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

Atwood, Abbie
Catherine Ann Holmes Atwood,   pp. 82-86 PDF (981.7 KB)

Page 83

and prairies from those who had been over the ground
during the Black Hawk war, that they decided to see
this wonderful place. They went on horseback a!ong
the Indian trails to the banks of the Rock River opposite
the Big Rock at Janesville. Here they camped with no
one for miles around, and nothing to break the night's
stillness but the howling of the wolves.
    The Holmes boys were so deeply impressed with
this spot that they decided to persuade their family to
come and take a claim here. They built a log cabin just
across the river from the "Big Rock" in which William
stayed while Thomas and Joshua went back to Ohio to
interest their folks. It was agreed that the family would
start for Wisconsin early in the spring. Previous to
their starting the boys took six loads of household goods,
furniture and a row boat to Wisconsin.
    The Holmes boys shared their log cabin that winter
with the St. John family, who came in November.
    During the winter Judge Holmes and family came
from Ohio to La Porte, Indiana. The first of March the
party of nine passed through Chicago. They had three
two-horse wagons, one yoke of oxen, two saddle horses,
six cows, some calves, pigs, and fowls.
    Friends tried to persuade them to remain in Chicago,
but the Holmes brothers felt that the Rock River Valley
was a much more inviting place that Chicago, which was
swampy and low, with mud in the streets, knee deep.
They stopped over night three times between Chicago
and their destination at the only houses on their route.
They travelled mostly over prairies and had to ford all
the streams as there were no bridges. They stopped at
the present site of Beloit to get warm in the cabin of
Teabo, the Frenchman and his three squaw wives. He
was the only white person there in the midst of a camp
of Winnebago Indians.
    The last day of the journey was cold and raw. The
snow was falling so heavily that the party lost the trail

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