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"Eau Claire County History, 1949"
History of Black School Area
Our township is twelve miles long, and three miles wide, the area of our township is thirty-six square miles. The boundaries are as follows: north, Chippewa County; south, towns of Washington and Lincoln; east, Ludington; west, the city of Eau Claire. The Eau Claire River runs the whole length of the town. Other parts are intersected by its tributaries.
The Sosinski family was one of the interesting parties interviewed. Mr. Herman Sosinski had lived here for twenty-eight years or since 1920. Some of the early families were: Bill Ward's, Gus Peterson, Bill Dutter, Bill Winget, Harry Otto, Otto Johnson, John Solme, and Charles Black. Mr. Sosinski came here from South Dakota. He came here to farm and because there were other relatives here. The people here at this time made their living by farming and lumbering.
The first road out here came down by the river to the corner and up by Volcheks and Winget's land. It cut into five mile creek. (This is the location of the first school also.) People walked mainly at this time and there are still signs of trails and wagon roads. Another road came by Otto's and Kennedy's. From the Seymour Road to the Black School there was only one house at one time, this being Otto's.
There was a great land boom in this area back in 1888. The land on which there are now some of us living once sold for one thousand dollars an acre.
The nationalities that first came to this area were Swiss, Irish, Scotch, German, English, Norwegian and Polish.
One of the parties interviewed told about Indian tales told of long ago. She told of Indians coming to the door and asking to see the "Smoky man" -- in this way begging for tobacco. Many evidences of Indians have been found - such as arrow heads, etc.
Mrs. Volchek was an interesting old settler interviewed. She first came to this area from Bohemia in 1900. At this time she did not stay but went to Ohio to make her home. From there she went back to Bohemia and finally back here again. Farming at one time was the leading industry of this area but it soon gave way to lumbering. She had observed a few Indian graves on the west side but otherwise knew of no other traces of Indians. A large fire swept across Eau Claire when a large lumber company burned. An acre of land in those days cost about one or two dollars. There are stil some people that follow the customs of the old country. She, herself, still does her baking learned there. She also farms with hand garden tools broughtfrom the old country.
Our district was first organized in 1871. The Black School was first at five mile creek, from there it was moved to Green's Corner, then to five mile dam where it burned down in 1872. Then it was rebuilt at Benjamin's place. At one time it was on Otto's present land too.
In 1900 the population of the township was between one hundred and one hundred fifty; in 1910 it was five hundred eighty eight; in 1940 it was one thousand six hundred seventy five. The last few years it has grown tremendously. Many of the early farmers have plotted their land in to lots and are selling them very fast. Reasons for this is, of course, nearness to town and industry.
We feel that this experience both in reference and especially in interviewing has been very interesting and educational.
By - the 7th and 8th Graders
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