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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


February 22, 2003 - Issue 81


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Barron County History (Part 2)

From the Barron County Shield - March 30, 1877

The county had taken the name of Barron, the only town in the county had received the name of Barron and county seat had been given the name of Barron; all in the honor of our distinguished lawyer, politician, statesman and commoner, the Honorable Henry D. Barron, now serving as Circuit Judge of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit.

The election of 1869 resulted in a total vote of 144: John Quarderer, treasurer; O. Brayton, Clerk of the Board; W.J. Smith, Register of Deeds; Oliver Demers, School Superintendent; O. Brayton, County Surveyor.

The entire 144 votes were cast for John Comstock for Senator and Samuel D. Dresser for Assembly.

In the year 1870, C.P. Tuller was elected Chairman of the County Board. The total receipts of the first year's organization were $2,812.78 and disbursements were $2,355.70.

A few of the original settlers of the county came in as fur traders, but most of them were in the employee of Knapp, Stout and Company, and as is common in all new counties, many daring and energetic men were brought to the surface by the exigencies of the times. Among them we may mention; S.P. Barker, John Quarderer, James Bracklin, Andrew Tainter, Hiram Scott, Asel Story (who died in 1869), Henry Sawyer, Orville Brayton, C.P. Tuller, I. Sprague, W.S. Grover, Oliver Demers, John Meyers (the oldest settler now living in the county, who has a farm a mile and a half east of Prairie Farm), Peter Deery (1857), Ed Delong and others. Whose histories we will review.

The residents of the county today are of different nationalities; the happy mercurial Frenchman; the reliable industrious German; the quick-witted lively Irishmen; the brave liberty-loving Scandinavian; and the blending of all your thoughtful, educated Yankee - sprinkled largely with those men who served in the War of the Southern Rebellion, men who were active coworkers in that magnificent popular uprising, the like of which, for the blended fury and intelligence, the world had never before beheld.

The first logging in the county was done by Andrew Tainter, for Knapp and Wilson, in the southeast part of the county, in 1848; the next was on the Hay River in 1850; near the mouth of the Chetek in 1856; at the forks of the Yellow River in 1858; and at Old Lousberg in 1860.
The dam was first put in by Knapp, Stout and Company by James Bracklin on the west fork of the Yellow River, in 1863. The next year Knapp, Stout and Company commenced the improvement of the Menomonie River for driving purposes; this river is now under the most complete control, with its numerous dams and other safety guards.

The first permanent settler, who came in for the purpose of cultivating the soil, was John Banks, who settled in 1855 on section 22, town 32, range 13. He was also a logger as well as a farmer. He remained here until the Indian scare of 1862, when he removed to Kansas. He returned to this county about 3 years ago, and settled on section 21, town 31, range 13 a short distance from Vanceburg. He was followed by Edward Delong and George Jones, in 1856, who settled on the same section, in the same year. About 1860, George Jones removed to Bloomer Prairie, enlisted in the army, went south and was either killed or died in service.

Tom Snyder was the next settler, on section 18, town 33, range 19; S.K. Young was next. John Quarderer settled where he now lives in 1860, and began to improve the place; then Bracklin, Neville and Bouroy commenced improving at old Barron, in 1868.

About 1868, Knapp, Stout and Company through Captain Tainter, began to realize that there was value in the fine water-powers, the hard timber and good soil of the county, and with a wise foresight they have extended money in farming experiments, and in other ways which has hastened the improvement of the county. And from that period, when the total resident voters did not exceed 30 souls, down to the present, when the census gives us 1,100 voters, they have steadily held faith in the county. The waterpowers of the county are numerous and powerful. The first sawmill erected was put up by F.H. Perkins on section 6, town 33, range 11, in 1862. His brother Orville T. Perkins, joined him, and they ran the mill until 1867 when it was abandoned for want of timber. It was a small circular sawmill.

Knapp, Stout and Company next put up a mill at Prairie Farm in the year 1871, with shingle, lathe, and planing mill attached. A steam mill was erected by the same company in 1875. All are now in successful operation. In 1873 the Hutchinson Brothers erected a small water mill at Sioska in the town of Sumner, and William Moony during the year 1874 erected a sawmill on section 33, town 33, range 12. Of gristmills we have three; the first was built by Knapp, Stout and Company at Prairie Farm in 1871. The next was built by the same company in 1871 at Rice Lake. Edgebert, Youman and the Hutchinsons have just completed another mill at Sumner this 1875-76.

If time would permit I would be glad to refer to the geological conditions of this county; its minerals, its pipestone formation; its many remarkable Indian mounds; its beautiful lakes; the value of its timber and soil; its many water powers and its other natural advantages, but we will now hastily call up the names of a few of its most prominent men, -- the impression of whose works has been left upon the affairs of the county.

Of G.M. Sexton, the first district attorney of attorney of the county, we can learn but little; he emigrated from the State of New York to the lumber woods of the State of Michigan some fifty years ago. At the age of nineteen, as he once informed your speaker he became enamored of a beautiful Indian girl; but his judgment warned him that his future would be more happy with a legitimate wife. He immediately departed for the East, married, and returned with his wife to Wisconsin. He was one of the pioneers of the village of Fort Atkinson; sold goods at Jefferson; was the founder of the village of Sextonville, Richland County; was treasurer of the same county, and held other positions of trust; was the founder of the village of Osseo, Buffalo County, settled at Chetek in 1870; brought with him a number of intelligent, industrious families; planted the first nursery in Northern Wisconsin; served Barron County as its first District Attorney, and died in Sextonville, in March 1876.
He was a man respected and honored by all who knew him.

John Quarderer

John Quarderer emigrated from Germany at the age of eighteen; landed in New Orleans and reached this country in the year 1852; he was the first treasurer of the town of Dallas; has been the treasurer of the County since, and is the owner and founder of the present county seat, the village of Barron. Hardy, intelligent and strictly honest, he has secured a competence with the good will of his fellows, and he may proudly claim every man in the county as a warm personal friend. To Mr. Quarderer belongs the honor of making this a white man's county; as has been said about Ireland, there are no toads and snakes there, so Barron County, there are no Negroes here. At an early day a knock kneed African pauper was sent out to the neighboring counties to save the cost of burial; he found his way to John's camp; it being vacant, he selected about 20 pounds of choice pork and a fine ax. John soon returned and was told by an Indian that he had seen the old thief fishing on the main river. John soon found the black and asked him what he was doing? "Da," the Negro replied, "I'sa fishin massa," and at that instant drew up a fine bass, took it from the hook, and cast it back in the river. John, in astonishment asked him why he did that? Says he, "Gorra mighty, bress dis nigga, what you take him for? Die see that forty pounds of bacon bait da? I'se not gwine for da bass - I'se gwine for cat."

John says he talked Dutch to him for a moment, and the swartzer divel disappeared as if by enchantment. There has never been a Negro seen in this country since.

Maps by Travel

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