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Fifty Years in the Northwest

by W.H.C. Folsom
published 1888


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Chapter VII

Pierce County

     This county, named in honor of President Pierce, was separated from St. Croix county in 1853, and organized by the same act that created Polk county, and gave to St. Croix its present limits.  It contains about six hundred square miles of territory, lying east of the Mississippi river and lake St. Croix.  It is somewhat triangular in shape, the river and lake forming the hypotenuse, and St. Croix, Dunn and Pepin bounding it by right lines on the north and east, Pepin also forming a small part of its southern boundary.
     The scenery is picturesque and varied.  Along the river and lake is a series of limestone bluffs, broken at intervals by the vines and valleys, and leaving the impression upon the mind of the traveler on the Mississippi of a rough, broken and inhospitable country, than which nothing could be further from the truth.  Beyond these rugged escarpments of limestone and out of sight of the traveler, the country stretches away toward the interior as an undulating prairie, with meadows and rich pasture lands, with occasional forests, the whole watered and drained by an intricate network of streams tributary to the lake and river, and the three larger streams, the Kinnikinic, which empties into the St. Croix and Big rivers, Trimbelle and Rush, that empty into the Mississippi.  Some branches of the Chippewa also take their rise in this county.  These streams uniformly have their source in springs and their waters are consequently pure, cold and invigorating, flowing over beds of white sand or pebbles, and in their downward course forming many ripples, rapids, cascades and some beautiful waterfalls.  Their

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total  descent to the bed of the Mississippi is about four hundred feet.  Pierce county has no inland lakes within its limits, nor any indications of their previous existence.  The soil is formed chiefly from decomposed rocks or ledges worn down by the abrading forces of water and wind, of frost and heat.  The rivers in their downward course have excavated broad valleys, having originally precipitous bluffs on either side, and even bluffs once islands in the midst of the streams.  These, by later agencies, have been smoothed to gentle slopes and rounded into graceful mounds, towering sometimes as much as eighty feet above the valley or plains.  In some places mere outlines of sandstone or limestone rock are left, turret-like, on the summit of a mound, as monuments on which the geologist may read the record of ages gone.  As the character of the soil of a country depends upon the composition of the rocks underlying it, and those removed from the surface, reduced to soil and widely distributed, we give what may be considered as the section of any one of the mounds near Prescott in the order of the superposition of strata:

At the base - Lower magnesian limestone..................................250 feet
Above the plain - Upper sandstone...............................................50 feet
On the summit - Trenton, or shell limestone...................................30 feet

     Over a great part of the county the Trenton and limestone are worn almost entirely away and their former existence is attested only by a few mounds, bluffs and outlines.  Drift is not often met with.  The soil may be considered as formed out of drift, now removed from its original position, and out of the sandstone and limestone.  It is, therefore, soil of the richest quality.
     By the same act that created the county of Pierce, passed March 14, 1853, Prescott was declared the county seat.  The town board of Prescott was constituted the county board.  The commissioners were Osborn Strahl, chairman; Silas Wright and Sylvester Moore.  At the first county election, Nov. 15, 1853, one hundred and ten votes were cast.  The following were the officers elected:  County judge, W.J. Copp; sheriff, N.S. Dunbar; treasurer, J.R. Freeman; clerk of court, S.R. Gunn; clerk of board, Henry Teachout; coroner, J. Olive; district attorney, P.V. Wise; surveyor, J. True; register of deeds, J.M. Whipple.  Mr. Whipple was authorized to transcribe the records of St. Croix county up to date of the organization of Pierce.

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     The first assessment in the county, in 1853, amounted to $24,452.  At the meeting of the supervisors, Jan. 18, 1854, the district attorney was allowed forty dollars per annum as salary.  Courts were held wherever suitable buildings could be obtained.  During this year Judge Wyram Knowlton, of Prairie du Chien, held the first district court at Prescott.  The first records of the court were kept on sheets of foolscap paper, and fasted together with waters.  The first case before the court was that of "The State of Wisconsin, Pierce County, Wm. Woodruff vs. Chas. D. Stevens, August Lochmen, and Chas. Peschke, in Court of said County.  In Equity."  On reading and filing the bill in complaint in this case, on motion of S.J.R. McMillan and H.M. Lewis solicitors for counsel, J.S. Foster, it was ordered that a writ of injunction be issued in the case, pursuant to the prayer of said bill, upon said complainant.  Some one, in his behalf, filed with the clerk of said court, a bond for damages and costs i the sum of $1,700 with surety to be approved by the clerk or judge of said court.  The first document recorded in the county is an agreement between Philander Prescott and Philip Aldrich, wherein Aldrich agrees to occupy lands adjoining Prescott's at the mouth of St. Croix lake on the west, and David Hone on the east.  The second documents is a deed, conveying a tract of three hundred and twenty acres of land from Francis Chevalier to Joseph R. Brown, the land lying near the mouth of Lake St. Croix, and marked by stakes planted in the ground, and adjoining Francis Gamelle's claim, dated July 20, 1840.
     In 1857 County Treasurer Ayers became a defaulter to the county in the sum of $2,287.76, and to the Prescott Bank, $4,000.  In 1861, by act of the legislature, the question of changing the county seat from Prescott to Ellsworth was submitted to the people.  The vote as declared was six hundred for removal and three hundred and seventy-three against it.  Technical objections having been raised as to the legality of the vote, the subject was submitted to the people a second time in 1862.  The vote for removal was confirmed.  In 1863 the district system was adopted and three districts were established by legislative enactment, but i 1870 the county returned to the original system by which the board of supervisors was made to consist of a chairman from each one of the town boards.  A poor farm was established near Ellsworth in 1869, at a cost of $3,600.  The county

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board also appropriated $31,000 for county buildings at Ellsworth.
     The finances of the county have been admirably managed.  In 1885 there was no indebtedness, and a surplus i the treasury of $5,000.  The educational interests are well cared for.  There are over one hundred school districts in the county, with well conducted schools, and generally with good substantial buildings.  The school lands of St. Croix, then including Pierce county, were appraised in 1852 by Dr. Otis Hoyt, - Denniston and James Bailey, and the lands at once offered for sale.  Settlers' rights were respected.  The county issued $5,000 in bonds to aid in establishing the normal school at River Falls.

