The surface is much broken, with ravine and abrupt bluffs in many places. The principal ridge passes through the middle of the town, entering on section 31, in town 9, of range 5 west, and leaves from section 3, in the same town, passing in an irregular course, across the town. What is known as the Black river road follows this ridge. There are ridges and ravines extending from this line, east and west, the former terminating in the Kickapoo river, and the latter in the Mississippi river. In the ravines or valleys, the soil consists of a rich, black loam, due largely to the washing of the bluffs, through a long geological period. A clay sub-soil is found, both on the ridges and in the valleys. These valleys are especially adapted to raising Indian corn and vegetables of all kinds, while the ridges are more suitable for wheat and other grains. In the valleys an abundance of good water is found, but on the ridges some difficulty is experienced in getting water. There are a few fractional sections, consisting of islands, in the northwest part of the town, which are of but little real value owing to their liability to overflow.
The principal stream of the town of Seneca, is Copper creek. The west fork of this creek heads on sections 4 and 5 in town 9, of range 5 west, flows in a southwesterly direction and enters Winneshiek slough, on section 27, in town 10, of range 6 west. The east branch of Copper creek rises on section 33, town 10, range 5 west, and flows in a northwest direction, finally intersecting the west fork on section 29, in town 10, of range 5 west.
Hall's branch rises on section 10, town 9, of range 5 west, flows in a southeastern direction, leaving the town from section 36, town 9, range 5 west.
Kettle creek (or Michael's creek), rises on section 7, in town 9, of range 5 west, flows west into Winneshiek slough.
Pine creek heads on section 28, in town 9, of range 5 west, flows southeast and leaves the town from section 34, in town 9, of range 5 west.
Davidson's creek takes its rise on section 34, in town 9, of range 6 west, and flows west, entering the Mississippi river on fractional section 33.
A creek, sometimes known as Randall's creek, rises on section 24, town 9, range 6 west, and flows northwest, entering the Mississippi from section 23, just south of Lynxville.
The town was never heavily timbered. The ridges were thinly covered with a small growth of the different varieties of oak. The heaviest timber was along the Mississippi river. On the ridges where the fire has been kept out, a rapid growth of timber has taken place, so that plenty of timber for domestic use is now found. In the ravines on the west, considerable butternut and black walnut, generally of second growth, is found; also, birch, maple, linn and some other varieties.
The first permanent settler of the town of Seneca was Mitchel Caya, who located south of Lynxville, on section 33, town 9, range 6, in 1846. Mr. Caya entered land two years later; he was still a resident of the town in 1883, having been there thirty-seven years. A short time previous to the coming of Mr. Caya, two brothers, natives of Poland, located above the present site of Lynxville, in what was afterward known as Polander Hollow. These first comers did not remain long, neither does it appear that they intended to make it their home; they brought some goods with them from Prairie du Chien for the purpose of trading with the Indians. They cultivated a small garden spot, remained about two years, and were never heard from afterwards.
Several years passed before other settlements were made. In 1851, William Philamalee made a claim in the southwest quarter of section 10, town 9, range 5 west; this claim included the present site of the village of Seneca. He erected a log house, and sold out in 1854 to Samuel Langdon, who laid out the village.
Elihu Daggett and Reuben Randall came on in 1852; the former settled on section 16, town 9, range 5 west, where S. Andrew afterward lived. The latter settled at Lynxville, and a few years later died.
In 1854 a large number of settlers came in and made location; among them may be mentioned Nicholas Morgan, who settled on section 16, town 9, range 5 west. He removed to Yankton, Dakota Territory, about 1870.
Aaron Kook came in at the same time and settled on section 33, town 9, range 5 west.
Daniel Tichenor, who came in the fall of 1854, settled on section 3, town 9, range 5 west. He had three sons --- Dealton, Alphonzo and Anson. The Tichenor family were well known in the early history of the town. The father, Daniel Tichenor, was a man much respected; he run a brick yard, and also kept an inn for a number of years. His son Dealton, a lawyer, settled on section 18, town 9, range 5 west. He went into the Union army in 1862, was taken prisoner and died at Libby prison, Richmond, Va. Alphonzo was a mason by trade; he also preached and practiced medicine. In 1883 he was a practicing physician in Iowa.
Elmer and John Graham were settlers of 1854, and were closely identified with the early history of Lynxville.
Among the number who came in for settlement during 1855 were: Robert Garvey, A. C. Russell, Pizarro Cook, John Porter and family, Daniel and James Smethurst, William Oram, Meron Robins, Ingebert Peterson, Van Amburg, Joseph Robinson, Robert Tweed and David Cummings.
At the general election in 1857, the following voters were residents of what is now the town of Seneca: James Smethurst, dead; Elihu Daggett, in Iowa; Pizarro Cook, still here; Joseph Searle, dead; Samuel Langdon, in Iowa; Daniel L. Smethurst, dead; S. W. Clark, lives in Viroqua now; Wells Briggs, still here; George D. Clark, dead; Myrunn Munn, dead; William Sherman, dead; Peter Stolp, lives in town of Utica; Lemuel Green, dead; J. H. Thomas, dead; Amos Rathburn, dead; Levi P. Marston, dead; A. C. Russell, still here; Alphonzo Tichenor, in Iowa; Jeremiah Putnam, dead; Daniel Tichenor, dead; Peter Kinny, removed; John Porter, dead; A. C. Knight, in another part of Wisconsin; Joseph Michael, in Kansas; Nicholas Morgan, in Nebraska; George J. Millet, in Nebraska; North Miller, still here; Charles Lyman, in Iowa; Samuel Robb, in the town of Utica; James A. Robb, in the town of Utica; Dealton Tichenor, died in Libby prison; J. K. Chapman, dead; William McDonald, in Nebraska; John Helegass, in Iowa; James Langdon, removed; William Dean, dead; Lucius Dean, removed. Others who were known to have been in the town at that date (1857), but did not vote, were: George Dean, Peter Young, Robert Garvey and his sons, Elmer Graham, James Deming, William Kettle, who was afterward killed in the Union army; James Rathburn, Thomas S. Shaw, dead; J. D. Reynolds, dead; F. R. Pease, removed; Henry Vanderbelt, R. K. Davidson, O. Watson, dead; Daniel True, removed; Michael Caya, here still; William Withee, dead; Michael Snell, here still; William Snell, dead; John Burton, dead; Samuel Andrew, still here; L. McCumber, dead; John Cunningham, removed; James Boyles, dead; John Graham, removed; Reuben Randall, dead; Elihu Randall, still here; Thomas Dickson, still here; William Dickson, still here; Samuel Armstrong, still here; J. S. Bigelow, still here; William Smethurst, still here; Ransom Clark, in Viroqua; John Price, who afterward removed to Missouri; William Price, who enlisted and was killed at the battle of Chickamauga in 1863; Nathaniel Price, who moved to Kansas City, where he died; David Price, who died in Minnesota in 1880; Valentine Ertel, a shoemaker, who still (1884) lives in the town; Marcus Nickerson, still here; Lewis and Alfred Hand.
