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Each hill and valley, each bridge and stream, each farm and field is saturated with events of human interest which are the common legacy of those who travel them today. These roads and trails were not only essential to the beginning of the history of a new coun- try but they were the interesting threads that reached out across the tapestry of life of that time and place. The route between Chicago and Green Bay, passing through Milwaukee, was quite as important to the de- velopment of the Midwest as the Old Military road from lake to river.

This north-and-south road was at first an indian trail, used by natives, fur-traders, and mail-carriers - the last required about a month to make the round trip. After the Black Hawk war, when immigration began to flow to the Northwest this trace became of prime importance and the government had a road surveyed along this line. It swung around to the lake shore at what is now Wilmette, at that time the residence of a French trader, Antoine Ouilmette. The route then ran north along the line of the present Sheridan road, swinging back three miles west of Waukegan and entering the present state of Wisconsin about five miles west of the lake shore.

It then ran directly north, touching Skunk grove in Ra- cine county and entered Milwaukee over Kinnickinnic creek. It crossed what is now the south side of that city in a northeasterly direction to Walker's point where the Milwaukee river had to be forded or ferried, thence it led north to Juneau's post on East Wisconsin avenue and East Water street.

Leaving Milwaukee for the north the road ran inland so that the lake was seen only at the mouth of Sauk river and at Two Rivers, Manito- woc county. Thence Green Bay was reached by the trail on the southeast side of the Fox river. Along this route came much of the travel of territorial days.

Provisions for the garrison at Fort Howard often came this way. In Colonel William S. Hamilton, a son of the celebrated statesman, Alexander Hamilton, accompan- ied by four men, drove a herd of cattle for the garrison of Fort Howard from near Springfield, Illinois, to Green Bay, by way of Chicago and Milwaukee. When they arrived at Chicago, the town was not occupied by troops but was under the care of an indian agent. The people there desired an animal for food, but, knowing Hamilton would not sell, they cleverly contrived to drown one of the herd in the river as they were swim- ming across.

The animal, of course, was eaten with appreciation. There were no white residents between BMW! Juneau, being nearly starved, was delighted to see the strangers and their food. No settlement existed between Milwaukee and Manitowoc, and the only persons seen were a few fish- ermen. The time consumed in reaching Green Bay with the drove was a little over a month. In the early part of the month of January, , Mrs.

Solomon Juneau of Milwaukee was taken seriously ill, and there being neither medicines nor physicians nearer than Chicago, Albert Fowler was hurried off by Ju- neau on an indian pony, for medical aid. The journey in mid-winter through eighty-five or ninety miles of wilderness was one of great hardship, and one which Fowler never desired to undertake again.

The indians predicted that he would perish, but due to a vigorous constitution and a physique inured to frontier life, he succeeded in reaching Chicago, obtaining the desired aid, and returning. Juneau rewarded Fowler with the gift of a new suit of clothes. When the erection of the capitol at Madison in devolved upon Commissioner Augustus A. Bird, he made the journey from Milwaukee to the new seat of government accompanied by more than thirty work- men. They traveled by team, making a road as they advanced, fording streams, and threading their way through swamps.

There were drenching rains and nu- merous delays, so that it was ten days before the destin- ation was reached. The journey is now made by train or automobile in less than three hours. This was the first road into the future capital of the territory. On the journey to Madison he swam several rivers, saturating the paper money, and when he arrived it was more or less dilapidated. In the forties and fifties many plank roads were built, especially from the ports along Lake Michigan. Al- though lasting but a brief period, they actually were of considerable importance, enabling farmers to haul gen- erous loads to market at fair speed.

As planks decayed, gravel was substituted, making roads more permanent and valuable. Along these roads of mud or planks crept stage- coaches, teamsters with heavy loads, and prairie- schooners bound for new scenes. Frequently a hamlet owed its existence to the tavern and in turn the tavern owed its existence to the mud in the road.

Much of the time in spring and fall a streak of ooze crossed and recrossed the territory in many directions - from Mil- waukee to Galena, from Chicago to Green Bay. These roads wound about in sinuous fashion often becoming forked only to unite a fraction of a mile beyond, or diverging to various points of the compass. Frequently when they intersected, it was not at right angles, hence a stranger on a cloudy day with no sun to guide him was often in a perplexing situation.

Houses were few and guideboards rare. Early travelers on these first highways had many unusual experiences. On Lake Winne- bago he encountered low temperature and a raging storm. The horse broke through the ice, and when this happened a second time he was not able to rescue the animal.

In the meantime, his brother had gone to Green Bay for provisions; but the air filled with snow having obstructed the view they did not see each other as they passed on the lake. At times wild animals made life uncomfortable for travelers. In Isaac B. Judson, on his way, alone in the night, from Milwaukee to Prairieville Wauke- sha , was pursued by a pack of wolves. He wore a heavy cloak for protection from the cold and when the fierce animals came uncomfortably close, he shook the garment vigorously.

