Archive for March, 2009
From the Monroe Evening Times, Monroe, WI:
March 6, 1899
Nicholas Cornelius, Monroe’s pioneer citizen, was 84 Friday. He passed the day with his wife at home on West Washington Street. Mr. Cornelius can look back upon the past of every inhabitant of Green County during the early days when he first came here as he is the sole survivor of that little band of sturdy pioneers.
He came to the county in 1834 and it was a long time after that before he saw a white man as there were but two families in the entire county. There were a number of empty cabins and forts that had been deserted during the Indian War a short time before. He remembers the time 300 Indians were camped for 3 weeks a short distance from where he now lives and at that time he thought nothing of it. Wild deer were running out of the grove which has long since disappeared and gave place to the public square that now marks the business center of the city. Galena was the nearest trading point and he followed a narrow foot path and waded the Pecatonia River from here to Galena and back as it was necessary. In those days, no one ever thought of sending for a doctor and mandrake root was taken for almost every illness.
In his 84th year, Mr. Cornelius is wonderfully active and can be seen uptown almost every day. The burden of years has not weighed heavily on him and he is very healthy. The loss of an eye 15 years ago by acute inflammation ahs somewhat affected his eyesight but otherwise he is hale and hearty.
Pictured: the Cornelius farm in Monroe and Nicholas’ son, Erwin.