These all came to the town of Seneca prior to the spring of 1857.
The town of Seneca was organized April 7, 1857. Changes were made in its boundaries from time to time; its present limits were fixed by the addition of Lynxville in 1868. The first town meeting of Seneca was held April 7, 1857, at the house of Samuel Langdon. Joseph U. Searle was elected chairman of the town board; Ansel C. Russell and Daniel L. Smethurst, supervisors; James Smethurst, clerk; D. Tichenor, George F. Millet, Oliver Langdon and Lemuel Green, justices of the peace; Elihu Daggett, treasurer; George D. Clark, constable.
At that time the town of Seneca included that portion of the town of Haney which is west of the Kickapoo river. In the spring of 1859, the town of Lynxville was cut off from the west part of the town of Seneca, and at the same time, that part of the present town of Haney which was then a part of Seneca, was detached. In the spring of 1868, the town of Lynxville was restored to Seneca, and its present boundary established. The first town election of the town under its present boundary was held in the village of Seneca, April 7, 1868, when the following officers were elected: Wells Briggs, chairman; James Taylor and Thomas J. Brady, side board; John Mills, clerk; John Burton, treasurer; James S. Burton, assessor; Hugh Dowling and Nicholas Cron, justices of the peace; H. E. Cron, A. B. Withee and Martin Duffy, constables.
There were 217 votes polled at this election.
Officers for 1883: Robert Morris, chairman; Thomas Leary, Sanford C. Prince, side board; A. B. Withee, clerk; Furgus Mills, treasurer; James Taylor, assessor; A. B. Withee, William Watson and A. N. Searle, justices of the peace; I. L. Wing and A. C. Withee, constables.
There are two church organizations in this town --- the Roman Catholic and the Methodist Episcopal. The first Catholic services held within the limits of the town were held at the house of Robert Garvey, on section 34, town 9, range 5 west, in November, 1855, by the Rev. L. Gaultier, a French priest from Prairie du Chien. A congregation was organized and a mission was established at that date. In the fall of the same year, another congregation was formed on Copper creek, where services were held at the house of Thomas Degnan, conducted by the priest above mentioned. In 1859 this congregation erected a log house, in which they assembled for services. This building stood on section 31, town 10, range 5 west, on the farm of Lawrence Bird, who donated the land. In 1866 a frame building was erected on the southwest quarter of section 27, town 9, range 5. Catholic services were held at both of these churches till the erection of the church edifice near the village of Seneca, which was in 1875. At this date the old log church was abandoned, and the congregations united in attending this more central location; though services are still held occasionally at the "little frame church." The Catholic people have a very pleasant and convenient place of worship. It was materially improved by Father J. J. Burns, who was their priest in 1884. The first resident pastor of this Church was Rev. Father Christian A. Verweyst, who was succeeded by the Rev. John G. Collins, and he by the Rev. J. J. Burns in 1880.
The Church at Seneca is known as St. Patrick's Church, and the other as St. Peter's. These two Churches number 120 families.
Rev. J. J. Burns, pastor of St. Patrick's and St. Peter's Churches, in the town of Seneca, was born in Crawford Co., Ohio, Dec. 16, 1853. When but two years of age, his parents removed to Chickasaw Co., Iowa. He began his preparation for the Church in February, 1869, at St. Francis Seminary, in Milwaukee county, where he remained ten years, receiving that thorough preparation necessary for his present responsible duties. Father Burns was ordained at La Crosse, Dec. 8, 1879. Previous to receiving his present charge he was pastor at Rising Sun for one and one-half years.
The Methodists were the first protestant denomination to hold services within the town of Seneca. There is no record of the first preaching, but as this place was included in the Mt. Sterling circuit, the date of their first meeting would not vary much. The class books of 1864 are the earliest record that can be found. At that time the communicants were quite numerous. The following names appear on the class book of 1864: W. H. Thompson, G. H. Harrington, Helen Thompson, E. Harrington, M. Inman, E. Haskins, Thersa Clark, M. Munn, H. H. Dean, Caroline Brown, N. McCartney, Lucy Campbell, D. Campbell, F. Campbell, R. Campbell, A. C. Knight, Jane Knight, William Sherman, E. Sherman, T. M. Tichenor, Mary Robb, G. Root, B. Root, M. Root, L. Root, John Copper, D. Duval, E. Daggett, Jane Searle, I. Duval, P. Green, M. F. Nickerson, Margarett Nickerson, J. Low and A. Low.
Not long after this class was formed, trouble occurred in the Church, and services for the time being were discontinued, and the class divided; some removing and others attending elsewhere, and others still, united with the Congregational Church which was organized at Seneca about that time, by Elder Valentine of Mt. Sterling. Services are now (1884), held each alternate Sunday, at Seneca, by the Methodists and Congregationalists; the ministers from Mt. Sterling conducting the services of each.
The Methodist class in 1883 was quite small in comparison with its original size in 1864; the members were as follows: James Smith (leader), Eliza Smith, N. Smith, William Smith, Hannah Cron, William Sherman and Mrs. George Dean.
No protestant denominational church has ever been built in the town; religious services were formerly held at the school house at Seneca, but are now held at the Good Templars' hall, in the village.
The town of Seneca has now (1884) nine full school districts and five joint districts.
District No. 1 had a building on the southeast quarter of section 23, town 9, range 5 west. Number of pupils of school age, thirty-seven.
The school house in district No. 2 was on the northeast quarter of the southwest quarter of section 20, town 9, range 5 west. This was in fair condition and valued at $275. Number of pupils enrolled, thirty.
District No. 4 was provided with a log building on the northwest quarter of section 18, town 9, range 5 west. Number of pupils, forty.
District No. 5 has a house in the village of Seneca. This is one of the best in Crawford county outside of Prairie du Chien. It was built in 1881, at a cost of $1000. It is well furnished with patent seats; also has numerous charts, maps, and other modern apparatus. Number of pupils in this district, ninety-seven.
District No. 9 is supplied with a house situated on the northeast quarter of section 23, town 9, range 6 west. This is known as the Lynxville school, and is about the same as the one at Seneca, though not as large. The cost of this building was $900. In 1883 the district contained ninety-three pupils.
In district No. 10 the school house is located on the southeast quarter of section 33, town 9, range 6 west. The number of pupils here is sixteen.
District No. 15 has a school building situated on the southwest quarter of section 32, town 10, range 5 west. There are fifty-three scholars in this district.
In district No. 16 the school house is located on the northeast quarter of section 33, town 9, range 5 west. It is valued at $250. Number of pupils in attendance, forty-seven.
In district No. 17 the school house stands on the northwest quarter of section 31, town 9, range 5 west. This district has twenty-nine pupils.
Joint district No. 3, a part of the towns of Seneca, Haney and Eastman, has its building in the town of Haney. There are ten pupils from the town of Seneca.
Joint district No. 7, made of parts of Seneca and Haney is provided with a building on the southwest quarter of section 1, town 9, range 5. Number of pupils from Seneca, thirty-four. Valuation of building, $125.
