Source: North Manchester News, August 18, 1892

Some Interesting Reminiscences from the Life and Experience of Early Settlers.

Jacob Bussard, a well known farmer in Pleasant township, now in his seventy-seventh year, came to this county in October, 1840 from Montgomery county, Ohio. He moved by a four horse wagon having a Virginia bed. The bad condition of the roads and the heavy load made moving a hard and slow job. Several days at a time his average progress was but seven miles a day. Streams were swollen and ferry-boats small and hard to manage. The boat at LaGro was only large enough to carry the wagon, a second trip for the team being necessary and a day was nearly consumed in the crossing. He had bought the land on which he settled before leaving Ohio. The first thing to be done was to build a cabin and while that was being done his family stayed with his brother Samuel Bussard, who had come to the country two years before. Closely following the cabin building came the customary trip to the prairies for breadstuffs. The first barrel of salt he bought had been brought on speculation from Michigan City by Jack Olinger and Jesse Rhodes. Those early "middle men" had made a two weeks trip by ox wagon to that city and invested all their money in six barrels of salt. The inerest of their homeward trip was increased somewhat by rolling the salt a barrel at a time on boards taken along for the purpose across the marshes and wet prairies they had to cross on their junketing trip. It was either that or mire down and often both occurred. Mr. Bussard paid $7.43 for one barrel and was glad to get it at that price. He said "deer were plenty and I got some of them." He is yet regarded as the best rifle shot in the country. He said "he once had fifty-eight prime coon skins to sell for which he got 87 1/2 cents apiece. He moved his family into the new cabin in February then chopping and clearing began in earnest. That Jacob did not idle away a moment's time is evidenced by the fact that he had five acres ready to plant in corn at the usual time. At first neighbors were few but soon a steady stream of new comers set in and it became necessary to give as many as three days in a week to helping raise cabins and log stables needed by settlers. Mr. Bussard was a boss carpenter and his was about the first hewed-log house having a shingle roof in the township. The nails cost him 12 1/2 cents a pound. In those years he paid his assistants at the carpenter's trade 62 1/2 cents a day; common labor was 37 to 50 cents; cradling wheat one dollar a day. Postage was high in those days--25 cents for a letter. Mr. Bussard served many terms as one of the three trustees of Pleasant township, such was the law in those days. He now is enjoying the fruits of an industrious life on the farm he then settled on in the woods away from neighbors or schools. Long may he and his good wife live to enjoy the company of their grown up children.