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?] )

Purdy, Helen M.
Mrs. John H. Kenzie,   pp. 95-97 PDF (589.7 KB)


Page 96


    She was to become a resident of that land which to
her had been a land of romance since childhood. When
standing by her teacher's knee and spelling the long
name Mich-i-li-mack-i-nac, had charms for her. It meant
a land of many lakes, boundless prairies, and vast forests.
Now she was to see all this. It was to be her home.
Many were the thrilling experiences encountered on that
eventful journey. They were fortunate in being able
to take a steamer at Buffalo and have more of the com-
forts than in the ordinary way of traveling by schooner.
From Green Bay they were obliged to travel by small
keel-boats, propelled by Indians by means of long poles.
It was a long, tiresome trip, yet Mrs. Kenzie never com-
plained and showed the true pioneer spirit.
    The last two days were very tiresome, so many
windings of the river, but at last the white walls of the
fort were seen in the distance, looking down from a rising
ground upon the vast expanse of low land and winding
river. All were anxious to arrive at their journey's end
after the long tiresome trip. In that they were disappoint-
ed. The river made so many turns it was two hours be-
fore making a landing.
    Their welcome was very warm by Major and Mrs.
Twiggs, particularly by Mrs. Twiggs, as she was the
only woman at the fort and had looked forward with great
pleasure to having a companion. They remained a week
with Major and Mrs. Twiggs; their goods then arrived
and soon were nicely settled at the Agency. Many were
the pleasant experiences they had. The Agency became
the center of social life of the fort. They had many calls
from the principal chiefs, all decked out in their bright
blankets and feathers, calling Mrs. Kenzie their "new
mother".
    Mrs. Kenzie tells of her trip to Chicago with her
husband on horseback. No roads in those days for
them to follow. Bridle paths through dense forests; ford-
ing streams; riding across treacherous marshes; braving
storms and partaking of Indian diet in their lodges when
their provisions gave out.
                         96


Go up to Top of Page