Joint district No. 8, made of a part of Seneca and a part of Freeman, has a school house on the southeast quarter of section 35, town 10, range 6 west. The building is poor, being valued at $25. This district has fifteen pupils from the town of Seneca.
Joint district No. 9 has a good school building on section 29, town 10, range 5 west. It was built in 1883, at a cost of $375. Number of scholars from the town of Seneca, twenty-four. This district is joined to the town of Freeman.
Joint district No. 15, with the town of Utica, is provided with a school house on the northwest quarter of section 3, town 9, range 5 west, which is valued at $350. Number of pupils from the town of Seneca, twenty-two.
A lodge of this order was organized in 1864 or 1865, and continued a number of years in a flourishing condition, but was finally discontinued.
In January, 1878, the charter of the present lodge Seneca, was granted. The following comprised the charter membership: M. F. Nickerson, J. P. Nickerson, George Dean, Maggie McQueen, M. D. L . Smith, Gilbert Stewart, Jacob Smith, J. K. Langdon, Emma Langdon, Joseph Stewart, Eliza Stewart, Ida McQueen, Emma Randall, Luna Briggs, Anna Smith, Bell Barber, O. Smith, James Smith, William Smethurst, Fred Brigg, Annie Withee, Charles Strong, May Marston, Andrew Withee, Linda Clark, J. Clark, R. Stewart and Charles Nickerson.
The following were the first officers: M. F. Nickerson, W. C. T.; Emma Langdon, W. V. T.; M. D. L. Smith, W. C.; J. K. Langdon, W. L.; Anna Randall, W. A.; George Dean, W. T. S.; Ida McQueen, W. T.; Fred Briggs, M. M.; Bell Barber, W. D. M.; William Smethurst, W. O. G.; Eliza Stewart, W. R. H. S.; Mrs. P. M. Dean, W. L. H. S.; James Smith, P. W. C. T.
Officers of 1883-4: William Sherman, W. C. T.; James L. Low, W. C.; Ida McQueen, W. V.; Irvin C. Peck, C.; Robert Stewart, F. S.; Mrs. Lizzie Bigelow, W. T.; Lovella Smith, I. G.; James Smith, O. G.; Willis Haines, W. M.
This lodge is at present, 1884, in a flourishing condition; its present membership is sixty-five. It has a neat, commodious hall or lodge room, and is free from all debt.
There are, at the present time (1884), six cemeteries within the town of Seneca; all of these, however, are not used now to much extent. The principal burying places now are these: One situated on section 16, town 9, range 5 west; and one on section 13, town 9, range 6 west. The other cemeteries spoken of above are described as follows: One on section 27, near the "little frame church," and another just across the line on section 28. Also one near Mr. Russell's place on section 18, town 9, range 5 west, and one on section 6, town 9, range 5, near the log church.
A grist mill was built on True creek, near Lynxville, in the fall of 1858, by James Boyles; it was a frame building, and contained one run of stone; this was a small affair, and only used for grinding corn; the old settlers in referring to this ancient mill always speak of the "corn cracker." This mill was run by S. C. Prince, for Mr. Boyles, for a few months, when it was destroyed by fire.
A steam saw-mill was built by George Millet, at Crawford City, about 1858. This only run a short time, and was removed.
A grist mill was erected in 1868, on section 34, town 9, range 6 west, by Robert Wisdom. This mill was built near the head of Pine creek. It is a frame structure, containing two run of buhrs, and is furnished with ample water power. After a few years Mr. Wisdom took a partner, Orin J. Adams. In 1883 this mill was owned by Thomas J. Wallin. At this date, it was the only mill within the town of Seneca.
Fishing has for many years been an important enterprise with the people of Lynxville and vicinity. John Vanderbelt and Day brothers have been among those most extensively engaged in this industry. The varieties of fish caught, are pickerel, bass and pike, but principally buffalo.
In December, 1873, one of the most remarkable catches of fish on record in the world was made by two brothers named Johnson, fish dealers from Dubuque. The draw of the seine was made in one of the little lakes, or bayous, at a point about two and one-half miles above Lynxville. The seine was drawn under the ice, and not less than 80,000 pounds of fish were taken out. However much like a big fish story this may sound to the reader, it is a well known fact, and is vouched for by a whole community of upright people. A car load of these fish, after the heads had been removed, were shipped to Dubuque, and upon their arrival in that city, the railroad company believing the car to be overloaded (more than 20,000 pounds), had it weighed , when it was found that the actual weight of fish was 42,000 pounds; and it was thought by good judges that this was only about one-half of the amount caught at the one draw.
In 1882, at the same lake, 40,000 pounds were taken at one draw, by Day and Vanderbelt. The lake where these remarkable catches were made is known as Dubuque lake, in honor of the men from that city who, in 1873, made that famous draw.
In 1851 William Philamalee made a claim of 120 acres of land, of the southwest quarter of section 10, town 9, range 5 west. He erected thereon a log house, where he resided with his family till 1854, when he sold his claim to Samuel P. Langdon. In 1857 Mr. Langdon engaged Pizarro Cook to survey what is now the village of Seneca; the survey for such a plat was accordingly made by Mr. Cook, and afterward by H. H. Hall, who was county surveyor at the time. The plat contains about ten acres, a part of which is on the southwest quarter of section 10, and a part of the northwest quarter of the southwest quarter of the same section. No additions have been made to the original plat, but the growth of the village has extended beyond its limits as surveyed.
Mr. Langdon gave the name Seneca to the village at the suggestion of Nicholas Morgan, as that was the name of the town in the State of New York where he came from. On the organization of the town, it also took on the same name, being named from the village. Samuel P. Langdon , who laid out the village plat of Seneca, was a native of Massachusetts, where he was born in 1812. He was married in Boone Co., Ill., to Nancy Emory, a native of Pennsylvania. In April, 1854, he purchased of Mr. Philamalee the land where stands the village of Seneca.
This was before the day of railroads in western Wisconsin, and Seneca, being on the route between Prairie du Chien and Sparta, was quite an important point. In those days quite a hotel business was done at Seneca. His house was also the resort for land hunters, who received much information from Mr. Langdon, who was familiar with the character of the country for a radius of many miles. In the spring of 1868 he sold to D. R. Lawrence, and removed to Excelsior, in Richland county. He was engaged in milling till 1872, when he went to Lynxville, where he engaged in the grocery and drug trade. From this point he removed to Buena Vista Co., Iowa, and engaged in the stock raising business.
The store building of E. & T. Garvey being on the southern limit, Mr. Langdon sold the first lot to James and William Smethurst, who erected a store building thereon in 1858. William Smethurst also occupied a part of the building as a dwelling for his family; James was a single man and boarded with his brother. The business established at that time still continues in the same building, and is conducted by members of the Smethurst family.
Alonzo C. Knight erected the second building, which he used as a wagon shop and dwelling house.
Lewis Smith erected the third building, which he used as a dwelling and saloon.
