Old Settlers Club

Source: From History of Waukesha County Western Historical Company, published 1880

There is hardly a county in the State where old Settlers' clubs could be more easily organized and maintained, and in which the age of their members would more fully entitle them to the name. Unfortunately, however, the two societies, which had brief but pleasant and profitable existence in Waukesha County, are dead now, apparently past all resurrection. The papers presented by the members of each are made use of elsewhere; that is, those which have not been lost or destroyed by fire.

Bark River Valley Old Settlers' Club

The old settlers of Hartland, Pewaukee, Merton, and vicinity, held a preliminary meeting at the Burr Oak House, at Hartland, February 3, 1870, having in view the permanent organization of an old settlers' club. there were seventy-three persons present, and all had a very enjoyable time.

The second meeting was held on Thursday afternoon and evening, January 12, 1871, at the same place, when 124 of the old settlers of Waukesha County put in an appearance, and became members of the club. The meeting was called to order by Stephen Warren, Esq., President.

The following persons were chosen officers of the club:

Ralph B. Allen, President
Thomas Redford, Vice President for Lisbon
Stephen Warren, Vice President for Delafield
C.G. Williams, Vice President for Waukesha
W.C. Gates, Vice President for Pewaukee
F.S. Capron, Vice President for Oconomowoc
Chauncey Simonds, Secretary
Elisha Pearl Treasurer

On motion, it was decided to hold the next annual meeting at Hartland, the second Thursday in January, 1872.

The meeting was a complete success. The second meeting was also a successful meeting, as were one or two following ones; but as the novelty wore off the interest seemed to die out, and the Bark River Valley Old Settlers' Club is now a thing of the past. Most unfortunate of all, however, was the destruction by fire of the records of the club, at the burning of the depot at Hartland.

Waukesha County Old Settlers' Club

In December, 1870, several of the pioneers of the county had an informal talk about the desirability of an old settlers' club. This resulted in a call, which was circulated by various parties, until it assumed the following form and dimensions:

The old settlers of Waukesha County are requested to meet at the "Exchange," in the village of Waukesha, on Saturday, February 4, at 2 o'clock, for the purpose of making arrangements for an "Old Settlers'" meeting. It is expected that this preliminary meeting will decide upon the programme (sic) for a large gathering.

