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Histories:  Trempealeau Co. Historical Accounts:

"100 Year Historical Album of Independence, Wisconsin, 1976":

Donated by Bill Russell

Independence - Century Farms...       


The Hillary "Jack" Halama farm is located on Highway 93, in Section 14, Burnside Township, approximately a mile and a half north of Independence.  Hillary is the fourth generation of Halamas to own the farm.  A portion of his 200 acres was bought in March 1875 by Thomas Halama who, with his parents, Gregor and Rosalya, and brother Carl came to Burnside Township from Poppelau, Prussia, in 1870.

In December 1876 Thomas sold the farm to his father Gregor Halama and moved to Minnesota.  In May 1879 Gregor sold the farm to son Carl.

On May 30, 1876 Carl married Mary Sonsalla who was born in Schalkowitz, Prussia, and came to the United States in 1868.  Twelve children were born to the marriage, eight daughters and four sons:  Julia (Mrs. John Dejno), Frances (Mrs. Julius Sylla), Anna (Mrs. John Pampuch), Bridget (Mrs. August Gasatis), Elizabeth (Mrs. John Smieja), Tekla (Mrs. Paul Schwalla), Sr. Theobalda and Sr. Lucy.

The sons were John, Bert, Jake and Stanley.  All the children helped with the farm work.  Eventually the sons acquired their own farms.  In 1912 Stanley bought the farm from the parents and sold it in 1947 to his son, Hillary.  Stanley and wife Julia were parents of Ralph, Edmund, Hillary, Clarence, Martha (Mrs. Clarence Mish) and Bernard.

Hillary and wife Josephine Saverinski and their three school age sons, Jeffry, Jay and Jerome currently operate the dairy farms.  Hillary is also a cattle dealer.


The farm is located in Section 2, Arcadia Township, Trempealeau County, about 3 miles south of Independence.  The current owner, Roman Kulig, is the grandson of Hyacinth Kulig who was born in September, 1848, in Schalkowitz, Upper Silesia, Prussia.  He came to the United States in 1868, accompanied by his sister, Agatha, and brother, Jacob.  He found employment grubbing stumps for Henry Dewey and later worked for Collins Bishop, both of whom were among the first settlers in Arcadia Township.  Hyacinth also found employment in Trempealeau hauling stones for lime kilns.  In 1873 he married Susanna Woychik, daughter of Frank and Anna Woychik, who in 1868 emigrated to the United States, from Poppelau, Upper Silesia, Prussia.

Hyacinth Kulig lived on a homestead which he sold, and in July, 1876, purchased the farm currently owned by his grandson, Roman.

Hyacinth and Susanna became the parents of Paul, John, Albert and Gertrude (Mrs. George Sobotta).

In 1906 Mr. and Mrs. Kulig sold the farm to son Paul and moved into their new home in Independence, which is currently owned by grandson Edward J. Kulig.

Paul and his wife, Anna Kuka, sold the farm to son Roman in 1943.  He raises beef cattle but no dairy cows and has increased the size of the farm to 420 acres.

Roman and Tillie, daughter of John and Agnes Mozden Bisek, were married in 1939 and have three children, Rose Marie, Paul and James, all of whom live in other parts of the country.

The Kulig farm house is spacious and modern in appearance.  It overlooks a beautiful landscape to the west and north.  A visitor would never suspect that part of the house was constructed of logs, perhaps in the 1850s or 1860s.


Frank Woychik, wife Anna, and children Susanna, John, Carl, Thomas, and Paul came to America from Poppelau, Upper Silesia, Prussia in 1868 and settled on the 40 acre farm in Section 26, Town of Burnside, Trempealeau County, Wisconsin.  The land is on Highway Q at the north edge of Independence.  The family's first home was a dugout in the hillside in which they lived, for two years.  The next home was made of logs and was situated on land purchased east of the village.  All the sons acquired farms and Susanna the daughter married Hyacinth Kulig, a farmer who came from Schalkowitz, Prussia.  Son Thomas was the next owner of the 40 acre farm and in turn his son George took over.

Present owner is Albin Woychik, great grandson of Frank Woychik.  The land has been tilled for more than a century.


The farm is situated one mile east of Independence on Highway 121 in Township of Lincoln.

