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Town of Day, 101 years
(1881-1982)

The town of Day,   pp. 11-42


Page 12

ran from the area known as the "Indian Farm" through
the Jacob Frieder farm to the place where Rozellville was
located.  They traded at the store owned by John
Brinkmann.
The Indians on the Indian Farm lived in wigwams.
These were made of saplings set in rows then connected at
the top like a series of arches. The framework was then
covered with bark and pieces of skin. They were willing to
trade the work of clearing land for neighbors like the
Frieders in return for groceries or tobacco. The Indians
were good workers that kept their word, and enjoyed the
reputation of being honest and trustworthy.
They were also friendly to the white settlers, and
accepted by the white settlers, particularly the children,
who often played with the Indians. Charles Veers recalls
that his father was once invited to the annual spring
celebration that the Indians had every year to celebrate
the survival of the long winter. He was served a plate of
stew that had potatoes and onions in it. He could not
identify the meat, however, and asked what is was. The
Indians told him it was dog, apparently a delicacy. Indians
would not kill deer during the season when they had their
fawns. But, he told later that it was good, and that he had
a second helping.
There were times when some of the whites were not
friendly to the Indians, and the Indians had ways of
equalizing this kind of problem. There was a farmer that
the Indian squaws had to pass by on their way to and from
the store in Rozellville. This farmer had some dogs and
thought it fun to encourage the dogs to chase the Indian
women on their ponies. Once when this happened, the
ponies bolted, groceries carried in sacks across the saddle
were spilled, and one woman was thrown. A great joke,
the farmer thought. Two weeks later every building on the
farm burned. And the gra nary, filled with wheat, burned
as if it were an empty building. Of course the Indians
were suspected, but nothing could be proved, and the
farmer left the land.
The Indians had a cemetery on a field of about three to
five acres, located south of the present Albert Carolfi
farm. Here the Indians buried their dead in shallow
graves, then built knee-high log structures to cover the
graves. They believed that when the wooden structure
rotted away, that the spirit of the dead buried beneath it
would finally be freed of the earth. Sometimes, Mr. Veers
told, the Indians buried the dead of the chief's family in a
hollow log fastened across two crotches of a rampike tree.
Later, these Indians were again removed from the
Indian Farm, and relocated in Kansas and Oklahoma. The
settlers believed they were gone for good. The land was
sold, and the settler purchasing the land that had the
cemetery decided to use that land first. It was covered by
long grass, but had no stumps, and it would be easy to get
it into immediate production. Farming, in those days, was
a cash crop proposition, and the sooner you could get a
cash flow started, the better chance you had to survive.
So, he touched a match to the tall grass, and the fire
quickly destroyed the low wooden structures.
But, the Indians had no love for the new lands in
Kansas and Oklahoma this time either, and soon word
circulated that there were Indians sighted along the river,
just a few of them. Another settler reported seeing an old
man that he knew. The Indians were back. The settler
realized that his position was pretty precarious, and he
simply left, and was not heard from again.
12
Indian burial huts are still a common sight in this north-
ern Wisconsin cemetery. Mark Habeck of Rudolph poses
for his dad, Guy Habeck.
As of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, Congress
controlled all land in the various states, and they decided
how the land was to be sold. It was undoubtedly a source
of revenue that did not have to be raised in taxes,
something our Congress today would certainly like to be
able to find. To further this end they surveyed the
townships, and set aside the money that was made from
section 16 of each township for educational purposes.
Surveying, if primitive, was surprisingly exact. They
often used the revolutions of a wagon wheel, when this
was practical, to measure distances, and one of the few
errors made was in forgetting to account for the curvature
of the earth. That error did cause a lot of confusion,
however, and was corrected by putting in rangelines, lines
that brought the survey lines back in agreement with the
latitude lines.
As time went on, much good land was taken up, the
going price seeming to be $1.25 per acre. But some less
desireable lands were still unsold in many states,
Wisconsin being one of them.
In 1850 Congress decided to do several things. They
incorporated this into the Land Act of 1850. First of all,
they put land sales in the hands of the states. Secondly,
they designated some lands as swamp lands. This did not
mean that these lands had to be wet all the time, but be
wet at some time of the year. This description probably
includes much of the land found in the town of Day even
now.
Once a land was called "swamp land" it could be sold
at $1.25 per acre, but, now the purchases and proceeds
from the sale were to go to the State of Wisconsin. Like
the federal government, Wisconsin first auctioned off the
land, then put the remainder up for private sale. Unlike
the federal government, the state sold on credit. The
buyer could put up as little as ten percent down on the
pieces he wanted to buy. And in some cases, there was no
down payment. Now the purchaser had ten years to pay
off the balance.
This was plenty of time, if the buyer was a timber man,
to cut off the best timber, resell the land, and if all else
failed, to simply let the land revert back to the state again.
In Day township, several lumber kings set up camps to
log off the land they claimed. It had a navigable stream,


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