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Histories:  Trempealeau Co. Historical Accounts:

"History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917":

Chapter 10:

Trout Run Valley

-As transcribed from pages 175 - 176


Trout Run Valley is wholly in the town of Arcadia and is one of the early settled parts of Arcadia and of the county north of the ridge.  It is a locality of fertile lands in which all the early pioneers were Germans, and is still their home and that of their children.  The creek commences on the north side of the Pine Creek ridge, running in a northwesterly direction to the Trempealeau River a distance of four and a half miles.  The valley includes the following sections, or the great part of them, namely: 9, 10, 14, 15, 23 and 24 in township 20, range 10, and 19 and 30 in township 20, range 9.  The soil is a rich clay sand loam, highly productive of tame grasses, grains and vegetables.

The very early pioneers were Ludwig Hensel and family, Frederick Kiekhoefer and family, Charles Ulbrech and family and William Kiekhoefer and family.  They settled in June, 1857, emigrating from Milwaukee and were four weeks on the journey, which was made with ox teams.  William and Gust Garby located in the valley in 1859, making their home there during the remainder of their lives.  Patrick and James Gibbons settled in the valley in 1862, Patrick later selling his lands and moving to Missouri.  James Gibbons died on the old farm a few years ago.  A. F. Hensel, who had lived in Buffalo County on the John Memietz farm a number of years, and who kept a small store there, and who located all the early settlers in the valley in 1862.  Jacob Pellowski settled on the Brownlie farm in 1862, as did Charles Fisher, whose widow sold the Fisher farm to Fred Kiekhoefer in 1866.

The Trempealeau Valley, north and south, is really a part of Trout Run Valley, in history at least.  Among those who settled in the Trempealeau Valley in that vicinity were Thomas A. Simpson, in 1856, being then unmarried; Milton Tucker and Sumner S. Tucker in 1858, Martin Manning in 1860, Joe Hausfair and Charles Sexhour in 1862, John Miller, Simon Jegi, Frank Knittle and Dan and Phil English in 1862.

The school district was organized and the schoolhouse built in 1865, and John McMaster was the first teacher.  Jack Scond, Fannie Simpson and D. L. Holcomb were succeeding teachers.  T. A. Simpson was the first school clerk.  The first school meeting was held in the home of Ludwig Hensel.  The first schoolhouse was a log house built of logs cut in the valley and was built on the line between Fred Kiekhoefer's and T. A. Simpson's farms.  The present schoolhouse is on a different site or location.

The German settlers were Evangelical Methodists, and in 1869 they erected a church near where the present schoolhouse stands, in which religious services have since been held.  The society has a cemetery grounds near the church, in which many of the old settlers are buried.  The first clergyman to hold services in the valley was from Winona, who came there occasionally on Sundays.  The people were industrious, thrifty and thoroughly American, and have always been among the good citizens of the county.  Nearly all of the early settlers were prosperous and for many years only ox teams were used.  There were no roads, no bridges and no dugways.

A. W. Hensel, to whom we are indebted for many of the above facts, was born in Prussia, at Nougart, on November 7, 1840. He is a son of Ludwig Hensel and was past 16 years of age when he came to the valley.  He served in Company F, 25th Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers, and was married in 1866 to Mary Wagoner.  His father settled on and pre-empted 160 acres in section 23, township 20, range 10 west.  Frederick Kiekhoefer pre-empted 160 acres in section 14, township 20, range 10 west, and Charles Ulbrech pre-empted 80 acres in section 23, township 20, range 10 west.  These were the first farms opened in the valley.  The valley was named Trout Run, because of the large numbers of trout in the creek at the time this settlement was made.  Mr. Hensel soon visited the Bishop settlement, and for many years took grists to the Masseure mill, trading at the stores and kept by Briggs & Dewey and by Gay T. Storm.  There was much timber in the valley when settled, a considerable quantity of it being large enough to be squared into 6 by 6, 30 feet long.  There was plenty of oak timber for building fences and fuel.  The locality was long known as Tucker's Corners.  Later a postoffice was established at the home of T. A. Simpson and the name Home was given the locality.  The first postoffice was established Nov. 28, 1865, and Seth Tucker was postmaster to June 12, 1868; Adam Bartch to June 30, 1868; Thomas A. Simpson to April 11, 1870; Peter Scholidon to April 21, 1871; Caroline Tucker to June 28, 1875, and Denton Tucker, April 4, 1891, to June 18, 1895, when the office was discontinued.

(By Stephen Richmond.)




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