
danger over, and, a strong wind at that moment 
beginning to blow up stream, the boats parted 
company. So strong was the wind that all the 
force of the sweeps could scarcely stem it; and 
by the time the foremost boat was near the en- 
campment, at the mouth of the Bad Ax, the 
crew were very willing to stop and rest. One 
or two Frenchmen, or half-breeds, who were on 
board observed hostile appearances on shore, 
and advised the rest to keep the middle of the 
stream with the boat, but their counsel was dis- 
regarded. They urged the boat directly toward 
the camp with all the force of the sweeps. 
There were sixteen men on deck. 

The men were rallying their French com- 
panions on their apprehensions, as the boat 
approached the shore; but when within thirty 
yards of the bank, suddenly the trees and rocks 
rang with the blood-chilling, ear-piercing tones 
of the war-whoop,and a volley of rifle balls rained 
upon the deck. Happily, the Winnebagoes had 

not yet recovered from the effects of their 
debauch, and their arms were not steady. One 
man only fell. He was a little negro named 
Peter. His leg was dreadfully shattered, and 
he afterward died of the wound. A second 
volley soon came from the shore; but, as the] men 
were lying at the bottom of the boat, they all 
escaped but one, who was shot through the 
heart. Encouraged by the non-resistance, the 
Winnebagoes rushed to their canoes with 
intent to board. The boatmen having recov- 
ered from their first panic, seized their guns 
and the savages were received with a severe 
discharge. In one canoe two savages were 
killed with the same bullet and several 
wounded. The attack was continued until 
night, when one of the party named Mande- 
ville, who had assumed command, spraug into 
the water, followed by four others, who suc- 
ceeded in setting the boat afloat, and then went 
down the stream. 

Thirty-seven Indians were engaged in this 
attack, which may be called the first "Battle of ' 
Bad Ax;" the second being fought just below 
this point, five years after, between the Ameri- 
cans and Indians of another tribe, of which an 
account will be given in the next chapter. Of 
the Winnebagoes seven were killed and four- 
teen wounded. They managed to put 693 shots 
into and through the boat. Two of the crew 
were killed outright, and four wounded — two 
mortally. The presence of mind of Mande- 
ville undoubtedly saved the rest, as well as the 
boat. Mr. Lindsay's boat, the rear one, did not 
reach the mouth of the Bad Ax until midnight. 
The Indians opened fire upon her, which was 
promptly returned. Owing to the darkness no 
injury was done to the boat, and she passed 
safely on. Considering the few that were 
engaged in the attack on the first boat and in 
its defense, the contest was indeed a spirited 
and sanguinary one. 


Great was the alarm at Prairie du Chien 
when the boats arrived there. The people left 



their houses and farms and crowded into the 
dilapidated fort. An express was immediately 
sent to Galena, and another to Fort Snelling, 
for assistance. A company of upwards of a 
hundred volunteers soon arrived from Galena, 
and the minds of the inhabitants were quieted. 
In a few days four imperfect companies arrived 
from Fort Snelling. The consternation of the 
people of the lead mines was great, and in all the 
frontier settlements. This portion of the coun- 
try then contained, as is supposed, about 5,000 
inhabitants — that is south of the Wisconsin 
river and at Prairie du Chien, and extending 
into Illinois. A great many of these fled from 
their homes. 


On the 1st of September, 182V, Maj. William 
Whistler, with government troops arrived at 
the portage ( now Portage, Columbia Co., 
Wis.), and while there an express arrived from 
Gen. H. Atkinson, announcing his approach, 
and directing him to halt and fortify himself 
and wait /his arrival. The object of the joint 
expedition of Gen. Atkinson from Jefferson 
Barracks below St. Louis, and of Maj. Whistler 
from Fort Howard, at Green Bay, was to cap- 
ture those who had committed the murders at 
Prairie du Chien, and put a stop to any further 
aggression. And this march of the two into 
the Winnebago country from opposite directions 
was well calculated to over-awe the disaffected 
among the Winnebagoes. These Indians * ere 
soon advised that the security of their people 
lay in the surrender of the murderers of the 
Gagnier family. Accordingly, Red Bird and 
We-Kaw were surrendered up to- Maj. Whistler, 
at the portage and the Winnebago war was 
ended. The two Indians were taken to Prairie 
du Chien for safe-keeping, to await their trial 
in the regular courts of justice for murder. 


The next spring ( 1828), Red Bird, We-Kaw 
and another Winnebago prisoner were tried at 
Prairie du Chien, before Judge James Duane 
Doty, who went from Green Bay there for that 

purpose. Thoy were found guilty and sen- 
tenced to death. Red Bird died in prison. A 
deputation of the tribe went to Washington to 
solicit from the President of the United States, 
John Quincy Adams, a pardon for the others. 
President Adams granted it on the implied con- 
dition that the tribe would cede the lands then 
the possession of the miners, in the lead region, 
to the general government. The Winnebagoes 
agreed to this. Madame Gagnier was compen- 
sated for the loss of her husband and the muti- 
lation of her infant. At the treaty with the 
Winnebagoes held at Prairie du Chien, in 1829, 
provision was made for two sections of land to 
her and her two children. The United States 
agreed to pay her the sum of $50 per annum for 
fifteen years to be deducted from the annuity 
of the Winnebagoes. 


In closing this account of the "Winnebago 
War" we give an anecdote, which places the 
Winnebago character in an amiable light. The 
militia of Prairie du Chien, immediately after 
the affair of the boats at the mouth of the Bad 
Ax river, seized an old Winnebago chief named 
Dekauray and four other Indians. The chief 
was informed that if Red Bird was not given 
up within a certain time he and the others were 
to die in his place. This Dekauray steadfastly 
believed. A messenger, a young Indian, was 
sent to inform the tribe of the state of affairs, 
and several days had elapsed and no informa- 
tion was received of the murderers. The dread- 
ful day was near at hand, and Dekauray being 
in bad health, asked permission of the officer to 
go to the river and indulge in his long-accus- 
tomed habit of bathing in order to improve his 
physical condition, upon which Col. Snelling 
told him if he would promise on the honor of a 
chief that he would not leave town, he might 
have his liberty and enjoy all his privileges un- 
til the day appointed for his execution. Ac- 
cordingly, he first gave his hand to the colonel, 
thanking him for his friendly offer, then raised 
both hands aloft, and, in the most solemn adju- 



ration, promised that he would not leave the 
hounds prescribed, and said if he had a hundred 
lives, he would sooner lose them all than for- 
feit his word. He was then set at liberty. He 
was advised to flee to the wilderness and make 
his escape. "Do you think," said he, "I prize 
life above honor? " He then complacently re- 
mained until nine days of the ten which he had 

to live had passed, and still nothing was heard 
of the murderers or of their being apprehended. 
No alteration could be seen in the countenance 
of the chief. It so happened that on that day 
Gen. Atkinson arrived with his troops from 
Jefferson Barracks, and the order for the exe- 
cution was countermanded and the Indians 
permitted to return to their homes. 



To the people of Vernon county the brief con- 
test between a portion of the Sac and Fox Indians 
and the Americans,in 1832,known from the name 
of the leader of the savages as the Black Hawk 
War, promises more than usual interest, for the 
reason that, within the limits of the county, as 
at present constituted, occurred one of the prin- 
cipal incidents of the war. In the outline history 
of Wisconsin, previously given, a brief sketch 
of the hostile movements of both parties en 
gaged in the work of death, will be found; 
but, at this point, it is proposed to enter more 
into detail, especially to relate somewhat copi- 
ously, what transpired after the belligerents 
entered the bounds of this county. 

Black Hawk's return from the west side of 
the Mississippi, and his moving up Hock river, 
caused the mustering into the service of the 
United States, in Illinois, of about 800 volun- 
teers, who were sent in pursuit. Gen. H. At- 
kinson, brevet brigadier general in the United 
States Army, followed the militia with his reg- 
ulars, but at too great a distance to afford sup- 
port. On the 12th of May the volunteers 
reached Dixon's ferry, where they were joined 
by 275 men from the northern counties of the 
State. The latter force, however, were imme- 
diately sent out on scouting duty. But the two 

battalions still moved along together until 
Still man's run was reached; the creek then be- 
ing known as Kishwaukee, about thirty miles 
above the ferry. 


Black Hawk now made advances for peace, 
but two of his messengers being killed, the ne- 
gotiations were broken off. That chief at this 
time had but forty men under his immediate 
command, moot of his party being some ten 
miles away; nevertheless, with his handful of 
warriors, he starte d back to meet his pursuers. 
Raising the war whoop, he rushed in upon the 
volunteers, and scattered them in every direc- 
tion. The fugitives, in their flight, did not 
stop until the ferry was reached. This was 
afterward known as "the battle of Stillman's 
Run," of May H 5 1832. The governor of Illi- 
nois issued a proclamation immediately after, 
calling for an additional force of 2,000 mounted 
volunteers. These incidents caused throughout 
the west the greatest alarm. The loss of the 
Indians in this, the first "battle" of the "war," 
was none. Of the volunteers, ouo major, one 
captain and nine of the rank and file, were 
killed, and live men wounded. 

On the 1 Vth of May, Gen Atkinson reached 
Dixon's ferry with his regulars and a supply of 



provisions; and on the 19th, with 2,400 men, 
advanced up Rock river. On the 27th and 28th 
of the month, the volunteers were disbanded 
by the governor, leaving the defense of the 
frontiers in the hands of the regular troops and 
a few citizens who had volunteered temporarily. 
Meanwhile, the sivages were waging war in 
earnest against the exposed settlements. Their 
war parties were scattered from Chicago to 
Galena; from the Rock river to the lead mines. 
It was a warfare in regular Indian style; there 
was success first on one side, then on the other; 
until on the ^4th of June, Black Hawk made an 
unsuccessful attack on Apple River Fort, near 
the present village of Elizabeth, 111. Mean- 
while the volunteers called out by the governor 
of Illinois were assembling and ordered to ren- 
dezvous at Dixon's ferry, where they were mus- 
tered into the service of the United States and 
formed into three brigades. The contest now 
began to assume somewhat the appearance of 
regular war. But, before we proceed to nar- 
rate the aggressive movements of the Ameri- 
cans up the Rock river valley in pursuit of 
Black Hawk and his band, it is proper to more 
particularly describe the incidents which oc- 
curred in various localities where the savages 
carried on their depredations previously. 

In the night of the 17th of June a volunteer 
company encamped near Burr Oak Grove, 
thirty-five miles east of Galena, was fired on by 
the enemy. The next morning he started in 
pursuit of the savages, and succeeded in killing 
all of them — four in number — with the loss ou 
his part ot only one man. However, later in 
the day he was attacked by the Indians in con- 
siderable force, losing two killed and one 
wounded; but he beat off the assailants and 
killed their leader. 


On the 14th of June a party of men were at- 
tacked in a cornfield near the mouth of Spof- 
ford's creek, and five killed. Two days after 
Col. Henry Dodge, with twenty-eight men, 
struck the trail of the savages, overtaking them I 

on the bank of the Pecatonica in what is now 
Lafayette Co., Wis. The savages numbered 
seventeen, and all were killed. Dodge's lorn 
was three killed. This was, all things consid- 
ered, the most spirited and effective fighting 
done during "the war." Capt. James W. 
Stephenson, at the head of the Galena volun- 
teers, being on the lookout for Indians near the 
head of Yellow creek, lost three of his men, 
and was obliged to retreat. This ended what 
may be called the irregular fighting of the 
campaign. We now return to Rock river, up 
the vnlley of which Black Hawk and his force 
had moved and the Americans just commencing 


A battalion of spies was the first body or- 
dered forward. They reached Kellogg's 
grove, and were informed on the morning of 
the 25th of June that a heavy trail was to be 
seen of the enemy not far away. Twenty-five 
men went out to reconnoiter, and were de- 
feated, leaving five killed and three wounded, 
though the enemy's loss is said to have been 
nine killed. The enemy now retired up the 
river in the direction of Lake Eoshkonong, in 
Wisconsin; and the fighting in Illinois was 
ended. The first halt made by Black Hawk 
was at what was afterward known as "Black 
Hawk Grove," just outside of the present city 
of Janesville, Rock Co., Wis., where his forces 
remained some time in camp. It must not be 
understood that they were now at their former 
homes. This was not the case. It was not 
then the country claimed by the Sacs, but by 
the Rock River Winnebagoes. 

Gen. Atkinson having arrived at the mouth 
of the Pecatonica, in pursuit of the savages, 
and hearing that the Sac chief was further up 
Rock river, determined to follow him, with the 
intention of deciding the campaign by a general 
battle if possible. Black Hawk, judging of his 
intentions from the report of his spies, broke 
up his camp and retreated still further up the 
river, to the foot of Lake Eoshkonong, where 



on the west side of the river, in what is now 
the town of Milton, he again formed a camp. 
Here he remained some time, when he again 
moved, this time to an island in the lake, still 
known as Black Hawk's Island. It is in the 
southeast corner of the town of Samner, in Jef- 
ferson Co., Wis. Black Hawk afterward made 
his way still further up the valley of Rock 

But now let us return to the army under 
Gen. Atkinson, in its march from the mouth 
of the Pecatonica to Lake Eoshkonong, where 
he found the Sac chief had eluded him. The 
recital is best given in the words of one who 
was in the army at the time and marched under 
Atkinson : 

"The 30th of June, 1832, we passed through 
the Turtle village [now the city of Beloit, Rock 
Co., Wis.,] which is a considerable Winnebago 
town, but it was deserted. We marched on 
about a mile and encamped on the open prairie 
near enough to Rock river to get water from it. 
We here saw very fresh signs of the Sac In- 
dians, where they had apparently been fishing 
on that day. Gen. Atkinson believed we were 
close to them and apprehended an attack that 
night. The sentinels fired several times, and we 
were as often paraded and prepared to receive 
the enemy, but they never came, though from 
the accounts given by the sentinels to the offi- 
cers of the day, there was no doubt that Indians 
had been prowling about the camp." 

" July 1. — We had not marched but two or 
three miles before an Indian was seen across 
Rock river at some distance off, on a very high 
prairie, which, no doubt was a spy, and likely 
was one that had been prowling about our en- 
campment the night before. We proceeded a 
few miles further, and came to the place where 
the Indians, who had taken the two Misses Hall 
prisoners, had staid for several days ( near the 
site of the present city of Janesville ). It was 
a strong position where they could have with 
stood a very powerful force. We afterward 
discovered they always encamped in such 

places. We had not marched but a few miles 
from this place before one of our front scouts 
came back meeting the army in great haste, 
and stated that they had discovered a fresh 
trail of Indians, where they had just gone along 
in front of us. Maj. Ewing, who was in front 
of the main army some distance, immediately 
formed his men inline of battle, and marched in 
that order in advance of the main army, about 
three-quarters of a mile. We had a very thick 
wood to march through, where the under- 
growth stood very high and thick ; the signs 
looked very fresh, and we expected every step 
to be fired upon from the thickets. We marched 
in this order about two miles, not stopping for 
the unevenness of the ground or anything else, 
but keeping in line of battle all the time, until 
we found the Indians had scattered ; then we 
Tesumed our common line of march, whic was 
in three divisions. Soon after we had formed 
into three divisions, the friendly Indians that 
were with us raised an alarm, by seven or eight 
of them shooting at a deer, some little in ad- 
vance of the army. The whole army here 
formed for action ; but it was soon ascertained 
that these children of the forest had been at 
what their whole race seems to have been born 
for, shooting at the beasts of the woods. 

" We here encamped by a small lake (Storr's) 
this night, and had to drink the water, which 
was very bad, but it was all that could be 
found. Here a very bad accident happened. 
One of the sentinels, mistaking another that 
was on post, with a blanket wrapped around 
him, for an Indian, shot him just below the 
groin, in the thick of the thigh. At first the 
wound was thought mortal. I understood 
before I left the army, that the man was nearly 
well. Here Gen. Atkinson had, on this night, 
breastworks thrown up, which was easily done, 
as we were encamped in thick, heavy timber. 
This was a precaution which went to show that 
he set a great deal by the lives of his men, and 
by no means was any mark of cowardice ; for 



generalship consists mbre in good management 
than anything else. 

"July 2. — We started this morning at the 
usual time, but went only a few miles before 
Maj. Ewing, who was still in froftt with his 
battalion (of scouts), espied a very fresh trail, 
making off at about a left angle. He dis- 
patched ten men from the battalion, in com- 
pany with Capt. George Walker and a few 
Indians, to pursue it and see, if possible, where 
it went to. He moved on in front of his bat-' 
tali on a short distance further, when he came to 
the main Sac trail of Black Hawk's whole 
army, which appeared to be about two days 

Capt. Early, who commanded a volunteer in- 
dependent company, and had got in advance 
this morning, called a halt; so did Maj. Ewing 
with his battalion. Then Maj. Ewing sent 
back one of his staff officers for the main army 
to call a halt for a few minutes. He, with 
Maj. Anderson, of the Infantry, Capt. Early 
and Jonathan H. Pugh, went a little in advance, 
when Maj Anderson, with a telescope, took a 
view across the lake; as we had now got to 
Lake Koshkonong. [The army entered what 
is now Jefferson county, very nearly where, in 
going north, its south line is crossed by the 
Chicago <fc Northwestern Railway. The trail, 
after leaving the southeast quarter of section 
35, in township 5 north, of range 13 east, ran 
nearly due north to the southeast corner of 
section 26, in the same township and range, 
where the army reached the lake in what is 
now the town of Koshkonong]. They then 
discovered three Indians apparently in their 

"Maj. Ewing went himself and informed 
Gen. Atkinson what discovery was made, and 
requested Gen. Atkinson to let him take his 
battalion round through a narrow defile that 
was between two of those lakes, where we sup- 
posed the Indians were. By this time our scouts, 
who had taken the trail that led off on our left, 
returned, bringing with them five white men's 

scalps. They followed the Indian trail until it 
took them to a large Indian encampment that 
they had left a few days before. They reached 
it ; the scalps were sticking against some of the 
wigwams ; some of them were identified ; but 
I do not recollect the names of any, except one, 
which was said to be an old gentlemen by the 
name of Hall. 

"Maj. Ewing then marched his battalion 
about a mile, where the pass on the side of the 
lake appeared so narrow that he dismounted his 
men and had the horses all tied, and a few men 
left to guard them. The rest of us marched on 
foot about one mile through a narrow defile on 
the (east) bank of the Koshkonong Lake. This 
was considered a dangerous procedure, but 
Maj. Ewing, who was in front with Maj. 
Anderson, would have been first in danger. 
He now found that we were getting too far 
in advance of our horses ; so Maj. Ewing 
sent a part of the men back for them. When 
we mounted our horses, we were joined by 
Capt. Early and his independent corps. We 
then marched some distance around the (Kosh- 
konong) lake and went in between two of 
them, in a narrow defile until we found another 
deserted encampment. We now saw clearly 
that the Indians were gone from the Koshko- 
nong lake ; so, the next thing to be done was 
to find in which direction they had steered 
their course. 

Gen. Atkinson having been re-enforced by 
Gen. Alexander, took up his line of march, ar- 
riving at the burnt village on the 6th of July. 
That evening, Gen. Posey's brigade, in com- 
pany with Col. Dodge's squadron, joinedJAtkin- 
son. Col. John Ewing and his regiment came 
within a mile and a half of the main army and 
encamped. On the 10th, Gen. Atkinson sent 
Col. Ewing with his regiment down Rock rivet- 
to Dixon's; Gen. Posey, with the rest of his 
brigade, was dispatched to Fort Hamilton; 
while Col. Henry and his brigade, Gen. Alex- 
ander's brigade and Col. Dodge's squadron 
were sent to Fort Winnebago, now Portage, 



Columbia Co., Wis., for provisions. Atkinson 
dropped down a short distance from the burnt 
village and built a stockade fort, which he 
called Fort Koshkonong. It was located on the 
south side of Rock river iL the eastern outskirts 
of the present village of Fort Atkinson, Jeffer- 
son Co., Wis. Alexander returned from Fort 
Winnebago by the direct route, while Dodge 
and Henry took a more easterly one, striking 
Rock river at a point where there was a small 
Winnebago village, now Hustisford, Dodge 
Co., which point was reached July 18th. Infor- 
mation was here obtained that Black Hawk 
was at Cranberry Lake, farther up the river. 
This was believed to be reliable, and an express 
was started down the stream at once, to inform 
Gen. Atkinson of the Sac chiefs whereabouts. 
The express came very unexpectedly, at a 
distance not more than eight miles from the 
starting point, upon the trail of Black Hawk, 
making his way down the river. The express 
returned to the army with the news, and the 
next morniHg, July 19th, the pursuit began. 


In the march in pursuit of the enemy, the 
Americans crossed the Crawfish near what is 
now Aztalan, in Jefferson Co., Wis., and were 
of course soon iu what is now Dane county. But 
the account of the march is best told by one who 
participated in the pursuit: 

•'July 19, 1832.— This day we had for about 
twelve miles, the worst kind of a road. To 
look at it appeared impossible to march an 
army through it. Thickets and swamps of the 
worst kind we had to go through, but the men 
had something now to stimulate them. They 
saw the Sac trail fresh before them, and the 
prospect of bringing our campaign to . n end. 
There was no murmuring, no excuses made, none 
getting on the sick report. If we came to a 
swamp that our horses were not able to carry 
us through, we dismounted, turned our horses 
before us and stepped in ourselves, sometimes 
up to our arm-pits in mud and water. In this 
way we marched with great celerity. In the 

evening of this day, it commenced thnndering, 
lightening and raining tremendously. We 
stopped not, but pushed on. The trail appeared 
to be still getting fresherand the ground better, 
which still encouraged us to overcome every 
difficulty found in the way. It continued rain- 
ing until dark, and, indeed, until after dark. 
We now saw the want of our tents, a great 
number of us having left this necessary article 
behind in the morning, in order to favor our 

"The rain ceased before day, and it turned 
cold and chilly. In the morning we rose early, 
at the well-known sound of the bugle, and pre- 
pared in a very short time our rude breakfast, 
dried our clothes a little, and by 7 o'clock (July 
20th), were on the march at a quick pace. On 
this day, some of our scouts took an Indian as a 
prisoner. On examination, he was found to be 
a Winnebago. He stated that Black Hawk was 
but a little distance ahead of us, and thai he 
hid seen some of his party not more than two 
miles ahead. But it was a bad piece of conduct 
on our part that this Indian was not kept as a 
prisonei of war, but was set at liberty and let 
go, no doubt, that he might inform the Sacs of 
our pursuit. 

"We halted and the order of battle was 
formed, as we expected we would overtake them 
this evening. The order was as follows : Gen. 
Dodge and Maj. Ewing were to bring on the 
battle. Maj. Ewing was placed in the center 
with his spy battallion, Capt. Gentry and Capt. 
Clark's companies on our right, and Capt 
Camp an<l Capt. Parkinson on our left. Our 
own battalion (Maj. E wing's) was reduced to 
two companies (as Capt. Wells and his company 
had been left at Fort Dixon); Capt. Lindsey, 
of our own battallion, was placed on the right 
and Capt. Huston's company on the left; Col. 
Fry and his regiment on the right, and Col. 
Jones, with his regiment, on the left, and Col. 
Collins in the center. In this order we marched 
in quick time,. with all possible speed, in hope , 
that we would overtake the enemy on that 






evening. We were close to the Four Lakes [in 
what is now Dane Co., Wis.,] and we wished to 
come up with them before they could reach 
that place, as it was known to be a stronghold 
for the Indians; but the day was not long 
enough to accomplish this desirable object. 

"We reached the first of the Four Lakes 
[now known as Lake Monona, or Third Lake,] 
about sundown. Gen. Henry here called a halt 
and consulted with Pouquet [Peter Pauquette], 
our pilot, as to the country we were approaching. 
Pouquet, who was well acquainted with this 
country, told him he could not get through af- 
ter night; that we had to march close to the 
margin of the lake for some distance, as the un- 
derwood stood so thick one man could not see 
another ten steps. Gen. Henry concluded to 
encamp here until the break of day. Gen. 
Dodge sent Capt. Dixon on ahead with a few 
men to see if they could make any discovery of 
the enemy, who returned in a very short time 
and stated that they had seen the enemy's rear 
guard about one mile and a half distant. Gen. 
Henry gave strict orders for every man to tie up 
his horse, so as to be ready to start as soon as 
it was daylight. The order was strictly obeyed ; 
and after we took our frugal supper all re- 
tired to rest except those who had to mount 
guard, for we had marched a great way that 
day, and many were still wet by the rain that 
fell the preceding night; but being very much 
fatigued, we were all soon lost in sleep except 
those on guard. 

"July 21, at the break of day, the bugle 
sounded, and all were soon up and in a few 
minutes had breakfast ready, and, after taking 
a little food, we mounted our horses and again 
commenced the pursuit. We soon found that 
the pilot had told us no lie, for we found the 
country that the enemy was leading us into to 
be worse, if possible, than what he told us. 
We could turn neither to the right nor left, but 
were compelled to follow the trail the Indians 
had made, and that, too, for a great distance at 
the edge of the water of the lake. We had not 

marched more than five miles before Dr. Phil- 
leo came back, meeting us, with the scalp of an 
Indian. He had been on ahead with the front 
scouts, and came on this Indian, who had been 
left as a rear guard to watch our movements. 
I here were several shots fired at him about the 
same time, and I suppose all hit him from the 
number of bullet holes that were in him; but 
Dr. Philleo had scalped him, so he was called 
Philleo's Indian, which reminds me of the 
hunters : 'He who draws the first blood is en- 
titled to the skin, and the remainder to the car- 
cass, if there are several in the chase,' which 
was the case at this time." 

Leaving our journalist for a moment, we will 
describe the particulars of the march from the 
time the Catfish creek, or rather the Yahara as 
it is legally called, was reached until the army 
left the Fourth lake, the most northerly of the 
Four lakes, properly called Lake Mendota. In 
the timber skirting the Yahara, the Americans 
overtook the rear guard of the flying foe, where 
an Indian was wounded, who crept away and 
hid himself in the thick willows where he died. 
A scouting party of fourteen men was sent for- 
ward and preceded the main body about two 
miles. When they arrived at the point now 
the site of Madison, the capital of Wisconsin, 
an Indian was seen coming up from the water's 
edge, who seated himself upon the bank, appar- 
ently indifferent to his fate. In a moment after 
his body was pierced with bullets, one of which 
passed in at the temple and out of the back 
part of his head. On examination, it was found 
that he was sitting upon a newly made grave, 
probably that of his wife, who had perhaps died 
of fatigue, hunger and exhaustion, and her dis- 
consolate companion had resolved to await the 
advancing foe and die there also. The trail 
was followed around the southern end of Lake 
Mendota (or Fourth lake), passing a little north 
of what is now the Capital Park, and along the 
lake across the University grounds. A few 
miles brought them to what appeared an ad- 
mirable position for a battle field with natural 



defenses and places of ambush. It had been 
chosen by the enemy and here they had lain 
apparently the previous night. This spot was 
afterward laid out as the City of Four Lakes. 
It is about three-fourths of a mile north of thq 
present village of Pheasant Branch, in Dane 
county. We now return to the journal, from 
which we broke off to relate these particulars. 
"But I am not done with Dr. Philleo yet. I 
will show you that he is a good soldier, and 
something of an Indian fighter. The signs now 
began to get very fresh, and we mended our 
pace very much. We had not proceeded more 
than ten or fifteen miles further before our 
fighting doctor ran afoul of two more Indians; 
he showed his bravery by assisting to kill them. 
I suppose he killed one, and Mr. Sample Jour- 
ney the other, so there was a scalp for each. 
But one of those miserable wretches sold his 
life as dear as possible. He, in the act of fall- 
ing, after he was shot, fired and shot three balls 
into a gentleman who himself was in the act of 
shooting at him. The ba Is were all small; one 
went through his thigh, one through his leg, 
and the other through his foot. I am sorry I 
have forgotten the gentleman's nami; he be- 
longed to Gen. Dodge's squadron. 

"We now doubled our speed, all were anx- 
ious to press forward, and as our horses were 
nearly worn out, we carried nothing, only what 
was actually necessary for us to eat; camp ket- 
tles and many such articles were thrown away. 
The trail was now literally, in many places, 
strewed with Indian trinkets, such as mats, ket- 
tles, etc., which plainly told us that they knew 
we were in pursuit. We, too, saw from the 
face of the country that we were drawing close 
to the Wisconsin river, and our object was to 
overtake them before they reached it; so now 
we went asf istas our horses were able to carry 
us. But this was too severe for our poor horses; 
they began to give out. But even this did not 
stop a man. Whenever a horse gave out, the 
rider would dismount, throw off his saddle and 
bridle and pursue on foot, in a run, without a 

murmur. I think the number of horses left 
this day was about forty. The rear guard of 
the enemy began by this time (about 3 o'clock 
p. m.) to make feint stands; and as the timber 
stood thick, we did not know but what the 
whole army of Black Hawk was forming for 
action; in consequence of which we got down 
and formed as often as twice, before we found 
out that their object was to keep us back until 
they could gain some strong position* to fight 
from. Our front scouts now determined not to 
be deceived any more; but the next they came 
to, they stopped not for their feigned maneu- 
ver, but pursued them to the main body of the 
enemy. They returned to us in great haste and 
informed Gen. Henry that the Indians were 
forming for action. 


"We all dismounted in an instant. The line 
of battle was then formed in the same order 
that it had been laid off the preceding day, 
Gen. Dodge's corps and Maj. Ewing's spy bat- 
talion still in front. The horses were left and 
every fourth man detailed to hold them; which 
gave seven horses to each man to hold. We had 
scarcely time to form on foot before the Indians 
raised the war-whoop, screaming and yelling fu- 
riously, and rushed forward meeting us with a 
heavy charge. Gen. Dodge and Maj. Henry met 
them also with a heavy charge, which produced a 
halt on the part of the enemy. Our men then 
opened a tremendous volley of musketry upon 
them, and accompanied it with the most terrific 
yells that ever came from the head of mortals, 
except from the savages themselves. They 
could not stand this. They now tried their 
well known practice of flanking; but here they 
were head«d again by the brave Col. Jones and 
his regiment, who were on our left, where he 
met them in the most fearless manner, and 
opened a heavy fire npon them. Col. Fry was 
placed on the extreme right. They tried his 
line, but were soon repulsed. Their strong 
position was on the left, or near the center, 
where Cols. Jones, Dodge and Ewing kept up 



a constant fire upon them for something like 
half an hour. 

"The enemy here had a strong position. They 
had taken shelter in some v$ry high grass, where 
they could lie down and load and he entirely 
out of sight. After fighting them in this posi- 
tion for at least thirty minutes, during which 
time Col. Jones had his horse shot from under 
him, and one of his men killed and several 
wounded, Cols. Dodge, Ewing and Jones all 
requested Gen. Henry to let them charge upon 
them at the point of the bayonet, which Gen. 
Henry readily assented to, and gave the order 
Charger which was obeyed by both men and 
officers in a most fearless manner. All were in- 
tent upon the charge. We had to charge up a 
rising piece of ground. When we got on the 
top, we then fired perfectly abreast. They could 
not stand this. They had to quit their hiding- 
place, and made good their retreat. When they 
commenced retreating we killed a great num- 

"Their commander, who, it was said, was 
Napope, was on a white pony on the top of a 
mountain in the rear of his Indians; he certainly 
had one of the best voices for command I ever 
heard. He kept up a constant yell, until his 
men began to retreat, when he was heard no 
more. Col. Collins was kept, during the en- 
gagement, in the rear a,s a reserve, and to keep 
the enemy from flanking and coming in upon 
us in the rear, which was a very good arrange- 
ment of Gen. Henry. It was now nearly sun- 
down and still raining, as it had been all the 
evening, but so slow that we made shift to keep 
our guns dry. The enemy retreated toward the 
river with considerable speed. The ground 
they were retreating to, appeared to be low and 
Hwampy, and on the bank of the river there ap- 
peared to be a heavy body of timber, which the 
* uemy could reach before we could bring them 
to another stand. So Gen. Henry concluded 
not to pursue them any further that night, but 
remain on the battle ground until next morning, 
and then he would not be in danger of losing so 

many of his men, knowing that in the dark, he 
would have to lose a number; for the Indians 
would have the timber to fight from while we 
would have to stand in the open prairie. [The 
battle ground was on the east side of the north- 
east quarter of section 24, in what is now the 
town of Mazomanie, Dane Co., Wis.] 

"Next morning, July 22, the troops were pa- 
raded and put in battle order on foot, except 
Col. Fry's regiment, and took up the line of 
march to the river, leaving Col. Collins' regi- 
ment to guard the horses and baggage, and take 
care of the wounded. We marched down to 
the river, which was about one mile and a half 
off; but, before we reached the banks, we had a 
very bad swamp to go through, fifty or sixty 
yards on this side the timber, which stood very 
high on the bank of the river. We now saw 
that Gen. Henry had acted very prudently. If 
he had attempted to follow them the evening 
before, he would have lost a great many of his 
men. When we got to the bank, we found they 
had made their retreat across the river during 
the night, leaving a great many articles of 
trumphery behind. We also saw a good deal of 
blood, where their wounded had bled. We now 
returned to the camp, seeing there was no chance 
to follow them this day aross the river. 

"We, in this battle (known in history as the 
Battle of Wisconsin Heights), were very fortu- 
nate, indeed. We had only one man killed and 
eight wounded; and we have learned since the 
battle that we killed sixty-eight of the enemy 
(but Black Hawk declared afterward that he 
lost only fix), and wounded a considerable num- 
ber, twenty-five of whom they report died soon 
after the battle. We now were nearly out of 
provisions, and to take up the line of march 
against them, in the condition our horses were 
in, told us plainly that we would suffer for 
something to eat before we could get it. We 
buried the brave young man, who was killed, 
with the honors of war. It was stated that he 
had just shot down an Indian, when he received 
the mortal wound himself. His name was John 



Short, and he belonged to Capt. Briggs' company 
from Randolph Co., 111. He had a brother and 
a brother-in-law in the same company, who 
witnessed his consignment to the mother earth. 
The wounded were all well examined and none 
pronounced mortal. We continued this day on 
the battle ground and prepared litters for the 
wounded to be carried on. We spent this day 
in a more cheerful manner than we had done 
any other day since we had been on the cam- 
paign. We felt a little satisfaction for our toils, 
and thought we had, no doubt, destroyed a 
number of the very same monsters that had so 
lately been imbruing their hands with the blood 
of our fair sex — the helpless mother and un- 
offending infant. We dried our clothes, which 
then had been wet for several days. This day 
we spent in social chat between men and 
officer*. There were no complaints made; all 
had fought bravely; each man praised his officers; 
and all paaised our general. Late in the even- 
ing, some of our men, who had been out to see 
if there were any sjgns of the enemy remaining 
near as, returned and stated that they saw 
smoke across the river." 

From this time until the Wisconsin river was 
crossed there were not many incidents of im- 
portance worthy of record; so we leave the 
journal, from which we have been copying, to 
relate only such events as will preserve the 
chain of our narrative until that time. On the 
23d of July the army was put in motion, not in 
pursuit of Black Hawk, but to go to the Blue 
Mounds for supplies of provisions. And just 
here we must go back in our relation to the time 
when the army left the Rock river — July 19. 
On this day, the same express that had discov- 
ered the trail of Black Hawk the day previous, 
again started for Gen. Atkinson's camp, or 
Fort Koshkonong, where the general was with 
his infantry. That officer, as soon as he was in- 
formed that Black Hawk's trail was discovered, 
directed the same express to return at once to 
Gen. Henry with orders to the latter to pursue 
on the trail of the Sac chief until he could over* 

take him, and to defeat or capture him. How- 
ever, before these orders had reached Gen. 
Henry, they had been anticipated. Black 
Hawk had been pursued, overtaken and de- 
feated, but not captured. Gen. Atkinson also 
notified Gen. Henry that he would start himself 
with the infantry and Gen. Alexander's brigade; 
that the rest of the volunteers who were with 
him would be left to guard the fort; and that 
he would go by way of Blue Mounds. He also 
directed Gen. Henry, if he got out of provisions, 
to go to that place for a supply. This explains 
why the army, after the battle of Wisconsin 
Heights, marched for the Blue Mounds. Not 
only Gen. Henry's command, but also those 
of Gen. Atkinson, reached the Blue Mounds 
without any mishap; so, also, a part of Gen. 
Posey's brigade from Fort Hamilton, who 
passed on to Helena, in what is now Iowa 
Co., Wis., where the Wisconsin river was to be 
crossed by the whole army. By the 26th of 
June all the commands had reached that place 
and preparations were made to cross the stream 
on ratfts made for that purpose. 


On the 27th and 28th of July, Gen. Atkin- 
son with his select body of troops, consisting 
of the regulars under Col. Taylor, 400 in num- 
ber, part of Henry's, Posey's and Alexander's 
brigades, and Dodge's battalion of mounted 
volunteers, amounting in all to 1,300 men, 
crossed the Wisconsin river and immediately 
fell upon the trail of the enemy. They were 
in what is now Sauk Co., Wis. Pursuing this 
trail first down the river, then to the northward, 
they finally struck off in a west-northwest 
direction through what is now Richland county, 
until the Kickapoo river was reached near the 
present Soldier's Grove, in what is now Craw- 
ford Co., Wis. 

Before entering upon the particulars of the 
march through Vernon county, as given in the 
journal from which extracts have already been 
so liberally made, it will be well to glance at 
the route taken from the Kickapoo to the Miss- 



issippi. After the Kickapoo was crossed, Black 
Hawk, followed closely by Gen. Atkinson, was 
soon in what is now Vernon county, passing, in 
a direction north of west, near the farm at 
present owned by Anson G. Tainter, in the 
town of Franklin ; thence across West Prairie, 
to the brakes or ravines leading into the head 
of Battle creek ; thence down that creek 
through sections 2 and 3, in township 11, range 
7, in the town of Wheatland, to the point where 
he was overtaken and compelled to fight the 
battle known in history as the Battle of Bad 
Ax. Keeping this general description of the 
flight of the savages through Vernon county 
and the pursuit of them by the Americans in 
view, the following narrative will prove of 
interest to the reader : 

" About 12 o'clock this day (August 1, 1832), 
we came to a small river called the Kickapoo. 
We here feund that the country was about to 
change. A short distance before we got to 
this stream, we came to a beautiful body of 
pine timber, which was tall and large. As 
soon as we crossed this stream, we found the 
mountains were covered with prairie grass. 
We here found the Indian trail was getting 
fresher. They had encamped at this creek. 
We had now been three days in those moun- 
tains and our horses had lived on weeds, except 
those that became debilitated and were left 
behind ; for a great number had become so, 
and were left to starve in this dreary waste. 
We here for the first time in three days had 
an opportunity of turning our horses out to 
graze. Accordingly we left them graze for 
about an hour, which they made good use of 
and during which we took a cold lunch. About 
1 o'clock we started, at a faster gait than usual. 
We found from the face of the country that 
we were not a great way from the Mississippi. 
The country was still hilly, but hills of a small 
size, and almost barren ; so we could get along 
with more speed. It gave the men new spirits. 
We now saw that our horses would not have to 

starve, as we had begun to think it probable 
that they would. 

" On this evening, we came across the grave 
of an Indian chief, who was buried in the 
grandest style of Indian burials ; painted and 
otherwise decorated as well as those wretched 
beings were able to do. He was placed on the 
ground, with his head resting against the root 
of a tree; logs were placed around him and 
covered over with bark; and on the top of 
which, green bushes were laid ; so intended 
that we might pass by without discovering the 
grave. He was examined and found to have 
been shot. It was now late in the evening, and 
we had proceded but a short distance from here, 
before some of our front spies came across an 
Indian that had been left behind from some 
cause or other. The spies interrogated him 
about Black Hawk and his band. He stated 
that they would get to the river that day and 
would cross over on the next morning. The 
old sinner then plead for quarters ; but that 
being no time to be plagued with the charge of 
prisoners, they had to leave the unhappy 
wretch behind, which appeared to be a hard 
case. But, no doubt, he had been at the mas- 
sacre of a number of our own citizens, and 
deserved to die for the crimes which he had 
perpetrated in taking the lives of harmless and 
unoffending women and children. 

"We this day made a tolerable push, having 
marched until 8 o'clock at night before 
we stopped. * We then halted and formed 
our encampment. But it was for a short time 
only. Gen. Atkinson gave orders for all to con- 
fine their horses and be ready to march by two 
o'clock in pursuit of the enemy. We were now 
ail tired and hungry and something to eat was 
indispensibly necessary. We had a long way 
to go after water, and the worst kind of a preci- 
pice to go down and up to procure it. All 
was now a bustle for awhile, to prepare some- 
thing to sustain nature, and to do it in time to 
get a little rest before we would have to march. 
About 9 o'clock the noise began to die away, 



so that by 10 o'clock all was lost in sleep but 
the sentinel who was at his post. 

"At the appointed hour (2 o'clock in the 
morning of August 2) the bugle sounded; 
all were soon up and made preparations for a 
march at quickstep ; moving on to complete the 
work of death upon those unfortunate children 
of the forest. General Atkinson this morning 
had the army laid off and arranged in the fol- 
lowing manner : General Dodge, with his 
squadron, was placed in front, the Infantry 
next, the second brigade next, under the com- 
mand of Gen. Alexander; the first brigade next) 
under the command of Gen. Posey ; the third 
brigade next, under command of Gen. Henry. 

"In this order the march had commenced. 
We had not proceeded more than four or five 
miles before there was a herald sent back, 
informing us that the front spies had come 
in sight of the enemy's rear guard (in 
reality their outpost). The intelligence was 
soon conveyed to Gen. Atkinson, and then to 
all the commanders of the different brigades. 
The celerity of the march was then doubled 
and it was but a short time before the firing of 
the front spies commenced, about half a mile 
in front of the main army. The Indians re- 
treated towards the Mississippi, but kept up a 
retreating fire upon our front spies for some 
time, until Gen. Dodge, who commanded, 
began to kill them very fast. The Indians then 
retreated more rapidly and sought refuge in 
their main army, which was lying on the bank 
of the Mississippi (which river they had, in 
fact, reached the day before)." 


While Black Hawk and his band and their 
pursuers were traversing the rugged country 
across what is now Richland county into Ver- 
non, intelligence was conveyed to Prairie du 
Chien, by express, of the battle of Wisconsin 
Heights and of the retreat of the enemy across 
the Wisconsin river. The commander of the 
American forces at Prairie du Chien at once 
came to the conclusion that the savages would 

soon reach the Mississippi, and by crossing 
that stream escape the army in pursuit of them; 
so he engaged a steamboat, placed some regu- 
lars upon it and a six pounder, with orders to 
cruise up and down the Mississippi to cut off 
the retreat of the Sac chief and his people. 
The steamer proving to be a slow one was 
withdrawn and a faster one armed in its place — 
the Warrior. 

On the 1st of August, the Warrior discovered 
the Indians on the bank of the Mississippi 
where they had just arrived, not far below the 
mouth of the Bad Ax, making preparations to 
cross to the west side. A flag raised by Black 
Hawk was not respected by the Warrior, but a 
fire was opened from the boat upon the Indians 
with not only the small arms of the regulars 
but the six-pounder. The fire was returned by 
Black Hawk's party. The contest was kept up 
until the steamboat was compelled to drop 
down the river to Prairie du Chien for fuel. 
The loss of the enemy was twenty-three killed. 
On board the Warrior none were killed and 
but one wounded. But the presence of the 
steamboat and the firing of course wholly in- 
terrupted the preparations of the savages to 
cross the river, while Atkinson and his army 
were marching rapidly upon their rear. 

It was the next morning, as we have already 
seen, that the Americans under Gen. Atkinson 
came in sight of what was supposed by them to 
be the rear guard of the Indians, but which 
was, in reality, one of their out-posts. It ap- 
pears that the savages raised a white flag for 
the purpose of surrendering, which was either 
not seen or was not regarded, and the firing on 
both sides soon became spirited, the Indians re- 
tiring slowly to their main force on the bottom 
of the river, where the latter were busily em- 
ployed transporting their women and children 
and the aged and infirm across the Mississippi 
(the Warrior not having returned to again cut 
off their retreat.) 

Let us now return to the American army in 
keen pursuit of the fugitives. It will be remem- 



bered that Gen. Henry had early in the morning 
been put in the rear, but he did not remain 
there long. Maj. Ewing, who commanded the 
spy battalion, sent his adjutant back to the gen- 
eral informing him that he was on the main 
trail; he at the same time formed his men in 
order of battle and awaited the arrival of the 
brigade which marched up in quick time. 
When they came up, Gen. Henry had his men 
formed as soon as possible for action; he placed 
Col. Jones and Maj. Ewing in front. Gen. At- 
kinson called for a regiment from Gen. Henry's 
brigade to cover his rear. Col. Collins formed 
on the right of Col. Jones and Maj. Ewing, 
when all were dismounted and marched on foot 
in the main trail, down the bluff into the botr 
torn. Soon the fire was opened on the main 
force of the enemy, at which time Gen. Henry 
sent back an officer to bring up Col. Fry with 
his regiment. Col. Collins was by this time in 
the heat of the action with his regiment. Capt. 
Gentry, from Gen. Dodge's corps, was by this 
time also up, and opened a heavy fire. He fell 
into the lines of Col. Jones and Maj. Ewing. 
Capts. Gruer fc and Richardson, from Gen. Alex- 
ander's brigade, with their companies and a few 
scattering gentlemen from Gen. Dodge's corps, 
were also up; who all joined Gen. Henry and 
fought bravely. Col. Fry obeyed the call of his 
general and was soon where the conflict raged 
with his regiment. By this time the savages 
were falling rapidly. 

It was about half an hour after the battle 
commenced before Col. Zachary Taylor with 
his infantry and Gen. Dodge with his squadron 
got on the ground and joined in the batile. 
They had been thrown on the extreme right, by 
following the enemy's rear guard as was sup- 
posed, but which was, as already explained, 
their retreating outpost. Generals Posey and 
Alexander had been stationed up the river on 
the extreme right, in order to prevent the In- 
dians from making their escape in that direc- 
tion, so they did not participate in the slaughter 
of the savages. The victory, of course, with 

•uch overpowering numbers, was complete; but 
those of the Indians who escaped death from 
the Americans had most of them made good 
their retreat to one of the islands in the river, 
when, at an opportune moment for the attack- 
ing parties the Warrior appeared in the river 
and opened fire upon the fugitives with her 
cannon, at the same time sending her two boats 
to the shore to transport troops to the island, 
also to attack the now distressed savages. Col. 
Taylor sent a detachment in the boats and the 
Indians were soon all killed on the island but 
one. There were of Black Hawk's entire force, 
besides a few who had succeeded in reaching 
the west side of the Mississippi, only himself 
and ten warriors with thirty-five women and 
children who made their escape. About 150 
were killed. The loss of the Americans was 
twenty-seven killed an4 wounded. Such was 
the battle of Bad Ax. Black Hawk was soon 
brought in a prisoner by the Winnebagoes, and 
the war was ended. 

official report of the battle. 
"Headquarters, " 1 st Army Corps, ] 
Northwestern Army, Prairie du Chien, > 
August 6, 1832. j 
"Sir: — I have the honor to report to you that 
I crossed the Wisconsin on the 27th and 28th 
ult., with a select body of troops, consisting of 
regulars under Col. (Zachary) Taylor, 400 in 
number; part of Henry's, Posey's and Alexan- 
der's brigades; and Dodge's battalion of 
mounted volunteers; amounting in all to 1,300 
men; and immediately fell upon the trail of the 
enemy and pursued it by forced marches 
through a mountainous and difficult country, 
till the morning of the 2d instant, when he 
came up with his main body on the left bank of 
the Mississippi, nearly opposite the mouth of 
the Iowa, which we attacked, defeated and dis- 
persed with a loss on his part of about 150 men 
killed and thirty-nine women and children pris- 
oners. The precise number of the killed could 
not be ascertained, as the greater portion were 
•lain after being forced into the river. Our 



loss in killed and wounded, which is stated be- 
low, is very small in comparison with the loss 
of the enemy, which may be attributed to the 
enemy's being forced from his positions by a 
rapid charge at the commencement, and through 
the engagement. The remnant of the enemy, 
cut up and disheartened, crossed to the oppo- 
site side of the river, and has fled into the in- 
terior, with a view, it is supposed, of joining 
Keokuk and Wapilo's bands of Sacs and Foxes. 

"The horses of the volunteer troops being 
exhausted by long marches, and the regular 
troops without shoes, it was not thought advisa- 
ble to continue the pursuit. Indeed a stop to 
the further effusion of blood seemed to be 
called for, until it might be ascertained if the 
enemy would not surrender. 

"Jt is ascertained from our prisoners, that 
the enemy lost in the battle of the Ouisconsin 
(Wisconsin Heights), sixty-eight killed, ^nd a 
very large number wounded. His whole loss 
does not fall short of three hundred. After the 
battle of the Ouisconsin, the enemy's women 
and children, and some who were dismounted, 
attempted to make their escape by descending 
that river, but judicious measures being taken 
here by Capt. Locmis and Gen. Street, an In- 

dian agent, thirty-two women and children, and 
four men have been captured, and some fifteen 
killed by the detachment under Lieut. Ritner. 

"The day after the battle on this river I fell 
down with the regular troops to this place by 
water, and the mounted men will join us to-day. 
It is now my purpose to direct Keokuk to de- 
mand the surrender of the remaining principal 
men of the hostile party ; which, from the large 
number of women and children we hold as 
prisoners, I have every reason to believe will 
be complied with. Should it not, they should 
be pursued and subdued; a step Maj. Gen. Scott 
will no doubt take on his arrival. 

"I cannot speak too highly of the conduct of 
the regular and volunteer forces engaged in the 
last battle (Bad Ax), and the fatiguing march 
that preceded it. 

"As soon as the reports of the officers of 
brigades and corps are handed in, they shall 
be submitted with further remarks. 

I have the honor to be, with great respect, 
your obedient servant, 

H. Atkinson, 
B't-Brig. Gen. U. S. A. 
Maj. Gen. Macomb, 

Commander-in-Chief, Washington City. 



The first surveys by the general government 
of lands in Wisconsin, were made south of the 
Wisconsin river and the Fox river of Green bay. 
The northern boundary line of the State of Illi- 
nois, fixed April 11, 1818, on the parallel of 42 
degrees 30 minutes north latitude, became, prop- 

erly enough, the base line of these surveys, (as 
indeed of all the surveys afterward made by 
the United States in this State). A principal 
north-and-south line, known as the fourth meri- 
dian, was run at right angles, of course with the 
base line, and extending from it to Lake So- 



perior. This meridian line is east of all the 
territory in Vernon county, except what is in- 
cluded in the towns of Hillsborough and Green- 
wood. It runs south from this county, through 
the center of Richland, and continues on to the 
base line on the east boundary of Grant and on 
the west boundary of Lafayette and Iowa coun- 
ties. It extends north, from Vernon county, 
through the eastern part of Monroe, Jackson, 
Clark and other counties, until it strikes Lake 
Superior a short distance to the westward of the 
mouth of Montreal river. 

Parallel lines to the fourth meridian were 
run every six miles, on the east and west sides 
of it. The intervening six miles between these 
lines are called ranges. Range 1 east, is the 
first six miles of territory east of the fourth 
meridian; range 2 east, is the second six miles; 
and so on, to Lake Michigan. However, on the 
west side of the fourth meridian, the ranges are 
numbered consecutively westward. Range 1 
west, is the first six miles of territory west of 
that line; range 2 west, is the second six miles; 
and so on, to the Mississippi river. Therefore 
it is, that Vernon county lies in ranges 1, 2, 3, 
4, 5, 6 and 7 west, and in range 1 east. 


Parallel lines north of the base line (the north 
boundary line of the State of Illinois) were run 
every six miles, which, crossing the ranges at 
right angles, cut the whole into blocks six miles 
square, called townships. These townships are 
numbered by tiers going north, from the base 
line; the first tier being known as township 1 
north, the second tier, as township 2 north, and 
so on until the extreme north boundary of the 
State (not covered by water) is reached, which 
is of course the extreme north side of the most 
northern of the Apostle Islands in Bayfield 
county. Now, if we begin at the base line and 
count the tiers of townships until Vernon county 
is reached, we discover that we have numbered 
eleven of them. We find, therefore, that some 

of the count) is in the I ltb tier; or, what is the 
same thing, in townships 11; but only the north 
half of townships 11, are in Vernon county, and 
these are in ranges 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 west, that is 
west of the fourth meridian. The next tier of 
townships are numbered 1 2, and except the one on 
the Mississippi, are all six miles square. They 
are in the same ranges as the townships num- 
bered 1 1 . 

We now come to tier numbered 13. These 
townships are all, except the one on the Mis- 
sissippi, six miles square. There are eight of 
them and they are in ranges 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 
7 west, and in range 1 east. Townships num- 
bered 14, form the northern tier of Vernon 
county and, of course, they are the farthest 
from the base line. There are eight in this tier 
and all are whole townships except the one on 
the Mississippi. They, like the tier immedi- 
ately south of them, are in ranges 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 
6 and 7 west, and in range 1 east. 

From what has been said, we see that town- 
ships 13 and 14, in range 1 east, are whole town- 
ships; that townships 13 and 14, in ranges 1, 2, 
3, 4, 5 and (J west, are also whole townships; 
and that townships 12, in ranges 3, 4, 5 and 6 
west, are likewise complete; so that Vernon 
county contains eighteen congressional town- 
ships, that are each six miles square. Then, 
there are the half townships, numbered 11, in 
ranges 3, 4, 5 and 6 west, equal to two more 
whole ones; and the fractional townships num- 
bered 11, 12, 13 and 14, in range 7, equal to over 
three townships more, making the whole terri- 
tory in Vernon county comprehend over twenty- 
three townships of six miles square, each, or 
more than 828 square miles, territory sufficient 
for two good sized counties. 

After the several township lines were run, 
then each township was sub-divided into sections 
and quarter sections. As a section is a mile 
square, there is of course, in every whole town- 



ship, thirty-six sections of land. For conven- 
ience, these are always numbered as follows: 

!i , 







Ii 7 






























In each whole section, there are 640 acres; 
and, when a section is divided into four parts, 
each quarter section contains 160 acres. It is 
usually in quarter sections that the land of the 
United States is disposed of; although, if de- 
sired, it will be divided into eighty acre tracts, 
or even forty acres. 


Only eleven of the towns of Vernon county 
contain each a surveyed township. These are 
Hillsborough, Greenwood, Forest, Union, 
Whitestown, Stark, Clinton, Webster, Chris- 
tiana, Coon and Hamburg. Seven contain each 
more than what would form a whole township. 
These are Bergen, Harmony, Sterling, Jefferson, 
Franklin, Viroqua and Kickapoo. The towns 
of Genoa, Wheatland and Liberty, contain each 
less than a full township, of land. 

The town of Hillsborough is organized of 
township 14, range 1 east; Greenwood, of town- 
ship 13, range least; Union, of township 13, 
range 1 west; Forest, township 14, range 1 west; 
Whitestown, township 14, range 2 west; Stark, 
township 13, range 2 west; Kickapoo, north 
half of township 11, range 3 west; the east one- 
third of the north half of township 1 1 , range 4 
west, the south third of township 12, range 3 
west, and the south one-third of the east third 

of township 12, range 4 west; Liberty north 
two-thirds of township 12, range 3 west; Web- 
ster, township 13, range 3 west; Clinton, town- 
ship 14, range 3 west; Christiana, township 14, 
range 4 west; Viroqua, township 13, range 4 
west, the north third of township 12, same 
range, and the middle third of the east third 
of the same township and range; Franklin, the 
west two-thirds of the south two-thirds of town- 
ship 12, range 4 west, west two-thirds of the 
north half of township 11, same range, east 
half of the north half of township 11, range 5 
west, and the south five-sixths of the east half 
of township 12, same range; Jefferson, town- 
shipld, range 5 west, the north one-sixth of the 
east half township 12, same range, and the west 
half of the north half, same township and 
range; Coon, township 14, range 5 west; Ham- 
burg, township 14, range 6 west; Harmony, 
township 12, range 6 west, and the norlh half 
of the north half of the east two-thirds of 
township 12, same range; Sterling, the west 
half of the north half of township 11, range 5 
west, the east two-thirds of the north half of 
township 11, range 6 west, the west half of the 
south half of township 12, range 5 west, the 
east two-thirds of the south half, and the south 
half of the east two-thirds of the north half of 
township 12, range 6 west; Wheatland, the 
west one-third of township II, range 6 west, 
the west one-third of the south third of town- 
ship 12, same range, the fractional north half 
of township 11, range 7 west, and the fractional" 
south two-thirds of township 12, same range; 
Genoa, the north two-thirds of the west two- 
thirds of township 12, range 6 west, the frac- 
tional north two-thirds of township 12, range 7 
west, and the fractional south half of township 
13, same range, and Bergen, township 14, range 
7 west, and the fractional south half of town- 
ship 13, same range, also fractional sections 24 
and 25, in township 14, range 8 west. 


The number of acres in each of the whole, 
half and fractional townships, in Vernon county, 



according to the United States surveys are 
as follows: 


North half township 11, 

range 3 west. 

. 11,578.84 


* * 


4 " 



< » 

i i 


5 " 




* * 

< < 

6 " 



< < 

t < 


7 " 



Towoship 12, 






• ' 



4 4 




« * 





. < 



4 4 



4 * 






" 18, 






• « 

• * 





* * 







f * 





* * 

* * 


i i 






4 • 



< « 

4 ' 


4 4 









" M, 

* * 





' ' 

* t 





* ' 

4 4 


• * 






4 * 

28, 189.21 


' ' 

4 4 


• 4 



* ' 



4 4 



' * 

' ' 





* * 





Total acreage 

4 t 

of the cou 





The township lines of Vernon county were 
run by William Burt, Joshua Hathaway, J. E. 
Mitchell, Uriah Biggs, John Brink, and Stnntz 
and Sargent, in the years 1839, 1840 and 1845; 
mostly in the latter year. 

The first surveying was done by Joshua 
Hathaway, who ran the west township lines of 
township 13 north, range 1 east (Greenwood), 
and township 14 north, range 1 east (Hills- 

The last surveying was done by A. L. Brown 
in 1847, who ran the section lines west of Coon 
slough, in the township 13 north, range, 7 west 
(southern part of Bergen) and township 14 
north, range 7 west (northern part of 

From the field notes of the surveyors and the 
government plats, many items of interest are 
obtained. These sources furnish the following 

Township 13 north, range 1 east (Green- 
wood) was surveyed in sections by James M. 
Marsh, United States Deputy Surveyor, in 
the first quarter of the year 1845, assisted by 
William M. Cleveland, Joseph Slone, chain- 
men, and James Anderson, marker. The sur- 
veyor says: 

"The face of the country in this township is 
generally rough and broken. There is but lit- 
tle level or rolling land in the township. The 
soil is sandy. There is a heavy growth of tim- 
ber, consisting of white and black oak, sugar, 
hickory, etc., with a heavy undergrowth of 
plumb, prickly ash, grape vine, green briar, 
etc. The country is well watered by excellent 

Township 14 north, range 1 east (Hills- 
borough).— This township was surveyed in sec- 
tions by J. E. Davidson, United States Deputy 
Surveyor, who commenced his survey Dec. 24, 
1851, and completed it Jan. 10, 1852. He was 
assisted by Andrew L. Thompson, John Otis, 
chainmen, and Robert Evans, axeman. The 
notes of the survey are as follows: 

"Surface generally hilly. Soil first rate. 
Timber heavy and of a good quality. Well 
watered by numerous brooks of pure water run- 
ning from springs, with rapid currents, over 
rock bed." 

Township 18 north, range 1 west (Union), 
was surveyed by A. L. Brown, United States 
Deputy Surveyor, who commenced the survey 
of this township Jan. 3, 1846, and completed it 
Jan. 12, 1846. He was assisted by James 
Anderson, Joel M. Higgins, chainmen, and 
Nathaniel Higgins, marker. 

Township 14 north, range 1 west (Forest). — 
This township was surveyed by Noah. Philps, 
in the last quarter of 1847. He was assisted by 
William Jones, David P. Hoyt, chainmen, and 
Alfred L. Cleveland, marker. 



Township 13 north, range 2 west (Stark), 
was surveyed by A. L. Brown, who commenced 
his survey of this township Jan. 13, 1846, a d 
completed it Jan. 22, 1846. He was assisted 
by Alexander Anderson, Joel II iggins, chain- 
men, and J. Anderson, marker. Surveyor's 
notes: "This township has a good deal of bot- 
tom land on the Kickapoo river, some of which, 
particularly the second bottom or highest and 
farthest from the river, is very rich, with oak 
and elm timber, prickly ash and reed willow 
undergrowth; but some of the flats- are too wet 
for cultivation." 

Township 14 north, range 2 west (Whites- 
town) was surveyed by Noah Philps, in the 
eleventh month of 1847, assisted by William 
Jones,David P. Hoyt, chainmen, and A.L. Cleve- 
land, marker: "This township is very broken. Is 
valuable chiefly for its pines." 

Township 11 north, range 3 west (central 
and southeastern part of Kickapoo) was sur- 
veyed by W. Barrows, who began this survey 
July 23, 1843, and finished August the same 
year. He was assisted by William Anderson 
and Edward Fitzpatrick, chainmen; also by 
William P. Easley, marker. 

Township 12 north, range 3 west (Liberty 
and the sections 25-36, inclusive, of the town 
of Kickapoo as now organized), was surveyed 
by Samuel D. Dixon, who began this survey 
May 24, 1845, and finished it on June 4 of the 
same year. He was assisted by Napoleon Gra- 
ham, 6. C. Russell, chainmen, and James 
Bailey, Eli Derr, markers. Mr. Dixon says: 
"This township is composed of a succession of 
hills of almost every size and shape. The 
springs are inhabited by speckled trout of the 
finest quality." 

Township 13 north, range 3 west (Webster) 
was surveyed by Samuel D. Dixon, assisted by 
Napoleon Graham, B. C. Russell, chainmen, 
and Eli Derr, James Bailey, markers. Notes : 
"Soil rolling and of first quality between the 
east and west forks of the Kickapoo river; the 
balance is mostly broken and hilly; soil light; 

timber the same. The whole is well watered 
by springs and their branches. There are some 
valuable well sites on the Kickapoo." 

Township 14 north, range 3 west (Clinton) 
was surveyed by Henry Maddin, United States 
Deputy Surveyor, who commenced Oct. 27, 
1846, and completed Dec. 12, 1847; was assisted 
by Samuel M. Derr, George W. Lee, chainmen, 
and Christopher Jacobs, axeman. 

Township 14 north, range 4 west (Chris- 
tiana), was surveyed by Henry Maddin in the 
last month of 1846. He was assisted by Samuel 
M. Derry, George W.Lee, chainman, and Chris- 
topher Jacobs, marker. 

Township 13 north, range 4 west (northern 
and central part of Viroqua), was surveyed by 
Samuel D Dixon, who commenced this survey 
June 30, 1845, and completed it July JO of the 
same year. He was assisted by Napoleon Gra- 
ham, James Bailey, chainmen, and B. C. Rus- 
sell, Eli Derr, markers. 

Township 12 north, range 4 west (sections 
1-12, 13, 14, 23, 24, Viroqua; sections 15-22, 
27-23, the northeastern part of Franklin.) This 
township was surveyed by Samuel D. Dixon in 
June; 1845. He was assisted by Napoleon Gra- 
ham, Eli Derr, chainmen, and B. C. Russell, 
James Bailey, markers. 

Township 11 north, range 4 west (sections 
1, 2 and 11 to 14, are in the central and south- 
ern part of Kickapoo; sections 3-10, 15-18, the 
southeastern part of Franklin); was surveyed 
by Samuel C. Wiltse in August, 1843. He 
was assisted by J. R. McLadin, M. T. Cur- 
tiss, chainmen, and £. D. Smith, marker*. 

Township 14 north, range 5 west (Coon), 
was surveyed by A. L. Brown in October, 1846, 
assisted by William H. Weidraan, William 
Higgins, Joseph E. Fales, Joel M. Smith, chain- 
men, John M. Smith, Reuben W. Ford, mark- 
ers. The surveyor says : "Timber almost uni- 
versally black and white oak; some of it very 
good; some elm; Lincoln and ash in northeast 
corner on Raccoon creek. There are many fine 



springs of pure water, plenty of deer and 

Township 13 north, range 5 west (northern 
and central part of Jefferson), was surveyed 
July, 1845, by Samuel D. Dixon, assisted by 
Napoleon Graham, B. C. Russell, chainmen, 
and James Bailey, Eli Derr, markers. 

Township 12 north, range 5 west (sections 
1-9, 16-18, of the southern part of Jefferson, 
10-15, 22-27, 34-36, the northwestern and cen- 
tral part of Franklin, 19-21, 28-33, the north 
eastern part of Sterling), was surveyed in 1846 
by A. E. Whiteside, deputy surveyor, assisted 
by XJ. Gales, B. L. Eaton, chainmen, and A. 
Hetzler, marker. Mr. Whiteside's notes are 
as follows: "The soil of this township is 
third-rate, rough, hilly and broken, sparsely 
timbered with black and white oat. There is, 
however, in the southeast corner a small portion 
of beautifully undulated prairie, secoud rate 
soil, and fit for cultivation. The township is 
well watered by the finest quality of springs; 
tops of the highest hills are covered with rocks, 
flint and iron rust." 

Township 1 1 north, range 5 west (sections 
1-3, 10- 5, the southwestern part of Franklin; 
4-9, 16-18, the southern part of Sterling), was 
surveyed July, 1843, by A. L. Haren, assisted 
byC. C. Carter, Austin Wilder, chainmen, and 
Lou is Davis, marker. Notes of the surveyor : 
"The surface of this township, with the excep- 
tion of a few sections in the southwestern part 
and sections 24 and 25, in the eastern part, is 
rolling, first-rate land. The soil is sandy loam, 
excepting the prairie; it is thickly timbered and 
brushy. The eastern part is watered by spring 
brooks, which run into the Kickapoo river. 
The southwestern part of the township is very 
broken, well timbered and watered by streams 
of pure water, which run into the Mississippi." 

Township 14 north, range 6 west (Hamburg), 
surveyed by A. L. Brown October, 1846, as- 
sisted by William H. Weidman, William Hig- 
gins, Joseph Fales, Joel Higgins, chainmen, 
and John M. Smith, Reuben W. Ford, mark- 

ers. "The best land in this township," gays 
the surveyor, "is in the third bottoms (so- 
called) on Raccoon creek, which are located 
about forty feet above the creek, are dry and 
level. Other parts of this bottom are much 
lower, and where not marshy subject to inun- 
dations. After leaving the bluffs on the north 
side of the creek the land is a high, rolling 
ridge; in some places well timbered, and gen- 
erally second-rate. Some of the long ravines 
which make toward the creek are well adapted 
to cultivation, with timber convenient and the 
purest water. The cliffs are generally about 
250 to 300 feet high, terminating toward Rac- 
coon creek in precipices of sandstone in almost 
every picturesque form imaginable. Along the 
sides of the steepest hills may be found many 
curious silicious and calcareous formations, but 
no appearances of anything more valuable." 

Township 13 north, range 6 west, (main 
part of Harmony) was surveyed by N. C. 
Whiteside, assisted by XJ. Gales, A. L. Eaton, 
chainman and A. Hetzler marker. Notes : 
" This township in general is hilly and broken, 
the soil third rate and poor. There is however 
a portion of it on the north and a small por- 
tion on the south, rolling and second rate and 
well supplied with white and black oak timber. 
The remainder of the timber on the hills is 
scattering burr, white, black and jack oak. The 
river through this township affords many valu- 
able hydraulic privileges, and is abundantly 
supplied with fine fresh water, springs out- 
breaking from the base of the hills." 

Township 12 north, range 6 west, (sections 
1-4, and northern half of 9-12, is the southern 
part of Harmony; 5-8 and 17 and 20, is the 
eastern part of Genoa ; 29-31 the northeastern 
part of Wheatland ; southern half of 9-12 and 
sections 13-16, 21-28, 33-36, the northwestern 
and central part of Sterling). — This township 
was surveyed by N. E. Whiteside, in 1845. He 
was assisted by U. Gales, A. L. Eaton, chain- 
men, A. Hetzler, marker. " This township," 
says Mr. Whiteside, "as regards its soil is 



mostly third rate and poor, presenting an 
abrupt hilly broken surface, covered in many 
places with rocks, flint and iron rust. North 
of the river there are a few bodies of good 
white and black oak timber. The surveyor 
says : " This township in general is well 
watered and the river presents in many places 
valuable water privileges." 

Tow xs hip 1 1 north, range 6 west, ( sections 
1-4, 9-16, the southwestern part of Sterling, 
5-9, 17, 18, the southeastern part of Wheat- 
land ) was surveyed by A. L. Haren, who com- 
menced this survey July 18, 1843, and com- 
pleted it July 31, the same year. He was 
assisted by C. 0. Carter, Austin Wilder, chain- 
men and Louis Davis, marker. Notes : "The 
northeast part of this township is extremely 
broken and hilly. The bluffs of the creeks, 
springs, brooks and dry ravines are from 250 to 
350 feet high, and have an elevation from 20 to 
30 degrees." 

Township 14 north, range 1 west, (the main 
part of Bergen ) was surveyed by A. L. Brown, 
who commenced the survey Dec. 27, 1846, and 
completed it Jan. 4 1847. He was assisted by 
Wm. H. Weidman, Joel M. Higgins, Joseph 
C. Haley, chainmen, and Joshua M. Smith, 
Reuben W. Ford, markers. 

Township 13 north, range 7 west, ( sections 
1-1 *, the southern part of Bergen, 21-28, 
33-36, the northern part of Genoa, was sur- 
veyed by W. E. Whiteside, assisted by U. 
Grates, A. L. Eaton, chainmen, and A. Hetzler, 
marker, no dates given. 

Township 12 north, range 7 west, (sections 
1-4, 9-16, 21-24, is the central and southwestern 
part of Genoa, 25-28, H3-36, is the northwest- 
ern part of Wheatland ), was surveyed in the 
first quarter of 18 46, by N. E. Whiteside, 
assisted by U. Gales, A. L. Eaton, chainmen 
and A. Hetzler, marker. "This township," 
says the surveyor, "is measurably unfit for 
cultivation, being hilly and broken. Soil 
mostly third rate and poor. In general, the 
timber is of an inferior growth of burr, white 

and black oak. The hills fronting the Missis- 
sippi and Bad Ax rivers, are in places entirely 
shorn of vegetation, covered with rock, flint 
and iron rust. It is in all parts well supplied 
with springs of finest quality. The bottom of 
Bad Ax river ( although wider in this town • 
ship than any place else, is limited and mostly 
low and wet. The Mississippi river above and 
be'ow the mouth of Bad Ax, has little or no 
bottom, bounded by a perpendicular ledge of 
sandstone, ranging from 3 to 10 chains from 
the river and falling abruptly from the baee of 
the perpendicular, to the water's edge, covered 
with large tumbling rocks, scattering burr, 
white and black oak trees." 

Township 1 1 north, range 1 west, ( sections 
1-4, 9-15, the southwestern part of Wheat- 
land). — The survey of this township was com- 
menced Sept. 28, 1843, and completed Oct. 10, 
1843, by A. L. Haren, assisted by S. P. Folsom, 
S. N. Laster, chainmen, and L. Davis, marker. 


The first land offices in Wisconsin were es- 
tablished under an act of Congress approved 
June 26, 1834, creating additional land districts 
in the States of Illinois and Missouri, and in 
the territory north of the State of Illinois. The 
first section provides "that all thai tract lying 
north of the State of Illinois, west of Lake 
Michigan, south and southeast of the Wiscon- 
sin and Fox rivers, included in the present 
territory of Michigan, shall be divided by a 
north and south line, drawn from the northern 
boundary of Illinois along the range of town- 
ship line west of Fort Winnebago to the Wis- 
consin river, and to be called — the one on the 
west side, the Wisconsin land district, and 
that on the east side the Green bay land 
district of the territory of Michigan, which 
two districts shall embrace the country north 
of said rivers when the Indian title shall 
be extinguished, and the Green bay district 
may be divided so as to form two districts, 
when the President shall deem it proper ;" and 
by section three of said act, the President was 



authorized to appoint a register and receiver for 
such office, as soon as a suffice nt number of 
townships are surveyed. 

An act of Congress, approved June 15, 183«, 
divided the Green bay land district, as estab- 
lished in 1834, "by a line commencing on the 
western boundary of said district, and running 
thence* east between townships 10 and 11 north, 
to the line between ranges 17 and 18 east, thence 
north between said ranges of townships to the 
line between townships 12 and 13 north, thence 
east between said townsnips 12 and 13, to Lake 
Michigan ; and all the country bounded north 
by the division line here described ; south by 
the base line, east by Lake Michigan, and west 
by the division line between ranges 8 and 9 east," 
to be constituted a separate district, and known 
as the "Milwaukee land district." It included 
the present counties of Racine, Kenosha, Rock, 
Jefferson, Waukesha, Walworth and Milwau- 
kee, and parts of Green, Dane, Washington, 
Ozaukee, Dodge and Columbia. 

An act was approved March 3, 1847, creating 
an additional land district in the territory. All 
that portion of the public lands lying north and 
west of the following boundaries, formed a 
district to be known as the Chippewa land dis- 
trict : commencing at the Mississippi river on 
the line between townships 22 and 23 north, 
running thence east along said line to the fourth 
principal meridian, thence north along said 
meridian line to the line dividing townships 
29 and 30, thence east along such township 
line to the Wisconsin river, thence up the main 
channel of said river to the boundary line be- 
tween the State of Michigan and the territory 
of Wisconsin. The counties now included in 
this district are Pepin, Clark, Eau Claire, Dunn, 
Pierce, St. Croix, Polk, Barron, Bnrnett, Doug- 
las, Bayfield, Ashland, Taylor, Chippewa, and 
parts of Buffalo, Trempeleau and Jackson. 

An act of Congress, aproved March 2, 1 849, 
changed the location of the land office in the 
Chppewa district from the falls of St. Croix to 
Stillwater, in the county of St. Croix, in the 

proposed territory of Minnesota ; and by sec- 
tion two of the act, an additional land office and 
district was created, comprising all the lands in 
Wisconsin not inc ! uded in the districts of land 
subject to sale at Green Bay, Milwaukee, or 
Mineral Point, which was to be known as the 
Western land district, and the President was 
authorized to designate the site where the office 
should be located, Willow river, now Hudson, 
was selected. The district was usually known 
as the St. Croix and Chippewa district, and in- 
cluded St. Croix, La Pointe, and parts of Chip- 
pewa and Marathon counties. 

By an act of Congress, approved July 30, 1852, 
so much of the public lands in Wisconsin as lay 
within a boundary line commencing at the 
southwest corner of township 15 north, of range 
2 east of the fourth principal meridian, thence 
running due east to the southeast corner of 
township 15 north, of range 1 1 east, of the 
fourth principal meridian, thence north along 
such range line to the north line of the State 
of Wisconsin, thence westwardly along said 
north line to the line between ranges 1 and 2 
east of fourth principal meridian, thence south 
to the place of beginning, were formed into a 
new district, and known as the Stevens Point 
land district, and a land office located at that 
p'ace. The boundaries enclosed the present 
counties of Juneau, Adams, Marquette, Green 
Lake, Waushara, Waupacca, Portage, Wood, 
Marathon, Lincoln, and Shawano. 


It will be remembered that the Wisconsin 
land district, by the organic act of the territory, 
was to be extended north of the Wisconsin 
river u when the Indian title should be extin- 
guished." Now, as that event took place in 
1837, it follows that when what is now Vernon 
county, was surveyed into townships by the 
United States surveyors in the years 1839, 1840 
and 1845, it was in the Wisconsin land district, 
the land office being at Mineral Point. It was 
usually called the "Mineral Point land district." 
The surveys into sections and quarter sections 



were nearly all made while in the same dis- 
trict; hence, the early settlers went to Mineral 
Point to enter their land. Among the earliest 
entries are noted those of Alfred Glassburn, 
Jane 6, 1847, of the south half of the north- 
west quarter and the northwest quarter of the 
northwest quarter of section 28, township 13, in 
range 4 west, in what is now the town of Viro- 
qua; of Michael Hinkst, Sept. 13, 1847, of the 
north half of the southwest quarter and the 
northwest quarter of the southeast quarter, of 
section 31, and the southwest quarter of the, 
southwest quarter of section 32, in township 12, 
of range 4 west, in the present town of Frank- 
lin ; Orrin Wisel, June 17, 1848, of the south- 
east quarter of the northeast quarter of section 
25, township 12, range 5 west, in the town of 
Franklin also; of LeGrandand Lewis Sterling) 
Aug. 10, 1848, of the south half of the south- 
west quarter of section 2, in township 11, of 
range 6 west, in the town of Sterling. 


An act of Congress, approved March 2, 1849, 
formed the La Crosse land district, including 
within its limits the following territory: 

'Commencing at a point where the line be- 
tween the townships 10 and 11 touches the Mis- 
sissippi river, [in the present county of Craw- 
ford,] and running thence due east of the fourth 
principal meridian; thence north to the line be- 
tween townships 14 and 15 north; thence east 
to the southeast corner of township 15 north, or 
range 1 east of the fourth principal meridian; 
thence north on the range line to the south line 
of township 31 north; thence west on the line 
between townships 30 and 31 to the Ch : ppewa 
river; thence down said river to the junction 
with the Mississippi river thence down said 
river to the place of beginning." 

