This is the oldest settled town in the northern part of the county, the first move in that direction having been made by Samuel Swinehart in 1844, when he made a claim on the present site of the village of Rockbridge and built a cabin of poles. He sold this claim to Harry Coles, a resident of Galena, Ill. In the spring of 1845 he (Coles) hired some men at Galena to come to this place and build a saw-mill. The names of the men were: William Dooley, James Baxter, David Pettie and Mr. McCann, all single men, and David Currie, with his wife and two children. He was a cripple, and expected to board the men. The single men started with one team and wagon, and Mr. Currie and family with another. They drove to Muscoda, and crossed the river to the present site of the town of Orion. The following day, accompanied by Capt. Smith and Thomas Matthews, they started to cut a road to Rockbridge. They attempted to follow a ridge, thinking it would prove a continuous elevation, but in this they were disappointed, and had proceeded but a few miles when they found themselves on the point of a bluff, where they camped for the night. In the morning Coles, with two or three others, started out to find a passage, but as none could be found they took the back trail, following the road they had cut the day before back to the river. They then concluded to leave the teams and make the trip by water, and accordingly embarked in canoes, as they were called, but, more properly speaking, they were "dug-outs." They thus proceeded up the Wisconsin river to the mouth of the Pine, thence up that stream to their destination. It took them a week to make the trip. Near the mouth of Rock creek the banks of the river had evidently been cut away, presenting the appearance of a ford, and upon inquiry they ascertained from the Indians that at that place the troops crossed when in pursuit of Black Hawk. The first thing done after their arrival was to build an addition to the Swinehart cabin, then work commenced on the mill. Capt. Smith and Thomas Matthews were employed to get out timbers for the frame, and a team being a necessity, the first road up the river to the natural bridge was cut. It was on the west side, and winding around the bluffs and swamps, was much longer than the present one. The mill was not completed for nearly a year, and soon after Coles sold to Moore & Akan. He then went away and his whereabouts were unknown. It is supposed that he went to the Mexican War. He was a dissipated man of ill-repute, and was generally considered a rascal. The men whom he hired by the month never received pay, and from some of them he borrowed money which he failed to return. Mr. Currie was determined to have his pay and sent a sheriff from Jo Daviess Co., Ill., to levy on property, starting himself on horseback to attend the sale and bid on the property. He was met at the Pine river ford by a band of "bullies" who would not let him cross, and as no one attended the sale it was not effected, and the men to this day remain unpaid. This was aggravating and discouraging. The men had worked hard, and some of them even Sundays. They were, at the time of going into the woods, entire strangers, but soon became fast friends. Provisions would often run quite low, and then all would start out in search of game, which fortunately was abundant, and many deer and bear were killed and devoured by the little colony. Honey was plenty, but of milk and butter there was none. The first cow of the country was still in the future. In the spring of 1846 David Pettie was taken sick. One of the party went to Highland in Iowa for a physician, but he came too late, and Pettie was soon dead. A consultation was held to determine what should be done with his body. It was thought by them that this country would never be settled by white people, that as soon as the timber was stripped off the land would be left to the Indians, and it would be barbarous to bury him in such a place, so his body was taken down the river and interred on land adjoining the town site of Orion. At this time the Winnebago Indians were numerous in this section and made frequent visits to the camp. Like most Indians they were fond of whisky and ready to trade anything in their possession for "fire-water." This man Cole once traded with a squaw giving two pints of whisky for a good heavy Mackinaw blanket. She had a tincup holding a pint, which he filled and passed to her, which she drank at once, taking away the other pint for a reserve, when she might again be thirsty. They never visited the camp without going to the natural bridge for worship, as that was regarded by them as a work of the Great Spirit.
In 1849 Orrin Hazeltine and his son Ira came here from Waukesha county. They were natives of Vermont, and purchased the mill property and some land in this vicinity. Here Orrin made his home until the time of his death. Ira now lives in the State of Missouri.
It is frequently difficult to obtain satisfactory information concerning the early settlement of a town. There is often a difference of opinion as to dates and events. As good a history of Rockbridge's early settlement as could be obtained in addition to that already given, is here presented, and the dates are mentioned whenever there is a good degree of certainty as to their correctness.
Francis M Stewart was an early settler. He lived at Rockbridge a while and then settled on the southwest quarter of section 8. In 1854 he sold out and afterward lived in different parts of the county.
Isaac Talbot arrived in 1851, and located on section 32. He made his home here until after the breaking out of the war, when he enlisted and died in the service.
W K Smith came from Kentucky in 1854, and bought the northeast quarter of the northwest quarter of section 30. He also enlisted and died in the army.
Thomas Gray and his son Daniel came as early as 1853, and settled on the southeast quarter of section 6, where they remained until the breaking out of the "Great American Conflict," when the old gentleman went to Minnesota, and Daniel, who was by profession a clergyman, returned east.
In 1850, Seth Butler, a native of New York, came here and made a selection on the northeast quarter of section 19. He remained about two years.
Buddington Kinyon, a native of Rhode Island, was first seen here in 1855. He settled on section 6, and still lives within the boundaries of that territory.
Donald Smith, a native of Scotland, came in 1854 and purchased land on section 18, and made it his home until the time of his death. His family still occupy the homestead.
Zenas and Ossian Satterlee were originally from Ohio, but came here from Illinois in 1851. Zenas entered land on section 20, where he made some improvements and remained about two years, then returned to Illinois. Ossian entered land on section 18, and lived here until 1854, when he sold to Donald Smith and went to Henrietta. The season that he made this move, J H Little came and entered the west half of the northwest quarter of section 6, where he improved a farm and remained until about the close of the war, then removed to the town of Marshall. He now lives in the town of Bloom.
The year following, Hugh Booher came, and settled on the northeast quarter of section 8. In 1860 he went to Pike's Peak and spent the summer. He then returned and soon after removed to Green county.
In 1854 James Coffin arrived and made settlement on the northeast of the southeast quarter of section 17. He remained until war times, then removed to section 16, and a few years later to "Steamboat Hollow," where he died in 1882.
Lyman Creed was an early settler, and made selection on the south half of the southwest quarter of section 30. He now lives in the town of Richland. The same season, section 31 received a settler by the name of Thomas Castello, who yet occupies the same place.
In 1855 Jonathan R Fullington, a native of Vermont, entered land on section 3, which he sold one year later to Morris Freeman and took up his abode on section 1, where he now lives.
Robert Monteith came from Richland Center about the same time and located on section 3. He remained but a few years, then sold out and went north.
In 1854 another Vermonter made his appearance, by name of Samuel Coleburn. He selected a home on the northeast of the southeast quarter of section 9. He was noted for telling remarkably large stories. He remained a number of years, and at last accounts was in Iowa.
J L Spears was from New York, and came here during the fall of 1855, settling in the village of Rockbridge and later on section 10.
Amasa Hoskins was a prominent early settler, and came here as early as 1850, from Illinois. He located on the northwest quarter of section 29. He remained in the town several years and then removed to Iowa, and has since been reported dead.
Jules Preston, a native of York State, came the same year and settled on section 29, and remained two years. He was a very hospitable man, and travelers were always welcome. He sold this claim in 1852 to John Poole, and returned east.
In 1851 William Dary came from Illinois during the summer, and entered land on sections 28 and 29, where he cleared a farm and lived until war times, then he sold out and went to Sylvan, where he may now be found.
Daniel McDonald came from Ohio in 1852 and entered the northwest quarter of section 19, then he returned to Ohio. In 1855 he came again and made settlement. He started with a pair of horses on the 15th day of October and arrived the 15th day of November. Meanwhile a neighbor had erected a log house for him, into which he moved and lived until 1880, then build his present frame house.
Peter Waggoner, of Pennsylvania, came here from Ohio in 1854 and entered land on section 32, where he cleared a farm and lived a number of years. He died in January, 1883.
Alden Hazeltine, formerly from Vermont, arrived in Rockbridge town in 1853, and entered the northwest quarter of section 15 and bought four lots in the town of Rockbridge. He made his home in the village until the time of his death, which occurred in February, 1883. His widow now lives in Richland Center.
In 1854 John S Scott, formerly of Pennsylvania, came here form Dane county and entered land on section 2, town 11, range 1 east. He then returned to Dane county and spent the winter. In March, 1855, he returned with the intention of settling on his place, but could only get as far as Rockbridge, as there was neither road or bridges. He therefore bought lots in the village, built a small frame house, where he lived until 1862, when he made settlement on his present farm, on the northeast quarter of section 2.
Samuel Holloway was quite an early settler, and died in April, 1855.
John Poole, a native of Pennsylvania, came in 1852 and located on section 29, where in 1857 he died. His widow is now the wife of Hiram Tadder, and lives on section 21.
From Vermont in 1854 came Hiram Austin, and purchased land on sections 15 and 22, where he lived until the time of his death, which occurred in 1869.
Henry Waggoner, of Ohio, came from West Virginia in 1855 and made selection on section 32 and cleared a farm. He now resides on section 33.
During the fall of 1854 Richard L White arrived from York State and entered land on section 3. He spent the winter in Avoca, and made a settlement on his place in 1855, where he now lives.
In 1851 Jacob Dury, of Virginia, came from Illinois and located on the northeast quarter of section 29, where he lived about ten years, then sold and removed to Sylvan, where he has since died. His widow is again married and still lives in that town.
