The first settlement within the limits now comprising the town of Akan was effected in the spring of 1851 by Martin Munson, Ole Johnson and John Torgerson, a party of Norwegians, who came from Dodgeville. Martin Munson entered land on sections 26 and 27, where he erected a log cabin and commenced improvements. This was then on what might be called the extreme frontier, and many travelers on their way westward were entertained in Munson's little log cabin. Mr. Munson was an industrious and thrifty man and accumulated considerable property. He remained here until the time of his death, and his widow now lives on section 27.
Ole Johnson entered the northwest quarter of the northwest quarter of section 35. He died there on the 18th of March, 1855. His widow married Christian Jacobson and still resides in the town.
John Torgerson remained but a short time and then returned to Dodgeville. Two years later he came back and entered the southeast quarter of the southeast quarter of section 33, where he still lives.
Nels Hanson, who also came with this party, settled in the town of Richwood where he still lives.
B C Hallin, a native of Ireland, came here in 1852 and entered land on sections 17 and 18, but did not settle here until 1854. He now lives in the town of Richland.
William Elder, a Virginian, was an early settler in the southern part of Richland county. He made a business of showing the pioneers land, and did a great deal toward the settling up of this region. In 1855 he settled on section 3, in the town of Akan. He resided in the town for a few years, then went to Crawford county and later removed to Dakota territory where he died. He was with the government surveyors when they surveyed the town of Akan and was noted as a great hunter and an extra good marksman.
David Woodruff came here in 1854 and settled on the southeast quarter of section 3. In 1875 he sold out and moved to Dakota. He now lives in Otter Tail Co., Minn.
James Brady, a native of Ireland, came in 1854 and settled just over the line in Crawford county. In 1861 he purchased land on section 19, this town, where he has since resided.
Lewis Deitder, a native of Germany, came here in 1854 and settled on section 25, where he still lives. He was accompanied by his father and three brothers. For a time they all lived together, the father and one of the brothers dying here. The rest are still residents of the county.
George Hall, an Irishman, and a veteran of the Mexican War, came here in 1853 and entered 160 acres on sections 19 and 20. He remained about two years, then sold out and left. The locality in which he settled has since been called Hall's bottom.
William Anderson, a native of Indiana, came in 1854 and settled on the southwest quarter of section 30. He remained about three years and then returned to Indiana.
A Scotchman named Penny came in 1854 and settled on the northwest quarter of section 27. He improved a farm and remained for several years, when he went to Minnesota.
William Smith, an Englishman, came at the same time and located on section 21. He went to Minnesota with Penny.
Samuel Yager was an early settler in the town of Eagle. In 1854 he came to Akan and located on the southwest quarter of section 21. He was a veteran of the Mexican War. He was a cabinet maker by trade and put up a shop, in which he manufactured chairs, bedsteads, etc. When the war broke out, he enlisted and served until its close. Having ruined his health in the service, soon after his return he sold out and removed to Excelsior, where he still lives.
Joseph Dunson came in 1854 and settled on section 23, where he cleared a farm and lived for some years. He afterwards removed to Richwood, where he died.
Horace Waite, from Ohio, came here in 1855 and settled on the northwest quarter of section 3. He cleared a small tract of land and remained here about three years, when he sold out and went to Orion, where he engaged in the mercantile trade. During war times he went to Canada. He now lives in Muscoda.
Esec Spreig came from Illinois in the fall of 1854, and settled on the northeast quarter of section 4. Four of five years later he sold out and returned to Illinois.
Zenas W Bevier, a native of New York State, came here in 1855, from Rock Co., Wis. He entered 120 acres of land on section 2, and lived here until the time of his death.
Frank Morningstar, a German, came here in the fall of 1855, and settled on section 2. He cleared a good farm and made this his home until he died.
Mathew Ryan, an Irishman, also came in 1855. He settled on section 3.
Jefferson Smith came here from Illinois in 1855, and settled on the northeast quarter of section 6. He cleared a small tract of land and remained here about twelve years, when he removed to Richwood. He is now dead.
Julius Jenks also came from Illinois during the same year. He settled on the northeast quarter of section 8, where he remained for some years and then went to the mountains.
