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From a sketch by John Wilson, July, 1836

was discharged at once. They continued this life for some years, but John came to the conclusion that it was not the right way to live, so he built a cooper shop near the house and did his work there. The girls grew up and helped their mother. They took more land and raised a good deal of stock for their own use and to supply the new settlers. Their home was a place of entertainment for people passing through the country, and John always proved a delightful host, amusing them with his tales of travel. He attended the meetings of the settlers to protect their claims on the land and hired the men to work on the farm, but never took an interest in the farming. Sometimes the girls would coax him to go out and look at the fields when there was promise of a heavy crop. They would say, "Isn't that a fine sight, father?" and he would reply, "Ah, it is beautiful! Just look at the different shades of green and see how they blend as the wind ripples the surface of it! What is the grass?"

In 1850 and 1851 they received their certificates of title to the land, signed by the President. Now that they really owned the farm and it was yielding a good income, John thought that he might turn his cooper shop into a studio and take up the work he most enjoyed-painting pictures. He spent months upon a picture, not for profit, but for the pleasure it gave him to create a thing of beauty upon the canvas, and when finished to present it to some friend. Cyrus Woodman, who admired his paintings, often entered one in some art exhibit or at a county fair. He received a number of prizes. He had a large library for early times and was a well-read man. It was the custom of the family to gather about the fireplace in the long winter evenings and take turns in reading aloud some book on history or science while the others worked and listened. He took charge of the education of the girls, so they were more intelligent than most of the pioneer families. C. C. Washburn and Cyrus Woodman of Mineral Point used to delight in visiting him and having a good argument with "Uncle Johnny," as he was called. The early settlers often came to him for help in deciding their disputes.

Mrs. Wilson had great repute as a nurse and the neighbors would come miles for "Grandma Wilson," as they called her, when there was sickness in their families. The Indian women

had taught her the use of herbs and she gathered a fresh supply each year. She was a Scotch Presbyterian and no unnecessary work was done upon the Sabbath day. It was a day of rest for man and beast. Food was cooked on Saturday, and Sunday's dishes were washed on Monday morning. The Bible was the only book read, and quiet prevailed over the whole place.

John Wilson died December 1, 1866, aged seventy-two years, and Janet died December 1, 1870, aged seventy-four years. She became too feeble to stay on the farm and so the last two years of her life were spent with her daughter, Catherine Oertel, in Prairie du Sac, where she died. Both were buried in the cemetery near Spring Green. They belong in the list of the early pioneers of Wisconsin. John Wilson's family was one of the first families that settled in Sauk County. The creek that flowed through his land is still called Wilson's Creek.



Winneconne was my home from 1877 to 1890, and for the first few years of that time was in its prime in the lumber trade. Four sawmills were running day and night in the busy seasonthose of Jones and Wellington, Sickles and Starks, Miller Brothers, and E. McNutt. The shrieks of the saws as they cut through the big logs, the whistles from mills, passenger boats, and tugs, and the slab wood which most people burned, never allowed one to forget that Winneconne was a sawmill village. Paulson and Pierson had a shipyard, where they built small boats and repaired others.

Winneconne's situation on the Wolf River made it a highway for logs from above Shawano on the river proper and its branch, the Little Wolf, to the Fox River, which it joined a short distance below Winneconne and from there through Lake Butte des Morts to Oshkosh. The logs were hauled from the camps where they were cut, and put into the river and floated down until they reached Bay Boom, about three miles above Winneconne. Many times these logs would get tangled up in the wheels of the passenger boats, but they never caused serious damage, though passengers were likely to grumble at the delay thus caused. I have an impression that once the O. B. Reed got mixed up with some logs, and had to stay all night between Winneconne and Tustin. At Bay Boom the logs were sorted out for each owner, and then made into rafts to be towed by the tugs to Oshkosh. What fussy, noisy, restless little things those tugs were. The Badger, S. W. Hollister, Ajax, M. D. Moore, and others were ahead, behind, up and down on each side of the rafts, whistling and responding to the call from the raftsmen, "Snub 'er," meaning to lower the growser and tighten the line connecting the raft with the tug. And those raftsmen with their long pike poles guiding the rafts, jumping from one rolling log to another! The bridge had to be kept open for the rafts, or rather the tugs, to go through— seemingly endless time if one was in a hurry to cross.

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