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Dexheimer, Florence Chambers, 1866-1925 / Sketches of Wisconsin pioneer women
([1924?] )

McCafferty, Mrs.
Imogene St. John McCafferty,   pp. 41-47 PDF (1.4 MB)


Page 44


       The first inhabitant we found was just as we en-
   tered Wisconsin, near where the city of Beloit is now
   situated. A small cabin without a window, occupied by
   a Frenchman who had married a Winnebago squaw. He
   was afterward murdered by his squaw and son. They
   were then living on Lake Koshkonong and they sank his
   body in the lake, as she wanted to go west with the
   Indian tribes, which he opposed.
       We were one week journeying from Chicago to our
   destination. After our arrival, father went to look for
   his horse but failed in finding him. The saddle and
   bridle were in the tree; the ground was bare for rods
   around the tree where the horse had foraged, and pos-
   sibly strayed away and the Indians appropriated him.
       My father's claim was on the east side of Rock River
   which took in a large grove. He gave it the name of
   Black Hawk Grove. Black Hawk had camped near
   there with his army during his war. We had their tent
   poles for firewood and they were fine.
       One incident-without giving it any thought, father
   built his cabin right over the old Indian trail. One day
   we were surprised to see a band of Indians coming single
   file across the prairie, bringing up at our door. They
   seemed to be much angered that their trail had been
   blocked by a white man. The trail was worn about six
   inches deep.
       The winter of 1835 was an exceptional one. Very
   mild with not over two inches of snow at any one time.
   Our stock, which consisted of a cow, one horse, two
   yoke of oxen, without shelter, foraged their living. We
   did not lose but one and that was appropriated by the
   Indians for their own use. The stock wintered in fair
   condition.
       I wish to tell you of my mother. She was thirty-six
( years of age, had a grand constitution, fine mental quali-
   ties and a brave spirit with superior capabilities-an ir-
   reparable loss to her young children. January 15, 1836,
   my brother was born. I leave to your imagination the
                            44


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