William Percy came in 1855 and claimed the northeast quarter of section 9. He afterwards sold his claim and left the country after a short stop.
Jacob Lawrence purchased Percy's claim and improved it. He lived here until 1875, when he sold out and removed to the town of Eagle. He is now in the mercantile trade at Eagle Corners.
John Chitwood, a native of Tennessee, came from Indiana in 1855 and settled on the northeast quarter of section 5, where he lived until the time of his death. He raised fifteen children, and the widow and a number of children are still living in the county.
Patrick Hines, a native of Ireland, came in 1855 and settled on section 30, where he still lives.
William Dobbs, a native of Tennessee, came here from Lafayette Co., Wis., in the spring of 1855, and entered 360 acres of land on sections 5, 6, 7 and 8. He lived here for a number of years, and then went to the Black river country. He afterwards returned and settled in Richwood, where he died in 1876. Two of his sons are still living in the town.
Henry Bailey, a native of Rhode Island, came in 1855 and settled on section 7. He now lives in Nebraska. Two of his sons are still residents of this town.
David Clancy, a native of Ireland, came in 1855 and entered land on section 15, where he still lives.
James Bachtenkircher, a native of Ohio, came to this county from Indiana in 1855, and located in the town of Sylvan. In 1878 he moved into the town of Akan, and is still a resident.
Squire Shaffer, a native of Ohio, came here in 1856 and settled on the southwest quarter of section 1, where he still lives.
F A Harsha, a Kentuckian, came here from Iowa county in 1856, and settled on section 36, where he still lives.
John Kelly, a native of Ireland, came here from Madison in 1856 and settled on section 18, where he still lives.
William Core, a native of New Jersey, came here from Orion in 1856, and purchased land on section 24. He was the first settler in the locality known as Core Hollow, it being named after him.
The first school in district No. 1 was taught, in 1856, by Martha A Funson, at the residence of Zenas W Bevier. In 1857 a temporary log school house was erected by the district, in which Sarah Wood was the first teacher. In 1868 this building was destroyed by fire, and the present house was erected upon the site.
The first school house in district No. 2 was erected in 1860, of hewn logs. The first term of school was taught by Charity Williams, on the subscription plan. She "boarded round." This school house was used until 1881, when the district erected a frame building on the northeast quarter of section 9, about forty rods west of the site of the old building. Nettie Harris was the first teacher in the new house.
The first school in district No. 3 was taught by George Watson, in the winter of 1856-7, in a house belonging to William Dobbs. A few years later a log school house was erected on the southwest quarter of section 5. In 1869 the present school house was erected on the southeast quarter of section 6, of hewn logs. Cordelia Daggett was the first teacher in this building.
The first school house in district No. 4 was built in 1859, of logs, and covered with shakes. It was located on the southeast quarter of section 18. J J Brown was the first teacher. This building was used until 1880, when the present school house was erected near the old site. Alice Hallin was the first teacher in this house.
The first school in district No. 5 was taught in a house belonging to D F Coates, which was located on the southwest quarter of section 22. Mary Ann Fay and T J Ellsworth were among the first teachers in the district. The first school house erected was a log one, which was located on D F Coates' land. The present school house is located on the southwest quarter of section 15.
The school house in district No. 6 was erected in 1861. It is of logs, located on the northwest quarter of section 24. Amelia Van Alstine was the first teacher in this house. Belle Glass is the present teacher.
The first school in district No. 7 was taught by Annie Humbert, in D D Evans' house on section 36. In 1866 a log school house was erected on the northwest quarter of section 36. This house was used but a few years when a neat frame building was erected on the same site.
The first school in district No. 8 was taught by Susanna Bolton, in a little log school house located on the southeast quarter of section 33. The school house is now located on the southwest quarter of section 27.
The first school house in district No. 9 was a log one erected on the northeast quarter of section 31, during the war. Maria Maroney was the first teacher. The first school house was destroyed by fire a few years after its erection, and the present frame house was built on the old site.
