Histories: Trempealeau Co. Historical Accounts:
"History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917":
James A. Reed and Reed's Followers
-As transcribed from page 67
James A. Reed, in his journeys up and down the Mississippi in the interest of the fur trade, had noticed the Trempealeau Bluffs and resolved to stop and look the country over with a view of settling later if the place came up to his expectation. He climbed Liberty Peak and looked down on the new land and was charmed with its wild grandeur, its lavish wealth still undeveloped, its inviting valleys and wooded slopes. It was a delectable land, steeped in an alluring solitude-untouched as yet by the white settler. Reed decided to locate in the new country. Circumstances delayed him and gave to his son-in-law, Doville, the credit of being the first settler. In 1840, however, his plans were perfected and, bringing his family by boat from Prairie du Chien, he built a log cabin on the banks of the Mississippi River on the site of modern Trempealeau. Not long afterward his wife died, and he later married the widow of Amable Grignon, of Prairie du Chien, who was a sister of Francois La Bathe and a relative of Wabasha.
The locality soon became known as Reed's Town. Outside of the time that he devoted to his duties as government farmer to Wabasha's band of Indians at Winona (from 1842 to 1848) Reed occupied his energies in tending his stock and in hunting and trapping. The Trempealeau bluffs and adjoining prairie offered an excellent stock range for Reed's horses, swine and cattle, which he brought from Prairie du Chien; and the swine proved to be good rattlesnake hunters, killing and eating many of the Winnebagoes' sacred serpents. Reed used his large log home, for a while, as a tavern, and many a weary traveler and homeseeker found a hospitable welcome at his fireside. For a while it was known as Reed's Place; afterward he sold out and it became the Washington Hotel.
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