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fienrg W. Sage 


A ih73s-jf. y/fA^,. . 




First American Settlement in 1833, to 1841 

Topographical Description, 

As !]■ Al'PI-.AKJIlJ IN A SlAll. i>l NaI'UKI:, i I.I.LSTKAl Ell, 
WIJ'H A MaI'. 


ki:\ ibKii i-.iii I II IN. 

Swain & Tate. Book and Job Printers 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1890, by James S. Buck, 
in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 



Milwaukee's First Practicing Physician, Present Earliest Living 
Pioneer, an Honored and Worthy Citizen, 

is this volume most respectfully dedicated by 



In coming before the public with the revised edition of 
Vol. I, Pioneer Hi.story of Milwaukee, the author is' aware 
that justice to the public as well as himself, require that he 
make some explanation as to the reasons why many things 
which properly belonged in the previous edition appeared 
subsequently in Vols. II, III and IV., to-wit: The cuts of 
Albert Fowler's office, Juneau's old trading house, his new 
dwelling house and store, the Cottage Inn, et al. ; also the 
complete record of the first election, held September ig, 1835; 
all of which properly belonged — as stated above — in the first 
edition, and will (the election excepted) appear in their 
proper place in this. And, as such explanation, I will sa}' 
that when the previous edition was published in 1876, the 
writer had not the remotest idea of continuing the histor}' 
beyond the limit embraced in that volume, viz., seven years; 
neither were the cuts of the buildings mentioned attainable 
at that time, as no represenation of their form existed except 
in the memory of the pioneers, there being no photographer 
in Milwaukee prior to 1847 or 1848, for the want of which, 
most of these early buildings had passed into oblivion unre- 
corded. That is the reason wh}', that when it was decided to 
bring the history further down, first to the adaptation of the 
charter in 1846 (for which purpose a short index for Vol. I 
was placed in Vol. II, and the first successful attempt to 
reproduce these old buildings from memory was made), and 
subsequently to 1861, that they were so placed. The cuts on 
pages 38, 39 and 40, Vol. Ill, are so placed to show the im- 
provement made upon that historic corner since 1834, and the 
map in the appendix ib. to show the actual appearance of that 
half block up to 1838-g, while the same grouped on pages 446 
and 447, Vol IV, is for the purpose of connecting them with 
the first elections. With this explanation the author relies 
upon a generous and enlightened public to overlook this 
fault, as had he contemplated in 1876 bringing the history (if 
such it niaj' be called) down to 1 861, or perhaps later, every- 
thing would have appeared in its proper order. 


Author's Preface. 

The writing of books has become so common in our day, 
that there would seem to be no call for, or material left, from 
which one more could be compiled, ever)' field of literature 
having been so thoroughl)' plowed and its soil exhausted, so 
to speak, by previous writers, as to make it impossible for the 
. imagination of the most versatile scribbler in the land, to pro- 
duce one more which would interest the people of this fast 
age; but the author has concluded to make the attempt, and 
if he fail, will, of course, lay the blame where it properly 
belongs (and his readers can easily guess where that will be), 
but he hopes not to fail; in fact, he is not going to — and 
cheered by this hope, has spent much time and gas inputting 
this work into the hands of the public, believing that it can- 
not fail to both interest and amuse them. 

The author does not expect to put all that was done in 
into a work of three hundred pages, or three thousand, 
even; neither does he wish it understood that he knows 
all about Milwaukee's early days; nevertheless, he has seen 
some of. Neither has he told all that he knows, and is 
not going to, having too strong a regard for his brother 
pioneers for that, and does not intend to expose their weak 
points any further than is absolutely necessary, in order to 
make his readers understand the spirit that brooded over Mil- 
waukee in those early times; and to portray the true charac- 
ter of the early men, some of whom have done noble work, 
and who to-day, at three score and ten, are as active as boys; 
men with healthy bodies and healthy minds. What he has 
written, is a small part of the great whole, and if every old 
settler will write as much, which many of them can do, their 
writings will no doubt prove as interesting, and perhaps more 
so, than will what is contained in this book. Many will no 
doubt ask why he did not state this and that. To this his 


answer will be, that he is human, and of course liable to for- 
get many things, particularly as no record was ever kept of 
many of these events at the time of their occurrence; the 
place of historian being one that the author never contem- 
plated occupying until within the last fifteen years. 

It is not considered necessary to give a full and complete 
history of the first settlement and occupancy of Wisconsin, 
by the Jesuit Fathers and their companions and successors, 
the traders, in this little work, and, with the exception of one 
or two short articles, and a short chronological record to 
appear in the appendix, it will not be attempted; that work 
having not only been already done, but well done, in the early 
pioneer histories, on file in the rooms of the State Historical 
Society, at Madison; but simply to give a short and concise 
epitomized history of the early settlement of Milwaukee, from 
1833 to 1840, inclusive, with the historical part. The Bio- 
graphical and Incidental is, however, brought further down. 

Nothing beyond that is attempted, neither is anything 
stated that is not known or believed to be strictly true, for it 
is the intention to make this book a foundation upon which 
future historians can build, who were not eye witnesses or 
participants in any of these scenes, and who never saw Mil- 
waukee when all was new and wild. And he looks, with con- 
fidence, to a generous public, to remunerate him with a goodly 
"shower of ducats." Books cannot be written wholly for 
"fame, or honor, '^ particularly such a work as this; the com- 
pilation of which has cost so much labor. 

What is stated in this book, is not only true, but in nearly 
all the incidents described, the author was a party or an eye 
witness; and with this allegation, will close his preface with 
an acknowledgment of thanks to Daniel Wells, Jr., Dr. 
Enoch Chase, Horace Chase, Geo. Reed, Wm. P. Merrill, 
Henry Williams, Joseph Gary, William Sivyer, Henry Sivyer, 
Geo. D. Dousman, John H. Tweedy, R. G. Owens, Wm. A. 
Prentiss, Henry W. Bleyer, Narcisse Juneau, Mrs. Theresa 
Juneau White, and others who have given valuable informa- 
tion; and particularly are they due to Messrs. Seamen & 
Kitchel, attorneys and abstractors of titles, for the draft of 
the lithographic map annexed. j. g. B. 

Table of Contents, 



CHAPTER I.— 1833 and 1834 ig 

Discovery o£ Wisconsin and Milwaukee by the early French Mission- 
aries, 1674 — Arrival of Gorrell, 1762; Vieux and Mirandeau, I7g5 
— Settlement of Juneau, 1818 — Morgan L. Martin's Visit, 1833; 
makes first sketch ever made by an American — Arrival of Albert 
Fowler, November, 1833; G. H. Walker, Byron Kilbourn, Horace 
Chase, Deacon Samuel Brown and others, in 1834 — Letter of M. 
L. Martin. 

CHAPTER XL— 1835 4g 

Dr. E. Chase's Narrative — People begin to flock in — First Ware- 
house Built — Vieau's Hotel Built — Commencement of the Belle 
"View— First Mills Built— First Election Held — D. Wells, Jr's, Let- 
ter — List of Names — Killing of Ellsworth Burnett — Amusing Inci- 
cident — Cat Soup, or Feeding the Hungry — Vieau's Trading Post 
— Close of 1835. 

CHAPTER III.— 1836, 81 

Opening of the year 1836 — Names of the Men of 1836 — Location 
and Buildings Erected — How and by Whom Occupied — Claims 
Where Located — Roads and Cemeteries — Surveys — Plats and Sales 
— Memoriam. 

CHAPTER IV.— 1836 107 

Milwaukee in a State of Nature. 

CHAPTER v.— 1836 126 

Formation of a Territorial Government — Appointment of State Offi- 
cers — Government Organized — First Caucus — Election of Mem- 
bers of Council and Assembly — Spicy Correspondence — Conven- 
tions — Gen. Jones Elected Delegate — Rail Road Charters — The 
Old Bellevue— The Exchange— The Old Court House— The First 

CHAPTER VI.— 1836 140 

Agriculture, Samples of — Ferries — Rates Established — Vessel Ar- 
rivals — First Vessel Built — Opening of the Straits and First Ar- 
rivals from 1836 to 1871 — First Newspaper Established — Letters, 
etc. — Sketch of Churches — John Pickle. 

CHAPTER VII.— 1836 151 

Non-Parallelism of Streets — Changes in the Marsh and River, and 
the Author's Opinion of the Purpose for which many of the 
Tumuli were Built — The Pioneer Women of Milwaukee. 


CHAPTER VIII.— 1837 162 

Year Opened with General Gloom — Financial Depression — Year 
Compared with 1836 — Improvements — Claim Organizations — Or- 
ganization of a Village Government — Arrival o£ Mathew Keenan — 
Trustees Elected — General Crawford Brings the Detroit — Kilbourn 
Builds the Badger — Description of — Capt. Hubbell — The Sentinel 
Started — Judge Frazier Opens Court — Its Results — Organization 
of Agricultural and Medical Societies — Conventions — Elections — 
Incidents — List of Prizes — How the Author Spent the First Win- 

CHAPTER IX.— 1838 197 

Its Opening — Outlook — List of Those Who Came — Improvements — 
Douseman Builds his Warehouse at the foot of East Water street 
— Election of Trustees — Appointments by the Governor — News- 
paper Warfare — Convention at Prairie Village — Its Amusing Inci- 
dents — Election — Other Conventions — Bill for Uniting the Two 
Wards — Its Results — Harrison Ludington arri\'es — Tax Levy — 
Census — Removal of the Indians — Opening of Road to Madison by 
Government — Light House Bnilt — Eli Bates, Keeper — Toads — 
Bull Baiting — County Expenses — Vessel List — Close of Year — 
Biographical Sketches of Joseph Shuney, Te-pa-kee-nee-nee {.l/i<is 
Capt. Morgan), O-not-sah, his son Kow-o-set, and Mrs. Solomon 

CHAPTER X —1839 217 

Improved Appearance of the City at its Opening — List of Names — 
Bridge War Inaugurated — Improvements — Settlers' Meeting — Con- 
ventions^ — Opening of the Milwaukee and Rock River Canal, Cer- 
emony of — Arrival of .Alexander Mitchell — Organization of the 
Wisconsin Marine and Fire Insurance Company — Author Goes to 
Jefferson — Life at Jefferson — Bee Hunting — Indians — .\llen's Leap 
— Author Returns to Milwaukee — Dueling — I'ioneer Banking — Ar- 
rival of Germans — Vessel Arrivals. 

CHAPTER XL— 1840 244 

Opening of — Names of Those Known to Have Come — First Brick 
Block Erected — Other Buildings — Trustees Elected — Names of 
Canal Officers — Political — Convention at Hart's Mill Held in 
the Interest of the Canal Company — Sweet Joins Kilbourn — Con- 
vention at Prairie Village — Nominations — Election — That Love 
Feast — That Bridge — Fire Company Organized — Census — Arrival 
of the C. C. Trowbridge, Description of — That Ordinance Barbe- 
cue, Description of — Peter Yate's Leap — Immersing an Irishman — 
The Shingle Maker Plays Circus — Its Result — Speeding an Immi- 
grant — Unequaled Engineering — A Free Ride — The Old Settler's 
Club — Duelling — Closing Remarks. 


Memorial Sketches — The Founders of Milwaukee and others. 



MILWAUKEE'S EARLY DAYS— An Historical Poem 324 


It has long been my purpose to prepare for publication, 
some of the principal events of ni}' life, more particularly' 
those connected with my residence in Wisconsin, believing 
that they would prove interesting to the reading public ; and 
as, in the course of nature, I, with the rest of the early settlers 
of this queenly city, must soon pass away and be known here 
no more, except in memory, I have, at the request of the Old 
Settlers' Club, as well as of many of our prominent citizens 
not of the club, concluded to put in book form a series of 
reminiscences, descriptive of the cit}' and its early men, with 
the work they have performed ; also to describe its original 
topography, as it appeared in a state of nature, with some of 
the changes made therein in the last forty years, as well as 
the part we all have had in making these changes, and offer 
them to the public through the proper channel, viz : the Old 
Settlers' Club, hoping that their perusal will be both a pleasure 
and a beneht to the people of Milwaukee, to whom many of 
the ff.cts here related, were, before their publication, a sealed 
hook, known only to the initiated. 

At the early age of seven years the author saw his first 
geographj' and atlas, with a map of the United States and 
Territories (then mostly Territories), upon which map all that 
portion west of the Great Lakes and north of the Ohio was 
described as the Northwest Territory. Too far away at that 
early day to be seen (except in a vision), it was to him as 
much of a tei-ra incognita as is the moon. Entirely out of the 
reach of civilization, and likely to remain so during his day, 
filled with savage beasts and still more savage men, little did 
he then expect that it would ever become his home, although 
often the wish of his young heart that it could be, the very 
thought of its impossibility lending enchantment to the view. 
But the rapidity with which civilization has advanced in the 


last forty years, has brought this youthful wish to pass, and 
he finds himself with many others, in his autumnal years, one 
of the landmarks in the old Northwest Territory. But what 
a change ! The red man has disappeared before the advance 
of the whites, as doth the grass before the scythe of the 
mower ; his loved haunts are all obliterated, leaving no trace 
of his former possession or occupancy, except in the name of 
some lake or river ; his rude wigwain has been supplanted by 
the costly dwelling of the white man ; the river where floated 
his light canoe of bark, is now filled with the ships of the mer- 
chant ; in place of the savage war-whoop, we now hear the 
whistle of the swift running locomotive ; where was then held 
the war-dance, is now heard the sound of the church-going 
bell. The crooked places have been made straight ; the high 
places brought low ; the rough made smooth ; and all this in 
fifty years. 

The State of Wisconsin is one of the fairest of Columbia's 
fair daughters. Upon her eastern side, roll the blue waves of 
Lake Michigan; upon her western, flows the Father of Waters; 
she laves her giant head in the cooling depths of Lake Superior, 
and warms her feet upon the sunny prairies of the south; 
her northern half is clothed with the grand old pines, beneath 
whose roots lie concealed those metaliferous veins, whose 
undeveloped wealth would enrich an empire. From her 
southern portion are the nations of the Orient not onl^' supplied 
with bread, but here, also, lie those veins of rich galena, the 
present and prospective wealth of which are bej'ond all 

What she is to Columbia, Milwaukee is to her, viz : The 
brightest jewel in her crown ! Her geographical position is 
good; her harbor is the best upon the lake, and eas}' of access; 
her people are industrious and prosperous; and she is finan- 
ciall}', the soundest of any cit}' in the West. If such is the 
history of her youth what ma}' be expected of her, when she 
shall have reached her first centennial? The man who shall 
write that, and write it well, is 3'et to be born. 

Author's General History. 


