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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Term: Black River Falls [brief history]

Definition: Black River Falls is located 39 miles northeast of La Crosse and is the seat of Jackson County.  The Ho-Chunk Indians lived off the land around Black River Falls until they were removed to Nebraska in the winter of 1873-74. They came back in 1874 to chop wood, hunt, fish, and pick berries.  By 1881, most were placed on homesteads in an attempt to assimilate them to American culture. The Ho Chunk nation has its administrative center in Black River Falls.  

Even though a sawmill opened here in the winter of 1818-19, most identify Jacob Spaulding as founder of the city in 1839.  Lumber attracted the settlers who set up sawmills powered by the Black River.

Black River Fall’s first white child was born in 1841. Mormons came to the town in 1842 but left after the death of Joseph Smith. The town’s first church opened in 1847, and the first school in 1848.

The town was destroyed by fire in 1860 but was rebuilt in 1861.  A damaging flood in 1911 also caused serious damage to the city. 

[Source: WHS Library-Archives staff, 2009]

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147 records found

Adams, Charles Kendall 1835 - 1902
Awishtoyou
Aztalan, Jefferson Co.
Baldwin, Tammy 1962
Beaver Dam, Dodge Co.
Beloit, Rock Co.
Bird, Augustus A. 1802 - 1870
Bird, Harlan Page 1838 - 1912
Black River Falls [brief history]
Blaine, John James 1873 - 1934
Bliss, Howard Festes 1844 - 1919
Booth, Sherman Miller 1812 - 1904
Briggs, Jason W. 1821 - 1899
Brown, Edward Dexter 1824 - 1898
Buck, James Smith 1812 - 1892
Buell, Charles Edwin 1855 - 1938
Bull, Ole Borneman 1810 - 1880
Burchard, George Washington 1835 - 1921
Burlington [brief history]
Burton [origin of place name]
carriage and wagon industry in Wisconsin
cheesemaking in Wisconsin
Chetek [brief history]
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Wis
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Wis
Colnik, Cyril 1871 - 1958
Cooksville, Rock Co.
Cover, Joseph Carmen 1819 - 1872
Cross, James B. 1819 - 1876
Delafield, Waukesha Co.
Doty, James Duane 1799 - 1865
Eastman, Seth 1808 - 1875
Ellenboro, Grant Co.
Evansville, Rock Co.
Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac Co.
Fort Atkinson, Jefferson Co.
Fortis, Louis G. 1947
Goerke's Corners [origin of place name]
governors
Gurley, Zenas Hovey 1801 - 1871
Hamilton, Gen. Charles Smith (1822-1891)
Hand holt (logging)
Harnischfeger, Henry 1855 - 1930
Hazel Green, Grant Co.
Hazel Green, Village of, Grant Co.
Hazelwood (Historic Marker Erected 1966)
Henry, Joseph, 1797-1878
Heritage Hill State Park (Historic Marker Erected
Historic Thiemsville (Historic Marker Erected 1998
Hudson, St. Croix Co.
Hutnik, Willis J. 1915
Ilsley, Charles Ferdinand 1827 - 1904
International Style (architecture)
Jefferson Prarie Settlement (Historic Marker Erect
Kelso, Carol 1945
Keyes, Elisha Williams 1828 - 1910
Kohler, Ruth Miriam [De Young] 1906 - 1953
Ladysmith [brief history]
Ladysmith [origin of place name]
Ladysmith, Rusk Co.
Lake Mills, Jefferson Co.
Lancaster, Grant Co.
Lapham Peak (Historic Marker Erected 1995)
Leonard, William Ellery 1876 - 1944
Liquor Riot (1850)
Lodi, Columbia Co.
Luck [origin of place name]
Lumberjacks' nicknames (logging)
Manitowoc, Manitowoc Co.
Mazomanie (Historic Marker Erected 1996)
McCracken, Guy (ca. 1861 - 1931)
Mequon [brief history]
Minandeau, Jean Baptiste
Mitchell, Alexander 1817 - 1887
Monroe, Green Co.
Moore, William (1827-1862)
Mormons in Early Wisconsin (Historic Marker Erecte
Morris, Lucy E. Smith, 1850-1935
Morris, Lucy Smith (1850-1935)(Historic Marker Ere
Munson, Oliver Goldsmith 1856 - 1933
New London [origin of place name]
Nohl, Mary Louise 1914 - 2001
Old Wade House State Park (Historic Marker Erected
Oshkosh, Winnebago Co.
Petrified Man Hoax
Pie-fork (logging)
Plymouth, Town of, Sheboygan Co.
Port Washington, Ozaukee Co.
Portage, Columbia Co.
Potters' Emigration Society (Historic Marker Erect
Prospect, Waukesha Co.
Quitquioc, Sheboygan Co.
Red Bird, Ho-Chunk chief, 1788 - 1828
Rexford, Eben Eugene 1848 - 1916
Reynolds, Martin L. 1950
Sampson, William Harkness 1808 - 1892
Sauk County [origin of place name]
Schilling, Robert 1843 - 1922
Shoeing-tree (logging)
Shullsburg, Lafayette Co.
Smith Landing, Pierce Co.
Smith, "Red" (Walter W.) 1905 - 1982
Smith, Abraham Hyatt 1814 - 1892
Smith, Abram Daniel 1811 - 1865
Smith, Arthur Oliver 1859 - 1913
Smith, Augustus Ledyard 1833 - 1902
Smith, Charles P. 1926
Smith, Dena A. 1899
Smith, Erastus Gilbert 1855 - 1937
Smith, George Baldwin 1823 - 1879
Smith, Henry Jr. 1838 - 1916
Smith, Hiram 1817 - 1890
Smith, Hiram 1829 - 1900
Smith, John Melgar 1872 - 1947
Smith, Jr., Charles F. 1918
Smith, Patricia Spafford 1925
Smith, Reeder 1804 - 1892
Smith, Walter Mcmynn 1869 - 1938
Smith, Warren Robert 1889 - 1957
Smith, William E. 1824 - 1883
Smith, William Rudolph 1787 - 1868
Smith, Winfield 1827 - 1899
Smithfield, Outagamie Co.
Stauffer, Christ M. 1896
Stevens Point, Portage Co.
Stoughton [brief history]
Strang, James Jesse 1813 - 1856
Summerville, Rock Co.
Sussex, Village of, Waukesha Co.
Sussex, Waukesha Co.
The Alexander Noble House (Historic Marker Erected
Thompson, Robert M. 1927
timeline of Wisconsin history, 1784-1835
Vernon, Waukesha Co.
Village of Dover (Historic Marker Erected 1953)
Village of Waucoma (Historic Marker Erected 1996)
Wallber, Emil 1841 - 1923
Waterloo, Jefferson Co.
Watertown, Jefferson Co.
Waukesha, Waukesha Co.
Waushara, Town of, Waushara Co.
Whitewater [brief history]
Whiton, Edward Vernon 1805 - 1859
Whittlesey, Charles 1808 - 1886
Winton, Charles Joel 1862 - 1934
Wisconsin's First 4-H Club (Historic Marker Erecte
Wittman, S.J. - Aircraft Designer, Race Pilot, Inv

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