Contributed by Richard Casey

Las Vegas, NV

The first WI family I will tell you about is that of Adolphe LaRonge who in 1847 settled in an area near what later became the village of Flambeau. Flambeau is located on the south bank of the Chippewa River just below the confluence with the Flambeau River.

This paragraph quoted from a Rusk County pamphlet published in 1957 by Martin Dahlquist of Tony, Wisconsin.

" Michael Cadotte, born in 1790, was the first hunter on the Flambeau River. It was these white men, seeing the Chippewa Indians spearing fish at night with flaming torches, that called it the Flambeau in the French language. This was the name given to the River as we know it today. At the mouth of the Flambeau River where it empties into the Chippewa River was a large Chippewa Indian Village. To this village came Mr. and Mrs. Adolf Larenge, born in Canada. They were given the credit of being the first white residents of this region. It was in the year of 1847 when they bought some land near this Indian village and made a farm home for themselves. This same couple started the development of the well-known Beebe Farm, now owned by the Wisherds. Many years later some came other white settlers such as Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Diamond, Alex Gourdeau, Mr. and Mrs. Savord and many others."
NOTE: first and surname spelling here is same as the pamphlet which is in error.

Adolphe always told his family that he was born at Lac LaRonge Saskatchewan. There is in fact such a lake located in north central Sask. Searching for a record of any LaRonge's in Quebec or Saskatchewan has not been productive. I have come to believe that as was the French custom, Adolphe took the dit name LaRonge to signify his Canadian birthplace. Without knowing his father's surname it is impossible to trace his lineage.

A note about Adolphe's birth place: La Ronge- : Saskatchewan (formerly NWT) Feature type : Town Latitude - Longitude : 55 06 00 N - 105 17 00 W NTS Map : 073P03 CGNDB Unique Identifier : HAFJY 379 Mi due N of Regina, Sask. Town sits on West shore of Lac La Ronge. The town is now within Lac La Ronge Provincial Park.

Adolphe was said to have come to Wisconsin with an Indian wife. My aunt remembers it said that her name was Marie. I have church records showing Sophie Goki as the mother of the first three children baptized in Flambeau. Adolphe later married Mary Christian, daughter if other early day settlers of Chippewa County.

ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI CATHOLIC CHURCH, Flambeau, Wisconsin. Settlers of the Flambeau area were missing an important aspect of their earlier life in Québec, a church. Funds were raised by subscription in 1879 and the church was constructed in 1881. It was the first church in Rusk County. Located along the Chippewa River, the parish first served a congregation of French-Canadian settlers and Chippewa Indians. The church was the focal point for almost all important family events for the little community. Baptisms, first communions, confirmations and marriages as well as funerals were conducted there. At its centennial in 1981,The little church still served a small congregation and was administered as a mission of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Bruce, Wisconsin. I have copies of the Sacramental records of this chirch from 1866-1908 and will be happy to do look-ups for anyone researching these French families.

The 1888 Rusk County Platt book shows Adolph E Laronge as owner of a parcel in Sections; Township 34 N, Range, 7W.

Some of his descendants still live in Sawyer, Rusk and Chippewa Counties.

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