The year following came among others Nicholas Pool, who was born in Ohio. He came direct from Illinois and bought land on section 29, town 11, range 1 east. He now lives on section 21.
The year previous (1851) also found Daniel Hoskins, a native of York State, on his way here from Ohio. Upon his arrival he stopped with his son Amasa. He is now dead.
George W Hancock, a native of Pennsylvania, came here from Dane county quite early in 1850, and first lived on the southeast quarter of section 19. In 1852 he bought the northeast quarter of section 17, and cleared a part of the land. He continued to live there two years and then moved to the southeast quarter of section 8, where he lived a short time, then went to Vernon county where he has since died.
Reuben, a son of George W Hancock, came here from California during the fall of 1852. He was not married and at first made his home with his father. In a short time he took unto himself a wife and settled on the northeast quarter of section 17, and built a log house and erected the first frame barn in the town, and probably the first in the northern part of the county. This was in 1853. He died the year following and was buried on the farm. His widow is now the wife of George Fogo.
In November, 1851, German and Hiram Tadder, natives of Vermont, came from Dane county. Hiram first settled on section 20, but now lives on section 21. German settled on the southeast quarter of section 17 where he cleared a small piece of ground, remained a short time and then sold out and bought land on section 28. He enlisted in the army where he contracted a disease in consequence of which he drew a pension. In 1867 he sold his farm and removed to Richland Center, where he died some years later.
Zenas Saterlee, a native of Indiana, came from Illinois in 1851, and located on the southwest quarter of section 20. He entered the land, made some improvements, remained two or three years and then sold out and returned to Illinois. Zadok Hawkins bought the farm and lived on it a few years, then purchased land on sections 29 and 32 which he occupied until 1875, when he died. The family are now scattered through various parts of the country.
In September, 1851, Abel P Hyde of York State came from Dane county and first settled on section 24 of the town of Marshall. Two years afterward he removed to Richland Center and remained until 1855 when he made his first settlement in Rockbridge on section 21. His home is now on section 10.
The same year (1855) Morris Freeman, formerly of Herkimer Co., NY, came here from Waukesha county and settled on section 3. He died in the village of Rockbridge in 1879. in 1854 another settler came in who made a settlement on the southeast quarter of section 8, where he still lives. His name is Samuel Marshall and he is a native of Jefferson Co., Ohio.
Daniel Hinemon came from Dane county in 1855 and located on section 28. He now lives in Sauk county.
Henry Leatherberry, from Jefferson Co., Ohio, came in 1854, and located on section 20, where he lived two years. He then moved to Henrietta, where he had bought land on section 8. He died there on the 19th day of December, 1882.
Daniel and James Snow, natives of New York State, and Jefferson county, came here from Dodge county in 1857 and settled on section 1, where Daniel still lives. James moved to the village in 1868, where he keeps a hotel, and is at present agent for the Singer Sewing Machine Company. About this time others came in from various sections of the country, but enough has been given to show the general character of the early settlement.
The town of Rockbridge was first organized in the spring of 1851. The first meeting was held at the village in a building owned by Orrin Hazeltine. At that time the following officers were elected: Jules Preston, Asa Sheldon and Amasa Haskins, supervisors; A E Decker, clerk; Julius Preston, Amasa Haskins and Orrin Hazeltine, justices of the peace; Robert Hawkins, assessor. The amount of tax raised from the levy of this year was $20. Illustrative of the difference between an election held then and now, in point of number of votes cast, a complete list of all persons voting at the election held in September, 1853, is here given. This was two years after the organization of the town, and while it comprised a larger extent of territory than now: George W Hancock, Samuel Haloway, John Pool, Reuben Hancock, John Marshall, John Jeffrey, Alexander Sires, Francis M Stewart, Moses Laws, Daniel Haskins, Alonzo E Decker, Seth Butler, Abner Aiken and Orrin Hazeltine.
The town assumed its present boundaries in 1856. The annual town meeting was held at the house of Alden Hazeltine, April 26, 1856, and the following officers were elected: J S Scott, chairman, Daniel Hineman and Samuel Marshall, side supervisors; J R Fullington, justice of the peace; Gaylord Freeman, superintendent of schools; Hiram Austin, treasurer; Hiram Freeman, town clerk; Hiram Tadder, assessor; Joel P Tadder and M A Davis, constables; Hiram Tadder, sealer of weights and measures.
At the annual town meeting held at the town hall April 3, 1883, the following officers were elected: Harvey Fogo, town clerk; James Washburn, chairman; Samuel Hendricks and D W Huntington, supervisors; George Hines, assessor; Augustus Hoskins, Noble Lieurame and James Washburn, justices of the peace; H W Cate and George Collins, constables; L N Herrington, treasurer.
The schools of this town may be called in fair condition. Some improvements could be made to advantage, yet no person can complain that an opportunity is not here afforded for obtaining a good education. There has been some school quarrels and unpleasant dissensions, but as a rule, the "department of learning" has received its share of attention. As early as 1853 a school district was organized in the western part of the town, and a school taught by Jane Hazeltine in a house that was built by Zenas Saterlee, on the southwest quarter of section 20. Two or three years later, a school house was built on the northeast quarter of section 29. In this house John Lewis was the first teacher. There seemed to be considerable dissension among the citizens of this district, and in a short time the school building was burned; another was soon erected, but was not allowed to stand, and soon afterward went up in smoke. The territory included in this district is now attached to other districts. A history is here given of the different school districts, so far as reliable information could be obtained.
In No. 1 the first school was taught by Adelia Hazeltine and Persis Hazeltine, in a slab shanty, on the village plat, in 1853. This was a subscription school. The only scholars in the district were the children of Orrin and Alden Hazeltine and Jacob Halloway. The teachers took turns, keeping the school one week each at a time. School was taught in private houses until 1856, when a frame house was built, in which Sarah J Smith was the first teacher. The present school building was erected in 1879, and in it Delia Knapp was the first teacher. The school at this time, (1884), is under the management of Laura Jenkins.
During the winter of 1856-7 the first school house was built in district No. 3. It was located on the southwest of the northwest quarter of section 27. Gaylord Freeman was the first teacher. The district continued to use this building until 1872, when a frame house was erected on the old site, in which Jemima McNamar was the first teacher. This position is now held by Maggie Welsh.
In district No. 4 there was a log school house built in 1858, located on the northeast quarter of section 17, and that winter the first school was taught by William H Lawrence. This building was in use until 1883, when a neat frame house was erected near the old site, in which John D Fogo first taught a term of school.
In district No. 5 the first school was taught by Phebe Skinner in 1857, in a log house belonging to Peter Waggoner. It was located on the northwest quarter of section 32. Two terms were taught in this building. In 1858 a log school house was built on the northwest of the northwest of section 32, which was in use until 1882, when a frame house was built on the southwest of the northwest of section 32. Mary Kennedy was the first teacher there. The present teacher is Mamie Foley.
In district No. 7 the first school was taught by Wilson Saterlee, in a house belonging to Elihu Pease, in the town of Henrietta. This was in 1857. About 1859 a commodious building was erected on the northwest quarter of section 5, on the town line, but in Rockbridge town. In that house Joel Judkins was the first teacher.
In district No. 9 the first school was taught in a log house belonging to Bronson Greaves, in the northeast corner of section 22. This was in the winter of 1859-60, and the teacher was Lucy Smith. She is now the wife of James Snow. In 1860 a log house was built on the same quarter, and within its walls, Amy McMurtry first kept school. In 1881 a large frame house was built on the old site, in which Abbie Joslyn was the first teacher. In district No. 10 the first school was taught by Lucy Snow, in a log house belonging to J S Scott, located on the northeast quarter of section 2, in 1866. That same fall a school house was built on the northwest of the northeast quarter of section 2. Lucy Snow was the first teacher in the house. Bridget Kennedy is now employed as instructor in this district.
In district No. 11 the first school was taught in a log house belonging to Nathan Schoonover, in the winter of 1868-69, by Jemima McNamar. In the fall of 1869 a log school house was built on the northeast quarter of section 34, in which Florence Washburn taught the first school. In 1883 a frame house was erected on the northwest quarter of section 34, at a cost of $460.
The actual first time when a religious service of any character was held in this town cannot be determined. If the first party of settlers who went up Pine river in 1845 ever held any religious meeting, they have not left a record of it. Prayer meetings were occasionally held years afterward in different places, but the pioneers of Rockbridge were without Church privileges for many years, and many of its inhabitants of the present day go outside the boundary lines of the town to attend Church.
A Methodist Episcopal class was organized at the house of Henry Leatherberry on section 20, in 1854, by Rev. Buck. Henry Leatherberry and wife, John Poole and wife, John Waddel and wife, Elizabeth and Margaret Leatherberry were among the members. Henry Leatherberry was class leader. Meetings were held in private houses until the school house was built. The society continued in existence a few years when some of the members moving away, it disbanded or "died out." In 1856 the first religious service in the village of Rockbridge was held in a slab shanty. The exercises were conducted by Rev. Hughart, a Methodist divine. Ministers of different denominations preached there from time to time, but no organization was effected until 1879 when a Methodist Episcopal class was formed by Elder J T Bryan. The following were among the members: Lyman Hazeltine and wife and R L White and wife. The society has not flourished and meetings are held only occasionally. During the winter of 1857-8, Rev. Timby, a preacher of the Methodist Episcopal Church, held a religious meeting in the school house on the northwest quarter of section 29, and organized a class. Seth Butler and wife, John Waddle and wife, Israel Janney and wife, Mrs. John Poole, James Cofran and wife, and Solomon Pruner and wife were among the members. Solomon Pruner was the class leader. The(y) were supplied by preachers from Richland Center, but during the war the organization became very nearly, if not quite, extinct.
