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Colby, Wisconsin centennial
(1873-1973)

Echoes of pioneer days,   pp. 5-17


Page 12

"R ET ROSPECT ION"
As I read o'er the "Echoes of the Pioneer Days."
My memory recalls them in many strange ways.
Each name seems as great and familiar to me
As Americas noted celebrities.
With each of these names, one a story might tell
Of his business, his homestead and his family as well
How he came to these woods without dread or fear,
And by hard work improved his condition each year.
The only road around Colby in that day,
Was the railroad track, called the "right-of-way.",
The first road made that was even quite fair,
Was the sawdust road which was built round the "Square."
The summer is ended, election's gone by;
The record is written, and now let us try
As the winter is closing, and our numbers but few,
To take of our people just a passing review.
In winter resorts 'tis the custom they say,
To hunt, play euchre, and have lawsuits each day.
This fashion we're glad prevaileth not here,
Or some of our people, greatly modest we fear.
Would be tempted to drop just a gentle hint
That they'd rather not have their names put in print.
This sentiment honest we honor, and hence,
We sincerely hope that none take offense.
But if displeasure these lines should impart,
It may no lodgment find in any true heart.
To give pleasure not pain, in the mission of song,
To approve what is right and reprove every wrong.
We deem it of course apropos to begin
With those who came here from that city of sin--
The great lumbering town of our Badger state,
Whose dwellers we are glad and proud to relate.
Came to Colby, to abide and stay with us here,
Bringing with them glad hearts, late styles and good cheer.
Not the Jones nor Smiths are the first on our list,
But the Hull's, the Ghoca's, Deschamp's and Joe Plouff.
Who are apt at all games from "Muggins" to Whist,
And even at some, others might give you a twist.
The Hulls came first, not least by no means,
And others came after as will shortly be seen.
The Wickers' came soon, a numerous lot,
And each on a homestead proceeded to squat.
The Blanchards and Feinds, the Rosses and Lowe,
The Prosser's, the Pierces, Parkhill's and Chas Grow.
Now the White's, the Barry's, the Booth's and Frank Brott,
All combine to make up a most jovial lot.
The Norton's, the Woodbury's and e'en widow Chase,
Two families of Taylor's, a numerous race.
Then there is the Hinz's, the Diamond's and Fred Buck,
Elder Fuller, Doc Barnard who came for good luck;
And may they enjoy as much luck as they please,
May they thrive and make money and live at their ease.
And then there is Hiram, why should I forget
To mention the name of the village pet.
Quite a few of our boys I am happy to see,
Have just gone and joined the I. 0. of G. T.
And the many young ladies who here do reside,
Are adorned with great beauty and also with pride,
Though much might be said of each one and all,
I will leave you to judge as you give them a call.
Doctor Barnard came here, and they say the fact is
He has such a large and extensive practive,
That he finds little time which he can call leisure,
In which to enjoy life or social pleasure.
If you will sit down in Doc Wilms' chair,
He will give you a shave or a cut of your hair.
Lawyer Monaghan, too, one of the great Irish wits,
Whose eloquence often a guilty client aquits.
There is Holeton and Hutton and Gray's quite a few,
MacPherson, Lewis, Henkel and Geo. Walbridge too;
D. J. Thomas belongs to our pioneer corps,
And Patterson, too of our merchantile store.
Three Tennants, a Barker and a Lyon or two,
Kean, Walker, and Homsted, come to memory's view;
Of Dutton, Borden, and Guilford we also can tell,
Moss, Kayhart and Tom Peckham who was hurt in a well.
There are Williams and Vangorder, both of "Samuel's" clan,
Nels Empey, Rolof Ammundsen, two Scandinavian.
Ed Creed and Jim Denney early cabins did fix,
As did also T. Wheelhouse and Rev. J. Dix.
Lawrence Collier, Salter and the Bartell's,
Ben Pitcher, 01. Yerkes, Greenwood and D. Wells;
McMonagle, Cooks, Nelson, Mahoney Dan.,
The Miltimore, Crawfords and Ferguson clan.
There's Demarest, Sterling, Hagen and Hodge,
Shulzs, Dillon and Welch each came here to lodge;
Dan Bullock, Lamont and Edminster, too;
Hoot Mon! "Sandy" Cameron, boss of a crew.
Dailey, Nels Hull, Briggs, Ayer and Bunnell,
Walsh, Leonard and Frank and Mother Hurell,
Who cured all ills with her famous "cure all,"
That was made out of little or nothing at all.
The Pradts, Stannard, Potter and Grimes famed in song;
To name all I fear would make this jingle too long.
But Peterson, blacksmith, I must not forget
To mention, as well as pioneer Charles Ouimette.
To recall all their names memory fails to assist,
And I fear I must close with an incomplete list;
But where e'er they now be -- upon earth or in grave --
May God's smile rest upon thee, thou pioneer bravef
-12-


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