The farmhouse at 6604 County Highway BB, in the town of Buena Vista in Portage County, detailed in a previous article, was owned for some years by Lawrence Ciesielski. Northeast of that house stands another Ciesielski house, at 6527 County BB, but there the similarity ends. The two houses are very different, and equally different are the stories they have to tell.
To begin with, the house at 6527 is made of brick, not wood. And it is much older than the other house. In fact, it is one of the oldest farmhouses still standing in Portage County. According to the 1860 U.S. Census for the town of Buena Vista, Lafayette Parkhill was living on the farm in that year, which presumably means there was a house standing on it. That house may not have been this one, but circumstantial evidence suggests this one was built not long after 1860.
The farm was apparently a gift to Parkhill’s wife, Laura Ann Copp Parkhill, from her brother-in-law, William Walton, in 1864. A Warranty Deed dated Jan. 26 (Vol. S of Deeds, page 634) recorded the transaction. Unfortunately, the deed itself appears to be lost; only the reference to it remains, in the Grantor/Grantees Index, in the Register of Deeds Office. And that Index entry does not give the consideration – the price paid by Mrs. Parkhill to Walton – but I suspect it would be “$1.00 and other good and valuable considerations,” a common notation in gifts from one family member to another.