- When the first settlers came here it
was covered with woods and there were lots of
- animals such as bears, deer, foxes
and wolves that lived in the forest.
- Most of the first settlers came from
the eastern part the United States. They were
- Irish, English and Scotch. Their names
were John STEVENS, Thomas STEVENS, O'NEIL,
FESSENDENs, John TAYLOR, COLTERs, GIBBS,
PRATTs and REEMBILL. PRATTs lived where
Robert FORD lives now. GIBBS lived north of Robert
FORD. John STEVENS lived where Fred PEACH
lives now. Thomas STEVENS lived where Will HANDTKE
lives now. REEMBILL lived where Ernest PEACH lives
now. O'NEIL lived where Otto MANTHEI lives now.
FESSENDENs lived where [illegible] MANTHEI
lives now. John TAYLOR lived where David WHEELER
lives now. COLTERs lived where James MURPHY lives
- Mr. Joe WHEELER bought land
from Mr. WILSON who bought it from the
- government. He had forty acres of land
at first and then he got more and has on hundred thirty acres
now. All the land was woods except north of the school house
there was a prairie. Mr. Joe WHEELER is the oldest settler
now living in the district.
- Most of the first houses were of logs.
Sometimes the pioneer left his wife and children
- at the Old Ball Tavern, which used
to stand on the Madison road, until he could put up his log cabin
here. One family lived in the caravan wagons until the crops
were harvested, then lived in the straw pile all winter. They
took a stove pipe and made a hole so it would stick out at the
top so the smoke would go out.
- There is still a log cabin in this
district. It is about one mile and a quarter from the
- school house. The man who lives in
it is Mr. Tim FORD.
- The first school house was of logs.
Mr. PRATT and Mr. WHEELER gave the land
- for the Cemetery. It is about one mile
from the school house. Many of the old pioneers are buried there.
- The first farms were small, not more
than forty acres. All the work had to be done by
- hand. When the land was cleared they
had good crops. There was plenty of game in the forest. They
had rails for fences. They had rail fences around their fields.
The old settlers say they split rails all winter, every rainy
day and any spare time, but never had enough rails.
- Even the wagons were homemade. They
sawed the biggest end off of the logs to
- make their wheels for the wagons. They
hollowed then out and nailed pieces across for spokes. They drove
oxens for horses. The neighbors met for barn raisings. When a
new barn was finished they had a dance in it. The women held
- There is a club here and it is called
the "Help a Bit Club" They sew quilts and then
- draw names and the one that gets the
lucky number gets the quilt for nothing and then they serve lunches
such as coffee, cake and potato salad or fruit salad: just three
things to serve for the club. Mrs. STEVENS is treasurer,
secretary and president.
- The Indians had a trail on Mr. WHEELER's
farm and it went right in front of the
- door of his house. It was the way to
their burying grounds at Lake Koshkonong. One day Mr. WHEELER's
father was building a rail fence and he laid some rails across
their path and the Indians changed their trail and made it farther
north of his place. Mrs. WHEELER would give them a lunch.
One big Indian learned to say "bread and meat" and
Mrs. WHEELER would give it to him then. He would ask for
it every time he went by there. They had another burying place
at Indian Ford and that is why we call it Indian Ford.
- The Indians taught Mr. Joe WHEELER
to count in Indian and it sounds like, een,
- teen, tedder, fedder, vimys, vodalada,
voe, ated, adick, eendick, teendick, tedderdick, fedderdick,
abump, eenbump, teen bump, tedderbump, fedderbump, adicket, dickeen,
dickateen, dickatedder, dickafedder, and declaim.
- The first schoolhouse was a log cabin
built about 1823. It only stood two years then
- it was torn down. The second year a
frame schoolhouse was built in 1825. The present schoolhouse
was built in 1885. It cost $600. The first teacher was Kate E.
LAYTON of Evansville. The term began in the new schoolhouse
the sixteenth day of November 1885. The schoolhouse was built
in August 1885. The oldest scholar now living is Mrs. M. J. O'NEIL
who lives at Great Falls Montana. She is seventy-five years old.
