Term: Grignon, Pierre Sr. 1740 - 1795
Indian trader, b. parish of Crondines, Quebec, Canada. He traded first in the Lake Superior region, associated with Charles Langlade (q.v.) at Mackinac, and later at Green Bay, where both resided permanently after about 1764. In 1776 Grignon married Langlade's daughter, and to this union were born seven sons, all of whom achieved a degree of importance in the Wisconsin fur and Indian trade. Of Grignon's sons AUGUSTIN GRIGNON, b. Green Bay, became perhaps the most important in Wisconsin. He was the third son of Pierre, Sr., and Domitelle Langlade Grignon. When his father died, Augustin and his brother, Pierre, Jr., continued the operation of the Green Bay store and traded during the winters. About 1805 Augustin married Nancy McCrea, daughter of a Montreal trader and a Menominee Indian woman, and through his wife's tribal inheritance and a purchase from Paul Ducharme in 1813, he acquired an estate of 1,520 acres north of the rapids at Kaukauna. Here he made his home from about 1805 to 1834, trading and farming. In 1820-1821 he and Pierre, Jr., built a flourmill and gristmill at Kaukauna. In 1836 at the Treaty of the Cedars, Augustin Grignon and his eldest son, CHARLES AUGUSTIN GRIGNON, secured payment of $16,000 owed them by the Menominee tribe. In 1834 Augustin transferred his Kaukauna land holdings to his sons, and from about that time until his death lived at Butte des Marts. There, in 1857, Lyman C. Draper (q.v.) transcribed Augustin's recollections, a highly valuable source of early Wisconsin history. His eldest son, CHARLES AUGUSTIN GRIGNON, b. Kaukauna, was educated in Kaukauna and New York. He engaged in many of his family's enterprises in Kaukauna and Green Bay and in 1832 participated in the Black Hawk War. In the 1830's he operated a trading post in Kaukauna. He acted frequently as government interpreter, and served as treasurer of Outagamie County for several years. In 1837 he built the Grignon mansion in Kaukauna (now restored as a park) and lived there most of the remainder of his life. Colls. State Hist. Soc. Wis., 3 (1857), 20 (1911), (see also index vol. 21); Proc. State Hist. Soc. Wis., 1913 (1914); L. P. Kellogg, French Regime in Wis. . . . (Madison, 1925); L. P. Kellogg, British Regime in Wis. . . . (Madison, 1935); Commem. Biog. Record of the Fox River Valley (Chicago, 1895); H. B. Tanner, Hist. of Streets of Kaukauna (Kaukauna ); WPA MS.
View letters by Grignon from 1790 at Wisconsin Historical Collections.
View newspaper clippings at Wisconsin Local History and Biography Articles.
[Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography]