Fifty years in the Northwest: a machine-readable transcription.


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This page is borrowed from an AMERICAN MEMORY page in the LIBRARY of CONGRESS To view the page in its entirety, links and all, please go HERE.

Joe Perro. --"Big Joe" as he was familiarly called, was large of frame and big-hearted as well, honest, manly, of good report for courage and honesty. He was fearless and prompt in taking the part of the weak and oppressed. We were once passing together up Broadway, St. Louis, when we passed a peanut stand. A small negro boy was crying piteously and begging the peanut vender to give him back his money, to which appeal the peanut vender was obdurate. We halted. Joe Perro organized a court, head the testimony of man and boy, and satisfied himself that in making change the man had wrongfully withheld a dime due the boy. Joe decided in favor of the boy and ordered the vender of peanuts to pay him the ten cents. He replied insolently: "It is none of your d----d business." That was enough to kindle the magazine of Joe's wrath. A sudden blow of his fist, and the man was prostrate on the sidewalk and his peanuts and apples scattered. The last seen of the discomfited street merchant he was on his hands and knees scrambling with the boys for the possession of his scattered fruits, and casting an occasional vengeful glance at the towering form of "Big Joe" departing slowly from the scene of conflict. Mr. Perro is of French parentage, and a native of Kaskaskia, Illinois. He has been a resident of Still water since 1844.

James McPhail. --Mr. McPhail, as his name indicates, is of Scotch parentage. He was born in Inverness, Scotland, in 1824, and came to America in early life. He was one of the first log pilots on the waters of the Mississippi and St. Croix. He settled in Stillwater in 1848, was married to Eliza Purinton in 1849, and died in St. Louis in 1857. Mrs. McPhail died in Stillwater in 1885. They left no children.

John Cormack. --Mr. Cormack commenced piloting on the St. Croix in 1845. He was married in 1860 to Miss Jackins. He made his home in Stillwater continuously for thirty years, during which time he served as pilot. He died at Princeton, Mille Lacs county, in 1885.

John Hanford. --Mr. Hanford was a St. Croix river pilot in the '40s. He married an adopted daughter of Socrates Nelson, of Stillwater. He died at Stillwater. Mrs. Hanford subsequently married Barron Proctor.

John Leach. --Mr. Leach made his home at Marine many years, during which time he engaged in piloting on the St. Croix; subsequently he removed to Stillwater. In the later years of his life he has been blind.

Stephen B. Hanks. --Mr. Stephen B. Hanks, formerly of Albany, Illinois, piloted the first raft from St. Croix Falls to St. Louis in 1842. He followed piloting rafts and steamboats until 1885.

Samuel S. Hanks. --Samuel, a brother of Stephen B., commenced piloting in the '40s, and is still active.

Among the early pilots on the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers were Antoine Lapoint. Augustus Barlow, Richard Whiting, James Hickman, George M. Penny, and Daniel McLean.

This page is borrowed from an AMERICAN MEMORY page in the LIBRARY of CONGRESS To view the page in its entirety, links and all, please go HERE.

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