RAILROADS

     River Falls has direct communication with Hudson by a branch of the Chicago & St. Paul railroad.  In 1885, the Burlington & Northern railroad route was surveyed and established, entering the count on the shore of Lake Pepin, and running nearly parallel with lake and river to Prescott, where it crosses Lake St. Croix near its mouth, on a bridge, the total length of which is 520.5 feet, with on draw span 367.5 feet in length, and one piled span of 153 feet.  This bridge was completed and the first train entered Prescott, may 31, 1886.  The grade of this road does not exceed fifteen feet to the mile.

MISCELLANEOUS STATISTICS

     The Grand Army of the Republic have posts at the following places:

No.   72, A.W. Howard Post...............................................................................Rock Elm
No. 117, I.M. Nichols Post...................................................................................River Falls
No. 118, Ellsworth Post......................................................................................Ellsworth
No. 189, R.P. Converse Post..............................................................................Prescott
No. 204, U.S. Grant Post....................................................................................Maiden Rock
No. 209, Plum City Post......................................................................................Plum City

     The following are the village plats of Pierce county with date of survey and location:

Prescott, town of Prescott...............................................................................1853
Kinnikinic, town of River Falls..........................................................................1854
Monte Diamond (Diamond Bluff) town of Diamond Bluff..................................1855
Saratoga, town of Isabelle...............................................................................1855
River Falls (Greenwood and Fremont) town of River Falls.............................1856

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Maiden Rock, town of Maiden Rock................................................................1856
Warren, town of Maiden Rock........................................................................1856
Trimbelle, town of Trimbelle............................................................................1856
Franklin, town of Trimbelle..............................................................................1856
Martell (Rising Sun), town of Martell...............................................................1856
Beldenville, town of Trimbelle.........................................................................1857
Trenton, town of Trenton................................................................................1857
Plum City, town of Union.................................................................................1858
El Paso, town of El Paso.................................................................................1858
Esdaile, town of Hartland...............................................................................1870
Rock Elm, town of Rock Elm Centre...............................................................1876
Hogan, town of Trenton.................................................................................1886
Bay City, town of Isabelle...............................................................................1887

ORGANIZATION OF TOWNS

     The following is the chronological order in which the towns of Pierce County were organized:

Prescott*...................................................1853     Spring Valley (Maiden Rock).....................1857
Grenwood (now River Falls)....................1854     Trenton......................................................1857
Martell........................................................1854     El Paso..................................................... 1858
Isabelle......................................................1855     Hartland.....................................................1859
Trimbelle....................................................1855     Union.........................................................1861
Diamond Bluff............................................1855     Salem........................................................1862
Clifton........................................................1855     Rock Elm....................................................1862
Oak Grove.................................................1856     Deerfield (Gilman).....................................1868
Perry (Ellsworth).......................................1856     Spring Lake...............................................1868

CLIFTON

Situated in the northwestern part of the county, contains a little over thirty full sections of land, those on the St. Croix having a somewhat irregular boundary.  The surface is somewhat broken where traversed by the Kinnikinic and its tributaries.  It includes twenty-four sections on the west side of township 27, range 19, and fractional township 27, range 20.  It was established in 1855.  Its first board of officers were:  Supervisors--Geo. W. McMurphy, chairman; Osborne Strahl, and G.W. Teachout.  C.B. Cox was the first postmaster, in 1852, at a place called Clifton Mills, from which the town afterward derived its name.  This post is situated on the Kinnikinic,


*In 1849 the town of Elisabeth was organized by St. Croix county and included what is now Pierce county.  The first board of supervisors were William Thing, chairman; Aaron Cornelius, and L.M. Harnsberger; clerk, Hilton Doe; treasurer, Geo. W. McMurphy.  In 1851, by legislative enactment, the name Elisabeth was changed to Prescott.

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in section 18, township 27, range 18 west.  It has one grist mill and two saw mills, belonging to Cox, King & Goodsall.  No intoxicants are sold here.  The Glenwood saw mills, having a capacity of 3,000,000 feet are located on the lake shore.  In 1868 a limestone quarry was opened on the lake shore, by Oakley & Nichols.  In1881 the firm became Oakley & Hall.  They have a patent kiln and good machinery, and some seasons have manufactured as much as 5,000 barrels of lime.

GEO. W. MCMURPHY was born in Newcastle, Delaware, in 1821.  In 1845 he came to St. Croix Falls, and in 1848 to Clifton, where he pre-empted he beautiful homestead which he still holds, and where he has successfully followed the business of farming.  He has been repeatedly elected to town and county offices.  In 1848 he was married to Maria A. Rice.  Their children are Augustus (resident of St. Paul), George (a physician in Ortonville, Minnesota), James A., Robert, Albert and Edward, and two married daughters.  Mr. McMurphy is a member of the Congregational church.

OSBORNE STRAHL was born in Belmont county, Ohio, in 1818; came to Galena, Illinois, in 1838, in 1845 to Mauston and Stevens Point, Wisconsin, and to Chippewa Falls in 1847.  During these years he followed lumbering.  In 1850 he came to the town of Elisabeth, St. Croix county, which on subsequent division of towns and counties left Mr. Strahl in Clifton, where he has been engaged in farming.  he was married in 1860 to Rebecca McDonald.  They have two sons, Ms. Day, living in Dakota, Howard P., in River Falls; three daughters, Mabel, wife of Joseph M. Smith, banker at River Falls, and two daughters unmarried.  Mr. Strahl filled various town and county offices.