Aitken, Andrew
Aitken, John
Allen, Ed.
Andrews, Sewall
Austerman, H.
Bacon, W.D.
Baldwin, J.S.
Bannon, P.
Barber, Manville
Barber, Silas
Barnard, W.S.
Barney, G.M.
Barney, Sebina
Barstow, S.H.
Begg, James
Bennett, S.
Bias, James
Bidwell, Henry
Bidwell, Zebulon
Blackburn, John
Blackwell, A.
Blair, William
Bond, Jospeh
Bovee, M.J.
Bovee, W.R.
Bryant, Moses
Burnell, John
Burroughs, N.
Cameron, D.
Carmichael, B.
Carney, P.H.
Chamberlain, B.F.
Church, E.A.
Clark, Lucien
Clifton, A.B.
Colgrove, H.
Cook, A.
Cook, Emanuel
Cook, Joseph
Cook, T.D.
Cook, Thomas
Cowan, A.
Crawford, Robert
Creighton, D.
Cullerton, Patrick
Curran, Robert
Cutler, M.D.
Darling, John
Davis, A.A.
Davis, Henry
Davis, James
Deagan, M.
Deissner, C.T.
Deissner, H.J.
Dingamann, A.
Donaldson, A.
Dousman, T.C.
Dunlap, R.
Ellis, Pitts
Emslie, William
Enos, E.
Fender, A.
Field, Martin
Fox, Patrick
Frame, A.J.
Frame, Henry
Fuller, Elon
Fuller, Hosea
Fuller, Joseph
Gallagher, D.
Gaspar, J.L.
Gaspar, John
Gavitt, J.M.
Gifford, P.D.
Goff, Amos
Goodnow, Lyman
Gove, E.
Gove, R.L.
Graham, John
Graves, William
Gredler, J.G.
Gregg, H.
Grimshaw, H.
Hadfield, J.
Hammond, R.B.
Hanna, Dennis
Harland, William
Harter, G.
Hartwell, C.S.
Hartwell, M.S.
Hawkins, W.S.
Hawley, C.S.
Hesk, W.R.
Higgins, Elihu
Higgins, Patrick
Hine, G.A.
Holbrook, W.D.
Howard, George
Howie, O.
Hubbard, O.M.
Hunkins, H.H.
Hunkins, Hastings
Hunkins, Henry
Hunkins, James
Jackson, C.
Jenkins, E.W.
Jones, Richard
Judson, Hosea
Kelley, William
Kellogg, E.S.
Kendrick, W.H.
Kimball, J.H.
Kimball, R.N.
King, E.W.
King, James
King, W.P.
Lain, I.
Lambe, Thomas
Lannon, W.N.
Lawrence, George
Lyons, F.R.
Magee, John
Martin, L.
Mccumber, R.B.
Mccumber, S.
Mckenzie, John
Mckenzie, Peter
Mcnaughton, F.
Mercer, R.
Moore, James
Moore, Josiah
Moulton, S.
Murphy, J.J.
Murphy, James
Murphy, John
Murray, James
Murray, P.D.
Nickell, A.C.
Nickell, W.A.
Nohl, C.
Noyes, L.B.
Olin, O.Z.
Palmer, H.G.J.
Patterson, John
Peffer, J.F.
Pinkman, James
Poole, James
Porter, Ed.
Pratt, A.F.
Pratt, G.C.
Punch, J.J.
Purple, E.S.
Putnam, Aaron
Putnam, Amos
Putney, A.S.
Putney, F.M.
Putney, M.
Rea, David
Reed, D.W.
Reese, Thomas S.
Rehberg, J.I.
Remington, John
Rhodes, William
Robertson, R.C.
Rolfe, Rial
Sayles, D.B.
Sayles, M.L.
Shultis, Norman
Silvernaile, S.
Silvernale, C.P.
Slawson, F.
Smart, Benj.
Smart, Isaac
Smart, Richard
Smith, Amos
Smith, Dr.J.
Smith, H.
Smith, William
Snover, J.C.
Spence, Thomas
Sperber, John
Stein, William
Stewart, James
Stockman, John
Stoltz, J.
Story, J.P.
Sugden, Thomas
Sugden, William
Thomas, J.W.
Thompson, Francis
Tichenor, Moses
Tichenor, Orson
Tichenor, Vernon
Toner, William
Totten, H.
Van Buren, Peter
Vanderpool, A.C.
Vanderpool, C.
Vanderpool, W.A.
Wagner, John
Waite, J. Austin
Waite, John
Waite, R.A.
Walklin, J.T.
Walton, N.
Ward, F.B.
Ware, S.
Warner, A.M.
Warner, S.W.
Watson, J.Q.
Watson, J.Y.
Weaver, James
Weaver, Thomas
Weaver, William
Welch, James
Whicher, N.
White, I.M.
White, Ira
Whitmore, George
Williams, J.W.
Williams, W.R.
Woodworth, J.N.
Worden, W.W.
Wright, James
Wright, M.
Wright, W.L.

The above resulted in a meeting, of which the following is the official report:

At the meeting held at the Waukesha Exchange, on Saturday, the 4th inst. (February, 1871), pursuant to call published in the last issue of the Plaindealer, Alexander Cook was called to the chair, and E. Enos chosen Secretary. The Chairman stated the object of the meeting to be the making of the necessary arrangements for the organization, of an association of early settlers of Waukesha County, and fixing the time and place of the first meeting of the association.

