Ira Stevens, of the village of Victory, has been a resident of the county since January, 1850. He was born near Toronto, Canada, in 1819. He passed the whiter of 1839-40 in Chicago, and went to Galena the following spring; located at Prairie Du Chein, in 1844, and came to Bad Ax county, as stated, in 1850. He married Eliza Decker, a daughter of Moses Decker, who was the earliest settler of Viroqua.
Harriet A. Porter, of De Soto, is the widow of Henry G. Porter, who settled with his family ill De Soto, Aug. 15, 1855. The family resided in the village until about 1860, when they removed to a farm on section 11, in the town of Wheatland, which Mrs. Porter still owns. Mr. Porter died December, 1880. He was a native of Oxford, Maine, where he was born Sept. 19, 1825.
He wail married, in 1859, in New Hampshire, to his present widow, Harriet Bryant, born in New Hampshire. She first came west with friends, in 1855, but returned to New Hampshire, where she was married. •Mrs. Porter has one daughter-Mary Lillian, born in De Soto, August, 1860. Mrs. Porter is now a resident of the village of De Soto.
H. W. McAuley is a native of North Carolina. His ancestors belonged to the Mecklenberg colony, which emigrated to North Carolina from Scotland in 1774. He was born Sept. 9, 1816. His father, Daniel McAuley, emigrated to Wythe Co., Va., when H. W. was but three months old. In 1830 the family removed to Hendricks Co., Ind. Mr. McAuley came to the territory of Wisconsin, in 1885, and located at Mineral Point, in what is now Iowa county, where he engaged in mining for a time. He was in Grant county when it was organized in May, 1835. In August, of that year, he went back to Mineral Point. Mr. McAuley, at this time, was quite a young man, and not permanently located. He returned to Indiana in the fall of 1835, but came to Wisconsin again, the following year. In 1839 he again returned to Indiana; was married and returned in 1840, locating at Lancaster, Grant county. He had built the first house in the present village of Lancaster, two years previous to that time (in 1838). In 1852 he came to the town of Wheatland, and assisted in laying out the village of Victory, as will appear in the history of the town of Wheatland. He was the first merchant in the villa.ge. He has been a resident of Vernon county since he went to Victory, June 7, 1852. In November of that year, he went to Liberty Pole and engaged in the mercantile business. In the fall of 1853 he removed his goods to Viroqua, where he was in business for some time. In the fall of 1854, owing to the difficulty of getting store room at Viroqua, he removed to the town of Sterling and located on section 16. He built a saw and grist mill, on the Bad Ax river, which was the second mill built on the Wisell branch of this river, Ira Wisell having erected the first mill. Mr. McAuley engaged in milling till 1873, when he sold out to his sons and removed to Sparta, where he invented a turbine water wheel on which he obtained a patent. He engaged in the patent-right business for a time, and then again located at Sterling. He now resides in the town of Wheatland, on section 31, town 12 north, of range 6 west, where he is engaged in farming, and making a specialty of manufacturing sorghum. Mr. McAuley has been three times married. His first wife was Eliza Ann Richie, born in Nicholas Co., Ky. His second wife was Rebecca A. McConnell, a native of Ohio. His present wife was Melvina Sloan, born in Pennsylvania. Mr. McAuley has had twelve children, seven of whom are living. Mr. McAuley is one of the well known early settlers of Vernon county, and has been intimately connected with its growth and progress since its organization. He was one of the early attorneys of the county, having been admitted to the bar in 1842.
R. M. McAuley, of DeSoto, is the son of H. W. McAuley, now of the town of Wheatland. He came to this county with his father, in 1852. He has been a resident of the village since 1872. He is a miller by trade, having been taught that business by his father. After coming to De Soto, he opened a feed store, which he continued for some time, then engaged in general merchandising under the firm name of McAuley & Bell. The firm was afterward changed to H. W. McAuley & Son. He was engaged for one year with C'. L. Ingersoll and after that with C. H. Upham. In February, 1881, he retired from merchandising and is now engaged in farming, giving special attention to the raising of sorghum. Mr. McAuley was married to Mary Young, daughter of Alex Young. She was born in Crawford county, Wis. Mr. and Mrs. McAuley have five children - John, Royal and Raymond (twins), Mary E. and Frank.
