History of Wabasha County, Minnesota
In presenting the history of the County of Wabasha to the public, the editors and publishers have had in view the preservation of certain valuable historical facts and a vast fund of information which without concentrated effort could never have been obtained, but, with the passing away of the old pioneers, the failure of memory, and the loss of public records and private diaries, would soon have been lost. This locality being comparatively new, we flatter ourselves that, with the zeal and industry displayed by our general and local historians, we have succeeded in rescuing from the fading years almost every scrap of history worthy of preservation. Doubtless the work is, in some respects, imperfect; we do not present it as a model literary effort, but in that which goes to make up a valuable book of reference for the present reader and future historian, we assure our patrons that neither money nor pains have been spared in the accomplishment of the work. Perhaps some errors will be found. With treacherous memories, personal, political and sectarian prejudices and preferences to contend against, it would be almost a miracle if no mistakes were made. We hope that even these defects, which may be found to exist, may be made available in so far as they may provoke discussion and call attention to corrections and additions necessary to perfect history. The main part of the work has been done by Messrs. Dr. L.H. Bunnell, Dr. J.M. Cole, Hon. O.M. Lord, Prof. C.A. Morey, Gen. C.H. Berry, Hon. W.H. Hill, P.G. Hubbell, W.S. Messmer, Mrs. H.K., Arnold, lion. S.L. Campbell, Dr. Wm. Lincoln, J.X. Murdoch, M.C. Russell, J.A. Ellis, E. Mathews, Wm. F. Bigelow, A.J.A. Pollock and Francis Talbot, and we believe that no corps of writers could have been found who could have done the subject more ample justice. We wish in an especial manner to acknowledge our obligations to Mr. Francis Talbot, who has been untiring and ever-vigilant in his efforts to make this work a credit to Wabasha county. For many years he has been gathering the facts which constitute a very large part of this work, and when they were needed for the enterprise he generously donated them to the publishers and their agents for this use.
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A history of the first settlement of Winona county, and especially that of the city of Winona, requires that some notice be given to the Indian tribes that have occupied the territory in which it lies, and of that adjacent, and also that some notice be given to the early efforts of missionaries and explorers to christianize and render the savages obedient to the wants of commerce and of French or English ascendancy The fur trade was the most important element in the early explorations and settlement of the Northwest, as commerce generally has been in the civilization of the world.