Richard J Harney.

History of Winnebago County, Wisconsin, and early history of the Northwest online

. (page 24 of 71)
Online LibraryRichard J HarneyHistory of Winnebago County, Wisconsin, and early history of the Northwest → online text (page 24 of 71)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


acquaintance, set out for Oshkosh with the
intention of purchasing a boat, and with the
requisite provisions as freight, proceeding to
Wolf River to procure logs, which when floated
down the Wolfand up the Fox to a point most
convenient to his purchase were to be con-
verted into shingles. Reaching Omro on his
way to Oshkosh, he found Jed Smalley (at the
time an Indian merchant), where he stopped
for dinner which consisted of boiled peas, the
only solids obtainable.

Arriving at Oshkosh they found Webster
Stanley, George Wright, P. V. Wright, Amos
Dodge, two Gallups, and what was supposed
to be a town site. Unable to procure boat or
provisions, the expedition to Wolf River w as
abandoned, and while considering the next
best thing, Mr. Sam Farnsworth (who had
built a dam and saw mill at Shawano the year
before) made his appearance in search of
assistance to rebuild his dam which had been
washed out, and a millwright to repair the mill
which had been badly damaged. Mr. C. and
nine others enlisted. Purchasing three orfour
barrels of pork and beef at Fond du Lac, and



\V2



HISTORY' OF WINNEHACO COUNTY, WISCONSIN.



[1847-56.



some thirty bushels of potatoes, Mr. Farns-
worth's boat was loaded, and with eight oars
the boat was rowed to Shawano, the dam and
mill completed and the party returned to Osh-
kosh in six weeks, arriving on the evening of
July 2d.

ImmediateK- on arri\al Mr. C. was accosted
by a young gamin with, "we're going to have a
celebration here to-morrow." There being
no settlers in the region where Mr. C. left he
\'cry naturally asked the bo)', "where are the
folks coming from?"

"Oh, the country is full of folks!"

"But," says Mr. C. "to-morrow is not the
Fourth of July. "

. "Well, we've got to celebrate to-morrow,
'cause the steamboat (the old Manchester) is
going to celebrate at Fond du Lac the Fourth. "

And they did celebrate, Anu)s Uodgc and
a key bugle comprising the band, and Mr. C.
was greatly interested to see the increase o(
population during his absence of a few weeks.

The same year Mr. C. had fourteen acres
broke at a qost of two dollars per acre, and in
the spring of 1 847 purchased tweKe bushels
of seetl wheat (of William Uaikiii of CJreen
Lake) at tift_v cents per bushel, and with it
sowed si.\- acres of his breaking from which he
harvested 126 bushels. Up to this time he had
purchased his flour and pork on Rock Prairie.
The flour was manufactured at Whitewater
from wheat that cost thirty-nine cents per
bushel, (first quality of wheat.) Fork and
beef were purchased at one and a half cents
per pound.

Having raisetl the wheat the giinding was
the ne.xt consideration. Joining with a neigh-
bor each put in twenty-two and a halfbushels,
making forty-five bushels, which was taken to
Watertown, a distance of fifty-three miles,
ground and returned, feeding the bran on the
w a\- home.

In the winter of 1848-9, Mr. C. contracted
with Messrs. Brand & Sawyer, of Algoma, for
sixteen thousand feet of pine lumber at eight
dollars per thousand, to be one-third clear
stuff, and drawing it home erected his present
residence in the spring of 1849.

KNCOUNTKR Willi INDI.\NS.

Doctor Linde gives the following recital of
a most tragical event which occurred near his
place at Muckwa, during his residence there:

On a fine hunting-night, in the latter part of
June, 1856, Mr. Walter James went to a small
lake near Muckwa, with his canoe, ft)r the
purpose of night-hunting deer. Fortunately
he took the doctor's hunting-knife, a formida-
ble weapon, made of the best steel, and weigh-



