-Transcribed from the Barron County Shield - March 30, 1877
Donated by Timm Severud
Address of Alvah Dewey at Barron, Barron County, Wisconsin, July 4, 1876:
Three hundred and eighty four years ago a man stood on the shore of the sea looking over the waves and waited for three small vessels to be made ready for a voyage on which he was to enter. The lofty purpose, the indomitable courage and liberal philosophy of this man, were not understood. By the world he was called crazed. Saw you a man who for nineteen years had persistently proclaimed that he could fly around the earth in twenty-four hours, who among you would not pronounce him a lunatic? And not less improbable, to the people of that age, was the assertion of Christopher Columbus, that he could reach the East Indies by sailing west. At last he found a gentle but powerful hand, which had royally given, and the voyage actually commenced; and they sailed, as it seemed to his comrades, out into space. The wind was fair and their course a straight one. For days all went well; but then the weather changed; a storm arose. The three small ships were tossed like bubbles on that troubled seas, but amidst the superstitions of his men, who said it was tempting God to try and find out more than their forefathers had known. When the dangers increased and despair had seized up all, this man only, alone, hoped and fervently did he pray for the three days longer of this trial. Hour after hour this leader stood on the prow of his ship, longing and hoping as few other brave souls have hoped. Sullen and menacing stood his men; at the very last moment, when the aim and aspirations of a long and troubled life seemed about to end in disappointment and despair; something more precious than cargoes of gold, more valuable than diamonds, was seen floating in the waves - a little spray of green leaves. This solved the problem of the age. Columbus became immortal; a country was found destined to become "The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave."
I will pass the well-known history of the period from the discovery of the continent to the acknowledgement of colonial independence, and recall for a moment the memories of 1776, placing them in contract with the living pulsations of today. We shall make no attempt to picture the heroic deeds on Revolutionary fields of our illustrious ancestors of a hundred years ago; but I will contemplate the men who lived at that period and left impressions of their acts upon the social and political aspects of the generation in which they moved.
The thirteen colonies of the revolution were settled by a strangely different people: New England contained the descendants of the Puritans. To the Southern, they seemed austere, determined men, imbued with a gloomy religious sentiment. Many occupied cabins like our own; cultivating the cold, thin, sterile soil, which compelled them to habits of thrift and economy, with few amusements, a solitary Sabbath and much rum. They passed hours daily with their eyes chained up in tails of the Old Testament, or in listening to the threats and thunders of a terrible God. Among the wealthy of the cities we see the portraits of the period elegant, yet simple ladies, who looked at the same time fine women, yet modest maidens. Along the South Atlantic a different people had sought homes. They were found the descendants of the cavaliers, the men of grace, of courtesy and of pleasure. To the New Englander they appeared irreverent, frivolous and worldly. The portraits of the ladies of the south disclose ringlets of hair that stray over curves of rosy flesh, languishing, voluptuous eyes, enormous headdresses, the curls and fringes of which compel notice from the very heights of their shameless magnificence. From such elements sprung the Revolution. They fought the battle for themselves and won, they fought for the struggling millions of other lands, and we have met to pause a while from the busy tumult of life, to tour our thoughts with glory and pride towards those heroes of 'the times that try men's souls.' Our Republic commenced in 1776, one hundred years ago, with thirteen states, 851,615 square miles of territory, which was occupied by 3,000,000 civilized human beings. It has now a population of 44,000,000, who occupy thirty-seven states and nine territories, which embrace over 3,000,000 square miles. It has 65,000 miles of railroad, more than sufficient to reach two and a half times around the globe; the value of its annual agricultural production is $1,000,000,000' its gold mines are capable of producing $70,000,000 a year. It has over 1,000 cotton factories, 580 daily newspapers, 4,300 weeklies, and 625 monthly publications. This is a dazzling story of a country springing from insignificance into gigantic proportions with rapidity as if born of the Shepherd of the Clouds. I will now proceed to speak of one of those characteristics settlements brought into being by these people, known as a 'new country.'
