the present day . We were young and full of health and hope and enjoyed every thing to its fullest extent – our books, our dances, our drives, and las t but not least our church meant much to us in the wilds of Northern W isconsin. The woods abounded with wild game w hich was the means of bringing a great many Indians to our county . But they were friendly-too friendly we thought, when s everal would walk into o ur hous es and demand food, without even stopping to rap. We soon learned to keep our doors locked day and night and not to be frightened when we saw their dusky painted faces looki ng in the window at u s. There was a log shanty near what is now known as Schofield’ s corners which was then used for a trading po st fo r the Indian s, by q uite a noto rious character in the early history of Clark county , by the name of Geo. Pettengill. He was a tall, muscular fellow and af fected Indian style by dressing in buckskin and wearing his hair long, reaching to his waist, and spent his time hunting tr ading w ith the Indians. He at one time openly shot and killed a half-breed which so enraged the Indians that the settler s were obliged to have him (Pettengill) ar res ted an d lod ged in jail at La C ross e. But he was a fte rward s acquitted. He was n ot generally disliked by the white settlers and was allowed to trade with the Indians in the shanty on the corner , without being interfered with, although all they got in exchange for their furs and game was a few gaudy trinket and lots of poor whisky , and the nights were often made hideous by the weird cries of those poor children of th e fo rest as th ey we nt reeling by to their wigwams after indu lg ing too freely in “fire-water .” I think there was quite as much need of a Mrs. Nation and her hatchet in those early days as now . Neillsville, W is. Nov 25,1901 EMMA F. ROBINSON ******************** Oldest Christian Missionary In Black River V alley Rene Menard was fellow associate of the Jesuits, Claude Allouez and James Marquette. He came to W isconsin in the year of 1660, and was then an old man. The aim of Father Menard was the con version of the migratory H urons to Christianity and it is said that he lost his life while seeking these Indians. There seems to be little d oubt th at the aged mis s ion ary los t his lif e somew here clos e to the headwaters of Black River an d must have traversed th is region 250 years ago. Some of the written communications of th e Jesuit still exist and one may gain some idea from them of the nature of th is county at that time and at the same time something of the suf ferings of this old missionary . As he started into the wilds he wrote: I write you probably the last word, and I desire it to be the seal of our friendship until eternity . In three or four months you may pu t me in the memen to of the d ea d, consid ering th e manner of living of these people and my age and weak consti tution.” He took with him a party of Indians and a Frenchman. Evidently they treated him badly for he wrote: “ They required me to carry on my back very heavy packs and altho ugh my paddle wield ed by s uch wea k hands as mine, did but little s ervice tow ards hasteni ng the journey they would not allow me to be idle.” We have all of us kept fast and that a rigorous one” he wrote. “ Hap py ar e those who find a certain kind of moss which grows on rocks and of which they make a black broth. As for moose skins,
Pioneer History , Clark County , W isconsin
4/19/201 1 .htm