At an early day the Methodists held services in the northeastern part of the town, and a class was organized that flourished for several years. Prominent among the members were David Woodruff and wife, Mrs. Polly Crothers, Mrs. Esther Barnes, and Elijah Austin and wife, Rev. Prince was the first preacher, and after him Revs. Hafus, Walker and Elihu Bailey at different times officiated. The class only remained in existence for a few years, and then, as some of the members moved away, it was dropped.
The United Brethren organized at the school house shortly after the discontinuance of the Methodist class. Most of its members had belonged to the M E class. Rev. Potts was the first minister for the United Brethren class. Among the ministers who have filled the pulpit since are Revs. Young, Wright, Snell and Haskins. This class was continued for several years.
In 1873 the Christians organized a church in the school house of district No. 3, under the management of Revs. Jacob Felton and Lewis Himes. Among the first members of this church were Albert S Bailey and wife, Mrs. Amanda Ross, Michael McMillan and wife, Isaac Ferguson, William Fosnow and wife, John Beaman and Wilson Slayback and wife. John Beaman was elected the first class leader. This class met at the school house for about two years, and then merged with the Harmony Church. Revs. Himes, Felton and Pucket were among the pastors of the church. A Sabbath school was organized at the same time as this church, with John Beaman as superintendent. It met weekly and had a good attendance.
This postoffice was established in 1856, with Zenas W Bevier as postmaster. The office was kept at his house on the northeast quarter of section 2, and was on the mail route from Muscoda to Viroqua. Mr. Bevier was postmaster until the time of his death in 1861. D D Woodruff was then appointed postmaster and the office was removed across the line to the town of Sylvan. He was succeeded by Perry Dayton, and then in order came Mrs. Zenas Bevier, Mrs. William Smith, Edgar Harvey and William M Bevier, who was the last postmaster. He resigned in 1877 and the office was discontinued.
This postoffice was established in 1868. James Brady was appointed first postmaster and has kept the office ever since at his residence on section 19. At first the office was on the route from Richland Center to De Soto, and mail was received once each week. At present it is on the mail route from Muscoda to Sugar Grove, and mail is received once a week from each way.
In 1856 Isaac Miles erected a saw-mill on section 30. A dam was thrown across Knapp's creek and the mill was equipped with an up and down saw. He ran the mill for a few years and then sold to A. Wright, of Muscoda, Grant county, who rented the mill to different parties. Anthony Tracy is the present owner of the property, but the dam has gone out and the mill is no longer in use. This mill was not a success.
About 1853 a man named Barnes settled on the southwest quarter of section 12. He here erected a saw-mill, deriving the power from Mill creek. It was furnished with an up and down saw. It was a small affair, and was only run for a few years. The old frame is still standing, a monument to an unsuccessful enterprise.
During the war, William Osborne erected a flouring mill on the west branch of Mill creek, being aided in the enterprise by the citizens in the neighborhood. This was shortly after the Boaz mill had been burned, and Rodolf's was the nearest mill for this neighborhood. Mr. Osborne built a dam of brush and dirt, which set the water back and sent it through a race, which carried it to a spring under the bluffs. The outlet of the spring formed the tail race. A small frame building, boarded up and down with pine lumber was erected and one run of buhrs was put in. The mill did a good business until the mill at Boaz was rebuilt, soon after which Osborne traded the property to Edgar Harvey, of Richwood, for a farm. Mr. Harvey operated the mill for a time, and then disposed of it. Since that time it has changed hands frequently, and has not been running constantly. The present proprietor is William McRobbins, who has repaired the building and refurnished the mill. It still has one run of buhrs and the necessary machinery for doing good work. A saw-mill equipped with a rotary saw has recently been attached.
At an early day, J J Brown, a school teacher, opened a store on section 7. He purchased his stock of goods of Pease & Baker, at Richland Center. His means were limited, and for a time he worked under disadvantages. He did a credit business, often trusting parties whom other merchants refused; but he was a shrewd business man and a good collector, and made money rapidly. In a short time he removed to Excelsior and opened a store there. He is still in trade there, and is one of the most substantial merchants in the county.
James Brady opened a store at his home, and for about ten years kept a general stock of goods and did a good business. At the end of this period he closed out, and has since devoted his time to farming.