CHARLES B. COX was born June 25, 1810, in Chenango county, New York.  He learned the trade of a miller, lived in Ohio seventeen years and came to Clifton in 1849.  He built at Clifton the first saw and grist mill in the Kinnikinic valley, in 1850.  He changed his residence to River Falls in 1854, where he lived till 1874, when he removed to California.  During the year 1851 he ground three hundred bushels of wheat, the sole product of the valley.

EPHRAIM HARNSBERGER was born in Kentucky, Nov. 21, 1824, moved with his parents to Illinois in 1832, and to Prescott in 1847, where he pre-empted a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres.  He married at Alton, Illinois, in 1858, to Lizzie Johnson.  Their children are Charles, Sarah Etta, and Jennie.

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DIAMOND BLUFF

Is a triangular shaped town, the hypotenuse being formed by the Mississippi river.  It contains ten sections and three fractional sections in town 25, range 18, and five sections and five fractional sections in town 25, range 19.  It is traversed in the eastern part by Trimbelle river.  The town was established in 1857, and the first town meeting was held that year at the house of David Comstock.  The town board consisted of:  Supervisors-James Akers, chairman; Wilson Thing and C.F. Hoyt; justice, B. Hunter.  Susan Rogers taught the first school.  This town has the honor of claiming the first white settler, aside from traders, in the Upper Mississippi valley.  He came to the site of the present village of Diamond Bluff in 1800, and named it Monte Diamond.  We give elsewhere a somewhat extended account of this ancient pioneer, with some speculations concerning him and his descendants that are plausible enough to warrant their insertion.  In historic times a post office was established here in 1854, called at the time, Hoytstown, from C.F. Hoyt, the first postmaster.
     On the organization of the town the name was changed to Diamond Bluff.  Quite a village has since grown up around it.  The first frame house was built in 1855, by Enoch Quinby.  The first sermon was preached by Rev. J.w. Hancock, a Presbyterian minister, for some years a missionary among the Indians.  The first birth was that of Mary Day, in 1851, and the first death that of Daniel Crappers, in 1854.

CAPT. JOHN PAINE-Jack Paine, as he is familiarly called, was born in England, and for the greater part of his life has been a seafaring man.  For the past thirty years he has been a steamboat man on the Ohio, Mississippi and Missouri rivers.  He has been married three times:  first in Rhode Island, second to Mrs. La Blond of St. Louis, and last to Miss Ressue, of Diamond Bluff.  He came to Diamond Bluff in 1848, with four children of his first wife, his scond wife having died childless.  He is now living with his third wife in La Crosse.  They have three children.

JOHN DAY was born in Martinsburg, Virginia.  In 1850 he and his wife and three children, with Allen B. Wilson and his wife, came to Diamond Bluff.  Mr. Day is well known as a fearless and enthusiastic hunter.  In 1852 he had a close encounter with a large black bear, which, after a desperate struggle, he killed with an axe.  The Indians considered Mr. Day as "waukon,"

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supernatural, averring that their bravest warriors would not have attacked singly so large an animal.

SARAH A. VANCE, the wife of Mr. Day, was born in Kentucky.  The Vance family were famous pioneers, and some of them were noted Methodist preachers.  Miss Vance's first marriage was to John R. Shores, by whom she had two children, one of whom, Isabella, became the wife A.R. Wilson.

ALLEN R. WILSON-Mr. Wilson was born in Kentucky; spent his early boyhood in Shawneetown, Illinois; was married to Miss Shores at Potosi, Wisconsin, April 16, 1848, and in 1850 came to Diamond Bluff.  Mr. Wilson took great interest in politics, was an ardent Republican, and was among the first to volunteer his services for the suppression of the Rebellion in 1861.  He enlisted in Company B, Sixth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers, and fell in battle, Sept. 14, 1862, at South Mountain.  Mr. Wilson was well informed, a close observer of political events at home and abroad, and was a brave and efficient soldier.  He left five children.

E.S. COULTER - Mr. Coulter is a Virginian by birth.  In early manhood he traveled extensively as a book agent, and finally settled at Diamond Bluff, where he successfully engaged in farming and dealing in wheat and merchandise.

JAMES BAMBER, ex-musician in the British and United States armies.

JACOB MEAD, ex-shoemaker, ex-soldier and miner, a man of superior natural and acquired talent.

CHARLES F. HOYT, with his wife and one child, came to Diamond Bluff from Illinois, in 1853.

ENOCH QUINBY was born at Sandwich, New Hampshire; was married to Matilda Leighton, originally from Athens, Maine.  Mr. Quinby and his wife came from Pittsfield, Illinois, to Diamond Bluff in 1854.

THE FIRST SETTLER

     There is a pretty well grounded tradition that the first white man who found his way to Diamond Bluff was a French Vendean loyalist of the army of Jacques Cathelineau; that he fled from France in 1793 or 1794, landed at Quebec, and was traced by his enemies to Mackinaw and Chicago, where they lost his

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trail.  He came to Diamond Bluff in 1800, and named it "Monte Diamond."  He had for his housekeeper the daughter of an Indian chief.  He died here about 1824.  After his death the Indians always called the place "Old White Man's Prairie."  E. Quinby, of Diamond Bluff, to whom we are indebted for this account, adds:  "All the additional evidence I can give in regard to this pioneer is that prior to 1793 his wife died, leaving him one daughter, who was deformed.  A former friend of his had a beautiful daughter of about the same age of his own.  After the uprising and defeat of the Vendeans, they became enemies, and he, to save his life, took his former friend's daughter, instead of his own, and fled to this country.  The father pursued them as far as Chicago, where he saw his daughter in company with some Indian girls, and having on her person some ornaments once worn by her mother.  He at once seized her and carried her back with him to France, and the old Frenchman found his way to Diamond Bluff."  Faribault's son,* now living somewhere in Minnesota, wrote me a few years since, inquiring about the old Frenchman, saying that his grandmother claimed that her husband was a French nobleman, and that he lived near lake Pepin.  He believed the old Frenchman was his grandfather.  The above statements were communicated to the late Capt. Orin Smith, Galena, Illinois, Allen B. Wilson and myself, in 1854 or in 1855, by an old Frenchman then residing at Potosi, Wisconsin, who claimed to have seen and gathered these facts from the old man himself.  Capt. Smith was well acquainted with the Frenchman at Potosi, and gave the fullest credence to his account.

