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

Pioneer days of Evansville and vicinity
(1915)

Chapter VII: from the pen of Mrs. Flora J.R. West,   pp. 29-32


Page 29

mines were called New Diggings, later Sugar River mines. Exeter was the first
settled town in Green county. The Indians first found lead there. The first
white settler was William Deviesse in 1812. In 1829 he built a smelting furnace.
Another of the early settlers was  Pierce  Bradley. The first tavern was
built by Brainerd Blodgett in 1840; it was built of 1, gs. The first postoffice
was established in 1841. Thomas Summers was the first postmaster. The first
ore smelted here was marketed at Galena and sold for $60 per ton, but soon
dropped to a low figure. Later most of this lead was hauled to Milwaukee
by ox teams, from three to four yoke to a wagon. They carried from three
to five tons to a wagon. They   seldom stopped at taverns; when they did
they generally occupied the school 
section. This was a large room used for dancing and other purposes, the floor
being their bed. They had regular camping places where there was plenty of
grass and water for their cattle. The  drivers cooked  their meals over their
camp-fires and slept in or under their wagons.  I have seen as many as twelve
or fifteen of these wagons in one string. What little pride these drivers
had, if any, was to have a good whip. The stalk would be about five feet
long, with a heavy lash. They would strive  to see who would crack their
whip the loudest. Sometimes the one at the head of the line would start the
ball rolling by cracking his whip, then the next driver would take it up
and it would go all along the line to see who would crack his whip the loudest.
CHAPTER VII 
From the Pen of Mrs. Flora J. R. West 
I will now quote from the pen of 
Mrs. Flora J. R. West. "Several aged ministers among us in those days,
who were on the retired list, should not be forgotten in this record. Father
Griffith, who was an  aged   man, preached occasionally in  the  old church
as a supply. Though well advanced in years he still possessed much ability
and evidently having been in his prime a useful minister of the gospel. He
always wore a handkerchief thrown loosely    over  his 
head while preaching and his loud ahem   when   clearing  his throat startled
many a youngster into attention, for at least a moment. Rev. 
C. C. Mason, an English preacher, 
whose monument now stands in the northwest corner of 'our cemetery, was a
most eloquent preacher as he leaned upon his crutch and the tears rolled
down his cheeks most eloquent words fell from his lips fresh as the dew.
Rev. C. F. Comfort, my father, for a time suspended from active work on account
of ill health, occasionally preached from   t h e pulpit.  His trumpet had
no uncertain sound for the gospel, for anti-slavery, and for temperance.
The latter cause  bore the impress of his early labors here for years after
he passed away. The leaf from the past brings to mind very many whose names
are sweet 
-29- 


Go up to Top of Page