This included, though it has since been les- 
sened, all of the present county of Vernon, like- 
wise that of La Crosse, Monroe, Buffalo, Trem- 
pealeau, Eau Clair, Clark and parts of Juneau 
and Chippewa counties. Vernon county is still 
in the same districts. 

By act of Congress, approved Feb. 24, 1855, 
an additional district was formed of all that por- 
tion of the Willow river land district lying 
north of the line dividing townships 40 and 41, 
to be called the Fond du Lac district, the office 
to be located by the President as he might 
from time to time direct. The present counties 
of Douglas, Bayfield, Ashland and part of Bur- 
nett were included within its boundaries. 

By an act of Congress, approved March 3, 
1867, so much of the districts of land subject to 
sale at La Crosse and Hudson, in the State of 
Wisconsin, contained in the following bound- 
aries, were constituted a new district, to be 
known as the Chippewa land district: North of 
the line dividing townships 24 and 25 north; 
south of the line dividing townships 40 and 41 
north; west of the line dividi g ranges 1 and 2 
east; and east of the line dividing ranges 11 and 
I 2 west. The location of the office was to be 
designated by the President as the public inter- 
est might require. The present counties of 
Chippewa, Taylor, Eau Claire and Clark were 
in this district. 


There are at the present time six land offices 
in the State. They are located at Menasha, Falls 
of St. Croix, Wausau, La Crosse, Bayfield and 
Eau Claire. By the provision •» of law, when 
the number of acres of land in any one district 
is reduced to 1« 0,000 acres, subject to private 
entry, the secretary of the interior is required 
to discontinue the office, and the lands remain- 
ing unsold are transferred to the nearest land 
office, to be there subject to sale. The power 
of locating these offices lies with the President 
(unless otherwise directed by law), who is also 
authorized to change and re-establish the bound- 
aries of land districts whenever, in his opinion, 
the public service will be subserved thereby. 

As the county of Vernon is in the La Crosse 
land district, the land office for this county, is 
at La Crosse. All the lands that have been 
entered since the opening of that office, by set- 
tlers and others in Vernon county, have, of 
course, been entered there. 





Among the questions which naturally interest 
the citizens of Vernon county of to-day is this: 
"Who was the first settler within its limits?" 
There is a curiosity always manifested by those 
who come after the pioneers, to leave his name, 
where he settled and the date of his arrrival. 
Especially is the time of his coming a matter 
of interest. The county itself, so far as the 
people constitute it, begins then, although its 
formation and organization date a number of 
years thereafter. 


The town of Franklin has the honor of being 
the one in which was located the first sett'er. 
His name was John McCul lough. 

The exact date of his coming is unknown, 
only that it was in the spring of 1844. He 
built a house on the west half of the southeast 
quarter of section 25, township 12, range 5 
west, during the summer of that year. It was 
near what was afterward Bad Ax, now Liberty 
Pole. The place is now owned by Thomas 
Sheridan. He also did some breaking, and 
made other preparations to bring on his family, 
which he effected in the following spring. 

The section upon which McCul lough located 
was not afterward entered by him, nor any part 
of it. Orrin Wisel entered forty acres of it 
June 17, 1848, Charles Wiedeman, a quarter 
section, Nov. 13, 1849; Alexander C. Davis, 
eighty acres, Nov. 19,1849; H. L. Dousman, 
forty acres, May 2, 1850; Jacob Higgins, forty 
acres, July 17, 1851; Julia Hart, forty acres, 
April 1, 1852; Thomas J. Gosling, a quarter 
section, July 27, 1852; Thomas J. Gosling, forty 
acres, Oct. 23, 1852, and Francis Sanford, forty 
acres, Aug. 11, 1855; in all 640 acres; the en- 
tire section. 

McCullough remained on his place until the 
year 1852, when, in company with a number of 
others, he started for California. He arrived 
there safely, and, after a sojourn there of a year, 
he wrote his brother that he was on the eve of 
returning home; that he would start in a day 
or two, but he was never after heard of. The 
general impression is that he started on his 
homeward trip and died on the plains. 

The next to make claims and erect a cabin 
(for houses in those days were little else), were 
two brothers, Samuel and Hiram Rice. This 
was in the spring of 1845. They settled at what 
was afterward Bad Ax, now Liberty Pole, in the 
town of Franklin, near McCullough. Samuel 
Rice brought his family with him. Mrs. Rice 
was a most excellent woman; a devoted Chris- 
tian. She died in the fall of 1847. 

McCullough and the Rice brothers were soon 
followed by Henry Seifert, George P. Taylor 
and George Pike. Seifert was a bachelor. He 
settled at the place afterward known as the 
"Dowhower farm," but now owned by Benja- 
min Williams, on seetion 18, township 12, in 
range 4 west, in the town of Franklin. Taylor 
located on section 30, township 12, of range 4 
west, also in the town of Franklin. The place 
is now owned by J. C. Adkins. Mr. Taylor is 
not now a resident of the county. 

Harvey Sterling came to what is now the town 
of Sterling in July, 1846, and settled on section 
10, in township 11, of range 6 east. His family, 
consisting of his wife and two sons, Lewis and 
Le Grand, came on in the spring following. 
Le Grand Sterling is still a resident of the 

In the same month (July, 1846), that Harvey 
Sterling settled in what is now the town of 



Sterling, John Graham, with his three sons — 
Thomas, Baker and Lamach, all grown — settled 
in the present town of Jefferson, on section 23, 
in townshy) 13, of range 5 west, at what is 
now Springville. 

In 1846 Moses Decker settled at what is now 
Viroqua ; T. J. DeFrees, at the head of "De 
Frees' Branch," and James Foster on Round 
Prairie. Mr. DeFrees was accompanied by his 
wife and seven children, Jacob Johnson, John 
Graham and family, and Saul Decker. 

Those jnst mentioned were soon followed by 
others. Thomas Gillett and his sons, Nicho- 
las Vought, James A. Cooke, George Dawson, 
and J. Shields — all took up claims near the 
present site of Viroqua ; and, about this time, 
(1846), Ira Stevens located at what is now 
Victory. William C. McMichael, Samuel Mc- 
Michael and Robert McMichael, Charles Waters 
and Henry Waters — these located at or near 

Those who came during the year 1846, or 
previous to that time, to what is now Vernon 
county, were, indeed, "ye ancient pioneers." 
"They were subject to all the inconveniences 
and privations attending the establishment of 
new communities in remote sections of the 
country. They had at first to go to Prairie du 
Chien for their provisions and supplies." 

By Alexander LaUhaw. 
"I settled, on the 14th of May, 1847, on West 
Prairie, in the present town of Sterling. There 
were before me, George Nichols, LeGrand 
Sterling, Lewis Sterling, and their father, 
Harvey Sterling, and James A. Clark. The 
whole of the present county of Vernon was 
then the town of Bad Ax, Crawford county. 
There were some Frenchmen at DeSoto, then 
called Winneshiek. There were three who had 
families and one who had none. Two lived in 

what was afterward Bad Ax county ; the others 
in Crawford county. They had comfortable 
log houses and carried on trade with the Indians. 
Two of them had Indian wives; .they were 
brothers by the name of Godfrey. They left 
not lo g after tbe Winnebagoes went away. 
They would chop a little wood for steamers 

"Where the village of Victory now is, there 
was one Frenchman named Potwell, a trader. 
He was married to a squaw and had a family of 
children. Just above the mouth of the Bad Ax, 
there was another Frenchman , but he had no 
family. He, too, was a trader. Both left 
about the same time as the others who lived at 
Winneshiek (De Soto). 

"At this time (May, 1847) there were no 
settlers in going east from West Prairie until 
the settlement that was afterwards called 
Liberty Pole was reached. The first settler one 
came to, in going east and north, was John 
McCollough; the next, Samuel Rice, and Hiram 
Rice lived with him. The next directly east 
was George P. Taylor. A little north and west 
from Samuel Rice's lived George Pike. In 
about two miles north of Rices (now in the 
town of Franklin), on the road from Liberty 
Pole, as often called, to what is now Viro- 
qua, was the home of Henry Seifert. About a 
mile further north, on the same road, lived 
Jacob Johnson and T. J. DeFrees. 

"At what is now Springville, lived John 
Graham and hisfamily. William C. McMichael 
was living on Taylor's place at that time. 
George A. Swain came soon after and settled 
on section 21, township 12, range 4 west (town 
of Franklin). Abram Stiles and James A. 
Cooke came with him. Cooke settled on section 
4, in what is now the town of Viroqua. Stiles 
found a home on section 15, township 12, range 
4 west, in the present town of Franklin." 





Records of pioneer times are interesting, 
and they are not without their lessons of in- 
struction. By the light of the past, we follow 
in the foot-prints of the adventurous and enter- 
prising pioneer. We see him, as it were, amid 
the labors and struggles necessary to convert 
the wilderness into a fruitful field. We sit by 
his cabin fire, partaking of his homely and 
cheerfully-granted fare, and listen to the 
accounts which he is pleased to give us of fron- 
tier life, and of the dangers, trials, hardships 
and sufferings of himself and others, in their 
efforts to make for themselves homes in regions 
remote from civilization. Through these 
pioneer records, we make our way along to the 
present. From small beginnings we come to 
the mighty achievements of industry, the com- 
plex results of daring enterprise, subduing and 
creative energy and untiring perseverance. 

Following on in the path of progress and 
improvement, we see once waste places rejoic- 
ing under the kindly care of the husbandman; 
beautiful farms, with all the fixtures and appur- 
tenances necessary to make the tillers of the soil 
and their families contented and happy, are 
spread out before us; villages are built up as if 
by magic, and by hundreds human souls are 
congregated within their precincts; the marts 
of trade and traffic and the workshops of the 
artizans, are thronged; common schools, union 
schools and high schools have sprung up; 
young and ardent minds — children of the rich 
and the poor — may press forward together in 
the acquisition of science, literature and art; 
churches are built and a Christian ministry is 
sustained for the inculcation of religious senti- 
ments and the promotion of piety, virtue and 

moral goodness; the press is established, 
whence floods of light may emanate for the 
instruction and benefit of all ; railroads are 
built to bring the products of every clime, and 
the people from afar, to our doors; and the 
the telegraph "upon the lightning's wing" car- 
ries messages far and near. Let the records 
of the pioneers be preserved; in after years our 
children and our children's children will look 
over them with pleasure and profit. 


- The first important business of the pioneer 
settler, upon his arrival in Vernon county, was 
to build a house. Until this was done, some 
had to camp on the ground or live in their 
wagons — perhaps the only shelter they had 
known for weeks. So the prospects for a house, 
which was also to be a home, was one that gave 
courage to the rough toil, and added a zest to 
the heavy labors. The style of the home 
entered very little into their thoughts — it was 
shelter they wanted, and protection from stress 
of weather and wearing exposures. The poor 
settler had neither the money nor the mechanical 
appliances for building himself a house. He 
was content, in most instances, to have a 
mere cabin or hut. This was made of round 
logs light enough for two or three men to lay 
up. The house would generally be about 
fourteen feet square — perhaps a little larger or 
smaller — roofed with bark or clapboard, and 
floored with puncheons (logs split once in two and 
the flat side laid up). For a fire-place, a wail 
of stones and earth was made in the best practi- 
cable shape for the purpose, in an opening in 
one end of the building, extending outward, 
and planked on the outside by bolts of wood 




notched together to stay it. Sometimes a fire- 
place of this kind was made so large as to 
occupy nearly the whole width of the house. 
In cold weather when a great deal of wood was 
needed to keep the proper warmth inside, large 
logs were piled in the fire-place. To protect 
the crumbling back wail against the effects of 
the fire and to throw forward the heat, two 
back-logs, one on top of the other, were placed 
against it. 

For a chimney, any contrivance that would 
carry up the smoke would do. They were 
usually constructed of clay and sticks. Imagine 
a cold winter's night when the storm of wind 
and snow was raging without, the huge fire 
blazing within, and the family sitting around! 
It might be cozy enough if the cold was not too 
intense; and, in reality, before those fire-places 
there was often something of cheer, as the 
farmer sat smoking — if he had any tobacco; 
and the wife knitting — if she had any yarn and 

For a door to his log cabin the most simple 
contrivance that would serve the purpose was 
brought into requisition. Before a door could 
be made, a blanket often did duty in guarding 
the entrance. But, as soon as convenient, some 
boards were split out and put together, hung 
upon wooden hinges, and held shut by a wooden 
pin inserted in an auger-hole. 


In regard to the furniture of the pioneer's 
cabin, it may be said that it varied in propor- 
tion to the ingenuity of the occupants, unless it 
was where settlers brought with them their old 
household supply, which, owing to the distance 
most of them had to come, was very seldom. It 
was easy enough to improvise tables and chairs; 
the former could be made of split logs; the 
latter were designed after the three-legged stool 
pattern, or benches served their purpose. A 
bedstead was a very important item in the 
domestic comfort of the family; and the fashion 
of improvising them was as follows: 

A forked stake was driven into the ground 
diagonally from the corner of the room, and at 
a proper distance, upon which poles reaching 
from each side of the cab id were laid. The 
wall ends of the poles were either driven into 
auger-holes or rested in the openings between 
the logs. Bark or boards were used as a sub- 
stitute for cords. Upon this, the wife spread 
her straw tick; and if she had a home-made 
feather bed, she piled it up into a luxurious 
mound and covered it with her sheets and bed- 
quilts. Sometimes sheets were hung against 
the wall at the head and side of the bed, which 
added much to the coziness of this resting-place 
— this pioneer bed-room. The sleeping arrange- 
ment was generally called a "prairie bedstead." 


If the settler arrived in the early part of the 
season and had not time to plant, or had no 
fields prepared for that purpose, he could, at 
least, have a truck-patch, where a little corn 
was planted, also a few potatoes and turnips, 
and so me other vegetables were put in the 
ground. Of course this was only to make his 
small supply, which he had brought with him, 
reach as far as possible. His meager stores 
consisted of flour, bacon, tea and coffee. But 
these supplies would frequently be exhausted 
before a regular crop of wheat or corn could be 
raised, and as game was plentiful, it helped to 
eke them out. But when the corn was raised, 
it was not easily prepared for the table. The 
mills for grinding were at such distances away, 
that every other device was resorted to for 
making meal. 

Some grated it on an implement made by 
punching small holes through a piece of tin or 
sheet-iron, and fastening it upon a board in 
concave shape, with the rough side out. Upon 
this the ear was rubbed to produce the meal. 
But grating could not be done when the corn 
become so dry as to shell off when rubbed. 
Some used a coffee-mill for grinding it ; and a 
very common substitute for bread was hominy, 
a palatable and wholesome diet, made by boil; 



ing corn in a weak lye till the hull or bran 
peeled off, after which it was well washed to 
cleanse it of the lye. It was then boiled again 
to soften it, when it was ready for use, as 
occasion required, by frying and seasoning it 
to the taste. Another mode of preparing 
hominy was by pestling. A mortar was made 
by burning a bowl-shaped cavity in the end of 
an upright block of wood. After thoroughly 
cleaning it of the charcoal, the corn could be 
put in, hot water turned upon it, when it was 
subjected to a severe pestling by a club of suffi- 
cient length and thickness, in the large end of 
which was inserted an iron wedge, banded to 
keep it there. The hot water would soften the 
corn and loosen the hull, while the pestle 
would crush it. 


When breadstuffs were needed, they had to 
be obtained from long distances. Owing to 
the lack of proper means for threshing and 
cleaning wheat, it was more or less mixed with 
foreign substances, such as smut, di{t and oats. 
And as the time when the settlers' methods of 
threshing and cleaning may be forgotten, it 
may be well to preserve a brief account of 
them here. The plan was to clean off a space 
of ground of sufficient, size, and, if the earth 
was dry, to dampen it, and beat it to render it 
somewhat compact. Then the sheaves were 
unbound and spread in a circle, so that the 
heads would be uppermost, leaving room in 
the center for the person whose business it was 
to turn and stir the straw in the process of 
threshing. Then, as many horses or oxen were 
brought as could conveniently swing around 
the circle, and these were kept moving until 
the wheat was well trodden out. After several 
u floorings" or layers were threshed, the straw 
was carefully raked off and the wheat shoveled 
into a heap to be cleaned. This cleaning was 
sometimes done by waving a sheet up and 
down to fan out the chaff as the grain was 
dropped before it ; but this trouble was fre- 
quently obviated when the strong winds of 

autumn were all that was needed to blow out 
the chaff from the grain. This mode of pre- 
paring the grain for flouring was so imperfect 
that it is not to be wondered at that a consider- 
able amount of black soil got mixed with it, 
and unavoidably got into the bread. This, 
with an addition of smut, often rendered it so 
dark as to have less the appearance of bread 
than mud ; yet upon such diet the people were 
compelled to subsist for want of a better. 


Not the leaRt among the pioneers tribulations, 
during the first few years of the settlement, 
was the going to mill. The slow mode of 
travel by ox teams was made still slower by 
the almost total absence of roads and bridges, 
while such a thing as a ferry was hardly even 
dreamed of. The distance to be traversed was 
often as far as sixty or ninety miles. In dry 
weather, common sloughs and creeks offered 
little impediment to the teamsters ; but during 
floods and the breaking up of winter, they 
proved exceedingly troublesome and danger- 
ous. To get stuck in a slough, and thus be 
delayed for many hours, was no uncommon 
occurrence, and that, too, when time was an 
item of grave import to the comfort and some- 
times even to the lives of the settlers' families 
Often a swollen stream would blockade the 
way, seeming to threaten destruction to who- 
ever * ould attempt to ford it. With regard to 
roads, there was nothing of the kind worthy of 
the name. 

When the early settlers were compelled to 
make these long and difficult trips to mill, if 
the country ••' as prairie over which they passed, 
they found it comparatively easy to do in sum- 
mer when grass was plentiful. By traveling 
until night, and then camping out to feed the 
teams, they got along without much difficulty. 
But in winter such a journey was attended with 
no little danger. The utmost economy of time 
was, of course, necessary. When the goal was 
reached, after a week or more of toilsome 
travel, with many exposures and risks, and the 



poor man was impatient to immediately return 
with the desired staff of life, he was often 
shocked and disheartened with the information 
that his turn would come in a week. Then he 
must look about for some means to pay ex- 
penses, and he was lucky who could find em- 
ployment by the day or job. Then, when his 
turn came, he had to be on hand to bolt his 
own flour, as, in those days, the bolting ma- 
chine was not an attached part of the other 
mill machinery. This done, the anxious soul 
was ready to endure the trials of a return trip, 
his heart more or less concerned about the 
affairs of home. 

Those milling trips often occupied from 
three weeks to more than a month each, and 
were attended with an expense, in one way or 
another, that rendered the cost of breadstuffs 
extremely high. If made in the winter, when 
more or less grain-feed was required for the team, 
the load would be found to be so considerably 
reduced on reaching home that the cost of 
what was left, adding other expenses, would 
make their grain reach the high cash figure of 
from $3 to $5 per bushel. And these trips 
could not always be made at the most favorable 
season for traveling. In spring and summer, 
so much time could hardly be spared from other 
essential labor ; yet, for a large family, it was 
almost impossible to avoid making three or 
four trips during the year. 


Among other things calculated to annoy and 
distress the pioneer was the prevalence of wild 
beasts of prey, the most numerous and trouble- 
some of which was the wolf. While it was 
true, in a figurative sense, that it required the 
utmost care and exertion to " keep the wolf 
from the door," it was almost as true in a 
literal sense. There were two species of these 
animals, the large, black, timber wolf, and the 
smaller gray wolf that usually inhabited the 
prairie. At first, it was next to impossible for 
a settler to keep small stock of any kind that 

would serve as a prey to these ravenous beasts. 
Sheep were not deemed safe property until 
years after, when their enemies were supposed 
to be nearly exterminated. Large numbers of 
wolves * ere destroyed during the early years 
of settlement. When they were hungry, which 
was not uncommon, particularly during the 
winter, they were too indiscreet for their own 
safety, and would often approach within easy 
shot of the settlers's dwellings. At certain 
seasons their wild, plaintive yelp or bark could 
be heard in all directions at all hours of the 
night, creating intense excitement among the 
dogs, whose howling would add to the dismal 

It has been found by experiment that but one 
of the canine species, the hound, has both the 
fleetness and courage to cope with his savage 
cousin, the wolf. Attempts were often made to 
capture him with the common our, but this 
animal, as a rule, proved himself wholly unreli- 
able for such a service. So long as the wolf 
would run the cur would follow ; but the wolf, 
being apparently acquainted with the character 
of his pursuer, would either turn and place 
himself in a combatative attitude, or else act 
upon the principal that " discretion is the better 
part of valor," and throw himself upon his 
back in token of surrender. This strategic 
performance would make instant peace between 
these two scions of the same house ; and not 
infrequently dogs and wolves have been seen 
playing together like puppies. But the hound 
was never known to recognize a flag of truce ; 
his baying seemed to signify " no quarters ; " 
or, at least, so the terrified wolf understood it. 

Smaller animals, such as panthers, lynxes, 
wildcats, catamounts and polecats, were also 
sufficiently numerous to be troublesome. And 
an exceeding source of annoyance were the 
swarms of mosquitoes which aggravated the 
trials of the settler in the most exasperating 
degree. Persons have been driven from the 
labors of the field by their unmerciful assaults. 



The trials of the pioneer were innumerable, 
and the cases of actual suffering might fill a 
volume of no ordinary size. Timid women 
became brave through combats with real 

with the sight of beloved children failing in 
in health from lack of commonest necessaries 
of life. The struggle was not for ease or 
luxury, but was a constant one for the sustain- 

dangers, and patient mothers grew sick at heart i ing means of life itself. 



John McCullough was the first settler in 
what is now Vernon county. Where he located 
was then (1844) in Crawford county. 

The first couple married in Vernon county 
were George P. Taylor and Martha J. De 
Frees, April 8, 1847. 

The first white child born, of American par- 
ents, in the county was Electa S. De Frees, 
May 10, 1847. 

The first death was Mrs. Samuel Rice in the 
fall of 1847. 

The first school was opened in the spring and 
summer of 1849, taught by Jennie Clark, now 
Mrs. Messerssmith. 

The first school house was erected on the 
ridge between Viroqua and Brookville, built by 
George Swain, Abram Stiles and T. J. De Frees. 
It was intended also as a church. 

The first Church organized was a Methodist, 
at the house of T. J. De Frees, in 1848; the 
services were monthly. 

John Graham commenced, in 1846, the erec- 
tion of the first grist mill, at Springville. 

The first professional lawyer in the county 
was William F. Terhume, in 1851 . 

The first newspaper was the Western Times, 
started in June, 1856. 

The first term of circuit court was held at 
Viroqua by Judge Wiram Knowlton, commenc- 
ing on the third Monday of May, 1851. 

The first county officers chosen in the county 
w*ere: Thomas J. De Frees, county judge; Orrin 
Wisel, clerk of the court and county board of 
supervisors; James A. Cooke, county treasurer; 
Jacob Higgins, register of deeds; and Samuel 
McMichael, county surveyor. 

The first frame dwelling in the county was 
erected in Viroqua by Messrs. Terhume and 

Orrin Wisel was the first blacksmith in the 
county; located at Liberty Pole in 1848. 

John Graham erected the first mill in the 
county at Springville in 1847. 

The first actual settlement in the county was 
near Liberty Pole, in the present town of 

The first postoffice in the county was at 
Liberty Pole. 

The first person who held family worship in 
the county was Mrs. Samuel Rice. 

The first camp-meeting was held in the sum- 
mer of 1849 in the valley near the place where 
afterward resided Rev. J. A. Cooke. The only 
minister (Methodist) present was Jesse Per- 

The first child born, of Norwegian parents, 
in the couuty was Brown Olson, in the now 

town of Christiana on the southwest quarter of 
section 35. His birth was March 30, 1850. 



The first Methodist class-meeting in the 
county was led by J. A. Cooke, who afterward 
became a Methodist preacher. This was in the 
year 1849. 


Among the first settlers of the county there 
was a distant, yet distinct form of religion, ac- 
knowledged by a few; but the power thereof 
was weak. The first settlers had left their old 
homes in other States and emigrated hither for 
the purpose of improving their worldly condi- 
tion; and, as they located at that time in, as it 
were, an isolated country, away from settle- 
ments to the distance of fifty miles, on wild and 
never before occupied prairies except by the ab- 
originees, their minds would, very naturally, 
Beem to partake of the wilderness and the indif- 
ference which characterize the first settler of 
every new country. The support of their 
families must of necessity be the first desidera- 
tum, and when this is done, there was but little 
time remaining for worship, especially where 
the toils and difficulties of a pioneer life had 
unnerved the inc'ination; and the spirit of what 
is sometimes called luke-warmness prevailed to 
some extent. 

However, near the close of the first year's set- 
tlement, the modern pilgrims in the inchoate 
county of Bad Ax, had become somewhat or- 
ganized; and as there were but few of them, a 
spirit of warm friendship and congeniality very 
naturally arose between them; which sympathy 
and kindred feelings stole unobtrusively over 
the mind and heart, inspiring a higher devotion 
and sense of obligation to a higher Being. 

In the summer of the year 1847, a Mr. Lei, 
from Illinois, visited the settlement, and 
preached the first sermon ever delivered in the 
county. It was at the dwelling of Samuel Rice. 
There were on this occasion not to exceed twelve 
hearers, mostly men. During the delivery of 
this introductory sermon a huge black bear 
passed by the assembly, whereupon mostly all 
the male portion of the congregation immedi- 
ately dismissed themselves and went in pursuit 

of the animal, leaving the minister to finish his 
sermon in the presence of the few remaining 
females. Mr. Lee preached occasionally during 
the summer of 1847 to the people at their dwell- 
ings, took a claim of land near the head of the 
branch afterward familiarly known as "Lee's 
Branch ," about three miles northeast of where 
the village of Viroqua now stands. 

"The first religious service in the county," 
writes Flora D. Weeden, "was conduoted by a 
wandering miner, (Mr. Lee), who was prospect- 
ing through the county, stopped over Sabbath 
at the house of Samuel Rice. The entire set- 
tlement assembled to hear him preach. About 
the time the service had fairly commenced a 
black bear passed through the yard. All the 
men took their rifles and followed the bear, 
leaving the women and children to listen to the 
sermon. I was then twelve years old, but I re- 
member the incident. This occurred in the 
summer of 1847." 


The first Church organized in what is now 
Vernon county was by the Methodists. It was 
called the Bad Ax Church, and embraced the 
whole of the county in its district. In 1847 
Elder Wood, of Prairie du Chien, left an ap- 
pointment to preach at the dwelling of T. J. 
De Frees, which appointment was filled by Mr. 
Thomas, formerly of Philadelphia, but at that 
time from Prairie du Chien. Among the set- 
tlers of the county that are remembered at that 
date, were John McCullough, Samuel and Hi- 
ram Rice, Henry Seifert, Mr. Pike, John Gra- 
ham, T. J. De Frees, Jacob Johnson, John Har- 
rison, Abram Stiles, Solomon Decker, James 
Foster, Thomas Gillett, J. A. Cooke, G. A. 
Swain, E. P. Kelly and Robert Foster and their 

Mr. Thomas formed a society of Church 
members during his labors among the people 
of the settlement. He warmed the hearts of 
the luke-warm Christians, and inspired into 
them new life and higher hopes, encouraged 
their zeal, and placed their feet upon the high- 

124 # 


way whither many of them continued to travel 
so long as they lived. The first who joined 
this new-born band of Christians an the wilder- 
ness, were J. A. Cook and wife, G. A. Swain 
and wife, Henry Seifert and his mother, and 
the wife of Samuel Rice; the last mentioned 
being the first person in the county to hold 
family worship. All who knew her testify to 
her deep and inward piety, her true devotion to 
her Savior, and her love for everything of a 
sacred character. Mr. Thomas continued preach- 
ing occasionally in the settlement during the 
remainder of the year 1847, and often in the 
following year. 

During the summer of 1849, the number of 
inhabitants had so increased in the settlements, 
that it became convenient to have schools as 
well as meetings for religious worship; so the 
people of the thinly settled district, united and 
put up a cabin in the grove through which the 
road passed, from Virginia to Liberty Pole, 
then called Bad Ax. It was both a school 
house and a church. In the fall of that year 
(1849), Jesse Perdunn, from Grant county, vis- 
ited the settlement, and, as a matter of course, 
the cabin school house was his appointed place 
to preach. 

Religion and a general spirit of piety at this 
time, began to pervade the minds of the settlers 
and prayer and class meetings were held fre- 

quently, at the dwellings of the people. J. A. 
Cooke led the first clas6-meeting that was held 
in the county, and from that time others began 
to work more zealously in the cause. A spirit 
of Christian freedom began to rest upon the 
minds of the community. 

In the summer of 1849, the first camp-meet- 
ing was held in the county. It was near the 
place where Rev. J. A. Cooke afterward re- 
sided. Mr. Perdunn was the only miuister 
present. Many were converted and a large 
number were added to the Church, which, at 
this time, had assumed an active power, and 
wielded a strong influence throughout the com- 
munity; but there also were many back-sliders. 

The Church continued to progress, and grad- 
ually increased in numbers during the year fol- 
lowing (1850); when, in the month of August, 
a large number met at the place occupied the 
previous year and held another camp-meeting. 
At this meeting Elder Hobart was present, Mr. 
Perdunn, James Bishop and other ministering 
brethren. Elder Hobart was the first elder to 
visit the Church, and his district comprised the 
entire State of Wisconsin, north of the Wiscon- 
sin river. Mr. Perdunn's labors here closed for 
a few years, but he had the satisfaction of know- 
ing that he had been instrumental in building 
up the first religious denomination in the 



The territory now included within the limits 
of Vernon county was first a part of Crawford 
county. The last mentioned county was formed 
by proclamation of Lewis Cass, governor of 
Michigan territory, Oct. 26, 1818. An east 

and west line passing near the northern limits 
of what is now Barron county, separated Craw- 
ford from the county of Michilimackinac on 
the north ; a line drawn due north from the 
northern boundary of Illinois, through the mid- 



die of the portage of Fox and Wisconsin rivers, 
was the boundary line between it and Brown 
county on the east.. It was bounded on the 
south by Illinois, and on the west by the Mis- 
sissippi river, the western limit of the territory. 

In 1 829 Iowa county was formed, embracing 
all that part of Crawford county south of the 
Wisconsin river, and including the islands 
therein. In 1834 Brown county was extended 
westward to the Wisconsin river above the 
portage, leaving that stream the boundary of 
Crawford county on the east, as well as south. 
These are all the changes of boundary that 
were made while the county remained within 
the jurisdiction of Michigan territory. Wis- 
consin territory was formed in 1836. The 
northern portion of it had previously been 
embraced in the counties of Michilimackinac 
and Chippewa. The dividing line between the 
State of Michigan and the territory of Wiscon- 
sin left the organization of those counties 
within the former, and extinguished them so 
far as they lay within the limits of the latter ; 
and, in 1838, the district of country thus 
vacated, lying east of the Mississippi and Grand 
Fork rivers and north of the original county of 
Crawford, was attached to and made a part of 
that county for judicial purposes. Thus it was 
that Crawford county had its limits virtually 
extended to Lake Superior and the British, 
dominions, on the north. Afterward, courties 
were formed at different times out of its terri- 
tory until, in 1851, it was reduced to its present 
limits by the erection of La Crosse county, and 
also of 


The acts by which this county was designated 
by boundaries and named, and by virtue of 
which it was fully organized, were as follows : 


"An act to divide the county of Crawford 
and organize the counties of Bad Ax and La 

" The People of the State of Wisconsin, repre- 
sented in the Senate and Assembly > do enact 
as foUaws : 

"Sec. 1. All that portion of the county of 
Crawford lying between sections 19, 20, 21, 22, 
23 and24 in township 11 and township 15 north, 
of ranges 2, 3, 4,5, 6 and 7 west, be, and hereby 
is organized into a separate county, to be known 
and called by the name of Bad Ax; and all 
that portion of Crawford county lying north of 
township number 14 north, of ranges 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 
and 1 be, and hereby is organized into a separate 
county, to be known and called by the name of 
La Crosse. 

"Sec. 2. On the first Tuesday in the month 
of April next, the electors of said counties of 
Bad Ax and La Crosse shall, in addition to 
electing their town officers, vote lor and elect 
all officers necessary for a complete county or- 
ganization, and the county officers so elected 
shall qualify by bond and oath as prescribed 
by law, and enter upon the duties of their re- 
spective offices upon the third Monday of May, 
and continue in office until the first Monday of 
January, one thousand eight hundred and fifty- 
two, and until their successors are elected and 
qualified. It is hereby made the duty of the 
clerk of the board of supervisors of the county 
of Crawford to make out notices of such elec- 
tions to be posted in the respective counties upon 
the publication of this act; and the sheriff of 
Crawford county shall cause the said notices to 
be duly posted as in other general elections. 

"Sec. 3. The county of Bad Ax shall remain 
one town until the board of town supervisors 
shall divide the same into three or more towns, 
and the supervisors, town clerk and town treas- 
urer may act as and be county officers for such 
offices respectively. 

"Sec 4. (This section refers wholly to La 
Crosse county and is, therefore, not given). 

"Sec. 5. (This section has reference entirely 

to Crawford county; hence it, also, is omitted). 

"Sec. 6. From and after the third Monday of 

May next, the said counties of Bad Ax and La 



Crosse shall be organized for judicial (and) 
county purposes, and for all purposes and mat- 
ters whatever, and the county of Chippewa 
8 hall be attached to the county of La Crosse 
for judicial purposes. The circuit court shall 
be holden in the county of Bad Ax on the 
third Monday of May and fourth Monday of 
November of each year, and in the county of 
La Crosse on the fourth Monday of February 
and the fourth Monday of August of each year. 
"Sec. 1. All wrils, process, appeals, suits, re- 
cognizances, or other proceedings whatever 
already commenced, or that may hereafter be 
commenced, previous to the third Monday of 
May next, in the county or circuit court of 
Crawford county, shall be prosecuted to a final 
judgment, order or decree, and execution may 
issue thereon and judgment, order or decree 
may be carried into execution in like manner, 
and the sheriff of said county shall execute all 
process therein, in like manner as if this act 
had not passed, anything in this act to the con- 
trary notwithstanding. 

"Sec. 8. The returns of all elections provided 
for in this act shall be made for the county of 
Bad Ax to the clerk of the board of supervisors 
of the present town of Bad Ax, who shall issue 
certificates, within ten days from the time of 
holding such election, to the persons elected to 
the respective offices. The returns for the 
county of La Crosse, shall, so far as county 
officers are concerned, be made to the clerk of 
the board of town supervisors for the town of 
Albion, and said clerk shall issue like certifi- 
cates of election within fifteen days after said 
election, to the persons duly elected. 

"Sec. 9. The county seat of the county of 
BmI Ax shall be at such place as the board of 
supervisors shall designate, until a place ahall 
be permanently located by election upon that 
subject, and the qualified electors may vote at 
any election for the permanent location, and 
the place (designated by ballot) that shall have 
a majority of all the votes cast upon that 

subject, shall be the permanent county seat for 
said county. 

"Sec. 10. The location of the county seat of 
La Crosse county, is provided for by this section. 
George H. Walker, 
Speaker of the Assembly* pro tempore. 

Samuel W. Beall, 
Lt.~ Gov. and President of the /Senate. 
Approved March 1, 1851. 

Nelson Dewet." 


"An Act to amend an act entitled "An act to 
divide the county of Crawford and organize the 
counties of Bad Ax and La Crosse.' 9 

The people of the State of Wisconsin, represented 
in Senate and Assembly, do enact asfoUotcs: 

"Sec. 1. All that portion of the county of 
Crawford included within the following bound- 
aries, shall form and constitute, and is hereby 
organized into a separate county to be known 
and called by the name of Bad Ax, viz: Begin- 
ning at the northwest corner of the county of 
Richland, thence running south on the range 
line between ranges 2 and 3 west, to the north- 
east corner of section 24, of township 11, north 
of range 3 west, thence west on the section line 
to the boundary line of this State, in the main 
channel of the Mississippi river,thence northerly 
on the boundary line of this State in the said 
river, to the point of intersection of said bound- 
ary line and the township line between town- 
ships 14 and 15 north, thence east on said 
township line to the northeast corner of town- 
ship 14 north, of range 1 east, thence south on 
the range line between ranges 1 and 2 east, to 
the southeast corner of township 13, of range I 
east, thence west on the township line between 
12 and 13 to the place of beginning. And all 
of that portion of the county of Crawford lying 
north and northwest of the said county of Bad 
Ax be, and hereby is organized into a separate 
county to be known and called by the name of 
La Crosse. 



"Sec. 2. Section 1 of the act to which this is 
amendatory is hereby repealed. 

Frederick W. Hork, 
Speaker of the Assembly. 
Duncan C. Rbbm, 
President, pro tempore, of the Senate. 
Approved March 1, 1851. 

Nelson Dewey." 

Upon the passage of these acts, the proper 
steps were taken to organize the county as pro- 
vided therein. An election was held on the 
first Tuesday of April, 1851, to choose all the 
county officers necessary for a complete county 
organization (a list of which is given in a subse- 
quent chapter); and the officers so elected were 
qualified by bond and oath as prescribed by the 
the law then in force, on the third Monday of 
May following, and on that day they entered 
upon the duties of their respective offices. At 
the same date, the first circuit court was holden, 
as will hereafter be more fully explained; so 
that then the wheels of the county organization 
were all set in motion. Vernon county, there- 
fore, as to its civil organization, dates from the 
third Monday of May, 1851. 

As provided in the organic acts of the 
county, a county seat was designated by the 
board of supervisors, until a place should be 
permanently located by an election by the qual- 
ified voters of the county. The place desig- 
nated by them was the village of Viroqua; and 
it was here, therefore, that the various officers 
entered upon their duties and the circuit court 
held its first session. 

It was provided in the act of March 1, 1851, 
that "the qualified ^lectors might vote at any 
election for the permanent location" of the 
county seat; and the place (designated by 
ballot) that should have a majority of all the 
votes cast upon that subject, should be the per- 
manent county seat for the county. Some 
thought the election, when called, ought to be 
by the county board of supervisors. Looking 
to the calling of such an election, the following 

petition was handed to the clerk of the board 
and filed Nov. 1, 1851: 

"We, the undersigned, citizens of the county 
of Bad Ax, request the supervisors of Bad Ax 
county to call an election on the 10th day of 
January, 1852, * * * for locating the 
county seat. 

R. Dunlap, Rufus Gil let, 

George S. McCormick, L. A. Pierce, 
T. J. De Frees, Eldad Inman, 

Cyrus F. Gillett, James M. Bailey, 

Moses Decker, A. Latshaw, 

J. A. Cooke, Isaac S. Decker." 

But this petition, either because the board 
thought the day set was too soon, or that they 
doubted their authority to call an election, was 
not acted upon by the supervisors. 

To remove all difficulties and doubts concern- 
ing the calling of the election and fixing upon a 
day when it should be held, the Legislature 
passed as an act, which was approved by the 
governor on the 14th of April, 1852, in these 

"An act to permanently locate the county seat 
of Bad Ax county. 

" The people of the State of Wisconsin, repre- 
sented in Senate and Assembly, do enact as fol- 

"Sec. 1. The qualified electors of the county 
of Bad Ax shall be and are hereby authorized 
to vote for the permanent location of the county 
seat of said county, at an election hereby au- 
thorized to be held therein on Tuesday, the 
25th day of May, 1852, and polls shall be opened 
at the usual places of holding elections, which 
shall be conducted in the same manner as is 
provided by law for conducting general elec- 

Sec. 2. The sheriff of said county shall give 
at least ten day's notice of said election by post- 
ing or causing to be posted three written or 
printed notices, in public places in the vicinity 
of each place where the polls are to be held, 
which notice shall state the object and the time 
and place of holding the same; and the affidavit 


of the person or persons posting the same shall 
be filed with the clerk of the board of supervi- 
sors previous to the canvass by the board of 
county canvassers. 

"Sec. 3. It shall be competent and lawful for 
each qualified elector, as specified in the first 
section of this act, to vote at said election for 
such place as he may think proper to designate, 
for the permanent county seat of said county; 
each ballot to contain the words written or 
printed or partly written and partly printed: 
"For permanent county seat (naming the place)" 
and no vote shall be thrown out by the in. 
spectors for any irregularity, if the intention of 
the elector is clearly specified. 

"Sec. 4. The votes given at such election 
shall be canvassed by the inspectors, and re- 
turned as provided by law to the clerk of the 
board of supervisors, within one week from the 
time of holding said election. 

"Sec. 5. On the Tuesday next succeeding the 
election, the board of county canvassers, as 
chosen under the provisions of law, shall meet 
at the office of the clerk of the board of super- 
visors of said county, and proceed to make an 
estimate and statement of the votes cast, as 
follows: They shall make duplicate statements, 
written out in words at length, of the whole 
number of votes given at said election, and the 
names of the places voted for for county seat, 
and the number of votes each said place re- 
ceived, which said statement shall be certified 
aa correct, and attested by the signatures of the 
said county canvassers, one of which statements 
shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the 
board of supervisors and recorded in a suitable 
book provided for that purpose, and the ether 
shall forthwith be forwarded to the secretary 
of State, to be by him filed in his office, and the 
said secretary shalj forthwith publish in the 
newspaper in which the laws of the State are 
officially published, a certified copy of such 
statement. If it shall appear from the state- 
ment so made, that any one place has received 
a majority of all the votes cast at such election, 

then such place shall be deemed and declared 
to be the permanent county seat of said county. 

"Sec. 6. If, upon, canvassing the votes 
as provided for iu the preceding section of this 
act, it shall appear that no place has received a 
majority of all the votes cast, then a new elec- 
tion for choosing a location for permanent 
county seat, shall be held on Tuesday, the 29th 
day of June, A. D. 1852; and the sheriff shall 
cause like notice to be given of the election so 
ordered, and proof of the posting up of such 
notices shall be made as is provided in section 
2 of this act; which notices shall also contain 
the further statement of the names of the two 
places having the highest number of votes for 
permanent county seat at the preceding elec- 
tion, and no vote cast at such second election 
shall be counted unless it designate the name 
of one of the two places having the highest 
number of votes at the previous election. 

"Sec. 7. The votes cast at such second elec- 
tion shall be canvassed by the inspectors and 
returned to the clerk of the board of supervi- 
sors within one week after such election, and 
on the Tuesday next succeeding such election, 
they shall be opened by the county canvassers, 
and duplicate statements thereof made, and a 
certified copy of such statements shall be pub- 
lished by the Secretary of State, as provided 
in section 5, and the place having the highest 
number of votes at such election, shall be 
deemed and declared to be the permanent 
county seat of said county. 

"Sec. 8. This act shall take effect from and 
after its passage. 

J. McM. Sb after, 
Speaker of the Assembly, 
E. B. Dean, Jr., 
President pro tern, of the Senate. 

Approved April 14, 1852. 

Leonard J. Farwell. 

[Published May 12, 1852.] 

In accordance with the provisions of the act 
just given, an election was held on Tuesday, 
the 25th day of May, 1852, to determine where 



the permanent county seat of Bad Ax county 
should be located. There were but two places 
competing for the prize — Viroqua and Spring- 
ville. Viroqua won; and the county seat has. 
ever since remained there. 


The name given to the county by the Legis- 
lature when it passed the bill for its for- 
mation was suggested by Thomas J. DeFrees. 
Although it proved to be an unfortunate sug- 
gestion, it was one very natural to be made ; as 
this part of the county of Crawford previous to 
the formation of Vernon, formed a part of the 
town of Bad Ax;besides the principal river which 
rises within its limits was known by the same 
name. It was because this stream was so called, 
that gave name to the battle fought below its 
mouth between the Americans and the Indians 
under Black Hawk— "Battle of Bad Ax"— as 
explained in a previous chapter. And it, too, 
gave name to the town of Bad Ax. It may be 
said, therefore, that the county was named from 
the Bad Ax river, a description of which has 
already been given. 

We now come to the origin of the name; and 
here we are met (or confronted) by three differ- 
ent traditions, or, more properly speaking, the- 

(1.) It has been claimed that the term "Bad 
Ax," is derived from the Indian word Minne- 
*heik y the Indian name of the river. But, while 
it is true, that the Indians called what is nbw 
known as the Bad Ax, by the name Minnesheik, 
it is not true that the meaning of the latter is 
Bad Ax. It has no such signification in the lan- 
guage of any of the tribes who have for the last 
200 years, inhabited this region of country. 

(2.) It has been stated that the origin of the 
name was because of the failure of the Indians 
who lived at the mouth of the river, to make 
good axes out of the stone to be found there, on 
account of their softness. But the Sacs and 
Foxes and the Winnebagoes were furnished 
with steel implements by the fur-traders long 
before either of these tribes lived upon the 

Mississippi, or any of its branches. This tradi- 
tion, therefore, must fall to the ground, for the 
reason that the name was never applied to the 
river until the Winnebagoes took possession 
of the county, as will hereafter be fully 
shown. But there is another reason why the 
theory is an absurd one, and that is, the pres- 
ent race of red men do not make stone axes. It 
is the work of a forgotten people. 

(3.) It has often been stated that the term 
bad ax, as applied to the river, is a corruption 
of the French bateaux, the story being, that a 
French trader once anchored his bateaux at the 
mouth of the stream, and the Indians ever af- 
ter applied the term they heard him pronounce 
frequently, to the river. But, this theory has 
evidently been started by some one who had no 
knowledge how bateaux, is pronounced. No 
French trader would give the sound of ks to the 
x in the word, but would pronounce it bat-oze; 
and this certainly, could never have suggested 
bad ax. And to make the matter still more ab- 
surd, it is said the Indians could not pronounce 
bateaux at all, but gave the word as near as they 
could, which sounded to English ears as bad ax. 
Now, any one who has heard a Sac or Fox In- 
dian or Winnebago speak French, will testify 
that the word bateaux can be pronounced by an 
Indian perfectly, and with ease. It may be 
stated, therefore, with certainty, that the ori- 
gin of the name, as applied to the Bad Ax river, 
i* wholly unknown. 

Nearly all the early maps of the upper Mis- 
sissippi river have the Bad Ax noted on them, 
but by a different name. It is always called 
"R. au Canot," that is, "Canoe river." It is sb 
marked on Senex, 1715; De Fer, 1718; Mowen, 
1752; Popple, 1773. On the following maps, it 
is noted as "Canoe River;" Kitchen, 1773; 
Faden, 1 777; Pownal, 1779; Jeffrey, 1 779; Lewis, 
1795; Map United States, 1804. It first appears 
as "Bad Ax river," on Farmer's "Map of Uuis- 
consin," 1830. It is also seen on Burr, 1836; on 
Mitchell, 1838; and on Hi n man, same date. It 
is evident, therefore, that the first name given 



to the river was Canoe, and that the name Bad 
Ax, is a modern one, one that was not applied 
to it until after the Winnebagoes took posses- 
sion of this portion of the State. 


The name Bad Ax proved to be an unpopular 
one and the project of changing it had been 
impressed on the minds of some of the promi- 
nent citizens of the county, for a length of 
time. The word seemed, and in truth, did 
sound " Bad'My at home and abroad ; and, it 
was thought, it served to discourage emigration. 
The papers abroad took it up and advocated a 
change. The follow is from the Chicago Trib- 
une of 1861 : 

"The general impression gained of Bad Ax 
county is an unfavorable one. It is looked upon 
as a back woods country, out of the way and 
out of the world. It is also looked upon as a 
rough, hilly country, of rather poor soil, and 
destitute of prairies and water — in fact a country 
where a man must dig out an existence by hard 
labor, and get a poor living at that. Such I am 
warranted in saying is the general impression, 
for, having been somewhat of a traveler on the 
Mississippi, I have heard its character freely 
commented upon by travelers, as they were 
passing b> its western border. There has been 
much misapprehension on this point, and I 
think it has all arisen from the 'Bad' in its name. 

"Without going into the history of the name, 
or why it was given to this county, and the river 
which runs through it, I will say that "Minne- 
sheik" is said to be the Indian word for "Bad 
Ax," and the probability ft, that another year 
will not elapse before the name of Bad Ax will 
be changed tor that of the pretty sounding In- 
dian name — "Minnesheik." The people of this 
county feel that there is something repulsive 
in the name "Bad Ax," and inasmuch as they 
have just as fine and as rich soil as there is in 
Wisconsin, they propose to have hereafter, as 
a good name. They believe there is really 
something in a name, and they want a good 

Exactly when the first proposition was made 
to have^the name of the county (Bad Ax, 
changed is unknown ; and it would be of little 
importance if it could be determined. It is cer- 
tain, however, that as early as 1856, it had 
commenced to be agitated in a public way. 
A lady correspondent of the Western Times, in 
a communication appearing in the issue of 
Oct. 25, 1856, says : 

"In a July number of the Times (not found), 
I noticed a proposition to change the name of 
our county. As the subject has beeu broached 
allow me to 'agitate' the matter a little further. 
I expected to see the name of Fremont or Day- 
ton, or some other hero proposed for a substi- 
tute. It is all right and proper that those men 
should receive all the honor their friends 
would confer upon them. Indeed, I hope Fre- 
mont will be elected to the Presidential chair, 
and I would vote for him myself if you men 
would let me. But while I would give him 
due credit for his valor, there are heroines, or 
one at least, in your village (of Viroqua) that 
has displayed courage equal to that which 
would .explore the Rocky Mountains or face a 
cannon's mouth. 

"A woman who would be the first to settle in 
the wilderness, among savages and barbarians, 
without a female companion, deserves the 
respect and honor that would be acceded to a 
man that had been 'through the wars.' As a 
tribute of our respect, I motion that the name of 
our county be changed to that of Ellen. I 
think it would be a pretty name ; at the same 
time it would show to the woman that we 
appreciate her services in commencing a set- 
tlement in this rich and beautiful county. 

"The name as it now is, is ridiculed by 
'Yankees,' only that they think it should be 
'Bad Acts' instead of 'Bad Ax.' Give us a 
name that we need not be ashamed of." 

"We* have always been in favor," says the 
Northwestern Times, of Nov. 7, 1860, "of chang- 
ing the name of this county — its present name 
is without any good origin and without mean 



ing. We have used all the means in our power 
to find oat the origin or cause of its present 
name, and we think Judge Know I ton the best 

"He says that when this whole region was 
populated by Indians, a French trader came up 
to the mouth of the stream known as Bad Ax, 
in a bateaux loaded with goods, anchored his 
craft there, and opened trade with the redmen. 
The Indians could not pronounce the name 
bateaux, and the nearest they could come to it 
was to utter a sound which degenerated into 
Bad Ax. After this, the stream which the 
Indians called Minneskeik, was called Bad Ax*, 
and when the county was erected it was called 
. Bad Ax county; and now we have Bad Ax 
county, Bad Ax city, Bad Ax village, North 
and South Bad Ax rivers — Bad Ax enough to 
chop all humanity to pieces^. 

"If the name," continues the editor, "of our 
county must correspond with tradition, let us 
change it at once back to Bateaux, and give it 
a name that has some meaning. But we are in 
favor of giving it a good one while we are 
about it; and we have no particular objection to 
calling it Minnesheik, after its principal river, 
though we could select a name that we like bet- 
ter than this. But let us have a name that 
strangers will not pronounce with a thrill of 
horror as they do the name of Bad Ax." 

In November, 1 860, the Milwaukee Sentinel 
published the following from a La Crosse cor- 
respondent : 

"A few days since, having received an invi- 
tation from a friend to accompany him on a 
speech-making trip, I turned my horses heads 
towards the county now known as Bad Ax. I 
had been here once before and was then agree- 
ably surprised at the nature and character of 
the country that was opened to my- vision. 
Judging from the name, Bad Ax, I had been 
led to believe that the county was bad — de- 

*We have just shown the fallacy of this supposed origin of 
the term. 

tAtthis time (1888) there is but one "Bad Ax" left Id the 
toantjr, and that one is the original—Bad Ax river. 

cidedly so. I had supposed that it was not 
only rough, but all timbered, and of a rather 
thin and poor soil. As to my suppositions and 
conjectures, erroneous as they have been, I 
believed they were the same as entertained by 
the community generally. I have traveled not 
a little on the Mississippi and have heard trav- 
elers express their opinions, and then most 
always given with a shrug of the shoulders, as 
though there was something repulsive in the 
name, Bad Ax. 

"The people of this most flourishing county 
feel that there is something in a name ; and 
they feel justly that they have been entirely 
lost sight of ; that they are regarded as in the 
back wood 8 and of not much account ; and 
they are inclined to think it is on account of 
the 'Bad' there is in the name of their county ; 
for, certainly, there is nothing bad in its soil. 

"Minnesheik is said to be an Indian word for 
Bad Ax ; * and in all probability, application 
will be made at the next session of the Legis- 
lature for a change of name; and, if granted. 
Bad Ax county will follow the example set in 
other portions of the State, of adopting and 
retaining the more euphonious and prettier 
sounding Indian name, and of discarding such 
a senseless, jaw-breaking appellation as 'Bad 


Finally, when Jeremiah M. Rusk was in the 
Legislature, in 1862, W. F. Terhune prepared 
petitions and circulated them throughout the 
county for signatures, asking the Legislature to 
change the name, but without designating a 
substitute. And here we introduce a letter of 
Gov. Rusk, addressed to the editor, explanatory 
of what followed : 

"Executive Chamber, 
Madison, Wis., October 29, 1883. 
"Dear Sir : 
"Many of the leading citizens of the county 
believed that the name Bad Ax was a detri- 

*This is an error ; it has previously been discussed in this 



ment to the future prosperity of the county. 
The Hon. William F. Terhune went east about 
J 859, and when he returned he was thoroughly 
convinced that the name of the county was a 
great detriment to it, and from that time he 
strongly urged the change. An effort was 
made to change the name in I860. In 1861 I 
was elected to the Assembly, and a very strong 
petition was signed and presented tome, urging 
the change to something else, but not designa- 
ting what. At that time I was not very favora- 
ble to the change ; but when the Legislature 
convened I became thoroughly convinced that 
the name was a detriment to the county. When- 
ever I rose and addressed the chair, and the 
speaker recognized "the gentlemen from Bad 
Ax," every body in the chamber turned to look 
at the member to see if he looked like the rest 
of the members. I immediately wrote Judge 
Terhune to select a name and I would do what 
I could to make the change. Judge Terhune 
sent me the name "Vernon," and the bill was 
presented and passed that Legislature. 

Yours very truly, 
J. M. Rusk.*' 
Mr. Terbune found much trouble in selectiug 
a new name that was pleasing to the people. 
Some thought it should be Wheatland ; others 
suggested Minnesheik, as already noticed ; and 
other names had advocates. Finally, Mr. Ter- 
hune hit upon the name of Vernon as a kind of 
compromise. The reason for its suggestion was 
that the root of the word (greenness) was appli- 
cable not to the people but to the general 
appearance of the county, covered as it was in 
many places with green wheat fields. Besides 
this, the word was euphonic and carried with it 
a pleasing association with Mt. Vernon the 
home (as is well known) of the Father of his 
Country, during his lifetime. These considera- 
tions induced Mr. Terhune to believe that the 
word would be, as it proved, generally accepta- 
ble to the inhabitants of the county ; and he 
sent it forward as Gov. Rusk states in his letter 
just given. 

The bill introdued by Hon. J. M. Rusk and 
which passed the Legislature was as follows : 
("Published March 28, 1862). 

"An Act to change the name of Bad Ax 
county to that of Vernon. 

"The people of the State of Wisconsin, repre- 
sented in the Senate and Assembly, do enact as 


"Sec. 1. The name of Bad Ax county, 
in this State, is hereby changed to Vernon 
county, and by this latter name the said county 
shall be called and known in popular nomencla- 
ture and in law, in all places and for all pur- 
poses ; and whenever, in any law of this State, 
and in all deeds, mortgages and public records, 
the words "Bad An" occur, having reference to 
said county of Bad Ax, (now county of Vernon) 
said words shall be construed and understood in 
the same manner as if the word "Vernon" were 
printed or written in lieu thereof. 

"Sec. 2. This act shall take effect and 
be in force from and after the 1 st day of May, 
A. D. 1862. 
• "Approved March 22, 1862." 

A correspondent of the Vernon County Cen- 
sor, in writing to that paper, March 10, 1869, 
thinks the change of name worked a great 
change in the prospects of the county. He 
says : -- 

"For many years, the county, of which Vi- 
roqua is the county seat, labored under a great 
disadvantage in consequence of her taking to 
herself a name that had neither meaning nor 
sense. Why the settlers of the county suffered 
the name of Bad Ax to be fastened on them 
cannot now be ascertained. That the name 
blasted the county so long as it was retained, is 
a fact patent to all. As soon as the name was 
ch nged to Vernon, the whole county began to 
flourish, and now Vernon county has no small 
influence in the State. She has quite an array 
of public men, too, whose names are well 
known throughout Wisconsin ; such as Rusk, 
Priest,Purday, Graham, Terhune, Butt, Newell 
and others." 






About the year 1859 there began a county 
Beat war of a mild form in Crawford county. 
The southern portion of that county wanted it 
to remain at Prairie du Chien while the north- 
erners desired to have it removed to Dagget's 
Knob. The result was a ''secession movement" 
at the village of De Soto which lies in both 
Crawford and Vernon (then Bad Ax) counties. 
The denizens of this village and the country 
round about took it into their heads to form a 
new county out of the northern part of Craw- 
ford and southern part of Vernon. Could this 
be accomplished, then De Soto would be just 
the place for the couuty seat, of course. 

Pursuant to notice, then, the citizens of the 
towns of Wheatland, Sterling and Franklin, in 
Bad Ax county, and of Freeman and Utica in 
Crawford county, held a meeting at the school 
house in Sterling, on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 1861, 
"to consider the propriety of certain changes in 
the dividing line of said counties," but in reality 
to promote a new county movement. The meet- 
ing was called to order by Dr. Bean, of Ster- 
ling, in the chair, and J. C. Kurtz, of Wheat- 
land, secretary. The chairman, in some appro- 
priate remarks, stated the object of the meet- 
ing. He was followed by Messrs. Crittenden, 
Carlyle, Ferguson, Sterling, McMinn, Cate and 
others; when, on motion, a committee of three, 
consisting of A. Carlyle, C. G. Allen and A. 
Crittenden, was appointed to draft resolutions 
expressive of the wishes of the meeting. The 
committee submitted the following resolutions, 
which were adopted: 

"Resolved, That, in the opinion of this meet- 
ing, the present line dividing the counties of 
Crawford and Bad Ax — dividing township 11 
— is detrimental to the best interests of the 
inhabitants of the south half of said township 
1 1, now situated in the limits of Crawford county 
and that the said county line should be removed 
to the line between townships 10 and 11. 

"Resolved, That, in the opinion of the meet- 
ing, the pecuniary interests of a portion of Bad 

Ax and Crawford counties would be materially 
promoted by the establishment and organiza- 
tion of a new county, with the county seat lo- 
cated on the Mississippi river." 

A committee of three, consisting of J. C. 
Beny, of Wheatland; C. B. Whiting A Co. 
and D. A. Bean, of Sterling, was then appointed 
to draft a map designating the boundary lines 
of the proposed new county and to a meeting 
when practicable "to determine on the same." 
But this ended the new county movement in 
that region. 

By the year 1866, so great was felt to be the 
inconvenience of being so far from the county 
seat as were the inhabitants of the six eastern 
towns of the county, that they made a protracted 
effort to have the county divided, so that Hills- 
borough, Greenwood, Forest, Union, Whites- 
town and Stark, with adjoining towns, either on 
the north, east or south, as they might be able 
to obtain them as companions, would form a 
new county. Petitions were sent in to the 
Legislature in favor of a division. But it was 
soon found that nothing could be got from ad- 
joining counties to help on the movement — 
nothing could be got from the north; nothing 
from the south; and finally the two towns to 
the east which had been confidently counted 
upon, could not be had. 

But the friends of the new county were not 
disheartened, and at once concluded that they 
would form a county out of Hillsborough, 
Greenwood, Forest, Union, Whitestown and 
Stark— six towns— proposing, however, to re- 
main attached to Vernon county for judicial 
purposes, so as to avoid the expense of erecting 
county buildings, and a bill was introduced in 
the Assembly at Madison for that purpose. But 
the principal argument against the new meas- 
ure was that, if the towns remained attached to 
Vernon for judicial purposes, they would derive 
little or no benefit from a separation, as the 
principal necessity for it was the inconvenience 
of attending court so far away as Viroqua; so 



the measure was strangled in its infancy, and 
has never since been seriously agitated. 

A bill, supported by numerous petitions, was, 
in 1870, introduced into the Assembly by Mr. 
Bennett, for the erection of a new county to be 
called Sheridan, and to embrace the towns of 
Hillsborough, Greenwood, Union, Forest, 
Whitestown and Stark, in Vernon county; the 
towns of Wellington, Glendale, Clifton and 
Wilton, in Monroe county; the town of Wone- 
woc, in Juneau county, and the town of Wood- 
land, in Sauk county. Petitions circulated in 
some portions of the proposed new county also 
called for the town of Sheldon, in Monroe 
county, but these received a limited circulation. 

Had the bill passed, four counties would 
vote on the question, as all those named came 
within the constitutional provision. "No 
county with an area of 900 square miles or less, 

shall be divided or have any part stricken 
therefrom, without submitting the question to 
a vote of the people of the county, nor unless a 
majority of all the legal voters of the county 
voting on the question shall vote for the same." 
Vernon, Monroe, Juneau and Sauk all contain 
areas which make this constitutional provision 
apply to them. 

In the eastern part of Vernon county the 
people were quite generally in favor of the 
measure; and it is probable, that had the scheme 
reached a vote, the six towns in Vernon county 
would have been in favor of the new county of 
Sheridan. But the bill did not pass even the 
Assembly; so the movement was strangled in its 
early infancy; and Vernon county of to-day 
(1883), is exactly, in extent, the Vernon county 
formed by the act of March 1, 1851; but in all 
else, how changed! 



The settlers who had located in what is now 
Vernon county, before Wisconsin became a 
State, were represented of course, as citizens of 
Crawford county, in the territorial council and 
house of representatives. We commence the 
record of this representation with the first year 
of the settlement of what afterward became 
Vernon county. 


Council. — Wiram Enowlton, 1845-46; Benja- 
min F. Manahan, 1847-48. 

Representatives. — James Fisher, 1845-46; 
Joseph W. Furber, 1847; Henry Jackson, 1847- 


Constitutional Conventions. 
The first constitutional convention assembled 
at Madison on the 5th day of October, 1846, and 

adjourned on the 16th day of December, 1846, 
having framed a constitution, which was sub- 
mitted to a vote of the people on the first Tues- 
day in April, 1847, and the same was rejected. 
The member of this convention from Craw- 
ford county, was Peter A. R. Brace. 

The second convention assembled at Madison, 
on the 15th day of December, 1847, and ad- 
journed on the 1st of February, 1848, having 
framed a constitution which was submitted to a 
vote of the people on the second Monday in 
March following, and the same was adopted. 
The convention was constituted as follows: 
Messrs. Samuel W. Beall, Warren Chase, Stod- 
dard Judd, Theodore Prentiss, Garret M. Fitz- 
gerald and Frederick S. Lovell, being the only 
members of the first convention who were 



elected to the second; the members of the first, 
in almost every county, declining a re-election. 
The member of the second convention, Daniel 
6. Fenton, represented the counties of Chip- 
pewa and Crawford. 


(1.) Senate.— Third district, D. Q. Fenton, 
1848; James Fisher, 1849; James Fisher, 1850; 
Hiram A. Wright, 1851; Hiram. A. Wright, 
1852. Nineteenth district, Benjamin Allen, 
1853; Benjamin Allen, 1854; William J. Gibson, 
1855; William J. Gibson, 1856. Thirtieth dis- 
trict, William T. Price, 1857; William H. 
Tucker, 1858; William H. Tucker, 1859; B. E. 
Hutchinson, 1860; B. E. Hutchinson, 1861; N. 
S. Cate, 1862;- William S. Purdy, 1863; William 
Ketcham, 1864; William Ketcham, 1865; Benjar 
min Bull, 1866. Thirty-first district, J. W. 
Ranney, 1867; J. W. Ranney, 1868; C. M. Butt, 
1869; C. M. Butt, 1870; Angus Cameron, 1871. 
Fourth district, William Nelson, 1872; William 
Nelson, 1873; A. E. Bleekman, 1874; A. E. 
Bleekraan, 1875; J. Henry Tate, 1876; J. Henry 
Tate, 1877; George W. Swain, 1878; George W. 
Swain, 1879; O.B.Thomas, 1880; O.B.Thomas, 
1882; Van S Bennett, 1882; Van S. Bennett, 

(2.) Assembly.— William T. Sterling, 1848; 
James O'Neill, 1849; William T. Sterling, 1850; 
William F. Price, 1851; Andrew Briggs, 1852; 
Hiram A. Wright, 1853; William F. Terhune, 
1854; James Fisher, 1855; Andrew Briggs, 
1856; Buel E. Hutchinson, 1857; James R. Sav- 
age, 1858; Thomas W. Tower, 1859; William 
C. McMichael, 1860; Daniel H. Johnson, 1861; 
Ole Johnson, and Jeremiah M. Rusk, 1862; 
James H. Layne and Daniel B. Priest, 1863; 
William H. Officer and Albert Bliss, 1864; 
William H. Officer and James Berry, 1865; 
Newton F. Carpenter and Alexander Woods, 
1866; John W. Greenman and Albert Bliss, 
1867; Henry Chase and Daniel B. Priest, 1868; 
John M. McLeez and Van S. Bennett, 1869; 
Reuben May and Van S. Bennett, 1870; Joseph 
W. Hoytand Henry A, Chase, 1871; Reuben 

May and Henry A. Chase, 1872; Peter Jerman 
and J. Henry Tate, 1873; William Frazier and 
Edgar Eno, 1874; Ole Anderson and James E. 
Newell, 1875; John Stevenson and Timothy S. 
Jordan, 1876; Peter J. Dale and Henry H. 
Wyatt, 1877; Christian Ellefson and Allen 
Rusk, 1878; Jacob Eckhardt, Jr., and Roger 
Williams, 1879; Jacob Eckhardt, Jr., and David 

C. Yakey, 1880; T. O. Juve and Allen Rusk, 
1881; T. O. Juve and Thomas J. Shear, 1882; 
Christian Ellefson and Marshall C. Nichols, 1883. 


The act of Congress approved April 20, 1836, 
organizing the territory of Wisconsin, con- 
ferred upon the people the right to be repre- 
sented in the National Congress by one dele- 
gate, to be chosen by the votes of the qualified 
electors of the territory. Under this authority 
there were elected the following 

Territorial Delegates. 
George W. Jones, elected Oct 10, 1836; James 

D. Doty, elected Sept. 10, 1838; James D. Doty, 
elected Aug. 5, 1840;* Henry Dodge, elected 
Sept 27, 1841; Henry Dodge, elected Sept. 25, 
1843; Morgan L. Martin, elected Sept. 22, 1845; 
John H. Tweedy, elected Sept. 6, 1847. 

By the constitution adopted when the terri- 
tory became a State, in 1848, two representa- 
tives in Congress were provided for by dividing 
the State into two congressional districts. The 
first district was composed of the counties of 
Milwaukee, Waukesha, Jefferson, Racine, 
Walworth, Rock and Green. The second dis- 
trict was composed of Washington, Sheboygan, 
Manitowoc, Calumet, Brown, Winnebago, Fond 
du Lao, Marquette, Sauk, Portage, Columbia, 
Dodge, Dane, Iowa, Lafayette, Grant, Richland, 
Crawford, Chippewa, St. Croix and La Pointe. 
As what is now Vernon county was then a part 
of Crawford, of course the people therein were 
in the second district. Under this authority, an 
election was held May 8, 184S, and William Pitt 
Lynde was elected member of Congress for the 

* Doty afterward resigned, he having been appointed Gov- 
ernor of the Territory by President Tyler, Sept. 18, 1841. 



first district; Mason C. Darling, of Fond du Lao, 
for the second district The people therefore, 
then living in what is now Vernon county were 
represented in the thirtieth Congress by Mason 
C. Darling. From (and including) that election 
there have been chosen for the various congres- 
sional districts in which Vernon county has 
fallen, the following 


2d Diet.— XXXth 
2d Dist.— XXXIst 
2d Dist.— XXXHd 
2d Dist.— XXXUId 
2d Dist.— XXXIVth 

Con. 1847-40— Mason C. Darling; 
•• 1849-61— Orsamus Cole; 
" 1851-58— Ben C. Eastman: 
1 ( 1858-55— Ben C Eastman- 
1855-57— C. C. Washburn; 

2d Dist.— XXXVth " 
2d Dist.— XXXVItn '« 

2d Dist— XXXVIItk" 

6th Dist.-XXXVnith * 
6th Ob t.— XXXIXth" 
6th Dist.— XLth " 

6th Dist .— XLIst 
6th Dist.— XLIId 
7th Dist.— XLIIId " 
7th Dist.— XLlVth " 
7th Dist.— XLVth «■ 
7th Dist.— XLVIth " 
7th Dist.— XLVHth " 
7th Dist— XLVmth " 
* Died November 24. 1882. 

1857-59— C. C. Washburn; 

1859-61-C. C. Washburn; 

iftAi «q J Luther Hanchett* 

1861-68-^ w D McIndoe . 

1868-65— W. D. McIndoe; 
1865-67— W. D. McIndoe; 
1867-69—0. C. Washburn ; 
1869-71-C. C. Washburn; 
1871-73— Jeremiah M. Rusk; 
1878-75— Jeremiah M.Rusk; 
1875-77-Jeremiah M. Rusk; 
1877-79— H. L. Humphrey; 
1879-81— H. L. Humphrey; 
1881-88— H. L. Humphrey; 
1888-85— G. M. Woodward; 



Unlike many of the western States, Wiscon- 
sin's system of county government has always 
been that of either the board of supervisors or 
commissioners. This system was brought to 
its present state of perfection when the terri- 
tory became a State, but this system was in 
vogue years prior to this, the territorial coun- 
ties being governed by the same system. In 
the winter of 1850-1 the Legislature passed an 
act creating the county of Bad Ax. It was set 
off from Crawford county, and organization of 
the territory so set off was authorized. The first 
election was held in April, 1851, at which 
county officers were elected. 

It is to be presumed that the first meeting of 
the board of supervisors was held shortly after 
the April election; but the records do not throw 
any light upon it. According to the record the 
first meeting of the board of supervisors was 
held on the 11th of November, 1851, at Viroqua. 
The only business transacted was to canvass the 
votes cast at the November election of 1851. 
The following officers were declared elected: 

County clerk, William C. McMichael; sheriff, 
James M. Bailey; register of deeds, Jacob 
Higgins; district attorney, Lorenzo A. Pierce; 
coroner, Clement Spaulding; surveyor, Samuel 
McMichael; assemblyman, Andrew Briggs. 
The records were signed by O. Wisel, clerk of 
board, and W. F. Terhune, deputy. 

On the 11th of November, 1851, the next 
meeting of the board of supervisors was held 
at the house of Moses Decker. At this time 
taxes were levied; the whole valuation of the 
county being $32,897. 

One month later another meeting of the 
board was held, at which the following bills 
against the county were allowed: W. F. Ter- 
hune, services as deputy clerk, $24.86; Orrin 
Wisel, services as clerk, $5.57; Oliver Langdon 
justice of the peace, $3.87; James M. Bailey, 
deputy sheriff, $16.22; Westfall Decker, assist- 
ing sheriff in arrest, $2; Rufus Gillett, sheriff, 
$25.61; L. A. Pierce, district attorney, $39 — 
donated to county; Abraham Cyfert, $4.50; 
Abraham Stiles, supervisor, $0.70; Moses 



Decker, services of his son Thomas, 75 cents; 
Eldad In man, constable, $3; Peter La Morse, 
supervisor, $3. It was ordered that the office 
of the clerk of circuit court be kept at the 
house of William F. Terhune until further 

At this time the entire county was organized 
as one civil town. From the records, it would 
appear that the board of town trustees also com- 
posed the board of county supervisors, and fre- 
quently the board would meet as town trustees, 
then organize themselves into the board of su- 
pervisors and proceed to the transaction of 
county business. The records do not disclose 
the names of the members, but from the bills 
allowed it would appear that Abraham Stiles 
and Peter La Morse were members of the board 
in 1851. 

William C. McMiohael succeeded Orrin Wisel 
as clerk. 

At a meeting of the board of supervisors held 
on the 3 1st of July, 1852, it was ordered that the 
clerk of the board "post up notices for letting 
the contract for building a room for the county 
offices to be kept in; also for painting the out- 
side of the court house, with lime mortar, and 
further, that the 14th of August, next, be set 
for hearing proposals." In August the contract 
for building was let to Orrin Wisel, for $65; 
that of painting the outside of the court house 
with "lime mortar" was let to Moses Decker 
for $7.60. 

At the same session the record states that 
"Thomas J. De Frees be, and is hereby ap- 
pointeda commissioner, to survey and sub-divide 
into a town plat, the land which was donated 
by Moses Decker, Solomon Decker and Isaac 
Decker to Bad Ax county." 

On the 12th of November, 1852, the board 
examined the assessment rolls and ascertained 
that the aggregate valuation of real and per- 
sonal property in the county was $64,432. 

At this session Edmund Strong presented 
his resignation as county treasurer and John 
Longley was appointed to fill the vacancy. 

On the 29th of March, 1853, the board of 
supervisors divided the county into four town- 
ships named respectively: Bergen, Jefferson, Bad 
Ax and Kickapoo. Up to this time the whole 
county had constituted one township. This 
matter is treated at length in another chapter. 

This increased the board of supervisors to 
four, each civil town being entitled to one 
representative in the county board. 

In the spring of 1853, the name of Thomas 
J. De Frees appears signing the records as 
chairman of the board, although it is not dis- 
closed when he was chosen as such. 

A regular meeting of the board was held on 
the 3d of May, 1853, at which Andrew Briggs 
was chosen chairman of the board upon motion 
of William H. Austin. The minutes of this 
meeting were signed by Andrew Briggs, chair- 
man, W. H. Austin and Orin Caulkins. 

On the 29th of November, 1853, the county 
board divided the town of Bad Ax, and created 
that of Farwell. 

At the same session they granted Orrin 
Wisel a license to keep and maintain a toll 
bridge for ten years across the Kickapoo river, 
on section 8, township 11, range 3. The toll 
rates were fixed as follows : Footman, three 
cents ; horse and rider, ten cents ; each addi- 
tional horse, mule or ass, five cents; two horses 
and wagon, twenty-five cents; horse and buggy, 
fifteen cents ; yoke of oxen and wagon, thirty- 
five cents; for each additional yoke of cattle, 
ten cents. 

At the regular May session, 1854, the board 
organized by the election of Andrew Briggs as 
chairman lor the ensuing year. The board was 
composed of Andrew Briggs, town of Bad Ax; 
Isaac Spencer, Jefferson; T. J. De Frees, Viro- 
qua; Benjamin Hill, Kickapoo, and John War- 
ner, Bergen. 

One of the official acts at this session was 
the changing the name of the town of Farwell 
to that of Viroqua. 

The board also expressed themselves in 
favor of building a court house for the county 



during 1854, and suggested 30x38 feet, two 
stories high as the size. T. J. De Frees drew 
plans and specifications for the building and 
proposals were advertised for. 

At the July session, 1854, the proposal of 
Samuel McMichael to build the court house for 
$2,100 was accepted. 

A special session of the board was held on 
the 9th of March, 1855, at which the town of 
Viroqua was divided, and the towns of Forest 
and Hillsborough were created. A petition 
from the citizens of township 13 north, of range 
1 east, to be set off as a civil town, was re- 

On the 13th of November, 1855, the board of 
supervisors of "Bad Ax" county convened in 
annual session, and organized by the election 
of William H. Qoode as,ohairman for the ensu- 
ing year. The board was composed of the fol- 
lowing named gentlemen representing the 
various towns in the county. Andrew Briggs, 
Bad Ax; W. H. Goode, Viroqua; Isaac Spencer, 
Jefferson; William H. Austin, Kickapoo; 
Joseph N. Martin, Hillsborough; John M. Mc- 
Lees, Bergen. 

At this session, the former resolution of the 
board creating th e town of Forest was repealed, 
and the town of Union was created embracing 
the territory of township 13, ranges 1 and 2 
west. Forest was again created embracing the 
territory of township 14, ranges 1 and 2 west. 
At the same session the towns of Webster, 
Christiana, Greenwood and Harmony were cre- 
ated. Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of township 
12, range 5, were detached from the town of 
Bad Ax and annexed to Jefferson. 

At the March session, 1856, James W. Chaney 
succeeded Andrew Briggs as supervisor from 
the town of Bad Ax. 

On the 5th of September, 1856, the board of 
supervisors convened for the regular fall term. 
William A. Bullard was elected chairman for 
the ensuing year. The record states that the 
board was composed of the following gentle- 

W. A. Bullard, Viroqua; James M. Bailey, 
Bad Ax; J. R. Savage, Jefferson; Edmund 
Klopfleisch, Hillsborough; Uriah Gregory, 
Greenwood; Ransom Bennett, Harmony; £. 
Bursett, Christiana; O. Wisel, Kickapoo; J. 
Allen, Webster; G. White, Forest; Josiah 
Newburn, Union; R. Bennett, Bergen. 

At this session the board ordered that the 
old court house be "advertised for sale, and sold 
to the highest bidder." 

Samuel McMichael was appointed county 
surveyor to fill the vacancy caused by the death 
of William F. Beavers. 

