Monday, October 31, 2011

Amanuensis Monday: James P. McPherson and an 1841 Letter of Political Content

My transciption for today is a letter that was written to my great-great grandfather James P. McPherson in 1841 and shows that he was involved in the political activities of that era. The People's Charter promoting universal (male) suffrage, which was signed in 1838, was the rallying vehicle around which the supporters of universal suffrage, the 10-hour work week, the anti-corn and Poor Law, unionization and better working conditions coalesced.  This was a period when the wage-earning working people were beginning to plead their agenda not only to employers but to the national political forces.  The following letter was written to 26 year-old James P. McPherson, a Dundee flax dresser,  from a man who wanted to obviously wanted to stand for election to represent Dundee:

My transcription of the letter requires a few notes and comments.  I believe the word preceeding the date is Hull.  There is a HULL in Yorkshire and one of the postmarks does clearly show the word HULL.  However, a Scots genealogist and a friend of mine, thought it might also be MULL, as there is an island by that name of the SW coast of Scotland.  Personally, although the first letter does indeed look like an "M,"  my vote remains for HULL  --- but then in my first transcription I thought it read,"Thu A,"  so there is plenty of room for discussion.
Regarding the sender of the letter, it looks to me like the name is "T. Pemset Thompson."  However, all I am comparatively sure of is that the first three letters are "Tho".  A quick check of the UK census reports yielded no helpful information about this individual.

J.P.'s address on Horse Water Wynd can be Googled.  When J.P and his mother lived there it was in the shacks near the flax mill located on the waterfront;  now Horse Water Wynd  is in  a parking lot near the university.  You just have to love Google Maps 

Transcription of the letter:
Hull. 26 June 1841

Dear Sir, 
      Finding, as I always suspected that measures have been taken by the Whigs to render my election next to impossible, I beg to state that if there were a probability of returning me for Dundee with requiring my actual presence, I should gladly make myself responsible for any moderate expenses connected with that object. 
                                                                             I am, Dear Sir, 
                                                                               Yours very truly and sincerely,
                                                                                       T. Pemset Thompson
Mr. J.P.McPherson
8 Horse Water Wynd
Scouningburn, Dundee

The back side of the letter is folded so as to make the envelope. Although HULL is very clear, there are a couple of  postmarks which I don't understand. The envelope is addressed to:

Mr. Jas. McPherson
8 Horse Water Wynd


Comments and suggestions are welcomed. 

~ ~ ~

© Joan Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday Synopsis: 2011 October 30th:

A quickie synopsis today --- to keep faith with this weekly thingy. First of all, the bad news; the Uncle Ralph Letters project is still in the lurch.  However, I expect to resume work on that project early Monday morning.  I almost said bright and early, but early nowadays for me is about 5 am and it  is definitely not bright at that time of morning.  The plan is to work 2 to 3 hours each day before I head to the Y.  Even if I only get 1 hour in that is more than I have done the past month.  Yikes.

Had a great workshop last Tuesday nite.  I was jazzed about the Ranch years project. Today and tomorrow I am reworking the first piece.  It was an ok first draft, but not enough backstory, dialogue needs more set up around it, and general rewrite -- ughh, I would say I hate rewrites (which I do) but I would rather get this story right than be a whiner and a sniveler.

I am plugging along with reading and researching information about the Chartist, and also the Temperance movement.  As a major flax production area, Dundee's flax workers were very active in the Chartist and social movements of that era.  And for tomorrow's Amanuensis Monday I will be transcribing a letter written to J.P. McPherson, which shows his involvement in  political activities in the Dundee area. 

Regarding my Roots'n'Leaves blog, I managed to enter four posts for the week, including last week's Sunday Synopsis. For the time being,  I am trying to enter a transcription of some sort every Monday, a more thought provoking post for Thursday Thoughts, a  Surname Saturday piece that highlights a family name of  some importance in the Springdale, Wisconsin, of J.P. McPherson's time, and then, of course, my Sunday Synopsis.