- My first teacher was Miss Bessie CUNNINGHAM
who taught one year in 1914.
- Miss Stella M. ATTLESEY taught
three years beginning in 1915. Miss Helen WATERS one year
beginning in 1918. Miss Stella M. ATTLESEY two years beginning
in 1920. Miss Beulah [?] HADLEY in 1921. Miss Stella
ATTLESEY started warm lunches.
- We have a School Society at our school.
The officers are Chester MANTHEI,
- president, Bertha HARNACK, vice
president, Esther HARNACK, secretary. Hazel MANTHEI
& Bertha HARNACK Health Committee, Chester MANTHEI
and Frank HARNACK Reading Circle Committee, Philip ANDERSON
and George KURGER Improvement Committee. We have received
books from the traveling library.
- Chester MANTHEI has a pig. It
is a red Duroc and its name is Royal Princess II.
- He is going the pig club.
- We had a box social and got $22.10
cents. We bought a clock and a pencil
- There were several soldiers from our
district. Pete PETERSON was six months in
- France. He was at the front several
times but never wounded. He was a truck driver.
- Herman RADLOFF was at the front
and he did a little horse shoeing. He was gased
- and has had treatments but has quit
farming. He is going to have an operation.
- Clarence WARNER has just moved
into our district and I do not know very much
- about him.
- Paul HANTKE was a cook in France
a little while in the artillery and fighting in front
- of army.
- We are indebted to Mr. Joe WHEELER
for all the information about the first
- settlers and to Mr. Chas O'NEIL
for the information about the schoolhouse.
- I. General Statistics
- 1. Number of farms - 25
2. Number of people owning - 17
3. Number of people renting - 8
4. Acres - 2,290
- A. Corn - 541
B. Alfalfa - 0
C. Potatoes - 14 1/4
D. Tobacco - 131 1/2
E. Grain - 476
- 5. Number of silos - 16
6. Number of horses - 106
7. Number of cattle - 291
- A. Registered - 9
B. Grades - 282
- 8. Number tested for T.B. - 1
9. Number of Breeds
- A. Holstein
- 10. Number of hogs - 26 [?- paper
11. Number of sheep [?- paper torn off]
12. Number of chickens - 16 [?- paper torn off]
13. Number of turkeys [?- paper torn off]
14. Number of ducks and geese - 56
- II. Farm Conveniences
- 1. Gasoline engines - 10
2. Windmills - 20
3. Manure spreaders - 17
4. Manure Carriers - 3
5. Corn planters - 23
6. Corn binders - 17
7. Hay loaders - 11
8. Milking machines - 0
9. Cream separators - 19
10. Milk houses - 17
11. Automobiles - 17
12. Road drags - 0
13. Incubators - 7
14. Spraying outfits - 2
15. Tractors - 0
16. Running water in barn - 0
- III. House Conveniences
- 1. Running water in house - 0
2. Bathrooms - 0
3. Basement Laundry - 0
4. Power washers - 4
5. Cisterns - 17
6. Icebox - 0
7. Laundry chutes - 0
8. Screened porches - 2
9. Sleeping porches - 0
10. Electric lights - 0
11. Telephones - 20
12. Sewing machines - 23
13. Gas or oil stoves - 15
14. Other lighting systems - 10
- IV. Rest And Recreation
- 1. Croquet sets - 3
2. Swings - 3
3. Hammocks - 7
4. Tennis - 0
5. Basket balls - 0
6. Boats - 5
7. Reading Material
- A. Farm Journal - 13
B. Current magazines - 7
C. Adults - 18
D. Childrens [?- paper torn off]
- 7. Newspapers - 2_ [?- paper torn
8. Piano or organs - 6
9. Victrolas [?- paper torn off]
- Note: This was written by my grandmother,
Bertha (HARNACK) DAHSE (wife of Charles DAHSE,
Jr., of Magnolia Township). She was the eldest of Charles and
Cora (BIENASCH) HARNACK. All of the HARNACK
children (Bertha, Esther, Frank and Mabel) graduated from Stevens
one-room school. (Louis died from a blow from a bat during a
ballgame in 1920; he was 8 years old.)