Indiana McCaslins

James Harding BrownAge: 81 years18361917

James Harding Brown
Birth January 26, 1836 42 36
Publication: The Western Historical Company, A. T. Andreas, Proprietor, Chicago, 1881
Note: Year may be wrong as the 1850 census indicates that James was born in 1838. Birth place given as Orleans County, New York in the History of Northern Wisconsin...
Census 1840 (Age 3 years)
Census 1850 (Age 13 years)
Note: This census would indicate that his birthdate was 1838
Census 1855 (Age 18 years)
MarriageEleanora FayView this family
September 13, 1863 (Age 27 years)
Source: S1238
Publication: Press of J.S. Savage (Cleveland, O., 1898)
Note: also given as Marquette County, Wisconsin
Birth of a son
Charles Lee Brown
October 28, 1864 (Age 28 years)
Source: Find a Grave
Death of a fatherJohn S Brown
February 1865 (Age 29 years)
Birth of a daughter
Delia Brown
August 1869 (Age 33 years)
Death of a wifeEleanora Fay
after July 28, 1870 (Age 34 years)
Note: Porterville was renamed as Blair after John Insley Blair of Blairtown, NewJersey., a stockholder in …
Death of a daughterDelia Brown
after July 28, 1870 (Age 34 years)
Note: also given as 31 Oct 1870
Census 1870 (Age 33 years)
MarriageAnna Sarah TaftView this family
November 12, 1872 (Age 36 years)
Note: J. H. Ritching performed the ceremony which was religious. Dr Maine and the Rev Mr Hutchinson were witnesses.The marriage certificate gives her name as S. Anna Taft and her parents a George Taft and Sophia Mower. On the certificate, James H Brown gives birthplace as New York, his occupation as Engineer, his residence as Eau Claire, and his parents names as Jno S Brown and Alcha Harding.
Birth of a daughter
Ella Marian Brown
March 1874 (Age 38 years)
Birth of a daughter
Bertha Mower Brown
December 27, 1875 (Age 39 years)
Note: Previously known as Porters Mills and went out of existance when the sawmills closed.
Birth of a son
Frederic Dill Brown
May 27, 1878 (Age 42 years)
Source: S471
Census 1880 (Age 43 years)
Death of a motherAlcha Oliva (Olive) Harding
May 17, 1882 (Age 46 years)
Birth of a son
James Harding Brown
January 14, 1883 (Age 46 years)
Census 1885 (Age 48 years)
Note: recorded on page 10 of 11, copy in the possession of Lois Johnson.
Birth of a daughter
Catharine Sophia Brown
October 20, 1888 (Age 52 years)
Marriage of a childCharles Lee BrownKitty Frances (Frances) BridellView this family
November 13, 1895 (Age 59 years)
Note: The ceremony was conducted by W.H. Lockwood, Presbyterian Minister and was witnessed by Charles' half sisters, Ella M Brown and Bertha M Brown.
Census 1895 (Age 58 years)
Note: recorded on page 8 of 11, copy in the possession of Lois Johnson
Census 1900 (Age 63 years)
Marriage of a childRobert Kendall ShawBertha Mower BrownView this family
September 20, 1902 (Age 66 years)
Death of a daughterElla Marian Brown
February 17, 1903 (Age 67 years)
Source: S1206
Census 1905 (Age 68 years)
Note: recorded on sheet 8 of 25, copy in the possession of Lois Johnson
Marriage of a childFrederic Dill BrownChristine McCaslinView this family
September 2, 1908 (Age 72 years)
Source: S1939
Source: S3309
Note: Merriam Park Presbyterian Church, by Rev. David Serril McCaslin
Census 1910 (Age 73 years)
Marriage of a childEdward Franklin AberCatharine Sophia BrownView this family
about 1914 (Age 77 years)

Blacksmith, Engineer, Lumberyard Manager

Death March 8, 1917 (Age 81 years)
Burial after March 8, 1917
Note: Forest Hill Cemetery, block 64 lot 5
Family with parents - View this family
Marriage: December 28, 1816Bloomingburgh, Sullivan, New York
19 years
Family with Eleanora Fay - View this family
Eleanora Fay
Birth: September 13, 1843 35 33Grafton, Worcester, Massachusetts
Death: after July 28, 1870Porterville, Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Marriage: September 13, 1863Waubeek, Pepin, Wisconsin
14 months
5 years
Delia Brown
Birth: August 1869 33 25Brunswick, Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Death: after July 28, 1870Brunswick, Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Family with Anna Sarah Taft - View this family
Marriage: November 12, 1872Portage, Columbia, Wisconsin
17 months
Ella Marian Brown
Birth: March 1874 38 27Wisconsin
Death: February 17, 1903, Eau Claire, Wisconsin
22 months
2 years
5 years
6 years


Year may be wrong as the 1850 census indicates that James was born in 1838. Birth place given as Orleans County, New York in the History of Northern Wisconsin...