Janney's postoffice was established in 1870, and Israel Janney was the first postmaster. He kept the office about one year, when upon his resignation Angus Smith received the appointment, and kept it at his residence on section 19 about three years, when at his request it was discontinued. It was on the route from Richland Center to Viroqua and mail was received three times each week.
Buck Creek postoffice was first established the same year and P M Clark appointed postmaster. The office was kept at his house on section 22. It was on the route from Richland Center to West Lima and mail was received every day. Two years later it was discontinued. In March, 1881, it was re-established with Mrs. Ann Clark, widow of P M Clark, as postmistress. She has the office at her store on section 22. There is a tri-weekly mail.
An early birth in this town was a son (Daniel) to Amasa and Jane (Murdock) Haskins, born in January, 1850. He is now married and lives in Buena Vista.
Reuben Hancock was among the first to die, which event occurred in July, 1854. He was buried on his farm on the northeast quarter of section 7.
The first steam saw-mill in the county was put up in this town by J J Shumaker & Co., in 1856, and was located on the northwest quarter of section 29. It had a number of saws, and lathes, fence pickets and lumber were manfactured. In 1857 Israel Janney purchased this mill, and sold it in 1863 to John Walworth, who two or three years later moved it to Richland Center, where it was afterward destroyed by fire.
The first wedding united the destinies of Wallace Joslyn and Emeline, daughter of Luman and Mary Thompson. This occurred in May, 1851, in the village of Rockbridge.
In 1854 a grist-mill was built by Alden Hazeltine, on the west side of the river near the natural bridge. The power was derived from the west branch of Pine river. A dam was built at the mouth of the tunnel, and a head of ten feet was thus obtained. It was furnished with one set of buhrs for grinding corn and cracking wheat. The people came to this mill for many miles around and it did a flourishing business.
This is the only village in the town and was laid out by Ira Hazeltine in June, 1851. It is located on the northwest quarter of section 10. The saw-mill and the first frame house were already built. The postoffice was established here in 1855, and D E Pease was the first postmaster. He kept the office in his store. He was succeeded by Alden Hazeltine, who held the office until the time of his death, when his son Lyman, the present incumbent, was commissioned. When first established it was on the route from Richland Center to Fancy Creek, and was carried horseback. At this time (1884) it is on the route from Richland Center to West Lima and has a daily mail. There is also a mail to Hillsborough three times each week.
Dester E & D G Pease opened the first store in 1855; they kept a general stock and had a good trade. They continued in business three or four years, and then moved their goods to Richland Center. The village was then without a store for some years. M H B Cunningham engaged in trade here in April, 1867, first keeping store in a building owned by D G Pease. In 1870 he put up a building 22x40 feet.
The first blacksmith was Abner Aiken, and his shop was built with poles, and his anvil placed upon a stump. He was engaged at work in the saw-mill and did not do much work in the shop. That business is now represented by George Collins and Orson Devoe.
The traveling public were for years entertained by Alden Hazeltine at his private residence. Ira Campbell opened the first hotel in 1876 and called it the Rockbridge House. In 1877 he sold to T J Smith who was landlord until 1879, when he left and the property fell into the hands of a party in Kansas. In 1880 Stephen Smith bought the property.
Israel Janney, one of Richland county's pioneers, was born in Loudoun Co., Va., Oct. 17, 1820. When he was but four years of age, his parents moved to Logan Co., Ohio, and there purchased 250 acres of land. They lived there but three or four years, and returned to Virginia, where they lived until 1830. They then moved to Detroit, Mich., and there his father died in 1833. His mother, with her eight children, returned to Ohio and settled upon the land which his father had previously purchased. Here the subject of this sketch grew to manhood. Taking advantage of the facilities then offered, he acquired a fair education. He was united in marriage on the 3d of December, 1840, to Elizabeth Miller, who was born at Fort McCarty, Hardin Co., Ohio, May 20, 1824. He then settled on land which he had inherited from his father's estate in Logan county. He lived there until 1846, and then came to Richland county, which was then an almost unexplored wilderness, inhabited by Indians and wild beasts. He located in township 9, range 2 east, now known as Buena Vista. He first made a claim on a quarter of section 32 or 33, of town 9 north, of range 2 east, now occupied by the cemetery, and to the west of the Matteson and Button farms, built a log house, broke and fenced about twenty-five acres. In the fall of 1848 he sold this claim and entered 160 acres on section 17, of the same town, built a log house, 18x22 feet, cleared forty-five acres, and three years later built a frame house and lived in it until 1854. That year he was appointed by the governor as register of deeds, to fill a vacancy caused by the death of Charles McCorkle, and moved to Richland Center. That fall he was elected to that position and afterward re-elected. In 1856 he was elected a delegate to the republican convention at Madison, the first ever held in the State. In 1857 he purchased a farm on section 29, town of Rockbridge. There was a saw mill upon this land, which he purchased and engaged in the lumber business as well as in farming. In 1860 he went to Colorado for his health, and engaged in mining, remaining there until 1867, making frequent visits during the time to his home in Rockbridge. In 1875 he entered the employ of A H Krouskop at Richland Center, selling goods for one year, then went to West Lima and remained one year, then returned to his farm. He has cleared a large portion of his land, built a neat frame house and barn, and now, in this comfortable home, enjoys the fruits of his labor. Mr. and Mrs. Janney were the parents of thirteen children, nine of whom are now living -- Lot T, Mary J, Jacob, Sophia M, Elizabeth, John F, Israel M, Abial K and Josephine. Isaac M was born Oct. 15, 1843, and died Jan. 15, 1844, in Ohio; William H was born Feb. 15, 1845, and died June 18, 1849; George K was born Aug. 17, 1852, and died July 14, 1853; Oscar was born May 21, 1854, and died Oct. 12, 1855. Both Mr. Janney and his wife united with the Methodist Episcopal Church in their younger days, but at the present time are members of the Church of United Brethren at Pleasant Valley.
Their son, John F., was born in Richland Center, Feb. 3, 1857, and received his education in the district schools of Rockbridge, except one year at Richland Center. He was married in December, 1879, to Eva, daughter of William and Mary (Thompson) Francis. They have one child -- Wilford. He settled at the time of his marriage upon his present farm on section 29.
Orin Hazeltine, a native of Vermont, came here in 1850 from Dane county. He, in company with his son Ira, bought the northwest quarter of section 10. In October they moved here, starting from Black Earth with three ox teams, loaded with goods. They came by way of Sextonville, cutting a road up the east side of the river to their new home. The company consisted of Orin Hazeltine and his son, Allen, Dexter Carlton and two strangers, one named Talbot, who afterward lived on section 32. Mr. Hazeltine built the first frame house in the town in 1851. It was built of slabs which were stood on end with the flat side in.
A P Hyde, one of the pioneers of Richland county, was born in the town and county of Otsego, NY, and there attained his majority and was brought up on a farm. In 1845 he came to Wisconsin and located in Lafayette town, Walworth county, where he was married in 1846 to Elvira Singletery. In 1848 he went to Dane county, purchased forty acres of land, and remained there until 1851, when, during the month of September, he came to Richland county, and settled in what is now the town of Marshall. He has been considerable of a rover and has lived in a number of places within and without the county since that time. In 1860 he went to Pike's Peak and engaged in mining a few months, then returned to Rockbridge. In 1882 he went to Dakota and made a claim in Miner county, remained one year, sold out, and again returned. His wife was a native of Grafton, Worcester Co., Mass. She died, leaving three children --- Ellen Lucinda, Charles and Ira. His second wife, to whom he was married Nov. 7, 1853, was Sarah Dary, a native of Virginia. They have one child --- Delila. He is a veritable pioneer, is well known as a hunter and a good shot, and even now is fond of the rifle. He has been prominent in town affairs and has filled many important offices. His present home is on section 10.
