Rebecca Ismon was born in Essex County, New York and came to Prairie La Crosse in 1843 as an eighteen year-old bride with her husband, Nathan, then a fur trader who had established a trading post here, making them pioneer settlers in what was to become the city of La Crosse.
Their first child died of an unknown disease at the age of one year; he is buried in Oak Grove cemetery. A few years later, in 1848, she gave birth to twin girls.
The Myricks left Prairie La Crosse that same year, after Nathan suffered financial setbacks. The American Fur Company post at Prairie du Chien had closed, and Ho-Chunk people were forced out of the area by federal decree. Nathan relocated his family to St. Paul, Minnesota, where he prospered through a chain of fifteen trading posts in Minnesota territory and through dealings in real estate.
After her early years of “roughing it” in a settler’s cabin, Rebecca Myrick went on to know a life of comfort. She had five more children, but only three of her eight children lived to adulthood. Although settling for just five years in La Crosse, Rebecca Myrick was part of the early history of the city, becoming the first European-American woman to make a home here.
Location: 101 State Street, La Crosse
1842: The site of Nathan and Rebecca Myrick’s cabin
2019: The Charmant
Day dress worn by Rebecca Myrick c. 1850.
Brown silk with fan front, bell sleeves and tiered skirt. Bodice and skirt show evidence of several alterations, possibly to accommodate her pregnancies and/or changes in fashion.
Materials: Silk taffeta with border pattern, silk fringe, wool braid
From the collection of the La Crosse County Historical Society.