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Histories:  Trempealeau Co. Historical Accounts:

"History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917":

Chapter 8:


-As transcribed from pages 87 - 88

Dodge was settled in the middle fifties from Trempealeau, Trempealeau Prairie and the Tamarack Valley. The portion first settled was that lying tributary to Tamarack Valley and that lying in the Trempealeau River flats and small cooleys adjacent to West Prairie. In 1855 Martin Whistler crossed Whistler Pass and settled in the Pine Creek Valley, and within a year Ichabod Wood had settled in section 14. Other early English and American settlers in the vicinity of Whistler Pass were John L. Sanderson, Almon A. Johnson, Joseph Utter and Charles Keith. The first Polish settler in Dodge was Michael Chisin, of Winona, who, in the spring of 1862, settled on the abandoned claim of John Banner.

It was probably about 1862 when the Polish people began to settle in Pine Creek. They were induced to locate here by John Schmangle, a man who spoke English, German and Polish. The first six families were those of Paul Libera, Paul Leishman, Paul Rudnick, Joseph Zabrinsky, Anton Zabrinsky and Felix Kamarowski. These Polish families were living in the valley when Mathias Brom, a native of Bohemia, settled there in 1863.

In 1863 there were no improved roads into Pine Creek. The market points were Trempealeau Village and Fountain City all the year around, and Winona when the river was frozen. With no improved road over the ridge communication with Arcadia was most difficult.

A mill was built on Pine Creek in the sixties. It was washed out by a flood in 1872 and was not rebuilt.

The first German settler in the Trempealeau Valley in Dodge township was George F. Staflin, who settled in section 11, east of the present village, on March 10, 1857. About the same time came Casper Walwand, the first settler in the immediate vicinity of the present village.

Above Dodge one of the first settlers was John Latsch, afterward a prominent wholesale grocer of Winona. He came here in 1856 and settled near a creek at the mouth of the valley that now bears his name. In 1865 Frank Pellowski settled in the same valley, and in the next five years there arrived so many settlers from Hungary that the valley came to be called Hungary Valley. The name of Latsch Valley is being gradually resumed, especially for that part of the valley near its mouth.


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