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

Alexander, Lewis M., Mrs.
Frances J. Morrill,   pp. 89-94 PDF (1.2 MB)


Page 92


the little melodeon came along also, and it was witness
to many hours of social time, and now, telling us no
more, stays in the hall of the old home that was built
57 years ago by Mr. Edwards for himself and bride,
Frances Morrill. It has now risen to the glory of being
real "antique", and though "windless", still has the
"per-
fect lines."
    Frances Morrill Edwards' first home in French Town
was in a little cottage, and as the town was a crude vil-
lage, the comforts were not many. No complaints were
made, however, and her one great shadow during those
early years was the fear of Indians, which were not the
peaceful, picturesque creatures of today. One day she
returned from a neighbor's to find a big Chief sitting in
her only rocking-chair, rocking and grunting to his
heart's content. Another time one of the braves demand-
ed one of her babies to take to his wigwam, and great
was her horror while she demonstrated and convinced
him that it couldn't be done. Her heart was filled with
fear when her husband gathered a band of the working-
men and went away, leaving her home for days while he
had to watch and report the movements of the Indians.
    One great event of those early days was the stage
going through to New Lisbon each day and passing
through French Town. Being the possessor of a fine
horse and loving to drive, she frequently drove to New
Lisbon to visit her brother, Dr. George Morrill, each
time filled with fear of the Indians. She related how
one time near Necedah, she was sure Indians were near,
and she crawled down in the bottom of the carriage and
crouched low, out of sight, tying the reins to the whip,
while faithful "old Dick" trotted along, perfectly oblivious
to the heart-throbs in the bottom of the buggy, and
brought her safely home. These Indians are not to be
confused with the Reservation Indians, who come annual-
ly to gather cranberries from our nearby marshes, but
were the real nomadic tribes, moving from place to place
                          92


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