This frightened them and during the confusion he covered as much distance as his legs would carry him. He continued this process until the McMillan Tavern was reached, where he fell ex- hausted. A warm fire and a bowl of punch restored his well-nigh exhausted strength. At another time E. Purple lost a portion of the leg of a new pair of boots, eaten by wolves. Since he was able to save his own legs from the voracious animals he did not complain of the loss. Doctor William Fox of Dane county, in making his professional visits, would often ride a horse so far on a rainy day that his boots would become filled with water.

When traveling at night over a country where there were no habitations or known landmarks, one cheek would be held against the wind in order to keep the general direction. Extreme confidence in strangers was characteristic of early times. When William Vroman was walking from Milwaukee to Madison, as part of his journey from New York to the west, he met a man on horseback. This was done and Vroman later learned that his generous acquaintance was Adam Smith, a member of the legislature, who continued his way to Watertown, and later returned.

Smith told Vroman where to stable the horse that he might secure it when he reached home. The simple fact that Smith knew Vroman's brother gave him full confidence in the new acquaintance. The condition of roads in the fifties may be judged by the following incident: J. Lewis and Nathaniel Waterbury desired to enter land near Shawano, about one hundred miles from their home. The former de- cided to make the journey on foot and the latter on horseback.

Spirited wagers were made by their friends regarding which would win the race. The honor was easily carried off by Mr. On the return journey he met Waterbury on a jaded horse several miles from Shawano. A writer, telling of the incident, said that Lewis rested himself by running when he got tired of walking, and by walking when he got tired of running. Sometimes persons got lost in their own counties; apropos of this, an amusing incident is related of a citizen of Racine. While exploring, in the thirties, the western part of the county he lost his way but soon was rejoiced to see a log cabin.

Riding up he made inquiry as to where he was. A tall, long-bearded seedy fellow replied : "Why, you're in Wisconsin! I only kim here last week. I lived in Indiany, but folks was gettin' so plenty thar, I just pulled up stakes and squatted down whar thar wa'n't no neighbors. The expedient made a track easily followed, and this became the most traveled road between the two places.

The main highway today fol- lows this primitive route. Swampy places were made passable by means of cor- duroy roads -small logs placed on the boggy earth. Over these rough structures vehicles loudly bumped. When the first turkey-shoot was held at the home of David Bonham in the town of Lisbon, Waukesha county, a keg of beer was among the expectations. Bon- ham and Thomas Bradford drove to Milwaukee for the beverage. On the way home the road became so rough that the keg was violently shaken, and the bung flew out.

Needless to say no amber fluid was partaken by the turkey-shooters on that occasion. Over a corduroy road five or six miles southwest of Waupun, two men with loaded wagons met late at night. One called out, "Are you loaded? One wagon carried a load of corn in bags and these were removed, the vehicle gotten to one side so the other could pass, and the corn reloaded, both men assisting good-naturedly with the task; then they bade each other good-bye. Prior to the days of the railroad there was much hauling of freight by means of wagons drawn by oxen and horses.

Often the teamsters were rude, selfish, and profane. Frequently, it was every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost. Seventy pigs of lead made a load, each pig weighing about sev- enty-two pounds. In nearly two million pounds of lead and kegs of shot were shipped from Mil- waukee, all of which had been transported by wagon across the territory from the lead region. The follow- ing year the amount was slightly greater. The teamsters were paid ten dollars per ton for hauling, and returned with a load of salt, lumber, shingles, and other freight. From three to five tons made a load, the amount de- pending on the weather and on the condition of roads and animals.

Where there were no habitations, it was the custom to have regular camping places where there was plen- ty of water and grass, the drivers cooking their meals over camp fires and sleeping in or under their wagons. Many favorite sites were beneath trees. One such was an oak standing a short distance west of Sun Prairie, known as the "Traveler's Home. Teamsters prepared their frugal meals on the greensward at the base of the oak; hotel charges were nil, and feed for the stock was abund- ant as the prairies were productive. Heavy with slum- ber the men lay upon the earth and dreamed away the hours in such heaven-sent rest as only the weary know.

In these early days the teamsters frequently traveled in parties. As a rule, horses were quite sure to crave water as they approached a tavern, and a stop had to be made to assuage their thirst. There were greedy characters in those days, men who would empty full glasses, but not all by any means became intoxi- cated. All had hearty appetites.

It was not always pos- sible for teamsters to procure beds even of straw, and when they could not, they were satisfied to sleep in their clothes, on robes or blankets on the floor. Teamsters and travelers, when they reached a wayside inn, were not only weary but frequently wet to the very skin. They were quite ready for the warming influence of bar or dining room. These drivers prided themselves on the possession of a good whip. The stalk was some five feet long, with a heavy lash which each driver could crack with a sharp report. Often there was much rivalry to see who could crack his whip the loudest; the one at the head starting the contest, the next doing his best, the third striving his utmost, and so all along the line, the noise being audible a mile or more.

They were the kings of the road. Every vehicle had to yield to them until the stagecoaches made their appearance. The drivers of the coaches provided themselves with long poles, to the ends of which knives were fastened. When teams hauling lead came too near, they were raked with the knives and sprang quickly away from the stage. Only a single experience was necessary for the freighters; thereafter they gave the stage plenty of room.

