MERRITT LYONS' RECOLLECTIONS
Among the first to arrive upon the site of New London was Merritt Lyons, who afterward moved to Clintonville. He was a settler of 1850 and sixty-two years later, in his eighty-ninth year, he wrote as follows-: 'It was in the spring of 1850 that I arrived in New London and found the Perry brothers keeping a hotel in a small log cabin upon the site now occupied by the Grand. I made my home with them for nearly two years. The following persons composed the settlers at that time: George W. Law, William Hanson and Isaac his brother, Reeder Smith, S. L. Tucker, Alien McFaul, Ira Brown, Alfred Lyon, Leroy Turner, Simeon Kegg, Lucius Taft and a large number of Indians. The place was then known as Johnson's Landing, he having established! an Indian trading post near where the Grand Opera House now stands. The building now (1912) occupied by Mr. Lars Rasmussen was built by Mr. Taft and used as a warehouse, the second story being his home.
"During my stay here stated, I assisted the Perry brothers in enlarging the log cabin by adding a frame building, getting the lumber by scow from the mill at Little Wolf. I also worked for Mr. Law in this lumber camp during the first winter of my stay. The mode of crossing the river was by scows, by the whites, and the Indians by swimming their ponies upon whose backs were packed their outfits.
"The name given by the Indians to the river was the Mohosippi (Moho, wolf; sippi, river). It was navigated from Oshkosh by a small steamer called the Peggy, it taking two days to make a trip to that place. Its accommodations for the passengers were rough tables from which the meals were. eaten through the day and serving as bedsteads at night. At the close of my stay here I moved to Pigeon River, now Clintonville,
with my family.
"The only teams at that time in the town of Mukwa were two yoke of oxen owned by the Hanson brothers. These I secured, to make the journey, hitching them to an old sled, upon which I put my wife and two children and a trunk containing their clothing. We started in the middle of July upon the only road-an Indian trail impassable for any other rig. The time taken was one day and a portion of the night. For my home in Clintonville I settled upon a claim made on the south side of the river. I was the first settler of the place. In January of the following year, Mr. Norman Clinton and family arrived, taking a claim adjoining mine. From him the city took its name.
"Our nearest point for supplies, mail and physician, was New Lon-don, the mail being carried by Mr. Fairbanks on his back from New London to Shawano via Clintonville. The only survivors of the earliest settlers (1912) are Mr. G. W. Law, whose age is ninety-seven years, and myself, now being eighty-eight years of age."