The town of Akan was created by the county board of supervisors at the November session, 1855. It was organized at a town meeting held at the house of Martin Munson, April 1, 1856. The inspectors of the election were Zenas W Bevier, Henry Miller and Julius C Jenks. George Barnes was clerk. The following were the first town officers elected: Supervisors, Zenas W Bevier, chairman, Rawley Crothers and Votany Butman; clerk, G R Barnes; superintendent of schools, Zenas W Bevier; treasurer, William Anderson; justices of the peace, William Anderson and G R Barnes; constables, William Elder and Joseph Dunson; assessor, William Elder. There were twenty-eight votes polled at this election.
At the annual town meeting held at the Center school house April 3, 1883 there were 114 votes polled, and the following officers were elected: Supervisors, James Bachtenkircher, chairman; John Huffman, Levi Pierce; clerk, A M Turgasen; treasurer, George Armstrong (appointed); assessor, C E Clarson; justices, James Bachtenkircher, J L Puckitt, A D Dennison and F M Shafer; constables, G W Hartman, Tim Kelly and W H Helm; health officer, Robert Webb.
The following personal sketches will show who are the wide-awake, energetic citizens of this town, and of whom too much cannot be said:
John Turgasen became a pioneer of 1853, and, although then possessed of no means, has been very industrious, economical, and exhibited such excellent management, that he is now considered one of the wealthiest farmers of Richland county. He was born in Norway, Jan. 21, 1824. Like the greater portion of his countrymen, he passed his earlier life on the farm and at school. In 1849 he emigrated to America, landing at the port of New York. He started for Wisconsin, going up the Hudson river to Albany, thence by the Erie canal to Buffalo, where he took a lake steamer for Milwaukee. From thence he went to Dane Co., Wis., and three weeks later to Dodgeville, where he obtained employment in the mines and at the smelting furnaces. In 1851 he came to Richland county, but did not then effect a settlement. He returned to Dodgeville, where he remained two years. He then removed his family to Richland county, and entered land on section 33, of town 10 north, of range 2 west. He has never removed from his first settlement, but during the years that have elapsed, has added little by little to his possessions and has been blessed beyond his earlier expectations. He has a beautiful home, and his family are surrounded by all the comforts of life. Mr. Turgasen was married, in 1849, to Annie Frederick, who died in May, 1857, leaving two children --- Thomas L and Anton M. His second and present wife was Helena Hanson, to whom he was married in 1858. Mrs. Turgasen is a very estimable lady, and highly respected by her large circle of acquaintances.
Lewis Dobbs, son of William and Mary (Helms) Dobbs, pioneers of the town of Akan, was born in Lafayette Co., Wis., March 14, 1850, and was five years old when he came to Richland county with his parents. Here he grew to manhood, assisting his father upon the farm and attending the district school. He was married in May, 1876, to Lucina, daughter of James and Eliza (Peters) McWilliams. She was born in Ohio. Soon after marriage they settled on their present farm on Knapp's creek, on sections 7 and 18. They have three children --- Nettie, Ole and George.
John Kelly, an early settler of Akan, was born in the parish of Egles, county of Tipperary, Ireland, in 1821, where he was reared to agricultural pursuits. In 1848 he left his native land and came to America, landed at New York, and from there went to Fort Washington, a point ten miles distant, where he obtained employment on a railroad, then in process of construction. He continued working there eight months, then went to Ohio and engaged in farming a short time, then to Bedford, and worked on the Pittsburg & Cleveland railroad two years, thence to Akron where he was employed on the Clinton extension two years. He next purchased two pairs of horses and engaged in teaming at Hudson, three months. He then came to Wisconsin and was first employed in railroading near Waukesha. He continued in that business until 1856. By this time he had saved enough of his hard earnings to purchase a home. He came to Richland county in the fall of that year and bought eighty acres of timber land on section 18. He constructed a rude shelter of poles, and covered it with "shakes." Then commenced cutting logs with which to build a more permanent abode, into which they moved when completed. He brought two horses, a colt and seven head of horned cattle with him. The following winter being a very severe one, his horses, and all but two of his cattle perished, leaving him without a team. During the winter he had cleared some land, and the following season he chopped in seed and raised a crop of corn and garden vegetables which served to keep the wolf from the door during the following winter. For such provisions as he was obliged to buy, he had to go to Orion and Muscoda, and could hire them brought as far as Excelsior; the remainder of the distance, he packed them on his back. In spite of all these hardships he kept up courage, and worked away and his good judgment and industry combined have made him successful in life. He is now the owner of 240 acres, about 150 of which are under cultivation. A neat and commodious frame house has taken the place of the log cabin of pioneer time. He is engaged in raising grain and stock. He now keeps from thirty to forty head of cattle and 150 sheep, besides other stock. Mr. Kelly was married in 1850 to Sarah Monohan, also a native of Tipperary, Ireland. They have seven children --- Timothy, Bridget, Sarah, Maria, William, John and Francis.
