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

Bostwick, Mary
Helen Bailey Bostwick,   pp. 116-118 PDF (612.7 KB)


Page 117


1842, Mr. Bailey joined Thomas Lappin and Charles
Stevens in building the first bridge across Rock River at
Janesville. He was associated with A. Hyatt Smith in
building the first dam across Rock River at Janesville,
in the winter of 1844-45. In 1848 he was one of the in-
corporators of the Madison & Beloit Railway Company,
the first railway company incorporated in the state.
    Helen Bailey was born in a log house on what is
known as the Burr Robbins farm in Spring Brook. Her
parents later built a residence on Main Street. She looks
back through the eighty-seven years of her life recalling
the story told by the young mother of how the Indians
peered through the doors and windows to catch a glimpse
of the white papoose. They would never come inside of
the white man's house. They just looked in. But they
were always friendly.
    This was five years after the Black Hawk War.
Black Hawk's grove, just outside of the present city
limits of Janesville, was the home of the red men. In
those days the nearest trading center was Galena, Illinois,
the distance having to be travelled by road. Parties of
Indians were often met, but they were seldom hostile if
treated right. Many Indian trinkets were brought home
to the Bailey children by their father, whom the Indians
numbered among their friends.
    When Helen Bailey was seven years old, she went
to Vermont with her parents to visit her father's brother.
While there, the cholera broke out and they were forced
to stay for some time. Helen Bailey was educated at a
private school in Hanover, New Hampshire, the seat of
Dartmouth College in 1860, she returned to Janesville
with her parents, and was married to Robert Matteson
Bostwick on the 12th day of February, 1863. Mr. and Mrs.
Bostwick were the parents of seven children, two of
whom are dead. John P. died at the age of fourteen, and
Morris M. at the age of thirty-three. .The members of
the family still living are Mrs. A. E. Bingham, Charles
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