In 1848, William Horner of Warren County, Virginia, and his former slaves, the Shepard family, hitched a team of oxen to wagons and ventured west to Wisconsin. They arrived at this point, later to be known as Pleasant Ridge.
The Shepards bought land from Mr. Horner for $1.50 an acre, making them the first recorded African-American family to live in the area. The beginnings of a community of over 100 free or escaped slaves, Pleasant Ridge at one point had a church and a school. Now the one acre-cemetery is all that remains.