Adam Carlyle came to De Soto in August, 1855. No man has been more intimately connected with the history of the village than he. On coming to De Soto be engaged in merchandising with Thomas Dowse, under the firm name of Carlyle, Dowse & Co. In 1858 their stock and trade was sold to parties in Lansing, Iowa, and Mr. Carlyle re-embarked in business under the firm name of N. S. Cate & Co. From 1862 to 1865 he was connected with the firm of John C. Kurtz & Co. In 1870 he was employed as book-keeper by Joseph Reynolds, the owner of the "Diamond Jo" line of steamboats, and was stationed at Fulton, Ill. From 1874 to .1878 he was in Patterson, N. J., engaged with Capt. J. B. Wilcox, of Victory, in selling Minnesota flour. In 1879 Mr. Carlyle was constituted agent at De Soto for the "Diamond Jo" line of steamers, a position he has since held. Mr. Carlyle is a native of Dumfries, Scotland, born in 1826. He emigrated with his father's family to St. Lawrence Co., N. Y., in 1840. The family removed from New York to Canada, where the father, Walter Carlyle, resided until his death. In 1852 Mr. Carlyle went to Chicago, Ill., where he was engaged as clerk by Mills & Co. Three years later he came to De Soto. Mr. Carlyle has been connected with De Soto from its infancy and has always been highly esteemed as an upright business man and a valuable citizen. His wife, Mrs. Catharine E. (Cook) Carlyle, is a native of Canada. Mr. and Mrs. Carlyle have eight children, six of whom were born in De Soto - Walter J., Catharine J., Thomas, who was the first white child born in De Soto (born Feb. 14, 1856), now at Fulton, Ill., Annie C., Mattie, Daisy M., Adam and George.
Arvin Chase resides on section 32, where he entered eighty acres, in 1855. He resided here however, at that time for about one year, and then located in the town of Sterling, on what is known as the H. Bellows place. He re-settled here in 1870. The farm, which contains 200 acres, is now owned by his brother, R. J. Chase, who was the youngest of his father's family, and came to the county about 1858; studied law with Judge Graham, of Viroqua. where he was admitted to the bar; served in the Union army during the Rebellion, and is now practicing his profession at Sioux City, Iowa. Another brother, Lucius, also studied law with Judge Graham. He is now deceased. The father, Jacob Chase, settled in the town of Sterling, in 1858, where he resided till his death.
James H. Rogers, general merchant and post-master at DeSoto, was born in Indiana, in 1842; he has resided in Vernon county since 1855, when his father, B. H. Rogers came to this county, with his family, and located at Springville; he afterwards removed to the town of Wheatland, where he died in 1868. James H. enlisted in the Union army in 1862, as a soldier in company A, 25th regiment, Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, first commanded by Capt. James Berry, afterwards by Col. Butt, and still later by Capt. J. R. Casson. Mr. Rogers participated in most of the campaigns and battles in which the twenty-fifth was engaged, including Kennesaw Mountain, siege of Vicksburg, Resaca and Sherman's march to the sea. He has been engaged in business in De Soto since 1865, building his present store in 1868, a frame building 24x36 feet. He was appointed to his present position as postmaster, October, 1865. His wife was Esther Coffin, daughter of Peleg Coffin, who settled in the town of Freeman, Crawford county, in 1855; further notice of whom will be found elsewhere. Mr. Rogers has five children Winnie H., Minnie E., James B., Jr., Charles M. and Mary Z.
Joel T. Shaw is one of the early settlers of the town of Wheatland. He landed at DeSoto, Oct, 11, 1855, by the steamer War Eagle, which was afterwards burned at LaCrosse. The same fall he entered 120 acres of land on section 29, where he still resides. His farm now contains 16O acres, 100 acres being improved. Mr. Shaw was born in the town of Glover, Orleans Co., Vt., in 1821. His parents were Seth T. and Clarinda (Mason) Shaw. His father died in New Hampshire, and his mother in Vermont. Mr. Shaw was married in Massachusetts, to Elizabeth Bodwell, a native of New Hampshire. They have two daughters- Jane A., now Mrs. Chris Larson, born in Vermont, and Julia Frances, born in the town of Wheatland, now Mrs. Harry Clark.