The little collection of facts pertaining to the locality in which we live, that I am now about to present, may lack in interest to many present, and I might say with the old authority that 'wicked men's deeds and other men's misfortunes have not yet give us a history.' If they should become of interest, and I hope of some value to posterity, we cannot too soon rescue and save elements of our county's early history, which year by year are constantly perishing from the records and fading from the memories of the past; and like sibylline leaves, those remaining are becoming more precious as their number decrease; and it was with difficulty that these fragments were obtained, even in the freshness of their you. Our tale is simple; there is a dearth of stirring events, but
"Let not ambition mock the useful toil,
Their homely joys, their destiny obscure;
Nor grandeur near, with a disdainful smile,
The short but simple annuls of the poor."
At the close of the Black Hawk War southern Wisconsin swarmed with immigrants, hardy and adventurers in search of El Dorado; as the most beautiful lady has some fault, so the most attractive country lacks some essential elements. The luxuriant prairies of the south needed the pine of the north; and hundreds of men were brought up to the lumber business sought on the Wisconsin, Black, Chippewa and Red Cedar rivers, even before the governments had extinguished the Indians title thereto, this valuable wood.
The first mill ever built on the Chippewa or its tributaries, was erected on the Red Cedar, now called the Menomonie, on what at present is called Wilson's Creek, near its confluence with the Red Cedar River, now the west side of the village of Menomonie. To this point, Jefferson Davis, the traitor chieftain, then a lieutenant, is said to have come in command of a party in search of lumber to rebuild Fort Crawford at Prairie du Chien.
In 1844 Mr. Knapp and Mr. Wilson bought a half interest in this mill; in the following year they obtained possession of the whole and associated Mr. H.R. Stout of Dubuque, under the firm name Knapp, Stout and Company; and this firm from a humble beginning, 'one thousand dollars in cash and a few traps' as capital, have within 30 years have increased this fund into millions, determined to grow rich by silent profit and persevering industry. Of the fourth partner in this firm, Uncle Tom Randall in his History of the Chippewa Valley says, 'In the early struggles of this company, a young, smooth faced, long nosed, keen-eyed man, a native of Prairie du Chien, was selected as foreman; his energy, decision, and fidelity, soon won the confidence of his employers and in 1850 he secured a fourth interest, and Andrew Tainter became a millionaire. To this man, incidentally more than any other individual is Barron County indebted for the progress it has already made.
I will now briefly refer to a claim made many years ago by the heirs of one Johnathan Carver of Connecticut, which, had it been recognized, would have changed the entire ownership of the soil we occupy. Nine years before the Revolutionary War Carver arrived at Green Bay with a small retinue of French and half-breeds, and voyaged up the Fox and down the Wisconsin to Prairie du Chien, up the Mississippi to Wabasha, where he wintered; the next summer north to west of Hudson Bay. On his return to England he published his observations and gave an account of the constant wars going on between the Chippewas and the Sioux. About the year 1800 his heirs claimed a grant by the King of Great Britain, George III, conferring a body of lands, contained within the lines from St. Anthony Falls, running along the east bank of the river to where the Chippewa River joins the same, thence eastward five days travel, thence north six days travel and from thence again to the Falls of St. Anthony, in a straight line. The Carver title to this territory was not acknowledged by the United States authorities and the claimants have disappeared.
