The town is well watered by Willow creek and its tributaries. The creek enters the town from the north by way of section 4, and flows in a general southwesterly course across the surface of the town, to finally make confluence with Pine river. Little Willow, the main branch of the creek just mentioned, enters Ithaca from the north by way of section 6, from thence it passes through sections 7 and 18, a corner of 19, to section 20, where it flows into the Willow. Pine river touches but a small portion of this town. The celebrated Bear creek passes through the southeastern part of the town. It enters section 36 from Sauk county; takes a general southwesterly course through sections 1 and 11, and touches section 10 on its way to the town of Buena Vista. There are several tributaries to this beautiful stream, fed by springs.
Ithaca is one of the best towns of Richland county. It was settled with an enterprising and thrifty class of people who took hold of such industries as the county seemed to them to be best adapted. An instance of this is found in the dairy industries, in which this town leads most of the towns in the county. Some of the best land in the town was first thought to be unfit for agricultural purposes on account of its wet and marshy appearance. Especially was this the case in the Little Willow and upper part of Big Willow and Bear valleys. These lands have been sufficiently drained by cultivation, and here, at the present time, are to be found some of the best farms in the town.
The first settler within the limits now comprising the town of Ithaca was Orrin Britton, a native of New Hampshire. He came here from Fort Atkinson, Jefferson Co., Wis., in the summer of 1848 and entered the northeast quarter of the northwest quarter of section 8, town 9, range 2 east. E M Sexton came with him and entered a large tract of land including the present site of the village of Sextonville. Orrin Britton erected a log cabin on his land, using split puncheon for the floor and shakes to cover the roof. The party then returned to Jefferson county. In December, 1848, Britton returned, accompanied by his family, consisting of himself, wife and six children. The teams then went back to Fort Atkinson for other goods and provisions, and upon their return to Richland county Jacob Essyltine, his son Roderick and Alonzo Britton accompanied them. This party had been employed by E M Sexton to build him a house. During that winter they boarded with Britton's family, who at that time were the only residents of Ithaca.
In the spring of 1849 E M Sexton and R B Stewart came from Jefferson county, accompanied by their families. Mr. Sexton moved his family into the house which had been erected for him on the northeast quarter of section 7. He made this part of the county his home for several years, then removed to Barron county. In 1876 he came back on a visit. He was sick at the time and told his friends that he had come back to die. He lived but a few weeks, his death occurring at the house of friends in the town of Buena Vista. His remains lie buried in Sextonville cemetery.
R R Stewart lived for a time in Sextonville, then settled in the town of Buena Vista. In 1853 he located in the town of Willow, where he still resides.
Orrin Britton soon bought and entered other lands in the neighborhood. He remained there for three or four years, when he sold out and removed to the LaCrosse valley.
James Bank, a native of England, came here in 1849 and settled on the southeast quarter of section 31. On the 19th of July, 1852, he sold this farm to Dr. Sippy and moved to Bear valley, where he located on the southwest quarter of section 2. In 1855 he sold out again and removed to Sextonville where he opened a hotel and also contracted to carry the mail. He died there a few years later.
A Mr. Whelpy was the first settler in that part of Bear creek valley now included in Ithaca. He came here as early as 1849, and settled upon the northeast quarter of the southeast quarter of section 36. He erected a log cabin and covered the roof with sod. He remained until 1857 when he sold to H L Burnham and left the country.
In the fall of 1848 Thomas Derrickson and John Walker came from Indiana. Mr. Derrickson located a land warrant on the southeast quarter of section 30, town 10, range 2 east, and still occupies the farm. John Walker entered the northeast quarter of section 31. He was a Methodist exhorter, and for a number of years he preached in the neighborhood and tilled his farm; then sold out and moved to La Crosse. He now lives in Dakota.
Samuel Metcalf also came from Indiana in 1849. He entered the northeast quarter of section 30. He lived there until 1853, when he sold to Anthony Thomas and removed to Illinois.
F G Robinson came here from Indiana at about the same time as did Metcalf, and settled on the southwest quarter of section 20. He made that his home for about one year, when he sold his place to Rolland Bush and returned to Indiana.
Joab Enos came here from Green county in 1849 and claimed the southeast quarter of section 17. He sojourned here but a few years, selling out at the expiration of that time and removing to California.
William Butler, an Indian half-breed, from the reservation in Onondaga Co., NY, came here in 1849 and claimed the northwest quarter of section 9. He soon sold this claim and entered the northwest quarter of the northwest quarter of section 29. In November, 1852, he traded this land to Isaac P Welton, receiving therefor a pair of horses, harness and wagon, and $45 in gold. In December, of that same year, he moved to section 16 where he spent a few months, and then moved to the town of Willow. In the history of that town will be found an account of the settlement there.
John Lawrence, a native of New York State, and a son-in-law of William Butler, came with Butler, and entered the north half of the northeast quarter of section 17. In the fall of 1851 he sold to Amasa Grover, and moved to the town of Richland. He lived there a few years, then returned to Ithaca and lived on section 18 for a time, when he went west. A man named Hademan came here at the same time as Butler and Lawrence, and lived with Butler until 1852, when he started with Enos for California, and died on the plains.
In March, 1850, Charles Devoe, a native of the State of New York and a blacksmith by trade, came and settled on the present site of the village of Sextonville. He entered land on section 5, town 9, range 2 east. He worked at his trade and followed farming, remaining until the time of his death.
Alfred H Bush and James H Boyd came with Devoe. They were both sons-in-law of Devoe, and natives of New York State. Bush bought land on section 20, and lived there for a short time, then moved to section 30. In 1872 he moved to Franklin Co., Neb., where he now lives. He was a school teacher by profession, and had served as superintendent of schools in Lewis Co., NY. After he had been here some years, he became a preacher in the Congregational Church. He was prominent in town and county affairs, and served as county treasurer. He has represented Franklin county in the State Legislature, and is now mail agent on the B & M RR. Boyd took a claim on Little Willow creek and erected a board shanty. He spent the summer there, then disposed of the claim and afterward bought the south half of the northwest quarter of section 5, town 9, range 2 east, and lived here until 1881, when he sold and moved to Jackson county, where he now lives.
Joseph Post, a son-in-law of Charles Devoe, came here from Walworth county in 1850 and entered land on section 4. He made his home here until the time of his death. Some of the children still occupy the old homestead. He was well liked and had the confidence of the people. He filled most of the various offices in the town and was chairman of the board for several years.
Lucius Campbell, a native Vermont, came here in 1849 and entered land on section 6. In 1852 he sold out and returned to Jefferson county.
In 1850 Peter Mickel, a native of New York State, came to Sextonville, and remained until 1853 when he went to the LaCrosse valley. In 1861 he returned to Sextonville, and has since made this his home.
In 1850 James Goodrich came here, with the intention of engaging in merchandising. He remained only a couple of years and then removed to Nebraska.
John Perry, a native of New York, came in 1850 and entered land on section 17, which included the mill privileges. He remained here about five years, when he sold out and went to Iowa, where he died a few years later.
William Beemer was also one of the settlers during 1850. He was a native of Ohio, and after looking around a little he entered the southwest quarter, and the north half of the northwest quarter of section 1, town 9, range 1 east; also the southwest quarter of the southeast quarter of section 36, town 10, range 1 east. He erected a frame house on the northeast quarter of section 1, which at that time was the only house between Sextonville and Richland Center. Here he opened a tavern, and hung a sign bearing the words painted in black letters: "Pine River House!" This was a favorite stopping place among travelers for many years. Beemer remained there until 1861 when he went to Illinois, and the famous old Pine River House became a thing of the past.
In the fall of 1850 Mr. Rowley, an Englishman, came to the town of Ithaca and squatted on the northeast quarter of section 5. He made no improvements except putting up a log cabin; and in 1852, accompanied the Enos party to California.
Roland Bush, a native of Hampden Co., Mass., came here from the State of New York in 1850, and purchased 320 acres of land. He now lives on section 19.
Amasa Grover, a native of New York, came from that State in the fall of 1851, and purchased the north half of the northeast quarter of section 17, where he still resides.
At about the same time Dr. Asa McCullom, a native of Ohio, came from Massachusetts, and purchased the north half of the northwest quarter of section 8, adjoining the plat of Sextonville. He is still an honored resident of the village.
Robert Clement, a native of Ireland, came here from the State of New York in 1851 and bought land on section 10, town 9, range 2 east. He improved a farm and lived here until the time of his death.
In the spring of 1851 Jacob Krouskop came from Ohio and settled on section 6, town 9, range 2 east. He remained a resident of the town until the time of his death, Feb. 7, 1878.
William Cratsenburg, a native of the State of New York, came here in 1851, and lived for a few weeks on section 32, then entered land on section 18. In 1853 he sold this land and removed to Sextonville, where he opened a shoe shop. In 1855 he bought the building known as "the Ark" and kept tavern for a while. His home is now in the town of Henrietta.
William Richardson came in 1851 [or 1852], and settled on section 17. He lived here three years when he removed to La Crosse valley, and later to Ohio.
In 1851 Oscar Briggs, a surveyor, came here from Sauk county and located on section 6. He died there in 1852 and was buried upon the place.
Archibald C and H A Eastland came in 1851 and located at Sextonville. Archibald was agent for his brother, David, for whom he purchased land. A C remained here for several years. He is now engaged in the practice of law at Muscoda. H A Eastland now lives in Richland Center, and still follows the legal profession.
Samuel Simpson, a native of Delaware, came here from Illinois in 1851 and settled on section 29. He now lives in the town of Willow. His father, Joshua Simpson, also a native of Delaware, came here in 1850 from Carroll Co., Ind., and stopped for a time with his son. He bought land on sections 17 and 20; but did not settle here at that time. He went to Richland City and engaged in mercantile trade. A few years later he settled on his land, erected a set of buildings and opened a farm. He now lives at Spring Green.
Joseph Irish, a native of New York State, came to Sextonville in 1852. He taught school, was elected county surveyor, and while here, entered the ministry. He was a resident of the county until 1860. Since leaving the county he has served as senator from the St. Croix district. He now lives at Madison, and is financial agent of Lawrence University. In 1883 he was tendered the appointment of minister to France, but declined.
Phineas Janney, a native of Virginia, came here in 1852 and entered land on section 12. He erected a cabin and remained during the summer, when he sold to David Eastland.
Mr. Eastland was a native of the State of New York, but came here from Mississippi. His home is now on section 7.
Willard H Thomas, a son of Anthony Thomas, paid a visit to this county in 1851, and the following year came with his family. He shipped his goods at Milwaukee, where he bought ox teams and came the rest of the way overland. He entered land on sections 8 and 9, where he lived until 1855, when he removed to Sextonville and engaged in trade. In 1858 in company with E M Sexton and R C Field he went to Trempeleau county and platted the village of Osseo. He was engaged in mercantile pursuits at that place until the time of his death in 1877. He was a prominent man in public affairs.
Isaac P Welton, as Ohioan, came here on the 10th of July, 1852. The following fall he bought forty acres of land on section 21, and entered the south half of the northeast quarter of section 3, and the north half of the northeast quarter of section 10, and the southwest quarter of the northwest quarter of section 21. He settled on the Butler quarter and lived there for two years. His home is now on section 1, town 9, range 1 east.
Joseph Sippy, a native of Maryland, came here from Indiana in 1852, and bought the southeast quarter of section 31, and also entered the south half of the southwest quarter of section 4, and the southwest quarter of the southeast quarter of the same section. In addition to these tracts he bought land in the neighborhood amounting in all to 600 acres.
G W Mathews, a native of the State of New York, came to Richland county in 1852. In 1854 he settled on section 17, where he still lives.
William Hibbs came from Indiana in 1851 and entered land on section 30. He owned this place for several years; then sold out and went to Indiana.
Paul Andrews was the first settlers in "Simpson Hollow," taking up his residence there in 1851. Two or three years later he sold out and moved to Sextonville where he remained a short time.
James Beebe came in 1852 and entered land on section 2. In 1856 he sold out and went west, but has since returned east.
Elijah Nourse, a native of New Hampshire, came here from Rock Co., Wis., in 1852, and secured the south half of the northeast quarter and the north half of the southeast quarter of section 6, town 9, range 2 east, and also bought the southeast quarter of section 2, town 9, range 1 east. He settled on section 6, and made his home there until the time of his death.
In the fall of 1852 James King came here from Watertown, and entered the north half of the southeast quarter and the south half of the northeast quarter of section 5. He erected a log house which was soon afterward destroyed by fire and he at once erected another. In 1857 he sold out and removed to Trempeleau county, and later went to Minnesota.
In 1853 William Harris was one of the arrivals. He was a native of the State of New York. He settled on the northwest quarter of section 1, town 9, range 2 east, and made a "dug-out" in the side of the hill, in which he lived for two years, and then erected a log house. He lived there until 1864, when he sold out and removed to Wright Co., Iowa.
Peter W Haskins, a native of the State of New York, came here from Richland City in 1853, and settled on the southeast quarter of section 25. He bought the south half of the southeast quarter, and the east half of the southwest quarter of that section. Here he laid out a village called Petersburg; started a blacksmith shop and built a saw-mill, in which he put one run of stone for grinding corn. He sold out several years later, and moved to the town of Buena Vista, where he started a blacksmith shop and worked at his trade for a number of years. He has since gone to Dakota.
William Atwood, a native of New York State, was also one of the arrivals in 1853. He settled on the northwest quarter of section 2, where he lived for a number of years, and then removed to Sextonville. He was a blacksmith, and followed his trade for several years at Sextonville, after which he removed to Orion.
Richard Woodcock, a native of New York, arrived during the same year. He settled on the southeast quarter of section 26, where he lived for several years and improved a farm. He is now dead.
John Smith, an Irishman, came here as early as 1853, and settled on the west half of the northwest quarter of section 18. He erected a board shanty, broke a few acres of the land and remained four or five years, when he sold to John Young and left the country.
John Jaquish, a native of New York State, came here in October, 1853, and entered land on section 15. He lived there until March, 1882, and then removed to the village of Ithaca.
