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Curtiss-Wedge, F.; Jones, Geo. O. (ed.) / History of Dunn County, Wisconsin
(1925)

Chapter XXII: Biographical,   pp. 247-958


Page 253

HISTORY OF DUNN COUNTY
Joseph, Simon, Simon second (a deacon), Simon third, Abijah, Stephen (a physi-
cian), Ezekiel, Andrew. In 1832, when Andrew was nine years old, he came with
his parents to Wisconsin, the family settling at Prairie du Chien. He remained
there until 1845 and in August of that year he made his journey through the wilder-
ness to the Chippewa Valley and found work during the summer at Chippewa Falls.
At the close of the season he went down river to Galena on a raft. Returning
in the spring of 1846 he worked for Benjamin Brunson, who owned a mill at Chip-
pewa Falls, and received $20 a month. During the winter of 1845-46 he made
shingles at the old Gilbert Mill on Gilbert Creek. His first work on the Red Cedar
River was done in the fall of 1846, when he was engaged with Blois Hurd in making -
lath and in the spring of 1847 he ran a sawmill with Mr. Hurd on Irvine Creek.
The next year he sold his share in the mill and went to work in the pine woods near
the river about a mile below Irvine Creek, getting out square timber. He continued
at this arduous labor until August, 1850, when he became interested in the opera-
tions of John H. Knapp and William Wilson; from then on his business career is
a part of the history of Knapp, Stout & Co., which is related in full elsewhere in this
volume. Captain Tainter was one of the outstanding figures in this concern and
assumed his full share of labor and responsibility in the management of the com-
pany's business. In the assignment and distribution of their duties each member
of the firm took charge of that branch of the business for which he was best equipped.
To Captain Tainter was given the control and management of the logging opera-
tions. His splendid physique with its marvelous power of endurance, his indomit-
able will and tireless energy, were given full play year after year in the accomplish-
ment of the great work assigned to his department. Upon him devolved the task
of supplying the mills with logs. In 1858 the firm bought the first steamboat used
by them on the Chippewa River and Captain Tainter commanded the craft about
two vears. As the business of the company expanded and their logging operations
extended farther up the river the task of furnishing the mills with logs became one
of great magnitude. In the death of Captain Tainter, Dunn County lost one of
its early pioneers and also one of its foremost citizens. His part in transforming
a wilderness into busy cities and fruitful farms he performed faithfully and well,
and his best recompense may be found in the thousands of prosperous homes and in
the hearts of a grateful people. Captain Tainter died in Rice Lake, Oct. 18, 1899.
of pneumonia, contracted while attending the Barron County Fair in that city.
Captain Tainter was married in 1861 to Mrs. Bertha (Lucas) Lesure, and this union
was blessed with four children, Louis S., Ruth, Mabel and Fannie. Of these the
three first mentioned are deceased, while Fannie is now Mrs. B. F. Crane of Me-
nomonie. Bertha Lucas was born at Smyrna, Chenango County, N. Y., April 4,
1828, the daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (Simons) Lucas. In 1844 she came
with her parents to Wisconsin and settled at Genesee, Waukesha County, where
she was married in 1845 to William Coolidge Lesure, who died a few years later.
In 1855, together with her parents and her brother, Carroll Lucas, she came to
Dunn County and settled on a farm at Mud Creek, the journey from Genessee
being made with ox teams, as it was before the day of railroads. She taught school
on Sherburne Prairie near Rusk for a time, then came to Menomonie, where she
did sewing to support herself and children until some time in 1861. In that year
she married Andrew Tainter at Read's Landing. Mrs. Tainter's early life was spent
at Smyrna and she was educated at an academy. She was a descendant of a
Revolutionary soldier. Her grandfather, Joseph Simons, served with Washington
at Valley Forge. He received a grant of land near Smyrna, which is still in the
Simons family. irs. Tainter will be remembered by those who knew her long and
well for her great helpfulness to others. She'took a kindly interest in all of those
about her and was extremely democratic by nature. She has been known, after her
removal from the city, to take pains to look up, upon her return for visits, former
employees, whom she had not seen for years. Her act of greatest philanthropy was
the gift, jointly with her husband, of the Mabel Tainter Memorial in 1890, for which
they both will always be held in grateful remembrance by the people of Mfenomonie.
She was an indefatigable worker, even until recent y fars. She was also a deep
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