On motion of William McWhorter, the following-named gentleman were appointed by the Chair a committee to report a plan for such organization, and to fix the time and place of the meeting as above stated;

A.F. Pratt, Waukesha
Elon Fuller, Pewaukee
John Gale, Merton
James McDonough, Muskego
B.C. Robertson, Vernon
J. S. Nickell, Summit

The committee reported, recommending that the first meeting of the Early Settlers Association be held in the afternoon and evening of February 22, 1871, at Waukesha, and also recommended the appointment of the following Committee of Arrangements for such meeting:

A.F. Pratt
Henry Totten
A. Cook
William White
and F.M. Putney, to which the meeting added
William A. Nickell
Manville Barber
William S. Barnard
and E. Enos.

On motion, a committee consisting of A. Cook, Frank H. Putney and E. Enos were appointed to draft a constitution for the association, to be presented for the consideration of the meeting, and also prepare a historical sketch of early incidents of the settlement of Waukesha County.

A. Cook, Chairman

The Club held three meetings---All pleasant and more or less profitable---but nothing has been done toward reviving these annual gatherings during six or seven years, and it is feared never will be.

Oconomowoc Old Settlers Club

Source: From The Oconomowoc Free Press August 11, 1906

The Assembly of the Old Settlers

In the last issue of the Free Press is a brief notice of the reunion of
Oconomowoc's old settlers, and a promise of further participants to be published.

The day was ideal.

More than five hundred people, old settlers, were seated at the feast. Something
called music was discoursed in the band stand, but the continuous joy of conversation,
and the enthusiasm of salutation, drowned the tones of the vibrant violincello and of
its comrades.

There were babes and children, lads and misses, young women and young men, those
of middle life, and the aged, in the great throng.

As far as the Free Press could discover, those in attendance who are the real old
settlers, who came here prior to 1850, are, with the year of their coming, as follows:

1839: Mr. W.S. Dibble, Mr. M.Z. Dibble

1840: Eliza J. Salter, Mrs. Winger

1841: Edward Aulsebrook, James Williams, Mrs. M.E. Hadley

1842: S.M. Eaton, Mrs. Wm. Chaffee, Mrs. C.J. Strohn, Mrs. M.R. Morton

1843: Nancy C. McConnell, Susan Salter, Eleanor J. Eaton, Mrs. Emilie S. Little,
George Wing, Emma McDonald Barnard

1844: A.J. Carlin, Mary L. Carlin, Charles Thompson, Peter Davy, Mrs. A.L.
Bushman, Norman Brainard, Wm. Thompson, Sarah J. Mann Lake, Joseph Heathcote,
Mary Eastman, Mary Hinkley Humphrey, Mrs. John Wardle, E.W. Barnard,
Elizabeth Perry Davey, Mary A. Bartlett

1845: John Ducklow, Matthias Wenger, H.F. Lyke, W.W. Hastings, Louisa Hill

1846: Elon Munger, H.E. Humphrey, Edgar J. Ferry, Mary E. McArthur, Ellen Moore

1847: Adam Hazelwood, Samuel Warr, E.W. Delaney, W.L. Blake, Chas. Spence,
Julia Parks, Mrs. F.W. Weber, E.E. Humphrey, J.E. Lounsbury, Mrs. N.L. Nelson

1848: Wm. Boundy, Hannah Goodrow, Mrs. E.A. Turgrimson

1849: K.J. McClure, James Moran, Elizabeth Carpenter, Jane Chamberlain, Phebe A. Kern,
Peter Theobald, J.S. Quinn, Evan Humphrey, Mrs. E.J. Coville.

Judge Loren Edwards, though not strictly an old settler, was made chairman of the
occasion and delivered an eloquent address of welcome at the conclusion of the feast.
His speech was received with enthusiasm, and, other speakers being then called out,
the crowd became interested, and heartily applauded all that occurred.