EL PASO

Occupies township 26, range 16.  It is drained chiefly by Rush river and its tributary, Lost creek, on the west.  The two post villages in this town are, El Paso, located in section 5, and Lost Creek, in section 3.  George P. Walker was the first settler.  He built the first house and raised the first crop;  Thomas T. Magee came in 1855.  In 1860 the town was organized, Thomas Hurley and Geo. P. Walker being supervisors.  In 1862 Mr. Magee built a saw and flour mill in section 5, and platted the village of El Paso.  In 1875 he removed to Clear Lake, Polk county, of


*A member of the well known Faribault family, after whom the town of Faribault has been named.

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which town he was the first settler.  Clara Green taught the first school in El Paso, in 1861.  There is one Catholic and one Lutheran church in the village.  The name El Paso signifying a crossing, is of somewhat obscure derivation.

ELLSWORTH

Was organized under the name of Perry, March 3, 1857, but in 1862 it received its present name.  It occupies a cent4ral position in the county and includes township 26, range 17.  This is a rich farming town, originally timbered with hardwood.  The surface is elevated and gently undulating.  It is drained on the east by the tributaries of Rush river, but has no large or important streams.  The first supervisors were:  P.M. Simons, chairman; Caleb Bruce and Wilson Kinnie.  The first settler was Anthony Huddleston, who came April 23, 1856, and pre-empted the southeast quarter of section 20.  On November 26th, of the same year, came Caleb, Elihu W. and Eli T. Bruce, who pre-empted farms on sections 18 and 19.  During the same year Wilson and Norris Kinnie and David Klingensmith pre-empted farms in sections 18 and 19.  Lilly, Miscen, Russ, and Campbell came also in 1855.  The first log house in the town was built by Anthony Huddleston in 1855.  Norris Kinnie built the first in what was afterward the village of Ellsworth.  The first school house, was a log building, built in 1857, and Mary Filkins, now Mrs. G.H. Sargeant, of Minnesota, taught the first school.  The first marriage was that of Charles Stannard and Mary Leonard in 1855.  The first birth, that of the twin children of Wilson.  Both died.  The first death of an adult was that of Mrs. Jacob Youngman in the winter of 1855.  The post office was opened in 1860, with Seely Strickland as postmaster.

ELLSWORTH VILLAGE

     The original owners of the southern half of section 18, and the northern half of 19, Norris Kinnie, Eli T. Bruce, Henry P. Ames, and Wm. Crippen laid out and platted the village of Ellsworth in 1862.  Wm. Crippin, built a frame hotel there in 1860.  C.S. Dunbar opened a store in 1861.  The prospect of Ellsworth becoming the county seat gave a great impetus to business enterprises.  This was decided by a popular vote in 1861, but owing to some technical defects was resubmitted to the people of the

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county in 1862, and then definitely decided.  In the year 1862 the citizens of Ellsworth built a log house in which the first terms of court were held; meanwhile the county officers had their offices in the basement of Crippin's hotel.  The permanent county buildings were not erected until 1869.  They are built of stone and cost $60,000.  In 1863 a frame school house took the place of the old log structure, and in 1874 a commodious brick building was erected, at a cost of $5,000.
     The Methodists, Lutherans and Catholics have church buildings.  There is one newspaper, the Pierce County Herald, edited by E.F. Case and E.S. Doolittle.  The Barnes saw mill built in 1867, burned down and rebuilt, has a capacity of about 5,000 feet per day.  A branch railroad, built from Hudson to River Falls was extended to Ellsworth in 1885.  The depot is one mile from the village.  The Pierce County Central fair grounds, containing seventeen acres, are located near the village.  The grounds are inclosed (sic) and are covered with a fine maple grove, in the midst of which is a large flowing spring.  D.W. Woodworth was first president of the fair association.  Ellsworth has two handsome cemeteries, Maplewood and the Catholic.
     The village itself is beautifully situated on an elevated plateau originally covered with hardwood timber.  The streets are tastefully adorned with maple trees.

ANTHONY HUDDLESTON - Mr. Huddleston is of Irish descent.  He was born in West Virginia in 1804; had but limited educational privileges; lived for a part of his life in Ohio and Indiana, and settled in Ellsworth in 1855, being the first settler in the town.  He was a house carpenter for over sixty years.  He was a member of the Dunkard church sixty-two years.  he was married in 1826, in Ripley, Indiana, to Susannah Whetstone.  They have three sons and six daughters living.

PERRY D. PIERCE was born in Harpersfield, Delaware county, New York.  He traces his lineage to ancestors who came across in the Mayflower and landed at Plymouth Rock.  He received an academic education, studied law with A. Reckor, Oswego, New York, and was admitted to practice at Cooperstown in 1843, practiced in Albany three years, and in 1854 came to the St. Croix valley, locating first at Prescott, where he served as district attorney for four years, and county judge eights years.  He was married in 1860, to Lua E. Searsdall.  He is now a resident of Ellsworth.