There seems to have been quite a change in 
the the personnel of the board at the November 
term, 1856 : Engelbrit Bjorseth appeared from 
Christiana ; Giles White from Forest ; and R. 
S. McMichael from Harmony : 

For the first time the question of what should 
be done with the county poor came to the no- 
tice of the board at the November term, 1 856, 
and it was declared that all distinction be abol- 
ished between county and town poor. Three 
county superintendents of the poor were 
elected, who were to hold their offices three 
years. They were Isaac Williams, Robert Ad- 
ams and T. J. DeFrees. It was also ordered 
that a tax of two mills on the dollar, amount* 
ing to $1876.76 be levied for the purpose of 
purchasing a poor farm and erecting suitable 

At the December session, 1856, one new su- 
pervisor took his seat — James Marker, from 

The superintendents of poor were authorized 
to purchase a poor farm. It was to be improved, 
and cost not more than $5,000. 

At the March session,in 1857, R. S. McMichael 
was chosen chairman of the board to fill the 
vacancy occasioned by the removal of William 
A. Bullard, the former chairman, from the town 
of Viroqua, which he had been elected to rep- 

At the same time two petitions were presented 
for the division of the town of Bad Ax and the 



creation of two new civil towns ; one was from 
William S. Purdy et. al.; the other from E. B. 
Houghton, et. al. The chairman appointed 
Aaron White, of Viroqua, J. R. Savage, of Jef- 
ferson, and James Allen, of Webster, a commit- 
tee to investigate, and they reported in favor of 
granting the Purdy petition. Accordingly the 
new town of Sterling was created and ordered 
organized. The boundaries of the towns of 
Bad Ax, Jefferson and Viroqua, were all changed 
somewhat ; the new civil towns of Wheatland, 
Whitestown and Master son were created, and 
the name of the town of Bad Ax was changed to 
"Lockhaven," at the same session. Wheatland, 
White and Masterson (now Clinton) was or- 
ganized at the same session. 

The regular fall session of the board of 
supervisors, for 1857, convened at Viroqua on 
the 24th of August. The organization of the 
board was effected by the election of Aaron 
White, of Viroqua, as chairman for the ensuing 
year. The following named gentleman consti- 
tuted the board: 

Aaron White, Viroqua; James Berry, Jeffer- 
son; R. S. McMichael, Harmony; J.W.Chaney, 
Bergen; Adam Carlisle, Wheatland; James 
Allen, Webster; W. H. Austin, Kickapoo; A. B. 
Donaldson, Sterling; Nelson Cady, Lock Haven; 
Charles A. Hunt, Masterton; David Wilt, 
Christiana; Giles White, Whitestown; Jacob 
Noffseniger, Forest; George Sheldon, Hills- 
borough; Uriah Gregory, Greenwood; Josiah 
Newburn, Union. 

Among the, first acts of the board at this ses- 
sion was to change the name of the town of 
Lock Haven to Franklin. Later in the session 
the name of the town of Masterton was changed 
to Clinton. 

On the 26th of August, 1857, the board author- 
ized the county clerk to advertise for plans 
and specifications for a jail, which was to cost 
not more than $4,000 and not less that $1,500. 

A bounty of $3 was offered for every wolf 
killed within the county. 

At the annual meeting of the board in No- 
vember, 185*7, Joel T. Shaw presented his cre- 
dentials and took his seat as member from the 
town of Wheatland. 

At the same session a petition for the division 
of the town of Kickapoo, from Chancey W. 
Lawton and others, was laid upon the table. 
The towns of Hamburg and Coon were created 
at the same session. 

In December, 1857, the new town of Liberty 
was created, the territory being set off from the 
town of Viroqua. 

At the same time the board ordered that the 
court house be insured for at least $1,500. 

At the June session, in 1858, the board met on 
the 7th and proceeded to organize for the ensu- 
ing year, by the election of Alson Keeler, of 
Viroqua, as chairman. The following members 
elect appeared and qualified, as supervisors from 
their respective towns: Levi Pierson, of Hills- 
borough; C. A. Hunt, of Clinton; Allen Rusk, 
of Liberty; George Spurrier, of Kickapoo; Alson 
Keeler, of Viroqua; Jones P. Sawyer, of Frank- 
lin; W. T. McConnell, of Jefferson; C. G. Allen, 
of Sterling; O. Chaney, of' Hamburg; Levi 
Shorey, of Bergen. 

A set of rules were adopted at this session, 
many of which are still in force, having been 
adopted in each successive year, since that time. 
The committee, which drafted them, was com- 
posed of Adam Carlisle, C. A. Hunt and Uriah 

Nothing having been done regarding the 
building of a jail for the county, since their 
former resolution regarding it, the board on the 
second day of the session resolved that a jail 
be built at a cost of $1,500. An effort was made 
to raise the amount to $2,500, but the motion 
was out-voted. W. T. McConnell, Charles A. 
Hunt and A. Keeler, were appointed a commit 
tee to attend to building the jail. 

The sum of $500 was appropriated for the 
purpose of building a fire proof vault for the 
safe keeping of the county records. 



The annual fall meeting of the county board, 
began on the 9th of November, 1858, pursuant 
to law. At this time the board of supervisors 
was composed of the following gentlemen, rep- 
resenting the various towns in the county: 
Uriah Gregory, Greenwood; J. B. Nofsinger, 
Forest; Josiah Newburn, Union; S. H. Seamon. 
Hillsborough; Giles White, Whitestown; 
Charles A. Hunt, Clinton; James Allen, Web- 
ster; Allen Rusk, Liberty; George Spurier, 
Kickapoo; David Wilt, Christiana; Alson Keeler, 
Viroqua; Jonas P. Sawyer, Franklin; W. T. 
McConnell, Jefferson; C. G. Allen, Sterling; 
John T. Brinkmann, Hamburg; R. S. McMichael, 
Harmony; Adam Carlisle, Wheatland; Levi 
Shorey, Bergen. 

After allowing a great many bills and 
destroying several hundred county orders, upon 
motion of W. T. McConnell, the board pro- 
ceeded as^a committee of the whole to examine 
the jail. It was then resolved that they "do 
accept the county jail as now completed by the 
contractor, Mr. Fretwell, agreeable to his con- 
tract, and that a county order do issue for the 
sum of $2,000 to said Fretwell, and that one 
additional sum of $60 be allowed and paid said 
Fretwell, for extra work on said contract." 

From the report of the county treasurer, 
which was presented to the board at this ses- 
sion, it appears that the total indebtedness of 
the county was $6,641; total assets, $4,044; bal- 
ance against the county, $2,596. 

On the last day of the session a petition was 
presented from citizens in the town of Union, 
asking that congressional township 13, range 2 
west, be set off and organized as a civil town. 
It was granted, and the name of Stark was 
bestowed upon it. At the same time a petition 
was presented from citizens in the town of 
Bergen, asking that their town be divided. 

A report presented by Isaac Williams and 
Thomas J. DeFrees, superintendents of the 
poor, stated that there was $569.25 worth of 
personal property upon the county poor farm; 
that there was twenty-three acres broke; that 

the average number of paupers upon the place 
was twelve. 

It appears that the town of Coon did not take 
advantage of the act of the board, passed in 
November, 1857, creating and authorizing the 
organization of that town. On the 18th of 
November, 1858, it was resolved as follows: 

"That, whereas, the town of Coon has failed 
and neglected to organize under a resolution of 
this board, passed at its last annual meeting, 
setting off said town from Jefferson, by not 
electing officers pursuant to the statute, in such 
cases made and provided; therefore, resolved, 
that this board issue a warrant to the assessor 
and treasurer of the town of Christiana, (that 
being the town next adjoining Coon), requiring 
them to assess and collect respectively the 
quota of tax due from said town of Coon. * 

* * That William F. Terhune, Esq., be 
employed as attorney and counsel in the matter 
of collecting such tax." 

It seems that at this time the board began to 
feel nervous over the county's finances, and 
that the famous crash of 1857 was affecting 
this region, as they passed a resolution requir- 
ing the county treasurer to receive nothing in 
payment of taxes, save gold and silver. 

At the June session, 1859, the per$onnel of 
the board was but little changed from the pre- 
ceding November : Levi Pearson took his seat 
as member from Hillsborough ; succeeding S: 
H. Seamon. 

At this session J. P. Sawyer presented a 
resolution to the effect that the county treasurer 
be authorized to receive county orders in the 
payment of county tax, but after a lengthy 
discussion the resolution was rejected. 

On the 9th of March, 1850, Adam Carlisle 
presented the following bill, to modify what 
had formerly been resolved concerning taxes, 
which was adopted : 

"Sec. 1. — That the county treasurer is 
hereby authorized to receive county orders for 
delinquent county tax up to the time of the 



sales of the lands returned delinquent for the 
taxes of the year 1858. 

"Sbc. 2. — The county treasurer is further 
authorized to take town orders for delinquent 
town tax up to that time, provided, the town 
orders offered for payment of taxes shall be 
applied to lands within the town issuing: the 
sam e. 

" Sbc. 3. — The treasurer is further directed 
and required to receive only gold and 
silver, or currency of the State of Wisconsin, 
for all delinquent State, school, highway, dis- 
trict school and other local taxes. 

"Sec. 4. — The county treasurer is further 
directed to keep separate and disburse to the 
several towns the taxes paid on the lands in 
each town ; so that each town shall receive its 
quota of taxes paid on the lands included in 
the same." 

At the same session a license was granted 
to Cyrus F. and Ransom P. Gillett, to maintain 
and operate, for ten years, a ferry across the 
Mississippi river, in township 12, range 1. 

On the 11th of July, 1859, the board met 
pursuant to law, and organized by the election 
of A. Carlysle as chairman for the ensuing year. 
The board was composed of the following gen- 
tlemen : John Michelet, Christiana ; Peter 
Olson, Coon; J. B. Nof singer, Forest; E. Klop- 
fleisch, Hillsborough ; R. S. MoMichael, Har- 
mony ; Elisha Page, Bergen ; J. Newburn, 
Union ; George Waltz, Stark ; A. Carlysle, 
Wheatland; Giles White, Whitestown; C. A. 
Hunt,Clinton; J. H. Layne, Franklin; J. Waddell, 
Greenwood ; J. T. Brinkmann, Hamburg; W. 
H. Officer, Jefferson; S. Graham, Liberty ; Jo- 
seph Harris, Kickapoo; W. S. Purdy, Sterling; 
James Allen, Webster; Thomas Fretwell, Vi- 
roqua; Joseph O. Parker, Stark. 

At the November session in 1859, the matter 
of electing superintendents of the poor came 
before the board, and resulted in the choice of 
Thomas J. DeFrees for one year; Thomas Fret- 
well for two years, and John M. McLees for 
three yean. The boundaries of the towns of 

Bergen, Wheatland and Hamburg were mate- 
rially altered at this session. 

A special session of the board was held in 
June, 1860, to take into consideration the 
swamp lands donated to the county by the Leg- 
islature. Thomas Fretwell, of Viroqua, was 
appointed commissioner to investigate, locate 
and detetermine as near as practicable the 
amount and value of such lands. At this ses- 
sion Adam Carlysle, of Wheatland, was re- 
elected chairman for the ensuing year. 

Pursuant to law the board of supervisors con- 
vened for their regular session on the 13th of 
November, 1860. The former chairman, Adam 
Carlysle, had removed from the county, leaving 
the board without a chairman. This vacancy 
was filled by the election of Charles A. Hunt, 
of Clinton. The members at this time were : 
Ransom Bennett, Bergen ; John Michelet, 
Christiana ; Charles A. Hunt, Clinton ; Peter 
Oleson, Coon; James H. Layne, Franklin; Wil- 
liam C. Steltling, Forest; Joseph M. Waddell, 
Greenwood; Edward Klopfleisch, Hillsborough; 
John T. Brinkmann, Hamburg ; Hartman Al- 
len, Harmony; W. H. Officer, Jefferson; Joseph 
Harris, Eickapoo ; Samuel Graham, Liberty ; 
Alexander Latshaw, Sterling; James O. Parker, 
Stark; C. W. Adams, Union ; Thomas Fret- 
well, Viroqua ; G. G. Van Wagner, Wheat- 
land ; James Allen, Webster ; Giles White, 

At this session Thomas Fretwell, who had 
been appointed agent to investigate the swamp 
land matter, reported that he had received no 
maps or charts of the land, and that he had 
learned nothing of importance concerning the 
same. The chairman then appointed a com- 
mittee, consisting of Alexander Latshaw, G. 
G. Van Wagner, C. W. Adams and Hart- 
well Allen, to investigate the matters relating 
to the land grant. 

Under the date of Nov. 16, 1860, appears the 
following entry, which explains itself : 

" Whereas, The number of Jury cases to be 
tried at any term of the circuit court of Bad 



Ax county is in general but small ; therefore, 
resolved, that the Hon. George Gale, judge of 
the sixth judicial circuit, be memorialized, and 
he is hereby memorialized, to order that the 
clerk of the circuit court of Bad Ax county 
draw but sixteen names of persons to serve as 
petit jurors at said court, and that the order 
remain in force until otherwise ordered." 

At the same session of the board the follow- 
ing memorial to the Legislature was adopted : 

"The memorial of the board of supervisors of 
Bad Ax county respectfully shows that the 
present mode of transacting county business 
by means of a county board of supervisors, as is 
now done throughout the State, is burdensome 
to the people and cumbersome in its operations, 
and we would therefore ask that the present 
system of governing the counties be abolished, 
and that known as the commissioner system, as 
now in use in the States of Pennsylvania and 
Ohio, be adopted." 

On the 20th of November, 1860, another 
memorial to the Legislature was drawn and 
adopted by the board. This one read as fol- 

"The memorial of the board of supervisors 
of Bad Ax county would respectfully show to 
your honorable body that it would be much to 
the advantage of this county to have the south 
half of township 11, ranges 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7, now 
in Crawford county, attached to the county of 
Bad Ax, to become a part thereof for all pur- 
poses, the same as any other portion of said 
county of Bad Ax." 

On the 8th of July, 1861, the board of super- 
visors met for the purpose of forming the commis- 
sioner districts and equalizing the assessments of 
the county. Charles A. Hunt, of Clinton, was 
elected chairman for the ensuing year. Upon 
calling the roll the board was found to be com- 
posed of the following gentlemen from the va- 
rious towns in the county: 

John Warner, Bergen; John Michelet, Chris- 
tiana; C. A. Hunt, Clinton; Peter Olson, Coon; 
James H. Layne, Franklin; W. C. Stelting, 

Forest; J. M. Waddell, Greenwood; Edward 
Klopfleisch, Hillsborough; R. S. McMichael, 
Harmony; J. T. Brinkmann, Hamburg; W. H. 
Officer, Jefferson; Joseph Harris, Kickapoo; 
Samuel Graham, Liberty; I. O. Parker, Stark; 
Lewis Sterling, Sterling; Hugh Kerr, Union; 
Thomas Fretwell, Viroqua; C. B. Whiting, 
Wheatland; Thomas S. Curtis, Webster; W. 
W. Joseph, Whitestown. 

After a great deal of discussion, wrangling 
and receiving the reports of a number of com- 
mittees, the board agreed upon a plan for the 
division of the county into commissioner's dis- 
tricts as follows: 

District No. 1 to comprise the towns of Hills- 
borough, Greenwood, Union, Forest, Whites- 
town, Stark, Clinton, Webster and Liberty. 

District No. 2 to comprise the towns of 
Kickapoo, Viroqua, Franklin, Sterling and 

District No. 3 to comprise the towns of 
Christiana, Coon, Hamburg, Bergen, Harmony 
and Jefferson. 

It seems that at this session the message of 
the President in relation to the opening war 
measures was brought before the board. The 
only action taken regarding the matter is 
revealed by the following entry upon the 
records of the board; 

"At this time a message from the President 
of the United States arrived, and the business 
of the meeting was suspended while it was 
read aloud to the members of the board by 
Samuel Graham, and received the applause of 
the board by three hearty cheers." 

At the annual November session, 1861, E. A. 
Stark took his seat as the member from Viro- 
qua succeeding Mr. Fretwell. 

On the first day of the session the board cre- 
ated a new town under the name of Genoa. It 
was also ordered that sections 1, 2, 3 and 4 and 
the north half of sections 9,10, 11 and 12 in 
township 12, range 6, be detached from the town 
of Wheatland and attached to Harmony. And 
it was further ordered that sections 13, 14, 15 



and 16, and the south half of seotions 9, 10, 11 
and 12 of township 12, range 6 west, be de- 
tached from the town of Wheatland and at- 
tached to the town of Sterling. The commit- 
tee recommending these changes was composed 
of John T. Brinkmann, Joseph M. Waddell 
and J. O. Parker. 

On the 16th of November, 1861, the board 
passed the first resolution in the shape of a war 
measure. It was drawn up by C. B. Whiting 
and read as follows: 

"Whsbras, many of the citizens of this 
county have gone to the war, leaving families 
only partially provided for, and we, believing 
that if some provision be made by this board 
for the support of such families, that many 
more will enlist; and whereas, many of the 
counties in this State have come up nobly to 
the relief of such families, we deem it due to 
Bad Ax county not to be behind in this patri- 
otic work; in consideration of which the board 
of supervisors, do order and determine, that 
there be an appropriation made of $1,000 to be 
distributed as follows: Any volunteer who 
has enlisted, or who shall hereafter enlist in the 
service of the United States, leaving a family 
of children under twelve years of age, the wife 
or head of such family, by making an affidavit 
before some justice of the peace, of the fact, 
and presenting the same with the certificate of 
the chairman of the town where the family re- 
sides, that they are actually needy, to the 
county treasurer, shall receive $1 per month 
for each child under the above mentioned age. 
The affidavit shall also contain the number of 
children and age of each. 9 ' 

At the same session the salary of the county 
superintendent of schools was fixed at $400 per 

On the 20th of November, it being made to 
appear that an effort was being made to raise a 
company of volunteers, and as the county, with 
her large population, had the credit of only one 
company, it was resolved that the members of 
the board act as a committee in their respec- 

tive towns to give encouragement and assistance 
to the proposed company, and to open their resi- 
dences to the use of all recruiting officers and - 
those engaged in the work free of charge. The 
resolution setting forth these sentiments was 
drawn up and presented to the board by R. S. 

The closing entry regarding the November 
session, 1861, reads as follows: 

"The board having finished the business of 
the last session to be held under the present 
system of county government, and having dili- 
gently attended to the interests of the people 
of the county during a most laborious session of 
eight days, on Wednesday evening, Xov. 20, 
1861, adjourned sine die" 


A 8 will be inferred, the system of county gov- 
ernment throughout the State of Wisconsin had 
undergone a revolution. The Legislature, dur- 
ing the winter of 1860-61 had passed an act 
abolishing the board of supervisors and creating 
the board of county commissioners. Under the 
former system the county board was composed 
of one member from each civil town in the 
county, while under the new system the board 
consisted of three commissioners. The county 
had been divided into three districts (as has 
been stated), and each was entitled to one com- 
missioner. The election for members of the 
board occurred in the fall of 1862. The creat- 
ing act provided that the annua! meetings should 
be held on the second Monday in January, of 
each year. 

Pursuant to law, the first meeting of the board 
of county commissioners, began on the 1 3th of 
January, 1862. The members were John W. 
Allen, representing the first district; C. Q. Allen, 
the second; and John T. Brinkmann, the third. 
Organization was permanently effected by the 
election of John T. Brinkmann, as chairman for 
the ensuing year. 

From and after the June session, 1862, the 
records read "Vernon county," instead of "Bad 
Ax county." 



On the 20th of November, 1862, the board 
ordered and determined that the wife of every 
volunteer and drafted man, from Vernon county 
in the service of the government, or State, be 
entitled to draw from the county" treasurer $2 
per month from and after Jan. 1, 1863, and also 
$1 per month for each child under the age of 
twelve years. 

On the 22dof December, 1 862, Cyrus G. Alien, 
of Sterling, was elected chairman of the board 
for the ensuing year. 

At this session war matters largely occupied 
the attention of the board. It was ordered that: 
"Whereas, there had been appropriated the 
sum of $2,500 for the benefit of the families of 
volunteers and drafted men, the resolution 
in relation to the distribution of that fund be 
amended so as to give to the families of deceased 
soldiers the benefit of the same, families of 
commissioned officers excepted." This order 
was modified somewhat, however, by a resolu- 
tion, to the effect that "families of deceased 
soldiers, who had already received the $1 
bounty promised, or pension, from the United 
States, and also the families of discharged sol- 
diers were not to share in the distribution of the 

Another order of importance made at this 
session was to authorize the issue of county 
orders to the amount of $4,000 in denominations 
from five cents up to three dollars. 

At the November session, 1863, Herman 
Greve was elected commissioner of the poor 
to succeed Hartwell Allen. 

On the 19th of the same month, the sum of 
$1,000 was appropriated to aid the families of 

A special meeting of the board was held in 
January, 1864. The members at this time were: 
Charles Searing, from the first district; C. G. 
Allen, from the second district, and John 
Michelet, from the third district. C. G. Allen 
was elected chairman of the board for the en- 
suing year. 

In November, 1864, the board authorized 
Sheriff Clayton E. Rogers to sell a number of 
stolen horses which had been captured from 

W. H. Goode was elected to fill a vacancy in 
the board of commissioners of poor, occasioned 
by the absence of Herman Greve. E. A. Stark 
was re-elected a member of the board. 

"Elijah Powell, of Viroqua, having been ap- 
pointed and commissioned by the governor to 
serve as supervisor from the second district in 
place of C. G. Allen, who had removed from 
the State in 1 864, received the appointment on 
the last day ef the session and came in and took 
his seat with the board, in time to assist for one 
day only." 

At a special session of the board in May, 
1866, the resignation of James Lowrie, county 
treasurer, was received and Col. C. M. Butt was 
appointed to fill the vacancy. 

The supervisors in 1866 were John Michelet, 
chairman, Hugh McDill and C. M. Carr. The 
latter was appointed by the governor to fill a 
vacancy in the board from the first district. 

At a session on the 1st of January, 1867, C. 
W. Law ton, member-elect from the first dis- 
trict, succeeding Mr. Carr, qualified and took 
his seat. 

In April, 1867, it was decided to submit to 
the qualified electors of the county the ques- 
tion of abolishing the county's system of sup- 
porting the poor. 

In July, 1867, by order of the board, the 
north half of township 14, range 7 west, was 
detached from the town of Hamburg and 
attached to Bergen. 

At the October session, 1867, the orders of 
the board granting bounties for wild cat and 
wolf scalps were repealed. 

In November, of the same year, James H. 
Layne was appointed poor commissioner to suc- 
ceed E. A. Stark. 

In 1868 Willard Morley succeeded Mr. Mc- 
Dill as member of the board. 



On the 14th of November, 1868, the annual 
salaries of various county officers were fixed as 
follows : County treasurer, $1,000 ; county 
clerk, $1,000; superintendent, $800 ; county 
judge, $500 ; district attorney, $400. 

On the 2d of January, 1869, the bounty for 
killing wolves and wild cats was re-established, 
the rate fixed being $5 for each wolf and $2.50 
for each wild cat killed. 

In 1869 the board consisted of Willard 
Morley, chairman ; George W. Swain and B. 
F. Harry. 

In November, 1869, James E. Newell was 
appointed commissioner of the poor to succeed 
Elijah Powell. Thus the board of commis- 
sioners was made to consist of J. H. Layne, 
Enoch Enochson and J. E. Newell. 

In January, 1870, Willard Morley was re- 
elected chairman of the board for the ensuing 


During the year 1868 the Legislature passed 
an act changing again the system of county 
government throughout Wisconsin. This act 
abolished the commissioner system, or board of 
three, and reinstated the old system of a board 
made up of one member from each civil town 
and incorporated village. This law is still in 

The first meeting of the board under the new 
dispensation was held in the court house at 
Viroqua, in May, 1870. J. W. Greenman, of 
Genoa, was elected chairman for the ensuing 
year. The board consisted of the following 
named gentlemen, representing the various 
towns and villages: 

Henry Sharp, Bergen; E. C. Jager, Chris- 
tiana; Ole Anderson, Coon; W. C. Stelting, 
Forest; William Clawater, Franklin; J. W. 
Greenman, Genoa; Jesse Warner, Harmony; J. 
W. Hoyt, Hamburg; J. R. Joseph, Liberty; 
Joseph Fulmer, Stark; R. W. Jordan, Sterling; 
Ralph Hall, Viroqua; R. S. McMichael, Village 
of Viroqua; C. C. Bennett, Webster; J. C. 
Davis, Wheatland; Giles White, Whitestown. 

Nothing of especial interest was tiansacted 
during this year,almost all the time being spent 
in attending to road business. 

The annual meeting for 1871 began on the 
1 4th of November. J. W. Greenman was re- 
elected chairman for the ensuing year. The 
following members were present: 

Levi Shorey, Bergen; John Michelet, Chris- 
tiana; Hans Nelson Coon; J. Conaway, Clinton; 
W. C. Stelting, Forest; F. K. Van Wagner, 
Franklin; J. W. Greenman, Genoa; Martin 
Rodgers, Greenwood; A. J. Wiard, Harmony: 
J. W. Hoyt, Hamburg ; J. Manhart, Hills- 
borough; Joseph Harris, Eickapoo; Allen Rusk, 
Liberty; J. O. Parker, Stark; R. W. Jordan, 
Sterling; G. S. Jordan, Union; Ralph Hall, 
Viroqua; R. S. McMichael, village of Viroqua; 
Simeon Adams, Webster; Giles White, Whites- 
town; Alexander Latshaw, Wheatland. 

At this session the supervisors abolished the 
board of commissioners of the poor, and 
resolved that hereafter the duties of that board 
should be performed by a superintendent of the 
poor, who should be annually elected by the 
board of supervisors. It was further provided 
that the superintendent should receive $2 per 
day for his services. After these resolutions 
had been adopted, D. A. Barnard was elected 
superintendent of the poor for the ensuing year. 

Gardner & Wareham was granted a license 
to operate a ferry boat from DeSoto to Lansing, 

The taxes levied at this session for the ensu- 
ing year, were as follows: For county purposes, 
$18,919.88; for State purposes, $8,029.24; for 
school purposes, $3,783.97. 

The sum of $4,000 was appropriated out of 
the general fund of the county for the support 
of the poor during the ensuing year. 

The annual meeting of the board for 1872 
was held in November. J. W. Greenman, of 
Genoa, was elected chairman for the ensuing 
year. The following members answered to 
their names upon the roll being called : Thomas 
Kingston, John Michelet, Ole Anderson, B. F. 



Harry, J. VV. Greenman, Martin Rodgers, Wil- 
liam Webster, J. T. Brinkmann, Joseph Man- 
hart, D. H. Pulver, N. W. Nelson, T. S .Jordan, 
Simeon Adams, Van S. Bennett, Elijah Til ton, 
Allen Rusk, William Clawater, J. S. Dickson, 
Peter Jerman and T. C. Ankeny. 

A report from D. A. Barnard, superintendent of 
the county poor, revealed some interesting facts 
regarding the poor farm. The following is an 
extract from the report : 

"There has been furnished at the county 
house during the year, 988 weeks of board, at 
an expense of $1,270.02, embracing provisions, 
clothing, bedding, fuel, furniture, lights, medi- 
cines, medical attendance, and salary of steward 
and supervision — a cost of $66.84 for each pau- 
per a year, or $1.27 for each pauper per week. 
Of the number remaining at the county house 
at this date, (Nov. 1, 1872) ten are idiotic, two 
blind, one insane and four, the remainder, are 
old, infirm, or otherwise incapable of self sup- 
port.* The whole number reoeivingaid from the 
county, outside the county house, daring the 
year, was 102, at an expense of $1,321.02. r J he 
whole number receiving aid outside the county 
house at the expense of the county at date of this 
report is twenty; of this number three are in- 
sane, two are idiotic, five over eighty years of 
age, seven under six years, and three are other- 
wise incapable of self support." 

D. A. Barnard was re-elected superintendent 
of the poor. 

The salary of the county judge was fixed at 
$1,000 per annum ; that of county treasurer, at 
$1,000; county clerk, $1,200; district attorney, 
$400; clerk of court, $400 and fees ; superin- 
tendent of poor $2 per day for each day worked, 
and ten cents per mile for each mile traveled ; 
superintendent of schools $4 per day, not to 
exceed $920. 

An order was passed granting a bounty of j 
$1.50 for each fox killed in the county. 

The taxes levied for the ensuing year were as i 
follows : For county purposes, $14,934.39 ; for I 

State purposes, $11,281.78 ; for school purposes, 

The long session closed by the board tender- 
ing a vote of thanks to chairman J. W. Green- 
man and county clerk John R. Casson. 

The board of supervisors convened for the 
annual session of 1873, on Tuesday, November 
11. Van S. Bennett, of Rockton, was elected 
chairman for the ensuing year. The following 
members were present : 

Ole Anderson, Philip Adams, Van S. Ben- 
nett, Wm. Clawater, J. S. Dickson, J. W. 
Greenman, C. L. Ingersoll, Peter Johnson, G. 
S. Jordan, John Michelet, Joseph Manhart, 
Peter Mclntire, R. 8. McMichael, J. A. New- 
man, M. W. Nelson, Martin Rodgers, Ellis 
Reed, Henry Sharp, W. C. Stelting, J. H. 
Smith, E. A. Stark and William Webster. 

At this session D. A. Barnard, superintend- 
ent of county poor, made his second annual 
report. From it the following facts are 
gleaned : The number of inmates at the 
county house at date of last report was seven- 
teen ; number admitted during the year, 
twenty-two ; total number at county house dur- 
ing the year, thirty-nine ; two had died ; two 
sent to the hospital; four children were put 
out ; four otherwise discharged ; twenty-seven 
remained at the county house ; the average 
number there during the year was twenty-two. 
All this was at a total cost yearly per capita of 
$63.57, or a weekly cost per capita of $1.22. 
The whole number receiving aid from the 
county outside the county house was 105, at a 
total cost of $1,122.52. Of this number, four 
were insane, and three idiotic. Of the twenty- 
seven in the county house, Nov. 1, 1873, nine 
were idiotic, one a cripple for life ; one insane ; 
two blind ; four over seventy years of age ; 
five under seven, and the balance are otherwise 
incapable of self-support. Total value of farm 
income aud on hand, $1,747. D. A. Barnard 
was re-elected as superintendent of the poor. 

Taxes were levied at this session of the 
board as follows : For county purposes, $10,- 



000 ; for State purposes, $10,176.25 ; for school 
purposes, $3,967.51. 

The b ard resolved that all the territory 
belonging to the town of Genoa, lying on the 
south side of the south fork, and the main 
stream of the Bad Ax creek be taken from 
Genoa and attached to Wheatland. This, how- 
ever, was limited by the proviso that the ques- 
tion be submitted to the people of Genoa, at 
the next election, and in case a majority were 
in favor of the division it should take effect 
April 15, 1874, but it seems the proposition was 
rejected, as the change was never made. 

The annual session for 1874 convened on 
the 10th of November. Hon. W. F. Terhune 
was elected chairman for the ensuing year. The 
following gentlemen represented the various 
towns in the county : Henry Sharp, Bergen ; 
John Michelet, Christiana ; Anton VonRuden, 
Coon ; H. W. Knapp, Clinton; W. C. Stelting, 
Forest; John Fopper, Genoa; Martin Rodgers, 
Greenwood; Peter John sou, Hamburg; William 
Webster, Harmony ; Roger Williams, Hills- 
borough; William Frazier, Jefferson ; George 
Spurrier, Kickapoo; J. H. Smith, Liberty; Ely 
McVey, Stark ; P. Mclntyre, Sterling ; T. S. 
Jordan, Union; J. E. Newell, Viroqua ; W. F. 
Terhune, Village of Viroqua ; Philip Adams, 
Webster; David Wilt, Wheatland; Henry 
O'Connell, Whitestown;P. McManny, Franklin. 

D. A. Barnard was re-elected superintendent 
of the poor for the ensuing year. 

The board made the following apportionment 
of taxes for 1874: For State purposes, $8,195.76; 
for county purposes, $13,025 ; for county 
school purposes, $3,513. The total assessed 
valuation of the county was $3,721,583. 

The long session closed by giving a vote of 
thanks to Chairman Terhune. 

The session for 1875 began on the 9th of No- 
vember. W. F. Terhune was re-elected chair- 
man. The roll being called, the following 
members answered to their names : C. C. Ben- 
nett, J. T. Brinkmann, Jacob Eckhardt, Edgar 
Eno, William Frazier, M. Hinkst, T. S. Jordan, 

H. W. Knapp, W. L. Marshall, John Michelet, 
James McDonough, Eli McVey, P. Mclntyre, 
Henry Oakes, Henry O'Connell, A. Von Ruden, 
Henry Sharp, John H. Smith, W. F. Terhune, 
Elijah Tilton, Roger Williams and William 

D. A. Barnard was again elected superintend- 
ent of the poor. 

At this session a resolution was passed to the 
c£ect that the county would pay an additional 
bounty of $5 per head for full grown wolves 
killed, making the bounty $10. 

The taxes for the year were apportioned as 
follows : For State purposes, $9,150.09 ; for 
county purposes, $15,613.30 ; for county school 
purposes, $3,760. The total assessed valuation 
of the county at that time was $3,903,325. 

A special session of the board was held in 
June, 1876. The members were all present. 
William Frazier was elected chairman. 

On the 14th of November the board met for 
the annual session of 1876. William Frazier, of 
Enterprise, was elected chairman for the ensu- 
ing year. The following comprises a list of the 
members of the board for this year : Goodman 
Olson, Bergen; C. H. Ballsrud, Christiana; H.W. 
Knapp, Clinton ; Anton VonRuden, Coon ; W. 
C. Stelting, Forest ; Christian Ellefson, Frank- 
lin; F. A. Wallar, Genoa ; Mathias Hansberry, 
Greenwood ; John T. Brinkmann, Hamburg ; 
Simon Clauson, Harmony; Roger Williams, 
Hillsborough ; William Frazier, Jefferson ; Jo- 
seph Harris, Kickapoo; Stanley Stout, Liberty; 
A. W. De Jean, Stark ; A. D. Chase, Sterling ; 
T. S. Jordan, Union ; Elijah Tiltou, Viroqua ; 
R. S. Mc Michael, Village of Viroqua ; John 
Snyder, Webster; Jacob Eckhardt, Jr., Wheat- 
land; Henry O'Connell, Whitestown. 

At this session all orders previously passed 
by the board in relation to wolf, wild-cat and 
fox bounties were repealed. 

The salaries of the various county officers 
were fixed as follows : County clerk $800 per 
annum ; county treasurer, $800 ; district attor- 
ney $300 ; superintendent of poor, $2 per day, 



and eight cents per mile ; superintendent of 
schools, $3 per day, (not to exceed 267 days) 
and $50. 

D. A. Barnard was re-elected superintendent 
of the poor. The hoard apportioned the taxes 
as follows : For State purposes, $10,186.09 ; 
for county purposes, $17,138.92; for county 
school purposes, $3,768. The total assessed val- 
uation of the county for that year was $3,808,- 

The annual session for 1877 began on the 
13th day of November, 1877, and continued un- 
til the 21st. N. McKie, of Viroqua, was elected 
chairman for the ensuing year. The members 
of the board were as follows : Goodman Olson. 
Bergen ; Jeremiah Conway, Clinton ; C. H. 
Ball srud, Christiana ; Ole Anderson, Coon ; W. 
C. Stelting, Forest; Christian Ellefson, Franklin; 
£. L. Oakes, Genoa; M. Hansberry, Greenwood; 
J.W. Hoyt, Hamburg ; Simon Clauson, Har- 
mony; Roger Williams, Hillsborough; William 
Smith, Jefferson; C. £. Smith, Eickapoo; Stan- 
ley Stout, Liberty ; H. H. Wyatt, Stark ; A. D. 
Chase, Sterling; T. S. Jordan, Union; E. Tiiton, 
Viroqua; N. McKie, Village* of Viroqua; John 
Snyder, Webster; Erastus Cilley, Wheatland ; 
Henry O'Connell, Whitestown. 

At this session an order was passed granting 
a bounty of $3 on each wolf killed in the county, 
and $1 for foxes. 

D. A. Barnard was re-elected to the office of 
superintendent of the poor. 

Taxes were levied for the year 1877 as fol- 
lows: For State purposes, $8,862.74; for county 
purposes, $16,997.26 ; for county school pur- 
poses, $3,845.50 The total assessed valuation 
of the county was, $3,777,170. 

The board of supervisors met for the annual 
session of 1878 on the 12th of November. 
Van S. Bennett, of Whitestown, was elected 
chairman for the ensuing year. The board con- 
sisted of the following members : Goodman 
Olson, Bergen ; Jeremiah Conaway, Clinton ; 
John Miohelet, Christiana ; Ole Anderson, 
Coon; R. S. Sherman, Forest ; Christian Ellef- 

son, Franklin; E. L. Oakes, Genoa; M. H.Fitzpat- 
rick, Greenwood; J. W. Hoyt, Hamburg; J. M. 
McLees, Harmony; Roger Williams, Hillsbor- 
ough ; William Smith, Jefferson ; Irvin Fox, 
Kickapoo; Allen Rusk, Liberty; A. W.DeJean, 
Stark; Joseph Morgan, Sterling ; T. S. Jordan, 
Union ; E. Powell, Viroqua ; R. S. McMichael, 
Village of Viroqua ; John Snyder, Webster ; 
D. H. Pulver , Wheatland ; Van S. Bennett, 

At this session taxes were levied as follows : 
For State purposes, $8,672.16; for county pur- 
poses, $13,275 ; for county school purposes, 
$3,590; The total assessed valuation of the 
county, $3,792,999. 

D. A. Barnard was re-elected superintendent 
of the poor. The name of the office was 
changed to " commissioner of poor." $2,600 
was appropriated to the poor departments. 

The county clerk was authorized to execute 
a deed of conveyance of right of way to the 
Viroqua Railroad Company. 

The annual session for 1879 began on the 
11th of November. Van S. Bennett was re- 
elected chairman, and the rules of order govern- 
ing the board in 1878 were adopted. The board 
was composed of the following gentlemen: 
Henry Schlong, Bergen; D. C. Yakey, Clinton; 
C. J. Skough, Christiana; Ole Anderson, Coon; 
R. S. Sherman,Forest; Christian Ellefson, Frank- 
lin; E. L. Oakes, Genoa; Martin Rodgers, 
Greenwood; J. W. Hoyt, Hamburg; J. M. Mc- 
Lees, Harmony; Roger Williams, Hillsborough; 
Wm. Smith, Jefferson; Irvin Fox, Kickapoo; 
G. W. Wise, Liberty; Eli McVey, Stark; Joseph 
Morgan, Sterling; T. S. Jordan, Union; E. 
Powell, Viroqua; R. S. McMichael, Village of 
Viroqua; John Snyder,Webster; H. H.Morgan, 
Wheatland; Van S. Bennett, Whitestown. 

At this session resolutions were passed ask- 
ing the senator and assemblyman from this 
district to use their influence to have the 
Legislature pass an act providing for the bien- 
nial instead of annual sessions of the Legisla- 

f °^n M 



D. A. Barnard was re-elected poor commis- 

Taxes were levied as follows: For State 
purposes, $6,085.06; for county purposes, $15,- 
210.85; for county school purposes, $3,420. 
The total assessed valuation of the county this 
year was $3,802,714. 

A special session was held in February, 1880, 
to take steps regarding a new court house. 
Van S. Bennett was elected chairman. 

The following is a transcript of the record so 
far as relates to the county buildings : 

Resolved, That the court house contemplated 
to be built in the county of Vernon, be built at 
a cost of seventeen thousand dollars ($17,000), 
and the jail at the sum of six thousand dollars 
($6,000), and that the committee to contract for 
and superintend the construction of the same, 
be and are hereby authorized and instructed to 
have the same fully completed and ready for 
occupation, at the prices above named. 

That the cost of said court house and jail is 
hereby limited to said sum of twenty-three 
thousand dollars ($23,000), and the committee 
hereafter to be elected shall not exceed said 
amount, and that said committee give a bond to 
said county in this penal sum of fifty thousand 
dollars (450,000) to be approved by the board of 
supervisors of said county to secure and indem- 
nify said county against the payment of any 
excess above said sum of $23,000 for said court 
house and jail. 

The special committee to whom was referred 
the petitions asking that the question of build- 
ing a new court house be submitted to a vote 
of the people, reported the same back to the 
board without recommendation. Received and 
placed on file. 

Mr. McMichael offered a resolution in rela- 
tion to accepting a loan of $23,000 from the 
State. Referred to committee on finance. 

On motion of Mr. Jordan the board adjourned 
until 2 o'clock p. m. 

2 o'clock p. m. Board met. Called to order 
by the chairman. 

The committee on finance made the following 

Your committee to whom was referred pre- 
amble and resolution in relation to acceptance 
of a loan of the trust funds of the State, have 
had the same under consideration, and respect- 
fully recommend their passage. 

J. W. Hott, 
E. L. Oakes, 
Roobb Williams. 


The report of the committee was adopted and 
the following preamble and resolutions passed. 
On this question the ayes and nays were called 
for. Those voting in the affirmative were: 
Messrs. Anderson, Bennett, Hoyt, Fox, Jordan, 
McLees, McMichael, H. H. Morgan, Michelet, 
Oakes, Powell, Rogers, Schlong, Sherman, 
Smith, Snyder and Williams, — seventeen. 

Those voting in the negative were: Messrs. 
Ellefson, Hanson, Joseph Morgan and Wise — 

Absent or not voting, McVey— : 1. 


Whereas, The Legislature of the State of 
Wisconsin, at its annual session, A. D. 1880, 
passed a law approved Jan. 29, 1880, author- 
izing the commissioners of public lands to loan 
a portion of the trust funds of this State not 
exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars ($25, 
000), to the countv of Vernon, in this State, 
and authorizing the board of supervisors of 
Vernon county to borrow a sum not exceeding 
the amount above named, of said commis- 
sioners, and to issue to said commissioners cer- 
tificates of the indebtedness so contracted ; 
said indebtedness to bear interest at the rate of 
seven per cent, per annum : 

Resolved, That we, the board of supervisors 
of Vernon county, duly assembled according to 
law, do hereby accept a loan of twenty-three 
thousand dollars ($23,000), according to the 
provisions of said act and the terms and limi- 
tations therein provided ; and be it further 

Resolved, That we, the said board of supervi- 
ors of Vernon county, assembled as aforesaid, 




do issue to said commissioners certificates of 
the indebtedness so contracted, and that the 
chairman and clerk of this board be and are 
hereby fully authorized and empowered, in the 
name of the county of Vernon to make, execute 
and deliver to said commissioners of the pub- 
lic lands, the certificates of said indebtedness, 
in such form as required by said commissioners, 
for any and all sums of money that may be 
loaned to said county, hereby fully empowering 
the said chairman and clerk of said board to do 
and perform all necessary things to be done by 
them to carry out the provisions of said act and 
these resolutions. 

Resolved, That a certified copy of this pre- 
amble and resolutions be filed by the clerk of 
this board with the secretary of State of the 
State of Wisconsin. 

Adopted Feb. 11, A. D. 1C80. 

Mr. Ellefson offered a resolution in relation 
to recording his vote, which the board refused 
to adopt. 

On motion of Mr. Smith the board took a 
recess for one hour. The time having expired 
the board re-assembled. 

Mr. Anderson offered the following resolution 
which, on motion of Mr. Schlong, was adopted 
under a suspension of the rules: 

Resolved, That the new court house be built 
of stone, and that the roof of said court house 
be made of tin or iron, whichever to the build- 
ing committee shall seem most proper. 

Mr. Williams moved that Mr. Struck, architect, 
be invited to meet the board to-morrow morn- 
ing. Motion prevailed. 

Mr. Michelet moved that the vote by which 
the board refused to adopt the resolution of- 
fered by Mr. Ellefson in relation to recording 
his vote, be re-considered. Motion prevailed 
and the vote was re-considered and the resolu- 
tion adopted as follows : 

Resolved, by the board of supervisors of Ver- 
non county that Christian Ellefson have permis- 
sion to record his vote on the resolutions rela- 
ting to building a court house. 

Mr. Ellefson recorded his vote in the nega- 

Mr. Smith moved that a committee of five be 
appointed by the chair to view grounds for 
location of new court house and jail, and report 
to the board to-morrow morning. Motion pre- 

Messrs. Smith, Hoyt, Jordan, Hanson and 
McLees were appointed such committee. 

Mr. Williams moved that a committee of 
three be appointed to examine the title to the 
lots on which the old court house and jail are 
located. Motion prevailed. Messrs. Williams, 
Michelet and H. H. Morgan were appointed 
such committee. 

On motion of Mr. Hoyt the board adjourned 
until 9 o'clock to-morrow morning. 

Thursday, Feb. 12, 1880, 9 o'clock a. m. 
Board met, called to order by the chairman. 
Members all present except Mr. McVey. Jour- 
nal of yesterday read and approved. 

Mr. Schlong offered a resolution in relation 
to employing an architect. Referred to the 
committee on finance. 

Mr. Hoyt offered a resolution in relation to 
building committee. Referred to committee 
on ways and means. 

The committee on grounds were granted 
further time. 

The special committee appointed to examine 
title to lots 1, 2, 1 and 8, block 6, made the 
following report, which was received and placed 
on file : 

Your special committee to examine the 
records, in the register's office, in rela- 
tion to the court house lots, beg leave to report 
that they have made the necessary examination 
and find that the county is the legal owner of 
said lots. 

Rogeb Williams, ) 
John Michelet, -Com. 
Henry H. Morgan, i 

On motion, a recess of thirty minutes was 
taken. The time having expired, the board re- 



The committee on ways and means made the 
following report: 

We, your committee on ways and means, to 
whom was referred the resolution for the elec- 
tion of a building committee, beg leave to re- 
port that they have had the same under consid- 
eration and recommend its passage. 

On motion of Mr. Hoyt the report was 
adopted and the resolution passed by a vote of 
ayes and nays, all the members present voting 
aye except Messrs. Sherman and Williams, who 
voted nay. 

Resolved, By the board of supervisors of Ver- 
non county, that this board elect a committee 
of five persons to be designated as a building 
committee. Said committee shall have power 
to contract for the building of a court house, the 
cost of which shall not exceed, the sum of 
$17,000, and for a jail and jailors' house, the 
cost of which shall not exceed $6,000. Said 
committee shall employ a competent architect 
to prepare plans and specifications, and super- 
intend the work of construction of said build- 
ings; they shall cause public notice to be given 
that sealed proposals will be received for the 
construction of said buildings, and the material 
of which the same shall be constructed, and 
shall reject any and all bids exceeding the 
amount above stated. Said building committee 
shall require of the party or parties to whom 
contracts are awarded, to give bonds for the 
faithful performance of their contracts, as fol- 
lows: For the construction of the court house, 
in the sum of $34,000, for the construction of 
the jail and jailors 9 house, in the sum of $12,000. 
8aid committee shall give bonds to Vernon 
county in the sum of $60,000, conditioned for 
the faithful performance of their duties and the 
proper disposition of all moneys of the county, 
placed in their hands, for the construction of 
said buildings. Said committee shall receive 
for their services, the sum of $2 per day each, 
for each days time actually spent in the per- 
formance of their duties, and six cents per mile, 
for each mile necessarily traveled. Said com- 

mittee may elect a treasurer who shall give 
bonds in the sum of $26,000, for the faithful 
performance of his duties, and may make such 
rules and regulations for the government of their 
body as they may deem proper, provided such 
rules do not exceed the authority granted said 
committee by the several resolutions of the 
county board. All the bonds mentioned in this 
resolution (excepting the bond of treasurer of 
the building committee) shall be approved by 
the chairman and two other members of this 
board, and the bond of the treasurer of the 
building committee shall be approved by a ma- 
jority of said building committee. 

J. W. Hoyt. 

Mr. Schlong introduced an order in relation 
to building commissioner. Referred to com- 
mittee on finance. 

On motion of Mr. McMichael, the board pro- 
ceeded to elect by ballot a building committee 
of five members. Messrs. Hoyt, Snyder, Powell, 
McLees and Anderson were elected such com- 

Mr. Williams offered the following resolu- 
tion, which was passed: 

Resolved, That Col. C. M. Butt be requested 
to draft an order defining and limiting the pow- 
ers and duties of the building committee, so 
that said committee shall not be able to make 
the cost of court house, jail and jailors' residence 
exceed the sum of $23,000, without being liable 
upon their official bond, for the excess of the 
said amount of $23,000. 

The committee on finance made the following 

Your committee, to whom was referred the 
order, in relation to electing building commis- 
sioners to superintend the construction of county 
buildings, have had the same under considera- 
tion, and respectfully recommend its passage as 
amended, by inserting two in place of one. 

On motion of Mr. McMichael, the report was 
adopted and order passed. 

The county board of supervisors, of the county 
of Vernon, do order as follows: 



That there be two special commissioners 
elected by this board, by ballot, whose duty it 
shall be, to watch over and care for the proper 
erection of the court house and jail, and report 
in writing to the chairman and clerk of this 
board, of any irregularities in the performance 
of the work, selection of the materials or dis- 
bursements from the fund appropriated for 
building purposes. 

That the said special commissioners shall 
have the further power, and it is hereby made 
their duty to inform the architect and chairman 
of the building committee, of any defects in the 
construction of said buildings, or deviations in 
the work upon said county buildings, from the 
plans and specifications of the architect pertain- 
ing to the same. 

Signed, Hbnbt Sohlong. 

On motion of Mr. McMichael, the board ad- 
journed until 2 o'clock p. m. 

Two o'clock p. m. Board met. Called to or- 
der by the chairman. 

The committee on finance made the follow- 
ing report, which was adopted and the resolu- 
tion passed. 

Your committee, to whom was referred the 
resolution in relation to employing an archi- 
tect and superintendent of the new court house 
and jail, have had the same under considera- 
tion, and respectfully recommend its passage. 

Resolved, That we hereby elect C. F. Struck, 
of La Crosse, Wis., the architect and superin- 
tendent of the new court house and jail, and 
that the building committee make a written 
contract with him for his compensation as such. 

Hefry Schlong. 

The special committee on grounds for new 
buildings made the following report: 

Your committee appointed to select a site for 
new county buildings, have looked at various 
sites, and have selected as the most appropri- 
ate place for such buildings, a piece of land be- 
longing to Mr. Minshall, seventeen rods and 
thirteen and a half feet wide, on the east side, 
running the full width of his land, back to the 

west line about thirty-five or thirty-eight rods, 
for the sum of $150 per acre. 

William Smith, 
J. W. Hott, 
Peter Hanson, 
J. M. McLees. 

On motion of Mr. Anderson, the report was 

Mr. Jordan made the following minority re- 

The undersigned, a member of your special 
committee, to whom was assigned the duty of 
viewing the several locations in and about 
Viroqua, proposed as suitable places on which 
to erect the new county buildings, and report to 
this body, begs leave to report that, in his opin- 
ion, the location occupied by the present county 
buildings is better adapted to that purpose, 
and all things considered preferable to any 
other, and would respectfully recommend the 
adoption of the resolution hereunto attached. 

T. S. Jordan. 

On motion of Mr. Ellefson, the report was 
adopted and resolution passed by the following 
vote: Affirmative, 11. Negative, 1. 

Resolved^ That the court house and jail, to be 
erected, be located on the grounds occupied by 
the present buildings used for those purposes. 

Mr. W illiams moved to reconsider the vote 
by which the resolution in relation to building 
committee was adopted. Motion lost by the 
following vote: Affirmative, 10. Negative, 10. 

Mr. Ellefson offered a resolution as to material 
to be used in jail, which the board refused to 

H. H. Morgan moved to reconsider the 
vote on the resolution adopted in relation to lo- 
c tion of new buildings. Motion prevailed by 
the following vote: Those voting in the af- 
firmative were: Messrs. Anderson, Hoyt, Han- 
son, McLees, H. H. Morgan, Michelet, Schlong, 
Sherman, Smith, Snyder, Williams and Wise, 
12. Those voting in the negative were: Messrs. 
Bennett, Ellefson, Fox, Jordan, McMichael, 
Joseph Morgan, Oakee, Powell and Bodgers, 9. 



Mr. Williams moved that the resolution be 
laid on the table. Mr. McMiohael moved to 
amend by postponing action thereon, until to- 
morrow morning. Amendment lost. The origi- 
nal motion prevailed, the resolution was tabled. 

Mr. Mc Michael introduced an order authoriz- 
ing county treasurer to pay over funds to the 
building committee. Referred to the commit- 
tee on finance. 

Mr. Williams moved to reconsider the vote 
on the order passed in relation to electing two 
building commissioners. Motion prevailed. 
The vote was reconsidered and the order laid 
on the table. 

Mr. Anderson offered a resolution authoriz- 
ing the building committee to purchase ground 
for new county buildings. Referred to com- 
mittee on ways and means. 

The committee on ways and means reported 
the same back to the board for their action. 
Mr. McLtes moved that the resolution do now 
pas*. Motion prevailed. The ayes and nays 
were called for. Those voting in the affirma- 
tive were: Anderson, Fox, Hoyt, MeLees, Mich- 
elet, Rodgers, Schlong, Sherman, Smith, Sny- 
der, Williams and Wise, 12. Those voting 
in the negative were: Bennett, Ellefson, Han- 
son, Jordan, McMiohael, Joseph Morgan, H. H. 
Morgan, Oakes and Powel, 9. 

Resolved, By the board of supervisors of Ver- 
non county, that the building committee be and 
are hereby instructed to negotiate with the 
proper parties, for seventeen rods, thirteen and 
a half feet, by thirty-five to fifty rods of ground 
upon which the new court house and jail shall 
be located in the west portion of the village 
of Viroqua, on the site recommended by a 
special committee of this body and upon the 
lands of Mr. Minshall. 

On motion, the board adjourned until 1 
o'clock p. m. Board met. Called to order by the 

Mr. Hoyt offered a resolution authorizing the 
building committee to sell lots 1, 2, 7 and 8, in 

block 6, Viroqua. Referred to committee on 
ways and means. 

On motion of Mr. Williams, the board ad- 
journed until 9 o'clock to-morrow morning. 

Friday, Feb. 13, 1880, 9 o'clock a. m. Board 
met. Called to order by the chairman. Mem- 
bers all present except Mr. McVey. Journal of 
yesterday read and approved. 

The committee on ways and means made the 
following report: 

Your committee on ways and means, to whom 
was referred the resolution authorizing the 
building committee to sell grounds, beg leave 
to report that they have had the same under 
consideration and offer the order hereto as a 
substitute, and recommend its passage. 

The report was adopted and the substitute 
was passed by the following vote. Those voting 
in the affirmative were: Anderson, Bennett, Ellef- 
son, Hoyt, Hanson, Jordan, MeLees, McMichael, 
H. H. Morgan, Michelet, Oaks, Powell, Rodg- 
ers, Schlong, Smith and Snyder, 16. Those 
voting in the negative were: Fox, Joseph Mor- 
gan, Sherman, Williams and Wise, 5. 

It is hereby ordered and determined, by the 
county board of supervisors of Vernon county, 
that the building committee of this board, is 
hereby authorized and empowered to sell lots 
1, 2, 7 and 8, in block 6, of the original plat of 
the village of Viroqua, on such terms as shall 
seem to them for the best interests of the county, 
and apply the proceeds of such sale or sales, to 
the payment for the grounds purchased from 
Edward Minshall and wife, for the location of 
the new county buildings, and in constructing 
fences, walks, out houses, cisterns and in plant- 
ing trees, or otherwise improving the grounds. 
Upon the committee making such sale, it shall 
be the duty of the county clerk, when notified, 
and requested by the chairman of said com- 
mittee so to do, to execute to the purchaser or 
purchasers, good and sufficient warrantee deeds 
in the name and on behalf of Vernon county, 
for the lot or lots so sold. 



All moneys arising from such sale or sales, 
shall be paid over to the building committee 
who stall render an account for the same to the 
county board of supervisors. 

The committee on finance made the follow- 
ing report: 

Your committee, to whom was referred the 
order authorizing the building committee to re- 
ceive the $23,000 of the trust funds, have had 
the same under consideration, and respectfully 
recommend that it do not pass. The report of 
the committee was adopted. The board refused 
to pass the order. 

Mr. Schlong moved to strike out the words 
" said committee shall grant bonds in the sum 
of $50,000 " in the resolutions passed by this 
board in relation to building committee, which 
motion prevailed. 

Mr. Williams offered the following resolu- 
tion which was adopted under a suspension of 
the rules : 

Resolved, By the board of supervisors of 
Vernon county, that chairman of the county 
board shall have power to fill any vacancy on 
the building committee caused by the death or 
resignation of any member of said committee. 

Mr. Schlong offered a resolution in relation 
to bonds of building committee. 

Mr. McMichael moved that the rules be sus- 
pended and the resolution adopted. Mr. Will- 
iams moved to amend by striking out the words 
"Ten thousand" and inserting the words 
" Twenty-five thousand." 

The amendment was lost by the following 
vote : Affirmative, five ; negative, fifteen. Mr. 
McMichael's motion prevailed, and the resolu- 
tion adopted as follows : 

Resolved, By the board of supervisors of 
Vernon county, that the members of the build- 
ing committee be required to give a joint bond 
for the sum of $10,000 for the faithful perform- 
ance of their duties, said committee shall have 
power to draw orders on the treasurer for the 
f unds in his hands, said orders to be signed by 

the chairman of the board of supervisors and 
countersigned by the clerk, upon the recom- 
mendation of the building committee. 

The annual session for 1880 began on the 
9th of November. R. S. McMichael, of Viro- 
qua, was elected chairman for the ensuing year. 
The following gentlemen represented the vari- 
ous towns and villages in the county : 

Henry Schlong, Bergen ; M. N. Hanson, 
Christiana ; H. W. Enapp, Clinton ; Ole An- 
derson, Coon ; R. S. Sherman, Forest ; H. A. 
Owen, Franklin ; John Carpenter, Genoa ; 
John Shaughnessy, Greenwood ; J. W. Hoyt, 

Wm. Webster, Harmony ; Roger Williams, 
Hillsborough; • William Frazier, Jefferson; 
Irwin Fox, Kickapoo; Stanley Stout, Liberty; 
Charles G. Stebbins, Stark; J. M. Vance, Ster- 
ling; Laor King, Union; E. Powell, Viroqua; 
R. S. McMichael, village of Viroqua; John 
Snyder, Webster; H. H. Morgan, Wheatland; 
Samuel Sloggy, Whitestown. 

At this session the bounty upon wolves was 
raised as follows: On a full grown female 
wolf, $15, bounty; on a full grown male wolf, 
$10 bounty; all whelps, $5 bounty. 

D. A. Barnard was re-elected to the office of 
commissioner of the poor. 

The board fixed the salaries of the various 
county officers as follows: County clerk, $800 
per year; treasurer, $800; district attorney, 
$300; commissioner of poor, $2 per day and 
eight cents per mile; county superintendent, 
$3 per day not to exceed $800; clerk of circuit 
court, $300 and fees; connty judge, $500. 

Taxes were levied as follows: For State 
purposes, $12,811.29; for county purposes, 
$15,871.88; for county school purposes, $3,609. 
The total assessed valuation of the county at that 
time was $3,967,970. 

On the 15th of November, 1881, the board 
met again in annual session. J. W. Hoyt, of 
Hamburg, was elected chairman for the ensu- 
ing year. The following members of the 
board were present: Henry Schlong, Bergen; 



T. Madden, Christiana; P. Brody, Clinton; 
Helge Larson, Coon; R. S. Sherman, Forest; 
H. A. Owen, Franklin; W. L. Riley, Genoa; 
John Shaughiiessy, Greenwood; J. W. Hoyt, 
Hamburg; Simon Clawson, Harmony; Roger 
Williams, Hillsborough; Wm. Frazier, Jeffer- 
son; C. M. Poff, Kickapoo; L. S. Rabbitt, 
Liberty; Irvin Nixon, Stark; J. M. Vance, Ster- 
ling;Laor King, Union; E. Tilton, Viroqua; H.A. 
Chase, Viroqua village; Wm. Hayes, Webster; H. 
H. Morgan, Wheatland; Samuel Sloggy, Whites- 
town. D. A. Barnard was re-elected poor 

Taxes were assessed by the board as follows: 
For State purposes, $10,242.07; for county 
purposes, $18,067.25; for countyschool purpos- 
es, $3,788. The total assessed valuation of the 
county in 1880 was $4,014,945. 

For the annual session in 1882, the board 
met on the 14th of November. J. W. Hoyt, of 
Hamburg, was re-elected chairman. The board 
consisted of the following gentlemen : 

Henry Schlong, Bergen; Patrick Brody, 
Clinton; Timothy Madden, Christiana; Ole 
Anderson, Coon; W. C. Stelting, Forest; F.K. 
Van Wagner, Franklin; W. L. Riley, Genoa; 
Martin Rodgers, Greenwood; J. W. Hoyt, 
Hamburg; Jesse Cowen, Harmony; Roger Wil- 
liams, Hillsborough; A. B. Saxton, Jefferson; 
W. N. Carter, Kickapoo; L. S. Rabbitt, Liberty; 
Troy Evans, Stark; J. M. Vance, Sterling; S. 
Bauman, Union; E. Tilton, Viroqua; H. A. 
Chase, Viroqua village; William Hays, Web- 
ster; H. H. Morgan, Wheatland; Samuel 
Sloggy, Whitestown. 

Chairman Hoyt appointed the following com- 

On finance: H. A. Chase, Roger Williams 
and Henry Schlong. 

On claims: Samuel Sloggy, E. Tilton and 
Ole Anderson. 

Ways and means: H. H. Morgan, S. Bau- 
man, W. N. Carter, F. K. Van Wagner, A. B. 
Saxton, W. C. Stelting and Martin Rodgers. 

Roads, bridges and ferries: William Hays, 
J. M. Vance, W. L. Riley, Jesse Cowen and 
Troy Evans. 

Equalization: E. Tilton, L. S. Rabbitt, 
Patrick Brody, H. H. Morgan and T. Madden. 

D. A. Barnard, commissioner of poor, pre- 
sented his report, in which he stated that 
there had been forty-two paupers at the 
county house during the past year. The aver- 
age number at the house during the year was 
thirty-one. The cost per capita of $1.24 per 
week. The number at the house Oct. 31, 1882, 
was thirty; of this number six were insane, 
fourteen idiotic, one epileptic, two cripples; 
four over seventy years of age; one under ten 
years, and of the others, two are incapable of self- 
support. The number receiving aid from the 
county outside of the county was 195. Mr. 
Barnard was re-elected to the office of poor 

The salaries of the various county officers 
were fixed as follows: County clerk, $900 per 
annum; treasurer, $800; district attorney, $400; 
clerk of circuit court, $300 and fees; county 
judge, $500; poor commissioner, $2 per day and 
10 cents per mile; county superintendent, $3 per 

On the 13th of November the board of 
supervisors convened for the annual session of 
1883. J. W. Hoyt, of Hamburg, was re-elected 
chairman for the ensuing year. The following 
gentlemen were members of the board, repre- 
senting the various towns and incorporated vil- 
lages in the county: 

Wesley Pulver, Bergen; T. Madden, Chris- 
tiana; P. W. Carey, Clinton; Helge Larson, 
Coon; R. S. Sherman, Forest; Christian Ellef- 
son, Franklin; W. L. Riley, Genoa; W. King, 
Greenwood; J. W. Hoyt, Hamburg; Jesse 
Cowan, Harmony, G. J. Shear, Hillsborough; 
A. B. Saxton, Jefferson; P. L. Rush, Kickapoo; 
D. B. Sommers, Liberty; Troy Evans, Stark; J. 
M. Vance, Sterling; S. Bauman, Union; E. Til- 
ton, Viroqua; H. A. Chase, Viroqua village; 



William Hays, Webster; H. H. Morgan, Wheat- 
land; Henry O'Connell, Whitestown. 


The first building used as a court house stood 
upon the site now occupied by the Masonic Hall 
in Viroqua. It was erected in 1850 by Moses 
Decker. This building is fully described in the 
chapter upon the courts of Vernon county, the 
first term of circuit court being held in it. This 
building was used for the purpose of a court 
house until 1856. 

In May, 1854, the board of supervisors of the 
county expressed themselves as in favor of the 
erection of a new court house. T. J. De Frees 
drew the plans and specifications of the proposed 
building and proposals were advertised for. In 
July, 1854, the proposition of Samuel Mc- 
Michael to erect a building 30x38 feet in size, 
and two stories high, for the sum of $2,100, was 

The erection of the building was at once 
commenced. It was finished in 1856, having 
cost somewhat more than the original contract. 
This building still stands just back of the store 
of Rogers, Williams & Henry. For several 
years after its erection it was the finest county 
building in the sixth judicial circuit. When it 
was first built the first floor was divided into 
six office rooms; later the partitions were taken 
out, making four rooms. The upper story was 
occupied by the court room. 

In 1857 the contract for building a jail was 
let to Thomas Fretwell, of Viroqua. It was 
finished in November, 1858, at a cost of $2,060. 
It stands directly west of the old court house 

The court house and jail were occupied until 
November, 1880, when the county offices and 
records were moved into the new court house, 
the one now in use. 

The present buildings were erected in 1880; 
the contract for building the court house, jail 
and sheriff's residence being let for $23,000. 
The actual cost only overrun this amount $168, 
and this was paid by the county. The reason 

of this excess was that the sheriff's residence 
was veneclred with brick, while the contract 
called for a frame building. This made the en- 
tire cost of the court house, jail and sheriff's 
residence $^3,168. 

The court house is built of stone; about 60x70 
feet in size, two stories and basement. In the 
basement are two large Ruttan furnaces which 
heat the entire building. There are half a 
dozen large rooms in the basement which are 
used for storage purposes ; partitions are of 
massive stone, making a secure support and 
foundation for the building. The first story is 
divided into cozy rooms which are occupied by 
the county officers. The upper story is divided 
into four rooms — court room, consultation room 
and two jury rooms. The court room is 42x58 
feet in size, neatly furnished and well arranged. 

Just southwest of the court house stands the 
jail and sheriff's residence. The former is of 
stone ; the latter frame, with brick veneering. 

The buildings occupy a beautiful square con- 
taining about four acres of land, just west of 
the main part of town. 


The first marriage that appears on the record 
books of Vernon county was solemnized on the 
16th of May, 1851, more than thirty-two years 
ago. The contracting parties were Nels Nelson 
and Martha Olson, and the marriage ceremony 
was performed by Oliver Langdon, justice of 
the peace. 

It would doubtless be of interest to many to 
give the record of marriages for the first ten 
years of the county's existence; but they are too 
numerous, therefore, only the first four years 
are given as taken from the records in the office 
of the register of deeds. 

Samuel Nelson and Sophia Flick, by justice 
of the peace Orrin Wisel, on Aug. 25, 1851. 

Job Brown and Mary Ann Davison, by Henry 
Waters, Esq., on Sept. 10, 1851. 

Ingebright Homstead and Sophia Clemetson, 
by Oliver Langdon, Esq., on Dec. 20, 1851. 



Leroy B. Bundy and Hannah H. Taylor, by 
Rev. Daniel Parkison, on the 4th of July, 

Ander Anderson and Oleand Oleson, by 
Oliver Langdon, Esq., on Aug. 21, 1852. 

Nels E. Olson and Anna M. Hansdatter, by 
Oliver Langdon, justice of the peace, on Oct. 
17, 1852. 

Jacob Lavold and Johannah E. Hansdatter, 
by Oliver Langdon, Esq., on Oct. 17, 1852. 

Lewis Graham and Caroline E. Showan, by 
Henry Waters, Esq., on Nov. 16, 1852. 

Lafayette Everson and Harriet Morley, by 
Edmund Strong, Esq., on Nov. 21, 1852. 

John Clemetson and Martha Ingebright, by 
Oliver Langdon, Esq., on Dec. 15, 1852. 

Philip Snyder and Elizabeth Guirt, by Ed- 
mund Strong, Esq., on Dec. 28, 1852. 

Franklin Cooley and Mercy A. Wilcox, by 
Rev. Ira Wilcox, on Jan. 26, 1853. 

John Lockington and Polly S. Wright, by 
Rev. Daniel Parkison, on Feb. 20, 1853. 

Stephen O. Rice and Mary E. Decker, by 
Rev. Daniel Parkison, on the 23d of Feb. 1853. 

Henry Sifert and Etna E. J. Siveney, married 
March 15, 1853, by Rev. Daniel Parkison. 

Allen Day and Sarah McGary, by Oliver 
Langdon, Esq., on March 24, 1853. 

Jesse Swing and Martha Palmer, by Oliver 
Langdon, Esq., on April 19, 1853. 

Erick Yerack and Anna Siburuson, on May 
16, 1853, by Oliver Langdon, Esq. 

James Taylor and Louisa Henry, by Orrin 
Wisel, on May 17, 1853. 

Nels Jakobson and Helena Paulson, by Rev. 
N. Brandt, on the 5th of July, 1853. 

Hiram B. Patterson and Abigal E. Harkness, 
by Henry Waters, Esq., on July 17, 1853. 

Gilbert Herrick and Ester A. Hale, by S. C. 
Lincoln, Esq., on Sept. 1, 1853. 

Joseph B. Wilcox and Jane L. Willard, by 
Rev. Ira Wilcox, on Sept. 5, 1853. 

Nathaniel Cox and Jane Teawault, by Rev. 
Ira Wilcox, on Sept. 7, 1853. 

Samuel E. Burkes and Mary D. Crume, by 
Rev. James Bishop, on Oct. 8, 1853. 

Ingebright Christenson and Matea Enos, by 
Oliver Langdon, on Oct 10, 1853. 

Francis Davidson and Jane Jones, by Oliver 
Langdon, Esq., on Dec. 9, 1858. 

William Finnell and Catharine Moreley, by 
Oliver Langdon, Esq., on Nov. 30, 1853. 

Nathan Coe and Mary Lawrence, by Rev. 
Nicholas Mayne, on Dec. 25, 1853. 

The following are the names of those who 
were married during 1854, without going into 
particulars as to dates : 

Isaac W. Waters and Martha Price. 

George B. Taylor and Esther E. Spring. 

Lucius Bundy and Cordelia B. Moore. 

Christian Peterson and Anna Olesdaughter. 

George Hastings and Lavina Caswell. 

Christopher N. Johnson and Mary Nelson. 

Samuel McMichael and Julia Cook. 

Daniel Busbee and Hannah Groves. 

Robert S. McMichael and Osla Ann Sperry. 

Lorenzo Hill and Jemima Wilson. 

Daniel Day and Mary Hill. 

Joshua O. Richardson and Eliza Brown. 

Marshall T. Butts and Nancy L. White. 

James S. Medlicott and Emily Barrie. 

Moses Wheeler and Betsy Targer. 

Nirom R. Wells and Sarah A. Wright. 

Samuel Brice and Mary Spradling. 

Leonard C. Gillett and Emily Dunlap. 

Cyrus F. GMettand Sarah Jane Norris. 

A. W. Gillett and Rebecca J. Glen. 

Kidel Byron and Susan Halve rson. 

Michael Larson and Rachel Knudson. 

Ransom P. Gillett and Rebecca Smith. 

William Rogers and Margaret Mahan. 

Peter Mathiason and Karen Jacobstaller. 

Enoch Enoch son and Sarah Oleson. 

Andrew Evenson and Martha Nelsdatter. 

Sylvester Nelson and Anna Hanson. 

Sidney Harding and Anna C. Older. 

Ben Gulbrandson and Abelena Oleson. 

Elias Torgeson and Mrs. Algood Christen- 




The names and titles of those who performed 
the marriage ceremonies during 1854, in the 
eases mentioned, are as^follows : 

County judge, William Terhune; Revs. James 
Bishop, Daniel Parkison and H. A. Stub ; 
justices of the peace, Sylvester C. Lincoln, 
Henry Waters, J. P. Harkness, N. W. Saxton, 
Robert Nelson, Orrin Wisel, Augustus H. 
Older, C. Cheatham, Oliver Langdon and A. 

During the last few years the records of mar- 
riages, show the names of many, both ladies and 
young gentlemen, who are sons and daugh- 
ters of the parties mentioned above, who have 
themselves taken partners to their joys and 

sorrows* Thus a new generation steps to the 

The following table shows the number of 
marriages recorded from the year 1851 to 1883, 
inclusive : 




... 160 




















.... 191 




... .150 




.... 184 
















.... 152 








.... 208 



1883 to Oct. 25,... 





— __ 




. . . 8,499 




Value of 
City and Vil- 
lage Lota., 

Value of the 
Acre* of 

No. Aorcft of 
Laud .« ... 




Total vah of 
all personal 
property ae 
aforesaid . 



Value of all 
other Per- 
Bonal Prop- 

l|VaJ. of Mer. 
cbunta, and 

M:i[iirl'LH till- 

re* Stock. . i 

* c 5 






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When the territory now comprising the 
county of Vernon was organized as Bad Ax 
county, in April, 1851, it constituted one civil 
town. This was called by the same name as 
the county — Bad Ax. Its organization was ef- 
fected at the same time as was that of the 

In this shape the county remained until the 
29th of March, 1853, when the board of super- 
visors got together and divided the County into 
four civil towns. These towns were named 
Bergen, Jefferson, Bad Ax and Kickapoo. 

The town of Bergen was made to embrace 
the territory now comprising the towns of Ham- 
burg and Bergen, and all of Harmony and 
Genoa lying north of the dividing line between 
townships 12 and 13. It was further ordered 
that the first town meeting in Bergen be held 
at the house of John Warner. 

The town of Jefferson embraced the territory 
of townships 13 and 14, range 5 west, now 
comprising the civil towns of Jefferson and 
Coon. The creating resolution provided that 
the first town meeting of Jefferson be held at 
the school house in the village of Springville. 

The town of Bad Ax was the largest in the 
county. The records state that its boundaries 
were as follows : "Beginning at the northwest 
corner of township 14, of range 4 west ; run- 
ning thence south on the range line to the 
southwest corner of township 13, range 4 west ; 
thence west on the township line between town- 
ships 12 and 13, to the middle of the main 
channel of the Mississippi river ; thence down 
the river to the southwest corner of the county; 
thence east on the county line to the southeast 
corner of section 15, township 11, range 4 west; 
thence north on the section line to the north- 

east corner of section 27, township 12, range 4 
west; thence east on the section line to the 
southeast corner df section 24, township 12, 
range 3 west ; thence north on the range line 
to the northeast corner of township 12, range 3 
west; thence east on the township line between 
12 and 13 to the southeast corner of 
township 13, range 1 east; thence north on the 
range line to the northeast corner of township 
14, range 1 east ; thence west on the township 
line, between townships 14 and 15, to the place 
of beginning." Thus it will be seen that the 
town of Bad Ax embraced about sixteen Con- 
gressional townships. 

The town of Kickapoo embraced exactly the 
same territory as it does to-day. Its boundaries 
were described by the supervisors as follows: 
"Beginning at the northwest corner of section 
26, township 1 2, range 4 west, thence south on 
the section line to the southwest corner of sec- 
tion 14, township 11, range 4 west, thence east 
on the section line to the southeast corner of 
section 13, township 11, range 3 west, thence 
north on the range line to the northeast corner 
of section 25, township 12, range 3 west, thence 
west on the section line to the place of begin- 
ning." This made in ail forty sections. It was 
ordered that the first town meeting of Kickapoo 
be held at the house of Orrin Wisel. 

The indebtedness of the town of Bad Ax was 
apportioned in fair ratio between the new 
towns, and the records and documents belong- 
ing to the original town were to remain with 
Bad Ax. 

In a few months it became apperant that the 
town of Bad Ax was altogether too large. 
From the northeast to the southwest corner was 
a distance of over sixty miles. On the 29th of 



November, 1853, the board of sapervisors made 
another division, and created the town of Far- 
well. This change threw the town of Bad Ax 
into the southwest corner of the county. Its 
boundaries were described as follows: Com- 
mencing where the township line between 12 
and 13 intersect the Mississippi river, thence 
down the river to the southwest corner of the 
county, thence east along the county line to the 
southeast corner of section 16, township 11, 
range 4, thence north on the section line to the 
northeast corner of section 15, township 12, 
range 4, thence west on the section line to the 
range line between ranges 4 and 5 west, thence 
north to the southeast corner of township 1 3, 
range 5, thence west to the place of beginning. 
The town of Farwell was created from the re- 
mainder of the territory which had constituted 
the town of Bad Ax, according to the division 
of March, 1853. The first town meeting for 
the new town of Bad Ax was ordered to be held 
in "the school house near the postoffice of Bad 
Ax," wherever that was. The first town meet- 
ing for Farwell was to be held at the court house 
in Viroqua. 

* The town of Farwell was short-lived. On 
the 25th of May, 1 854, its name was changed to 

O the 3d of July, 1854, section 1 of town- 
ship 12, range 5 west, was detached from the 
town of Bad Ax and made a part of Viroqua. 
This section adjoins the village of Viroqua 
upon the southwest, and the change was made 
through the influence of that place. 

A special session of the board of supervisors 
was held on the 9th of May, 1855, at which the 
town of Viroqua was divided, and Forest and 
Hillsborough were created. Forest embraced 
four congressional townships; described as 
township 14, ranges 1 and 2 west, and township 
13, ranges 1 and 2. This territory is now 
embraced in the towns of Forest, Union, Stark 
and Whitestown. The first town meeting in 
Forest was ordered to be held at the house of 
James F. Brown. 

The town of Hillsborough embraced the ter- 
ritory of congressional townships 13 and 14, 
range 1 east, which now comprises the towns 
of Hillsborough and Greenwood. The first 
town meeting in Hillsborough was ordered 
held at the house of Albert Fields. 