Freight-hauling was not without its compensations. Drivers of the heavy wagons had a unique method of obtaining liquor to quench their thirst. A pointed piece of wood was afterwards used to plug the hole and the hoop pounded back into its proper place, the entire operation being accompanied with sundry winks and smiles.

The shortage of contents was a mystery to the consignee and in those cases where he reported the dis- crepancy to the shipper, the darkness deepened. To solve the secret by attempting to locate the hole beneath the protecting hoop was about as profitable a venture as searching for the buried treasure of Captain Kidd in the shifting sands of some island along the sea coast. Driv- ers never revealed the secret, hence consignors and con- signees never were able to satisfy themselves respecting their losses. Along these primitive highways there rolled the slow accumulation of wealth in trade, the products of the farm, ore from the mine, goods from the east.

Hamlets became small cities ; ideas and ideals spread from tavern to tavern, from community to community. The high- ways were the vanguards of progress. Stagecoach Days Looking at Wisconsin and other midwestern states, now gridironed with railroads and improved highways, retrospective imagination is required to visualize a country whose sole means of transportation was team- drawn wagons or lumbering stagecoaches, all depend- ing on the rural tavern for entertainment.

From log shanty to palatial hotel, and from packhorse to swift express or automobile, is a far cry.

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Man always has advanced, but never before in so limited a time has he achieved such wonders in modes of living and of travel. Travel by stagecoach developed slowly even after roads had been made, for ferries must be provided or bridges built. Two hundred years passed after Jean Nicolet landed in near Green Bay before a stage line was established between that city and Chicago.

In some sections when stages first were operated, there were no roads. In , when W. Ruggles came from Massachusetts to Wisconsin, the stage had made but three or four trips between Chicago and Galena, and one could scarcely discern the wagon tracks in the long prairie grass. The meals served at taverns on this line consisted generally of bread, bacon, and coffee; the bed was a sack of hay, the pillow of like material if there was one, the covering was the blanket the traveler car- ried with him.

A great variety of vehicles was used in transporting mail and passengers over the early highways. Some coaches cost as much as three thousand dollars - a great sum for those days. The aspect of the driver was usually rougher and more uncouth than a close acquaintance revealed him to be. A flannel shirt, corduroy breeches stuffed into high boots, a well-worn hat or cap, and a fur or leather coat in inclement weather made up the conventional costume. In personal appearance he might be tall and lean or short and stout, yet always he was alert to meet exigencies that might arise in the course of duty.

He was likely to be under forty years of age, though occa- sionally older men assumed the responsibilities of guid- ing the destinies of a coach. His complexion, tanned by the winds, showed a ruddy hue, often heightened by frequent visitations to the tavern bar. In speech he was more picturesque than grammatical, often voicing choice bits of humor or arguments graphic and con- vincing. When the nineteenth century was young, at the per- iod when the stagecoach attained its greatest vogue in this country, men universally wore whiskers.

This was the age of whiskers in American history, and the impor- tant functionary atop the old stagecoach was no ex- ception in this particular. The driver of a stagecoach was so exposed to variations of weather that it was pru- dent for him to grow a more luxuriant beard than men in other occupations.

Not all stage drivers were graduates of the college of Jehu. An incident is related of a stage bounding down the north slope of the Baraboo bluff, striking the rocks with resounding impact, rounding the curves at reck- less rate, and passing every other vehicle on the road. The passengers, realizing their peril as the swaying vehicle threatened at every curve to overturn, rejoiced as the youthful driver de- scended to make some adjustment about the harness. An elderly lady, fearing a continuance of the uncom- fortable rate of speed, thrust her head out of a window and exclaimed in a voice of distress: "Will you not drive a little more carefully, please?

This is the first time I have ridden in a stagecoach. This is the first time I have ridden in one of the things myself, mum. Featherstonhaugh, the English traveler, wrote : "The driver of our vehicle was a droll cockney Englishman, about five feet high and near sixty years old, born in London, who, by his own account had never had either father or mother that he knew, and who had picked up his living in the streets there from his fifth year. After knocking about here and there, he had at length reached what may be called the pathos of all human desires for an Englishman, the situation of driver of this most wretched stage, as he called it, which was dragged by two lame, miserable horses through a country without the vestige of anything like comfort.

One of them, he remarked, was so plaguy large that he had cut a hole in the foot to let the water out, that the other was such a blessed sight too small, that he had cut a hole in that to let his toes out. Everybody we met seemed to know him except one person who said, 'General, I guess it's a toss-up whether your horses or your stage break down first. Rusk, later governor of Wisconsin and later still a member of the federal cabinet, was a pic- turesque driver of early days.

He was almost a giant in stature, big featured, and strongly bearded. As his stage neared Viroqua one day, a horse fell ill. Rusk at once tied it behind the vehicle, seized the neckyoke himself, and with his herculean strength, aided greatly in getting the coach into town. One cold day Rusk stopped the stage at a tavern near Prairie du Chien that his passen- gers might warm themselves. When they entered, an innocent-looking horn lay on the counter and the youth- ful driver was invited to blow it.