Walter Maule bought the 120 acre farm in 1868.  Upon his death on July 21, 1898 the farm was acquired by his nephew Fred Maule who bought additional 40 acres from Mike Kampa owner of the former Markham farm.

Upon retirement, Fred Maule sold the farm to son Peter.  When Peter retired from active farming his son Raymond became the owner and operates it now.

Walter Maule was the son of the Reverend Henry Augustus Maule, a clergyman of the Church of England.  In 1856 Walter, in the company of the Markham family emigrated to America.  In that same year George H. Markham, Walter Maule, L. D. Lyne, and Mr. and Mrs. Davis and two children came into the Town of Burnside.  Being the first settlers in the township.  They put up a crude log house on land adjacent to the east limits of present Independence.  They had a hard struggle to survive the rigors of the severe winter and the strange frontier environment.  Walter stayed with the Markhams for several years and then acquired the farm adjacent to the Markham holdings.


The Bautch farm is located in Section 26, of Burnside Township, about a mile south of Independence.  The present owner is Jerome Bautch, great grandson of Albert Bautch, Sr., who settled on the farm in 1870.

Albert Bautch, Sr. was born in 1826 in Poppelau, Upper Silesia, Prussia.  He served three years in the Prussian army and was in combat in the 1848 war between Prussia and Austria.  He was a graduate machinist.  In 1853 he married Josephine Skrzipietz and to them were born 10 children.

In 1855 Albert, his wife and son John L. together with Lorenz Bautch, Albert's brother, Peter Sura, and Leopold Kachel set sail for America.  After a voyage of 63 days the group landed in Quebec, Canada, and from there proceeded to Chicago and Milwaukee.  Albert and family remained in the latter city for a year and then in Watertown for another year.  The next move was to a farm at New Lisbon where the family lived for 6 years.  The farm was sold and the family by ox team caravan, transported their worldly goods to a large farm at North Creek in the Township of Arcadia.

In 1870 Mr. Bautch bought and moved to a farm located near the mouth of Traverse Creek in Section 26, Burnside Township.  The farm had been owned by Elliot Carpenter who had built a dam across Traverse Creek and started to erect a flour and grist mill.  Mr. Bautch completed the mill and operated it until 1894 when he sold it to his son Albert J. who in 1897 sold it to his brother John L. Bautch.  The latter's son John T. took over the operation of the farm and bought it in 1917.  In 1944 Jerome Bautch, present owner, leased the farm from his father John T. and became sole owner in 1947.  Thus four generations of Bautch's have owned and operated the same farm since 1870.

The mill and dam were razed many years ago.  These structures had been the nucleus of a lively hamlet of New City which with the coming of the railroad, in 1873, had visions of becoming a large shipping center.

The hamlet went into rapid decline with the establishment of the depot in 1876 in Independence.  New City is now but a memory.

The senior Bautches, Albert and Josephine moved to Independence in 1896 where he died in 1910 and she in 1916.


The farm is located 10 miles north of Independence on Highway Y, Chimney Rock Township, Trempealeau County, Wisconsin.

Haaken Johnson and wife Olia Kindelrud and six week old son Haaken Haakenson came to the United States from Norway in 1868.  Gustave, another son, was born in this country.

The family lived in the Blair area for about two years and eventually settled in what is locally known as Hawkenson Valley in the Chimney Rock area.

In 1862 President Lincoln signed the Homestead Law, the purpose of which was "To secure homesteads to actual settlers on the public domain."  Under this law, certificate No. 316, signed by President U. S. Grant on May 15, 1876, issued to Haaken Johnson entitling him to 160 acres in the southeast one-fourth of section 10, Chimney Rock Township.  Eventually their son Haaken acquired the farm.  He died on January 23, 1959 at 91.

Oliver Hawkenson, son of Haaken Haakenson and grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Haaken Johnson is the current owner of the homestead.  Altogether he owns 480 acres in the valley.  His wife, Agnes Halverson who taught school for many years, passed away in 1961.  They had three children:  Mary (Mrs. Gordon Peterson), Whitehall; Beverly (Mrs. Danial Bray), Whitehall; and Gerald who lives in Eau Claire.

Mr. Hawkenson is semi-retired from farm work and serves as one of three committeemen in District 3B, Trempealeau Electric Cooperative.