In this shape as to sub-divisions the county 
remained until the 13th of November. 1855, 
when a general reconstruction was ordered by 
the board of supervisors. The act of May 9, 
1855, creating Forest, was repealed, and the 
boundaries of most of the other towns were 
materially altered. The new towns created at 
this time were Union, Webster, Christiana, 
Forest, Greenwood and Harmony. 

The town of Union then consisted of 
congressional township 13, range 1 west and 

13, range 2 west, now known as civil towns 
Union and Stark. The first town meeting of 
Union was ordered held at the house of Joseph 

The town of Webster then embraced the 
same territory that it does to-day — township 13, 
range 3 west. The first town meeting was 
ordered to be held at John Richardson's resi- 

The town of Christiana embraced the territory 
which now comprises the towns of Clinton and 
Christiana; or, in other words, township 14, 
ranges 3 and 4 west. The board provided that 
the first town meeting be held at Hunt & Ol- 
son's mill on the west branch of the Kickapoo* 

The town of Forest was re-created, embrac- 
ing, under this act, the territory of township 13, 
ranges 1 and 2 west, which is now civilly organ- 
ized as Forest and Whitestown. The first town 
meeting was ordered held at the house of Ben- 
jamin Van Vleet. 

The town of Hillsborough was also remodeled 
and made to embrace the territory of township 

14, range 1 east. It still retains that shape. 

From the south half of what had before con- 
stituted Hillsborough was created Greenwood. 
As to-day, it then comprised township 13, rauge 



1 east. The store of Treve & Smith was desig- 
nated as the place for the first town meeting. 

Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 were detached 
from the town of Bad Ax and attached to Jef- 

Harmony was another of the towns created 
in November, 1855. The territory, as then em- 
braced, is probably best described by tracing its 
boundaries as follows: Commencing at the 
northeast corner of township 13, range 6 west; 
thence west on the township line to the north- 
west comer of said township; thence south on 
the range line to the northeast corner of section 
13, township 13, range 7; thence west on the sec- 
tion line to the main channel of the Mississippi 
river; thence down the river to a point opposite 
the southwest corner of section 1(5, township 12, 
range 7 west; thence east on the township line 
to the southwest corner of section 13, township 
12, range 6; thence north on the range line to 
the place of beginning. The first town meet- 
ing for Harmony was ordered held at the house 
of John Ruwalt. 

The indebtedness of the original towns was 
appropriated out among the new towns created. 
This made eleven towns in the county — Bad 
Ax, Bergen, Jefferson, Kickapoo, Forest, Hills- 
borough, Union, Webster, Christiana, Green- 
wood and Harmony. 

On the 27th of March, 1857, by authority of 
the board of supervisors the town of Bad Ax 
was divided and Sterling was created. This 
town then embraced the following territory: 
Sections 19, 20, 21, 30, 29, 28, 31, 32 and 33, 
township 12, range 5 west; sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 
9, 16, 17 and 18, township 11, range 5 west; sec- 
tions 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16, 
township 11, range 6 west; sections 21, 22, 23, 
24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 33, 34, 35, 36, 19, 20, 29, 30, 
31 and 32, township 12, range 6 west; the north 
half of township 11, range 7; and the south 
half of township 12, range 7. It was ordered 
that the first town meeting of Sterling be held 
at the house of Lewis Sterling on the 7th of 
April, 1857. 

At the same time the board ordered that sec- 
tions 7, 8, 9, 16, 17 and 18, township 12, range 
5 west, be detached from Bad Ax and attached 
to Jefferson. Section 1, township 12, range 5, 
was taken from the town of Viroqua, and made 
a part of Jefierson. 

On the 28 of March, 1857, the towns of Wheat- 
land and Masterson were created, and ordered 
organized. Provision was made for holding thi 
first town meeting of Wheatland at the house 
of Jonathan Law, April 7, 1857. The first town 
meeting of Masterson was to be held at Hunt 
<fc Oleson's mill, on the same date. 

The town of Wheatland then embraced the 
following territory: The north half of town- 
ship 11, range 7 west, and the south half of 
township 12, range 7; also sections 19, 20, 29, 
30, 31 and 32, township 12, range 6; and sec- 
tions 5, 6, 7, 8, 17 and 18, township 11, range 6 

The town of Masterson embraced territory 
which was taken from Christiana: Township 
14, range 3 west. 

Whites town was created at the same time, 
embracing township 14, range 2 west — the same 
as at the present time. The first town meeting 
was ordered held at Prentice's store, April 7, 

On the 27th of March, 1857, an important act 
was passed by the board of supervisors. It 
changed the name of the town of Bad Ax to Lock- 
haven. Thus it remained until the 24th of No- 
vember, 1857, when the name of Lockhaven was v 
abolished, and Franklin took its place. At the 
seme time the name of the town of Masterson 
was changed to Clinton. 

On the 10th of November, 1857, C. W. Law- 
ton and others, presented a petition to the 
board asking that Kickapoo be divided, but it 
was rejected. 

The town of Bergen was divided Nov. 10, 
1857, and Hamburgh was created, embracing 
the territory of township 14, range 6 west. It 
still embraces the same territory, although the 
final "h" has been discarded, the name now be- 



ing spelled "Hamburg." The residence of An- 
drew Nelson was designated as the place for the 
first town meeting, and April, 1858, was set as 
the time for it. It was ordered that the town 
of Bergen retain all the records and pay its own 

The town of Coon was created at the same 
time, composed of township 14, range 5 west, 
formerly a part of Jefferson. 1 he first town 
meeting was ordered held at the house of H. 
Gelbrunson, in April, 1858. 

Harmony was re-arranged so as to embrace 
township 13, range 6. 

On the 28th of December, 1857, the xown of 
Viroqua was divided, and Liberty was created. 
Liberty still retains the size and shape it then 
did, embracing the first twenty-four sections of 
land in township 12, range 8, west. The first 
town meeting of Liberty was to be held at the 
school house on section 9, in April, 1858. 

On the 10th of November, 1858, township 13, 
range 2, was set off from Union, and its organi- 
zation, as the town of Stark, was authorized. 
The first town meeting was to be held at the 
house of Morrison Wilson, in April, 1859. 

A petition was presented from citizens of 
Bergen asking for the division of that town, 
but it was rejected by the board. 

At the same session the organization of Coon 
was again authorized. It seems that Coon had 
failed to take advantage of the former act of 
the board, and had not elected town officers. 
This matter is treated at length in the chapter 
upon county government 

On the 23d of November, 1859, the board of 
supervisors ordered that the south half of 
township 13, range 7 west, be taken from the 
town of Bergen and annexed to Wheatland. 
And further that the north half of congressional 
township 14, range 7 west, be taken from the 
town of Bergen and attached to Hamburg. 

On the 12th of November, 1861, the town of 
Genoa was created. The territory embraced 
by Genoa is probably best described by tracing 
the boundaries, commencing at the southwest 

corner of section 16, township 12, range 6 west, 
thence south of the west line of the town of 
Sterling to the northeast corner of section 29, 
township 12, range 6 west, thence west on the 
section line to the Mississippi river, thence 
up the river to the north line of section 19, 
township 13, range 7, thence east on the sec- 
tion line to the northeast corner of section 24, 
township 13, range 7, thence south on the line 
to the township line between townships 12 and 
1 3, thence east along that line to the northeast 
corner of section 5, township 12, range 6 west, 
thence south to the place of beginning. 

During the same session of the board of 
supervisors, at which Genoa was created, 
changes were made in the boundaries of several 
towns. Sections 1, 2, 3 and 4, and the north 
half of sections 9, 10, 11 and 12, township 12, 
range 6 were detached from the town of 
Wheatland and attached to Harmony. Sections 
13, 14, 15 and 16, and the south half of sections 
9,10, 11 and 12, township 12, range 6 west, 
were detached from Wheatland and annexed to 
Sterling. The committee which recommended 
these changes was composed of John T. Brink- 
mann, Joseph M. Waddell and J. O. Parker. 

For a number of years no change was made in 
the shape of the towns. 

On the 12th of July, 1867, the north half of 
township 14, range 7, was taken from Ham- 
burg and attached to Bergen. 

At the November session of the board of 
supervisors in 1873, it was ordered that the fol- 
lowing question should be submitted to the 
voters of the town of Genoa: Whether all the 
territory belonging to Genoa, lying on the 
south side of the Bad Ax creek should be taken 
from Genoa and attached to Wheatland. It 
seems that the proposition was rejected at the 
polls, for the change never went into effect. 

All these creations and alterations have been 
necessary to bring the county into its present 
shape — as to sub-divisions. The county now 
has twenty-one civil towns. They are as fol- 
lows, commencing at the northeast corner: 



Hillsborough, embracing township 14 north, 
range 1 east. 

Forest, township 14, range 1 west. 
Whitestown, township 14, range 2 west. 
Clinton, township 14, range 3 west. 
Christiana, township 14, range 4 west 
Coon, township 14, range 5 west. 
Hamburg, township 1 4, range 6 west. 

Bergen, township 14, range 7 west; and the 
north half of township 13, range 7. 

Greenwood, township 13, range 1 east. 

Union, township 13, range 1 west. 

Stark, township 13, range 2 west. 

Webster, township 13, range 3 west. 

Viroqua, township 13, range 4 west; and six- 
teen sections of township lis, range 4 west. 

Jefferson, township 13, range 5 west; and 
twelve sections of township 12, range 4 west. 

Harmony, township 13, range 6 west; and 
six sections of township 12, range 6 west. 

Liberty, sections 1 to 24 inclusive, township 
1 2, range 3 west. 

Franklin, sixteen sections of township 12, 
range 4 west; fifteen sections of township 1.2, 
range 5 west; twelve sections of township 11, 
range 4 west; and nine sections of township 11, 
range 5 west. 

Sterling, nine sections of township 12, range 

5 west; eighteen sections of township 12, range 

6 west; nine sections of township 11, range 5 
west; and twelve sections of township 11, range 

6 west. 

Genoa, the south half of township 13, range 

7 west; and twenty-four sections of township 
12, range 7 west. 

Eickapoo, the north half of township 1 1, range 
3 west; twelve sections of township 12, range 3 
west; four sections of township 12, range 4 
west; and six sections of township 11, range 4 

Wheatland, four sections of township 12, 
range 6 west; six sections of township 11, range 
6 west; the north half of township 11, range 7 
west, lying east of the Mississippi river; and the 
two southern tiers of sections of township 12, 
range 7, lying east of the river. 




Circuit courts were created by the constitu- 
tion of the State adopted upon its admission to 
the Union in 1848. They were to have general 
original jurisdiction in all matters civil and 
criminal, not exclusively cognizable by a jus- 
tice of the peace or some other inferior court. 
They were to have all the powers according to 
the usages of courts of law and equity necessary 
to the full and complete jurisdiction of the 
causes and parties, and the full and complete 
administration of justice. Their acts and pro- 

ceedings were made subject to a re-examination 
by the supreme court, as provided by law. 

The constitution divided the State into five 
judicial circuits, and provided for the election 
of a judge in each, The first circuit comprised 
the counties of Racine, Walworth, Rock and 
Green; the second circuit, the counties of Mil- 
waukee, Waukesha, Jefferson and Dane; the 
third circuit, the counties of Washington, Dodge, 
Columbia, Marquette, Sauk and Portage; the 
fourth circiut, the counties of Brown, Manitowoc, 
Sheboygan, Fond du Lac, Winnebago and Calu- 

• " • \* £W YOhK 


TILtn N FouNP*1 ON*. 



met; the fifth circuit, the counties of Iowa, 
Lafayette, Grant, Crawford and St. Croix. At 
that time Vernon county hnd not yet been or- 
ganized, its territory being embraced in Craw- 
ford county. 

In 1851 the territory now comprising Vernon 
was organized as Bad Ax county, and became a 
part of the newly organized sixth judicial cir- 
cuit. Arrangements were made to hold the first 
term of court at Viroqua, the temporary county 
seat, in the spring of 185]. Accordingly cir- 
cuit court convened for the first time in Bad Ax 
county, on the 9th of May, 1851, in a little log 
building which stood upon the site now occu- 
pied by the Odd Fellows and Masonic Hall, 
and H. D. Williams' building, in Viroqua. The 
building had been erected the previous year by 
Moses Decker, aided by the settlers in a "rais- 
ing bee." It was 18x22 feet in size, one story 
high, and covered with oak shakes. The floor 
was made of hewn puncheons; the seats of the 
same with legs inserted; the desks and benches 
also of puncheons, nailed to the log wall. In 
fact, what was not made of the proverbial 
"shakes or puncheons" was almost unnecessary 
in the construction of a building or .the manu- 
facture of its furniture in those days. This 
cabin had been used for almost eveiy conceivable 
purpose; dances, schools, church services, de- 
bating societies, terms of court and political 
conventions, each in turn honored the dingy 
little room with their gaieties or sober deliber- 
ations. The cabin was used for the purpose of 
a court house until about 1856, when it was su- 
perseded by a better building, and then torn 
down. The clerk of court during these years 
held his office in it. 

Hon. Wiram Enowlton, of Crawford county, 
presided over the first term of court held in 
Bad Ax county, and was the first judge of the 
sixth judicial oircuit. At the first term there 
was but little business to transact. In fact the 
only thing done was the admission of Lorenzo 
A. Pierce to the bar, upon motion of Francis 
J. Dunn. The county officers who bad been 

elected qualified before Judge Enowlton at 
this time. 

The second term of circuit court for Bad 
Ax county was held, in November, 1851, in 
the same log cabin as the previous term had 
been held. By this time the little "court 
house" had been chinked up with mud for 
plastering. Judge Knowlton was still on the 
bench. At this term of court William F. Ter- 
hune, Thomas J. DeFrees, Norris W. Saxton 
and Rufus Dun lap were all admitted to the 

The first case to come before the court 
was entitled Samuel H. Sheffield vs. George 
Dascey and John Allen, for trespass on the 
case, according to the old time method of 
pleading. The case was continued until the 
succeeding term of court, when it was dis- 
missed. James Cadwell was one of the attor- 
neys in this case — the only one revealed by the 

The first grand jury was impanneled and 
sworn at this term of court, consisting of the 
following named gentlemen : Isaac Spencer, 
foreman ; Andrew Briggs, Isaac Coe, Ransom 
Gillett, Eldad Inman, John Snyder, Samuel 
McMichael, John Graham, A. H. Older, West- 
fall Decker, Orrin Wisel, William Reed, Daniel 
Gardner, Lemick Graham, Nicholas Murphy, 
Charles Waters and William Spencer. 

The petit jurors who were in attendance at 
this term of court were as follows : James 
Clark, John Longley, Cyrus Gillett, George 
Dascey, John Allen, William C. McMichael, 
Lewis Graham, Jacob Johnson, Henry Waters, 
Samuel Nelson, Andrew Henry, Everett Eaton, 
Barney C. Hutchinson, James McCormic, 
George P. Taylor, John McCullock, George 
Pike, C. B. Brown, A. Southwick, Michael 
Hinkst, James Foster, Nicholas Vought, Wil- 
liam Coe, Nelson DeFrees and Oliver Langdon. 

The first State case to be tried by the circuit 
court of Bad Ax county, was against Joseph 
and Joseph M. Heck, upon an indictment for 
assault and battery with intent to commit mur- 




so to speak; in other words, he was sound 
asleep! But Bierce kept on with his argu- 
ment — why should he not? Court was in ses- 
sion; the judge was upon the bench; the jury in 
the box, and the sheriff on hand to preserve 
order. There, too, was the clerk at his desk; 
and the parties to the suit sat near their respect- 
ive advocates, — it was a scene for a painter! 

"It is asserted by one who was present that 
it was exceedingly difficult to tell that after- 
noon exactly where, in the old log court house, 
the majesty of the law was ensconced. It 
seemed as if justice, for the nonce, had dropped 
her sword and scales, torn from her eyes the 
bandage, and incontinently fled! Bierce, after 
a good long hour of forensic effort, reached his 
peroration in eloquent style! But, if the court 
was convinced, there was no outward sign, for 
the judge still slept. An adjournment 'took 
place.' The judge, like the lords after the 
celebrated speech of Sheridan, was too much 
'affected' to calmly weigh the matter; at least, 
the matter was then and there not weighed. 
Judge Knowlton retired half unconscious to his 
room. Jurors, parties, witnesses, officers — all 
staid around the seat of justice for a day or 
two, but the judge came not. Then, they took 
themselves every man unto his own .home. 

"Nothing more was heard of the suit for 
some three or four months, when the judge, 
who had by this time recovered his equanimity, 
wrote to the clerk, directing him to put the 
case on the calender for trial at the next term, 
as he had over-ruled Terhune's motion. The 
eloquence of Bierce had done its perfect work!" 

Hon. George Gale held his first term of cir- 
cuit court for Bad Ax county in June, 1857. He 
was succeeded in 1861 by Hon. I. E. Messmore, 
of La Crosse, through some change in the 
boundaries of the district; but only for a short 
time did Messmore continue on the bench, the 
county being again thrown into Gale's district. 

George Gale was a native of Burlington, Vt., 
born Nov. 30, 1816. He had the advantages of a 
good common school education* and in, Maiob* 

1839, commenced reading law. In 1841 he was 
admitted to the bar, emigrated west, and settled 
at Elkhorn, Walworth Co., Wis. Here he 
opened an office and entered into successful 
practice of his profession. Besides holding 
other offices in the fall of 1847 he was elected 
a member of the convention to form a State 
constitution, serving in that body on the judici- 
ary committee. The same fall he was elected 
district attorney and a year later a member of 
the State Senate. On the 4th of July, 1851, 
Mr. Gale received from Gov. Dewey the ap- 
pointment of brigadier general of militia. In 
the fall of that year he removed to the upper 
Mississippi, locating at La Crosse. He was 
soon elected county judge for the term of four 
years. Jan. 1, 1854, he resigned this office and 
iu April, 1856, was elected judge of the sixth 
judicial circuit, then composed of the counties 
of Bad Ax, Buffalo, Clark, Jackson, Monroe, 
Trempealeau, La Crosse and Crawford. He 
served the full term of six years. During 1857 
he removed from La Crosse to Galesville, Trem- 
pealeau county, where he lived until his death, 
which occurred April 18, 1868. Judge Gale 
was best known, however, as a friend of educa- 
tion. Seeing that all northwestern Wisconsin 
was without college advantages, he first urged 
upon the people of La Crosse the importance of 
founding an institution near that village. Fail- 
ing in this, he decided to remove to the Trem- 
pealeau valley, start a village and found a col- 
lege. Accordingly, in 1853, he purchased a 
large tract of land where Galesville now stands, 
and in 1854 secured the organization of Trem- 
paeleau county, with the county seat located 
upon his land. He also obtained a charter for 
the Galesville University. The board of trus- 
tees was organized in 1855, and the college 
building was commenced in 1858. Judge Gale 
was president of this college until 1865. He 
was not a college graduate but from bis great 
interest in education, he was made master of 
arts by the Vermont University in 1857, and 
deetop ot laws by the GalesvUle University is 



1863. Judge Gale was a man of great energy 
and worth, and his death was much mourned 
by a large circle of friends. While Judge Gale 
was upon the bench William H. Tucker, a law- 
yer from La Crosse, who at one time had a very 
large practice in the sixth circuit, often at- 
tended terms of court at Viroqua. He acquired 
quite a reputation for wit and oratory, and, be- 
ing somewhat cheeky frequently got into a dis- 
cussion with the judge. On one occasion a dis- 
pute arising between Gale and the lawyer, they 
both became somewhat (( warmed up," and the 
judge in his excitement, compromised his dig- 
nity by offering to bet $100 upon the point of 
law involved in the dispute. Mr. Tucker, quick 
to take advantage of the judge's forgetful ness 
of his position, exclaimed: "Hold on, Judge! 
you oversize my pile; call it $1 and I'll cover 

At the October term of circuit court, in 1860, 
John Eellard, an Irish shoemaker, about sixty 
years old, a nervous voluable fellow who evi- 
dently prided himself upon having "licked the 
Blarney stone," was indicted for selling liquor 
without a license. He was very deferential to 
his superiors, and very lavish in applying and 
repeating titles. The indictment was in the 
old common law form, charging that "on the day 
of — , 1 8 — , at the town of Franklin, in the county 
of Bad Ax, State of Wisconsin, the defendant 
did wrongfully and willfully with force and arms 
sell and traffic in strong, spirituous and intoxi- 
cating liquors and drinks." * * * The case 
being pretty strong against Eellard, he was 
advised by his lawyers to plead guilty. When 
the indictment was read to him in court, and he 
was solemnly asked the usual question of: "Are 
you guilty or not guilty;" he sprang to his feet 
and replied earnestly: "May it plaze this most 
honerable coort! I be — believe I am a leetle 
guilty; but, may it plaze your most honerable 
honer I plade not guilty to the force and arms, 

Speaking of the oddities of practice in early 
days, Judge Terbune relates an anecdote re- 

garding the case of State vs. Holt Bugbee, for 
assault and battery. The defendant was a tall 
six-footer who had been brought up in the 
back woods, who had a very loud voice and 
extremely large feet. It seems that the com- 
plaining witness was a nephew of the defend- 
ant. One day while passing along the highway 
in front of the defendants house he began 
tantalizing the latter, calling opprobrious names 
and casting slurs upon Bugbee and his family. 
Finally Bugbee came out and gave the fellow a 
"booting." Bugbee was arrested and tried for 
assault and battery before justice court. W. F. 
Terhune was employed as counsel for the 
defense. R. P. Gillett, one of the early settlers 
of Viroqua, appeared for the prosecution. He 
was an odd, rough and ready genius, and was 
possessed of a good deal of natural wit and 
originality. It should be stated by way of ex- 
planation that the settlers in that region made 
a good deal of maple syrup, catching the sap in 
large sap-troughs made from linn trees. After 
the witnesses had been examined the argument 
of the counsel was heard. The defendant had 
nothing to offer save that the act was justifi- 
able, was brought about by great provocation 
and was necessary to teach the boy better man- 
ners. Mr. Gillett, for the prosecution, in sum- 
ming up the evidence and laying down the law, 
stated that "the boy was in the highway where 
he had a perfect right to be, and that no words 
could constitute a provocation which wM^d 
justify Holt Bugbee in coming out and booting 
the boy with a pair of sap troughs." Continu- 
ing, partly in replication, he stated that "noth- 
ing argued on the part of the defense, would 
justify the defendant in starting out on the 
highway and kicking a poor boy with a big 
pair of "fourteen boots." "Its an infernal lie!" 
yelled Holt; "I only wear twelves!" holding up 
his foot. The boots were fined fifty cents. 

Hon.. Edwin Flint, of La Crosse county, was 
elected judge of the sixth judicial circuit in 
the spring of 1862. He served for six years. 
Judge Flint was a good lawyer, and a thorough 

If 6 


master of all the detail knowledge relating to 
the profession. He now lives in Mason City, 
Iowa, having retired from the active practice of 

The case of State vs. John Tibbetts, upon 
indictment for murder, came up at the fall term 
of circuit conrt in 1864. The killing took 
place early in April, 1864. August Nifenecker, 
a former resident of Bad Ax city, was shot by 
Wm. S. Tibbitts, and died in about five hours. 
The substance of the testimony of witnesses 
was, that during a melee between Nifenecker 
and two men named Fopper and Moreville, Tib- 
bitts seized the heart of a stave cut about thirty 
inches long and three or four inches through, 
and struck Nifenecker a heavy blow with both 
hands, cutting a deep gash in the center of the 
head from near the edge of the hair on the 
forehead, two inches long, toward the back of 
the head. In a few moments Nifenecker re- 
covered and asked who struck him. On being 
told that it was Tibbitts, he looked around, and 
seeing him, gave chase. Tibbitts n»n for the 
store, where his gun was standing behind the 
counter, and seizing it he shot Nifenecker in 
the breast, while the latter' 8 hand was upon the 
latch, pushing open the door, with one foot on 
the door sill or top step. Tibbitts was seen to 
load his gun in the store previous to the shoot- 
ing. From the evidence it did not appear that 
there had been any quarrel between Nifenecker 
„and Tibbitts previous to the time of Tibbitts 
using the stave cut. The preliminary examina- 
tion took place before Judge Graham and Jus- 
tice J. E. Newell, and bail was fixed at $1,500, 
for want of which the prisoner was placed in 
jail. Before trial in circuit court, the defend- 
ant obtained a change of venue to Crawford 
county. He was tried, found guilty of man- 
slaughter and sentenced to two years in the 
penitentiary. He served his term, and after- 
ward became so demented that he was placed in 
the insane asylum where he still remains. 

In the spring of 1864, a number of ruffians 
belonging to a band of horse theives were cap- 

tured and brought to trial before the circuit 
court. The following account of the affair 
was published by the Northwestern Times, of 
Viroqua, in its issue of May 25, 1864 : 


"On Saturday morning last, under Sheriff Po- 
land, ex-Sheriff Goode, and Messrs. A. P. Bliss, 
A. Smith, L. C. Gillett, C. P. Richardson and 
H. A. Robinson, upon information received 
from a reliable source, made a descent on some 
horse thieves, who had congregated at one Dr. 
Hills, in a secluded place on the west side of 
Eickapoo river, about a mile and a half above 
the little village of Eickapoo Center, in Ver- 
non county ; and after a night ride of about 
fifteen miles, came upon them suddenly, about 
half an hour after sunrise. The two horse 
theives started for the bushes. Hill was or- 
dered to open the gate, which he did upon 
threat of being shot by Mr. Goode. Some got 
through the gate, and others got into the field 
through which the thieves were running, some 
other way. They quickly gathered round the 
skedadlers, and seized one of them, but the ring- 
leader shot Mr. Goode in the fleshy part of the 
shoulder, and in the melee caused by the falling 
of Mr. Goode, Graves, alias Eno got out of and a 
little ahead of the crowd. Several followed 
Eno and two of the party, Bliss and Poland, 
each fired two shots at him, and he fired two 
shots at Bliss, one of which passed through the 
right ear of the horse on which he was riding. 
The party here run out of ammunition and it 
being impossible to ride horses into the thick 
brush and over the logs, he was not taken. But 
the other thief and three horses were brought 
to Viroqua. Since that time Dr. Hill and other 
parties supposed to belong to the gang, or know 
something about them, have been brought to 
Viroqua, also, Eno's rifle and a fine mare and 
colt, that he claims as his property, that was 
probably stolen. Eno shot the sheriff of Fay- 
ette county, sometime since and a reward of 
$150 is offered for his body." 



The same paper in its issue of Deo. 7, 1864, 
under the head of " Vernon County Court," 
said : 

"The last terra of court closed on Wednesday 
after a session of two and a half weeks. The 
members of the Kickapoo horse thief gang 
were convicted, Dr. Hill and Millison, for rob- 
bing old man Roger and Pitzenberger, ( usu- 
ally called Spitzenberger) for horse stealing 
and all three were sentenced to States' prison 
for three years ; and all three were escorted to 
Waupun, by our wide awake sheriff, Rogers, 
and his efficient deputy, T. B. Brown. The 
La Crosse Republican says : 

" A tough gang of robbers and horse thieves 
who have for years committed serious outrages 
in the valley of the Kickapoo river, in Vernon 
county, recently had their arrangements dis- 
turbed. Three of the ring leaders were con- 
victed last week in the circuit court after an 
exciting trial of several days duration ; and 
were sentenced by Judge Flint to three years 
imprisonment in the penitentiary. Dr. Hill, 
who has been a man of considerable note in 
that region, and a man named Millison, who 
was his near neighbor, were convicted of rob- 
bery. A man named Jacob Pitzenberger was 
convicted for horse stealing. Their conviction 
was secured by Millison turning States-evidence 
against Pitzenberger, which so exasperated the 
latter's wife that she turned States-evidence 
against Hill and Millison. The good work of 
caging such villains is not completed, as others 
of the same sort will be brought to justice. 
The trial ot these men was conducted with 
great ability by Mr. Priest, of Viroqua, and 
Mr. Montgomery, of La Crosse, for the State, 
and Judge W. F. Terhune, of Viroqua, for the 

The case of State vs. Charles Skippens, was 
of marked importance. It came before the 
circuit court at the spring term of 1865. The 
particulars of the occurrence through which 
the defendant was indicted were briefly as 
follows : One Friday night, early in January, 

1865, John Good and James E. Newell, Jr., 
went into the only saloon in Viroqua, at the 
Dunlap House. Charles Skippens, the proprie- 
tor, was holding a light for Mr. Stroup, who 
was fixing a bedstead for Skippens. Good 
called for some beer and Skippens said he had 
no time to get it, as he was busy. Good started 
behind the counter and Skippens seized him 
and was pulling him out as Newell put his hand 
on Skippens 9 shoulder, and said, "don't hurt 
John, he is drunk." Skippens and Newell 
clenched and Skippens pushed the latter to the 
floor over a chair. Newell then turned upon 
Skippens and struck him several times in the 
face, when Newell was pulled off and Skippens 
went into the other part of the basement and 
then up stairs. Newell went out and stood at 
the corner, a few steps from the stairs leading 
down into the saloon. A few minutes later 
another disturbance between Good and Skip- 
pens' step-son began and Newell started to go 
into the saloon. L. C. Gillett and others tried 
to persuade Newell not to go. He kept on 
until he stood on the second step leading down 
into the saloon. At this instance Skippens dis- 
charged his shot gun at Newell's head, through 
the window, just over the steps leading to the 
saloon The muzzle of the gun was only about 
five feet from Newell's head when discharged. 
The charge of shot took effect on the right 
side of the head, tearing away the lacerated 
scalp and pushing it down over the right eye, 
and fracturing the scull. Newell sank to the 
steps apparently dead. He was taken to his 
father's house and Drs. Rush and Tinker were 
summoned to his aid, but it was all in vain, for 
the unfortunate man died on the 14th of Janu- 
ary, 1865. 

James E. Newell, Jr., was a native of Morgan 
Co., Ohio; son of Hon. James # E. Newell, Sr. 
He came to Viroqua with his parents in 1854, 
and was thirty years of age at the time of his 
death. He had just completed his three years 
army service in the sixth regiment, Wisconsin 
Volunteers, and came home in perfect health, 



received a warm greeting and looked forward 
to a quiet life in the midst of friends. 

Immediately after the fracas, Skippens was 
arrested and taken to jail the back way, as the 
people were terribly excited and further vio- 
lence was feared. Upon a preliminary exam- 
ation he was bound over and in the spring the 
grand jury found a true bill of indictment 
against him. His first trial was had at the 
April term of circuit court in 1865. The jury 
found him guilty of willful, deliberate murder. 
For technical reasons the verdict was set aside 
and a new trial was granted. The defendant 
then applied for a change of venue, and the 
cause was removed to Monroe county, where, at 
the March term, 1866, it was again tried, and 
the jury failed to agree. At the November 
term, 1866, the final triatl was had, resulting in 
the acquittal of the accused upon the ground of 
self defense. Thus ended one of the most ex- 
citing cases that has ever been tried in the 

In June, 186*7, Charles Shippens. was again 
arrested, this time for rape and adultery. He 
was placed in jail at Yiroqua together with 
Charles Shannan, who was charged with burg- 
lary. On the night of July 11, 1867, both of 
the prisoners escaped jail. The two were locked 
up in the same cell, and during the night in 
question they began operations by removing 
their bed and prying up a flat stone which was 
part of the floor of the cell. This stone was 
under the bed and next the jail wall. The in- 
strument used was a short stick sharpened in 
crowbar form at one end. The stick had been 
taken into the cell for firewood, and had been 
there since cold weather. After the stone was 
pried up they began to dig, using wooden pad- 
dles and an old case knife, which had come into 
their possession by some means. About two 
feet below the* stone first pried up, they came to 
the loose stones in the bottom of the jail wall, 
and removing some of these, they had, so far, 
a sufficient opening through which to escape. 
And now the help of good friends on the outside 

came into play, and some right-handed shoveler, 
(as was evident from the direction the dirt was 
thrown), dug a hole with a spade to communi- 
cate with the aperture inside. The opening was 
then complete and the birds flew. Skippens 
was traced to Ohio, where he had died. 

The murder of Robert Lange, which took 
place early in January, 1865, was one of the 
the most shocking and cold-blooded affairs that 
have disgraced the history of the State. 1 he 
murdered man and his murderer were both resi- 
dents of Yernon county although the foul deed 
was committed on the prairie three miles south- 
east of the city of LaCrosse. Robert Lange 
kept a store and saloon on Coon Prairie. On 
the evening of Jan. 4, 1865, he left his place 
for LaCrosse, in company with Jacob Clear, a 
soldier of company K, 18th Wisconsin regi- 
ment, whose furlough had just expired, and he 
claimed to be on his way back to the regiment. 
This Jake Clears as he was generally called, had 
heretofore clerked for Lange, when his estab- 
lishment was further north on the same prairie. 
He had been hanging around Lange's for several 
days previous to Jan. 4, 1865. When about six 
miles from their starting place, the two stopped 
and got some coffee, and while there the woman 
saw Lange take out his money and count it, 
when Clear asked how much money he had and 
received as an answer " over a thousand dol- 
lars." Between 10 and 1 1 o'clock that evening 
Lange and Clear stopped at the Greenfield 
House, five miles from La Crosse, and drank 
some beer ; Clear keeping his face hid as much 
as possible and drinking with his face away 
from the counter. About 3 o'clock in the 
morning of the following day Lange's team was 
found standing at the Bloomer House. About 
one quart of blood was found on the seat of the 
sleigh. As soon as it was light enough search 
was made, and Lange's body was found about 
eighty rods from the track, with the back of the 
head, side of the head and jaws smashed in with 
the head of an ax. The bloody ax lay near the 
body. The murderer set up two empty beer 



kegs, one on each side of Lange's dead body. 
Clear at onoe returned to his regiment and ac- 
companied it to Chicago, where he was arrested. 
He fully confessed his guilt and was taken to 
LaCrosse and placed in jail ; but was soon 
taken to Milwaukee to save him from being 
hung by Lange's friends. He plead guilty, and 
was sentenced to the penitentiary for life ; but 
through some influence he was pardoned in 1880 
by Gov. Smith, and is now at large. 

At the spring term of court in 1 868 the case 
of State V8. Alonzo Mitchell and others, evoked 
a good deal of interest. A lot of young fel- 
lows from Hillsboro and vicinity were arrested 
at the instance of Julia A. Betts, for taking 
part and engaging in a charivari. After a 
a lengthy and exciting trial, the boys were 
found not guilty. The lady, however, after- 
wards commenced a civil action against the de- 
fendants and recovered damages. 

In the spring of 1868 Hon. Romanzo Bunn, 
of Sparta, Monroe county, was elected judge of 
the sixth circuit. His term of office began Jan. 
1, 1869. In 1874 he was re-elected and served 
until appointed United States district judge, in 
in 1875, when he resigned the circuit judgeship. 

In December, 1868, the grand jnry returned 
Ave indictments against Warren Dennison, 
who lived at what was called Coon slough, 
in the town of Bergen, Vernon county. Den- 
nison was an offender. He was charged with 
horse stealing, and many other criminal acts. 
In the fall of 1868 deputy sheriff William W. 
Lowrie, of Newton, went after him on a jus- 
tice's warrant and found him at home ; but he 
was sitting by the fire covered with blankets 
and pretended to have the rheumatism so that 
he could not walk. So he was left upon the 
promise on his part to come to Viroqua as soon 
as he was able. But in a day or two suspicions 
were entertained that he was merely playing a 
dodge ; so Lowrie went after him again, but 
the bird had flown. Two or three times during 
the winter there were reports that Dennison had 
oome back, but when he was searched for, it 

was found that he was still skulking. Hear- 
ing again that Dennison was at home, Mr. 
Lowrie and Gates Page, on the 1st of 
May, 1869, started out to capture him. 
They found him near home, but when he saw 
them he started to run toward the river, where 
he had a skiff, and bis pursuers folio wed. While 
running, Lowrie fired a shot in the air to warn 
Dennison to stop. He did so, and turned back 
on his pursuers, having his hand behind him. 
Lowrie asked what he had in bis hand. Den- 
nison replied, a revolver. Lowrie told him to 
drop it, which Dennison refused to do. Lowrie 
then told him of the warrant for his arrest, and in- 
formed him that if he would surrender, he should 
not be hurt. Dennison refused to surrender, 
and said that if shooting was the game he could 
shoot as well as any man, and started toward 
Page, who levelled his shot gun on him. Then 
Dennison turned toward Lowrie, revolver in 
hand, and the two fired at each other about the 
same instant, although Lowrie was a little too 
quick for Dennison, his ball hitting the latter in 
the thigh, and probably disturbing his aim. 
Dennison did not fall, but was getting ready to 
shoot again when Page shot him, the load 
taking effect under the right shoulder. Denni- 
son then dropped his revolver and tried to pick 
up a sled stake, but failed, falling back with the 
words "I'm dead." When he fell, Lowrie car- 
ried water to him from the river and washed 
his face. In a short time he died. A coroner's 
inquest was held, and after an examination the 
jury rendered the following verdict : "That 
the deceased came to his death by a wound 
from a shot gun in the hands of I. G. Page ; 
that the killing was justifiable." 

The case of State vs. Jos i ah Dennison for the 
murder of John Oliver, came before Judge 
Bunn at the fall term of the circuit court in 
1869. The facts of the case, as developed by 
the evidence, were as follows: There was a 
dance at John Britt's saloon, Genoa, formerly 
Bad Ax city, on Christmas eve, 1868, which 
the Olivers and Dennisons attended. It seems 



that there had been trouble between John 
Oliver and Warren Dennison, father of the 
Dennison boys. Late in the night of the dance 
John Oliver began to talk to James Dennison 
about this old grudge; but the latter told him 
that he did not want to have anything to say 
about his father's quarrels, and so the two 
parted without hard feeling. John Britt then 
got Oliver over to his house with the design of 
keeping him there and preventing a fracas. In 
the meantime Josiah Dennison had taken his 
partner home. After Oliver left, two friends 
of his began to boast that Oliver "could whip 
any Dennison," and offered to bet twenty-five 
dollars on it. This to James Dennison. When 
Josiah came back, James told him what had 
been said, and added that the men seemed de- 
termined to bring on a fight. Josiah then went 
to the men who had been talking of betting, 
but they denied the offer of twenty-five dollars, 
offering a wager of five dollars instead. It ap- 
pears that there was then a match made up for 
Josiah Dennison to fight John Oliver, the next 
day, it being stipulated by Dennison that he 
and Oliver should both be searched for weapons 
before the fight began. After it was settled 
that the two men were to fight, some one went 
over to Britt's and told John Oliver, who at once 
became enraged, put himself in fighting trim, 
and ran to the saloon in which the Dennisons 
were, calling out loudly for "that d d Denni- 
son who is to fight me." Those in the saloon 
rushed out, Josiah Dennison among the first. 
Tie two men met on the steps, Dennison say- 
ing, "Wait till I pull off my coat." While he 
was in the act of pulling off his coat the fight 
began, probably by Oliver striking at him. 
Almost as soon as they closed, Dennison called 
out that he was stabbed, broke loose and ran 
down the street, Oliver after him. Not over- 
taking Dennison, Oliver soon came back toward 
the crowd. Meeting a man in the street he 
asked if he was a Dennison, which was de- 
nied. Passing on he came to George Dennison 
and with the words, "God d d you, you 

are a Dennison," closed with him. George at 
once began to cry out to take him off that 
Oliver was "cutting him all to pieces." With 
that, Henry Dennison ran up, took hold of 
Oliver's shoulders, and jerked him off. Just at 
this instant, and while Oliver was in the attitude 
of striking with his knife, Josiah Dennison 
came up and shot him in the back of the head, 
about the base of the brain, causing almost in- 
stant death. The stabs inflicted upon the Den- 
nison boys were not serious. Josiah Dennison 
gave himself up and upon preliminary examina- 
tion was bound over to the fall term of circuit 
court in the sum of $1,000. A change of venue 
was taken to La Crosse county, where the case 
was finally dismissed, the killing having been so 
plainly justifiable. 

At the June term of court in 1870 there were 
two horse thieves tried upon indictment, Marion 
Robinson and J. W. Grubb. 

Marion Robinson had stolen a horse from a 
Norwegian in Hamburg township. He sold the 
horse; was followed by the owner; arrested; in- 
dicted; plead guilty and was sentenced to the 
penitentiary for three years. 

J. W. Grubb stole a horse which belonged to 
H. W. Haskell, from a hotel barn in Viroqua. 
He was actuated more from the spirit of revenge 
than gain. He was arrested in Grant county 
and while Sheriff Brown was bringing him back, 
he escaped and took to the fields, running like a 
deer. The sheriff brought him down by shoot- 
ing him in the thigh, and they then proceeded, 
on their journey. Grubb was indicted by the 
grand jury, plead guilty and was sentenced to 
one year in the penitentiary. 

Another interesting case which was tried at 
the June term, 18*71, was that of the State vs. 
Chester Barrett, upon indictment by the grand 
jury. There were three counts in the indict- 
ment "for bigamy, adultery and lewd and las- 
civious conduct." It seems that many years 
prior to this time Barrett had been married, in 

Vermont, to a woman named Olive . 

The ceremony was performed by a minister 



who lived in an adjoining State, and the stat- 
utes provided that all marriages should be per- 
formed by magistrates who were residents of 
Vermont. A few years after the marriage, 
Barrett came west and located in the town of 
Liberty, Vernon county. Here he was married 
again, to Jeanette Wood, on the supposition 
that the former marriage was illegal. In * 18V 1, 
his first wife, Olive, prosecuted him and he was 
indicted as stated. Upon the first two counts 
in the indictment Barrett was acquitted; but 
was convicted upon the last, and sentenced to 
six months in the county jail. This was the 
man that was afterward shot and killed by 
Comfort Starr. 

On the night of Oct. 3, 1871, James Butler 
burglarized the saloon of Peter Bartholomew, 
at De Soto, with intent to steal. The grand 
jury system had just been abolished, and in- 
formation was filed against the defendant by 
Carson Graham. He was arrested, and upon 
preliminary examination was bound over to the 
circuit court. He plead guilty and asked to be 
sentenced by the county court. This tribunal 
sentenced him to one year's hard labor in the 

The case of State vs. Nathaniel and Martha 
Cummings was tried at the May term of circuit 
court, in 1873. This was for assault upon the 
father of Nathaniel Cummings. While there 
was nothing of especial interest in the facts con- 
stituting the cause of action, yet the case in- 
volved a proposition of law which made it more 
than an ordinary one. It seems that the father 
and children had had some trouble regarding 
land, and the difficulty finally terminated in 
their coming to blows. They met, got into an 
altercation, and the woman seized a stick, and, 
in the words of the evidence, "hammered the 
old man." Nathaniel and Martha were arrested 
and tried. Nathaniel was convicted and fined 
|50 and costs, while Martha was acquitted. 
This was upon the principle that the wife hav- 
ing struck the blows in the presence of her hus- 
band, she was acting under his authority and 

coercion, and he was therefore responsible for 
her acts. The attorneys were Terhune & Gra- 
ham for defense, and C. M. Butt for prosecu- 

The fall term of circuit court in 1873 was 
disgraced by another murder trial. It was that 
of Comfort Starr, charged with the murder of 
Chester Barrett. These men lived in the town 
of Liberty. For a long time they had been at 
outs, and in constant quarrels regarding fences 
and easements belonging to real estate. On the 
9th of June, 1873, Starr attempted to drive 
across a certain piece of land in the town of 
Jefferson. Barrett came from his house with a 
gun in hand and forbade his crossing. After a 
few words and threats Starr seized the gun he 
had brought with him and shot Barrett, killing 
him. Starr was arrested and bound over to the 
circuit court. The case was tried at the fall 
term in 1873, and was ably conducted by C. M. 
Butts, district attorney for the State, and Oar- 
son Graham and O. B. Thomas for the defense. 
Starr admitted the shooting, but plead self de- 
fense, and upon this ground was acquitted by 
the jury. 

The spring term of court in 1875 was made 
memorable by the trial of the notorious case of 
State vs. J. P. Larry the defendant being 
charged with shooting John Downie. Larry 
and Downie were half brothers living near 
each other in the town of Liberty. On the 9th 
of November, 1874, while plowing in his fiejd, 
Downie was shot by some unknown person and 
for a long time laid at the point of death. 
Isaiah Guist, a neighbor with whom Downie 
was not on very friendly terms, was arrested on 
suspicion of being the perpetrator of the foul 
and cowardly deed, but he clearly proved his 
innocence and was immediately discharged. 
As time went by the suspicion that Larry had 
done the shooting gained ground, and he was 
finally arrested. He plead not guilty and 
based his defense upon proving an alibi. The 
trial was a long and interesting one, and at 
one time a crowd from the neighborhood of the 



town of Liberty collected and threatened to 
lynch the prisoner, so strong was the circum- 
stantial evidence against him. But they were 
prevailed upon to desist. One strong point 
made by the prosecution was, that Downie's 
gun had been missing for several weeks prior 
to the shooting and this gun was found under a 
log near by where the man who did do the 
shooting stood. But Larry proved an alibi to 
the complete satisfaction of the jury, and was 
therefore acquitted. The fact as to who was 
the criminal is still shrouded in mystery. 

Hon. Alfred William Newman was elected 
judge of the sixth judicial circuit, to succeed 
Judge Bunn, in the fall of 1875, and is the pres- 
ent incumbent. Judge Newman was born in 
Durham, Greene Co., N. Y., April 5, 1834. His 
parents resided on a farm near the village, 
where Judge Newman remained until he was 
twenty years of age, engaged in agricultural 
pursuits during the summer, and attending 
school in the winter. In 1854 he entered 
Hamilton College, from which he graduated in 
185*7, and continued the study of law, which he 
had commenced while in college. On the 8th 
of December, 1 857, the judge was examined at 
Albany and admitted to the bar, and in Jauu- 
ary, 1858, he came west, settling in Kewaunee 
Co., Wis. Two months later he removed to 
Trempealeau, where he has since lived. He 
held various local offices and was State senator 
prior to his election to the circuit bench. 

The case of State vs. Nancy C. Wiseman for 
rssault with intent to kill, came before the cir- 
cuit court of Vernon county, at the November 
term, 1878. It was really the termination of a 
series of occurrences which had before this 
received the attention of the district attorney. 
It seems that a single woman named Mary J. 
Sneed, living in the town of Stark, became the 
mother of a child, whioh she swore upon Mr. 
Wiseman, the husband of the defendant in the 
case in question. Bastardy proceedings were 
commenced against Wiseman, and he fled the 
State. A compromise was effected with the in- 

jured woman, by mortgaging one-half of Wise- 
man's farm for $500, and the proceedings were 
abandoned. When the pay-day of the mortgage 
came Mrs. Wiseman had concluded that her hus- 
band was not guilty ,and refused to pay the same. 
The parties came to Viroqua, and counsel was 
secured. Mrs. Wiseman's attorney found that 
her defense was untenable, and it was accord- 
ingly abandoned. When she found that the 
money must be paid, she seemed to go into a 
perfect frenzy. Seeing the author of her 
troubles, as she thought Mary Sneed to be, she 
followed her into a store, where some trading 
was being done. While Mary Sneed was talk- 
ing to a clerk, Mrs. Wiseman rushed up, and 
drawing a revolver pointed it at the girl's head 
and pulled the trigger! As good fortune would 
have it, the clerk threw up Mrs. Wiseman's 
hand and wrenched the weapon from her grasp 
before it was discharged. Mrs. Wiseman was 
at once arrested, and was tried for assault with 
intent to kill; but the jury acquitted her on the 
ground of insanity. The mortgage was fore- 
closed, and thus the case was finally settled. 
The attorneys were H. P. Proctor, of Viroqua, 
for the prosecution, and C. M. Butt, of the same 
place, and Morrow & Masters, of Sparta, for the 

Another murder trial engaged the attention 
of the circuit court and the interest of all Ver- 
non county, at the spring term, 1880. It was 
that of the State vs. Carl Olson for man- 
slaughter. The case was ably conducted by H. 
P. Procter, district attorney, for the State, and 
Butt A Graves for the defense. Carl Olson 
kept a shoe shop at Westaby, a few miles north 
of Viroqua. One night during the winter pre- 
ceding the trial, a number of persons, among 
whom was Oie A. Johnson, gathered at Olson's 
shop, and a quarrel arose, during which Olson 
ordered some of the others out of his sVrcrr>. 
During a fight which ensued Johnson received 
two blows upon the head, one of which pene- 
trated the skull, and the wound had the ap- 
pearance of having been inflicted with a bam- 



mer. The following morning Johnson returned 
to his home, some distance from Westaby, and 
shortly afterward hauled some wood from the 
timber. A few days after the occurrence be 
was taken very ill, went crazy, and soon died. 
Olson was arrested, charged with the crime of 
manslauhter. He denied that he knew any- 
thing about who struck the blow, and plead 
"not guilty." The trial excited great interest. 
Sixty witnesses were summoned and examined 
and the jury found Olson "not guilty." 

The case of State vs. Bradly G. Emmons and 
Sally L. Tripp, for adultery, came before the 
circuit court at the fall term, 1880. Emmons 
was the hired man of Mr. Tripp, the husband 
of the co-defendant, in the town of Hillsboro. 
She plead guilty, and was sentenced by the 
county judge to pay a fine of $200. It was 
paid by her husband. Emmons was tried by 
circuit court, found guilty, and sentenced to 
two years in the penitentiary. 

In the summer of 1881 Thomas and James 
Riley were arrested for burglary. They had 

entered the store building of Albert and Au- 
gust Zabolio, at Genoa, and stole $92. They 
were bound over to the circuit in the sum of 
$200 each, and upon depositing the amount 
with the sheriff they were released upon their 
own recognizance. Upon gaining their free- 
dom they both fled to some of the western ter- 
ritories and forfeited their bail. 


County courts, or as they are generally termed, 
probate courts, were created by the constitution 
of the State, adopted in 1848. For a time they 
were vested with civil and criminal jurisdiction 
but this was soon taken from them. The name 
probate court expresses the jurisdiction which 
.county courts now possess. Terms of this court 
are held monthly. In connection with the chap- 
ter upon county representation, the office of 
county judge is treated at length, showing who 
h ve filled the position since the reorganization 
of the county. 



There is no class or profession which has 
more influence in social or political matters 
than the bar. Even the press, which wields a 
mighty power among the masses, does not sur- 
pass it, as matters treated are generally local 
and varying. The pulpit, a great worker of 
good, is more devoted to the moral and spirit- 
ual welfare of man. But the profession of law 
embraces all under one grand aim. Upon the 
few principles of natural justice is erected the 
whole superstructure of civil law, tending to 
relieve the wants and meet the desires of all 
alike. The grand object of law la equal justice 

to all. Law 8 are formed as exigences arise de- 
manding them, by the representatives of the 
people. Change is necessary. The wants of 
the people of to-day, and the lawful restraints 
to be thrown around us of the present age differ 
from those of past years. They are either too 
lenient or too severe; in one case to be strength- 
ened, in the other modified. The business of 
the lawyer does not call upon him to form laws; 
but it lies with him to interpret them and make 
their application to the daily wants of men. 
Every matter of importance, every question ox* 
weight among all classes and grades of society, 



come before him in one form or another for 
discussion. Hence, the lawyer is a man of to- 
day, posted upon all matters pertaining to the 
age in which he lives. His capital is his ability 
and individuality, and he cannot bequeath them 
to his successors. They die with him or live 
in the memory of his deeds and sayings. 

In the early days of Wisconsin, business was 
not so great in extent as to occupy the full time 
of the lawyer. Suits were not so numerous or 
remunerative as to afford him a living for him- 
self and family, and often other occupations 
were taken in connection to swell the slender 
income. As a rule the lawyer became a politi- 
cian, and more of the prominent lawyers of 
those days went to Congress and the State Leg- 
islature than at present. The people demanded 
their services and they were glad to accommo- 
date the people. To-day the profession stands 
at the head, almost, of all others, and the good 
lawyer must always be prominent, as he is one 
of the forces which move, control and protect 


The bar of Vernon county has numbered 
among its members many who have been an 
henor to the county and to the profession, as 
well. So far as material was accessible, 
sketches are given of each attorney who has 
practiced before the courts of the county. If 
any are omitted, it is because their names have 
been forgotten, not from intention. The 
peculiarities and personalities which form so 
pleasing and interesting a part of the lives of 
the members of the bar, and which, indeed, 
constitute the charm of local history, are, in a 
great measure wanting. Unlike the fair plain- 
tiff in the famous Bardell vs. Pickwick, there 
has been no "painstaking sergeant to relate the 
facts and circumstances of the case." 

Of those attorneys who resided in the county 
at one time, and are now dead or have quit 
practice or left the county, the historian will 
speal^ first, later of the present bar. . r . 

Among those who have practiced before the 
courts of Vernon county, or who have been 
licensed resident lawyers, are the following: 
Lorenzo A. Pierce, T. J. De Frees, Rufus Dun- 
lap, H. W. McAuley, A. H. Older, W illiam 
Austin, R. C. Bierce, John J. Cole, W. S. Purdy, 
Carson Graham, O. O. Phillips, Newton M. 
Layne, D. B. Priest, E. H. Harding, T. C. 
Ankeny, H. H. Natwick, T. J. Vinje, C. N. 
Harris, A. W. Campbell, D." E. Hatlestad, R. J. 
Chase, John Nicholson, E. J. Steele, A. A. 
Hosmer aHd David Briggs. 

Lorenzo A. Pierce was the first licensed 
lawyer in Vernon — then Bad Ax— county. 
Prior to the organization of the county he had 
come from Dane county and located upon a 
piece of land about two miles north of Viroqna 
and was engaged at farming. He had a fair 
common school education, and had been a 
school teacher. When the county was or- 
ganized be was elected district attorney, so he 
began reading law, and was admitted to the 
bar at the first term of circuit court held in the 
county, on the 9th of May, 1851. He remained 
in the county but a short time, leaving it is 
thought to return to Dane county. 

Thomas J. De Frees was one of the earliest 
settlers of the county, and among the first 
licensed attorneys. Mr. De Frees was born 
Nov. 4, 1804, in Rockbridge Co., Va., four 
miles from Lexington, the county seat. When 
seven years of age he removed with his parents 
to Miami Co.,Ohio,near the present city of Piqua. 
Here he resided until May, 1837, when he 
moved with his family to the State of Illinois; 
thence to Wisconsin, in the present Vernon 
county, in 1846, where he arrived on the last 
day of July. He located upon a farm about one 
m ile and a half south of town, and a few years 
later moved to town. At the second term of 
the circuit court he was admitted to the bar 
and, for a time, did his share of what little 
legal business there was to do, About 1856 he 
sold his farm to a Mr. Beabout, and moved to 
Victory, where be was engaged in merchandise 



ing for a short time; then came back to Viroqua 
and bought some property on Bishop branch of 
Wolf creek. Here he put up a little grist mill. 
Several years later he and his 6on-in-law, O. C. 
Weeden, bought a steam engine and put that 
into the grist mill. They sold to Joshua and 
James Ady. In 1874 both Mr. De Frees and 
his son-in-law removed to Kansas, where . they 
still live. Mr. De Frees, it is claimed, gave the 
first name to the county' — Bad Ax — from the 
river of that name. He was the first probate 
judge of that county; served out the term for 
which he was elected, and was appointed by 
the governor to serve part of another term. 
He was also the third district attorney of the 

Rnfus Dunlap wasamong the first settlers in 
the county. He came from Ohio; was a man of 
about forty years of age and was genial and 
pleasant in disposition. He went to keeping 
hotel at Viroqua. In November, 1851, he was 
admitted to the bar but never attempted the 
practice of law. He remained here until the 
time of his death. 

H. W. McAuley was for many years an active 
and prominent member of the bar of Vernon 
county. He came to Viroqua in 1853 from 
Lancaster, Grant Co., Wis., and opened a gen- 
eral merchandise store in company with George 
McCormick. Later he opened a regular law 
office and pursued the profession for several 
years. He still lives in the county, now mak- 
ing his home in the town of Wheatland. 

H. W. McAuley is one of the well known early 
settlers of Vernon county, and has been inti- 
mately connected with its progress since its or- 
ganization. He was an early attorney of the 
county and was admitted to the bar in 1842. 
He commenced practice in Jackson Co., Iowa, 
in March, 1843, where be remained four years. 
He was admitted to, and practiced in all the 
courts of the territory (Iowa then being a terri- 
tory) and practiced successfully with such law- 
yers as Platte Smith, of Dubuque, Judge Leff- 
ingwell and Timothy Davis. He was a student 

ot the old common law practice of Blackstone, 
Chitty, Starkie, Mad d ox, Rosco, Comyn, Jones, 
etc., but never was a willing devotee to the code 
practice (or Gunter's rule) of cut and try. A 
native of North Carolina, his ancestors belonged 
to the Mecklenberg colony and emigrated from 
Scotland to North Carolina, in 1774. He was 
born Sept. 9, 1816. His father, Daniel McAuley, 
emigrated to Mythe Co., Va., when H. W., was 
but three months old. In 1830 the family moved 
to Hendricks Co., Ind. Mr. McAuley came to 
the territory of Wisconsin, in 1835, and located 
at Mineral Point, in what is now Iowa county, 
where he was engaged in mining for a time. He 
was in Grant county when it was organized, in 
May, 1835. In August of that year, he went 
back to Mineral Point. Mr. McAuley, at this 
time, was quite a young man and not permanently 
located. He went back to the State of Indiana in 
the fall of 1835, but returned to Wisconsin again, 
the following year. In 1838 he again returned 
to Indiana and was married at Lebanon, Boone 
county, in 1839, and in 1840, returned to Wiscon- 
sin and located at Lancaster, Grant county. He 
had built the first house in the present village 
of Lancaster, two years previous, in 1838. In 
1 852 he came to the town of Wheatland, and 
assisted in laying out the village of Victory, as 
will appear in the history of that town. He 
was the first man who sold goods in that village, 
and has been a resident of Vernon county since 
1852. In November, of that year, he went to 
Liberty Pole and engaged in mercantile busi- 
ness. In the fall of 1853 he moved his goods 
to Voroqua, where he continued business for 
some time. In 1854, owing to the difficulty of 
finding a store room, he removed to the town of 
Sterling and located on section 16. On the Bad 
Ax, he built a saw and grist mill, which was the 
second mill built on the south branch of this 
river, Ira Wisell having erected the first. 
Mr. McAuley was engaged in milling until 
1871, when he sold out to his sons, William H. 
H. McAuley and R. M. McAuley, and removed 
to Viroqua, in J87£; in 1.873 removed \o Sparta, 



where he was engaged in the patent business for 
a time. In 1869 he patented a turbine water- 
wheel, and in 1870, a nut lock of great merit, 
but never introduced it; then again located in 
the village of De Soto in 1875 and sold goods 
for a time. He now resides in the town of 
Wheatland on section 31, town 12, range 6, 
west, where he is engaged in farming, making 
a specialty of raising sorghum. Mr. McAuley 
has been three times married, his first wife was 
Eliza A. Richie, born in Nicholas Co., Ky.; the 
second wife was Rebecca A. McConnell, a na- 
tive of Ohio; his present wife was Melvina 
Sloan, born in Clarion Co., Pa. Mr. McAuley 
has had twelve children, seven of whom are 
living, three sons and four daughters. In 1834 
he wrote his first letter, which was badly exe- 
cuted, he not having had any instruction, being 
now away from home, at the age of seventeen, 
because of shame for his ignorance. But July 
5, 1834, he started to school at the Wabash Col- 
lege, at Crawfordsville, Ind., where he contin- 
ued at intervals, as his health would permit, un- 
til the spring of 1836, having visited Wiscon- 
sin, in 1835, as before stated, for his health. 
Poor health from 1833 to 1851, prevented his 
entrance into public life, so he contented him- 
self with an investigation into the matters of 
science, history, political economy and religion. 
He was always slow in taking a position on any 
new question, and as slow to yield to public 
sentiment which so often leads the unthinking 
man astray. He is an ardent lover of machin- 
ery, and firmly believes that the day is close at 
hand, when machinery will do all the work and 
leave the human hand and brain nothing to do 
but control; when the air like the water, will be 
navigated by vehicles as safely, the one as the 
other, as nature's elements are equal to the 
gratification of every desire of an elevated civ- 
ilization. Development and maturity are the 
result of circumstances over which no finite 
hand or mind has any control. 

A. H. Older came to Bad Ax county from the 
eastern part of the State in 1849, and settled 

upon a farm near Viroqua. He was a man of 
about thirty-five years of age and had a family. 
Whether he was ever admitted to the bar is a 
question, but he practiced considerable before 
justice's court in early days, and for a time was 
justice of the peace. He remained here until 
1856, when he sold his place to N. Morrison, 
and moved to the State of Iowa, where, when 
last heard from, he still lived. 

William Austin came to the county in 1858, 
from Marquette county, in the eastern part of 
the State, and settled at Reads town, where he 
built a little brewery, which burned down a 
few years later. While there he began the 
practice of law, and was admitted to the bar at 
Viroqua. He remained in the county until just 
before the breaking out of the war, when he 
moved to Iowa, and when last heard from was 
in California. Austin *never amounted to any 
thing as a lawyer; nor, in fact, was he suc- 
cessful in anything else he undertook. He was 
a pleasant appearing, oily tongued fellow, and 
many of his transactions while here betokened 
unsavory principles. 

Royal Clifton Bierce became a member of the 
Vernon county bar in 1853. He was born in 
Cornwall, Litchfield Co., Conn., on the 3d of 
October, 1818 ; being the next to the youngest 
of eleven children. His father died when he 
was five years old, and the following year, the 
mother, with such of the children as were still 
living at home, moved to Nelson, Portage Co., 
Ohio. Royal C. received his education at the dis- 
trict schools in Cornwall and Nelson, and in 
the academies of Tallmadge and Farmington, 
Ohio. When twenty years of age he entered 
the law office of Hon. John Crowell, of War- 
ren, Ohio, and having read law the statutory 
length of time, was admitted to the bar. He 
did not attempt to practice law in Ohio, save 
now and then in justice court, but taught school 
for two years and then came west, landing at 
Burlington, Iowa. He taught school near there 
one year, and not being satisfied with the 
country, came to Wisconsin and located at 



Patch Grove, Grant county, in May, 1845. For 
a time he worked for a farmer and in November 
began teaching the district school at Patch 
Grove. In May, 1846, he tore up his Ohio 
diploma, went to Lancaster and entered the 
law office of Barber & Dewey, remaining with 
them until the fall term of court, when he was 
admitted to the bar. After his admission he 
practiced law for two years in company 
with Oran I. Spencer, when his health failed 
and he abandoned his practice. In the fall of 
1853 his health having improved he located at 
Viroqua, and settled down to steady practice. 
He held the office of district attorney of Bad 
Ax, Vernon county, for two terms ; the first in 
1854-5, the second in 1858-9. In 1858 the 
Legislature passed an act requiring a thorough 
/ enrollment of the militia, organizing it into 
divisions, brigades and regiments, and requir- 
ing tlie governor to appoint all necessary field 
officers. Under this law, Gov. Randall ap- 
pointed Mr. Bierce colonel. The enrolled 
militia of Bad Ax county constituted the 16th 
regiment, third brigade, fourth division. Isaac 
Spencer, of Springville, was appointed general 
of the brigade. In the summer of 1859 Mr. 
Bierce formed a partnership with Newton M. 
Layne, but in the summer of 1861, Mr. Layne 
went into the service. This partnership con- 
tinued in name until the death of Mr. Layne, 
in 1864. In September, 1870, Mr. Bierce, feel- 
ing broken up in mind and body in conse- 
quence of losses sustained in the great tornado, 
sold his property in Vernon county and 
bought a half interest in the Sparta Eagle. He 
moved his family to Sparta, and remained in 
sole editorial control of the paper until May, 
1871, when he sold his interest in the JEJagle y 
and removed to Menomonee, Dunn county, 
where he at once opened a law office. He held 
the office of district attorney of Dunn county 
for three successive terms, from January, 1872, 
to 1878, and upon the expiration of his last 
term of office, retired from practice. When J. 
M. Rusk was elected governor, Mr. Bierce 

accepted an office in the adjutant general's 
department of the State government, which he 
still retains. Mr. Bierce was married in 1856, 
to Emily Ann Green, of Holyoke, Mass., 
by whom he had three children, one of 
whom is still living. The mother died July 
25, 1874, and in November, 1875, Mr. Bierce 
married Mrs. Elvira M. Doerr, of Springville, 
a daughter of Rev. Luther Kendall. They 
have one child — Flora Emily. 

John J. Cole came to Vernon, then Bad Ax 
county, from Massachusetts and located at Vir- 
oqua, in 1856. He had been admitted to the 
bar and in practice before coming here, and up- 
on his arrival formed a partnership with Hon. 
W. F. Terhune. He was well read in law, a 
hard student and had good success at the bar. 
He remained for several years when he re- 
moved to La Crosse, where he still lives. 

William S. Purdy was admitted to the bar in 
1859, but was never actively engaged in the 
practice of law. W. S. Purdy was born in Car- 
lisle, Sullivan Co., Ind., Aug. 28, 1822. His 
father died when he was eleven years of age. • 
Previous to this time his opportunities were 
limited, so far as getting an education was con- 
cerned, to subscription schools. From this time 
he assisted his mother, who was left with insuf- 
ficient means, to support a large family of chil- 
dren. At the age of fifteen he commenced to 
learn the saddler's trade, which vocation he fol- 
lowed for about eleven years. In 1845 he came 
to the territory of Wisconsin. After spending 
all his money in mining, he worked in Mineral 
Point at his trade for about six months. Mr. 
Purdy married in Indiana and settled in High- 
land, Iowa Co., Wis., where he remained for 
one year. He then removed to Bad Ax, Craw- 
ford county, now in the county of Vernon. For 
ten years he followed farming, when he was 
elected clerk of the circuit court, which office 
he retained for eight years. He represented 
the counties of Crawford, Richland and Vernon 
in the State Senate one term. While living up- 
on his farm he held almost all of the local town 




offices at various times. In 1869 he was elected 
county judge and served for two terms in this 
capacity. He was married in 1846 to Jane E. 
Lemon. They buried two children and have 
two girls and six boys still living. Mr. Purdy 
was a whig in early days, but since its organi- 
zation he has affiliated with the republican 
party and has always been an active politician. 
He made Vernon county his home until 1878 
when he moved to Pratt Co., Kan., where he 
still lives. 

Judge Carson Graham, for many years a 
prominent member of the bar of Vernon county, 
was born in Erie Co., Penn., Dec. 25, 1815. He 
acquired his education at the common schools 
and academies of his day. His father was a 
farmer, and his labor was upon a farm until the 
age of seventeen, when he went to Pittsburg to 
learn the printer's trade, where he worked for 
a short time, and not liking the business re- 
turned home. He then taught school for some 
time. In 1 835 he commenced the study of law and 
on the 18th day of December, 1837, he was admit- 
ted to the bar. Soon after he was appointed as- 
sistant attorney general, of Pennsylvania. He 
was also deputy United States Attorney for the 
western district of the same State for six years 
when he came to Wisconsin to look the country 
over. Failing to find a location to suit him, he 
returned to Pennsylvania. In 1849 he deter- 
mined to return to Wisconsin, and accordingly 
he located at Fond du Lac, where he remained 
three years, when he moved to Dubuque, Iowa. 
After a short stay in Dubuque, he located at 
LaCrosse ; but being broken down in health, he 
returned to Erie, Penn., and resumed practice 
there until 1857. At this time the desire to go 
west again, returned, and accordingly he went 
to La Crosse where he remained until Septem- 
ber, 1859, when he visited Viroqua on business 
and, as there seemed to be an opening here, he 
remained during the winter. In the spring of 1860 
he formed a partnership with W. F. Terhune, 
and a year later was elected county judge, and 
this settled the question of his permanent loca- 

tion. In the spring of 1 864, he was re-elected, 
holding the office eight years. He was also dis- 
trict attorney two years. He was appointed reg- 
ister of bankruptcy for the sixth congressional 
district by President Grant and held that office 
until it was abolished. Judge Graham continued 
in active businsss at Viroqua until the time of 
his death, Jan. 30, 1881. He was a man of fine 
social qualities. Possessing a wonderful fund 
of anecdote, with a splendid memory of past 
historical events, he was a most interesting con- 
versationalist and public speaker. His widow 
still survives him. 

O. O Phillips came to Viroqua in 1860, and 
read law with R. C. Bierce. When the war 
broke out he left the county, and his where- 
abouts are now unknown. 

Newton May Layne became a member of the 
bar of Vernon county in 1860. He was born in 
Prestonsburg, Ky., March 19, 1839; being the 
eldest son of James H. and Sarah M. Layne. 
He came with his parents to what is now Ver- 
non county, in March, 1854. In 1857 he was 
licensed as a local preacher in the Methodist 
Church. In 1859 he began the study of law in 
the office of Terhune <fc Cole, at Viroqua, and 
was admitted to the bar of the Bad Ax county 
circuit court, at the May term, 1860. He spent 
the following summer at Madison, Wis., in the 
office of Lawyer Rollins, returning in the 
autumn to Viroqua, where he entered into 
partnership with Col. R. C. Bierce, and began 
practice. In 1861 he was the republican nomi- 
nee for district attorney. In December, 1861, 
he was commissioned captain of the "Bad Ax 
Tigers," a company recruited by himself and 
Lieuts. Goode and Charles W. Pitcher, which 
in January following was mustered into service 
as company C, of the 1 8th regiment. In 
March, 1862, they left Camp Trowbridge, Mil- 
waukee; went South, and was in Prentiss' bri- 
gade at the battle of Pittsburg Landing. On 
the 6th of April Mr. Layne was taken prisoner, 
and in company with Gen. Prentiss and some 
sixty other officers, was held about seven 



months, when he was exchanged. He returned 
to his regiment in November, and continued in 
active service until after the fall of Vicksburg in 
July, 1863, when, being prostrated with chronic 
diarrhoea, he returned to his home in Vernon 
county — came back to suffer, and finally, on the 
28th of February, 1864, to die. Newton M. 
Layne was a young man who will long be 
remembered. He was a hard student from 
childhood; possessed of rare gifts of oratory; 
great personal magnetism and lofty aspirations, 
anchored to a strong Christian character. Few 
have stood upon the threshold of life's career 
with brighter prospects, and none have laid a 
more noble and willing sacrifice upon the altar 
of their country. 

D. B. Priest was a native of Posey Co., Ind. 
When quite young he began reading law and 
was admitted to the bar. At an early day he 
came north and located at Richland Center, 
Wis., where he opened a law office and also en- 
gaged in mercantile trade. He remained there 
until he broke up in the mercantile business, 
and in the spring of 1861 came to Viroqua. He 
opened a law office and became a prominent man 
here; holding the office of district attorney for 
several years, and representing the county in 
the Legislature at different times. He was also 
interested in the VernonCounty Censor ior a, num- 
ber of years. In 1868 he was appointed United 
States revenue collector for this district, and re- 
moved to Sparta, Monroe county, where he lived 
until the time of his death in 1872. 

£. H. Harding came here shortly after the 
war and read law with Col. C. M. Butt. He 
was admitted to the bar in 1860, but never prac- 
ticed any here. He had been teaching school 
at Hillsborough, and returned to that place. He 
became sick from the effects of a sun stroke re- 
ceived while in the army, was sent to Chicago 
to be treated and later returned to Wisconsin 
and died. • • 

T. C. Ankeny was a member of the bar of 
Vernon county for a number of years. About 

1877 he moved to Tennessee, where he still 

H. H. Natwick was a Norwegian boy who 
was brought up in Vernon county. He studied 
law with Col. C. M. Butt, was admitted to the 
bar and engaged in practice. He is now some- 
where in Dakota territory. 

T. J. Vinje came to Viroqua in 1877 and be- 
came a partner of L. J. Rusk. He had been ad- 
mitted to the bar, but had never had much ex- 
perience of law. He was well read, full of en- 
ergy and push, and being a Norwegian, he be- 
came quite popular among that people and did 
a good business. He lived here until the time 
of his death several years ago. 

C. N. Harris was brought up from childhood 
in the town of Kickapoo, Vernon county. He 
attended the law department of the State Uni- 
versity, graduating in 1879, and at once came 
to Viroqua. He formed a partnership with H. 
P. Proctor, which continued one year, after 
which he practiced alone until the spring of 
1882, when he went to Aberdeen, D. T., where 
he still lives, being a member of the firm of 
Harris & Campbell. Harris was a smart fellow, 
and has excellent prospects. A. W. Campbell 
was a native of Wisconsin, coming to Viroqua 
in June, 1879, from Tomah. He was about 
twenty-three years old ; had read law in Madi- 
son and spent one year in the State University. 
Upon his arrival here he became a partner of 
Judge Carson Graham, which relation was 
maintained until November, 1880, when he 
formed a partnership with W. S. Field. In 
March, 1883, this partnership was dissolved and 
Mr. Campbell removed to Aberdeen, D. T., 
where he became, and still remains, a member 
of the firm of Harris & Campbell. Mr. Camp- 
bell was a good office lawyer. He was a hard 
student, and was careful and painstaking in all 
the work he undertook. He was among the 
best pleaders that have ever been in the county, 
his papers rarely being disturbed. 



offices at various times. Id 1869 he was elected 
county judge and served for two terms in this 
capacity. He was married in 1846 to Jane E. 
Lemon. They buried two children and have 
two girls and six boys still living. Mr. Purdy 
was a whig in early days, but since its organi- 
zation he has affiliated with the republican 
party and has always been an active politician. 
He made Vernon county his home until 1878 
when he moved to Pratt Co., Kan., where he 
still lives. 

Judge Carson Graham, for many years a 
prominent member of the bar of Vernon county, 
was born in Erie Co., Penn., Dec. 25, 1815. He 
acquired his education at the common schools 
and academies of his day. His father was a 
farmer, and his labor was upon a farm until the 
age of seventeen, when he went to Pittsburg to 
learn the printer's trade, where he worked for 
a short time, and not liking the business re- 
turned home. He then taught school for some 
time. In 1 835 he commenced the study of law and 
on the 18th day of December, 1837, he was admit- 
ted to the bar. Soon after he was appointed as- 
sistant attorney general, of Pennsylvania. He 
was also deputy United States Attorney for the 
western district of the same State for six years 
when he came to Wisconsin to look the country 
over. Failing to find a location to suit him, he 
returned to Pennsylvania. In 1849 he deter- 
mined to return to Wisconsin, and accordingly 
he located at Fond du Lac, where he remained 
three years, when he moved to Dubuque, Iowa. 
After a short stay in Dubuque, he located at 
LaCrosse ; but being broken down in health, he 
returned to Erie, Penn., and resumed practice 
there until 1857. At this time the desire to go 
west again, returned, and accordingly he went 
to La Crosse where he remained until Septem- 
ber, 1859, when he visited Viroqua on business 
and, as there seemed to be an opening here, he 
remained during the winter. In the spring of 1860 
he formed a partnership with W. F. Terhune, 
and a year later was elected county judge, and 
this settled the question of his permanent loca- 

tion. In the spring of 1864, he was re-elected, 
holding the office eight years. He was also dis- 
trict attorney two years. He was appointed reg- 
ister of bankruptcy for the sixth congressional 
district by President Grant and held that office 
until it was abolished. Judge Graham continued 
in active business at Viroqua until the time of 
his death, Jan. 30, 1881. He was a man of fine 
social qualities. Possessing a wonderful fund 
of anecdote, with a splendid memory of past 
historical events, he was a most interesting con- 
versationalist and public speaker. His widow 
still survives him. 

O. O Phillips came to Viroqua in 1860, and 
read law with R. C. Bierce. When the war 
broke out he left the county, and his where- 
abouts are now unknown. 

Newton May Layne became a member of the 
bar of Vernon county in 1860. He was born in 
Prestonsburg, Ky., March 19, 1839; being the 
eldest son of James H. and Sarah M. Layne. 
He came with his parents to what is now Ver- 
non county, in March, 1854. In 1857 he was 
licensed as a local preacher in the Methodist 
Church. In 1859 he began the study of law in 
the office of Terhune <fc Cole, at Viroqua, and 
was admitted to the bar of the Bad Ax county 
circuit court, at the May term, 1860. He spent 
the following summer at Madison, Wis., in the 
office of Lawyer Rollins, returning in the 
autumn to Viroqua, where he entered into 
partnership with Col. R. C. Bierce, and began 
practice. In 1861 he was the republican nomi- 
nee for district attorney. In December, 1861, 
he was commissioned captain of the "Bad Ax 
Tigers," a company recruited by himself and 
Lieuts. Goode and Charles W. Pitcher, which 
in January following was mustered into service 
as company C, of the 1 8th regiment. In 
March, 1862, they left Camp Trowbridge, Mil- 
waukee; went South, and was in Prentiss' bri- 
gade at the battle of Pittsburg Landing. On 
the 6th of April Mr. Layne was taken prisoner, 
and in company with Gen. Prentiss and some 
sixty other officers, was held about seven 



months, when he was exchanged. He returned 
to his regiment in November, and continued in 
active service until after the fall of Vicksbnrg in 
July, 1863, when, being prostrated with chronic 
diarrhoea, he returned to his home in Vernon 
county — came back to suffer, and finally, on the 
28th of February, 1864, to die. Newton M. 
Lay ne was a young man who will long be 
remembered. He was a hard student from 
childhood; possessed of rare gifts of oratory; 
great personal magnetism and lofty aspirations, 
anchored to a strong Christian character. Few 
have stood upon the threshold of life's career 
with brighter prospects, and none have laid a 
more noble and willing sacrifice upon the altar 
of their country. 

