CHAPTERS I. Descriptive 1 II. The Indians 8 III. Early Settlement 16 IV. Growth and Foreign Immigration 32 V. Means of Communication 42 VI. Marine 55 VII. Railroads 85 VIII. Military 112 IX. Politics 133 X. Village and City Government 167 XI. Churches 183 XII. Societies and Organizations 227 XIII. Education 243 XIV. The Press 255 XV. The Professions 278 XVI. Banks and Banking 281 XVII Business and Industry 288 Errata and additions 316 Appendixes 293(A), 294(B), 300(C), 313(D) Index
P 8 - CHAPTER II - THE INDIANS. How far back the American Indian dates in history is altogether a matter of speculation. And yet Manitowoc like most other American communities is interested in such a discussion, for the very name of the river and county suggest the race which gave them an appellation. Various significations have been given to the word by Indian philologists, but the best seems to be that it is an abbreviation of the form Munedoowk, which in Ojibway and Chippewa means "habitation of the good spirit". It was originally applied to the river and as early as 1844 Lapham in his "Wisconsin" speaks of it as signifying "the river of spirits" and the territorial legislature very wisely applied this aboriginal name to the civil division which it formed in 1836. Whether good or evil spirits were intended was long a subject of controversy but in a letter to the Prairie du Chien Verdict in June 1847, A. Benson, an authority on Indian languages, seems to have settled on the former interpretation and it has since been followed. He also stated that in his opinion the change from the original Ojibway word was due to the misunderstanding of it by the Menomonees and those tribes who later inhabited the region. What legend or story may have been connected with the name is wrapped in mystery but, knowing Indian nature, as modern students do, it seems certain that there must have been one. Other names in the county also afford a field for philological study. Mishicott has been translated as meaning "hairy leg", Meeme as signifying "pigeon" and Neshoto as an Indian name for "twins", a name suggested by the rivers of which it was one.
P 9 Whether or not the mound builders existed in the county also gives rise to interesting speculation. Certain mounds and implements have been found at various places in the southern part and in Sheboygan County. These have borne a resemblance to simple breastworks, being about four feet in height and twelve feet in width at the base. Little investigation, however, has been made concerning these primeval inhabitants in this portion of the state. Whatever may be true concerning them, of a tribe of Indians, more ancient than those with whom the first white settlers came in contact, traces have been found. Particularly is this true on the shores of the lake northeast of Two Rivers, where at various times numerous remains have been discovered. In June 1893 mounds were opened which contained six skeletons and many copper implements, all of which were sent to the Smithsonian Institute for preservation. H. C. Hamilton of Two Rivers has been an indefatigable collector of these relics of an earlier race and the size of his gatherings betokens the existence of many an ancient community within the confines of the present county. It has also been said that the Indians, who in the early forties resided near Two Rivers traced their lineage to this more ancient and, it seems, more aristocratic tribe of aborigines. The former, although extremely poverty-stricken, despised the reservation Indians and lived wholly by fishing along the Mishicott and Neshoto Rivers. Who, if any, of the early French explorers ever touched upon what is now Manitowoc County also lies in the realms of mystery. Many of them coasted the shores of the lake and it may not be impossible that they landed at the mouth of the little river, where so natural a harbor was afforded. Marquette and Joliet, the very first among these adventurers, are said to have skirted the lake from the Illinois line to Green Bay in 1673 and it is not improbable that their voyage was frequently punctuated by landings on Wisconsin soil. However that may be, a century passed before the first specific reference was made to the region. During this time, however, a remarkable shifting of the Indian population of Wisconsin was taking place. The inhabitants of the eastern part
P 10 in the seventeenth century had been Foxes, Sacs and Mascoutins, but in a report to the secretary of war made by Jedediah Morse in 1822 it is said: "Major Swan informed me on the authority of Co. Bwyer and an old Ottawa chief, living at Mainitouwauk, the river of the bad spirits, that more than a century ago (before 1717) the Fox and Sac Indians, who were then inhabitants of the country on Green Bay and Fox River were conquered and driven away by the Menomonees, aided by the Ottawas and Chippewas, that the Menomonees held the country by conquest and that their title is admitted to be good by the Sacs, Foxes, Chippewas and Ottowas." This authority, nevertheless, did not seem to extend as fully towards the lake as it did westward, for within the present limits of the county there was a conglomeration of tribes, consisting of Ottawas, Menomonees, Winnebagoes, and Pottawatamies. All of them with the single exception of the Winnebagoes, were of the Algonquin stock and before 1830 this tribe had disappeared from the county and the other tribes had coalesced to a great extent. The presence of these aborigines in large numbers along the shores had attracted the attention of the hardy French "couriers du bois" and it is by one of these that the first printed reference to any point in Manitowoc County is to be found. One Samuel Robertson in 1779 undertook a voyage on Lake Michigan on the British vessel Felicity and embodied his experiences in a book called "A Voyage On Lake Michigan." On Thursday November 4th of that year, while off the present site of Milwaukee he wrote: "The Indians also told us that they had sent for Monsieur Fay, who is at a place called Twin Rivers, eighteen leagues north of Milwaukee; he had two canoes of goods from the committee, but he said it was against his orders to go among them, and they supposed so as no trader had ever entered at that place." This somewhat obscure reference seems to indicate that there was an understanding between Fay and the British, who were then in authority, as indeed had most of the French traders in both the war of the Revolution and that of 1812. This Monsieur Fay is said to have been located at Twin Rivers at intervals until 1780.