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HANS B. WARNER, of Ellsworth, Pierce county, was born at Gulbrandsdalen, Norway; July 12, 1844; received a common school education; is by occupation a farmer; emigrated and settled in Dodge county, Wisconsin, in 1853, and thence removed to Pierce County in 1855, where he has since resided.  He enlisted in march, 1864, as a private, in Company G, Thirty-seventh Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry; was wounded and captured in front of Petersburg, Virginia, July 30, 1864, and was held a prisoner of war in Danville and Libby prisons until paroled, September, 1864; was discharged from service on account of wounds received in battle July 18, 1865.  He has held various local offices, and the position of county clerk of Pierce county from January, 1869 to Dec. 21, 1877, when he resigned, to assume the duties of secretary of state, to which office he was elected in 1877, and was re-elected in 1879, serving in all four years.  He was elected to the state senate in 1862 and served until 1886.  His home business is farming and real estate.  He was married in 1866, to Julia E. Hudson.

GILMAN

     The town of Gilman includes township 27, range 16.  The postal villages are Gilman, section 10, and Olivet, section 36.  Gilman was organized as the town of Deerfield, in 1868, but in 1869 the name was changed to Gilman.  The first supervisors were Oliver Purdy, Caleb Coon, Bardon Jensen.  The first school was taught in 1870, by M.L. Maxgood.  A Norwegian Lutheran church was built in 1883, at a cost of $1,500.  There are six school houses with an aggregate cost of $2,000.  The first marriage was that of Caleb Coon and Cenith Preston, in 1867.  The first birth was a child of this married couple.  The first death was that of Mrs. Rufus Preston.  The first post office was at Gilman, U.F. Hals, postmaster.  The first settlers were B.F. Gilman, in 1859, still a resident; N.B. Lawrence, soon after, now removed; Rufus Preston and family; Joseph and Caleb Coon and families, in 1865, still resident.  J.R. Maxgood, B. Jensen and son, E.B. Jensen, the Matthieson brothers, Z. Sigursen, H. Bredahl, S.J. Goodell, Nels Gulikson, M.O. Grinde, Albert Martin, P. Vanosse, and T.B. Forgenbakke are among the oldest citizens.

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HARTLAND

     Hartland occupies township 25, range 17.  It has one post village, Esdaile.  It has one saw mill and a factory for the manufacture of hubs and bent wood work, operated by Charles Betcher, of Red Wing, Minnesota, which gives employment to seventy-five men and ten teams the year round.  The village of Esdaile has also two general merchandise stores and a hotel.  Hartland was organized in 1859.  The first supervisors were A. Harris, chairman; Joseph Sleeper and R. M. Sproul.  Amongst the first settlers were Augustus E. Hodgman, section 24, 1854; James Buckingham, section 28, 1854; Lewis Buckmaster, section 1, 1853.  The first school was taught in 1858, by Mary Ann Stonio.  The first post office was at Esdaile, Hiram Patch, post master.  There are three church organizations, Presbyterian, Methodist and Lutheran (Norwegian), with buildings valued at from $700 to $1,000.  There are nine school houses, ranging in cost from $500 to 1,400.  The Good Templars have an organization.

ISABELLE

     Isabelle consists of the two upper tiers of section 7, township 24, range 17, the lower tier being much broken in outline by Lake Pepin in the south.  It contains also fractions of sections i the third tier.  Bay City, on the shore of the lake, is the postal town.  It was organized in 1855.  In 1869 it was annexed to Hartland, but in 1871 it was re-established.  The first chairman of supervisors was John Buckingham.  The election was held at the house of Abner Brown.  Charles R. Tyler and Lorezo D. Philips settled here in 1854, and built a saw mill where now stands the thriving village of Bay City.  Saratoga plat was laid out upon this ground in 1856, by A.C. Morton.  A.J. Dexter was the original claimant of the land.  Mr. Morton purchased the land which covered a part of Bay City from the government.  A surveyor named Markle was employed by Morton to run the lines, which Mr. Dexter considered an intrusion upon his rights, and he shot Markle.  Dexter was tried before Judge S.S.N. Fuller, in 1855, was convicted and sentenced to prison for life.  After a few years he was pardoned by Gov. Barstow.

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MAIDEN ROCK

     Maiden Rock occupies the four upper tiers of sections of township 24, ranges 15 and 16, except such portions on the southwestern corner as are cut off by Lake Pepin.  It contains about forty sections.  The town was organized under the name of Spring Valley, in 1857.  Its postal villages are Maiden Rock, on the lake shore, section 15, range 15, and Warren, also on the lake shore, section 7, range 15.  The site of Maiden Rock village was purchased from the government in 1853, by Albert Harris and J.D. Trumbull.  In 1855 they erected the first house, and in 1856 built a saw and shingle mill.  J.D. Trumbull platted the village in 1857, and christened it Maiden Rock, from the celebrated rock of that name a few miles further down the lake.  Among the first settlers in the village were J.H. Steel, J.D. Brown, John Foster, and Joseph B. Hull.
     The first hotel was run by G.R. Barton, in a house built by J.D. Trumbull.  This hotel has since been enlarged and is now the Lake View House.  The first marriage was that of A.J. Smith and Corinda Eatinger, in 1857; the first birth was that of Ida Trumbull, in 1858, and the first death that of William Trumbull, in 1858.  The first school was taught by Lottie Isabel, of Batavia, Illinois.  The first sermon was preached by Rev. James Gurley, a Methodist preacher from North Pepin.
     A post office was established in 1856, of which J.D. Trumbull was postmaster.  The receipts the first year were eleven dollars, the expenses, fifty dollars, paid by the postmaster.  The town of Maiden Rock has six school houses, one saw and one grist mill.

CHRISTOPHER L. TAYLOR was born in Oneida county, New York, in 1829; came to Chicago at an early day, and to Maiden Rock in 1868, where he engaged in manufacturing.  He served as county supervisor for eight years, and as member of the Wisconsin legislature i 1876.  He removed to St. Paul in 1880, where he still resides.  He is a dealer in real estate.

