P. M. Pritchard

P, M. PRITCHARD, farmer, Sec. 33 and 32; P.O. Fitchburg; born in Solon, Cortland Co., N.Y.; Oct. 5, 1816; his parents, Harvey and Lydia (Kelsey) Pritchard, were Connecticut people; after learning the foundry business of his father, he came West in 1842, visited Racine, Delevan, etc., and reached Janesville early in June; William True, a former schoolmate, had made a location near Indian Ford, and Mr. P. joined him by following an Indian trail, thence up to Catfish past Third and Fourth Lakes, and by a trail to what is now known as Oak Hall.He then entered 80 acres of his present farm and sought more civilized regions; his skill with the clarionet was brought into requisition at Janesville, July 3, and Milwaukee, July 4; his affairs in the East were in a bad shape, owing to the panic of 1837, and this caused his removal with his family in June, 1843; a terrific storm burst upon the little party as they were nearing Janesville, and the horses and wagon becoming mired down, the brave wife, after the extrication of one of the horses, mounted him and rode into the then village, though she had a narrow escape from drowning while crossing a stream swollen by the freshet; a gloomy outlook for them, as their entire capital was $2.62; finally the doorless and floorless cabin of Mr. True was reached, and here with carpets hung for doors, and bedsteads made of poles, they began life in Wisconsin.It was two or three years before Mr. Pritchard was able to build even a log house of his own; but since this time his progress has been rapid; 200 acres of splendid land, a tasteful brick farmhouse, three or four substantial barns, with windmill, outbuilding, etc. are his reward.

He married Miss Lydia Guild, in Fredonia, N.Y., July 10, 1837; she was born in Otsego Co., N.Y.; they have four children-Helen and Hahneman, born in Perry, Wyoming Co., N.Y.; Cora and Lydia, born in Fitchburg.

The Pritchard Bros. were a noted band of local musicians in the early history of Dane Co. and Wisconsin, as they played from Milwaukee to the Mississippi, and the State line to Watertown and Baraboo, all keeping the pledge made to their mother to drink only tea and coffee while thus engaged. E.P. Beebee, a cousin, was also with them, and the five were a “whole team” at music.

Ref. 1880 History of Dane County, Wisconsin, p. 1257.

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