Waukesha in Waukesha County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
1799 - Lyman Goodnow - 1884
First conductor of Wisconsin's underground railroad
In 1842 he conveyed Caroline Quarrels,
an escaped slave, to Canada and freedom.
Erected 1934 by Waukesha County Historical Society. (Marker Number 34-10.)
Location. 42° 59.757′ N, 88° 14.238′ W. Marker is in Waukesha, Wisconsin, in Waukesha County. Marker can be reached from South Prairie Avenue 0.2 miles north of Progress Avenue. Touch for map. Located in the oldest section of Prairie Home Cemetery. Marker is at or near this postal address: 605 S. Prairie Ave, Waukesha WI 53186, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Old Cutler Home (approx. 0.6 miles away); Lindholm Vocational & Adult School (approx. 0.6 miles away); Milwaukee and Madison Railway Depot (approx. 0.7 miles away); Club 400 (approx. 0.7 miles away); Dunbar Oak (approx. 0.7 miles away); Carroll College (approx. 0.7 miles away); Waukesha Engine Division (approx. 0.8 miles away); Les Paul (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Waukesha.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. To
1. Story of Lyman Goodnow
Lyman Goodnow is known as the "Conductor of Wisconsin's First Underground Railroad". He was born in Rutland, Massachusetts in 1799. Lyman was one of the first pioneers in Prairieville, now known as Waukesha. Among other things, he built the first school house of logs, opened the first stone quarry, built the old Prairieville Academy, built the first bridge over the Fox River, and was the first constable and road supervisor.
In 1842 a 16-year-old octoroon, slave girl, Caroline Quarrels, was brought to Prairieville after escaping her mistress in St. Louis, Missouri. Upon arriving she already had a $300 reward on her head for her capture. Escaping to another state did not protect her from recapture because legally her owners were able to get her back from any state. Her captures were very serious about finding her, as at every turn, there were people looking for her. Others joined the search because of the high reward for her return.
She was first taken to Ezra Mendall and then to Lyman Goodnow. Being abolitionists, they wanted to help her escape to Canada where slavery was banned. She first was driven by wagon to Spring Prairie in Walworth County to some fellow abolitionists because she was tracked to Prairieville and wasn't safe. Lyman and Ezra returned home to consider a plan. Eventually, Lyman returned to Spring Prairie to retrieve Caroline and with $20, a pillowcase filled with food, and a letter asking for help, they began their journey to Canada, which was 500 miles away. They followed the underground railroad from station to station, finally arriving in Detroit and to the Detroit River. Freedom workers hired a ferry to deliver them to Sandwich, Ontario and freedom. There Caroline was left with a pastor and Lyman returned home. Caroline had been on the underground railroad for 1,000 miles from July to October 1842.
— Submitted June 10, 2011, by Linda Hansen of Waukesha, Wisconsin.
Categories. • Abolition & Underground RR • Cemeteries & Burial Sites •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 10, 2011, by Linda Hansen of Waukesha, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 1,166 times since then and 59 times this year. Last updated on July 13, 2011, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on June 10, 2011, by Linda Hansen of Waukesha, Wisconsin. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.