That's the way she rolls.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Surname Saturday: Foy(e) and Ireland Families, Dane County, Wisconsin

During the years in Springdale, not only did  James P. McPherson connect with families from Scotland, he also connected with families that in the future would become part of the McPherson extended family.  The Foye (also spelled as Foy) and the Ireland familes were two of the latter, as three of the eleven children of James P. and Mary Burns McPherson would take mates from these two families, which were interconnected.  The first born daughter, Ann Adamson McPherson married Alonzo Foye;  the second son, James Burns McPherson married Elizabeth (Kempfer) Ireland; and Emma Ellen McPherson, the 4th  daughter, married Hank Ireland.

From family stories, I had always known that the Foye and Ireland families were somehow connected.  I was delighted to find more information on the Foye-Ireland connection when I read the following memory by Orpha Chandler More on page 89 of the  Centennial History of Springdale, Dane County, Wisconsin, 1848-1948:

The Foye Family
As told by Orpha Chandler Moore
My grandmother Mary Foye, was born in Canada.  her maiden name was Mary Campbell, her father Scotch and am not sure but think her mother was French.  She married Henry Kempfer and there were five children ofd that family, three boys and two girls.  The girls were Flora and Henrietta.  I don't know the boys' names.  Henrietta was born after her father's death and was named after him.
They lived in Quebec and lived on a farm of some sort for after a storm the fish that were washed in  from the river or ocean were raked up and used to fertilize the land. 

Later she married my Grandfather Foye who came there from Vermont. I don't know anything of his family, only  Grandmother said he was French.  There were six children in that family, two girls and four boys, Mary, Aprinda, Winthrop, Steven, Alonzo, and Milton.  Mary married a man by the name of Wright,  She is buried in Waukesha.  She had two children. Mary and Jennie.  My grandmother brought them up.  Mary married Charlie Lewis.  Jennie married Carl Krause.

My grandfather and grandmother brought the Foye family with them from Canada and I think they came by boat to Milwaukee as they lived in a wood chopper's cabin in what was know as the Waukesha Woods.  She cooked and baked bread for her family around the stumps using iron kettles.  She had no stove.

Grandfather walked from there to Mt. Vernon and took up government land near the Big Spring.  I do not know just how long they lived in that cabin but until they built their log cabin in Mt. Vernon, I suppose.  i am not sure Henrietta Kempfer came when they did.  I think she was married to Septimus Ireland before she came here.  Two of her children Dick and Lou came to see us before Grandmother passed away.  The Kempfer boys were left in Canada on the farm.  Grandmother had eleven children and raised two grandchildren.

As Grandmother lived with us a good share of the time it fell to my lot to stay home with her much against my will and I should remember more of the things she told me.

Now, for those of those of you who are interested in such things, here is the documentation that the Foye and Ireland families were indeed in Dane County, Wisconsin.  The following is a historical outline via the  Federal Census, 1850 through 1880, of the Foye and Ireland families.  Members of these two families who married children of James P. and Mary McPherson, and thus are related in a cuzinly way, aredenoted by Bold Face.

The family of John and Mary Foye are listed in the 1850 Federal Census for Eagle, Waukesha, Wisconsin, probably shortly after they immigrated from Canada.  His occupation was listed as a farmerthey had six children living with them, Stephen(17), Mary (16), Winthrop (12), A(Aprinda ) (9), Alonzo (6), and Milton (2).

By 1857, the Foyes had arrived in Springdale, as J.P.'s diary notes suit between Spears vs Foy during October and December.

The 1860 Federal Census for Springdale, Dane, Wisconsin, also list the Foye  family as living close to the McPhersons. At that time John and Mary Foye had two children and one grandchild living with them, L.M. (Alonzo, who married Ann A. McPherson) (16), Milton (12), and Mary Foye Wright's daughter, Mary Wright (4).

The 1870 Federal Census for Springdale, listed John (70) and Mary (69) living alone; however, next door was the residence of Alonzo and Ann Adamson McPherson Foye, and their son William (4 1/2) and two granddaughters of John and Mary Foye, Jennette and Mary Wright.

