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Town of Day, 101 years
(1881-1982)

Down through history,   pp. 6-10


Page 7

Tl'he monument reads: "In honor of Pere Rene Menard
born at Paris Sept. 7th, 1605 entered the Jesuit order
Nov. 7th, 1624. Sailed for Quebec in March 1640. Lost
hereabouts in July, 1661, while enroute to Huron village
to baptize Indian refugees. Erected in 1923 by Merrill
Council, 1133, Knights of Columbus, aided by the Wis-
consin State Council
then by law, the marriages attained permanent status.
There were no schools, and children were either tutored,
or sent east to school.
By this time the name "Wisconsin" had been firmly
established by the French. There seems to be differing
opinions on the source of that name. Some believe that it
was derived from an Algonquin word meaning "muskrat
hole". The French took that word, miskinsing, and
changed it to Ouisconsin, the name that was used all
during the years of the French occupation.
Again, pressures in far away Europe spilled into
Wisconsin.  France and England, enemies of long
standing, were engaged in another of their never-ending
wars. This one came to be known as the Seven Years War.
As these two combatants carried their fight to the New
World, the French engaged the aid of Indian allies, and it
became known here as the French and Indian War. From
1756 to 1763 the battles raged, and finally the French were
forced to surrender. A treaty signed in Paris gave Britain
control over France's New World holdings in the northern
sections of the continent. Thus, for a short period of time,
the British became masters of the area known as
Wisconsin.
Because of the conflicting interests of governing the
Indians, regulating the fur traders, and protecting the
settlers, the British applied the policy of "muddling
through". They refused to allow new settlements in
Indian lands, only issuing licenses for fur traders. Since
England was not ready to supply the force necessary to
hold the land against the hostile Indians, it was a chancy
thing to be assigned to one of the English garrisons sent
here to take over the land. The inhabitants of the villages
continued to speak French, and the British found it
necessary to do so if they were to get along.
Again, growing resentment against the British, not in
Wisconsin, but in the colonies of the eastern seaboard,
brought changes to Wisconsin. On July 4, 1776. the
original thirteen colonies decided to free themselves from
the tyranny of an existence of being an economic prop to
the mother country. Wisconsin, although not directly
involved, became a participant to a limited degree. The
British enlisted the aid of their Indian friends to drive out
the Americans, who tried to take over the British holdings
that were not along the east coast. Some Wisconsin
Indians were persuaded to join forces with the British.
Many other Wisconsin Indians were persuaded to join the
"long knives", as the Americans were called.
Another treaty signed in Paris in 1783, decided the fate
of Wisconsin, as the British agreed to allow the new nation
to come into being. The British traders, principally the
Hudson Bay Fur Company, had no intentions of letting
such a piece of paper get in the way of the lucrative fur
trade they enjoyed, and they simply stayed on. After all,
the new nation was in no way able to do much about it,
anyway. For this, and for other reasons, these new
territories were the source of much controversy.
Because England in the 1600's had no idea of the
vastness of the American continent, they were as ignorant
about the geography of the area as France had been. So
they had given the first colonists that settled in the New
World conflicting charters. And to add to the confusion,
the Spanish, when they landed in Florida long before the
English had arrived, had laid claim to all lands from the
eastern seaboard to the Mississippi River. This, however,
was only a paper claim, and no one had paid much
attention to it. But, the colonies were serious in their
claims, and Wisconsin was claimed simultaneously by
several eastern states in the new United States.
Thomas Jefferson, in 1784 submitted a plan to
Congress for the organizing of the territory that came to be
known as the Northwest Territory, as Wisconsin was then
called.  But, not before New   York, Connecticut,
Massachusetts, and Virginia had been persuaded to give
up conflicting claims. It was in 1787 that Congress passed
the Northwest Ordinance.
This ordinance established that the territory bounded
by the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers be made into not less
than three, and not more than five states. It also decreed
that as soon as the population reached 5,000, they could
set up a territorial government. Upon reaching 60,000,
statehood could be established. The land was to be
surveyed and divided into townships with one section set
aside for educational purposes. Slavery, already an issue,
was to be prohibited.
The entire territory had to be surveyed. Surveying
methods were primitive. Often the early surveyors would
tie a handkerchief to a wagon wheel. Since they knew the
size of the wagon wheel they could measure the distance
the wagon wheel had traveled by counting the revolutions
of the wheel. If the surveyor dozed off, inaccuracies
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