P 11 The next heard of Manitowoc was in 1795, when the Northwestern Fur Company sent one Jacques Vieau, sometimes known as Jean Vieau, from Mackinac to establish trading posts at various points on Lake Michigan. Accompanied by his family and a clerk, named Michel de Pelleau, this hardy Frenchman proceeded as far as a point where Two Creeks now stands and there, making a landing and strapping their packs on their backs, the party marched overland in a southwesterly direction to a point, where a little stream, christened Mauvais (Bad) Creek, a tributary of the East Twin, enters that river. On Section 27, of what is now the town of Gibson, a trading post was erected and an agent left in charge, after which Vieau detoured to the lake, skirted the shores until the Manitowoc River was reached and, ascending it to a point near the Rapids, another post was established. Then resuming his journey southward he visited the present sites of both Sheboygan and Milwaukee. The next spring Vieau and his family returned to Mackinac gathering furs and skins enroute. These annual trips were made for many years and Solomon Juneau, the founder of Milwaukee, was one of Vieau's clerks in 1818. The settlement was of an intermittent character, however, and the only important results seem to have been the familiarization of the Indian, by contact, with his white brother. The Indians were numerous in the region and must have afforded a lucrative field for exploitations. Says Colonel Abram Edwards in "Western Reminiscence", in which he described a journey on the lake: "At Twin Rivers and Manitowoc the shore of the lake was lined with Indians--, near Manitowoc many were out in canoes spearing whitefish". At about this time travel began to utilize old Indian trails in finding a way from Green Bay to the east and in that way many army officers passed through the county. In 1821 the first tragedy enacted in the county took place, in which an American army surgeon was murdered by a savage. Dr. Madison, stationed at Green Bay early in that year received leave of absence to visit his family in Kentucky and taking two soldiers with him started for the south. The story
P 12 is told by Col. Ebenezer Childs in Volume V of the Wisconsin historical Collections as follows: "When near Manitowoc and the soldiers a short distance in front on foot, the doctor was shot from his horse, the whole charge lodging in the back of his neck. The soldiers instantly returned and found him badly wounded, whereupon one of them mounted the doctor's horse and returned to Green Bay for help. A number of officers and soldiers started for Manitowoc, but when they arrived the doctor was dead. There were no Indians to be seen and they carried the body to Green Bay for interment. It was some time before the murderer was taken; he was sent to Detroit for trial together with another Indian, who had killed a Frenchman about the same time. I had to go as a witness; both Indians were found guilty and executed at Detroit." The murderer of Dr. Madison was named Ketaukah; he was Chippewa and no motive was ever ascribed for the crime. The next known reference to the region was made in 1825, when Colonel W. G. Hamilton traversed the trail and in a description given of his journey he remarks that there was no settlement between Milwaukee and Manitowoc and one at Two Rivers of different tribes, mixed peoples, Chippewas, Ottawas, Menomonees and Pottawatamies. These villages were again mentioned by Morgan L. Martin two years later in descriptions of a journey through the region. These Indians seem to have been well disposed, and traded with the travelers. From 1826 for seven succeeding years two wanderers, Moses Sein and Isaac Haertel made annual visits to the mouth of the Manitowoc to secure furs and peltries in return for the trinkets and bawbles, so fascinating to the Indian eye. Colonel Childs of Green Bay passed through the county in 1827 with a drove of cattle designed for use at that post. Five years later Joshua L. Boyd was licensed by the Indian agent at Green Bay to trade with two tribes residing on the lake and took out an outfit worth $117.89. He was, however, murdered for refusing to give credit to a Chippewa. Thus matters stood when in 1833 the Pottawatamies and
P 13 Menomonees by the Treaty of Chicago deeded away all the lands at the mouths of the various rivers emptying into Lake Michigan. The Manitowoc Indians were represented by Waumegesako, the chief of the mixed tribes at the mouth of the river, of whose connection with the early settlers more will be said. The Indians, notwithstanding the cession of their land to the settlers remained in considerable numbers about Manitowoc County, fishing in the summer and hunting in the winter. In the early thirties also a few, mainly Chippewas, began the cultivation of the land near Cato Falls, the women raising meager crops of maize. It was over these Indians that chief Waumegesako or Mexico ruled, a man of great intelligence and a sincere friend of the whites. The first permanent settlers saw little of the aborigines but a few years later the latter returned to their hunts and by 1840 were more numerous than the whites. The first Indian scare occurred in 1842, when it was reported by a drunken squaw that the Cato Falls Indians were planning a massacre to take place in two weeks. Immediately preparations were made for defense, the mill hands armed