I first heard of Milwaukee in the month of October, 1836, 
while in the cit}' of Boston, where the ship Trescott, Capt. 
Joseph Lindsey, to which I then belonged, was owned; I hav- 
ing made a voj'age in her the year previous to Calcutta. At 
Boston I met Mr. James H. Wheelock, then a young man, 
who was purchasing goods for Milwaukee, where he contem- 
plated locating himself, as a merchant. Mr. Wheelock and 
m3'self were school-mates, and very much attached to each 
other; therefore, he was not long in persuading me to accom- 
pany him to the West. We reached Detroit in November, 
on the last boat for that season, the Old Columbus, Capt. 
Walker, where I remained until Mr. Wheelock came to Mil- 
waukee and returned, which he did, going by lake in a vessel 
called the Mississippi, and returning by land; a Mr. Harmond, 
who afterwards settled in Chicago, making the trip with him. 
The passage around the lakes was very dangerous at that sea- 
son of the year; but as that was the only way in which the 
goods could be got through, it was finally undertaken and 
accomplished in safety. Mr. Wheelock had a brother at Mil- 
waukee, B. F. Wheelock, and an uncle, the late Col. Jonathan 
Wheelock, at Green Baj'. Many of the old settlers will 
remember him for his great personal strength, he being, 
probably, the strongest man in the State. He was one of 
four brothers, who were all, with one exception, men of 
immense personal strength, all born and raised in Vermont. 
Col. Wheelock kept the first hotel in Green Bay, coming there 
from Ogdensburg in 1832, at the request of Mr. Whitney, 
whom most of the early men will no doubt remember as an 


early and prominent merchant and land speculator at that 
frontier post, where he died in 1868. I remember Mr. Whit- 
ney well. 

I have often thought, how small a thing will sometimes 
change the whole current of a man's life. My meeting 
with J. H. Wheelock, in Boston, took me from the sea, 
for which I had prepared myself by learning navigation, 
and made me a pioneer on the frontier, as Wisconsin was 
then called; a life I had never contemplated. But mark 
how he and I changed places. He returned East in 1838, 
went to sea himself, in a whaleship, a life he certainly 
had never contemplated; rose to the command of a vessel, 
and died in Tahiti, Society Islands, in 1848, while I have 
lived to see what was then a vast wilderness, over which 
the red man had for ages roamed at will, subdued and 
filled with a highly civilized and enlightened population; 
and Milwaukee, from a small village, become a city of one 
hundred thousand inhabitants*, who, for learning, enterprise, 
wealth and refinement, have no superiors west of New 
York, not excepting that small village at the head of the lake. 
Her commerce has grown from one vessel, the Solomon 
Juneau, to thousands of tons; her wheat market is the best in 
the country, if not in the world; her railroads traverse the 
State in all directions, like a net; her churches are numerous 
and prosperous; her public schools are not only the jo}' and 
pride of her own people, but the env}/ of her sister cities; her 
water-works are both extensive and grand, her whisk}' men 
have made " Rome howP'f for the last few years, on account 
of the manufacture of this national beverage, both straight 
and crooked, in consequence of which, some of them are, at 
present, under a slight cloud; in the manufacture of lager 
beer, also, is she unexcelled. But her crowning glory is the 
Court-house 1 Happy indeed, are the people who have been 

-Now (i88g) 200,000. 

fThis has reference to the prosecution of McDonald et nl, for defrauding 
the government during the administration of Gen. Grant. 


SO fortunate as to become the owners of one of these httle toys. 
True, man}' of the nations and cities of old were renowned for 
their wonderful works of art; Pisa has her Leaning Tower, 
the use of which has not yet been discovered; Egypt can 
point to her Pyramids; Rome can boast of her Coliseum. 
And yet these people were not happy. Alas for them, they 
had no Court-house, simply because they had no supervisors. 
The highest officers known in their day were kings and 
emperors. That was as far as they had advanced. Had they 
possessed supervisors, then indeed, would their cup of joy, 
like ours, have been full. But, joking aside, it is to be hoped 
that this stupendous elephant will not whoUj' bankrupt the 
people in their efforts to board it, for it is certainly a good 
feeder, eating freely everything it can get. 

But I will end this digression, return to Detroit, and en- 
deavor to describe some of the incidents connected with vay 
journey from that cit}' to Milwaukee. 

As previously stated, I remained in Detroit while Mr. 
Wheelock came to Milwaukee and returned; which he did, I 
think, on the 20th of December. The year of 1836 had been 
one of great prosperity, i. e., one of inflation. Just such a 
state of affairs existed throughout the country, particularly in 
the West, as would to-day, if the advocates for an increase of 
currency should succeed in carrying their measures through 
Congress.* The stream of emigration had been like a tidal 
wave all that year, into the present States of Michigan, Wis- 
consin and Illinois. These new States that were, and that 
were yet to be, were fast filling up with men from all parts of 
the East and South, whose pockets were full of paper money, 
(alias wild cat), not worth, in manj' cases, the cost of the paper 
upon which it was printed, with which lands for town sites 
were purchased, and in which lots here sold for fabulous prices, 
in many cases double the amount the same lots would bring 
to-day. The whole country was literally covered with town 

*Reference to the Greenback craze. 


sites; and schemes for swindling the people were as common 
as the prairie itch, and that almost every one had. This con- 
tinued until the close of navigation, when the bubble burst, 
and these men who, in 1836, had counted their wealth by the 
million, were, in the spring of 1837, so poor, that the sight of 
a one-hundred dollar bill would have made them cross-eyed. 

Detroit was, at that time, on account of her geographical 
position, the New York of the Northwest, and therefore, con 
stantly filled with strangers and speculators, on their way to 
the far West or their return to the East, among whom, I met 
a Mr. Cowdry, of Logansport, Ind. This gentleman, who was 
a lawyer, and a very talented man, had spent the previous 
summer in Saginaw, locating pine lands, and was on his 
return to Logansport when I met with him. With him I 
made an arrangement to come as far as South Bend, Ind. , where 
we were to part, he going south to Logansport, leaving me to 
make the rest of the journey by stage. Our rig consisted of 
z. jumper, drawn by a large and powerful horse. We were also 
well provided with blankets and robes, some provisions, and 
if my memory is correct, a curiously shaped stone vessel filled 
with eye-water, to kill Indians with, if we saw any. [N. B. — 
This eye- water has killed more Indians than gun-powder. J 
At Saginaw, Mr. Cowdry obtained two Indian ponies, and one 
of them (a stallion), I think, had more devil in him than any 
horse I had ever seen, up to that time. The mare was tied to 
the shafts by the side of the horse, while I rode the stallion, 
or was to ride him. In this manner we left Detroit, on the 
first day of January, 1837, for Milwaukee, Mr. Wheelock 
remaining at Detroit until spring, when he came around the 
lakes, in the schooner Napoleon, Captain Langle)', joining 
me in Milwaukee in the month of June. 

The winter of 1836 was exceedingly cold and snowy, and 
the consequence was, that my feet were badly frozen the first 
day, which put an end to horseback riding, and gave me a 
seat in the jumper. My gallant steed was fastened to the 
rear of the jumper, with a rope halter, and he made it lively 

01' .MILWAUKKi:. 15 

for US the first two days. If he upset us once, he did twenty 
times, and the way he managed to do it, was this : He would 
get the slack of his halter under the end of the rave at the 
rear of the jumper, when, with a jerk, he would land us in the 
snow in the twinkling of an eye. Mr. Cowdry thought he did 
this in order to examine the bottom of the jumper, or break our 
jugof eye-water,or something of that sort; but I think it was sim- 
ply out of pure cussedness. But whatever his motive was, he 
kept it to himself, looking on while we were putting things in 
shape again, his wicked little eye full of mischief, which said, 
as plainly as though he had spoken it, "Why can't you fel- 
lows keep right side up ?" 

But this sort of thing got to be monotonous, after the nov- 
elty had worn off a little, and I fixed upon a plan to conquer 
him, that proved entirely successful, which was to fasten him 
to the end of a double wagon, loaded with stone coal, that 
was going our way, where he found his match. After that we 
liad no more trouble with him, but he did make it lively for 
us the first two days, and no mistake. 

Michigan, even at that early day, was quite thickly settled, 
principall}' from New York and the New England States, and 
a finer looking countr}' than we passed over, I certainly' had 
never seen before. Many of the farmers had large improve- 
ments, good buildings, and everything in good shape. Game 
was also abundant, particularly quail; I had never seen so 
man}' before, and certainly have not since, as I saw on that 
journey from Detroit to Milwaukee. The road was, so to 
speak, literally alive with them. 

We were eight days coming to South ]3end, where Mr. Cow- 
dry and I parted, he going south to Logansport, leaving me to 
make the rest of the journey by stage. I remained at South 
Bend four days, when the proprietor of the stage line, a Mr. 
Hartshorn, with whom I had formerly been acquainted in 
Vermont, came along, going express to Milwaukee, after some 
friends of his. He at once gave me a seat in his cutter, and 
away we sped, day and night, changing horses at every sta- 


tion, sleeping and driving by turns. What an exciting ride 
was that ! The sleighing was splendid, and as neither of us 
had ever been over the road before, of course all was new. 

Our route lay along the beach of the lake for a long distance 
east of Chicago, passing inside of one vessel that was at least 
four hundred feet from the water. She must have been run- 
ning at a fearful rate to have gone up as far as she did. She 
was called the North Carolina,* and was got off all right the 
next spring. 

Chicago at that time was but a small village, and had not a 
very inviting look. We left there and reached Gross Point 
about daylight the next morning, where we stopped for break- 
fast, at the onl}' house in the place, and the first one north of 
Chicago, kept by Mr. Patterson, the father of Mrs. Morgan 
L. Burdick. This family was from Woodstock, Vt., and, 
as I had formerly known them, our meeting here in this new 
land was, of course, a pleasant one. The ruins of the old 
house are still visible, and in the summer of 1875 I made a 
visit to them. We left there for Sunderlands, the next house 
north, distance some thirty miles, which we reached at noon; 
and to Willis' Tavern, six miles south of Racine, at dark, 
where we met the parties Mr. Hartshorn was in search of, 
with whom he at once returned. I remained at Willis two 
days, then came by stage, among whose passengers was D. 
H. Richards, to Racine, where we stopped for breakfast at 
Vail's Hotel, who prepared for us a splendid one. Reached 
Milwaukee at 11 a. sr. same daj-, and was set down safe and 
sound at the Milwaukee House, then called the Belle View, 
and kept by Hosmer & Starr, January 17, 1837, after an 
almost continuous ride of seventeen days. 

As the name of J. H. Wheelock will appear but once more 
in connection with Milwaukee, I will say a few words of him 
/// memoriain. 

*In looking through the Advertiser of October, 1836. I saw a notice of 
the beaching of this vessel. 


He was, like Solomon Juneau, one of nature's noblemen. 
Manly in form, courteous and dignified in manner, possessed 
of great bodily strength, and as fearless as a lion, he was such 
a man as would command respect and attention in any place 
or position. Fiftj' 3'ears have passed away since last I saw 
his manly form and took his last farewell; yet, in memory, he 
is ever present with me. 

Sleep on, thou truest friend of my early years, in that far- 
off sea-girt island grave, where green is the foliage and the 
flowers ever bloom, emblematical of that bright world where 
now dwelleth thy spirit; while the thunder of old ocean's 
rolling waves, as they beat upon its rock-bound shores, shall 
be th}' requiem ever. 

J. S. B. 


l>n)N"i:i''.R HISTORY 



1833 and 1834. 

Discovery of Wisconsin and Milwaukee by the early French Missionaries, 
1674 — Arrival of Gorrell, 1762; Vieux and Mifandeau, 1795 — Settle- 
ment of Juneau, 1818 — Morgan L. Martin's Visit, 1833; makes first 
sketch ever made by an American — Arrival of Albert Fowler, Nov., 
1833; G. H. Walker, Byron Kilbourn, Horace Chase, Deacon Samuel 
Brown and others, in 1834 — Letter of M. L. Martin. 

There have been two histories of Milwaukee, or, as its 
Indian name impHes, The BEAuriFUf- Land, placed in the 
hands of the public. 

The first, called "Wheeler's Chronicles," came out in 
1861, and, although containing some valuable information, 
is, as a Pioneer History, very imperfect, and in many 
instances incorrect. The second is in German, and of course, 
the American population are not benefited by its publication; 
as to its correctness I have no knowledge, but am informed 
that it is a very valuable work in many respects. 

It has been the intention of the author of these pages, to 
make as perfect a book as his knowledge and that of his 
brother pioneers will enable him to do, and to this end he has 
bent all his energies for some months past. 

The aborigines of this country, who, as well as the white 
race, have an eye for the beautiful in nature, seem to have 
had a great love for Milwaukee, and as a natural consequence 
it was the site of an Indian village far back in the past, as the 
aerliest explorers found them here. 


The first white man who was supposed to have seen this 
beautiful spot, (I quote from Dr. I. A. Lapham's Chronologj' 
of Wisconsin), was Father Pierre Marquette, who stopped 
here on his way from Green Bay to Chicago, Oct. 26th, 1674; 
Father Claude Allouez following two years later. But it is not 
certain that either Fathers Marquette or Allouez landed at 
Milwaukee, as Lapham's Chronology merely states that they 
coasted down the western shore of the lake, on their way to 
Chicago, but does not state that either of them landed here, 
neither does any Jesuit relation, as far as I am aware, make 
any such claim for them. It is claimed, however, in Vol. I, 
Minnesota Historical Series, page 25, that LaSalle, while on 
his way from Green Ba}' to the Illinois, in October, 1679, did 
actually go into camp at Milwaukee, in order to obtain sup- 
plies (corn), which is no doubt true, as his journal (see Park- 
man's History, Part Third, page 146) mentions his visiting a 
village of the Potawattomies about midwa}' between Green 
Bay and Chicago. It has also been thought by some that 
Jean Nicollett, who was at Green Bay (Baye Des Paunts) 
in 1639, paid a visit to Milwaukee, but if so, there is no 
authentic account of it. 

The next was John Buisson de St. Comes, who was storm 
bound at Milwarck, Nov. 10, 1699. No further mention 
seems to have been made of it until 1762, when Lieutenant 
James Gorrell, of the 80th Royal American Regiment, sta- 
tioned at Mackinaw, visited the place. 

The first trader who was supposed to have established him- 
self here was Alex. Laframbois,* from Mackinaw, in 1785, 
who remained six years, when he returned to Mackinaw, 
sending his brother Francis to supply his place. He was 
afterwards killed at Grand Haven, f after which the place was 

*I quote from Dr, Enoch Chase's Address to Old Settlers' Club. 

fit was stated in the previous edition that Laframbois was killed by the 
Winnebagoes on Rock River. This proves to have been incorrect. He 
was killed near Grand Haven, Michigan, while at prayer, by an Indian, for 
some fancied wrong. 


without a trader until 1795, when Jaques Vieau and Jean Bap- 
tist Mirandeau came from Green Bay. 

Mirandeau remained, Mr. Vieau coming annuall)', until 
Sept. 14th, 1818, when Solomon Juneau came and made a 
final settlement. 

There was a short biographical sketch of this man 
Mirandeau in the previous edition, taken from the address 
of Dr. Enoch Chase, read before the Old Settlers' Club, 
July 4th, 1872, which the Doctor at that time no doubt 
believed to be true, but which subsequent investigation has 
shown to be wholly unreliable, (see Appendix to Vol. 3). He 
was, as is there stated, a simple "courier du bois," but pos- 
sessed some skill as a blacksmith, which made him much 
liked by the Indians, whom he followed from place to place 
during their winter hunts, for the purpose of tinkering their 
guns. His death occurred in the spring of 1820, or '21, 
caused by intemperance. He was buried on the nortli half 
of the block bounded by Broadway, Wisconsin, Milwaukee 
and Michigan streets, then an Indian cemetery. A large 
number of bodies were removed from that block in 1836, 
(see Andrew |. Vieau's Reminiscences, in Vol. XI, State 
Hist. Pub.), Mirandeau' s among the rest. 

Mr. Vieau's narrative also further states that he does not 
think Mirandeau came in 1795, as he never heard his father 
speak of him as being one of his party, but thinks he came 
shortly after, and is certain that he was never in any sort of 
partnership with his father, but simply worked for him as a 
blacksmith when wanted. 

