In the early days, the study of Springdale, Dane, WI, was primarily based on the interest of the McPherson family who moved there in 1850.
J. P. and his wife Mary emigrated from Scotland to New York in 1842, and remained there for 8 years. The first resources that I used, other than Census Reports, were secondary sources such as the centennial histories written about Springdale and Verona.
However, once I found that McPherson kept a diary, I searched through known family, to the not-so-known, until I found the diary in 2008, and actually held it in my hands (and photographed it) in 2010.
Since that time I have transcribed and blogged about the the diary, J. P. McPherson and the folks in Springdale and nearby towns and villages.
Currently, I am systematically transcribing and blogging about the diary and life in Springdale, Wisconsin in the last half of the 19th century. As questions come to mind, I have written explanatory pieces, such as “Cradling of Wheat” and “Huskers and Thrashers.” I have also posted excerpts from the centennial writings about the folks in Springdale, Mt. Vernon, Mt. Horeb, Primrose, and Verona.
In 2014, I published a book of transcribed letters that my uncle Ralph Jabez McPherson wrote to his sisters. The letters detailed his personal view of life in the early 1900s in and around Crow Wing Lake, MN, as well as their trek to California in 1922.
Much of the history of the my McPherson line comes from the information in his letters. When corroborated with hard facts, his letters were found to be surprisingly accurate, considering that he was recalling information that happened 60-70 years in the past.