On November 10, 1876, John Haakenson, Sr. purchased 240 acres of railroad land in Section 11, T. 23, R. 9 W. and developed it into a productive farm and lived on it for many years.

The next owners were John Jr. and Harvey Haakenson.

The current owners are Willard Haigh and his wife, Kay Haakenson (Hawkenson), daughter of Harvey Haakenson.


The farm is located about a mile west of Independence on Highway X in Burnside Township.

Thomas and Mary Klink Pampuch purchased the farm from Sam Coy in 1877.  Their children were Thomas, Paul, Isodore, Julia, Mary, Sophie and Agnes.

Thomas Sr. remained the owner until July 3, 1945, when his son Ignatz took over.

Ignatz and Pauline had two children, Laverne and Joanne.  Laverne became the owner on December 8, 1964.

Laverne and Betty Pampuch have five children:  Dianne, Thomas, Jeanette and Steven.

Thomas Pampuch Sr. was born in 1853 in Poppelau, Prussia and came to the United States in 1868.  His wife Mary Klink was born in 1860 in Schalkowitz, Prussia and came to the United States at about age 11.


This farm is on Highway 93, five miles south of Independence, in Section 15, Arcadia Township.  The property was known as the O'Rourke farm and consisted of 200 acres, partially improved, when acquired in 1870 by Andrew and Frances Susa Pietrek.  They and son Valentine, born in 1863, emigrated to the United States from Posen, Poland, then part of Prussia.

After many years of farming Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Pietrek retired and moved into a house across the highway just to the east of the homestead.  Andrew died in 1899 and his wife Katherine died about 1917.  Their son, Valentine, took over the farm and eventually increased it to 560 acres.

In 1890 Valentine married Barbara Sluga daughter of Frank and Katherine Killian Sluga who emigrated from Upper Silesia, Prussia and settled on a farm in Hale Township, Trempealeau County, Wisconsin, where Barbara was born in 1872.

Mr.a nd Mrs. Valentine Pietrek made many improvements on the farm.  They erected a large brick veneer house, a large barn and several other buildings.  To them were born 10 children:  Sophia (Mrs. John Gandyra); Mary (Mrs. Emil Stelmach); Anna; Roman, married Clara Yerman; Joseph, married Emily Matchey; Benjamin, married Bernadine Kostner; Paul and Andrew.

Joseph took over the farm in 1927 when his parents Valentine and Barbara retired and moved to Arcadia.  Valentine died in 1945 at 84 and Barbara in 1967 at 95.

Joseph operated and lived on the farm until he died in 1974 after which his wife, Emily, took over.  Thus the ownership of the farm spanned three generations of the Pietrek relationship.


One of the pioneers in the Independence area was George Frederick Maule, son of Reverend Henry Augustus Maule, Church of England clergyman, Waverly, England.  George was born in October, 1846, and came to the United States in the 1860s and settled on a farm in Lincoln Township, Trempealeau County, Wisconsin.  In 1871 married Pauline Nogosek, an immigrant from Poppelau, Upper Silesia, Prussia.  Seven children were born to the union:  Frederick, Helen, Catherine, John, Pauline, August and Ignace.

Ownership of the farm passed on to George's son, John, who in turn succeeded by his son, John.  Edmund, the latter's son, is the current owner.  A portion of his brick farm house was built by his great grandfather, George Maule.

The George Maule farm adjoined the farm of his brother, Walter, who came to the United States in 1856 with the Captain John Markham family.  They were the first settlers in what is now Burnside Township.

Maule Coulee was named after the Maules.


The farm is located in the Elk Creek area, Section 32, Township of Hale, Trempealeau County.  It is part of the tract of land purchased in 1856 from the United States Government by Enoch Cummings.  After several changes in ownership a part of the present farm was purchased in July 1869 by John and Frances Marsolek.  They had immigrated from Upper Silesia, Prussia.  Like many other immigrants they found pioneering life to be very difficult.  Much of the land had to be cleared of heavy brush before crops could be raised.  However, there was no thought of turning back.

After many years John and Frances sold the farm to son Frank and wife Frances.  Their son Clifford and wife Agatha were the next owners who in turn sold it to their son Gene and wife Betty, parents of five children.  The dairy farm has been increased to 375 acres.

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