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

Purdy, Helen M.
Charlotte Owisconsin Van Cleve,   pp. 16-17 PDF (402.2 KB)


Page 17


child to be born in the state. The officers of the fort
welcomed the little stranger and were the ones who be-
stowed the name of Owisconsin on the newcomer. She
was called the daughter of the regiment. Some years
later her father was ordered to Fort Winnebago, leaving
the daughter in school at St. Louis. Later she came to
the fort, arriving just at sunset and the flag was being
lowered. A fine looking soldier was lowering the flag.
Enquiring of her father who the fine looking soldier was,
she was told it was Lieutenant Van Cleve. Two years
later she became his wife and enjoyed a long happy wed-
ded life.
    Lieutenant Van Cleve was a gallant officer in the
Civil war, became a Colonel of the 2nd Minnesota and
retired with the rank of Major General. Their home for
many years was at Minneapolis, yet she always looked
back to Wisconsin as her early home.
    Her life was devoted to good works. She was a
teacher, author and philanthropist. Her noble deeds
have been a blessing to every community where her lot
had been cast. She was married to Lieutenant Van
Cleve March 22, 1836 at Fort Winnebago.
    In 1897 Mrs. Van Cleve visited Portage by invita-
tion of the ladies and was taken to the spot where Fort
Winnebago once stood and drank from the same well
which so many years before furnished water for the
fort, and which is still in use. She was disappointed to
find the old fort had entirely disappeared, even the flag
staff was missing where she first saw the young officer
who became her husband two years later. One of her
books "Three Score Years and Ten" tells of the
arrival at Fort Winnebago where kind friends gave
them a hearty welcome and where she spent several
happy years. The last years of her life were spent with
her son at Minneapolis. I have not been able to learn
the date of her death. Her father, Major Nathan Clark
died at Fort Winnebago, was buried in the cemetery
there and afterwards taken to Connecticut.
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