The first actual white occupants within the present confines of this county, of which we can obtain any positive knowledge, came from Montreal via Sault Ste. Marie's La Pointe and opened a trading post on Section 7 of town 35, range 11. Your speaker has examined the remains of the stockade, chimney, cellars, etc. No location in Barron County is so well adapted to the purpose for which it was chosen as this. The scenery is enchanting, the protection complete. The ditch or stockade, enclosed a space of fifty by one hundred feet. The only person now living of the Chippewa or early French who knew anything about this old French post is August Cordot, now aged 89 years, and living in Chippewa Falls. He says it was his grandfather who built the post ant that he was there killed by the Sioux for plunder. I have from the lips of Louis Nado, who has been in about this country during the last 18 years, and is a fur buyer and farmer, that the first Corbine, the grandfather of all, who died in 1858 at Lac Courte Oreilles, was on the ground 80 years ago, and the remains of the stockade was quite plain then; that the post was an important one; that the ground about the post was cultivated; that the Sioux in one of their raids murdered Cordot, who was buried in one of the two graves now visible within the enclosure. Many attempts have been made to recover money said to have been buried there, but more has been expended than found. Who were the makers of the dam nearby or what was the purpose of the construction, are questions, which, as yet, have received no solution. The dam is some 300 feet long, 8 feet in the perpendicular on the east sloping gradually to the west. It appears that the earth to make this dam may have been taken from the banks on either side.
In 1859, the State legislature, through the instruments of persons engaged in lumbering business, pass a bill detaching townships 32, 33, 34, 35, 36 and 37, ranges 12, 13, 14, and 15 from the Polk County and named it Dallas, after a distinguished Vice President of the United States, George M. Dallas, with the county seat located at the village of Manhatten, and attached to the county to that of Polk for judicial purposes. In 1860 townships 32, 33, 34, 35 36, and 37, ranges 10 and 11 were detached from Chippewa County and attached to Dallas County.
Portions of the present territory of Barron County belonged to Dunn County and was formed into a town in 1862 and named Dallas, during the existence of this town it had much of a shuttle like experience, if a town in Dunn County was hard up, the town of Dallas was attached; Red Cedar wanted funds, the town of Dallas was attached, her assessors came up and the bill was settled. The town of Menomonie ran behind, Dallas was attached and paid her bills.
The first voting was done by men in the employ of Knapp, Stout and Company. There were no families in the county then and the probable motive of the organization was to control the tax on pinelands.
The first election was held at the home of John Banks on section 22, town 32, range 13. There were present James Bracklin, John Banks, John Quarderer, S.P. Barker, James Vennette, Byron Tripp, James Neville and E.B. Bundy, now the acknowledged leader of the Menomonie bar, who came up to assist at the organization. At the proper hour Bundy said the Vennette, 'Announce the opening of the poles.' It was with much diffidence and after considerable arguing that Vennette stepped into the door of the shanty and in stentorian tones cried out to the only objects visible, viz. trees and wild animals, 'Hear ye, hear ye, all ye son's of bitches, I declare these polls now open.' The officers elected at this meeting did not qualify; hence there was no organization. The next year, 1863, S.P. Barker, James Vennette and John Banks were chosen Supervisors; John Quarderer, treasurer; James Neville, clerk of the town. The poll was now held at Quarderer's camp. In 1864 James Bracklin was elected treasurer; Supervisors, S.P. Barker, J.G. Johnson and James Vennette.
In 1863 by action of the legislature the towns originally detached from Polk County were again attached to that county. In 1865 Dallas was detached from the eleventh and attached to the eighth judicial district.
In 1865 Dallas County was organized for the county and judicial purposes with the county seat located at old Barron, or the southwest quarter, of the southwest quarter section township 34, north of range 12 west.
In 1869 an election was held for county officers to fill the places of those who had been previously appointed by Governor Lucius Fairchild; it resulted in the election of the name persons who had held their officers by appointment viz; James Bracklin, treasurer; James G. Neville, recorder D.T. Boswell, county clerk; Alfred Finley, county judge and Oliver Damers, county school superintendent.
On March 13, 1869, the first county board met, the town board of Dallas became the county board, S.P. Barker, chairman, C.P. Tuller and Roswell Kellogg, supervisors.