D. B. Priest was a native of Posey Co., Ind. 
When quite young he began reading law and 
was admitted to the bar. At an early day he 
came north and located at Richland Center, 
Wis., where he opened a law office and also en- 
gaged in mercantile trade. He remained there 
until he broke up in the mercantile business, 
and in the spring of 1861 came to Viroqua. He 
opened a law office and became a prominent man 
here; holding the office of district attorney for 
several years, and representing the county in 
the Legislature at different times. He was also 
interested in the VernonCounty Censor for a num- 
ber of years. In 1868 he was appointed United 
States revenue collector for this district, and re- 
moved to Sparta, Monroe county, where he lived 
until the time of his death in 1872. 

£. H. Harding came here shortly after the 
war and read law with Col. C. M. Butt. He 
was admitted to the bar in 1869, but never prac- 
ticed any here. He had been teaching school 
at Hillsborough, and returned to that place. He 
became sick from the effects of a sun stroke re- 
ceived while in the army, was sent to Chicago 
to be treated and later returned to Wisconsin 
and died. • • 

T. C. Ankeny was a member of the bar of 
Vernon county for a number of years. About 

1877 he moved to Tennessee, where he still 

H. H. Natwick was a Norwegian boy who 
was brought up in Vernon county. He studied 
law with Col. C. M. Butt, was admitted to the 
bar and engaged in practice. He is now some- 
where in Dakota territory. 

T. J. Vinje came to Viroqua in 1877 and be- 
came a partner of L. J. Rusk. He had been ad- 
mitted to the bar, but had never had much ex- 
perience of law. He was well read, full of en- 
ergy and push, and being a Norwegian, be be- 
came quite popular among that people and did 
a good business. He lived here until the time 
of his death several years ago. 

C. N. Harris was brought up from childhood 
in the town of Kickapoo, Vernon county. He 
attended the law department of the State Uni- 
versity, graduating in 1879, and at once came 
to Viroqua. He formed a partnership with H. 
P. Proctor, which continued one year, after 
which he practiced alone until the spring of 
1882, when he went to Aberdeen, D. T., where 
he still lives, being a member of the firm of 
Harris & Campbell. Harris was a smart fellow, 
and has excellent prospects. A. W. Campbell 
was a native of Wisconsin, coming to Viroqua 
in June, 1879, from Tomah. He was about 
twenty-three years old ; had read law in Madi- 
son and spent one year in the State University. 
Upon his arrival here he became a partner of 
Judge Carson Graham, which relation was 
maintained until November, 1880, when he 
formed a partnership with W. S. Field. In 
March, 1883, this partnership was dissolved and 
Mr. Campbell removed to Aberdeen, D. T., 
where he became, and still remains, a member 
of the firm of Harris & Campbell. Mr. Camp- 
bell was a good office lawyer. He was a hard 
student, and was careful and painstaking in all 
the work he undertook. He was among the 
best pleaders that have ever been in the county, 
his papers rarely being disturbed. 



D. E. Ha ties tad came to Viroqua on the 16th 
of July, 1880. He was a Dative of Norway ; 
had been educated at the Norwegian school at 
Decorah, Iowa, graduated from the law depart- 
ment of the Iowa State University, and was 
admitted to practice before the courts of that 
State. Upon his arrival at Viroqua he at once 
became the partner of H. C. Forsyth. This 
relation continued until October, 1881, when 
Mr. Hatlestad went to Crookston, Minn., where 
he is still in practice. He was a steady, indus- 
trious fellow and a fair lawyer. 

R. J. Chase was brought up in Vernon county 
from boyhood. He read law with Terhune & 
Graham, went to Madison, and for several 
V years was the law partner of J. H. Carpenter, 
becoming a successful practitioner. He now 
lives in Sioux City, Iowa, having become quite 

wealthy, and retired from practice. 


John Nicholson came to Viroqua from Mon- 
roe county, and read law with Rusk & Wyman. 
He was admitted to the bar in 1881, and after- 
wards opened an office in Hillsborough, and a 
short time later went to Dakota. 

E. J. Steele read law in the office of Rusk & 
Wyman, and was admitted to the bar in the 
npring of 1883. He is now in Dakota. 

Addison A. Hosmer, a graduate of the law 
school at Cambridge, Mass., was the first 
practicing lawyer to locate at De Soto. He 
settled there in 1857. In 1860 he returned to 
Massachusetts. During the war he served as an 
officer in one of the Massachusetts regiments, 
and became quite distinguished. After the 
close of the war he was made judge advocate, 
and it was he who sentenced the notorious Wirz 
of Andersonville infamy to death. 

David i$riggs located at De Soto as a Con- 
gregational preacher shortly after the wa r. He 
came from Illinois. He had been licensed as a 
lawyer some years previous to his coming, and 
finally gave up the pulpit f*r the bar. He was 
somewhat unfortunate in the profession, and 

returned to Illinois after a sojourn of a few 


In 1883 the bar of Vernon county was com- 
posed of the following named gentlemen: W, 
F. Terhune, James E. Newell, C. M. Butt, H. 
P. Proctor, L. J. Rusk, C. W. Graves, O. B. 
Wyman, H. C. Forsyth, C. A. Roberts, W. N. 
Carter, L. Tollefson and W. S. Field, of Viro- 
qua and G. L. Miller, of De Soto. 

Hon. James Evans Newell is the second 
oldest attorney at law, in point of practice, in 
Vernon county. He came to Viroqua, Oct. 21, 
1854, and during his long residence in the 
county has possessed the respect and esteem of 
his fellow citizens. He is a worthy representa- 
tive of the pioneer element of Vernon county, 
who are rapidly and quietly passing away from 
"the scenes of their toils and privations. James 
E. Newell was born in Belmont Co., Ohio, in 
1809. He is a son of David and Sarah Newell, 
natives of Ireland, near Dublin. Upon coming 
to this country, they first settled in Washington 
Co., Penn., and subsequently removed to Bel- 
mont Co., Ohio. In 1822 they located in Mor- 
gan Co.,Ohio, where James E. was reared to man 
hood. In early life he served an apprentice- 
ship at the carpenter trade, but commenced 
reading law at the age of twenty-three, with 
John Welch, Esq., of Athens, Ohio. In 
1854 he came to this county, and the following 
year was admitted to practice at the bar. He 
thinks he was the third attorney to locate at 
Viroqua, and from that time to the present has 
secured a goodly share of practice. In 1856 
Mr. Newell was elected a justice of the peace, 
and with the exception of two years has since 
officiated in that capacity. The same year he 
was elected judge of Bad Ax (now Vernon) 
county, and held the office four years. He has 
served in various local offices in the village, 
town and county, and represented his district in 
the State Assembly during "the session of 1875- 
76. During the war he was a first lieutenant in a 
Wisconsin regiment. Judge Newell" has been 



three times married. His first wife, Ann Wood, 
was a native of Ohio, also the second wife, who 
died in Yiroqua. His present and third wife 
was Matilda Longmere, a native of New- 
foundland. Eight children were born to the 
first union, six of whom are living — William, 
in Missouri; Isaac, in Iowa; Ann, in Kansas; 
David, in Iowa; Kate, in Fargo, Dak., and 
Martha W., in Kansas. 

W. N. Carter is an attorney at law of Yiro- 
qua. He was born at Catskill, on the Hudson, 
in New York, in 1845, and passed the first ten 
years of his life among the scenes of Rip Van 
Winkle's legendery exploits. His father, W. 
N. Carter, Sr., was a native of Green Co.,N. Y., 
born in 1811, at Durham, and his mother, Mary 
MacFarland, was also a native of Green county, 
having been born at Catskill in 1813. In 1854 
his father, with his family, removed to Illinois, 
and in 1855 he removed his family to Vernon 
Co., Wis., settling at Reads town, in the town of 
Kickapoo. He was a cooper by trade, but owned 
a farm and tilled the soil during a goodly por- 
tion of his life. He died at Readstown Dec. 6, 
1880, and his beloved wife followed him to the 
great beyond, Dec. 10, 1882. When the civil 
war commenced the Carter family were among 
the first to respond to the call of duty, although 
having passed the age in which a man may en- 
list as a soldier. W. N. Carter, Sr., became a 
sergeant in the 18th regiment, Wisconsin Vol 
unteer Infantry; was promoted to alieutenantcy, 
but forced to resign from ill health, before the 
war closed. There were four sons in the family, 
and three of them, all that were old enough, 
entered the service. Sherwood E., was a mem- 
ber of an Illinois regiment, and served four 
years. He now resides at Lanark, in Illinois. 
W. N., Jr., enlisted Nov. 22, 1861, at the age of 
sixteen years, in the 18th regiment, Wisconsin 
Volunteers, and served till Aug. 1, 1865. He 
was in active service during the whole period 
of his enlistment, and was promoted to sergeant, 
lieutenant and captain, holding the latter rank 
at the time of his discharge. Charles A. en- 

listed when but sixteen years of age, in com- 
pany I, 1 7th regiment Wisconsin, Volunteer 
Infantry. He was severely wounded at Atlanta, 
Ga., and died of his injuries. W. N. Carter 
learned the cooper trade, as did his brothers, 
with his father, but after the war taught school 
for some years in Vernon county. He com- 
menced the study of law in 1872, and three years 
later, entered the law office of Judge Terhune. 
He was admitted to practice in 1875, and was a 
law partner of H. C. Proctor until November, 
1877. He then went to Readstown, but returned 
to Viroqua in January, 1883, and has since re- 
sided there. He has held the offices of town 
clerk, treasurer and chairman, in the town of 
Kickapoo, and was in 1880, the nominee of the 
democratic party, for State senator in the dis- 
trict composed of the counties of Vernon and 
Crawford, and in 1882 ran as an independent 
democrat for the Assembly, in the second as- 
sembly district of Vernon county, but the sen- 
ate and assembly districts being largely repub- 
lican^ was defeated in both instances. 

Walter S. Field, a practicing attorney of 
Viroqua, is a life resident of Vernon county. 
He was born in Hillsborough town in the fall 
of 1856. His father, Albert Field, was a pion- 
eer of that town, locating in 1851. Walter was 
graduated from the Wisconsin State Univeisity, 
at Madison, in the class of 1878, and from the 
law department of the same institution in the 
spring of 1880. In the October following lie 
came to Viroqua, and became associated in the 
practice of his profession with A. W. Campbell, 
under the firm name of Campbell <fc Field. 
The former is now in Aberdeen, Dak., a»d a 
member of the law firm of Harris & Campbell. 
Mr. Field has been alone in the practice of law 
since March, 1883. He married Emma Tourjee, 
a native of Lafayette Co., Wis. Her father, 
Charles Tourjee, is deceased, and her mother is 
the wife of H. D. Williams, of Viroqua. 

O.B. Wyman, of the firm of Rusk & Wyman, 
attorneys at law, Viroqua, has been a resident 
of Vernon county for over a quarter of a cen- 



tury. He was born in Windsor Co.,Vt., July 7, 
1847, and when seven years of age, his parents 
removed to Stoughton, Dane Co., Wis. In 
1856 they removed to Hillsborough, in this 
county, where they made a permanent settle- 
ment, and now reside. Mr. Wyman grew to 
manhood in Vernon county, and in early life 
prepared himself for the teacher's profession. 
He taught for several years, then attended 
the State University at Madison,for three years, 
and subsequently held the office of county 
superintendent of schools in Vernon county, for 
three terms from Jan. 1, 1874. He studied law, 
and was admitted to the bar, March 29, 1877. 
He was elected district attorney for Vernon 
county at the general election in 1881, and was 
village president of Viroqua in 1882, where he 
has resided since 1871. The present law co- 
partnership of Rusk <fc Wyman was formed in 
January, 1880. He married Emma Hammer, of 
Hillsborough, Dec. 28,1875. They have one son — 
Bernard M. Mr. Wyman is a man of fine at- 
tainments, well versed in his profession, and is 
an able and popular lawyer. 

Col. C. M. Butt, county judge of Vernon 
county, and senior member of the law firm of 
Butt <fc Graves, has been a resident here since 
the spring of 1858. He was born in Morgan 
Co., Ohio, in 1833, and began the study of 
law at the county seat, MoConnellsville, in May, 
1856. In the fall of 1857 he went to Des 
Moines, Iowa, and the following spring came 
to Viroqua, Vernon Co., Wis. He had pro- 
gressed far enough in his studies to be admitted 
to practice in 1859, and at once opened a law 
office in his new home. During the summer of 
1862, he was chiefly instrumental in raising 
company A, of the 25th^ regiment, Wiscon- 
sin Volunteer Infantry, and at the date of its 
organization was made first lieutenant. In 
March, 1864, he was promoted as captain, and 
in February, 1865, was chosen major of the 48th 
regiment, and in February, 1866, was elected 
lieutenant colonel of the regiment. Col. Butt 
was in active duty during his entire service of 

nearly four years. After the close of the war 
he was elected treasurer of Vernon county, and 
served four years. He was elected from this 
district to the State Senate, and served during 
the session of 1869-70. In 1871 he was elected 
district attorney of his county, and re-elected 
in 1873, serving four years. In 1878 he was 
elected county judge, and has since officiated in 
this capacity. Col. Butt is an able lawyer, a 
valuable public officer, and a man highly, 
esteemed. He owns a fine farm of 240 acres in 
this town, adjoining the village where he 
resides. Mrs. Butt's maiden name was Mar- 
garet E. McAully, a native of Indiana, coming 
to Lancaster, Grant Co., Wis., with her par- 
ents. Mr. and Mrs. Butt have a family of five 
children — two sons and three daughters. 

Henry Clay Forsyth is a young and rising 
attorney of Viroqua, where he located for prac- 
tice in August, 1879. He was born in Mus- 
kingum Co., Ohio, May 22, 1847. His parents 
were William and Eliza Forsyth. His paternal 
grandparents were natives of Ireland, and emi- 
grated to Pennsylvania, and afterward moved 
to Ohio. His maternal grandparents were 
reared in the Society of Friends, and rem ved 
from Chester Co., Penn., to Ohio, where they 
became members of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church. Mr. Forsyth came to Vernon county 
from Ohio, in 1865, and made his home with 
an uncle, Ellis Reed, of Springville, in the 
town of Jefferson. On the 3d of August 1867, 
his father was stung to death by bees, and a 
day later his mother died of a lung disease ; 
thus throwing the burden of caring for seven 
orphan brothers and sisters, who, at his request, 
emigrated to Wisconsin. He received an ac- 
ademic education ; was graduated at the N orth- 
western Commercial College, at Madison, and 
for a year was a student in the law department 
of the Wisconsin State University ; but owing 
to illness, was unable to be present on com- 
mencement day. He was admitted to the bar 
at the session of the circuit court held at 
Madison in July, 1878, Judge Alvah Stewart 



presiding. In August, 1879, Mr. Forsyth came 
to Viroqua, as before stated, and was in part- 
nership with Judge William F. Terhune for 
about six months. On July 16, 1880, he formed 
a co-partnership with D. E. Hatlestad, which 
was dissolved in October, 1881. Mr. Forsyth is 
now alone in the practice, and has been a 
justice of the peace since August, 1878. 

H. P. Proctor is a member of the law firm 
of Procter & Tollefson, and is one of the most 
promising legal lights that luminate the bar of 
Vernon county. He has been a resident of 
Viroqua since 1869, and from Jan. 1, 1876, to 
Jan. 1, 1882, served the people in the responsi- 
ble position of district attorney. He has been 
three times honored with the presidency of 
the village board, a position which he was 
satisfactorily filling in 1883. Mr. Proctor was 
born in Franklin Co., Vt., in 1843, and in 1862 
accompanied his father's family to this county. 
They located in the village of Newton, where 
they still reside. In 1864 Mr. Proctor enlisted 
in company D, 43d Wisconsin Volunteer In- 
fantry, and participated in the various fortunes 
of that regiment till the close of the strife. 
After returning home he entered the law office 
of R. C. Bierce, and afterward that of Judge 
Carson Graham. He was admitted to practice 
Dec. 13, 1871, and a short time afterward 
formed a partnership with his legal preceptor. 
This relationship continued until 1876, and 
si nee that period he has been successively in 
law partnership with the following named at- 
torneys : W. N. Carter, C. N. Harris and 
Louis Tollefson, the latter co-partnership being 
formed Oct. 1, 1879. The firm of Proctor & 
Tollefson are found in the front ranks among 
the business firms of the county, both in point 
of legal business and deserved esteem. Mr. 
Proctor was united in marriage with Augusta, 
daughter of the late John W. Allen, ex-county 
treasurer, who died Aug. 31,1881. Of their 
four children, three are living — Walter S., 
Harold P. and Celia M. Their second son is 

Louis Tollefson, junior member of the law 
firm of Proctor <fc Tollefson, Viroqua, was born 
in Norway, in 1851. In 1861 he accompanied 
his parents to America, and to Allamakee Co., 
Iowa, where they made a settlement. In 1868 
Mr. Tollefson went to La Crosse, Wis., where 
he was employed as a clerk for five years, and 
also took a full course in the commercial college. 
In 1874 he came to Viroqua and obtained em- 
ployment as a clerk with J. Henry Tate, with 
whom he continued one year. The following 
summer he went to Lansing, Iowa, and was en- 
gaged in the lumber trade with a brother for 
a short time. Returning to Viroqua he em- 
barked in the mercantile trade, which he con- 
tinued till the spring of 1880. He then entered 
the law office of H. P. Proctor, was admitted to 
the bar in October, 1881, and has been a partner 
with his preceptor since that date. Mr. Tollef- 
son is the only Norwegian attorney in Vernon 
county, and the firm enjoy an extensive and lu- 
crative practice. Mr. Tollefson married Celia, 
daughter of J. W. Allen, ex-treasurer of Vernon 
counjty. She died March 12, 1888, leaving one 

Charles W. Graves is the pioneer member of 
the law firm of Butt & Graves, and located here 
for practice in May, 1879. His father, Lewis 
W. Graves, Esq., was for twenty-five years a 
prominent member of the bar of Monroe Co., 
Wis. Charles W. was born at East Aurora, in 
Erie Co., N. Y., Nov. 29, 1854, and was a law 
student under his father for many years. He 
also studied a short time with A. E. Bleekman, 
Esq., of Sparta, Wis., and was admitted to prac- 
tice in the circuit court at Sparta, Jan. 5, 1876. 
He there formed a law partnership with Fred 
T. Condit, which continued through 1876, and 
afterward with A. E. Bleekman. This latter 
tie was severed in 1879, and Mr. Graves came 
to Viroqua, where he has been in active prac- 
tice since. His wife was formerly Ida Rea, a 
native of Oshkosh, Wis. They have two chil- 
dren — Earl W. and Ray. 





Before entering upon a consideration of the 
part taken by the citizen soldiers of Vernon 
county, in the great contest between the slave 
owners of the south and the lovers of freedom 
in the north, it is proper to dwell for a brief 
period upon the causes leading to the conflict 
ot arms and the incipient steps taken by the 
general and State governments in arousing and 
marshalling the hosts of liberty-loving men 
who afterward so grandly kept step to the 
music of the Union. 

Wisconsin's first efforts. 

When Wisconsin was first called npon to aid 
the general government in its efforts to sustain 
itself against the designs of the secession con- 
spirators, the commercial affairs of the State 
were embarrassed to a considerable degree by 
the depreciation of the currency. The designs 
of the secessionists were so far developed at 
the ending of the year 1860, as to show that 
resistance to the National authority had been 
fully determined on. It is not a matter of won- 
der, then, that Gov. Randall in his message to 
the Legislature, early in January, 1861, should 
have set forth the dangers which threatened 
the Union, or should have denied the right of 
a State to secede from it. 

"Secession," said he, "is revolution ; revolu- 
tion is war ; war against the government of the 
United States is treason." "It is time," he con- 
tinued, "now, to know whether we have any 
government, and if so, whether it has any 
strength. Is our written constitution more than 
a sheet of parchment ? The Nation must be 
lost or preserved by its own strength. Its 
strength is in the patriotism of the people. It 
iH time now that politicians become patriots ; 
that men show their love of country by every 

sacrifice, but that of principle, and by unwaver- 
ing devotion to its interests and integ- 
rity." "The hopes," added the governor, most 
eloquently, u of civilization and Christianity are 
suspended now upon the answer to this ques- 
tion of dissolution. The capacity for, as well 
as the right of, self-government is to pass its 
ordeal, and speculation to become certainty. 
Other systems have been tried, and have failed; 
and all along the skeletons of Nations have been 
strewn, as warnings and land marks, upon the 
great highway of historic government. Wis- 
consin is true, and her people steadfast. She 
will not destroy the Union, nor consent that it 
shall be done. Devised by great, and wise, and 
good men, in days of sore trial, it must stand. 
Like some bold mountain, at whose base the 
great seas break their angry floods, and around 
whose summit the thunders of a thousand hur- 
ricanes have rattled — strong, unmoved, immov- 
able — so may our Union, be, while treason 
surge 8 at its base, and passions rage around it, 
unmoved, immovable — here let it stand forever." 
These are the words of an exalted and genu- 
ine patriotism. But the governor did not con- 
tent himself with eloquence alone. He came 
down to matters of business as well. He urged 
the necessity of legislation that would give 
more efficient organization to the militia of the 
State. He warned the legislators to make 
preparations also for the coming time that 
should try the souls of men. "The signs of the 
times," said he, "indicate that there may arise 
a contingency in the condition of the govern- 
ment, when it will become necessary to respond 
to a call of the National government for men 
and means to maintain the integrity of the 
Union, and to thwart the designs of men en- 



gaged in organized treason. While no unnec- 
essary expense should be incurred, yet it is the 
part of wisdom, both for individuals and States, 
in revolutionary times to be prepared to defend 
our institutions to the last extremity." It was 
thus the patriotic governor gave evidence to the 
members of both houses that he "scented the 
battle afar off." 

On the 16th of January a joint resolution of 
the Legislature was passed, declaring that the 
people of Wisconsin are ready to co-operate 
with the friends of the Union everywhere for 
its preservation, to yield a cheerful obedience 
to its reqirements, and to demand a like obedi- 
ence from all others ; that the Legislature of 
Wisconsin, profoundly impressed with the value 
of the Union, and determined to preserve it 
unimpaired, hail with joy the recent firm, dig- 
nified and patriotic special message of the Pres- 
ident of the United States ; that they tender to 
him, through the chief magistrate of their own 
State, whatever aid, in men and money, may be 
required to enable hira to enforce the laws and 
uphold the authority of the Federal government 
and in defense of the more perfect Union, 
which has conferred prosperity and happiness 
on the American people. "Renewing," said 
they, "the pledge given and redeemed by our 
fathers, we are ready to devote our lives, our 
fortunes and our sacred honors in upholding 
the Union and the constitution." 

The Legislature, in order* to put the State upon 
a kind of "war footing," passed an act for its 
defense, and to aid in enforcing the laws and 
maintaining the authority of the general gov- 
ernment. It was under this act that Gov. Ran- 
dall was enabled to organize the earlier regi- 
ments of Wisconsin. By it, in case of a call 
from the President of the United States to aid 
in maintaining the Union and the supremacy 
of the laws to suppress rebellion or insurrection, 
or to repel invasion within the United States, 
the governor was authorized to provide in the 
most efficient manner for responding to such 
call — to accept the services of volunteers for 

service, in companies of seventy-five men each, 
rank and file, and in regiments of ten compa- 
nies of seventy-five men each, and to commis- 
sion officers for them. The governor was also 
authorized to contract for the uniforms and 
equipments necessary for putting such compa- 
nies into active service. $100,000 was appro- 
priated for war purposes ; and bonds were au- 
thorized to be issued for that amount, to be 
negotiated by the governor for raising funds. 
It will be seen, therefore, that the exigencies 
of the times — for Fort Sumter had not yet been 
surrendered — were fully met by the people's 
representatives, they doing their whole duty, 
as they then understood it, in aid of the per- 
petuity of the Union. 

Having defended Fort Sumter for thirty-four 
hours, until the quarters were entirely burned, 
the main gates destroyed, the gorge-wall seri- 
ously injured,the magazine surrounded by flames, 
and its door closed from the effects of the heat, 
four barrels and three cartridges of powder 
only being available, and no provisions but pork 
remaining, Robert Anderson, major of the first 
artillery, United States army, acceptedterms of 
evacuation offered by Gen. Beauregard, marched 
out of the Fort on Sunday afternoon, the 1 4th of 
April, 1861, with colors flying and drums beat- 
ing, bringing away company and private prop- 
erty, and saluting his flag with fifty guns. This 
in brief, is the story of the fall of Sumter and 
the opening act of the War of the Rebellion. 

"Whereas," said Abraham Lincoln, President, 
in his proclamation of the next day, "the laws 
of the United States have been for some time 
past, and now are, opposed, and the execution 
thereof obstructed, in the States of South Caro- 
lina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, 
Louisiana, and Texas, by combinations too pow- 
erful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of 
judicial proceedings, or by the powers vested in 
the marshals by law." Now, in view of that 
fact, he called forth the militia of the several 
States of the Union, to the aggregate number 
of 75,000, in order to suppress those combina- 



tions, and to cause the laws to be duly executed. 
"A call is made on you by to-night's mail for 
one regiment of militia for immediate service," 
telegraphed the secretary of war to Randall, on 
the same day. 


In Wisconsin, as elsewhere, the public pulse 
quickened under the excitement of the fall of 
Sumter. "The dangers which surrounded the 
Nation awakened the liveliest sentiments of pa- 
triotism and devotion. For the time,party fealty 
was forgotten in the general desire to save the 
Nation. The minds of the people soon settled 
into the conviction that a bloody war was at 
hand, and that the glorious fabric of our Na- 
tional government, and the principles upon 
which it is founded, were in jeopardy, and with 
a determination unparalleled in the history of 
any country, they rushed to its defense. On 
every hand the National flag could be seen dis- 
played, and the public enthusiam knew no 
bounds. In 'city, town and hamlet, the burden 
on every tounge was war." "We have never 
been accustomed," said Gov. Randall, "to con- 
sider the military arm as essential to the main- 
tenance of our government, but an exigency has 
arisen that demands its employment." "The 
time has come," he continued, "when parties and 
platforms must be forgotten, and all good citi- 
zens and patriots unite together in putting 
down rebels and traitors." "What is money," 
he asked, "what is life, in the presence of such 
a crisis?" 

Such utterances and such enthusiasm could but 
have their effect upon the Legislature, which, 
it will be remembered, was still in session. So, 
although that body had voted to adjourn, sine 
die, on the 15th of April, yet, when the moment 
arrived, and a message from the governor was 
received, announcing that, owing to the extra- 
ordinary exigencies which had arisen, an amend- 
ment of the law of the thirteenth of the month 
was necessary, the resolution to adjourn was at 
once rescinded. The two houses thereupon not 
only increased the amount of bonds to be issued 

to $200,000, but they also passed a law exempt- 
ing from civil process, during the time of ser- 
vice, all persons enlisting and mustering into 
the United States army from Wisconsin. When, 
on the seventeenth, the Legislature did adjourn, 
the scene was a remarkable one. Nine cheers 
were given for the star spangled banner and 
three for the Governor's Guard, who had just 
then tendered their services — the first in the 
State — under the call for a regiment of men for 
three months duty. 

"For the first time in the history of this Fed- 
eral government, are the words of the gov- 
ernor, in a proclamation issued on the 16th of 
April, "organized treason has manifested itself 
within several States of the Union, and armed 
rebels are making war against it." "The treas- 
urers of the country," said he, "must no longer 
be plundered; the public property must be pro- 
tected from aggressive violence; that already 
seized must be retaken, and the laws must be 
executed in every State of the Union alike." "A 
demand," he added, "made upon Wisconsin, by 
the President of the United States, for aid to 
sustain the Federal arm, must meet with a 
prompt response." And it did, and no where 
with more genuine enthusiasm than in Vernon 


The county of Vernon was not slow to move 
when it was clearly seen by her citizens that the 
Union was in deed and in truth threatened by 
armed rebellion and avowed secession. "The 
rebellion of the slave holders," said the North- 
western Times, of April 24, 1861, "of the seced- 
ing States has now reached actual war against 
the loyal citizens of the United States. The 
property of every citizen of this great republic 
has been attacked, because every citizen is a 
part of the government which has a property 
interest in Fort Sumter, which fort has been 
cannonaded and probably taken by the rebels at 

"The President of the United States," con- 
tinues the Times, "has called for 76,000 volun- 



teers, and will probably need more; and Gov. 
Randall of this State calls on all loyal citizens 
to sustain the laws. He also calls for volun- 
teers in companies of seventy-five men each to 
enroll themselves and report to him their readi- 
ness to serve." "Every lover of free institu- 
tions," concludes the writer, "the world over, 
every loyal citizen of the United States, expects 
every man to do his whole duty, in the war that 
has just been commenced by the South Carolina 


The first war meeting in Vernon county was 
held at Viroqua, on Wednesday, April 24, 1861, 
in the evening, at the court house. At this 
meeting, the following gentlemen were appoint- 
ed to collect funds to procure music for the 
company being organized in Viroqua, and to 
maintain their families while they were gone 
to help the General Government put down the 
secession rebellion at the south: Thomas Fret- 
well, J. A. Somerby, J. E. Newell, Dr. J. Rusk, 
Dr. E. W. Tinker, Justice Smith and Calvin 

The meeting adjourned to Saturday evening, 

April 27th, when a very enthusiastic time was 

had. Henry Nichols was elected president, 

William Clawater, vice-president, and T. C. 

. Ankeny, secretary. 

On Motion, Col. R. C. Bierce, J. Somerby and 
Wm. H. Goode were appointed a committee to 
draft and report resolutions expressive of the 
sentiments of the people of Bad Ax county, on 
the subject of the present State of the Union. 
The committee appointed at a previous meeting 
to obtain subscriptions to support a volunteer 
company and their families, reported tUl 
already obtained and that progress was making 
for additional sums. 

On motion, enough funds were appropriated 
to purchase a good fife and snare drum and 
the committee were instructed to purchase the 
same at their earliest convenience. It was fur- 
ther ordered that 20 per cent be paid in at once 
on subscription. 

The committee on resolutions reported the 
following which were unanimously adopted: 

"We the people of Bad Ax county, in war 
meeting assembled, irrespective of party, for 
the purpose of declaring our sentiments on the 
present state of the affairs of the Nation, do 
hereby declare as follows: 

1. Resolved, That secession is not a consti- 
tutional right, and that we look upon the pres- 
ent attitude of the pretended seceded States as 
one of rebellion coupled with the fixed deter- 
mination to crush out the spirit of liberty and 
substitute in its place, the spirit of slavery. 

2. Resolved y That, under ordinary circum- 
stances, we believe in allowing the utmost free- 
dom of speech and the press, but in the present 
hour of our country's peril, we declare we will 
not permit any man in our midst to openly de- 
clare in favor of the right of secession, or ad- 
vocate the cause of traitors and rebels against 
the Federal government. 

3. Resolved, That, to our old flag of stars 
and stripes, we owe all our property and our 
honor, and we hereby renew our allegiance and 
fidelity to it, and express our determination to 
never stand idly by and see it trailed in the 

4. Resolved, That, like our fathers of old, we 
here pledge, in support of our constitution and 
our flag, our lives, our fortunes and our sacred 

5. Resolved^ That we sympathize with the 
Union men of the south, and will do all in our 
power to ameliorate their condition. 

The meeting was then warmly addressed by 
William Clawater, R. C. Bierce, T. C. Ankeny, 
Gen. Spencer, Adj't. J. Berry, William F. Ter- 
hune, H. Greve and others. The utmost una- 
nimity of feeling, sentiment and enthusiasm 
prevailed among the speakers, and they were 
enthusiastically cheered by the large audience 

On motion, William Clawater, C. A. Hunt, 
Gen. Spencer, C. M. Butt, J. Berry, J. C. Berry, 
William Joseph, Albert Bliss and Capt. C. B. 



Worth, were appointed a committee to receive 
the names of volunteers and report immedi- 

On motion, Gen. Spencer, T. C. Ankeny, W. 
S. Purdy were appointed a committee to pro- 
cure martial music for the next meeting. 

On motion, William Clawater, R. C. Bierce 
and George Pollard were appointed a commit- 
tee to procure a cannon and have it at the next 

Ob motion, J. Berry was appointed to drill 
the volunteers on Saturday next. 

The meeting then adjourned. The names of 
persons enrolled as volunteers were as follows: 
C. M. Butt, T. C. Ankeny, J. L. Somerly, H. E. 
Pettit, W. E. Minshall, John Allison, L. M. 
Boughton, William Clawater, H. M. Richard- 
son, C. S. Lisenbee. 

The movement at Viroqua, was followed on 
May 1, 1861, by a 


Pursuant to a call issued, a meeting was held 
at the Bay State house by the citizens of De 
Soto, and the following business transacted: 
The meeting was called to order b} C. B. Whit- 
ing, and on motion, N.S. Cate was chosen chair- 
man and Frank Huntington, secretary. Mr. 
Cate, upon taking the chair, stated the object of 
the meeting to be for the purpose of enrolling 
a company for active service in the cause of our 
country, and also to take measures thought best 
to get up an independent company, for drill and 
military exercise, subject to the military laws 
of the State. 

Remarks were made by C. B. Whiting, C. L. 
Ingersoll, D. S. Mulhern and others. There- 
upon George Gale, George H. Mead, Andrew 
Miller, James Davenport, George McDill and 
M. Godfrey expressed their willingness to vol- 
unteer immediately. A. Cooley offered his 
drum to Mr. Godfrey, if he did not conclude to 
go himself. 

On motion of Capt. C. B. Worth, a commit- 
tee of three were chosen to draw up a paper and 
solicit subscriptions for the relief of the fami- 

lies of those who may volunteer from this place. 
The committee drew up a paper which was read 
and accepted, and ordered to be circulated. 

On motion of George McDill, a committee of 
three were appointed to make arrangements to 
form a volunteer company. C. L. Ingersoll, H. 
Miller and J. C. Kurtz were appointed. On 
motion of J. C. Kurtz, C. B. .Whiting and A. 
Carlyle were added to the committee. The 
committee on subscriptions soon reported $1 ,- 
396, subscribed. Meeting adjourned. 

On the 4th of May, the Viroqua Expositor 
said: "The greatest enthusiasm prevails here 
among the people in reference to preserving the 
Union, enforcing the laws and subduing re- 
bellion. It is commendable on the part of some 
of our good citizens, who are taking an active 
part in shaping every advantage in their power 
to raise and equip a company in this county, to 
be ready to do or die at their country's bidding." 
U A meeting has been called to take place to-day," 
continues the editor, "for the purpose of enlist- 
ing soldiers, and further, to do their duty as 
loyal citizens of a commonwealth and patriots 
in a common cause." 

From this time onward, frequent meetings 
were held in different parts of the county. Fi- 
nally, the result was the formation of the first 
company, wholly within the county for the war, 
known afterward as 


This company was organized at Viroqua, in 
June, 1861, and was mustered into the United 
States service in Madison, on the 21st of July, 
with the following roster of offices and enlisted 
men : 

Captain. — Leonard Johnson. 

1st Lieutenant. — F. A. Haskell. 

2d Lieutenant. — A. T. Johnson. 

1st Sergeant. — Levi N. Tongue. 

2d " James E. Newell. 

3d " William Clawater. 

4th " Henry Didiot. 

5th " J. S. Driggs. 



1st CorporaL — William Fox. 

2d " John Luke. 

3d " Clayton E. Rogers. 

4th " John M. Brigham. 

5th " Andrew Miller. 

6th " C. A. Green. 

7th " Thomas W. MoClure. 

8th " Edwin T. Fearn. 

Musicians. — Robert N. Smith, 
Samuel Walker. 

Wagoner. — James R. Lyon. 

Privates. — Thomas W. Allen, Gilbert L. 
Allen, George W. Atwood, Charles F. Bohn, 
Eliae C. Burdick, Charles Birnbaura, Nathan 
Burchell, Lewis M. Bough ton, Thomas W. 
Barcus, Edward L. Briggs, Daniel Campfield, 
Charles E. Carnes, Wm. S. Gushing, Charles A. 
Conklin, Lawson Davis, George W. Douglas, 
Franklin Elsworth, Charles Evritt, Oliver P. 
Fretwell, Rodolph Fine, Abijah Fox, Dewitt 
C. Fenton, James Fairman, Chester A, Green, 
John M. Goodwin, Alexander Graham, John 
Harland, John F. Harding, Wm. H. Hauck- 
about, Ichobod B. Hill, Lewis Hart, Abel H. 
Johnson, Joseph Johnson, Henry Jones, Charles 
0. Jones 4 John W. Longmire, Charles Lind, 
Edward Lind, Alexander Lowrie, Sidney B. 
LoTlin, Wm. Lawrence, Wm. Moore, Peter S. 
Markle, Wm. A. Mattison, Wm. E. Minchell, 
James McClain, Hugh F. McClure, George D. 
McDill, Thomas Newton, Wm. H. Nichols, 
Daniel W. Nutting, Levi Pearson, Charles F. 
Page, Aldrich W. Rodgers, Earl M. Rogers, 
Hiram M. Richardson, Wm. L. Riley, George 
Robins, Daniel Remington, Gabriel A. Ruby, 
Levi Steadman, George W. Sutton, Gotfriel 
Shriver, Caleb Shrieves, John L. Somerby, Wm. 
H. Sweet, Wm. Sears, Edward E. Sears, Milton 
South wick, Alfred Thompson, George W. 
Thompson, Reuben Thompson, George W. 
Thurber, Levi Tongue, John T. Willey, Fro- 
lan Willey, Chester A. Wyman, Joseph Wood, 
Isaiah Williams, James C. Wallace, Caleb 
Wright, Samuel G. Wallar, Francis A. Wallar 
and Richard A. Warraham. 

Recruits. — William Balden, James O. Bur- 
rell, Albert E. Fosdick, Henry A. Fosdick, 
John H. Hendrickson, Wm. H. Johnson, Wm. 
L. Lindsley, Eli Rockwell, James A. Stalker 
and Valentine Warner 

This company was made a part of 


which was organized at Camp Randall, Madi- 
son, in July, 1861, and mustered into the 
service of the United States on the 10th of 
that month, and left the State for Washington 
on the 28th. The following was the roster 
of the regiment : 
Colonel. — Lysander Cutler. 
Lieutenant Colonel. — J. P. Atwood. 
Major.— B. F. Sweet. 
Adjutant. — Frank A. Haskell. 
Quartermaster. — I. N. Mason. 
Surgfeon. — C. B. Chapman. 
First Assistant Surgeon. — A. W. Preston. 
Second Assistant Surgeon. — A. P. Andrews. 
Chaplain. — Rev. N. A. Staples. 
Captain Co. A.— A. G. Mallory. 
" B— D. J. Dill. 
« C— A. S. Hove. 
" D— J. O'Rourke. 
« E— E. S. Bragg. 
« « F— William H. Lindwurra. 

« « G_M. A. Northrup. 

« H— J. F. Houser. 
" " I — Leonard Johnson. 

" K— R. R. Dawes. 
First Lieutenant Co. A — D. K. Noyes. 
" " B— J. F. Marsh. 

" " C— P. W. Plumer. 

" " " D— John Nichols. 

" " « E— E. A. Brown. 

" " " F— Fred Schumacher. 

" " " G— G. L. Montague. 

" " ' " H— J. D. Lewis. 

" " " I— F. A. Haskell. 

" " " K— J. A. Kellogg. 

2d Lieutenant Co. A — F. C. Thomas. 
" " " B— Henry Serrill. 

" " " C— J. W. Plumraer. 





Co. D— P. H. McCauley. 
« E— S. H. Marston. 
" " " F— Werner Von Bacheli. 

" G— W.W.Allen. 
" H— J. A. Tester. 
" " I— A. T. Johnson. 

" K— John Crane. 
The regiment arrived at Washington on the 
7th of August, and was immediately assigned 
to King's brigade and went into camp on 
Meridian Hill, where it remained until the 3d 
of September, when it marched with the 
brigade to Chain Bridge, and was employed in 
picket and gnard duty at Camp Lyon, until it 
was joined by the 2d Wisconsin, the 9th Indi- 
ana, and the 7th Wisconsin about the 1st of 
October. These, afterward, formed the famous 


Early in the war Gen. Rufus King, a # gradu- 
ate of West Point, tendered his services to the 
government and was appointed brigadier gen- 
eral, with authority to form a brigade composed 
of regiments from Wisconsin. In this he only 
partially succeeded, as the 5th Wisconsin was 
transferred to another brigade. He, however, 
succeeded in permanently attaching the 2d, 
6th and 7th to the brigade ; these, with the 
19th Indiana, afterward received the name of 
the "Iron Brigade," in the history of which is 
merged that of the 6th Wisconsin. 

The brigade assigned to McDowell's di- 
vision remained in camp at Fort Tillinghast 
until March 10, 1862, when they took part in 
the advance on Manassas, Col. Cutler, of the 
6th Wisconsin, being in command of the 
brigade. The month of July found them at 
Falmouth,oppo8ite Fredericksburg. The brigade 
afterward took part in the celebrated retreat of 
Gen. Pope. 

On the 28th of August, 1862, the battle of 
Gainesville was fought. This was one of the 
bloodiest battles of the war, and wa* fought by 
the "Iron Brigade" alone , it only receiving aid 
after the heaviest of the fighting was over. In 
this battle company I lost Privates Henry 

Didiot, Charles Burnham, Franklin Ellsworth 
a nd George Robbins, killed.* On the 29th of 
August the brigade was present on the battle 
field of Bull Run, engaged as support to a 
battery, and took part in the battle of the 30th 
and in the retreat which followed. Company I 
lost Private Rodolph Fine, killed : the wounded 
were Sergeant E. F. Fearn, Corporal R. War- 
ham, Privates Alexander Lowrie, E. C. Burdick, 
J. B. Hill, E. Lind, F. Page, J. L. Somerby, C. 
C. Wyman, Caleb Wright, S. G. Waller, Gil- 
bert Allen, Hugh McClure, G. Ruby, George 
Sutton and Lewis Broughton. 

The "Iron Brigade" took part in the battle of 
South Mountain, Sept. 14, 1862, in which con- 
test Privates William Lawrence and John Har- 
ding, of company I, of the 6th Wisconsin, were 
killed. The wounded in this company were: 
Corporal C. Green, Privates M. Richardson, G. 
Ruby, L. Steadman, C. Bohn and H. McClure. 
In the early part of the battle of Antietam 
(which contest was participated in, among 
others, by the "Iron Brigade"), a shell fell into 
the ranks of the 6th regiment, killing or wound- 
ing thirteen men and officers. In this battle 
company I, of the 6th regiment, lost Privates 
George W. At wood, George Douglas and Wil- 
liam Fox, killed, and Corporals J. Williams 
and C. O. Jones, and Privates N. Burchel, W. 
T. Barcus, C. Carnes, L. Davis, L. Hart, C. 
Lind, D. W. Nutting and H. M. Richardson, 

General Hooker was placed, in command of 

the Army of the Potomac, and the campaign of 

180* was begun, on the 28th of April. The 

"Iron Brigade" proceeded on that day to Fitz- 

hugh's Crossing below Fredericksburg, and 

was attached to the first division of the first 

army corps. A fight occurred the next day at 

the crossing, but the 6th Wisconsin, followed 

by the 24th Michigan, crossed over in face of 

the enemy and carried their works. In this 

daring exploit company I lost Corporal Gabriel 

*Iq this battle, and in those hereafter mentioned, in which 
company T were engaged, the number given as killed in- 
cludes also such as died of wounds. 



A. Ruby, and Privates Charles A. Conklin, 
killed, and J. L. Stedman, wounded. 

The "Iron Brigade" was in the terrible 
battle of Gettysburg, where company I, of the 
6th regiment, lost in killed : First Sergeant 
Andrew Miller, privates S. M. Boughton, John 
Hailand, George W. Sutter, Richard Gray and 
Levi Stedman ; wounded, Corporal S. Good- 
win, Privates, J. B. Hill, C. O. Jones, E. Lind, 
William Sweet, G. Shriver, G. Thurbur and S. 
Walles. But it was in the battle of the Wil- 
derness that the 6th regiment suffered more 
than in any other of the war. The loss of com- 
pany I was as follows : killed — Corporal Wil- 
liam H. Nichols ; Privates, Leroy L. Benedict, 
William R. Carnes, C. F. Dibble, John P. 
Johnson, Reuben Thompson, William M. Col- 
lins, Dewitt C. Fenton, Richard Gray, Peter S. 
Markle, Clark Smith and Caleb C. Wright; 
wounded — Sergeant W. H. Hockabout; Corpo- 
rals J. S. Driggs, William S. Cushing and Icha- 
bodB. Hill; Privates, Gilbert L. Allen, Nathan 
Birche'l, Hiram M. Richardson, Isaac W. 
Roberts, John C. Barry, Harman Cole, John C. 
Moody, Edward Willard, John C. Campbell, 
Abraham Searles, David Lind, John W. White 
and John D. Oliver. 

The severity of the service engaged in by the 
6th Wisconsin from this time until it was mus- 
tured out, can be judged of by the lists of the 
killed and wounded at different periods ; but 
we must be confined to a statement of those 
who suffered in company I. This company, 
from June 11 to July 1, 1864, had Sergeant 
Chester A. Green ; Privates, Christian Hopp, 
Joseph A. Johnson and Charles Cuppernall, 
killed ; and in August following, Private 
Thomas White. In the battle of Dabneys' Mill, 
on the 6th and 7th of February, 1865, company 
I lost, in killed, Privates Caleb C. Ellis and 
Marcus D. Carter. 

In the short campaign from March 29 to 
April 9, company I, of the 6th, for a wonder, 
had none killed, though other companies in 
the same regiment did not fare so well. 

The 6th regiment was mustered out on the 
(4th of July, 1865, and arrived at Madison 
on the 16th of that month, and were publicly 
received, paid, and the regiment disbanded. 

Having briefly traced the fortunes of company 
I, of the 6th Wisconsin during the war, we now 
proceed to give some facts concerning the second 
company raised wholly in Vernon county. This 


"Bad Ax Tigers:' 

This company was organized at Viroqua, in 
December, 1861, and was mustered into the 
United States service at Milwaukee Jan. 19, 
1862, with the following roster of officers and 
enlisted men: 

Captain — Newton M. Layne. 

1st Lieutenant — John H. Graham. 

2d " —Allen A. Burnett. 

1st Sergeant — Samuel Swan. 

2d « William N. Carter, Sr. 

3rd " Robert S. McMichael. 

4th " John S. Dickson. 

5th " Calvin Morley. 

1st Corporal — Dan ford J. Spear. 

2d " , Joseph H. Brightman. 

3rd " Ranson J. Chase. 

4th " William Cox. 

5th " Roswell F. Corey. 

6th " Gould Hickok. 

7th " Samuel McMichael. 

8th " Joseph Buckley. 

Musicians — John M. .Stokes, Aaron Cooley. 

Wagoner. — Thomas J. Decker. 

Privates. — David Aarnott, Levi E. Baker, 
Henry S.Baker, Daniel D. Bateu, Levi B. Bug- 
bee, Nathan Bankes, Lawrence Broderick, 
Azariah Brown, William Clarey, Edwin E. 
Crandall, William N. Carter, Jr., George 
Chadeayne, Peter S. Campbell, Henry Clarey, 
Travers Day, William W. Dickeman, William 
Downie, Leonard C. Davis, William M. Delap, 
Martin V. Day, William Daily, Thomas J. 
Davis, Samuel Fish, Bardett Fletcher, Elijah 
Forsythe, Thomas Fretwell, Joseph G. Gander, 



Robert E. Graham, Noah Garrett, Benjamin 
Green man, Cleason B. Guist, John S. Gray, 
William Hunter, Benjamin F. Harris, Henry 
Johnson, John Jones, John Kirkpatrick, Wil- 
liam Kettle, John Kingston, Christopher Koher. 
Harvey D. Lindley, William Loucks, John C. 
Metcalf, Hiram Moody, John B. Merrill, Wil- 
liam A. Master son, Patrick Mooney, James Mc- 
Clelland, Daniel Mosholder, Nelson Mills, 
Archer J. Morrison, Bazzle Munion, Julius C. 
Morley, Isaac C. Newell, Walter W. Odell, 
Lawrence H. Page, Jasper N. Powell, Sanford 
C. Prince, Lauphlin Quinn, Daniel Rantz, Ben- 
jamin F. Rantz, Charles H. Raynor, John J. 
Ross, Henry V. Swain, Allen L. Swain, John J. 
Swain, Samuel Sayer, Augustus Singer, Philip 
Singer, John Stokes, Norris W. Saxton, John 
H. Singles, William P. Starrick, George W. 
Taylor, Orrin Tooker, William H. Thompson, 
' James Williams, Parley Whitney; making total 
original membership ninety-seven. 

The company was recruited by volunteers and 
draft as follows: 

John Carpenter, David Caulkins, John L. 
Cheney, Robert Campbell, Edward Carey, 
Charles Brown, Leonard Bankes, William Den- 
nison, Benjamin Evans, Elijah S. Frazier, 
James . Garber, Legrand Hickok, William M. 
Hall, John M. Herron, Theodore F. Hart, 
Byron W. Johnson, James Kingston, Alfred S. 
Soper, Peter D. Soper, Charles W. Miller, Sam- 
uel W. Moore, Richard Miers, Edward Owens, 
Samuel Pokrand, Simeon Powell, John Pennell, 
Edward Rogers, George M Rogers, Merrick 
Rogers, Harrison* Sayer, Nathaniel Shepherd, 
Henry Sharpe, Isaac Sharpe, Gilbert Stewart, 
Evan Thomas, Isaac Taylor, Albert D. Welsh, 
James Young. 

The following members of this company were 
killed in action: William Kettle, Shiloh; 
Norris W. Saxton, Shiloh; John H. Singles, 
Allatoona; William Downie, Corinth. 

The following died of disease: Captain N. 
M. Layne; Sergeant Samuel Swan; Sergeant 
Thomas Fretwell; Corporal Samuel McMichael; 

Corporal John B. Merrill; Privates: Levi E. Al- 
len, George Chadeayne, Travers Day, Elijah 
Forsyth, Joseph G. Gander, John S. Gray, Noah 
Garrett, William Hunter, Byron W. Johnson, 
James McClelland, Lawrence Page, William P. 
Starbuck, Nathaniel Shepherd, Wm. H. Thomp- 
son, Orrin Tooker, Isaac Taylor, Julius C. Nur- 
Company C formed a part of 


was organized at Camp Trowbridge, Milwa - 
kee, under the supervision of Colonel James 
Alban, early in the year 1862, and its muster 
into the United States service was completed 
on the 15th of Marcb of that year. The regi- 
ment left the State on the 30th, with orders to 
report at St. Louis. The following was the 
regimental roster: 

Colonel. — James S. Alban. 
Lieutenant-Col on.el.— Samuel W. Beall. 
Major. — J. W. Crain. 
Adjutant. — Gilbert L. Park. 
Quartermaster. — Jeremiah D. Rogers. 
Surgeon. — George F. Huntington. 
First Assistant Surgeon. — Larkin G. Mead. 
Chaplain. — Rev. James Delany. 
Captain Co. A. — James P. Millard. 
" " B.— Charles A. Jackson. 

" " C. — Newton M. Layne. 

" " D.— George A. Fisk. 

" " E. — William Bremmer. 

" " F.— Joseph W. Roberts. 

" " G.— John H. Compton. 

" " H.— David H. Saxton. 

" u I.— William A. Coleman. 

« « K.— William J. Kershaw. 

First Lieutenant Co. A. — Edward Colman. 
" " " B.— Thomas A. Jackson 

" " C— John H. Graham. 

" D.—D. W. C. Wilson. 

" E.— G. R. Walbridge. 

" F.— George Stokes. 

" " G.— Frederick B. Ca*e. 

" H.— S. D. Woodworth. 

" " " I.— Ira H. Ford. 

" " " K. — Alexander Jackson. 


PUBLIC LL:.:.*.r.Y,i 



2d Lieutenant, Co. A — Thomas J. Potter. 

* " " B— Samuel B. Boynton. 

« « « C— Allen A. Burnett. 

" " " D— Peter Sloggy. 

" " " E- Luman H. Carpenter. 

" " " F— George A. Topliff. 

" " " G— James R. Scott. 

" " H— Thomas H. Wallace. 

" " " I— Ogden A. Soutlrmayd. 

" " " K— Phineas A. Bennett. 

The regiment arrived at St. Louis on the eve- 
ning of the 31 st of March, 1862, and next day 
were ordered to proceed up the Tennessee river 
to Pittsburg Landing. Arriving at the landing 
about noon of Saturday, April 5, they were as- 
signed to the command of Gen. Prentiss, which 
was then in the extreme advance, about four 
miles on the Corinth road. 

No sooner had the 18th Wisconsin reached 
its position on the Corinth road under Gen. 
Prentiss, than they found themselves confronted 
by the enemy. In brief they had a position of 
extreme danger, as the enemy were marching 
in force against the Union army, and early on 
Sunday, the day after the arrival of the regi- 
ment, the battle of Pittsburg Landing began. 
The result is far more than a "twice told tale." 
Col. James A. Alban was shot through the body, 
and Maj. J. W. Crain was killed with eight 
wounds on his person. Lieut.-Col. Samuel W. 
Beall and Acting Adjutant Colman were both 
severely wounded, and Capt. John H. Compton, 
company G, was killed. Company C lost its cap- 
tain, Newton M. Layne, taken prisoner; privates 
William Kettle and N. W. Saxton, killed;* 
and privates A. Clary, W. W. Dielhman, Sam- 
uel Fisk, John Kirkpatriok, Hiram Moody, Pat- 
rick Mooney, Laughlin Quinn, Benjamin Rantz, 
J. J. Swain, Samuel Sager and Augustus Singer, 

Capt. Gabriel Bouck, of the 2d Wisconsin, 
succeeded to the colonelcy of the 18th Wiscon- 
sin, and the regiment was assigned to the sec- 

• In this battle and in those hereafter mentioned, in which 
Company C were engaged, the number given as killed in- 
clude such as died of wounds. 

ond brigade, commanded by Colonel Oliver. In 
the vicinity of Corinth, Col. Bouck, early in 
October, 1862, was attacked by an overwhelm- 
ing force of the enemy, but the 18th escaped 
though with some loss. Company C had pri- 
vates Robert £. Graham and William Downie 
wounded. The 18th left Corinth on the 2d of 

In May, 1863, the 18th regiment had been 
assigned to the first brigade, commanded by 
Col. Sanborn, in Gen. Crocker's division, of the 
seventeenth army corps. At the battle of Cham- 
pion Hills, private Bent M ark i son was wounded. 
The regiment acted as sharpshooters in the as- 
sault of the 22d of May, at Vicksburg, to hold a 
position in front of a rebel fort, and cover the 
advance of the assaulting column. In this move- 
ment company C met with no casuality. 

On the 4th of January, 1864, Col. Bouck re- 
signed. Lieut.-Col. Beall had resigned the pre- 
vious August. The regiment was mustered out 
of the service at Louisville, July" 18, 1865, and 
reached Madison on the 29th, where they were 
publicy received and disbanded. 

The next Vernon county company was the 
one subsequently known as 


This company was organized at Viroqua, in 
August, 1862, and was mustered into the United 
States service as a part of the 25th Wisconsin 
regiment, in La Crosse, on the 14th of Septem- 
ber, 1862. 

The following was the muster-in roll of com- 
pany A : 

Captain — James Berry. 

1st Lieutenant — Cyrus M. Butt. 

2d Lieutenant — (John R. Casson was promo- 
ted to this office Sept. 15, 1862). 

1 st Sergeant — Warren G. Davis. 

2d " John R. Casson. 

3d " Isaiah Ferrill. 

4th " John Williams. 

5th " Robb E. McCrellis. 

1st Corporal — James Miller. 

2d " Henry Waters. 




3d Corporal, Justus Smith. 

4th " David C. Yakee. 

5th " Amasa B. Sexton. 

6th " Isaac L. Smith. 

7th " John W. Church. 

8th u John A. Ferguson. 

Privates — Jonathan Adams, Alfred Adams, 
Orrin Ames, Alexander M. Asberry, Peter D. 
Bartholomew, Jason Baldwin, Christopher C. 
Baker, Charles Barstow, Alfred Bartholomew, 
Abraham Benn, Mitchel Beck,"Amon Beddison, 
Russell S. Bundy, Isaac M. C. Burcham, William 
M. Chambers, Henry Chandler, William F. C. 
Coard, Philo Curley, William T. Cummings, 
George W.Cummings, Lysander Dalton, Joshua 
Douglas, John E.. Davis, Charles W. Delap, 
John Dewitt, Thomas E. Engle, Robert L. Fer- 
guson, William H. Foreaker, John Garrett, 
Philip Gieser, James W. Gilman, Brittou L. 
Gillett, Perley Grubb, George F. Green, John 
Graham, Henry N. Hadley, Moses E. Hadley, 
Nelson D. Hale, William F. Hanchett, George 
W.Hope, David C. Hope, Edward F. Hunting- 
ton, Henry Humphrey, William B. U. Hunter, 
Peter Jacobus, William Jonas, James L. Jordan, 
James H. Layne, Edwin K. Loring, James 
Mains, John Marshall, Manasah McClurg, James 
Mason, Peter S. Moore, Alexander Morrison, 
Eli Osborn, William Pidcock, George T. P id- 
cock, George J. Pierce, George Pulver, Frank- 
lin Ranger, William R. Rees, William C. Reed, 
Thomas H. Reed, Martin V. B. Richards, 
Amos A. Richardson, Ezra A. Roberts, Benja" 
min F. Roberts, Frederic S. Roe, Merritt Rowe, 
James H. Rogers, James F. Rhoe, John R. 
Rundle, Ira H. Sanford, Harvey Sewell, Nicho- 
las V. Sharp, Finley Smith, Nathaniel H. Smith, 
Hiram Steadman, Silas H. Strieker, Freeman 
Sutton, Gilman Tenney, Charles H. Tilden, 
Vesparian W. Whitney, Ira Wisel, William 
S. Waters, Samuel Darnell, Arthur Gill. 

The history of company A, is, of course, 
merged in that of 


This regiment was organized at Camp Solo- 
mon, La Crosse, in September, 1862, and mus- 

tered into the United States service on the 14th 
of that month, and was ordered to report to 
Gen. Pope, at St. Paul, to aid in suppressing the 
Indian difficulties in the State of Minnesota. 
They left the State on the 15th, with the fol- 
lowing roster: 

Colonel — Milton Montgomery. 
Lieutenant Colonel — Samuel J. Nasmith. 
Major — Jeremiah M. Rusk. 
Adjutant — George G. Symes. 
Quartermaster — William H. Downs. 
Surgeon— Martin R. Gage. 
1st Assistant Surgeon — Jacob McCreary. 
2d Assistant Surgeon — William A. Gott. 
Chaplain- Rev. T. C. Golden. 
Captain Co. A — James Berry. 

" " B— William II. Joslyn. 

" " C— H. D. Faryuharson. 

« « D— James D. Condit. 

« « E— John D. Scott. 

" " F— James C. Farrand. 
« « G— Viruz W. Dorwin. 

" " H— Ziba S. Swan. 
" I— Robert Nash. 
" " K— Robert M. Gordon.^ 
First Lieutenant Co. A — Cyrus M. Butt. 
" " « B— William Roush. 

" C— L. S. Mason. 
" " " D—M. E. Leonard. 

" " " E— John W. Smelker. 

" " " F— Parker C. Dunn. 

" " ". G— John W. Brackett. 

" " " H— Chas.F. Olmstead. 

" " " I— Daniel N. Smalley. 

" " " K-Charles A. Hunt. 

Second Lieut. Co. A — John R. Casson. 
" " " B— William H. Bennett. 

" " " C— Thomas Barnett. 

« « « D— Charles S. Farnam. 

« «. « E— John M> 8haw. 

" " " F— Oscar E. Foote. 

" " " G— Robert J. Whittleton, 

" " " H— Henry C. Wise. 

" " " I— John T. Richards, 

« « « K— Lewis F. Grow. 



Arriving at St. Paul on the 20th of Septem- 
ber, 1862, the regiment was divided, five com- 
panies under Lieut.-Col. Nasmith, being sent to 
Sauk Center, Painsville and Acton; the re- 
mainder, under the command of Col. Mont- 
gomery, was sent to Leavenworth, Fairmount, 
Winnebago City and New Ulm, where regi- 
mental headquarters were established. 

After service in Minnesota, the regiment 
returned to Wisconsin, reaching Camp Randall 
on the 18th of December, 1862. On the 17th 
of February, 1863, the regiment left, under 
orders to report at Cairo, 111., where they arrived 
on the 19th, and moved next day to Columbus, 
Ky., and encamped. Here the regiment was 
attached to the 16th army corps. From this 
time until August, which month found the regi- 
ment at Helena, they were variously employed. 
Lieut.-Col. Samuel J. Nasmith died of disease 
contracted in the service on the 17th of August, 
and Maj. Rusk was appointed lieutenant col- 
onel in his place. r l he regiment remained at 
Helena until the 1st of February, 1864, when 
they moved down the river to Vicksburg. 

The regiment reached Chattanooga May 5lh 
and immediately proceeded to join the forces 
of Gen. Sherman. The sixteenth corps formed 
part of the "Army of the Tennessee" under 
Gen. McPherson. On the 9th of the month 
they took part in a movement against Resaoa, 
which was renewed on the 14th, with the fol- 
lowing casualities to company A: 

Private Perley. B. Grubb killed; Sergt. J. 
Williams and Private A. A. Richardson 
wounded. In attacking the enemy at Peach 
Orchard on the 15th of June Lieut.-Col. Rusk 
was wounded in the right arm. 

On the 19th of July the sixteenth army corps 
was at Decatur. About noon on the 2 2d three 
regiments commanded by Col. Sprague were 
attacked by two divisions of Wheeler's dis- 
mounted cavalry. Col. Montgomery, with a 
force composed of companies B, E, F and I of 
the 25th Wisconsin, and four companies of the 
63d Ohio, was ordered out to ascertain the po- 

sition of the enemy. They advanced about 
three-fourths of a mile up a road, on the west 
of which was a narrow but impassable swamp, 
and on the other a deep, miry ditch. The 
enemy were met about half a mile from the 
swamp, by the skirmishers, consisting of com- 
pany F and an Ohio company, under command 
of Lieut.-Col. Rusk. The enemy opened a se- 
vere fire and the skirmishers were driven down 
the road back to the reserve, which, under Col. 
Montgomery, was in position to the left of the 

The enemy advancing in strong force, Col. 
Montgomery moved the reserve by the left 
flank, and in attempting to cross the ditch to 
reach the battery in the rear, his horse sank in 
the miry ground, and he was shot by the enemy 
and captured. Lieut.-Col. Rusk, with the 
skirmishers, held the enemy in check for a short 
time on the road, but were soon obliged to re- 
tire. In attempting to do this Lieut.-Col. Rusk 
was surrounded by six or eight rebels, who 
came at him with bayonets at a charge. One 
of them made a dash at him and caught his 
sword, which hung in its scabbord by his side, 
the squad crying out for the "Yankee" to sur- 
render. The lieutenant-colonel made a charac- 
teristic reply and very coolly pressed his revol- 
ver to the side of the head of the rebel and gave 
him its contents. In falling, the fellow still 
held to the sword, which broke from its fasten- 
ing. Putting spurs to his horse, the lieutenant- 
colonel dashed down the road, under the fire of 
the rebels, to which he replied with his revolver 
and succeeded in rejoining his regiment near 
the battery in the rear, not, however, until he 
had his horse shot from under him. 

On the 15th of November, 18*54, the seven, 
teenth army corps left Atlanta on the grand 
march to the sea, the 21st acting as a train 
guard, as far as Monti cello, when they rejoined 
their brigade. At Beaufert, Col. Montgomery, 
who had been exchanged, returned to the army 
and was placed in command of the brigade. 



On the Salkahatohie river, on the 20th of Jan- 
uary, 1865, the 25th encountered the enemy, 
drove in his pickets and dislodged a small force 
behind temporary breastworks. A shell from 
the enemy grazed the head of the horse of 
Lieut.-CoL Rusk, knocking the animal down, 
and the colonel was dismounted, the orderly in 
the rear having his head carried away by the 
missile. The regiment was mastered out of the 
service on the 7th of June and set out for home, 
arriving at Madison on tne 11th of that month, 
where they were soon paid off and disbanded. 


The following are all the citizen soldiers of 
Vernon county, so far as they can now be ascer- 
tained, arranged under the towns in which they 
lived at the time of their enlistment: 

[Those marked (a) were killed in action; (b), died of 
wounds received in action; (c), died of disease; (d), died 
prisoners of war; (e), killed by accident on railroad.] 


Eighth Infantry , Co. F: John W. Oreenman, 

Ninth Infantry », Co. C, Vet; Joseph Broockech. 

Twelfth Infantry, Co. A: Philip Berry. 

Fourteenth Infantry, Co. D: John B. 
Glenn, (a), Frederick W. C. Kock, (b), Patrick 

Eighteenth Infantry, Co. C: John Kings- 
ton, Sergeant; John L. Cheney, John S. Gray, 
(d), Benjamin Greenman, Simon Powell. 

Twenty-fifth Infantry, Co. A: Philip Berry, 
Robert T. MoClurg. 

Thirty-Fourth Infantry, Co. A: Thomas 
Briss, Emanuel Briss. 

Forty- Second Infantry, Co. F: George 
Bawkus, Edwin Drew, Listen B. Waller. 

Forty-Fifth Infantry, Co. K: Isaiah G. 

First Heavy ArtiUery, Co. JB: William C. 
Hall en beck, Isaac Qnaokenhush. 


Third Infantry, Co. H: Thomas Slagg f 

Sixth Infantry, Co. I: John C. Barry, cor- 
poral; Hollis W. Bishop, (d), William R. 
Carnes, Albert Emons, (c), Daniel Taylor. 

Thirteenth Infantry, Co. I: Hans O.Hanson. 

Fifteenth Infantry, Co. B: Ole P. Olsen, 
Sergeant; Peter O. Larson, Co. E; Simon 
Anderson, (d), Thorger Erickson, Peter John- 
son, (c), Ole Kjostilson; Co. G, Charles Black, 
Tositere Larsen, Erick Olsen, Johannes Simen- 

Seventeenth Infantry, Co. B: Andrew Jan- 
son; Co. I: Amos H. Hanse, (c). 

Twenty-Fifth, Co, F: Even T. Songsted; 
Co. K, Even T. Songsted; Fifth Corporal; 
James Everson, Simon C. Rerstad,Corporal; (a), 
Erick Anderson, (c), Ole Peterson, (c). 

Fiftieth Infantry, Co. B: Torgee Jan sen, 
Peter C. Hoonreon, Ole A. Knudson, Peter 
Matinson, John S. Rogers, Christopher Trubon. 

Fifty Third Infantry, Co. C: Andres Ander- 
son, Christian Everson. 


Thirty-Fourth Infantry, Co A: Peter 
Olsen, George Stregle. 

Fifty-Third Infantry, Co. B: John Matte- 


Twelfth Infantry, Co. I: Alexander Hays, (c) . 

Eighteenth Infantry, Co. C: John S. Dick- 
son, Corporal; Harvey D. Lindley, Daniel 

Twentieth Infantry, Co. F: Isaac M. Adams, 
James Waggoner. 

Twenty-Fifth Infantry, Co. A: David C. 
Yakey,2d Sergeant; John W. Appleman* 
Mitchell Beck, George W. Brown, Henry 
Humphrey, James Mains, Jonathan Adams, 
(c) Menasiah McClurg, (c), George J. Pierce, 
(c), James F. Rhoe, (c); Co.K: Peter Hanson, 
5th Corporal; John J. Bergh, Iver Peterson, 
Lewis M. Hanson, Sergeant, (c);01eS. Johnson, 
Ole P. Earterna, Simon Erickson, (c), James 
Everson, (c), Ole J. Johnson, (c). 

Thirty- Seventh Infantry ,' Co. F: Lorenzo T. 
Adams, Valentine E. Appleman, Oscar Burdick, 



(a), Charles R. Forsyth, (a), Elias Stocks, 
Thomas Chambers, (c), Cortez B. Taylor. 
Thirteenth Battery: William Sheets. 


Twelfth Infantry Co. I: Edgar Eno, Cor- 
poral; James Adams, James Jeffries. 

Fifteenth Infantry, Co. E: George Pepper. 

Twenty- Third Infantry , Co. K; James Burn- 
ham, (c). 

Twenty-Fifth Infantry, Co. A; Samuel 
Darnell, Corporal; Arthur Gill, (c). 

Forty-Second Infantry, Co. E: James C. 
Gorden, Corporal; Wm. H. Hart. 

Forty-Third Infantry, Co. F: Rufus S. 
Sherman, 1st Corporal; George Durkee, 5th 
Corporal; George W. Hawkins; Co. K: John 

First Cavalry, Co. F: James Combest, (c), 
Jesse Irwin. 


Second Infantry, Co. G: John Vantassell. 

Sixth Infantry, Co. I : Earl M. Rogers, 
1st Lieutenant; Edward L. Briggs, William 
Clanter, Sergeant; George W. Thompson, (c). 

Seventh Infantry, Co 2? .-John Christopher. 

Eighth Infantry, Co F: Richard Perkinson. 

Tenth Infantry, Co. ^.Frederick Sallander. 

Tenth Infantry, Co. E: Abner B. Allen, 
Silas W. Allen, Albert Bliss. 

Fifteenth Infantry, Co. H: Ole T. Trestby, 
Josiah Adams. 

Eighteenth Infantry, Co. C: Newton M. 
Layne, Capt., Samuel Swan (c), Gould 
Hickok, Serg't, Henry W. Swain, Allen L. Swain, 
John J. Swain. Co. D, Charles French, Corp'l, 
Wm. H. French, Ferdinand Getter, Sr., Ferdi- 
nand Getter, Jr., Ezra Hanckabout, George J. 
Hornby, (c), Joseph Hornby, (d), Francis M. 
Littleton, Hugh Littleton, George P. Melvin (c), 
Peter Slatter, John C. Williams, Corp'l; Wm. 
Wright (c). 

Nineteenth Infantry, Co. C: Wm. Davis, 
Corp'l; John Myer, David A. Bandy, John A. 
Deaver, Theodore Garrell, Henry Gosling, 
George Johnson, Eli Mason, John Riley 

Thomas Savage (c), John C. Wilkinson, 
George W. Baker. 

Twenty-fifth Infantry, Co. A; John Wil- 
liams 2d Lieut.; Nelson D. Hale, 5th Serg't; 
Russell S. Bunday, 7th Corp'l; Wm. Chambers, 
James Mason, Corp'l (c); Joseph Wood, (c). 
Co. F, Caleb C. Lane. 

Thirty-sixth Infantry, Co. H : Math i as 

Forty-second Infantry, Co. I: George B. 
Cade, David Dowhower, Seth Hart, Josiah W. 
Lamb, Corp'l; James O. MoCullock, Pelatiah J. 
Richards, Martin V. B. Richards, Serg't; Felix 
K. Van Wagoner, John Wanek, Wm. Young, 

Forty-third Infantry, Co. F: Jacob Gia- 
Eighth Battery : Ole Castleson. 


Eighth Infantry, Co. I: Alex P. Shaw,(c), 
Casper Fopper. 

Eighteenth Infantry, Co. C: Harrison 

Forty-second Infantry, Co. F: Thomas H. 
Ashbury, George W. Bartholomew, (c). 

Forty-third Infantry, Co. F; Joseph A. 
Heck, Florentine Heck, Samuel Kennedy, 
James Sandlin. 


Sixth Infantry, Co. -I: Charles Bohn, 
Alex Graham, Aldridge W. Rogers, Dilman 
Saunders, Corp'l. 

Eighth Infantry, Co. I; Rudolph Martin, 
John Sullivan, Joseph Watson, (c). 

Tenth Infantry, Co. H: Robert M. Bailey. 

Twenty-fifth Infantry, Co. A : John S. 
Shieve, Hezekiah Shieve. 

Forty-second Infantry, Co. B: Samuel 
Cammack, Francis M. Cammack, Clement J. 

Forty-fifth Infantry, Co. K: Leonard G. Mc- 
Cauley (c), Edwin M. Winslow. 

Forty-ninth Infantry, Co. A : James Bun- 
dy, Edson Daly, Andrew Johnson, Byer Knudt- 



Tenth Battery : Hezekiah Wilds. 
First Heavy Artillery, Co. H: Jacob Rich- 


Eighth Infmtry, Co. I: James Mellor, (b) 
Co. F. Samuel Fox (o). 

Ninth Infantry, Vet. Co. O: Andreas 

Fifteenth Infantry, Co. E: Laurence An- 
derson (b), John Hoff, Lars Ingebirgtson, (c), 
Nels Nelson, Bore Peterson (c), John H. 

Twenty-fifth Infantry, Co. K: John Peter- 
son, Peter Handson (a), Peter A. Lendall ( c), 
Ole A. Nelson (c). 

Thirty-fourth Infantry, Co. A : Wm. Bam- 
berg, Ole Everson, Hans Olsen, George Stregle. 

forty-third Infantry, Co. F: Andrew Sal- 

Forty-fifth Infantry, Co. H: Mathias Bag- 
stad, Corp'l; John I. Huff, Simon Lunlokken, 
John C. Moilin Co. K, Hans Anderson, Chris- 
tian E. Sveen. 


Sixth Infantry, Co. I: G .L. Allen, Walker I. 
Barcus, Abel A. Johnson, Joseph Johnson, (a), 
Alfred Thompson, William Stevenson. 

Twelfth Infantry, Co. A: Elisha Warner. 

Seventeenth Infantry, Co. H: Daniel W. 

Eighteenth Infantry, Go. C: Robert L. Mc- 
Michael, Captain, John M. Heron, William Do- 
wine, (b), James Garbee, Byron W. Johnston, 
(c), Edward Rogers, George M. Rogers. 

Twenty- fifth Infantry, Co. A: Alfred Adams, 
2d Corporal; Vespasian W. Whitney, Milton R. 
Wood, Isaac L. Smith, Corporal; Elisha H. War- 
ner, Christopher Baker, (c), Nicholas Sharp, (c), 
Sampson A. Vance, (c). 

Fortieth Infantry, Co. C: A. J. Bingham. 
Forty- Second Infantry, Co. B: Augustus 
Fetzlaff. Co. I, Harlan P. Procter. 

First Battery: Monroe Crawford, Hiram 
Buswell, Elijah Caulkins, Peter Carson, Calvin 

C. Hagerman, Levi Noble, Roland Reid, Jabez 
Y. Spaulding. 

First Heavy ArUUery, Co. H: Walker T. 


Sixth Infantry, Musician*: Wenzel G. 
Hanzlik, Levi W. Tonge. Co. I, Amos John- 
son, 2d Lieut; T. W. Allen, Nathan Burchill, 
Sylvester Brill, William Church, George W. 
Douglas, (a), George W. Daniels, (a), Henry 
Didiot, Bradly Emons, Rudolph Fine, (a), Abi- 
jah Fox, (c), William Fox, (b), Ichabod B. Hill, 
Sergt; Charles Lind, Thomas W. McClure, (c), 
Hugh F. McClure, William A. Mattison, Levi 
Pearson, Daniel A. Pierce, Gotfried Shriver, 
Hiram Sanders, Corp'l; Abraham Searles, Levi 
N. Tongue, 1st Sergt; Levi L. Tongue, Sergt; 
George W. Thurber, Reuben Thompson, Corp'l. 
(c); Chester A. Wyman, Froland Willey, Corp'l; 
John Willey, Henry Wheeler. 

Seventh Infantry, Co. A: -George M. Bur- 

Eighth Infantry Co. I: Henry Grilley. 

Twelfth Infantry Co. E: Benjamin Kauff- 

Twenty-first Infantry, Co. D: Norris Grilley. 

Twenty-fifth Infantry Co. F: Benjamin Huff- 

Forty-seventh Infantry, Co. C: Chester A. 
Wayman, Sergt; Charles W. Bailey, Christian 
Bauer, Christian Engles, Ephriam D. Greeley, 
Andrew J. Greeley, Pinckney Hayden, Jacob 
M. Heacock, Samuel W. Hoyt, Charles Lin- 
drum, Charles Lind, William A. Matteson, 
Corp'l; Alonzo Mitchel, Thomas J. Shear, Jona- 
than W. Shear, Daniel W. Shear, George W. 
Shaler, Charles H. Skillings, Anthony Winter. 

Forty-ninth Infantry, Co. A: Daniel D. Jar- 
vis, John C. McClure. 

First Cavalry, Co. F: Darius Reynolds. 
Tenth Battery: Jacob Dodge. 


Second Infantry, Co. A: Marshall L. Kinney. 
Co. E, William Kelock. 



Third Infantry } Co. A: Lockwood George. 

Sixth Infantry, Go. I: Alexander Lowrie, 

Eighth Infantry, Go. F: James Berry, 2d 
Lieut; Henry W. Allen, Seymour M. Cumurings, 
(c), George M. Drum, (c), Jeremiah L. Joseph, 
John P. Joseph, (c), John L. Smith, (c). 

Twelfth Infantry, Co. A: John W. Pulver. 

Thirteenth Infantry, Go. T: Erick Asbemson. 

Eighteenth Infantry, Co. 0: Allen A. Bur- 
nett, 2d Lieut; Henry Johnson, Archibald J. 
Morrison, Elijah S. Frazier, Burdett Fletcher, 
(c), Walter W. Odell, (c), Norris W. Saxton, 
(a). Go. D, George N. Esler. Joseph G. Hunter, 
(d), William Hunter, (c), Isaac H. Odell, Jona- 
than Townsend, Waldron Townsend. 

