Andre Jerome First Settler in the County
(Kittson County Enterprise, Hallock MN; 29Jun 1983; Centennial Edition)
Was Picturesque Figure Of Mixed Blood and Hardy Stock;Suffered At Hands Of British For Activity As Aid Of Louis Riel - Rob't ThomsonSecond To Settle.
The country's history materially enriched by the storyof Andre Jerome, it's first settler, mainly because his career contactsdifferent phases of early history. In the first place, Jerome was a French-Creemixed blood one of the Metis of the border country in the fur-trading period.Since he was the accused of participation in the first Riel rebellion hisactivities are woven into other chapters of the pioneer record. Andre Jerome,one of seven sturdy brothers of the Red river country, was born near FortGarry in 1821. He traced his history back to the French Huguenots, his paternalgrandfather having migrated from France early in the 19th century. The sevensons were endowed with the intelligence and courage of their French forbearsand from their mother's people inherited splendid physiques, and the hardlihoodand skill and cunning of the redman. Early they became coureurs de boisand voyageurs, performing the tasks which gave the great forests of thenorth a glamor that still envelopes it. The lives of these brothers wereintigingly typical of the fur trade era in the Red River valley, their antecedants,their activities and their manner of living were true to type.
Of Andrew Jerome, Mr. J. E. Bouvette wrote in the silveranniversary edition of the Enterprise in 1906 (the noted pioneer was stillliving then):
From this hardy and nomadic parents our subject inheritedthe characteristics which made him one of the most noted scouts and voyageursof his time. Though well up in years he is a man of able proportions andphysique, is straight as the pathways he marked through the wilderness,has keen, expressive blue eyes which commonly hold a kindly sense of humorand good fellowship, but in anger are cold, stern and penetrating. The earlierpart of his life he spent amid the influences of the forest and trail, andwas for many years interested in scouting, carrying messages and pathfindingfor the Hudson Bay company, Captain Hugh S. Donaldson and General H. H.Sibley, when the latter was agent for the American Fur company. When theIndian outbreak occurred in 1862 he proved of great value to the government,aiding in the suppression of the revolt.
Was Riel Aide
"He took an active part against the British governmentin the Riel rebellion and O'Donahue Fenian raid of 1869-70, and was imprisonedat Stony Mountain penitentiary in Manitoba, and was put through a sweatprocess by being bridled like a horse and obliged to break stone day andnight to cause him to disclose the secret operations of his leaders, buthis word was bond never to be broken and he stood his hardships and crueltiesuntil finally liberated.
"He is as familiar with the leading Indian languagesof this region as he is with the paths of the forest. The vast Northwestlay like a map before him and he knows every trail. It is doubtful if thereis a human being who has passed through as many thrilling scenes and eventsof pioneer life as did Andre Jerome. He is an interesting conversationalistand can tell of some interesting buffalo hunts in the early days. Mr. Jeromesettled on his present homestead (this county) 33 years ago last May. Hemarried early a Miss Margaret Goslin and has a family of nine children,all of whom are living and are prominent farmers in this county."