One of the early settlers of the town of Wheatland is John W. White, who resides on section 11, town 11, range 7 west, where he settled in May, 1855, purchasing his land of Dr. E. B. Houghton. Mr. White is a native of Massachusetts, and was born in Fairhaven, now town of Acushuet, Mass., in 1822; where he resided until he went to New Bedford, Mass., where he was in business for a number of years. His father, Phineas White, was a cotton manufacturer. He was a lineal descendant of William White, who landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620, and whose son, Peregrin White, was the first child born in the pilgrim settlement. The father of Mr. White had nine children, seven of whom are living- five sons and two daughters. He died in 1878, at the advanced age of ninety-three years. John W. is the only one of the family who settled in Wisconsin. The land which Mr. White purchased of Dr. Houghton consisted of but twenty acres. On this he built a log house the year that he came here. This house is still standing, and is one of the oldest in town. Mr. White occupied it until 1878, when he erected his present residence. His farm proper contains 160 acres; this he entered as government land the year that he came here. His wife was Catharine H. Ashley, a native of Massachusetts. They have had five children, three of whom are living- James, Charles A., deceased; Alice, deceased; John M. and Edward I. The last named was born in the town of Wheatland., the others in Massachusetts. Mr. White enlisted January, 1864, in the 6th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, and was in service until the close of the war. He was wounded at the battle of the Wilderness, after which he was not in active service.
The Central Methodist church in the town of Wheatland, is on section 31. The class was organized in 1857. The first preacher was Rev. Myron Clendenning. The original members were: Jacob Chase and wife, A. D. Chase and wife, Moses Sanderson and wife (Mr. Sanderson was a local preacher); Peter Waldron, Bridane Sanderson and wife. These are all that are remembered.
De Soto, Retreat and Central societies have comprised one circuit, hence this is called the Central Church. The Rev. Newton Lane assisted Rev. Clendenning: who was the first on the circuit. The circuit at that time, comprised a large area of territory. Rev. Clendenning is now a member of the Rock River Conference. The Rev. Lane died in the service during the Rebellion. Rev. Clendenning was succeeded by Rev. Smith. He by the Rev. Bassenger; then came the Rev. J. E. Irish; other pastors were W. P. Hill, Christopher Bushby, Thomas Manuel, H. J. Walker, D. L. Hubbard, D. Clingman, H. D. Jenks and the Rev. W. W. Hurd. The present pastor is the Rev. I. F. Nuzum. The Central church building was erected in 1877. It is a frame structure, one and a. half stories, and cost about $9OO. A Sunday school has been supported since the class was organized; it now numbers seventy-five members.
Rev. George W. Nuzum, formerly pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Viroqua, was born in Perry Co., Ohio, Aug. 26, 1832. He there grew to manhood. He was a student for some time at the college at Athens, Ohio. When twenty-three years of age, he entered the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church of the Ohio Conference. He was married in Ohio to Miss M. F. Grove. And in 1856 came to Vernon Co., Wis., joining the Bad Ax circuit and preaching at various points according to the customs of his church. Mr. Nuzum first settled on forty acres of land in Viroqua town, where he lived for a number of years. Subsequently he resided for about eight years in Liberty town. He then settled on his present farm in Viroqua. He has been engaged in the active ministry ever since his removal to Vernon county, twenty years, except at intervals, when ill health compelled him to retire for a season of rest. He has ten children, six sons and four daughters.
Isaac F. Nuzum, son of George W. Nuzum, also a Methodist minister was born in June, 1855, in Perry Co., Ohio. He began the ministry in 1877, at which time be joined the West Wisconsin Conference. He is at present pastor of the Church at De Soto. He married Lydia A., daughter of David McCulloch, an early settler of Crawford Co., Wis.
