Barn’s walls hold proof of hired hand’s addiction
A photo of this Mystery Place is HERE
“Prairie Queen” is the name of this barn quilt located on the barn at the Bruno E. Schiffleger farm, W3790 Potters Road, northeast of Elkhorn. The farm is in section 21 of the town of LaFayette.
Schiffleger is a retired dentist who practiced for many years in Elkhorn and Lake Geneva. He was my dentist when I lived in Elkhorn. He and his wife bought this farm in 1964.
Their nearest neighbors were Lester and Elisabeth Walbrandt. This couple lived their entire life in this area and told many stories about a hired hand employed by a former owner of the Schiffleger property. He was an alcoholic who kept his supply of whiskey in the barn.
When the Schifflegers did some remodeling of the barn, they found more than 100 empty pint and quart liquor bottles between the walls. This was apparently a convenient place to dispose of the empty bottles. They found and still have a quart bottle from the Duffy Malt Whiskey Company of Rochester, N.Y., dated Aug. 24, 1886.
The 1857 plat map shows that the 60-acre area, which includes the current buildings, was owned by M. Potter. The only M. Potter I could find in C.W. Butterfield’s “History of Walworth County” was a Maud Potter, daughter of Joseph Potter. Joseph had land in sections 18 and 19 in the town of LaFayette.
Albert Beckwith’s “History of Walworth County” mentions a Monroe Potter. He was a brother of Joseph, son of Robert, whose father was the Joseph mentioned above.
Potter was a well-known name in this areas as you can tell by the name of the road on which this farm is located. In addition, the school house, which is now the town hall west of here, was called Potter’s School.
The 1873 plat book shows the owner of this land as P. Hardman. The 1891 and 1907 books show P. Harmon as the owner of this property. Neither name appears in Butterfield’s history.