Logging Centenial (1944)
Contact: Ken Wood
Surnames: O'Neill, Chippewa, Ferguson, Brockway
----Sources: Marshfield News Herald Monday July 31, 1944 Page 2
COUNTY CENTENARY OCCURS THIS YEAR
First White Men Arrived In Clark County During Year 1844
Neillsville, Wis.--The year 1844 marked the coming of the first white settlers to what is now Clark County. These pioneers of the Mormon sect felled and took out the virgin timber by way of what became O'Neill Creek, the Black and Mississippi Rivers. Much of this timber went into construction work at Nauvoo, Ill., a Mormon settlement.
A year later the O'Neills, together with Sam and William Ferguson and a man named Brockway, men from New York State who had previously located at Prairie du Chien, selected a site for their logging operations and camps on the north bank of a stream they named O'Neill Creek, after the O'Neills.
This pioneer settlement, literally hewn out of a vast wilderness, proved to be permanent. It is called Neillsville today. Trade between the Indians and the pioneer settlers flourished, as the Chippewas were a friendly tribe. They remained friendly to the whites until they learned the art of baking cakes from the pioneers.
In those days lemon extract was used solely for flavoring cakes until an enterprising Indian started to experiment with it. Legend has it that an old buck Indian of the Chippewa tribe, after taking a healthy swig of lemon extract, made this remark to one of the O'Neills; "I wonder what it is the paleface buys that's half as precious as this stuff he sells."
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