Legendary Locals of Prairie du Chien
by Mary Elise Antoine
From the day Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet enter the Mississippi River in 1673, fur traders and then settlers were drawn to Prairie du Chien. Red Bird and Black Hawk opposed American expansionism, while Zachary Taylor enforced the change. John Muir admired the majesty of the Mississippi River; John Lawler accepted the challenge to bridge the waters. As people came to Prairie du Chien, generations worked forming a small, cohesive community. Some like George and Dorothy Jeffers, Ralph and Albina Kozelka, Henry Howe, and Frank Stark began businesses that descendants continue to operate. John Peacock and Mike Valley found a livelihood from the river. Art Frydenlund, Jim Bittner, and Fred LaPointe promoted and encouraged all to come. B. A. Kennedy and Jack Mulrooney created an outstanding educational and sports program. Peter Scanlan and Cal Peters recorded the rich history. Roy and Geraldine George established a foundation, and Morris MacFarlane led a movement to create scholarships. Lori Knapp helped disabled people without realizing her impact. Patrick Lucey and Elaine Kramer gained national recognition. All these people and others like Dr. T. F. Farrell and Robert Garrity were neighbors. Their stories fill these pages.