Friends & Relatives


I was impressed to find your website. I was watching Hee Haw on the RFD channel tonight and Buck Owens announced a salute to “Romance, WI; population 20”. I believe it was their 5th season, episode 3. Although I have lived and traveled all over Wisconsin, I have never heard of Romance and thought that Hee Haw made it up. I was very stunned to find that your community exists! Kudos to you and your great website and educating the rest of us!!

Best regards, Julie Mecikalski Hustler, WI


There used to be a Church of Christ in Romance, and Nancy Helgesen Lyons' father was a guest preacher there in the 1950s. He was at that time 34 and divorced, and as a divorced man, in that day he could not become pastor of a church, but he could substitute. Nancy's father's name was Floyd Helgesen, and he was raised in Madison. Her aunt, Vera Getter of Bud, was going to the Church of Christ in Romance, and brought her little sister, Nancy's mother Corrine Harris, who was 19. Nancy's mother lived at the time in Red Mound on the family farm. After about 2-3 months of "long distance" dating between Madison and Red Mound, her parents were married in 1952 and lived in Madison.

If you happen to know of any Romance residents who are elderly and may have attended the Church of Christ, or if you know of any photos of the church and people in the congregation that might be at a local historical society, or that people in the area might be willing to show, she would appreciate any leads.

Thanks, Nancy Helgesen Lyon


Thanks the website and effort.

The Romance, Wisconsin poem you have included opens with:

“We keep poor records. What matters most happens so slowly no records are kept at all”.

This is certainly the case, only fragments of the history remain. I include excerpts from a couple of

documents that capture just a tiny piece.

Some of the remarkable early residents of the area were William S. Hall and his family. Many of their

graves are in the beautiful little “Romance cemetery” and are my family’s earliest connection to Romance.

A section from an old Hall family tree follows, including a description of the journey to Romance:

 William S. Hall

 Birth: 22 Dec 1821 in Angus, Aberlemno Scotland

 Death: 8 Jan 1914 in Romance, Wi.

 Burial: Romance Cemetery

Aberdeen is county seat of Aberdeen Co. in Scotland . A seaport,

Population of about 185,000.(1941) Located on the east side fo Scotland.

Forfar (Forfar shire) Located about 25 miles north of Dundee (seaport), Scotland

Forfar has population of about 10,000.(1941) Forfar is county seat of Angus Co. Scotland.

William Martin Hall Sr. supposedly born in Forfar shire, Scotland, noted by his

hand writing in his military papers. Farmed along the Bad Ax at Romance.

Other residences: England with an uncle for two years, after marriage.

Lived in Brookllyn, N.Y. for 3 years. Shewasa Worked as a Seamstress to make enough

money to move to Romance, Wi. William Hall received his educational advantages in the parish of

Eberlemens, Scotland. At the age of fifteen he became employed by a

physician, with whom he remained a year, and then found employment under

another physician(DR. Smith) in his native town. Following an old

country custom he was apprenticed to a tailor, receiving in return for

his services his board and lodging. For a time after his term had ended

he went to England and was with an uncle for two years. In 1846 he

retuned to Scotland and married Ann Martin, a daughter of Charles and

Margaret (Glen) Martin. Shortly after his marriage he took up his

residence in Glen Clorn, Scotland, and in 1849 started for America on the

sailing vessel "Harmonica." The voyage was a stormy one and took six

weeks. After a year's labor as a gardener in Lodi, N.Y., he came west to

McHenry county, Ill., where he entered land under the homestead act and

cleared and improved it. For a time he was shepherd of 900 sheep on

Crystal prairie. In September, 1856, the family started for Wisconsin,

and had gotten as far as Mill Creek, in Richland County, when they were

snowed in and compelled to remain there the balance of a hard, cold

winter. They lost the larger part of the stock they had with them, and

had difficulty in supplying themselves with food. In the spring of 1857

they continued their journey and shortly afterward located on eighty

acres of pre-empted land in section 36 of the town of Genoa. A log cabin

was the first domicile of the family, but in later years this gave place

to the fine stone house which Albert J. Hall now occupies. Most of the

clearing and improving on the place was done by William Hall. He was a

man well-known throughout the town and county and the incumbent of many

of the offices. For twenty-five years he was postmaster at Romance, for

thirty years was justice of the peace and for several years was clerk of

the school district. He and his wife, Ann were the parents of eight

children. William Martin, the eldest, is a farmer of Genoa Township.