M H B Cunningham, a merchant at Rockbridge, was born in Huntingdon Co., Penn., April 11, 1842. When he was but an infant his parents removed to Illinois, and lived in Adams county four years, then came to Wisconsin, and lived in Potosi, Grant county, five years, and in Wingville, eighteen months, then moved to Iowa county, where his father purchased a farm. Here the subject of this sketch grew up, making his home with his parents until nineteen years old. Then in December, 1861, he enlisted in the 18th Wisconsin, company B, and immediately went to the front. He was engaged in the battle of Shiloh, and taken prisoner. He was confined in the prisons at Tuscaloosa, Mobile, Montgomery and Macon, Ga. He was paroled from Libby prison after a confinement of six months, and thirteen days. He joined the regiment in April, 1863, in Louisiana. Among the more important battles in which he participated the following are mentioned: Raymond, Miss., Jackson, Miss., Champion Hills and siege of Vicksburg. During this siege his regiment went to Mechanicsburg and participated in the battle there. After the fall of Vicksburg he was detailed to do guard duty at the depot two months. The regiment then went to Dixon's Station to repair the railroad; thence west to Chattanooga, taking part in the battle of Missionary Ridge and Allatoona Pass; joined Sherman at Atlanta, and was with him on his march to the sea. He was relieved from duty at Savannah in March, 1865, after having served three months more than his time. He returned to Madison and was there discharged. He then went to Blanchardville, Lafayette county, and worked at farming a few months, then opened a restaurant in Blanchardville, remaining there until 1867, when he came to Rockbridge, as before stated, where he has since conducted a successful mercantile trade. In 1883 he bought a steam saw-mill, which he put up at Rockbridge, and has been engaged in the lumber trade. He has been twice married. The first time, in 1865, to Hannah Cline. They had six children, four living --- William, John, Frank and Fred. Two daughters died in 1877. Mrs. Cunningham died Oct. 24, 1877. His second wife was Luela Lieurance. They have one child --- Bernie.
George Fogo, son of John and Jane (Dreghorn) Fogo, was born in Columbiana Co., Ohio, June 14, 1837 and came to Wisconsin with his parents in 1853, where he made his home until 1859. In March of that year he was married to Caroline, daughter of Harvey and Mary (Ewing) Dilingham. He then settled on section 17, town of Rockbridge, and commenced to clear a farm. He has been successful, has purchased more land adjoining until now his farm contains 240 acres, about one half of which is cleared. He has built a frame house and stable, and is engaged in raising grain, sheep, horses and cattle. He has been prominent in town and county affairs, has been a member of the board, and filled offices of trust in the town. Mr. and Mrs. Fogo have seven children --- Harvey, John D, Etta, Ormsly F, Jennie, Alice and Georgia. Mr. Fogo is among the best class of Richland county citizens, is a good business man, and has deservedly been successful in his undertakings.
Hiram Austin, one of the early settlers of Rockbridge, was born in Franklin, Vt., May 9, 1822, and there grew to manhood. When a young man he learned the trade of blacksmith, at which he worked in his native State until 1854, when he came west to seek a home. He came to Richland county and purchased land on sections 21 and 15, of township 11, range 1 east, now known as the town of Rockbridge, and immediately commenced to clear a farm, and made this his home until the time of his death, March 14, 1869. He was a natural mechanic, and could do almost any kind of work. A great part of the time here he worked as carpenter and joiner. He met his death by accident. While teaming logs the chain broke and the logs were unloaded on him, crushing him in a frightful manner. He was conveyed to his home, and died a few hours later, surrounded by his family and friends. He was twice married. The first time, in 1842, to Laura Dassanse. She died March 3, 1849, leaving two children, --- Herbert and Marietta. His second wife, to whom he was married Dec. 7, 1856, was Mary E., daughter of Michael and Catharine (Minnech) Statser. She was born in Washington Co., Va., April 12, 1831. When she was eighteen years of age her parents removed to Wisconsin and settled in Iowa county, where she married, at twenty-one years of age, William Ethridge. Her husband died after having been married three weeks. Eight children blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Austin, seven of whom are now living --- Charles L, Edward E, Irvin, Douglas, Florence, Minnie and Hiram. Mrs. Austin's mother lives with her. She has been so unfortunate as to lose her eyesight. She is now seventy-six years of age, and enjoys good health.
George Benton, son of Joseph and Janet (Davidson) Benton, pioneers of Richland county, was born in Jefferson Co., Ohio, Oct. 25, 1841, and was twelve years old when his parents emigrated to Richland county, and settled in township 11, range 1 west, now known as Marshall. Here he grew to manhood, assisting his father in clearing land, and attending the pioneer schools. He enlisted in February, 1864, in the 11th Wisconsin, company D, and joined the regiment near New Orleans. For a time this regiment was detailed to guard railroads, after which they entered active service, participating in many minor engagements and skirmishes. The most important battle was Fort Blakely. He served until the after the close of the war, and was discharged with the regiment in September, 1865, when he returned to his home. He remained on the homestead until 1870, when he came to Rockbridge and settled on a farm which he had purchased in 1867, located on section 16. He lived in a log house until 1879, when he built the commodious frame house which he now occupies. He has since purchased adjoining land, and his farm now contains 170 acres, 100 of which is cleared. He has been twice married. The first time, Feb. 22, 1866, to Mary E Dickason, of Ohio. She died in April, 1867. His second wife was Keziah Robbins, to whom he was married Oct., 2, 1868. She was born in Carroll Co., Ohio, and has also been twice married. Her first husband was Hamilton Davis. They lived in Belmont Co., Ohio, where he died Oct. 14, 1867. Mr. and Mrs. Benton have an adopted daughter --- Mary E.
John Stayton, one of the pioneers of Richland county, is a native of Delaware, born Nov. 15, 1820. When he was five years of age, his parents removed to Ohio, and settled in Fayette county. They resided there seven years and then removed to White Co., Ind., where his father rented a farm and lived one year, then removed to Tippecanoe Co., Ind., and lived there one year, and then removed to Fulton Co., Ind., where his father entered land, and they were among the early settlers. On that farm the subject of this sketch began his pioneer life. He assisted his father in clearing the land, and continued to live with his parents until the time of his marriage, July 7, 1849, to Nancy C., daughter of Isaac and Phebe (Lewis) McMahan. She was born in Champaign Co., Ohio, and her parents were also pioneers of Fulton Co., Ind. Mr. Stayton lived in Fulton county until 1854, and then, taking his family, started with a span of horses and wagon to join friends in Richland Co., Wis. They camped out on the way, arriving at their destination on the 4th of October. He entered land on section 23, town 12, range 1 west, in what is now the town of Bloom. The family lived with Mrs. Stayton's father until he could build a log house. He then began clearing a farm. In 1864 he enlisted in company G, 16th regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers, and went south and joined the regiment. He served until the close of the war, and was discharged in June, 1865. In the fall of the same year, he sold his farm in Bloom town and removed to Rockbridge, where he purchased a farm on section 21, town 11, range 1 east. Here the family lived in the pioneer log cabin until 1881, when he built his present comfortable frame residence. Mr. and Mrs. Stayton are the parents of eleven children, ten of whom are living --- Margaret A, Phebe J, James H, Robert T, Elizabeth A, David S, Carson R, George M, Lilly M, Isaac E and William A. Margaret married J W Cook, and is living in the town of Rockbridge. Phebe married D W Hutchinson, a resident of Berrien Co., Mich., and Robert is married and living in Day Co., Dak. David died May 10, 1861.
Stephen W Chesemore, (deceased) an early settler of Rockbridge, was born in Rhode Island, May 10, 1799. When he was but ten years old his parents removed to Vermont, and became pioneers in Orleans county. His father purchased wild land in what is now the town of Troy, cleared a farm and made this his home until the time of his death. The subject of this sketch was here brought up, and married Betsy Colburn, who was born in Rhode Island. Her parents were early settlers in the town of Glover, Orleans county. Twelve children blessed this union. They lived in Orleans county until 1854, then came to Wisconsin and located in Johnstown, Rock county. That same year he came to Rockbridge and purchased the south half of the southeast quarter of section 9. In 1856 he commenced to make improvements and built a house, into which, in January, 1857, he moved his family. Here he made his home until the time of his death, which occurred Sept. 4, 1877. His widow died in April, 1881. His son, Newton, was born in the town of Troy, Orleans Co., Vt., April 5, 1836. He was brought up on the farm, receiving his education in the common schools. He came to Wisconsin with his parents in 1854, and to Rockbridge with them in 1857, where he remained a few months, then went back to Rock county, remained until 1859, then came back to Rockbridge. He enlisted in August, 1862, in the 25th Wisconsin, company B, and went to Fort Snelling, spent a few months in Minnesota, then went south and was with Sherman on his grand march to the sea, through the Carolinas, and thence to Washington, participating in many of the important battles of that remarkable campaign. He was discharged with the regiment in June, 1865, and returned to Rockbridge. He then purchased the south one-half of the southwest quarter of section 10, and commenced clearing his present farm. He was married in 1866 to Mary Fogo, widow of John Tippin. They have two children -- Genie F and John Stephen Wheeler. His son, Dighton was also born in the town of Troy, Orleans Co., Vt., in December, 1837. He came to Wisconsin with his parents in 1854, and that year he visited Richland county, made a short stay, and returned to Rock county. In the fall of 1855 he went into the pineries and spent the winter lumbering. The following summer he was employed rafting down the river and also each succeeding summer until 1861, when he enlisted in the 11th Wisconsin, company D, and went south. Among the many battles in which he participated, are mentioned the following: Siege of Vicksburg, Cotton Plantation, Jackson, Mobile, Fort Blakely and Montgomery. He re-enlisted in 1864, and served until after the close of the war, and was discharged in September, 1865, then came to Rockbridge. He was married in 1868 to Delia Hazeltine. He first purchased land on section 4, town of Rockbridge, cleared a small portion of it, and traded it for land on sections 4 and 5, where he cleared a farm and made his home until 1881. His wife died the 9th of September of that year, leaving three children --- Lee, Guly and Pearl. He has rented his farm and now makes his home in Rockbridge.