This census would indicate that his birthdate was 1838


also given as Marquette County, Wisconsin


J. H. Ritching performed the ceremony which was religious. Dr Maine and the Rev Mr Hutchinson were witnesses.The marriage certificate gives her name as S. Anna Taft and her parents a George Taft and Sophia Mower. On the certificate, James H Brown gives birthplace as New York, his occupation as Engineer, his residence as Eau Claire, and his parents names as Jno S Brown and Alcha Harding.


recorded on page 10 of 11, copy in the possession of Lois Johnson.


recorded on page 8 of 11, copy in the possession of Lois Johnson


recorded on sheet 8 of 25, copy in the possession of Lois Johnson


Forest Hill Cemetery, block 64 lot 5

Shared note

Family stories say that James Harding Brown ran away from home when he was 13 and lost all contact with his parents and siblings from then on. He supposedly left no record of his parents' names. The story tellers thought it must have been quite a fight! This is only a story, which is now proved not to be true, as his brother, Jarius, joined James in Wisconsin about 1877, his marriage certificate and that of Jarius give the parents names, and finally Jarius Civil War Pension records have a legal document signed by James stating that hed known Jarius all his life as they were brothers. The History of Northern Wisconsin... also mentions a visit to New York in the 1860s probably about the time his father died. Well, it was a good story.

Heres what I have found. His fathers name was John S Brown, his mothers Alcha Harding as given on both James and Jarius Wisconsin marriage certificates. In 1840, the Brown family was in Orange County, New York, since Jarius was born there as reported on Jarius certificate of marriage. This information let me find the parents in the 1840 US Federal Census for Wallkill, Orange, New York where Johns household contains two males under five (James and John) one male between 5 and 10 (Melancthon), one male between 15 and 20 (probably a hired hand as two people are reported as working in Agriculture), one male between 40 and 50 (himself), one female between 10 and 15 (Lydia) and one female between 30 and 40 (his wife, Alcha).

In the 1850 US Federal Census for Forestburgh, Sullivan, New York, where John S Browns household consists of himself (a 56 year-old farmer, born in New York with property worth $500), his wife Alcha Harding Brown (age 50, her name is written as Oliva this time, one of a couple of variants, born in New York), sons Melancthon (written Malancton by the census taker, aged 18 and a farmer), John (age 14), James B (not H-age 12), Jarius H (age 10), and daughters, Amanda E. (age 7) and Harriet M (age 4).

In the 1855 New York State Census for Forestburgh, Sullivan, New York, 61-year-old farmer John S Brown (born in Orange County, New York) and his 55-year-old wife Alcha [Harding] Brown (born in Sullivan County, New York) have in their household their chldren, 21-year-old farmer Melancton L, 19-year-old blacksmith James H, 16-year-old John, 14-year-old Jarus, 12-year-old Amanda, and 9-year-old Harriet. All the children except Harriet were born in Orange County, New York. Harriet was born in Sullivan County, New York. Everyone exept Harriet has lived in Forestburgh for 10 years, makng their arrival to be 1845. Harriet has lived in Forestburgh for 9 years since she was born there. The family is living in a "framed" house. John S and Melancton are voters. John S owns the land he is farming.

In the 1860 US Federal Census for Forestburgh, Sullivan, New York, New York-born John S Brown is a 66 year-old farmer with real estate worth $700 and personal property worth $300. In his household are his 60 year-old wife Alcha [Harding] (whose name is now recorded as Acha), his sons, John (age 21 and a laborer) and Jarius (age 19 also a laborer) and his daughter, Harriet (age 14). Melancthon, James and Amanda are no longer listed in Johns household so James left home before 1860, which is confirmed by his son, Frederic Dill Brown's draft letter.

I have not been able to find James on the 1860 census.