William Philamalee kept travelers in the log house just mentioned, and hence became the first hotel man of the village. Mr. Langdon continued to accommodate the traveling public when he had succeeded Philamalee.
The first wagon maker of the place was A. C. Knight. The first blacksmith was L. P. Marston. Campbell & Sons were the first shoemakers. Daniel Smethurst, brother of William Smethurst, bought out the saloon building of Mr. Smith, and started a second store. He commenced about 1865, and continued till 1870, when he moved his stock to Postville, Iowa, where he remained in business several years, and then returned to Seneca, and died at the house of his son John. Daniel Smethurst, when he discontinued business at Seneca, sold his building and four lots to E. & T. Garvey who still own the property, which is now (1884) occupied as a residence, by Thomas Garvey. In 1861 E. & T. Garvey erected a new store, on the site of Marston's blacksmith shop, and established a general merchandizing house, in the fall of that year, which business they are still (1884) engaged in. They have always done an excellent business. Their first building was 22x50 feet, two stories high. In 1875 they sold $40,000 worth of goods. In 1872 their sales reached as high as $67,000.
Daniel Smethurst kept the first drug store in the village. He sold out to William and James Smethurst, who connected this with their other business.
The postoffice was established in 1858. The first postmaster was S. P. Langdon who was succeeded by Daniel L.. Smethurst; after this came William Smethurst, who was succeeded by A. B. Withee, who served from Jan. 1, 1871, to Sept. 1, 1881, a period of nearly eleven years. He was succeeded by Daniel Smethurst.
As has been stated, William Philamalee kept travelers as early as 1851, and his successor also kept sort of an inn and served the public as best he could in those early days, when travelers were only too glad to eat such as was placed before them, "asking no questions for conscience sake."
Soon after the laying out of the village, Mr. Langdon put up a tavern on the site of the Kane Hotel, which is still a part of that house. Mr. Langdon run this house a number of years, and finally sold to D. R. Lawrence, who sold to a party who did not occupy the house, but who soon after disposed of the property to Nelson Dunlap, who was succeeded by Lawrence Bird, who added to the building and kept the house for some time, and then sold to Cornelius Kane, who has re-built it, and it is now known as Kane's House.
J. D. Bigelow opened a hotel in 1868, in a house erected by L. P. Marston, which he operated a year or so and sold to K. Haynes, who run it about the same length of time and then sold to Wilson, a non-resident of the town; he rented the hotel to Alden, who kept it for about a year, when it was sold to James S. Burton, who used it as a private residence. In 1874 Mr. Bigelow built another hotel, which he opened July 1, that year, and operated the same till 1883, when he leased it to G. E. Peck.
In December, 1883, the business of the village was represented as follows: E. & T. Garvey, general merchants; Smethurst & Son, general merchants; Cornelius Kane, hotel; G. E. Peck, Bigelow Hotel; Matthew Brady, wagon-maker; Barnard Degnon, wagon-maker; Wilfred Marston, blacksmith.
The enterprise of the people of both the town and village of Seneca, is well illustrated by the number and character of their public buildings. These consist of the school house, Good Templars' Hall and Church, and a town hall. The school house was erected in 1881, at a cost of $1000. It is a frame building, well finished both outside and interior.
Good Templars' Hall and Church was built by the liberality of the people thus connected. The land upon which this building stands was purchased and conveyed by Willis Briggs, in trust, to James Smith, George Dean and Joseph Stewart, trustees of Seneca lodge, No. 473, of Independent Order of Good Templars of the State of Wisconsin. The special condition of the deed was, that building should be erected thereon, within a specified time, similar to the one that was built; the same to be used for a Good Templars' hall, and also as a church, free to all denominations, without respect to creed or religious belief. In accordance with this plan the people responded. The date of the indenture was Jan. 29, 1881; the building was begun the same season, but not fully completed till the fall of 1883. It is a frame building, two stories high, 24x40 feet. It cost about $1200. The first floor is used for church purposes, and the second floor for the Good Templars' hall.
While quite a number of persons were prominently identified with this movement, it is certainly due Mr. Daniel Smethurst to say, that the successful issue of the enterprise is due largely to him, who contributed largely in both time and money, and advanced means to carry on the work of construction.
The Town Hall was purchased by the town, upon the completion of the new school building. It was removed to its present location and then fitted up for town purposes, and affords a comfortable and convenient place for the purpose intended.
Several villages have been, from time to time commenced along the east bank of the Mississippi between De Soto and Prairie du Chien, but Lynxville is the only one which ever amounted to any consideration. The plat of this village is on the northwest quarter of section 23, town 9, range 6 west, together with lots 3 and 4, on section 14, of same town and range; the former is on land entered by George Messersmith, and the latter is a part of government purchase, by John and James Haney. The site of the village passed from the hands of the first owners into the possession of Reuben Mink, Elmer Graham and James Boyles; these men, together with Hiram and Lyman McCumber, who soon became partners in the enterprise, laid out the village. The survey was made by Pizarro Cook, the same being completed April 10, 1857. Another village was begun about the same time by other parties, north of and nearly adjoining this plat. The former, for the sake of distinction, was called Lower Lynxville, and the latter known as Upper Lynxville; this term however, has long since been dropped, as the upper village has been absorbed by its rival.
Where the village is situated was formerly known as a steamboat landing; also Haney's Point, from John and James Haney, early settlers here. It received the name Lynxville, from the government surveyors, who were landed at this point from the steamboat Lynx, and when the village was laid out, the name was applied to that also.
The east channel of the river, at this point, makes a bend into the land, forming what is styled the "Devil's Elbow." On account of this elbow bend in the Mississippi, and the depth of water at this point, an excellent boat landing is afforded.
The first building or what afterward became the plat of Lynxville, was erected by Elmer Graham, in 1855, two years prior to the survey. He opened a general store, and continued in business for many years. He died in 1873.
J. D. Reynolds built the next house, which served as a store and warehouse; he continued in business till his death in November, 1861. He came to Lynxville from the embryo village of Viola. He attempted to make a village site there, but upon failing to do so, cast his lot with the few pioneers of Lynxville. He was a man of good education, and an upright, honest citizen. His widow sold the property, which in 1883 was owned and occupied by John S. Kingsland, grain dealer. The next business was opened by Charles Lyman and George Sappington, who had a general store and warehouse; they sold out in 1862 and left the county. They were succeeded by L. D. Hopkins, who died in 1881. In 1883 the building was used by S. C. Prince, steamboat agent.
In 1862 Jewell, Case & Co., erected what is known as the upper warehouse. Here they conducted quite a large general merchandising business, and were succeeded in 1865 by John S. Kingsland and Lemuel Allen. Nicholas Morgan also kept a stock of goods in the upper warehouse in 1868 and 1869. Edward and Thomas Garvey, afterward of the village of Seneca, occupied this building with a stock of goods for a time. In 1883 this building was owned by Peter Young, who purchased it from J. H. Jewell.
