The following was found in Edward McEnroe's papers. I am not sure if it
was ever printed in the FDL reporter. Edward came to America, New york
in 1836. The family then came to FDL in 1847. They bought property in
Eden Twp. section 34, per 1874 Plat map. I thought you might enjoy
Sincerely, Joyce Frey
EDEN REMINISCENCES Series of Sketches of the Pioneer Life of the Early Settlers of FDL County. For the Reporter (Written about 1884) Edward McEnroe came to Eden in 1847. Nicholas Martin, a former neighbor in Washington County, NY was working for J.C. Bishop. He wrote to McEnroe to come to Fond du Lac. He delayed moving until 1847 and landed at Sheboygan. He hired a teamster to bring his family and goods to Fond du Lac. Night overtook him the first day out and they built a fire and "laid out" all night. It took them nearly three days to get through. There was not many houses here at that time. He, with the teamster and family, finding no stopping place, went as far as D. Bailey's shanty near Bishop's. Mrs. McEnroe and four small children spent the night in Bailey's log work shop. Bishop was a carpenter. As Bailey had no children and Mrs. McEnroe's little ones were sick and tired, she was afraid of annoying Mr. & Mrs. Bailey, she therefore insisted on remaining in the shop. In the meantime, McEnroe and Nicholas Martin were looking at a piece of government land which Martin had selected for him and which had been entered by other parties four days previous. McEnroe was disappointed, and paid Charles Nugent, and old settler, one dollar a day to select a quarter section of government land with running water on it. He chose that section which he still occupies. Casper Clark of Byron, had previously erected a sugar shanty where he would make maple sugar every spring, as the timber was almost entirely maple. McEnroe, with family and goods, stopped in the sugar shanty and hung up a blanket for a door. An encampment of Indians were his only neighbors, only a few rods distant. Early mornings, before they were up, squaws would be peering through the spaces between the logs. Mrs. McEnroe was homesick and would for hours sit upon a stump near the shanty and find relief in tears. McEnroe would encourage her, telling her not to look back but forward that there was nothing for them in the East. The next year, he built a large shanty and was three days getting help enough to put it up. Went for miles after men. One summer evening, while himself and wife were sitting on a log near the shanty they heard a strange noise in a northeasterly direction; presently a similar noise south; they had never heard the like before and thought it a roving band of outlaws who were calling each other together. The set up all night, fearing fearful consequences. The dreaded cries proved to have come from screech owls. Mr. McEnroe converted his vast amount of maple into charcoal, sold it to Fond Du Lac parties and reaped a good income at 8 cents per bushel, hauling several thousand bushels during the season with an ox team and going by way of the Milwaukee Road. For a month at a time, Mrs. McEnroe never saw a white woman. Nothing but Indian Squaws every day. She says that they were excellent neighbors. When McEnroe footed it twelve miles to Fond du Lac village after provisions, he carried a horn. His wife had another and when he was approaching the shanty he would blow the horn and she would go on the top of the big hill and answer him in order that he might not pass the shanty in the darkness and get lost. Soon after his arrival, while after a squirrel, bare-headed, he shot the animal. He went a ways farther and shot another one. Starting for home, he found that he was lost. Hearing the sound of a woodmans axe, he found the chopper, who proved to be Barrett, at work for Klotz. Barrett directed him home the best he could by the Indian trail. McEnroe missed the trail, but by following the river he finally found his shanty. On his return his clothing was nearly all torn off, his face scratched and bleeding and he was tired and hungry. Although the deer were plentiful he never again shot a gun, either at a deer or anything else. "It was my last hunt." His first two cows he purchased for $40.00. Once they strayed away and he searched three weeks for them in Fond du Lac, Dodge and Washington Counties. They were driven off while in Dodge County by a man who sold them North. It was a year after before he could buy another cow. Once he went to Fond du Lac after flour, but none was to be had. He went to Conklin's mill and all the miller would spare was fifty pounds. Mrs. McEnroe' feared that they would starve. He told her that old Mr. Sears, of Byron, said that he had worn out three coffee mills grinding wheat and corn. They had a good large mill and ground corn when flour could not be had. His wife would make Johnny Cake and they had maple sugar. This is what they lived on mostly. One day Rand, Vandervoort, and Mitchell came to his place requesting the privilege of letting their hogs run in his woods. It was during the fall and they lived on acorns. The hogs lived in the woods all winter and in the spring each of the owners gave him a pig, the first he owned in Wisconsin. He bought a rooster and two pullets from Hiram Edgerton and he never felt so rich before. They kept them until they died of old age. He said, "I must tell you my bear story. I had a large hog weighing about 300 lbs. A bear killed it and dragged it several rods into the woods. I brought from the East with me a two-edged sword sharp as a razor. Armed with that weapon, I started in pursuit and caught up to the animal but he ran faster than I could, and succeeded in getting away, thereby saving his life and perhaps my own." It was in 1851 and still very little clearing was done; all was wild, with no roads. One day while I was cutting hay on the Marsh, my wife brought my dinner and then she and I pitched hay with wooden pitchforks. The next year a Byron blacksmith made for me two iron ones. She and I, returned home at sundown and were met by one of the elder children who was looking for their four-year old sister. That four-year old is now Mrs. Freeman Johnson of Eden. They had not seen the child, who had attempted to follow its Mother, but became lost among the many cattle paths. They gave the alarm and Mr. Peck and others searched the woods all night without tidings of it. The next morning, she was found at McCarthy's home, four miles distant. The child arrived at the shanty of McCarty's about dusk the evening before. The little girl would not tell her name or give any clue, whatsoever, as to whom she belonged. All she could say was "I'm going home." McEnroe's first crop was 500 bushels of oats and sold it for 10 cents per bushel. He threshed 323 bushels of winter wheat from five acres. This was his first crop, and better by far, he says than any crop since. One rainy day while at West Bend to the mill, a big Indian, came to the shanty, took off his wet clothing, made a big fire and preceded to sharpening his hunting knife. Mrs. McEnroe and the children were greatly alarmed. Soon after McEnroe drove up, she told him of their fright. He rushed into the shanty, seized the Indian boy by the neck and waltzed him through the door. He kicked the Indian out and went through the woods with the speed of a dear. He never was seen after. That was the only Indian that caused him any trouble. Mr. McEnroe is in his 84th year and never was ill a day in his life. His memory is bright and he is still able to do chores, although, sight and hearing are a little dull. He is sometimes afflicted with "Rheumatism."
Transcribed by Tracy Reinhardt for the Fond du Lac WI GenWeb Page .
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