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Town of Day, 101 years

The town of Day,   pp. 11-42

Page 17

making improvements, such as clearing and building, in
order to retain possession of the 160 acre plots. This was
supposed to make it impossible, in theory, to allow the
land to get into the hands of the large business interests,
but in practice, this was not always the case. By the
1880's another thing made this area more attractive to the
lumbering interests, the advent of the railroad.
One must keep in mind that when the lumber
companies left the land, there were still a lot of trees left
standing. These were either the hardwoods that were too
difficult to transport, or the trees considered inferior, and
not economical in large commercial enterprises. The
homesteaders had a monumental job on their hands before
this land could produce agricultural products.
. When the earliest settlers arrived in this area, this was
the town of Knowlton. Later, in 1870, the town of Bergen
broke off from Knowlton, and it included the town of Day,
as well as paiCs of- the town of McMillan.
Up to the yea r.87f7, seti qment i4pot 'spread much
further west from W4usau, Merrill, iid Mosinee than
* about 18 miles:*Eesideringhe transportation problems,
this was a considdtab1d' dist anej It was the advent of the
railroad that brought; settlers into western Marathon
County. The build i! ,ithe railroad from Stevens Point to
Marshfield, then north to Spencer, Unity, Colby,
'Abbotsford, and eventually Lake Superior, that brought
the first real influx- of settlers. This line did not, however,
%,go through the town of Day, or near Rozellville. But it was
a factor in the settlement of Day because it was on this line
that most of the settlers came.  They arrived at
! Marshfield, and then made their way to the rich lands they
had heard about.
Settlers from the southern part of the state began to
arrive.: Mostly, they came from the German communities
in Dodge, Jefferson, Washington, and Ozaukee Counties.
These were second generation immigrants whose parents
had arrived some years before. The middle 1800's were
turbulent years for the German    states.   Small
principalities, they stood little chance of surviving against
their neighbors who were considerably larger unified
countries. It was a time of conscriptions for the armies
needed to fight the wars of unification, and many German
families, not wishing to see their young sons die
needlessly on the battlefield, simply sold what they could
and left the country. The names of many are found in the
histories of many South American countries, as well as the
United States.
Charles Veers family told quite another story about
their exodus from Germany. His family left with a price on
their heads.
The Veers family lived in an often exchanged and
disputed section of Germany called Schleswig-Holstein. It
was located on the peninsula that was occupied by
Denmark, and Denmark believed that they should be the
rightful owners of the land. However, the main population
of this area was German speaking people whose allegiance
was with Germany. So, a delegation was secretly sent to
Germany from the area, hoping to bring about the return
of this land to Germany. One of the delegation was an
ancestor of the Veers family.
By the time they returned, the secret had leaked out,
and the Danes had put a price on the heads of the
delegation. So the remaining family members sold out
their possessions, and joined the outlawed family
members in Germany, where they then immigrated to the
United States.
As these settlers arrived in Marshfield, they found that
there was no livery stable to rent horses and a wagon, and
no one willing to lend or rent a team and rig either. John
H. Brinkmann, in his account of the trip, tells that they
had to walk. As they walked, carrying their young
children, they passed farms where they inquired about
transportation. But the farmers had pastured their oxen in
the forest, and it was too difficult to find them.
Another hardship was the roads. In nearly every
account they were continually awash with mud, the bridge
being the only dry spot. In fact, they all agreed there were
only two mudholes along the way, the first extending from
Marshfield to the bridge, and the other from the bridge to
George Beach came to Marshfield in 1872 to meet the
Louis Spindler family who had come from Sheboygan
County. By the time he had collected the Spindlers and
their few possessions and brought them back to his place
near Range Line along the Little Eau pleine, his horses
could go no farther. He had to hitch up his oxen for the
rest of the trip to their land.
Some other settlers who came in the period between
1877 and 1880 included Leonard Schmidt, William
Raschke, Andrew Daul, Nicholas Pinion, Casper Ably,
Jacob Reichert, Nick Rehlinger, Matt Folz, Nick Benz,
Adam Sturm, Christ Franzen, Jacob Hoffman, Jacob
Young, Peter Replinger, Simon Streigel, Anton Kiefer,
Nick Oppman, Charles Veers, John Stadt, and a little
later, Matt Oppman.
The early farmers started out by growing wheat. This
was not a very successful crop, and they soon changed to
oats, barley, and rye. Potatoes grew well in this area, and
were a cash crop that could be sold in Marshfield, as were
rutabagas. These crops kept well over the winter, which
accounted for their popularity. It wasn't until near World
War I that dairying became popular.
Life in these early times was a real challenge to the
women, too. Washing was an all day's job because every
drop of water had to be brought in, heated, then hauled
out by hand. All the clothing was also made by the
women, and every spare minute was spent in sewing,
mending, and knitting. Most of the men could knit a sock,
turning the heel as well as any women. It had to be to
keep the family going. And besides that there were the
babies who came along with regularity. Often, too, these
babies did not live to adulthood, and sorrow was a regular
visitor to the pioneer household.
Charles Veers tells of a time when his father was sent
to a blacksmith shop that stood just west of the Rozellville
Cemetery. The fire had gone out at the Veers home, and
they had no matches or flint to restart it. He was a boy of
eight or nine, and he received a lot of instructions. The
live coals were placed in the metal bucket on a bed of
ashes. Then they were covered with more ashes. He was
told to hurry, not to stop along the way, or they would go
out. And, he was not to run, or he might fall and spill the
precious live coals. He did well, however, and the fire in
the Veers home was restarted.
Since the people were predominantly German, they did
not seem happy about the name Campbelltown, a name
with a Scotch ring. They considered Daultown, but then
decided on Rozellville. This may have been at the request
of Mr. Daul. George Beach, according John Pinion in his
book, "Little Eau Pleine Stories", was the first
4 A

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