Tales of the First Settlers by Jessie Sprague | Chapter 3

Tales of the First Settlers

By Jessie E. Sprague, written in 1925

The select school published a newspaper, called the Chip Basket, which they had printed in Janesville. Copies of it are still in existence.

A small school building on the South Side, on the same lot where the present school stands. The building now the Catholic was used for several years. At that time the west half of Block 88, east of the church, was vacant as far as the alley, except for one or two frame shops facing the Square. There were no buildings between the school and the railroad on the south, until sometime in the 60's. 

South Side School | Brodhead, Wis

The Brodhead Band was organized in 1857, before the railroad came. There were very few bands in this part of the country and it was much in demand by towns far and near. Most of the places could be reached only by wagon road, so the Brodhead Band had a Bandwagon made to use on these trips.
Original 1st Brigade Band | 1864 photo

 It was truly a gorgeous wagon, modeled after the circus wagons of the time. It was built and painted here at the Spencer Wagon Shop. Mr. Sam Gosling, (Miss Belle Gosling's father,) who was a young man then, came out from Janesville to do the iron work on it.

With Sherman to the Sea
"An interesting old photograph from daguerreotypes of 'Sherman's band' of the First brigade, Third division, Fifteenth army corps, equipped with instruments amusing to present-day eyes.
Originally of Brodhead, Wis., the band enlisted as a unit at the outbreak of the civil war.
The personnel was as follows: John Mortimer Faust, director, E O. Kimberly, E-flat cornet: Girard Kneeland, Perkins, George Spaulding, B-flat cornet; Thomas H. Brown, B. W. Snow, Gilbert L. Faust, alto; Oscar Pomeroy, Nichols, tenor; Fred Knickerbocker, baritone; C. V. Clark, B-flat bass; Charles C. Stone, E-flat tuba; Emmet Flood, snare drum; Jacob Brandt, bass drum: Norman Hall, cymbals."

The fame of this Bandwagon and of the Brodhead Band spread all over this part of the country. In the summer of 1858 the Band was hired to play at Freeport at a political meeting, in all probability this was the time of the great Lincoln-Douglas debate at Freeport. At any rate, we may be very sure that the Brodhead Band, leaving Brodhead by way of Clarence in the early morning, attracted as much attention along the way, perched alof in their fine new uniforms, in their famous Bandwagon, drawn by six prancing gray horses, as did Abraham Lincoln, riding soberly up to Freeport to take part in that historic debate.

Abraham Lincoln 

When the Civil War broke out, the Band enlisted as a Regimental Band, with the 3rd Wisconsin Infantry. When the regimental bands were discharged, they re-enlisted as the 1st Brigade Band with the 3rd Division, 15th Army Corps, and served through the War. They went with Sherman to the Sea, and headed the 3rd Division at the Grand Review in Washing ton at the close of the war.

Charles C. Stone, E-flat tuba | 1st Brigade Band

Some of the boys in the Band had good voices, then as now, and they were called on, on many occasions during the war, to furnish singing, at burials and religious services, and one surmises at other less solemn gatherings of the Boys in Blue. The history of the Band is a romantic and thrilling tale, deserving more space than can be given here.

Charley Stone led local Brodhead parades on Fred (his white horse)