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

Curtiss-Wedge, F.; Jones, Geo. O. (ed.) / History of Dunn County, Wisconsin
(1925)

Chapter IX: early settlement of Menomonie,   pp. 53-59


Page 58

HISTORY OF DUNN COUNTY
gages in the register's office in this county, "Elisha Brown and Phebe Brown his
wife" are named as mortgagors.
Mr. Bullard opened an account at the Company's store July 13, 1846, and
from the credits on his account it would seem that for several years he ran the
boarding house, worked in the mill, got out logs in the pinery and cut lath. Two
of the entries in his account would indicate that the widow Clare worked at the
boarding house: "August 15, 1846, 1 pair side combs for Mlrs. Clare, 80.19;"
"August 5, 1847, to 'Mrs. Claire's bill to January, 1947, S26.72." That Mrs.
Bullard was here seems evident from this charge, "November 1, 1847, pair shoes for
Mrs. B., $1.25." That Mr. Bullard at that time had a daughter who may have
been away is indicated by the charge, "-May 26, 1847, cash paid out for daughter,
S13.55." This daughter, some years later, married Samuel B. French.
The same store accounts show that July, 1846, Jason Ball was charged, "to
amount of steamboat fare, 88.00," and in August, 1846, he was credited by "37
days cooking, 825.34."  These charges in a way corroborate the early statements
regarding the coming here of Jason Ball. A further entry in his account, "'arch
23, 1847, to 2 notes of hand, handed to _Mrs. Ball," tends to prove that he then had
a wife here.
After 1846 there was a successive annual increase in the number of families that
settled here. Women came and remained. The state census of 1855 shows of
females 358 of males 726, in the Menomonie precinct, practically one-half as many
females as males. The families came and business success came. The company's
lumber business increased amazingly and no other industry for 14 years was started
here. The camp became a permanent settlement.
In April, 1847, Mrs. Claire, already mentioned, married William Whitcomb.
Two years later, Thomas Piercewell and Margaret Scott were married.
In 1858 the occupied part of the site of Menomonie was that on the north side
of the river. The Wisconsin 'Milling Company's office now stands where probably
the first cabin was built in 1822-24. It is the spot upon which in 1830-31 stood the
trading shanty, and upon which ever since, to this time, has stood either a trading
shanty, a store or an office. There was n-t, up to 1858, any individual ownership
of the lands or of houses. The lumber company owned everything.
In 1854, the erection of a first mill, the first building to be put up on the south
side of the river was begun. In 1857-58 a bridge was built across the river where the
present bridge stands. The mill and bridge were built by the company. In 1858
a village plat on the south side of the river was surveyed. It was duly mapped and
recorded. The next y-ear the sale of lots commenced. Thus in 1859 there began
still another period in the development of the city.
But before proceeding any further with the general history of Menomonie, it
is necessary to glance back once more, and, starting at the very beginning, narrate
in a detailed and consecutive manner the story of the Knapp, Stout & Company;
for, this famous lumbering concern for many vears practically was Menomonie;
the foregoing chapters of this volume have been merely preliminary to its history,
and what afterwards remains to be told will be largely the story of what was since
grown out of its work in this region. While this task will make it necessary to deal
with certain subjects that have already been more or less casually mentioned, the
advantage of having the story related in a systematic and consecutive manner as to
details, and dealt with as a complete entity in a separate chapter will outweigl the
inconvenience of occasional reiteration. The story of the rise and growth of this
great concern has been told on several occasions, in different publications, but never
without a considerable admixture of error, not to mention the omission of important
facts. Its early history, in particular, was never correctly given, and with reason-
ably full detail, until written by C. E. Freeman and read by him as a historical
paper before the Unity Club of Menomonie as representing the Memorial Library
some years ago. Later in a general way it was presented in a paper read before
the January meeting, 19-. of the Commercial Club. Mr. Freenlans paper begins
far back and with meticulous care traces every step in the history of lumbering
olperations in the valley up to the y'ear 1858, when the site of Menomonie was sur-
58


Go up to Top of Page