Contact: Stan



Bio: Myrick / Merrick, Nathan (1822 - 1903)




Surnames: Myrick, Merrick, Buchllamp, Hatch, Weld, Dousman, Ismon, Harmon, Pierson, Miller, Hatch, Dibble, Levis, Spaulding, LaFlesh, Cawley, O'Neill, Morrison, Eaton, Van Dusen, Polley, Samford, Harris, Cooley


----Sources: Clark Co. Records, History Books, Census, Research by Duane Horn


Nathan Myrick, 1822 - 1903

Early Clark County, Wisconsin Lumberman



Nathan Myrick was the son of Barnabas and Lovina (Bigelow) Myrick who married about 1819.  His father had removed from Middlebury, Vt. to Essex County, NY about 1815, and continued to reside at Westport until his death in 1844.  Nathan was born in Westport, July 7, 1822.  During his life in New York, he was actively engaged in business of various forms; was at one time Loan Commissioner of the State of New York, and served in the House of Representatives of that State about 1834.  He was one of eight children, five of whom lived past their majority.  These were Ira Myrick who resided at Elysian, Minnesota; Louisa Myrick who married Hiram Buchlamp of Brandon, Vt.; Andrew Jackson Myrick who resided in Minnesota in 1852; Abigail Myrick who married during the 1840's to Stephen Goodall and afterwards lived in Elysian, Minnesota.  The other children were Hiram, Charles and Martin Van Buren Myrick.


Nathan's mother died in Brandon, Vt. while on a visit to her daughter Louisa in 1857, and was buried at Westport, NY.  His paternal grandfather was Brazilla Myrick, who was born in Vermont and served in the Revolutionary War.  He was a pensioner of the Government at the time of his death in 1841, at Westport, where he was buried.  His wife survived him until 1849, and was buried with her husband.


The District School provided Nathan's education until he was ten years old and he entered the Academy at Westport, which was founded largely through the efforts of his father.  He remained there about three years and upon the expiration of that term, was employed by his father in his tannery at Westport, going to school in the winter.  Afterwards, he was employed in a general store owned by his father in Westport and remained there until 1841.  At the age of eighteen, he was an intimate friend of  Mayor Hatch of Minnesota, who at that time worked for his own father in a rival store in Westport.  The two young men both were enthusiastic over the "Great West" and the mysteries it held since it was almost an unknown country at that time.  The railroads were not then built and the travel to the west was by canal boat to Lake Erie and by steam boat to Chicago.


His father was an austere man, thoroughly engrossed by many enterprises and owned and operated canal boats and sail boats on Lake Champlain, lumber yards in Albany, saw mills at Westport, iron forges and other businesses.  With the permission of his father, Nathan was determined to seek his own fortune in the west.  His friend, Major Hatch intended to accompany him but was detained in New York by the serious illness of his mother.  Nathan left home with an outfit of about $100, his own savings, and a large provision of books and clothing.  Once en route, he discovered an affectionate letter from his mother which was lovingly placed between the pages of a pocket bible in his trunk.  She'd also enclosed $15, from her own private purse. 


A canal boat took him to Troy and a packet boat on the canal delivered him to Buffalo where he took the steamer "Chesapeake" to Chicago which then had a population of about 5,000.  He left Chicago by stage and arrived in Galena, Illinois June 23, 1840.  From there, he went to Prairie du Chien by team and after a two day journey met with some former acquaintances from Westport.  He carried with him a letter of introduction from General Hunter of Westport, who had himself visited Prairie du Chien some years before, to H. L. Dousman, then in charge of the American Fur Company, Alexander McGregor and Judge Lockwood.  He was kindly received, but neither gentlemen were willing to employ him because he could not speak Indian and was inexperienced in Indian trading.  He lived at the hotel until his funds were nearly exhausted.  At that point, he applied with a new tannery which had just opened for business in the north part of town.  The tannery was not enclosed, the vats being out in the open air.  The proprietor, notwithstanding his knowledge of the business would not pay him more than $15 a month and Nathan declined the offer.  Subsequently, he agreed to establish a trading post for Eben Weld  in what is today La Crosse, Wisconsin.


(click on the map to enlarge it)


In 1843 he made a return trip to his hometown in New York and on August 17th, he married Rebecca E. Ismon at Cherlotte, Vermont.  That September, he was ready to return to Wisconsin, but his money was spent and he borrowed five hundred dollars from Gen. Hunter.  Before the young couple left, Nathan's father gave them a second day wedding and invited people from the entire county.  He was so well known that it was easily the largest affair of that sort ever given in Westport. 





© Every submission is protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.


Show your appreciation of this freely provided information by not copying it to any other site without our permission.


Become a Clark County History Buff


Report Broken Links

A site created and maintained by the Clark County History Buffs
and supported by your generous donations.


Webmasters: Leon Konieczny, Tanya Paschke,

Janet & Stan Schwarze, James W. Sternitzky,

Crystal Wendt & Al Wessel