ing two and a half pounds. He found plenty
of deer, but they would not take to the water
on account of the carousals of three Indians,
who w ith their families were encamped near
the lake. James, being fiimiliar witii the
Indians, and not anticipating any trouble,
then went to their wigwams, and asked them
not to make so much noise, and let him ha\e
a chance at the deer. The Indians who had
drank just about whiskey enough to make
them excitable and quarrelsome, then
attacked him. One grabbed him by the
throat; when James pulled out his big hunting
knife, and then the Indian grasped him b\' the
fore arm, to prevent James from striking with
it; but his desperation lent him strength; and
the great weight of the weapon enabled him
b)' the strength of his wrist alone, to strike a
blow which split the Indian's skull, when he
fell unconscious. This was the work of a few
seconds. The Indian had no sc)oner released
his hold on James and fallen, than another
made a thrust at him with a knife; but James
being a skillful swordsman, easily parried the
thrust, anil struck his antagonist on the right
arm with the intention of crippling him. The
blow se\ered the bone between the shoulder
and the elbow , barely leax'ing the artery uncut
and a shred b\' which the arm dangled. At
the same instant that the second Indian maile
the thrust with his knife, the other grasped the
gun which James hekl in his left hand. The
latter clung to the gun, which was loaded with
buckshot, well knowing that his life dejiended
on keeping it in his possession; but after he
had disabled the second Indian, the third kept
beyond the reach of the knife, holding the gun
by the barrel, while James held it b\- the
breech. Seeing'that be could not get within
reach of the Indian without releasing his hold
on the gun, he let go and at the same instant
jumped forward and made a desperate stroke
at the Indian's head. The latter threw his
head back and received the blow in the left
breast, which partly cut four of the ribs, and
expended its force on the wrist, cutting
deeply into the bone. The Indian then fled
with the gun and James ft)llowed in close pur-
suit, knowing well that it was a race for life; for ifi
the Indian could get sufficient distance to turn
and get a shot at him, he was gone. After
running a short distance, in which the Indian
barely succeeded in keeping but a little more
than arm's length from James, the latter was
tripped by a wild grape vine and fell. At the
same instant the Indian turned and leveled the
piece at him and pulled the trigger. When'
James saw the muzzle of the glistening barrel
that cont.iined lwent\-four buck-shot, he felt.i



I8S6.]



HISTORY OF WIMNEBAGO COUNTY, WISCONSIN.



113



far an instant, that his chances for life were
narrow. The Indian, however, failed to dis-
charge the gun, and James, quickly compre-
hending the reason, which was that the gun
was at half-cock, jumped up and plunged down
the bank of the stream which was the outlet of
the lake. As the place where he happened
to fall was near where he had left his canoe, it
was the work of but a few moments to reach
it, when he quickly paddled out in the
lake, trusting that the obscurity of the night
would prevent the Indian from getting a shot
at him. This desperate encounter, up to the
time when the Indian fled with the gun, occu-
pied but a few seconds; as the three Indians
attacked James simultaneously, and in fact it
was but a few minutes from the time he had
landed to visit the Indians, until he was again
out on the lake.

Another man was on the lake in a canoe
watching for a chance at deer; a Mr. Jerroux,
who owned the adjoining land. As the Indians
were making such a racket, he had lain down
in his canoe to rest, till the noise subsided;
and had fallen asleep, unconscious of the trag-
ical events transpiring so near him. James
paddled out to him and awakening him,
related, what had occurred, and requested
him to go to the wigwam and see what condi-
tion the wounded were in. He went, came
back and reported to James, who immediately
started for Doctor Linde, feeling that his
surgical services were much needed; but the
Doctor who had been at Weyauwega, was then
on his return on a steamboat, which met James'
canoe in the river. The latter was taken on
board and gave a recital of what hadoccurred.
He showed the marks of the encounter; his
neck still retaining the indentations of all the
finger nails of the hand which had grasped it.

On their arrival at Mukwa, the Doctor
took his surgical instruments and accompanied
by James, went immediately to the wigwam.
The Indian, whose skull was cleaved, was still
alive, but unconscious, and beyond the reach
of surgical skill. He soon died. The one
whose arm was nearly severed was attended to.
The bone being cut slanting, it was found
necessary to cut off the points, so as to square
the ends; which was done. In due time the
bone united, but the main nerve having been
severed, caused paralysis of the arm and left
him a cripple for life. The wounds of the
other were dressed and the gashes sewed up,
but about a year afterwards he died; it was
reported from necrosis of the ribs occasioned
by the injury.

The fatal quarrel caused great excitement
among the Indians, who flocked from all direc-



tions, to the scene of the tragedy; and congre-
gated in large numbers, in the vicinity of
Linde's, assuming a most threatening attitude.
The settlers were in such great fear from appre-
hension that the Indians had assembled for the
purpose of taking revenge, that they dared
not afford Linde any protection. He thought
it a necessary precaution to send his little son
Fred, to Oshkosh. The Doctor seemed to be
involved in the trouble, from the fact that it was
supposed hostility to him that provoked the
attack on James; they having in the night and
the phrensy of the moment mistaken James for
Linde; as the latter had caused the arrest and
fine of some parties who had been selling
whiskey to the Indians, for the purpose of
suppressing the evil; considering his life in
danger when the Indians, were in liquor,
whereas, he had no fear of them when they
were sober.

