Myrick, Nathan 1822 - 1903 | Wisconsin Historical Society

Historical Essay

Myrick, Nathan 1822 - 1903

Myrick, Nathan 1822 - 1903 | Wisconsin Historical Society

pioneer settler, Indian trader, b. Westport, N.Y. He journeyed to Wisconsin in 1841 with letters of introduction to H. L. Dousman (q.v.) and others at Prairie du Chien. Although denied employment by the established traders because he had no knowledge of the Indian languages, Myrick found a partner, in Nov., 1841, borrowed an army keelboat and a stock of trader's goods, and poled up the Mississippi River to Prairie la Crosse (now La Crosse, Wis.). There they built a cabin, the first in La Crosse, and became successful in the Indian trade. In 1842 Harmon J. B. Miller replaced Myrick's original partner. A few years later Myrick acquired a sawmill on the Black River, and for several years sold firewood and lumber to river steamers on the Mississippi and also rafted timber to St. Louis. In 1848, at the government land sale in Mineral Point, Myrick acquired title to his claim at La Crosse, but during the same year profits declined due to flood damage to the sawmill and the removal of many Indians from the area. In 1848 Myrick also established a new trading post at Sauk Rapids, Minn. Thereafter he resided in Minnesota, and eventually built a chain of about 15 trading posts throughout the state. He retired in 1876, and made his home in St. Paul until his death. Although leaving Wisconsin in 1848, Myrick retained much of his land claim in La Crosse, and dealt in La Crosse real estate for many years. A. H. Sanford, et al., Hist. of La Crosse (La Crosse, 1951); La Crosse Morning Chronicle, June 4, 1903; WPA MS.

View newspaper clippings at Wisconsin Local History and Biography Articles.

The Wisconsin Historical Society has manuscripts related to this topic. See the catalog description of the Nathan Myrick Papers for details. See also the Nathan Myrick Reminiscences.

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[Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography]