Fur Traders

Amable Vieau

First Known White Man in Muskego

Amable Vieau was the son of Jacques Vieau, the noted fur trader and father-in-law of Solomon Juneau. He was born in Green Bay, Wi. Amable settled among the Potowatomie people in Waukesha County in 1825 and furnished them with calico, beads, tobacco and ammunition in exchange for fur pelts. He was known to have mastered nine tribal dialects from his long association with the native peoples.

 

After the fur trade concluded, according to an article in the Waukesha Freeman upon his death in November 1887, "Mr. Vieau selected a location in the present town of Muskego and became a farmer there, hunting and trapping, however, in proper season. Of powerful and robust figure, with ever healthful spirits and an overwhelming tendency to prevent suffering and distress whenever possible, he lived as a patriarch among his neighbors at Muskego til a new civilization had grown on about him and the last of his Pottawattomie friends had departed forever. Let the name of of Amable Vieau be held in honor and respect in this part of Wisconsin as that of a manly Christian of innumerable virtues and without malice, hatred or uncharitableness".

 

A month after his death, an article in the Waukesh Freeman notes, "The wife of Amable Vieau, at Muskego, has been allowed 320 acres of land in the Indian territory by the government, the share of the allotment to the Indians, to which her husband was entitled".

He is not credited with being Muskego's first white settler but he was living in Muskego before any other known white man arrived.