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

Somerset, Wisconsin: 125 pioneer families and Canadian connection: 125th year
(1990?)

[Rosalie Parnell's book on Somerset, Wisconsin],   pp. 11-64 PDF (24.6 MB)


Page 15

AUTHENTIC ORIGIN OF SAINT ANNE'S PARISH OF SOMERSET,
WISCONSIN, FORMERLY SAINT VINCENT DE PAUL AT THE "POINT DE
LA POMNE DE TERRE"
(Located at the point where the Saint Croix and Apple River
join about four miles northwest of the village)
During Presidents Andrew Jackson's 1828-1836 and Martin Van Buren's
1836-1840 administrations, some treaties were drawn up and signed
affecting the Wisconsin Territory for habitation by white people.
The Canadian government and our U. S. Government took things
in hand and with immigration companies organized consignments
and helped to sponsor their upkeep for a long enough period until
they were able to help themselves. An infantry was stationed at
Fort Snelling and areas were surveyed. Expeditions were launched
at intervals of three months. This way many folks were able to
see "L'Ouisconsin" (or "La Nouvelle France"). They were mostly from
one section of Canada. Our territory was so vast and boundaries
were much different then. They included a good part of Michigan
and Illinois and even a part of Iowa.
With one of these expeditions came two brothers. They stayed
around Chicago for a year or two. One of them was a married man.
Their Ziames were Louie P. and Joseph Parent, sons of Etienne Parent
from Drummondville, P.Q., Canada. They then decided to make an
adventure so they left Mrs. Louie Parent in Chicago and came on
to this part of our state and county -- the two first white men to
adopt this location for their new home. Coming by waterway they
landed at Arcola, Minnesota. From there they came to the east
side of the river.
Their choise of work was woodcraft. They lost no time in getting
an abode for themselves as fast as possible for protection and of
course were anxious to get united again with their family. This
was a sort of a lean-to type of a building against the bank as
camouflaged as possible. Three sided-like, well mudded as the
saying goes. Trees were even used to make it obscure from the
enemy eyes (Redskins) as they were completely surrounded by woods.
Thus stood the first home of the white folks in these parts.
THE BEGINNING OF THE PARISH AND THE TOWNSHIP OF SOMERSET
The little burg called Arcola was thriving and promising with
mills, dams, plenty of water power and good river traffic. Water-
ways were about the only means of transportation. The Saint Croix
River was quite a large body of water then. Connected with Areola
in many folks' memories is the huge smokestack and water wheel
which stood as a landmark for many years, long after everything
had been abandoned. It is almost impossible to even begin to
realize what our heroes underwent for us to enjoy. What a display
of bravery and couragel


Go up to Top of Page