In 1880, Mary Foye is listed as living with the family of her daughter,  Aprinda Foye Chandler. Aprinda and John Chandler's children were listed as Ella (21), Orpha (13), Bertie (11), and Willie (8).

The connection between the Foye family and the Ireland was Mary Foye's daughter Henrietta who married Septimus B. Ireland.  Henrietta was Mary's daughter from her marriage to Henry Kempfer.  Henry died before the birth a Mary's baby girl, whom she named after her husband and the father of the child.

By 1860, according to the Federal Census for Primrose, Dane, Wisconsin, Septimus and Henrietta Ireland had relocated from Canada to Wisconsin.  The following children were living with them, Elizabeth, who would marry my great grandfather James Burns McPherson (9),  Mary (7), Lucy (5), Septy (3) and Henry(9 mos), who would much later marry Emma Ellen McPherson .

The 1870 Federal Census for Montrose, Dane, Wisconsin, lists Septimus and Henrietta Ireland and five children, Lucy (15), Septy (13), Henry (10), James (8), and Mildred E. (3).

In 1880 according to the Primrose, Dane, Wisconsin, Federal Census, Alonzo and Ann A. Foye are listed with two sons, Willie (10) and Luie (4), and Alonzo's nephew Henry Ireland (20).

Now finally, after all these years, I finally have a more clear picture of the wonderfully confusing world of the McPhersons, Foyes and Irelands.

~ ~ ~

© Joan Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thursday Thoughts: James P. McPherson: A Chartist? A Radical? A Liberal?

Top of my head sort of post, but I've been a'thinkin' about the milieu that surrounded James P. McPherson just prior to his immigration to America -- and how those philosophical threads have been woven into the lives of his descendants.

Because I have no idea of where this search will lead, I will start off with what I call my "historian's cha-cha" -- one step back, three steps forward -- my own little dance of facts.

I know that
     J.P.  was a flax dresser in the flax mills of Dundee;
     J.P. was but a teenager at the time of
           1832 Reform Act,
           1834 Poor Laws,
           1838 publication of the Peoples' Charter;
    the flax mills, and particularly the hecklers, of Dundee were in the forefront of reform activity;
    the unstamped British press was the vanguard of radical, liberal thought and activity;
    workers would meed in alehouses to read the unstamped papers and discuss the issues of the day.

I know that in the early days of Chartism (1837-1839), there were mass rallies of workers (printers, shopkeepers,shoemakers, tailors, stone workers, carpenters, blacksmiths, miners, and of course the great mass of textile workers).  Chartist marches extending one to two miles in length proclaimed their support with songs,homemade banners and flags, and ending with speeches.  Men, women and children were all part of the early marches; women were particularly adamant about the repeal of the Poor Law for fear of draconian measures that would lead to disintegration of the  family unit, but they also fully supported their husband's goal of suffrage.

J.P. has not left me with specific words as to feelings about the Scotland, or the British Isles*,  from whence he came.   So now I piece together tidbits from his tersely written diary, an 1841 letter, genealogical information about him, his family and friends, and of course delving into 19th century British history.

Where this will all lead, I know not --- but once I start, I canna stop.  May we all enjoy the ride.

*I believe that J.P. would fully subscribe to this description of his birth: English by law, Scots by birth, and Highlander by the Grace of God.

~ ~ ~

© Joan Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications

Monday, October 24, 2011

Amanuensis Monday: Centennial History; Township of Springdale: Sworn Inspectors of Elections, 1856

Sworn Inspectors of Elections, 1856

According to the Centennial History, Township of Springdale, Dane County, Wisconsin, 1848-1948,  the following 1856 document is an invaluable piece of Springdale's history, which "contains the names of six permanent first settlers of Springdale":

Dane County
Town of Springdale.

James  P. McPherson,  H. H. Dryden, Morgan L. Curtis, Inspectors of Election and Hugh Stephens, and Richard Blackburn, Clerks of Election, do solemnly swear that we will perform the duties of our respective offices according to lae, and will studiously endeavor to prevent all fraud, deceit, or abuse in conducting this election, So Help us God.

