Family Histories and Stories of Descendants of Outagamie People
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Excerpts from memoranda kept by Mrs. B.B. Murch (see "M" Biography page). November 6th, 1846. Mr. Murch left to-day with a small load of Boards, some bedding, a week's provisions. Nov. 9, crossed Wright's Ferry just as the sun rose, with a load of things for our future home. A little before twelve the load stuck fast in the ravine (now the west line of Appleton city). I walked on till I found my home to be, and sent Mr. Murch to the relief of the horses and driver. Found some potatoes roasting in the ashes and some water boiling in the coffee pot and soon had dinner ready. The log pen was not high enough to allow me to stand upright on the lowest side so another tier of logs must be added; so we slept that night in the board shanty open on the front where a fire was kept blazing. On Saturday, Mr. Crafts our neighbor, just across the county line, helped put on another course of logs, I set the glass and chinked between the logs. At sundown the roof was on, the floor down, a pig pen built, and the stove up, so we got tea by it. After tea the door was made and fastened up with the two nails. It was Saturday night and we were in our own house, on our own land, and though we had neither chair, table nor bedstead, we were comfortable and happy. Monday, we finished the shanty. It was twelve by fourteen feet inside. The rest of our things came and at eight o'clock we opened our boarding house, we had from one to five boarders for the next three weeks and frequent calls from travelers sometimes for meals and lodging, but oftener to enquire for the road. That last we didn't have. There was only an Indian trail along the river. In one week from trees that were growing in the woods, and from boards that had to be hauled seventeen miles, with one day's help from Mr. Crafts, our house had been made. For five weeks I never saw a woman, our nearest neighbors were in Neenah. About the last of December our flour gave out and Mr. Murch went to Neenah and as a special favor, got six pounds of flour and six of beef, paying a big price for them. He then went to Green Bay and I stayed alone for two nights. He had not been at home ten minutes when the wolves began to howl. We lived in this shanty one year, then we moved into an unfinished frame house. In this house our four children were born and lived until they were grown up. George H. our oldest, was born December 9, 1847, the first white child born of American parents in the county. Taken from The Outagamie County Pioneer Record.