The first official act of the board was upon the motion of C.P. Tuller, and upon him belongs the honor of the first official act of the county; it was to instruct the clerk to procure necessary books on credit and at the best terms possible. It was also ordered and determined that the name of the town of Dallas be changed to the town of Barron.
The county had taken the name of Barron, the only town in the county had received the name of Barron and county seat had been given the name of Barron; all in the honor of our distinguished lawyer, politician, statesman and commoner, the Honorable Henry D. Barron, now serving as Circuit Judge of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit.
The election of 1869 resulted in a total vote of 144: John Quarderer, treasurer; O. Brayton, Clerk of the Board; W.J. Smith, Register of Deeds; Oliver Demers, School Superintendent; O. Brayton, County Surveyor.
The entire 144 votes were cast for John Comstock for Senator and Samuel D. Dresser for Assembly.
In the year 1870, C.P. Tuller was elected Chairman of the County Board. The total receipts of the first year's organization were $2,812.78 and disbursements were $2,355.70.
A few of the original settlers of the county came in as fur traders, but most of them were in the employee of Knapp, Stout and Company, and as is common in all new counties, many daring and energetic men were brought to the surface by the exigencies of the times. Among them we may mention; S.P. Barker, John Quarderer, James Bracklin, Andrew Tainter, Hiram Scott, Asel Story (who died in 1869), Henry Sawyer, Orville Brayton, C.P. Tuller, I. Sprague, W.S. Grover, Oliver Demers, John Meyers (the oldest settler now living in the county, who has a farm a mile and a half east of Prairie Farm), Peter Deery (1857), Ed Delong and others. Whose histories we will review.
The residents of the county today are of different nationalities; the happy mercurial Frenchman; the reliable industrious German; the quick-witted lively Irishmen; the brave liberty-loving Scandinavian; and the blending of all your thoughtful, educated Yankee - sprinkled largely with those men who served in the War of the Southern Rebellion, men who were active coworkers in that magnificent popular uprising, the like of which, for the blended fury and intelligence, the world had never before beheld.
The first logging in the county was done by Andrew Tainter, for Knapp and Wilson, in the southeast part of the county, in 1848; the next was on the Hay River in 1850; near the mouth of the Chetek in 1856; at the forks of the Yellow River in 1858; and at Old Lousberg in 1860.
The dam was first put in by Knapp, Stout and Company by James Bracklin on the west fork of the Yellow River, in 1863. The next year Knapp, Stout and Company commenced the improvement of the Menomonie River for driving purposes; this river is now under the most complete control, with its numerous dams and other safety guards.
The first permanent settler, who came in for the purpose of cultivating the soil, was John Banks, who settled in 1855 on section 22, town 32, range 13. He was also a logger as well as a farmer. He remained here until the Indian scare of 1862, when he removed to Kansas. He returned to this county about 3 years ago, and settled on section 21, town 31, range 13 a short distance from Vanceburg. He was followed by Edward Delong and George Jones, in 1856, who settled on the same section, in the same year. About 1860, George Jones removed to Bloomer Prairie, enlisted in the army, went south and was either killed or died in service.
Tom Snyder was the next settler, on section 18, town 33, range 19; S.K. Young was next. John Quarderer settled where he now lives in 1860, and began to improve the place; then Bracklin, Neville and Bouroy commenced improving at old Barron, in 1868.
About 1868, Knapp, Stout and Company through Captain Tainter, began to realize that there was value in the fine water-powers, the hard timber and good soil of the county, and with a wise foresight they have extended money in farming experiments, and in other ways which has hastened the improvement of the county. And from that period, when the total resident voters did not exceed 30 souls, down to the present, when the census gives us 1,100 voters, they have steadily held faith in the county. The waterpowers of the county are numerous and powerful. The first sawmill erected was put up by F.H. Perkins on section 6, town 33, range 11, in 1862. His brother Orville T. Perkins, joined him, and they ran the mill until 1867 when it was abandoned for want of timber. It was a small circular sawmill.
