Bayfield County Press
Compiler's Note: Currie G. Bell, my great-grandfather, became the editor and publisher of the Bayfield, Wisconsin weekly newspaper, the BAYFIELD COUNTY PRESS, in the fall of 1882. The paper remained in the Bell family until July 1927. In addition to the usual birth, marriage and death announcements, THE PRESS printed local "chit-chat" columns that provided snippets of information on the residents of Bayfield and the surrounding towns. On a time-available and experimental basis, we have decided to post some of this data in the hopes it may be of use to family historians researching their Bayfield county ancestors. --John Griener
A Trip to Sioux River – 1882
[From the Bayfield PRESS, Saturday, October 21, 1882]
Last Sabbath was a beautiful day and thanks to Major WING for the use of his buggy, and to Colonel KNIGHT for his handsome span of bays, the writer enjoyed it by driving out to Sioux River, nine miles southeast of this village. The road is in excellent condition and is as romantic a drive as the most enthusiastic lover of nature could wish for. Lined on both sides by tall pines and scarlet clothed maples, it winds over hill and through dale; anon one catches glimpses of the beautiful bay through the thick foliage and can see the white-winged sailboats sporting upon its bosom. The air is heavily laden with the healing breezes of the pine and balsam and with every breath comes a buoyancy that drives away, for the time being at least, all thoughts of the cares and trials of a busy life. It makes the old young and the young younger and renders life a pleasant, happy dream.
At Pike's Bay, a cozy, well-protected nook, the road winds along close to the water's edge, and from thence to Onion River through a dense forest, principally of hard wood. At the mouth of the Onion River, the bay is again in view for a mile or more. Here are the camps of the men employed in the construction of the new county road, and on which they are progressing nicely.
Arriving at Sioux River, and putting up at Mr. HOCHDANNER's, we spent a pleasant hour in looking over the farm, consisting of two hundred acres, forty of which are under cultivation. On these river bottoms are to be found the finest farming lands in the country; all kinds of small grain can be raised successfully, but the principal crop, as yet, is timothy hay which goes from two to three tons per acre and sells from $20 to $30 per ton. All kinds of vegetables obtain gigantic proportions and mature early. We visited Mr. HOCHDANNER's turnip patch and beheld a sight well worth going miles to see, the ground literally covered with turnips of immense proportions. We were presented with two (all the buggy would carry), one of which weighs fifteen pounds and is twenty-nine inches in circumference, also with a mammoth head of cabbage weighing seventeen pounds and as solid as a rock.
Just as we were getting into the buggy to start for home, Mr. HOCHDANNER, George STARK, and M. Lyons drove into the yard with a two hundred and fifty pound deer which they had shot near the bay shore. The farms under cultivation along the Sioux are owned by E. LEIHY, Mr. LYONS, A. ANGUS, Mr. HOCHDANNER, and George STARK, all of whom are comfortably situated having good dwellings, barns and outbuildings, and are fast accumulating a goodly portion of the world's wealth.