Joseph W Jaquish, a native of Pennsylvania, came here at the same time, entered land on sections 10 and 11 and put up a shanty. He settled upon the place in 1854 and still lives there. His father, David Jaquish, came with him in 1854, and made his home here for several years. He died at Madison in 1875. He was a native of New York State; had served in the War of 1812, and was a pensioner during the last few years of his life.
Anthony Thomas, a native of Connecticut, came here in 1853 and bought land on section 30, where he remained until 1860. During this year he removed to Trempealeau county, where he lived until the time of his death.
Colby Cass, a Canadian, also came here in 1853 and settled on section 20. He lived there until the time of his death.
In the fall of 1854 William Stearns, a miner, came from Spring Valley, and settled upon the west half of the southeast quarter and the east half of the southwest quarter of section 1, town 9, range 2 east. In 1860 he sold his place to Hon. J M Thomas, and removed to Whiteside Co., Ill., where he has since died.
The first German settlers in the town were William Tunenschloss and Rudolf Grassman, who came from Dodge county in June, 1854. The former bought 120 acres of land on section 16, where he still lives. The latter bought land on the same section and lived there until 1871, when he sold out and removed to Monroe county, where he died. His widow and family still live there.
William Irish came in 1854 and made this his home for a number of years. He is now a Methodist minister and is presiding elder of the Portage district.
Daniel Earl, the first settler in Four Spring Hollow, came here in 1854 and entered the southwest quarter of the northwest quarter of section 36. This is still his home.
Amos C Williams came here in 1854 and settled on the northeast quarter of section 1, town 2, range 2 east. There he built a log house, cleared a small tract of land, and remained until 1858, when he sold out and moved across the line into Sauk county. He has since removed to Iowa. He was a cooper by trade, and was generally known as "Cooper Williams."
David Carpenter, a native of Herkimer Co., NY, also came in 1854. He settled on the southwest quarter of section 2, where he opened a farm and lived until after the close of the war, when he sold out and removed to Nebraska.
Chester Foote, a native of New York State, came here in 1854 and settled on the northwest quarter of section 11. In 1857 he sold to Benjamin Winterburn and removed to the town of Buena Vista, where he lived for a number of years. He is now a resident of McHenry Co., Ill.
William H Davis was another of the arrivals in 1854. He was a native of Vermont, but came here from Canada in October of that year, and bought land on section 28 and 29, town 10 range 2 east. This is still his home.
James Soules came here in 1854 and entered the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter of section 6; but only lived there a short time. He is now a resident of the town of Richland.
During the following year, 1855, there were many valuable additions to the settlement in this town.
John Wallace, a native of Canada, came in 1855 from Richland City, and settled on the northwest quarter of section 12, town 9, range 2 east. He lived there for several years and then sold to Joseph Wade.
Jacob Handel, a native of Germany, came here from Waukesha Co., Wis., in 1855. He entered quite a large tract of land and settled on section 26. He was quite an elderly man. After remaining here a few years he removed to Milwaukee, where he died.
Ira Davenport, a native of the State of New York, came here in 1855 and settled upon the northwest quarter of section 25. He sold out several years later and went to Dane Co., Wis.
William Simpson, a native of Ohio, came here from Illinois during the same year, 1855, and settled on section 30, where he still lives.
William Misslich, a native of Germany, came here from Waukesha Co., Wis., in 1855, and bought the south half of the southeast quarter of section 14. He improved the farm and made it his home until the time of his death. Three of his sons --- Albert, Paul and Anthony, came here at the same time, in 1855. Albert entered the southeast quarter of the southwest quarter, and the southwest quarter of the southeast quarter of section 13, and the south half of the southwest quarter of section 14. Paul entered the northwest quarter of the southeast quarter of section 14. Albert now lives on section 26. Anthony and Paul live on the old homestead on section 14.
Eberhard Wallpott, a German, also came with the Misslich party, and bought 200 acres of land on section 22. He lived there until 1881, when he sold out and moved to Cross Plains.
William Perrin came here from Sauk county in 1855, and settled on the southeast quarter of section 8. He lived there for two or three years when he sold out and removed to near Hastings, Minn., where he died.
John Short, an Englishman, came from the State of New York in 1855, and entered land on section 33, town 11, range 2 east, just over the line in the town of Willow. He now lives with his son Henry, in the town of Ithaca.
Christian Lasse, a native of Prussia, came here from that country in 1855 and bought land of Amasa Grover, on section 26.
David Hardenberg came in 1855 and bought the southwest quarter of section 2 from James Banks. He sold out in 1866 and removed to Lone Rock.
William Dixon, a native of England, came here in 1855 from Buena Vista and settled on section 1, town 9, range 2 east, where he still lives.
Isaac Lawrence, a native of Dutchess Co., NY, came here from New York city in 1856, and bought the south half of the northeast quarter of section 2. He lived there until 1880, when he sold out and went to Nebraska, where he and his wife have since died.
James Carpenter, a brother of David Carpenter, a settler of 1854 came here in 1856, and settled on section 2. He lived there until after the close of the war, when he moved to Lone Rock, and has since gone to Nebraska.
David Lane, a native of New York State, came here in 1856 and settled on the southwest quarter of section 36. He improved a farm and lived here until 1875, when he sold out and removed to New Jersey.
Henry Emshoff was another of the pioneer Germans. He came here in 1856 and settled on section 14. He is now a resident of the town of Orion.
Elias Weston was also a settler of 1856. He was a native of the State of New York. He settled on section 10, and lived there until 1880 when he sold out and removed to Des Moines, Iowa.
Other early settlers were: M M Smith, Coleman Dupee, John Worth and Abel Ragles.
The first birth in the town of Ithaca was that of James, a son of Thomas and Rachel Derrickson, which occurred Aug. 5, 1849. The child died Oct. 6, 1849. This was the first death in the town.
The first mass in the town of Ithaca was held by Father Max Gardner, at the house of William Misslich, in November, 1856, and this finally resulted in the organization of St. Mary's Catholic Church. Father Gardner was at that time a resident of Sauk county, and knowing there were people here in the wilderness without a spiritual advisor, he started out on foot and alone for this little German settlement. He was gladly welcomed and the people gathered at the house of William Misslich, as stated. There were four children baptized at this time --- Agnes, daughter of Albert and Mary A Misslich; Henry, a son of Peter and Mary Wertzel; Gertrude, daughter of Joseph and Barbara Bodendine; and Maggie, daughter of Jacob and Catharine Weitzel. It was decided to build a church, and subscriptions were solicited. There were but few families here at that time. The male members were --- William Misslich and his three sons, Albert, Paul and Anthony; Joseph Oschner, Andrew Muller, Jacob Weitzel, Henry Axsenmacher, Peter Weitzel, Casper Brewer and Joseph Bodendine. Money was subscribed to the amount of $139, and a small building was erected on the southeast quarter of the southwest quarter of section 14. Father Max Gardner was the first to say mass in the church. Father Wendel Bernard was the first resident pastor. In 1864 a parsonage was built. It was an unpretentious frame building, with two rooms, and cost $337, beside the work done by the members. Father Bernard was succeeded on Christmas, 1865, by Father Theopholis Bean, who had charge until May, 1872. In 1869, through his influence, a commodious stone house was erected for school purposes and as a home for the sisters in charge. It is a two and a half story building, well furnished. There are two large rooms on the ground floor, which are used for school purposes, while the sisters occupy the upper part.
Father Bean was succeeded by Father Francis X Heller, who remained until Oct. 17, 1874, when Father A Mendl became pastor. In May, 1875, he was succeeded by Father Michael Heiss, who remained until 1878. In January, of that year, Father Henry Koenig, the present pastor, took charge.
The parsonage, as stated, when first built contained two rooms. A few years later an addition of two rooms was made. In 1883 Father Koenig erected a commodious two story frame house, adjoining the old part. To show how the Catholic Church has prospered, it is stated that Father Bean had charge of seven different Churches, beside several appointments at private houses. Two of these Churches were in Sauk county, one in Crawford, and the rest in Richland. St. Mary's Church started with eight families; it now numbers eighty-five families, and owns property valued at $15,000. Father Koenig also has charge of the Church at Richland Center, being assisted in his labors by Father Joseph Bush.
Father Henry Koenig, the popular pastor of the St. Mary's Church, was born in the city of Heiligenstadt, Prussia, Germany, Oct. 7, 1835. He studied first in his own native city, and finished his education at the city of Rome. He went to Ireland and was ordained as a Catholic priest at Carlow College, on the 9th day of May, 1859. After a sojourn of a few weeks in Ireland he came to America, and was assigned to a Church at Mishawaka, St. Joseph Co., Ind. He remained there seven years, and then went to Wilmar, Pulaski county. From there he went to Kansas, and returning east located at Toronto, Canada, where he remained until taking charge of the St. Mary's Church, in January, 1878. Father Koenig's parents never came to America. His father died Jan. 29, 1882, at the ripe old age of eighty-three. His mother is still living in Prussia, seventy-five years of age. He has a sister that is teaching in Ursoline Convent, Jeffersonville, Ind.
The Bear Valley union church was erected in 1874, by the people in the vicinity. It is a neat frame structure and cost about $2400. It is located on the south half of the northwest quarter of section 11, town 9, range 2 east. The church is free to all denominations. There is no organization, but Rev. S B Loomis preaches here. He is liberal in his views, and his sermons are listened to with interest.
Adjoining the church grounds is a cemetery, which was laid out in 1860. An association was formed in the neighborhood for the purpose. The first officers were: A G Burnham, president; J G Carpenter, treasurer; and J M Thomas, secretary. The officers of the association in 1883 were: Benjamin Winterburn, president; William Dixon, treasurer, and J M Thomas, secretary.
A Lutheran Church was organized in 1862 at the school house on section 30 by Rev. Simon Spyker. It had fourteen members, as follows: Samuel Davis and wife; Samuel S Davis and wife; Samuel Stofer and wife; J G Marden and wife; Harriet Cass, Rosanna Spyker and O V Davis. Rev. Spyker has been the pastor of this Church since its organization. In 1869 it changed its form of government and became a Congregational Church. For several years they met for worship in the school house, but since the erection of the union church, services have been held there. The society now has forty-three members. The present deacons are: O V Davis, S S Davis and O R Jaquish. The trustees are: S J Freeborn, O V Davis and C A Hatch.
The first school in the town was taught in The Ark in 1851 by Susan McCaw.
The first school house in this town was built in 1851 in the present village of Sextonville. The rafters and studding were made of hewn tamarack poles. Margaret Ingram taught the first school.
School district No. 1 embraces the village of Sextonville, and a history of it appears in connection with the history of the village.
The first school in district No. 2 was taught in a log house, owned by William Harris, on the northwest quarter of section 1, town 9, range 2, in the summer of 1855. The teacher was Mary Dyke. During the same summer a substantial frame house was erected on the southeast quarter of the northeast quarter section 2. Isaac Peckham was the first teacher in this building. In 1859 the district was divided and a log school house was built on the southeast quarter of section 26, in which Jane Giles first wielded the ferule. Two or three years later the school house was removed to the southeast quarter of the northeast quarter of section 36, where it remained several years and was then moved to the northwest quarter of section 36. It was in use here two years, when the territory was again attached to district No. 2. Arthur Ochner is the present teacher.
School district No. 4 is a joint district. The first school house in this district was erected in 1852 on the northeast quarter of section 30. Cordelia A Bush was the first teacher. There were eight scholars in the district at the time. The old school house remained in use until during the war, when a larger house was erected on the old site.
In 1859 a portion of the district was set off and a school was taught in Joshua Crapser's granery, on section 28, Belle Britton being the teacher. In 1859 a school house was erected on the northwest quarter of the southeast quarter of section 28. Sarah Telfair was the first teacher in this house. This district was known as No. 11, and its organization continued in existence until 1875, when the territory was attached to other districts and district No. 11 was abolished.
District No. 6 is also a joint district. The first school house in this district was erected in 1856. Dr. Sippy and Abel Reagles gave the lumber and all the neighbors turned out and put up the building on the southwest quarter of section 4. Charlotte Smith and Rebecca McCloud, now the wife of Valentine Stoddard, were the first teachers. The old house was in use but a short time when it was replaced by a larger and more expensive building. Edward Long was the first teacher in this building. The present teacher is Johanna Stoddard.
In joint district No. 5 the first school house was erected in 1860, being located on the east half of the southwest quarter of section 6. Mrs. Helen Smith was the first teacher. The school building has since been moved to its present location on the east half of the northwest quarter of section 7. J W Manley is the present teacher.
The first school in district No. 7 was taught in Amasa Grover's granary by Sarah Etta Perrin in 1855. There were less than a dozen scholars in attendance. The following spring the district erected a frame house on the southwest quarter of the northeast quarter of section 17. Miss Perrin was also the first teacher in this house. This building was used for school purposes until 1877, when a new house was erected. Della Welton was the first teacher in the new building. Frank Smith is the present teacher.
The first school house in district No. 10 was a log one erected in 1861 on section 14. Milton Derrickson was the first teacher. This house was used until 1869, since which time the district has rented a room of the St. Mary's congregation at Keysville.
The first school house in district No. 12 was build in 1860. It was of logs, and located on the southeast quarter of the southwest quarter of section 2. Olivia Hays was the first teacher. The house which was first erected was used for school purposes until 1880, when a neat frame building was put up near the old site. Libbie Ward was the first teacher in the new house. The present teacher is Francis W Jaquish.
The town of Ithaca was organized in 1856. At a meeting held on the 1st of April at the Thomas school house, the following officers were elected: Board of supervisors, William Harmon, chairman, J C Foote and S H Doolittle; clerk, Luther Irish; treasurer, James Boyd; superintendent of schools, D L Hubbard; justices of the peace, William Crutsenburg, S H Doolittle and D W Dodge; assessors, (there were three elected) George Mathews, D F Carpenter and Joseph Post; constables, James Boyd, Stephen Reagles and John Wallace; inspector of weights and measures, George Richards. The clerk of the meeting was R S Eldred. The inspectors of the election were Jacob Krouskop, chairman, William H Davis and D L Carpenter.