John Davidson and John Irwin kept a stock of goods in what is now Kingsland's warehouse about 1866; they failed and left the county. Simeon Benson opened a grocery store and saloon in the fall of 1874; he finally sold out and went to Oregon. Thomas Bright engaged in business in the upper warehouse in 1875; he was later of the firm of Bright & Vanderbelt. Mr. Davidson was the first lumber dealer of the village. He afterward engaged in mercantile business under the firm name of Davidson & Irwin.
Ball & Huard were the principal lumber dealers for many years and were succeeded by C. L. Lyttle & Co.
J. L. Reyonds bought the first grain in the place.
Lyman McCumber was the first blacksmith, and Nathan Canfield the first shoemaker.
The first to entertain travelers at Lynxville was Elmer Graham. Nelson Wade also kept an inn for a time. Nicholas Morgan came next in the hotel line. He was succeeded by Charles Lyman, who erected a building on purpose for a hotel. The landlord of 1883 was Samuel Armstrong, who had been in the business since 1865. He kept a good house, both he and his excellent wife being well calculated to please the traveling public, who always find good entertainment at this house.
The postoffice was established June 21, 1858, and called Lower Lynxville. Charles Lyman was appointed the first postmaster. He was succeeded by J. D. Reynolds, Dec. 31, 1859. He was postmaster till his death, Nov. 3, 1861.
Elmer Graham came next and was finally followed by Mr. Reynolds, who served only a short time and was succeeded by L. D. Hopkins in April, 1862.
Mr. Hopkins kept the office for about ten years and then gave way to S. P. Langdon.
Then came Joseph U. Searle, during whose term of office the clerical work was transacted by N. A. Searle.
L. D. Hopkins was next commissioned Dec. 10, 1880.
The present postmaster, A. Nicetus Searle, received his commission July 14, 1883. The name of the office was at this time changed from Lower Lynxville to its present title, Lynxville.
Lynxville has always been a good trading point, and has long been known as one of the best wood landings along the river, and has had an extensive trade since 1850. Its good landing, with an abundant supply of fuel on the islands hard by, and along ridges and ravines of the main land near the river, has always been a great source of revenue and given employment to many of the settlers. A. Russell, who was in the wood trade in 1883, sold over 2000 cords of wood during the boating season to steamers plying the Mississippi river.
The business of this village in December, 1883, was as follows:
Bright & Vanderbelt, general merchants and dealers in wood.
Searle & Vanderbelt, general merchants and druggists.
John S. Kingsland, dealer in grain, lime, salt, cement and land plaster.
Lyttle & Co., dealers in lumber and grain.
S. C. Prince, steamboat agent.
Samuel Armstrong, hotel.
Two villages, Viola and Crawford City, had a brief existence in this town. The former was located on the Mississippi river, about three miles below Lynxville. It was begun by J. D. Reynolds, in the fall of 1856, when he erected a store building.
In the summer of 1858, a man named Dickens, from Philadelphia, put up a three-story building, which he occupied as a residence and a store building. He put in a stock of hardware and groceries, and soon after opening, the building and stock were destroyed by fire. The fire extended to Reynolds' store, which was also consumed. Dickson left the country, but Reynolds rebuilt and remained till 1859, when he removed to Lynxville. J. C. Cole erected a dwelling house in the summer of 1858. He was a carpenter by trade, and taught school; he was also town school superintendent. After Reynolds had removed to Lynxville, Wilkinson occupied his building for a short time, in which he kept a store, but not long after removed to Prairie du Chien, and all efforts to make a town of Viola were abandoned.
In 1858 George J. Millet and Fenner Foster erected a steam saw-mill a short distance below Lynxville. A few other small buildings were put up, and the place was called Crawford City. The mill was operated two years and removed, and with it the embryo city pronounced a failure.
The following named citizens are excellent representatives of the character and enterprise of the population of this town. They are given in the order (as near as could be ascertained) in which they made a settlement. It will be noticed that the greater portion came in between the years 1854 and 1858:
Mitchel Caya, who resides on section 13, town 9, range 6 west, was the first permanent settler of the town of Seneca. He came here first in the spring of 1846, but did not make his entry till two years later. Mr. Caya located on eighty acres, but gradually increased the size of his farm to its present large dimensions, now comprising about 500 acres. Mr. Caya is still an older resident of the county than of this town, having come to Prairie du Chien in 1840. He was born in Canada, about 1822, of French parentage. He came from Canada to Prairie du Chien when he was in his eighteenth year. He came to Wisconsin at the solicitation of his brother, who had preceded him to Prairie du Chien two years. Mr. Caya married Rose Loyea, a native of Prairie du Chien. Her father was a native of Canada, but of French parentage, and was among the early settlers of Prairie du Chien. Mrs. Caya died June 15, 1883. Mr. and Mrs. Caya had eleven children, eight sons and three daughters, ten of whom are living --- Maggie, Charlie, Louis, Leander, Morris, Mitchel, Frank, John, Albert and Julia. Virginia is deceased.
Louis La Force came to this town with Mr. Caya, with whom he lived nine years, being a single man at that time. He afterwards married at Prairie du Chien, where his wife died. He then married Harriet St. German. Mr. La Force lives one mile north of Mr. Caya, where he has resided for many years. He has one child by his first marriage --- Emma, and three children by his second marriage --- Louis, Julia and Laura.
Louis Caya, of Lynxville, is the son of Mitchel Caya, the first settler of the town of Seneca. He was born at Prairie du Chien, in March, 1846, being about two weeks old when his parents removed to the present town of Seneca. He has been in business at Lynxville a number of years, and owns the store building occupied by T. C. Bright & Co., which he erected in 1868, at a cost of about $600. This building is on the site of the store once owned and occupied by Benson, one of the early business men of the town. Mr. Caya has lived in the village since 1871.
Pizarro Cook resides on section 2, town 9, range 5 west. His residence in Crawford county dates from Nov. 24, 1854. Mr. Cook was born in Cayuga Co., N. Y., in 1826. In the summer of 1848, he went to Grant Co., Wis., and worked the following winter in the lead mines of that region, but returned to New York the following season, where he lived till the year of his settlement in Crawford county. Mr. Cook is by profession a surveyor, and at present (1884) is the county surveyor of Crawford county. In his youth he attended the public school of his native town, and received private instruction in mathematics of Prof. Edwin Dodge, and was always partial to that branch of science. His practical knowledge of surveying was obtained under George Geddes, at that time State engineer of New York. He has been more or less engaged in surveying since 1854. He was elected county surveyor in the fall of 1859, again in 1877, and the third time in 1882. He has also assessed the town of Seneca, and has filled the office of deputy sheriff. He enlisted, Aug. 9, 1862, in company A, 31st regiment, Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, and served till the end of the war. He participated in a number of important military events, including the siege of Atlanta, Sherman's march to the sea, battle of Bentonville, etc. Mrs. Cook was formerly Sarah Barr, born at St. Johns, Newfoundland, but a resident of Philadelphia, Penn., for many years. They have three children --- Mabel, William and John.
