The First White Man In Muskego
The first white resident of Muskego of whom there is any certain account is
Aumable Vieau, Soloman Juneau's brother in law. He was sent by his father to
Prairie Village in 1827 to trade with the Pottawatomies, then the sole
occupants of this vacinity. Here he remained about two years and never saw
another person but Indians. When his father came he found he had lost his
French. Fortuneately his father could also speak Pottawatomie.
The Indians at that time were exceedingly hostile toward whitesand all that
saved the Vieaus from assasination was the fear amoung the tribe that any
violence toward them would cut off their supply of ammunition and calico and
Mr. Vieaus home, while with the Pottawatomies, was not far from what is now
known as Mineral Rock Spring in Waukesha Village. They had a very large
village at this point, also one at Mukwanago and Pewaukee. Mr. Vieau lived
with them entirely. He not only sold goods for his father, but went from
place to place to collect from the Indians, thus learning 9 tribal languages,
all of which he understood perfectly and spoke fluently. The traders granted
the Indians credit, some the value of 10.00, some 25.00, some 100.00, and
some as high as 500.00 and Mr. Vieau said they always got their pay. It was
Mr. Vieaus job to collect this which he did in the form of various skins. He
could have had any amount of land anywhere in Waukesha County as the
Pottawatomies would have willingly given him any amount he wanted, but the
idea that the land would ever be settled by whites , or the Indians would so
soon disappear, or that that the kland would ever be valuable never occured
to him at the time.
Mr. Vieau visited all the pricipal points in Waukesha County during several
years. But these visits, even tho lengthened into years, can by no means be
properly termed settlements. He did not intend to make Waukesha County his
home or even come to look at land.
In later years he lived across from the Cemetary on Little Muskego Lake. He
was a trapper himself. In 1879, a poor year, he actually trapped between
300-400 muskrats, 50 mink, and 11 otters in a month. Muskrats sold for 9.00
per hundred, mink at .75 to 2.00 each, and otter at 9.00 to 20.00 each.
Peter Vieau, the justice of the peace, lived down the road across from the
mill beside the stream.
When Linnie Hotelling was 12 years old in 1888, she remebered being at the
house warming of the enlarging of the Blott house and hearing the Vieaus
playing violins for the dancing.
Although Aumable Vieau is not given credit for being the first white settler
in Muskego, the fact remains that he was there befor any other white man in
Muskego and was still living there in 1888.
Indirectly obtained from the
Yearbook 1978, Muskego, Wisconsin Historical Society
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