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The latter portion of the article need not concern us here; the former, although a purely pioneer essay in the field, set forth about all the arguments that can today be advanced in favor of forest conservation. With prophetic insight it forecast the arrival of a time when scarcity of timber would become for Wisconsin a serious economic factor. "Though we have at present," it stated, "in almost every part of Wisconsin an abundant supply of wood for all our present purposes, the time is not far distant when, owing to the increase of population, and the increased demands from the neighboring states of Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota, a scarcity will begin to be felt. This scarcity may be considered as already begun in several of the counties along our southern border, where there was originally much prairie and open land. In these counties, the annual fires having been prevented by settlement and occupation, trees are now springing up rapidly in all waste places; and in this way nature is already making efforts to prevent the disasters we are thoughtlessly bringing upon ourselves by the destruction of the forests . . . But it would be idle for us as a state to rely upon this natural restoration of the forests; we must sooner or later commence the cultivation of wood for the purposes of fuel, lumber, timber, etc., or suffer very much from the neglect.”

Despite this early, stirring appeal of Dr. Lapham, nothing was done by the state in answer to it. The reason for this inaction was suggested in the report itself: "It is much to be regretted," it states, "that the very superabundance of trees in our state should destroy, in some degree, our veneration for them. They are looked upon as cumberers of the ground, and the question is not how they shall be preserved and beautified, but how they shall be destroyed."

Here, succinctly stated, we have the pioneer attitude toward our forests, and until men should come to adopt another point of view it was vain to discourse to them upon the folly of destroying our trees. A dozen years later, notwithstanding, Lapham returned to his self-appointed task. As a consequence he was in 1867 made chairman of a special forestry commission created by the legislature of that year. This commission was charged with

the duty of reporting to the legislature "facts and opinions relating to the injurious effects of clearing the land of forests upon the climate; the evil consequences to the present and future inhabitants; the duty of the state in regard to the matter; what experiments should be made to perfect our knowledge of the growth and proper management of forest trees; the best method of preventing the evil effects of their destruction; what substitutes for wood can be found in the state"-and, generally, such facts as might be deemed most useful in connection with the entire subject.

The outcome of this legislative action was the production of a report of one hundred pages "On the Disastrous Effects of the Destruction of Forest Trees, Now Going On So Rapidly in the State of Wisconsin." But again, as in 1855, apparently no other result than the printing of this report followed. In short, another generation of extravagant folly on the part of the people was requisite before the voice of a Roosevelt could rouse in them even the beginnings of a real appreciation of the situation. By that time, however, the forests of Wisconsin were almost goneanother case of locking the stable after the equine inhabitant thereof had taken its departure.

We cannot undertake here to review this early report, but a few citations from it may be in order. "At the present time," it said, "we look over the state and see in the southern most populous and least wooded portion, the forests have been destroyed at such a rate that they do not yield a supply adequate for the wants of the present inhabitants; and the forests of the northern regions, heretofore considered the inexhaustible storehouse of wood for the adjoining treeless districts, will soon be so reduced that the people must look elsewhere for their supplies, unless a better policy in regard to them be speedily adopted." Such a policy, it was argued, must come into effect as the result of governmental action, since individual initiative lacked both the pecuniary inducement and the effective power to secure adequate results.

Interesting illustrations of the disastrous effects of forest destruction upon the flow of streams are supplied by the Milwaukee River and its tributaries. "Such has been the change in

[its] flow," it is stated, “even while the area from which it receives its supply is but partially cleared, that the proprietors of most of the mills and factories have found it necessary to resort to the use of steam, at a largely increased yearly cost, to supply the deficiency of waterpower in the dry season of the year. Until this was done many large mills were closed for want of water in the latter part of summer and early autumn; while the floods of spring are increased until they are sufficient to carry away bridges and dams before deemed secure against their ravages. The Menomonee River, a small tributary of the Milwaukee, has been affected in the same way and to a still greater degree, because a larger proportion of the water-supplying area has been stripped of its forest trees. Several of the mills that formerly found sufficient power upon this stream, have been entirely abandoned; others are propelled a large share of the time by steam. Down its channel during and immediately following heavy rains, great floods sweep along, doing more or less damage; followed in a very few days by dry pebbly or muddy banks and bed, in which only an occasional pool of water can be found."

All of the figures of this early forestry report are long since out of date; and time has proved erroneous many of the detailed calculations employed. Thus, it is argued that wood must ever be the reliance of the poor for fuel, since the cost of bringing coal three hundred miles or more will be such as to prohibit its general use. But whatever these errors of detail may be, the outstanding fact remains that to Increase A. Lapham, the state's first great scientist, belongs the credit of seeing the need of forest conservation a generation in advance of his fellows, and of doing his utmost to direct their attention to the problem.