Moses B West, one of the pioneers of Richland county, is a native of the Empire State, born at Deerfield Corners, Oneida county, in 1814. When he was but one year old, his parents moved to Wayne county, where they were early settlers. His father was a land speculator and purchased a large tract of land and commenced to improve several farms. Here the subject of our sketch made his home with his parents until twelve years of age, then engaged on the Erie Canal as cabin boy, and worked in this capacity until eighteen years of age, then took charge of a boat, and was thus employed until 1854, when he started west to seek a home. Coming to Richland county, he purchased 160 acres of land on section 21, and commenced clearing a farm. He first built a log house, but in 1883 erected the frame house in which he now lives. He has engaged in raising stock and horses. He is a lover of fine horses and always keeps a good team. He was married in 1846 to Nancy Tadder. They have eight children living, --- Delphina, Ada, Emma, Moses, Augusta, Florence, Sarah and Ruth.
Morris Freeman (deceased), an early settler of the town of Rockbridge, was born in Herkimer Co., NY, in December, 1803. His wife, whose maiden name was Mary Snell, was also a native of the same county. In 1846 they emigrated to Wisconsin and settled in Waukesha county, remaining there until 1855, when they came to Richland county and located in the town of Rockbridge, as before stated. He lived on a farm but a few years, when he moved to the village, where he remained until his death, which occurred Jan. 29, 1879. Mrs. Freeman died March 4, 1883. They were the parents of thirteen children, seven of whom are now living --- Hiram, Gaylord, Elizabeth, now the wife of C H Smith; Marietta, now the wife of D G Pease; Charlotte, now the wife of E P Austin; Norman and Levi B.
Angus Smith, son of Alexander and Elizabeth (McDonald) Smith, was born in Yellow Creek township, Columbiana Co., Ohio, on Sept. 2, 1832. His younger days were spent in school and on a farm. In 1855 he paid a visit to Richland county, in company with his uncle, Daniel McDonald. He remained but a short time, and started on his return, going to Highland, thirty miles distant, on foot. He traveled from there to Warren, Ill., by stage, and the remainder of the journey by rail. He was married Jan. 3, 1856, to Matilda Hart, also a native of Columbiana county, and in 1859 started with his family for Richland county. His family then consisted of his wife and two children, his mother and sister. He purchased his present farm on section 19, town of Rockbridge. It contained 140 acres, the greater part of which was timbered. He has since purchased adjoining land, and now has 230 acres, 130 of which are cleared. He has paid considerable attention to the raising of sheep, of which he has a large flock, also to the raising of fine grades of horses and horned cattle. Mr. and Mrs. Smith are the parents of five children --- Lydia Ann, John A, Elizabeth Alice, who died at the age of four, Maggie and Phila. Mr. Smith's parents were natives of Scotland, and came to America in 1806. They were early settlers in Columbiana Co., Ohio, where his father bought land and cleared a farm, making it his home till the time of his death, in 1853. His mother is still living at the home of her daughter, in the town of Marshall.
Daniel McDonald, one of the pioneers of Rockbridge, was born in Columbiana Co., Ohio, in 1813. He is of Scotch descent, his parents having both been born in Scotland. They emigrated to America in 1806 and settled in Columbiana county, where they lived until the time of their death. The subject of this sketch was reared to agricultural pursuits, receiving his education in the pioneer schools of his native county, where he remained until 1855, when he came to Richland county, as before stated. He had previously, in 1852, visited this county, and entered land on section 19, town 11, range 1 east, now known as the town of Rockbridge, and had employed one of the settlers to build a log house for him. His aunt and sister preceded him on the way, having come by cars and stage, and were at the log cabin to give him welcome. He immediately commenced to cut a farm out of the heavy timber, an undertaking of considerable magnitude and requiring energy and perseverance. His farm now contains 203 acres, one-half of which is cleared. At first he made a specialty of raising grain, in a few years added a sheep husbandry, and now raises horses and cattle. His aunt died in 1861, and his sister in 1868. He is a bachelor, has a good frame house and comfortable home.
Budington Kinyon, one of the pioneers of Rockbridge, was born in the town of Richmond, Washington Co., RI, Aug. 19, 1800. He made his home with his parents until twenty years old, when he went to Connecticut and engaged in farming, stone-cutting and mason work in New London county until 1832, when he went to Illinois and purchased prairie and timber land in Edwards county, where he improved a farm, which he sold in 1855. The 1st day of May of that year, in company with his family, he started with a team for Wisconsin. On the 3d of June he arrived in Iowa county and remained until August, then came to Richland county. He purchased the northwest of the southwest of section 6, town of Rockbridge, built a log house and cleared a part of the land, living there two years, when he bought his present farm --- the south half of the southeast, and the southeast of the southwest of section 6. He has been twice married. The first time, to Mary Ann Price, in 1826, who was born in Long Island, York State. They had six children, two of whom are now living --- Mercy and James. She died in 1840. His second wife was Eliza Morrell, a native of the State of Maine. They had ten children, four now living --- George, Jedediah, Elmond and Budington E. She died July 11, 1875. Mr. Kinyon, now in his eighty-fourth year, is a hale, hearty man, with strong mind and good memory, a remarkable person for his age. His son, George, with whom he now makes his home, was born in Edwards Co., Ill., March 9, 1846; came to Wisconsin with his parents and made his home with them until twenty-one years old, meanwhile attending the pioneer schools and assisting his father in clearing a farm. He was joined in marriage with Alberta Braithwaite Sept. 12, 1874. She was born in Richmond Co., Va. They have four children --- Clara Belle, Charles E, Lottie L and Martha Eliza. In 1877 he settled on the old homestead.
Herman T Hamilton, son of an early settler of Richland county, was born in the town of Stockbridge, Madison Co., NY, March 22, 1828. His younger days were spent in school and upon the farm. He came to Richland Co., Wis., in the summer of 1855, settled in Richland Center, bought four lots and built a house. In 1855-6-7, he was engaged in teaming from Madison and Galena to Richland Center, then the nearest railroad station. In 1859 he bought land on section 29, town of Richland, where he resided three years. He then sold and returned to Richland Center, where he remained one year. In 1865 he bought the west half of the northwest quarter of section 13, town of Rockbridge, and engaged in farming. In 1872 his house with all its contents was consumed by fire. He then removed to his present farm, the east half of the same quarter. He has since cleared about twenty acres of the land, and built the house in which he now resides. Mr. Hamilton was married in 1852 to Mary J Kimball, a native of Onondaga Co., NY. She died at Richland Center in April, 1856, leaving one child --- Wilfred. He was again married in 1858 to Marian Kinney, daughter of Thomas Kinney and early settler of Richland county, who came to Richland Center with her father's family in February, 1855. In the summer of 1856, she taught one of the first schools in the town of Henrietta, receiving six dollars a month and "boarding around." She was born in Sidney Co., Nova Scotia, Feb. 21, 1838, and has four children --- Jennie May, Orcutt S, Edward R and Essie Bell.
O S Welton, one of the early settlers of Richland county, is a native of the State of New York, born Aug. 16, 1821. When he was eight years old his parents moved to Medina Co., Ohio, remained there eight years, then moved west and settled in Fulton Co., Ind., when he was nineteen years old. He afterward went back to Ohio and learned the trade of carpenter and joiner and followed the same in Indiana until 1855, when he came to Richland county and located at Richland Center, where he worked at his trade until 1858, when he went to Henrietta and purchased land on section 17. He cleared a part of this land and lived here three years, when he traded for land on the northeast quarter of section 22, town of Rockbridge and moved there. He enlisted in December, 1861, in the 2d Wisconsin Cavalry, company F, and went south. He re-enlisted in 1864 and served until the close of the war. After his return he sold the farm in Rockbridge, and went again to Henrietta and bought a farm on section 20, where he lived for about ten years, then sold out and purchased his present place on the southeast quarter of section 22, town of Rockbridge. Since that time he has engaged principally in farming, occasionally working at his trade. He has a good farm containing 114 acres. In 1882 he built the frame house in which he now lives. He was married in 1858 to Caroline, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (Stevens) Kinney. They have had six children --- Eliza, Alvin, William, Ada, Clara and Millard.
Richard Wade Hampton, one of the pioneers of Richland county, was born in Richmond, Va., April 24, 1807. When he was a young man he learned the carpenter's trade. He was married in 1829 to Sarah Smith who was born in Goochland Co., Va., Dec. 26, 1800. They lived in Richmond until 1832, then when the cholera raged they fled the city, and went to Fluvanna county where he engaged in farming until 1849, then moved to Lewis Co., W. Va., and there worked at his trade until 1856, when he came to Richland county and settled in town 11, range 1 west, bought land on section 24 and lived here until the time of his death which occurred Nov. 18, 1862. His widow died in March, 1880, while on a visit to her daughter in Missouri. They had seven children, three of whom are now living --- Elizabeth, now the wife of Samuel Schoonover, lives in Rockbridge; Sarah Ann, now the wife of Thomas Schoonover, now lives in Missouri; and Wade R., the only son, who was born in Fluvanna Co., Va., Feb. 24, 1837. He came to Wisconsin with his parents and made his home with his mother until 1865, when he purchased a tract of timber land on section 30, town of Rockbridge and commenced clearing a farm. He now has 183 acres of land, eighty-five of which is in a good state of cultivation. He was married in 1859 to Sarah Collins, who was born in Gilmore Co., W. Va. They have eight children --- John, Richard, Nancy E, Alvaretta, William, James, George W and Mary A.