The first meeting of the Congregational society in this locality was held Feb. 15, 1856. The society was organized at this meeting. The minister present was the Rev. L. L. Radcliffe, of La Crosse district convention. Among the number who joined the society at this time were: Charles Houghton and wife, Fannie Houghton, Mrs. Mary E. Roach, Mrs. Abbie W. Tobey (the last two were daughters of Mr. Houghton), Daniel D. Fuller and wife, Mercy P. Fuller, Alexander Young and wife, Wilton E. Roach and J. F. Tobey. The first pastor was Rev. L. L. Radcliffe; the first officers were Charles Houghton, deacon; and Daniel Fuller, clerk. Rev. L. L. Radcliffe was succeeded by Rev. Alexander Parker, in 1863, and he by Rev. Peter Valentine, in 1865. The next pastor in charge was Rev. L. Bridgeman, who came in 1868 and remained till his successor, Rev. James Mitchell came in 1871; the of Rev. S. H. Thompson came in 1874 and was succeeded by Rev. William Houghton, in 1879; Rev. Charles Vaile was pastor in 1881; then came Rev. William Houghton to his second pastorate.
A church building was erected in 1859; it was built in the Gothic style of architecture, and cost the society about $1800. The society has been supported by a food Sunday school since the time of its organization in 1859. D. Abbott Steele, who was elected superintendent from the La Crosse and Winona, Minn., of this school in 1862, superintendent in 1884, having served continuously for twenty-one years. This school averages about the recommendation to reconsider its action thirty-five pupils.
The first services of the M. E. Church were held in a building built of railroad ties for a wagon and blacksmith shop, in the year 1855.
The first class was formed' by Rev. T. C. Clendenning in the year 1858. The members, as neat as near as can be ascertained, were as follows: James Lawrence and Mary, his wife; William Hemmingway and wife, and his son, George, and daughter, Mary Hemmingway, and William Wyburn.
The first minister of the M. E. Church who preached in De Soto was Rev. John Whitworth, now of Viroqua.
The M. E. church was built in the year 1859 and removed out in the country in the year 1857, now being known as the Central Church.
The pastors of the M. E. Church in De Soto have been as follows: Revs. John Whitworth, T. C. Clendenning, Mr. Lane, Mr. Smith, S. D. Bassenger, J. E. Irish, W. P. Hill, C. Bushby, Thomas Manual, H. J. Walker, D. L. Hubbard, D. Clingman, H. D. Jencks, and the present pastor, Rev. I. F. Nuzum.
The De Soto Baptist Church was organized at the house of Dr. James Osgood, Jan.11, 1855 with a constituency of sixteen members, who adopted as theirs the New Hampshire articles of faith and covenant. The Church was duly recognized by council on the 9th of the following February. A. B. Hubbard, a member of the Church, served as its pastor with acceptance for six months, after which Rev. D. Mulhern became pastor. For a while the Church gained in membership, both by baptism and letter. In 1857 serious troubles arose which resulted in the exclusion of quite a number of members. The aggrieved, with others, holding letters from other Baptist Churches, called for a council, which was attended by delegates from La Crosse and Winona, Minn., Churches. Although the Church was represented in the council, it refused t to comply with the recommendation to reconsider its action. The council further recommended that, should the Church refuse to reconsider its action, a new Church should be formed. This was done soon after by the union of about twenty members. The new Church was admitted to the La Crosse Valley Baptist Association at its next annual meeting. Rev. D. Mulhern served as its pastor, and a few were added by baptism. Through removals its membership was reduced and its meeting discontinued, and were never revived. The first Church held occasional meetings at De Soto. In March, 1861, its place of meeting was changed to Brush Creek. Here it was prospered, at one time numbering thirty-one members. Removals and change of residence led the Church in 1868 to again make De Soto its place of meeting. Concessions were made which resulted in those living in the neighborhood, members of the second Church, uniting with the old Church. The following year Rev. S. E. Sweet became pastor and was ordained. He preached here and at other points, one of which was Harmony, where a Baptist Church was organized the following January. Rev. Sweet served the two Churches one year, when, in order to pursue further study, he went to Beaver Dam, Wis. In 1872 Rev. William Haughton became pastor, serving the Harmony Church also. He remained about eighteen months. From this time regular monthly meetings were held, with occasional preaching, till February, 1875, when Rev. N. L. Sweet became pastor. Quite a number were added to the Church by baptism. Rev. Sweet's pastorate continued four years. his resignation the Church has been declining. Although twenty-eight names are reported now, but very few are active members.
