High Five History

Which Eau Claire Founding Father Are You?

meet five of the biggest old-time names in the Valley

Tom Giffey |

CAN YOU RANDALL IT? The statue of Adin Randall in Randall Park, circa 1920 (Chippewa Valley Museum photo)
CAN YOU RANDALL IT? The statue of Adin Randall in Randall Park, circa 1920 (Chippewa Valley Museum photo)

It’s quiz time, people. Dig deep into the inside of your inner self and answer these quizzical questions with absolute honesty to discover which of the Chippewa Valley’s founding fathers you are.

Adin Randall

Are you the restless, entrepreneurial type who starts more businesses before breakfast than most people do in a lifetime? Are you interested in creating accommodations for people, whether they’re weary travelers or the town’s jailbirds? Are you persuasive enough to convince many of the others on this list to move to the Chippewa Valley and get into the lumber business? Did your candle burn out long before your legend ever did? Why, you’re none other than neighborhood namesake Adin Randall! Sorry about the early death at age 39.

H.C. Putnam

Do you take advantage of your job for personal gain, such as using your position as a federal land agent in Eau Claire to make a fortune in lumber?  Are you aggressive enough to try (and fail) to monopolize the region’s timber holdings? Do you have a complicated relationship with nature, despoiling it to get wealthy while also setting aside a swathe of land to be preserved as Putnam Park? Congratulations, you’re Henry Cleveland Putnam!

William Carson

Are you mature enough to move – alone! – from Canada to the U.S. at the tender age of 11 and get a job in a lumber camp at age 13? Are you the kind of businessman who can amass a million dollars when the term “millionaire” still meant something? Are you beloved enough by your family that they will buy a beautiful peninsula and turn it into a park after you die? You must be William Carson, owner of the first house with plastered walls in town!

Daniel Shaw

Are you hard-working but a bit shortsighted, the kind of guy who builds a lumber mill but doesn’t pay for fire insurance? Are you determined enough to rebuild the mill after it burns down? Do you have an open mind, getting involved in everything from flour milling to tow-boating? Will a neighborhood in Eau Claire still bear your name more than century after your death? Nice to meet you, Daniel Shaw, namesake of Shawtown!

Orrin Ingram

Are you the creative type who can invent a device to help your steamboat ply the shallow Chippewa River? Are you competitive “frenemies” with lumber legend Frederick Weyerhaeuser? Did you admire Adin Randall so much you commissioned a statue of him? Good day, Orrin Ingram!