Isaac Johnson, Sr., (deceased) a pioneer of Richland county, was born in Virginia, June 9, 1800. While he was quite young, his father died and he was apprenticed to a miller to learn the trade. At the age of twenty-one, he went to Fredericksburg, where he was employed in a flouring mill. In 1830 he was married to Elizabeth Calhoun, a second cousin of John C Calhoun. She was born in Culpepper Co., Va., Feb. 19, 1810. They remained in Culpepper county where he was engaged in running a flour mill on the Rappahannock river, nine years. They then went to Ohio and settled in Logan county, where he bought a farm, and lived till 1856, then came to Wisconsin and settled on section 32, of the town of Rockbridge. He purchased timber land which he cleared and made his home till the time of his death, July 15, 1873. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson had thirteen children born to them, ten of whom lived to attain their majority --- Robert Calhoun, Mary, William, Martha, Enoch, Ann, Isaac, Hattie, Cleveland and Willis H. Their son William was born July 23, 1835, and came to Wisconsin with his parents. He enlisted in the 11th Wisconsin, company D, on Jan. 4, 1864, and went to the front. He died in Brazee City, La., in September, 1864. He had been married but two weeks when he enlisted. His widow is married and lives in Iowa. Enoch was born Aug. 5, 1840. He enlisted in 1864 in the 6th Wisconsin, company B, and died at Huntsville, Ala., in June, 1864. His widow now lives at Redwing, Minn. Isaac was born Oct. 2, 1845, and was reared to agricultural pursuits, receiving his education in the district school. He was married in 1875 to Ida, daughter of John C and Harriet (Stockwell) Davis. They have four children --- Martha, William C, Harry and Isaac. He now occupies the homestead with his mother.
John S Scott, one of the pioneers of Rockbridge, was born in Erie Co., Penn., July 5, 1806. When he was but one day old his father died, having been accidentally killed. When he was three years old his mother died. He then went to make his home with an uncle named John Shaddock, in Erie county. Here he was well cared for and given an opportunity to obtain an education. When he was but fifteen years old he went to New York State and worked on the Erie canal, at Lockport, one summer. He then returned home and labored at farming for two years; then went east, labored and taught school one year in Herkimer Co., NY, then visited Philadelphia and other places and taught school in Northampton Co., Penn., and acted as book-keeper for a contractor on the Mauch Chunk & Schuylkill Railroad Company for over one year. After an absence of five years he returned home and engaged in the mercantile trade in Erie county, in company with his cousin, two years, then went to Erie City and clerked two years. He then engaged in an iron foundry as book-keeper and general manager until 1843, when he came to Wisconsin and visited different parts of the State. In the spring of 1844 he went to Walworth county and purchased land in the town of Hudson, where he built a house, improved a farm, and lived until 1848, when he sold out and removed to Dane county, purchased land in the town of Oregon, and improved another farm. In 1854 he sold out there and came to Richland county, prospecting as before stated. He has been twice married. His first wife was Ann Whitmore, and they were married in 1848. She was born in New York State, and died in Rockbridge, in December, 1860. His second wife, to whom he was married Jan. 1, 1862, was Martha Thompson, who was born in Bakersfield, Franklin Co., Vt. They had one child --- Ida May. A young lad named George Handy has made his home with them since six years old.
Edward Murphy came to Rockbridge in 1856. Being an unmarried man at the time he did not immediately settle, but engaged to operate a steam saw-mill, on section 29. In 1858 he went to Iowa and spent a few months in Allamakee and Winneshiek counties, then returned to Richland. In 1864 he went to Colorado and engaged in mining at Pike's Peak, seventy-two days. He spent two years in the territory prospecting and milling, then returned and went to West Virginia, where he remained one and a half years. At the end of that time he came back to Richland county and purchased forty acres of land on section 34. After completing a log house with a shake roof, he commenced to clear the land. He has, since that time, bought other land and now has 200 acres, sixty of which are cleared. He has a large frame house and barn. Mr. Murphy is a native of Frederick Co., Md., born Feb. 26, 1837. While he was very young his parents moved to West Virginia and settled in Lewis county, where he grew to manhood, obtaining his education in a subscription school, and living there till 1856. He was married in 1859 to Cynthia, daughter of Peter and Sarah (Oswalt) Waggoner. Ten children have been born to them --- James William, Joseph Warren, Mary A, Margaret, Alice, Robert, Cora, Eldora, Lewis and Simon. Mr. Murphy is well known throughout the county and has served as a member of the county board.
Jacob Anderson, one of the early settlers of Richland county, was born in Carroll Co., Ohio, Feb. 1, 1822. When he was eighteen years old his parents moved to Indiana and settled in Allen county, where they purchased timber land, cleared a farm of 120 acres, and his father died. The subject of this sketch assisted his father in clearing this farm, and made his home there until 1853. On the 1st day of September, that year, he was married to Elizabeth M Kever, who was born in Jefferson Co., Ohio, Nov. 21, 1825. They remained in Allen county until 1856, then came to Richland county, bought a house and lot in Richland Center, and lived there until the spring of 1857, when he engaged in farming on rented land in the town of Ithaca. In 1859 he purchased timber land on section 36, town of Rockbridge, but did not settle on it until 1866, until which time he was in the employ of William Bowen. In 1866 he erected a good log house and commenced clearing his present farm. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson are the parents of four children --- Hugh Wiley, Matilda C, Cyrus Newton and John M. Mr. Anderson has been a member of the town board, clerk of school district, and served a number of terms as school director.
Enoch Gray, one of the early settlers of Richland county, is a native of Maine, born in Waldo county, June 2, 1835. He received a common school education. When young he learned the cooper's trade. In 1856 he started west to seek a home, came to Richland county and rented land in Ithaca and commenced farming. In 1858 he took a pre-emption on section 35, town of Ithaca, but sold without making any improvements, and again rented land. He enlisted in August, 1862, in the 25th Wisconsin, company B, and went south. He served eleven months, and was then discharged on account of disability and returned home. He again enlisted in September, 1864, in the 43d Wisconsin, company F, and returned south. Among the more important engagements in which he participated were the battles of Johnsonville and Nashville, Tenn. He served with the regiment until the close of the war, and was discharged with them in June, 1865. While he was in the army his family settled on section 25, town of Rockbridge, where he had bought forty acres of land previous to his enlistment. Since his return from the army this has been his home. He has since purchased other land, and his farm now contains eighty acres. He was married in March, 1856, to Ruth Spaulding, also a native of Waldo county. They have nine children --- John, Charles, Eben, Enoch, Steven, Frank, Burt, Lillian and Melvin.
Silas L Carpenter, son of Halsey and Sarah (Vannetter) Carpenter, was born in Chautauqua Co., NY, April 8, 1839. He made his home with his parents in York State and the eastern part of Wisconsin, and came to Rockbridge with them in 1856. He was then but seventeen years old and started out for himself, and by energy, industry and economy has secured a good home. He first went to Lone Rock and engaged in farming. He was married to Clarissa E., daughter of Stephen and Sarah (Glazier) Smith. She was born in Windham Co., Vt. They spent the winter in Rockbridge. In the fall of 1864 he enlisted in the 16th Wisconsin, company H, went south and joined the regiment at Marietta, was with Sherman on his march to the sea and through the Carolinas to Washington, where he was discharged with the regiment in June, 1865. In the fall he bought land on section 10, town of Rockbridge, joining the village plat. He built a log house, in which he lived until 1869, when he erected the frame house in which he now lives. His farm contains seventy acres, sixty of which are cleared and in a good state of cultivation. His wife died Sept. 29, 1879, leaving six children --- Leroy, Alice, Fred, Elma, Nellie and Edith. His second wife, to whom he was married March 29, 1880, was Delia, daughter of Tilas and Hannah (McCann) Knapp, early settlers of Marshall.
Albert J Straight (deceased), an early settler of Richland Center, was born in Dover town, Athens Co., Ohio, in 1829. He was the son of Benjamin Straight, who was born in Dutchess Co., NY, in 1797, and moved to Athens county in 1816, and in 1856 came to Richland Center, where he died, Oct. 27, 1874. His widow still lives there. Albert, the subject of this sketch, also came to Richland Center in 1856. He was married in 1867 to Mary, daughter of Daniel and Maria (Bristol) Mosher, and settled on his farm on section 32, town of Rockbridge, which was his home until the time of his death, Dec. 31, 1872. He left a widow and three children --- Victor, Edward and Flavius. Mrs. Straight now carries on the farm, which is one of the best in the town, and is in a good state of cultivation. She has a good frame house and a large frame barn.