Robert Garvey, a prominent merchant of Seneca, settled with his family on section 34, town 9, range 5 west, in June, 1855, where he pre-empted a farm of government land. Mr. Garvey was a native of county Down, Ireland. He emigrated to the United States with his family in 1853, locating first on a farm in Grant Co., Wis., near Bloomington, where he resided until coming here. He married Susan Magee. Mr. Garvey died in 1872. Mrs. Garvey died in 1876. Mr. Garvey's sons are among the well known business men and farmers of Seneca town. Mr. and Mrs. Garvey had nine children, seven of whom are living --- Christopher, Patrick, Peter, Frances, Edward, Bridget, wife of Robert Morris, of this town, and Thomas.
Ambrose Thompson was born, in July, 1835, in Huron Co., Ohio. In 1855 he came, with his brother Isaac, to Crawford Co., Wis., pre-empting eighty acres of land in Clayton town, where his brother soon afterwards died. His father died in Ohio. His mother came to this county in 1857, settling at Bell Centre. She subsequently removed to Boscobel, Grant county. In 1865 Mr. Thompson purchased of D. R. Lawrence, a farm on section 2, town 9, range 5 west, where he now lives, engaged in farming and stock dealing. He married Martha Turk, daughter of Ephraim Turk, an early settler of Clayton town. Mr. and Mrs. Thompson have six children --- George M., Julia A., Jessie M., Lucy M., Sadie A. and Charles A. Willie H. died, aged thirteen months.
A. C. Russell has lived in Seneca town since March, 1854, at which time he entered government land on sections 7 and 18, town 9, range 5 west. Mr. Russell was born in 1825, in Onondaga Co., N. Y. When twenty-two years of age he went to Du Page Co., Ill., where he lived until his removal to Crawford county. He still owns his original entry of land, on which he has lived for thirty years. His farm consists of 174 acres, eighty of which is broken. Mr. Russell is a carpenter by trade and was one of the first in the town. He erected many of the first buildings in Seneca town. He also erected the warehouses and many other buildings in the village of Lynxville. Mr. Russell has been agent for the sale of lots in Lynxville ever since it was platted, and still has a power of attorney from Mink & McCumber for that purpose. He was married in Illinois, to Drusilla Rose, born in Saratoga Co., N. Y., in 1830. Mr. and Mrs. Russell have had ten children, five of whom are living --- Ellen, wife of Nathan Canfield; Ralph A., Kate E., Edwin P. and Jason C.
George Dean was born in Cattaraugus Co., N. Y., in 1831, where he resided until coming to Crawford county in 1855. He settled on his present farm, located on section 20, town 9, range 5 west, Seneca town, in 1858. He has 120 acres of land. Mr. Dean has been twice married. His first wife was Josephine Searle, born in Walworth Co., Wis., Jan. 30, 1842. She was a daughter of Joseph N. Searle, who settled in Seneca town in 1854. Mrs. Dean died in November, 1863, while her husband was in the army, and he subsequently married Phanata Copper, daughter of Charles Copper, and widow of Thomas McQueen. Mr. Dean enlisted in 1862, in the 31st Wisconsin regiment, serving until the close of the war. He participated in many important battles and campaigns, including Sherman's march to the sea. He has two children by his first marriage --- Jay D., who resides in Oregon, and Phebe J., wife of William West, of Kansas. He has one child by his present wife --- Charles L. Mrs. Dean has three children by her first marriage --- John O., Mary Ida and Margaret D. Mr. Dean's father, Lyman Dean, came to Crawford county in 1855, and resided with his son until his decease, which occurred in 1861, at the advanced age of eighty-four years.
Robert Morris was born in Lockport, Ill., in 1838. He came to Jefferson Co., Wis., with his parents in the same year. His father, Robert Morris, Sr., was in what is now Wisconsin when the territory was organized, and accompanied the commissioners who located the capital at Madison. Mr. Morris came to this county in 1855, settling on 320 acres of land in town 8, range 6 west, which his father received from the government. He occupied part of this farm until 1868, when he located on section 28, town 9, range 5 west, where he still resides. Mr. Morris has been assessor of Seneca town twice, and four times treasurer. Has been president of the Crawford County Agricultural Society twice, and was chairman of the town board in 1883. He was married in 1868, to Bridget Garvey. Mr. and Mrs. Morris have six children.
Samuel C. Porter resides on section 3, town 9, range 5 west, Seneca town, where he was born Oct. 18, 1855. He married Ida Ertel, a native of Eastman town. They have two children --- John and Archibald. Mr. Porter's father, John Porter, was a native of Ireland. When twelve years of age he came to the United States, and to Crawford county in 1855. He died Jan. 1, 1883, nearly seventy years of age. His widow, Priscilla Porter, still resides on the homestead.
A. N. Searle, of the firm of Searle & Vanderbelt, general merchants, at Lynxville, is a son of Joseph Utter Searle. He was born in Walworth Co., Wis., in 1854, and has been a resident of Crawford county since 1855. Mr. Searle married Lizzie Vanderbelt, born in Crawford county. He engaged in business at Lynxville, in May, 1879, under the firm name of Hopkins & Searle. In October, 1881, he bought his partner's interest, and continued alone until the present firm was established, in October, 1883. They keep a general stock of merchandise, including drugs. Mr. Searle's father came to Seneca town in 1854, and the following year located on section 32, south of the village of Seneca. He subsequently moved to section 16, same town, and in 1869, to section 14, where he resided at the time of his death, which occurred in the summer of 1876. His widow now lives with her youngest daughter, in Oregon. Mr. Searle is postmaster at Lynxville.
Samuel Armstrong settled in Lynxville, in 1856. He was born in England, in 1829. In 1849 he emigrated to the United States, resided in Delaware for a few months, then went to Constantine, Mich., and from there to Springfield, Ill. Mr. Armstrong went from Illinois to Baton Rouge, La., in 1852, where he was a victim of the yellow fever epidemic in the year 1855. Upon recovering, he came north, residing in Portage, Wis., until the winter of 1855-6, and coming to Lynxville the following September. He married Catharine Price, born in Richland Co., Ohio. Mr. Armstrong has been engaged in various things since coming to Lynxville. He has kept a hotel since 1866, being the present hotel man of the village.
J. S. Bigelow was born in Connecticut in 1826; lived on a farm till sixteen years of age, when he went to New Haven, Conn., and engaged in the business of butchering, which business he has followed till now, a period of forty-two years. He remained in New Haven till 1851, then went to Berkshire Co., Mass., making that his home till the spring of 1854; from there he went to Troy, N. Y., remaining a few months, then going to Florida for the benefit of his health where he remained till April, 1856. In July of that year, coming to Crawford county and locating in Haney town. In 1862 he came to Seneca, and is owner of the Bigelow House. He came to Crawford county with his uncle, George F. Bigelow, who had located in Haney town the previous year, and died on the farm where he first located. Mr. Bigelow's father was Levi L. Bigelow, now living in Connecticut. He is a brother of Hobert B. Bigelow, ex-governor of Connecticut. In 1860 he married Mary E. Clarke, born in Illinois, and daughter of William Clarke, an early settler of Utica town.
