The book, “Choice Seed in the Wilderness,” written by Lillian Russell Porter in 1964 is based on the diary of Ann Eliza Bacon, who married Joseph K. P. Porter and moved to Cooksville in 1847 from Massachusetts. Eliza, as she was called, was the “choice seed” in the “wilderness” that became her new home near the Village of Cooksville. And she blossomed in the wilds of her frontier community.
Together, these two Porter women—Eliza (1821-1890) and Lillian (1892- 1976), both of whom married into the Porter family— tell a charming story of the first Porters to move to the “wilderness” of the Wisconsin Territory. Lillian’s grandmother Eliza lived, thrived and enjoyed life in the 19th century alongside the Badfish Creek in the neighboring villages of Cooksville (1842) and Waucoma (1846).
Lillian Porter’s1964 book used Eliza’s 19th-century diary and other historical resources to re-create the trials and tribulations of settling the newly-opened Territory— beginning a new life, establishing a frontier home, and participating in a new social and cultural community, so different in many ways from her Boston home.