 (Signed) James P. McPherson, H.H. Dryden, Morgan L. Curtis, Inspectors of  Election
(Signed) Hugh Stevens, Richard Blackburn, Clerks of Election

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 4th day of November, 1856
(Signed)  John I Berge, Justice of the Peace.


1. Firmin Wousal (Housel) 44. Daniel Lesler (Lester) 87. L. D. Roblins
2. W.W. Upson 45. Leonard Lewis Jr. 88. Philander Nash
3. Carl Loust 46. Theo. Miles 89. Handford Strumwauy
4. Carl Marquette 47. E. Kelly 90. A. Malone
5. John McKinsey 48.Yevi Jacket 91. Stephen Hoy
6. Thomas Rand 49. William Thomson 92. Wm. W. Abbott
7. W. N. Fargo 50. John Cook 93. Hugh Stephenson
8. Samuel Whaley 51. Michael Jacket 94. M. L. Curtis
9. Ole Anderson 52. Abram Jacket Jr. 95.A. N. Dryden
10. Michael Johnson 53. Ole Thomson 96. Ole Lourenson
11. Ole Lee 54. Henry Lewis 97. John Hoy
12. Avery Woff 55. Charles Kelly 98. John Leary
13. Aslab Lee 56. William McLears 99. B. R. Burbank
14. Lars Sienson 57. William Cullins 100. Henery Bolan
15. Just Gorgenson 58. Arny Holverson 101. R. B. Dudley
16. Austin Hanson 59. John Jones, Jr. 102. John Mahoney
17. Younger Christenson 60. Ever Thorson 103. Hawley Childs
18. Hendric Johnson 61. Lasa Thorson 104. William Bonnell
19. Eric Oleson 62. C. M. Martin 105. John Murphey
20. Ole Christenson 63. James R. (P.) McPherson 106. Arny Peterson
21. Knud Johnson 64. James P. Forsythe 107. Thomas O'Neil.
22. Knud Knudson 65. John J. Lipon 108. William Lamb
23. Thomas McGregor 66. Jacob C. Strong 109. John Edi
24. David McGregor 67. Arny Paulson 110. W. R. Derrick
25. Thurston Thomson 68. W. E. Willis 111. M. M. Forsythe
26. Knud Sorenson 69. Peter Ruckle 112. Joseph Henderson
27. Thorald Oleson 70. William Adams 113. John Lynch
28. Harold Teoff 71. W. D. Dryden 114. Michael Brown
29. Christopher Oleson 72. William Dryden 115. Felix Quigley
30. Gilbert Oleson 73. E. K. McCord 116. Tho. Carroll
31. Knud Stenryson 74. William Donald 117. Thou Touson
32. Samuel Curtis 75. James Connor 118. Wm. Brown
33. John I. Berge 76. John McCaughey 119. Edwin Strumway
35. Harold Haroldson 77. Andrus Anderson 120. J. P. Beard
36. Lars Peterson 78. William McCaughey 121. David Murphy
37. John Knudson 79. James Lyle 122. William Sweet
38. Frann Knudson 80. John Jones, Len (Sen) 123. Thomas Thoason
39. Henery Kreight 81. Thos. Blackburn 124. Ole Austinson
40. Holver Holverson 82. Leonard Lewis 125. John Beat
41. Lever Anderson 83. Henry Allen 126. J. F. C. Morick
42. William Henderson 84. Isaac G. Brader 127. George Wright
43. Michael Kalskot 85. Nelse Holverson 128.Richard Blackburn

86. Edmund Spier
James P. McPherson
H. H. Dryden*
M.L. Curtis 
   Inspectors of Elections

Hugh Stephen
Richard Blackburn
   Clerks of Election

Note:  These documents were  found on pages 137 and 139, Centennial History, Township of Springdale, Dane County, Wisconsin, 1848-1948.  In 1942, a group was organized to complete the town history.  Members of the initial committee included, T. S. Spaanem (President),Albert Barton, Harvey Fargo, Miss Carrie Eggum, Miss Susie Eggum, C. A. Sorenson (Director), Arthur Sorenson (Secretary).Herman C. Erfurth (Treasurer),  Lewis Rue, Gilbert Gilbertson (Vice President), Hector Gunderson, Larence Lunde, and Ed Lohff. In the Introduction to the Centennial History, Cornelius A. Sorenson stated that the task of the committee was to record of the life and experiences of the pioneers and early settlers of Springdale.