Twentieth Infantry, Co. A: Austin Fletcher. 

Twenty-fifth Infantry, Co. A: Allen Fran- 
cis, Isaac W. C. Burcham, George Pulver, Wil- 
liam S. Waters, James Berry, Capt; Henry 
Waters, Sergt; Amasa B. Saxton, Corp'l; Wil- 
liam R. Reese, John W. Pulver, John Graham, 
(c), Franklin Ranger, (c), Marion F. Fleck, 
William Powell, (a), Peter Rantz, Morris W. 
Saxton, (c). 

Thirty-eighth Infantry, Co. F: William F. 

Ft/rty-second Infantry, Co. I: Augustus Wier. 

Forty-third Infantry, Co. F; John N. Pul- 

Fiftieth Infantry, Co. B: Charles C. Has- 
kell, Albert Johnson, David S. Kyes, Daniel M. 
Moore,Robert J. Moore, Andrew Molley, Dan- 
iel W. Seals, William Shult, Benjamin F. 
Schriver. Co. K, Goelk Olesen. 

First Heavy Artillery, Co. L: H. N. M. 


Fifth Infantry, Co. H; Benjamin Lawton, 

Serg; George W. Lawton. Co. A, Henry T. 

Sixth Infantry, Co. I; Michael Sallenter. 

Eighth Infantry, Co. F; Philander S. Groes. 
beck, Louis Groesbeck, Stewart GToesbeck. 

Tenth Infantry, Co. H; John Boyl. 

Eleventh Infantry, Co. A: Edwin Medla- 

Twelfth Infantry, Co. I: Irwin Gribble, 2d 
Lieut; Joshua Hutchinson, Sergt; Ransom 
Kellogg, Corp'l; Rudolph Foreman, Corp'l; 
Wallace B. Pugh, Corp'l; Emery L. Clark, 
Corp'l; Charles A. Toptine, (c), Eugene Bald- 
win, (a), Jacob Benn, Francis B. Clark, Henry 
H. Dupu, (b), Lumen S. Kellogg, Lewis D. Kel- 
logg, Peter Nuby, Ephriam Sandford, Daniel 
Sandford, (c), John W. Sutherland, James V. 
Toptine, (c). 

Sixteenth Infantry, Co. B: Francis Dupu, (c). 

Seventeenth Infantry, Co. I; John W.Taylor, 
William Hutchinson, Corp'rl; Abram Y. Banla, 
Robert L. Banta, Reuben G. Drake, Edward P. 
Dailey, Lewis F. Day, Joseph L. Dunlap, David 
Haggerty, Eli Hooks, Nelson Kendall, Doctor 
F. Kumrine, Carl A. Shermer, Robert W. Ten- 
ney and Andrew T. Vance. 

Eighteenth Infantry, Co. C: William N. Car- 
ter, Sr., 1st Lieut; William N. Carter, Jr., 2d 
Lieut; Roswell F. Corey, Corp'l., John James, 
John C. Mitcalf, Travis Day, (c)., Martin V. 
Day, William P. Starbuck, (c)., Co. D., Nathan 
Hale, 2d Corp'l; William Miller, Andrew Per- 
kinson, Corp'l; Ambrose Osborn. 

Twenty-Fifth Infantry, Co. A: Eli Osborn, 
Ira H. San ford, John W. Church, (b), Jason 
Baldwin, (c), Abraham Benn, (c). 

Thirty -Third Infantry, Co.F: James B.Con- 
nolly, (c). 

Thirty-Fifth Infantry, Co. C: David M. 
Pugh, (c). 

Forty-Second Infantry, Co. B: Eugene C. 
Gill. Co. I: David G. Bliss, 1st Lieut; John 
Clancy, William H. Lowny, Peter Vanalstine. 

Forty-Third Infantry, Co. C: Henry Benn, 
Jonathan Kyser, Thomas McQueen, (c), William 
J.Neely, George W. Wilder. 

Forty-Fifth Infantry, Co.H: Lewis Hibbard, 

Marien Osborn. 

Fiftieth Infantry, Co. B: Joseph Harris. 


Second Infantry, Co. E: Ripley J. Richards. 
Twelfth Infantry Co. I: George W. Wise. 



Forty- Second Infantry , Co. I: Samuel Pal- 
mer, Henry M. Rusk, Allen Rusk, Corp'L; Cyrus 
J. Smith, Alfred Stedman, Robert Tate, George 
W. Wise. 

Forty-Third Infantry, Co. F: Robert McKee. 


Twelfth Infantry, Co. I: J. Emry Payn, 
Serg't., Moses Powell, Corp'L; James W. Dean, 
James Moore, Andrew J. Tompkins, ( c). 

Twenty-Fifth Infantry, Co. A: Henry W. 
Hadley, Chauncey Law ton, J. D. Orrison, James 
Miller, Serg't.; (c), Justin Smith, Corp'L; (c), 
John Garrett, (c), Moses Hadley, (c), Peter S. 
Moore, (c), Findley Smith, (c), Nathaniel H. 
Smith, (c). 

Thirty- Seventh Infantry, Co. I; William A. 
Lease, (a), John J. Lease. 

Forty-Second Infantry, Co. B: Merritt W. 
Dean, (c), Orsumus Farnham, Corp'L 

Forty-Third Infantry, Co. K: Martin Corsaw, 
2d Serg't.; Gilmond Eno, 5th Serg't.; Samuel W. 
Grey, George T. Thomas. 

Forty-Fifth Infantry, Co H: George W. Law- 
ton, 1st Serg't.; Franois G. Lawton. 


Sixth Infantry, Co. I: William M. Collins(d) 
John C. Campbell, John W. Elliott, Christian 
Hopp, (a) John D. Oliver, Henry W. Phillips, 
Clark Smith (b) Thomas H. White (b). 

Fourteenth Infantry, Co. H: Peter Eriok- 
son, (c). 

Fifteenth Infantay, Co. B : Loren L. Hange, 
Ludwig L. H. Hange. 

Seventeenth Infantry, Co. B : Peter Mel- 
lam. Co. I. James McClurg, (o.) 

Eighteenth Infantry, Co. C : Ransom J. 
Chase, 2d Lieut.; Dan ford J. Spear, Corp.; Le- 
grand Hiokook, Julius C. Morley, (c). David 
Cunlkins, Isaac C. Newell, George W. Taylor, 
(c). Orrin Tooker, (c). Co. D. Charles Ames, 
(c) William H. White, Sergeant. 

Twenty-fifth Infantry, Co. A. Henry Chan- 

Forty-second Infantry, Co. B. Wright S. 
Crane, Perry Curtiss, George P. Griflin, Sam- 

uel Hasbrook, Samuel W. Pitts, Edward S. 
Riggs, William Tewall, (c) Alvin Wakefield, 
Elijah Wakefield, Lafayette Wakefield, (c). Or- 
son Whitney, John Whitney, James Whitney. 
Sergeant. Co. I. Samuel Davis, John W. Da- 
vis, Benjamin S. King, Wilson Mills, James A. 
Tewall, John S. Tewall, Benjamin I. Witcraft. 


Eleventh Infantry, Co. D. Francis W. Mor- 
rison, James Pan n ell, Joshua Yanduson, Henry 
Widner,Mathias Widner, Martin I. Widner(c). 

Seventeenth Infantry Co. F. Herman Shoepp. 

Forty-second Infantry Co. E. William R. 
Bundy, Thomas, H. Daniel. 

Forty-third Infantry, Co. K. Archibald 


Third Infantry, Co. A. Charles Verley. 

Sixth Infantry, Co. C. James Burrell, 
Charles A. Conklin (b) Charles Emett, O. P. 
Fritnell, Corporal; John F. Harding, (b) Wil- 
liam C. Hockabout Sergeant; John W. Long- 
min (c) William C. Minshali, James E. Newell, 
Hiram M. Richardson, William L. Riley, Edwin 
E. Sears, George W. Sutton (a) John L. Som- 
erby, James Wallace, Valentine Warner. 

Eighth Infantry, Co. F Benjamin F. Alli- 
son, Sergeant; Samuel McColaugh, Corporal (c), 
John W. Allison, Amos W. Bickfield, William 
Burns, Benjamin F. Groves, William C. Groves, 
Isaac N. Groves, Eli M. Groves (c) Josiah S. 
Groves, Alfred Lore, Cornelius A. Marston (a) 
George S.Nichols, Wilson Pitcher, John W. 
Shell, Corporal, (a); Michael Sailander, William 
Sallander (c) 

Mnth Infantry, Co. H. Bernard Harlfield, 
Sergt. Major. 

Twelfth Infantry, Co. A: Robert M. Leigh ty, 
Co. I, Archibald Lee, Jerome S. Tinker 2nd 
Lieutenant;Thomas F. Bryant, John W. Carton, 
Daniel Cox, George Everett, Henry H. Hull, 
Henry G. Honey, Daniel Jennings, Jared Jen- 
nings, Ore Lind (a), John Munyon (c), Seth 
McClurg, John A. Moore, George C. Richards 
(c), Benjamin F. Rider, Thomas Skinner, Mil- 



ton Sample (a), Samuel Smith, James Silbough 
( a), William L. Tate, Joel Winters, Samuel D. 
Yakey (c). 

Fourteenth Infantry, Co. I): AuthurP. Allen, 
Oscar P. Allen (c), James Foster, Milton 
Owen, Joseph Snodgrass. 

Fifteenth Infantry, Co. E: Peter Erifckson 
( d), Knud Johnson, Treo Romsads (c ), John 
Christenson, Sergeant (c). 

Sixteenth Infantry Co. E: Lewis Connelly. 

Seventeenth Infantry, Co. I: Charles W. 
Pitcher, 2d Lieutenant; Richard Anderson, 
Arthur B. Haskell. 

Eighteenth Infantry, Co. C: Calvin Mosley, 
1st Sergeant; Thomas J. Decker, Sergeant; Wil- 
liam Cox, sergeant; Samuel McMichael, cor- 
poral; Joseph Buckley, corporal; Hiram Moody, 
Bazzle Munyon, Noah Ganatt (c), Thomas 
Fretwell ( d), Robert E. Graham, C. B. Guist, 
John Parnell, Laugh 1 in Quime, Daniel Rantz, 
Benjamin F. Rantz, Charles Raymer, John J. 
Ross, Augustus Singer (c), Phillip Singer, 
Nathaniel Sheppard, (c), William H. Thomp- 
son (c), Benjamin F. Wells. Co. D, Byron 
Carey. Co. K, George Williams ( c ). 

Nineteenth Infantry, Co. C: Henry B. 
Nichols, captain. 

Twentieth Infantry, Co. F: Gabriel Olson. 

Twenty-first Infantry, Co. D: John E. Green. 

Twenty-fifth Infantry, Co. A: Jeremiah M. 
Rusk, Lieut. Col., William A. Gott, Surgeon, 
David C Hope, Lieut, and Reg. Qr. Master, John 
R. Casson, Cap't., Alex. Morrison, 4th Corp'l., 
Britton L. Gillett, Harmon Jennings, George 
T. Pidcock, Amos A. Richardson, John R. 
Rundle, Cyrus M. Butt, Cap't., William F. 
Cummings, John De Witt, James W. Gillman, 
William F. Hanchett, James H. Lane, Thomas 
H. Reed, Martin Y. B. Richards, John E. Davis, 
David C. Hope, Edward Minshall, Isaiah Fer- 
rell, (c), Serg't., William Jonas, Corp'l, (c), 
Charles Bars ton, (c), Amon Biddison, (o), 
George W. Cummings, (c), James A. Douglass, 
(c), Charles W.Delap, (c), William H. For- 
eaker, (c), Purley B. Grubb, (a), George W. 
Hope, (c), William B. H. Hunter, (c), John 

Marshall, ( c ), William Pidcock, (c), William 
C. Reed, (c), Hiram Steadman, (o), Silas H. 
Strieker, ( c ), Freeman Sutten, (c ), Philip Sil- 
bough, ( c), Ira Wisel, ( o ). 

Twenty- Seventh Infantry Co. K: Charles H. 
Raymer, 1st Lieut. 

Thirty-Fifth Infantry, Co. C: William Box- 
ley, Lemuel Lieurance, Corp'l., Frederick Lieu- 
rance, Serg't; Nathaniel Morrison, David Lieu- 
rance, Richard Pidcock, Augustus Smithy Serg't., 
Samuel Stroud, ( c ). Co. D., Joseph C. Harrison, 
Corp'l; Edward D. Brigham, Orrin Dickson, 
Jasper W. Grubb. Co. B, Daniel J. Gibson, ( c), 
Orrille Dickson, (c). Co. 0, A. F. Smith, 1st. 
Lieu't., Eren Dal ton, John W. Saubpert, Corp'l.. 
George Martin, David E. Lawton, Thaddeus 
Conklin, Joseph Hadley, Corp'l., Joseph Pan- 
nell, Burr W. Serley, Amos F. Schilling, Elisha 
Smith, Henry Salander, John H. Small, James 
Small, Edward Everett. 

Thirty- Seventh Infantry, Co. Fi William P. 

Porty-Second Infantry, Co. I: Marshall C. 

Nichols, Capt., Samuel V. Allison, Serg't., Wil- 
liam H. Burlen, Corp'l., Joseph D. Brothers, 
Corp'l., Henry H. Blodgett, Corp'l., Thomas P. 
Dewitt, Joshua Lieurance, Albert J. Rusk, Wil- 
lard W. Rusk, Oscar J. Stillwell, John Welch. 

Forty-E»ghth Infantry: M. Butt, Maj. 

Fiftieth Infantry to. B: Clay ton E. Rogers, 
Captain; James E. Newell 1st Lieut., George 
H. Burlin, John L. Groves, James W. Gillman, 
William Getter, Alexander Gorsline, Francis 
M. Haskell, Simeon A. Hicok, James Kontner, 
Hans Jesperson, James H. Johnson, John Kirk- 
patrick, Selucas C. Miller, David Miller, John 
Myers, Leonard Morley, John Slater, Abraham 
Smith, Harrison Smith, William P. Shannon, 
Ezra W. Shrive, Ebenezer S. Stretsberry, Ole 
T. Severson, J. H. Swain, Francis Southwick, 
James J. Taylor, Elijah Tilton, Edward S. Tut- 
tle, Chancy Vanduson, Nelson W. Winters, 
William B. Williams. 

Fifty- Second Infantry, Co C; Samuel Penell, 
Peter Shult. 



First Cavalry , Co. E: Jacob M. Snyder. 
Third Cavalry Co. A: James F. Palmer, 
Sergeant (e), Charles Mar 8 ton, Davis Onstat. 
Fourth Cavalry, Co. I: Alexander B. Smith. 


Sixth Infantry, Co. I: James Me McLane. 

Eighteenth Infantry, Co. C Samuel Fish, (c). 

Thirty-Fifth Infantry, Co. I): Harry M. Al- 
len, Jacob Jones. 

Forty-Second Infantry, Co I: ArmerL. Wood, 
John Wood. 

Company F: Joseph M. Ames, Oliver Brown, 
William Bryson (o). 

Forty-Third Infantry Co. F : Lewis Graham, 
Ezekiel Jackson, Thomas M. McCollough, 
Henry E. Pettet. 

Forty-fifth Infantry, Co. H: Levador 
Green, David Hancock. 


Fifth Infantry, Co. K: Charles S. Foust. 

Sixth Infantry, Co. I: Francis* A. Waller, 
1st Lieut.; L. S. Benedick (a), Albert E. Fos- 
dick, Henry A. Fosdick (c), William Lawrence, 
Corporal (a); Edward Lind, George A. Mc- 
Dill, Corporal; Andrew Milles, 1st Sergt. (a); 
Charles A. Page, Richard H. Phillips (c), Ga- 
briel A. Ruby, Daniel Remington, Robert N. 
Smith, Drum Major; William Sears (c), Francis 
A. Walker, 1st Lieut.; Samuel G. Walker, Cor- 
poral; Richard A. Warham, Corporal; Richard 
A. Warren, Corporal; John W. White. 

Eighth Infantry, Co. F: Francis Shumway(c). 

Twelfth Infantry, Co. A: William H. Ash- 
berry, Franklin Buchannan, William Pulham, 
Henry T. Roberts. 

Seventeenth Infantry: F. James Ethelbert, 
Com. Sergt. Co. J: Ethelbert F. James. 

Eighteenth Infantry, Co. C: Peters S. Camp- 
bell, Corporal; Parley Whitney. Co. K; Mel- 
vin Brayman. 

Twenty-fifth Infantry, Co. A: Warren G. 
Davis, 1st Lieut.; James H. Rogers, 3d Sergt.; 
James L. Gordan, 4th Sergt; Thomas E. Engle, 
1st Corpl.; Robert L. Ferguson, 5th Corp'l; Ed- 
win K. Loring, 8th Corp'l; Peter Jacobus, 

Charles H. Tilden, William F, O. Coard (c), 
Phillip Geiser (c), George F. Green (c), Harvey 
Sewell (c), Gillman Tenny (c). 

Twenty -seventh Infantry, <h. I: George W. 

Twenty-first Infantry r , Co. A: Thomas De- 

Forty-second Infantry, Co. B: Zeans T. 
Clark, Henry P. Kendall, Orrin D. Wilson. 

Forty-third Infantry, Co. F: Frederick 
Stode, James Voisey. 

Forty-fifth Infantry, Co. K: Charles A. 
Tenny, 4th Sergt. 

Fiftieth Infantry, Co. B: Rezin Z. Ball, 
Joseph F. Huntington, Eleazer G. Miller, Silas 
E. Phillips, George S. Sperry, Albert A. Sum- 
ner, Seymour G. Waite; Co. K: Cary H. Joh- 
lyn, Milo M. Whitney. 

town of whitbstown. 

Fifth Infantry, Go. H: Christopher Ostran- 
deo, Corp'l. 

Sixth Infantry, Co. I: Clayton E. Rogers, 
1st Lieut.; George W. Atwood (a), Elias C. 
Burdick, William L. Bodden, Franklin Els- 
worth (a), Edward Fearn, Sergt.; Chauncey A. 
Grune, 1st Sergt.; Lewis Hart, Daniel W. Nut- 
ting, Joseph Words, Isaiah Williams, Corp'l. 

Eighteenth Infantry, Go. C: William Mas- 
terton, Patrick Mooney, James McClelland (c), 
John Stokes, (c), Peter Sloggny, Capt. Co. D: 
Adolphus King, Henry J. Phelps, Joshua W. 
Sheldon. Go K: Nathan Culver. 

Twenty-first Infantry, Co. A: Hiram Bugbee. 

Twenty-fifth Infantry, Co A; Joseph Heck- 
ley, Samuel Wilkinson, Merriatt Rowe, Freder- 
ick S. Rowe. 

Forty-third Infantry, Co. K: Charles E. 
Critchitt, 2d Corp'l ; George W. Delap, Corp'l; 
Robert W. Delap, William F. Finnell. 

Forty-ninth Infantry, Co. - A: Abraham 

First Cavalry, Co. F: Lewis Clute, Francis 
Chalvin (c), Hiram J. Cronde, Charles W. Cute 
(c), Thomas Cox. 

Third Cavalry, Co. A: William Fennell. 



Fourth Cavalry, Oo. I: Joseph A. Walker, 
Milan Graham, Alonzo D. Sabine. 


Fifth Infantry, Co. H: James M. Dean; 
Co A: Henry Osgood. 

Sixth Infantry, Co. I; William S. Cashing, 
James C. Moody, John O. Moody. 

Seventh Infantry, Co. O: George Allen, 
Harrison C. Joseph, Thomas E. Joseph. 

Eighth Infantry, Co. I; John Olson (c). 

Tenth Infantry, Co. B: Albert Moses. 

Twelfth Infantry, Co. C: Charles Fish (c). 

Thirteenth Infantry, Co I: Louis Erickson. 

Fifteenth Infantry, Co. A: Tobias Ingbret- 
ser, Niets P. Olsen, Mecal Olsen, Amuud Olsen 
(c); Co. D: Jacob Nelson; Co F: Hans H. 

Ninteenth Infantry, Co. C: Judson Phelps, 
Frederick Guist, Chantey Hamar. 

Twentieth Infantry, Co A: Henry C. Thomp- 

Forty-third Infantry, Co. F: John F. Hofins, 
d Corp'l. 


When Pericles was called upon to deliver 
the oration oyer those who had fallen in the 
first campaign of the Peloponnesian war, he be- 
gan by extolling Athens ; and, having ex- 
patiated upon her glories, her institutions and 
her sciences, he concluded by exclaiming: "For 
such a republic, for such a Nation, the people 
whom we this day mourn fell and died." It is 
"for such a republic — for such a Nation" as the 
United States of America, that the people of 
the North, by thousands, "fell and died" during 
the war for the Union ; an$ to those thous- 
ands, Vernon county contributed her share. 

Vernon county's war record is of such a char- 
acter that her people may ever refer to it with 
pride and satisfaction. One of the early coun- 
ties in the State, as we have seen, to respond 
with volunteers in the hour of gravest peril, she 
never faltered during the entire struggle, weary 
and disheartening as it oft times was. Her old 
men were not wanting in counsel, nor her young 

men or middle-aged in true martial spirit. 
With a firm, unswerving faith in the righteous- 
ness of the Union cause, her citizens, with scarce 
a distinction in age or sex, were imbued with a 
determination to conquer or die rather than 
survive defeat. It was this kind of patriotism 
that bore the Union cause through defeat as 
well as victory, whenever the oft-repeated news 
was brought home of depleted and scattered 
ranks. Vernon county valor is attested upon 
every street of her hospitable villages ; upon 
her broad sections of fertile land ; and last, but 
not least, within the silent enclosures of her 
dead. It is here that, with each recurring anni- 
versary, the graves of her heroes are moistened 
with the tears of sorrow, as loving fingers be- 
deck them with beautiful flowers. 

Although there are in the preceding pages 
some facts which may remind the citizens of 
Vernon county of the deeds of those who 
fought the good fight until the end, yet without 
these records, those days of peril, of suffering, 
and of victory at last, would not be forgotten 
by the present generation ; they are too deeply 
engraved in the hearts of all. Each of the citi- 
zen-soldiers from this county who stood loyally 
by the country's standard through the war, has 
wrought his name in characters that live as mon- 
uments to the memories of men. 

Many gallant sons of Vernon, who went out 
from home to battle for the Union, with only 
the benediction of a mothers' tears and prayers, 
came back to those mothers' arms with a glo- 
rious record. Many returned having left a limb 
in the swamps of Chiokahominy ; on the banks 
of the Rapidan ; at Fredericksburg, Gettysburg 
Vicksburg, or in the Wilderness. Many still 
bear the marks of that strife which raged at 
Stone River, Iuka, Chickamauga, or on the 
heights of Lookout Mountain, whence they 
thundered down the defiance of the skies ; or 
of that strife which was waged before Atlanta, 
Savannah and in the Carolinas. 

But there were many who came not back. 
They fell by the wayside, in the prison, on the 



battlefield, or in the hospital. Their memory, 
however, is held in the most sacred keeping. 
Some sleep beside their ancestors in the village 
churchyard, where the violets on their graves 
speak not alone of womanly sweetness, but in 
tender accents of the devotion of those beneath 
the mounds of earth. All, al 1 , whether buried 
in the distant South or at home, are remembered 
as they slumber on in a peaceful, glorified rest. 
' 'Winds of Summer, Oh whisper low, 
Over the graves where the violets grow. 
Blossoming flowers and songs of bees, 
Sweet ferns tossed in the summer's breeze, 
Floating shadows and golden lights, 
Dewy mornings and radiant nights, 
All the bright and beautiful things 
That gracious and bountiful summer brings, 
Fairest and sweetest that earth can bestow, 
Brighten the graves where the violets grow." 

Many of the brave soldiers who battled for 
the Union — many, very many — "have gone 
before;" and they now wait upon the threshold 
of Paradise for the coming of those loved ones 
left behind, when they, too, shall have ex- 
changed the feeble pulses of a transitory exis- 
sence for the ceaseless throbbing of eternal life. 
Faithful and fearless, on the march, in the strife, 
at victory or defeat, they at last laid down at 
the mysterious frontier, leaving the exalted 
hope behind that, though the world was lost 
forever, there would be unfurled another realm 
of unimaginable glory, where they, and all 
whom they loved on earth, might realize the 
promise which the great Ruler of the universe 
has made to the just. 


No. of 

Name of Pensioner. 

Post-offloe ad- 

Cause for which Pensioned. 


Date of origi- 
nal allow- 


107, m 

38, 147 


Burns, Hannah 

Cummings, William T. 

Peavy, Belinda 

Soper, Darius 


MoDaniels, Samuel 

Smith, Alexander B . . . . 

Headley, James C 



Lathrop.Chapaleon B.. 
Stokke, Johannes H . . . 


Chaney, Charles H 

Markle, Jacob 

Shreve, Caleb 

Shreve, John S, 

Hyne. Tammy 

Palmer, Prisoilla B 

Barton, Anthony 

Rose.Wm. F 

Pennel, Robert 

Green, Fhebe 

White, John W 

Coffin, Peleg 

Dains, Andrew 

Rogers, James H 

Page, Charles F 

Davenport, Nelson 

Partridge, Susan L — 

dishing, Wm. 3 

Dixon, James C 

Landin, James 

Salsberry, Robert S . . . . 

Eaelus, Henry W 

Knowles, Thomas 

Dodge, Darius 

Tongue, Levi 

Sullivan, James P . 

Sohriber.Gottfred , 

Calkely, Catherine 

Crary, Milton B 

Salts, William F 





Bloomingdale . 



do . 




































varicose veins and ulcer left leg 

widow 1812 

w. 1. arm and thigh 

oh. diarrhea & dis. abd. vis. , 

loesl. leg 


w. 1. ankle, 1. hip 


widow 1812 

dis. heart , 

wd. right thigh 

w. 1. leg 


w. 1. elbow & r. arm 

chr. bronchitis 

chr. diarrhea 




chr. rheum 

chr. diarrhea 


w. nates .". 

surv. 1812 

.. .do 

injury to abdomen 

w. Lfoot 

w. 1. groin 


w. 1. leg & r. thigh 

frac. skull 

minor of 

loser, arm 

loss sight 1. eye 

chr. diarrhea 

.... do 

epilepsy , 

w. 1. shoulder, inj. to r. hand. . . 

wd.l.hip , 

widow 1812 

dis. chest 

par. deafness & dis. of eyes. 

18 00 

24 00 

10 00 


10 00 

10 00 

24 00 

12 00 

June, 1881. 
Feb. ,"1879.* 

Dee., 1882. 
June, 1882.. 

July, 1881. 
Jan., 1881. 
June, 1880.. 

Feb., 1882. 

Sept., 1880. 

March, 1882. 
Feb.. 1881 
July, 1881. 

April, 1879. 
Oct.,* 1882' 

July, 1880 

July, 1879. 
Jan., 1881. 



pensioners in vbbnon county. — Continued. 

No. of 

Name of pensioner. 

Postroffloe ad- 

Cause for which pensioned. 


Date of origi- 
nal alio wanoe. 

8ft, 008 



Seaiiea, Abraham .... 

Bailey, Jane 

Kreps, Margaret 

WebsterjLewls H. E. 

Sweete, Thomas 

Tracy, Charles H 

Welch, John 8 

B >wley f Robert 

Wattison^WiUlam A. 

»» nvuovu. tt uunui 

Greeley, Bphralm ] 
Burohni Nathan. . 

Bonn, Herman. 

Ferguson, Robert 

Lind, Charles 

Myers, Harvey F, 

Stale/ Rachel 

Cole, Herman 

Newman, Sally 

Revels, Henry , 

Strickler, Jonathan 

Bean, Dredsel H 

Pelton,BzraO ... 

G ray , ( "aroline M 

Slack, Harrison 

Peterson, Christopher. , 

Alexander, Emily 

Sherman, David B , 

Sherman, Moses L — ., 

Lampman, Isaac. , 

Stedman, Horace , 


Smith, Ruben 8 


Trwin, Jesse 

Qulnn, Laughlin 

walker, Samuel 

Boldon, Samuel T 

Roberts, Isaac W 

Glenn, Lewis B 

Gordon, James C 

Lumley, David B 

Gudgen, Ana 

Boldon, William L. 

MeVay, Allen 

Miller, Daniel 

Hart, Lewis 

Kelly, James 

Lamb, Lvdia A .... . 
Delap, Thomas L. . . 

Thompson, Shora O. . 

Greek, Wm.B 

Snyder.John W 

Strait, Wm 

Roberts. Willis J 

Lind, Elizabeth. .. 

Carter, Mary 

Starner, Elizabeth.... 
Salmon, Benjamin. .. 
Sutherland, Briggs... 

Salmon, Cutler 

Anderson, Elizabeth. 
Elmendorf, JohnF.. 

Lewis, Catherine 

Curley. George 

Poff, Charles M 

PoweD, Sarah 

Cooler, Prudia 

Fisk, Lucinda 

Glbbs, John 8 

Fourt, Charles 8 

Adams, Jesse.. 

Hurd, Jerutha A 

Sutherland, George W.. 

Bryant, Thomas F 

Bennett, Van S 

Bennett, Eliza 


. do 

. do 



. do 


. do 






. do 

. do 







.... do 

Liberty Pole.. 

. do 



Mount Tabor. 







. do 




. do 





. do., 




. do.. 



Otttervale. . . 

.... do 



.... do 

... do .. .. 

... do 

. .do 


... do 

.... do 

.... do 

.... do.... 

loss middle finger r. hand 


.. do 

ohr. diarrhea 

wd. left hip 

wd. r. shoulder 

wd . r. thigh . 

lossl. leg 

deafness both ears 

ohr. diar. & res. inj. to abd 

wd. both hands 

Inj. tor. index finger, felon 

chr. diarrhea 

wd. of face, loss 1. eye, inj. to r. eye... 

incise wd. of face 


1. side of chest 


wd. r. arm 

injury to abdomen, Ac 
inju " * 

Jury to abdomen, 
anchylosis 1. knee joint, inj. to abd.. 


wd. r. hand 

chr. diarrhea, dis. of abd. vis 


loss of great toe of 1. foot 

wd. I. hand 

dis. of heart 

wd. of back 

ohr. diarrhea 

dis. of eyes 

... do 

paralysis 1. arm 

dis. of eyes !!!*. 

surv. 1812 

loss 1. arm above elbow 

w. r. thigh 

ch. diar, resul. dis. abd'l vis 


dis. lungs, diarr., with resit, dis. of 
abdominal viscera. 

inc'sd r. foot & dis. lungs 

w. I. foot 

w. of head 

w. of 1. leg 

ch. Blight's disease 


w. f . thigh & necrosis & resulting par- 

widow , 

g. s. w. r. arm.. 

w. 1. arm 


w. r. hand, 


mother , 

ch. rheumatism, 

w. r. hand 

w. r. thigh 


surv. 1812 


dis. of eyes 

w. 1. hip 

mother , 

widow , 

dis. eyes 

w. 1. leg 

w. neck, chest. . 



inj. r. ankle., 
inj. 1. 


18 00 

18 00 

12 00 

19 00 

16 00 
7 00 

18 00 
t 600 

12 00 

24 00 

12 00 

18 00 

17 00 

12 00 

10 00 

20 00 

April, 1878. 

Jan., 1881 

Sept., 1880. 

Oct., 1880.. 
Aug., 1882. 

March, 1881. 
July, 1880. 

Aug., 1880. 

Dec., 1882. 

Nov., 1877. 
June, 1878.' 

March, 1882. 
Aug., 1882. 
June, 1881., 

July, 1878. 

Apr., 1882. 

May, 1882. 
Oct., 1880.. 

July, 1881. 












, 1878.... 











No. of 

Name of Pensioner. 

Poetroffloe ad- 

Cause for which Pensioned. 


Date of 
original al- 




Rolf, Albert H 

McDonald, David. . . 
Romsas, Karen B . . . 
Williams, George N. . 

Buchanan, Sarah 

Slocum, Abraham.... 
Graham, Lemach.. . 

Groves, Isaac N 

Driskill, Obadiah 

Sinclair, John W 

Parker, Robert 

McHenry, Elizabeth. 

Drake, Janette 

Dupee, Sarah 

Koher, Christopher.. 
Wyman, Chester A. . . 
Blanchard, Allen E. . . 

Blanchard, Job 

Snodarras8, Joseph . . . 
Critohet. Thomas.... 

Owens, Milton 

Olden, Edward 

Casson, JohnR 

Watson, Amy R 

Russell, Andrew 

Toney, Squire 

Pish, Nancy 

Waer, Robert 

Reed, Thomas 

Foster, James 

Goman, Eugene... 
Hodge. William A . 

Morley, Calvin 

Mason, Eli 

Beslin, Irwin. 

Hunter, George D. 


Kahle, Earnest 

Allen, Henry W 
Aman, George — 


Hunter, Polly 

Nicks, John D 

Chase, Henry A 

Clark. Samuel W... 
Stubbs,Thirza E .. 
Erring, Samuel R. . 

Rogers, Earl M 

Rogers, Benjamin . 


Andrews, Simon . . . 


Springy ille 











Sugar Grove 







do . 
. do. 
, do. 

, do 
, do. 

. do 
. do. 

Viroqua . 

;;*; do ..; 

.... do... 
.... do... 
.... do. . 
.... do .. 
.... do .., 
.... do ... 
.... do.. 
.... do . 
do .. 
.... do . 

... do.. 

... do.. 
.. do.. 
... do .. 
... do . . 

w. 1. foot & 1. thigh 

wd. head 



widow 181 

dis. of heart 

w. r. breast & r. arm 

injury to abdomen 

dis. of abdominal viscera 

w. 1 foot and hand 

chr. dlar 


... do 


ch. diarrhea 

wd. r. thigh 


dis. kidneys 

injury to abdomen 

lossr. leg 

dis. of eyes, total blindness 


wd. 1. hand. 


dis. of eyes 

.... do 


loss pt. r. middle finger 

ini. to abd. and digestive organs, 
fever & torpid liver. 

ch. diarr. result, dis. abd. vis 

w. r. ankle 

w. of 1. shoulder, inj . to abdomen 

injury to abdomen , 

.... do 

w. of 1. leg , 

chr. diarrhea , 

dis. of eyes and throat 

asthma, dis. of heart 

w. 1. breast 

w. 1. arm and hand 

ulcers r. leg 


dis. of lungs 

w. r. thigh 

opethalmia, dis. of eyes, inj. to abd. . 


wd.l thigh 

.... do 

w 1. knee 

injuryto abdomen 

w . r. breast 


18 00 

18 00 

72 00 

12 00 

12 00 

$10 00 

12 00 

12 00 

16 00 

17 00 

10 00 

June, 1881. 
Mar., 1878. 

July, 1882.. 
Nov., 1879. . 
Sept., 1881.. 
May, 1882... 
Sept., 1881.. 
Dec., 1881.. 

Aug., 1881. 
Apr., 1880.. 
Oct., 1880... 

Mar., 1881.. 
Mar., 1878. 
Aug., 1881. 

Mar., 1881. 

July, 1881.. 

Dec., 1880. 
May, 1880. 

Feb., 1880. 
Dec., 1882. 

Aug., 1881. 
Sept., 1882. 
April, 1881. 
June, 1878. 

April, 1880. 


Oct., 1880.. 
April, 1878. 
Dec. , 1882. 


The roll of Co. B, of the 50th regiment Wis- 
consin volunteers, on May 30, 1866, was made 
up largely of Vernon county men. It was as fol- 

Company Officer — Second lieutenant, J. W. 
Allen, Brodhead, Green county. 

Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant — SilesE. 

Phillips, De Soto, Vernon county. 
First Sergeant — L. Morley, Viroqua. 

Sergeants — E. S. Tuttle, Glen Haven, Grant 
county; H. J. Phelps, Ontario; J. Harris, New- 
ville; L. S. Daniels, Ontario. 

Corporals — P. C. Hoverton, Soldiers' Grove, 
Crawford county; F. M. Haskell, Viroqua; C. C. 
Haskell, Ontario; J. S. Gibbs, De Soto; 8. 
Turner, Newville; E. Tilton, Viroqua; E. G. 
Miller, De Soto. 

Drummer — F. Southwick, Franklin. 

Privates — George H. Burlin, Sparta, Monroe 
county; Henry Bacon, Pole Grove, Jackson 
county; R. Z. Ball, De Soto; L. Christianson, 



Springville; Michael Eckhardt, De Soto; Wil- 
liam Getter, Franklin; M. D. Holcomb, Ontario; 
Jonathan Hay, Viroqua; J. F. Huntington, De 
Soto; Torger Johnson, Coon Prairie; Albert 
Johnson, Rising Sun, Crawford county; Hans 
Jesperson, North Cape, Racine county; James 
Konlner, Viroqua; David D. Kyes, Ontario; Ole 
A. Knudson,Mt. Pisgah, Monroe county; James 
Bright, La Crosse, La Crosse county; R. J. 
Moore, La Crosse, La Crosse county; D. M. 
Moor, Ontario; J. R. Miller, De Soto; Ole H. 
Notwick, Coon Prairie; John Slay tor, Goole; 
H. Smith, Viroqua; William Shult, Viroqua; 
Jonathan H. Swain, Viroqua; £. S. Stretsbery, 
Ontario; Charles Schied, De Soto; William L. 
Tallman, PoleGrove, Jackson county; J .B. Tall- 
man, Perry Walker, Ontario. 

Commissioned Officers Resigned — Captain, C. 
E. Rogers, Jan. 4, 11*66; 1st Lieutenant, J. E. 
Newell, Feb. 3, 1866. 

Discharged— First Sergeant, C. C. Brown, 
May 3, 1865. 

Privates — H. M. Bean, May 3, 1865; J. Cum- 
raina, May 3, 1865; S. A. Hicock, May 3, 1865; 
L. D. Prentice, May 3, 1865; O. L. Severson 
May 3, 1865; B. F. Sphriever, May 3, 
1865; T. E. Taylor, May 3, 1865; C. A, 
Vandusen, May 3, 1865; J. R. Lake, May 3, 
1865; J. S. Rogers, May 27, 1865. 

Sergeants — L. H. Walker, June 15, 1865. 

Privates— W. B. Williams, June 15, 1865; 
John Knight, June 6, 1865; E. W. Threve, May 
6, 1865; E. A. Webber, May 6, 1865; S. Wait, 
July 27, 1865; A. Smith, Oct, 21, 1865; C. A. 
Green, Nov. 27, 1865; David Miller, May 27, 
1865; G. S. Sperry, May 27, 1865; J. S. Groves, 
Feb. 13, 1866; E. H.Ames, Feb. 22, 1866; P. 
Martinson, Feb. 22, 1866; A. A. Summer, Feb. 
28, 1866; H. K. Miller, Feb. 28, 1866. 

Died — H. F: Downing, May 10, 1865, Benton 
Barracks, Mo.; J O. Fox, June 9, 1865, Boone- 
ville, Mo.;P. Kyser, Aug. 2, 1865, St. Louis 

Absent sick — J. P. Davenport, Calvin Boyer, 
Seth Edson, H. J. Smith. 


Nine of the citizens of Vernon county were 
honored with commissions as captains during 
the war as follows: James Berry, C. M. Butt, 
W. N. Carter, John A. Carson, Newton M. 
Layne, Alexander Lowrie, William McMichael, 
C. E. Rogers and E. N. Rogers, the last men- 
tioned having been breveted major. 

Two Vernon county men received commis- 
sions as field officers: C. M. Butt, major, after- 
ward promoted to lieutenant-colonel, and 
Jeremiah M. Rusk, major, also promoted to 
lieutenant-colonel; but subsequently brevetted 
colonel and brigadier-general. 

Gen. Jeremiah M. Rusk was born in Morgan 
Co., Ohio, June 17, 1830; removed to Wisconsin 
and settled in Bad Ax (now Vernon) county in 
1853; held several county offices; was a member 
of the Assembly in 1862; was commissioned 
major of the 25th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry 
in July, 1862; was soon after promoted to the 
lieutenant-colonelcy. Served with Gen. Sher- 
man from the siege of Vicksburg until mustered 
out at the close of the war, and was breveted 
colonel and brigadier-general for bravery at 
the battle of Salkehatchie; was elected bank 
comptroller of Wisconsin for 1866 and 1867, 
and re-elected for 1868-9; represented the sixth 
congressional district in the 42d Congress, and 
the seventh district in the 43d and 44th Con- 
gress; was chairman of the committee on 
invalid pensions in the 43d Congress ; was a 
member of the congressional republican com- 
mittee for several years; was a delegate to the 
National Republican Convention at Chicago, in 
1880; was appointed by President Garfield and 
confirmed by the Senate, as Minister to Paraguay 
and Uruguay, which appointment he declined; 
was also tendered by President Garfield the 
mission to Denmark and the position of chief of 
the bureau of engraving and printing, both of 
which he declined; was elected governor at the 



annual election in 1881, as a republican, receiving 
81,754 votes against 69,797 for N. D. Fratt, demo- 
crat,and 13,225 votes for T. D. Kanonse, prohibi- 
tionist, and 7,002 for E. P. Allis, greenbacker. 

[From Vernon oounty papers.] 

1861, May 15. At a meeting of enrolled 
volunteers at De Soto, T. C. Ankeny was 
called to the chair, when the following resolu- 
tions were adopted: 

"fie$olved> That we unite with the enrolled 
volunteers of Bad Ax county to form a com- 
pany for active service. 

"Itesolved, That, for the purpose of organiz- 
ing said company a meeting be called at the 
residence of C. G. Allen, in the town of Ster- 
ling, at 12 o'clock M., on Saturday, the 18tb 
inst., and invite all volunteers of this county to 
meet us on that day to elect officers " 

May 18. A meeting was held at Debello for 
the purpose of enrolling volunteers for active 
service to join a company started at Hillsbor- 
ough a short time since; about 800 were 
present. The United States Hag was raised 
amidst the greatest enthusiasm. 

The meeting was called to order by Rev. E. 
Smith. On motion, T. B. Brown was chosen 
chairman and U Gregory secretary. Speeches 
were made by Messrs. Smith, Johnson, of 
Hillsborough: Daniels, of Wonewoc; O'Rourke, 
of Glendale, and Baker of Plymouth. After 
the speaking, a call was made for volunteers, 
and seven enrolled their names. The company 
now numbers seventy, ten of whom are from 
the town of Greenwood. 

June 26. The Anderson Guards who paid 
Viroqua a visit on Friday and Saturday last, are 
a fine body of energetic, wide-awake men. 
Capt. L. Johnson is a man who is full of mili- 
tary zeal; has done good service in Mexico, and 
wore, while here, a Mexican military jacket, 
with pure silver buttons, which he took from 
a Mexican whom he shot while in the act of 
robbing him (the Captain), while be lay on the 
field of battle wounded. 

They (the Anderson Guards), added twenty- 
six recruits to their number from Viroqua and 
vicinity. They had a fine band, consisting of 
three brass instruments and a drum and fife 
with them. The Guard will be mustered into 
the service of Uncle Samuel at this place (Viro- 
qua), on Monday next. 

July 3. The Bad Ax county volunteers, "The 
Anderson Rifles," arrived here (Viroqua), on 
Sunday evening, having been brought in from 
Hazen's by teams from Viroqua, with the assist- 
ance of teams that came from the eastern part of 
the county, where most of the company reside. D. 
H. Johnson, Esq., and Dr. McKinney were here 
(Viroqua) before them for the purposes of 
swearing them in and making the necessary 
physical examination. 

Some were too old, some too young, or could 
not get consent of parents; some were unsound, 
but ninety-three or four were put on the roll. 
We believe that before they leave the county 
their ranks will be full. Leonard Johnson is 
captain, and Messrs. Baker and Johnson first 
and second lieutenants. Among the non-com- 
missioned officers we noticed J. E. Newell, Jr., 
and Henry Osgood. 

The people fropi Viroqua and vicinity fur- 
nished teams to carry them to the Mississippi 
river, at Bad Ax City, and they were to take 
a steamer to Prairie du Chien and thence by 
rail to Camp Randall at Madison. Two out of 
three of our (the Northwestern Times') type set- 
ters are members of the company— John L. 
Somerby and William E. Minshall; also a 
former apprentice, J. W. Longmire, and a 
dozen or two of our subscribers. 

September 11. The volunteers from this (Bad 
Ax) county, headed by Capt. James Berry of 
the Home Guards, arrived safely at Prairie du 
Chien, where Capt. Berry was elected second 
lieutenant of the Crawford county company that 
our boys have united with, and the company 
has gone on to Madison. 

September 25. Lieut. Berry was in town (Vi- 
roqua) Sunday one week ago, and on Monday 




i *• 





the following sons of Bad Ax county went with 
him to join Capt. Green's Crawford county vol- 
unteers — thev are all good and true men :- Wil- 
liam Burns, William Stevenson, Wilson Pitcher, 
Michael Sallander, William Sal lander, Henry 
W.Allen,. George M. Drum, James S. Groves, 
S. M. Cummings, and McDowell Groves. George 
Nichols, one of the first squad that joined Capt. 
Greene, left here (Viroqua) on Sunday, after a 
short stay with his family, full of devotion to 
the cause of liberty. 

November 13. A most energetic movement 
is now on foot to raise a new company of volun- 
teers. Men of indomitable perseverance are 
active at the work. A liberal fund has been 
already donated by the citizens of this place 
(Viroqua). The members of the county board 
now in session here, have formed themselves 
into a committee to give assistance in their re- 
spective towns. Any one who wishes to volun- 
teer, can go into quarters in this place immedi- 

November 20. Now is the time to enlist. The 
Bax Ax county board, who have just adjourned, 
have passed an order to pay to all children 
of volunteers under twelve years of age $1 a 
month. This added to the $100 bounty and 
$13 a month from the United States, and $5 a 
month from the State to the wife of each volun- 
teer, makes the pay of the Union soldier ample 
whether he has a family or not. 

December 18. Poetry: 


The maid who binds her warrior's sash, 

With smile that well her pain dissembles, 
The while beneath her drooping lash, 

One starry tear-drop hangs and trembles ; 
Tho' heaven alone records the tear, 

And fame shall never know her story — 
Her heart has shed a drop as dear, 

As ever dewed the field of glory. 

The wife who girds her husband's sword, 

'Mid little ones who weep and wonder, 
And bravely speaks the cheering word 

What though her heart be rent asunder — 
Doomed nightlv in her dreams, to hear 

The bolts of war around him rattle, 
Has shed as sacred blood as e'er 

Was poured upon the plain of battle ! 

The mother who conceals her grief, 

While to her breast her son she presses, 
Then breathes a few brave words and brief, 

Kisses the patriot brow she blesses ; 
With no one but her secret God 

To know the pain that weighs upon her— 
Sheds holy blood as ere the sod 

Received on Freedom's field of honor. 

December SJ5. We (The Northwestern Times) 
publish this day the muster roll of the Bad Ax 
Tigers as it now stands. Some who enlisted 
have backed out, and a number of new ones have 
been added. It is to be hoped that no member 
whose name is now on the revised list will show 
the white feather. The company now numbers 
116 hardy men, whose average weight runs up 
to 1 67 pounds. This we believe is the heaviest 
company yet raised in this part of the country. 

1862 — January 15. Last Friday morning the 
company of Capt. Layne. (the "Bad Ax 
Tigers"), took its departure for Milwaukee 
(from Viroqua). The morning was very severe, 
but, notwithstanding that, the boys seemed 
anxious to test the breeze and face the storm. 
Quite early in the morning some fifty women — 
wives, sweethearts and children — thronged the 
North Star, to bid farewell to those they loved; 
and with some of them, a farewell forever. 

We were here and there among the assembled 
crowd and frequently witnessed scenes — sad 
scenes, but endearing — that portrayed the gen- 
erous and noble feelings of mature manhood, 
in parting with the partners with whom they 
had traveled through the sunshine and shade 
of life's rough road. We witnessed the meet- 
ing and the parting of loving hearts, throbbing 
with youthful vigor and ardent attachments; 
young men, impetuous in their desire to wipe 
out the accursed stain put upon our National 
banner by the hand of treason, and young 
female hearts swell with patriotic pride to see 
those whom they love so dearly and so well, 
eager to 

4 'Strike for their altars and their fires, 
God and their native land. " 





Viroqua, Bad Ax County, Wisconsin, j 
January 23, 1862. 

I, James Lowrie, county treasurer, hereby 
certify that I will discharge all costs that may 
accrue on the tax of 1861, on all lands belong- 
ing to any person who may enlist in the service 
of the United States, in the 1st regiment of 
Wisconsin Cavalry, until such times as they 
receive their first payment for such service per- 
formed, if it is not longer than three months 
from this date ; and provided further, that the 
person enlisting shall furnish me a list of lands. 

Jambs LowpiE, 
County Treasurer. 

February 19. Lieut. T. C. Ankeny started 
on Monday morning for camp at Kenosha, with 
the following recruits for Col. Daniel's 1st 
Wisconsin Cavalry. They went off in good 
spirits : Orin Wisel, D. A. Davis, Charles K. 
Chaney, A. W. Partridge, Samuel Hutchins, 
Henry Turner, Wallace Winn, John Seward, 
John L. Adams, Benjamin H. Rogers, William 
Davenport, James W. Curtis, Aaron Cooley, 
Purley Newton, Jonathan Willard, Napoleon 
B. Sterling, George Davenport, Thomas Turner, 
Thomas C. Rutter, Daniel Lawrence, Everett 
Van Vlack, Leland Brown, George W. Hancock, 
Jr., and Daniel Frohawk. 

Camp Trowbridge, Milwaukee, 
February 18, 1862. 
* * * It is reported by some of the boys 
recently returned from Bad Ax, that Caleb 
Ellis, Esq., offers 120 acres of good prairie land 
to the person from Bad Ax county who kills 
Jeff Davis; I wish to say to him that the boys 
appreciate the patriotism that prompted the 
offer, and while kindly thanking him for its ex- 
pression, would say that no reward of a pecun- 
iary nature can increase their desire to do their 
whole duty. He may rest assured that the 
boys will endeavor to merit the approval of 
their friends at home* Q, 

July 2. Mr. Aaron Cooley, of the town of 
Freeman, Crawford Co., Wis., died June 9, aged 
sixty years. Mr. Cooley was a member of the 
18th Wisconsin, company C, ( u Bad Ax Tigers") 
and was in the battle of Shiloh. His exposure 
in connection with that dreadful engagement 
brought on the disease of which he died. 

August 27. Gone to La Crosse. The com- 
pany lately recruited in this county (afterward 
known as company A, 25th Wisconsin), went 
to La Crosse on Monday, 1 30 strong. The com- 
pany consists of as noble a set of men as ever 
went to war. 

September 1 7. Twenty-fifth Regiment. This 
regiment is expected to leave La Crosse to- 
morrow. They are as fine, muscular and good- 
looking a body of men as has left for the war. 
This county has furnished about 130 men for 
the regiment, 101 of whom are in Capt. Berry's 
Company, (A). The Vernon county patriots 
are not surpassed by any company in the regi- 

We find the following interesting statement 
in the La Crosse Democrat: 

"Maj. J. M. Rusk was born in Deerfield, 
Morgan Co., Ohio, in 1830. In 1853 he came to 
Wisconsin, located at Viroqua, Bad Ax county, 
since which time he has mostly been engaged 
in hotel keeping. In 1854 he was elected sher- 
iff, and has filled that office or been under 
sheriff ever since till the fall of 1861, when he 
was elected to the State Assembly by a large 
majority. In July, 1862, he was appointed 
major of the 25th regiment, and at once entered 
upon the duties of his new position. Be leaves 
a wife and children at Viroqua. Maj. Rusk is 
large enough for any office within the gift of 
the administration, weighing 230 pounds with 
great ease. He is social and true to a friend, 
and bids fair to make as popular an officer as is 
in the service." 

September 24. One week ago yesterday Capt. 
Berry, of Company A, Vernon county patriots, 
(25th Wisconsin), committed matrimony, by 



taking to himself the daughter of our respected 
citizen, William Spencer, for life. May happi- 
ness be their portion. 

1st Lieut. C. A. Hunt and twenty-two men 
of the Adams county company, (a part of the 
25th Wisconsin), were recruited in this (Ver- 
non) county, mostly among the Norwegians. 

Oct. 29. Immediately after the departure of 
Capt. Berry's company, the ladies of New 
Brooksville and vicinity called a meeting for 
the purpose of organizing a Soldiers 9 Aid Society, 
and Mrs. S. Minerva Layne was chosen presi- 
dent; Mrs. Eleanor Williams, secretary; and 
other officers were elected. The following con- 
tributions have been made at the various meet- 
ings: 14 sheets, 33 pillow cases, 15 pillow ticks, 

1 bed tick, 12 new shirts, 5 new pair drawers, 
25 towels, 45 handkerchiefs, 20 splint bandages, 

2 pounds lint, 32 pads, 175 bandages, 2 cans of 
honey, 2 cans pie plant, 2 cans tomato butter, 1 
can plum preserves, 10 pounds dried fruit, 1 

pound sage, and 2 boxes grated horseradish, 
besides numerous books and illustrated papers. 

March 4, 1 863. J. L. Somerby, Co. I, of the 
6th Wisconsin, has returned to Viroqua in good 
health, although he was twice wounded at the 
battle of Gainesville. He is still hoarse from 
the effects of a secret bullet sent through his 
neck from a Texan rifle. 

August 5. Capt. N. M. Layne, Co. C, of the 
18th Wisconsin, arrived home very much 
reduced by protracted illness. The seats were 
removed in the stage, and a bed prepared by 
James Morton, and he came through from 
Sparta in a day, without injury. Deputy Pro- 
vost Marshal Poland and Mr. Thomas Decker, 
who is a member of the captain's company, and 
who arrived at home three or four days before 
him, made him a call a few days since, and 
found him in good spirits and improving. 
What a world of murder, wounds, sickness and 
sorrow the villainous leaders of this causeless 
rebellion will have to answer for. 




When I landed at Prairie du Chien on the 
17th day of June, 1845, 1 looked up north over 
the country that now contains the counties of 
Crawford, Vernon, Monroe, La Crosse, Jackson, 
Clark, Dunn, Pepin, Eau Claire, Buffalo, Bar- 
ron, St. Croix, Polk, Price, Burnett, Wash- 
burn, Ashland, Bayfield and Chippewa, only 
two of which, Crawford and Chippewa, had 
existence. The cities of La Crosse, Eau Claire, 
Hudson, Chippewa Falls, St. Paul and Minne- 
apolis, were not. The years in which their ex- 
istence was to commence had not come around. 
The spring before, 1844, as I stood on the deck 

of a steamer at St. Louis, that was taking on 
passengers and cargo for a trip up the Missis- 
sippi river, I noticed, fixed around on the bow of 
the boat, painted signs bearing the names of 
Nauvoo, Keokuk, Dubuque, Prairie La Crosse, 
Reeds' Landing and St. Peters, denoting that 
the boat was to touch at those points. These 
were about all the cities there were at that time 
between St. Louis and St. Peters, the head of 
navigation, or supposed to be then, on the Father 
of Waters. While the name of St. Peters has 
been lost sight of as a "local habitation," and 
Prairie La Crosse has been changed to poetic La 
Crosse, we have at the head of navigation on the 



Mississippi, the two magnificent cities, St. Paul 
and Minneapolis, containing together, a popula- 
tion of 150,000 souls, and each haying a reputa- 
tion that is as wide as the commercial world. 

In 1845, when the wintry winds came whist- 
ling down from the shores of Lake Superior, the 
great inland sea whose wide stretch of waters 
were there hardly looked on by the eye of the 
white man, they swept over immense and unex- 
plored forests of pine and hard wood timber, 
unvex'd by the woodman's ax, and the table- 
lands, the valleys and the patches of prairie that 
are now full of human habitations and of life, 
lay in silence awaiting the coming of the hardy 
pioneer. True, on the Chippewa, the Black, 
the Red Cedar and the St. Croix, there were a 
few small saw mills running single saws, and a 
few woodmen engaged in cutting logs for the 
mills, and this is all there was to break the si- 
lence from the mouth, of the Wisconsin river to 
the shores of Lake Superior. 

In 1855, two years after my settlement in Bad 
Ax county, when the census was taken, Craw- 
ford county had a population of 3,323; Bad Ax 
county, 4,823; La Crosse county, 3,904; Monroe 
county, 2,407; St. Croix county, 2,040; Trem- 
pealeau county, 493; Buffalo county, 832; Chip- 
pewa county, 838. The other counties of north- 
western Wisconsin were not then in existence. 
The whole population that was scattered from 
the Wisconsin river to Lake Superior, even so 
late as in 1855, was but 18,660. Probably ten 
years before, in 1845, when I landed at Prairie 
du Chien, the population did not exceed 1,000 
souls in all northwestern Wisconsin. 

In 1851 the counties of Bad Ax and La Crosse 
were organized from portions of the territory of 
Crawford. In what manner Bad Ax county got 
its name, no one seemed to know. The oldest 
settlers did not know. Even the late Judge 
Wiram Knowlton, of Prairie du Chien, who was 
quite an archaeologist did not know. There 
were various theories on the matter. Some con- 
tended that the name was a corruption of the 
French word bateaux; that some French trader 

loaded bateaux with goods to trade to the In- 
dians for furs, and that he anchored his boats 
at the mouth of the Bad Ax river, and estab- 
lished a trading post there; that the Indians 
could not say bateaux; that the nearest they 
could come to the pronunciation of the word, 
was badax, and that thus the name of Bad Ax 
got fastened on the river, and the river gave the 
name to the county. I do not know how cor- 
rect this theory may be, one thing is certain, the 
waters of that river have ever been cool, clear 
and sparkling, and bright, and the trout that 
darted through its crystal waters, very large, 
lively fellows, and of superior flavor. That 
stream deserves a better name. Another theory 
of the older settlers was, that in the long, long 
ago, when Prairie du Chien was nothing but a 
French trading post, a trader loaded his bateaux 
with goods of various kinds to trade to the In- 
dians for furs; that he, too, moored his boats 
near the mouth of the Bad Ax, and that he had, 
among other articles, a large quantity of axes 
which he traded off to the Indians; that the axes 
all proved to be bad, worthless, and that the 
trader and the river near whose mouth he 
traded, got the name of Bad Ax> and the lattei 
gave the name to the county. These traditions 
will probably soon be lost, and the origin of the 
name will be concealed in eternal mystery. 

But whatever may have been the origin of 
the name, it was from the first a blight to the 
county, although the old pioneers seemed to be 
a long while in learning the fact. What has 
even been a source of wonder to me, is, that the 
Legislature of the State ever gave such a name 
to the county, but after it was done, successive 
Legislatures seemed to take delight in making 
fun of it, and of its inhabitants. For many 
years the Legislature held annually, what was 
called a "Session of the Sovereigns," the whole 
thing being a huge burlesque, and in those 
sessions, in one form or another, Bad Ax would 
be wrung in. On such occasions, the "Gentle- 
man from Bad AcU" would figure conspicu- 



It is a fact that letters came to the postoffioe in 
Viroqua with the figures of broken, bruised, bat- 
tered, bent and twisted axes preoeding the word 
county, thus by caricature indicating the county 
in which Viroqua was located. Soon after I 
settled in Viroqua, I saw enough to convince 
me that the name was. retarding the settlement 
of the county. Still, many of the old pioneers 
seemed to like the name, and were satisfied with 
it. There were those who thought the very 
oddity of the name would attract settlers. In 
> 1859 I made a move towards getting the name 
changed. I drew up a petition to the Legisla- 
ture, leaving a blank for the new name, as I 
had no particular choice, but would have been 
satisfied with any^ good name that would be ac- 
ceptable to the people of the county. I pre- 
sented the petition to many of the old settlers, 
not so much for the purpose of getting their 
names to it, as for the purpose of getting an 
expression of opinion on the expediency of hav- 
ing the name changed. I saw from the manner 
in which my petition was received, that the 
time for getting the name changed had not 
then come. There were those who said they 
would ride through the county to get signatures 
to remonstrances against changing the name if 
I pressed my petition. I did not press my peti- 
tion, for I felt assured the changing of the 
name was only a question of time. There were 
young people growing up all around to whose 
ears the name Bad Ax sounded uncouth, and I 
knew the sturdy pioneer would have to bend to 
"young America." The change came, however, 
a little sooner than I expected, for in 1861 Judge 
Terhune came into my office one day with a pe- 
tition to the Legislature, asking that the name 
be changed to Vernon, and with a bill that he 
had drawn making the change. The bill was well 
and carefully drawn, and bill and petition were 
sent to Gov. Rusk, who then represented one of 
the Assembly districts in Bad Ax county, in the 
Legislature. He at once introduced the bill, it 
was soon passed, approved and became a law, 
and the name Bad Ax went into— not oblivion, 

unfortunately, but "into the flood of things that 
are past" — at least so far as applicable to the 
county. But there was even then too much bad 
ax in the county ; there was Bad Ax City (now 
Genoa), Bad Ax postoffice (now Liberty Pole), 
and the Bax Ax river. All have passed away 
but the river, and let that remain, it is a roman- 
tic remembrancer of the past. 

In 1853 the population of the county was 
small and scattering. To the north of the vil- 
lage [Viroqua] I believe no house was visible 
until the hollow near what is, or used to be, 
known as the Mead school house. In this hol- 
low were two small log cabins occupied by Nor- 
wegians. What became of the Norwegians I do 
not know. The next house was occupied by Oli- 
ver Langdon. It was on the farm owned by the 
late merchant Goodell. Langdon moved to the 
southern part of Crawford county many years 
ago. He was one of the justices of the county 
in the early days. In the extreme north of 
Coon prairie Peter La Mdis and George Smith 
had opened farms. These two old pioneers left 
the county many years ago, Smith going to Kan- 
sas and La Mois moving down into Crawford 
county. Then ten miles north from Viroqua, 
was the hospitable cabin of the late Ingebregt 
Homestead. On cold, blustering wintry eve- 
nings, any belated traveler that came near his 
humble home would see a bright light of wel- 
oome shining in all the windows. Homestead 
was, in every sense of the word, a model pio- 
neer. Six miles further north, and just in the 
edge of Monroe county, although there was no 
Monroe county then, Jonathan Hazen had es- 
tablished himself. Hazen's father was one of the 
pioneers of Crawford county, and when the 
country between Viroqua and Sparta became 
too thickly settled to suit Jonathan's tastes, with 
true pioneer instincts,he pulled up his stakes and 
moved farther west. East of Viroqua one half 
mile was the farm of Thomas Gillett, Sr., 
familiarly called "Father Gillett." There was 
no other settler in that direction except James 
Foster and William Reed, until the woods bor- 



dering the west Kickapoo was reached. Old 
father Gillett was a marked character. West of 
the village Ananias Smith was laying the 
foundations for those large farming operations 
he afterwards carried on so successfully. 

There were no other settlers in that direction 
until the immediate vicinity of Springville was 
reached. Here the late John Graham, an imi- 
grant from Indiana, had located and built a 
flouring mill, and the late Hon. James A. Savage 
was keeping a dry goods store. South of Viro- 
qua were Nicholas Vought, Ashley Ensign, 
Judge De Frees and Henry Seifert. Beside 
these I think there were no other settlers until 
Liberty Pole was reached. 

Almost all pioneers, in whatever direction 
their lot may be cast, whether north or south, 
east or west, are marked characters. It will be 
difficult to do full justice to such old pioneers 
as Father Gillett, who for years saw the sun 
rise, circle over and set beyond Round Prairie 
when it lay in primeval beauty, waiting for 
other hardy pioneers to come and take posses- 
sion of it; to the Rev. James A. Cooke, whose 
great sympathizing heart went out in the full- 
ness of love to everybody; to the saintly Dea- 
con Patterson, who, in the purity of his life, 
made the whole valley of the Bad Ax lovely be- 
cause his home was in it; to the venerable 
Father Nichols,whose pilgrimage extended over 
four score years; whose hands dispensed bless* 
ings; whose voice spoke continual benedictions; 
whom none knew but to love and none loved 
but to praise; to Samuel McMichael, of Spring- 
ville, a bold, out-spoken, uncompromising pat- 
riot, who was among the first of the Vernon 
county hosts to enlist, and who went into the 
bloody battle of Shiloh, unflinchingly, only to 
be taken prisoner by the rebels and to languish 
and die a patriot's death in a rebel prison. But 
I cannot name — I wish I could— nor even allude 
to all the pioneers of much maligned Bad Ax 
county, but now glorious old Vernon county. 
A large proportion of them have fought 
life's battle, laid off the armor and fallen 

"asleep with the fathers." Many died and are 
buried in the county whose foundations of 
future prosperity they helped to lay; many 
moved away and died in other counties and 
States and some still live either in Vernon or 

In 1853 there were but three towns in the 
county — Viroqua, then known as the town of 
Farwell, in honor of Gov. Farwell; Jefferson 
and the town of Franklin, then called the town 
of Bad Ax. From these three all the other 
towns that now compose the county have been • 
organized. There were at that early day many 
prominent men in the county. There were 
Griggs, Lawrence and Higgins in the southern 
part; W. S. Purdy' in the southwestern part; 
Berry and Ira Stevens at Victory; Savage, Sud- 
derth, Spencer and Cale in Springville and vi- 
cinity: Homestead and Ole A. Running in the 
northern part and H. C. Sayres on the Missis- 
sippi, in what is now the town of Genoa. At 
Readstown there were Orrin Wisel and William 
H. Austin. 

The late Hon. Andrew Briggs was supervisor 
of the town of Bad Ax; Edmond Strang of the 
town of Jefferson, and, I think, Oliver Langdon 
was the supervisor for the town of Viroqua, or 
Farwell, rather,as it was then called. Those three 
gentlemen constituted the county board of 
supervisors, and the late Hon. William C. Mc- 
Michael was the clerk. 

None of these men are now alive, unless it be 
Strang and Langdon; but, living or dead, this 
may be said of that county board and of its p 
clerk, in all their official acts: They worked 
for the best interests of the county; they all had 
faith in the future, that the county had a pros- 
perous and influential future before it, and they 
shaped their legislation accordingly. Indeed, it 
was one of the strong arguments of the men who 
opposed the changing of the name of the county, 
that it was so favored with rich soil, fine prairies, 
splendid timber lands, wholesome waters and 
quarries of stone, that let the name of the 
county be what it might, it was destined to be a 



populous, rich, intelligent, influential and 
strong county in the State in the near future. 
And the faith of the old pioneers was well 
founded. Vernon was somewhat late, perhaps, 
in ooming to the front, but when she came, she 
came to stay. Like every other newly settled 
portion of the country, she has had at various 
times within her borders some exceedingly hard 
cases. Her soil has been stained with blood 
shed by murderous hands, and private property 
has been at times at the mercy of thieves and 
robbers. But, undoubtedly, during all the 
years of her existence, she has maintained as 
healthy a tone of public and private morals as 
any other county or community of the same age. 
Surely, considering her years, she can boast as 
many churches and schools, as many pleasant 
hearthstones and strong young men and lovable 
young women as any of her sister counties in 
northwestern Wisconsin. 

In 1855-6 I was assessor and collector of 
taxes for the town of Viroqua, with the excep- 
tion of the new town of Hillsboro, which 
embraced the two townships east of the meri- 
dian line. The town of Viroqua embraced all 
the territory of the northeastern part of the 
county, including the present town of Chris- 
tiana. In the winter when I was collecting 
taxes, it was hard to tell which were most 
proprietors, white people, Indians, or bear 
and deer. I certainly had many dreary 
walks through the forests, where are now the 
towns of Webster, Whitestown, Clinton, For- 
rest, etc. The humble log cabins of the early 
settlers were very few and very far between, and 
considered myself very fortunate in being near 
some pioneer cabin when night overtook me. It 
will not be amiss, perhaps, for me to relate one 
little incident that transpired while I was per- 
forming the duties of assessor and collector. 
I was assessing the property of an honest Nor- 
wegian farmer, in the north part of what 
is now Christiana, and in assessing his 
personal property he told me, as I understood 
him, that he had eighty head of sheep. I won- 

dered where in creation he could keep so many 
sheep, and I asked him several times about 
them, but I understood him every time to give 
the number as eighty. So I assessed him eighty 
sheep. In the winter when I went to him to col- 
lect his tax,he thought it was very high,so he Sent 
for a neighbor who could talk good English to 
come in and see how it happened that his tax 
was so high. The neighbor came, and wanted 
me to read over the man's assessment, and I 
read it over, and everything was satisfactory 
until I came to the sheep, then I learned that it 
was eight sheep he had instead of eighty. 

For eighteen years I watched the growth 
and development of the county, from its chry- 
salis state in 1853, until it had broadened out 
into an influental county in 1877, commanding 
the respect of the other counties in the State. 
It will be well to notice a few things that trans- 
pired during that period of time, and that 
materially aided the county in its social, moral 
and intellectual development. 

And the first that I will notice is a great 
debate that occurred in the winter of 1854, that 
not only called out all the home talent, but 
called in several speakers from outside the 
county. The subject of debate was the teach- 
ings of the Bible on the question of human 
slavery. I cannot tell now how the debate origi- 
nated, further than that it grew out of a sermon 
preached, or a lecture delivered, by the Rev Ira 
Wilcox, who, I believe, still lives, enjoying a 
venerable old age. He was in active service 
there as a Wesleyan minister, and was a strong 
anti-slavery man. Who it was that first took 
the position that the Bible justified African 
slavery as it existed in the southern States, and 
maintained it in a public address in reply to 
Mr. Wilcox, I do not now remember; but it was 
done by some one. This called out a reply, 
either from Mr. Wilcox or his son-in-law, «the 
Rev. Aaron Cooley, and the result was a debate 
that extended through several weeks. I recol- 
lect very well of Judge Terhune, Cyrus F. Gil- 
lett, R. P. Gillett, Rev. Daniel Parkinson, 



George McCormick, H. W. MoAuley, Revs. Ira 
Wilcox and Aaron Cooley, of the county, speak- 
ing in the debate, and I remember that I spoke 
once myself. There was also a gentleman who 
came down from Monroe county by the name of 
Rathburn, and who was, I believe, at that time 
the county judge of Monroe county, to speak in 
the debate, and one or two other gentlemen 
whose names I have forgotten, likewise where 
they came from, participated in the discussion. 
The debate was held in the old log court house, 
which was filled night after night to its utmost 
capacity with eager listeners, who came from 
far and near. Probably such a debate would 
not create much excitement in Vernon county 
now, but then it was something new to have such 
a debate there; it was the topic of conversation 
by the fireside, in the workshop and on the 
streets. People came from Springville, from 
Liberty Pole, and from the Kickapoo woods 
to listen. It was the first time that a 
subject had arisen that called out such a univer- 
sal expression of opinion, and it made the peo- 
ple acquainted with the scope of home talent in 
debate. In this respect it set the people for- 
ward. I shall be pardoned for relating one in- 
cident that transpired during the progress of 
the discussion. 

Capt. O. C. Smith, then a resident of the 
county, but now a citizen of Dodge ville, was at 
the first a strong anti-slavery man. He was 
raised in southern Ohio, and so near the line of 
the "underground railroad" that every fibre was 
imbued with hatred of slavery. But in the 
course of the discussion he became converted to 
the doctrine that the Bible justified slavery, and 
he proposed to maintain his views with a speech. 
So he came in one evening with a large Bible 
under his arm, and when the meeting was called 
to order, he ascended the platform that was 
"desk" for the school teacher, "pulpit" for the 
clergyman and "bench" for the court, and pre- 
faced his argument by reading this extract from 
Job: "I am young, and ye are very old; where- 
fore I was afraid, and durst not show you my 

opinion. I said, days should speak, and multi- 
tude of years should teach wisdom. But there 
is a spirit in man, and the inspiration of the Al- 
mighty giveth them understanding. Great men 
are not always wise; neither do the aged under- 
stand judgment; therefore, I said, hearken to 
me; I also will show my opinion. Behold, I 
waited for your words; I gave ear to your rea- 
sons, whilst ye searched out what to say. Yea, 
I attended unto you, and, behold, there was 
none of you that convinced Job, or that consid- 
ered his words." And applying the quotation 
from the Bible to those who had maintained in 
debate that the Bible did not sanction human 
slavery, he went on and made a strong argu- 
ment that it did. Whether the captain was 
really convinced as he pretended to be, or not, 
I cannot say. 

Another thing I will mention was the estab- 
lishment of a newspaper in the county. Al- 
though the Western Times did not do much 
towards leading public opinion, and did less 
towards forming it, still the columns of the 
Times afforded the people an opportunity to ex- 
press publicly their opinion on the current 
topics of the day, if they desired to do so, and 
it gave local tradesmen and mechanics a chance 
to advertise their wares and their trades. By 
means of the exchanges in the printing office, 
Bad Ax county was brought into connection 
with the rest of the world. The editor, as a 
general thing, made a judicious selection from 
other papers of articles for his, and the Western 
Times became quite a factor in the work of ed- 
ucating, bringing together and assimilating the 
pioneers of the county. It had a tendency to 
make the settlers one people. When they be- 
gan to assimilate they began to improve, morally* 
socially and intellectually. 

Another event that greatly aided in the de- 
velopment of the county was the organization 
of the county agricultural society. I look upon 
the county agricultural society as one of the 
great educators of the day. It gives the farm- 
ers and mechanics and tradesmen, their wives, 



sons and daughters, an opportunity to come to- 
gether and exhibit with just pride, the products 
of their fields, warehouses and shops, their gar- 
dens, looms and spinning wheels and needles. 
It is not easy to measure the extent of the in- 
fluence for good that the winning of a premium 
at such an exhibition has. We may not feel 
that influence, but it is potent in some breast. 
To the honor of Vernon county be it said that 
she has not failed to hold an exhibition every 
year since the society was organized. For a 
few years when the society was weak, it was a 
burden to some to carry it along. But the 
right men had hold of it and clung to it, and 
knowing the great advantage to the county it 
would ultimately prove to be, when of sufficient 
age and vigor to go alone, th c y never faltered. 
Charles Waters, Capt. Cade, Ananias Smith, J. 
A. Somerby, Ralph Hall, F. K. Van Wagoner, 
Alson Keeler and others whose names might 
be mentioned, carried it along till the time 
came around when it did not have to struggle 
for existence. 

Another event that put Vernon county a long 
step forward was the elevation of George Oale 
to the bench as judge of the sixth circuit. There 
were dignity, sobriety, legal knowledge and 
learning all combined in the judge. 

The old lawyers who had been admitted to 
the bar by courtesy, because they had been or 
were justices of the peace, gradually disap- 
peared. The people knew full well that the 
public safety — the protection of life, of prop 
erty, and all the rights that grow out of the 
domestic relations— rests securely only in the 
prompt, impartial, yet stern administration of 
the laws of the land, and universal satisfaction 
followed the election of George Gale. Since 
his time the sixth circuit has had a superior 
class of judges in the persons of Flint, Bunn 
and Newman. 

But Vernon county lifted itself up to a very 
high position in the sight of the world when 
she gave her stalwart men so freely to the 
Nation in defense of its unity against the 

assaults of rebels and traitors. The county was 
intensely radical in its devotion to the Union. 
She hnd been for some years growing up to a 
very high standard. There are some yet living 
in Viroqua who will recall the time and place, 
and remember with what zeal a large majority 
of the people united one night in burning in 
effigy Stephen A. Douglas, on the repeal of the 
Missouri compromise. Staid, sober men became 
fairly wild with enthusiasm as the effigy, which 
had been carefully prepared by Thomas Craw- 
ford and others, lit up the whole heavens as it 
hung burning from the high limb of a stately 
oak — one of hundreds that shadowed all the 
ground on the west side of Main street. Equal 
zeal was manifested when a mass meeting was 
called to organize the republican party out of 
the ruins of the old whig party, with the help 
of such democrats, who, foreseeing the storm 
that was sure to come, arraigned themselves 
distinctively with the party whose fundamental 
principle was: "no further extension of slavery." 
But I would not by any means intimate that the 
democrats of Vernon county were less loyal to 
the government than the republicans were. 
The county, at the time of its organization, was 
democratic, and remained so until 1856. And 
while during the war the democratic party in 
that county barely maintained its existence, yet 
some of the best men of the county were demo- 
crats all the time. They were staunch but 
loyal in their democracy, and they never voted 
under any other name. It was no copperhead 
democracy ; it was the democracy of Jefferson 
and Jackson. It was their political, religion 
and they lived true to their faith. 

The people of Vernon county watched with 
anxiety the clouds that flitted athwart the polit- 
ical horizon from 1854 up to 1861 ; and when 
Sumter was fired on, all the patriotism of the 
people was aroused. In June and July, 1861, 
company I of the immortal 6th regiment was 
recruited principally in Vernon county. It 
was the first opportunity the county had of 



showing in a tangible way her readiness to 
throw herself 

'T the imminent, deadly breach." 

And her young men came thiekly forward, 
" forming in the ranks of war." 

While I do not suppose Vernon county out- 
ran her sister counties in her devotion to the 
Union, and while I suppose her sons did not 
display any greater readiness to volunteer than 
did the men of other counties ; yet she was not 
behind in any respect.' She kept her quotas so 
well filled under everv call for volunteers, that 
few, very few, had to be drafted. The county 
was represented in almost every regiment that 
went out of the State, and it may be said of 
her, changing somewhat the language of Web- 
ster: "The bones of her sons falling in the great 
struggle of the Union with the armed hosts of 
rebels, now lie mingled with the soil of every 
State from Virginia to Texas, and there they 
will lie forever." 

by mbs. cybus d. turner. 