By 1870, James Harding Brown is married to Elenora Fay and living in Brunswick, Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Hes listed on the 1870 census as 35-year-old New York-born J.H. Brown and his profession is listed as engineer. In his household are his wife 27-year-old Massachusetts-born Eleanora [recorded as Ellen] and their two Wisconsin-born children, Charles (age 6) and Delia (born Aug 1869).

Two years later, Elenora and her daughter, Delia, have died and James has married Anna Sarah Taft.

In the 1880 US Federal Census for Brunswic [sic], Eau Claire, Wisconsin, 43-year-old New York-born engineer James and his 30-year-old Vermont-born second wife Anna [Taft] Brown have in their household his Wisconsin-born son by his first marriage to Eleanora Fay Brown, 15-year-old Chas [sic Charles], and their Wisconsin-born children, 6-year-old Ella, 4-year-old Bertha and 2-year-old Fred. Charles, Ella and Bertha have attended school in the past year. James' parents were born in New York. Anna's parents were born in Vermont. The Browns are apparently living in a double bungalow as two families are listed for one address. The other family is that of 33-year-old filer P R Glover and his 28-year-old wife Ella.

In the 1885 Wisconsin State Census for Eau Claire Ward 3, Eau Claire, Jas [James] Brown has four white males [himself and his three sons, Charles Lee, Frederic Dill and James Harding Jr] and three white females [his wife Anna Sarah Taft Brown, and his two daughters, Ella Marian, and Bertha Mower] in his household. His neighbors are the F.W. Deacon family and the Frank A Clay family.

The 1890 census is missing but there is an entry for 1889 and 1893 in the Eau Claire Directories that indicate that James was living at 1236 Farwell Street and working for the NW Lumber Company.

In the 1895 Wisconsin State Census for Eau Claire Ward 3, Eau Claire, J.H. [James Harding] Brown has three white males [himself and two of his three sons, Frederic Dill and James Harding Jr] and four white females [his wife Anna Sarah Taft Brown, and his three daughters, Ella Marian, Bertha Mower and Catharine Sophia]. His neighbors are the R. Farr family and the Dick Christenson family

The 1900 census confirms the move to 1236 Farwell St in Eau Claire, where 64-year-old New York-born engineer James, 52-year-old Vermont-born Anna S and their five Wisconsin-born children, 26-year-old Ella M, 24-year-old Bertha M, 22-year-old Fred D, 17-year-old Harding J [James Harding Jr], and 11-year-old Katherine [Catharine] are all in the Brown household. Charles, James' son by his first marriage, has left home. James and Anna have been married 28 years

In the 1905 Wisconsin Census for Eau Claire, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, 68-year-old New York-born J H [James Harding] Brown is a lumber company manager. He and his 58-year-old Vermont-born wife Sarah [sic] [Taft] Brown have in their household their youngest children, 22-year-old Wisconsin-born engineer J. Harding [James Harding] and 16-year-old Wisconsin-born Catharine. James' parents were born in Germany [sic] and England [sic], Anna Sarah's in Vermont, and J Harding and Catherine's parents in New York and Vermont.

In the 1910 US Federal Census for Eau Claire, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, 73-year-old New York-born James and his 63-year-old Vermont-born second wife Anna [Taft] Brown have been married 37 years and have had five children, four are living [Ella died in 1903]. the Wisconsin-born children living with them are 21-year-old [sic] forman [lumber camp] Hardy [James Harding Jr] and 21-year-old Katherine [Catharine]. The family is living at 1236 Farwell which James owns free of mortgage. James Sr is living on his own income. James Sr's' father was born in Germany [sic] and his mother in New York. Anna's parents were born in Vermont.

James died 9 Mar 1917, and was buried in Forest Hill Cemetery, block 64 lot 5 and his obituary is transcribed below. The information contained in the History of Northern Wisconsin..., his 80th birthday announcement , his obituary, and family records of his employment do not match in all details. Memory seems to have been selective.

