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Early history of Ozaukee County, Wisconsin
(1965)

Early history of Grafton,   pp. 63-67


Page 64

Early History of Grafton
The Indian scare of the middle 1800's  n  enerated largely in the minds of
the settlers who imagined that Black Hawk's warriors, who were about 400
miles way, were about to swoop down upon them. Sme people left their hmes,
but it is remembered that Mrs. Cort Henry Viesselmam stad on their f       and
molded bullets. The worst thing recorded of Graton Indians was that "they
have an inordinate fondness for whiskey, even stealing it if they c     buy
As early as 1825, a herd of 99 cattle was driven along the lengt pf the
the lake shore through the town of Grafton. They were on route frm s
Illinois to Fort Howard (now Green Pay). The bess of this cattle drive wa
William Steven Hamilton, son of Alexander Hamilton.
A debatable question is, who was Grafton's first white settler?  I  is
possible that a man by the name of John Drake was the first, since he was
found living in a little log and bark shanty in 1839 when other settlers c
into the area.
Jacob Eichler of Hamburg, Germany, was also a very early settler. He was
lured by rosy prcmises of Chicago land speculators. He, with a party of his
cuntrymen, made their way to Chicago. From there they sailed north to
Milwaukee, this being the historic route used by most of southern WisconsW
early settlers. Original land grants in this area could be bought at that
tie for prices ranging from as little as 50 cents an acre to as much as
$1.50 an acre.
The early settlers were, by and large, industrious farmers interested
in acquiring sizable plots of land of up to several hundred acres. At that
time, Wisconsin's great dairy industry had not taken root. One or wo cw$ to
provide milk for the family was all that was required. Wheat and other grains
were the primary agricultural products.


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