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

Sketch of Mrs. John Gorst,   pp. 103-104 ff. PDF (616.3 KB)


Page 103


..........................................................................I.....................I...........................-a
        SKETCH OF MRS. JOHN GORST
      Contributed by the John Bell Chapter, D. A. R.
    Prudence Copley was born in Leeds, England, in the
year 1831 and attended the schools of her native city un-
til 1844 when she came to Wisconsin with her parents,
James and Mary Copley, who had become members of
the English Emigration Society.
    Robert Gorst of Liverpool was Secretary and Treas-
urer of the above society, and by lectures, charts, ex-
planations, and so forth, throughout England, secured a
membership of one thousand persons who came to Wis-
consin between 1840 and 1850 and settled on farms be-
tween Lodi and Mineral Point in the Counties of Colum-
bia, Dane and Iowa.
    This settlement, known as the English Colony,
whose business affairs were controlled by Robert Gorst
of Gorstville, which he established in the northwest por-
tion of the township of Black Earth, Dane County, upon
his arrival from Liverpool in the year 1845.
    Prudence lived with her parents at Gorstville until
November, 1852, when she was married to John Gorst,
a son of Robert Gorst, the Secretary and Treasurer of
the society.
    After their marriage they went to their own house
on their own farm, located in Gorstville, and there es-
tablished their home as pioneers where part of the popu-
lation was composed of bears, wolves and Indians. The
country around Gorstville developed rapidly and a Primi-
tive Methodist Church was built a mile away on one
side and a Methodist Episcopal Church a mile away
on the other side of John Gorst's farm. One held ser-
vices in the morning and the other in the afternoon. John
and Prudence were young, strong and generous; they
asked people to dinner on Sunday who wished to attend
both churches and soon their home became known as the
                         103


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