James is listed in "History of Northern Wisconsin Containing An Account Of Its Settlement, Growth, Development and Resources: An Extensive Sketch of Its Counties, Cites, Towns and Villages, Their Improvements, Industries, Manufactories; Biographic... Sketches, Portraits Of Prominent Men And Early Settlers; Views Of Country Seats, Etc. Published by The Western Historical Company, A. T. Andreas, Proprietor, Chicago, 1881 (source The Wisconsin Historical Society Library, Madison, Wisconsin) The History of Eau Claire County, Page 343 JAMES H. BROWN, engineer N. W. L. Co., was born in Orleans Co. N.Y. [sic], Jan. 26, 1836. At the age of fifteen years, he left home and went to Ellenville, Ulster Co., N.Y., where he learned his trade with John L. Cox. [Blacksmith who takes apprentices in the 1850 and 1860 US Federal Census for Wawarsing, Ulster, New York] After spending three months in Sullivan Co., N.Y., he moved to Chicago. Came to Wisconsin in 1855, located at Green Bay [Brown County], in the employ of the N. W. Lumber Co. From there he went to Pensaukee [Oconto County] with F. B. Gardner & Co., where he remained about eighteen months. After spending some time in Minnesota, he came up the Chippewa River to Eau Claire in 1859, and engaged with the Eau Claire Lumber Co. On returning from a visit to New York State, went with Bussey & Tailor, of Gravel Island, as engineer one season. Was also engineer for Knapp, Stout & Co., at Waubeck. Mr. Brown was at times on boats running between Eau Claire and La Crosse. Came to Porterville in 1867, and took present position. Married at Oxford, Marquette Co., to Elenora Fay of Marquette Co., who died in Porterville in 1870, leaving one son, Charles Lee Brown. Was married to Miss Anna Faft [sic], at Portage City, Nov. 12, 1872, by whom he has three children-- Ella Marion [sic], Bertha Mower and Frederick [sic] Dill.

More information is in Scrapbooks of newspaper clippings concerning Eau Claire and the Chippewa Valley Vol 1" compiled by Marshall Brown Cousins, in the possession of the Wisconsin Historical Library (microfilm) Page 81, Eau Claire, Wisconsin Newspaper, January 25, 1916 James Harding Brown Reaches 80th Birthday-Well Known Citizen Who Knows Lumber Business As An Expert James Harding Brown of 1236 South Farwell street on tomorrow [Wednesday] is 80 years of age. Mr. Brown was born in the town of Walkill, Orange county, N.Y., on Jan. 26, 1836. He came to the southern part of Wisconisn [sic] when he was 16 years of age, leaving there when he was about 20 for this place, and going to work for Chapman & Thorpe in 1858 at their mill on the Eau Claire river [sic]. After ten years with that firm, he joined forces with the North Western Lumber company [sic] in 1868 and has been with that company ever since, having had charge in two of their mills at Porterville, then the mills in Eau Claire and the one at Stanley. Mr. Brown came into Trempealeau county about 1848, learning the lumbering business from the ground up. He has been in active service for the North Western Lumber company [sic] until about eight years ago when he retired. Since last September Mr. Brown has been practically confined to his home through an accidental fall, but he is delighted to meet old friends and keeps up a keen interest in the news of the outside world.

And Page 83, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Newspaper, March 9, 1917 DEATH SUMMONS JAMES H. BROWN Well Known Citizen Who Has Lived In Eau Claire For Nearly 60 Years Death came last night at about 9 o'clock to James H. Brown, 1236 South Farwell street [sic], well known and highly esteemed citizen and who on January 26 last was 81 years of age. The life of Mr. Brown is one particularly of interest to this community for he came here when a young man and for almost sixty years has called this place his home. He had seen the city grow from a struggling village, living a busy, useful life and watching all this part of the state grow beyond the mere lumber industry. Many will sorrow at his passing, and to the family much sympathy will be extended. He leaves a widow, four sons and two daughters [sic-had three sons and three daughters]. The cause of his death was weakness and heart failure. His son Fred of Aberdeen, S.D. has been here for some days and other relatives are on the way. Shortly before his 80th birthday, Mr. Brown through an accidental fall was quite severly [sic] injured and was confined to his home for some time. Other than this, until quite recently, he was always in good health. James Harding Brown was born in the town of Walkill, Orange county, N.Y., on Jan. 26, 1836. He came to the southern part of Wisconisn [sic] when he was 16 years of age, leaving there when he was about 20 for this place, and going to work for Chapman & Thorpe in 1858 at their mill on the Eau Claire river [sic]. After ten years with that firm, he joined forces with the North Western Lumber company [sic] in 1868 and until his retirement, about nine years ago, remained with that concern. He had charge in two of their mills at Porterville, then the mills in Eau Claire and the one at Stanley. When he came into Trempealeau county about 1848 he began the study of the lumbering business, and from the ground up. About 60 years ago he became a member of Eau Claire Lodge No. 112, and is [sic] the oldest member of that lodge, with one exception, that being the Hon. W.P. Bartlett, a neighbor and friend. The funeral of Mr. Brown will be under Masonic auspices, and notice of the time will be given later. All of the above were transcribed by Lois Johnson.

