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Histories:  Trempealeau Co. Historical Accounts:

"History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917":

Chapter 7:

L. H. and W. B. Bunnell

-As transcribed from pages 67 - 68

The next settlers after the family and relatives of Reed arrived at Trempealeau in June, 1842. The party consisted of Willard B. Bunnell and wife, and his brother, Lafayette H. Bunnell. They were from Detroit, and, seeking a location upon the upper Mississippi, had been induced at Prairie du Chien to settle at Trempealeau. To the younger of these two pioneers much of the early history of the region is due. Gifted with a good memory and a taste for historical studies, he has preserved many incidents of pioneer life that would otherwise be lost. Upon the arrival of this party at Trempealeau Reed went back from the village a few rods and shortly came in with a red deer to supply the family with provisions. Buffalo had disappeared soon after the Black Hawk War, but elk abounded upon Trempealeau River, and beaver were plenty enough to give their name to one of the inland streams.10

A number of French families, mostly from Prairie du Chien, came up the river and joined Reed, but they were mostly connected with the fur trade and made little progress toward developing the country from an agricultural standpoint. Some of them lived at Reed's home and some built houses near by. Peter Rosseau, who helped Reed build his house, remained for a while. Charles H. Perkins, Joseph Borette, Michael Goulet and Paul and Antoine Grignon were among the early members of the household.

The Bunnells lived at Trempealeau for several years, but spent the first two winters at what is now Fountain City. L. H. Bunnell left Trempealeau in 1847 and enlisted in the Mexican War. W. B. Bunnell and his wife left in 1849 and settled at Homer, in Minnesota. Soon after the arrival of the Bunnells, Alexander Chenevert joined the Reed settlement. In 1844 a Frenchman named Assalin came. He was a carpenter by trade and made the woodwork for the first wagon in the county. He also made sleds and French trains. Antoine La Terreur came the same year. He was a cabinet maker and made much of the early furniture used in the pioneer homes of Trempealeau. Michael Bebault arrived in 1845 and hired out as a woodchopper on the island. In 1848 Leander Bebault and John La Vigne arrived with their families, and about the same time Edward Winkleman settled here.



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