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Alto native, Medal of Honor
winner, writer and lecture
agent, James Pond, left,
and wife, right, with Samuel
Clemens and family, 1895
(courtesyKevin Dier-Zimmel)

 

"Having spent my first Sabbath at Waupun I next visited Ceresco, where a settlement had been made by the Wisconsin Phalanx, a Fourierite Association. There was no direct route, as all previous travel had taken a circuit to the west, thereby striking the trail from Watertown. But I deemed it best to open a track at the outset across the country to the point of destination...."
From Rev. W. G. Miller's Thirty Years in the Itinerancy, 1845.
Carter, George W. "The Booth War in Ripon," from Proceedings of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1902.

Carter's history is a firsthand account of the armed standoff between Federal marshals and antislavery activists in Ripon in 1860.

Darling, Mason C. A Winter's Journey from Milwaukee to Green Bay, from Wisconsin Historical Collections, 1857

Available through the Wisconsin Electronic Reader project of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Library System and the State Historical Society of Wisconsin.

Dart, Richard. "Settlement of Green Lake County," from Proceedings of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1909, pages 252-72.

Written with Samuel T. Kidder, former president of the Ripon Historical Society, Dart's history discusses the early days in Green Lake County from 1840 to 1843 and includes lengthy passages discussing contact with members of the Winnebago nation as well as biographical information about his father, Anson Dart, for whom the current community of Green Lake was originally named.

Everest, Kate Asaphine. "How Wisconsin Came by Its Large German Element," from Collections of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Volume XII, 1892.

The article, available on the Library of Congress Web site, Pioneering the Upper Midwest: Books from Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, ca. 1820-1910, is an early study based on the University of Wisconsin doctoral dissertation of Kate Asaphine Everest, one of the prominent early historians of German settlement in the midwest and a student of Frederick Jackson Turner.

Levi, Kate Everest. "Geographical Origin of German Immigration to Wisconsin," from Collections of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Volume XIV, 1898.

The article, available on the Library of Congress Web site, Pioneering the Upper Midwest: Books from Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, ca. 1820-1910, is a second study growing out of the University of Wisconsin doctoral dissertation of Kate Asaphine Everest Levi, one of the prominent early historians of German settlement in the midwest and a student of Frederick Jackson Turner.

Mapes, D. P. An Account of the Early City of Ripon (1870), in The History of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, Chicago, Western Historical Company, 1880.

Mapes, the founder of the city of Ripon, describes the origins and early years in the development of the city.

Merrill, Edward Huntington, D. D. John Scott Horner: A Biographical Sketch,  in the Proceedings of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin at Its Fifty-Third Annual Meeting Held November 9, 1905, Madison: Published by the society, 1906.

Merrill's brief biography traces the career of Horner, one of the co-founders with David Mapes of the city of Ripon, acting governor of the Michigan Territory, and secretary of the Wisconsin Territory.

Miller, Rev. W. G., D. D. Thirty Years in the Itinerancy, Milwaukee: I. L. Hauser & Co., 1875.

Miller's recollections, available on the Library of Congress Web site, Pioneering the Upper Midwest: Books from Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, ca. 1820-1910, of his travels and efforts as a Methodist minister in western Fond du Lac County from 1845 to 1874. His narrative touches on the residents and countryside around Ripon, Waupun, Brandon, Oakfield, and Rosendale as well as the communities of Dartford (Green Lake) and Fox Lake.

Nohl, Friedrich. Trip Diary of Friedrich Nohl, German Immigrant, 1849.

Nohl's personal narrative of his emigration from Germany to Ripon, Wisconsin. The source is the genealogical compendium, Our Family Museum, by James Nohl Churchyard, 1694 Santa Margarita Drive, Fallbrook, CA  92028-1639. It is available only on this web site and has not been printed.

Pond, James Burton. from "Eccentricities of Genius." 1900.

This selection on the University of Virginia electronic text site, courtesy of Stephen Railton, is the journal account of Pond's 1895 journey across North America, with Mark Twain, as manager of the first leg of Twain's world tour. Pond's photographs of the trip are included; Pond's role in and publicity for the 1884-85 tour of Twain and George W. Cable is also on the site, titled "Touring with Cable and Huck"

Pond, James Burton. "First Question Answered," James B. Pond, from Eccentricities of Genius, 1900.

Pond's autobiographical preface to his portraits of the men and women he managed on the Lyceum circuit, mentioning his early abolitionist activities and emphasizing his experiences with Mormonism in Utah.

Pond, James Burton. "Charles Sumner," James B. Pond, from Eccentricities of Genius, 1900.

An autobiographical piece relating a disillusioning encounter between the great albolitionist spokesman and Pond and his father, Willard Pond, in 1858 in Ripon, Wisconsin.

Pond, James Burton. "A Pioneer Boyhood. Recollections of the West in the Forties," in The Century Magazine, October, 1899 (Vol. LVIII, No. 6, pp. 929-37).

Pond's narrative offers his recollections about his early life in Lake County, Illinois and Alto Township, Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, in the 1840's and 1850's. Pond's family lived in the northeast corner of section 8 in the town of Alto, two miles south of the village of Fairwater, 4 miles northwest of the current village of Alto.


Last updated 2/17/2000

If you have information to share about additional texts or are willing to transcribe historic documents, please contact Bob Schuster by email at rmschust@facstaff.wisc.edu or at 6020 Kristi Circle, Monona, Wisconsin 53716, (608) 221-1421.