Anna is the wife of Merritt Rowe of Bronson, Ia. Mary, who died in 1900

was the wife of Frank Waller of Sprink county, S.D. Agnes became the wife

of Albert Adams of the town of Harmony. David died in 1874. Jane

Elizabeth is now Mrs. Sidney Gillette of New Albin, Ia. and Matilda is

deceased. Albert J. Hall is the fifth child in order of birth.

Remarkably tough people as they made the arduous trek to Romance with 7, 5, 3, and 1 year old children!

In 1993, my uncle Robert Tulloch Stormont of LaCrosse, compiled a bit of our families history. The

following is an excerpt including my forbearer’s connection to Romance:

From Robert T Stormont:

Grandfather James Stormont was trained in Arbroath as a joiner or carpenter and stonemason.

(There was no future in rope making). He migrated to this country when he was about 19 years

of age. We don't know what ship he came over on, but we do have information that he entered

the U.S.A. through the port of Detroit. We do not know for certain why he came to the

La Crosse, Wisconsin area so we are forced to make some "educated" guesses. Remember that

his mother’s name was Jane Martin (the Martins had been tenant farmers in Augus County) and

that Jane had a younger sister named Anne Martin.

Anne Martin had married a William Hall in Carmyllie, County of Augus, in 1846, and the two of

them spent their honeymoon migrating to the United States. They tried farming in McHenry

County, Illinois, but did not feel at all comfortable on flat land, so they "pulled stakes" and finally

settled on the west bank of the Bad Axe River at a sport called Romance about 20 miles

southeast of La Crosse. (My mother told me that she had heard that "Uncle Willie" Hall had

named the spot Romance). Now, what would be more natural than young James Stormont, our

grandfather, going to his aunt's place in Romance to pay his respects? Undoubtedly, the Halls

told him to go to the growing community of La Crosse nearby where there was a need for well-

trained carpenters and stone masons. A kinsman of ours, Ronald Harris of La Crosse is

descended from William Hall (Uncle Willie) of Romance.

It would be well to digress at this point and go back to the highlands of Scotland to an area near

Beauly just a few miles to the east of Inverness. There in a little hamlet called Kiltariity lived a

tenant farmer named Hugh Tulloch and his wife, Barbara Hutchen Tulloch. One of their children,

Robert Tulloch, was born in 1814.

These were mighty tough times for tenant farmers who were trying to convert their properties to

profitable sheep grazing lands. Young Robert Tulloch journeyed south seeking employment and

found a job working in a stone quarry for a Mr. James Hall of Aberlemno in Augus County near

the town of Forfar. Mr. James Hall was the father of William Hall who had married Anne Martin

and then migrated to Romance on the Bad Axe River. James Hall also had a daughter, Mary

Hall, a younger sister of William Hall.

Strangely enough, Robert Tulloch must have found time for a bit of relaxation between all his

time spent in "contemplating" rocks, and ultimately found himself married to Mary Hall. On their

honeymoon they migrated to an area near Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, where Robert found work

with the railroad, and began to raise a family. There must have been correspondence between

Jane Martin Stormont of Arbroath, Scotland, and her sister, Anne Martin Hall of Romance on the

Bad Axe River in Wisconsin. It also appears that William Hall probably wrote to his younger

sister, Mary Hall Tulloch up in Canada. So it is not all surprising that the Robert Tulloch family

migrated from Canada to Romance in the valley of the Bad Axe River and bought a small farm

adjacent to the William Halls. Likewise, it is not at all surprising that Aunt Anne Martin Hall

should arrange that her young nephew, James Stormont (our grandfather), meet the Tullochs

next door, and suffer exposure to the comely daughters of the Tullochs (Any fool can write the

rest of the scenario). On April 14,1875, James Stormont was married to Jean Tulloch in La

Crosse, Wisconsin. Jean was the oldest daughter of the Tullochs.

As you can see in the excerpt, my Grandmother believed that William Hall (Uncle Willie) named the area


My father and I have trekked to Romance several times as it is a very special place for us. Thanks for the

opportunity to share.


Bob Stormont

Hartland, Wisconsin

I will gladly add anyone else's story to this page. Please pass this website on to your friends and relatives.