At the annual town meeting held in April, 1883, the following were chosen as town officials for the ensuing year: Supervisors, Albert Misslich, chairman, J G Lamberson and A Grover; clerk, J R Shaw; treasurer, T Sippy; assessor, George H Turner; justices, L Grail, William Dixon and A H Dow; constables, E F Howe, R A Hammond and John E Schmitz.
This nursery was started in 1868 by S J Freeborn, at his home on section 20. In 1871 he was joined by A L Hatch, and a partnership was formed between these two gentlemen for carrying on the business. At this time the nursery was removed to sections 22 and 27, where sixty acres were purchased, forty of which were improved. Since that time other tracts of land have been purchased until they now have 160 acres, the most of which they use. Both of these gentlemen have separate orchards, aside from the nursery, Mr. Freeborn having 3500 trees and A L Hatch, 2000. The firm has been very successful in their business, and much credit is due to them for their energy and enterprise in the establishment and prosecution of this beneficial and much needed industry.
This office was established in June, 1883, with Charles Pierce as the first postmaster. He keeps the office at his house near the station. The office receives four mails per day.
The postoffice bearing this name was established in April, 1872, and Paul Misslich was commissioned postmaster. It was then on the Lone Rock and Le Valle route, and mail was received three times each week. It is still on the same mail route, but mail is now received daily. Mr. Misslich is still postmaster and keeps the office at his house on section 14.
This office was originally established in Sauk county at an early day, taking its name from the creek of that name. About 1860 the office was moved to the town of Ithaca, and John Price was commissioned as postmaster. He kept the office at his house, on section 36. The office at that time was on the mail route from Lone Rock to Ironton, and mail was received twice each week from both ways. Mr. Price in a few years was succeeded by John A Shontz, as postmaster, who is the present incumbent. The office is kept at his house on section 36. Mail is now received every day.
In 1855 Peter Haskins laid out a village on the southeast quarter of the southeast quarter of section 25, to which he gave the name, Petersburg; suggested, it is presumed, by his first name.
Shortly afterward a Mr. Beard bought three village lots and opened a grocery store, and in connection made the sale of whiskey a specialty. After he had run the business for a year or so, he was taken sick with the typhoid fever and died.
There was no other sign of business life here until after the close of the war, when A. Dederich opened the store, which is still in operation. He now runs a wagon, blacksmith and shoeshop, and also keeps a public house at this point.
In 1871 Joseph Ochsner, John Little and David Dudgeon erected a flour mill on the northeast quarter of the northeast quarter of section 36, adjoining the site of the village of Petersburg. They put up a building, 26x38 feet in size, two stories high, and equipped it with three run of buhrs and other necessary machinery for making first-class flour. The dam was built of earth and timber and secured seven and a half feet fall of water. Joseph Ochsner and Boorman are the present owners of the property and they rent it. It is now run as a custom mill.
Dr. Joseph Sippy platted a village on the southeast corner of the southwest quarter of the northwest quarter of section 4, in 1855, to which he gave the name of Neptune. At the time there was a log house upon the site belonging to Daniel Gwin.
In 1854 Stephen Ragles opened a store here in a building that he had erected for the purpose. He soon made an addition to the building and opened a tavern called the Neptune House. In 1856 he closed up his business and went to Sextonville.
The Neptune postoffice was established in 1854, with Dr. Joseph Sippy as postmaster. The office was named by the authorities at Washington. It was on a route from Sextonville, and mail was received once each week. Dr. Sippy was succeeded as postmaster by R J Taplin, and then came John Sippy. The latter gentleman resigned and moved away, and as no one would accept the office it was finally discontinued.
In 1853 Dr. Sippy commenced the erection of a saw mill at Neptune, which was completed during the following year. It was furnished with an "up and down saw." A dam of brush and dirt was thrown across Big Willow creek, which secured six and a half feet fall of water. In May, 1866, Rufus Taplin bought the property and has run the mill since that time. The dam has been washed out several times since then, but the present substantial stone dam, which was built by Mr. Taplin, bids fair to be permanent. In 1883 he added a feed mill which is quite a convenience to the people in the vicinity.
In 1862 Rev. Thurston, a Methodist Episcopal clergyman, preached at the school house in Neptune and organized a class with about twenty members. Among them were the following: Joseph W Jaquish and wife; David Jaquish, Mrs. Olive Dupee, Dr. Joseph Sippy and wife, Nathan Jaquish and wife, and Julia Weston. Joseph W Jaquish was elected class leader. Among the pastors who at times presided over the little society were Rev. C Cook and Mr. Harvey. As time rolled by the members moved away and died, and finally the class dropped out of existence.
This is a very pleasantly located hamlet on section 17. It has never been platted; but business houses have collected about the spot and it is now a good point for trade, being surrounded by a wealthy and prosperous class of farmers.
In 1865 James Spickard opened a harness shop on the present site of the village. This was the first sign of business life at this point. In 1865 Mr. Spickard opened the first store in the village, keeping groceries, dry goods and a general assortment of merchandise. He is still in trade here. Mr. Spickard only continued to run his harness shop for two years.
Samuel Stover, in 1867, opened the second harness shop and is still in business.
The first blacksmith was William Krouse, who opened a shop at this point in 1867. He was in business five or six years, when he was succeeded by D W Bear, a first-class workman. Mr. Bear was in business here about four years. He is now located at Rodolf's mill, in the town of Eagle, and is doing an extensive business, running a hardware and grocery store in connection with his blacksmith shop. The shop at Ithaca changed hands several times within a year, and then George Bear bought it and continued in business until the fall of 1883, when H H Spyker, the present blacksmith, purchased it.
In 1876 John H Davis opened a shoe shop in Ithaca, doing custom work and repairing. In 1877 he purchased a building that had been used as a wagon shop and furnished and remodeled it for a shoe shop. In 1883 he put in a stock of groceries, crockery, glassware and notions, and is still in business.
In 1881 William Morrison established a cheese factory in the village, which has been in successful operation since.
C W Davis commenced in mercantile trade here in 1872, and still continues.
The Ithaca postoffice was established in 1857. James McMillan was appointed postmaster, and kept the office at his house on the southeast corner of the northwest quarter of the southwest quarter of section 17. James Spickard succeeded Mr. McMillan as postmaster and removed the office to his house on the northeast corner of the southwest quarter of section 17, and later to his store. In 1871 he was succeeded by William Davis, and a few months later Mr. Spickard was again appointed postmaster. In 1874 He was succeeded by C W Davis, the present postmaster. The office is kept at Mr. Davis' store.
In 1853 Wyatt Perkins commenced the erection of a saw-mill on the southwest quarter of section 17. The power was derived from the Big Willow, a dam of grass and dirt being thrown across the stream, securing about five feet fall of waster. The mill was equipped with a perpendicular saw. Perkins was a Vermont man. He had lived in Dane county, this State, for a few years, and had floated down to Richland county in a boat on the Wisconsin river. He had no money at all. When he started down the Wisconsin river an ax was the only tool which he possessed, and the boat being capsized, this was lost. When he arrived at Ithaca John Perry gave him the mill privilege, upon the condition that he would build a mill there. For some time Perkins and his family, consisting of a wife and two children, lived upon boiled wheat, they came to such straitened circumstances. But he commenced work on the mill, using borrowed tools, and completed it about two years later. After he had got out the frame, he mortgaged the privilege and so got the machinery. Even after he got the mill in running order, he was not very successful, as he was inclined to be indolent, and did not attend to business closely. He ran the mill about five years, when he sold it to James R McMillan. He then went to Columbia county, and, when the war broke out, went into the army and died while in the service. He was a great talker, was well educated and an intelligent man. He frequently preached in this neighborhood. Immediately after buying the property, Mr. McMillan erected a grist mill, adjoining the sawmill, putting up a building 30x40 feet in size, and two and a half stories high. Two run of stone were put in and the other necessary machinery. He ran it as a custom mill until the close of the war and sold soon afterward to Alfred Parfrey. Five or six years later the property was purchased by James Black, who tore out the old dam, put in a stone one and erected a new building, two stories and a basement in height. Two run of buhrs were put in. In 1878 Frank B Koleman bought the property and is the present owner.
The village of Sextonville is pleasantly located in the southwestern part of the town of Ithaca, on sections 5, 6, 7 and 8, town 9, range 2 east. Being situated on Willow creek, and in close proximity to Pine river, water power sufficient to propel a vast amount of machinery can be easily obtained. The village is surrounded by some of the best and most valuable farming and stock raising territory in the county, which is a guaranty of permanent and ever increasing trade. The Richland Center branch of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railroad passes just west of the village. Twin Bluff station being located on the northeast corner of section 12, town 9, range 1 east.
The village was platted in January, 1851, by E M Sexton; the surveyor being Oscar Briggs from Sauk county. The plat as then drawn laid upon sections 5, 6, 7 and 8. There were five buildings upon the site at that time. The first was a log house erected by Mrs. Marinda Lonsdale, and was located on lot 2, block 17. There was also a small frame house that belonged to the same party located on lot 4, block 8. The third was a small one story frame building which had been erected in 1850 by James Goodrich, located on lot 6, block 23. He put in a stock of goods and was in trade here a short time; then moved to section 7, where for some time he was engaged at his trade --- carpentering. His next move was to Nebraska, where he became a prominent man. The building in Sextonville which he erected is still standing as part of the hotel. The fourth building upon the site was a blacksmith shop which had been erected by Charles Devoe. The fifth was located on lot 1, block 29. It was a frame building erected by Luther Irish, in which he opened the first permanent store in the village. He commenced business here in January, 1851, buying his goods in Milwaukee, and having them hauled here with teams. He was a good business man and made money as well as friends here. In 1856 he closed this store and was intending to build a larger store and carry on a larger business. He went to La Crosse valley that year on a visit and died while there. His loss was severely felt in the community. The new bell in the Methodist church first tolled for his funeral. He left a wife and infant son. His widow is now the wife of Peter Mickle. His son now lives in Barron Co., Wis.
Daniel Osborne was the next to engage in trade here, occupying the Goodrich building. He kept open for a few months during the year 1851, and then removed to Richland City.
The next to engage in business here was Henry Leonard, a native of New York State. He came here in 1852 and opened a tinshop in the Goodrich building, manufacturing tin-ware and selling stoves. He was a good salesman, and did well as long as he "stuck to his text"; but after a time he engaged in the cattle trade and was not successful in this line. He now runs a tin shop in Trenton, Mo.
The next to engage in trade here was Henry Mitchell, a confectioner by trade. In 1853 he opened a general store and kept there about one year.
In September, 1855, Willard H and Charles G Thomas opened a general store in the Mitchell building, located on lot 2, block 29.
In 1856 N A Hawks opened a store here. In the fall of that year he sold to E M Sexton and Andrew McCorkle, who carried on the business until the spring of 1857, when William McCorkle bought them out. About the same time Willard H and Charles G Thomas dissolved partnership, Charles G taking the goods. He and William McCorkle formed a partnership and put their stocks of goods together. They are still in trade here, and are probably the oldest firm doing business in the county.
The first drug store in the village was opened in 1854 by Martin Britton. He afterwards added groceries, and was in trade here until 1857, when he sold to Robert Essyltine, an estimable young man. On account of ill health, Mr. Essyltine was unable to attend very strictly to business. In 1858 he sold to Dr. Asa McCollum, who is still in trade.
Charles Devoe established the first blacksmith shop here, in May, 1850. He erected a frame shanty on what afterwards became lot 8, block 22.
The first harness maker in the place was Albert Shebly, who opened a shop here in about 1860. He continued in trade for about two years, when he entered the army and remained in the service until the close of the war. He then again opened his shop here and ran it a short time, when he sold to David Wood. Mr. Wood ran the shop here and at the mill until 1882, when he closed out and moved to Richland Center.
Henry Smith was the first shoemaker. He worked at cobbling in the winter and at carpenter work in the summer. Phineas Janney was the first to open a shoe shop. He opened in 1852 and remained but a short time.
In 1855 George Krouskop erected a building near the mill and opened a general merchandise store. He was afterwards joined in the business by his brother, A H Krouskop, and they were in trade here for a number of years.
In the spring of 1882 J L R McCollum, Joseph McCorkle and C G Thomas established a cheese factory in the building formerly occupied by the Krouskop brothers. It was furnished with all the necessary machinery, and the factory has been in successful operation since.
Sextonville cemetery was surveyed in 1852 by Joseph Irish on section 5. The land was donated by Charles Devoe. The first burial here was of the remains of Mrs. George Reed.
The first hotel in this part of the county was kept by E M Sexton in the building that was erected for him in the winter of 1848-9. He made an addition to it and had it raised, making of it a two-story building, seventy-five feet in length. This building for years went by the name of "The Ark," and was well known throughout this region. Mr. Sexton was a popular landlord, being of a jolly disposition and always cracking jokes. The hotel did quite a business; dancing and other parties were held here, which was largely attended. Mr. Sexton sold to Samuel Bristol, and he to William Cratsenberg. It afterwards changed hands several times, and was finally destroyed by fire.
The first hotel on the village plat proper was erected by Hiram Z Britton in 1851. It was located on lot 7, of block 16. It was a small building at first, but he soon made additions, and kept tavern until 1856. Since that time there have been several hotels kept in the village. The Parker House, the only hotel in the village at present, is kept by George Hoke. It was first opened in 1873 by George Parker, who purchased the property at that time. He rebuilt and added to the house and kept it until 1881, when he sold to the present proprietor.
In 1851 E M Sexton erected a saw-mill on the southwest quarter of section 6, throwing a dam of brush and dirt across Willow creek, thus securing seven feet fall of water. The mill was equipped with an "up and down" saw, which for years awoke the echoes of the neighboring wood with its busy hum. The mill was built for Jacob Krouskop, who, in 1853, erected a three story grist-mill building adjoining the saw-mill. HE put in two run of stone and all other machinery for the manufacture of flour. Jacob Krouskop sold to his son, George Krouskop, who added another run of stone and other machinery, making it a merchant and custom mill. He sold the property to Fleisher & Wolf, who ran a short time and then Wolf sold his interest to Mr. Turnutses. The latter gentleman, about one year later, sold to William Sherman. In 1870 C G Thomas purchased Fleisher's interest, and the firm became Thomas & Sherman. They immediately rebuilt both grist and saw-mills, and repaired the dam. In 1871 Thomas sold half his interest to William McCorkle. The firm is now Sherman, Thomas & McCorkle. The mill now has three run of buhrs and all the necessary machinery for manufacturing first-class flour. It is run as a custom and merchant mill. New machinery has been placed in the saw-mill, which now does a splendid business. It is equipped with three saws and a planer.