Apology: I tried to get the poll  list of  voters in a more presentable form.  Unfortunately, my skill set  was not up to the task.//JGH
~ ~ ~

© Joan Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday Synopsis: 2011 October 23rd: Looking up!

For the first time in a couple of months, I am beginning to feel like I am in control of this ship of state, rather than being tumbled upon the winds of fate.  My desk is 80% cleared off -- 2 miscellaneous projects (non-writing, non-genealogy) to clear out.  Then back to my Uncle Ralph's letters and getting that project back on track.  Next week I am planning on having much more to say about the progress of this book of letters.

Winter Feeding at Hungry Hollow, 1960-61

I am also taking a writing class from which I hope to have a memoir of the Ranch Years mapped out.  The class is to hone our writing skills, which is always good; however, as I was reviewing some of the stories that I had written, I realized that I had 30%-40% of the stories of our ranch years already written in some form or other.  So, an actual memoir of those years is within the realm of possibility -- within this next year or so.  Today, I am working on a unifying concept in which to frame the stories.  Hopefully, it is just a a day's work -- or whatever it takes.  The Larry Brooks workshop I took a couple of weeks ago has also helped to give some coherence to this project.

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Lastly, my work on my McPherson family history and my 2x great-grandfather's diary is still progressing.  I have stopped my OCD behavior about the diary;  I can focus on something more than transcribing.  This past week or so I have been reading and researching on the 1830s & 40s Chartist movement in the British Isles. The political milieu surrounding the Chartist movement, which included agitation around the persecution of union activity, against the Poor Laws which were seen by the working class as tearing apart the family unit, and the proposal for a National Charter and the call to political action by a general convention. Highlighting, supporting, and giving structure to this general disturbance within the manufacturing groups were the myriad of the unstamped press, and finally the creation of the Feargus O'Connor's Northern Star.  Not only do I feel the blood of ole J.P. begin to boil, but that call to stand for the protection of our rights and liberties follows through his lineage to this very day.

And thusly are spent the days of a historian, genealogist, writer, and family historian.  Life is good.

~ ~ ~

© Joan Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Surname Saturday: Thomas B. Miles Family, Springdale, Wisconsin, 1850-1878

On June 13, 1850, James P. McPherson was taken to view two 80-acre parcels of land located next to Thomas B. Miles' home in Springdale, Dane County, Wisconsin.  McPherson settled on this land and the connection between the McPhersons and the Miles families continued from that date.  In November of 1850,  James boarded with the Miles family while he was building his log home with its thatched roof and dirt floors.  The McPherson family moved into their home in mid-December;  however by mid-January a cold, howling storm blew away a portion of the thatch.  Their neighbor, Thomas Miles, came to their rescue and moved James, Mary and their three children into the Miles home until the roof was patched.
Throughout the years, the family helped one another with planting, harvesting, and the  butchering beef and hogs.  The two families visited back and forth.  Later, there was even a closer connection when, on October 15,1865,  James and Mary's eldest son William Burns McPherson married Emeline Rozetta Miles, the third child of Thomas and Clarissa Miles.

On page 100 of the Centennial History of Springdale, Dane County, Wisconsin, 1848-1948, the following is noted:
Thomas. B. Miles homestead, the farm now known as the William Schmidt Farm.  He was one of the oldest settlers and first organizers of the town.  He was a prominent man always willing to help in any enterprise for the promotion and welfare of the community.  He was the first postmaster of the town, appointed  in 1850 and was a native of Pennsylvania.  In 1836 he married Miss  Clarissa Burch,  a native of New York.  They raised a family of nine children all living in Wisconsin.

