Octagon House Museum • Hudson Wisconsin

The Page-Bailey Farm

Page-Bailey FarmOne of Hudson’s first prominent entrepreneurs was Captain John B. Page (1800-1865). Captain Page, a retired sea captain who had lumbered in Maine and Michigan, hailed from Maine. He came to the St. Croix Valley in the early 1840s and had a crew of loggers at work near St. Croix Falls. In 1847 he commenced lumbering operations on the Willow River. Captain Page came to the St. Croix Valley from the of Nauvoo, Illinois to manage logging interests for a group of investors from Maine. Nauvoo was Mormon colony.

Captain Page married Eliza (Luce) Grant (1808-1898) in 1845. Back in 1837 Eliza’s whole family converted to Mormonism and relocated from Fox Islands in Maine to the Mormon colony in Navuvoo. Eliza had previously been married to Elisha Grant who died in 1842. After his death, Eliza and her son Benjamin joined her family in Navuvoo.

After marring Captain Page, Eliza arrived in Hudson in the fall of 1846 and was the first white woman to settle here. She was noted as a successful practicing Thomsonian physician. Following the practices of Samuel Thompson who had turned away from harsh medical treatments of the era to embrace milder treatments using herbs and steam baths to eliminate toxins and allow the body to restore itself naturally.

In 1848 Captain Page is reported to have cleared some of the first land for farming on the southwest quarter of section 16 in the town of Hudson. The early 1850s would bring wheat farming to the Hudson prairie which would shape the growth of Hudson.

John and Eliza’s first child, a daughter, Abigail McGowan Page, was born on April 15, 1847 and is said to have been the first white child born in Hudson. Of historic note, that is same day the first steamboat landed in Hudson. In addition to half-brother Benjamin, Abigail had two brothers, George (1848-1886) and Daniel (1851-1885).

Abigail married George Bailey in 1868 and they farmed on the east 80 acres of the original land which Captain Page received as a grant in 1852, this is the current location of Hudson High School. It was good farmland and here Abigail and George raised six children. All of them would move away from Hudson except one who was a Spanish American War vet and letter carrier in Hudson. Abigail moved to California in 1930 and died at her daughter’s house in Riverside on November 14, 1945. Abigail’s name is remembered to this day on Second Street as the name of the local Abigail Page Antique Mall.

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