Knapp, Stout and Company next put up a mill at Prairie Farm in the year 1871, with shingle, lathe, and planing mill attached. A steam mill was erected by the same company in 1875. All are now in successful operation. In 1873 the Hutchinson Brothers erected a small water mill at Sioska in the town of Sumner, and William Moony during the year 1874 erected a sawmill on section 33, town 33, range 12. Of gristmills we have three; the first was built by Knapp, Stout and Company at Prairie Farm in 1871. The next was built by the same company in 1871 at Rice Lake. Edgebert, Youman and the Hutchinsons have just completed another mill at Sumner this 1875-76.
If time would permit I would be glad to refer to the geological conditions of this county; its minerals, its pipestone formation; its many remarkable Indian mounds; its beautiful lakes; the value of its timber and soil; its many water powers and its other natural advantages, but we will now hastily call up the names of a few of its most prominent men, -- the impression of whose works has been left upon the affairs of the county.
Of G.M. Sexton, the first district attorney of attorney of the county, we can learn but little; he emigrated from the State of New York to the lumber woods of the State of Michigan some fifty years ago. At the age of nineteen, as he once informed your speaker he became enamored of a beautiful Indian girl; but his judgment warned him that his future would be more happy with a legitimate wife. He immediately departed for the East, married, and returned with his wife to Wisconsin. He was one of the pioneers of the village of Fort Atkinson; sold goods at Jefferson; was the founder of the village of Sextonville, Richland County; was treasurer of the same county, and held other positions of trust; was the founder of the village of Osseo, Buffalo County, settled at Chetek in 1870; brought with him a number of intelligent, industrious families; planted the first nursery in Northern Wisconsin; served Barron County as its first District Attorney, and died in Sextonville, in March 1876.
He was a man respected and honored by all who knew him.
John Quarderer emigrated from Germany at the age of eighteen; landed in New Orleans and reached this country in the year 1852; he was the first treasurer of the town of Dallas; has been the treasurer of the County since, and is the owner and founder of the present county seat, the village of Barron. Hardy, intelligent and strictly honest, he has secured a competence with the good will of his fellows, and he may proudly claim every man in the county as a warm personal friend. To Mr. Quarderer belongs the honor of making this a white man's county; as has been said about Ireland, there are no toads and snakes there, so Barron County, there are no Negroes here. At an early day a knock kneed African pauper was sent out to the neighboring counties to save the cost of burial; he found his way to John's camp; it being vacant, he selected about 20 pounds of choice pork and a fine ax. John soon returned and was told by an Indian that he had seen the old thief fishing on the main river. John soon found the black and asked him what he was doing? "Da," the Negro replied, "I'sa fishin massa," and at that instant drew up a fine bass, took it from the hook, and cast it back in the river. John, in astonishment asked him why he did that? Says he, "Gorra mighty, bress dis nigga, what you take him for? Die see that forty pounds of bacon bait da? I'se not gwine for da bass - I'se gwine for cat."
John says he talked Dutch to him for a moment, and the swartzer divel disappeared as if by enchantment. There has never been a Negro seen in this country since.
The late Samuel P. Barker
I will refer briefly to a character recently deceased, who has much to do with every political, material and general event transpiring in the county over a period of the last twenty years. His life was not one of stirring achievements, but was of quiet, determined loyal duty. We speak of the man whose friends are found beneath the smoke curling above every wigwam, every settlers cabin, every household, and every logging camp, where his presence was known, viz, Samuel P. Barker, a man of great muscular power, extraordinary memory, brave, yet discrete; a born chieftain - a leader of men. Born 44 years ago, in the State of New York, educated in part for the ministry, he found himself at the age of 21 upon this soil in quest of fortune and adventure. Prompted by a like spirit that moved Cortez and Pizzaro; he was from that time until his death identified with every transaction of importance occurring within the county. He was the first chairman of the old town of Dallas; the first chairman of the county of Dallas, and the first chairman of the new county of Barron.