Ancient Order United Workman Lodge, of De Soto, was organized June 10, 1878. The charter members were: James Lyttle, Fred Schmidt, William .Davis, Philip B. Peters, George Eckhardt, B. D. Jenks, D. A. Steele, Fred A. Schlottman, Jacob Eckhardt and Woodbridge Dyre. The first officers were: James 'Lyttle P. M. W; Jacob Eckhardt, M. W j P. B. Peters, foreman; B. D. Jenks, recorder; D. A. Steele, financier; W. Dyre, receiver; George Eckhardt, guide; F. A. Schlottman, overseer; F. Schmidt, I. W; William Davis, O. W; P. B. Peters, George Eckhardt, and James Lyttle, trustees. In 1884 this lodge had a working membership of thirty-two, and was in a flourishing condition. In 1884 there was both a lodge of the Odd Fellows and Good Templars at De Soto, each in a flourishing condition.
The steam mill of Whiting & Carr was burned in July, 1865; involving a loss of over $20,000. In March, 1879, occurred the worst conflagration that ever visited the place. The cause of this fire has always remained a mystery. It originated in the general store of L. C. Larson. Eight buildings were consumed. Mr. Ingersoll sustained the greatest loss, which included two buildings occupied as a wagon and blacksmith shop, together with a fine stock of general merchandise. His total loss was about $10,000. Among those who sustained quite heavy losses were: L. C. Larson, John L. O'Kre, J. F .Allen, Fred Schmidt and Joan Devlin. This fire was a serious blow to De Soto, from which it never fully recovered.
THE OLDEST SHOEMAKER IN AMERICA.
In 1884 the village of De Soto boasted of a resident, who came to the place at an early date, and who by careful investigation was found to have been actively engaged more years, at the shoe bench, than any other man in the country. This gentleman's name is Patrick De Lacy, who has been constantly engaged at the bench since twelve years of age, or a period of seventy-one years. And strange to say, after these long years of stooped shouldered work, he is as erect as most young men of to-day.
The following text has been taken from the book "History of Vernon County, Wisconsin" which was published in 1884. This book has been digitizesed by Google and is available in its entirety, for free, on the internet.
DE SOTO VILLAGE.
De Soto was first known as "Winneshiek's Landing," from the chief by that name, who came here to trade his furs for supplies with the French traders at this point. Two French families by the name of Godfrey located here not long after the close of the Black Hawk War. They were induced to come through efforts put forth by Col. Dousman, of Prairie du Chien. This was occupied as a trading .post for about twenty years. Moses M. Strong made the original entry of the plat of the village. Dr. Euclid B. Houghton purchased it of Mr. Strong. Dr. Simeon D. Powers, Dr. Houghton and Dr. James Osgood laid out the village in 1854. These gentlemen came hither from Port Washington. Dr. Osgood built the first house on the village plat, which was occupied in 1884 by Charles Lyttle as a residence. Dr. Houghton opened the first store.
The first building of any importance was erected by Carlyle, Dowse & Co. The lumber with which this house was built came from Black River Falls, the nearest available point for obtaining lumber at that time.
The first blacksmith in the village was William N. West, who afterward moved to Minnesoto.
The first cooper shop was operated by Ambrose DeLap.
The first shoemaker was Henry Fosdick. In the fall of 1865 Mr. Adam Carlyle purchased for Mr. Fosdick a side of sole leather and other stock for his shop of Ulysses S. Grant, of Galena, Ill.
The first saw mill was built in the fall of 1855, by A. B. Clapp and George Meade. This mill and all others at this point were operate/ by steam power. It was destroyed by fire in 1864. N. S. Cate & Co. built a saw mill in 1857. This firm was composed of Messrs. N. S. Cate, H M. Chamberlain and Emery Houghton, who came from the State of Maine. They operated the mill till 1862, and did an extensive business, employing sometimes as high as fifty men. The mill cut upon an average 50,000 feet of lumber per day, besides shingles, lath. etc. This company also built a grist mill adjoining the saw mill, which was also propelled by steam power. In 1862 these mills went into the hands of H. M. Chamberlain & Co., who in 1864 sold to John C. Davis. The stock was closed out and the mill lay idle for several years. This failure was caused in part by the failure of the New England Glass Co., of which Mr. Houghton was the financial manager. On the completion of this mill, when they had a three month's supply of logs on hand, the stock of this concern amounted to $100,000.
