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Curtiss-Wedge, F.; Jones, Geo. O. (ed.) / History of Dunn County, Wisconsin

Chapter X: the Knapp Stout & Co. company,   pp. 60-70

Page 63

dated MNav 4, 1850. For this one-half interest S2,600 was paid. On thousand
dollars in cash and two short time notes of eight hundred dollars each. It will
be remembered that for the first one-half interest Mr. Knapp paid two thousand
dollars. By the record it appears that now John H. Knapp became the sole owner
of the Wilson Creek mill, paying therefor the sum of forty-six hundred dollars.
As a matter of fact, however, Mr. William Wilson, through whose enterprise this
purchase was made, was a joint and equal owner with Mr. Knapp. On the death
of David Black it was the legal duty of Mr. Knapp to close up the partnership
business, but it is evident that this sacrifice of the prop erty was avoided by a con-
tract entered into with the administrator of Black's estate. by which Mr. Knapp
agreed to continue to conduct the business. He did so until 1850 when he bought
the remaining one-half interest of the administrator.
"It is not difficult, from this time on, to trace the successive ownership of this
property. In 1823, and again in 1830, the right acquired by Lockwood and Rolette
rested on a permit from the United States government to cut timber on Indian
lands, supplemented by a contract with the Indians by which they were to receive
81,000 per year in goods for their consent to the privilege granted. The first
avowed claim to any specific tract of land at Wilson Creek appears in the deed from
Lockwood and Allen to Green, wherein the grantors covenant to put the grantee into
possession of land on the Menomonie River in Carver Grant, so-called, one-half
mile square. By a description of the survey, the mouth of Wilson Creek was placed
at the middle of the east boundary line of this square. The deed from Green to
William Black conveys the same tract, so also do the deeds of David Black and of
the administrator of David Black, to Mr. Knapp. It has been noted that no
transfer from William Black to David Black is found, and it is surmised that title
came to the latter by administration of William Black's estate.
"The country about here had not been surveyed when the deed of Black to
Knapp was given, and it contains this promise: "that whenever the above tracts
of land shall be sold by the United States or when the same shall be in the market,
that then and in such case the said Black shall either prove up a pre-emption or
purchase the same at the land sales and convey the one equal undivided half thereof
to said Knapp, he, said Knapp, paving one equal half of the consideration money."
"Black's death occurred before the land was pre-empted or sold and before it
came into market.
"In Mav, 1846, before the purchase by Knapp from Black had been consumated
by deed, Mr. Knapp and William Wilson entered into an agreement by the terms
of which the- were to carry on a lumber business at the Wilson Creek mill for five
years. This agreement, although technically not a partnership agreement between
M\fr. Knapp and Mr. Wilson, was in effect such an agreement to carry out the agree-
ment on the part of Mr. Knapp with David Black. Its effect was to make Knapp,
Wilson and Black partners and on the death of David Black, it left Knapp and Wil-
son the surviving partners, and they conducted the business under the firm name of
Black and Knapp until 1850 when the deed was given by the administrator of the
estate of David Black to ir. Knapp.
"The death of David Black made it impossible to secure title to the land de-
scribed in his deed in the manner therein agreed upon. A United States survey
of the lands was made in 1849, and we find that William Wilson, on April 24, 1851,
by pre-emption entered lots 1, 2 and 3, section 26, township 28 north, of range 13
west, which corresponds in area and location closely to the trace conveyed by David
Black. Mr. Wilson four days later, April 28, 1851, conveyed these lots to John H.
Knapp. On this pre-emption Wilson received a patent dated April 19, 1855.
The title granted by this patent, bv operation of law, inured to Mr. Knapp and his
grantees by virtue of the conveyance to him of April 28, 1851. The remainder of
section 26 was pre-empted by other persons in 1855, who were then members of the
firm of Knapp, Stout & Company.
After the conveyance by the administrator of the estate of David Black, and the
entry by Wilson, the changes in the associates in business and the title to the
property at Wilson Creek mill xwere rapid. August 19, 1850, Knapp sold a one-

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