It would appear by the following, taken from the Haldimand 
papers, lately discovered in England, and published in Vol. 
XI, Wisconsin State Historical Publications, that there may 
be some doubt about Mr. Laframbois having had the honor 
claimed for him. But we will let the document speak for 

Gen. Frederick Haldimand was commander-in-chief of the British 
forces in Canada during the Revolutionary War, at a time when the entire 
Northwest was included in the Province of Quebec, He religioush- kept 

22 pioxi;i;r history 

his vast mass of military and naval reports and correspondence, but its 
existence was forgotten by his family, until a few years since, it turned up 
in a London literary junk shop, much as the Franklin letters did, and was 
for the first time made available. The Dominion archivist, Mr. Douglas 
Brymner, has issued a calendar, or descriptive list of these papers, and 
from this the editor of the Wisconsin Historical Collections, Secretary 
Reuben G. Thwaites, has selected and carefully copied at Ottawa, such 
documents as have anything whatever to do with military operations in 
what is now Wisconsin, or with naval operations on Lakes Michigan and 
Superior. The result is 115 closely printed pages of fresh historical 
material never before brought to light, revealing the interesting history of 
the present Wisconsin during the War of the Revolution. These docu- 
ments are exhaustively annotated, and together make a continuous narra- 
tive of thrilling interest. It is shown that Wisconsin was an Indian recruit- 
ing ground for the British, and that here were mustered Hamilton's notori- 
ous scalping parties; the greater part of his expedition against Vincennes, 
and afterwards the party which assaulted the Spaniards at St. Louis and 
the Americans at Kankaskia and Cahokia. Charles Michael de Langlade 
and his nephew, Charles Gautier de Verville, were the agents chiefly used 
on this Wisconsin recruiting service and their detailed reports to Generals 
Carleton and Haldimand throw much light on our early history and the cus- 
toms and whereabouts of French traders and Indian villages 

There is one particularly interesting report — that of Capt. Samuel Rob- 
ertson, commanding his majesty's sloop Felicity on a voyage of exploration 
around Lake Michigan, in October and November, 1779 — 100 years ago. 
Robertson's use of the king's English is rather atrocious, and it is sometimes 
difficult to follow him through his orthographical intricacies. But with 
patience one may pick out, with the editor's assistance, much interesting 
information in an entirely new historical field. Capt. Robertson was chiefly 
engaged in hunting for " Bostonien," — as the Americans were then called in 
these parts, — in stirring up the Indians to action and supplying well affected 
traders with the munitions of war. On the 4th of November the Felicity 
hove to in Milwaukee harbor. Here is an extract from that day's entry 
in the captain's unique log book. 

"Remarks on Thursday 4 Nov., 1779 — At 12 this day hard squals of 
wind from S W and hazey weather; at 2 this afternoon Mr. Gautly — 
[Robertson's lieutenant] — returned with 3 indeans and a french man 
who lives at Milwaukey, named Morong, nephew to Monsier St. Pier; one 
of the indeans, a war chef named Lodegand. Mr. Gautly gives them a 
present 3 bottles of Rum and half carrot of Tobacco, and also told them the 
manner governor Sinclair could wish them to Behave, at which they seemed 
weall satisfeyed; he also give instructions to Monsier St Pier to deliver 

or Mii.wAUKi'.i;. 23 

some strings of Wampiin and a little Keg of rum to the following & a carrot 
of Tobacco in governor Sinclairs name; likewise the manour how to behave; 
he also gave another small Kegg with some strings of Wampum with a car- 
rot of Tobacco to Deliver the indeans at Milwaukey which is a mixed Tribe 
of different nations. Mr Gaulty also give some strings of Wampum with 
carrot of Tobacco to Monsieur St. Pier to deliver to a chife named Cham- 
bolee who lives close by Saganac [Sigenank] to attempt to fetch him in 
either by fair or forc'd method for which he would be weall rewarded. 
Monsieur St. Pier also told us that Saganac had received a Belt from the 
Rebels desiring him to doo his Endeavor to keep all the other indeans from 
going to ware upon either side, but Chambolee said they had deceived him 
to often by telling him that their ancient father the french was going to send 
people to live & trade amongst them, but he would now no longer believe 
them, & that he would go this spring and fetch a prissoner or scaulp from 
some of Langton' [Liuctot'sl men and make peace with his father the 
Englise at Mishlimakna; the Indeans also told us that they had but a very 
poor crop this year & that they understood that their father suffered no 
merchandise to come there this winter; they had hid away all their corn for 
this winter but would fetch it to Michilmakna and trade it in the spring 
without they had goods sent them; they also told us that they had sent for 
Monsieur Fay which is at a place called the Deux Rivers [Two Rivers] 18 
leagues from Milwaukey to the north; he has 2 Canos of goods from the 
commetee, but he said it was against his orders to go amongst them, or they 
supposed so as no trader had ever wintered at that place. Before mon- 
sieur St Pier said that he believed there might be between 200 and 300 bags 
of corn to trade there in the spring he said that he raised between 40 and 
50 bags for his owen use which was all that him & his 2 men had to live 
upon this winter; he also said that the indeans owed him about 80 or 100 
bags & that they waited untill such time as he had merchandize & then 
they would pay their old debts and take new; he made interest with M 
Gautley for a kegg of Rum for which he give 15 bags of corn which I 
received on board for government; the keg of Rum was sent on board to 
be delivered to the indeans of the grand River, but we could meet with 
none there; at 4 this afternoon I despatched the 3 indeans with M Morny 
give them 3 pieces of pork and some peas for which they were thankfuU & 
went on shore. We imeadtly weighed anchor and sett sail for Mitchilima- 
kina, a fresh breeze from the S S W and hezey I steared N. N E a course 
which I supposed would fetch the Manatoo Islands." 

It will be seen from the above that in 1779 there were two traders, St. 
Pierre and Marin, established of Milwaukee; also that at Two Rivers a M. 
Fay held forth in a similar capacity. This fact relative to a Revolutionary 
trading settlement at Two Rivers has never heretofore been brought out. 


I find it stated by Andrew J. Vieau, Sr. , in Vol. XI, State 
Historical Publications, page 244, that his father (notwith- 
standing that Mr. Juneau was appointed as agent at Milwau- 
kee) still continued to trade at his old post on the Menomo- 
nee, up to 1833, and that he did not withdraw entirel}' from 
Milwaukee until 1836. This is evidently a mistake, as had 
he been here in 1825, John H. Fonda, who came in October 
of that year, and remained until the summer of 1827, would 
certainly Jiave mentioned it in his Reminiscences of Wiscon- 
sin, Vol. \^ State Historical Publications, pages 21S and 
230; neither does Albert Fowler (who with Andrew J. Lan- 
sing and Rodney J. Courier, came in November. 1833), men- 
tion any trader but ^Ir. Juneau, which he certainly would 
have done, had there been such. I am informed, however, 
by Peter J. Vieau, of Muskego, a brother of Andrew, that he 
thinks his father did not remain here after 1824, as a trader, 
but tliat he called occasionall}' on his way to Chicago after 
goods, (for he was still in the trade at Menasha and other 
points, ) to \'isit Mr. Juneau, and it was while making one of 
these \isits in the summer of 1H37, that the writer first sa\\' 
him. He remained here at that time several days, his tent 
being pitched where the Chamber of Commerce now stands. 
He had two large Mackinac boats (one of whicli contained his 
family), and eight '• courier de bois " to man them; in fact 
he traveled in regular " Indian trader " style. As a further 
proof, if any were required, that the statement of Peter J. 
Vieau is correct, is the fact that the post on the Menomonee 
was a complete ruin when Mr. Fowler came, and showed 
no evidence of having been occupied for several years pre- 
vious to that gentleman's arrival. 

It is stated, however, in Hurlburt's Histor}' of Chicago, 
page 34, that James Kinzie had a store at Milwaukee in 1821, 
but its location is not given.* 

*In Vol. XI, State Historical Publications, page 224 (Note), I find it 
stated that Mr. Kinzie, having been detected in selling whisky to the 
Indians, was ordered bj' Thomas L. McKinney, Superintendent of Indian 
Affairs, to close up his business and leave within sixty days, and that Mr. 
Vieau was hired by Matthew Irwin, U. S. factor at Green Bay, to take his 
place for the winter. Also, on page 374, ili., that Jean Baptiste Beaubien 
had a store here in 1822, but no further mention is made of Mr. Vieau. 


There appears also to have been a trading house at the 
foot of Chestnut street, sometime between 1800 and 1812, 
kept by John Baptist Bawbeal, a brother-in-law of Lafram- 
bois. This post was also occupied by Joseph LaCroix, who 
came from Mackinaw, 1804. He remained several years. 
(Vol. XI, State Historical Publications, page 240.) 

It has been supposed by many that J. B. Kenzie, of Chi- 
cago, had a trading house here about the time mentioned; if 
so, it is probable that Bawbeal was simply his agent, and not 
a trader himself. This, with the occasional visit of Joseph 
Shaunier, John Baptiste LeTontee, Stanislaus, Chapeau, Law- 
rence Filley, John B. Beaubien,* Antoine Le Claire, who 
came in 1800, f Joseph Laframbois, who came in 1802, ib., 
and remained five years; Joseph LaCroix, who came in 1804, 
ib., page 240; Captain Thomas G. Anderson, who wintered 
here in 1803-4 ^"d 5, (see Vol. IX., State Historical Pub- 
lication, page 153); Laurient Du Charme, who came in 
1777 (see Joseph Tasse's Canadians of the Northwest, 
\'ol. I, page 215; and perhaps some others whose names 
are unknown, who spent the winter here occasionall)^ as 
trappers or "courier du bois," for the American Fur Company 
(John Jacob Astor), both before and subsequent to the advent 
of Solomon Juneau, seem to have been all who visited the 

*D. W. Fowler's address before the Old Settlers' Club. 

fThis cabin of LeClaire's stood upon the northwest corner of East Water 
and Wisconsin streets, where the Ludington Block now does; Laframbois' 
upon the southeast corner of East Water and Michigan streets, where Alex. 
Mitchell's bank now does; and La Croix's — as already seen — was at or near 
the intersection of Chestnut and Fourth streets. It is very apparent, how- 
ever, that there must be some gross errors in these statements, for if 
Leclaire found no trader here — as he states in his narrative — in 1800, or any 
indications that there ever had been, it would rule out Jacques Vieux, Kin- 
zie, Laframbois, si nl; and it has never been doubted or disputed, as far as 
I know, but that Jacques Vieau did open a trading post here in 1795, upon 
the Menomonee, the exact location of which will be shown farther on, 
which he continued to occupy annually, until the arrival of Solomon 
Juneau in 1818, and to some extent until 1824, or later. Leclaire's state- 
ments, in this case, are as far from the truth as they were about the death 
of O-nan-ge-sa (alias O-nat-e-sah) occurring in 1807, and I know he was 
mistaken in that. 


place until the spring of 1831, when Messrs. Lee and Kaniff, * 
merchants at Detroit, came to Chicago; from which place 
thej' sent out a wagon loaded with Indian goods, upon a trad- 
ing expedition, in charge of Mr. Lee, with L. G. Loomis, 
our veteran pawn broker, as an employe and driver. This 
was, without doubt, the first wagon ever seen in " the town " 
of Milwaukee. This expedition reached here some time in 
June, but as the hostility of the Indians was too great to war- 
rant their remaining, they at once returned to Chicago; Mr. 
Loomis going into the emplo}' of Gen. Forsyth, where he 
remained for several years. This makes Mr. Loomis the 
oldest pioneer now living in Milwaukee. 

Mr. Vieau is also evidently in error as to his dates. He 
states in his narrative, page 219, Vol. XI., that his father, 
Jacques Vieau, Sr. , was born near Montreal, Maj' 5, 1757, and 
that he was married at Green Hay in 1786, at which time ho 
would have been 29 years old; and on page 220, that he first 
\\ent to Mackinaw from Montreal as a voyageaur, in the ser- 
vice of the Northwest Fur Compan}' in 1793, when he was 42 
3'ears old (should have been 36), six years subsequent to his 
marriage. I think the 42 should have been 24, which would 
have brought him to Green Bay prior to 1786, when he was 
29 3'ears old. If the date of his birth, 1757, is correct, he 
was 95 at his death. It was stated to the writer October 20, 
1889, by Mrs. Harriet Juneau Fox, that when a child she had 
frequenti}' heard her Grandfather Vieau say, that he was in his 
twentj'-fifth year when he first came to Green Ba}', which is, 
no doubt, correct, and would bring his birth in 1767, in place 
of 1757, which is probably' the correct date. 

Ii/i resume: No doubt the manifest destinj' portion of our 
race, always upon the frontier, ever kept their watchful eyes 
upon Milwaukee; for we find a few of them at the treaty held 
in Chicago, in 1833, ready to take possession as soon as the 

*The notice of the death of Mr. Kaniff, was published in the Detroit 
papers, in August, 1876, the reading of which, by Mr. Loomis, brought out 
this history of that expedition. 


Indians should remove, which, according to the terms of the 
treaty, would be in 1836. Among them were Albert Fowler, 
Rodney J. Currier (or Cousin), Andrew J. Lansing,* and 
Quartus Carley, who left that place for Milwaukee in Novem- 
ber, 1833. Col. Geo. H. Walker had previously left, but 
stopped at Skunk Grove, where he remained until the spring 
of 1834, when he came also. This makes these four above 
mentioned the first Anglo-Saxons who ever settled in Milwau- 
kee. Besides Col. Walker, they were joined in 1834 by Byron 
Kilbourn.t Horace Chase, Samuel Brown, Dr. A. Bigelow, 
Morgan L. Bvirdick, Geo F. Knapp, Skidmore F. Lefferts, 
William Burdick, D. W. Patterson, Richard M. Sweet, and 
perhaps others, of whom no record can be found. 

Mr. Fowler, as will be seen farther on, went into the emploj' 
of Mr. Juneau. Currier and Lansing went to Jefferson, on 
Rock River, in 1838, where Lansing died, in August, 1876. 
Currier died in Minnesota. Of the subsequent fate of Carley, 
I have no knowledge. 

But we let Mr. Fowler relate his own stor}', after which we 
will let Horace Chase relate his. 


Having acquired a few hundred dollars by speculating in 
corner lots, and trading with the Indians at Chicago, during 
the summer and autumn of 1833, I left during the early part 
of November, of that j'ear, in company with R. J. Currier, 
Andrew J. Lansing and Quartus G. Carley, for Milwaukee. 
The journey passed without further incident than the difficulty 

*Lansing was called by the nick name of "Dad," by which cognomen, 
no doubt, many of the Old Settlers will remember him. 

fMr. Kilbourn was here first in 1834, but as he did not remain (behaving 
a contract from government to survey a part of the district), his actual resi- 
dence did not commence until 1835. 


experienced in getting through a country with a team, where 
neither roads nor bridges existed, until the evening of the 12th 
of November, 1833, when we were encamped on the banks of 
Root River, and on which occasion the great meteoric displa}' 
occurred which so alarmed the Indians, and has become a 
matter of historical remark to this day. 

We pursued our journey the day following, I being com- 
pelled to swim Root River no less than three times in getting 
over our baggage and team, although the weather was so cold 
as to freeze our water-soaked clothing. At Skunk Grove we 
found Col. Geo. H. Walker, who liad a small store of Indian 
goods, and was trading there. We reached Milwaukee on 
the i8th day of November, 1833. 