John H Rizer, a pioneer settler of Dayton, was born in Pittsburg, Penn., Feb. 10, 1830. His father was an edge tool maker in that city. In 1835 the family moved to Maryland and lived four years; thence to Tippecanoe Co., Ind., where his father purchased land and engaged in farming. Four years later his father died, leaving a wife and six children, the youngest an infant of six months. Six months after the father's death the mother died and the children became scattered. At the age of sixteen the subject of this sketch engaged with a tinner in Lafayette, Ind., to learn the trade. He served three years, then worked on a farm in Tippecanoe Co., Ind. He was married March 23, 1852, to Mary E Berry, born in Warren Co., Ohio, Nov. 2, 1837. He then rented a farm in the same county until 1854. In that year they started for Wisconsin with an ox team, taking their household goods and provisions with them, and camping at night by the roadside. After traveling seventeen days they arrived in Richland county. He entered land on section 20, of town 10, range 1 west, now known as Dayton, camping in the woods till they built a log cabin. In 1860 he, like many others, became excited with the so-called gold fever and started for Pike's Peak, where he was engaged in mining and prospecting a few months. He then returned to Richland county and purchased timber land on section 12, town of Akan, where he claimed a farm and built a good frame house. In 1882 he bought a farm on section 11, moved there and engaged in the dairy business, which was a new departure in that town. His example has since been followed by some of his neighbors. In 1882 he milked nineteen cows; in 1883 twenty-five. His farm now contains 302 acres, 180 of which are tillage and pasture land. It is well supplied with good water from a never failing spring, and being good grazing land is well adapted for a dairy farm. Mr. and Mrs. Rizer have three children living --- Marquis D, Lorena and Clara, also an adopted son, Willie. Mr. Rizer is of a genial, pleasant disposition and generally popular in the neighborhood in which he resides.
James Brady was a pioneer of Crawford county, where he settled in 1854. He is a native of Ireland, born in the parish of Kilshere, county Meath, in August, 1826. Here his younger days were spent on the farm, and in the subscription school, where he received a liberal education. In 1850 he bid adieu to his native land and sailed for America. He landed at New York and engaged at work in the machine shops of the Empire Stone Dressing Company, and remained there until 1854, when he came to Crawford county as before stated. He came on the cars to Madison, thence by stage to Highland, then started on foot to seek a home. He crossed the Wisconsin river at Port Andrew, on the 4th of July. He entered land on section 24, town 10, range 3 west, now known as the town of Clayton. He then returned to Madison and remained until October, when he hired a team to convey him to his western home. He thus had transportation as far as Martin Munson's in the town of Akan, at that time, the end of the road. He then procured an ox team and proceeded on his way. He camped on Knapp's creek while he built a log cabin, moving into it as soon as possible, and commenced clearing, and the following year he planted four acres of corn, and in the fall sowed four acres of corn, and in the fall sowed four acres of wheat on ground that never had been plowed. He worked his land without any team until 1857, when he bought a yoke of steers. He lived on this farm until 1861, then purchased land in Akan, on section 19, with some improvements, and lived on it until 1874, when he erected a frame house 20x30 feet, and two stories high. In 1882 he made an addition 20x30 feet, with a stone basement under the whole. He also has a frame barn 30x40 feet, with a stone basement. He now has 260 acres of land, 140 of which is cleared and farmed. He is largely engaged in raising grain and stock. He has always taken a lively interest in town and county affairs. He has served as town clerk six years, as treasurer six years, and as chairman of the board five years. He has also been postmaster of Brady's office since it was established in 1868. He has been twice married, first in 1853, to Ann Torney, who was born in county Meath, Ireland. She died in 1861, leaving two children --- Katie and Mary. His second wife to whom he was married in 1867 was Mary J Hagerty, she was born in Honsdale, Penn. They have had nine children --- Teresa J, James, Thomas F, Martha J, Margaret, Rosanna, John J, Louisa and Edward. The latter died in infancy. His second wife died July 28, 1883, and was buried in St. Phillips' churchyard, in Crawford county.