He did, but instead of musical notes radiating from the circular opening of the instrument, flour covered the face of the future governor. Of course, a treat for the onlookers was im- perative. It was esteemed a privilege to ride with such drivers as Andrew Bishop, better known as "the Elder," who afterwards became sheriff of Dane county; Prescott Brigham, who drove the first stage from Madison across the Wisconsin river to Sauk county; and many others. The driver formed many abiding friendships, especially with those who shared his seat on the coach.

If he was loquacious, the fluency of his language and the marvelous attention displayed afforded much amusement to others aboard the coach. Some jehus were seasoned shellbacks, however, their faces mapped with the hard furrows of time. To tip a driver with a coin never was known, but a drink of intoxicating liquor frequently was offered and rarely refused. Rusk's biog- rapher says, however that the future governor even while driving stage, never indulged in intoxicating liquors.

An amusing incident happened on the route between Madison and Prairie du Sac. John M. Meisser, later a resident of Baraboo, was the driver and on the way home from Madison one afternoon a keg of whisky consigned to Max Stinglhammer of Sauk City acci- dentally rolled from the stage. While the postmaster sorted the mail at a little hamlet between the terminals of the route, the driver hurried back in search of the missing property. By great good luck he had only gone a short distance when he saw the keg, resting upon the shoulders of a brawny individual, disappear behind a rick of wood by the roadside.

Pulling horses and vehicle up near the wood, it was an easy matter to look over. There on the other side was an Irishman sitting on the precious keg. Have you seen a keg of whisky? The stage driver had to go through fair weather and foul. After managing to secure a few hours of necessary sleep, he often plunged into Stygian blackness to find his way as best he could. He learned to read the road not only by day but by night, as a scholar reads a book.

From the sky he interpreted the meaning of the passing cloud or encircled moon, for the omens meant either comfort or discomfort to him and his horses in the hours ahead. In the thirties and forties there were no rubber goods, hence his clothing became more or less hygroscopic - dampened anew by each passing drizzle or rain. For him there was no protection when Jove's artillery was heard in the sky. Death sometimes rode beside the driver when the mercury descended to the twenties below zero.

One cold morning as the driver of a stage from Portage to Newport now a deserted village below Kilbourn was hurrying along, he was noticed by those at a farmhouse to be swinging his arms to keep from freezing. As the stage passed the farm, the man with the whip shouted about the frigid temperature, and those were perhaps his last words, for when the conveyance arrived at the Steele Tavern, Newport, he was found to be dead.

Bloody Rose

How the horses negotiated the steep hill just before reaching the hostelry was a cause for wonderment; and to pas- sengers the thought of the driver perishing in the bitter air of the early morn was gruesome indeed. The weather was not always inclement, to be sure. Every day was rich in experiences, so varied, in fact, that the Odyssey of their adventures has never been told. Artists of a century ago frequently pictured the horses of the stagecoach as prancing, fire-breathing steeds, but upon investigation it is found that much of this picturesqueness was imaginative.

It required highly practical teams to pull the coaches loaded with passen- gers and baggage, and the long monotonous journeys conspired to produce conspicuous ribs, pronounced backbones, and other indications of arduous toil. The animals were toughened by hard hauls and usually were subdued in spirit and inured to heat and cold, as well as endowed with unusual patience necessary for the heavy burden man imposed upon them. Harnesses were often adorned with ivory, or imitation ivory, rings.

These ornaments, especially of ivory, were somewhat expen- sive, and tempting to drivers on rival lines.

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More than one driver has gone for his team and found the harnesses stripped of their gee-gaws. Changing of horses de- manded quick work, and, with fingers numb from ex- cessive cold, buckles and snaps were frequently manip- ulated with much difficulty. At the Hawks Tavern in Delafield the coach topped the hill as it approached the hostelry and then rolled down the grade, which permitted a gallant dash to the front door, the driver flourishing his long whip and he or a companion blowing the horn.

All ended in a mas- terly stop. Then the hostler's bell rang, the hostler ap- peared, horses were stabled, mail bags exchanged, and after dinner four new horses were attached to continue the journey to the next tavern. Where meals were not taken, teams were changed as quickly as possible, and the vehicle hurried onward to its destination. At terminals the ani- mals were given a rest, watered, fed, and curried. There, too, oil was rubbed on the harness, the coach washed and the wheels greased. The blaring of a horn often presaged the arrival of the stage at a rural post-office or village inn.

A single blast, particularly during the Civil war, was sufficient to throw inhabitants into intense excitement, so eager were they to receive news from the front. The sight of the coach always brought to the door housewives with barefooted children clustered about, exhibiting as much interest as might be expected if the stage were the ad- vance van of a circus.

The opening of a stage line generally caused great rejoicing. In , when the first stagecoach drawn by four horses arrived at Beaver Dam, "men tossed their hats in triumph, women waved their handkerchiefs in delight, the dogs barked in anger, and children hid in fear and amazement. Robert Baxter owned a hotel at Prairie du Sac and operated stage lines out of the village, one of which had Mazomanie, the nearest railway station at that time, for its terminus.