Col. Geo. Walker remained at Skunk Grove during the win- 
ter of 1833 and 1834, and did not come to Milwaukee until 
March of the latter 3'ear, at which time he came up on a visit 
to Mr. Juneau, and the other white men in the place. He 
did not make his claim on Walker's Point, so-called, until the 
month of June following. Mr. Walker spent his winters in 
Chicago until after 1836. 

After our arrival in Milwaukee, m}' three companions and 
myself took possession of an old log cabin, where we lived 
during the winter of 1833-34, doing our own cooking; amus- 
ing ourselves as best we could, there being no other white 
men in the place during that winter, excepting Solomon 

Notwithstanding, the fact that the cuts of Mr. Juneau's old 
trading-house and store-house, as well as the new store, were 
placed in Vols. 3 and 4 (for reasons given in the preface), 
they will be inserted in their proper connection in this. And 
as there has always been some dispute as to the exact location 
of Mr. Juneau's log dwelling and storehouse for furs and sup- 
plies, I will say that during a conversation held February 26, 
1886, with Mr. Charles James, of Wauwatosa, who worked 
upon this store, he informed the writer that so near was the 
log dwelling to the store that when erecting his scaffold, in 



August, 1835, for the purpose of clapboarding the front, that 
one end of the bracket for supporting the same was nailed to 
the log dwelling and the other end upon the new store, they 
being not over six or seven feet apart. 


This would bring the west side or river front of the log 
dwelling to the center of the present sidewalk upon the west 
side of East Water street, just where Mr. James states that it 
did come, and the north side exactly (or nearly so) on a line 
with that of the new store. The entrance to this dwelling 
{i. e., the log house) was upon the west or river side. The 
chimney was upon the north side. The whole structure was 
enclosed with pickets, as seen in the cut. 











wisconsin street. 
Cut No. 2. 


The location he gives the trading-house or store, about 
twenty-five feet north of the new building, would place it 
upon the ground now occupied by the Matthews Bros, furni- 
ture store, at what is now (lot 5, block 2, Seventh ward) Nos. 
407, 409 and 411 East Water street (the old Pixley lot). This 
statement is confirmed by Mrs. Theresa Juneau White and 
Mrs. Harriet Juneau Fox, who were both born in the old log 
house, and who also state in addition that the log store con- 
sisted of three apartments, the west end being for the storage 
of blankets, etc., the middle for furs, and the east end for 
liquors, and that it (the storehouse) projected easterl}' into 
what is now East Water street, much further (as seen in the 
diagram) than did the dwelling. 

They also state that there was another log house connected 
with Mr. Juneau's establishment, viz., the one occupied for 
several years prior to 1833 by Jean Baptiste Le Tendree (Le 
Clere's old place), and which, although mentioned in Vol. III., 
page 478, its location not given, stood upon lot 6, block 2, 
Seventh ward, and was the quarters for the employees, both 
French and "metis" (half-breeds), when not away upon their 
trips. The ruins of this cabin were removed in 1835 to make 
room for the new warehouse. * 

The cabin, as can be seen, had two entrances, one upon the 
west end and one upon the south or Wisconsin street side. 
The diagram was made at their dictation, and to the correct- 
ness of which they both certify, except as to the trees (oaks) 
seen along the banks of the river, f (which they think were 
not there,) to be a correct representation of the little hamlet 
as it appeared from 1825 to 1833. 

*I remember seeing a notice in one of the city papers a few years ago of 
the foundation logs of this pioneer fur-store being struck by some worltman 
while engaged in excavating a trench in East Water street for gas or water 
pipe, I have forgotten which. They were in a semi-petrified condition. 

fPlaced there by the artist to form a slight background in the picture, 
and as a relief to the dreariness it would otherwise have, for which the 
writer (with this explanation) has thought best to let them remain. The 
hills seen in the distance are in the present Fourth, Second and Sixth 


At the left, upon the bank of the river, is seen the cabin 
( Le Tendree'sj in front of which is the cabin used as a henner}' 
then comes the dwelling, and to the north of that the log 
store-house, while still further north is seen the hill where the 
Kirby House now stands. Cut No. 2 shows the exact location 
of the log dwelling as to its proximit}- to the new warehouse,* 
as given b}' Ciiarles James. 

As a proof that this cabin of Le Tendree's was there in 
1833, I will say that in a conversation held with Mrs. Theresa 
Juneau White, March 15, 1886, she stated to the writer that 
she recollected standing at the west end of this cabin in the 
early part of the winter of 1833-34. while witnessing the res- 
cue of Albert Fowler (who had broken through the ice while 
attempting to cross from the west side) b}' the Indians, from 
drowning. This rescue was effected by one of the Indians 
crawling out upon the ice until near enough for Mr. Fowler to 
grasp the handle of a tomahawk, which was extended to him 
by tlie Indian, who then commenced backing towards the 
shore, Mr. F. breaking the ice (whicli was not strong enough 
to bear the weight of both) as they proceeded until the\' 
neared the shore, when those standing on the bank seized the 
one upon the ice b}' the legs and drew them to the land. But 
it was a close call for Mr. Fowler. 

In the early part of the month of Januar3', 1834, Mrs. 
Juneau was taken exceedingly' ill, and there being neither 
medicines nor ph3'sicians nearer than Chicago, I was started 
off by Mr. Juneau, on an Indian pony, clad in Indian mocca- 
sins and leggins. and with a spare blanket, for medical aid. 
The journe}' in mid-winter, through eighty-five or ninety miles 
of wilderness, was one of great hardship, and one which I 
have never desired to undertake again. The Indians pre- 
dicted that I would perish; but, thanks to a vigorous con- 
stitution, and a physique alread}' inured to frontier life, I suc- 
ceeded in reaching Chicago, obtained the desired aid, and 

*The new warehouse occupied the same site as the present Ludington 
store, viz., Nos. 401 and 403 East Water, present numbers. 

01' ,Mi[,WAL:Ki;i:. 33 

was rewarded with the double satisfaction of having assisted 
in relieving a most kind and noble-hearted woman, besides 
tlie gift of a new suit of clothes from Mr. Juneau. 

In the spring of 1834, m}' companions went up the river to 
the school section and made a claim, upon which they after- 
wards built a mill; and I went into Mr. Juneau's employ, kept 
his books and accompanied him in his trading expeditions 
among the Indians. I soon learned to speak the Pottawo- 
tamie and Menomonee languages with considerable fluenc}'; 
dressed in Indian fashion, and was known among them as 
Mis-kee-o-quoneu, which signified Red Cap, a name gi\en me 
because I wore a red cap when I first came among them. I 
remained in Mr. Juneau's employ until 1836. yVfter he was 
appointed postmaster, I assisted him in the post-office, and 
prepared the first quarterly report ever made out at that 

During the latter part of the summer of 1835, James Duane 
Dot\- and Morgan L. Martin went as delegates from the terri- 
tor\' of Wisconsin to a session of the council, which was held 
at Detroit. They brought me, upon their return, a commis- 
sion as justice of the peace, also as clerk of the court, but of 
what court was not ver}' clearl)' defined, there being none 
organized at Milwaukee at this time.* The commission I 
still have in mj' possession; it is signed b\' Stephen G. Mason, 
Governor of the territory of Michigan. 

M3' commission as justice of the peace is the oldest in 
Wisconsin, outside of Brown and Crawford counties. Its 
jurisdiction extended over nearl}' one-half the State — that 
part 13'ing east of Rock River. 

The question has often been asked me, " How much was 
Mr. Juneau reported worth in those early days?" It would, 
perhaps, be impossible to answer it with a great degree of 
correctness, init he was reported worth from one to two hun- 

*This commission, with those of the balance of the officials appointed at 
that session, will be found in Vol. 2, pages 31 to 36 inclusive, their record 
not having been obtained in time to appear in the former edition. 


|'|i)Ni:i:k Hls•|■()k^• 

(Ired thousand dollars, which was a much larger fortune then 
tlian now. I ha\e m\self seen him the possessor of a sum of 
mones' which he stated to he fift}- tliousand dollars. His 
wealth ^^■as exceeded, ho\\c\ er, 1)\' his t,a'nerosity and public 
spirit. The pressure of the times, together with the ill-timed 
adxice of his numerous interested friends, dissipated his for- 

,\i,r.i: KT row IKK. 

tune almost as rapidly as he had gamed it; and a few years 
found ni)' friend and patron almost as poor as when first I 
knocked at the door of his hospitable log caliin in the fall of 

Fifty-five )'ears ago I was a '• Western emigrant" from New 
lingland, and journe\'ed through the then vast wilderness of 


the State of New York, settling in Chautauqua county, where 
I remained eighteen years. Thirty-seven and a half years ago 
I landed at the then hamlet of Chicago, and it is now some- 
thing more than thirty-six since I reached Milwaukee. Behold 
the wonderful changes and progress made in this our common 
country, during my short life time experience! How preg- 
nant of happiness to humanity, and the future welfare of man- 
kind! I am thankful to Almighty God that I am privileged 
to be one of his humble instruments in subduing the Western 
wilderness, and have endeavored to perform faithfully my 
allotted part, humble though it be, that when I have finished 
the pilgrimage of life, no .stain of dishonor shall attach to the 
name of one who was a "Western pioneer." 


Biographical et MkmoriaiM. 

Albert Fowler, who took so prominent a part in the foimd- 
ing of our city, was born at Tyngham, Mass., Sept. 7, 1802; 
from there he came to Chicago, where he remained for a 
short time; and from there to Milwaukee, arriving Nov. i8, 
1833, and, as has already been seen, went into the emploj' of 
Mr. Juneau as a clerk. In person he was above the medium 
height, had a large bony frame, a large head; dark hair and 
ej'es; strong, powerful voice, but low in tone; spoke quick, 
with the Yankee accent strong; was possessed of great bodily 
strength; had a constitution of iron, and an exceeding strong 
will; was not nervous; had the bump of caution largely 
developed; looked before he leapt, and never undertook any 
important matter without giving it due consideration — but the 
matter once decided upon, pushed it steadily forward to com- 
pletion; had good executive abilities; loved a frontier life 
above all others, and was possessed of undaunted courage, a 
qualification much needed by all who undertake the settle- 
ment of a new country, or seek a home, as did he, among the 
wild denizens of the wilderness. 


He was also a good judge of men and their ways; saw all 
that was being enacted around him; was very reticent with 
strangers, but with friends, social; had a frank open counte- 
nance, and carried upon his face a smile that would win the 
confidence of a child at first sight; looked you squarely in the 
face when speaking; and would not hurt the feelings of any- 
one purposely, or state what was untrue, even in jest. 

Mr. Fowler was the first white man, after Mr. Juneau, to 
settle in Milwaukee, and was the first law officer ever appointed 
to hold court in Milwaukee, having jurisdiction over a larger 
territor}' than is embraced within the boundaries of the present 
United States District Court. He was also the first Register of 
Deeds, held man}' town and count)' offices during the infantile 
days of our beautiful city, and was, for many years, one of 
our most honored citizens. He was also a member of the 
second convention, for framing the State Constitution, in 1847, 
it being the one adopted. He thus had the satisfaction of 
having not only held the first office in that portion of the then 
Territor}', now comprised in the Eastern District, but to help 
frame a constitution that should govern the whole state. 

In 1853, Mr. Fowler removed to Rockford, 111., where he 
resided until his death. But notwithstanding the new and 
pleasant associations, both social and political, formed in this 
new home, where he was honored by being three times elected 
to the mayoralty of that young city, he never whoU}' lost his 
interest in the beautiful one where he spent his early man- 
hood, visiting it occasionall}' to look upon the well-remem- 
bered faces of his brother pioneers, and to note the changes 
that have been made in its topograph}', as well as its marvel- 
lous growth. 

He died at Rockford, April 12, 1883, and was interred, 
in accordance with his ott-expressed wish, in our beautiful 
Forest Home. His pleasant face we shall see no more on 
earth, but he will live in memory until the last of that earl}' 
band shall like him have crossed the river Styx and entered 
into their final rest. 


/Y7':)'>^^e o. 

OF MIl.mAUKEK. 37 


The following account of the first journey made by Horace 
Chase, Deacon Samuel Brown and William Burdick, to Mil- 
waukee, is inserted here as an illustration of the hardships 
endured by the early pioneers, in order to reach this new 
found El Dorado: 

We started, says Mr. Chase, from Chicago on the 4th day of 
December, 1834, in the morning; Mr. Brown and Burdick 
liaving a one-horse wagon, in which our tent and baggage was 
placed, and in which thej' rode, while I was mounted upon an 
Indian pony or mustang. We made the first day twentj'-four 
miles, and camped on the edge of a beautiful grove of timber. 
The night was clear and fine. We were prevented from sleep- 
ing much, however, by the wolves, who kept up an incessant 
howling throughout the night. This camp was about equi- 
distant between Chicago and Waukegan (then called Little 
Fort) and had the appearance of having been at some time a 
favorite resort of the Indians, the ground being strewn with 
the debris of their dismantled lodges. With the dawn, how- 
ever, we were up and away, reaching Hickory Grove, west of 
Kenosha, then called Southport, at dark; distance traveled, 
thirty-four miles. No sooner had we made camp, than it 
commenced to snow and blow from the southeast, making the 
night a very unpleasant one. We pushed on in the morning, 
and at night reached \'ieau's trading house at Skunk Grove, 
west of Racine, Deceinber 6th, where we remained until Mon- 
da)', the 8th, when we again set forward, and reached Milwau- 
kee that night. This last day's journey was a very severe 
one, on account of the snow and wet. The country was well 
watered, as we found to our cost, having crossed twenty-four 
streams (big and little), getting mired in most of them, when 
we would carry our baggage ashore and pull the wagon out by 
hand, the horse having all he could do to extricate himself. 


Our route was the old Indian trail, which came out at the 
present cattle yards, where Paul Vieau had a few goods in 
the old trading house, built by his father in 1795;* from there 
the trail led aloiig the bluffs to the point, where we found 
Walker, in the log store built the previous summer. 

We found at Milwaukee, besides Solomon Juneau, his 
brother Peter, White and Evans, Dr. Amasa Bigelow, and 
Albert Fowler. Solomon Juneau's claim was the present 
Seventh Ward; Peter Juneau's the present Third Ward. 
Albert Fowler's claim was upon the west side, the frame of 
his cabint standing a little north of Spring street, in West 
Water, in the present Fourth Ward. John Baptiste LeTon- 
tee had claimed what is now Milwaukee proper. This was 
bid off at the land sale in October, 1838, b}' Isaac P. Walker, 
who sold it to Capt. James Sanderson, for one thousand dol- 
lars. He sold an undivided one-half interest to Alonson 
Sweet. The way this came to be called Milwaukee proper, 
was in this wise : Sanderson and Sweet were sure the town 
would be there, or ought to be, and therefore, when the plat 
was recorded, insisted on recording it as Milwaukee proper, 
meaning that here was where Milwaukee ought properlj' to be. 

