Wilma's Apple Crisp
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1-1/2 cups pared and diced apples
Bake in a 9" pie pan at 350F for 30 minutes.
|Sarah Hart Mills Vose Vaughn|
|Samuel Cole Vaughn|
|Sarah, a little later in life|
The pioneers of Wisconsin must ever remember the 20th of December, for one of the most sudden changes to severe cold ever experienced in our history. It had rained all day upon some fifteen inches of snow. Early in the evening, the wind veered to the northwest and the temperature ran down at a rapid rate. Having no thermometer, I can form no certain estimate of the intensity of the cold. It soon became unendurable in our cabin, and, building a large fire and hanging up blankets before it, I saw down in front of them to keep from freezing.It was so terribly cold that, had a person been caught four or five miles from a house, he must have perished. Fortunately, few were thus exposed. James Van Slyke, with his hired man, were on their way from Belvidere, Ill., to his house, at the head of Geneva Lake, with a drove of hogs. They had reached Big Foot Prairie, three miles from home, when the change came. They soon left their drove and started at a rapid rate for their house. Van Slyke succeeded in the undertaking, but his boots were so loaded with ice that it took a teakettle full of boiling water to thaw it off, as his wife afterward told me.A mile from home, the hired man, named Disbro, fell, exhausted and overcome with the intensity of the cold. He must have perished had not a man, providentially at the house, started out at once and brought him in. As it was, his feet were so frozen that he lost several of his toes, which Mrs. Van Slyke amputated with her shears, having made unsuccessful efforts to obtain a surgeon to do it. All the hogs, except two, froze to death that night.
Mr. Dwinnell was entirely alone in his cabin during the four terrible cold days of the last of December, and had hard work to keep himself alive. He says, “It soon became unendurable in our cabin, and building a large fire and hanging up blankets before it, I sat down in front of them to keep from freezing.” Notwithstanding the cold and the deep snow, Mr. Dwinnell got so thoroughly lonesome that on the 20th day of January he started on a journey of forty-five miles to have a visit with some friends in Belvidere, Ill., then a little hamlet of six families.
|Sam, posing with the tools of his carpentry trade|
On the morning of the 16th of November, 1836, I took the trail of Black Hawk, at Belvidere (IL), at the point where, four years before, he sunk his canoes in the mouth of Piskasaw, and, with his army, took the land. His encampments were still visible every six or eight miles, as I proceeded northward to Big Foot Prairie, where I entered Wisconsin, at 4 o’clock p.m. The day was cloudy, cold and cheerless; the temperature at the freezing point; the streams swollen by recent rains, and unabridged. Several times I was obliged to wade from four to six rods. As night set in, snow fell plentifully. Big Foot Lake (Geneva Lake -ed.) was in view at my left. At seven o’clock evening, I reached the “Outlet of Big Foot,” near Geneva (Lake Geneva - ed.), having traveled thirty-five miles without seeing a human dwelling. The settlement consisted of five families, living in rude log cabins, without floors, chimneys or chambers, the roofs covered with shakes, and hardly a nail used in the construction of their dwellings. There were then twenty-seven families in what is now the county of Walworth, and all but four in the eastern half of it; all living in log cabins. All of them had come in since Spring, and had put under cultivation about 80 acres. I settled on Spring Prairie...”
The trouble and difficulty of reaching and selecting a claim was so great that settlers were often obliged to bring in their families before any shelter was provided for them, either camping in their wagons, or remaining at the house of some “neighbor,” three or four miles away perhaps, while the logs were prepared for the little cabin, where one room should serve for kitchen, living room and sleeping room for the family.
I found the place to be unsurpassed for beauty and fertility. It was one mile in width by four in length, with a gently undulating surface, surrounded on all sides by beautiful groves of timber. Upon one side were several hundred acres of heavy timber, consisting of oak, ash, basswood, butternut and maple, in which was a large sugar-bush, which had been the annual resort of the Indians for making sugar. Their wigwams, sap-trough and boiling kettles had been left – evidently for future use – a pleasure which they were never again to enjoy. In the groves surrounding the prairie were springs of the purest water, from which flowed streams in all directions – one of which was sufficiently large to the turn the machinery of a flouring mill, shortly afterwards erected a short distance from its source.
|Sarah a little older|
|The Vaughn farm. The frame house that Sam built in 1839 is on the left. This photo likely dates from before the 1880s.|
|Sam and Sarah's shared monument in Hickory Grove Cemetery.|