The Doctor resolved to brave out the excite-
ment which for a time ran very high. One of
his neighbors deserves to be remembered in
this connection. A man by the name of John
Thorn, a blacksmith, who offered to help
Linde in the event of any attack on him.
Linde believed if any hostile demonstration
were made, it would be immediately; so the
night he had sent F"red away, he determined
to keep a vigilant watch. Knowing that his
dogs would give prompt notice of any hostile
approach, it was arranged that he should give
Thorn notice, if he were needed, by discharg-
ing a gun. The night passed without any dis-
turbance, and in the morning Linde decided
to empty one of his revolvers, that had been
loaded a long time, and, forgetting his arrange-
ment with Thorn, commenced discharging the
piece. After firing a few shots he happened
to look in the direction of Thorn's house, which
was just across a little marsh, when he discov-
ered Thorn running toward him at full speed,
with his rifle in one hand and hunting-knife in
the other. There was, however, no need of his
services, so they amused themselves for some
time in shooting at a mark.

James Clark, of Winchester, as soon as he
heard of the danger surrounding his friends,
promptly came to their defense, and offered to
stand by them till the danger was over.

After the Indians and their friends had fully
investigated the sad encounter, it was settled
— Indian fashion — one of the conditions of the
settlement requiring James to consent to be
adopted by the tribe as one of its members,
taking the place of the one who was killed. He
therefore became a Menominee by adoption.

Many who read the foregoing statement of
James' desperate struggle on that, to him, mem-



114



HISTORY OF WINNEBAGO COUNTY, WISCONSIN.



[1844.



orablc night, may deem it an exaggeration, but
the people who were living here at the time,
know the facts to be as they are here substan-
tially stated, and will distinctly remember the
circumstances. There were, it is true, some
differences of opinion as to where the chief
blame of the encounter rested; some alleging
that the Indians had cause of provocation, in
former attempts to drive them from Linde's
hunting grounds; but the general opinion
seemed to be that it was not reasonable to sup-
pose that James would go alone in the night,
with any hostile intentions, to a wigwam of
three able-bodied Indians; and that the rea-
sonable conclusion was, that he thought he
could get them to quiet down and give him a
chance to hunt; but they, mistaking him in the
night for Linde, and being in the first stages
of intoxication, construed the visit into an
attempt to drive them off, and feeling belli-
gerent, attacked him.

INDIAN SfRIMMAdE AT OMKU.

Among the Indian scrimmages, which the
Doctor participated in, was one which threat-
ened serious consequences.

Captain William Powell had a trading-post
near the present site of Omro; and in the sum-
mer of 1844, the Winnebagoes were encamped,
two hundred strong under old Yellow Thunder,
at the outlet of Rush Lake. Yellow Thunder's
boy, with eleven other young bucks, came
down to Powell's to rob him of his whiskey
and have a spree. There happened to be at
Powell's shanty, at the time, three other whites:
Jed Smalley, Leb Dickinson and Charles Car-
ron, a Menominee half-breed. They resisted
the attempt of the Winnebago bucks to get
the whiskey, and a general fight ensued; but
both whites and Indians, well knowing the
consequences ofusing any deadly weapon, con-
fined themselves to their fists and clubs. Just
as the struggle was at its full height, and after
Captain Powell had his right arm broken, but
was still using his club with his left, Doctor
Linde, who happened to come on a visit,
appeared on the scene. The combatants
were so engaged that neither party observed
the accession to the force of the whites. Tlie
Doctor quickly comprehending the situation,
and the necessity of prompt action, as the
whites were getting the worst of it, threw down
his pack, cocked both barrels of his rifle and
laid it down on his pack, and went into the
scrimmage with his tomahawk. He first struck
Yellow Thunder's boy; the Indian turning his
head as he received the blow, the tomahawk
peeled the skin entirely across the forehead.
He fell senseless, when Linde struck another



Indian. The fight now proceeded so vigor-
ously that the Doctor had no time for observa-
tion, until a cessation of hostilities revealed
to the sight twelve Indians liors du combat.
Things now looked more serious than ever,
for if one Indian was killed the band at Rush
Lake would seek revenge in an attempt to kill
the whole party; whereas, if no life was lost,
it would only be looked on as deserved pun-
ishment, and the whites entitled to the highest
respect for their \ictory over such superior
numbers.

