Born in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Isaac Stephenson (1829-1918) followed his interests as a lumberman, sailor, and entrepreneur to Bangor, Maine and, later, to the northern woods of Wisconsin. In 1858, he purchased a one-quarter interest in the North Ludington Lumber Company in Marinette and went on to become that community's leading citizen. He founded the Stephenson National Bank, donated the Stephenson Public Library, developed the town's retail and commercial district, and used his involvement in local politics as a springboard for state and national office. Stephenson served in the Wisconsin State Assembly (1866-1868), as a U.S. Representative from Wisconsin (1883-1889), and also as a U.S. Senator from that same state (1907-1915). An active participant in the "Half-Breed" faction of Wisconsin's Republican party that supported Huagen and La Follette in their races for the governorship, he began publishing the Free Press of Milwaukee in 1901 as a means of conveying their reform-minded views to the public. In the Senate, La Follette and Stephenson soon found themselves differing over issues of patronage and efforts to eliminate graft and purify the political process. Stephenson had little interest in a national political agenda. Although much of his autobiography deals with his civic and political life, its first half provides inside perspectives on many aspects of the logging industry and life in the logging camps. There is also considerable information on local Native American groups, especially the Menominee, and the folklife of occupational and family groups in the rapidly developing areas of the Upper Midwest.