Juneau sold, while at the treat}' held in Chicago, October, 
1833. one-half of his claim, which comprised what is now the 
Seventh Ward, to Morgan L. Martin for five hundred dollars, 

■"It was stated in the previous edition (page 15), that the dwelling here 
spoken of by Mr. Chase, as being occupied at the time of his first arrival 
in 1834 bj' Paul Vieau, was built by the elder Vieau in 1816. This is no 
doubt an error, as I was informed by Paul Vieau himself, with whom I 
was acquainted, and knew that he was the last occupant of that old post, 
in a conversation had with him during the summer of 1838, at the time the 
Indians were being removed, that that was his old home, and a part of the 
original plant erected by his father in 1795. This conversation took place 
in front of the old post, a little before the Indians were to start for their 
new home at Council Bluffs. Paul was a famous hunter. He had an 
Indian wife. He died in Kansas, many years ago. 

fThis frame was never enclosed (Mr. Fowler having been floated by Mr. 
Kilbourn), and was in the summer of 1838, .sold to Hiram Farmin, who 
removed it to Wells, west of Second, and finished it for a dwelling; Mr. 
Kilbourn having arranged the matter with Mr. Fowler, by a deed of one 
undivided eighth part of fractional lots five and six, in section twenty-nine, 
Solomon Juneau joining in the deed. This is the sale spoken of further on 
as the first one made on the West Side. 

OI MIIA\ Al Kl',1.. 


ill ^\'llicll purchase Michael Doiisman was an ccjiial iiartner. 
This, though a verbal agreement, was faithfully ke]it by Mr. 
Juneau, notwithstaiuling the land had increased in value a 
thousand fold before a title ^\•as perfected; and had he wished 
he could have sold for a much larger amount an\ time, as no 
^vritings were ever made liet^veen himself and Mr. Martin. 

The following letter froin Mr. Martin to the author will bet- 
ter explain the transaction. This letter is not onl)' of inter- 
est in explaining ho\\' stricth' honest Mr. Juneau was in all his 
dealings, but it also confirms the statements of others as to 

.MORGAN I,. M \kriN. 

the appearance of Milwaukee in i^ijj. Mr. Martm was one 
of the early men in Milwaukee, anil although he ue\'er resided 
here permanently, yet he has al\va\'s taken <i deep interest 
ill its J")rosperit^■, and, as his letter states, spent his nione\' 
freel}' to .give it a start in its infanc)'. What a contrast 
between him and \\'. \\'. Gilman, who, although owning a 
large amount of projiert)' in the city, the rise of wdiich made 

40 i'[0\Ki:R HIS-]()KV 

him a millionaire, has never spent a dollar in improvements. 
The following is the letter : 

Green Bay, Wis., Sept. i, 1876. 
7. .V. Hm-k. Esij . 

Dear Sir ; I first visited Milwaukee and spent there the 4th of 
July, 1833. There were no claims or improvements of any description, 
save the trading establishment of Solomon Juneau, and a small log cabin 
occupied by his brother Peter.* The land was still owned by the Govern- 
ment; had not been surveyed, nor was there an\- law of Congress under 
which claims for pre-emption could be made 

The Indian \illage was located upon the Menomonee, (see map) a short 
distance from its confluence with the Milwaukee Ri\'er. The onl}' culti- 
vation was by the Indians, except that Peter Juneau had a small enclosure 
for the purpose of a garden, connected with his dwelling. |- 

M)- N'isit was one of exploration, and my obser\'ations were limited to the 
examination of the outlet of the stream, to ascertain whether a harbor could 
be constructed at this point. Ha\'ing ascertained the character of the 
entrance from the lake, the contemplated information \\as obtained, and I 
returned to m}' home in Green Bay. Pre\'ious to my tour of obser\-ation, 
Michael Dousman had agreed to share with me aii\' purchase I should make, 
with a view oi laying out a town at the point where ^lilwaukee now stands. 

.-Vt my visit in July, I did not find Solomon Juneau, nor did I meet him 
until October of the same year, when he and all others interested in Indian 
trade, were attending a treaty held in Chicago. The gathering at the lat- 
ter place commenced September 5th, and continued five or six weeks. 
While there, all the purchase made by me of Solomon Juneau, was agreed 
<m verballv, and no memorandum in writing ever existed between us. He 
sold me one-hall interest in his claim, cabin and improvements, for $500; I 
sharing with him in the expenseof obtaining, by subsequent legislation of, a pre-emption of the lands on which they were built. On the 
loth of June, 1834, '"^ ^<^' "'■''^ passed extending the pre-emption law of 1S30, 
under which a pre-emption was secured to the lands occupied by Solomon 
Juneau, and in '35 the proper entries were made at the land office. The 
one-halt was afterward sold to me, and I shared equally with Mr. Dousman' 
but this was but a small part of what is now the city of Milwaukee. I pur- 

* This was undoubtedly Lafrombois' old cabin erected, as formerly stated 
in 1802, as the location given it by Mr. Martin agrees with that of LeClair 

jThe plow to break the ground for this garden was brought from Ouilli- 
mette's at Gross Point, and was done by Albert Fowler, with- Ouillimette's 
team — one yoke of oxen and one .span of horses; being probably the first 
potato garden in the place This garden was upon the N. E. corner of East 
Water and Michigan streets, and occupied about one-fourth of the block. 

OF Jin.WAUKKK. 41 

chased Peter Juneau's claim, which was entirely distinct from Solomon's; 
also several floating rights, which were located on adjoining lands. M)' 
purchase included all the lands on the east side of the Milwaukee River, 
south of Division street (now Juneau ave.), and one or two sub-divisions 
of sections on the west side. 

After my first purchase from Solomon Juneau in '33, he was beset on all 
hands to dispose of his remaining interest, and would have done so long 
before the lands were secured and platted into lots, but for his verbal 
agreement with me, in which it was expressly stipulated, that if he sold, I 
was to have the preference on giving as much as he was offered 
by others. He was a strictly honest man, whose word was as good as his 
bond, and I never hesitated to place implicit reliance upon his verbal agree- 
ment w ith me. 

We acted in concert in laying out and building up the town; erected the 
Court-house, Milwaukee House; opened and graded streets, in fact, expended 
together nearly Sioo,ooo in improving the property, and contributing to 
the public convenience. 

I have a little sketch of the river and surroundings in 1833, made of 
course, without survey, which ought to accompany a history of the present 
magnificent city.* 

Very respectfuU)- }'Ours, 


Sucli is the historj- of what may properlN' be called the lay- 
ing of the corner stone for Milwaukee. This sale being the 
entering wedge, so to speak, that opened up the whole countr}', 
and in place of the founders of Milwaukee being limited 
to Juneau, Walker and Kilbourn, Morgan L. Martin and 
Michael Dousman should be added thereto — in place of a 
triumvirate tliere should be a (jiiiiitetic. 

En Rcsiane: As our business here was to secure claims, we 
of course lost no time in makiiig them. Mine was made upon 
the S. W. Yi^ of sec. 4, town 6, range 22, upon which I built a 
log cabin. This cabin stood where the present Minerva Fur- 
nace does. Dea. Samuel Brown's was where the Sixth ward 
school-house now stands — S. E. ^A sec. 20. This claim was, 

*The annexed sketch is an exact copy of the one made by Mr. Martin. 
The site of the Indian village is the same as the one seen by Kilbourn, in 
'34, mention of which is made by Wheeler in his Chronicles. 



however, subsequently floated, and the deacon made a new 
one in the present Ninth ward, where he lived and died. Bur- 
dick's claim was upon the east side, where the present Ger- 
man market stands — S. W. ^ sec. 21. 

Having secured our claims, we all started on our return to 
Chicago on the 14th, reaching there on the 17th; after which 
I spent the time, until the middle of February, in exploring 
the country south and west of Chicago. But finding nothing 
that suited me any better, I returned to Chicago, closed up 
my business, and, in company with Joseph Porthier (alias 
Purky), left that place for Milwaukee, February 27th, 1835, 
reaching there March 8th, when, wishing to secure the lands 
at the mouth of the river, I made a new claim upon the S. W. 
^ of sec. 4, my log house standing where the foundry of 
Geo. L. Graves now does — S. W. corner of Stewart and 
Kenesaw Sts. — after which I returned to Chicago for means 
with which to erect a warehouse. Left there again on the 
2 1 St, reached Milwaukee on the 23d, and commenced a final 
and permanent settlement. 

Joseph Porthier' s claim was apart of the N. E. j^ of sec. 5, 
town 6, range 22, his house being built with the logs from my 
first one, which was taken down and put up again on his 
claim.* The site of Porthier' s log house is now occupied by 
a fountain, placed there by Horace Chase as a gift to the city. 


*This claim of Joseph Porthier, twenty-eight acres, more or less, was 
offered me in 1837 and '38, for $400, but the state of my bank account was 
such at that time, as to make its purchase an impossibility. I went east in 
'38 to get means to buy it, but on my return it had been sold to the late 
Abram D. Smith, for $800.. 

I state these little things as explanatory of the way the foundations of the 
fortunes of some of Milwaukee's solid men were laid. The heirs of James 
H. Rogers, Dea. Samuel Brown, and perhaps one or two others, who have 
passed away, still hold a part of the original purchase, but the most of 
these first estates have passed into other hands. 

I wanted this place of Porthier's then very much, as I could see a large 
fortune in it. Real " estate " is the basis of all the wealth in the country, 
and those who could and did secure a homestead in those early times, are 
to-day, all right, pecuniarily, that is, if they kept it. J. S. B. 



Horace Chase, whose first visit to Milwaukee has just been 
chronicled, was born at Derby, Orleans County, Vermont, 
Dec. 25th, 1 8 10, from where he came first to Chicago, in 
1831, and to Milwaukee in 1834. 

In person he was above medium height, slight, but com- 
pactly built; large head, dark brown hair, and dark blue eyes, 
stood erect; had a strong, powerful voice, but low in tone; 
spoke short and quick, with a strong accent upon the first 
part of each word; looked you squarely in the face when 
speaking, with a countenance full of animation; had an 
exceedingly nervous temperament; was easily excited, and 
always in a hurry. What he wanted he wanted badly, and 
wanted it at once; had good executive abilities, and good 
judgment in business matters; was a good financier; knew the 
value of money, in the accumulation of which he was very 

Mr. Chase was in every sense a practical man, doing what- 
ever he undertook thoroughly, and made others do the same 
if he could. He was one of the few who keep their eyes 
open, and was consequently usually upon the winning side. 
He had a strong will, and the resolution to back it, — two very 
important requisites in a successful man. He loved to travel 
and explore new countries; was very economical, but not 
parsimonious; loved a good horse, and always had one; was as 
regular in his habits as are the movements of the sun; was 
strictly temperate and honest, his word being as good as his 
bond, and the latter was equal to gold. 

In political faith, Mr. Chase was an uncompromising Dem- 
ocrat, of the old Jeffersonian school, and upon the currency 
question, a disciple of the late Thomas H. Benton. He 
was a member of the first Constitutional Convention, into 
which he succeeded in weaving his favorite hard money plank, 
which was the main cause of its rejection by the people. He 
was elected Mayor in 1862, and was the only one of all the 



men ever elected to that important office who succeeded in 
enforcing tlie Sunda)' laws. He also served in the Legisla- 
ture in 1848 and 1849, and gave twelve years' continuotis 
voluntarj' service as Alderman to the cit}-, in which he took an 
interest that was almost paternal, and will be remembered 
witli veneration and gratitude for3'ears to come. An excellent 
portrait of this distinguished pioneer adorns the City Hall, 
and also the State Historical Rooms at Madison. Mr. Chase 
was a man of indomitable energ}', and if beaten at one point 
would never fail to renew the conflict with a persistency that 
made him in the end successful. He died Sept, i, icS86, and 
was interred in Forest Home. His funeral was one of the 
largest c\er seen in the cit\'. He was also a prominent mem- 
ber of the Old Settlers' Club, was its first President, took a 
deep interest in its prosperit}', and upon the organization of 
the Pioneer .Association, was one of its most influential and 
honored members until his death. 

Ix Mi;.\i(iki.\.M. 

The following is a copy of the resolutions adopted b\' the 
Citj' Council, Sept. 2, 1886. 

Wheheas, The city of Milwaukee has, by the death o£ Hon. Horace, lost one of its most esteemed citizens, one who throughout a long, 
busy and eventful life, has been zealously watchful in protecting its envia- 
ble and merited good reputation, who has lost no opportunity, spared no 
effort to advocate and seek for its prominent advancement and prosperit}-. 

^\'HEKE.^^, The Common Council of the city of Milwaukee has lost one of 
its most useful, honored and esteemed members, who, during the many 
years of his membership, has ever proven himself a true friend and a 
trusted legislator, always prompt in action, faithful to his duty and trust, 
therefore be it 

/\isii/i;;/. That this Common Council, in a body, attend the funeral ser- 
vices of our deceased official brother, friend and esteemed member; that the 
various city offices be closed to business on the afternoon of the day of the 
funeral; that this Council Chamber be properlj' draped in mourning for 
thirty days in remembrance of this sad event; that a committee of five be 
appointed by the chair to make the necessary arrangements, to attend the 
funeral, drape the Council Chamber, his chair and desk. 

or MII.WALKKK. 45 

A'l-sokvil, That the city officials be invited to unite with the members of 
this Common Council in attending said funeral services. 

A'i'so/viul, That the city clerk, in behalf of the Common Council and city 

officials, transmit a copy of the foregoing preamble and resolutions to the 

relatives of the deceased member, and the same be spread upon the minutes 

of the Council. 


Ci/y CUtL- 

William S. Trowbridge, who made the first surve)-, was 
horn at New Hartford, Oneida Co., New York, Dec. 25, 1812, 
and came to Milwaukee first in 1834, and lastl}', as a settler, 
in 1836. He was by profession a civil engineer, and as sucli 
held a high rank among the fraternity'. The first survey of 
lot.T was made by Mr. Trowbridge in 1834, who, with Mr. 
King's party,* was wind-bound here, November gth. He sur- 
veyed blocks I, 2, 3 and 4, in the present Third and Se\-enth 
wards, being the first local survey made in the place. This 
information I had from Mr. Trowbridge liimself. To tjiese- 
four blocks 26 were added in 1835, b3- B. H. Edgerton, who 
subsequently surveyed the whole of the East Side. 

In person he was of rather more tlian mediiun heigiit, liad 
dark hair and dark eyes, walked with a slow and measured 
step, spoke quick, but in a verj' low tone, was verj' reticent 
as a rule, kept his business well in hand, and never inter- 
fered with tliat of others. Mr. Trowbridge had a high sense 
of lionor and business integrity, never making anj' statements 
that were not strictly' true, or attempting in anj' way to 

He has held many important oflices, among which was 
that of citj' and county Survej'or, and many of the original 
plats now in use were made by him. His last official act was 
to place permanent landmarks upon everj' quarter section in 
Wauwatosa. In political faith he was a Republican, and by 
religion, a Liberal. He died Sept. 10, 1886, from softening 
of the brain, and was interred at Forest Home. 

*An article appeared in the iriscoiisin of June 14, 188S, signed by one 
George Ballentine of Blooming Grove, Grant County, in which the writer 
claimed to have been a member of this party, and to have driven the 
first stake. He was probably an axman for Mr. Trowbridge. 


Mr. Trowbridge left a large estate, mostly land, which, on 
account of its proximity to the city, will become of much 
greater value in few years. 

Two sons and two daughters survive him. 

Ell resume: As a further illustration of the way things were 
done in those daj's, I will state the following: 

J. and L. Childs entered in 1835, a i^ section, just north of 
Lueddeman's, upon the present White Fish Bay Road. In 
1836 they were offered $35 per acre, which they refused. In 
1840 they were compelled to sell for $2.50 per acre, and take 
their pay in flour and pork, which was consumed in less than 
one year. This land is worth to-day, $2,000 per acre, and 
take the entire tract. 