Here is the work history of James Harding Brown, as written by his granddaughter, Frederica Brown Bishop: Green Bay, Wisconsin - blacksmith, 1852 St Anthony Falls, Minnesota - blacksmith, 1854 Stillwater, Minnesota and Waubeek, Wisconsin - engineer on a river steamboat, 1859 Waubeek, Wisconsin - in charge of a sawmill, 1861-1865 Eau Claire, Wisconsin - Chapman-Thorpe, 1866 Porter Lumber Co., Porter-Moon Lumber Co., Northwestern Lumber Co. - in charge of sawmills and planing mills, 1868-1887 Badger Mills, Wisconsin, Badger State Lumber Co., 1887-1889 Northwestern Lumber Co., in charge of saw and planing mills, 1889-1908

I have a receipt for Patent Paper Pulley Covering written on the Badger State Lumber Company letterhead by James Harding Brown. It is dated 1881 and his son, Frederic Dill Brown has written, This is simply a Relic on the bottom of it. This date does not agree with the date of employment for the Badger State Lumber Company given by Frederica Brown Bishop.

And lastly here is an excerpt from undated draft (1949 from internal evidence) of a letter from Frederic Dill Brown to Hardie, his younger brother, James Harding Brown Jr, The letter is unsigned, but I recognize his handwriting.

"Preface: Dear Hardie: In reply to your recent letter about what I knew about fathers life I am setting down a sketch consisting of information given me by father from time to time. These items came out in our conversations while driving to and from Porterville and other points. On a fishing trip up the Eau Claire River he related a lot of his experiences. One amusing thing he told me there: when he was a boy (evidently a small kid) some grown-up used to carry him astride his neck on his shoulders in trout streams and in this position Jim could cast into rather inaccesable [sic] holes for brook trout. Other items I knew personally by my contacts with him and others. These others were old timers in Eau Claire like S. C. Brooks, Bill Bonnell, Mike OConnell, -- Thompson, of Thompsons Drug Store, A A Cutter and many others. These men would drop some remark which I would insist on being elaborated. I have not put all the things down which his friends told me for they were many. He held the respect of all who knew him and the men who worked for him were loudest in their praise. You probably know of items things of which I know nothing. It would be interesting if you would jot these down.

The dates given are quite accurate. If any of you who read this can add anything or correct anything, I would like to hear of it so that it can be added. I am writing to Pennsylvania to get in touch with two nephews or their descendants. From this source we may learn more about Jims family. [Fred didn't know where his father's family came from, the census shows that the family is from New York in 1790, earlier at the time of the Revolutionary War, from Reading, Pennsylvania.]

James Harding Brown

1836 Born at Newburgh, Orange County, NY, Jan 26, 1836, he was the middle one of thirteen brothers and sisters [have only found eleven]. His father was a school teacher [census says farmer]. Jims mother was a Harding. In the family photograph album were photographs of an old couple who, I was told, were my paternal grandparents. Some one [sic] may have those pictures. When Jim was nine years old he went to live with an uncle. [He was back in the family for the 1850 census] Some time later he was bound out to a blacksmith for three years [John L. Cox, a blacksmith who takes apprentices in the 1850 and 1860 US Federal Census for Wawarsing, Ulster, New York]. He received board and lodging and the first year received $25.00, second year $35.00 and the third year $45.00. He had to furnish his own clothes and do his own washing. He did extra work like making horse nails for which he received extra pay.

After learning the trade he went to Green Bay Wis. He travelled [sic] to Buffalo by Erie Canal or overland and then by lake boat to destination. He was 16 years old then. He went to work at once as a blacksmith and that winter went into the woods adjacent to Green Bay as a blacksmith in a logging camp. He was accompanied by Wirt Wisner, a lad of about the same age. Shortly thereafter Wirt became very sick and young Jim went down to Green Bay for a doctor dog trotting as he could. The doctor had a riding horse so they rode ride and tie back to camp. Wirts life was saved [Wirt is listed on the 1870 and 1880 censuses for Eau Claire, Eau Claire, Wisconsin as working as a lumberman] .