Measures of safety now had to be taken
until it was ascertained whether any of the
Indians were killed. Charley Carron was,
therefore, sent out to a point, about a mile dis-
tant on the trail to Rush Lake with orders to
shoot any Indians that were en route for Pow-
ell's. Then the party of whites proceeded to
pack their goods into their canoes and get
everything ready for a sudden start, for if one
Indian out of the lot did not recover, they
must, with all dispatch, get out of the Winne-
bago country into the Lower Fox region and
down to Green Bay. If all proved well, Carron
was to be notified with a signal of two shots.

Powell's arm was next dressed and set. and
then the Indians were attended to, most of
them getting upon their feet, ha\ing received
no serious injur)-. The wounds of some had
to be dressed, but one by one they came out
all right : that is, alive; a broken arm or a
badly gashed head was no very serious matter.
So the young bucks very gratefully partook of
the hospitalities, including a little whiskey,
which concluded the ceremonies of the occa-
sion; only regretting that their plan forgetting
on a big drunk had miscarried, and laughing
at the affair as a bad joke on themselves. Old
Yellow Thunder laughed at the discomfiture of
the Indians, wlu), when the)- returned, sadder,
but wiserlndians, had to own up that the good
joke of stealing Powell's whiskc)-, though well
conceived, had materiall)- failed in its practical
execution.

Doctor Linde was well acquainted with
Cha-ka-mo-ca-sin,warchief of thcMenominees.
From the Doctor we learn the following inci-
dents in his career. Like all the war chiefs of
Indian tribes he arose to the position through
an established reputation for bravery and skill
on the war-path. He once made the trip alone
from here to the Pacific Coast, stating that he
crossed mountains whose tops were covered
with snow, and went from the land of sweet
waters to those of bitter. This was before the
days of over-land travel, when travelers had to
be self-sustaining. He was a man of great'
physical strength and great power of endur-



HISTORY OF WINNEBAGO COUNTY, WISCONSIN.



115



ance. On one occasion, when lying drunk in
his lodge, an enemy stabbed him, the knife
passing through the lung. His friends discov-
ering him l>'ing dead, as they thought, put on
their mourning paint and were singing around
him, when, to their surprise, he rose up and
asked who was dead. On being informed that
he was, and what killed him, he immediately
took his knife and went to the lodge of his
enemy who was sitting down with his blanket
drawn over his head in expectant retribution.
Cha-ka-mo-ca-^in pulled oft' the blanket and told
him to "look up if he wanted to see a man."
The Indian stared as if at an apparition. Said
Cha-ka-mo-ca-sin: "Do you supposej'flw could
kill a waj- chief. You don't know how to strike.
This is the way;" and suiting the action to the
words, drove the knife into him, up to the hilt,
when the Indian fell dead.

On one occasion the Doctor saw him sitting
on a log smoking, with ail the nonchalance of
Indian imperturbability, while his squaw was
belaboring him angrily, with all her strength,
over the back with a paddle, and accusing him
of lying around drunk, when he ought to be
hunting and trapping. As the blows increased
in number and vigor, he quietly looked around
to her and said "it hurts." "I make it hurt
more," she replied, renewing the blows with
all her strength. After taking his punishment
for some time longer with true Indian stolidity,
he cooly laid down his pipe and getting up told
his squaw to take his place on the log. She
obeyed, for she saw he meant business. He
then took up the paddle and returned measure
for measure. She squalled and said "it hurts."
"That is what 1 told you, now you beliex'e it,"
he replied, and cooly resumed his pipe.

Doctor Linde occupies a' prominent place in
the pioneer history of this county. He
migrated here from Denmark, in 1842, and
immediately purchased 280 acres, the present
site of the Northern Hospital for the Insane.
The patent for this land was issued to him.
The first fifteen acres which he cleared and
broke, is now the vegetable garden of the hos-
pital. On this place he built a log-house, in
which he resided for three years, in pioneer
style — hunting, trapping, clearing land, splitting
rails, and the other incidental work of a new-
comer, excepting when at times important
surgical operations demanded his services.
He married Miss Sarah Adelaide Dickenson,
daughter of Clark Dickenson, who was one of
the very early settlers of the county. The
Doctor had selected this locality for his future
home, then on the very confines of civiliza-
tion, for the purpose of gratifying his taste for
a frontier life, and his love for hunting, trap-



ping and backwood sports, and consequently
did not practice his profession; but being one
of the only two professional surgeons in the
territor}' at that time, he was reluctantly com-
pelled to practice, when occasion demanded
his services.

