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

Atwood, Abbie
Catherine Ann Holmes Atwood,   pp. 82-86 PDF (981.7 KB)


Page 85


    Mrs. Holmes taught her daughters to be kind and
polite to the Indians at all times. A large fog horn hung
over the door so that a signal of distress could at any
time be given to the men if hostile Indians should ap-
proach. But it never had to be used in their home. Many
times those in the house have looked up to find an In-
dian's face staring at them through the window. The
door was never kept locked in the day time for this an-
gered the Indians. They did not want to be shut out.
    Mrs. Atwood's grandchildren would beg her again
and again to tell the story of the Indian who helped him-
self. They could easily imagine her amazement when one
day shortly after her mother had baked several delicious
pumpkin and berry pies, a big ugly Indian chief walked
into their house, went straight to the pantry and helped
himself to the fresh pies. She watched him devour first
one pie then another and another until all were gone. He
came from the pantry, gave a satisfied grunt and left
the house. She looked at her mother in horror but Mrs.
Holmes smiled and said it was much better to keep his
friendship than to save the pies. This old chief was
very fond of both Mrs. St. John and Mrs. Holmes. He
called them "the good squaws."
    Mrs. Atwood's jolly laugh pleased her grandchildren
when she told them that for quite a while she was the
belle of the Rock River Valley for miles around, and
why, because she was the only young lady here. Her
sister had married and gone to Michigan to live.
     Volney Atwood came here in 1837. His older
brothers-bankers in St. Albans, Vermont-sent him to
make a survey of this western country in interest of their
bank. He went first to Missouri, then came up to Chi-
cago and Milwaukee. He came with a surveying party
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