Mr. W.S. Dibble, as one of the oldest settlers present, was called out for a speech;
but, being but two years old when he arrived here with his parents, he begged to be
excused from remembering readily what happened at that time.

Mr. M.Z. Dibble filled the blank, and, having a youthful and rosy memory, he related
some of the experiences of 1840; and the audience was pleased.

Mr. Frank Worthington, from his position in the assembled multitude, delivered an
impromptu oration, pertinent to the occasion fluent and iridescent.

Mr. Wm. Thompson related memories of the old time.

He came to Oconomowoc in April, 1844, by the reliable means of walking. Losing the
direct way, he strayed to the old Mann farm, where then lived the parents of Orson Reed,
(who for many years afterward was a well known citizen of Summit); of a daughter who
afterward became the wife of a great banker, Alexander Mitchell; and of George Reed.

The elder Reed yoked oxen to a wagon and brought Mr. Thompson into Oconomowoc.

The only house then standing south of the present line of the railroad was one
occupied by Orville Hathaway, on what is now South Main street. What buildings then
existed, making a village, were on the single street, extending north from that point.

Going north, the first building seen was a slab house where now stands the Bank of
Oconomowoc. In this house lived on Quigley, a sort of clerk to a physician, who resided
east of the village, and was crowded with professional practice, owing mostly to malarial
diseases. Once in several days the doctor would visit the patients, and, in the interim,
would send his clerk around to deal out the panacea--quinine.

Where the mill now stands was a small, bridgeless stream of water crossing the road. By
this stream was the blacksmith shop of Adaniza Rowe, and Rowe's humble dwelling stood where
now is the beautiful home of the Peters family.

Next north, on the east side of the street, about where now is the corner of the lot on
which stands the mansion of John A. Scudder, was a plain house in which lived the Wilson
family. Still north, on the west side of the street, nearly opposite the present Draper
Hall cottage, lived the Dibble family, two of whom, Zine Dibble and Walter Dibble, then
mere children, are with us to-day.

Just north of the Dibble home was a covered mill-race crossing the street, and by it, on
the bank of La Belle lake, was a flouring mill, owned by John S. Rockwell and E.P. Cotton.
Just north of the mill, about where now stands the residence of George W. Westover, was a
frame building, owned by John S. Rockwell, and occupied by Geo. W. Fay and W.W. Collins as
a general store. A little further north, on the east side of the street, resided John S.
Rockwell. Near by stood, on the bank of Fowler lake, an old sawmill, that had once, in
prior days, been used for a flouring mill. In 1843, a great freshet overran the mill,
tearing away much of the structure, crushing the foundation, and, hurling the great
millstone from its position, carried it far out into Lac La Belle, where, in some unknown
spot, still lies that old historic millstone.

Crossing the old bridge near the mill, and going north, on the place where now bloom
the flowers of the Quincy home, stood the dwelling of John Barton, and the shop in which
he made chairs, furniture, and wooden rakes.

Still further north on the point afterwards long the home of Mr. and Mrs. Bordoe,
thereafter the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Warham Parks, was a double log dwelling, in one
end of which lived a Mr. Sage, and in the other end a cooper shop. Here Mr. Thompson
helped Mr. Sage make flour barrels in 1844, and, a Mr. Lee, with a wheelbarrow, carried
the barrels to market, which was the flouring mill of Rockwell & Cotton.

Next north on the west side of the street, lived Wm. Campbell and wife with their
children, afterward so well known, including Vine B. Campbell, Julia (who became the wife
of W.W. Collins), and others.

Mason Chaffee, Daniel Cottrill, Henry Cottrill, and George Cottrill lived still a
little farther north on the same street.

On farms adjoining the village lived George Williams, whose daughter, Mrs. Hadley,
is with us to-day; C.B. Sheldon, Thos. Slater and Augustus Cotton.

West of the village, in a double log house, lived the family of the elder Worthington,
father of Theodore and grandfather of Frank, who is here to-day.