The country, on his arrival here, was a
comparative wilderness, his house and two
others, being the only ones between Oshkosh
and Winnebago Rapids (now Neenah). The
only roads in the country were Indian trails,
and the means of transportation, packing by
land or in canoes by water, and many a weary
mile has he packed his heavy load. The
pioneer hospitality of the day is illustrated by
his keeping a light burning till late in the night,
to guide the traveler on the lake to a place of
shelter, and whether Indian or white man, he
was welcome to a place by the fireside.
Speaking French fluently, and from similarit}-
of tastes, he found most congenial companions
among the old French settlers. Being one of
the very best rifle shots in the country, he soon
became famous among the Indians and whites,
and passed a large portion of his time in the
chase. His mark was so well known and
respected by the Indians, that they never
intruded on ground occupied by him, when
hunting and trapping. The incidents of his
years of backwoods life, would make an inter-
esting \olume. On one occasion, having a
number of guns out of doors which he had
been cleaning, he observed a band of Potta-
wattamies on their travels, who, in passing
along near the guns, stopped and contemptu-
ously remarked in their language, "White man
have heap guns, but can't shoot much. " The
Doctor came up and by those significant signs
with which Indians so readily express them-
selves, pointed at the guns and then at the
Indians, and holding his other hand about two
feet from the ground, to signify that they were
little children in the use of fire-arms, and then
straightening up and pointing to himself as
big man. who would try them. He then took
out one of his pistols and got an Indian boy to
hold out at arm's length a bit of board, about
six inches square, at which he fired, putting a
ball nearly in the center. The second shot he
struck the center. The boy showed nerve —
never flinching a hair's breadth. The Indians
then cut off a bit of bark on a tree — long
range; on the second shot the doctor's ball
struck the center. The Indians, without a
word, turned on to the trail and left. The
Doctor regards himself an instance of the degen-
erating effects of civilization, as he was known
among the Indians as White Bear, and by the
settlers, as the Hunting-Doctor," Whereas now,"



116



HISTORY OF WINNEBA(;0 COUNTY, WISCONSIN.



[1842-52.



he says, he is "only Old Doct Linde. " He did
not take the precaution of Nicodemus Easy,
the father of Marryatt's hero, who, when it was
proposed to name his first born after him,
objected, on the ground that the boy would be
called Young Nick, and he would in contra-
distinction be called Old Nick.

After a residence of four years on his land,
he moved to Green Bay, wliere he lived about
a year, practicing his profession. While at the
Bay, he made the acquaintance of an old
Indian, who had been scalped, when a boy, by
a Chippewa. A portion of the skull was bare,
where the scalp-lock was cut ofif; this was one
of the survivors of a famous event in Menom-
inee tradition, and is celebrated by the "Dance
of the three Menominees " When this Indian
was a boy, he was, with some women and chil-
dren, taken captive by a party of Chippewas.
A short time after the Chippewas had departed
with their captives, three Menominees on a hunt,
who had just killed a deer, came upon the
scene of the capture. With the unerring
sagacity of Indians, they readily perceived what
had taken place, and that the party who
attacked and carried oft' their women and chil-
dren, was composed of twenty-one Chippewas.
Dividing up the deer among them, which
afforded a plentiful supply of food for several
days, they immediately took the trail of the
Chippewas, and notwithstanding the great dis-
parity in numbers, determined, without wait-
ing for any accession to their forces, to attempt
the recovery of their people, and obtain
revenge for the injury. They followed the
trail to a point in the Chippewa country, be-
yond Post Lake, where they discovered the
smoke of their camp. They now proceeded
cautiously, and stealthily creeping up, saw the
captives and the twenty-one Chippewas. The
latter had deposited their fire-arms in a place a
little removed from their camp-fire. By a
strategic movement the three Menominees suc-
ceeded in getting between the Chippewas and
their guns, and then quickly possessed them-
selves of the latter. P^ach Menominee then
picked out his Chippewa, and fired; three fell
dead. They then repeated their shots with
fatal rapidity; after which the)- closed in with
the remainder in a hand to hand fight. Every
Chippewa was killed, except one old man,
whose life was spared for the purpose of send-
ing the compliments of the three Menominees
to his tribe, and informing them how the



Online LibraryRichard J HarneyHistory of Winnebago County, Wisconsin, and early history of the Northwest → online text (page 24 of 71)