In 1852 David J Eastland began the erection of a saw-mill on the northwest quarter of section 7, town 9, range 2 east. The mill was completed in 1853. The dam was constructed of stone, brush and earth. The water wheel was a screw wheel, fourteen feet in diameter. The power was derived from Pine river. The water was carried to the mill through a race sixty rods in length, and a tail race of the same length. They used an "up and down saw." The mill was in operation for about twelve years.
Ithaca Lodge, No. 93, IOOF, at Sextonville, was instituted June 25, 1857, by David H Wright, grand master of Madison. The charter members were as follows: S Bailey, B W Telfair, Albert Ghastin, M Britton, N A Hawks and J E Irish. The first officers, elected were as follows: J E Irish, noble grand; B W Telfair, vice grand; M Britton, recording secretary; and Albert Ghastin, treasurer. The following, named in order, have served as noble grand of the lodge; B W Telfair, S Bailey, George Richards, George Krouskop, Lemuel Akey, A Ghastin, D Williams, L D Hall, William McCorkle, D L Hubbard, J B Grew, T P Derrickson, Amasa Grover, H W Glasier, L A Taylor, J Knapp, John Jaquish, D P Nichols, William Krouskop, H H Barnard, F B Hubbard, James D Keys, John Kuykendall, F D Fowler, J L R McCollum, J H Post, A Ghastin, J Knapp, William Krouskop, J G Lamberson, Alfred Kuykendall, Henry R Howard, A M Stratten, G N Hill, Jacob Hoover, J S Stofer, George Parker, D B Ostrander, Clayton Bush, L C Taylor, George M Hoke, J L R McCollum, D B Ostrander, G M Hoke, E E Ostrander, A H Dowe, R Gibbens, David Warner, J W Parker, E Parker, D A Barnard and J Warner. The officers of the lodge, in 1883, were as follows: J Warner, NG; F W Turner, VG; W A Reed, RS; J D Keys, treasurer. At the present time there are thirty-three members, and the lodge is in good working condition.
Valley Lodge, IOGT, was organized at the Methodist church in Sextonville, Dec. 5, 1883, with twenty-one members. The following officers were elected. W S Dupee, WCT; WVT; Franklin Nourse, chaplain; Charles McCollum, WS; F Johnson, WAS; Mrs. Dora E Howard, WFS; A B Grafton, WT; E E Craig, WM ; Philip Kolfe, WD, M; F T Nourse, WOG; Anna Lamson, WIG; Mrs. Kate R Crosper, WRHS; C J Henry, WLHS; A Van Dusen, PWCT.
The first religious meetings in the town of Ithaca were held in the old building known as "The Ark," by Rev. Chaffee, a Presbyterian minister. He organized a Presbyterian class here, the following being among its first members: Charles Devoe and wife, A H Bush and wife, Samuel Long and wife, Richard Struble and wife, Emanuel Allace and wife, John Ingraham and wife and Mr. Fox and wife. Charles Devoe was elected deacon. This class met for worship in "The Ark" until the school house was erected, and then met there for a few years. Some of the leading members moved away, and finally this class was united with the Congregationalists.
About 1859 a Congregational Church was organized at Sextonville. It included as members: Arvin Burnham and wife, Wareham Burnham and wife, J C Stockton and wife and Mrs. Susan Tapin. Arvin Burnham and wife were elected deacons. This class flourished but a short time. In 1867 it was reorganized by Dexter Cleary, agent for the American Home Missionary Society for southern Wisconsin. The following were among its members at this time: Arvin Burnham and wife, Wareham Burnham and wife, Franklin Hapgood and wife, Amelia L Perry, Harriet K Bush, William H Davis, Mary A Post, A H Bush and wife, Charles Devoe and wife and John C Stockton. Arvin Burnham and J C Stockton were elected deacons. The class met for worship in the M E church until 1868, when they erected a church edifice on lot 8, block 24, in the village. Rev. A H Bush was the first pastor. He was succeeded after about a year by Rev. Simon Spyker, who is the present pastor. The present deacons are Arvin Burnham and E E Pratt.
A Methodist Episcopal class was organized in Sextonville at an early day, and in 1856 a church edifice was erected on block 31. Rev. William R Irish was one of the first preachers. Among those who have filled the pulpit for this denomination since are: Revs. William Harvey, G W Nuzum, A D Chase, C Cook, William Hill, H J Walker, Thomas Mamiel, W F De Lap, D W Couch, W R Irish, W J McKay, Thomas Crouch, J Trewathe and O B Kilbourn. Rev. J D Tull is the present pastor. Jonathan Knapp is the present class leader. There is a Sabbath-school in connection, of which Clinton Bush is superintendent.
The postoffice at Sextonville was established, in 1849, with E M Sexton as postmaster. It was then a special office and mail was received once a week from Highland, in Iowa county. The neighbors acted as mail carriers, oftentimes going on foot, carrying the mail sack on their backs. About 1853 a mail route was established from Madison, west through Sextonville, and a mail carrier was furnished by the government. A man named Rogers acted as mail carrier. In 1854 a route was established from Highland to Richland Center, by was of Sextonville. David McFarland was mail carrier. Soon afterward a route was established from Sauk City to Prairie du Chien, by way of this office, with James Banks as mail carrier. When the railroad was completed to Lone Rock, a route was established from that place through Sextonville to Richland Center and the other routes were discontinued. E M Sexton was succeeded as postmaster by Luther Irish, then in succession came Martin Britton, Robert Essyltine, William McCorkle, Edwin Devoe, William Irish, Mrs. Lamberson and Horace H Barnard. Mr. Barnard was appointed in 1876, and is the present postmaster.
The first school house in the town of Ithaca, as well as the village of Sextonville, was erected in 1851. The rafters and studding were of hewn tamarack poles. The first teacher in this house was Margaret Ingrum. This house was in use until 1860, when a two story building was erected. The citizens had resolved to have a high school and the services of Prof. Henry W Glasier, then teaching in Richland Center, were secured.
In the fall of 1860 the first high school in the county was taught at Sextonville. Under the able management of Prof. Glasier the school was a decided success, and became established upon firm footing. Succeeding Prof. Glasier as principal, the following have served: David Parsons, Timothy Moroney, J G Lamberson, N E Carver, E E Fowler, Mr. Farnham, G E Marshall and R J Porter. In 1882 the district erected a building, 40x60 feet in size, two stories in height; with a front entrance, 10x16 feet. The grounds occupying six lots on block 21. The cost of site and building was $3500. In 1883 the corps of teachers was as follows: Prof. H W Glasier, principal; Della Welton, teacher of intermediate department and Anna Lamson in primary department. In 1883 a new move was taken, and special instruction is now given in languages and music, by Prof. Hemmersback. Much credit is due to the efficiency and energetic management of Prof. Glasier, in building up and making a success of the high school enterprise, and many of the best business men of Richland county received their education here.
At the close of the first term of the Sextonville High School, Nov. 15, 1860, the first school exhibition was given at the Methodist church in that place. The church was crowded, and it was a decided success. As nearly all who took part in the exercises have friends and relatives scattered over the county, many of whom attended the exhibition, a verbatim copy of the programme for the evening is here presented:
Instrumental music ....................................Miss Emma Burnham.
The following personal sketches represent the early pioneer and prominent citizens of the town of Ithaca:
Orrin L Britton, the pioneer settler of Sextonville, was born in Westmoreland, NH, in 1811. When he was twelve years old, his parents moved to Jefferson Co., NY where they were pioneers. There the subject of this sketch spent his youth and was married in 1830 to Annie Pratt, who was born in Jefferson county in 1811. They continued to live in that county until 1844, then moved to Wisconsin, making the journey overland with a pair of horses and wagon. They were six weeks on the road, after which they arrived at the village of Jefferson, Jefferson county. He first rented land a few miles out of town. In the spring of 1845 he bought timber land in the Rock river woods, moved there and cleared a few acres, then sold and hired to E M Sexton to drive a peddler's wagon from near Fort Atkinson, which he continued until 1848, at which date he came to Richland county. His wife died in 1857, leaving eight children. He was married again tow or three years later to Mary J Rice. They have one child, and now reside a few miles from Black River Falls, in Jackson county.
James Southard, deceased, a pioneer of Richland county, was a native of Vermont, where he was reared to agricultural pursuits. He was married to Emily Pickett, also a native of Vermont. They removed to New York and settled in Chautauqua county, where he bought a farm. They lived there until 1850 and again started westward, coming then to Richland county, where he entered the northeast quarter of section 11, the southeast of the southwest of section 12, town 9, range 2 east, the northwest of the southwest of section 30, the north half of the southeast of section 25 and the northeast of southwest of section 25, town 9, range 1 east. He settled with his family on section 25 of the town of Buena Vista. He made the journey from New York with his family by canal to Buffalo, from thence by the lakes to Milwaukee, the remainder of the distance by team. He had built a log cabin into which they moved, and he immediately commenced to improve his land. In 1854 he met with a sudden and violent death. He was digging a well, assisted by his son Monroe. They had reached the depth of twenty-five feet, when the banks caved in killing them both. He left three children --- James W, Ransom E and Florence A; who is married and lives in Iowa.
Ransom E Southard was born in Chautauqua Co., NY, in April, 1838; came to Richland county with his parents and here grew to manhood's estate. In 1867 he settled on his present farm on the northeast quarter of section 11, where he lived with his mother in a small frame house which he had moved from Richland City. He was married April 18, 1868, to Harriet, daughter of Ira and Mary (Cook) West, early settlers of Richland county. She was born in Wayne Co., NY. Mr. Southard now owns 200 acres of land, 100 of which are under cultivation. He has erected a large frame house and barn, and is engaged in dairying and stock raising.
Hon. J L R McCollum, son of Asa and Hadassap (Kingsbury) McCollum, was born in the town of Leicester, Worcester Co., Mass., Jan. 4, 1842. He was but six years old when his parents emigrated to Wisconsin, and nine years old when they came to Richland county. Soon after their arrival here he went to Wiota, La Fayette county, to live with a brother-in-law, who was engaged in mercantile trade; in a short time he went with him to Elkader, Iowa. In both of these places he attended the public schools and assisted his brother-in-law in the store, and later attended Bryant & Stratton's Business College in Chicago, from which institution he graduated and received a diploma. This instruction was afterwards supplemented by a course of study in the Sextonville High School, of which he was among the first graduates. When twenty-one years old he engaged in the mercantile trade in company with A H Krouskop near the mill in the town of Ithaca. In 1865 he went to Lone Rock, following the same business, and dealing in live stock quite extensively. In 1877 he settled on his present farm, located in the Pine river valley, on section 12, town 9, range 1 east, now included in the town of Ithaca. This is one of the model farms of the county; is under a high state of cultivation, and has upon it excellent improvements. He is engaged in raising grain and stock and in dealing in live stock and railroad ties. He was married in 1864 to Eliza, daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth (McCloud) Krouskop. Three children have blessed this union --- Charles L, Dock C and Elmer E. Mr. McCollum is a prominent man among the best class of Richland county citizens, and was elected to the Assembly in 1875 and 1876, serving the people faithfully. He has the confidence and esteem of his fellow men, and would be a desirable acquisition to any community.
His father, Asa McCollom, was the first doctor at Sextonville. He was born in that part of the northeastern territory, now the town of Windsor, Morgan Co., Ohio. His father, the grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was born in Scotland and brought to America by his parents when five years old, and settled in North Carolina, where he grew to manhood. He was a stirring patriot of that day and enlisted during the War for Independence in the American army. Was taken prisoner by the English forces and sent to Nova Scotia, where he remained for some time. After he was liberated he was married to Lucy Fordyce, a native of Massachusetts. Her parents were loyal to the Crown, and during the war had emigrated to Nova Scotia. After his marriage he returned to the States and immediately started for the northwestern territory. At that time there was considerable trouble with the Indians and they consequently stopped at Redstone, now Brownsville, east of the Alleghanies, three or four years or until the Indian difficulties were in a measure settled, and they were for a time more peaceable, when they moved on and settled in the northwestern territory as before stated. Asa, the father of the subject of our sketch, made his home with his parents until eleven years old, when his father proposed to give him his time summers, and he could attend school winters, to which he agreed. He remained in that section of the county until eighteen years old, then joined an older brother in Illinois, and engaged with him surveying and farming three years, when his brother built a tavern in Vandalia. He continued to live with him one year longer and then returned to Ohio and engaged with another brother in a cabinet manufactory. They carried on that business there three years, when he sold out and went to Massachusetts. He there located in Worcester county, and commenced to work as carpenter and joiner, and later as contractor and builder. Here his health failed, and going to Boston, he entered an infirmary, and was there during the cholera epidemic. As soon as he was able, he was employed as an assistant, and here he commenced the study of medicine, not theoretically, under an MD, but practically amid actual surroundings, which gave him an experience very valuable and superior to any school. Soon after his return to Leicester, a child in the neighborhood was stricken with that dreadful disease, cholera, and he was called upon to prescribe. This was his first case, and in it he was successful. He soon afterward erected a large building, opened an infirmary, and there continued the practice of medicine until 1848, when he came to Wisconsin and located at Fayette, in La Fayette county, practicing medicine there until 1851, when he came to Richland county and purchased land adjoining the village plat of Sextonville, and immediately commenced the practice of his chosen profession. In 1858 he purchased a drug store and has since followed that business, and at the present time is the oldest druggist in the State. He was married in 1828 to Hadassap Kingsbury, who was born in that part of Oxford, now known as Webster, Worcester Co., Mass., Sept. 10, 1802. They have six children --- Lucy, now the wife of Spencer Ellsworth, now living in Lacon, Ill.; Lauraine, now the wife of Charles Schellenger; Van Buren, Curtis, Julien Lee Roy and Lewis Cass. As an MD he belongs to the reformed botanical school. Politically he adheres to the democracy as it was, but has not voted for a President since Buchanan, and is not in sympathy with that organization as it at present exists.
