|A History of STRUM
and the TOWN OF UNITY by Roy Matson
|contains roughly all of hilly western Wisconsin south to beyond Prairie du Chien and east
to Vernon, Monroe and part of Jackson counties.
In any event, we live in a valley that may have been affected by the immense run-off from
this two mile thick ice lobe. The rough northern rim of hills of the Beef River Valley marks
the end of the end of its movement. Further east about 12 miles from here scientists have
determined it touched Trempealeau County and undoubtedly a great amount of milky
white glacial run-off found its way past our present doors.
Whether it was at that time that this run-off washed the present course of the Beef River
to Beef Sloughs has not been determined, but that melting waters moved west through the
Bear Creek area to the Chippewa River is an accepted fact. The light silt washed easily
and may have separated as the stream slowed and formed a dam that directed water into
the lower river channel.
The Chippewa River basin drained a great part of this ice tongue and the present Lowes
Creek lowlands supplied an outlet to that stream and undoubtedly derived some contours
as a result of that great mass of ice. The hollowed out depths of Lake Michigan and Lake
Superior may have deterred movements of some ice tongues. Superior has a depth of 700
feet in several places. Present sound tests indicate ice to a thickness of 6200 feet in
Greenland and figures in excess of that amount are prevalent in the Antarctic. It is felt that
ice required so much moisture that drops in ocean levels allowed woolly mastadons to
cross the Bering Strait and that no channel separated Great Britain from the European
Wilderness to Statehood
The first white men to travel Wisconsin territory were french missionaries. They were
followed by explorers and fur traders, the former commissioned by the French government
to map rivers and the general area and to assume title of great stretches of land by
proclamation in the name of the French king. Nicolas Perrot, whose company established a
post at Trempealeau in 1685, held such a ceremony at the place during his three year stay.
The English and the French agreed on a treaty in 1763 whereby the former assumed
questionable control that lasted until after the Revolutionary War. One of the first acts of
the new United States congress was to establish the Northwest Territory in 1787. This
measure took possession of all lands north of the Ohio River and east of the Missouri
River with all lands being eligible for settlement.
As populations increased in these areas conventions were held, constitutions formed and
admittance as states of the union voted. Ohio was on the first of these, Indiana, Illinois and
Michigan following. Wisconsin territory was governed by Indiana and Michigan
successively. Agitation to organize this territory as a state began in 1845. The territorial
governor ordered a convention in 1846 and on August 1 a certification shows 125
delegates from 25 counties seated for organization. The total population of the proposed
state was an estimated 155,000, with Racine having 17,983 followed by Milwaukee at
15,925. Crawford County which included La Crosse and this area was allowed one
delegate representing 1,444 people. Debate continued for two years, consumating in an
acceptable constitution and Wisconsinís becoming the 30th state on May 29, 1848.
Settlement increased rapidly, counties grew in number and in January 1854 Attorney
George Gale, a member of the legislature, was able to separate lands from newly formed
Buffalo and Jackson counties to create another county which he named Trempealeau.
Trempealeau Village was known as Montoville back in those days and at a March, 1854
meeting the board of that township met and organized. Their area comprised the whole of
the new county. By 1857 the towns of Gale,