A shingle mill was built by C. M. and A. R. Worth, about 1865. They also sawed some lumber. After running this about four years it was converted into a grist mill and the Worth brothers then occupied the Cate & Co's. mill for about five years, during which time they manufactured large amounts of lath, shingles and lumber. In 1884 this mill was used for cutting staves and heading.
An establishment for the manufacture and cutting of files was started by A. Miller, who run it for a year or so and enlisted in the army to "suppress the rebellion," which had then just commenced. He was killed at the battle of Gettysburg.
In 1857 Capt. William Plummer & Co. engaged in the manufacture of lime and connected with their business the manufacture of hard wood barrels. They did an extensive business, although it was continued only about a year.
The De Soto brewery is owned by Charles E. Reiter, who purchased it of George Eckhardt in 1882. Mr. Reiter makes about 400 barrels of beer per annum. The building was erected by Cate & Co., in 1858, and used by them as a store. George Eckhardt first utilized it for brewing purposes.
The first school in the village was taught by Mrs. Catharine P. Stevens, in the winter of 1855-6. This was a private school. The first school house proper was built in the summer of 1856, in which James McDill taught the first school the winter following. This house was in use as a residence in 1884, a new school house having been built in 1872. This building was a frame structure, two stories high. The cost of this house was $3,500, and, excepting the one at Viroqua, was the best in the county.
The first physician in De Soto was Dr. G. S. Sperry, who came from St. Paul in the summer of] 856. He was an excellent physician. He died in 1873.
Other physicians were: Dr. G. W. Brooke and Dr. Worth. The physician in 1884 was Dr. Orlando Ewers. Others who have borne the title of doctor, though not educated physicians, were Dr. E. B. Houghton, the original proprietor of the village. He moved from the place to La Crosse and later to St. Louis, where he died in 1862. Dr. James Osgood came in 1854 and assisted in laying out the village and finally became owner of one-fourth of the town plat. He died in 1863. Dr. Simeon Powers, a dentist, was also owner of another fourth interest in the town site of De Soto. He afterward removed to Sparta, where he was at the time of his death. Capt. C. B. Worth came in 1854 and remained till his death in 1875. He was also owner of a fourth interest in the village plat. His son Addison made the first lumber wagon in De Soto.
The first lawyer who practiced at this point was Addison A. Hosmer, a graduate of the Harvard law school at Cambridge, Mass. He came in 1857 and returned to that State in 1860. From there he went into the army and before the war closed became quite distinguished. After the close of the war he was made judge advocate and it was he who passed sentence on the notorious Wirz, of Andersonville infamy,
Tolbert C. Ankney came here as an attorney in 1865, though he had been here previous to the war. He was associated with George McDill, who was also an attorney here at that time.
H. W. McAulley began the practice of law in 1866, continuing for a number of years.
The present attorney is George L•. Miller.
The first hotel in this village was known as the Winneshiek House. It was a log house and among the first built in the place. The Bay State House was erected in 1856, by Seth Crowell and Jonathan F. Porter, who ran it for several years. Other parties who have from time to time operated this house, are C. H. Allen, Thomas Lawrence, who had charge of the house in 1862-3, and was succeeded by Benjamin Trott, who improved the premises and who operated it till his death, in December, 1879. In 1884 it was owned and conducted by his widow, Mrs. Hannah Trott. This hotel was, without doubt, the finest in Vernon county in 1884. It was a three story frame building, 32x45 feet, and finished in good style. The first cost was $7,000.
Mrs. Hannah Trott, proprietress of the Bay State House, De Soto, is the widow of Benjamin Trott, who came to De Soto in 1859. He was born in Shuncook in the British Province, in 1816. He was brought up in the State of Maine. He came here in the milling interests of Cate & Co., and had charge of the manufacturing of shingles in the mill of this company. In February, 1864, he rented the. Bay State House, which he conducted for several years, then purchased it, and continued in charge of the same, till his-death, which occurred Dec. 15, 1879. He was a man highly respected in the community in which he lived, as an upright, honorable citizen. His wife still owns and conducts the hotel. Her maiden name was Hannah Bean. She was born in Perry, Washington Co., Maine. She has two children-Barbara, wife of Mr. Steele, of Viroqua, and Rebecca, wife of Robert Rice.
