Histories: Trempealeau Co. Historical Accounts:
"History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917":
la Bathe, Trader and Doville and Antoine Reed
-As transcribed from pages 66 - 67
The permanent settlement of Trempealeau County finally came about under the auspices of the fur trade. Francois la Bathe, a shrewd half-breed and a near relative of Wabasha, was confidential agent of Hercules L. Dousman, representative of the American Fur Company at Prairie du Chien. Even before the cession of 1837, la Bathe had tried to secure a steamboat landing site at the modern La Crosse, and as soon as the treaty was concluded he made similar arrangements for Trempealeau by inducing John Doville and Antoine Reed to proceed thither and cut cordwood for steamboats, while holding a stretch of river front as a landing. His object in this was to prevent any trade drifting away from Wabasha's village, at the present City of Winona.9 A wood yard was established at the head of the island opposite Trempealeau, and la Bathe vouched for the sale of all wood the men might cut. Doville remained at Trempealeau and became its first permanent settler. He cultivated the land that the Swiss missionaries had cleared and broke some of his own in the upper part of the present village. He raised stock upon a small scale and devoted his time to farming and cutting cordwood for steamboats.
Resources for the above information:
9 - Ibid., 209. Bunnell and others give the name as James Douville. His descendants say it was John Doville. His divorce proceedings (First Minute Book, District Court of Trempealeau County, 21) give his name as John Do Ville.
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