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Dexheimer, Florence Chambers, 1866-1925 / Sketches of Wisconsin pioneer women
([1924?] )

West, Georgia A.
Mary Ann Olcott,   pp. 11-13 PDF (617.2 KB)


Page 11


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              MARY ANN OLCOTT
                     Librairian
-       Author-Georgia A. West, Oshkosh
    Mary Ann Olcott was born in 1837 in Moriah, Es-
sex County, New York, and is therefore 86 years old.
Her mother's people belonged to the industrial class of
New Englanders. Her father, descended from revolu-
tionary ancestors, was engaged in the lumbering business.
When Miss Olcott was seven years of age, her parents
moved to Wisconsin. They started in a steamboat at
Port Henry, a little town near their home, on Lake
Champlain, went down through Lake George and con-
necting rivers to the Hudson, through the Erie Canal to
Buffalo, stopping off at Rochester to visit her mother's
people. From Buffalo they came by packet through the
lakes to Milwaukee. Here they stayed about three years
when they moved to Oshkosh, the family traveling on the
Green Bay stage, their household goods going by team.
In Oshkosh, a village of about 800, about 1847, Mr. Olcott
bought the Winnebago Tavern, one of the two public
houses in the town at the time. About 1850, Mr. Olcott
sold out and moved his family to his father's farm three
miles from the small settlement of Oshkosh. The seven
years spent on the farm Miss Olcott always speaks of as
seven wasted years. While living in town she attended
the only school in town at the time which was a little
log schoolhouse. When Mr. Raymond opened a private
school during the early 50's before there was a public
high school, Miss Olcott boarded in town and entered
the school. She paid one dollar a week for her board
and room. Later on Miss Russell opened a private
school for girls and Miss Olcott finished her education
there. She taught a few months but did not enjoy the
work so gave it up. The family moved into town again
in 1857 and Miss Olcott is still living in the house her
father built at that time at 151 High Street.
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