Thomas B. Miles is listed in the Federal Census for Springdale, Dane County, Wisconsin, for the years 1850, 1860, and 1870.  In addition to Thomas and Clarissa, the family included Ann. J. Miles, Samuel C. Miles, Emeline R. Miles, Henry Miles, William Miles, Alice M. Miles, Helen Miles, Sarah Miles, and Eveline Miles.

Thomas B. Miles died on March 23, 1878.  At the time of his death, Miles had been a friend and neighbor for nearly 30 years, and part of the family for over a decade.

~ ~ ~

© Joan Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications

Monday, October 10, 2011

Amanuensis Monday: History of Springdale by James P. McPherson, Esq. - Pt. 4 Of Stores & Post Offices

In 1877 , Wm. J. Parks, Co., published a history of Madison, Dane Co, and the surrounding villages and towns in Dane Co., Wisconsin.  Contributors from the various locales provided information, pictures, and maps for the  book.  My great-great grandfather James P. McPherson wrote the portion about the  history of Springdale (p. 806, Dane County Towns, Springdale).  Because of its length,  the Springdale history will be published on this blog in several parts. In  Part 4,  McPherson tells of stores and post offices.

By James P. McPherson, Esq.

Part 4, Springdale,Of Stores and Post Offices

In 1859, Mr. George West opened a store on section 11, near what is now the Contarf post office. He continued in business about a year, and was succeeded by Messers, Peter Quigly, John C. Thompson, Thos. Managan, and Patric Carrr. Mr. Carr has continued in business there for about fourteen years, has a large stock of goods, suitable for the locality, does and extensive and increasing trade with the citizens ofr Springdale, Verona, and Cross Plains.

The first post office in the town, Springdale was established in 1850. Mr. Thos B. Miles was appointed postmaster, and retained the office until December 1866 when he resigned.

There are now three post offfices in the town, Springdale on Section 25, J. P. McPherson, postmaster; Mount Vernon, I. G. Brader, Sr., postmaster; and Clontarf, on section 12, P. Carr, Postmaster.

BY WM. J. PARK & CO.,  1877.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday Synopsis: 2011 October 2nd: Not much Activity- Anything Done??

Too many projects in the air.  Too much unsettled stuff.  So what to do?  Clean bookcases!  And that's the story  for tonite.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Surname Saturday: Springdale Surnames - Four Stewart Brothers; Pt. 2 - John and James Stewart

A family that had close ties with the James P. McPherson family was the Stewarts.  Obviously, McPherson had contact with the Stewarts before coming to Springdale in 1850; he and his family  stayed in John's house upon arriving in Dane County; John and James were McPherson's close friends and associates; and J.P and Mary named one of their daughters Jessie Stewart McPherson.  By including the Stewart family in the Springdale Surname families, I hope to find more information about this family -- and hopefully the Scotland connection between the McPherson and Stewart families.
The John Stewart Stone House in the Village of Verona
Where J.P. McPherson lived in the Fall & Early Winter of 1850
Photograph, courtesy of the Maggie McPherson Burmeister Family

Four Stewart brothers came to the area around Verona and Springdale in Dane County, Wisconsin, from Little Dunkeld, Perthshire, Scotland.  The following information, transcribed from Verona Centennial Souvenir: History of Verona by Alice Kunstman, is about the next two brothers, John & James  Stewart, who arrived in  Dane County about 1844:

(from page 9)
Two more of the Stewart brothers came here from Scotland in 1844.  James Stewart located on what is now the George Kahl farm and remains of the early house can still be seen near the spring a little off the road leading to the house where Elmer Palmer, son-in-law of George Kahl, operates the farm.  But his brother John Stewart chose the section about two miles west of the "corners" as our village was then called.  Today, travelers can see the fine stone house built by this pioneer, on highway 18 where Melvin and Hubby Bollig live.  The farm, now owned by Frank Stewart, needs no description.  Mr. and Mrs. John Stewart had one son, Thomas A. Stewart, and three daughters, Mary, Christine and Margaret, the latter two married two Lyle Brothers and Thomas (he was known as Stonehouse Tom) married Jessie Rutherford and they are the parents of Frank Stewart.

