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"Eau Claire County History, 1949"


History of Thompson Valley Area

In early days Thompson Valley included a scope of country approximately seven miles long and perhaps nearly as wide.  It is situated between Osseo and Augusta along Highway 27 (now known as County Road R) and is in the South Central part of Eau Claire County.  It has since been divided into several school districts.

A man by the name of Andrew Thompson lived here first, having built a crude shack for a home, living alone and seemingly had no relatives or friends.  The new settlers then began to move in perhaps in about 1850.  These settlers were people who had come up mostly from Milwaukee, Portage and Columbia county and were of Irish, French, Dutch, English, Scotch and German descent. They brought their families and belongings in, by oxen and cart over newly made roads, coming up through Sparta, which was the nearest railroad town.

The land was mostly covered by brush and had to be cleared and planted as quickly as possible as much food must be raised to feed their people.  No one had much money to buy food and clothing with.  Most of the supplies htat they could not produce, had to be hauled in from Sparta over the "Old Tote Road," which really was not much of a road compared to the ones we have now.  I presume the round trip to Sparta was at least one hundred and fifty miles.  The people got their mail at the "Old Log Station" near Osseo, once or twice per week.  This station was a stopping place for the "stage coach" which made regular trips between Sparta and Eau Claire.  For some time the mail was dumped into a large box or boxes, and each person as he came for mail, looked it over and picked out his own, and went on his way.

Augusta and Osseo were started in about 1850, the railroad being built through Augusta about eighty years ago.

The first white child to be born in theis valley was Isabelle Chadbourne in 1855.  Her sister still lives at the farm just across the road from the original Chadbourne farm, and other relatives live near by.  Many of the first settlers are still represented by their decendents in the valley.

Wheat was the first cash crop to be raised.  At first their grain was flailed or threshed out by hand, on a barn floor.  Grist mills were set up, and they had some of their own wheat and corn ground into flour and corn meal for home use.

The first "little red school-house" stood at the spot where the church now stands.  The building still stands and has been moved and converted into a chicken house.  In 1875 the church and school-house which are now in use, were built.  At this time the valley was divided into five school districts.

Before the church was built a Circuit Rider went from house to house preaching and giving spiritual comfort.

The first sewing maching bought was a "Singer", and was purchased by Lucretia Crow in about 1871.  The "Singer Sewing Maching" had been patented by Isaac Singer in 1851.

In 1912, Eustice Pride purchased the first automobile, which was a Ford.

This valley is still very productive, which goes to show that the people who first came here were good, thrifty, farmers whose hard work and thriftiness built homes out of the wilderness, and paved the way for the wonderful modern conveniences that are enjoyed by the people of today.

  

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