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Oconto County

-- Named after the village of Lena. The first families to settle in the area were French decendants of early traders and pioneers. In the first wave, the French traders and trappers came directly from France and did not make permanent homes. In the second wave, the French came primarily from the Province of Quebec, Canada, also to work in the fur trade, but they settled in the Great Lakes and married into the Native families. The third wave came to work in logging and stayed to farm the land and became particularly adept at horse breeding and cattle raising. They lived in the vicinity of what was then "Jones Creek" further up the river from Lena, and a place later known as "Grays's Bridge" on Little River around 1877. Family Surnames included Lucas, Vallier or Valley, Niquette, Payant, and Rosera. From French Canada came the three Ruelle brothers, one of whom, named Frank, lived 106 years. They were joined by the families Dionne, Pelkey, and Netzer.

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