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"Reminiscence of Theresa Barrette"

"I was born in Prairie du Chien, in the year 1805. My father was Charles LaPOINTE, my mother was Susan ANTAYA. They were married in 1803, at Prairie du Chien. My father was born in Montreal, Canada, in 1775. In 1797 he came with two brothers, Francis and Peter LaPOINTE, by way of St. Lawrence river, the Lakes, Green Bay, Fox and Wisconsin rivers to Prairie du Chien. For a few years following he was in the employ of the American Fur Company. In their employ, Father made several trips to Green Bay, the winters they spent in traffic with the Indian settlements, exchanged Indian goods for pletries, etc. But, after his marriage, he went to farming. In those days, when they wanted land, all they had to do was take possession of it.

From that time farming was his principal occupation, though being able to handle any kind of tool and do almost any kind of work needed on the frontier, he worked a portion of the time at carpentering and other mechanical pursuits. My mother was born the same year my father was (1775) in St. Louis. Her father was Michael ANTAYA. In 1785 with his wife and three daughters, Susan (my mother), Josephine and Mary, embarked at St. Louis in a canoe destined for Prairie du Chien. In passing the lower rapids the canoe was upset and only for the timely assistance of a party of Fox Indians, who were near, the entire family would have drowned. My mother's sister, Josephine, married Sandy SIMPSON.

After his death, she married Augustic CROCHIER, a native of Montreal with whom she returned to Canada and died there. Mother's sister, Mary, married Francis LaPOINTE (my father's brother) whose death in Prairie du Chien left her with a family of eight children. She then married Michael LaPOINTE in 1822. He was no kin to my father or uncles. He came from Red River of the North. He was a laborer and much of the time in the employ of the American Fur Company. By this marriage four children were born, one of whom is now living (1884) Mrs. Madaline LARRIVIER. I was first born to my mother. My sister Louise, widow of Joseph DESCHAMP, was born in 1807, she lives in Prairie du Chien (1884). Her first marriage was to Edmond RONHE (RONCHE) in 1823. One child was born to them in 1824. She is the wife of Alexander PAQUETTE and now lives in Benton, LaFayette County, Wisconsin. (1884). RONCHE died in Prairie du Chien in 1862.

My sister married DESCHAME in 1828, who died in 1862. They had nine children, five of who are living: Joseph at Minneapolis, Annabelle at Chippewa Falls, Theresa (Mrs. Moses DUQUETTE), and Edmond of Texas and Frederick of Mineral Point. I married Peter BARRETTE, Sr., in 1821, who died on August 5, 1862. From my earliest recollections, I remember well Pierre LaPOINTE. He was born in Canada in about 1747 and came to Prairie in 1782. He was grand uncle to my father and my uncles, Francis and Peter LaPOINTE. About 1784 he took an Indian maid for his wife to whom were born four daughters, Palazee (Pelgia), Victoria, Susan and Theresa. Palazee (Pelgia) married a trader by the name of CRAWFORD. They had two children, a son (what became of him I don't know) and a daughter named Sophia who married a trader named MICHELL and went to Mackinaw and never returned. Palzee (Pelgia) separated from her first husband, CRAWFORD, and about 1817 married Antoine LACHABELLE. By this marriage she had seven more children, Theresa, Theophilus, Peter, Bernard, Frederick, Pauline and Antoine, Jr. Theresa married B. W. BRISBOIS of Prairie du Chien, Theophilus, if living, is in a Madison insane asylum. He was a brilliant man and made insane by hard study.

Peter lived and died in Prairie du Chien. Bernard committed suicide at the age of 30 years. Frederick now lives at Wabasha, Minn. Pauline is living at Atlanta, Ga., the widow of Dr. BEACH, formerly of Prairie du Chien. Antoine is living at the Winnebago Agency, Blue Earth, Minn. To return to the children of Pierre LaPOINTE --- Victoria married Edward BEEZAN, Susan died young. Theresa married an officer stationed at the Fort Crawford. Pierre LaPOINTE was physically an athlete, strong man... tall, straight, well formed and very active. He never made money fast, he was always employed by others, instead of giving employment, he worked much of his time for the American Fur Company, and independent traders. He disliked farming but always made maple syrup in season (sugar), and died in Prairie du Chien in 1829. Myself and my sister, Louise DECHAMPE are the two olderst persons living in Crawford County, who were born within its limits".

(Editor's note: As one of the first born in Prairie du Chien, Mrs. BARRETTE has seen this country pass from barbarism to civilization, the wilderness converted into lands teeming with corn and grain, the rude "dug out" give way to floating palaces on our river, Indian trails converted into steel railways, crowded with commerce, and a few score of civilized people, thrity one grandchildren and six great grandchildren. Samuel BARRETTE was born of Louis BARRETTE in 1849, and is one of a family of nine children: Rosanne, wife of Joseph RULE; John; Adalaine, wife of Frank DUNN; Louise; Peter and Henry, all of Minneapolis. Samuel BARRETTE was married May 30, 1883 to Adeline HERTZOG, daughter of Flora HERTZOG. They are living on the old homestead of Peter BARRETTE, St., with his grandmother Theresa BARRETTE.)


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