Two broth- ers, Joshua and James Long, erected a competitive hotel at Prairie du Sac and secured the government contract for carrying the mail. This exasperated Baxter, and competition waxed so warm that for a time passengers were carried from Prairie du Sac to the railway station, ten miles distant, for fifty cents including breakfast. Ft SFi, - - Propvlt fo;-. This lr prepaire. A Daily Stage Line to Portage. Emery ec To'bler, has tbusfar met with a success which we gladly note.

Almost every morning the Stage has left tbe Western crowded; and oar business men are already largely ordering their express matter by this route. When the I Hue eomes to be. By it travelers will avoid the wearisome Inight ride which has been so often a drawback to a visit to our village, and our citizens can start on a journey at a [comfortable hour in the morning. In the morning sun at Prairie du Sac two glistening silk hats adorned the heads of two young attorneys, Messrs. Stewart and Tripp. Both were waiting to go in the big Baxter stage to the station at Mazomanie and Joseph Johnson, driv- ing another vehicle and knowing Tripp well, asked him if he was in a mood for a little fun.

Not realizing what mischief was in the mind of the driver of the rival line the young attorney nodded affirmatively. Johnson, with his lighter vehicle, trailed the Baxter coach until near the bridge, when he cracked his whip and feigned to pass the other conveyance. The ruse worked, for at once the wheels of the big vehicle were spinning rap- idly. When the wheels struck the plank - there being a rise of several inches - the owner of one of the plug hats sitting in the forward portion, found himself hit- ting the roof and his precious silk tile shoved in a dilap- idated condition over his ears.

To make the situation more embarrassing he was thrown rearward into the lap of a lady. The next instant the other lawyer, sitting at the rear, went to the roof, his beloved stovepipe being jammed down over his head and his body flung into the center of the vehicle. As the two disciples of Blackstone ruefully brushed their crushed tiles while standing on the railway platform at Mazomanie, they gave Johnson an angry glare but he was too busy with passengers to volunteer conversation or hear caustic comment.

There always was keen rivalry on the part of drivers on this line regarding which should reach the destina- tion first. One day the big Concord coach owned by Baxter undertook to pass the lighter vehicle driven by Johnson. Both teams came to a dead stop. The driver of the Baxter coach was in a dilemma; he could neither back out nor drive ahead for Johnson's vehicle obstructed his progress.

After hastily appraising the situation, he shouted to Johnson: "What are you doing? After a few more words Johnson moved on and the heavy stage was pulled out. On other lines personal encounters were not infre- quent and much bad blood was displayed by competing drivers when they chanced to meet on the road. In awarding mail contracts it was not an infrequent cus- tom for firms in other states to purchase many routes and sub-let these "star" routes, as they commonly were termed.

One day when the stagecoach driver, William Tarnutzer, called for the mail at Sauk City he found a new stage driver ready to take the pouches. Someone evidently had made a lower bid. Tarnutzer collected what was due him and told the stranger to join in the excitement. Both stages were operated for some time but Tarnutzer, having a wide acquaintance with per- sons patronizing the route, won the war.

During his latter years Tarnutzer received the microscopic sum of sixty-one cents for making the daily drive between the Sauk villages and Baraboo in order to carry the mail, a total round trip distance of some thirty-five miles. To be sure, there was a revenue from passengers, each individual paying from seventy-five cents to one dollar per trip. This firm was dissolved, Moore and Davis securing the mail contracts for Wisconsin; still later this firm also was dissolved, Moore retaining the business. Both partners had their headquarters in Milwaukee and operated lines over the greater portion of Wisconsin.

When Moore died he left his wife a fortune so considered at that time of about twenty thousand dollars. When the driver brought his stage to some hospitable inn where his tired passengers were to be refreshed, they were greeted by the landlord and smiled upon by the landlady, who, in anticipation, had prepared an appetizing meal. With the man of the whip at the head of the table, steaming dishes in abundance, and keen appetites, a happier picture was seldom seen.

Drivers who loved their horses, who had friendly customers along the way, who found diversion at the rural inn, greatly deplored the passing of the ancient order. If there was exposure to storm, weary hours in the seat, there also was the romance in the human incidents which came under their observation or in which they played a part. Their story never has been adequately told. Travelers' Experiences The first travelers from the east to visit the great Northwest returned with marvelous tales of its sur- passing beauty, of the regions of extensive forests, valuable water-power sites, and rich prairie land, all awaiting the coming of the settler.

Throughout New York and New England especially were these reports absorbed with deep interest, and it was the aspiration of thousands, particularly of the younger generation, to migrate into the land of promise. They set forth with light hearts and came freighted with many hopes. They found but a slight veneer of civilization, naught but pristine conditions. As these men and women from the east moved slowly along in stagecoaches or covered wagons, indian wig- wams met their view in almost every direction, and inquisitive savages crept around that they might scru- tinize the new arrivals and their baggage.