MARTELL

     Martell occupies township 27, range 17.  Joseph Martell, John Dee, Louis Lepau and Xerxes Jock, Frenchmen, were the first settlers.  They located here i 1847, and remained until 1860, when they moved further west, allured by the attractions of frontier

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life.  Martell was organized in 1854, with the following supervisors:  Amos Bonesteel, chairman; M. Statten and R.J. Thompson.  The first school was taught in 1857, by W. Bewel.  Martell is the postal village.  The first postmaster was O. Rasmunson.  There are two evangelical Lutheran churches in the town, built at a cost of $3,500 and $4,000.  There is also a good town hall, valued at $600.  The Martell Mutual Insurance Company is in successful operation.

OAK GROVE

     Oak Grove includes township 26, range 19 (with the exception of section 31 and parts of 30 and 32), and six sections of range 20, in all about forty sections.  It is drained by Big river.  It was set off from Clifton in 1856.  Hart Broughton was the first chairman of supervisors.  It contains a flouring mill on Big river; Catholic, Lutheran, and Methodist church buildings; that of the Catholic cost $4,000, and has a school attached.  There are seven school houses.  Big River is the postal village.  John Berry was the first postmaster.  The first settlers were (1848) the Thing brothers, the Harnsberger brothers, the Cornelius brothers, Rice, Schaser, McMurphy, Rissue, and the Miner brothers.

LEWIS M. HARNSBERGER was born in Kentucky, April 18, 1822, and moved with his parents to Illinois, where he lived nine years.  He came to Prescott in 1846, and pre-empted a farm in Oak Grove, where he has since continuously resided.  He has filled many public positions creditably.  He was married to Annie Jeffreys, of Illinois, in 1860.  Their sons are Ephraim, Lewis and John.

PRESCOTT CITY

Is beautifully located at the junction of the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers.  The business portion of the city is on a terrace at the base of the bluff, and between it and the river and lake.  The public buildings, churches, school house and residences are chiefly on the upper terrace, or bluff, and command an extensive view of the valley of the two rivers, the whole forming a landscape of unrivaled beauty.  The advantages of the position are by no means limited to its picturesque surroundings.  Prescott, from it position at the junction of the two rivers, was early recognized as an important point for the reshipping of freight and

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re-embarkation of passengers.  The St. Croix, which comes in from the north, rises within a few miles of Lake Superior, and after running a course of two hundred miles, empties its waters into Lake St. Croix, twenty-four miles above its outlet.  The lake is navigable at all times to Stillwater and to Taylor's Falls at the Dalles.  The Mississippi comes in from the northwest, and is navigable to St. Paul, a distance of thirty miles.  The two channels at the junction are each about 1,000 feet wide, with an average depth of fifteen feet, and the banks slope to the water's edge, or stand in some places in vertical ledges, thus forming a natural quay along the entire front of the city.  The quay, or landing, is semicircular in shape, the upper terrace or bench, about one hundred feet in height, is likewise semicircular, the convexity being toward the river and lake.  The crest of the terrace is worn down by the rains into ravines, leaving rounded points, or promontories, on the summit of which the ancient mound builders have left traces of their peculiar art.  The firs settlement of Prescott was made by Philander Prescott, Col. Thompson, Dr. Emerson, and Capt. Scott, the three last named being army officers at Fort Snelling.  Mr. Prescott, acting as agent for the others, made the claim in 1836, remaining three years to hold it, when it was left in the care of Joseph Mosier until 1851.
     In 1837 seven acres were broken and fenced, constituting the entire landed improvements within the present bounds of Pierce county.  In 1849 one hundred an fifty acres were improved.  Geo. Schaser and H. Doe were the first resident farmers.  From 1838 to 1849 a tr5adig post for Indian supplies was kept by persons holding the claim.  W.S. Lockwood opened a store in 1842, and other improvements were made.  As the army officers were called to other fields of labor, Mr. Prescott soon found himself in sole possession of the original claim, he purchasing their interests, and in 1849, when the lands had been surveyed by the governments, he entered sixty-one acres.  In 1853 Dr. O.T. Maxon and W.J. Copp purchased a greater part of the town site and surveyed and platted it as the city of Prescott.  A charter was obtained in 1857.  A post office had been established here in 1840, called the "Mouth of the St. Croix," but it was removed across the lake and named Point Douglas.  The post office was re-established at Prescott in 1852.  Dr. O.T. Maxon was the first postmaster.  The number of persons who came that year to Prescott

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is estimated at about one hundred and fifty.*  Mr. Schaser platted an addition to the city of sixty-one acres in 1855.  When the city received its charter the following officers were elected:  Mayor, J.R. Freeman; aldermen, First ward, N.S. Dunbar, Thomas Dickerson and Seth Ticknor; Second ward, Hilton Doe, George W. Oakley, N.A. Miller; president of the council, Seth Ticknor; justices of the peace, I.T. Foster, O. Edwards; city attorney, P.V. Wise; city surveyor, Wm. Howes; superintendent of schools, Thomas Dickerson.
     Wm. Schaser built the first frame house, and Mrs. Wm. Schaser was the first white woman.  Their daughter Eliza was the first white child born in the new settlement.  The first marriage was that of G.W. McMurphy to a daughter of Mr. Rice, April 24, 1848.  The first death was that of W.S. Lockwood, in 1847.
     When the county of Pierce was organized Prescott was designated as the county seat, and so remained until 1862, when, by poplar election, Ellsworth was chosen.
     In 1856 Messrs. Silverthorn & Dudley started a saw mill, which they operated until 1861, when Mr. Dudley purchased his partner's interest, and erected a flouring and saw mill.
     A wagon and carriage manufactory was established by F. Menicke, in 1862, the Prescott brewery in 1866, by N.P. Husting, and the Prescott machine shops in 1876, by H.B. Failing.  The City Bank of Prescott was organized in 1858, Charles Miller, president; W.P. Westfall, cashier; capital stock, $50,000.  It closed in 1862.  The National Bank was established in 1877, by W.S. Miller.  the first school in Pierce county was taught by a missionary named Denton, at Prescott, in 1843.  In 1851 Miss Oliver taught a private school.  In 1853 the first district school was established.  The school board were:  Directors, M. Craig, George W. McMurphy; treasurer, N.S. Dunbar; clerk, Dr. O.T. Maxon; teacher, Miss Matthews.  The first school house was built in 1854.  A building for a graded school was erected in 1859.  A high school building was erected in 1847, at a cost of $20,000.
     The first religious society was that of the Methodists, organized in 1853, under the labors of Rev. Norris Hobart.  Their