Thomas Dickson was born in Scotland in 1825, and now resides on section 18, town 9, range 5 west, where he settled in 1856. He came here from Pennsylvania with his brother-in-law, Peter Young, with whom he purchased the farm of William Kenner, Mr. Young taking that part of the land of Mr. Kenner which now constitutes the farm of John Stewart. Mr. Dickson married Marion Young, sister of Peter Young. They have one son --- Charles L., born here, April, 1861. Mr. and Mrs. Dickson are worthy representatives of those hardy pioneers who have built for themselves homes, and helped to develop the resources of what but a few years since was a rugged wilderness.
Valentine Ertel resides on section 20, town 9, range 5 west, where he located in 1876, purchasing his farm of Samuel Robb. Mr. Ertel was born in Newburg-on-Rhine, Germany, in 1831, emigrating to the United States in November, 1851. He resided four years in Pennsylvania and one year in Clayton Co., Iowa. Mr. Ertel has been a resident of Crawford county since 1856, at which time he located on section 30, same town and range in which he now lives. Mr. Ertel married Hannah Frobson. They have five children. Like many of the early settlers, Mr. Ertel came here poor, but by industry and economy he has secured a pleasant and comfortable home.
G. W. Pease is an old resident of Seneca town, Crawford county, having come to Lynxville Aug. 28, 1856. He served in the army during the war, being a member of company C, 6th Wisconsin Volunteers. His regiment belonged to the Iron Brigade. Mr. Pease enlisted April 25, 1861, and was mustered out July 15, 1865, serving over four years, or during the entire war. He participated in all the important battles and campaigns in which the Iron Brigade took part. Mr. Pease now resides on section 2, township 9, range 6 west, where he settled in the spring of 1882, being engaged in farming and also in practicing law. He married Mary A., daughter of William Churchill. Mr. Pease's father, G. P. Pease, came to this county in 1859, remaining until his decease.
William Sharman, Sr., was one of the early settlers of Seneca town, entering 200 acres of land on sections 24 and 25, town 9, range 5 west, in 1855, on which he settled with his family in 1856. Mr. Sharman was a native of England, born in Apperknowl in Dronfield, Derbyshire, May 20, 1833. He emigrated with his parents to the United States in 1849, settling in Montrose town, Dane Co., Wis., where Mr. Sharman resided until his settlement in Crawford county. He married Elizabeth Huckins Kielley, born Sept. 19, 1816, in Strafford, Stafford Co., N. H. Mr. and Mrs. Sharman had four children, two of whom are living --- William and Samuel. Mr. Sharman died Oct. 22, 1873; his wife dying in April of the same year. Their two sons own and reside on the homestead.
William Dickson was born in Scotland, in 1829, and came to this country with his brother Thomas. Coming to Crawford county from Pennsylvania in 1857, and settling on section 13, town 9, range 6 west. He has a farm of 200 acres, which he purchased of J. H. Jewell. He enlisted in the 52d Wisconsin regiment, serving during the last year of the war. He married Mrs. Alice (Young) Bright, a sister of Peter Young. Mr. and Mrs. Dickson have three children living --- James, Janet and William. They have lost two children --- John and Peter. Mrs. Dickson has two children by former marriage --- Thomas C. Bright and Elizabeth, wife of Andrew Peterson.
North Miller was born in 1816, in Susquehanna Co., Penn. When eighteen years of age he went to Ohio, and from there to Indiana. In 1857, he came to Seneca town, Crawford county, settling on section 28, town 9, range 5 west. His farm contains 141 acres of land, eighty acres of which, he purchased from Wells Briggs. It is situated on sections 28 and 21, being well improved, the most of which improvements were made by Mr. Miller. Mr. Miller was married in Ohio, in 1836, to Amanda Bell, a native of Pennsylvania. Mr. and Mrs. Miller have five children --- Owen E., Helen, Horace, Ambrose and Sarah M. Mr. Miller has been chairman of the town board seven terms; was one of the early county commissioners; has been president of the Crawford County Agricultural Society, and was chiefly instrumental in reorganizing the agricultural society, after the war.
James Ingham, resides on section 5, town 9, range 5 west, where he settled in the spring of 1858, though he had entered his land two years previous. He came with James Taylor, Samuel Taylor, John Taylor and John Mills. The above named early settlers all came at the same time (1856), made their locations, and settled at the same time, two years later. Mr. Ingham entered eighty acres, which forms a part of his present farm of 130 acres; he also owns another farm of eighty acres. He was born in Lancashire, England, July 19, 1824. He came to the United States when twenty-four years of age, and settled in Mercer Co., Penn. He was married in England, to Nancy Andrew, born Dec. 18, 1828. She died Feb. 11, 1881. Mr. Ingham has eight children --- Elizabeth A., born Jan. 2, 1851; Emma J., born May 18, 1853; Alice, born Feb. 1, 1856; Mary, born Sept. 22, 1858; Isaiah born Feb. 25, 1861; Samuel, born May 4, 1863; Sarah, born Sept. 12, 1865, and Job, born Feb. 11, 1868.
Fergus Mills resides on section 14, town 9, range 5, where his father, John Mills, settled in 1858. He was born in England, in 1840. He married Miss M. Copsey, daughter of John Copsey, who settled in Crawford county in 1856. Mr. and Mrs. Mills have five children --- Walter, Emma, John, Susan and Nellie. Mr. Mills was a member of the House in the Legislative session of 1876. In 1877 he was chairman of the town board; and in 1883 was treasurer of the board.
Marcus F. Nickerson was born in Vermont in 1838, coming with his parents William S. and Catharine (Tainter) Nickerson, to Prairie du Chien in 1839. They came all the way from Vermont to Prairie du Chien with a team and wagon, except across the lakes. Mr. Nickerson has lived in this town since 1858, at that time settling on section 2, town 9, range 5. In 1864 he enlisted in the 1st Wisconsin Cavalry, serving till the close of the war. The regiment to which he belonged was detached to capture Jefferson Davis after his flight from Richmond, but the 4th Michigan Cavalry having passed around them during the night, effected the capture. Mr. Nickerson was present when the capture was made, and received his share of the reward. He now lives on section 10, town 9, range 5 west, where he settled in 1866, on a farm of 117 acres which he purchased of George Hazen. Mr. Nickerson has been twice married. His first wife was Margaret, a daughter of John and Priscilla Porter, by whom he had eight children, four sons and four daughters --- Lois A., Mary E., Charles A., John P., William M. (deceased), James G., Rose B. and Emma M. His present wife was Mrs. Bertha E. (Walker) Peters, widow of John Peters, who was killed at the siege of Corinth. Mrs. Nickerson has a son by first marriage.