Three young men, Hartwell, Cyrus and Jerry 
Turner left Stykeesville and Sheldon, Wyom- 
ing Co., N. Y., about the 1st of May, 1854, and 
came west, making explorations for government 
lands, intending to go into the Bad Ax river 
valley; but, way-worn and weary from many 
miles of travel, they stopped for a time at Mr. 
Wilson's, at Kickapoo Center, to rest. Mr. 
Wilson told the boys there was government 
land up the Kickapoo three or four miles. So 
here they came, and after looking over the 
valley as best they could, they concluded to 
enter lands here. Hartwell took lands on Camp 
creek and some in Vernon county. Cyrus took 
lands in Richland and some in Vernon. Jerry 
took a tract in Vernon, where Mr. Gill's resi- 
dence now is, which he afterwards traded 
for the farm of Mr. Richards near the town 
plat of Viola. 

These men returned to New York, where 
Cyrus and Jerry remained until September. 
While they were here they located a site for a 

mill and town. The mill now owned by A. C. 
Cushman stands where they located the town 
plat across and higher up the river, and in 
Richland instead of Vernon. 

A short time after they had returned home, 
Hartwell again came back and entered more 
lands, and^with him came Lyman Jackson. 
Mr. Jackson entered lands where Mr. Sommers' 
residence now is, and Hartwell and Jackson 
both built log buildings, Jackson on said 
premises and Hartwell near the mouth of Camp 
creek. Then Hartwell again returned to New 
York, Mr. JackBon remained here expecting his 
family to come on in company with the Tur- 
ners. The 1st of September five families came: 
William Turner and wife; Hartwell, wife and 
two children; Cyrus Turner and wife"and two 
boys; Salma Rogers and wife and two children; 
Lyman Jackson's wife and two children; Jerry 
Turner, John Fuller and AsaPetten. AsaPetten 
soon returned to New York. Boxes were con- 
structed for household goods and merchandise 
and labeled Viola, Wis., of which place we all 
had about as much real knowledge as we have 
of the "man in the moon." 

We came around the lakes to Milwaukee, and 
from there with our own teams. Our journey 
was altogether a pleasant one until we 
left Richland Center, then a town invisable, and 
entered the woods, with sometimes a road and 
sometimes not. Crying children, tipped over 
wagons and camping out, sitting up on 
chairs for fear of snakes, helped fill the pro- 
gramme of our journey; many walked as long 
as strength lasted rather than peril the lives of 
the little ones which they carried in their arms 
and on their shoulders. 

Well we did, after spending two nights in 
the woods, arrive at a jumping off place, which 
proved to be Kickapoo Center; poles had to be 
placed in the upper hill wheels of the wagons 
to prevent the wagons from turning summer- 
sault, and going down, down, down, we did not 
know where to, but in due time the roof of a 
small low log building greeted our view. Here 



Cyrus Turner left his family for a few days, for 
his youngest son, Winett C. Turner, was quite 
sick. The rest of the colony moved on up the 
river to establish themselves in the log man- 
sions prepared for them, which Mr. Jackson and 
Hartwell had built; in the intervening time of 
absence Laal Clift and family from Illinois, 
formerly 'of New York, moved into the 
pioneer mansion of Camp creek until he had 
built one for himself , „ where his residence is 

Cyrus Turner looked over his land entries 
and proceeded to lay out a town line, his first 
survey did not please him, and he again made 
another plat which is now a part of the city 
property, although some of the streets have 
been fenced up for many year. The first thing 
to be done was to excavate a log for a canoe 
with which to transfer travelers from shore to 
shore of the Kickapoo, which was fordable 
wfcere the Waggoner's mill now stands. The 
next, a double log building, was erected just in 
front of the horseshoe bend on the east- 
ern bank of the river fronting the river, and the 
maple trees now there mark the spot in front of 
the house, and where all the road there was 

Into this double log house he moved bis 
family and merchandise about the middle of 
December; with John Fuller's help he built 
stables, and thus was made as comfortable for 
winter as circumstances would admit. 

Part of the pioneer building was used for a 
store, and in the store the next summer a school 
was taught — this being the first school — by 
Helen Jackson. The winter of 1854 — 5 
was mostly spent in hauling provision, mak- 
ing roads, and trying to get enough timber 
cleared away to enable the sun to shine in upon 

House building was yet in its infancy here. 
The Gothic, Ionic, Doric orders of architecture 
are but little known; the style of which all the 
principal buildings here are composed may be 
termed "Kickapooric," for several sprang into 

existence about this time, which consisted of rol- 
ling logs up on to each other so as to enclose a 
square pen until the required height was obtained 
when the structure was covered with split 
boards, called shakes in western vernacular, 
which are nailed on by placing poles across 
them, thus makiug a very picturesque roof and 
a well ventilated attic. The space usually in- 
closed is about 1 8x20 feet or about the size of 
your dining-room. This is the house of the 
pioneer, this little room is the kitchen, dining- 
room, pantry, bed-room, nursery, and frequently 
the up-stairs and down cellar for a family of 
about a dozen members; into this are stowed 
beds, chests, dishes, boxes, babies, pots, kettles, 
and all the trumpery and paraphtnalia, and you 
can easily imaging what a paradise of commo- 
tion it is, there cannot be much of coveting for 
all are on an equality even in taking pleasure 
rides after ox teams and faring sumptuously 
upon wild game or mush and milk, or the most 
dainty dish of all, batter, warm griddle slap, 
pan cakes with pumpkin butter or wild honey. 
Our first religious sermon was preached in this 
pioneer building by Mr. Neher, of Forest, and 
in the summer of 1855 a little log school house 
was erected near the county line, and in a re- 
mote part of the town plat. Here our Sabbath 
school was organized, a library from the 
America Sunday School Union was procured, and 
we did well, notwithstanding all our difficulties; 
trees were chopped down, corn and potatoes 
planted, if disposed to indolence the melodious 
music of the mosquito or the silent aches of our 
limbs reminded us of action, by fighting mosqui- 
toes or rubbing our rhneumatic limbs, or pass 
the time in shaking our superfluous flesh off. 

In the latter part of the summer of 1855, Mr. 
Algees and family came, and with him Sarah. 
John Fuller saw fit to take to himself a wife, and 
said Sarah was the bride. The marriage cere- 
mony was performed by Mr. Wilson, J. P. of 
Vernon Co., and the guests, bride and groom 
marched down the river over the county line, 
as supposed (but didn't), that the ceremony 



might be valid, and there under the canopy of 
Heaven, cheered by the rippling music of the 
waters, by a large log on the bank of the Kicka- 
poo, the sacred pledges were taken. This 
was the first wedding. Andrew Hall came 
this year and located lands, where the old 
pioneer building, above or on where the 
Richards farm now stands,and returned to New 
York, and now the winter is upon us, and we 
prtpare to clear up, aud the exercises are 
changed — land-lookers cease to come among us, 
and the Indians take their places for company. 
And now we have to exert ourselves considera- 
bly in order to keep from freezing, which can 
only be done by stirring rapidly about, rubbing, 
robed in buffalo robes or bear skins. If we can 
survive the night the sun may shine in upon us 
at about 10 o'clock, and relieve us of some of 
the intense cold, by placing the thermometer 
in a position to receive its most direct rays, or 
as the little boy says, "Papa, bring in the ther- 
mometer, and it will thaw out!" In 1856, Mr. 
Hull and family came and moved into the log 
house above Mr. Richards', which he soon ex- 
changed with D.C. Turner for the lands he now 
owns, and where he has so long kept hotel. The 
day that he moved here his son, Jasper C. Hull, 
was born, thus the first birth — but not on the 
town plat— Oct. 1, 1856. This same fall C. D. 
Turner built a small plank house — where* Mr. 
Cush man's house now stands, and moved into 

William Mack, a half breed from Picatoni c 
country, now appears among us. He bought out 
the store of D. C. Turner, and built a wooden 
structure, which is now attached to Mr. Tate's 
store. With Mr. Mack came Mr. Goodrich and 
family. Mr. Goodrich built a plank house on 
block three, which is still standing. Here his 
little daughter, Libbie Goodrich died. This 
was the first death. She was buried near the 
house on the said lot, near the southern line of 
the street, where her grave is indistinct. 

In the fall of 1857 Mr. and Mrs. Keith, 
teachers in the Brown school of Chicago, spent 

their summer vacation in Viola with the family of 
D.C. Turner. In three days after their return to 
Chicago, Howey Willie Turner, D. C. Turner's 
oldest son, was a corpse. Here appears Dr. 
Gott, of Viroqua, for the first time; yet his skill 
was of no avail. This child's death was a 
crushing calamity upon his family. 

Mr. Keith, Howey Willie and Freddie 
Turner were buried on the mound between the 
residence of Charley Tate and Nelson Buegor's 
store for several years, but disinterred in 1869, 
and removed to the Viroqua cemetery, along 
with the remains of William Turner. 

In the year 1857 Viola Mack was born, and 
received a lot in block three for her name. 
This year also D. C. Turner bought out Mr. 
Mack, and commenced buying ginseng, which 
business he followed for eight successive years. 
Buying and clarifying and drying was also 
largely carried on by James Turner and Henry 
Livingston, from Kentucky. 

D. C. Turner built another store, and the old 
Mack building was used for a dry house. The 
store then built is now a part of H. C. Cush- 

Our teachers were Salma Rogers, Helen 
Jackson, Jennie Loveless, Marion Gill, (after- 
wards Mrs. Dr. Gott, of Viroqua), and 
Miss Dailey, of Readstown. 

Mr. George Nutzem preached here often, and 
general good feeling prevailed under his super- 

Our postoffice was established as a side office, 
and the mail was carried from Viola to Kicka- 
poo Center by some one hired by private per- 
sons. At one time D. C. Turner gave the mail 
carrier ($20) twenty dollars to get the office on 
the route, which was done for one week only, 
and again thrown off. 

Lots were sold and given away. Salma 
Rogers was offered (10) ten acres of land 
adjoining the town — where Mr. Cushman's resi- 
dence, Waggoner's store and many other build- 
ings are now — if he would only build himself a 



house on it; bat he would not heed the Mac- 
edonian cry of come and help us. 

The fall of 1856 Harry Turner and family, 
Mr. Gill and family, Mr. Loveless and family, 
Amos Fuller and family eame on. Harry 
Turner bought out Lyman Jackson; Mr. Gill 
bought out the tract of land, Jerry Turner had 
entered and now resides there. Amos Fuller 
went to blacksmith ing, got sick of the country, 
and went back in the fall of 1857. In the fall 
of 1859 Henry M.Keith and family came here and 
bought the pioneer home of Mr.Hull. Mr. Keith 
had been obliged to resign his situation in the 
Brown school of Chicago on account of ill health. 
He received a death blow from a band of ruffians 
in that school building of which account the 
papers of Chicago detailed in full particulars. 
Mrs. Keith taught our school one summer, 
before her husband's death,which occurred Feb. 
18, 1861. In the winter of 1859-60 our school 
house was made lively frequently from time to 
time, in which Jerry Turner and Van S. Ben- 
nett figured largely. 

1858-9. About this time several acres of 
land were given by C. D. Turner for a cemetery 
on the mound east of the new school house, 
where Mr. Clark now resides. This did not 
suit and became outlawed. Mr. Keith, con- 
sequently, was buried and removed, as before 

1860-1. The second pioneer house was re- 
moved, and the residence Mr. Cushman now 
occupies was erected. John Fuller left for 
California. Mrs. Keith left for the Chicago 
school again. General political excitement pre- 
vailed : the war was upon us ; consequently no 
improvements were made for some time. 

Jerry Turner enlisted ; was second lieutenant, 
then first, then captain of company H, 5th Wis- 
consin Infantry. Here is an extract from Ben- 
jamin Lawton's letter, as written to Harry 
Sherme's family : "He fell while charging on 
Mary's hill, back of the city of Fredericksburg. 
He was struck in the head by a large ball ; I 
think it must have been a canister shot, for it 

made a hole about the size of a canister shot. 
He was shot so dead that he did not move. He 
was a brave and noble soldier. We mourn his 
loss and always will. He has been the main 
stay of company H ever since we came out. 
When the captain fell I staid with him and 
took care of his body, which I agreed to do 
when I first came out ; I told him I should 
stand by his side until the last, and I have done 
so. I tried my best to get his body embalmed 
and sent to you ; but I could not for want of 
an ambulance to get it carried to Falmuoth. Our 
quarter-master assisted me all he could, but it 
could not be got, for every thing in the shape 
of wagons was used to bring the wounded off 
the field , so we had to bury him in the city. 9 ' 
He was killed May 3, 1863. 

He made us his last visit on his thirty-first 
birth-day, the 16th of February before his 

Company I, of the 12th Wisconsin Infantry, 
was organized and drilled here until ordered to 
headquarters. Hart well Turner was captain 
of this company. While this regiment was in 
Leavenworth he was very sick. C. D. Turner, his 
brother, went to and staid with him till he 
could be brought home. 

From 1861 to 1864 it was only war, war, war, 
until scarcely an able bodied man was left 
in the town of Forest in 1865. D. C. Turner 
was quite sick, was drafted, and Dr. Terhune, of 
Viroqua,, reported for him, as he was under the 
doctor's care for sometime, until he was able 
to go to Boscobel, prepared to furnish a substi- 
tute, but was not accepted. From this time 
more or less sickness followed. He gave up 
the mercantile business and sold out to Mr. 
Tate. In 1865 Mr. Harrington and family, 
John Bryan and C. Ward, came. N. D. Ward* 
of the 2d Wisconsin Cavalry, returned from 

1866 — The new school building was erected 
in 1867. D. C. Turner built the store Mr. 
Waggoner now occupies, and commenced the 
mercantile business again ; bought out the 



steam mill and sold it again — hardships of 
pioneerlife told by failing health — and in 1868 
the farm was gold, the store closed ont and the 
building sold to Alonzo Clark. Every line of 
business was settled up and closed out, and in 
the spring of 1869 he looked over the south- 
west Missouri country, and purchased lands in 
Dade county, two and one half miles west of 
Greenfield. To this home he moved his 
family in the spring of 1870. His health im- 
proved by this change of climate ; he built a 
house, planted on orchard, and made improve- 
ments, for about two years, when he gave up 
work entirely, each day taking a little less 
exercise, until November, 1873 ; then he could 
no more move around with us, to cheer us by 
his loving, patient endurance. He was con- 
fined to his bed for three months, when, on the 
5th day of March, 1874, he passed 

"As a summer cloud away— 
As sinks the gale when storms are o'tr, 
Or dies the wave along the shore," 
in his fifty-first year. 

His remains were sent to Viroqua, and there 
the last solemn rites were given him by the 
Masonic Order. He had many, many friends 
in his new home in Missouri. He is gone 
from us, but his life still lives, for he was a 
kind husband and an indulgent father. 

By his son — an only child — Dewitt C. Turner, 
will the name of that particular Turner family 
be perpetuated or become extinct. 

Of the five original families that came to 
Viola in 1854, only two are here now — Salma 
Rogers' and H. L. Turner's. Of the twenty 
persons, or children, of that time, these are 
still living : Salma Rogers and wife and two 
children ; Mary Bews, of Dead wood ; Frank 
Rogers, of Viola ; Hartwell Turner and wife, 
Lyman Jackson, wife and son, of Oregon, Wis.; 
Helen Jackson Drenn, of Centralia, 111.; Dewitt 
C. Turner and his mother, Greenfield, Mo. 

These are deceased: William Turner and 
wife, Cyrus D. Turner and son, George Turner, 

Alice Turner Waggoner, Jerry Turner and 
John Fuller. 


I wrote lately to an old friend, living at a 
distance for information, and have just re- 
ceived a letter from her, and learn that the 
first death in Vernon county was a child of Wil- 
liam C. McMichael; it died February,! 847, at the 
spring afterward known as the Silver Springs 
Mill, two miles east of Viroqua. The mill 
burned down four or five years since. The 
next death was that of Mrs. Rice, who died 
September, 1847. 

Jacob Johnson, a brother-in-law of T. J. De- 
Frees, emigrated to Vernon county with the 
latter. He died in 1870, and is buried at Viro- 
qua. His wife is living in southern Iowa at 
the advanced age of eighty-eight years, is still 
enjoying reasonable health, reads the news, 
and keeps up with the times. Mrs. Nancy B. 
DeFrees, my mother, died March 14, 1882, at 
the age of seventy-seven, is buried in the ceme- 
tery in this city. I noticed in a sketch of Ver- 
non county a short time ago, that Dr. Tinker 
was mentioned as the first physician. Such 
is not the case. Dr. H. G. Weeden was 
the first regular practicing physician in the 
county. He located there in the fall of 1851. 
Dr. Tinker arrived two or three years later. Dr. 
Weeden was a man of culture and refinement, 
had received a finished education in the east. 
For many years he was the leading physician 
in the county. The fearful tornado which 
visited Viroqua June 28, 1865, killed one of his 
children — a little girl three years old — and in- 
jured himself and wife very seriously. It also 
destroyed their nice home and much valuable 
property. The doctor never recovered entirely 
from the shock. He went to Montana in the 
spring of 1866, and died there in the fall of 
1672. His wife and daughter still reside in that 
remote territory. 

The Sterlings were a prominent family in the 
early settlement of the county. They located 
on West Prairie, in the fall or winter of 1846. 



The old gentleman died there many years after, 
and his two sons, Louis and Lee Grant lived in 
the locality till after the close of the war of the 
rebellion, when the former emigrated to Mis. 
souri. The latter still resides in the county, I 

William H. Purdy was also a leading citizen 
in early time. He held various offices in the 
coanty, is now a resident of Pratt Co., Kansas. 
George A. Swain and James Cook settled there 
in the spring of 1847, the former at what is 
now Brookville, the latter, on his farm east of 
Viroqua. They were leading members of the 
H. E. Church, and in early times did much to- 
ward the support and permanent organization 
of that society. The have both died within the 
last year. Mr. Cook at his home near Viroqua, 
and Mr. Swain in eastern Kansas. 

James Bailey was an early settler. He came 
with his wife, to what is now Liberty Pole, in 
the autumn of 1 846, soon returned to Prairie du 
Chien, where his wife died, he came back to Ver- 
non county, and soon married a Miss Clark, re- 
siding on West Prairie. She and her sister, who 
married a Mr. Chandler, were wedded at the 
same time. My father officiated, he being then 
county judge, making one ceremony do for both 

I also remember a couple in Vernon county 
—I purposely omit names — for whom my father 
obtained a divorce. A few weeks after they 
again presented themselves for the purpose of 
being married. He performed the ceremony 
which again made them husband and wife. But 
only a short time elapsed, before they again ap- 
peared asking for another divorce, and it was 
again procured for them. Subsequently both 
parties married, it is to be hoped with happier 

I alao remember a woman who came there 
leaving a husband in the east. She soon mar- 
ried a dashing widower. It afterward trans- 
pired that she had never obtained a divorce 
from her first husband. The last husband had 
promised to get one for her after their mar- 

riage. But he failed to keep his promise, and 
she appealed to my father for redress. He se- 
cured for her a divorce from the first husband, 
and then she was again married, or rather re- 
married to the second. 

Among the early settlers in Springville were 
Isaac and William Spencer, Charles and Henry 
Waters, Dr. Sudduth, Mr. Strange, the Cheat- 
ham brothers, and others that might be men- 
tioned. Isaac Spencer was a man of culture and 
ability. When he came to Springville he was 
a widower. He soon after married a Mrs. 
Thompson, a widow, from Bad Ax city. Her 
first husband was drowned from off a steamboat 
near that place. The lady was young and in- 
teresting, and very much attached to her hus- 
band. The evening she was expecting him 
home she went to neighbor's to borrow a candle, 
said she wanted to burn it out looking at Mr. 
Thompson, as she had not seen him for some 
time. An hour or two after, his dripping corpse 
was borne into her presence. 

In the spring of 1858 O. C. Weeden came to 
Viroqua, from Vermont, and soon followed a 
nnmber more of New England people, making 
valuable additions to society. 

During the years of 1846-7, the residents of 
the county all went to Prairie du Chien for 
their mail matter, and it was understood that 
any person going, was to bring the mail for the 
entire neighborhood. Even with that arrange- 
ment, sometimes weeks would elapse between 
the times of receiving the mail. That hardly 
compares with this age of steam and daily mails. 

In those first years the inhabitants of the 
county were obliged to go to Prairie du Chien for 
all their supplies, and many of them went with 
ox teams. 

Neighborhood dances were at that time a 
favorite amusement with many of the settlers. 
Spelling schools were also a pleasant and profit- 
able pastime. The young people, and some 
who were not so young, would gather at the 
log school house, or at the cabin of some resi- 
dent, choose sides and spell. Those who stood 



longest without missing a word were the vic- 
tors ; and many times there would be thVee or 
four, perhaps half a dozen, who would not be 
spelled down at all. W. W. DeFrees, Milton 
Southwick, Esther A. Bishop and Lida P. De- 
Frees were almost invariably on the floor last 
and were considered the champion spellers. 
Lida P. DeFrees died March 11, 18*9;W.W. De- 
Frees, Feb. 7, 1870. They both lie buried in 
the cemetery of Viroqua. Milton Southwick, I 
think, is still a resident of the county, and 
Esther A. Bishop, long since married, has for 
many years resided in Nebraska. 

Michael Hinkst was an early settler. He lo- 
cated near the Liberty Pole, was remarkable for 

being an original and eccentric character. He 
was for a time school superintendent, and 
taught one or two terms. Some amusing stories 
are told of his novel methods of governing. 

Isaac Spencer was the first school superin- 
tendendent. That was when the town system 
prevailed. Rev. L. L. Radcliff was the first 
county superintendent. After him came Hart- 
well Allen, who is doubtless still a resident of 
Vernon county. He served a number of terms, 
was a popular and efficient officer. He is a 
man of much natural ability, a great reader 
and a deep thinker. I think he has long since 
retired to the shades of private life. 



In this connection is given the official vote of 
Vernon county for every year from 1851 to 1883 
inclusive as far .as could be ascertained from 
the records in the clerk's office. In some years 
the number of votes cast could not be found and 
where this is the case, the names of the officers 
elected are given : 

County Judge. 

T.J. Defrees, (elected for four years . ) No Opposition 


Rufus Gillett No Opposition 

District Attorney. 

Lorenzo A. Pierce No Opposition 

Clerk of County and of Circuit Court. 

OrrinWlsel No Opposition 


James A. Cooke No Opposition 

Register of Deeds. 

JooobHiggins No Opposition 


Samuel McMlchael No Opposition 


D. A. J.Upham *5— 15 

Leonard J. FarweU W 

Lieutenant Governor. 

Timothy Burns 56—85 

James Hughes 20 

Secretary of State. 

Charles D. Robinson 47—18 

Robert W. Wright 29 

State Treasurer. 

Edward H. Janson 47—19 

Jefferson Crawford 28 

Attorney General. 

Exprienoe Estabrook 48—21 

John Trasdale 27 

State Superintendent. 

AhelP.Ludd 58—67 

E. Root 1 

Scattering 1 

District Attorney. 

Lorenzo A. Pierce (majority) 78 

Clerk of County and Circuit Court. 

William McMlchael 1J8 


John Longley No Opposition 

m Register of Deeds . 

Jacob Hlggins 182 


James M . Bailey (majority) 68 

County Surveyor. 

Samuel McMlchael 

Isaao Spenoer 2 




J.M. Bailey No Opposition 

Cnunty Clerk and Clerk of Circuit Court 

W. C. MoMiohael No Opposition 

District Attorney. 

?.J. DeFrees No Opposition 


John Gardner No Opposition 

Register of Deeds. 

8. C. Lincoln No Opposition 


Samuel McMiohael No Opposition 


Coles Baahford 806—108 

William A. Barstow 298 

Lieutenant Governor. 

Arthur McArrhur 817—16 

Charles C. Sholes 808 

Secretary of State. 

DavidW. Jones 817—16 

Samuel D. Hastings 801 

State Treasurer. 

Charles Kuehn 818—100 

Charles Roeser 200 

Attorney General. 

William R. Smith 817-14 

Alexander W. Randall 806 

State Superintendent. 

A. Constantino Berry 818—16 

John G. McMynn .808 

Bank Comptroller. 

William N. Dennis * 818—16 

Francis 11. West 80S 

Prison Commissioner. 

Edward McGarry 818—16 

James Gidding 803 

County Judge. 

William P. Terhune No Opposition 

Clerk of the Circuit Court. 

William C. MoMlchael No Opposition 


J. M. Rusk No Oppostion 


John Gardner No Opposition 

Register of Deeds. 

William F. Terhune No Opposition. 

County Clerk. 

A. K. Burrell NoOpposition. 

District Attorney. 

Thomas J. DeFrees NoOpposition. 


W. F. Beavers NoOpposition. 

Circuit Judge. 

George Gale 279-84 

W.Knowlton 246 


Alexander W. Randall 648—104 

James B. Croat 446 


John C. Fremont, (Majority) 887 


C. C. Washburn, (Majority) 887 

State Senator. 

William T. Pierce, (Majority) 847 


Buei E. Hutchinson, (Majority) * 888 

Surveyor, (To fill Vacancy.) 

Samuel MoMlchael No Opposition 


Alexander W. Randall 648-104 

James B. Cross 446 

Lieutenant Governor. 

Carl Schurtz 688—81 

Erosmus Campbell 448 

Secretary of State. 

JohnL. V. Thomas 628—68 

DavidW. Jones 466 

State Treasurer 

Samuel D. Hastings 648-104 

CarlHabich 446 

Attorney General. 

Mortimer M. Jackson 664-186 

GabielBouck 418 

State Superintendent. 

JohnG. MoMynn 646-101 

Lyman C. Draper 444 

Bank Comptroller. 

John P. McGregor 688-86 

Joel C. Squires 448 

Prison Commissioner. 

Edward M. MoGraw 866 

State Senator. 

Edwin Flint 614-4 

W. H.Tucker 610 


William C. McMichaeL 628-62 

James R. Savage 461 

Clerk of Circuit Court. 

John R. Casson 607—26 

William C. McMichhel 482 

County Clerk. 

Samuel McKitriok. 676-201 

William F. White. 876 

District Attorney. 

R.C. Blerce 663—171 

William H. Austin 882 


WilllamP. Clark 886-111 

Hugh McDill 276 

A.R. Burrell 284 

Scattering 80 

Register of Deeds. 

Daniel P. Allison 824—60 

William F. Terhune 274 


John Gardner 870—120 

W. F.White 260 


Greene Spurrier 614—42 

James Brown* 472 





J.H.Rusk 600-48 

Mark 468 

County Judge. 

James B. Newell No Opposition 


C. C. Washburn 484-888 

Judge Dunn 196 


T.W.Tower 481-246 

Huffman 175 


Alexander W. Randall 906-370 

Harrison C. Hobart 019 

Lieutenant Governor. 

Alexanders. Palmer 991—860 

Butler G. Noble 088 

Secretary of State. 

Louis P. Harvey 997—888 

Marvin B. Alden 019 

State Treasurer. 

8amuel I>. Hasting 970—854 

Lion Silverman 030 

Attorney General. 

8amuel Crawford. 086 

James Howe 989—844 

State Superintendent. 

Joslah Pickard 908-810 

Lyman C. Draper 668 

Bank Comptroller. 

GysbertVan Steenwiok 975—889 

JoelC. Squires i 040 

Prison Commissioner. 

HansC. Heg 968-366 

Henry C. Fleck 888 


William C. McMiohael...... 989-875 

Daniel D Barnard 014 

State Senator. 

B. B. Hutchinson 940—875 

W. H. Tucker 671 

County Treasurer. 

James Lamsle 997—680 

R. 8. Riley 471 

Thomas Fretwell 105 

WiUiamT. MoConnell 14 


William Goode 991—374 

8. McKltrick 617 

P.Curtis 7 

Clerk of the Board of Supervisors. 

J. M. Bennett 967—897 

Thomas B. Brown 660 

J.B.Brown 1 

Clerk of the Court. 

W.8. Purdy 938-800 

B.P. Hartshorn 078 

J. *C MoOeo • I 

Register of Deeds. 

D.P. Allison 901-80 

William Terhune 701 

District Attorney. 

CM. Butte 

R. C. Bieroe 600 

H. W.MoAUey 85 

County Surveyor. 

L.Joseph . 

A. A. Baldwin 085 


Abraham Lincoln 1145-670 

Stephen A. Douglas 466 

John C. Breekenridge 88 


Luther Hanohet 1180-016 

James D. Ramert 511 


D. H. Johnson 1111-012 

O. B. Thomas 499 

Chief Justloe Supreme Court. 

A. Seott Sloan 697—198 

Luther 8. Dixon , 497 


Louis P. Harvey 

Furgeson. 877 

Lieutenant Governor. 

Edward Soloman 

Billings 880 

Secretary of State. 

James T.Lewis 947-050 

Benton -. JB97 

State Treasurer. 

Samuel D. Hastings 970—080 

Miller 884 

Attorney General. 

James H.Howe 908—081 

Horton 880 

State Superintendent. 

J. L. Pickard 970-080 

Winslow 884 

Bank Comptroller. 

W. H. Ramsey 987— 4)58 

Vollmer 886 

Prison Commissioner. 

Hodges .970 08 

Crilly.... 888 

State Senator. 

CM. Butt 068—79 

Cate 574 

Assemblyman. (1st District). 

Ole Johnson 800—141 

William MoConnell 825 

(2d District). 

J.M.Rusk 881—118 

Searing , 848 


Lewis Sterling 060—111 

W. H. Officer .588 



Clorkof the Court. 

William 8. Purdy 786-875 

Vandwall 410 

County Treasurer. 

James Lowrle 88*— 478 

Nickler 868 

Register of Deeds. 

William 8. 8. White 870-44 

Nuzeman 676 

District Attorney. 

W. P. Terhune 665-121 

N. M. Layne 684 


Samuel Joseph 746-807 

Adams 489 


C. W. Pitcher 709-236 

Herick 478 

School Superintendent. 

L. L. RadcluT 636-108 

Irish 588 


State Senator. 

W 8. Purdy «... 892-568 

Charles Rodolf 889 


D. B. Priest 481-201 

George Walby 280 

Clerk of the Board of Supervisors. 

John M. Bennett 89&-507 

Lucius Chase 886 

Congressman, (2d District). 

Walter D.McIndoe 770-887 

N. 8. Ferris... 488 


James T. Lewis 1155—795 

Henry L. Palmer 860 

Lleutenan t-G overnor . 

Wyman Spooner 1168—812 

Nelson Dewey 851 

Secretary of State. 

Lucius Fairchild 1165-817 

BmilRothe 848 

State Treasurer. 

Samuel D. Hastings 1165—814 

Charles 8. Benton 851 

Attorney-General . 

Winfield Smith 1168-811 

Eteazer Wakeley 852 

8tate Superintendent. 

Josiah Pickard 1166-815 

Volney French 851 

Bank Comptroller. 

William H. Ramsey 1165—814 

Henry 8. Pierpont 851 

Prison Commissioner. 

Henry Cardler 1168-812 

JohnB. Bohan 851 


(1st District.) 

William H- Offioar No opposition 

(2d District.) 

Albert Bliss No opposition 

State Senator. 

William Ketchum 1164-1160 

Scattering 4 

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. 

Luther S. Dixon... 1071-588 

Montgomery M.Cothren 488 

Soldier's Vote. 
State Senator. 

W. Ketchum 122 

(1st District.) 

W. H. Officer 10 

(2d District.) 

Albert Bliss 87—86 

Robert Bliss 1 

W. H. Officer 1 

County Supervisor. 
(District No. 1.) 

Charles Learing 19—18 

T. L. Lindley 1 

(Distriot No. 2.) 

C. G.Allen ^ 27-26" 

Alexander Latshaw 2 

(District No. 8.) 

JohnMichelet 12 

School Superintendent. 

Hartwell Allen 78-66 

J. C. Kurtz 12 


C. E. Rogers 68-62 

Samuel Henry 1 

Register of Deeds. 

William 8. 8. White 78 

County Treasurer. 

James Lowrie 80 

District Attorney. 

D.B. Priest 80 


Lemuel Joseph 80 


E. W. Piokerill 76 

Clerk of the Circuit Court. 
William 8. Purdy 80 


Abraham Lincoln 1886—885 

George B. MoClellen 451 


Walter D. Mclndoe 1889-871 

Henry Reed 458 

(1st District.) 

William H. Offioer 666-478 

James R. Savage 196 

(2d District.) 

James Berry 642-872 

James A. Cook 270 

8tate Superintendent. 

ohnG. MoMynn 1242—786 

John B. Parkinson ,.. 457 



ELECTION, April 4. 1886. 
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. 

Jason Downer . 1268 

County Judge. 

Carson Graham 710—158 

Royal C. Bieroe 662 

Soldier's Vote. 

Carson Graham 65—66 

Royal C. Bieroe 9 

Scattering; 4 



Luoius Falrchild 1164-1044 

Harrison C. Hobert 120 

Lieutenant Governor. 

Wyman Spooner 1190—1096 

DensmoreW. Mazon 93 

Secretary of State. 

Thomas 8. Allen 1196-1099 

Levi B.Vilas 98 

State Treasurer. 

William E. 8mith . 1184—1086 

John W.Davis 99 

Attorney General. 

Charles R. GUI 1176—1071 

Milton Montgomery 105 

State Superintendent. 

JohnG. McMynn 1201—1112 

John G. Parkinson 89 

Bank Comptroller. 

J.M.Rusk 1146—1066 

Thomas McMahon 91 

Prison Commissioner. 

Conrad florneffer 90 

Stato Senator. 

Benjamin Bull No Opposition. 

(District No. 1.) 

Carpenter 896—252 

G.D.MoDill 143 

(District No. 2.) 
A.Woods 664 

Clerk of the Court. 

W.8.Purdy \ 1066-872 

W.G.Davis 188 

JohnR. Casson 28 


R. 8. MoMichael 1236-88 

James O. Burrell 1203 

W. W. Lowrie 82 

Register of Deeds. > 

W.8. White 1067-879 

G. Griffin 188 

Peter Heoton 6 

District Attorney. 

D.B. Priest 1085-812 

J.E. Newell 228 

County Treasurer. 

James Lowerie 1018—778 

E.M. Rogers 240 

County Surveyor. 
B.8. Moore 1168-1196 


H.A.Robinson 801—407 

E.Minsball 194 

Superintendent of Schools. 

Hartwell Allen 1267—1261 

William P. Terhune 6 

(District No 1.) 

J. J. Durol 442 

(District No. 2.) 

HughMoDill 460-415 

Scattering 46 

(District No. 8.) 
John Michelet 284 



C. C. Washburn 1288—966 

G. L. Parks 288 

Banking Law. 

For A mendment. 

Against Amendment 106 

Constitutional Convention. 


Por 116 


(District No. 1.) 

John W. Greenman - 

Henry W. MoAuley 96 

(District No. 2.) 

Albert Bliss 691-663 

Timothy 8. Paul 128 

State Senator. 

Justin W. Raney 1281—991 

John C. Kurtz 240 

County Treasurer. 

CM. Butt 1229-1007 

Joseph Norris 222 

Clerk of the Board of Supervisors. 

JohnR. Casson 1246—1041 

Jesse L. Davis 206 

Supervisor 1st District. 

C.N. Lawton 407-317 

Edward Klopffeiseh 90 

Supervisor 2d Distriot. 

John Michelet 862-MB 

J.M. Conaway 19 

Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. 

Orsmas Cole 1228—11© 

I. C. Witherby 29 


Ludan Falrchild 1448-1060 

JohnJ.Talmage .... 884 

Lieutenant Governor. 

Wyman Spooner 1446—1062 

GilbertPark . 884 

Secretary of State. 

Thomas 8. Allen 1440-1066 

Ernst Roth 686 

State Treasurer. 

William E. Smith 1446—1000 

Rupp W 



Attorney General. 

Charles B. Gill 1445-1080 

Lucius P. Westerby 885 

State Superintendent. 

Alexander J. Craig 1446-1068 

William Peck 888 

Bank Comptroller. 

Jeremiah Rusk 144<V-1071 

Richard J. Harvey 869 

Prison Commissioner 

HenryCordier 1455-1085 

OleHeg 870 

(First District) 

Henry Chase 456—200 

W.H.Offioer 266 

(2d District.) 

D. B. Priest. > 882 

County Treasurer. 

CM. Butt 1562 


T.B. Brown 1546 

Clerk of the Circuit Ceurt. 

H.N. Preus 1640 

District Attorney. 

J. B. Newell 1545 

Register of Deeds. 

G.W. Griffin 1600 

County Superintendent. 

T.J. Shear * 011-188 

HartwellAllen 728 


H.C. Joseph 1565 


H. A. Robinson 1570 

County Poor System. 

For 862—269 

Against 693 


Chief Justice of the 8upreme Court. 

Luther S. Dixon 1661-068 

Charles Dunn 608 

Associate Justice of Supreme Court. 
Byron Payne 1565—069 

B. Holmes Bills 606 

Judge of the Circuit Court 

RomanzoBunn , 1180-371 

Milton Montgomery 759 

Edwin Flint 288 


U.a Grant 2248-1627 

Horatio Seymour 621 


C. a Washburn 2240-1616 

A.G. Ellis 625 

Banking Law. 

For 1987-1912 

Against 75 

State Senator. 

a If. Butt 2881—1624 

James H. Lambert 807 

(1st District.) 

JohnHoLees 684—288 

H. Allen 451 

(2d District) 

VanS. Bennett 764 

County Supervisor. 
(District No. 1.) 

B.H.Harry 764 

County Supervisor. 
(District No. 8.) 

G. W.Swain 768 


Justice of the Supreme Court 

Luther 8. Dixon 1682—1664 

S.W. Pitts 28 

County Judge. 

WilUamS. Purdy 1587—1468 

Hugh MoDill 121 


Lucius Fairchild 1426-1128 

Charles D. Robinson 298 

Lieutenant Governor. 

Thaddeus Pond. 1484— U48 

Hamilton S. Gray 292 

Secretary of State. 

S.Breese : 1890-1095 

AmasaG. Cook 296 

State Treasurer. 

Henry Baiti 1484—1142 

John Black 292 

Attorney General. 

8.8. Barlow 1485-1148 

8. W. Pinny 292 

State Superintendent. 

A.J.Craig 1482-1140 

P. K. Gannon 292 

Prison Commissioner. 

George F. Wheeler 1484—1141 

Carl Bordoe 298 

(1st District.) 

R. May 601-580 

D.A. 8teele 71 

(2d District.) 

VanS. Bennett 921 

County Superintendent. 

J. N. Wright 1002-642 

George W. Nuzum 560 

County Supervisor* 
(2d District.) 

Willard Morley 881—128 

J.C.Davis 268 

County Treasurer. 

J.W.Allen 1148-669 

William Frailer 479 


W. W. Lowrie 1196—787 

B.S. McMlohael 469 



County Surveyor. 

Isaao P. Tharp 1287—836 

H. C. Joseph 401 


H. D.Williams 1687-1686 

Scattering 1 

District Attorney. 

Carson Graham 1032-413 

J. E. Newell 619 

Scattering 8 

Register of Deeds. 
H. N. Preus 800-188 

C. H. Ballsrud 757 

Scattering 6 

Clerk of the Circuit Court. 

P. J. Layne 1278-887 

John Harding 886 

Clerk of the Board of Supervisors. 

JohnR. Casson 1664—1663 

Scattering t 


J. M. Rusk 1347-1132 

Alexander Meggett 215 

Scattering 6 

State Superintendent. 

8amuel Follows 1320—1006 

H. B.Dale 284 

Constitutional Amendment. 

Against. 1308—1285 

Vor 68 

Stato Senator. 

Angus Cameron 1208—098 

William MoConnell 800 

(1st District.) 

J. W. Hoyt 365-40 

Ruben May 825 

JohnT. Brlnkmann 173 

Assembly man. 
(2d District.) 

H. A Chase 706—704 

Scattering 2 


Nathan Coe '. 1504—1592 

Scattering 2 


Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. 

(To fill Vacancy.) 

W.P.Lyon 1599-1396 

D.J. Puling 208 

(To fill full term.) 
W. P. Lyon 1641-1416 

D. J. Puling 225 



C. C. Washburn 1686-1270 

J. R. Doollttle 416 

Lieutenant Governor. 

M. H. Pettit 1669-1240 

John A. Rice tag 

Secretary of 8tate. 

L. Breese 1682—1257 

Milton Montgomery . r 425 

8tate Treasurer. 

Henry Baits 1698- 1280 

Anton Klaus 409 

Attorney General. 

S. 8. Barlow 1684—1480 

Edward S. Bragg 245 

W.P. Vilas 170 

State Superintendent. 

8. Fallows 1684-1260 

W.D.Parker 425 

Prison Commissioner. 

George F.Wheeler 1688—1275 

Louis 8. Johnson — 418 

Commissioner of Immigration. 

Ole C. Johnson 1700—1296 

Jacob Badden 405 

State Senator. 

William Nelson 1508—1102 

T. C. Ankrey 496 

Assemblyman, (1st District). 

R. May 592-688 

C.C.Olson 54 

(2d District). 
H.A. Chase 736-521 

A. Bliss.... 215 

County Superintendent 

Hartwell Allen 1966—1907 

Scattering.... % 60 

County Treasurer. 

J.W.Allen 1686—1288 

W. T. MoConnell 808 

District Attorney. 

CM. Butt 2064-2088 

Scattering l 

County Clerk. 
John R. Casson 2104 

Clerk of the Courts. 
P. I. Layne... 2078 

County Surveyor. 

B. 8. Moore 544—86 

J.F. Tharp 608 


H. D. Williams 2077—2078 

Scattering 4 


U.S. Grant. 2445—1906 

Horace Greeley, Lib 542 

Charles O'Connor, Dem 7 


J.M. Rusk 2567-2124 

S. Marston 443 

Assemblyman, (1st Distrlot). 

Peter Jerman 1080-682 

William Clawater \ 457 

(2d District). 

J. Henry Tate 802—177 

Robert Sandon 626 




T. B. Brown 2109-1210 

H.H. Fnrgeson 800 


Associate Justice of the Supreme Court 

OrsamasCole 2445 

County Judge. 

J. B. Newell 1240-28 

William 8. Purdy 1217 



C. C.Washburn 1708-1160 

William K. Taylor 647 

Lieutenant Governor. 

Robert H. Baker 1607-064 

Charles D. Parker 848 

Secretary of State. 

B. W. Young; 1708-1160 

Peter Doyle 643 

State Treasurer. 

Ole a Johnson 1700-1168 

Ferdinand Kuohn 647 

Attorney General. 

LeanderFrlsby .1700-1162 

A. 8oott8toane 648 

State Superintendent. 

Robert Graham 1700-1168 

Edward Seaving. 647 

Commissioner of Immigration. 

George P. Lindman 1800-1160 

M. 8. Argard. 681 

State Senator. 

A. B. Bleokman 2160-2108 

J. It. Beep fl 

(1st District.) 

William Frailer 1144 

(2d District.) 

BdgarBno.. 774-688 

D.W.Adams 286 

County Superintendent. 

0. B. Wyman 2170 

County Treasurer. 

John W. Greenman 1807—482 

William HcConnelL 876 

County Surveyor. 
J.P.Tharp 2204 


C. B.Morley 2100-2186 

Scattering 4 

District Attorney. 

CM. Butt 2108-2006 

Scattering U 

Register of Deeds. 

Edward Lind 1486-878 

W. S.S.White 767 

Clerk of the Court. 
P. J. Layne 2148 

County Clerk. 
JohnB. Oasson 2140 


Judge of the Circuit Court. 

RomanxoBunn 2272—2260 

Scattering 18 



J. M. Rusk .....1018-1888 

David C. Pulton .... 664 


(District No. 1.) 

Ole Anderson 807—881 

HartweR AUen 478 


(District No. 2.) 

James E. Newen , 748-448 

W. W. Joseph 600 


Alexander Lowrie 1774—1081 

G. J. Thomas 748 

R. P. Lemen 41 


Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. 
James E. Newell* 186 


Harrison Luddington 1784—1068 

William R. Taylor 808 

Lieutenant Governor. 

Henry L. Eaton 1797—1112 

Charles D. Parker 886 

Secretary of State. 

HansB. Warner 1797—1114 

Peter Doyle 688 

State Treasurer. 

Henry Baits 1808-1217 

Ferdinand Kuehn 688 

Attorney General. 

JohnR. Bennett 1801—1119 

A. Scott Sloan 682 

State Superintendent. 

Robert Graham 1796—1108 

Edward Searing 887 

State Senator. 

Reuben May 1196-41 

J. Henry Tate 1162 

Scattering 6 

(1st District.) 

John 8tevenson 888—120 

J. F. Tharp 618 

(2d District.) 

T. 8. Jordan 1288 

Register of Deeds. 

Edward Lind 1804—1194 

JohnS. Dixon 810 

County Treasurer. 

Ole Johnson 2461—2449 

Spattering 2 



District Attorney. 

H. P. Proctor 1880-1362 

CM. Butt 628 

Scattering 14 

County Clerk. 

John B. Casson ...2466 

Clerk of the Circuit Court. 

P.J. Layne.. 2460 


Egbert Wyman '. 2440-2447 

Scattering 2 


B. J. Castle 2070-2060 

Scattering 20 

Superintendent of Schools. 

O. B. Wyman 2466—2468 

Scattering 8 



Rutherford B. Hayes 2764—1647 

Samuel Tilden,Dem 1117 

Peter Cooper, Gr U0 


H. L. Humphry 2416-1494 

Martin R. Gage 083 

B. May 686 

(1st District.) 

Peter J. Dale 1017—206 

Fred Eckhart 722 

John Michelet 200 

(2d District) 

H. H. Wyatt 1260-601 

A. W. De Jean 760 

Scattering 8 


C. E. Morley 2688-1451 

R. H. Buchanan 1287 

Associate Justice of Supreme Court. 

William P. Lyon 2567—2518 


County Judge. 

CM. Butt , 2642-2620 

Scattering 22 


W. E. Smith 1678-882 

Edward P. Allis $46 

James A. Malory 416 

Scattering ... 2 

Lieutenant-G overnor . 

James M. Bingham 1681—840 

E. H. Burton 841 

Romanzo Davis 470 

Secretary of State. 

Hans B.Warner 1780—038 

Joseph H. 08born 782 

James B. Hayes - 410 

State Treasurer. 

Richard Guenther 1722-021 

WUliam Schwartz 801 

JohnRlngle 410 


Alexander Wilson 1611-847 

Henry Hayden .' 764 

J. M. Morrow 670 

State Superintendent. 

W. C. Whitford 1682—044 

George M. Steele 768 

Edward Searing 478 

Amendment of Constitution. 

For 1411— 1306 

Against 106 

State Senator. 

George W. Swain 1804—888 

A. D. Chase 1076 

(1st Dtstrict.) 

Chris Ellefson 820-188 

P. K. Van Wagoner 680 

(2d District.) 

AUenRusk 800-240 

Marion Henry 660 

Register of Deeds. 

C. C. Olson 1621—166 

C. H. Ballsrud 1866 

Scattering... 6 

County Treasurer. 

Ole Johnson 1011—1064 

LenordMosley 877 

District Attorney. 

H.P.Proctor 1707-626 

Carson Graham U66 

County Clerk. 

John R. Carson 1881—1060 

Isaiah Glenn 822 

Clerk of Circuit Court. 

P.J. Layne 2062—2060 

Scattering 2 


W. H. Knower 1681-484 

I. J. Tharp «. 1207 


H.C. Gosling 1671-602 

W. W. Dunlap 1068 

Superintendent of Schools. 

O.B. Wyman 1688-470 

HartweU Allen 1218 

Scattering * 

Associate Justice (full term). 

Harlow S. Orton 1486—1480 

Scattering 6 

Associate Justice (to fill vacancy). 

David Taylor 1460-1840 

Scattering 1 

ELECTION, November 5. 1878. 

Charles D.Parker 1718 

Herman L. Humphry 1718 

(1st District.) 

Jacob Eckhart ..880—126 

Chris Ellefson 804 

Scattering 1 



(2d District.) 

Roger William* 019-329 

James A. Cook 790 


James H. Hewey 1908—846 

William Frazier 1582 

Associate Justice of Supreme Court. 

OrsamusCole 2183—1827 

Montgomery M. Cothren 806 

Scattering 10 


William E. Smith 2092-1885 

Reuben May 707 

James G. Jenkins 877 

Lieutenant Governor. 

James M. Bingham 2104—1411 

William L. Utley 603 

George H.King 882 

Secretary of State. 

HansB. Warner 2108—1418 

GeorgeW Lee 690 

Samuel Ryan 880 

State Treasurer. 

Richard Guenther 2109—1420 

Peter A. Griffith 689 

Andrew Haven 880 

Attorney General. 

Alexander Wilson 2109—1419 

Edward G.Nye 690 

J. Montgomery Smith 880 

State Superintendent. 

William CWhitford 2098-1416 

William H.Searles 682 

Ed ward Searing 896 

State Senator. 

O. B. Thomas .1999—1219 

P.N.Peterson 780 

W.N.Carter 894 

Scattering 1 

(1st District.) 

J. Bckert - 944^-417 

P.J.Dale 827 

B. Schilling 98 

Scattering 7 

(2d District) 

D.C.Yakey 977-690 

G.W.Gregory 887 

H.O'ConneU 199 

Scattering 88 

Register of Deeds. 

J. W. Curry 1680-886 

C.C. Olson 1294 

W. T. McOonneU 192 

Scattering 8 

County Treasurer. 

Ole Johnson 2289—1501 

J. Conway 728 

Calvin Morley 196 

Scattering 2 

District Attorney. 

H. P. Proctor 

C. W. Groves 966 

Scattering. 6 

County Clerk. 

J.R. Casson 2808-1496 

Joseph Harris 812 

Clerk of Circuit Court. 

P.J. Layne 2806—1496 

W. MoClaren 812 

Superintendent of Schools. 

William Haughton 2888—1510 

H. A. Bemis 828 

Scattering 4 


William H. Knower 2189—1108 

J. P. Tharp 1081 

Scattering 2 


C. B. Morley 2170-1171 

Robert Wilson 999 

Scattering 8 


James A. Garfield (Rep) 2774—1760 

Winfleld S. Hanoock (Dem) 1014 

James B. Weaver(Gb) 626 

Neal Dow (Pro.) 8 


Herman L. Humphrey 2770—1762 

G. Y. Freeman 1008 

Joel Foster 582 

(1st District.) 

T. 0. Juve, 1618-1592 

Scattering... 26 


(2d District.) 

Allen Rusk... 1809—826 

C. B.Slebins 968 

Frank Wallar.. 2286—174 

Michael Rents 2062 

Chief Justice of Supreme Court. 

Orsamus Cole (to fill vacancy) 2616—2116 

G.W.Cate 1 

Chief Justice of Supreme Court. 

Orsamus Cole (full term) 2116—2115 

G.W.Cate 1 

Associate Justioe. 

John B. Cassaoy 2616—2615 

M. M. Cothren l 

County Judge. 

C. M. Butt 2601—2487 

N. E.Newell 64 

G.D. Wallar 28 





Jeremiah Busk. 2088-1664 

MlohaelFratt. 868 

Edward P. Allis 886 

T, G. Kanouse 168 

Scattering 6 

Lieutenant Governor. 

8. S. Fifleld 1994-1581 

WendallA. Anderson 418 

David Giddlngs 886 

Harvey 8. Clapp 184 

M. Johnson •. 1 

Secretary of State. 

Ernest G. Timmie Ii88— 1041 

Michael Johnson .686 

Wilson Hopkins. 818 

Edmond Bartlett 186 

State Treasurer. 

Edward C. MoFetridge 2008-1608 

FrankR. Falk 410 

Gerhart Lammers 886 

John J. Sutton 126 

Attorney General. 

LeanderF. Frisby 2008-1688 

Melanthon Brlggs 418 

Joel Foster 886 

E. J. Comstook 126 

State Superintendent. 

Robert Graham 2680-8196 

J. A. Gaynor 887 

N. N.Briokson 1 

Railroad Commissioners. 

N ills P. Hangen 8011—1604 

Ambrose Hoffman ... 407 

T.G. Brunson 888 

John Nader 119 

T. O. Juve 2 

Commissioner of Insurance. 

Philip L. Spooner. 2006 

Louis Kemper 412 

Lorenzo Merrill 887 

Thomas Bracken 116 

Chris BUefson 1 

State Senator. 

VanS. Bennett 2166—447 

Chris BUefson 1719 

J. A. Robb 006 

Scattering 7 


( 1st District. ) 

T. O. Juve 788—226 

Henry Schlong m 557 

Scattering 7 


( 2d District. ) 

T.J. Shear 11 IP— 881 

J. L. Joseph 808 

Register of Deeds. 

T. W. Curry. 1861-1090 

Joseph Omundson 866 

County Treasurer. 

Ole Johnson 8117—1466 

T.M. Vance 668 

District Attorney. 

O. B. Wyman 2807—8190 

Scattering 17 

County Clerk. 

JohnR. Casson 2849-8844 

Scattering .* 6 

Clerk of Circuit Court. 

P.J. Layne 8180—1661 

M. Monti 619 


W. H. Knower 2026—1880 

J. F. Tharp 600 

W. L. Riley 1 


Stanly Stout .2170-1646 

E. H. Morrison 074 

Scattering 8 

Superintendent of Schools. 

William Haughton 8170-1640 

Hartwell Allen 684 



Judge of Circuit Court 

Alfred W. Newman 8178-8167 

George G. Wallar 16 


CM. Butt 8048-096 

G. M.Woodward 1046 

B. F.Parker 189 

B.May 97 

Scattering 1 


(1st District.) 

Chris BUefson 916—207 

Henry H. Morgan 620 

(2d District.) 

M.C Nicholas f68— 118 

W. N. Carter 666 

William Landon 464 

J. C. Spellum 168 

William MoMiohael 8 

A. McCall 1 


S. R. Pollard 1751—185 

G. H. Hewey 1628 

Scattering \ 





In this chapter the various county officers are 
treated of. It is the design to trace the history 
of each county office, from the organization of 
the county, in 1851 to 1884, giving in connec- 
tion sketches of the gentlemen who have filled 
the various offices. 

The records of the elections held in Vernon 
county, prior to the war, are very meagre and 
deficient, and of some of the elections there is 
no record at all. Therefore, if the name of 
any one who has held a county office is omitted, 
it is because the omission occurs in the record. 

It will be noticed that the election of 1882 is 
the last one referred to. The reason of this is 
that the laws of the State have been changed 
so that the election of county officers will here- 
after be held "in even years." There was no 
election in November, 1883. The officers 
elected in 1881 hold three years. 


Upon the organization of the county, in 
April, 1851, James A. Cooke was elected first 
county treasurer. Mr. Cooke came from Illi- 
nois in 1848 or 1849, and settled with his fami- 
ly upon land about two miles east of the vil- 
lage, in the town of Yiroqua. He remained 
there until the time of his death in 1881, and 
his widow, who survives him, still lives upon 
the old homestead. Mr. Cooke was a promi- 
nent man here. He was a man of integrity 
and much intelligence; he was a local Metho- 
dist preacher, and after working hard all day 
upon his farm, whenever occasion demanded, 
would fill appointments in the evening. 

In November,1851, John Langley was elected 
county treasurer; but it seems there was some 
change in the county affairs at this time; for 
shortly after, it appears from the records, that 

Edmund Strang resigned the office of county 
treasurer, and John Longley was appointed to 
fill the place. Edmund Strang was a native of 
the State of New York. He came west in 1848, 
and settled at Springville, in the town of Jeffer- 
son, where he opened a farm. When elected 
or appointed treasurer, he did not move to the 
county seat, and it is thought never performed 
a single official act. He was a genial, pleasant 
man socially;.was well educated for those days, 
and this made him very popular; in fact, it is 
said, that the time was when he could have been 
elected to any office in the county by merely 
expressing the desire for it. He lived in the 
town of Jefferson until about 1875, when he 
moved to Osceola, Neb., where he still lives. 

John Longley was really the first to perform 
the duties of the office of county treasurer. 
Longley came to Bad Ax county at an early 
day, and located at Viroqua, where he followed 
the business of a carpenter and joiner. He was 
a lively, jovial fellow, and made friends. He 
left about 1854, and it is thought returned to 
Illinois. While he was treasurer, there was but 
little to do. It is said that at one time he carried 
all the records of his office, including the tax 
lists, in his pocket, upon sheets of foolscap. 

In November, 1853, John Gardner was elected 
treasurer. He was re-elected in September, 
1855, and again in November, 1857, serving in 
all six years. John Gardner came from Ohio 
in 1852 and settled in the village of Yiroqua 
with his family. He wps a house carpenter and 
cabinetmaker by trade; and an excellent work- 
man. He followed this business until elected 
to office. After serving his term of office as 
treasurer he moved to a piece of land two miles 
southeast of the village and opened a farm* 



Several years later he sold his place and re- 
moved to Missouri, where he still lives. He 
was a steady, sober, industrious man, and held 
the respect of all with whom he came in con- 

In November, 1850, James Lowrie was elected 
treasurer of Bad Ax county. In 1861, 1863 and 
1865 he was re-elected, serving until May, 1866, 
when he resigned and Col. C. M. Butt was ap- 
pointed to fill the office. James Lowrie was a 
brother of the Lowries who held the office of 
sheriff of the county at different times. He 
came to the county with the rest of the family 
in 1855, and located in Springville in the town 
of Jefferson, where he rented and run the grist 
mill until elected county treasurer, when he re- 
moved to Yiroqua. His popularity as an official 
is evident by the many times he was re- 
elected. As stated, he resigned in May, 1866, 
and removed to Monroe county, dying in Sparta 
several years ago. His widow still survives 
him. Mr. Lowrie made many friends by his 
genial, pleasant disposition; he was a promi- 
nent man here and his worth was also recog- 
nized in Monroe county, where he held some 
county office. 

In May, 1866, C. M. Butts, of Viroqua, was 
appointed treasurer to fill the vacancy occa- 
sioned by the resignation of Mr. Lowrie. In 
November, 1866, he was elected to the position, 
and was re-elected in 1867, serving until Jan. 1, 

J. W. Allen succeeded Col. Butt as county 
treasurer, being elected in November, 1869, and 
re-elected in 1871. Mr. Allen was a native of 
New York; but came to Vernon county from 
Lake Mills, Jefferson Co., Wis., at an early day 
and settled at Hillsborough. Here he erected 
a saw mill and followed the milling business 
until elected county treasurer, when he re- 
moved to Viroqua. While at the county seat 
he erected what is known as the Proctor & Tol- 
lefson block. Subsequently he returned to 
Hillsborough and engaged at farming, which 
he continued, with the exception of a short 

time spent at Odd Fellows work, until the time 
of his death, which occurred a few years ago. 
His widow still survives him, living upon the 
old homestead. 

In November, 1873, J. W. Greenman waa 
elected, county treasurer and served one term. 
Mr. Greenman came to what is now Vernon 
county, from Illinois, and located upon a farm 
in the town of Genoa. Upon his election to the 
office he moved to Viroqua. About the time 
that his term of office expired he received the 
appointment of deputy United States marshal 
for Utah, when he moved to Salt Lake City, 
where he still lives. He still holds that office. 
Greeuman was a prominent man. He had made 
a good officer in the 8th regiment during the 
war; was genial, pleasant, capable and intelli- 
gent. He was not much of a politician, but he 
had so many friends, it was easy for him to get 
into office. He served one term in the Legisla- 
ture, representing the western district of Ver- 
non county, while Senator Cameron was 
Speaker of the House, and that gentleman took 
a strong liking to Greenman, aiding afterward 
in securing for him the appointment which he 
now holds. 

In November, 1875, Ole Johnson was elected 
treasurer. Having been re-elected in 1877, 1879 
and 1881, he is the present incumbent. 

Ole Johnson, who is serving his fourth term 
as treasurer of Vernon county, resides in the 
town of Hamburg, where he owns a fine farm 
of 250 acres. Mr. Johnson was born in Norway, 
in 1820, and came to the United States when 
twenty-nine years of age. He resided about a 
year in Iowa Co., Wis., and in the fall of 1850, 
went to La Crosse. In 1855 he settled per- 
manently in the town of Hamburg. He located 
on section 22, where he has a pleasant home. 
Mr. Johnson is one of the prominent citizens of 
Hamburg town, and in the autumn of 1861, was 
elected to represent this district in the General 
Assembly of the State, serving one term. His 
wife is also a native of Norway, and three chil- 



dren have been born to them— Henry, Martin 
and Mary, all natives of Hamburg town. 


The first to fill this office for the county of 
Bad Ax— now Vernon— was Jacob Higgins. He 
was elected upon the organization of the county 
in April, 1651, and re-elected in November, 1851. 
Jacob Higgins was among the early settlers in 
the region of Liberty Pole in the town of Frank- 
lin, locating upon a farm where he lived until 
the time of his death. 

In November, 1853, S. C. Lincoln was elected 
and served one term. He came from New York 
in 1851, and settled at Viroqua. He had no 
regular business until elected to office. He made 
a good register. For a number of years he ran 
a hotel, and was postmaster at Viroqua, remain- 
ing until 1879, when he received the appoint- 
ment of railroad mail agent on the Northwestern 
Railroad, which position he still occupies. 

In September, 1855, Hon. W. F. Terhune, was 
elected to succeed Mr. Lincoln. He kept the 
registers office in his law office. 

Daniel P. Allison was elected register in 
November, 1857, and was re-elected in 1859. 
Allison came from Illinois and settled at Viro- 
qua, becoming deputy postmaster and re- 
taining that position until elected register. He 
was only able to do such work as this, on ac 
count of having one cork leg, which crippled 
him badly. He remained until the war broke 
out, when he left, turning up later at Johnsons- 
burg, Mo. He was a steady, sober fellow, and 
an excellent scribe. 

In November, 1861, W. S. White was elected 
and being re-elected in 1863 and 1865, served 
six years. W. S. White came from the State of 
New York, at an early day, and settled on West 
Prairie in the town of Sterling. When elected 
to office, he removed to Viroqua and remained 
until 1876, when he moved to Hutchinson, Kan., 
where he still lives. When last heard from, 
his wife, who was an excellent milliner, was 
running a store in Hutchinson, while be was 
doing torn kind of railroad work. 

G. W. Griffin succeeded Mr. White. He was 
elected in the fall of 1867, and served one term. 
G. W. Griffin came to Vernon county with his 
parents about 1852. When the war broke out 
he enlisted, and after its close came back "all 
shot to pieces." He was elected register of 
deeds, and after serving his term, was re-nomi- 
nated, but withdrew and went to Madison. 
Later, he went to Kansas, where it is believed, 
he was killed by the Indians. His widow is 
now Mrs. Daniel Wise, of Viroqua. 

In November, 1869, H. N. Preus was elected 
register, and served one term. He was a Nor- 
wegian; came here from Madison, and settled 
upon Coon Prairie. In 1867 he was elected 
clerk of circuit court, and moved to town, and 
two years later, was elected register. He is 
now railway mail agent on the railroad between 
Viroqua and Sparta, and lives at the latter place. 

Edward Lind was elected register in Novem- 
ber, 1873, and re-elected in 1875. He was a 
young Norwegian who had settled in the town 
of Harmony. When elected to office, he re- 
moved to Viroqua, and remained several years 
when he went to Nebraska where he still lives. 

C. C. Oleson, of Viroqua, succeeded Mr. Lind, 
being elected in November, 1877. 

In November, 1879, J. W. Curry was elected 
register of deeds. In 1881 he was re-elected, 
and is the present incumbent. 

John W. Curry, register of deeds of Vernon 
county, was born in Morgan Co., Ohio, in 1840. 
He was reared and educated among the hills of 
southeastern Ohio, and in 1862, the second year 
of the civil war, he enlisted in the 86th regi- 
ment, Ohio Volunteers, serving three months. 
In the summer of 1 863 he took part in the cap- 
ture of Morgan's famous brigade, and in the 
fall of the same year came to Vernon county, 
and located in the town of Webster. In March, 
1865, he enlisted in the 53d regiment, Wiscon- 
sin Volunteers, and served till the close of the 
war. He then returned to Vernon county, and 
from that period, until 1879, was engaged in 
farming during the spring sad summer seasons, 



brought up on a farm also teaching school while 
a young man. He was a member of the Ver- 
non Legislature in 1 858-0. He has lived in Ver- 
non county since 1856, except two seasons spent 
in Minnesota and two years spent in Juneau Co., 
Wis. His wife's maiden name was Lucia Thomas, 
she was born in Franklin Co., Vt. They 
have four children: Harriet, wife of William 
Mutch; Mrs Cornelia Williams; William T., of 
Hastings, Minn., and J. M. Jr., of Dakota terri- 

In November, 1866, John R. Casson was 
elected county clerk. He has been re-elected 
seven times— in 1869, 1871, 1873, 1875, 1877, 
1870 and 1881, and is the present incumbent, 
having served the county a greater number of 
years than any other man who has ever held 
office here. 

John R. Casson was first elected county clerk 
in November, 1866, and has served continu- 
ously in that capacity since Jan. 1, 1867. Mr. 
Casson was born in Albany, N. Y., March 2, 
1833. His parents, Henry and Mary Casson, 
removed with their family to Brownsville, 
Penn., in the summer of 1833, and in 1848 
again sought a new home, this time in the "far 
west." They located at Hennepin, Putnam 
Co., 111., where the father, brother and sister 
still live; the mother died in 1872. When 
thirteen years of age Mr. Casson obtained em- 
ployment as a clerk, and was engaged alter- 
nately in clerking and attending school for 
some years. He finally went to Freeport, 111., 
and a short time after, in December, 1854, 
came to Viroqua. He was employed as a clerk 
until August, 1862, when he enlisted in com- 
pany A, 25th regiment, Wisconsin Volunteer 
Infantry. Upon the organization of the com- 
pany, Mr. Casson was made 2d sergeant ; was 
promoted to a 2d lieutenantcy Sept. 13, 1862 ; 
elected as 1st lieutenant, Jan. 20, 1864, and 
chosen as captain of his company April 11, 
1865. He participated in all the skirmishes 
and battles of "the 25th," "and with Sherman 
marched down to the sea." He formed one in 

that glorious review of western troops at Wash- 
ington, at the close of the rebellion, and was • 
mustered out of service June 7, 1865. He re- 
turned to Vernon county, and was in the em- 
ploy of J. H. Tate, as a clerk, from Sep- 
tember, 1865, till December, 1866. In the fall 
of the latter year he was elected to his present 
position, and his character and actions as a 
citizen, a soldier, and a public official, have 
won for him the confidence and esteem of the 
community and the county at large. Mr. Cas- 
son married Lydia A., daughter of Dr. E. W. 
Tinker, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this 
volume. They are the parents of four children 
— Harry I., a clerk in the pension department 
of the United States, at Washington, D. C. ; 
Lulu E., wife of A W. Campbell, of the law 
firm of Harris <fc Campbell, Aberdeen, Dak. ; 
William E. and John E. — all natives of Viroqua. 


Bufus Gillett was the first sheriff of the 
county, being elected in April, 1851. Rufus 
Gillett came from Illinois, in 1847, and settled 
upon a farm in township 13, range 4, now the 
town of Viroqua. He remained upon the place 
until the time of his death, a few years ago, 
and his widow still survives him. Mr. Gillett 
was a man of sterling worth and integrity. 
He held the respect of all who knew him. 

James M. Bailey was elected sheriff in 
November, 1851, and re-elected in November, 
1853. Bailey was a Ken tuckian by birth, but 
came to Bad Ax county, from Grant Co., Wis., 
where he had been engaged at mining. He 
settled upon land on West Prairie, which is 
now included in the town of Sterling. About 
1873 he removed to near Victory, in the town 
of Wheatland, where he still lives. 

In September, 1855, Jeremiah M. Rusk was 
elected sheriff and served for two years. He 
is the present governor of Wisconsin. 

William P. Clark succeeded J. M. Rusk as 
sheriff, being elected in November, 1857. Clark 
was a relative of, and came from the same 
place as did J. M. Bailey. He, also, settled 




upon West Prairie, and remained until about 
the time the war broke out, when he removed 
to Victory. In 1882 he went to Tomah, Wis., 
where he still lives. 

By the November election, 1859, William 
Goode succeeded Mr. Clark. Goode was a native 
of Kentucky. He came to Bad Ax county 
from Illinois, in 1852, and located upon land in 
township 13, range 5 west. He was a single 
man at the time, but married within a few 
years. Several years later he bought the old 
Decker place, which was the original site of 
the village, and moved to Viroqua. He re- 
mained in Viroqua until a short time before 
the war broke out, when he removed to Mel- 
vina, Monroe county, where he still lives. 
Goode was a prominent man in early days, and 
held various offices of trust. 

Lewis Sterling was elected sheriff in Novem- 
ber, 1861, and served two years. Mr. Sterling 
was also a Kentuckian, and one of the earliest 
pioneers of western Wisponsin. Ho located 
upon a piece of land on West Prairie, now 
included in the town of Sterling, which town 
was named after the family of that name. 
Lewis Sterling remained upon the land which 
he first selected until after the close of the war, 
when he sold out and removed to Cass Co., 
Mo., where he still lives. He was a man of a 
great deal more than ordinary ability and intel- 
ligence. In fact, in pioneer days, he was 
among the most prominent men in the county. 
C. E. Rogers was elected sheriff in Novem- 
ber, 1863. Mr. Rogers was born in Wayne Co., 
Penn., in 1834. In 1840 he came west to Wis- 
consin and settled at Ontario, now in Vernon 
oounty, where he was subsequently engaged in 
milling. When the war broke out he enlisted 
in company I, 6th Wisconsin regiment, and 
became lieutenant, serving as aid to Gen. 
Wadsworth' In the summer of 1863, he re- 
signed, came home and was elected sheriff. He 
soon abandoned the office, raised a company 
for the 50th regiment, and went into the ser- 
vice as captain. In 1866 he was mustered out 

and settled at Monomonee, Wis. He now 
lives at Chippewa Falls, where he is foreman 
for the Mississippi Valley Lumber Company. 
C. E. Rogers was married in 1856 to Emily 
Tuttle. They have seven children. 

In November, 1865, Capt. R. S. McMichael 
was elected sheriff and served for two years. 
He is the present postmaster at Viroqua, and is 
noticed elsewhere at length. 

T. B. Brown succeeded Capt. McMichael as 
sheriff, being elected in November, 1867. Mr. 
Brown came from Ohio in 1854 and settled 
upon a farm in what is now the town of Green- 
wood, Vernon county. Subsequently he moved 
to Viroqua, where he lived until the time of his 
death, which occurred in 1881. Mr. Brown 
was among the most respected of old settlers. 
He was a prominent man ; ran the postoffice 
during the war, and served as sheriff of the 
county more years than any other man who has 
ever filled the office. 

In. November, 1869, W. W. Lowrie was 
elected sheriff. VT. W. Lowrie came from the 
State of New York, and in 1855 located upon a 
piece of land in the town of Jefferson, Ver- 
non county. He was a singly man at the 
time, but later married Mrs. Shaw. When 
he was elected to office he moved to town , 
where his home remained until the time 
of his deaths which occurred while he was at 
LaCrosse, Sept. 10, 1870. His disease was con- 
tracted while he was in the army. He had a 
gallant soldier's record. He was in the 
Chicago board of trade battery. At Shiloh he 
was the only man who stayed uninjured with 
the guns, and with the repulse of the enemy, 
he arose, and without any help loaded a cannon 
and sent a shot flying after the rebels. 

Upon the death of Mr. Lowrie, deputy sheriff 
Nathan Coe, of Viroqua, became sheriff ex- 
officio until the November election, 1870, when 
he was elected for 'he balance of the term. 

In November, 1871, T B. Brown was again 
elected sheriff, aud served for three years, the 




law at this time being changed so that sheriffs 
were thereafter to be elected in " even years." 

Alexander Lowrie succeeded Mr. Brown, 
being elected in November, 1874. He was a 
brother of the former sheriff, W. W. Lowrie ; 
came here with the old folks and settled in the 
town of Jefferson, where Alexander made his 
home until the time of his death, which oc- 
curred a few years ago. He was an excellent 
citizen and made a faithful and satisfactory 

In November, 1876, Calvin E. Morley was 
elected sheriff and served one term. Calvin 
E. Morley was born in Irving, Chautauqua Co., 
N. Y., Nov. 12, 1843. His parents came west 
in 1858, settling in the town of Franklin, Ver- 
non, then Bad Ax county. In February, 1862, 
he enlisted in company C, 19th regiment, Wis- 
consin Volunteer Infantry, and served three 
years and four months. On the 27th of Sep- 
tember, 1871, he was married to Louisa J. Bliss, 
daughter of Hon. Albert Bliss. In 1879 Mr. 
Morley engaged in the mercantile business" but 
owing to failing health, in 1880 he sold out and 
accepted a position as traveling salesman for 
Ricker, Crombie <fc Co., of Milwaukee. On the 
16th of April, 1883, he was appointed aid-de- 
camp, with the rank of colonel, on the staff of 
Gov. J. M. Rusk. 

James H. Hewey, of Viroqua, was elected 
Sheriff in November, 1878, and served for one 
term. He is now proprietor of a livery at Vi- 
roqua, and also a member of the firm of Russell 
& Hewey, dealers in agricultural implements. 
He was born in Kennebec Co., Maine, in 1830, 
and in 1855, located at Janesville, Wis. The 
year following he came to Bergen town, in this 
county, where he purchased land. For a num- 
ber of years he was engaged in lumbering on 
the Black river, and subsequently owned a 
wagon shop at Chaseburg for five years. Dur- 
ing the war he served one year as a member of 
company L, 1st Wisconsin Heavy Artillery. In 
1877, he became** resident of Viroqua, and in 
the fall of 1879 was elected sheriff of Vernon 

county, serving in that capacity one term. Mr. 
Hewey enjoys a very fair trade, both in the 
livery and implement business. He married 
Phebe Davis, a daughter of Jesse Davis, who 
lost his life by drowning, in 1855. Mrs. Davis 
and family came to Vernon county after the 
death of her husband, and settled in Bergen 
township. She now resides in La Crosse, Wis. 
Mr. and Mrs. Hewey are the parents of three 
children, two living — Hannah and Effie. Ida 
died April 26, 1865. 

Frank A. Wallar, succeeded Mr. Hewey as 
sheriff being elected in November, 1880. He 
came here with his parents in 1854, from Ohio 
and settled in the town of Sterling. Later they 
moved to the town of Genoa. When he was 
elected sheriff, he moved to Viroqua, where he 
lived until the spring of 1 883 when he moved 
to Spink Co., D. T., where he still lives. Mr. 
Wallar was in the service as lieutenant of com- 
pany I, 6th Wisconsin. The following mention 
of his army record was made by Maj. Earl M. 
Rogers : " Lieutenant F. A. Wallar, the only 
soldier who never missed a 'battle or a meal,' 
mustered out with the company after four 
years of active service, as brave a soldier as 
ever fought in the ranks. In the charge at Get- 
tysburg July 1, 1863, on the rebel General Arch- 
er's brigade, in the railroad cut where the fight 
was hand to hand, Wallar sprang into rebel ranks 
seized the colors of the 2d Mississippi regiment, 
wrenched them from the hands of the color 
bearer, and jumped back to the ranks of his 
own company with his trophy of war. For that 
act of conspicuous gallantry, example of un- 
daunted bravery, courage and coolness, Con- 
gress, by a joint resolution voted him a medal 
of honor, which was presented to him in pres- 
ence of the brigade, in February, 1865." 

In November, 1882, S. R. Pollard was elected 
sheriff of Vernon county, and is the present in- 
cumbent. He was born in 1841, at Newark 
township, Tioga Co., N. Y. He enlisted Feb. 
22, 1862, at Binghampton, Broome Co., N. Y., 
in the 16th New York Battery, an independent 



regiment, serving three years in the army. He 
participated in both attacks on Fort Fisher, was 
at the battle of Fredericksburg and was in 
front of Petersburg during Grant's siege of 
that city. Mr. Pollard was married in 1865 to 
Amanda Bui lard, born in New York State. He 
came to Vernon Co., Wis., in 1866, locating in 
Franklin township, and engaging in farming 
until elected sheriff. During the re-union of 
the 6. A. R., of which organization Mr. Pollard 
is a member, Sept. 4, 1882, at Viroqua, he 
lost his arm by an accident. Mr. and Mrs. 
Pollard have two children — Dora B., born May 
30, 1866, and Mancil £., born in March, 1870. 


When the county of Bad Ax was organized, 
the educational system of Wisconsin differed 
much from that of the present day. Then each 
civil town had a superintendent of schools. 
In the winter of 1860-1 the Legislature 
abolished the old system, and created the office 
of the county superintendent of schools. 

While the county was organized as the civil 
town of Bad Ax, the first town superintendent 
was Michael Ilinkst. He was succeeded by W. 
F. Terhune. 

•The first county superintendent of schools 
\va< Kev. L. L. Radcliff, who was elected in 
November, 1861. He came to Viroqua as a 
Congregational preacher ; he was a thoroughly 
educated, industrious, methodical man and made 
.a good superintendent. Upon him, as the first 
snperintendent, devolved the hard task of in- 
augurating and setting in motion the wheels of 
the new system. 

In November, 1868, Hartwell Allen, of the 
town of Harmony, was elected county superin- 
tendent. He was re-elected in 1865, serving 
until Jan. 1, 1868. 

In November, 1867, T. J. Shear, of Hillsbor- 
ough, was elected to succeed Mr. Allen, and 
served one term. 

J. N. Wright was elected in November, 1869, 
and served two years. Mr. Wright came to 
Vernon county at an early day from Oh ; o, and 

located in the town of Webster. He was a 
school teacher by profession and taught school 
in various parts of the county. A few years 
ago he removed to one of the northern Wiscon- 
sin counties. 

