1 March 2013
America today is looking for heroes.
Americans are looking for men and women who promote the qualities that make America great. We are not the first generation to look for heroes. Eagle has provided many great heroes over the past 177 years. The John and Margaret Logan family who arrived in Eagle in 1850 provided just such men. Three brothers, William, George and John Logan served their country with honor in the American Civil War.
John D. and Margaret Logan emigrated from Nova Scotia and arrived in Eagle about 1850. It’s unclear where they lived except that they did not have the money to buy property so would have rented or worked a farm. Their neighbors were Ebenezer Thomas and GeorgeUnderhill which would place them about 1-1/2 miles north of Hwy NN and one mile east of Hwy 59 in the Town of Eagle. In 1850, their 13 year old, oldest daughter died, followed a month later by husband and father John, leaving Margaret and six children penniless and poor. Life as a single mother with six children was nearly impossible in the pioneer days of the 1850’s, and in those situations, marriages were often arranged out of necessity. Life was difficult even for the luckiest of people, as there were no lifelines offered by government. Neighbors would help one another, but no one had enough to support another entire family. It must have been miserable with nothing for yourself or kids, hoping to scrape up enough just to feed your kids for the day. This was a 24-7 reality for Margaret on the frontier in Wisconsin. When difficult circumstances like that happened, neighbors and friends looked for others to help for the sake of the children, and John Griffin did just that. He gave the family a home, and they gave him companionship and care before his death.
William Logan Civil War Soldier
William Logan Postmaster Eagle circa 1900
Despite heavy odds, Margaret managed to raise a family of good, descent people. They could have been mischievous thieves, blaming their own failures on their past, but instead, her three boys served their country honorably in the Civil War. Not every family could boast of their patriotism. Oldest son William was seriously injured in the war, George gave his life at Chickamauga in 1863, and John died young as a result of lung problems he developed in the war. William Logan’s family served their community and was well respected by all.
The Logan girls were married to very honorable men in the community and lived out their lives with honor and respect. This kind of family just doesn’t happen by chance, but rather, is the product of a mother who raised them well. A small part of Margaret Logan’s family history is now part of American history as recorded in my book “Letters Home – Co A 24th Wisconsin Infantry.”
This past summer, I had the chance to meet descendants of William Logan, great-grandson Henry Hare, and great grand-daughter Jean Hren and husband who visited Eagle in September 2012. We shared stories of their family and visited with them at the Eagle Historical Society.
Recently, I was honored by being invited to read from my book “Letters Home – Co A 24th Wisconsin Infantry”, to our local 6th graders at the EagleElementary School. As I read, I told them the story of George Logan and his family who lived on the “Griffin Farm, the1st farm up Highway 59 just outside the Village of Eagle, now called “Friendly Acres.” One of the kids said “Hey, my friend’s parents run that farm”, and a new connection was made between the past and present. It was exciting to see a new generation’s eyes light up as they heard about the history of their hometown.
Mike Rice, Author
Letters Home, Co. A – 24th Wisconsin Infantry