William Francis was an early settler of the town of Sylvan, coming there in 1856. He bought 280 acres of land on section 9, cleared about thirty acres, and lived there until 1860, when he sold out and purchased his present farm, which contains 167 1/2 acres, a part being in the town of Rockbridge, and a part extending over the line into Marshall. He has 145 acres of cleared land, making one of the best farms in the county. In 1883 he built a large frame house. He is a native of York State; was born in Essex county April 24, 1826. When he was five years old his parents moved to Erie Co., Penn. His father purchased timber land in the town of Girard, cleared a farm and made this his home until the time of his death. The subject of this sketch made his home with his parents until eighteen years old. He was married the August following to Mary Thompson, who was born in Swansey, NH. He then located in Fairview, Erie county, and engaged to learn the shoemaker's trade, which having accomplished he went to Lockport, Erie county, opened a shop and carried on the shoe business until 1855, when he moved to Wisconsin, lived in Dane county and worked at his trade in the town of Rutland until 1856. Mr. and Mrs. Francis have had eleven children, ten of whom are now living --- Orren, Saloma, Salina, William Rush, Alice, Ida, Evaline, Charles, Calvin and Prudence. One child, named Millie, died in infancy.
Abraham Anderson was born in Carroll county Nov. 24, 1828, and was thirteen years old when his parents moved to Allen Co., Ind. in 1854 he was joined in marriage with Rebecca Blythe, who was born in Jefferson Co., Ohio, Feb. 9, 1836. They remained in Allen county until 1856, and then came to Richland county. They have had thirteen children, eleven of whom are now living --- Jane, David G, Henry, Lina E, Ellen, Carrie, Mary F, Amanda, Eliza R, Charlotte and George E.
David Anderson, in 1856, with three brothers, named Jacob, Abraham and William, natives of Ohio, came to Richland county from Allen Co., Ind., starting from there with five horse teams and driving twenty-six head of cattle. They were twenty-six days on the road, and arrived in Richland Center October 18. David was born in Carroll Co., Ohio, Aug. 21, 1834, and was six years old when his parents moved to Indiana; here he grew to manhood, making his home with them until 1856, when he came to Wisconsin. He was a single man at that time and made his home with his brothers until 1860, when he went to Colorado and engaged in mining and farming, remaining until the fall of 1864, when he returned east and spent the winter visiting in Indiana, Ohio and Richland county. In the spring of 1865 he settled in Champaign Co., Ill., and rented land until 1866, when he made a purchase and settled thereon. He was married in 1867 to Jennie Blaker, who was born in Logan Co., Ind. They had five children --- Annie, Belle, William, Mary L and Charles. He remained in Champaign county until 1880, when he sold his farm there and returned to Richland county and purchased a farm of 160 acres on sections 17 and 20, town of Rockbridge, where he now lives, engaged in raising stock and grain.
Richard Pratt, one of the early settlers of Rockbridge, was born in the city of Albany, NY, in November, 1815, where he lived until fifteen years of age, then went to Kalamazoo, Mich., and subsequently came to Wisconsin, locating in Iowa county, in November, 1837, where he was one of the early settlers. He was married there, in 1848, to Sarah Gray, who was born in Franklin, Warren Co., Ohio. They remained in Iowa county until 1856, then came to Richland county and purchased timber land on sections 5 and 6, town of Rockbridge, making his way here with horse and ox teams. He first erected a log house and commenced to clear a farm. That same year he purchased a saw mill and engaged in the lumber business. This was during the hardest times ever experienced in this county. People who wanted lumber were not in circumstances to buy, and the enterprise proved a failure. Then he again gave his attention to farming, cleared a good place, built a good frame house and made it his home until the time of his death, which occurred in March, 1880, leaving a widow and two sons. The eldest son, James T, lives in the town of Henrietta. He was married in 1873, to Emma, daughter of Thomas C Clark. His farm is located on section 31, in sight of the old homestead. The younger son, George Benjamin, occupies the old homestead with his mother.
Daniel Snow, son of Horatio and Sarah (Cole) Snow, an early settler of Rockbridge, was born in Jefferson Co., NY, July 18, 1834. When he was but eight years old, his parents emigrated west and settled in Dodge Co., Wis., where they were among the pioneers. His father purchased land in what is now the town of Emmet, improved a farm and made this his home, until the time of his death. His widow is a resident of Watertown, Jefferson Co., Wis. The subject of our sketch here grew to manhood, receiving his education in the public schools. In December, 1857, in company with his brother, James, he started with an ox team for Richland county. After eight days of travel, they arrived at Rockbridge and entered land on section 1, of that town. They were both single men at this time and kept "old batch," in a log house with a "shake" roof, which they erected on the southeast of section 1, until 1859. That year, on the 4th of September, Daniel was married to Annie, daughter of Henry and Elizabeth (Robinson) Simpson, early settlers of Henrietta. They have six children --- William, Victor, Paul, Vira, Scott and Frank. He now owns 165 acres of land, about thirty of which is cleared. He has taken pains to preserve his best timber, and now has some of the most valuable land in this section of the country.
John Clarson first came to Rockbridge in 1858 and purchased land on section 14. At that time he was without a family and boarded with Hiram Austin a few months. In November of that year he went to England and there was married to Anna Cook. In February, 1859, he returned with his wife to their new home where he has cleared quite a tract of land, built a comfortable log house, and yet remains. He was born in Tamworth, Staffordshire, England, Dec. 6, 1836. When sixteen years old he entered the employ of a draper and learned that trade, which in this country would be called the dry goods trade. He served until twenty-one years old and then came to America. He landed in New York and immediately came to Wisconsin, spent a few months in Waukesha county and then came to Richland as before stated. Mrs. Clarson was born in Weitheystaky, Staffordshire, England, Jan. 17, 1839, and died in Rockbridge, Richland Co., Oct. 27, 1876, leaving five children --- John Sidney, Robert Henry, Annie May, John and Charles Arthur.
Charles Stuart settled in the town of Rockbridge in the fall of 1859. He purchased timber land on section 17, built a neat hewed log house, cleared a farm and here made his home until the time of his death which occurred Oct. 31, 1877. He was a native of Scotland, born in Aberdeenshire, Aug. 5, 1820, and was brought up on a farm. He was joined in marriage in 1847 with Mary Brown, also a native of Aberdeenshire and emigrated to America in 1854. They had two children --- Maggie and Mary. Mrs. Stuart and her two daughters now occupy the homestead.
William Wiley was a pioneer at Milwaukee, having settled there as early as 1835. At that time Milwaukee was but a small settlement, and people traveled from there to Chicago on foot, carrying their provisions on their backs. He remained there until 1859, when he came to Richland county and purchased land on section 20, of the town of Rockbridge, and commenced to clear a farm. He was joined in marriage, in 1862, to Mary, daughter of Israel and Elizabeth (Miller) Janney. They lived in a log house until 1871 when he built the good frame house in which they now live. He has engaged in raising stock and grain, keeps a dairy and has paid considerable attention to fruit growing. He is also a great lover of flowers and has more than 800 varieties of garden and house plants, all of which show the care of a skilled florist.
Peter Waggoner, one of the early settlers of Richland county, was a native of Pennsylvania, born in Adams county, March 4, 1795. When he was twenty-one years of age he emigrated to Ohio and settled in Sauk county, where he was an early settler. He was married there to Sarah Oswalt. In 1835 he moved to West Virginia and lived there until 1851, when he returned to Ohio and lived there until 1854, then came to Richland county and settled in the town of Rockbridge, and purchased land on section 32. He improved a farm and made his home here until 1871. His wife died in July of that year. His latter days he spent with his son, Peter W., and died at his home Jan. 16, 1883. He was a man with a strong will and an iron constitution and retained his faculties in a remarkable degree until the time of his death. He left five children --- Michael, Henry, Peter W., Elizabeth, now the wife of Henry Lint; and Cynthia, now the wife of Edward Murphy. His son, Peter W., was born in Stark Co., Ohio, May 13, 1833. He always made his home with his parents, never having been separated from them until the time of their death. He was married in 1871 to Harriet Warren, also a native of Ohio. They have three children --- Minnie May, Cynthia and Mary Ann. His farm is on section 32.
Alexander Chisholm, (deceased) settled in Rockbridge in 1864. He purchased land on Fancy creek, on sections 19 and 30, in the town of Rockbridge, and adjoining land on sections 24 and 25 in the town of Marshall. He built a frame house on section 19, and unfortunately, located it too near the creek, so that when the water was high it was surrounded, and the family were obliged to leave in a boat. The house was moved to its present location on higher ground. Mr. Chisholm cleared a large tract of land and made this his home until the time of his death, Sept. 8, 1876. He was a native of Columbiana Co., Ohio, born in January, 1827. When a young man he learned the trade of stone mason, at which he worked some years. He was married in May, 1859, to Marjory McBane, who was born in Columbiana Co., Ohio, Aug. 14, 1835. Two children blessed this union --- Daniel Alexander and Elizabeth Jennett. Mrs. Chisholm and the children now live at the homestead.
P M Clark, the first postmaster of Buck Creek postoffice, was born in Lewis Co., NY, April 5, 1819. When he was fifteen years old he went to Canada and there learned the carpenter-trade; remained a few years, returned to York State where he worked at his trade until 1844, when he returned to Canada. He was married there in 1846 to Ann Kinney, who was born in Sidney Co., Nova Scotia, Aug. 3, 1829. They remained in Canada until 1863, then moved to Lockport, NY, where he engaged in his trade until 1865, when he came to Richland Center. There his health failed him, and in the spring of 1878, he moved to the town of Ithaca, where he died July 5 of that year. He left a widow and nine children to mourn his loss. The children are --- Charles T, George M, Sarah M, Albert, James Victor, Hattie M, Lillian, Emma F and Minnie. In the fall of 1878 Mrs. Clark with the family returned to Richland Center and lived until 1881, when they returned to Rockbridge, settled on section 22, and opened a store where she now keeps a good assortment of articles in general use. She is postmistress of Buck Creek postoffice.