James Taylor is a native of Lancashire, England, born in 1828. He came in 1842 to the United States, with his parents, Samuel and Ann Taylor. They settled in Beaver Co., Penn., where they lived two years, then removed to Trumbull Co., Ohio. Mr. Taylor's parents came with him to Crawford Co., Wis., in 1858, he having previously entered land, in 1856, on section 13, town 9, range 5 west. They lived with him until their decease; his father dying in 1863, and his mother in 1880. Mr. Taylor's farm originally contained 200 acres; he now has 300 acres. He was married to Pantha Mills, a native of Lancashire, England. Mr. and Mrs. Taylor have had eight children, seven of whom are living --- Ann Eva, John, Samuel, Thomas C., Adam, Bettie A. and Martha M. He has been a member of the town board nearly every year since 1866, and has been chairman several terms. He was also chairman of the county board in 1882. Mr. Taylor was the assessor of the township for 1883. Mrs. Taylor's parents, John and Bettie Mills, came to the United States with their family in 1841. They came to Crawford county with Mr. Taylor in 1858, locating on section 15. Mr. Mills died Jan. 17, 1873. His wife still lives on the homestead.
A. B. Withee has been a resident of Crawford county since April, 1858. He was born in Franklin Co., Maine, April 13, 1828. He went to Somerset county when fifteen years of age, and at the age of twenty-three went to Lewiston, where he learned the trade of a moulder, which he followed till he came west. Mr. Withee's residence in Wisconsin dates from November, 1854, at which time he came to Grant county, where he lived three and a half years; thence to Crawford county, and located in the town of Eastman. In November, 1863, he located near the village of Seneca, where he has since resided. Since coming to Crawford county he has been engaged in the occupation of farming, carpentry, etc. Mr. Withee has held, at various times, most of the town offices, and his long continuance in office is evidence of the confidence that is realized in his ability and integrity as a public officer. He is the present town clerk, and was first elected to that office April 1, 1873, and has held the office of clerk since that time, excepting the year 1882. He was elected assessor in 1865, and since that time has assessed the town five times; was elected justice of the peace, April 6, 1869, and has occupied that position constantly to the present date, except an interval of two years. He has been for the last three years secretary of the Crawford County Agricultural Society. He was appointed postmaster Jan. 1, 1871, and held that office until Sept. 2, 1881; was appointed notary public in June, 1875, and still holds that office. The accuracy and completeness of the records kept by Mr. Withee in the several offices that he has filled, together with the prompt and efficient manner of transacting all business pertaining thereto, is the key to his success as a public officer.
His father, Daniel Withee, was one of the early settlers of this county. He came to Grant Co., Wis., from the east in the fall of 1855, and early the following winter came to the town of Eastman and entered by land warrant a quarter section of land, which he improved. He sold out in 1865 and returned to Maine, and now resides in Augusta, that State. Mr. Withee was married in Maine in 1853, to Margaret Hayden. They have four children --- Andrew C., Jessie, wife of Frank Griffin; George M. and Orris M.
Isaac Baker was born in Crawford Co., Penn., in 1838. He went with his father, David Baker, to Grant Co., Wis., in 1857. Mr. Baker came to Crawford Co., Wis., in 1863, settling on section 2, town 9, range 5 west. He has 207 acres of land, the greater part of which was entered by John Porter. He entered the army Feb. 27, 1865, and served till April 20, 1866, as a member of the 50th regiment, Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. Mr. Baker married Betsy Porter, daughter of John and Priscilla Porter. They have five children --- Orra, Anra, Hattie, William W., John L. and Clarence R.
Lemuel B. Allen came to Lynxville in 1864. He was born Jan. 26, 1816, in Washington Co., N. Y., where he was reared. In 1841 he went to Huron Co., Ohio, where he was engaged in farming and in the manufacture of lumber. He removed from Huron to Williams county, in the same State, coming here from that county. Since coming to Lynxville, he has been engaged in wooding and farming. His wife was Jane R. Reynolds, also a native of New York. She died March 7, 1879. Mr. Allen has three sons, all of whom are residents of Lynxville --- Charles S., George W. and Winfield S., all of whom were born in Ohio.
Marstin S. Kenneson is a native of New Hampshire, born in 1824. When twelve years of age he moved with his parents to Canada, and when nineteen he went to Massachusetts. In 1855 he removed to Richland Co., Wis. Mr. Kenneson married Sarah A. Fowler, born in Waldo Co., Maine. When seventeen years of age she went to Massachusetts. Mrs. Kenneson's mother died when she was a child, after which her father came west. He was in the Black Hawk War, resided among the Indians for seven years, then returned to Maine, where he died. Mr. Kenneson enlisted in 1862 in the 19th Wisconsin Volunteers, serving until the close of the war. He participated in many important battles and campaigns, losing his health before the expiration of his term of service, and passing the greater part of the last year in the hospital. At the close of the war, in 1865, Mr. Kenneson came to Crawford county, purchasing forty acres of land of Dr. Frederick Cork, located on section 3, town 9, range 5 west, Seneca town. His farm now contains eighty acres. Mr. and Mrs. Kenneson have had seven sons, three of whom are living --- Leonard C., James H. and George A.
John S. Kingsland is a native of Pittsburg, Penn. In 1865 he came to Lynxville from Williams Co., Ohio. Since that time this has been his home, except from the fall of 1866 to the fall of 1867, when he was at Prairie du Chien, engaged in the insurance business with Samuel Lester. Mr. Kingsland is now engaged in the grain trade, which has been his occupation for many years. His wife is a native of Huron Co., Ohio. They have two children --- Nathan, born at Stryker, Ohio, and Mary, born at Lynxville.
Alden E. Wolcott was born in Lynn Co., Iowa, in 1843. When four years old his parents removed to Elizabeth, Ill., and from there to Columbus, Iowa. He enlisted in January, 1863, in the 27th Iowa regiment, serving till Jan. 24, 1866. He participated in a number of severe engagements, including battles of Pleasant Hill, La.; Tripelo, Miss.; was in Bank's Red river expedition; battle of Nashville, capture of Mobile, etc. His father served in the same regiment. He went to Lansing after the war, coming to Lynxville from there. His wife was Louisa Vanderbelt, born in the State of New York. Mr. Wolcott came to Lynxville in 1867, and was engaged for eight or nine years in the wood trade. Since 1867, during the winter, he has also been engaged in teaching in Grant and Crawford counties. He now represents Lyttle & Co., lumber dealers, Lynxville.
The firm of T. C. Bright & Co., general merchants at Lynxville, was formed in May, 1881. The firm is composed of Thomas C. Bright and John Vanderbelt. Mr. Bright is the son of the wife of William Dickson, of this town, and was born in Pennsylvania in January, 1854. He married a daughter of his partner, Mr. Vanderbelt. Mr. Vanderbelt is a native of Wayne Co., N. Y. He came to Green Co., Wis., when eighteen years of age, and has been a resident of Lynxville since 1859. He was for many years prominently engaged in running wood boats, fishing, etc. He served during the last part of the war in the 50th Wisconsin regiment. His wife was Mary Prince, born in the State of New York. They have two children --- Lodie, wife of T. C. Bright, and Amelia.