Date in History: c. 1830

Thiebeau Point on the southern shore of Lake Koshkonong was named for Joseph Thiebeau, a French-Canadian who was possibly the first white settler to live on Lake Koshkonong.

By the early 19th century, a number of French fur traders – most of them married to Indian women – were living on the Lake trading their small stock of goods with the Native people in exchange for furs. The most notorious of the fur traders was Thiebeau who was a buyer of furs for Solomon Juneau, the founder of Milwaukee.

Thiebeau was still living on the Point when white settlers first came to the area in 1836, but he mysteriously disappeared during the winter of 1839. Legend has it that he was murdered by the younger of his two Indian wives and his 12-year-old son Frank because he refused to allow his family to move west in the direction that most of the Native families were then going.

This historic document aired on the radio as an Historic Minute on 05/17/2004.