C E Closson, the present assessor of the town of Akan, is a native of Sweden, born June 9, 1822. He attended school as soon as old enough, until fifteen years of age, then engaged to learn the trade of dyer, at which he worked until 1849, then came to America, landed at New York, and immediately started for Chicago, going up the Hudson river by steamboat, thence on Erie canal to Buffalo; thence by steamboat to Chicago, where he remained two and one-half years, then went to Kane Co., Ill., and remained until 1855, when he started with an ox team, accompanied by his family, for Wisconsin. They took household goods and provisions with them, camping out in true emigrant style. After three weeks of travel they arrived in Crawford county. He entered land on section 3, of town 9, range 3 west, now known as the town of Scott. The family lived with a neighbor until he could build a log cabin. He continued clearing land and farming until 1862. He enlisted in August of that year in company G, 33d Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, and went south, served until after the close of the war, and was then discharged with the regiment. Among the battles in which he participated are Nashville and siege of Vicksburg. He was with Banks on his Red river expedition, and engaged in the battles of Pleasant Hill, Tupelo and Spanish Fort. While in the army he received a sunstroke, from the effects of which he has never fully recovered. He was promoted to rank of corporal in 1863, and to sergeant soon after. Upon returning, he resumed farming in Crawford county until 1866, then sold out and purchased his present farm on section 33, where he has since lived. He was married in 1848 to Martha Linsten, also a native of Sweden, born Jan. 19, 1822. They have had six children, five of whom are now living --- Frank, William, Lizzie, Maggie and Andrew. The first child, called Elizabeth, was born on the ocean, Sept. 22, 1849. She died in Chicago Sept. 22, 1850. Mr. Closson is educated in English as well as in Swede, and has held offices of trust in the town. He has been a member of the town board, and is now serving his fourth term as assessor, twelfth term as district treasurer, and has always performed the duties thus imposed upon him to the satisfaction of the people.
Robert Webb came to the town of Akan in 1868, and purchased the northwest quarter of section 5, which was at that time timber land. He immediately began clearing, and now has seventy acres of cleared land, and one of the best farms in the town. The log cabin, in which the family lived eleven years, has been replaced by a good frame house. He was born in Oneida Co., NY, Sept. 5, 1825. When he was seven years old his parents moved to Ohio, and settled in Geauga county, where his father died two years later. At the age of sixteen he went to Cleveland, and was there employed by B Harrington two years. Mr. Harrington was the possessor of a large library, to which the subject of this sketch had access, an opportunity for improving his mind and advancing his education which he did not fail to take advantage of. He returned to Geauga county and remained two years. He came to Wisconsin in 1845, and located in Rock county, purchased land in the town of Magnolia, improved a farm and lived there until 1853, when he sold, and moved to Green county. He purchased property in the village of Albany and opened a livery stable; also practiced as a veterinary surgeon, in which he was successful. He dealt largely in horses and in real estate. In 1868 he sold his interests there and came to Akan. Mr. Webb is a man of intelligence, and is well informed. He served several years as special deputy sheriff of Green county, and as constable of the village of Albany. He has served four years as justice of the peace in the town of Akan. He has been twice married, first to Lydia A Dunbar, a native of Oneida Co., NY. She died March 7, 1864, leaving three children --- Sarah J, Elizabeth A and Charles S. He was again married Dec. 31, 1866, to Elizabeth Mackey, who was born in Union Co., Penn. By this union there are two children --- William E and Cora A.