The land- scape, however, was one of infinite freshness and beauty; beautiful indeed was the panorama which greeted their vision. In summer the land was covered with a luxuriant growth of vegetation, the greater part new and strange to the newcomers. There were wild flowers of nearly every shade and color that fancy could paint or imagination conceive, and the tall prairie grass waved in luxuriance in the gentle breezes of balmy afternoons. There were crystal lakes and streams, bubbling springs and rivulets, wild animals, flocks of birds - a new paradise for man's inheritance.

It was a land from which Pandora might lift a lid. When John S. Frary reached Mil- waukee he was accosted by a stranger: "Do you want to go west, young man? The younger generation can scarcely realize the ex- tent of travel across Wisconsin in the fifties. By that time much of the land east and south of the Wisconsin river had been settled, and emigrants arriving at Mil- waukee and other lake ports outfitted for undeveloped regions farther west. It is estimated that during the fall and summer of more than ten thousand persons with teams and stock crossed the river at Portage.

Im- migrants came through in large wagons, to which were hitched four, six, or eight oxen. Often cattle, hogs, and sheep were driven along. This innumerable stream of life flowed past many a tavern, the Steele Tavern at Newport, the Red Tavern near Mauston, and number- less others along the route.

Pictures which illustrate the manner of traveling in pioneer vehicles indicate that if one were not accurately balanced in the crude conveyance his nether extremities were scheduled for sore punishment. On a protracted journey the coach was liable to be dragged from one mudhole into another, over rough corduroy roads and through rocky stretches, up hill and down, until the patience of not only the driver and passengers, but of the horses as well, was near exhaustion.

The overturning of a stage was not as disastrous as a modern train wreck; nevertheless, it provided plenty of thrills. At the close of the Black Hawk war, the de- feated chief and others of his tribesmen were taken by stage over the National road to Washington in order that they might recognize the futility of engaging in war with the whites. At Washington, in Pennsylvania, the horses ran away, thundered down a long steep hill and before they were brought under control the vehicle upset.

Naturally, the indians were greatly excited ; some were injured, and as a crowd gathered Black Hawk himself was the first to emerge from the wreck. The war chief gave vent to his feelings with intensity. Not infrequently passengers placed their trust in Providence, especially when the ice across an impedi- tive river was weak, the current cold and swift. It is a miracle that so many escaped casualty, for drivers be- came careless of dangers which they encountered almost daily along the way.

When the river was open a ferry was used in crossing, the rude floating device being at- tached to a cable in such a way that the current forced it along. Occasionally the ferryboat broke from the cable, landing the load perhaps far down the river. This occurrence resulted in vexing delay and necessitated much labor to bring the cumbersome vehicle back on the highway.

One wintry day Henry Cowles, the most famous driver on this line, did break through and his horses were extricated with the greatest difficulty. Timid passengers always walked across the ice and those more daring who ventured to retain their seats usually held themselves in readiness to leap to safety at any instant. Often it was necessary, when great cakes of ice came floating down, to use long poles to push the craft across, and during the fall when the Wisconsin was freezing over and when the ice was unsafe in the spring, the stage was driven to Prairie du Sac and the crossing made on a toll-bridge.

Such an emergency left the village of Merrimack isolated. Salmon E. Cowles was a driver in the fifties when his brother Henry owned the line and while driving four horses between Lodi and the present site of Waunakee, one of his wheel-animals deliberately lay down in the water and mud which filled the highway. The beast was stubborn. After much coaxing, threatening, and even punishing, it became evident that the coach with its load could not be pulled out. For passengers to step out meant to step into anything but a pleasant plight, the mud being well-nigh knee deep. For the ladies, especially, the situation was most embarrassing.

At last a big, good-natured individual in the vehicle volun- teered to relieve the predicament by carrying the pas- sengers to dry land.

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One by one he removed the women and children, then with much maneuvering the teams were able to draw the coach upon firm ground. When a vehicle mired in a swamp or the load was too great for the teams negotiating hills, all hands must alight and help get the vehicle out of trouble. When highways became snowy aisles through forest and farmland, and the sun looked down through flaw- less blue upon a world of glistening white, coaches were placed upon runners and the horses adorned with jin- gling bells.

Passengers then rode through a landscape of immaculate loveliness free from dust and mud, their only inconvenience an occasional obstructive snow- drift. Great buffalo robes and a contrivance known as a footstove protected travelers measurably from wind and cold. The latter device was made of wood and metal combined in such manner that when live coals were placed within the stove it would radiate heat for a considerable time.

The baggage of the period was quite as unique as the mode of travel. There were queer carpetbags, strange trunks, curious boxes from foreign lands, and other nondescript pieces. Then, too, fair ones brought aboard the coach bandboxes of various kinds, some more or less attractive.

In the feminine contraptions were the personal possessions of the owner, not only head-gear of various styles created through the passing years, but calashes, muskmelon hoods, and poke bonnets sufficient- ly large to hide pretty faces. In these pasteboard con- tainers were likewise wigs, muffs, caps, and other wear- ing apparel necessary and unnecessary in the middle of the nineteenth century, the boxes filling the mission of the suitcase and wardrobe trunk of today.