Samuel Hendricks settled in Richland county in 1865. He first purchased eighty acres of timber land in the town of Henrietta on section 31, the greater part of which he cleared and fenced. In 1869 he sold this farm and purchased 120 acres on section 21, town of Rockbridge, where he moved and commenced clearing a farm. He has since purchased adjoining land and now has 210 acres, 118 of which is cleared. Here he has built a house, barn and granary, and is engaged in raising stock and grain. He was born in Westmoreland Co., Penn., Feb. 19, 1820. When he was three years old his parents moved to Ohio and settled in Columbiana county, where his father purchased timber land and cleared a farm. Here his mother died soon after making settlement, and his father married again. When he was nine years old his father sold out here and moved to Michigan, settling in Kalamazoo county, where he was among the first settlers. When seventeen years old his father died, and he was obliged to look out for himself, and returned to Ohio where an uncle was living. The following winter he attended school in New Lisbon, and the next summer engaged in farming near Wellsville, attending school the next winter again. He afterwards learned the shoemakers trade. He was married in 1843 to Sarah Brande Bey of Columbiana county. He rented land and engaged in farming, and also worked at his trade in Ohio until 1849, then went to Michigan and purchased an improved farm of forty acres in Kalamazoo county. Two years later he sold this farm and bought 204 acres of timber land, and commenced to clear a farm. In 1857 he sold out and started for Iowa. He located at Iowa City and there engaged in teaming, remained until 1864, when he purchased some horses and started overland for California. He changed his mind on the way, and went to Virginia City, Idaho. There he sold his horses, bought a pair of mules and started for home bringing three passengers with him, arriving at length after an absence of six months. A few weeks later he made an overland trip to Leavenworth, Kan., returning to Iowa City he remained until the spring of 1865, when he came to Richland county. His wife died in 1857 leaving four children --- Janie, Elizabeth, James Madison and James Monroe. His second wife, to whom he was married in 1852, was Levina Ream, also a native of Columbiana county. They have seven children --- Nathan, Jacob, Adda, Annie, Samuel, Mary and Lettie. Mr. Henderson has been a republican in politics since the organization of that party. He cast his first vote for Harrison for President. He is a member of the town board, and has been prominent in public affairs, and is a man to be relied upon in administration of affairs public or private.
E P Austin settled in Rockbridge in 1865. He is a brother of Hiram Austin, and was born in the town of Franklin, Franklin Co., Vt., Feb. 28, 1830. His education was obtained at the district school, and two terms at the Franklin academy. In 1852 he came to Wisconsin and located in that part of Marquette county, now known as Green Lake county, where he worked in a saw-mill and at farming until 1855, when he commenced driving stage and continued it until 1858. He then engaged to travel with a circus, which he followed till 1863, when he went to Dunleith, where he was employed by a transport company, engaged in transferring goods across the Mississippi river. He enlisted in 1864 in the 10th Illinois Cavalry, and joined the army of the southwest in Arkansas, serving until the close of the war. He was honorably discharged in New Orleans, in June, 1865, and returned to Dunleith, remained a short time and then came to Rockbridge. he was married in the fall of 1865 to Charlotte, daughter of Morris and Mary Freeman, who was a widow at this time. Her first husband, who was Loring Davis, had enlisted a few months after marriage, and died in the service. Mr. and Mrs. Austin are the parents of eight children --- David Grant, Everett, Herbert, Hiram, Lena, Martha, Loring and Mary. At the time of their marriage they settled on the farm formerly occupied by Mr. Davis, on section 10. He has since bought and homesteaded other land, and his farm now contains 160 acres on sections 10 and 11. The frame house, in which they now live, was built in 1869.
Christopher Scholl settled on his present farm in 1866. He purchased timber land on section 34 town of Rockbridge. He first built a log house and stable of the same material. Since that time he has made great improvements, having cleared quite a tract of land and built the neat frame house which he now occupies. He was born in Oneida Co., NY, Dec. 25, 1839. When he was eleven years old he went to Madison county and lived until his eighteenth year when he returned to his home in Oneida county and lived two years. Then in 1859 he came to Wisconsin and located at Whitewater, where he engaged to learn the cooper trade. He enlisted in August, 1862, in the 28th Wisconsin, company D, and went south. His health failing he was discharged on account of disability in March, 1863, returned to Wisconsin and resumed work at his trade in Whitewater until 1866, the date of his settlement in Rockbridge. He was married in 1864 to Mary Balch a native of New Hampshire. They have three children --- Hattie B, Emma May and Alice.
Philip Shookman settled on his present farm in 1867. It is located on section 25. There was a log cabin on the place at the time and but a small clearing. He has since cleared quite a tract of land and built a commodious frame house. He is a native of Pennsylvania, born in Franklin Co., Jan. 1, 1834. Here his younger days were spent in school and on the farm. In 1847 he emigrated to Indiana and located in Allen county and engaged in farming, living there until 1867, when he came to Rockbridge as before stated. He was joined in marriage in 1854 to Lydia Youse, a native of Ohio. They have four children --- William M, Samuel F, Marshall E and Eliza J.
Col. James Washburn came to Richland county in April, 1868. He there bought timber land on section 15, town of Rockbridge. He was born in the town of Manlius, Onondaga Co., NY, Aug. 15, 1821. He received a good education in the public schools in that county. When fourteen years old he went to work with his father, who was a carpenter, and from him learned that trade, which he followed in that State until 1853, when he removed to Monroe Co., Ohio, and there worked at his trade until the breaking out of the "great American conflict," when he enlisted in the 25th Ohio, company B, and served as captain until 1862, when for gallant and meritorious conduct, he was promoted to the rank of colonel, and took immediate command of the 116th Ohio Volunteers. He was severely wounded at the battle of Snicke's Ferry, July 18, 1864, and was at home sixty days, when he joined the regiment, but was not again able to do active service. He was discharged July 7, 1865, and returned to Ohio, where he remained until 1868, when he came to Richland county. He has since cleared a large tract of land, erected a good set of buildings, and now enjoys all the comforts of an eastern home. He has taken a lively interest in the welfare of his adopted county, and is one of its best and most favorably known citizens. He has filled offices of trust, having been chairman of the board several years. He has also served a number of terms on the county board, and was a member of the Assembly in 1882. He was married in November, 1845, to Maria Jewett, who was born in Deerfield, Franklin Co., Mass. They have five children --- Florence, Lucy R, Murray, Mary and Jewett.
John G Sands came to Richland county in 1868, and entered the employ of J W Bowen, remaining with him two and a half years. In 1870 he purchased timber land on section 34, of the town of Dayton, cleared twenty-five acres, and lived there till 1881, when he sold, and bought his present farm on section 34, town of Rockbridge. He is a native of the north of Ireland, his family being of the Scotch Presbyterian persuasion, and was born in the county of Antrim, in 1846. He was there brought up upon a farm, and obtained a liberal education in the public schools. At the age of nineteen he left his native land and came to America; landed at New York and went to Ohio, where he spent one year in Mahoning and one in Trumbull county, coming from there to Richland county in 1868. He was married in 1870 to Mary A., daughter of Henry and Matilda (Tanner) Waggoner. They have six children --- William H, Frank, Herbert, Julia, Peter and Nona.
F M Stevenson, proprietor of a steam saw-mill, was born in Champaign Co., Ohio, Jan. 3, 1830. When he was but an infant, his parents moved to Allen county, where he grew to man's estate, being reared upon a farm and obtaining his education in the district school. At the age of sixteen, he went to work in a saw-mill and learned to be a sawyer. In 1847 he was married to Maria Donel, who was born in Logan county. After marriage he engaged in farming in Allen county. In 1859 he went to California and spent four years, after which he returned to Allen county and remained until 1868, when he came to Richland county and worked upon a farm in West Lima until 1875. He then moved to Woodstock and worked in a saw-mill for a time, then engaged in farming till 1880. In that year he came to Rockbridge and went into the lumber business in which he is still engaged. Mrs. Stevenson died in 1855, and he was again married in 1864 to Elizabeth Spyker, widow of Frederick Boyd. Two children have blessed this union --- Della and Edward. Della died at the age of thirteen. Mrs. Stevenson has two children by her former husband --- Orrin G and Zittie. Mr. Stevenson has built a large frame house and is clearing a farm as he takes off the lumber.
H W Cate settled in Rockbridge in 1870, and purchased land on section 22, a small part of which was cleared. He has since cleared quite a tract, built a neat frame house and other buildings and now has a pleasant home. He is a native of the Green Mountain State, born in Orange county in July, 1833, and was there brought up on a dairy farm. When he was eighteen years old he engaged with a carpenter and joiner to learn the trade. In 1854 he came west and spent three and one half years in Cleveland, Ohio, working at his trade, and on board boats on the lake. He came from there to Dane county and purchased land in the town of Verona which he improved and where he lived until 1870 when he came to Rockbridge as before stated. Mr. Cate was married in 1853 to Violette Annis, born in Orleans Co., VT, Jan. 7, 1836. They have one child --- Benjamin Freddie, born March 5, 1876.
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