But the greatest mistake made in those da3's, if it ever was 
made, was by Aaron Parmalee. Mr. Parmalee informed me 
that Mr. Juneau offered him fortj' acres of his claim, all in 
the present Seventh ward, in the spring of 1836, for §600, 
which offer he declined, although he had the money all in 
half-dollars. I have never heard of a more foolish offer being 
made, or made to a bigger fool, than this was. This statement 
would seem incredible from the reading of Mr. Martin's letter, 
but that Mr. Parmalee so stated to me, is certainly true. 
Parmalee afterwards went to California. 

It will be readily seen by these two sketches of Fowler and 
Chase, that nothing was done in '34 beyond selecting claims 
and arranging for future operations, as soon as the Indians 
were removed, which, by the terms of the treaty made at Chi- 
cago, in 1833, would be in 1836. This removal was not i\x\\y 
accomplished until '38, only the Pottawatomies and a part of 
the Menomonees being removed in '36.* Therefore, except 

*By the treaties made with the Menomonees at Washington, February 
8th, 1831, (I quote now from Lapham's Chronology of Wisconsin), the 
government obtained all the land north and east of the Milwankee river, 
and at the one held at Chicago, September 26th, 1833, with the Pottawa- 
tomies, all south of it ; the Indians to remain upon the latter until 1S36, or 
for three years longer. Consequently, the coming south of the river, in 
order to get a full township for Milwaukee, during the survey made by 
Wm. A. Burt, in '35, caused much dissatisfaction, the Indians claiming the 


north of Milwaukee River, where, by the land sale at Green 
Bay, in September, '35, the whites acquired their first owner- 
ship in the soil, no occupation, except by floatsf could be 
truthfully claimed before that year. 

This short chapter, therefore, comprises all the history of 
1833 and 1834. The improvements consisting of Col. Walker's 
log house at the Point; White and Evan's store at the foot of 
Huron street; Albert Fowler's office at the S. W. corner of 
East Water and Wisconsin streets, and his claim cabin north 

of Spring street. It was stated in the previous edition that 
this Pioneer Temple of Justice was erected in 1834, t>ut at 
the earnest solicitation of Horace Chase, who insisted that it 
was not erected until 1835, a correction to that effect was 

land as theirs; that the whites were interlopers, and should not occupy it 
before the expiration of the time specified in the treaty, carrying their hos- 
tility so far, in fact, while the men were mostly attending the land sale held 
at Green Bay, September, '35, as to plot the massacre of all the whites in 
the settlemait, which they certainly would have done, had they not been 
prevented ty Mrs. Junean, who remained in the streets all night watching 
over them. Such was the power of this noble woman over these wild 
Bedouins o: the wilderness, and such was the skill with which she managed 
this difficul' matter, that many of the whites were unaware of the danger 
which had environed them, and the fate from which they had been rescued, 
until the following day. For the account of this contemplated massacre, I 
am indebted to Mr. U. B. Smith, who was in Milwaukee at the time. This 
land was, as before stated, liable to be, and was, floated with scrip, by Kil- 
bourn and others. Kilbourn, however, knowing the uncertainty attending 
these titles, proceeded at once to Washington, and obtained his patent by a 
present of one hundred dollars {it has been said) to the Chief Clerk. 
Walker, urfortunately, was not so successful, the float upon his not being 
removed uitil '45. 

f Mr. Kibourn was not alone in these floats. Micajah T. Williams, John 
McCarty and Archibald Clybourn were supposed to have an interest in 
them. They were purchased of n half-breed, named Clark, in Chicago. 


made in Vol. 4, page 60. But from information obtained 
April, 1889, from Peter J. Vieau, of Muskego, who was much 
in Milwaukee during its infanc}', also from Mrs. Harriet 
Juneau Fox and the late Theresa Juneau White, both of 
whom claim to have attended school in that building, during 
the summer of 1834, supplemented by the Directory for 1848 
and '49, which confirms that date, I am con\'inced that it 
was erected in 1834, as stated in the previous edition, and 
shall so record it. 






Dr. E, Chase's Narrative — People begin to flock in — First Frame Dwell- 
ing and Warehouse Built — Vieau's Hotel Built — Commencement of 
the Belle View— First Mills Built— First Election Held— D. Wells, 
Jr.'s, Letter — List of Names — Killing of Ellsworth Burnett — Amusin<; 
Incident — Cat Soup, or Feeding the Hungry — Vieau's Trading Post — 
Close of 1S35. 

The spring of 1835 brought a change. Immigration began 
to pour in quite freely, giving indications of an encouraging 
character, showing that the beauties and advantages of Mil- 
waukee had obtained among the people. Improvements of a 
permanent character were commenced b}' Clybourne and 
Chase, at the mouth of tlie river, in the erection of a ware- 
liouse, the first ever built in the city. '■' 

The month of April brought us Dr. Enoch Chase, and as 
the journey from any of the Middle and Western States was 
no pleasiu'e trip in those early times, we will let this wortliy 
old pioneer relate his own stor^': 


I first settled, says the Doctor, at Cold Water, Michigan, 
1831;'!" but finding the coiintr}' much too luihealth}' for my 
use (if I was a doctor), 1 made up mj' mind to go further 
west, if I fared worse, and in 1834, hearing that m}' brother 
Horace was at Chicago, concluded to make a journey to that 

'•'The timber tor the construction of this pioneer warehouse was taken 
from that portion of the present First Ward known as Rogers' Addition, 
rolled down the bluff to the lake, where it was rafted, and from where it 
was towed with a horse by Dr. Enoch Chase, to the mouth of the river, 
where it was converted into this warehouse. This information was 
obtained frnm Doctor Chase, March 25th, 1887. 

fit was while a resident of Coldwater that the Doctor was honored by 
.Acting Governor Stephen T. Mason with acommission as .-Adjutant in the 
militia. This commi.ssion he has to-day, and is justly proud of it. This 
venerable document is, without doubt, one of the oldest, it not the oldest, 
military commission i.ssued in these early times extant, of which the 
recipient is now living. All the others have passed away, and the record 
of their deeds, or misdeeds, if any there were, have passed into history. 


place, which resulted in our agreeing to go to Milwaukee or 
St. Louis together; whereupon I at once returned to Cold 
Water, closed up my business, which was both extensive and 
lucrative, and started for Chicago, reaching there April i, 
1835, where I remained until the 6th. 

On the 6th daj' of April, 1835, in the afternoon, in company 
with James Flint and Gordon Morton, I left Chicago for Mil- 
waukee, to join ni}' brother. The first night we stopped at 
Gross Pond (Gross Point), twelve miles north of Chicago, 
reaching Sunderland's, back of Waukegan, the next day. 
We intended to stay at Louis Vieau's trading house at Skunk 
Grove, the third night, but finding the place filled with 
drunken Indians, concluded to push on, which we did, reach- 
ing Root River, which we crossed upon a pole bridge before 
dark; but upon reaching Oak Creek, a short distance beyond, 
we found the whole bottom overflowed with water, in which 
we were soon floundering and swimming b)' turns, being com- 
pelled, finall}^, to carry our wagon to the other side, piece- 
meal. B3' this time it was dark, cold and dismal in the 
extreme, and we finally, after traveling a short distance, went 
into camp, being, I believe, the first whites that ever slept in 
the town of Oak Creek. The following day we reached 
Walker's Point* about noon, the trail crossing the Kinnic- 
kinnic at the Jacques Vieau homestead, southeast quarter of 
section 12, town of Greenfield, on the present Kilbourn road, 
and from thence its course was northeast (crossing a part of 
the present Forest Home Cemetery), to the Indian Fields,f 
which it struck at or near the intersection of the present 
Seventeenth and Lincoln avenues, and thence north to Vieau's 

*This was the fourth wagon ever in Milwaukee, and the second one to 
enter Juneau town, Albert Fowler's being the first, his team consisting of 
one yoke of oxen and one span of horses; that of Messrs. Lee and Kaniff 
coming no further than Vieau's trading house on the Menomonee, and Dea. 
Brown's only to the Point. 

f So called on account of the large fields of corn, beans, and other small 
fruits raised there by the Indians in the olden times, and where the}^ also 
had a number of log sheds for storing their crops, several of which were 
standing in the vicinity of the Layton House up to 1839, and perhaps later. 


old Indian trading post on the Menomonee, and from thence 
via the old Mequanigo trail to the Point. 

Leaving my team at the Point, I got an Indian to carry me 
over the river in a dug out, he landing me at the foot of 
Detroit street, from where I. walked up to Juneau's, who 
informed me that I would find my brother at White & Evans' 
store, upon the beach of the lake at the foot of Huron street, 
to which place I at once proceeded, where I was informed 
that my brother was upon the south side, for which I at once 
started, following the beach to the mouth of the river, where 
I was again ferried across in a dug out, and found my brother 
near the present tannery of the Wisconsin Leather Compan}',* 
engaged in the erection of his claim shanty, which was done 
b)' driving stakes into the sand, and surrounding them with 
basswood lumber. This was, of course, a most miserable 
apology for a house, as the sun would warp off the boards 
nearly as fast as you could nail them on (metaphorically 
speaking), giving the snow and rain such free access as to 
make the outside dryer than the inside, in a storm. 

1 returned to Walker's Point that night, and the next da}- 
started with my team for the Kinnickinnic, and was the entire 
day in cutting mj' way through, following nearly the present 
line of Reed street, f getting mired at the foot of Walker, 
Mineral, Scott and Railroad streets, (now Greenfield Ave.) so 
deeplj' as to be compelled to take my wagon to pieces four 
times and carry it ashore b}' hand before reaching the Kinnic- 
kinnic, which was, I think, without exception, the hardest 
da3''s work I ever performed in my life. But at length that 
classic stream was reached and crossed, near where the 
present bridge stands, and a junction effected with my brother, 
after which I was glad to enjoj' a few days' rest. 

*As it is quite certain that the march of improvement will in time change 
the appearance of this portion of the city, I will say that as near as can be 
ascertained, this pioneer shanty of Mr. Chase stood within a few feet of 
the intersection of the present Stewart and AUis streets. 

f See map. 


I found on my arrival, besides Solomon Junean, Albert 
I-'owler, B. H. Edf^erton, White and Evans, Horace Chase, 
Joel S. Wilcox, and a 3onn£( man in the employ of Cieo. H. 



Doctor Enoch Chase, wliose first visit to Milwaukee has 
jnst been recorded, was born at Derb}', Orleans Co., N't. , 
Jan. i6, iSog, from where he came first to ;\Iichi<^an in 1S31, 
and then to Milwaukee in I^i35. and at once commenced an 
acti\'e business life. 

In person he is abo\e medium heif^ht, of slij;ht build; with 
an iron constitution; dark hair and e\cs; walks with a quick, 
nervous step; \oice soft and musical: speaks short and quick, 
nex'er ver\' loutl; is a };ood jiidt^e of human nature: a keen 
obscr^•or of men and their ways: sees all th-it is enacted 
around him, and like his brother Horace, wants his own wa\': 
has stroll};" likes and dislikes for men and measures; is strictK 
honest and conscientious; wants his o\\'n and no more: is 
shar]i and k'een in a trade, and is usuall}- upon the winnini;' 
sitle; is ver\' industrious: plain and simple in his manners; 
has a pleasant smile and kindly word for ever)- one, and gen- 
erous to a fault. 

*The liarclsliip encUu"ed in these three journeys of -Vlbert Fowler, Dr 
Hnoch Chase and Horace Chase, and their companions, from Chicaf^o to 
^rilwankee, although severe, were no more so than weio tliose ot hundreds 
of others, who came as they did, but the\- enjo\'ed it, ne\'ertheless, sex'ere 
as it was. 

Neither do the Kay and costly tiu-nouts that are to be seen daily upon the 
Whitefish Bay Road, contain as happy or healthy occupants, as did those 
plain, spriu^less, unpretending wagons, often drawn by oxen, used by the 
pioneers. They had an objective point in \iew, viz: a home for tliemseK'es 
and their children; that, when reached, was worth all the hardships and 
privation it had cost. Neither had tliey any time to waste upon the 
fashions and follies of the day, and it is a fact worthy of note, that not 
one of these costl\- equipages are owned or occupied by these old pioneers, 
or their descendants, although many of them are abundantly able to do so; 
this sort of extravagance being practiced wholly by a class that came later, 
and to whom the hardships of a pioneer life are a .sealed book. But so it 
is ever .\ few seek for and enjoy the solids of life, but the mass prefer 
its follies. J S H. 


The Doctor has been one of the successful ones, havini; 
accumulated much wealth, mostly b^' the rise of real estate, 
he having made a good selection earl)-, whicli he had the 
good sense to keep, upon which he has quietly awaited the 
approacli of the city as it grew towards him. Neither is 
the day far distant when his beautiful homestead will be 
covered with buildings, in which all the various avocations of 
life will be carried on, so rapid has been the growth of the 
city in that direction. 

Among the different industries established b) this wide- 
awake pioneer was the opening of an extensive brick- 
yard in 1876, next to the Messrs. Burnham's, the largest in 
the city, where six millions of the finest brick are manu 
factured annually b)- the Doctor and liis two sons, G. H. and 
Clarence G. Chase. He has also expended, during the last 
ten \ears, for the improvement of the Kinnickinnic, in dredt;- 
ing and in the construction of docks, in order to make that 
classical stream navigable for \-essels, over S^, and the 
end is not yet. To liim, also, belongs the honor of erecting, 
in 1880, the first and tip to this time the onl}' plant for the 
manufacture of glass in the cit)', which he operated for a 
short time, in the manufacture of beer bottles on a large scale. 

The plant was finall}' sold to John Meyer, who continued 
the business for a short time, but was unable to compete with 
the Pittsburg manufactories, and tlie works were closed, until 
the present year, (1889) when work again commenced. 

He is in political faith a Democrat, and has been (piite 
prominent as a politician; has represented his district in tlie 
Legislature, in 1849, '50, '51, '53 and 1870, and in the Senate 
in 1882-83, and has also been prominent in town and city 
affairs; is proud of his position and success as a pioneer, and 
justlj' so, and can look back upon a long and well-spent life, 
^vith that pleasure which is known only to those wlio, like 
him, fixed upon an objective point when starting in life, and 
who have finall}' worked up to it. 


He was also a prominent member of the Old Settlers' Club. 
Upon its organization in i85g, was its third President, and 
upon the organization of the Pioneer Association, in 1880, 
■was one of its influential members, and is one of its present 
Executive Committee, and is to-da}', at 81, as active as a 

Such is Dr. Enoch Chase, one of Milwaukee's earliest and 
best, and one who has the respect of all who ever knew him. 

An excellent portrait of the Doctor adorns the galler}' at 
Madison. He has been a useful and worthy citizen, and will 
live in memory long after he has gone to his rest. Let us 
hope, however, that the time may be far distant when the 
dark angel shall summon him to the world beyond the river. 


As the action of the elements during the last half century 
have obliterated nearly every trace of the buildings compris- 
ing the old pioneer trading post of Jacques Vieau, Sr. , while 
under the ever onward march of improvement, the mound 
upon which the}' stood will also disappear at no distant daj', 
the author has thought proper to insert a landscape piece 
(see cut) representing its appearance at the time of Mr. 
Vieau' s arrival, in 1795, in order that those who come after us 
can form some idea of the beauty of this historic spot before 
the advent of the whites. 