Lucius Tracy (deceased) a pioneer of Richland county, was a native of the Green Mountain State, born in 1798, where he obtained a liberal education and became fitted for a teacher. He went to New York State and engaged in teaching. While there he made the acquaintance of Polly McDowl, who became his wife. She was born near Elmira, NY. They went to Pennsylvania and settled ten miles from Erie City, where he purchased a farm. They lived there until 1851, then started west to seek a home. Richland county was then attracting the attention of settlers and thither they came. He bought the northwest quarter of Buena Vista, built a frame house and commenced improving the land. His death occurred in 1854. He left a wife and eight children to mourn his loss. Mrs. Tracy died in 1878. Five of the children are now living --- Arza C, Alexander D, John V, Jane and Flora A. During the short time that Mr. Tracy lived at Buena Vista he formed many acquaintances, and was respected by all who knew him. By his death Buena Vista lost one of her most honored citizens.
Amasa Grover, one of the pioneers of Richland county, was born in the town of Hume, Allegany Co., NY. When he had arrived at a seasonable age he was sent to the district school where he acquired a fair education. His father was a miller by trade but did not always have occupation at that business and at times engaged riving and shaving shingles, and Amasa when not in school assisted his father at such work. When he was thirteen years old his father rented a mill in Cold Creek village, and Amasa was placed in charge of it. He operated that mill one year when the family removed to Cold Creek village, when two years later his father died and the family removed to Erie county. The subject of this sketch was then sixteen years old and the oldest of six children, and the support of the family devolved to a great extent upon him. He engaged in farming three years and a half then returned to Allegany county with the family and engaged in teaming, drawing coal and iron from Rochester, a distance of sixty miles. He followed this business one summer then purchased a lot in Mixville and built a house for his mother. He then engaged with a blacksmith to learn the trade, and served two years, then bought the shop and carried on the business one year. About this time he joined a co-operative society, remained a member a few months and then withdrew having lost all his property. He then went to the town of Pike, which was in that part of Allegany, now Wyoming, county, opened a shop at Patch Corners where he worked at his trade two years, then went to Loon Lake, Steuben county, and run a shop two years, then opened a shop in Cohocton where he remained until 1851, when he determined to go west and try farming. He started in September of that year for Wisconsin, departing with his wife and three children from Danville on a canal boat, going to Buffalo and thence on a steamboat to Milwaukee where he hired a team for $25 to take his family and household goods to Richland City and they arrived there on the 17th of October. Then he rented a cabin, moved in, and with his rifle on his shoulder started on foot in search of land. He went up Pine river to Fancy creek, followed that stream up some distance and then went across the country to Rockbridge, and down the river to Sextonville without finding a place to suit him. At Sextonville he met James Goodrich, who informed him that he had a desirable piece of land to sell, and wanted him to go and see it. To this he assented and they started on foot. This was the Lawrence place located on section 17, the north half of the northeast quarter. There was a log cabin on the place and twelve acres improved. Mr. Grover was pleased with it and made the purchase, paying for it $300. He was, however, obliged to go to Beloit for the deed, and they hired a team together for this purpose, returning they stopped at Janesville and bought a stock of provisions for the winter. He then moved to his new home with his family and arrived in November. He immediately started a blacksmith shop, the first in that part of the county north of Sextonville, and engaged in farming and work at his trade. The family lived in the log cabin five years when he erected a small frame house. The commodious house now occupied by the family was built in 1881. He also built a frame barn thirty feet wide and ninety feet long with a shed attached sixty feet in length. He has engaged in raising grain and stock. He also carried on the business of blacksmithing until 1880. He is a man of more than ordinary intelligence, a great reader and well posted on the current events of the day. He has filled offices of trust in the town, having been elected assessor for the town of Buena Vista in 1853 which at the time included territory extending from the Wisconsin river to Vernon county. He has since been elected to that office in the town of Ithaca. He is at present a member of the board of supervisors. He has been twice married, first in 1845 to Fidelia Tichenor. She was born in Genesee Co., NY, and died in 1848, leaving three children --- Hiram, and twins, Fidelia and Amelia. His second wife to whom he was married in 1849 was Arvella Armstrong; she was born in the town of Cohocton, Steuben Co., NY. Twelve children blessed this union, eleven of whom are now living --- Elizabeth, James, Madena, Alpha, Janett, Mary, Martin, George, Gilbert, Amasa and Evert.
George Hoke, son of John and Jemima (Antisdell) Hoke, was born in Otsego Co., NY, in August, 1840. When he was eleven years old, he came to Richland county with his parents, with whom he continued to reside until 1863. In November of that year he enlisted in company H, of the 37th Wisconsin, went into camp at Madison, and in the spring of 1864 went to Virginia, and joined the Army of the Potomac. He was severely wounded at the battle of Petersburg June 18, 1864, in consequence of which, he lay in the hospital eight months. He then joined his command and participated in the more important battles, before Richmond and Petersburg, until the close of the war. He was discharged with the regiment July 26, 1865, after which he returned home and engaged in farming. In 1866 Eliza Parker became his wife. She was born in the State of New York. He continued farming in Hoke Hollow until 1868, then removed to Sextonville and commenced to learn the cooper's trade. In 1871 he took a contract to carry the mails from Sextonville to Cazenovia, which he continued one year, then sold out and again engaged in farming. In 1877 he opened a hotel in Sextonville, which he named the Sextonville House. In 1878 he went to Lone Rock and kept hotel one year, then returned to Sextonville, and in 1881 purchased the Parker House property, where he is now engaged in hotel keeping. Mr. and Mrs. Hoke are the parents of two children --- Alma L, who is a teacher in the public schools, and Nettie A.
S I Freeborn, horticulturist and apiarist, first came to Richland county in 1851, with his brother-in-law, James M Cass, with whom he lived, being unmarried at that time. Soon after his arrival he engaged in the lumber business, in company with a man named Barber. They went up Pine river, cut the timber and rafted it down the stream. They had at one time 2200 logs upon the river. He was married in 1859 to Elvira Howe, a native of Canada. Two years later he settled on his present farm, on the northeast quarter of section 20, town 10 north, range 2 east. In 1856 he bought twenty colonies of bees of Green Mayfield, which were the beginning of the apiary he now owns. At present he has 320 colonies. He sold, in 1882, 28,000 pounds of honey. In the nursery business, he is the pioneer of this place. He has met with decided success, and has made large sales, for a new enterprise, and the stock being as represented, gives satisfaction and an increasing demand may be expected. In 1862 he associated A L Hatch in this business. They have at present, a nursery stock of 150,000 trees, an orchard of 4000 trees and a general stock in proportion. Mr. Freeborn is a native of New York, born in Chautauqua county, April 30, 1833. His father died when he was ten years old. Soon after, his mother was married to Thomas Pound, and the family removed to Crawford Co., Penn., where they lived until 1847. In that year they emigrated to the territory of Wisconsin and located in Dane county, making the trip in thirty days, traveling overland with teams. The subject of this sketch remained with his parents a short time, then went to Blue Mound, where his brother had charge of a stage station. He assisted him there in the care of the horses, tow seasons. At the age of sixteen he went to Helena and engaged in ferrying on the Wisconsin river, two summers. During that time he ferried many persons across the river, who became settlers of Richland county. Mrs. Freeborn died in 1872, leaving three children --- Arvilla, Elma and Ernest. In 1873 he was married to Hadassah Spyker. Two children have blessed this union --- Simon A and Lorena. Politically, Mr. Freeborn belongs to the republican party, having been identified with that organization since its formation.
James M Cass, a pioneer of Richland county, was born in the town of Stanstead, province of Quebec, Canada, March 24, 1808. His grandfather was a native of New Hampshire, and had emigrated, in company with eight others, to Stanstead, then a wilderness. Here the subject of this sketch grew to manhood, obtaining his education in the common schools. He was married Feb. 19, 1829, to Mary Taplin, who was born in Stanstead county, Feb. 12, 1809. He built a house near his old home, where he lived two years, then moved to the homestead and remained till 1835, when he came to the States, located in Ohio, near the Pennsylvania line and there formed a partnership with a mill owner and operated a flouring mill three years, then moved to Wellsburg, where he engaged in the same business. From there he went to Crawford county, and in company with a cousin built a mill, which they operated about three years, successfully. He then sold his interest. In 1847, accompanied by his family, he started with teams, overland, for the territory of Wisconsin. After thirty days travel they arrived in Sauk county, and settled in what is now the town of Spring Green. He was chairman of the first board of supervisors of that town, and gave the town its name. In 1851 he came to Richland county and purchased a claim on section 3, town 10 north, range 1 east, now in the town of Richland. He entered this land and then returned for his family. They started with two teams loaded with their household goods. There was no regularly traveled road in those days, and their progress was necessarily slow. They reached Beemer's Tavern in time for dinner, after which they again started, but had gone only a little distance when one load of their goods tipped over. They quickly re-loaded and started on, but before reaching their destination, the other load capsized causing another delay. They reached their cabin after dark, much fatigued by the day's journey. In one of the loads was some honey which, when the load tipped over, was spilled, rendering a number of household articles very sticky and sweet. The next day the wild bees scented the honey and came swarming around to gather it. I S Freeborn, who had come with the family, noticed them, and knowing something of the habits of bees, made up his mind that their abiding place was not far distant. He persuaded Mr. Cass to start with him in search of it. They soon found two swarms from which they gathered 150 pounds of honey. Not long after this, Mr. Freeborn started out in search of a shoat that had been missing for several days. He had not proceeded far, before he discovered a bear. He raised his gun and fired, but it was nearly dark and the bear was partly concealed in the brush. He hurried back for lights and assistance. On returning, they found the bear dead. A team was procured and the bear drawn to the house. As soon as Mr. Cass got fairly settled, he commenced building a saw-mill on Pine river. He constructed a stone and brush dam, procuring a fall of six and a half feet. The mill was furnished with an up and down saw. He operated it successfully four years, then sold to William Bowen, came to Ithaca and purchased his present farm, located on the northwest quarter of section 21. The place was first occupied by William Butler, an Indian, who had built a log house upon it. They lived in that a few months, when they replaced it by the frame house they now occupy. Mrs. Cass died in 1840, in Pennsylvania, leaving four children --- Osman, Almina, George W and Walter T. Mr. Cass was married again in June, 1840, to Esther A Freeborn, who was born in Niagara Co., NY, March 28, 1821. Mr. Cass is an enterprising intelligent man, and has filled offices of trust in the town.
William McCorkle, an early settler in Richland county and a member of the oldest firm now in business in the county, was born in New York city, Jan.1, 1819. As soon as old enough he attended the city schools. During his school days here an incident occurred which has always been remembered. The occasion being a visit to this city in 1825 by La Fayette. The school children, desiring to do him honor and express their appreciation of his attention, arranged themselves in line, while the hero reviewed the ranks in soldier style, except that occasionally he would place his hand upon the head of some of the children expressive of his affection for them and indicative of a well formed physiognomy. The subject of this sketch was among those thus selected, and honored by the great La Fayette. Soon after this his parents moved to Long Island and settled in the town of South Hampton, Suffolk county. He remained here with his parents until about fifteen years of age when he went to New York city where he was employed as a clerk in a dry goods store three years, then went to Port Jefferson, LI, and clerked there three years. He then concluded to go on a whaling voyage and made that his calling until 1855. During this time he sailed around the world six times and was once wrecked on the coast of South America. The vessel went to pieces on the rocks and about one-third of the cargo lost. He spent about four months in South America, viewing the country and having a good time generally. He then took passage for New York on an English brig. Meanwhile his brother Andrew had come to Wisconsin and stopped for a short time in Sauk county and in the spring of 1851 had come to Richland county. William, accompanied by three other brothers, Samuel, Robert and Charles, concluded to give him a surprise in his new home, and started for Richland county. Andrew was at this time a single man, and boarded at the well known tavern called "The Ark." The brothers found on their arrival that he had gone out looking for land. They waited patiently several days. He was finally seen coming down the road and the brothers stood behind the door. As he came up William stepped out and greeted his brother, who was much surprised to see him. By the time he had partially recovered his surprise another brother stepped out, then another, and finally the fourth, "for God's sake," said Andrew, "is the whole family here?" William remained in Richland county for a short time, then removed to Long Island, and went on another voyage. He joined in marriage, Oct. 14, 1856, with Harriet F Toping, who was born in the town of South Hampton, Suffolk Co., LI, July 27, 1837. In the spring of 1857 he returned to Richland county, and located in Sextonville, purchased village property and engaged in mercantile trade. In 1857 the firm of McCorkle & Thomas was formed and is now the oldest firm doing business in the county. Mr. and Mrs. McCorkle have had two children --- Eugene W, born July 15, 1857, and Lillian, born Nov. 23, 1861, and died Nov. 14, 1868. Andrew remained a resident of Sextonville several years. He was married to Rebecca, daughter of E M Sexton. He now resides in Webb City, Mo. Charles and Robert both settled in Richland county. Charles was a young unmarried man, intelligent and enterprising. He had filled offices of trust in the town and county; was at the time of his death, register of deeds. Robert lived here some years then removed to Lloyd where he is interested in a flouring mill. Samuel returned to Richland county some years later and engaged in mercantile trade at Lloyd.
George W Cass, son of James M and Mary (Taplin) Cass, was born in Ohio, Feb. 19, 1836, and was fifteen years old when his parents settled in Richland county. He was married in 1859 to Margaret J Beaver, daughter of Christian and Catharine Beaver, and a native of Mifflin Co., Penn. He then went to Spring Green and purchased a farm, lived there one year, after which he returned to this county, and settled in the valley of Little Willow, on section 7, land that he had bought in 1856. It was then in its natural state, mostly covered with brush. He now has 120 acres of the 160 under cultivation; has erected good frame buildings and has altogether a pleasant home. Mr. and Mrs. Cass are the parents of six children --- Mary, Charles, Jennie, Frank, Nellie and Lucy. Jennie died March 7, 1883, of diptheria.