*NOTE-When I touched at Prescott in 1845, it was generally known as the "Mouth of St. Croix," though by some called "Prescott's Landing."  The residents were Hilton Doe, a farmer; Geo. Schaser, boarding house keeper; W.S. Lockwood, merchant; Joseph osier, an Indian trader or storekeeper.  The principal trade was with Indians.

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first building was erected in 1856.  Its dimensions were 20x32 feet, ground plan.  In 1868 they erected a building 40x70 feet, ground plan, at a cost of $4,000.
     In 1854 the Baptist church was organized by Rev. E.W. Cressy.
     In 1854 the Congregationalists organized, with Rev. P. Hall as pastor, and in 1855 built a brick church, 40x50 feet, ground plan.
     In 1855 the Presbyterians organized, and in 1866 built a church.
     The Lutheran church was organized in 1865, by Rev. C. Thayer.
     Under the preaching of Rev. M. Guilt the Episcopal church was organized in 1872. Previous to this date Revs. Breck, Wilcoxson and Peabody had labored from time to time.  The Catholic church was organized by Rev. Father Vervais in 1860.  In 1868 a church edifice was built.
     The following social and benevolent orders have organizations in Prescott:

Northwestern Lodge, A.F. and A.M.....................................organized 1856
Prescott Lodge, I.O.O.F........................................................       "         1868
Lodge No. 319, I.O.G.T.........................................................       "         1876
Prescott Juvenile Temple, No. 108.......................................       "          1877
Prescott Temple of Honor....................................................       "          1878
Converse Post, G.A.R.........................................................       "          1884
Pierce County Agricultural Society, OT Maxon, president..       "          1859

     The Agricultural Society has fair grounds just east of the city, well arranged, with a half mile race track, and buildings in good condition.  Fairs are held annually.  Pine Glen cemetery is situated on the bluff half a mile below the city.  It was established in 1856.  Nature has done much for the site.  The view of the Mississippi valley is unobstructed for a distance of from twelve to twenty miles on the south, and to the bend of the river bluffs above Hastings.  The grounds are handsomely laid out and adorned with shrubbery.

DESTRUCTIVE FIRES

     Prescott has suffered severely from fires.  The following is a partial list of losses:

Lowry & Co., saw mill...................................................loss $3,500
Todd & Horton's mill.......................................................  "    $2,000
Stevens, Lechner & Co. (1854)....................................  "    $3,000

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Fire on Main Street (1871)............................................   "   $22,000
Fire on Main Street (1872)............................................   "    12,000
Fire on Main Street (1874)............................................   "    12,000
Redman, Cross & Co., flour mills (1877)......................   "    40,000

     The latter was insured for $20,000.  Total loss, nearly $75,000.

BIOGRAPHICAL

PHILANDER PRESCOTT was born in 1801, at Phelpstown, Ontario county, New York.  Late in the year 1819 he came to Fort Snelling and remained there, or in the vicinity, the greater part of his life.  From his constant association with the Sioux, he learned to speak their language.  He was also related to them by his marriage with a Sioux woman.  This fact, added to his influence among them, and begin a man not only of a high character for integrity, but well educated and intelligent, he was able to render the officers of the Fort much service.  He made a translation into the Sioux dialect of a number of English and French hymns for the use of the mission schools near Prescott.  In 1835, while acting as Indian interpreter, he came to the present site of Prescott, and in conjunction with several officers of the Fort, he acting as their agent, laid claim to considerable territory, and made some improvements in the shape of log buildings.  When the army officers were sent to other posts, Mr. Prescott purchased their interests and held the claim.  In 1849, after the government survey, he pre-empted sixty-one acres and laid out what he called the city of Prescott.  He resided here and at the Fort alternately until his death, which occurred in 1862.  He had been sent by the government on a peace mission to the Indians in rebellion, met them at a point near Mankato, and was cruelly assassinated by those to whom he had ever proven a true friend, and whom he had every reason to suppose friendly to him.

GEORGE SCHASER is a native of Austria, and came to the mouth of the St. Croix i 1841.  In 1842 he returned to St. Louis and married Christine Bucher.  Mrs. Schaser was the first white woman resident in Prescott.  Mr. Schaser built the first frame house in the settlement, in 1844.  This house was regarded for many years as the finest house between Prairie du Chien and St. Paul.  In 1855 Mr. Schaser surveyed an addition to Prescott on

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land he pre-empted in 1849.  In 1858 he built the brick hotel known as the St. Nicholas.  Mr. Schaser died May 3, 1884, leaving a widow, three sons and one daughter.  His sons are Henry, Edward and George A.  His daughter Emma was married to Capt. John E. Ball (deceased 1881).  An older daughter, Eliza, the first child born in Pierce county, was married to E.W. Haviland, and died in 1880, near New Orleans.

