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Shattuck, S. F., et. al (ed.) / A history of Neenah
(1958)

The Cunningham era in perspective,   pp. 3-11 ff. PDF (2.8 MB)


Page 7


THE CUNNINGHAM ERA
dark page in the history of Neenah, for had the property here been
spared the years (i8o -1864) of needless litigation, during which no
one could, with safety, purchase, there is no question but what the
growth and wealth of Neenah would have been increased thousands of
inhabitants and millions of dollars."
  As to Menasha and Doty Island, these lands were outside the In-
dian reservation, were surveyed in 18,33, and opened to purchase in
1835. Cunningham indicates that here, too, settlement was retarded
by land speculators, Governor Doty being one of them, who bought
and held for higher prices.
  Thus, between delays due to "Indian Lands," legal tangles and
land
speculators, the Twin Cities got off to a late start, compared to Apple-
ton and Oshkosh.
XAĆ½eenah Is :Xamed
  In spite of his financial difficulties, Harrison Reed held to his faith
in the future of the area, even securing for it a post office in 1844 and
naming it "Neenah."
  How the name "Neenah" came to be attached to the locality is
at-
tributed to Governor Doty, who, meeting with a band of Indians one
day, asked, pointing to the river, "What is that?" The Indian an-
swered, "Neenah," being their word for water. Doty liked the word
and applied it to the region. When land in Winnebago Rapids was
opened for sale in 1846, settlers trickled in, purchasing land lying out-
side the Reed-Jones tract. The name "Neenah" came into common
use and became attached to the village and eventually to the city.
  George Jones, a grandson of Harvey Jones, lived his life on lands to
the west of Neenah. During his active years he took part in church
and other affairs of our city. He was one of the original leaders of the
Boys' Brigade. Latterly he lived alone with his dogs in a cabin near
Pickett. He knew of the historical project of this committee, and on
November T5, 1955, induced a neighbor to bring him to town for a
visit with Mr. Shattuck. The purpose of his visit was to request that
reference to his grandfather, Harvey Jones, on page 64 of Cunning-
ham's history, be corrected. The objectionable paragraph was as
follows:


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