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

Rossman, Lillian B.
Hannah Colbourn Priest,   pp. 128-129 PDF (413.3 KB)

Page 129

cago, where they stopped a few months with relatives
near there. Then on, with horse teams to Waukesha, Wis-
consin, reaching there some time in 1848. There Albert
W. was born. Soon they moved on, stopping a few
months at Neenah; then to Appleton, living on land just
north of the city for nearly three years, then moving to
their permanent home on Front Street, Appleton, where
they lived the remainder of their lives.
    Four children were born after leaving Essex County,
New York, making eleven in all; six girls and five boys.
Two of them are living in Appleton, William H., born in
Essex County, 1840 and Albert W., born in Waukesha.
Wisconsin, in 1848.
    Mr. and Mrs. Henry Priest were devoted Baptists
and, with others of the same faith, wished for a church
home. One of them, a Mr. Boyington, owned land just
west of the city, on which was good standing timber. He
offered to donate enough if the others would cut it. So
they had a sort of a "Cutting Bee" and cut down trees
and hewed them into timbers of the required size and
length. Then, they must be hauled about two and a half
miles to the building spot. Not far from where the
timber was cut, across the road to be exact, just where
the new golf grounds are, lived Mr. Murch. He had a
yoke of oxen. He was also a Baptist, and offered the
use of the oxen if there was some one to drive them.
This part William Priest, a lad of thirteen, could do. So
the men made a bob-sleigh, chained the ends of the tim-
bers securely to it, yoked the oxen, and, with the long
end dragging along the rough road through the woods,
William piloted the oxen, with their load, to where the
church was to stand. There he unfastened the chains
from the timbers and drove the oxen with the bob-sleigh,
back to the Murch farm. One load a day was all that
he could carry but finally the work was all done and the
building completed, on the corner where the present
First Baptist Church now stands and of which it is still
a part.

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