Chauncey Osborn, E.P. Cotton and David Hastings (father of Horace, Smith and Hamilton,
who are of the departed old settlers), also lived west of the village.

The first burial of Oconomowoc was that of Mary Brainard, in the point of Fowler lake,
where now stands the Episcopal church.

At the close of Mr. Thompson's narrative, Lon Bogart, a real old timer, famous for
speech and for song, mounted a chair in response to the call of the chairman, and sang
in inimitable manner, unknown to the rules of music, spontaneous in style, and of
clearest diction, the old "Free Soil: song of the Hutchinson family, with its chorus.

Then come along, come along,
Make no delay;
Come from every nation,
Come from every way;
Our lands, they are broad enough;
So don't you be alarmed,
For Uncle Sam is rich enough
To give us all a farm.

Fett. Spaulding, who had been pounding a bass drum, keeping time to the fife music
of Lucian Merrill and the tenor drum rolling by Willis Spaulding, to the amusement
and astonishment of the children, was called out by the chairman, and, although he
did not come to Oconomowoc until it was a thrifty village, in 1857, he remembered
being scared by a big "Injun," and he told the story well, as he does, indeed, well
narrate all stories.

Geo. F. Westover, in response to a call, paid tribute to some of the old settlers
who were here in the '40s, delivering brief eulogies of John S. Rockwell, Orville
Hathaway, James Luck, Coolidge Eastman and others.

Mrs. Rockwell, widow of John S. Rockwell; Mrs. M.E. Hadley, daughter of George
Williams, one of the departed, famous old settlers; Mrs. Mary Eastman, widow of
Coolidge Eastman, and Miss Grace P. Jones, formerly principal of the Oconomowoc
Seminary for Young Ladies, were successively called out, and were enthusiastically
applauded by the entire audience.

Miss Jones recited in her lucid and interesting manner some of the incidents
pertaining to her early labor in behalf of higher education in Oconomowoc; and,
with much emotion, referred to the noble women who, as young ladies, were under
her tuition, and are now worthy and leading members of many communities.

From some of the absent old settlers, who were unable to attend, letters had
been received and were read to the assembly. Among then was read the following
from Mr. Luck:

Forest Grove, Ore, July 24.--My Dear Friend, B.G. Edgerton:--Your kind
invitation of the Oconomowoc Business League to "The Old Settlers' Reunion" for
August first, was duly and thankfully received. Nothing could give me greater
pleasure than to be with you on that festive day, but I am sorry to say that
unavoidable circumstances will prevent. I trust that you will all have a glorious
time and joy be with you all on that interesting occasion. I still cherish the
hope of visiting dear old Cooney on some future day. Many changes have been since
I left, thirteen years ago, and I might feel somewhat like a stranger in a strange
land or at any rate considerably bewildered and my memory sadly befogged. Well,
change is the order of the world and the beautiful city in the "Land o' Lakes"
may have changed much more than I am aware of.

Still my fancy can discover
Sunny spots where friends may dwell;
Though absent far my thoughts still hover
Around those lakes I love so well.
With kindest regards to the Business League and your committee,
I remain your sincerely.
Jas. Luck

Other speakers then called the attention of the audience to some of the old
settlers who had departed this life, and who had not yet been mentioned in
these proceedings. With most solemn reverence, and in devout recognition of
that which was noble in the lives of those remembered, there were pronounced
the names of Edwin Hurlbut, David W. Small, Joel R. Carpenter, Geo. W. Fay,
W. W. Collins and Isaac C. Stratton.

Mr. W.S. Dibble then moved that a committee of five be appointed by the
chairman to organize an old settlers' club. The motion was carried by acclamation,
and the great audience broke into groups, and during the remainder of the afternoon,
there was much merry-making, much dancing, much social conversation, and nothing
marred the joy or lessened the beauty or hindered the great success of the
extraordinary reunion.
Geo. F.W.