1854 After a year or two at Green Bay he went to St. Anthony Falls, Minn. and blacksmithed in a shop in connection with a saw mill. [Jim is on the 1855 New York census with his family. He is recorded as a blacksmith.] He was here several years and then went up in the Rum River country [in] 1857 and filed on a quarter section. The law required a cabin with a hinged door, a glass window and a fire place [sic]. The cabin was open on one side and on this side was the fire place [sic] on the ground. The door was attached by leather hinges to one side and could flap back and forth. The window was a glass bottle in neck of which was inserted in a hole bored through a wall. Before proving up there was an Indian scare and Jim got out with the others. He had been blacksmithing in this section and used to make metal tips for the Indians to use on their arrows. (put in race item here) While up on the Rum River some one put up a prize consisting of a rifle and hunting knife to be given to the winner of a foot race down to St Anthony Falls. This was Winter and a letter was to be delivered to the Post Master at St Anthony Falls. There were only two contestants, Jim and another young fellow and each had a letter. The one who delivered his letter first was the winner. The distance was about forty miles and a trail down the frozen rivers was used. They kept together until nearing destination, when they speeded [sic] up. Jim won.

1859 Jim went back to civilization and reached Stillwater, Minn. Here he took a job as Engineer on a Steam Boat owned by the Knapp-Stout Lumber Company which ran between Stillwater and Waubeek La Crosse Wis. on the Mississippi River just upriver from La Crosse passing Waubeek which was in Tempeleau [sic, Waubeek is not on the Mississippi above La Crosse, but the town of Trempealeau is] county He later ran a saw [mill] for the Dane Co at Waubeek. It was there (1861) that he met Miss Faye [Eleanor Fay], his first wife. The had two children, Charlie, born 1863, d 1944, and a girl [Delia] born about 1865 died in Porterville about 1869-70. [she was on the 1870 census]. Her death was accidental. They were playing around a small lumber pile and it fell over on her. Faye died shortly after the death of her little girl.

Back to 1859, Jims work as engineer on the river boat was very interesting. In was practically virgin country through which he passed. He made many friends and had interesting experiences. The river boats (stern wheelers) tied up at Reeds Landing. The town was on a bluff with a series of broad steps leading from the wharf up to it. The Stout family (Knapp-Stout Lbr Co) lived at Reeds landing and the Stout boy used to ride his pony down the steps to meet Jims boat. One day he became caught on the stern wheel as the boat was slowly backing into position and was carried down. Jim and a big Swede rescued the boy. The big man held Jim by the ankle and he went down paddle by paddle till the boy was reached. The Swede had his legs braced and the rest of his body was also under water as he held Jim. The Stout family showed their gratitude all thru the years.

[The stern wheeler, which Jim was on, was probably the "Chippewa Falls", built at Pittsburgh, in 1857. She probably ascended the Chippewa River in 1859. She was then acquired by Knapp, Stout & Company for Andrew Tainter who served as his own master. For a time she was making a round trip a day between Menomonie and Read's Landing and made fifty trips up the river that year.]

1861 The Waubeek Saw Mill was owned by officer [sic] of the K[napp]-S[tout] Lu[mber] Co[mpany] who was a General of the Union Army [Cadwallader Colden Washburn] who lived in Eau Claire, Wis. He hired Jim to run his saw mill. Jim was twice drafted and each time the General paid $300 for a substitute. During the war when any war news came Jim would read it to the crew.

  1. He remained here until the war was over. [Washburn sold the timbering rights to Knapp, Stout & Company because it was deeply in debt when he returned at the end of the war.]

Jims blacksmith jobs at Green Bay, St Anthony Falls and Rum River were in connection with saw mills and he was interested in the steam boilers and engines and learned all he could about them. When the writer was home in Summer vacation between his third and fourth year at Cornell Univ, Jim gave him a talk on steam engine valve settings and the use of steam engine indicator guards which showed a greater grasp of the subject than that displayed by the professors in steam engineering at Cornell.

In 1866, Jim went with Chapman & Thorpe who had a mill on the Eau Claire River, Eau Claire. Here he had charge of the mill and shops. He told of an amusing thing here. The boarding house was up a hill from the river and cows belonging on the hill pastured along the river. The most alert men, of which Jim was one, would catch hold of a cows tail and the cow would pull him up the hill at the days end.