The James Stewart family were Katie, Maggie, Jack (little Jack) Robert and Willis (twins) and Jesse.   There are no living descendants of this branch.

(According to the diary of James P. McPherson, when they first came to the area in 1850,  they were welcomed to the John Stewart farm;  before moving to their home in Springdale, the McPherson's first lived in John Stewart's log home, then moved into John Stewart's stone house, "next to the new frame store."  This store undoubtedly the store mentioned below, from page 11 of the History of Verona.
"Red Store" Constructed
At about that time a little store was built on the John Stewart farm.  It was know as the "Red Store."  Mr.s George Nieland recalls that her mother, Mrs. Alex mcFarlane, took eggs to this store in a basket on horseback and received 3c a dozen "for trade."

(John Stewart was also involved in the early organization the the Presbyterian Church in the area, as noted in the following,from page 19 of the History of Verona:)
In the winter ... , January 16, 1847 a meeting was held at the Badger Mills for the purpose of organzing a Presbyterian church and the minutes of that first meeting are recorded as follows: 
Badger Mills,January 16, 1847 
The Presbytery of the Wisconsin River having appointed a commmittee to visit the people, residents in the neighborhood of the Badger Mills with the view to the organization of a Presbyterian church, should the way be clear for it.
M.A. .Fox, one of the me mbers of the said committee being present at the meeting specially called for the religious service.  Satisfactory evidence of the regular standing of the following named persons were given:
Adam Davidson, from seccession from the Church of Scotland; also John McDonald, Janet McDonald, Alexander Crearer and Margaret Crearer.
Elizabeth Robson, from the Presbyterian church of Milwaukee.
James, Edie, Peter Martin, Janet Martin,  Patrick Davidson, John Stewart and Catherine Stewart from seccession  from the Church of Scotland.
Lydia Matts, Presbyterina Church of St. Peter, Pennslyvania.
James Campbelll, Catjherine Davidson, Amelia Davidson and james Young from the Church of Scotland.
The church procceds to the election of ruling Elders when Peter Martin and John McDonald were chosen and set apart in the usual manner.

(page 21)
Early day trustees were Adam Davidson, John Rutherford, John Stewart, Samuel Lamont, William Donkle, John Meyers, William Charleston, James Edie, J. Cameron, William Thompson, James Miller, Alexander McFarlane, Walter Rollo Sr, James Muir, and James Clow.
 In 1861 the congregation built a fine church and parsonage in Scots lane, on the Mt. Vernon road, just about where the Darrow farm road meets the Mt. Vernon road.  Eventually the church was abandoned after the settlers moved nearer to Verona Corners.  The church was taken down and built into a barn on the Drives farm and several years later the barn was destroyed by fire.

There were many notations in the diary of James P. McPherson which referred to John Stewart.  The last was on February 16, 1858:
Funeral of John Stewart.  Very cold day.  At Taylor's Store.
John Stewart, born February 10, 1810, was only 48 years of age when died on February 13, 1858.

James Stewart and his family were listed in the Dane county Federal Census of 1850, 1860, and 1880.  John Stewart was listed in the Dane county Federal Census of 1850.  His widow and family appear to be  listed in the Verona, Dane county, WI 1860 Federal census, though her name is listed as Carolina rather than Catherine.