During most the turbulent times he had the confidence of the Indians; they knew his indomitable courage; and instinct taught them that he was their equal in all the qualities that go to make up a brave man.
It is related of him that he possessed a quaint but quiet humor, which often gave much amusement to the boys in camp. During the visit of a number of ladies and their escorts from the haunts of civilization to one of his camps, known as old Lousberg, the party indulged in some sentiment, which was quietly favored by Barker, anticipating fun; and when a social dance, a usual amusement in camp in those days, was inaugurated, one of the lady guests expressed a desire to have as a partner on of the Indians present, a rather sedate looking Buck. After some urging the gallant chief joined aristocratic partners in the intricacies of a quadrille. Unfortunately his wardrobe was a bit scanty, consisting of a red blanket, which, it was confessed, he wore with grace over his greasy body. As the music quickened the savage warmed up to his work; it was at first a little bark, then a little louder, and louder, then a yell, and then his blanket dropped, amid the yells and screams of the woodsmen. Shall we drop a curtain over this scene? You would say the lady fainted; not so! She completed the set with the utmost sangfold; but her curiosity was gratified, and she did not dance another set. Another incident will be of interest. Soon after the death of the old Chippewa Chief Un-gav-a about eighteen years ago, a band of Chippewa started after the Sioux, who had murdered two of their number on an island in the river below Sand Creek. Barker had a camp at the mouth of the Chetek; they called on him to join them. He responded by donning a first class Indian costume, paint, buckskins, an immense headdress of eagle feathers, and grasped his rifle, and called on the hundred braves to follow him. His tall, majestic figure decked out with all the trapping of an Indian brave, had a magical effect upon the Chippewas; and from that time until his death he was respected and obeyed as if he had been their orthodox chieftain.
But the incident, which establishes his courage and tested his endurance more than any other, as well as the bravery of his white comrades, is the following:
Previously to, and after the Minnesota massacre, several land hunters had been murdered by the Indians, who escaped unpunished. During the year 1863 two men, Allen and Taylor, while ascending the Menomonie River, exploring the pine, after reaching a point one and a half miles south of the Yellow River, were suddenly fired upon by concealed savages. Allen was shot dead; the other received a wound in the shoulder, on in the back and one in the arm. He turned his canoe down stream and after reaching Lamb's Creek, left his dead comrade and walked to Menomonie, and there obtained assistance to recover the body of his dead companion.
These outrages passed unpunished, and the prowling bands were daily becoming more daring and dangerous. The whites determined that these atrocities should be stopped.
In 1864 three men from the St. Croix Valley started out in search of pine. One was left with the team on the Apple River; Grover and Shaw were prospecting for pine, and at an unexpected moment were shot down by two concealed Indians. Upon hearing this last out rage Barker, Quarderer and Bracklin determined that they would arrest the Indians who did the deed. Leon La Forte, now living above Rice Lake, was sent out to discover who and where the murderers were.
About nine o'clock on Monday in June a young, powerful, half-naked savage stepped up to John Quarderer's camp and asked for food. John fed him and the Indian passed on, saying he was going to Old Lousberg, section 19, town 24, range 11. Old Elk and Tom Goose arrived soon after, and told Quarderer that one of the murderers of the two whites had just gone to Barker's trading post for powder. Indians in numbers were seen prowling in the woods; the old men were willing to give up the murderer, but the young men opposed. The Indian reached Barker's and asked him to go into the store and sell him powder. At this time there were a very few whites at Prairie Farm; Bracklin, Dan Harrington, Joe Queen and one or two others were cutting hay just below Barker's camp. Barker having learned that one of the murderers was in his camp determined to secure him. They entered the store together. At that time paper was not used to do up articles sold to Indians; they tied up their powder or other purchases in one corner of their shirts. Barker weighted the powder and told the Indian to step up and get it, with the intention of grappling him. The Indian was evidently suspicious and would not approach Barker. He said, "Do it up." Barker replied, "I will get some paper from behind the door," the door being open. He stepped towards the door and closed it. Then they clinched in one of the most terrible life and death struggles possible. The Indian, athletic, naked and greasy, was like an immense serpent in the arms of Barker.