Joseph Sippy, MD (deceased), one of the pioneers of Richland county, was born near Harper's Ferry, Va., in March, 1791. His father was a native of France and came to America with La Fayette during the War for Independence. He left home without the consent of his parents, and was not mustered into service until his arrival in America. After the declaration of peace he settled in Virginia and was there married to Lucretia Johnson, who was born in Fredericksburg, Va. When the subject of this sketch was seven years old his parents moved to Pennsylvania and settled in Beaver county, where he grew to manhood, receiving his education in the subscription schools. He was a stirring patriot and volunteered in the War of 1812, served a short time when he as honorably discharged, and soon after was married to Martha Cogswell. Her mother was a sister to Gen. Gates, of Revolutionary fame, and was born in March, 1796. In the year 1813 they emigrated to Ohio, making the trip with one horse, without a wagon, packing upon the back of the horse their household goods, including bedding and camp kettles. Such a method of transportation at this day would indeed seem slow and irksome, and shows that these persons must have been of pluck and energy. They made their way to the Cuyahoga river in Cuyahoga county and remained a few months. It was at that time an unhealthy country and consequently he moved and settled in the town of Granger, Medina county, where they were early settlers. They lived there a few years and then moved to the town of Hinkley, in the same county where he commenced the practice of medicine, and also having purchased eighty acres of land carried on a farm. In 1836 he sold out and again started west and this time settled in Fulton Co., Ind., where they were again pioneers. A history of Medina county, published subsequently, makes particular mention of this pioneer, as he was a prominent representative man. In Indiana he made his chosen profession a business and had a lucrative practice. This country also proved to be somewhat unhealthy and in 1852 he concluded to again change location, and accordingly made a visit to Richland county, coming from Indiana on horseback. Thinking this would be a desirable, healthy country, he returned to Indiana, and in September of that year, returned with his family and settled on section 31. He was not well pleased with this place but bought it on account of the improvements. As soon as he was comfortably settled he started, accompanied by his son, Thomas, to explore the valley of Willow creek. There was no road and they went prepared to cut their way through. At night they camped under the protection of a shelving rock on section 9. The road now runs under this same rock. Isaac Welton had been following their trail and overtook them at this place, and the next morning, leaving the team, they started on foot. Mr. Sippy at this time selected three forties of land --- the south half of the west quarter of section 4, town 9, range 2 east, and the southwest quarter of the southeast quarter of section 4; he afterward bought additional land adjoining land near by until his place was increased to 600 acres. He lived on section 31 two years, then removed to section 4, and commenced improvements on his land. He laid out the village of Neptune, erected a saw mill and made this his home until the time of his death which occurred in September, 1870. His wife died in July, 1880. He had quite an extensive practice in the county, and was well and favorably known. Seven of his children are now living --- Minerva, who married Menzies Manley (deceased), she now lives in Sanborn, Iowa. Hannah, a widow of H L Welton now living in Kansas. Martha, wife of John Stockton now living in Richland Center. Lydia, wife of Daniel Dodge, now living in Kansas. Precilla, wife of Abel Ragles now in this town. Rebecca, wife of Valentine Stoddard now living in the town of Willow, and Thomas. The latter is the only son and now occupies a portion of the original homestead, where he has a farm of upwards of 300 acres and is extensively engaged in dairy and stock farming. He was born in the town of Hinkley, Medina Co., Ohio, April 3, 1835. The year following his father removed to Indiana, where his younger days were spent in school, on the farm and in his father's store. He came to Richland county with his parents and made his home with them until 1857, when he was married to Laura E Welton. Her parents were native of York State, but she was brought up in the State of Ohio. He then settled on the southwest quarter of the northwest quarter of section 4, where he lived until 1870, then moved to the southwest quarter of the same section. He has erected a good frame house, a frame barn with stone basement and now has a good farm well improved. He has been a member of the board and is at present town treasurer, and has been justice of the peace --- the latter office he has held almost continually for eighteen years, and during all this it is remarkable that none of his decisions have ever been reversed, or a change of venue taken or asked, which fact in itself speaks volumes for the good judgment and honesty of this settler. Mr. and Mrs. Sippy are the parents of two children --- Asher Francello and Bertram W; a daughter named Cora died when three years old. These people were true pioneers and endured the hardships and inconveniences of such a life. Remote from mill and market, various methods were devised to meet the necessities of life. In the absence of a mill Dr. Sippy's large mortar, with a wheel for a pestle, did the work of grinding for the neighborhood. Thus the people of that day met every difficulty, overcame every obstacle, and in consequence a goodly land with every convenience may here be found, where within comparatively short time a wilderness prevailed.
Elijah Nourse, (deceased) a pioneer of Richland county, was a native of New Hampshire, born in Bedford, Hillsborough county of that State, in 1797, where he was brought up on a farm. His wife was Mehitable Towns, who was born in Hillsborough county Nov. 24, 1798. Soon after marriage they emigrated to Orange Co., Vt., and settled in the town of Topsham, and remained until 1836, then moved to Washington county of the same State, and located in Moretown where he purchased a farm, which he improved and lived upon until 1839. He then sold out and started for the territory of Wisconsin, traveling with teams to Buffalo, put teams and wagons on board steamboat for Detroit, where they embarked and completed the journey to Kenosha, (then Southport). Here their eldest son, William, was taken sick and died. They lived there one year only and then went to Ohio making the trip overland; remained one year and returned to Wisconsin, passing through Chicago on the way, which was then a mere hamlet. He located in Rock county, where he purchased a tract of land, now in the city limits of Janesville, on Rock river, upon which was a slight improvement, including a log cabin, the first ever built on Rock river in that county. The location proved unhealthy, and four of their children sickened and died. In 1852 he sold his farm and came to Richland county; purchased the south half of the northeast quarter and the north half of the southeast quarter of section 6, town 9 north, range 2 east, now included in the town of Ithaca, there improved a farm and erected a good frame house. Mr. Nourse was an industrious man, a good farmer, and in comfortable circumstances at the time of his death which occurred April 3, 1877. His wife died Feb. 23, 1877. Their son Franklin, the only one of their children now living, occupies the homestead, and since his father's death has carried on the farm. He has built a large frame barn with a stone basement, and the place is now one of the best improved in the county. Franklin Nourse was born in Topsham, Orange Co., Vt., March 12, 1830, and was never separated from his parents for any length of time. In 1856 he visited his native town and there, February 25th, was married to Hannah Fellows, also a native of Topsham. They have five children --- Ella, Dora, Lilla, Frank and Lulu.
Menzies Phelps Manley, one of the first settlers on Little Willow creek, is a native of Connecticut, born in the township of Tolland, Hartford county, March 6, 1829. When six years of age his parents emigrated to Ohio and located in Medina county, township of Brunswick, where he was reared to agricultural pursuits, receiving his education in the pioneer schools which at that time were very crude, compared with our present system of common schools. The school house itself being a rude log structure, with a fire place in one end. The benches consisted of split logs, flat side up, with four legs. When twelve years old, his parents removed to Indiana and located in the village of Akron, Fulton county. Here he remained with his parents for three years, when they removed from the village of Akron, on to a farm three miles east. On this farm he remained for three years assisting his father in agricultural pursuits. During these three years, at times the whole family of eight were stricken down with ague. Phelps being the main stay of the family, was obliged to work, when weak nature said "go to bed." Plowing day after day, having no support save the plow handles. In the month of April, after he was eighteen years of age he hired out to Messrs. Kent & Elam, who were proprietors of a brick yard, which was located a mile and a half south of Rochester, the county seat of Fulton county. Here he worked until the 1st of October, off-bearing brick from the moulder. His regular days work being 5000 brick. During the next winter, 1847-8, he was engaged in cutting cord wood for John Elam at twenty-five cents per cord. The next summer he attended masons on the court house at Rochester. In the fall of 1848, in company with a young man by name of John Shamp, he went to Niles, Mich. Not finding any work at that place, they went to New Buffalo, their only guide being the survey of the Michigan Central railroad. Their effect on this journey consisted of an extra shirt done up in a bandanna handkerchief, and $1.50 in money apiece. Still they were proud to say they sponged not a meal of victuals or a night's lodging from any one. At New Buffalo they worked in a steam-mill until the 1st of June, when they returned to a point eight miles from New Buffalo, on the Michigan Central railroad. Here they worked for the railroad company until the following June, cutting cord wood, making ties and clearing track for the grade. In June, 1849, he returned to La Porte Co., Ind., and hired out to a farmer by the name of Charles W Henry, who lived on Stillwell prairie. Here he worked till the fall of 1852, when he took his span of horses and went to Fulton county to see his parents, who were still living near Akron. While at home he purchased forty acres of land, paying the sum of $1.25 per acre. This piece of land he sold after locating in Richland county. In September, 1852, he started for Richland Co., Wis., taking with his team a load of goods for Dr. Sippy, who emigrated to Richland county at that time. They were a month on the road and brought forty head of cattle with them. Soon after his arrival he traded his team to I P Welton for eighty acres of land --- the south half of the southwest quarter of section 32, town 10, range 2 east. This team consisted of two beautiful dapple grays, and were highly prized by Mr. Manley. Mr. Welton traded them to an Indian by the name of William Butler, who kept them twenty years. They lived to a great age and till perfectly white. They were at one time owned by Berney M Jarvis, of Cazenovia. Mr. Manley did not settle on this land, but sold it to his father, who settled on it in the fall of 1853. In October, 1852, Mr. Manley engaged with James Cap in his saw-mill as sawyer. Soon after going to work he injured his foot on the saw and was not able to resume until March following. He worked in the mill for Mr. Cap until the spring of 1854, when he rented the mill and operated it for one year. In June, 1853, Mr. Manley, in company with Daniel, Benjamin and Addison Rance, West Southard and a man named Page, started out to look for land. Leaving Dr. Sippy's place, they followed up Little Willow creek to the head, thence down the Alwood hollow, and camped for the night on the spot where Mr. McCorkle's flouring mills now stand. During the afternoon West Southard got lost. His companions remained up till late in the night, firing guns at intervals and keeping up a bright fire to attract his attention; but finally becoming discouraged with their efforts, they rolled up in their blankets and went to sleep. The next morning the lost one put in his appearance. He had chanced to find his way to Benjamin Smith's cabin, as had many other wanderers before him. The old pioneer gladly gave him the much needed advice and sent him on his way rejoicing. Manley did not select land on this trip, but was favorably impressed with Little Willow valley. The bottom lands of Little Willow at that time were wet and swampy, but he concluded that by a little drainage they could be made tillable, and in June, 1854, he entered the south half of the northwest quarter, and the northeast quarter of the southwest quarter, and the northwest quarter of the southeast quarter of section 6, town 10, range 2 east. In 1856 he sold the last named forties to his two brothers, Asa and Joseph Manley, who divided the two forties lengthwise the line, retaining the same to the present time. In the fall of 1854 he built a rude lumber shanty and lived in that till the following February, when he moved into the house in which he now resides. In 1869 Mr. Manley bought forty acres of land (the southwest quarter of the northeast quarter --- remainder of description the same as before mentioned). Of this 120 acres, ninety-five are improved --- the balance retained for wood and other purposes. Mr. Manley was married to Harriet (Hamilton) Tompson on March 26, 1854. They have seven children --- George S, J Willard, Flora L, Cora A, Dora J, David F and Albert E. The oldest child, George S, is married and living on a farm at the mouth of Little Willow. For the greater part of the last five years Mrs. Manley has been confined to her bed with nervous prostration. Six of their children are now at home to take care of and assist their mother in her illness.
Mathias M Smith, a pioneer of Richland county, was born in Litchfield, Herkimer Co., NY, Feb. 23, 1827, where his early life was spent in school and on the farm. When he was nineteen years old, his father sold the farm upon which he had lived for fifty-three years, and removed to Bedford, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, where the subject of this sketch remained until he was twenty-three years of age. He then started out to see something of the world. He visited the cities of Cincinnati and St. Louis, then went to Illinois, and engaged in farming in Greene and Jersey counties. From there, he went to Hancock county, in the same State, where he was employed by a Massachusetts firm to sell clocks in the States of Illinois and Iowa, in which business he continued about a year. He then returned to Bedford, Ohio, and Dec. 24, 1852 was married to Elizabeth Thomas. She was born in Hamilton, Madison Co., NY, Feb. 20, 1831. In the spring of 1853, they started for Wisconsin. They came from Cleveland to Milwaukee on the lakes; from thence by team to Sextonville. Here they stopped for a time with Mrs. Smith's father, Anthony Thomas, and also with her brother, Willard H Thomas, who lived on section 8, in town 10. He built a temporary frame building, 14x18 feet in size, in which the family lived until 1861, when he erected a good frame house which they still occupy. Mr. Smith, in company with James B Smith, his brother, who came from Ohio in 1858, owns 265 acres of land, of which 120 acres are improved. They have engaged in raising grain and stock, and of late years have kept a dairy. Mr. and Mrs. Smith have five children --- Frederick A, James W, Kate B, Frank M and Annie E.
William Lunenschloss, the pioneer German settler of the town of Ithaca, was born in the city of Cologne, (which then belonged to the French Empire) Nov. 23, 1816. He obtained a good education in the schools of his native city, attending three terms at a high school. He then engaged in the grain trade. At the age of twenty he entered the army and served one and a half years, after which he resumed his former occupation. In 1852 he took passage in the steamship "City of Glasgow," bound for America, landed at Philadelphia and went directly to Milwaukee, where he remained two months. From there he went to Dodge county and engaged in buying grain and other farm produce until June, 1854; then, accompanied by his family, started with a pair of horses for Richland county. He bought 120 acres of land on section 16. The family moved into a vacant log cabin on section 22 and lived there three months. In the meantime he erected a small frame house on the northeast of the southeast of section 16. He commenced farming by raising grain and stock. In 1867 he engaged in the culture of hops, and is the only man in the town who has continued that industry. He, however, has made it a paying business. He has erected a neat cottage house, enclosed the yard and beautified it by the planting of ornamental trees and shrubs. He has two stables, one log and the other frame, a hop house and granary. The latter is 20x50 feet. In 1875 he engaged in the hop trade, buying in Wisconsin and selling abroad. In 1878 he removed to Richland Center and bought grain until 1882, when he returned to his farm. He was married in 1852 to Eliza Thernes, also a native of the city of Cologne. They have four children --- Frank, Charles B, Eliza and William.