In 1868, Jim went with Porter Lbr Co at Porterville (This was later called Porter-Moon Lbr Co and finally was named Northwestern Lbr Co.) He had charge of the mills and shops. At the Northwestern Lbr Co. there was a Saw Mill with one band saw, one 6 ft circular saw with top-saw and two gangs, a shingle mill and a planing mill, blacksmith shop and carpenter shop. Friction developed between Jim and another individual due to the owners not having clearly defined the duties of each. The other individual gave an order to start the engines after a short shut down for a man to do some necessary repairs. The man lost an arm. This capped the climax and Jim went with the (1887) Badger State Lbr Co at Badger Mills. He was in charge of the mills and shops there for about two years when he returned to the N.W. Lbr. Co. The other individual had, in the mean time [sic], left.

Jim had designed a steam engine to run the big gang at the Porterville Mill. It was a rocker valve type, quite new. It was built by the Phoenix Co. in Eau Claire. The individual mentioned above made a lot of fun about the engine as it was being built and said it would be a failure. He had the name Failure painted on the engine base on both sides. Needless to say it proved on exceptionally good engine and the indicator cards showed excellent performance. After the Porterville mills were shut down this engine still with the name Failure painted on the base (you guessed it a new paint job), was installed in the Stanley Mill to run the large gang, where it remained until the mill was shut down.

Porterville with its three mills, shops, store & company farm was a thriving (1880) community. In 1880 there was a bad flood on the Chippewa R. and the residents had to get out to higher ground. My recollection, which is very clear even after 71 years, that the family was taken over to the companys farm in a bateau. This is a boat wide on the beam and pointed at each end about 18 ft long, used by river men on log drives. The farm was on much higher ground than the village of Porterville. The large farm house stood well back and the yard sloped down to the level of the Milwaukee Ry Short line track and terminated in a picket fence. (These details were learned later as a boy). Planks were run from the top rail of fence back to the sloping bank making a good landing wharf. The bateau pulled up (and I remember that the men walked along the boat edges gunwales). I was tossed (possibly only a foot or maybe only a matter of inches) to a man on this improvised wharf. That is my story but another version is that we were taken over to the farm in a lumber wagon. This latter is rather prosaic.

When the mills in a saw mill town had to be shut down owing to the exhaustion of timber, it was a sad time to many. It was the custom on the last day of a sawing, after the last log went up the Bull slide and had been sawed up and the boards run through the mill, to blow down the steam in boilers through the whistle. At Porterville this was given me to do (considered quite an honor)... I held on to the rope as long as I could stand it and then tied the rope down and Jim and I drove up to Eau Claire by the prairie road. As the steam pressure lowered, the whistle moaned & wailed and we heard it way across the prairie. Every one in Porterville was in tears as was Jim.

Jim retired in 1908. At the height of his activity he had charge of the Porterville mills, Eau Claire Mills on the Eau Claire River, the Stanley Mills and a mill at Hurley, Wis. The Hurley Mill was visited infrequently, but the others were under his constant supervision.

Jim got word one winter day from a camp up the Eau Claire River about (1884) 30-40 miles where Charlie Brown was driving piling for a dam, that Charlie was in bad shape with diptheira [sic]. Jim got Dr. Hogeboom. They obtained a light sleigh and the best team Sam Ellis (liveryman) had, and started. Dr. Hogeboom took along a demijohn of whiskey. After getting a couple of relay teams at camps en route, they reached Charlies camp. The membrane, which is a characteristic of this disease, had almost closed his throat, there being only an opening as large as a pencil diameter. Dr. Hogeboom poured down a drink of whisky. This cut some membrane away and it washed down. Drink after drink cleared his throat pretty well and his life was spared. Other things were given later. While this was going on, the doctor had the camp cook brew a large quality of strong tea (green in those days) and the other men in the camp were to drink all they could of it. Charlie got well & no one else caught it.

One time Jim and I were driving to Porterville and we went by the Becky farm (owned by the Company). Jim stopped to visit with the farm boss and was told that the large herd of pigs had blind staggers. [selenium poisoning] He went out to look them over (I tailed along). He got the farm boss to get a sack of salt and this is what was done: The pigs were in a yard with a funnel exit. Jim stood at a small end with Farm boss at his side. The pigs had to go between Jims legs and he clamped them with his knees, and with his jack knife (always sharp) cut a slit in top of pigs head as long as the blade and as deep as the blade was wide and at the right time the other fellow poured in the salt. Blood was everywhere but the pigs went into the next enclosure, walking as straight as ever cured. WHERE DID HE LEARN THAT? I saw this from my seat on the fence just above the operation.

