Horse thieves on the Wisconsin frontier, 1832-1865

The Fighting Finches

This little book is composed entirely of stories told to W.P.A. field workers as they collected Wisconsin folklore in the late 1930s. They heard many tales about a 19th-century family named Finch who rustled cattle and stole horses throughout Rock and Jefferson counties before the Civil War. The "Fighting Finches" terrorized south-central Wisconsin for three decades from their hideout in London swamp, just west of Lake Mills. Only about 200 copies of this booklet were made. They were printed by mimeograph, bound by W.P.A. workers in the Milwaukee Handicraft Project, and distributed to public libraries. This copy is signed by Charles E. Brown, the compiler's husband, and Gregg Montgomery, one of her field workers; most of the other copies vanished long ago.

Related Topics: Immigration and Settlement
19th-Century Immigration
Creator: Brown, Dorothy Moulding,
Pub Data: Works Progress Administration, Federal Writers' Project, Folklore Section (Madison: 1937)
Citation: Brown, Dorothy M. The Fighting Finches: Tales of Freebooters of the Pioneer Countryside in Rock and Jefferson counties (Madison, Wis.: Works Progress Administration, Federal Writers' Project, Folklore Section, 1937); online facsimile at Online facsimile at:; Visited on: 4/20/2024