Succeeding Mr. Wright, Hartwell Allen was 
again elected and served another term as super- 

In November, 1873, O. B. Wyman was elect- 
ed county superintendent. In 1876 and 1877 
he was re-elected, serving in all six years. He 
is now district attorney for Vernon county. 

William Haughton succeeded Mr. Wyman, 
being elected in November, 1879, and re-elected 
in 1881. William Haughton moved with his fam- 
ily to Wisconsin in the year 1865 from western 
Canada, where his parents had settled with a 
large family while he was still a boy. Brought 
up on a farm with an only brother two years 
younger than himself, his thoughts turned 
rather to books than to the plow. By wood 
and lake and breezy hills he became imbued 
with the spirit of poetry and at the age of fif- 
teen was a com ributor to a local paper published 
at Barrie on the shores of the beautiful lake 
Simcoe, north of the city of Toronto. Soon 
after he wrote for the Morning Chronicle^ of 
Quebec, and for the Times of Owen Sound, on 
the borders of Huron, in Grey county, occai»ion- 
ally finding a welcome and a oorner in Gra- 
ham's and other American magazines, always 
writing under the nam de plume of Sylvicola, 
or the Woodsman. As his parents were mem- 
bers of the Church of England, whose gorgeous 
liturgy captivated his young heart, he prepared 
himself both by home study under the direc- 
tion and assistance of the pastor of his 
Church, and by the aid of publie schools for the 
ministry of the establishment. While yet 
young he became a fair classical and mathemati- 
cal scholar and soon began the study of theol- 
ogy. Ciroumstances, however, prevented his 
entering the ministry of the Church of England. 

Instead thereof he married the girl of his 
heart's choice, whom he had known from child- 



hood, and ere he was yet twenty-one or she sev- 
enteen years old they took upon themselves the 
cares and burdens of housekeeping, settling in 
western Canada, where he taught school and 
gave private instructions for a living. He has 
never had cause to regret his early marriage. 
His companion has been a faithful and loving 
wife through all these years; at this writing the 
mother of twelve ^children, four boys and eight 
girls. Three of the number sleep, and nine 
are living. One girl is married to Henry 
Carson, Jr., of the Yiroqua Censor; another to 
Theodore Brown, of Canada, but who now 
resides near Yiroqua; and one has been for 
some years a teacher in the graded schools of 

As before stated, Mr. Haughton settled in 
Wisconsin the year of Lincoln's martyrdom in 
1865. He loved America long before he came 
to it. He wrote of her liberties and noble in- 
stitutions, and at last received a welcome and a 
home in the land he loved. Soon after coming 
he published the lines that have since appeared 
in book form under the caption of Ad Meant 
Musam, which perhaps we will be pardoned in 
reproducing here: 

Come my old harp, in other days 
We trilled some wild and stirring lays, 
Though rude our songs, yet full and f res 
We poured untaught our minstrelsy; 
And there were hearts that heard and felt 
Our music oft could soothe and melt; 
Could fall entranced on beauty's ear, 
And wake the sigh and win the tear. 
Through Kippel's shades— by Huron's strand— 
I swept thee with inspiring hand; 
By Elva's lonely stream I gave 
Thy music to the trembling wave. 

Here still the morn thy songs invite, 
The parting eve— The starry night— 
The fragrant vale— The leafy hill, 
The lake, the mountain and the rill, 
Here where Itasca's gorgeous lake 
With glory burns -a wake— awake I 
Where Mississippi's waters roll 
Are scenes to warm and nerve the soul. 
We love the land whose kindly breast 
A welcome gave and bade us rest. 

Her patriot songs, her birds and flowers, 
Her mountains and her lakes and ours. 
No stranger wanders to her heart 
Then longs to leave it ai»d depart. 
Her generous grasp is round him thrown 
She wins and wears him as her own. 
Oi heaven blessed land! from sea to sea, 
From isle to isle they throng to thee— 
They come thy noblest boons to share — 
Enough for all, and yet to spare. 

In boyhoods years we loved to tell 
Of how her heroes fought and fell; 
How met the dark oppressors pride- 
Beat back his hosts and conquering died. 
We loved to trace her history o'er, 
And longed to tread her sacred shore; 
To feel the liberty she gave 
And find near her great heart a grave. 
For me, when I her name forget— 
The welcome on these shores I met— 
May I an ingrate, wandering roam, 
An outcast from the joys of home. 

Mr. Haughton moved from La Crosse county 
to Newton, in Vernon county, in 1872, where he 
took charge of the Harmony Baptist Church, 
and where he accepted ordination to the minis- 
try. In the fall of the following year, he took 
charge of the Yiroqua Graded School, and af- 
terward, of the High Sohool, of which schools 
he continued in charge for four years. For 
some eight years he served the Congregational 
Church at Yiroqua, as acting pastor, giving up 
that charge in 1881. He has by continued and 
close attention to his duties, won the good will 
and confidence of the publio, laboring amongst 
the schools during the week days and preach- 
ing at some point on Sundays, when Churches 
and people are in need of, and willing to hear 
the gospel. For several years, he was a con- 
tributor to the Yiroqua Censor, and from which 
office a small collection of some of his poems 
were given the public in book form. He con- 
tinued for many years to write for the Canadian 
papers and is State contributor to the Milwau- 
kee Wisconsin, where he is retained upon the 
staff of correspondents to that widely circular 
ted and very popular publication. Mr. Haugh- 
tons heart and soul are enlisted in the cause of 



education and this fact enables him to be a faith- 
ful servant of the public, which has seen fit to 
continue him so far in his present work and for 
which his early training and predelictions fit 


Samuel McMichael was the first surveyor of 
Bad Ax county, being elected at the organiza- 
tion of the county in April, 1851. In Novem- 
ber, 1851, and again in 1853, he was re-elected. 
Samuel McMichael was born in Crawford Co., 
Penn., in 1815, and moved with his parents to 
Muskingum Co., Ohio. In 1850 he came west 
with his family to Vernon Co., Wis., and 
settled at Springville, in the town of Jefferson. 
There he lived until 1854, when he moved to 
Viroqua, which place remained his home until 
the time of his death. When the war broke 
out he enlisted in company C, 18th regiment, 
Wisconsin Volunteers, and was taken prisoner 
at Shiloh, April 6, 1862, with Prentiss 9 division. 
He was placed in the rebel prison at Macon, 
Ga., and died on the 27th of June, 1862 
Samuel McMichael was a much respected man 
among the pioneers, and his sad death was 
widely mourned in Vernon county. 

In September, 1855, W. F. Beavers was 
elected surveyor, but only served a short time 
when he died and Samuel McMichael was 
appointed to fill the vacancy thus occasioned. 
Beavers came from Indiana in 1853, and settled 
at Springville, in the town of Jefferson. He 
was a professional surveyor, following that busi- 
ness for a living. He was well thought of by 
all who knew him, and gave excellent satisfac- 
tion as a surveyor. 

Samuel McMichael was elected in November, 
1856, to serve out the balance of Beavers' 

In November, 1857, Green Spurrier was 
elected surveyor and served one term. Mr. 
Spurrier came from Ohio in 1854, and settled 
with his family at Viroqua. He was a profes- 
sional surveyor. He remained at Viroqua until 
during the war, when he moved to near Sparta, 

Monroe county, and died there in 1881. He 
was a pleasant, social fellow, quite a politician 
and made many friends here. 

Lemuel Joseph was elected surveyor in 
November, 1859, and was re-elected in 1861 
and 1863, serving six years. He came here 
with his family from Ohio, in 1855, and settled 
upon a farm in the town of Webster. He * 
lived there until he died, about 1873. 

B. S. Moore, of Readstown, succeeded Lem- 
uel Joseph, as surveyor. He was elected in 
November, 1865, and served one term. 

H. C. Joseph became a surveyor by virtue of 
the election in November, 1867. He was a son 
of the former surveyor, Samuel Joseph. He 
remained upon his father's farm until about 
1876, when he removed to Sioux City, Iowa, and 
is now engaged in farming near that place. He 
was an excellent citizen, conscientious and hon- 
orable in all of his dealings with men. 

In November, 1869, 1. F. Thorp, of the town 
of Jefferson, was elected surveyor and served 
one term.. I. F. Thorp became a resident of 
Vernon county in the fall of 1856, and has since 
resided in Jefferson township. He was born 
May 1, 1832, in Muskingum Co., Ohio, his p r- 
ents being Morgan and Mary A. Thorp. 
When eight years old he was left motherless, 
and resided until fifteen years of age with 
Daniel Murphy, a farmer, at which time he 
began life for himself. He subsequently 
worked for different parties, at various employ- 
.ments, attending school at intervals, and thus 
obtaining a good education. In 1854 he was 
married to Mary E. Joseph, and two years later 
came to Wisconsin, making the trip with a 
team. His wife died in the fall of 1866, leav- 
ing one daughter — Sarah, who died July 4, 1879. 
In the spring of 1857 Mr. Thorp and Archibald 
Morrison succeeded John M. Qoldrich in the 
manufacture of fanning mills. They continued 
in partnership one season, since which time Mr. 
Thorp has given his attention to fanning. He is 
a republican, and has held the office of township 
clerk, was county surveyor two terms, and has 



held the office of justice of the peaoe for several 

B. S. Moore, of Readstown, succeeded Mr. 
Thorp and served one term. 

In November, 1873, I. F. Thorp was again 
elected surveyor. 

Egbert Wyman, of Hillsborough, was elected 
.surveyor in November, 1875, and served two 
years. He is now reading law in the office of 
Rusk & Wyman at Viroqua. 

W. H. Enower, of Genoa, was elefcted in No- 
vember, 1877, and being re-elected in 1879 and 
1881, is the present surveyor. Mr. Enower has 
been a resident of the county since 1855. He 
was born in Roxbury, Mass., in 1830, and lived 
there until he was ten years of age, when he 
went to the city of New York with his parents. 
He received a good education and was engaged 
in teaching many years, both before and since he 
came west, He first came to Wisconsin in 1850, 
but returned to Brooklyn and engaged in busi- 
ness. In 1 855 he came west to stay. He was 
married in Rock Co., Wis., to Mary Elliott. 
They have three sons and one daughter. 


Thomas J. De Frees was the first county 
judge of Bad Ax county. He was elected upon 
the organization of the county in April, 1851, 
and served four years. 

Hon. William F. Terhune, of Viroqua, suc- 
ceeded T. J. De Frees as county judge. He 
was elected in September, 1855. 

la April, 1858, Hon. James E. Newell, of Vir- 
oqua, was elected county judge, serving a term 
of four years* 

Hon.Carson Graham succeeded Judge Newell. 
He was elected in April, 1861, and re-elected in 
April, 1865, serving eight years, 

In April, 1860, Hon. William S. Purdy, of 
Viroqua, was elected county judge. 

Through the election of county judge, in 
April, 1873, there arose one of the most impor- 
tant lawsuits that has ever been decided by the 
supreme court of Wisconsin. The candidates 
for county judge were William S. Purdy, the 

incumbent, and James E. Newell. Mr. Purdy 
received 1,217 votes and Mr. Newell 1,240, a 
majority for the latter of twenty-three votes. 
The salary of the county judge had been fixed 
at $1,000 per annum, by the board of supervi- 
sors. During the campaign J. E. Newell pub- 
lished a card addressed to the voters, stating 
that he would attend to the duties of the office 
for the sum of $600 per annum. After the result 
of the election was declared, Mr. Purdy refused 
to give up the office. Both parties claimed to 
be elected, and both filed the official oath and 
bond required by law. Whereupon an action in 
the nature of quo warranto was brought in the 
supreme court by the attorney general at the 
relation of J. E. Newell, to determine which of 
the parties had been eleeted to the office. The 
grounds upon which the plaintiff, or relator, 
stood, was that he had received a majority of 
twenty-three votes over his opponent, and was 
therefore entitled to the office. The defendant, 
W. S. Purdy, based his defense upon the ground 
that the offer of J. E. Newell to perform the 
work of the office for $600, and thus donate 
$400 to the county, was a species of bribery and 
tended to a corruption of the ballot box. He 
further named 10& voters and tax payers who 
it was claimed "intended to vote for. the defend- 
ant, but were unlawfully and wrongfully induced 
by said corrupt offers of the relator, J. E. Newell, 
to change their purpose and vote for said relator." 
The points, made in the argument, supporting 
the grounds taken by the defense were : " I. It 
is bribery to pay money to a voter or to prom- 
ise him money or any other pecuniary consider- 
ation whereby he is induced to vote, or to forr 
bear voting, or whereby he is induced to vote 
for a particular candidate. 2. Though the offer 
here was to pay the county, and not the voters 
directly, yet it was an offer of pecuniary benefit 
to the voter and tax payer by diminished taxa- 
tion if he would vote for the relator and secure 
his election. 3. All votes obtained by the pe- 
cuniary inducement offered by the relator are 
illegal and must be disregarded by the court in 



this action." After a lengthy argument the su- 
preme court decided in favor the defendant, and 
held that W. S. Purdy was entitled to the office 
of county judge of Vernon county for another 
four years. 

In April, 1877, Hon. C. M. Butt, of Viroqua, 
was elected county judge. In April, 1881, he 
was re-elected. 

The gentlemen who have held the office of 
county judge, having all been lawyers, are 
treated at length in the bar chapter. 


As all of the gentlemen who have held this 
office are treated at length in the chapter 
devoted to the bar, in this connection it will 
only be necessary to give their names and the 
years in which they were elected : 

Lorenzo A. Pierce, 1851; T. J DeFrees,1853, 
1855; Rojal C. Bierce, 1857; C. M. Butt, 1859; 
W. F. Terhune, 1861; D. B. Priest, 1863, 1865; 
J. E. Newell, 1867; Carson Graham, 1869;C. M. 
Butt,187l, 1873; H. P. Proctor, 1875, 1877, 1879; 
O. B. Wyman, 1881. 


This office was not filled at the organization 
of the county. Prom the records it would ap- 
pear that the office was vacant a good many 

Clement Spaulding was the first coroner of 
the county, being elected in November, 1851. 

In November, 1857, Jeremiah M. Rusk was 
elected coroner. He is the present governor 
of Wisconsin. 

In November, 1861, Charles W. Pitcher was 
elected coroner. Pitcher came from Illinois in 
1855 and settled at Liberty Pole, in the town of 

Franklin. He remained there a number of 
years, then moved to Viroqua. From the latter 
place he went to Sparta, where his wife died. 
He has since moved to Iowa. 

Elisha W. Pickerael succeeded Mr. Pitcher 
as coroner, being elected in 1863. Mr. Pickerael 
came from Ohio in 1856 and settled in Viroqua, 
where he was married a few days later to 
Rachel White. He was a school teacher by 
profession. He remained in the village for 
several years; then purchased a farm east of 
town where he moved and lived until his death 
in 1872. He was a good citizen; esteemed by all 
who knew him. 

In November, 1865, H. A. Robinson was 
elected coroner. In 1867 he was re-elected. 
Robinson was a blacksmith who settled at 
Liberty Pole, town of Franklin, at an early day. 
About 1856 he moved to Viroqua, and opened a 
shop there, remaining until the time of his 

H. D. Williams, of Viroqua, was elected cor- 
oner in 1869 and re-elected in 1871. 

C. E. Morley succeeded Mr. Williams, being 
elected in November, 1873. 

B. J. Castle, a newspaper man from De Soto, 
was elected coroner in November, 1875, and 
served two years. 

H. C. Gosling, of Viroqua, was elected coro- 
ner in 1877. 

Succeeding Mr. Gosling, in November, 1879, 
C. E. Morley was again elected coroner and 
served one term. 

Stanley Stout, of the town of Liberty, was 
elected coroner in November, 1881, and is the 
present incumbent. - 





The first physician to locate within the limits 
of the territory now constituting Vernon county 
was Dr. John H. Sudduth. He was a Kentuck- 
ian by birth; but came from Grant Co., Wis., in 
1847 or 1848, and located upon a farm in what 
is now the town of Jefferson. In 1850 he moved 
to the village of Springville, where he remained 
until just before the breaking out of the war, 
when he moved to St. Charles, Minn. He is 
still in practice at that place, having become 
very wealthy. 

The second physician in the county was Dr. 
George A. Swain. Some of the early settlers, 
however, claim that Dr. Swain came full as 
early as Dr. Sudduth. Dr. Swain came from Ohio 
and located upon a farm near where Brookville 
now is in the town of Franklin. There he re- 
mained until a few years ago, when he removed 
to Kansas, where he died in 1883. 

The first physician in the county educated for 
the profession was Dr. Henry G. Weeden. 


The most prominent physicians who have 
been located at Viroqua in the past are Drs. 
Henry G. Weeden, Elisha W. Tinker, J. H. 
Sohooley and James Rusk. Among those who 
have studied medicine and really began their 
professional career here, the most of them, how- 
ever, attending and graduating from some med- 
ical college, are the following njuned: Drs. W. 
W. Rusk, now deceased; Cass Purdy, now of 
Iowa; W. B. Morley, now of Nealsville, Wis.; 
Albert Cory, of Chaseburg; J. B. Trowbridge, 
now of Minnesota; Frank Johnson of Browns- 
dale, Minn.; and Dr. Chase. 

Dr. Henry G. Weeden was the first physician 
to locate at Viroqua. Dr. Weeden was born in 
the town of Washington, Orleans Co., Vt., on 
the 29th of October, 1841. He was educated at 
Burlington, in his native State, and came to 
Viroqua in 1852. He remained here until 1866, 
when he removed to Montana, where he died 
on the 26th of August, 1871. His family still 
live in Montana. Dr. Weeden was one of the 
sufferers by the terrible tornado of 1865. One 
of his children was killed, he was severely in- 
jured and his buildings were destroyed. Dr. 
Weeden was a man of education, both generally 
and professionally. He improved the farm ad- 
jacent to Viroqua, now occupied by Nathan 

Dr. Elisha W. Tinker was the second physi- 
cian to locate at Viroqua. He came here from 
Morgan Co., Ohio, in 1854, and at once began 
practice. He remained until May, 1883, when 
he removed to the State of Missouri, where he 
still lives and follows his profession. He was a 
good physician and an excellent man. 

Dr. J. H. Sohooley came from Ohio in 1855, 
and located with his family at Viroqua. He 
was not a graduate of any medical school, but 
was a man of "good, sound sense and had had 
some experience" in the profession. He was 
about fifty years of age. He remained here for 
a number of years and then removed to Mis- 

Dr. James Rusk came to Viroqua in 1857. 
He was a son of Daniel Rusk, Sr., one of the 
early settlers of Perry Co., Ohio, where James 
was born Sept. 14, 1815. When ha was about 



thirteen yearq of age his father removed to 
Morgan county, where until early manhood 
James remained; and there, while aiding in 
carving out a home for his parents, he laid the 
foundation of those principles of uprightness 
and integrity which characterized him in after 
life. His education was such as patient, un- 
aided individual effort gives those who honestly 
yearn for knowledge. He began life as a 
teacher, but after some months thus spent he 
entered the office of Dr. Lyman Little, of Deav- 
ertown, with whom he remained until he com- 
pleted the then required course. In 1838 he be- 
gan the practice of medicine at Nelsonville, 
Ohio. During this year he was married to 
Anna M. Little, daughter of Dr. James Little, 
of Roseville. In 1839 he removed to Morgan 
county, and until 1855 continued practice in 
that county. 1 n the meantime, 1 849, he gradu- 
ated at the Sterling Medical College, of Colum- 
bus. In 1855 he removed to McConnelsville, 
Ohio, and remained there until coming to 
Viroqua in 1857. Here he remained until the 
time of his death, April 15, 1872, aged fifty-six 
years. He was an esteemed and respected citi- 
zen. His widow still resides in Viroqua. Their 
eight children, five of whom are still living, 
were as follows — Sarah J., now wife of N. Mc- 
Kie, of Viroqua; Elizabeth, died when eighteen 
years of age; Hettie M., now wife of M. C. 
Nichols of Viroqua: Albert married Clara 
Chase, and now lives upon a farm near Viroqua; 
Dr. W. W. died March 29, 1882; Susan J., 
now Mrs. Edson Leavitt, living near Bangor; 
and David L., of Viroqua. 

In 1883 the medical profession was repre- 
sented at Viroqua, by the following named 
gentlemen : Drs. William A. Qott, H. A. 
Chase, J. B. Richards, J. H. Suttle and J. K. 

Dr. Wm. A. Qott came to Vernon county in 
the spring of 1857, and located at Readstown. 
He was born at Albany, N. Y., in 1830, where 
he was brought up. He began the study of 
medicine in 1849; attended two courses of 

lectures at the Albany Medical College, and 
graduated at the medical department of the 
University of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia, 
in 1852. After his graduation he was surgeon 
in the Albany City Hospital, for three years. 
He came to this county, as stated, in the spring 
of 1857. In 1862 he entered the army as assist- 
ant surgeon of the 25th regiment, Wisconsin 
Volunteer Infantry, was promoted surgeon, in 
which capacity he served during the last year 
of the war. He located at Viroqua, in Septem- 
ber, 1865. Dr. Gott is a thoroughly educated 
physician, and by his long and successful prac- 
tice as a physician and surgeon, has secured an 
enviable reputation in his profession. The 
doctor has been twice married; his first wife was 
Marion S. Gill, born at Strykersville, Wyoming 
Co., N. T. She died in the spring of 1880. 
His present wife was Mrs. Lydia R. ( Ruggles) 
Peck. She was for many years a teacher in the 
High School, at Chippewa Falls, in this State. 
The doctor has two daughters by his first mar- 
riage — Florence and Helen. 

Dr. Henry A. Chase located at Viroqua in 
the spring of 1868. He was born in Windsor 
Co., Vt., in 1844. He removed, when a boy, 
with his father, S. A. Chase, to Fond *du Lac, 
Wis., where the father still resides. Dr. Chase 
commenced the study of medicine in 1860, and 
in 1862 entered the service of the United 
States as a surgeon's steward, in the Navy. In 
1 863, when less than twenty years of age, he 
re-entered the service as hospital steward in 
the 38th regiment, Wisconsin Volunteer In- 
fantry. He was severely wounded in front of 
Petersburg, in June, 1864, from the effects of 
which he has never fully recovered. He grad- 
uated from Rush Medical College, of Chicago, 
in the class of 1868, and soon after located in 
Viroqua Dr. Chase is an excellent physician 
and an esteemed citizen. Politically, he is an 
ardent republican, and was chosen to represent 
the second assembly district, in the State 
Legislature, during the session of 1871 and 
1872. Dr. Chase was united in marriage to 



Emma Tiffany, a native of New York. They 
are the parents of two children" — Henry A. Jr., 
and Mary E. 

Dr. J. B. Richards located at Viroqua, July 
26, 1879. He was born in Bristol, Maine, in 
1832, and at the age of seventeen went to Bos- 
ton, Mass., and was employed as a druggist 
clerk. He also devoted his spare time to the 
study of medicine, and finally attended four 
courses of lectures at Harvard Medical College, 
of Boston. He began the practice, of medicine 
in 1856, and in 1858 located at La Crosse, Wis., 
where he practiced his profession and was en- 
gaged in the drug trade for twenty years. Dr. 
Richard's long experience as a pharmacist, and 
skill as a physician, have won for him a sub- 
stantial practice, and his upright character and 
social attainments during his residence in Viro- 
qua have gained for him a host of friends. Dr. 
Richards married Ellen E. Washburn, of 
Oxford, Maine. They have been blessed with 
four children — J. W., a druggist of Minto, 
Grand Forks Co., Dak.; J. B., Jr., an attorney- 
at-law at Frederick, Brown Co., Dak; Jessie, an 
only daughter, and Frank, at home. 

Dr. H. J. Suttle, homeopathic physician, 
located at Viroqua on the 5th of May, 1883. 
He was the first physician of his school to locate 
here. He was born at Hazel Green, Grant Co., 
Wis., in 1852. He began the study of medi- 
cine at Lancaster, in 1878, with Dr. S. E. lius- 
sell, and graduated at Hahnemann Medical 
College, Chicago, in the class of 1883, coming 
here soon afterward. 


Dr. J. L. Walloe, a Norwegian physician, 
located upon a farm about four miles north of 
the village of Viroqua at an early day and en- 
gaged in the practice of medicine. He was a 
good physician and secured a very large prac- 
tice, remaining until the time of his death in 


Dr. Aaron Winslow was the first physician 
to locate here. Those who have practiced here 

in the past are: Dr. Leonard, J. I. Hamilton, 
J. R. Dundlett, Dr. Worthy and D. B. Newman. 
In 1883 the medical profession was represented 
by Drs. P. R. Pinch and A. C. Morris, in the 
village of Hillsborough, and Dr. R. Shear, in 
the northern part of the town. 

Dr. Aaron Winslow came from Maine in 
1848 and located near Warren, 111. In 1856 he 
came north and settled upon a farm south of 
the village, where he resumed his practice of 
medicine. In 1870 he moved into the village 
and remained until his death, which occurred 
in the spring of 1883. Soon after moving into 
the village Dr. Winslow engaged in the drug 
trade, and later his son became associated with 
him. The business is still carried on under the 
name of A. Winslow <fc Son. Dr. Winslow was 
a graduate of the Bowdoin Medical College, 
Maine. He had been engaged in practice 
prior to coming west, and had been physician 
on a line of sailing vessels for a number of 
years. He was an excellent practitioner. 

Dr. Leonard, an allopathist, came from Wone- 
woc, Juneau Co., Wis., just before the war and 
settled in the village of Hillsborough. He re- 
mained for a few years, then left, and 
has since turned up at Wonewoc, where he still 
lives. He was a good doctor. 

Dr. J. I. Hamilton was raised here, his 
parents being among the very first settlers in 
the town. He went upon the road as agent for 
a Dr. Dodge, learned the business and then 
started out for himself. He never settled here 
for steady practice. The most of his business 
was obtained abroad, and he made money at it. 
Heis now located at Vanville, near Augusta, 
Kau Claire Co., Wis. 

Dr. J. R. Rundlett located in the village of 
Hillsborough in 1872, shortly after graduating 
from Rush Medical College, Chicago. He re- 
mained until 1880, when he went to Augusta, 
Eau Clair county, where he still lives. He was 
a good physician and had a very fair practice 
while here. 



Dr. Worthy came here from Irontown, Wis., 
in 1875. He remained about six months and 
then returned to his former home. He was a 
graduate of Rush Medical College, and when 
sober was a good physician. 

Dr. D. B. Newman was raised in the town of 
Forest, Vernon county, where his parents were 
among the first settlers. He graduated at the 
Rush Medical College, Chicago, and then lo- 
cated at Kendall, Wis., remaining for a year or 
two, when, in 1876, he. located in the village of 
Hillsborough. He remained until 1880, when 
he went to Cumberland, Barron Co., Wis., 
where he still lives. He was a good physician, 
and a man who was respected and esteemed by 


The first physician to locate here was Dr. 
Amos Carpenter, now of Seelyburg. Others 
were Drs. Hamilton and Lewis. The only phy- 
sician located here in 1883 was Dr. J. M. Poff. 


The medical profession is represented at this 
point by Drs. Manning and Johnson. 


Dr. Frederick Moffitt was located at this point 
for several years, leaving in 1882 for Dane Co. f 
Wis., where he still lives. 


Dr. A. J. Lewis is the representative of the 
medical profession in this town. 


At this point, Dr. Amos Carpenter is the only 


Dr. James H. Hockenberry was the only rep- 
resentative of the medical profession at Spring- 
ville, in 1883. 


The first regular physician to locate at De- 
Soto was Dr. Q. S. Sperry, who came here from 
St. Paul in the summer of 1856. He was an 
excellent physician. He died in 1873. Others 
who were regular physicians, were Drs. G. W. 
Brooks, F. Worth, Dr. Dunlap and Dr. Hunting- 
ton. Among those who have borne the title of 

" doctor," although not educated physicians, 
were Dr.E. B. Houghton, the original proprie- 
tor of the village of De Soto, who removed 
from here to LaCrosse, and thence to St. Louis, 
where he died ; and Dr. James Osgood, who 
came in 1 854, and assisted in laying out the vil- 

In 1883 the representative of the medical pro- 
fession at De Soto was Dr. Orlando Ewers. 


Dr. A. J. Wiard was the only regular physi- 
cian that has been located at Victory. He left 
for Nebraska in 1878. 


Dr. S. A. Mellen is located at Retreat, in the 
town of Sterling, and has a good practice. 

Dr. D. A. Bean, located at Red Mound, is also 
one of the physicians of this town. He has a 
large and increasing practice. 

S. A. Mellen, M. D., came to Vernon county 
in 1871. He lived for one year on section 14, 
of township 11 north, of range 6 west, and in 
1872 bought the place that he now occupies at 
Retreat. He has built up a large practice, his 
drives extending into Crawford county. He 
was born at Ellisburg, Jefferson Co., N. T., Jan. 
2, 1839. When he was eight years of age, his 
father emigrated to Wisconsin, and became a 
pioneer of Sheboygan county. He bought 
government land, improved a farm, and still 
makes that his home. In early life, Mr. Mellen 
attended school at the Lawrence University, 
Appleton, Wis., and in 1863, entered the med- 
ical department of the University of Michigan, 
at Ann Arbor, where he prosecuted his studies 
until the fall of 1864. He then went to Hing- 
ham, Sheboygan Co., Wis., and commenced 
practice. He received a diploma from the She- 
boygan County Medical Society, and remained 
in Hingham until 1871, when he came to Ver- 
non county. Dr. Mellen was married July 7, 
1863, to S. Adelia Lombard, a native of Otsego 
Co., N. Y. They are the parents of two children 
— Hattie A. and Willie A. Since Dr. Mellen 
located in Sterling township, his excellent repu- . 



tation as a skilled physician has gained for him 
an extensive patronage, and by his gentlemanly 
behavior and kind manners has won a host of 
warm friends. 


Dr. William Webster was the first physician 
to settle in the town of Harmony. He came 
from Waupon, Wis., in 1858, and remained 
here until the time of his death a few years 

Dr. Marshall came to the village of Newton 
from Vermont, in 1871 or 1872. He remained 
about two years. 

Dr. Tucker was the. next physician. He came 
from Chickasaw Co., Iowa, about 1876, re- 
mained a few years, and then went to Clear 
Lake, Iowa. 

The present practicing physician at Newton 
is Dr. Mussey, who located there in the spring 
of 1883. 


. The first physician to locate at Chaseburg 
was Dr. W. W. Rusk, who died March 29, 1882. 
In 1833 the medical profession was represented 
at this point by Dr. Albert Cory. 

Albert Cory, the only physician in the town 
of Hamburg, was born at Janesville, Wis., in 
1855. The following year his parents removed 
to the town of Eickapoo, in this county, where 
the doctor was reared. He spent four years at- 
tending school in Pennsylvania, and then re- 
turned to Viroqua, where he studied medicine 
with Dr. Chase. In 1880 he entered Rush 
Medical College, at Chicago, 111., from which 
he graduated Feb. 25, 1882. He then located 
at Batavia, where he built up a large and lu- 
crative practice ; but under the urgent solici- 
tation of his former preceptor, Dr. Chase, he 
came to Chaseburg, and the success he has 
attained is proof that his move was in the 
right direction. The doctor is a very pleasant 
gentleman and well esteemed as a citizen and 
neighbor. On Christmas day of the centennial 

year (Dec. 25, 1876) he was married to Miss 
Ida Bennett. They have three sons — Walter, 
Stanley and Arthur. 


The first physician to locate at Genoa was 
Dr. Bugaizy, an Italian, who came here from 
Galena, 111., in 1856. He secured a good practice 
among his people and remained for about four 
years, when it is thought he went back to his 
former home in Galena. 


Dr. C. M. Poff, eclectic physician at Reads- 
town, Eickapoo township, Wis., was born 
March 21, 1840, in Jay Co., Ind., being a son of 
J. J. and Eliza J. (Miller) Poff, natives of 
Ohio. His father was a physician and an early 
settler of Jay county. When Dr. Poff was five 
years of age his parents moved to Howard Co., 
Ind., where he commenced the study of medi- 
cine with his father. On June 8, 1861, he en- 
listed in company B, 13th Indiana Volunteers, 
and went south. He was severely wounded at 
the battle of Rich Mountain, West Va., on July 
11, 1861, and as soon as able went home 
on furlough. In August, 1862, he was dis- 
charged on account of disability. In 1865, by 
advice of his physician, he came west in search 
of health, first settling in Richland Co., Wis., 
where he bought a tract of land and built a 
house, and finished the study of medicine. In 
1867 he came to Re ads town and opened an 
office for the practice of medicine. He has 
been very successful, his practice extending 
into Richland and Crawford counties. Dr. 
Poff assisted in the organization of the first 
eclectic medical society in the State of Wiscon- 
sin, in 1875. He is also a prominent member 
of the Christian Church, and an ordained min- 
ister of that denomination. Dr. Poff was mar- 
ried April 25, 1863, to Rachel C. Armstrong, 
born at Dupont, Jefferson Co., Ind. Six chil- 
dren blessed this union, three of whom are 
livng — Rosella Belle, Ada Florence and Lil- 
lian May. Rosella Belle, the oldest daughter, 



is now in Republic Co., Kansas, teaching 


H. P. Miller, the leading physician of the 
eastern part of Vernon county, was born in 
Oneida Co., N. Y., in 1840. He resided there 
till fifteen years of age, and then accompanied 
his parents to Vernon Co., Wis. He was 
in attendance at the Viroqua High School and 
the Allamakee College, of Allamakee, Iowa, and 
then commenced the study of medicine. He 
had for his preceptors Drs. Tinker, of Viro- 
qua, and Taylor, of Lansing, Iowa, and at the 
expiration of a three years' study, went to Chi- 
oago, 111. He there entered Rush Medical Col- 
lege, and attended that famous medical institu- 

tion during the winter of 1865-6. Shortly after 
graduation, he returned to Vernon county, and 
commenced the practice of his profession in the 
village of Ontario. Since locating there five 
other physicians have opened offices, but the 
tireless energy and determination of our sub- 
ject, .and his growing popularity among all 
classes of people, forced them to retire from the 
field, leaving Dr. Miller in complete possession. 
The doctor has also prospered in a worldly point 
of view, and now owns a residence and two 
village lots, and 135 acres of land on section 10. 
He was united in marriage, in 1866, to Hattie, 
daughter of Stephen and Cynthia Cotterell. Dr. 
and Mrs. Miller have five children living— How- 
ard C, Bessie P., Mary H., Bertha Orpha and 
Harvey C. One son, Lester D., died in 1872. 





The trend of the earliest industries of a 
country is the result of the circumstances under 
which those industries are developed. The at- 
tention of pioneers is confined to supplying the 
immediate wants of food, shelter and clothing. 
Hence, the first settlers of a country are farm- 
ers, miners, trappers or fishermen, according as 
they can most readily secure the means of pres- 
ent smtneance for themselves and their fami- 
lies. In the early history of Wisconsin, this 
law is well exemplified. The southern part of 
the State consisting of alternations of prairie 
aud timber was first settled by farmers. As the 
country has developed, as wealth has accumu- 
lated, and as me ins of transportation have been 
furnished, farming has ceased to be the sole in- 
terest. Manufactories have been built along 
the river* and the mining industry of the south- 
western part of the State has growu to be one 
of considerable importance. The shore of Lake 
Michigan was first mainly sett ed by fishermen, 
but the later growth of agriculture and manu- 
factories has nearly overshadowed the fishing 
interest; as has the production of lumber in the 
north half of the State eclipsed the trapping and 
fur interests of the first settlers. 

As Vernon county consists of timber land, 
oak openings and prairie, it is now, and was 
originally, settled by farmers almost exclusively. 
As yet, manufactories may be said to be prac- 
tically unknown. The farming interests are 
paramount to all others and doubtless will be 
for generations to come. There are no pineries 
or great lakes on its borders and the Mississippi 
is only available, so far as the county is con- 

cerned, to aid in transporting to market its sur- 
plus farming products. That manufactories 
will rise up, upon the introduction of greater 
railway facilities, is certain, but that they will 
overshadow the farming interests of Vernon 
county before the ending of a century from this 
time or even longer, is exceedingly doubtful. 

The Chicago Tribune had this to say, in 
1861, of Vernon (then Bad Ax) county: 

"Of this county nearly one-third is prairie, 
quite rolling and very rich. I do not know 
where I have ever seen any prairie soil that 
looks richer, or that bears heavier wheat It is 
a rich black, vegetable mould, of a clayey tex- 
ture and basis, and such as has been tested seems 
to be enduring and wears well. Near one-third 
is oak opening or ridge land, covered with oak 
undergrowth or grubs. These ridges are quite 
broad in many places, furnishing good locations 
for farms. There has been opened up many 
ridge farms. The land where cultivated appears 
to be a clayey loam — a good wheat soil, and 
which has so far turned out excellent crops of 

The balance of the country is covered with 
heavy timber— -oak being the predominating 
kind. This timber is valuable because of its 
nearness to good prairie, and the land is as 
good, even better for corn. Though the tim- 
ber is heavy, the land is easily tilled, owing 
probably to the fact that the roots of the trees 
lie deep in the grouud, which admits of the soil 
being plowed close to the stumps. Taken as a 
whole there is scarcely an acre of waste land in 
this county. Though somewhat rough, its 



slopes and hillsides admit of cultivation nearly 
to the top. 

Such parts of this county as are unfit for the 
plough are most admirably adapted to the rear- 
ing of sheep. In fact, to my mind, much of 
northwestern Wisconsin is admirably adapted 
to fheep husbandry. 

The population of this county is 11,500. In 
1855, it numbered a little over 4,000. La Crosse 
was then about 4,000, as was Monroe, lying east 
of La Crosse. These latter have had the bene- 
fit of railroads to stimulate their growth. La 
Crosse being possessed of much good farming 
lands and several small villages, as well as the 
city of Li Crosse, numbers 13,500, while Mon- 
roe, with a smart village or two, with more 
.poor land, has but 8,400. To my mind Bad Ax 
has more than kept pace with her neighbors, 
considering her secluded position. 

There is estimated to be in this county this 
year, at least 1,000,000 bushels of surplus wheat 
seeking a market. Of pork, there will be 
enough for home consumption, and possibly a 
little for sale. Cattle and sheep are beginning 
to receive attention, and but a few years will 
elapse before the hill-sides will be covered with 
large herds of lowing cattle and flocks of bleat- 
ins sheep. 

Some attention is being paid to fruit. Here 
and there were to be seen newly set orchar4s. 
In time, after the trees have become acclimated 
it is my impression that the hillsides, and es- 
pecially the northern slopes of Bad Ax county 
will be covered with orchards heavily laden 
with rich and luscious fruit. 

The numerous streams in this county furnish 
ample water power, which combined with its ex- 
cellent timber, will supply numerous openings 
for the employment of capital in manufacturing 
agricultural implements, and also for the pur- 
pose of building mills, to flour their own wheat. 

The people of this county look forward with 
no small degree of interest to the day when 
they shall be favored with railroad facilities 

such as will place them on an equal footing 
with their more favored neighbors." 


Bad Ax County Agricultural Society was or- 
ganized and chartered April 11, 1857. The so- 
ciety in 1859 had seventy members, each pay- 
ing an initiation fee of one dollar, and an equal 
sum per annum. The payment of ten dollars 
constituted a life membership. Other modes of 
obtaining funds were from admission fees into 
the fair grounds. The society possessed in real 
estate ten acres of land enclosed with a board 
fence seven feet high, and valued at $800. 
Here an exhibition is held annually, when $100 
are paid for premiums, the largest being $5 
for the best address; a similar sum, each, for 
the best stallion and best acre of wheat, and $4 
for the best bull. The library then consisted 
of forty-seven volumes, worth $100. Since the 
fair of 1857 there was, up to 1859, a great im- 
provement in domestic animals and an increase 
in crops. The desire for agricultural knowl- 
edge had become general. 

In 1883 the society was in excellent financial 
condition. The fair grounds were located 
about a quarter of a mile west of the court 
house. They embraced about fifteen acres of 
land, valued at about $30 per acre. They were 
well supplied with buildings, and well fenced. 
The old $10 life membership fee had been abol- 
ished, and the by-laws provided that "$1 pay 
for a membership, and each member should buy 
a $1 family ticket each year." There were $300 
in the treasury of the society in 1883. 

In 1883 the officers of the society were: 
President, P. K. Van Wagoner; secretary, 0. 13. 
Wyman; treasurer, E. Powell; vice-presidents, 
H. H. Morgan, of Wheatland; P. Brody, of 
Clinton; J. H. Stevenson, of Harmony. Execu- 
tive committee, E. A. Stark, of Viroqua, chair- 
man; E. Tilton, ot Viroqua; John M. Vance, of 
Sterling; Edward Minshall, of Viroqua; and 
F. W. Alexander, of Franklin. 

At the last fair held at Viroqua, in Septem- 
ber, 1883, the whole number of entries was 563. 
The total receipts from the sale of tickets were 
$696; receipts from entrance fees were $174.60; 
from stand licenses, $153.50; from rent of 
ground, etc., $24.60. Total receipts, $1,048.70. 




Bad Ax county had been organized over five 
years before tbere was a newspaper published 
within its limits. This, of course, besides the 
inconvenience to its citizens individually, 
tended, in a considerable degree, to retard the 
progress of the county generally. The neces- 
sity for a printing press and the publication of 
a paper, to be located at the county seat, finally 
became so urgent as to induce the establishment 
of the 


The first issue, then called the Western Times, 
was dated June 7,1856. J. A. Somerby was 
editor and proprietor. It was a weekly, and 
was started as u an independent family news- 
paper, devoted to news and miscellaneous read- 
ing." The salutatory of the editor was as fol- 


"We take pleasure in presenting to you the 
first number of the Western Times. We should 
have been able to issue it sooner and improved 
its appearance, but circumstances have pre- 
vented our having a decent office, and the 
rainy, tedious weather that we encountered in 
getting here, the disarrangement and injury to 
material, have imposed upon all concerned a 
heavy task, considerable ill health and a great 
deal of vexation. 

" But here it is, without very late news, be- 
cause we have no exchanges, and had to borrow 
such papers as we could get. 

"The Times will be independent of all party 
organisations, and will reserve the right to ex- 

press the opinion of its editor, and leave its 
readers to judge of their correctness. 

" We invite the co-operation of all who wish 
correct information disseminated through the 
community, and all those who are willing to 
furnish literary articles or items of news, are 
respectfully solicited to devote a little time to 
keeping us posted up in relation to all that is' 
new and useful. We have only time to say 
that we will continue this subject in our next, 
when there will be less "noise and confusion" 
than we are subject to in getting out this num- 

" t^~ We regret very much that the '"vari- 
ous hindrances toe met in getting out this num- 
ber delayed us until Saturday night, instead of 
getting out as we intended to at 1 o'clock." 

The following announcement appears at the 
head of the editorial column of the first num- 
ber of the paper: 


"The sale of the first copy of the Western 
Times, (being the first copy of a newspaper ever 
printed in Bad Ax county), to have been sold 
on the 31st day of May, will now be sold with- 
out fail, on Saturday, the 7th day of June. The 
first copy is now printed and safely locked up, 
ready for the highest bidder. We were extremely 
chagrined and mortified (sic), that we were un- 
able to issue the first number on the 31st ult.; 
but a variety of hindrances and disappoint- 
ments rendered it impossible. The eagerness 
that has been manifested to obtain a copy of 
the first number, and particularly the first copy, 
was very gratifying, and particularly so when 







the heavy expense and multitude of difficulties 
that have been encountered, are considered. 
The prospect is that the bidding on the 7th of 
June will be very animated, and may even ex- 
cell the sale of the first paper ever printed in 
Newport, Wis., last year." 

Following this "postponement" is a notice in 
these words: "We have dated this number a 
few days ahead of its appearance, in order to be- 
gin with Jane, and to have ample time to book 
oar subscription list, and perfect all oar arrange- 

Another brief paragraph containing informa- 
tion concerning the paper is found in the same 
column, and is as follows: "We shall soon be 
in possession of our exchange list and become 
familiar enough with our location to complete 
our arrangements for receiving late news. We 
can then make our paper more interesting and 

In his prospectus the editor says: "The 
Times will be what its name indicates, a record 
of passing events at home and containing for- 
eign news, miscellaneous and literary reading 
matter. It will be devoted to the interests of 
Bad Ax county and the surrounding region # 
The limes will labor ardently for the prosperity 
of all its patrons without partiality for any 
particular location, and independent of party 

" The people of Bad Ax county and the adja- 
cent country, are respectfully invited to send in 
their own and the names of their friends and 
neighbors, as subscribers, and also prepare and 
send in such advertising as they wish to have 

" |9~ All letters and communications should 
be addressed to J. A. Somerby, Viroqua, Bad 
Ax Co., Wis. Terms, one dollar and fifty cents 
in advance." 

Under "deaths," we find in the first number, 
the following: 

"In Viroqua, Wis., May 15,1856, Aurelia 
Louisa, daughter of Hon. Wm. F. and Margaret 
Terhune, aged four years and two months. 

" Little 'Spec,' as she was familiarly called, 
was a universal favorite in Viroqua, making 
friends alike by the sweetness of her disposition 
and the brilliancy of her intellect. Her head 
and her heart were older than her years; and 
could she have lived, a bright career would un- 
doubtedly have been hers. But she died; for 

' All that's brightest must fall. 
The brightest, still the fleetest.' 

" Death left its sweetest impress on her face; 
and standing by her coffin, and looking on her 
as she lay there; one of earth's loveliest flowers 
blighted; the following lines are brought to 

Tve seen death on the infant lie 

So sweet, it seemed a bliss to die; 
The smiling lip, the placid brow, 

Seemed fan'd by some bright angel's wing; 
And o'er the face a brighter glow 

Than aught of earthly joy can bring! " 
In another column is seen the following: 


Bad Ax, Bad Ax Co., Wis., May 23, 1856. 
Whereas, my wife, Christiana Orritta, has left 
my house and protection, without any just 
cause or provocation, this is, therefore, to warn 
all persons from harboring or trusting her on 
my account, as I will not pay any debts of her 
contracting, unless compelled by law and not 

then - James Siedyib 

The first number of the paper has but one 
local ; but that one was probably read by the 
patrons of the Times with a considerable 
degree of interest and indignation. It was in 
these words : 


Columbus B. Brown, who has for some time 
been attempting in a bungling manner to play 
the Daguerrean Artist in this place, was 
arrested at the Buckeye House, on the 29th of 
May, by officer John P. Delarne, from Janes- 
ville, Bock county, assisted by sheriff J. M. 
Rusk, of this place. 

He was arrested on a warrant, for violating 
the person of Diana Blake, in October last, at 




Fulton, Rook Co., Wis., where Mr. Brown was 
then keeping tavern. Mr. Brown's wife having 
been dead some three or four years, he had em- 
ployed Miss Blake as his cook, and another lady 
had charge of the other departments, who 
happened to be absent for a night, when the 
foul outrage was committed. Miss Blake hav- 
ing been dangerously ill the next day, Mr. Brown 
carried her home to Pleasant Springs, Dane 
county, where she expired in a few hours, mor- 
tification having taken place, but not until she 
had given evidence under oath before the pro- 
per authority respecting Brown's barbarity. 

Miss Blake was a beautiful young lady of only 
sixteen years, and has thus been brutally mur- 
dered by a miserable apology for a human being. 

We are informed that Mr. Brown had previ- 
ously committed a similar crime and when an 
officer undertook to arrest him, shot him in the 
arm. Mr. Brown has kept concealed a portion 
of the time since the last crime was committed. 
Justice though slow is sure, and the stone cut- 
ting artists of Waupun will no doubt ere long 
receive one more accession to their numbers. 
Mr. Brown at first refused the wrist ornaments 
but finally made a virtue of necessity and they 
were put on. 

Officer Delarne is entitled to the thanks of the 
community for his perseverance in this case, in 
bringing an old and daring offender to justice. 
May he always have as good luck in furnishing re- 
cruits for the stone brigade at Waupun." 

In the second issue of the paper, June 14, 
1 856, an account is given of the success in sell- 
ing to the highest bidder the first copy printed 
of the Times. "The sale commenced" says the 
editor, "at half past 1 o'clock, on Tuesday 
last, and lasted about one hour, R. C. Bierce, 
Esq., acting as auctioneer. Mr. E. S. Fowler, of 
the firm of Keeler, Fowler <fe Co., was the suc- 
cessful man, his bid being $21. It is a very 
respectable sum, but not more than one-fifth of 
what it would have brought had the sale taken 
place on the last day of May, as first appointed; 
90 say the knowing ones. 

"Every printer who has started a newspaper," 
continues the editor "in a locality far removed 
from the great thoroughfares, and from the vi- 
c inity of machine shops, can readily appreciate 
the difficulties we encountered in attempting to 
get into operation at an appointed time." 

The reader, doubtless, has noticed that in the 
extracts given from the Western Times, the 
two words forming the county are consolida- 
ted into one, thus, Badax. Before the issue of 
the third number of the paper, the editor was 
taken to task for this by the Richland county 
Observer. "The disfiguration," says the Observer 
"of the words Bad Ax by the compound, 
Badax, which strangers are apt to read Ba-dax 
is a sorry formation, and should be restored to 
the original." But Mr. Somerby did not see it 
in that light, and the "disfiguration," was con- 
tinued in the Western limes. 

No marriage notices appeared in the first 
issue of the paper; but, in the second, are the 

"In this town, Viroqua, on Wednesday the 
4th inst., by Rev. A. D. Low, Mr. Dennis Pow- 
ers, of De Soto, to Miss Clara E. Hanchett, of 
'this town. The usual fee of cake received. 
May they enjoy a continual honey moon . 

"In this town, June 8, by Rev. Mr. Parkin- 
son, Mr. Augustus Ray to Miss Sarah Good." 

On the 26th of the next month, July, a citi- 
zen of "Badax" county, comes to the relief in 
the Western Times, of suffering humanity, ac- 
tual and prospective, in this matter: 

"La/tb Discovert. — To those that have chil- 
dren or ever expect to have. If you ever should 
have a child get anything in his or her nose, 
such as a bean, pea, gooseberry or anything of 
of the kind, just clap your mouth to theirs, and 
blow as hard as you can. The thing, whatever 
it may be, will fly out. Experience is the best 
teacher. Ira T. Hunter." 

At the end of one year the "times" were get- 
ting so hard with the editor of the Times, that 



he assayed to bring his derelect subscribers to 
"time" in this •Hime-ly" manner: 


Will be discontinued after this number to 
all who have not paid in advance, or who have 
not paid for the past year, unless it is satisfac- 
torily known to us, that it is their intention to 
renew their subscription immediately. "Times" 
are hard and we must have pay for the Times, 
or we cannot buy paper to print the Times on, 
and the Times' readers will get no Times. We 
shall give our readers a page more of reading 
matter when long evenings come again. 

We have printed fifty-two numbers of the 
Time*, while dozens of newspaper establish- 
ments have broke down under the pressure of 
hard "times," knocking at the door. With less 
patronage than any, we have lived through the 
year, and yet, expect to continue on, combatting 
error, and inspiring with more life and energy 
the progressive tendencies of the county, than 
all other institutions combined. We are duly 
thankful for past patronage and hope to merit 
its continuance. 

Mr. Somerby continued the publication of the 
Wts f ern Times, until Jan. 6, 1858, when its 
name was changed to the Worth Western Times. 
R. C. Bierce was co-editor with Mr. Somerby, 
from Dec. 14, 1859, to Sept. 18, 1861; James 
Osgood, of De Soto, having for about a year 
previous, also been associate editor. On the 7th 
of May, 1862, the North Western Times appeared 
for the first time, as being printed in Vernon, 
instead of Badax county. The paper was con- 
tinued until the 28th of June, 1865, when the 
office was wrecked by the terrible tornado of 
that year. A portion of the material was saved 
which Mr. >omerby disposed of, to Daniel B. 
Priest, J. M. Rusk and William Nelson, who 
issued, Aug. 23, 1865, the first number of the 
Vernon County Censor, as a continuation of the 
Times. The first issue was printed as volume 
10, number 34. In their bow to the public, the 
three gentlemen just mentioned, have this to 

The undersigned having purchased the old 
Northwestern Times office, propose, with the 
support of the citizens of Vernon county, to 
publish the Vernon County Censor. The Censor 
will be a continuation of the Times, and will be 
in politics true to the constitution, the Union 
and the upholding of the National authority 
against all rebellion or uprising, whether State 
or individual. We expect to act with the re- 
publican or union party on all political ques- 
tions of the day. And while we so act, we 
shall feel free to condemn any course adopted by 
that party which we deem to be wrong ; believ- 
ing that it is every man's privilege to hold his 
own opinions and advocate them to the best of 
his ability, being responsible for the same. 

The two senior members of the firm are well 
known to the people of this county, and all that 
it will be necessary for them to say is that they 
irpect to advocate the principles they have 
heretofore been known to profess. The junior 
is a stranger among you, but he expects to 
ihow himself worthy of your confidence. 

Financially, we believe the Censor to be in a 
.'air condition. The subscription list is not as 
large as it should be, but what there is of it is 
profitable. The legal advertising is good, and 
will probably increase. But the local adver- 
tising in Viroqua and the smaller towns of the 
county is not what it should be. The job 
work is not large in amount. But, taking the 
business altogether, it will probably not un- 
favorably compare with any country paper in 
the State. And our friends should recollect 
that the better support they give us, the better 
paper we can afford to give them. 

The military interest is pretty well repre- 
sented in the firm. The senior member has 
seen service for his country, and the junior has 
served some also, and (though much against 
his will) has also drawn rations from the 'Con- 
federacy.' But the least said about the said 
rations the better. Suffice it to say that in all 
the eighteen months stay among the chivalrous 
and high-spirited southrons, he did not witness 



any over-feeding. But that is pretty well 
understood in the north now, and it is not 
necessary to give a new reoital of what was 
seen there. 

In reference to dealings with patrons, it will 
be our wish generally to do business, as far as 
possible, on a cash basis. This we deem to be 
the best for all concerned, and it will certainly 
be the best for us. The great bane of the 
newspaper business in the west is credit — long 
credit, which often runs to repudiation. 

It will be understood that Messrs. Priest and 
Nelson will have the editorial management of 
the Censor. It will be their aim to give the 
people of the county a readable paper and one 
which shall be 'up to time' on all current news 
and questions of the day. With our editorial 
brethren we hope to keep on terms of amity, 
and if we shall ever have any differences with 
any of them, we shall endeavor to discuss all 
points in a courteous and friendly manner. 

The paper we get out to-day must not be 
taken as a specimen. There are several neces- 
sary changes to make in the advertising depart- 
ment. We intend to take out of the paper all 
job type, although, of course, any advertiser 
may occupy all the space he pays for, but we 
shall not use flaming type. There are also 
several foreign advertisements to come out in 
a few weeks, which we shall replace with local 
paying advertising, or not at all. 

When we get into our new room we shall 
have better facilities for doing work, and then 
we hope to receive calls from our patrons. 

J. M. Rusk, 
D. B. Pbibst, 
William Nelson. 

What became of Mr. Somerby, who first 
established the Times, which, as we have stated, 
afterward became the Censor, is seen by an 
article published in the last named paper, Nov. 
20, 1867, entitled: 


Mr. J. A. Somerby, an old resident of this 
place [Viroqua] is selling out, preparatory, we 

understand, to moving to Faribault, Minn. 
Mr. Somerby is the man who first begun the 
publication of a newspaper in this county, 
under the title of the " Western Times:' r i hat 
was in June, 1856. The paper was published 
continuously, part of the time under the name 
of the "Northwestern Times" until the middle 
of August, 1865, when Mr. Somerby sold the 
establishment, and the new proprietors changed 
the name to that which this paper now bears. 
In the early days the struggle was hard to 
make a paper live in such a sparsely settled 
county as this one was, and Mr. Somerby has 
seen many disheartening days ; but, ever 
cheerful and hopeful, he pressed on, part of the 
time under the discouragement of having to 
divide a business not more than enough for one 
paper, with a rival. 

It is a feast to get hold of the old numbers of 
the " Times" published in the first years, and 
read of the old actions done, the old prophesies, 
fulfilled and unfulfilled, and the way the people 
felt on various subjects. In fact, it seems little 
less than mediaeval reading, for the war has 
placed a great gulf between those times and 
now, which in ordinary times, it would take 
generations to make. The war settled so many 
questions ; it made every one feel so differently 
on National issues ; and it has made us all 
so fervently realize the benefits of our institu- 
tions, that it is no wonder all seems changed. 

a There is no time like the old time; " and 
the departure of an old pioneer like Mr. Som- 
erby recalls vividly the times past and gone. 
Let their memory be kindly cherished, for 
we are not likely soon to see warmer hearts, 
more ready sympathy, or heartier succor to the 
needy, than were common in those days. 

Mr. Somerby goes from among us with the 
respect and kindly remembrance of his old 
friends. May his lot be prosperous and pleas- 
ant in his new home. 

The Censor was continued under the same 
management which started it until Nov. 29 



1865, when J. M. Rusk, on his election to the 
office of bank comptroller of Wisconsin, 
retired from the firm. The remaining proprie- 
tors upon his retirement published, in their 
paper, the following: 


With this number of the Censor, Col. J. M. 
Rusk retires from his position as partner in the 
proprietorship of this office. The colonel hay- 
ing been elected to the office of bank comp- 
troller of the State at the late election, this 
change is deemed expedient. The business of 
the office will be conducted as heretofore, and 
our patrons will not experience any change in 
our mutual transactions. 

In parting with Col. Rusk, we feel it just to 
say that our relations with him have been of the 
most harmonious character. No differences or 
misunderstandings have occurred in our short 
period of doing business together, and in all 
probability never would have occurred if the 
time had been lengthened. He goes to a scene 
of wider usefulness and responsibility to which 
he has been chosen, and the people may well 
consider that they have elected an upright, 
honorable man to fill the office of bank comp- 
troller for the next two years. Where Col. 
Rusk is best known he is best liked, and this 
was shown in the vote in different sections of 
the State. In towns where the members of his 
old regiment reside, he ran in nearly every case 
ahead of the remainder of the State ticket. 
This is a showing of which he may well be 
proud. He will be faithful to the trust com- 
mitted to his charge, and will do the State and 
himself honor in his new position. * * * 

Daniel B. Priest. 

William Nelson. 

The Censor was edited and published from 
this time until May, 1869, by Messrs. Priest and 
Nelson, when the former, with the issue of the 
12th of that month, withdrew from the paper, 
leaving the latter as sole editor and proprietor. 

In leaving the paper, Mr. Priest had the follow- 
ing to say concerning the n 


It is customary when an editor retires from 
a paper, for him to say words of farewell to his 
patrons. As I now retire from the Censor, I 
may be indulged while following the usual 

In August, 1865, Messrs. J. M. Rusk, William 
Nelson and myself bought the Times office 
from J. A. Somerby. At once changing the 
name of the paper to the one it now bears, we 
began the building up of an establishment 
which should be a credit to the county, and 
aimed at the issuing of a paper which should 
reflect no shame upon its patrons. To this end 
no labor has been spared, and with what success 
that labor has been crowned, we leave others 
to say. In our work, we have been cheered by 
the faithful and steady support of a large circle 
of warm friends, who have taken advantage of 
every occasion to help us, both with business 
and encouragement. To such we can only say, 
that their kindnessef have been received with 
with heartfelt thankfulness. 

On his election to the office of bank comp- 
troller, in November, 1865, Gen. J. M. Rusk 
retired from the Censor, and from that time 
until the present there has been no change in 
proprietorship. For more than three years and 
a half this paper has been published prompt' y 
on time, no mishap of any kind having delayed 
our issue beyond the Wednesday morning 

I also return thanks to my editorial friends 
in the State who have uniformly treated me 
with the greatest courtesy. In bidding them 
farewell from the Censor, it is only to resume 
my connection with them in a neighboring 
county. May our relations ever be as pleasant 
as they have been in the past. 

In conclusion, I take pleasure in recommending 
to the friends and patrons of the Censor, my 
successor and former partner, Mr. William Nel- 
•on, to whom they are mainly indebted for 



whatever they have found in the Censor, worthy 
of approval, as one whom I have tried and know 
is in every way worthy of their confidence and 
support; and with the earnest hope that the 
liberal patronage, confidence and support ex- 
tended to this paper during the time I have 
been connected with it may be continued, and 
with best wishes for old friends, we bid them 
good-by. D. B. Priest. 

In parting from Mr. Priest in a business 
capacity, it is with feelings of the warmest 
friendship, cemented by years of close business 
relationship. Our intercourse has always been 
marked by the utmost good will on either side. 
While losing his personal weight in the Cenr 
sor, to which he has brought great support, I 
am glad to be able to say, that he does not 
retire from the editorial profession. May his 
days be prosperous ones. 

To the patrons and friends of the Censor, I 
will say that, in future, this paper shall be equal 
to what it has been in the past. No change will 
be observed in its management. It will strive 
to be fully up to all the occurrences of the day, 
and to give a reasonable amount of reading 
every week, hoping for a continuance of the 
approval and support of my friends, I subscribe 
myself, ' William Nelson. 

On the 26th of May, 1869, the Censor published 
the following: 


This gentleman has moved to Sparta, where 
he will keep his office of collector of internal 
revenue for this congressional district. He has 
also bought the Sparta Eagle office; and, assisted 
by Mr. Malcom Graham, son of Judge Graham, 
of Yiroqua, he proposes to enlarge that paper to 
a nine column journal, and make other material 
improvements in it. From what we know of 
the new conductors, we anticipate a great im- 
provement in the Eagle in every respect. The 
first number of the paper under its new auspi- 
cies will appear this week. 

In the departure of Mr. Priest, this county 
suffers a loss which will not easily be repaired. 

He was one of the foremost men of the county 
in all things, and played his part well in every 
capacity which he undertook to fill. Of a 
friendly, open disposition, courteous manners, 
unselfish character, genial humor, and fine 
attainments, his like is not often met with. He 
has the warmest wishes of hundreds of friends 
in this county for his abundant prosperty. 

Says the Censor of Sept. 7, 1870: "With feel- 
ings of sadness, we learn just as we go to press, 
of the death of Hon. D. B. Priest, of Sparta." 

In 1875 Mr. Nelson admitted to a partnership 
Henry Gasson, Jr., who bad managed the paper 
since July, 1873, Mr. Nelson having assumed 
charge of the La Grosse JRepublivan-Zeader in- 
March of that year. In January, 1877, his in- 
terest was purchased by Mr. Casson, and he 
became its editor and. owner. The first issue 
of the paper under the management was on 
Jan. 17, 1877 — volume 22, No. 3. The salu- 
tory of Mr. Casson was as follows: 


On the 11th inst, the undersigned purchased 
of Hon. William Nelson the Censor office; and 
will continue the publication of the paper as 
heretofore. For the past three years the paper 
has been under our management, Mr. Nelson 
having been occupied in another field of labor. 
The past course of the paper may therefore be 
taken as a precursor of the future. So long as 
the republican party shall continue to make a 
history of freedom and justice to all men with- 
out respect to race or color, we shall advocate 
its cause and candidates with what little abili- 
ty we may possess. When the grand old party, 
ceases to do this, it will cease longer to exist. 
Our faith in the principles we have so long 
advocated is to-day stronger than ever, and we 
firmly believe that National prosperity and an 
undivided Bepul lie depend upon the continued 
ascendancy of the republican party. Believing 
thus, we shall earnestly advocate its principles. 

"We shall not at this time indulge in any 
promises of great things we propose to do, but 
simply say that it is our desire to make the 



Censor a local paper; and to this end, we invite 
correspondence from every locality in the 

"With 'malace toward none and charity for 
all,' and asking the kind indulgence of the pub- 
lic for any lack of ability, we subscribe ourself, 
The public's obedient servant, 
Hbnet Casson, Jr." 

Henry Casson, Jr., was born in Brownsville, 
Fayette Co., Penn., Dec. 13, 1843. He removed 
with his parents to Hennepin, 111., in 1847, 
where he resided until 1860, removing in that 
year to Peoria. In 1856 he was ap- 
prenticed to the printing business in 
the office of the Hennepin Tribune. In 
1865 he became one of the publishers of the 
Henry County Chronicle, at Cambridge, 
HI., where he remained until 1867, 
when he received an appointment in the New 
Orleans Custom House, through the influence 
of the late Hon. Ebon Clark Ingersoll. He 
resigned in July, 1868, and purchased the Citi- 
zen office at Chillicothe, 111 ., which he sold in 
1872, and accepted a position on the Peoria 
Daily Review, where he continued until 1873, 
coming to Yiroqua in July of that year, to take 
charge of the Vernon County Censor. In 1880, 
he was appointed by Supervisor Lottridge as 
clerk of the census district. He has always 
been a republican since he became of voting 
age, and has always taken an active interest in 
politics. He was married to Ethel Haugh- 
ton, daughter of Rev. William Haughton, Nov. 
7, 1874, and has one child, a son. As a news- 
paper writer, Mr. Casson holds a ready pen. 
His descriptive powers are much above the 
average. Who will say that the following 
picture is not true to life: 


Eighteen years ago, while serving his appren- 
ticeship to the printing business, the writer of 
this was a little startled by hearing a terrific 
knock on the office door, made with a hickory 
walking-stick, and immediately afterwards, a 

man apparently about sixty years of age, opened 
the door and yelled: 

"With the seat of my breeches all ragged and tore, 
Here's Old G. W. Matchett from Baltimore!" 

"Gimme a chaw of terbacker. Who's going 
to give me a quarter to help him over the 
bridge?" By which he meant that he wanted 
the wherewithal to buy a drink of whisky. 
Matchett staid around the town about 
a week, wrote articles for all who were 
kind enough to give him an occasional dime; 
and, finally, becoming restless, skipped out f or 
St. Louis, a distance of 400 miles, on foot. He 
is constantly on the go— never riding, for the 
reason, as he says, that it hurts his corns to ride 
so fast! He has visited nearly every town in 
the United States on foot, and once took a trip 
to South America, which came near ending 
him, on account of his having to be in sight of 
water so long. Matchett once went into a 
fashionable restaurant in Savannah, 6a., and 
seating himself at one of the tables, ordered a 
sumptuous meal — about a dollar and seventy- 
five cents worth. He was terribly hungry, 
having been without food for several days, and 
he didn't have a cent. He finished his meal, 
and was walking out, when the proprietor, who 
judged from his personal appearance that he 
wasn't the kind of a chap to be eating high-priced 
meals, collared him and asked him if he wasn't 
going to pay his bill. "My initials are 6. W., 
and I can't tell a lie," said Matchett. "I 
haven't got a cent." This angered the restau- 
rant man, and he jerked a revolver from behind 
the counter and pointed it at Matchett. "Pay 
me for my meal!" shouted the boni- 
face. "What you got there?" coolly asked 
Matchett. "I've got a revolver, and if you 
don't pay me I'll use it!" "Oh, a revolver, 
eh? — that's all. I was afraid it was a stomach 
pump!" Matchett got off with a kick. 
M atchett must be eighty years of age, but he 
still sticks to the "turf," as he calls it, and gets 
away with as much poor whisky as ever. He 
is a splendid scholar, an able writer, and a man 



who is well qualified to fill a high position; and 
yet he will, ere long, fill a pauper's grave, "un- 
wept, unhonored and unsung." It is true he 
will be missed, for the old man has warm 
friends among the craft who admire his talents, 
and are always glad to see him. 


On the 28th of August, 1858, the Viroqua 
Expositor issued its first number, O. C. Smith, 
Jesse Smith and Justus Smith, proprietors — O. 
G. Smith, editor. The following was the 


In appearing before the public as a journal- 
ist, we have but one apology to make, and that 
one is very general. When reason errs, reason 
corrects the error ; so, should we be so unfor- 
tunate as to err in one point, we are willing, 
and would be any time, happy to make correc- 
tion. But should we err in many respects, as 
others laboring in like capacity do, we are still 
more ready to rectify errors. And while we 
keep a steady eye upon the truth, even the great 
truths of the spirit of reform that is at present 
agitating the world, we hope every sentiment 
written by us may be candidly investigated be- 
fore it be utterly denounced ; that it be im- 
partially weighed before the soa'e be turned 
against us. 

"The great social, political and religious re- 
forms have stirred the turbid waters of Na- 
tional corruption, whose vapors have poisoned 
the minds of the people, and are rushing 
with fury upon the temples of the despoilers of 
our happiness, liberties, and institutions ; con- 
suming the bigotry of Churches, the deoeitf ul- 
ness of statesmen, and is at present presenting 
to us the government — rites and ceremonies of 
the different branches of the Church in a wider 
and more equitable form. 

"The political economy of our National fath- 
ers is also assuming an enviable standard among 
the Nations of the earth ; and while all are 
working so harmonious together, there is left 
but little room for those who would falsify the 

truth of this spirit of progress or throw a 
stumbling-stone beneath its wheel. 

"While we endeavor to lend a helping hand 
to every movement that has for its object the 
elevation of the character of mankind, we will 
steadily endeavor to push on the western reform 
by advocating the cause of the agriculturist, 
mechanic, educator, and every member of the 
great school of religious civilization of the west- 
ern world. Our pen and midnight lamp shall be 
agents in recording and testifying to the busy 
scenes of our prosperous county, so long as the 
oxen shall low upon the plow-beam, the horse 
be muzzled in the cornfield, the grating saw and 
screeching plane of the mechanic keep music 
to the the touch of our pen, or the merchant's 
goods hang outside the door to brighten the 
face of business. 

"We hope in the prosecution of our new duty 
to always be found upon the side of justice, 
wooing not the smiles of friends, or depreciating 
the displeasures of foes. Our aim is beyond 
personal aggrandizement, but the character of 
mankind in all its capabilities will receive our at- 
tention. The aged will be honored, the middle- 
aged respected, and the youth of our country 

"We have naught to promise our readers in 
the publication of our sheet, save that as night 
is opposite of day, and as right is the opposite 
of wrong, our soul detests the thought of giving 
to the fathers of families and especially to the 
youth of our land, a fabric of fictitious novel- 
lettes, that will destroy their usefulness, and 
choke the moral sensibilities of the giant mind 
in embryo, thereby plunging them into the 
vortex of temptation. 

"Now, as we enter upon the first number and 
volume of our paper, we hope you may all have 
a pleasant and profitable journey with us to the 
end of the year." 

In some respects, this salutation is unique. 
On the whole, its peculiarities of diction and 
thought are of a most unusual cast. As the 
greeting of an editor to the public in assuming 



the responsibilities of editorship, it is certainly, 
a novelty. 

With the issue of November 6, following, G. 
W. Wolfe, became associate with O. C. 
Smith, in editing the Expositor, He launches 
his bark upon the sea of journalism, with "A 
Word Introductory ;" but that " Word" ex- 
tended over a column in length. This was his 
peroration : 

"Residents of Viroqua and Bad Ax county, 
c grow not weary in well doing/ but push along 
die ball of improvement; throw aside your 
sectional strife, for ( a house divided against it- 
self cannot stand ;' put forth all your energies 
toward accomplishing and sustaining a high 
reputation for your county, and you will not 
only merit, but receive, a rich reward for pos- 
terity." But, on the 7th of May, 1859, Mr. 
Wolfe gave notice that with that issue of the 
paper, his connection with the Expositor ceased. 
The proprietors, on the 11th of December, 1858. 
were O. C. Smith, A. F. Smith and Justus 
Smith ; on the 10th of April this was changed 
to O. C. and J. Smith. 

The name of the paper was changed to the 
Viroqua Expositor and Bad Ax Reporter, Aug. 
27, 1859, and in the next issue, September 8, O. 
C. and J. Smith appeared as both editors and 
proprietors. The Bad Ax Reporter was subse- 
quently dropped. Afterward, G. W. Wolfe 
again became editor ; but the latter died on the 
19th of October, 1862, when the Expositor 
paid the fellowing graceful tribute to his 
memory : 

"Died, on Sunday morning last, very sud- 
denly, of apoplexy, Q. W. Wolfe, Esq., of this 

"Mr. Wolfe was just emerging into the prime 
of life, with an inviting prospect of a useful 
and honorable future before him. He was near 
twenty-seven years of age, and was in apparent 
good health up to the hour of his death. He 
had been attacked twice before with apoplexy, 
from which he soon recovered, and it was 
thought by many permanently, but every 

moment of life is uncertain. He arose in the 
morning apparently in good health, drove some 
cattle from his garden, and returned to the 
house after an absence of but a few moments, 
and said he was getting blind. He sat on the 
side of his bed but a moment when he went 
into convulsions from the effects of the disease. 
Before he fully recovered from the attack, he 
was again convulsed, and so it was repeated the 
fourth time, and he was dead ! 

"The announcement of his sudden, death 
startled the community, and they hurried to 
the house of mourning, but human skill was 
unavailing; he has trodden the dark path 
through the valley and shadow of death, and 
leaves behind him an affectionate wife and very 
many relatives and friends who mourn the loss 
of a kind and affectionate husband, a dutiful 
and amiable son, a loving brother, and a 
devoted and faithful friend. We deeply 
sympathize with all who are called to mourn 
over the loss of him whom the gifts of earth 
can never replace. 

"The deceased was born in Athens Co., 
Ohio, was early educated and learned the print- 
ing business in his native county. He was 
editor of this paper for the past year, and was 
a careful and vigorous writer, as all who read 
must know. 

"He was buried in the village church-yard 
on Monday last, at 8 o'clock, with Masonic 

Mr. Wolfe was succeeded by O. C. Smith as 
editor. The Expositor was finally merged into 
the Northwestern Times, the materials having 
been purchased by J. A. Somerby, of the 
county treasurer, to whom they had been sold, 
by Mr. Smith, as appears by the following : 

"To the subscribers of the Expositor. 
Through the courtesy of the Times'* editor, I 
am permitted to say that I have disposed of all 
my right, title and interest, in the office of the 
Expository and the same now rests in James 
Lowrie, Esq., county treasurer, who has agreed 
to complete all my contracts for subscription to 



the Expositor, All those who have paid for 
subscription wijl receive a paper to the end of 
the time for which they have paid, exclusive of 
the time for which the paper has been stopped. 

O. C. Smith." 
Thereupon the Northwestern Times pub- 
lished the following 


" Having purchased of James Lowrie, the 
Expositor printing office, and the subscription 
list and all the accounts due to the old proprie- 
tor of said office for advertising and subscrip- 
tions, * * * I wish to give the 
following notice : 

"That the Northwestern Times newspaper 
will be enlarged to a seven column sheet, with 
pages two inches longer than those of the 
Expositor some time during the month of July, 
and that the price will be increased to $1 50 
per annum. * * • 

J. A. Sombrbt. 

Viroqua, July 1, 1863." 

But the Times was not enlarged until the 
issue of Aug. 5, 1863. For a while in 1861, 
the Expositor was published as a semi-weekly. 


In 1871 T. C. Medary commenced the publi- 
cation of the De Soto Republican, and con- 
tinued it for one year, when be removed to 
Lansing, where he published a paper. He was 
an able writer. 

In 1872 the De Soto Leader was established. 
C. L. Ingersoll moved the material from Lan- 
sing, Iowa, across the river on the ice, and was 
the founder. He conducted the paper for a 
time, then sold it to B. J. Castle. Ingersoll 
was a merchant there, and is still a resident. 

B. J. Castle ran the paper for several years, 
then sold out and removed to Prairie du Chien, 
where he was proprietor of the Union for some 
time. He has since moved to Black River 
Falls, where he still makes his home. He is 
publishing a paper there ; but, for the past 
few years, has held a clerkship in one of the 
State departments at Madison. 

Succeeding Castle in charge of the Leader , 
came G. L. Miller, a lawyer. He still owns the 
material, although publication has been sus- 
pended. Others were at times connected with 
the paper, but merely temporarily. 

In 1872 A. L. Ankeny began in Viroqua, the 
publication of the Wisconsin Independent, con- 
tinuing it until January, 1876, when he re- 
moved to Black River Falls. In August, 1875, 
the Viroqua Vidette was started by Jacob 
Tenney and Hartwell Allen. At the end of 
three months, Mr. Tenney retired, leaving Mr. 
Allen 'sole proprietor. The Vidette closed its 
career Nov. 11, 1876. There was now but one 
paper published in the county, the Vernon 
County Censor. 


The first number of the Vernon County 
Herald was issued at Viroqua, Feb. 11, 1878, 
by Jacob Tenney and Hiram Moody, editors 
and proprietors. Its platform of principles is 
given to its readers in the following saluta- 
tory : 

" In presenting to the people the first num- 
ber of the Herald, perhaps it is proper to 
announce some of the principles that will be 
advocated in its columns. We believe that the 
time has come when a change should be made 
in the National administration and the policy 
pursued by the government, and so believing, 
we shall use whatever influence we may com- 
mand to bring about such change. The gov- 
ernment for many years has been under the 
control of the wealthy bond-holders, corpora- 
tions and partisan office-holders, who have 
influenced legislation for their selfish purposes, 
to the neglect of the welfare of a large 
majority of the people. 

"The industries of the country have been 
languishing and dying, and millions of indus- 
trious people have been suffering from the 
effects of enforced idleness, while the bond- 
holder has been adding to his hoarded wealth. 
Taxation has been unequal, working injustice 
to a large class of the people. The Nation has 



become subject to the rule of the money power 
and must seek deliverance through the ballot 
box. The principles advanced by the green- 
back party, should they prevail, will, we 
believe, relieve the people of much of the 
distress that has been caused by a false policy 
and misrule." 

The terms of the Herald were $1.50 a year. 
In the first number, the editors seem to have 
had some idea that the publication of their 
paper would stir up animo