The next hotel was the De Soto House, built soon after the Bay State House was erected. It was built by Kurtz & Hale for a hotel and boarding house, but finally was used for a carriage and wagon shop.
The second hotel, called the De Soto, was formerly a store building and was changed to a hotel, by Edward Sweeney. This house, in 1884, was being operated by Mrs. Ann M. Miller.
The postoffice at De Soto, was established in 1855. Dr. S. D. Powers was the first postmaster, and Adam Carlyle acted as his deputy. The next to hold the office was Dr. Osgood, with J. C. Kurtz as his deputy. Dr. Osgood was succeeded by C. B. Whiting, whose deputy was Fred Carr. In 1884 the postmaster was J. H. Rogers, who was appointed in 1865. This became a money order office in July, 1878. The first order was issued to J. H. Hinds, for $38.82. The first order paid, was to Mrs. John Babcock and was dated July 22, 1878.
The business interests of De Soto, in 1884, were in the hands of the following:
C. Lyttle & Co., general merchants, also dealers in lumber and grain.
Fred Eckhart & Co., grain dealers.
J. A. Cooper, manufacturer of wagons and carriages, also dealer in farm machinery.
Charles L. Woodbury, general merchandise and farming implements.
Adam Carlyle, agent for the Diamond Jo steamboat line.
C. Lyttle, agent for the North Western line of steamers.
J. H. Rodgers, general merchandising and drugs.
Charles H. Upham, general store, also hardware and farm machinery.
D. A. Steele, furniture.
Charles McDowell, blacksmith shop.
J. F. Allen, wagon maker.
Mrs. A. H. Wareham, millinery and furnishing goods.
Miss M. L. Porter; dress-maker.
C. L: Ingersoll, flour and feed.
Louis Stinseng, boots and shoes.
Patrick De Lacy, boots and shoes.
John Devlin, meat market.
Fred Schmidt, drugs,
Mrs. J. A. Cooper, millinery and dress-maker.
Mrs. H. Carpenter, dress-maker.
N. E. French, grocery and restaurant.
Orville D. Pulver, restaurant.
Charles E. Reiter, brewer, and owner of the Lansing and De Soto ferry.
Mrs. Hannah Trott, owner and proprietor of the Bay State Hotel.
Mrs. A. N. Miller, owner and proprietor of the De Soto House.
William Waldron, fish dealer.
W. F. McMastress, fish dealer.
H. E. McMasters, cooper.
C. L. Mueller, stave and heading factory.
O. Ewers, physician.
G. L. Miller, attorney.
James H. Rogers, postmaster.
D. Abbott Steele came to De Soto Oct. 5, 1855, in company with his brother, Alvah Steele, who remained about three years and returned to New Hampshire. D. Abbott Steele was born in Georgia, where his parents, who were natives of New Hampshire, were then living. He has been variously engaged since coming to De Soto; in 1884, he was engaged in the furniture business.
John W. White came in the spring of 1855, and located just northeast of the village, where he still lived in 1884.
Edmund Houghton came to De Solo April 1, 1855. He is now the earliest present resident on the village town plat. He was born in Harvard, Mass., in 1808. Served an apprenticeship in New Hampshire, to the trade of a machinist; and came here from that State. A friend of Mr. Houghton's, R. P. Waite, came with him, but returned to New Hampshire. Mr. Houghton made a location on section 10, town 11, range 7 west, where he made a claim which her still owns, but he has always made his home in the village. His wife was Nancy Bryant, a native of New Hampshire. They have one daughter-Ellen, the wife of Woodbridge Dyre.
Other early settlers of the town were: Samuel Pike, who came from Massachusetts in 1855, and remained until 1873, when he removed to Iowa. He was a painter by trade; C. B. Stevens, who was a tinner, came into the village of De Soto in the spring of 1855, and continued to live there until 1882, when he moved to Dakota. Also, Dennis Powers, Sidney R. Gage, Hugh McDill, R. F. Lemen, A. McDowell and Anthony Valle, a Frenchman, who enlisted into the United States army and died at Andersonville prison.