During the three months' period ending July 10, 1921, there were twenty-four additions to the membership roll of the State Historical Society. Four of these enrolled as life members, as follows: David True Hackett, Palo Alto, California; Irving E. Hinze, Chicago, Illinois; Michael B. Olbrich, Madison; Harry Sauthoff, Madison.

Seventeen persons became annual members of the Society: Julius C. Birge, St. Louis, Missouri; Samuel Bond, Mondovi; George Brown, Madison; Carl Chandler, Blanchardville; Dr. W. A. Engsberg, Lake Mills; Emma J. Gardner, Milwaukee; William S. Hoffman, Prairie du Chien; Joseph C. Johnson, Blair; Arthur P. Kannenberg, Oshkosh; James J. McDonald, Madison; Alfred K. Nippert, Cincinnati, Ohio; Anita E. North, Hudson; Bernard M. Palmer, Janesville; Mrs. Frederick H. Remington, Milwaukee; Dr. John W. Schempf, Milwaukee; Martha E. Sell, Madison; William W. Sweet, Greencastle, Indiana.

The high schools at Cambridge, Lancaster, and Wausau enrolled as Wisconsin school members.

J. L. Sturtevant, Wausau, changed from annual to life membership.

A Beloit newspaper preserved in the State Historical Library, issued in the month of August, 1862, preserves a report of the death on the field of battle of Lieutenant Frank W. Oakley of the Seventh Wisconsin Regiment of Volunteer Infantry. But newspaper reports sometimes err, particularly in giving news from the field of battle, and so, fortunately, this one did. Mr. Oakley survived, to receive his honorable discharge at the close of the war, minus one arm and plus a commission as major. On June 30, 1921, he terminated almost sixty years of service for the national government. For four years he was a soldier in the Union army; for several years thereafter, postmaster of Beloit. With the organization of the United States District Court for Western Wisconsin in 1870, Major Oakley became its first marshal; this office he continued to fill, with the single exception of the first Cleveland administration, for over a quarter of a century. Since 1897 he has efficiently filled the office of clerk of the same court. While acting as clerk of the court he was appointed by Judge Bunn receiver for the Madison and the Superior street railways, and he served for a time as president of the Madison Street Railway.

For upwards of a third of a century Major Oakley has served as curator of the State Historical Society. Of the members now on the board, only professors Parkinson and Anderson exceed Major Oakley in length of service.

Miss Emma J. Gardner of Milwaukee calls attention to an erroneous statement contained in Professor Fish's article on "An Historical Museum," published in the March, 1921, number of this magazine. The statement in question ascribes to Dr. George W. Peckham credit for founding the Milwaukee Public Museum. According to C. H. Doerflinger, in an address on "The Genesis and Early History of the Wisconsin Natural History Society at Milwaukee," read on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the society, its founder was Peter Engelmann, a German "Forty-eighter" who became principal of the Milwaukee German-English Academy in 1851. The address shows that Dr. Peckham made important scientific contributions to the society.

In the June number of the magazine mention was made of Michael Nippert, a Napoleonic soldier, buried near Baraboo. June 14 the grandson of this man, Judge Alfred K. Nippert of Cincinnati, passed through Madison on his way to visit the family homestead. Judge Nippert was much interested in the work of the Society; he gave us information concerning four generations of his family.

Judge Nippert states that his ancestors were originally French Huguenots, at home near Lyons. After the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, they removed to the neighborhood of Strassburg, where his grandfather, Michael, was born. He was enrolled in Napoleon's army and marched with him to Moscow. On the terrible retreat from that place, which broke Napoleon's power, Nippert and his relative, Michael Herschinger, were among the last to cross the bridge near Moscow, just as the Russians blew up the structure to prevent the French retreat.

At the close of his military service Nippert decided to emigrate to America; he and his family crossed the ocean in the early twenties, went to Pittsburgh, and took the first side-wheel steamboat that went down the Ohio River. The first American home of the Nippert family was in Monroe County, Ohio, near the present town of Powhattan, among the Captina Hills. This was the historic site of the Mingo Indians, and of Chief Logan's home. After several years in Ohio the Nippert family removed to Freeport, Illinois. Thence they came in 1847 by ox team to Sauk County, Wisconsin, and settled just west of Rock Hill cemetery opposite the present Sleutz place. The Herschinger family had preceded them to this place. There the elder Nippert and his wife died, and were buried in this cemetery.

Judge Nippert's father, Louis, had before this last removal left home to enter the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1850 he was appointed to go to Germany on a mission. Before leaving, he visited his father's family in Wisconsin. Judge Nippert has in his possession the journal of the journey. The traveler went from Cincinnati to Sandusky by rail in a wood-burning engine, the journey lasting twenty-four hours. From Sandusky he went by boat to Detroit, across Michigan by stage, and again by boat to Milwaukee. He left the latter place by stage for Janesville and Madison. From the latter place he walked to Fort Winnebago, then on to Baraboo along an Indian trail. In the autumn he crossed to Germany, where he remained

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