Read First Person Accounts of Life in the Lead Region

Moses Meeker: He came to the lead region in 1823 and moved his family here the next year. His memoirs include good details about the journeys as well as specific information about the early methods used for smelting ore. Available at “Turning Points” on the Wisconsin Historical Society’s website.  Click here to link to his memoir, then click “View Document” to read it.

Adele Gratiot: She was a young mother, aged 24, when she moved to the lead region in 1826. Her memoirs relate details of life in the region in the earliest days of settlement and are available at “Turning Points”.  Click here to link to her story, then click “View Document”

Theodore Rodolf: He came to Wisconsin from Switzerland in 1834, at the age of 19. His reminiscences of life in the lead region include a good description of the journey up the Mississippi and the Fever rivers from New Orleans to St Louis to Galena. He describes early settlements in the lead region and the devastation of the landscape around Mineral Point, due to mining activities.  Click here for his account, then click “View Document.”

John B. Parkinson: He came to the area in 1836 at the age of two, in a covered wagon. His account contains good details about a young boy’s daily life on a pioneer farm, as well as the story of his journey to the gold fields of California when he was 18. His story is on the “American Memory”section of the Library of Congress website.  Click here to read it.

John Gundry: Brother of Joseph Gundry, kept a diary of his journey from Cornwall to Mineral Point in 1849 and from there to the gold rush in 1850. The diary is reproduced on this nicely done site, which includes maps.  Click here.