and bullets molded. A Frenchman by the name of Pat Thebieau and E. L. Abbott volunteered to act as scouts but found nothing suspicious. Finally Chief Mexico came into the village of Rapids and reassured the settlers. At this time the Indians had not become the physical degenerates that whiskey later made them, many of the Pottawatamies being of noble proportions. Mexico was greatly respected by the settlers and received a medal from the government for settling numerous disputes. This medal, which was worth about fifteen dollars, was often pawned by the redskin for necessities but was always scrupulously redeemed. The chief was a signer in the treaties of Butte des Morts in 1827, and Green Bay, entered into the following year. His picture was painted by an Irish artist, George P. Healy, and a copy was presented in 1857 to the Wisconsin Historical Art Gallery. It shows an aged man, clad in the usual garb of a chief, with considerable strength of character evidenced in his tawny face. The old leader died in 1844 and was buried by the settlers with due honors in the town of Rapids, at a point overlooking the river.
P 14 The gathering of wild rice was the favorite occupation of the Indians during the forties and early fifties and camps along the rivers were numerous. Then, too, the band of fishers near Two Rivers eked out their precarious existence, under the lead of their chief, Old Katoose. These latter aborigines were often quite lawless, particularly when under the influence of liquor and many were the scares they gave the settlers. In the southwestern part of the county also there was a band of Menomonees, under the leadership of a chief named Soloman, which maintained a planting ground in Schleswig as late as 1859. Another such cemetery was situated in the present town of Gibson on what was later the Smith farm, while others were found near Cato and Two Rivers. Across the line in Calumet County the Indians were very numerous, particularly along the upper course of the Manitowoc. The nearness of the early settlers to these redskins must have added strange color to the pioneer life of the county. The deadly enemies of the Indians, which led to his gradual extermination in Manitowoc County, were three in number, whiskey, cholera and smallpox. The cholera attacked the various tribes in 1850 and drove many of them out of the county, while the indulgence in "fire water," led to a fatal end in many cases. All of the eastern Wisconsin tribes left or were exterminated in the course of time, except the Menomonees, who still have been retained within the borders of the state on a reservation near Shawano. It must be here remembered that Calumet County Indians were not natives but importations from New York, which was also true of the Oneidas in Brown County. As late as 1862 Manitowoc in common with other Wisconsin communities suffered from an Indian scare, so long had the redskin been the "bete noir" of pioneer life. It was in the darkest days of the Civil War, when gloomy forebodings were natural and the scare came on the heels of the news of the Indian massacres in Minnesota. It was on the morning of September 2nd, that rumors flew through the county that the Indians were coming. The report seemed to come from the westward and gained credence as it passed from
P 15 mouth to mouth. At the village of Branch where the fright seems to have progressed so far as to assume the size of a panic it was said that a few miles to the west the redskins were mercilessly robbing, pillaging and murdering. Families gathered together their valuables and made haste towards the county seat. The terror manifested was something most curious and many were seized by it despite their incredulity and their knowledge that there were none but a few peacable Indians in the vicinity. A few men, scoffing at all fears, remained in the little settlements, but all the women and children, even the sick, were transported hurriedly to town. Here, too, panic reigned for the influx of the terror-stricken seemed to have driven the inhabitants into a frenzy. The first to bring the news of the uprising were settlers from the Branch. Although the reports were somewhat discredited, doubt soon turned to belief when a boy rushed to town, reporting that a comrade had been captured a mile from the village. Preparations were then made for defense; some gathered at the Court House, while the women prepared boiling water, with which to overwhelm the invaders; others spoke of boarding vessels and sailing out into the lake, while still others formed companies to spy upon the enemy. It was one of these parties that had frightened the boy, who spread the later alarm, into believing that a comrade had been captured. This party returned, reporting having seen Indians but it was later revealed that the supposed foes were but another band of skulking villagers, searching for the elusive redskins. Reports came from Kellnersville of a terrible massacre at that place. Several hundred men marched from Manitowoc to the scene of carnage but on arriving found it to be a hoax. By this time it was ascertained that the entire scare had been without cause and the settlements soon took up their routine existence, albeit somewhat shamefaced over the affair. This may well form an end to a chapter on Indian life in Manitowoc County, for in a few years there were none of the race left within its confines.