Early stages not only carried passengers, but express and freight. In the thirties a driver left Chicago having aboard a savage-looking wolf urgently wanted in Ra- cine. Nimrods at that place had decided upon a hunt- ing contest with Norman Clark as leader on one side and Marshall M. Strong on the other. These two indi- viduals had "chosen up" and it was agreed that all kinds of game could be counted; a squirrel to equal a certain number of points, a rabbit another number, muskrat additional points.

Deer were to count three hundred, a live wolf one thousand. It was further agreed that scalps of these creatures might be secured by fair means or foul, the heads of the animals to be in evidence on the designated day of reckoning. Clark and his companions heard of a deer hunter on Pleasant Prairie who had a generous collection of heads which were much desired.

Without obtaining permission to use the animal, a horse belonging to Schuyler Mattison, a stranger in the town, was appropriated and driven hastily through the drifts to secure the collection by purchase. In the meantime the Strong contingent heard of a live wolf in Chicago and ordered it shipped by stage forthwith. When the stage reached the Willis Tavern, Captain Smith and a party of rollicking sol- diers came out from Southport Kenosha and the captain ended the career of the wolf by striking it on the head with a bottle of gin.

While this drama was being enacted Strong learned of a trapper at Milwau- kee who had enough muskrats heads to fill a sleigh. When these were secured they out-counted everything in sight. Clark had ruined the Mattison horse and had to pay damages amounting to seventy-five dollars. Strong sued Captain Smith for killing the wolf with a bottle of gin. It was the first court action in Racine county, and the verdict was for six cents damages with costs. Stage drivers and taverners were important witnesses, the affair was one of much local celebrity.

During the middle of the nineteenth century the pen- dulum of life swung in wide arcs; slavery or no slavery was the paramount question. Freesoilers, Democrats, and Republicans contended at the ballot box. The Kan- sas-Nebraska bill, border warfare, the fugitive slave law, John Brown, and other topics were daily discussed.

A storm was impending, hot human volcanoes were in eruption, and souls were set on fire by verbal friction. With an atmosphere thus surcharged, it was not surpris- ing that passengers often found themselves in a turmoil as the old stage swayed and bumped along the road. Among the passengers when stage lines were first opened were lawyers, doctors, preachers, newspaper- men, lumbermen, traders, and settlers seeking to place their feet on the ladder of fame or gain a place of abode in the new country.

In the fifties and sixties numerous raftsmen floated down the Wisconsin river to some snubbing post on the bank and resorted to stages for their return. During the Civil war soldiers were fre- quently passengers from railway stations to homes in the interior, bringing many thrilling tales of the san- guinary conflict. The fall of Vicksburg inspired citizens of Dodgeville to indulge in a brilliant celebration. The news reached the village from Mineral Point about midnight, the messengers riding their horses at a gallop and shouting the glad tidings.

Soon the entire commun- ity was astir. The band played, the crowd marched, and John Sagers served liquid refreshments with utter indifference to cost. The fanfare embraced the whole populace; it was a unique and grandiose celebration. In the midst of all the excitement the stage arrived bringing home William George, a soldier on furlough. Old friends gathered about and as he beheld the town ablaze his astonishment was complete. Thinking all the jubilation and illumination was in his honor he threw up his hands, exclaiming: "Great Heavens!

They seldom had their eyes on the stage property, however, for there were more spirited beasts to be had in an open pasture or unlocked stall. Then there were peddlers with their packs, and speculators in prosperous dress. During the frenzied hop period, pickers arriving at stations were conveyed to the hop-yards, and of hop- pole pullers there were not a few. Criminals and others making a hurried departure sometimes resorted to stagecoaches. In the early days of LaFayette county there was a dispute between two men respecting rights to a piece of mineral land.

Both became angry, a crowd of miners gathered, and a duel followed. One contestant for the land drew an old pepper-box revolver and proceeded to fire upon his enemy. The other replied by seizing a rock and hurling it dangerously near his foe. By this time he of the weap- on was ready to fire again only to find another boulder thrown defiantly at him. Rushing to the nearest village he mounted a horse that he found hitched to a post, saddled and bridled. Without leave of the owner he rode the animal with all speed a distance of ten miles to the barn of Frink and Walker on the stage route between Galena and Chi- cago, where he left the panting steed by the side of the highway and took hasty passage for the east.

According to an early account of the affair the fellow did not cease his flight until he reached Rome, New York. As a result of the collision the man of the rocks, after making a thorough examination of himself, found there was a hole through the rim of his hat. Besides the perforation he secured the pistol as a souvenir of the affair with full possession of the "diggins" for future operations, and cheers from the approving crowd. When officers were on the trail of a criminal, coaches sometimes made unusual speed. Cowles once drove it in six hours, the usual schedule being eight.

A sheriff was aboard from Janesville and offered the driver ten dol- lars provided he reduce the time two hours. The stage reached its destination within the desired limit, the extra bonus was paid, and the criminal was appre- hended. Before the advent of the railroad in England, so many coaches were attacked by highwaymen that pas- sengers frequently made their wills and said their prayers before setting out upon a journey. Britons in- sisted on carrying gold when traveling and this practice encouraged bold men to commit crime. In that section of the country, with its mountains and swiftly running streams, if passengers escaped with their lives from the great variety of natural dangers, there always was a chance of highwaymen stripping them of their money and leaving them injured or dying.