WILLIAM S. LOCKWOOD, a native of New York State, came to Prairie du Chien in 133, and to Prescott in 1842.  The year following his family followed.  Mr. Lockwood died in 1847.  His widow, Georgiana Barton, was married to Orange B. Walker, of Marine Mills, and died at Marine, Oct. 9, 1885.

JAMES MONROE BAILEY was born in 1824, in Sullivan county, New York, where his youthful days were passed.  He came to Prescott in 1849, where he has since been engaged in farming, mercantile and real estate business.  He was married in 1856, in Prescott, to Nettie Crippin.  They have one son, Victor, and two daughters, Myrtle, wife of E.L. Meacham, of Prescott, and Jessamine.  Mr. Bailey has a very pleasant home in Prescott.  He has filled various offices, among them that of treasurer and clerk of St. Croix county, prior to the organization of Pierce.

ADOLPH WERKMAN was born in Germany in 1826; came to America in 1847, and to Prescott in 1848.  He was married at Prescott in 1856.

JOSEPH MANESE (alias Joseph Abear) was of French extraction and a native of Lower Canada.  While yet a youth he came into the lake Superior region, where he was employed most of his time in hunting and trapping by the fur companies.  His history, if written in full, would abound in stirring incidents and adventures.  He was a man of unusual strength and activity, and in disposition light hearted, vivacious and gay even to hilarity.  He died in Prescott in 1884.

HILTON DOE was a native of New York State, and came to Red Wing, as Indian farmer, about 1840.  He settled in Prescott in 1844, in sections 9 and 10, pre-emptions subsequently surveyed into town lots.  Mr. Doe married Miss Daily, in Illinois, in 1844.  Mrs. Doe died in 1860, Mr. Doe in 1884.

LUTE A. TAYLOR, a young man of decided talent, a good classical scholar, a brilliant writer and humorist, came to River Falls in 1856, and in 1857, with his brother Horace, established the

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River Falls Journal, which they continued to publish jointly for three years, when Horace removed to Hudson and established the Times.  Lute A. Removed to Prescott, taking with him the material of the Journal office, and established the Prescott Journal, which he edited and published until 1869, when he removed to La Crosse and published the La Crosse Leader until hid death, which occurred in 1872.
     Mr. Taylor was a  correspondent of various papers and an entertaining lecturer.  As a conversationalist and wit, he was without a rival.  A slight impediment in his speech, if anything, added to the humorous effect of his pithy sayings.  He is well remembered in the valley of the St. Croix.  A volume containing his biography and some characteristic sketches has been published since his death.

JOHN HUITT, a Canadian, came to Prescott in 1847, and erected the firs blacksmith shop in the village.  he was married in Prescott to a daughter of Joseph Mosier, and subsequently pre-empted a quarter section of land on Prescott prairie.  He built a saw and planing mill on Trimbelle River.  He died at Trimbelle in 1873.

JOHN M. RICE was born in Sudbury, Massachusetts, in 1805; was married in 1828, in Massachusetts, to Mary A. Goodenough; came in 1837 to marine, Illinois, and in 1847 to Prescott.  Mr. Rice was a house carpenter, but followed also the business of farming.  He was an upright man and a member of the Congregational church  He died in 1878, leaving one son, David O., living in Prescott; a daughter, Maria A., wife of G.W. McMurphy, of Prescott, and a daughter in Illinois.

AN INDIAN BATTLE

The feud between the Sioux and Chippewas originated in prehistoric times and from causes not now known.  It has been a tribal vendetta, continuous and relentless, with the advantages in favor of the Chippewas, who, in the course of time, have steadily forced the Sioux westward from the Sault Ste. Marie to the Mississippi at Prescott.  We give the following account of one of their battles, being an Indian version, translated and written out by Philander Prescott.  This fight occurred in 1711, on the site of the City of Prescott.  As the Indians had been supplied by the French with firearms as early as 1700, there is nothing

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improbable in their alleged use on this occasion.  But for the story:
     "The Chippewas, a thousand strong, attacked a camp of eighteen Sioux lodges by night and killed most of the warriors.  The women and children fled to the canoes, and, jumping in, pushed from the shore, but, in their hurry, without paddles.  A large eddy in the river carried the canoes round and round, and, as they swept near the shore, the Chippewas seized them, pulled them to the shore and butchered the women and children.  A few Sioux warriors had fled up the bank of the lake, where they hid in crevices and caves of the rocks.  The Chippewas discovered their hiding places and killed all but one, who rushed from his retreat, and, diving again and again in the lake, swam for the opposite shore.  As often as his head appeared above the water the Chippewas fired a volley of bullets, which fell around like hail, but harmlessly.  The bold swimmer finally reached the opposit shore unharmed, when he gave a whoop of joy and disappeared in the thicket.  The Chippewas, filled with admiration at his daring exploit, returned his farewell whoop with interest."

RIVER FALLS

Occupies township 27, range 18, and a tier of two sections from range 19.  Trimbelle river drains the eastern portion and the Kinnikinic the northwest.  Its early history is identified with the history of River Falls city, its first settlement.  It was organized in 1854, as Greenwood, but in 1858 the names was changed to River Falls.  As River Falls city was not incorporated until 1885, we shall give its early history in connection with that of the town.
     The first settler was Joel Foster, in the fall of 1848.  In 1849 came D. McGregor, James and Walter Mapes; in 1850, Messrs. Hayes, Tozer, Penn and Parks, and not long after the Powells and Clark Green.  These early settlers chose locations at, or near, the present site of River Falls city, and along the banks of the Kinnikinic, which here, owing to its numerous waterfalls, offered unusual facilities for milling and manufacturing.  The first crop was raised by Joel Foster, in 1849.  The first saw mill was built in 1851 by the brothers N.N. and O.S. Powell, just below the site of the present Greenwood mill.  This was burned in 1876.  In 1854 the Powell brothers platted the village

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