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Old Old Settler

this site was last updated on Wednesday, 31 March 2021

A short time ago Daniel Liston, the pioneer settler of Jefferson Township, died. Ho was an Irishman, born in 1801, came to this county in 1831, worked on the Erie Canal, enlisted in the U. S. army in 1842, went through the Mexican war, and when it was over was sent to old Fort Crawford at Prairie du Chien, and from thence to Port Atkinson. From a lengthy sketch of his life appearing in the Waukon Standard, we clip the following that is of local interest:—

At the time I was first where McGregor is there was not a house there. Then old man McGregor came and built a little warehouse on piles and a little cabin and he bought an old scow for a ferry boat and run it with two mules.

At the time I was at Port Atkinson some five miles down the Turkey river there was a mill run by Rev. David Lowery who in 1835 established the “Old Mission” on Yellow river in this county, and we made one hunt to coral Indians down there and to Sny Mugill and the Bloody Run.

When we were at Prairie du Chien in 1842 scarcely any people were there but Frenchman and Indians, and they did not want us to leave as we bought all their chickens, turkeys, etc. A small mill was built near there that did not have any bolt and the grist was all graham flour or unsifted corn meal. Before that we made a grater by punching holes in an old tin coffee pot and would grate our corn on that and could make what to us was splendid Johnny cake out of the meal. The first grist mill I went to was down near Dubuque. I don’t remember the year, and I was gone nearly a week.

One trip in the spring of 1843, I think, we made from Port Atkinson over to where Decorah is now; only Indians there then and they were making maple sugar. There was old Chief Winneshiek and Decorah. It was said that Decorah was one of the three who captured the old chief Blackhawk and delivered him to the fort at Prairie du Chien. Old Winneshiek gave us his tomahawk pipe and we smoked out of it. He wanted we should eat dinner with him, and we did so. We turned in and caught a lot of trout, and there were plenty of them those days, and cooked them and we had a great feast together, and the old chief seemed as happy and proud over it as an Indian could show it. That was six or seven years before the Day family located here.

Source: Decorah Republican Feb. 18, 1897 P 1 C 5

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this page was last updated on Wednesday, 31 March 2021