John A Shontz was one of the pioneers of Ithaca, having come here in 1854, accompanied by his brother, Loren Shontz. They purchased land on section 36, town 10, range 2 east, now included in the town of Ithaca. They erected a small frame house and commenced improving the land. They were both unmarried at that time, and a sister kept house for them. In 1856, John A. returned to his home in Pennsylvania and was there married September 23, to Rebecca McFadden, who was born in Crawford Co., Penn., Nov. 2, 1832. He then came back to Wisconsin with his bride. Loren then returned to his eastern home, made a short visit, then went to Missouri, where he was taken sick and died. Mrs. Shontz was very homesick, so, in 1857, they rented the farm and returned to Pennsylvania, where Mr. Shontz engaged in the lumber business until 1862. In that year they came back to his farm in Richland county, where they have since resided. He has built an addition to the house, and a frame barn with a stone basement. His farm now contains 200 acres, all fenced and improved. It is located in Bear Valley. Mr. Shontz was born in Crawford Co., Penn., Jan.25, 1828, where he was brought up on a farm. He obtained his education in the common schools. At the age of eighteen, he engaged in the lumber business in company with his brother, buying standing timber and having it manufactured into lumber and shingles. He was thus employed until the date of his coming to Ithaca. Mr. and Mrs. Shontz have four children --- Lola Kate, Clara L, Florence H and George M. Mr. Shontz is postmaster of the Bear Valley postoffice.
William Misslich, one of the pioneers of Richland county, was born in the city of Cologne, Rhine province, Prussia, in 1795. Here he attended school in his younger days, and later, devoted his time to agricultural pursuits. He was married in 1823 to Agnes Heinen, who was born in Rhine province in 1793. In 1850 they came to America and settled first in Waukesha Co., Wis., where he bought forty acres of land. He improved this land and lived upon it until 1855. In that year he came to Richland county and settled upon section 14, town 10, range 2 east, now known as the town of Ithaca, where he lived until the time of his death in 1868. Mrs. Misslich died in 1878. His son Albert was born in Rhine province, Prussia, in 1831, came with his parents to America and remained with them until 1851. He then went to California, making the trip overland, with an ox team, and was five months and twenty-two days on the road. He returned in 1855 by water, crossing the isthmus at Nicaragua, joined his parents and came with them to Richland county. He entered land on sections 13 and 14, where he resided about fourteen years, then moved to his present location on section 26. In 1855 he was married to Mary Weitzel, a native of Rhine province. They have nine children. Mr. Misslich has taken a lively interest in town and county affairs. He is the present chairman of the town board of supervisors, which office he has held six years. Their son, Paul, was born in Rhine province, Oct. 14, 1834. He obtained a good education in the common schools of his native country and was seventeen years old when he came with his parents to America. He lived with them until his marriage, Nov. 27, 1858, to Elizabeth Bodendine, also a native of Rhine province. They are the parents of six children --- William, Agnes, Albert, Margaret, Mary and Anna. Mr. Misslich has always been engaged in agricultural pursuits. His farm is located on section 14. He has been postmaster of the Keyesville postoffice ever since its establishment in 1872. He is also notary public, having been appointed by Gov. Smith, in April, 1880.
Isaac O Smith was an early settler in the town of Buena Vista, having come there in 1855. He purchased 215 acres of land on section 10, town 9, range 2 east, upon which he erected a small frame house and made other improvements. H(e) resided there until 1867, when he bought the "Lawrence" farm, located on the northwest quarter of section 2, town of Ithaca. He has built a large frame barn and frame house, and is engaged in raising grain and stock, also keeps a large dairy. Mr. Smith was born in Brook Haven, Suffolk Co., LI, in November, 1823, where he spent his childhood, helping upon the farm and going to school. At the age of fourteen he went to sea, and sailed before the mast until he was twenty-one years old. He then became master of a vessel and followed the sea until 1855, then being tired of a seafaring life, concluded to become a farmer, and came to Richland county. His surroundings prove his success in that business. He has been twice married, first in November 1857 to Jane E Lawrence, a native of New York. She was born in August, 1838, and died in Buena Vista, Sept. 4, 1858, leaving one son --- Charles M. He was again married, June 19, 1867, to Flora A, daughter of Lucius and Polly McDowl Tracy. She was born March 22, 1841, in Erie Co., Penn.
J G Lamberson, dealer in real estate and live stock, came to Richland county with his parents when a boy. Here his younger days were spent in acquiring an education. He enlisted in December, 1863, in the 6th Wisconsin Battery, went south and served in Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia, until the close of the war. He was honorably discharged at Madison, in July, 1865. He returned to Sextonville, entered the high school and graduated, after which he engaged in teaching in Sylvan, afterwards in Richland City and Sextonville. In 1868 he engaged in mercantile trade in the latter place. He carried a general stock and did a thriving business, which he continued until 1878. During the time he also dealt in live stock, which business he still continues. He was born in Elkhorn, Walworth county, territory of Wisconsin, Aug. 27, 1846, and came from there to Richland county. He was married in December, 1872, to Jennie Ward, a native of DeKalb Co., Ill. They have four children --- Mabel, Elbert, and Lelia Maud and Laura Blanche, twins. Mr. Lamberson is what may be called a self-made man. Starting in life with a good mind and sound body as capital, he has, by perseverance and industry, accumulated a considerable property, now owning 1000 acres of land in the county, mostly worked by tenants, and is among the best class of business men. He early appreciated the advantage to be derived from securing a good education, and bent his energy to obtain the same, which, having secured, he put into practical use, and his indomitable energy, combined with good judgment, have made him a successful man in all his undertakings. Courteous and affable in his manner, he is deservedly popular among his fellowmen.
William Simpson, an early settler of Ithaca, was born in Chillicothe, Ohio, Jan. 4, 1827. When he was four years old, his parents removed to Carroll Co., Ind., where they were early settlers. His father purchased timber land which William assisted in clearing. He resided with his parents until 1848. In October of that year, he was married to Rachel Morrison. She was born Aug. 15, 1829, in Pennsylvania. They removed to Will Co., Ill., where he rented a farm and lived until 1856, then taking his family and his household goods loaded upon a wagon, started overland for Wisconsin. After traveling nine days they reached their destination in the town of Buena Vista, now the town of Ithaca. His father several years before had laid out three patents, on one of which William moved. It comprised eighty acres of land on section 30, and his brother had built a small frame house for him, into which the family moved. Since that time he has built a commodious frame house and barn. His farm, which is well watered by Willow creek, is well improved and enclosed. Mrs. Simpson died May 16, 1858, leaving three children --- Mary E, Sarah R and Robert A. March 31, 1859, Mr. Simpson was again married to Lucinda McNamar, who was born in Lewis Co., Va., March 31, 1840. Eight children have blessed this union --- William R, Joshua D, Marshall L, Elijah E, Frederick N, Harry E, Edward G and George H. The second Mrs. Simpson died Jan. 6, 1881.
Abel Ragles is a native of Pennsylvania, born in what was formerly Mercer, but now Lawrence county, Jan. 28, 1824. When he was five years old his parents moved to what was then Medina, now Summit Co., Ohio. At the age of thirteen he went with a neighbor to Indiana to assist in driving cattle. He remained with this man in Fulton county one year, then engaged to work for his uncle, Dr. Sippy, with whom he lived until twenty-one years old. He was then married to Priscilla, daughter of Joseph and Martha (Cogswell) Sippy. His father-in-law gave him a tract of land in Wabash county, which he improved and lived upon until 1854. In May of that year he sold his farm and came to Wisconsin in search of a location. On the 10th of June he entered a tract of land on section 4, town 10, range 2 east, then returned to Indiana, gathered his crops and remained until fall, when he removed his family to their new home. They came overland with teams, bringing their household goods and provisions and camping on the way. They were sixteen days on the road. They first rented a small shanty in which they lived a few days, in the meantime, with the assistance of the neighbors, he erected a rude log cabin into which they moved. During the following winter their supply of provisions ran very low and it was necessary to do something to "keep the wolf from the door," so Mr. Ragles and his neighbor, Henry Short, whose stock of provisions was in about the same condition, started, each taking a load of lumber, to go to Sextonville, where they tried in vain to sell or trade their lumber for provisions. Mr. Ragles, however, bought two bushels of corn and a bushel of beans, and Mr. Short two bushels of corn. They returned, arriving at Mr. Ragles' about midnight tired and hungry, having eaten nothing since morning. The family had gone to bed hungry, but they got up and Mrs. Ragles hastily cooked some of the beans which they ate with a relish. In June, 1857, his corn crop was cut off by the frost and the prospect was gloomy indeed. About that time there became a demand for ginseng and he and his family went to work with a will to gather it. At this employment they soon earned enough to put them out of the reach of want for the time being. In fact it proved a turning point in their fortunes, from which they prospered and were soon able to build a small frame house, and later, a frame barn, which was destroyed by fire a few years afterwards together with all its contents, hay, grain and some stock. He has built another barn and a large frame upright part to his house. He is the owner of 202 acres, eighty of which are well improved, and is engaged in raising grain and stock, also keeps a dairy. Mr. and Mrs. Ragles have eight children. The eldest three, Martha, Thomas J and Annie J were born in Indiana; Hubert S, Clarence J, Robert B, Emma and William are native of Richland county.
Samuel Jones came to Wisconsin in 1855 but did not immediately locate in this county. He was born in Greene Co., NY, July 13, 1820, where he was reared upon a farm, and obtained his education in the common schools. He was married Aug. 24, 1845, to Mary A Vantassel, also a native of Greene county, born Dec. 10, 1826. He purchased a farm in his native county, town of Cairo, where he lived until he came to Wisconsin. He then sold his farm, and, accompanied by his family, made the journey by rail, to Madison, where he hired a team to take them to Dover, Iowa county. He engaged to work upon a railroad bridge which was then being built across the Wisconsin river, near Spring Green. He was thus employed until the fall of 1856, when he came to Richland county. He purchased 120 acres of unimproved land on sections 5 and 6, town of Ithaca; erected a log house upon section 6 and immediately began improving his farm. A few years later he built a good frame house. In 1868 he bought his present farm, located on the south half of section 6. To this place he moved his frame house and built a frame barn. He has engaged in raising grain and stock, and, like many others, at one time tried hops. He has been successful in his undertakings and is now the owner of one of the best farms on the Little Willow. His wife died June 11, 1882, leaving five children --- John W, George W, Samuel Eugene, M Eva and Paul H. Their eldest child died at the age of three years, and another in infancy. Mr. Jones has since been married to Elizabeth Schoonover, widow of Elias Tanner. She is a native of Ohio.
Horace L Burnham came to Richland county in 1856. He purchased the northeast of the southeast quarter of section 36, town 10, range 1 east; also eighty acres adjoining in Sauk county. On the first was a log cabin with a sod roof, into which he moved, and soon after replaced the sod roof by one of shingles. He has since erected a neat cottage house and frame barn. He has resided here since that time, with the exception of the four years that he served as county treasurer, which he spent in Richland Center. He is a native of the Green Mountain State, born in Addison county, July 12, 1828. He obtained his early education in the district school, and afterwards attended the academy at Bakersfield, Vt., one term, also one term at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill. After completing his education he engaged in teaching school winters, and farming the remainder of the year. In 1850, Susan C Lowell became his wife. She was born in Orange Co., Vt., Feb. 13, 1830. They resided in Addison county until 1857. Mr. Burnham has been prominent in administrative affairs of both town and county, having been superintendent of schools of the town of Ithaca, a member of the town board, town treasurer ten years, and county treasurer four years. Mr. and Mrs. Burnham have four children --- Alice, Frank W, John W and Herbert F.
Benjamin Winterburn, an extensive farmer in the town of Ithaca, came here in 1857 and purchased the northwest quarter of section 11, town 9, range 2 east, upon which was a log cabin and some small improvement. He engaged in raising grain a few years, but of late, has been engaged in the dairy business. He is the owner of 440 acres of land, 260 of which are under cultivation; and has good frame buildings, including a commodious house, barn, granary and other farm buildings. Mr. Winterburn is a native of England, born near London, March 1, 1830. When he was five years old, his parents emigrated to America and settled in Pittsburg, Penn. At the age of ten years, he left home and went into the country to live upon a farm, where he grew to manhood, obtaining his education in the district schools. He was married Oct. 26, 1856, to Mary J Phillips, who was a native of Alleghany Co., Penn., born Sept. 18, 1836. They remained in Pennsylvania until they came to Richland county in 1857. Mrs. Winterburn died Nov. 26, 1872, leaving six children --- John H, Elizabeth J, Anna B, Benjamin F, Jennie and Ralph. In 1875 Mr. Winterburn was again married to Cynthia J McKittrick, who was born in Oswego, NY, Feb. 22, 1838.
