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The history of Columbia County, Wisconsin, containing an account of its settlement, growth, development and resources; an extensive and minute sketch of its cities, towns and villages--their improvements, industries, manufactories, churches, schools and societies; its war record, biographical sketches, portraits of prominent men and early settlers; the whole preceded by a history of Wisconsin, statistics of the state, and an abstract of its laws and constitution and of the constitution of the United States
(1880)

Chapter XI,   pp. 665-697 PDF (18.3 MB)


Page 666


HISTORY OF COLUMBIA COUNTY.
prevented their getting any sustenance. Dyer was a great hunter and trapper
in those days and
killed muany a deer in the vicinity of Columbus. Indeed, for years after
his arrival he could
start out almost any day and return with one. His lodge was seldom without
venison. After
Columbus had grown to be quite a village he saw several deer run across one
of the principal
streets. He trapped many otter, also, at that period along the Crawfish.
Maj. Dickason passed
through Otsego on his way to locate at Duck Creek, now Wyocena, the next
day after Dyer was
settled in his new home, and he took a primitive dinner with him.
     Jeremiah Drake, as the agent of Mr. Ludington, succeeded Dickason in
the management
 of early affairs in Columbus. He built the first frame house in the- place.
 It stands near the
 mill and is known as the "mill house."  Hiram Allen built the
second frame house.  It was
 afterward owned by Robert Mills, he having married the widow of Mr. Allen.
From 1841 to
 1846, the arrival of strangers who became permanent settlers was of almost
daily occurrence.
 In 1841 Jacob Dickason, brother to the Major, settled near the latter's
cabiA. In 1842 came
 Noah Dickason, James Shackley, S. W. St. John and Mr. Baldwin. In 1843 arrived
H. W.
 McCafferty, H. A. Whitney, Jeremiah and W. Drake, who settled just outside
the village limits.
 Within a few miles of its site were located T. C. Smith, W. Stewart, B.
Campbell and W. Wade,
 The year 1844 brought to the village Jacob Smith and the Stroud family,
and to the immediate
 vicinity H. W. Hamilton, John Swarthout, H. Cady, A. Lashier, Mr. Edwards,
and perhaps a
 few others.: In 1845 there came to this frontier, for it was still so, J.
T. Lewis J. C. Axtell,
 D. E. Bassett, J.1E. Arnold, Warren Loomis, W. C. Spencer, Jesse Rowell,
E.ý Thayer, W. M.
 Clark, and some others, who settled in, the village.  The same year, A.
P. Birdsey, Thomas
 Swarthout, the Barrows family and Zenas Robbins located in the vicinity.:
     In 1846, B. F. Hart and'S. Wright came to the village, and the Adler
family and R. Gaim-
mage settled near it.
     Rev. C. E. Rosenkrans was the first minister in the village. J. T. Lewis
was the first attor-
ney, and Dr. J. C. Axtell was the first physician; they commenced practice
in 1845, and the
two occupied for some time the same office. The first tavern and the first
store were opened by
H. A. Whitney, and he was the first Postmaster, after a lively contest between
his friends and
those of Col. Drake. The second store was opened by J. E. Arnold and D. E.
Bassett, in 1845.
The first saw and grist mill was commenced by Maj. Dickason.  B. F. Hart
and S. Wright
introduced in the community the ancient business of blacksmithing and working
in iron. Hart
& Wright sold the shop to Amasa Silsbee and J. Huntington, and years
ago it was purchased
by D. D. Kelsey. It is said that apparitions grim and ghastly made their
periodical visits to
this old shop before its removal. The clink of the sledge hammer told of
times long gone by.
Vulcan. who hammrers- out thunderbolts for Jupiter, is supposed to'have had
his headquarters at
this antiquated forge. The first schoolhouse was built in /1846.
     Several of the old settlers enjoy describing James T. Lewis as he appeared
on his arrival.
It was in July, 1845.  He had left Orleans County, N. Y., a short time before,
to find a home
in the West. Arrived at Buffalo, he and Dr. Axtell made the trip 7around
the lakes to
Detroit together, and there parted:. Lewis shortly after landed at-f Kenosha,
and purchased
himself a "mount" adapted to the-vicissitudes of Wisconsin joulrp.yings
at that early period.
It Was- an Indian pony of the' value of $30 in the current moneyof the-Republic,
and was cor-
respondingly caparisoned. On this "steed" he set out along the
lake shore toward Green
Bay. Civilization had scarcely more than begun to touch the Western coast,
and as he passed
along through the rude and- hardly discernible: beginnings of tho future
cities and villages of
the State, it is -probable he did not imagine 'that in less, than/twenty
years the population of
Wisconsin would a-proach a million, and that he would be its chlief magistrate,
during a portion
of its history so important as two years of the rebellion. At that date Oshkosh,
had made a
slight start, and Neenah and Appleton were only in embryo. Fond du Lac was
a small village,
Green Bay was an old French trading :post antedating Milwaukee, and that'whole-portion
of
the State gave littie promise of its near hereafter. Turning-his Bucephalus
southward, Lewis
was told at Fond du Lao that he would find another village about twelve or
thirteen miles
666


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