No muscle relaxed, it was one incessant strain. During the struggle a large body of Indians had gathered about the post. Surrounding the building threatened to destroy and kill. Still the man with iron nerve maintained his grasp, and told them that they might kill him but the whites would destroy them; that this murderer must submit to the white man's law. They held their knives and guns over his head amid the lamentations of Indian wives of the whites who besought him to let the Indian escape and save his own life as well as the lives of all of the whites. He clung onto his victim. When one hand was wrenched from the slippery body of his foe, his grip tightened with the other, and for and hour the life and death struggle continued; but the white man's superior endurance conquered. The murder became exhausted.
Barker then dispatched a friendly Indian messenger to the marsh and to Quarderer's. When Quarderer reached Barker's the Indians were seen passing in and out the store whooping and yelling. As no whites were visible he supposed all had been murdered. He soon found the whites and learned that messengers had been dispatched for aid. Bracklin, Quarderer and others kept guard over the Indian but his friends were admitted and one of them supplied him with a double-barreled pistol. Just at dark the Indians on the outside of the cabin commenced the death chant, which was taken up by the prisoner. He arose to his feet, pointed his pistol over his shoulder towards the whites, a cap was heard to snap followed by a shot. A light was brought and it was found that the Indian had killed himself.
The first white woman who died in the county was Mrs. Philander Ball. Her husband was in the employ of Barker at Lousberg. A child of Ball's died first, then his wife dies and was buried near the camp. It is supposed that she was poisoned by the squaws, as she died in convulsions.
The first white child born in the county was a daughter of Mike Jones, in 1855, who lived on the Hay River and owned the property now occupied by Richard King.
The first school was taught by Mr. J.N. Plato, at Chetek, in District 2. District 1 was organized in the Kellogg District, the present town of Dallas.
The first physician practicing in the county was Dr. D.C. Strong, who came in the year 1873.
The first and only church erected in the county is the Catholic Church in Stanfold.
The first newspaper was the Chronotype, published in Rice Lake, now in its second volume.
The only railroad yet complete in the county is one half mile of the North Wisconsin, in section 7, town 34, range 14.
The first Justice court was held before Austin Skinner, now living on section 10, town 33, range 12, cause of action - a weasel skin - old settlers will understand this cause.
The first mail was brought into the county by James Bracklin to the new post office at old Barron; S.P. Barker was postmaster in 1868. The amount paid by the government for weekly service, from Menomonie to Barron, was $450 per year.
The first Protestant service regularly held in the county was inaugurated by the Rev. W. Bird, of the Methodist Protestant Denomination. During the years of his efforts much good was accomplished, and the influence of his example is having lasting fruit.
The speaker who preceded me - Judge Sill - has eloquently treated the subject of the century - a period of time this day finished. He has reviewed the record of the first century of our country as an independent government. A record of strange and great events and triumphs, of growth great and rapid; this day laid away. But it is not dead! Its influence will go forward giving form and color to events of the years to come. It will, in warning and example, let us hope, mould human destiny to better purposes - add height and depth to the sum of human happiness and advancement. Where now is the eye of the seer or the tongue of the prophet that can reveal the unmade history of our country's second century? If the arts and sciences play, in the next century, the lively part they have played in the last fifty years, the wildest dreams of genius are scarce too much to forecast as probable realizations. And when the next Centennial gathering, the now unborn speaker, shall appear on this spot and call up this simple address, before the vast throng, who shall then gather to review his century, may your posterity greet him beneath the "Starry Flag in the Land of Freedom."
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