Hon. J M Thomas came to Richland county in 1857. He first lived in the town of Buena Vista, for three years, when he purchased eighty acres of his present farm, located on section 1, town 9, range 2 east, included in the town of Ithaca. There was a little improvement on this land at the time, consisting of a log cabin and stable, with thirty acres under cultivation. He has improved this place and added to it until his present farm contains 335 acres. The buildings are good substantial structures, and the grounds are made attractive and pleasant by shade and ornamental trees. This farm is situated in the justly celebrated Bear creek valley, which has been settled to a great extent by men, who, like himself, were reared in the dairy districts of New York State; came to this county and following the same business, have been successful, and made this valley the richest part of the county. This section of country seems admirably adapted to this industry, and those engaged in it, find it a profitable investment, and no one branch of trade tends more to develop the resources of the county. Mr. Thomas was born in Herkimer Co., NY, Aug. 23, 1829, and spent his younger days at school and on the farm. As soon as he had obtained sufficient education, he commenced teaching, and followed that occupation during the winter season and farming in the summer. In 1855 he came to Wisconsin, traveled through the eastern and southern part of the State, and made his first visit to Richland county, after which he returned to his native county and remained until 1857, when, as before stated, he came to this county. He has been twice married, first in March, 1858, to Ellen J Eaton, who bore him two children --- Jennie and Libbie. Jennie was born April 12, 1860, and died Dec. 10, 1870. Mrs. Thomas was born in Herkimer Co., NY, April 28, 1838, and died June 7, 1867. His second wife was Adelia E Reynolds, widow of Cornelius Young, who was also born in Herkimer Co., NY, June 28, 1827. Mr. Thomas has been one of the prominent representative men of the county, has been chairman of the board a number of terms, and was chosen in 1869 to represent his district in the Assembly, was elected again in 1878 and re-elected in 1879, serving with honor to himself and satisfaction to his constituency. His father, Henry Thomas, was born in Dutchess Co., NY, in 1795, and was there joined in marriage, in 1827, to Jane Mott, who was a native of the same county, born in 1794. Meanwhile he moved to Herkimer county and settled on a farm, where his wife died in the fall of 1860, leaving two children --- Joseph M and Maria. The latter was born Nov. 29, 1833, married C E Brace, settled in Bear Valley and died in 1870. His second wife, to whom he was married in 1861, was Dorcus Searing. She was born in Oneida Co., NY, in 1809. They remained in Herkimer county until 1867, then came to Richland county and make their home with J M Thomas. They are both members of the Society of Friends, and at an advanced age, are in good spirits and in the enjoyment of good health. The subject of this sketch is a republican politically.
Anthony Dederich was the first German settler in that part of Bear Creek valley lying in the town of Ithaca. He came here in July, 1862, and purchased two lots in the village of Petersburg. Upon one of these lots was a frame shanty, in which the family lived two months while a frame house was being built. He opened a wagon shop and worked at his trade. Two or three years later he established a blacksmith business, and about the same time opened a store with a general stock of goods adapted to the country trade. He also enlarged his residence and has, for some years, entertained travelers. He is also quite an extensive land holder, owning upwards of 400 acres and is engaged in farming. Mr. Dederich is a native of Prussia, born Sept. 17, 1822, in the village of Florsheim, Rhine province. He attended school steadily from the age of six to sixteen. He then commenced to learn the wagon maker's trade of his father. At the age of twenty-one he joined the army and served three years in the engineer corps, building pontoon bridges, after which he resumed work at his trade until 1848, when he was again called upon to serve his country, but at the end of a month was discharged. In 1849 he came to America, landed in New York September 14, and came directly west, stopping in Milwaukee where he worked one year at his trade, then went to Madison and worked as journeyman six months. He then opened a shop and established business for himself, continued two and a half years, then went to Cross Plains and there opened a shop, and remained until he came to Petersburg. His wife was formerly Mary Schafer, a native of Rhine province, Prussia. They were married in 1851, and are the parents of ten children ---Margaret, Gertrude, Peter, Adolph, Anthony, Dennis, Joseph, Francis, Gerhard and Remizius. Dennis has operated a shoe shop since 1883 with good success.
Joseph C McCorkle settled in Richland county in 1862. He purchased a farm on section 6, town 9, range 2 east. In 1866 he bought timber land on section 12, of town 9, range 1 east, included in the town of Ithaca, erected a small frame house and immediately commenced clearing his present farm. He is now the owner of 300 acres, 150 of which are in a good state of cultivation. This is one of the choice farms of the county. He has erected a frame house 17x32 feet, and two stories in height. Mr. McCorkle is a native of the State of New York, born in the town of South Hampton, Suffolk Co., LI, Sept. 7, 1834, where his younger days were spent. When eighteen years old he started on a whaling voyage. He made two voyages and was absent from home thirty-three months each trip. He was married May 14, 1862, to Letitia, daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth (McCloud) Krouskop. Five children have been born to them --- Carrie Belle, William Stanley, Jacob Clark, Samuel Clyde and George Krouskop.
Hon. William Dixon was an early settler in the town of Ithaca and a native of England, born in Beverly, Yorkshire, Oct. 27, 1808. In 1817 his parents emigrated to America and landed at Philadelphia July 11th of that year, where they remained two years. In that city the subject of this sketch attended school a short time, and then engaged as errand boy in a map publishing house. From there he went with the family to Trenton, NJ. His father was a weaver by trade, and there William commenced to learn the business of his father. In 1827 they again moved, going to New Hartford, Oneida Co., NY, where he engaged to dress yarn in a cotton factory, remaining there until 1836, when he went to Lockport, where he set up 1000 spindles in a cotton factory and afterwards took charge of a weaving room until 1840, when he worked on the Erie canal a few months, taking charge of a gang of hands; thence he went to Rochester and took charge of a weaving room in a factory there. Meanwhile he had purchased a farm in the town of Exeter, Otsego Co., NY, upon which he settled in 1841, making that his home until 1854, when he started for Wisconsin, coming by railroad and boat as far as Stoughton, thence by stage to Signet postoffice, in the town of Buena Vista. He rented a farm in that town and remained there until the spring of 1855, then moved to land he had purchased on section 1, town 9, range 2 east, now included in the town of Ithaca. He erected a small frame house and immediately commenced improving the land. This farm is pleasantly located in Bear Valley, where he now has seventy acres well improved, has built a large addition to his frame house, erected a good barn and other convenient buildings. Mr. Dixon has been a man of fine executive ability, and as a consequence has been prominently identified with the history of this county. The people, having confidence in his ability and integrity, have kept him almost continually in office. In 1856 he was elected justice of the peace, an office he yet holds. In 1858 he was elected chairman of the town board, and has been chosen for that position a number of times since. He was elected to the Assembly in 1858 and again in 1872. He was appointed notary public by Gov. Randall in 1859, and has held the position continually since. Thus it may be seen he has made an acceptable public man, and being in every way qualified for these positions, he has given general satisfaction. He was married in 1830 to Philea, daughter of Benjamin Carswell, who was born in the town of Argyle, Washington Co., NY, Jan. 24, 1810. Two children blessed this union --- Benjamin and Adelina. Benjamin was born Oct. 28, 1830, and died June 21, 1845. Adelina was born Feb. 11, 1833, married Jacob Runyan and died in the town of Ithaca Feb. 6, 1861. Mr. Dixon was formerly a whig, but has been connected with the republican party since its organization. He went to Madison on foot to take part in the organization in the State, and has ever since been prominently identified with its history in this section of the country.
D B Ostrander opened a hardware store in Sextonville in 1880, the first in that village. He keeps a general stock of hardware and agricultural implements. A tinshop, furnished with the necessary machinery for making all kinds of tinware, is connected with the store. Mr. Ostrander is a native of Oneida Co., NY, born Aug. 12, 1823. When he was ten years old his parents removed to Cattaraugus Co., NY. There he attained his majority, spending his time working on the farm and in attending school. At the age of twenty-two he went to Oriskany Falls and worked in a woolen-mill. Three years later he became a partner in the business, and remained there, in all, seven years; then sold his interest and returned to Cattaraugus county, where he engaged in farming and afterwards at the carpenter and joiner's trade, remaining there until 1864. In that year he came to Richland county and purchased a farm in Little Willow valley, section 18, town of Ithaca, which, four years later, he sold, and bought a farm in the town of Richland, where he remained two years, then went to Ithaca and engaged in mercantile trade two years, after which he purchased his old farm on section 18, of Ithaca, living there until 1878, when he removed to the village and sold his farm soon after. In 1880 he came to Sextonville, as before stated, purchased land and erected a commodious frame house. Mrs. Ostrander was formerly Margaret German, a native of Wales. They were married in 1848 and have three children --- Eugene E, Edward G and Cynthia M.
Levi J Lincoln (deceased) settled in the town of Ithaca in 1865. He purchased a farm on section 5, on which he at first built a small frame house, and afterwards a large frame house and frame barn. He resided here until the time of his death, July 27, 1877. He was an industrious man and owned 280 acres of land. From an obituary, written by an unknown friend and published in the Republican and Observer, we extract the following: "He was a man of marked individuality, active and positive in his undertakings. For conspicuous virtues, he commanded the esteem of his fellows; as a teacher in the public school of his district, for five consecutive winters, he won the approbation and grateful recollection of his pupils; as a testimonial of their respect and affection, the children of the neighborhood marched in a band to the grave. The funeral services were conducted by Rev. Loomis. His remains were consigned to their last resting place in Neptune cemetery, to which they were followed by a large concourse of people." The following letter appeared in the next issue of the same paper: "I would add this tribute to the memory of Mr. Lincoln, notice of whose death appeared in your last issue. He was one of the noblest of God's works, an honest man, and a useful one. He was always the first to lend a helping hand to those in distress. A man of first-class intellect, good heart, and great independence and force of character. His views on all subjects were freely expressed. He had faults, like the rest of mankind, but they were overbalanced by his many virtues." He was a native of Connecticut, born in the town of Windham, Windham county, March 4, 1830, where he grew to manhood, spending his time in working upon the farm and in school. When he arrived at a seasonable age he began teaching school winters, being engaged in agricultural pursuits the remainder of the year. He was united in marriage with Fannie E Allen Aug. 22, 1852. She was born in the town of Scotland, Windham Co., Conn., Nov. 3, 1829. He came to Wisconsin in 1856 in search of health. He located in Blooming Grove, Dane Co., Wis., where they remained until 1865, then came to Richland county and settled in Ithaca. They have four living children --- Oscar B, born in Connecticut, Aug. 31, 1854; Abraham, born in Blooming Grove, Dane county. His birth occurred Oct. 19, 1860, in the midst of that exciting Presidential campaign, when Abraham Lincoln was first running for President, and he was immediately named for the future President, Abraham. The news at once spread, and the newspaper reporter, ever on the alert for items, hear that Abraham Lincoln had arrived in town, and that he was a relative of Levi J. The next issue of the Madison Democrat contained the following item: "Abraham Lincoln arrived at Blooming Grove, this county, Thursday evening last, on a visit to his friend and relative, Levi J Lincoln, of that town." The youngest son, Pearl, was born in the town of Ithaca. Cora is the second child, and now the wife of Frank Bowen, of Richland Center. Abraham, although but seventeen years old when his father died, undertook the management of the farm, which he has since carried on with signal ability. Mrs. Lincoln is a lady of education and refinement, social and entertaining in conversation, and well fitted to shine in any circle of society. Edward L was the fourth child, born at Ithaca, March 29, 1867, and died March 9, 1871. When Mr. Lincoln was twenty-one years of age he sustained a fracture of the left hip joint, which impaired his health, and was the primary cause of his seeking a new location in the west. His death was the result of this fracture, although he regained his health so as to be able to labor most of the time.
Mrs. Mathias Joseph Schmitz came to the town of Ithaca from Fond du Lac county, in 1867. She bought the northwest quarter of section 1, town 9, range 2 east, upon which there was small improvement including a log cabin and stable. She has, since that time, with the assistance of her children, improved the land, erected a large frame barn with a stone basement, also a commodious frame house which is now occupied by the family. Mrs. Schmitz is a native of Prussia, and there grew to womanhood. In 1846 she left her native country for America and located in Fond du Lac county, where she was married in 1848 to Mathias Joseph Schmitz. He also was born in Prussia and came to the United States in 1846. He purchased land in Fond du Lac county, improved a farm, making his home there until the time of his death, which occurred Oct. 16, 1864. He left a wife and eight children to mourn his loss. The names of the children are --- Katie, Annie Mary, John E, Celia, Gertrude, Margaretta, Helena and Susanna Eva. John E manages the farm.
Alexander B Grafton settled on section 6, town of Orion, in September, 1867. Upon this place was a small tract of cleared land, and a log cabin, in which he lived a few years and then erected a frame house. In 1882 he sold this place and bought the farm he now owns and occupies. It is located on section 8, town of Ithaca, and includes the "Britton" homestead, the first place settled in the town. The farm contains 155 acres, ninety of which are improved and enclosed. He has a good frame house and barn and other farm buildings. Mr. Grafton was born in Jefferson Co., Ohio, Jan. 2, 1833. His early life was spent in his native State, where he attended the common school and worked upon a farm. In 1860 he engaged with a photographer to learn the art. He was thus employed until 1862, when he enlisted, August 20, in company D, 126th Ohio Volunteers and went to Virginia and joined the Army of the Potomac. He served until the close of the war, participating in many engagements, among which were the following: Martinsburg, Manassa's Gap, Kelley's Ford, Locust Grove, Winchester, Cedar Creek and the battle of the Wilderness, where he received a gunshot wound in his arm, May 6, 1864. He was sent to the hospital at Washington, DC, where he remained a few days. He was there granted a furlough of thirty days, at the expiration of which, he returned to the hospital. On August 30th, he returned to his command and found the regiment in the midst of an engagement near Mine Run. After this he participated in several engagements, the most important of which was the battle before Petersburg, where he was again wounded, on April 2, 1865. He was sent to McClellan Hospital, Philadelphia, from whence he was honorably discharged, May 31, of the same year, and returned to his home. He first visited Richland county in 1866, and at that time purchased the land upon which he afterwards settled, in Orion. He returned to Ohio and there, July 4, 1867, he was married to Catharine A Morrow, a native of Jefferson county. The following September they came to Richland county and located permanently. They have one son, William M, and an adopted daughter, Martha May. Mr. Grafton is an earnest advocate of the temperance cause and a member of Valley Lodge of IOGT.
Rev. Henry Koenig was born Oct. 7, 1835, in Heiligenstadt, Prussia, Germany. The home of his birth had about 6500 inhabitants. His childhood days were spent in that city, and now it is only with fondest recollections that he thinks of those early days. After absolving the gymnasium in his birthplace, he went to Rome, Italy, to study philosophy and theology. Here he was ordained priest, May 9, 1859. He soon afterwards started for America, landing in New York city, Oct. 3, 1859. He labored in his ministerial duties in La Fayette and Mishawaka, Ind., for about twelve years. Then in Louisville, Ky., Rochester, NY, Leavenworth, Kan., Toronto, Canada and Cumberland, Ind., for about five years; and since Jan. 1, 1877, at Keyesville, Richland Co., Wis.