Seldom were coaches disturbed in New England or in the Great Lakes region, as drafts and bills of exchange were largely used instead of cash. When Moore and Davis operated a stage line be- tween Galena and Mazomanie, then a railway station, a driver was discharged as the vehicle was near the Ruggles farm.

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  6. Upon leaving he stole the mail pouch from the boot of the coach and this never was recov- ered. Years after silver coins were plowed up in a field some distance from the scene of the robbery and it is surmised that, in searching through the letters before burying the contents of the sack, the thief missed the coins. When these were brought to light the story of the theft was revived. Raymond Holzse pronounced Holsay and spelled variously was a real bandit. He practiced shooting by mounting a horse and riding swiftly around a tree firing at a bull's eye.

    Sometimes he varied his program by tossing up hazel-nuts and cracking them with revolver shots. In the spring of a stage was held up between Pulcif er and Bonduel, the losses being small. The crime was thought to be the work of Holzse. About ten o'clock the morning of May 8, of the same year, as Herman Rafoth was driving a coach from the north toward Shawano, he heard an unusual sound behind and look- ing about beheld a revolver pointing at his face.

    The driver at once brought his team to a stop and Holzse ordered the mail pouch thrown out. Rafoth asked Ainsworth what he should do and was advised to obey commands. After the mail had been surrendered the bandit bade the driver produce what money he had with him. Eleven dollars was passed over, the thief accusing the man of having more, which he denied. However, Rafoth did actually have forty- five dollars in his vest pocket and retained it by his equivocation.

    The bandit next turned to Ainsworth who was ordered to produce his money. The latter had nine dollars and seventy-five cents which Holzse threw upon the mail pouch lying on the ground. The indian was not molested. As the driver took up his reins to drive away, Ainsworth remarked to the highwayman that he was sorry he did not have an even ten dollars and told him to remember that he owed him a quarter. Holzse tartly commanded the man to close his mouth, to go down the road, and not to look back. After proceeding a short dis- tance the occupants of the vehicle ventured to turn about and beheld the fellow ripping open the pouch with a knife.

    The loss was almost nothing as there were only two checks in the mail and these were worthless to the thief. A number of episodes, some amusing, some of a seri- ous nature, followed quickly. The driver, Rafoth, was taken by the sheriff to a neighboring town to identify a suspect and in his absence a youth was employed to drive the stage.

    On the return trip to Shawano a lum- berjack suddenly appeared in the road and waved his pack as a signal for the conveyance to stop. When later he accosted the driver de- manding to know why he had not stopped, the boy de- clared he did not propose to be held up by a bandit. The suspect, taken by the officer, was not the highway- man who had stopped Rafoth. Holzse might have given up his criminal practices but he was not of that kidney. Whether or not he ever had heard of Dick Turpin, it is a fact he had not far to go to emulate his fearless feats. He loved the limelight and his undoing was the consequence of his taking just one chance too many.

    Near Marquette, Michigan, he stopped a stage, warned all aboard there should be no shooting, but a passenger fired. At once Holzse sent ball after ball into the vehicle, killing one passenger, wound- ing another and twice piercing the hat of the driver. Following this he was captured and sentenced to the penitentiary for life, but later was paroled.

    At one time stage lines crossed and re-crossed the state, linking hamlet and city in a network of communi- cation. What has become of these hundreds of swaying, gilded vehicles? With the advent of the railroad they were either sent to remoter sections or became useless property. One of the last in Wisconsin, owned by W. Price at Black River falls, was permitted to fall to pieces in a barnyard. Concerning some of these faithful old friends of our forefathers, the Concord coaches, W.

    Warner of Madison, in his youth a resident of Baraboo and its benefactor in death, wrote as follows: "This was, I should say, about Who among the boys who participated in that famous es- capade, may ever forget? We young chaps, the day after a Fourth of July celebration, conceived the idea of decorating Oak street with the dilapidated vehicles. Those who remember the one-time resplend- ent coaches, gorgeous beyond the dreams of a Ringling circus creation, will recall that they were integers con- necting Baraboo with relatively near-by points of the outside world, such as Madison, Mazomanie, Portage, and Kilbourn.

    Not many citizens of Baraboo were aware that such antediluvian chariots were in existence, much less that they were right here in Baraboo. The general astonishment, therefore, may well be imagined. What opportunities were lost in their destruction, short- ly after this, their last appearance, for securing match- less museum antiques!

    But soon trouble - our trouble - began. Somehow the city officials and many of the older and more staid, law-abiding citizens, did not take kind- ly to such deviltry, and public resentment was quite general, while diligent efforts were at once put forth to apprehend the several juvenile malefactors involved in the disgraceful escapade. Perturbed parents in other cases paid modest fines. A century ago not even the most envisioned citizen could have dreamed that the old stagecoaches on the great highways of the country would be relegated to oblivion.

    Such a conception was as impossible as could be the projective abolition of railroad or automobile to the present generation.