Jim was a snappy dresser in the sixties & seventies. Later he became somewhat careless. However he never hesitated to get into the midst of a trouble job to see exactly what was wrong and to give correct instructions for its remedy. Jim obtained a few patents which were on saw mill appliances and machinery gadgets. He had a very good boiler low water alarm, a steam feed for operating the steam log carriages, a splendid band saw (tooth) swage, a safety hooked arm to prevent small logs from being thrown over the carriage head block. The above steam feed was the fastest on the river and was used in many other mills.

Jim loved to work at the forge and was an excellent smith. In his early days in the saw mill business he did emergency forge jobs that were more quickly done by him than to have his blacksmith do it. In such cases the regular blacksmith was the helper. In later years he did it for relaxation.

Jim was quite a horseback rider. When he worked at the Badger Mills he rode back and forth horseback from Eau Claire. He had a fine saddle and a most excellent pair of boots. I can well remember that after he quit riding, probably because of his hernia, he would ask mother where the boots were. He would good naturedly accuse mother of giving them to Mrs. Bellnap, a woman who got many handouts.

Jim was very generous. He had loaned a Norwegian farmer some money and had a mortgage on the farm. This chap drove an ox team and used to come 20 miles up to Eau Claire in the winter time to make his payments always on time. When he had paid the equivalent of the original loan Jim gave him satisfaction. The farmer was pretty moved. I was there.

He furnished groceries for several neighbors through hard winters. I carried them to these people.

Jim had no feeling against Jews or negros [sic]. Never was a word ever uttered in our home against these people. This every descendant of his should remember.

The period during which he operated the sawmills was before we were safety conscious and many workers were hurt. He always saw to it that the fellows got the best of care and that they did not have to worry during convalescense [sic]. In other word the family was looked after. This I know because I visited them with him. I was at Porterville one day and a fellow had one hand badly injured. After applying first aid Jim took him to Eau Claire (4-1/2 miles) and I too went along. Dr Parker, after examination, to Jim, in my presence, that he would have to remove the hand. Jim said Doc you cant do any such -- -- thing. You start in and save all you can and Ill wait right here in outer office. Let me know before you cut anything off. We waited. The man had a good thumb, forefinger and little finger left and thus a serious handicap was avoided.

He had one thorn in the flesh. The President of the NW Lbr Co gave him carte blanche to order material direct when it was needed in a hurry, without putting it though the Purchasing Agent, who was a relative of the President. This happened a great deal and it left the Purchasing Agent in a position of merely confirming Jims orders, which he didnt like. He was nasty about it and knocked Jim a great deal. This was annoying. Jim told me about it. However these knock reacted and the chap was not liked. Jim would not favor a relation as an employee. In my case I was getting 10 cents an hr or $26.00 for a 26 day month. A fellow my age who was a roust-about around the mill was getting $30.00 for a 26 day month. Jim was adamant he wouldnt raise me and I was working like --. I got real sore and went up to Presidents house one evening and stated the case to him. After I was thru he said Well, its up to Jim. but the next pay day I got $33.00. I never said anything and I dont believe Jim knew it. After I had mastered the work [forging] I wanted a fire. I worked at vacant forges but a fire was considered the mark of a journeyman. Nothing doing. One morning Jim drove in rather early. He had been down to Porterville. After he put his horse in its tie shed he went to the mill. After awhile in came a crew of men bringing n a broken 3-1/2 shaft. One piece was five feet long and the other eleven feet long. They laid them down and departed. I took little notice. The boss was hep but I didnt know anything was up. Jim can in pretty soon and told the boss that I was to weld this shaft. The boss and two other blacksmiths were to be helpers and were not to tell me anything. I asked for a big Frenchman who worked around, as a extra helper to strike with a 25 lb sledge. They played the game with never a hunch [sic] but with the usual banter as though this was an everyday affair. I had saw-horses rigged up and tackle fastened to the hooks on ceiling joists. All this over the largest forge. I did a butt weld with the welding being done in the fire. Frenchy did the striking on the short end and two others held against his blows. Another man worked the blower, all under my direction. I had upset the end to prepare for the joint and put a pin in the center to keep in lined [sic]. It was a good job and we had a surface plate 16 ft only on which to straighten it. Quite a gang assembled to see me do it but I really was not aware of this. One of the gang was a runner who kept Jim advised of progress. I got a fire."