While nearly the entire range of bluffs skirting the south 
side of the Menomonee from Eighteenth avenue to the old 
Point have been more or less mutilated under the "denud- 
ing power" of the white men's pick and spade, the contour 
of this particular mound has remained practically unchanged 
up to the present time, the only change noticeable being in 
its front, caused by the filling of the old waterway through 
which the boats reached the post (see cut)^ and by the con- 
struction of the C, M. & St. P. railroad tracks, all else being 
substantially as it appeared sixty years ago. 




I'lOXEER H1S1()R\' 

Its Locality. 

The building upon the top of the mound (which was the 
dweUing proper), as can be seen fronted the north; its loca- 
tion (see cut No. 2) was at what would be the center of the 
present Seventeenth avenue (when extended) and the present* 
Florida street (extended), its front being parallel with the 
south line of the last mentioned street and at an elevation 
of sixty feet abo^■e Lake Michigan. 






The storehouse was located about thirty- feet directl}' in 
rear of the dwelling and consequeiitl3' does not appear in the 

For this information, /. <•., the exact locality of the buildings 
in connection with the present streets I am indebted to our 
present county surveyor, Robert C. Reinertsen, for which 
he has mj' thanks, while for the view, which is a perfect 
representation of the place as it appeared when the writer 
first saw it in March, 1827, except that the buildings were 
then gone to decay, the naked walls alone remaining, I am 
indebted to the topographical skill of Mr. George L. 
Richards, of the firm of Marr & Richards, who, from m}- 

*I say present, as the mania for changing the names of our streets now 
ra"ing among the "city dads" will, if persisted in, soon obliterate all the 
original names from our city maps. 


representation as to the location of the buildings as well as 
the change made in the marsh at the base of the mound by 
the construction of the railroad tracks, made the sketch. 

At the foot of the mound can be seen the quarters of the 
men with a representation of the arrival of a Mackinac boat, 
from which the goods are being conveyed up to the storehouse 
under the eye of Mr. Vieau, who is superintending the labor- 
ious work from the front of the dwelling, while scattered over 
the slope of the mound can be seen the stalwart forms of the 
then rightful lords of the soil watching the progress of the 
work. As a further proof of the correctness of this sketch I 
will insert the following letter from Peter J. Vieau, who was 
born on the place: 

MusKEGo, September 23, i88g. 
J. S. Buck, Esq., Milwaukee Wis. 

Dear Sir and Friend: — Yours dated 20th inst. with sketch of my old 

home is received, and in answer I would say in regard to the sketch that it 

is perfect in every respect and could not be got up better, everything in it 

is very natural; the Mackinac boat standing opposite the hired men's house 

marks the very spot. There was a small stream running from the river 

straight to the landing, large enough to admit the boat, hence the natural 

aspect of the boat, etc. The house is exact and the one on the hill also; 

you must have seen it, for I cannot conceive how it could be drawn so 

accurate, I could not do it any better; it is a perfect representation; the 

Indians also, in fact everything is correct. I see that you have Mei/iioii 

(Thd l'\'nther) , the celebrated archer, shooting at a duck flying, with his 

bow and arrow, that is beautiful, natural as life; I have seen him do the 

exact feat many a time around my old home. Many thanks to you for the 

noble interest taken and achieved in my behalf and the citizens of 

Milwaukee, for your ardent and noble work, which you undertook and 

accomplished, an honor which you have won and richly deserve. Well, I 

will close as the mail is about to leave. Let me know if you are coming 

out and when, would like to see you. Remember me to Messrs. Simonds 

and Boyanton if you see them. Kind regards to you. Your friend, 


Tmc Outlook. 

The outlook from the summit of this mound at the time of 
Mr. Vieau' s first arrival in August, 1795, must have been to 
a lover of nature one of great beaut}', and to the sportsman 






.;v 'Hi/ I // f 


one of great enjoyment. The whole valley from the mouth 
of the Menomonee to the present Eighteenth avenue being 
one unbroken field of wild rice {zhania aquatica), then in full 
bloom, to which the adjoining hillsides crowned with oak, 
elm, maple, hickory, ash, butternut and other deciduous 
trees, then in full foliage, formed a fit setting of "emerald 
green," while out from the hidden recesses of this miniature 
Savanna, duck, teal, plover, snipe and other aquatic birds 
would rise by the million, geese, brant and swan were also 
abundant, and even that anomaly, in the bird family the 
pelican, was an occasional visitor; a few having been killed 
here since the advent of the whites, one as late as 1837. It 
was the favorite hunting ground of the red man from whence 
he drew largely for supplies. It was here also, at this old 
trading post, that the trails from Mequanego, Muskego, Prai- 
rieville (Waukesha), Lake Winnebago (Fond du Lac), Chi- 
cago and Green Bay converged, and from whence they also 
diverged. The Chicago and Green Bay trail (traces of 
which are still discernable), passing directlj' west of the dwel- 
ling (see cut) and down the slope to the Menomonee, which it 
crossed a little above the present cattle yards (Twenty-second 
avenue), and thence via Lake Winnebago to the Bay. It is 
a historic place and to the early settler possesses a charm 
that the younger generation cannot appreciate or understand. 
Of the twelve children born to Mr. Vieau six were born at 
this post, viz. ; Joseph, Louis, Amable, Charles, Nicholaus 
and Peter J. Of these Peter J. is the only one living. 


Peter J. Vieau, whose portrait is here given, is in the order 
of birth the eleventh child of Jacques and Angeline LeRoy 
Vieau, and as already seen was born at the old post on the 
Menomonee, the date of his birth being the loth day of 
January, 1820. At the early age of six years he was taught 
to read by Michael LePellieaur, one of his father's clerks, 
who was his teacher for three years, after which he was sent 



to the Mission School at Green Bay under the superintend- 
ance of the Rev. Mr. Caudle, the head teacher being John V. 
Suydam, where he remained for three years and six months, 
when Mr. Suydam left for the purpose of starting that well 
remembered pioneer sheet "The Green Bay Intelligencer," 
and as he wanted some assistance and Mr. Vieau being 
desirous of becoming a printer he went into his employ as 
printer's "devil," where he soon learned to set and distribute 
t3'pe with the best of them. This enterprise not proving a 
ver}' profitable one to Mr. Suydam, he soon disposed of his 
interest to the late Albert G. Ellis, with whom Mr. Vieau 
remained until 1836, when Mr. Ellis sold to C. C. Sholes, 
and Mr. Vieau left; but he is without doubt the oldest if not 
tiia onl)' one now living of all who worked upon that pioneer 
sheet; he thinks the first number was issued December 11, 
1833. Mr. Vieau' s next employment was as clerk for several 
Green Bay merchants (one of whom was the late A. G. Irwin), 
which continued until 1839, when he came to Milwaukee and 
clerked for several of our earl3' merchants among whom were 
Monroe cS: Page, David George and perhaps others until 1841, 
when he returned to Green Bay and took charge of his father's 
store; he remained there until 1855, after which he went 
to Theresa, Dodge county, to work for Mr. Juneau, where he 
worked one year; from there he went to Muskego, where he 
has lived until the present time. Mr. Vieau, as can be seen, 
has had a varied life, the first thirty-seven 3'ears being spent 
in the wilds of Wisconsin, but his read}' assimilation with the 
white men and their ways has been the key to his present 
official position. He was appointed deputy sheriff of Wau- 
kesha county under Israel Castle in 1857, which office he held 
for several years; was elected town clerk of Muskego in 1864, 
which office he held until 1880, when he was elected justice 
of the peace, which office he holds to-day. He is a man of 
the strictest probitj', has the confidence and respect of his 
fellow citizens and has been a useful man. In person he is of 
medium size, with a very muscular frame, speaks quick, with the 


French accent strong, walks with that regular easy stride so 
common to those whose early lives have been passed with the 
Indians, is fond of company, is a true friend and a generous 
enemy. He was married in 1857, is the father of several 
children, one of whom, a boy twelve years old, is a wonderful 
performer on the violin and will, if he lives, make his mark in 
the musical world. In addition to French, his mother tongue, 
Mr. Vieau speaks Sioux, Chippewa, Menomonee, Pottawat- 
omie, Winnebago and English, and is authority upon many 
of our Indian words, particularly those of a local character. 
Metaphorically speaking, he is "the last of the Mohicans;" 
and the day is now not distant when he too ivill take the trail 
and follow his fathers to the "land of shadows" and the 
last link connecting the original occupants of the soil with 
their "Anglo-Saxon" successors in Milwaukee county will 
have been severed. 

A Correction. 

The mention made hy "Julius Patrecius Bolivar MacCabe" 
in his directory published in 1847, when describing this old 
trading house of Jacques Vieau, Sr. , as well as that of Andrew 
J. Vieau, Sr., in Vol. XI, State Historical Publications, page 
221 and 232, as being located upon the south side of the 
Menomonee are correct except as to its proximity to Pettibone's 
lime-kiln; neither can I understand why such a mistake should 
have occurred and remained uncorrected up to this time. 
Pettibone's lime- kiln (as is well known to every Milwaukeean) 
was upon the north side of the Menomonee, at or very near 
the intersection of Twenty-sixth and Fowler streets (now St. 
Paul avenue). Neither did he ever own any land south of 
Canal street (the dividing line between the present Eighth 
and Sixteenth Wards). Nor was there any lime or lime 
stone ever discovered upon the south bank of the Menomonee 
east of Eighteenth avenue, that whole range of bluffs, as is 
well known, being composed entirely of cla}' and sand, a large 


part of which has already been converted into brick by the 
Messrs. Burnham, and the balance ultimately will be. 


The cut on page i8 {ante), entitled "Milwaukee in 1823," 
is a supposed topographical view of the site upon which the 
city now stands, seventy years ago. The wigwams seen at 
the right are at the intersection of East Water and Michigan 
streets, while a little farther north (foot of Wisconsin), can 
be seen LeClair's old cabin, built in 1800, occupied subse- 
quently by LeTendrie, from 1822 to 1833, while in Mr. 
Juneau's emplo}', during which, as has been seen, on page 
2g {ante), it formed a part of that post. 

For the use of this cut I am indebted to the courtesy of 
Mr. E. W. Coleman, of the Hcrold. 

En resume: As the season advanced, however, vessels 
began to arrive quite often, and one steamboat, the United 
States, came on June 17th, bringing, among others, Mr. and 
Mrs. U. B. Smith and Mrs. Joel Wilcox, whose husband had 
come in advance to prepare a place for her. Mrs. Dr. Enoch 
Chase came in Ma}', and was the first Anglo-Saxon woman to 
settle upon the south side. These, with Mrs. J. Childs, Mrs. 
Hiram Farmin, Mrs. Geo. D. Dousman, Mrs. Capt. James 
Sanderson, Mrs. Thomas Holmes and Mrs. P. Balser, * who 
came later in the season, gave to the young city quite a civ- 
ilized character, for it is a fact beyond all dispute, that men 
left wholly to themselves, without the restraints which the 
gentler sex hold over them, descend to barbarism rapidly. 
Their presence, therefore, in every new settlement is as 
necessary to its healthy growth as is the food to the body. 
There were, perhaps, other women who came during the 
year, but if so their names cannot be ascertained at this late 

fBalser and Holmes came from Michigan City in an open boat, drawn 
by a horse, following the beach the whole distance. 


Horace Chase, as before stated, lived at the mouth of the 
river, keeping a warehouse, store and ferry, as that was the 
only point for crossing the river previous to 1836. This point 
was also called Sandy Hook. , He also erected a frame dwelling 
at that point. In 1839 he removed this dwelling across the 
bay to the site of the present Minerva Furnace, between the 
Kinnickinnic river, avenue, and Burnham street extended, 
where he resided until 1842, when the rear part of his new resi- 
dence was built (the writer working upon it), into which he 
removed. Subsequently he built the brick part. No. 655 
Clinton street, in which he continued to reside until his death, 
Sept. ist, 1886. 

A two story frame building was also erected b}' Dea. John 
Ogden, late in the season, a little east of the warehouse of 
Clybourn & Chase, in which Harry Church kept a tavern and 
boarding house, in 1836. This house was, however, so nearly 
undermined by the lake as to necessitate its removal, which 
was done, I think, in '38. It was brought up town and 
placed a little north of the Cottage Inn, and was, with 
Juneau's house, burnt in the fire that swept over that block in 
April, 1845. The warehouse of Clybourn & Chase was, in 
1840, purchased by Dr. L. W. Weeks, put upon a scow, 
brought up the river and placed a little south of E. H. Brod- 
head's block, southwest corner of East Water and Mason 
streets, where, after doing duty as a store for several years, it 
also burnt. Such is the history and fate of these two pioneer 

Dr. Enoch Chase settled first upon the N. E. ^/l of sec. 4, 
town 6, range 22, his log house standing upon the beach a 
little south of his brother's; Wilcox just south of him. He 
afterwards removed to his present residence on Lincoln 
avenue, between Hanover and Greenbush streets, N. E. ^ 
sec. 8, town 6, range 22 east; Dea. John Ogden south of Wilcox, 
where Bay View now stands, Elijah S. Estes south of Ogden, 
Joseph Williams west of Wilcox. Ogden disposed of his 
interest at an early day, while the heirs of Williams, Wil- 


COX and Estes* are yet occupjdng a portion of these old home- 
steads, they being now, however, all included within the 
boundaries of the present Seventeenth Ward. So much for 
the original South Side south of the Kinnickinnic. 

Deacon John Ogden. 

This gentleman came to Milwaukee from Union, N. J., 
Sept. 15, 1835. Settled first in the town of Lake, where the 
Rolling Mill now stands. He is of medium height, dark hair, 
with dark eyes, keen and expressive; soft, pleasant voice, 
speaks quick and distinct, and \ery emphatic; has a strong 
will, is very set in his way; is also verj' tenacious of his rights, 
and has the courage to maintain them. 

Mr. Ogden is a good business man; has order largelj' 
developed, and has been verj' successful, and is one of the 
few who have no enemies. He is in religious faith a Presby- 
terian, and has been one of the main pillars of the old First, 
now Immanuel Church, from its infanc\'. In political faith 
he is a Republican. He has now reached four score and eight 
years, and is awaiting the summons to pass the river and be 
at rest. 

Upon the East Side, Thomas Holmes erected a small frame 
dwelling the east side of East Water street, upon the north 
half of lot 5, third lot north from Michigan. This was the 
first frame dwelling erected upon the East Side in Milwaukee. 
U. B. Smith built his shop and dwelling upon the rear of the 
south y^ ; John Corse subsequently- purchasing and building 
upon the front. This store was for man}' years known as 
Uncle Ben's, hats and caps. 

The first frame dwelling erected and completed in the city 
(Albert Fowler's claim cabin, previously mentioned, not 

*These three pioneers have gone to their rest. Joel S. Wilcox died Sept. 
24th, 1872; Joseph Williams, May 27th, 1877; and Elijah S. Estes, Dec. 
8th, 1887. They were in life good and true men, and performed well their 
part in building up the city, and were held in high esteem by their fellow 
citizens as men of worth. Each left a goodly inheritance as well as a good 
record as a legacy for their chilnren. 

01-- MH.WALKF.E. 


having been completed until 1838,) was a one-story frame 
dwelling, the frame of which was raised March 6, 1835, by 
William Burdick. It stood upon the northwest corner of 
Second and Cherry streets, in the present Sixth Ward, and 
was for many years the residence of Paul Burdick, and known 
as the Yellow House. The correct date of the erection of 
this well remembered pioneer dwelling was overlooked in the 
previous edition. It disappeared some time in the seventies. 


