Another woman who came as a pioneer and lived through those active and stirring times but who now wa tc hes b esi de the pass ing tide of life in a qu iet w ay is Mrs. Charlotte Sterns. The writer spent four very pleasant years in her home a nd an interview meant merely a c alling to mind many of the things he had often talked over before. Mr . and Mrs. Sterns came to W eston's Rapids in 1856. The Coburns owned the saw mill and grist mi ll there and carried on big lumbering operations up the river . Sam W eston known locally as Old Sock” was the head man. A man named Searls who later moved to Augusta ran a boarding house. There were only a few women there and many ro ugh looking men, but Mrs. Sterns says they all treated her with greatest respect. Many of the LaCrosse men who later became wea lth y wer e fa miliar figures up and down the river . One night a flood carried away the bridge leaving Mr . Sterns’ cow on the other side of the river . N.H. W ithee who was conducting the log drive told him to wait till the logs got past and he would get the cow over . He crossed the river in a canoe, caught the cow and paddling the canoe back he led the cow which s wam after him. “I remember” said Mrs. Sterns “what was probably the first funeral in the County . A young man from Maine named Chas. Locke was drowned just below the dam. My husband made the cof fin. There was no minister here. Someone read a chapter from the Bible, a prayer was of fered and there were some who could sing a hymn. The cof fin was carried by six men, on poles (there being no handles) to a place east of where Sol Johnson’ s old cabin stood and he was buried there. S hor tly after another man named Hall, also from Maine died and was buried close by .” Christmas did not count for much then .” I think I remember th eir having dances at th e ho li day s .” “Political excitement ran high the first fall we were here was the Fremont- Buchanan election, and later the Civil W ar came on.” A school was established in a log house left by a family that move d out. Maria Dore taught there and later a young lady from the South of much refinement and education was the teacher .” Under the excitement of the times she was suspected of being a Rebel spy .” I knew Pattengill the In dian trader very well; alw ays dis liked h im and never let him come in to my h ou s e. ******************** Old Christmas T imes as T old by Mrs. King Mrs. R. W. King when asked about the pioneer Xmas in Neill svi lle said “In those days “Xmas seemed much dif ferent from what it does just at present. Boys and girls believed in the old yarn stoc king then and when morning came after Xmas eve it usually found the stocking fu ll. Not so much of toys and useless articles as with boots for the boys and slates and pencils for the girls. These were received with the same joy in now a days. And our Xmas dinner was never complete without raised buns with raisins in them. Mr . King and myself were then living with D. W. King in a house where Emery Bruley’ s house now stands. I am thinking of the Xmas of 1860. This was the first Xmas I spent in Clark County . Judge Dewhurst was a next door neighbor of ours and as I remember came in and ate dinner with us. He spent a part of the day with us during which time we swap ped a few presents of a simple kind, told s tories and otherwis e
Pioneer History , Clark County , W isconsin
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