Dexheimer, Florence Chambers, 1866-1925 / Sketches of Wisconsin pioneer women
Purdy, Helen M.
Mrs. John H. Kenzie, pp. 95-97 PDF (589.7 KB)
She was to become a resident of that land which to her had been a land of romance since childhood. When standing by her teacher's knee and spelling the long name Mich-i-li-mack-i-nac, had charms for her. It meant a land of many lakes, boundless prairies, and vast forests. Now she was to see all this. It was to be her home. Many were the thrilling experiences encountered on that eventful journey. They were fortunate in being able to take a steamer at Buffalo and have more of the com- forts than in the ordinary way of traveling by schooner. From Green Bay they were obliged to travel by small keel-boats, propelled by Indians by means of long poles. It was a long, tiresome trip, yet Mrs. Kenzie never com- plained and showed the true pioneer spirit. The last two days were very tiresome, so many windings of the river, but at last the white walls of the fort were seen in the distance, looking down from a rising ground upon the vast expanse of low land and winding river. All were anxious to arrive at their journey's end after the long tiresome trip. In that they were disappoint- ed. The river made so many turns it was two hours be- fore making a landing. Their welcome was very warm by Major and Mrs. Twiggs, particularly by Mrs. Twiggs, as she was the only woman at the fort and had looked forward with great pleasure to having a companion. They remained a week with Major and Mrs. Twiggs; their goods then arrived and soon were nicely settled at the Agency. Many were the pleasant experiences they had. The Agency became the center of social life of the fort. They had many calls from the principal chiefs, all decked out in their bright blankets and feathers, calling Mrs. Kenzie their "new mother". Mrs. Kenzie tells of her trip to Chicago with her husband on horseback. No roads in those days for them to follow. Bridle paths through dense forests; ford- ing streams; riding across treacherous marshes; braving storms and partaking of Indian diet in their lodges when their provisions gave out. 96
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