University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The State of Wisconsin Collection

Page View

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

Cooke, Frances Riddle
Mrs. Adeline Hill Riddle,   pp. 80-82 PDF (586.0 KB)


Page 81


Ann Harbor, Michigan and all the way from Chicago to
Milwaukee, the journey from Chicago to Milwaukee be-
ing especially slow and tedious, consuming six days as
they were often obliged to cut their way through dense
underbrush and fallen timber. Five years later, when
Mr. Riddle returned with his bride, the mode of travel
was much improved and they were able to ride a large
part of the way in an ox-cart over a corduroy road.
    On reaching Milwaukee in 1835 Mr. Riddle for a
time assisted his brother-in-law Deacon Daniel Brown,
by doing carpenter work. Together they erected the
first frame house in the county and to Mrs. Samuel
Brown, the sister, belongs the credit of having baked the
first loaf of bread, baked by a white woman within the
present limits of the metropolis.
    Mr. Riddle soon pushed on to the home of the only
white settler known to live west of Milwaukee Village,
a Mr. Woodward, and took up government land near
Mr. Woodward's claim. Here he built a two room cabin,
to which he brought his bride in 1840.
    Naturally a home maker and aided by her modest
wedding outfit and the wedding gifts of her girlhood
friends, she soon transformed the bare cabin into an at-
tractive and homelike spot, to which many a weary
traveller turned, when overtaken by nightfall, in his
journey through the forests. Here the itinerant preacher
always found a warm welcome and free hospitality.
Travellers halted their prairie schooners at their home
-for in the lingo of those days, the Riddles "kept tav-
ern". Having almost no conveniences, life became
strenuous for the young housewife. But, although
burdened with the care of a large family and carrying
on the dities of a pioneer, Mrs. Riddle was never too
busy or too tired to take an active interest in social and
community work, and many a little sewing circle or read-
ing club owed its existence to her leadership.
     The Indians and wild beasts were all about them
but these pioneer women would make their way to each
other's houses for sociability and study. Having abund-
                          81


Go up to Top of Page