Air Quality:
CF Bank Mural

Community First Relief

115 E Main Street

The mural, designed by Reedsburg School District art teachers Jeff Herschleb and Darren Honnold, depicts the arrival of pioneer settler James Babb into what would become Reedsburg.  It provides a unique signature to the bank’s entrance which stands approximately 100 yards from Babb’s Ford, a hard bottom section of the Baraboo River.

James Babb, our most noted pioneer arrived here before Reedsburg was even a place. In the spring of 1844 this was just a lonely spot known to the few settlers in Wisconsin as "Indian Ford". Proceeding up the river Babb reached the fertile tract that comprised what became Babb's Prairie. From 1844 to 1851 "Babb's Ford" was the only river crossing. Mr. Babb was a great friend of the Indians, especially of Ah-ha-choker, the Chief of the Winnebagoes. For years Mr. Babb and his family were constantly surrounded by Native Americans, who for some time were their only neighbors. Because of his justice and generosity, he was always on friendly terms with the Native Americans. Throughout a period of thirty years, neither he nor his family ever lost anything by the depredations of their neighbors. He died in 1875 and is buried in a private cemetery on Old Ironton Rd, on Babb's Prairie.

Research had to be done for such a project.  Herschleb talked to city historian Gordy Emery about the mural and learned that Babb used an ox team, not horses and he arrived on the west bank of the river, not the east.  Those elements were then changed in the preliminary drawing. The Indian houses were originally depicted as teepees, which was more typical for the Plains tribes. However the Ho-Chunk Nation was here when the first settlers arrived and they lived in wigwams.

Honnold did the final drawing, which became the basis for the mural.  Their sketch went on to the Endicott Brick company in Nebraska where the drawing was refined and transferred to brick.  This mural was especially challenging for the firm as it was on rounded corners instead of a flat wall. Each brick was designed, made and numbered.  Dick Schara and Mike Corwith were the two local bricklayers to actually assemble the mural in Reedsburg. Working on two of the hottest days in August of 2001, Schara and Corwith assembled the mural you see today.