The Stewart family were early pioneers in the settling of the area around Sugar River and Verona, and in fact of early Wisconsin.  They were also very important to my ancestor James Peter McPherson.  Someday, I hope to find how and when this connection started.
~ ~ ~

© Joan Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications

Monday, October 3, 2011

Amanuensis Monday: History of Springdale by James P. McPherson, Esq. - Pt. 3 Springdale's Churches and Schools

In 1877 , Wm. J. Parks, Co., published a history of Madison, Dane Co, and the surrounding villages and towns in Dane Co., Wisconsin.  Contributors from the various locales provided information, pictures, and maps for the  book.  My great-great grandfather James P. McPherson wrote the portion about the  history of Springdale (p. 806, Dane County Towns, Springdale).  Because of its length,  the Springdale history will be published on this blog in several parts. In  Part 3,  McPherson relates stories about the religious factions of Springdale in the early years - and with a bit of school history stuck in for good measure.

By James P. McPherson, Esq.

Part 3, Springdale's  Churches and Schools.

The western branch of Sugar river runs through the west and southwest part of town, and the village of Mount Vernon. This village was platted in 1850-51 by Mr. George G. Britts, who then commenced the improvement of the water-power and built a sawmill. In 1852, Dr. P. Bram obtained possession of the village site and much of the adjacent land, enlarged the village plat, and built a small but well arranged grist mill, which has been of great convenience to the citizenships.

Near where the river enters the town, there is a place familiarly known as the Mormon Baptismal Pond, because at an early day several of the followers of Joe Smith, having come from the south after the government had ordered their removal to Utah, and settled in several places in the west, among others here, where they were accustomed to preach and baptize converts. The excitement at these services is said to have been equal to any fair, and perhaps with but little differences, as Saint and Gentile, for miles around, met more for the hilarity incident to the occasion than for any great conversions that followed. Although some of the preachers were powerful orators. It is said that during the baptismal rites the excitement would become so great that an occasional mistake would occur as some poor unfortunate dog was forced into the river by wicked Gentiles, and then seized by some excited Saint and devoutly immersed. These poor animals were afterwards know as Mormon proselytes, put on probation.

Religious discussions between the Mormons and others were of common occurrence, and three of their most eloquent preachers challenged a Mr. Cameron, a Scotch layman, to a public discussion of their doctrines in the school house. Though a busy time among the farmers, they nevertheless assembled early in the morning from far and near, to hear the combatants. The discussion continued the whole day, and though the layman had persuasive and subtle orators to contend with, he came out the victor, and not long afterwards, as well as by a number of indiscreet acts of a moral character, the Mormon cause began to wain, and finally to move out of the town.

The town is divided into five whole and three joint school districts, with six school houses located in the town. Two of which are stone and four are frame buildings, all of which are in good condition. The citizens, at town and school district meetings, have always evinced the interest they feel in the existence and prosperity of our common schools, by providing liberally for their support.

There are but two church edifices in the town, the Norwegian Lutheran, occupying and elevated position on the prairie ridge, in section 8, and the Baptist church, in Mount Vernon. A German Lutheran congregation meet for worship in the school house of school district No. 3, on Section 25, and a German Methodist congregation meet at the house of the members in the neighborhood.

(Note:  The early Scots attended the Presbyterian Church in nearby Verona, though later there was a Presbyterian church in Springdale.  JGH )

BY WM. J. PARK & CO.,  1877.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunday Synopsis: 2011 October 2nd: Lots of Activity- Anything Done??

My sister and grandaughter Miss M are also working with me on the Uncle Ralph's Letters project.  My sis is a heckava good proof reader and is proofing the letters and comments, hopefully for the last time of a heavy duty proofing.  This is about the 5th time through the letters, but only the 2nd time of actual proof reading.  Sometimes my earlier proofing was ok, and sometimes not so much.

Miss M is making the proofing changes in the computer.  T'is not as easy as it sounds, as she is cross-checking my sis's edits with the word document as well as two different files of scanned letters.  Lucky Miss M.  Lucky me for Miss M and my sister!

As for me, I am going over the document for verbiage changes and additions, as well as identifying which pictures I want and where the pictures should be place.  I am still hoping for a November publish date, but that is a hard deadline to make.

Not much of a writing week, but I went to a gangbuster workshop on Saturday.  Also have our ladies critique group meeting at my house on Tuesday.   It has been a busy week, just not sure how much I actually got accomplished.  Time will tell.