Dexheimer, Florence Chambers, 1866-1925 / Sketches of Wisconsin pioneer women
Prechtel, Emily S.
Cordelia Avery Truax, pp. 37-39 PDF (585.7 KB)
cow tied behind his wagon. They liked the appearance of this country so selected the land now called Truax Prairie which consisted of eighty acres. In these early days Eau Claire was called Clear Water. There was one family here, people by the name of Reed. Mrs. Truax stayed two weeks with these people until the men were able to build a shack on their land. She did not see another woman for three months. It was some time before other settlers came and her nearest neighbor was two miles away. She tells a story of how frightened she was one day when she saw a man coming through the woods. When he was near enough he called to her and told her not to be afraid as he was her nearest neighbor. They had a number of Indian scares, but nothing serious near them. There were many wolves which would howl near the cabin at night, also an occasional visit from a bear. Those early days were days of hard work for both of them. Mrs. Truax has many interesting things to tell of pioneer days. Their first winter was very severe, with heavy snows. The second season they added a granary to store the grain and built a house and later added eight acres more to the land. Then other settlers began coming and they held the first school in the granary of a neighbor. With the arrival of a Mr. Kidder they had church services and Mr. Kidder did the preaching. During the Civil War the women organized to roll bandages and made lint, also knit socks for the soldiers and cared for the soldiers' families in their midst. Later Mr. Truax began buying timber which eventu- ally became an extensive lumbering business. Much more could be written of the pioneer days but I must tell something of the Mrs. Truax of today. She is a dainty, bright and happy old lady with eyes that twinkle and a laugh as spontaneous as a young girl. I had the pleasure of spending the most delightful hour 38
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