Dexheimer, Florence Chambers, 1866-1925 / Sketches of Wisconsin pioneer women
Alexander, Lewis M., Mrs.
Frances J. Morrill, pp. 89-94 PDF (1.2 MB)
of poetry. She insisted upon having a fine education, and though not endowed with luxuries, her brain was fertile, retentive and determined. She finished her local schools in Canaan and then graduated from Bethlehem College in New Hampshire. Later she taught in the same college, with much success, judging from an old newspaper clip- ping from the "College News", published in 1858, which reads: "Fannie Morrill, our splendid teacher, who has given such great satisfaction, has, against our wishes decided to leave us and go West." Many stories have been told of the hardships en- dured, going back and forth from school during the cold, severe New England winters, the snow so deep that even the horses finally gave way to walking and wading one's self, if one cared to reach the goal of the seminary. The older brother, George, who had gained an M. D., decided he must go West to make his fortune, and he did so, finally starting to practice medicine in Sauk, Wis- consin. Her father, being interested in water-powers and mills, heard of the vastness of the same in Wisconsin and so bade farewell to his home in Vermont and with the family joined the son in Wisconsin. .Frances, the daughter, was at this time 29 years of age, when she found her way to Centralia, on the Wisconsin River. In moving to Wisconsin, she did not forget to bring her dearest possessions,-her books and her melodeon. She first spent some time at French Town-now Port Ed- wards-in 1859. She then went to Centralia, where she found a home in one of the old families there, and spent three years teaching in the district school. . Quoting from a paper she read at the time the new school-house was opened in Port Edwards in the year 1915, she says: "I hope you will pardon me for digressing in a personal way. I would like to tell you of my old melodeon, now in my daughter's home in Port Edwards, formerly French Town, which I used in teaching music in Centralia and Grand Rapids, and which discoursed sweet music 60 years ago in Vermont. I still hear the strains of melody, 90 1
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