James Bachtenkircher, an early settler in the town of Sylvan, was born in Claremont Co., Ohio, April 15, 1835. When he was eleven years old, his parents emigrated to Clinton Co., Ind. His father was born in Germany, but was brought to America by his parents when only a year old. He grew to manhood's estate in the city of Philadelphia, receiving a good education in both English and German, and became a teacher by profession. The people in that part of Clinton county in which he settled were mostly of German descent, and he here engaged at his profession. The subject of this sketch received a liberal education, and remained with his parents until 1855. He then came to Richland county and located in the town of Sylvan. He did not, however, settle permanently, being at that time unmarried, but engaged in hunting and amusing himself generally. He killed many deer and other smaller game. At the end of one year he returned to Indiana and engaged with a carpenter and joiner to learn the trade, with whom he served two years. He then returned to Sylvan and worked at his trade two years. In 1860, in company with Michael Snyder, he started for Pike's Peak, traveling in a wagon drawn by a pair of oxen. At Council Bluffs they purchased a supply of provision for a year. After fifty-two days travel, they reached Central City, Col., where he worked at his trade until November. He then yoked his oxen and started on his return to Sylvan. He was united in marriage in the spring of 1861, with Sarah A, daughter of Hezekiah and Hannah (Sayers) Slaback, early settlers of the town of Sylvan. She was born in Tippecanoe Co., Ind. In 1862 he bought land on section 30, of Sylvan, and was engaged in farming during the summer and in teaching school in the winter. In 1864 he sold his farm and purchased land on section 29, where he lived until 1869. Then becoming excited by the so-called western fever, sold his land and removed to Kansas. He made a claim in Wilson county and engaged in farming, also worked at his trade until 1872, when he returned to Richland county and rented land in the town of Akan, until 1877. He then purchased his present farm, which is located on section 8. Mr. and Mrs. Bachtenkircher have four children living --- Dolphus, Fred, Frank and Nettie. Mr. Bachtenkircher is a man who possesses the confidence and respect of the community. He has been, and is still prominent and influential in public affairs. He served as clerk, assessor and justice of the peace, in Sylvan, and has been justice of the peace in Akan, since his residence here, and is now chairman of the town board.
Edgar Ward, an early settler of the town of Sylvan, was born in the town of Underhill, Chittenden Co., Vt., Feb. 27, 1837. He was there reared to agricultural pursuits. At the age of seventeen he went to Worcester, Mass., and spent two years in farming. He came to Wisconsin in 1855, and lived in Grant county till 1860; then came to Richland county and settled upon land on sections 19 and 30, of the town of Sylvan, which he had purchased the previous year. Upon this land was a small log cabin, into which he moved his family, and immediately commenced clearing. In 1863 he had cleared fifteen acres. He enlisted in December of that year, in the 33d Wisconsin, company B, and served until the close of the war, when he was discharged with the regiment Sept. 29, 1865. He participated in the following battles: Tupelo, Nashville, Spanish Fort, and other minor engagements. At the time of his discharge he was afflicted with sore eyes, which continued to grow worse, and at times he was obliged to confine himself in a dark room, and finally lost his sight entirely, but has since partially recovered it. He continued to occupy his farm in Sylvan until 1880, when he sold out, with the intention of going west, but changing his mind, he purchased his present farm, located on section 10, town of Akan. He has since bought other land, and now owns 140 acres. In 1883 he built a frame barn 30x40 feet. He was married in 1860 to Amy Stevens, who was born in Pennsylvania, July 20, 1843, and died Aug. 15, 1863, leaving two children --- Lincoln L and Amy. Mr. Ward was again married in March, 1864, to Rosanna McCord, a native of Mercer Co., Penn., born June 14, 1833. She was formerly the wife of Madison Ward, who died in the United States service, Sept. 29, 1863, at New Orleans, leaving four children --- Reuben, Laura, Susan and Rosanna. By the last union there are two children --- Columbia and Edgar E.
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