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PCHA wants to know about those yellow wheels

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Stagecoaches were pulled by a four-horse or six-horse hitch team.

These four-wheeled coaches traversed the county on its primitive roads. No Wells Fargo company coaches were around in those days, but there were coaches nonetheless.

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It's known they were in Pierce County as late as 1912 because they were reported on in the papers around the county.

Individuals won contracts to carry the mail, presumably from the rail stations to the small, non-rail-supplied villages. From those villages, local individuals delivered the mail by horse-drawn buggy or sleigh.

The key problem happens to be that photographic evidence is and has so far proven to be elusive. Stagecoaches have shown up in a couple photos, being used in local parades. The problem is, were they original to the county? Who owned them? Were they used for commercial passenger service and for hauling mail before cars and trucks came into use?

Even considering the extensive collection given to the Pierce County Historical Association (PCHA) from the Lawrence Studio, there is still a lack of stagecoach pictures. There are old cars, some buggies, etc., but no stagecoaches.

Can anyone give names of drivers? A known one was Eugene Hunter, who worked the Rush River routes -- New Centerville, Baldwin, to Martell, and most likely to Ellsworth. But who else? Surely the families and/or descendants of such individuals can provide clues.

Please be willing to do so. They were a major mode of transport before the railroads came along and also to locations not having rail service, which actually was most of the county, since rail service only reached into River Falls and Ellsworth, and then the side of the county from Prescott to Maiden Rock and on the east side, to Spring Valley and Elmwood.

Supply information to the PCHA, P. O. Box 148, Ellsworth, WI 54011.

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