Blanchard, Horace J. (History - 1838)


Janet Schwarze





HORACE J. BLANCHARD says: "I was born in Quebec, Canada, close to the Vermont state line, in 1838, to Daniel and Hannah Blanchard. I lived at home until 1863, and then started for Wisconsin. I came by train to Berlin, then, in 1864, by stage to Steven's Point. During the time from 1864 to 1872, 1 worked in the woods for Mr. McMillan, chopping in winter and running rafts down the Wisconsin and Mississippi River to St. Louis in the spring. When I came to Colby there was a little grocery store run by George W. Ghoca and two or three other little shanks. I was engaged in logging that winter, and for several years bought lumber. This country was all timber with no roads. We had to go through the woods and blaze the trail so we could find our way from one place to another, but soon after roads were cut through. Homesteaders sold the timber and got their supplies, which they had to carry on their backs. The usual method of traveling was with an ox team. After the first year we had plenty of dances and general good times. Everyone was sociable and acted more like brothers than they do now, and getting out to dances in those days was easy. When I first came here the railroad was built about a mile south of town. At that time all mail was addressed to Section 51. There was no town. Engines used to burn wood, instead of coal as they do now."



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