Solomon Juneau built a two-story frame dwelling, southeast 
corner of East Water and Michigan; Geo. D. Dousman* 
one upon the lot now occupied b}' the Custom House, and a 
warehousef at the foot of Detroit street, west side of East 
Water street, which, as far as I know, comprises all the im- 
provements made upon the East Side in ' 35, except the 
building afterwards known as the Cottage Inn, built and occii- 

*This dwelling was removed upon the erection of the Custom House in 
1856, to No, 484, Astor St. where it remained until 1883, when it was again 
removed t-o the N. E. corner of Lyon and Jefferson streets, where it is yet 
doing duty as a dwelling, it has however, been remodeled in parts. It was 
a 'facsimile" of the Juneau House (see cut) except, that it had a wing 
upon the east end (it fronted south) vvhich the Juneau House did not. 

•j-This warehouse is now standing upon Milwaukee street, South of Huron, 
and used as a furniture factory. 



pied by Jacques Vieau, where he kept tavern, as he said, 
"Hkehell," and he did. Work had also been commenced 
upon the Belle View. 

The annexed cut represents the old Cottage Inn as it 
appeared when first built by Jacques Vieau, in 1835. It was, 
as can be seen, a small, one and a half story frame, with a 
low veranda in front. It had a frontage of thirty-six feet, by 
about fifty-five in depth, and stood upon the north thirty- 
six feet of Lot g, Block 7, Third Ward, at what is now Nos. 
344 and 346 East Water street, the south twenty-four feet 


being used as a driveway to the stable. The front was painted 
green, and the outer edge of the verandah came flush with 
the sidewalk. 

The scene shown in the cut is intended to represent the 
ceremony of breaking ground for the grading and filling of 
East Water street, June 13th, 1836, by the late Sylvester 
Pettibone, who guides the plow, while Onslow Brown is 
wielding the persuader, and who, in order to make the 
picture more complete, is portrayed upon the "offside," 
Hoosier st^'le. 


That was a great da)' for Milwaukee. Thirty baskets of 
champagne were drank on that occasion. For this informa- 
tion, as well as a draft of the house, I am indebted to Daniel 
D. Sibley, who landed in Milwaukee upon that day, and had 
a share of the wine. In the foreground can be seen the river 
and the punt (a boat) of Wm. Sivyer, which was used as a 
ferry in 1835. And upon the bank B. F. Smith (died in 1883, 
at Menasha), with a spade, with which he is removing the 
stump of an oak that stood on the street. 

John and Luther Childs kept the first tavern in the old log 
house then standing where Miller's block now does,* north- 
east corner of Broadwa\- and Wisconsin, near the alley. This 
miserable apology for a hotel was a home, however, for some 
of the most distinguished of our early men, D. Wells, Jr., 
Geo. Reed and others. 

This hotel of Vieau's was a famous place in those earlj' 
days. It was called by the Americans, "The Triangle," on 
account of having an instrument of that shape upon its roof 
in place of a bell. 

Vieau was succeeded, in the summer of '36, bj' John and 
Luther Childs, they in the fall by William S. Nichols,! he 
in '37, b}' Levi Vail, who was its landlord until the fall of 
1841, when a Mr. HarrimanJ became its landlord and propri- 
etor, changing its name to the Harriman House. 

Many were the wild scenes enacted there in the da3's of 
Vieau and Childs. Inconvenient and miserable as it was, it 
was alwa3's full. Under Vieau it was, of course, a common 
rendezvous for the half-breeds and Indians, (Vieau's wife 

*OId Milwaukee House lot. 

fO£ all these early landlords who presided over this pioneer " Hash fac- 
tory," Mr. Nichols now over 80 years old, is the only one known to be liv- 
ing. He is a resident of Monson, Mass. and visited the scene of his early 
hotel life the present year and expressed much astonishment at the change 
the half century had wrought in Milwaukee. 

|Rufus Putnam Harriman who kept it until Dec, 1843, when it went into 
the possession of Messrs. Taft and Spur (Dexter Taft and William H. Spur) 
who were its landlords when burnt, April 7, 1845. For a full account of 
Mr. Harriman see Vol. 2, page 163, where it was given as Richard, it should 
have been Rufus. 



being part Indian,) and under Childs, of wild, liantm-scaniin 
Americans. The food was of necessity plain and cheap, 
' ' hash ' ' predominating. 

Henry Miller relates the following dialogue between him- 
self and a boarder, as occurring at the table, in June, '36: 

Mr. Miller, wishing for some of the contents of a platter 
standing directly in front of this man, but out of his own 
reach, said: "Stranger, will you please hand me that 
platter?" "Did you speak to me, sir?" "Yes, I want that 
platter of hash?" "This hash?" "Yes, that hash." 
"Well, take it," at the same time reaching it to him, "and 
you will find it is hasli .' hash as hell." 

There were no doubt some terrifying mixtures placed before 
the hungr}' boarders at times, but they enjoyed it neverthe- 
less, and grew fat upon it, parsimotiy not being one of Mrs. 
Child's faults, consequently her boarders got plent}' of food, 
siicli as it 7ui!.f. But the completion and occupanc}- of the 
Belle View reduced this pioneer hash factory to about B 4. 
It was rebuilt twice, first in '41, then again in '43, /. /■. it was 
enlarged, but although a good house under both \'ail and 
Harriman, it never again rose to the rank of a first-class car- 
avansarj'. Its successor, the United States, built b)' the late 
James H. Rogers, in 1846, was more fortunate, being at one 
time, when under Messrs. Taft & Spurr, the most popular 
liotel in the city. 

Dea. Samuel Brown also erected a log (or block) house, 
upon the north side of Cherry, between Second and Third 
streets, which burnt Dec. 6th, 1836; and Dr. Bigelow erected 
a saw mill* where Humboldt now is, which comprised all the 
improvements, as far as known, with the exception of a claim 
upon the West Side. 

There was also a mill built b}^ Otis Hubbard and J. K. 
Bottsford, near the present dam, in 1835, all traces of which 

*This mill of Dr. Bigelow's was, as I am informed by both Horace Chase 
and Albert Fowler, commenced in '34, but was not completed until '35. 
It was, as the writer well remembers, a small concern, the dam being built 
like the letter A. The mill disappeared long ago; the ruins of some of the 
log shanties built near it, were, however, still to be .seen ten years ago. 


have disappeared long ago. This was the mill spoken of in 
Albert Fowler's reminiscences, as having been built by Currier 
and Lansing; /. c, the work was done by them and Quartus 
Carly, who brought his wife in May, 1834, which makes her 
the first white or Anglo-American woman to settle in Milwau- 
kee, her arrival antedating Mrs. Samuel Brown's several 
months. This information was given me to-day, Sept. 6th, 
1876, by Albert Fowler himself, and explains wh}' Dr. Enoch 
or Horace Chase made no mention of seeing them. They 
both knew that men were working up the river, building mills, 
but did not go up themselves, and consequently did not see 

There was considerable pine growing upon the bank of the 
Milwaukee River in 1836, from which the lumber for the 
floors in the house now occupied by Geo. H. Paul, now 
known as 319 and 321 Harsover street, between Pierce and 
Elizabeth, were made, it being cut in this mill. The pine, 
however, has all disappeared long ago, except a few trees 
yet standing in the vicinit}' of Cedarburg. 

Thus it will he seen that the log house of Dea. Brown 
the Burdick dwelling previously mentioned, Hubbard & 
Bigelow's mill, on the West Side; the frame dwellings of 
Holmes, U. B. Smith, the Dousman warehouse and dwelling, 
and Juneau's new house and warehouse, upon the East Side; 
the warehouse of Clybourn & Chase, and Ogden's house, at 
the mouth of the river, with the shant}' of H. Chase, and the 
log houses of Wilcox, Dr. E. Chase, and perhaps one or two 
otliers, were all the improvements made in 1835. 

The following is a list, as far as known, of those who 
came to Milwaukee in 1835: Daniel Wells, Jr., Alanson 
Sweet, Alfred L. Castleman, Geo. H. Wentworth, Joseph Por- 
thier, A. O. T. Breed, William, Henry and Samuel Sivyer, 
Cyrus Hawley, Frank Hawley, Geo. D. Dousman, Patrick D. 
Murray, Samuel C. Stone, Jacob Mahoney, James McNeil, 
Matthew Cawker and brother, Nathaniel F. Hyer, John and 
Luther Childs, Geo. Reed, Harvey Church, James Murray, 


Daniel Bigelow, Dr. William Gorham, John Noel, alias 
Christmas, a servant of Geo. D. Dousman; Alexander Stew- 
art, Parker C. Cole, Daniel H. Richards, Dea. John Ogden, 
Garret Vliet, Owen Aldrich, Andrew Douglas, Loren Carlton, 
Wm. Bunnell, E. Weisner (^-et living, go years old). Philan- 
der W. Dodge, Frank Charnley, Wilhelm Strothman (the first 
German in the county), Hiram J. Ross, E. S. Estes, Hiram 
Bigelow, John C. Howell, Morgan L. Burdick, Henry Shaft, 
Hiram and Uriel Farmin, Andrew Ebel, Jonas Folts, Hiram 
Burnham, Worcester Harrison, Capt. James Sanderson, Ed- 
mond Sanderson, Chancy Brownell, William Woodard, Wal- 
lace Woodard, P. Balser, Ellsworth Burnett, Thomas A. 
Holmes, Paul Burdick, Zebedee Packard, H. H. Brannon, 
William Piper, Wm. H. Chamberlain, Capt. John Davis, 
Joseph Williams, Benjamin F. \\'heelock, Milo Jones, Geo. 
James, Chas. James, Noah Prevo Nelson and Thos. H. Olin, 
Geo. Adams, Samuel Burdick, Martin Delaney, Wm. Baum- 
gartner, N. Eseling, Wm. Clark, Enoch Darling, Barzillai 
Douglass, William and Robert Shields, James McFad3'en, 
Walter Shattuck, Benjamin Church, Geo. Siv3'er (first Anglo- 
Sa.xon male cliild born in Milwaukee), Talbot C. Dousman, 
Geo. S. and Henry West, James Clj'uian, Joseph Tuttle, E. 
W. Edgerton, Lucius I. Barber, Luther Cole, Joshua Hath- 
away, Sampson Parsons, John Bowen, Thomas D. and Henrj' 
H. Hoyt, Alfred Orrendorf, Benson Brazee, Thomas M. 
Riddle, Wm. O. Underwood, David Morgan, James Flint, 
Gordon Morton, Geo. Furlong, David Curtin, Daniel Brown, 
William }L Skinner, and perhaps others now forgotten. 

Dr. Ar.FRED L. Casti.em.^n, 

Who was one of the early physicians, came to Milwaukee 
from Shelby County, Kentucky, in 1835. In person he was 
tall and slight; dark complexion, dark hair and eyes; spoke 
quick and loud; was of a high nervous temperament,; very 
positive that he was always right in his own opinions; would 
fight a score of men if insulted, but would never seek a 


quarrel. The Doctor, like many others, was visionary in 
many thiYigs, and did not, therefore, make a success of life 
pecuniarily, always letting go when success was just within 
his grasp. 

He died in California, Aug. 22, 1877. He was born in 
Shelby County, K}'. , Dec. 17, 1808. 

Garre'j't Vliet. 

This gentleman was born at Independence, Sussex County, 
N. J., Ma}' 10, 1790. Came in 1835, with Kilbourn, He 
was by profession a civil engineer, and was one of those 
appointed by the Government to survey a portion of '".he lands 
in this State. 

In person he was of medium height, slight build; dark hair 
and eyes, fine musical voice; spoke short and quick; walked 
fast, was very nervous, but full of mirth, few men more so; 
did as he agreed, and was in every way a first-class citizen. 
Mr. Vliet Avas employed in his younger da\'s upon the Ohio 
Canal, in connection with Dr. Lapham and Byron Kilbourn, 
and it was at the solicitation of the latter that he came to 
Milwaukee. In political faith he was a Democrat of the 
Jeffersonian school, and always voted the straight ticket. He 
was a member of the Old Settlers' Club. He died Aug. 5th, 
1877. Buried at Forest Home. 

Roads were cut into the country this year to some extent, 
particularl}', one south to Sees', on Root River, but aside 
from that, the amount of road building was very little in '35. 

The first contract for lots was written by D. Wells, Jr., 
and was from Juneau and Martin to Capt. Sanderson, for four 
lots, viz: lots 5 and 6 in block 4, and 7 and 8 in block 7, in 
consideration of Sioo each, made August, 1835. This con- 
tract, Mr. Wells claims, was the first one written in the place. 

The first sale, however, was made by Morgan L. Martin to 
Albert Fowler, of lot 4, block 4, (the old John W. Lace 
lot), Aug. 4th, 1835; consideration, $100. This lot is in the 


present Third Ward. This is the first recorded sale upon the 
East Side. 

The first recorded plat of the West Side (then the town of 
Milwaukee) was the one made by Garrett \'liet, of a part of 
the present Second, Fourth and Sixth Wards, l}'ing along the 
river; recorded Oct. gth, 1835. 

The first sale on the West Side was from Bj'ron Kilbourn 
and Solomon Juneau, to Albert Fowler, Aug. 4th, 1835, of 
one undivided eighth part fractions 5 and 6, of sec. 29. This 
property was in the present Fourth Ward. 

The first lots sold upon the West Side were from Kilbourn, 
to the late Dea. Samuel Brown, of lots i and 5, in block 22, 
Oct. i6th, 1835. 

The following record of the first election in 1835 was 
furnished b}' Dr. Enoch Chase from memory; it was held 
September ig (given in previous edition as the 17), number 
of votes polled, 39. Officers elected: supervisor, Geo. H. 
Walker; town clerk, Horace Chase; assessors, Jas. Sanderson, 
Albert Fowler and Enoch Chase; commissioners of roads, 
Benoni W. Finch, Solomon Juneau and Calvin Harmon; 
commissioners of schools, Samuel Brown, Peleg Cole and 
Daniel Bigelow; directors of the poor, B. W. Finch and 
Solomon Juneau; constable and collector, Sciota Evans; 
inspectors of common schools. Dr. Jas. Heath, Dr. Enoch 
Chase and Dr. Wm. Clark; path masters, Enoch Darling, 
Bazillia Douglas and Wm. Smith; fence viewers, B. W. 
Finch, Paul Burdick and Geo. H. Walker; pound master, 
Enoch Chase. Voted that all the ballots be received in one 
bo.x at the next election. Officers of the meeting, Geo. H. 
Walker, Jas. Heath and B. H. Edgerton. 

These men of '35 seemed to have brought all their customs 
with them and elected a full ticket. There was probabl}' not 
a mile of fence in the count}' 3'et they elected fence viewers 
and a pound master. * 

■^For full particulars of this election see appendix to Vol. IV, where, in 
connection with the proceedings had at the semi-centennial held September 
19, 1885, a full account is given. 


For the following incident connected with this election, I 
am indebted to T. C. Dousman: 

In order to make as big a show as possible everyone was 
solicited to vote, /'. <?. , every white man, and among the rest 
our friend Talbot, who in answer to their solicitations replied 
that he was not eligible, being only nineteen years old, but 
if they would let "Nigger Joe" vote he would, claiming 
that Joe was as good a voter as himself. To this they agreed 
and Joe cast the first colored vote in Milwaukee, if not in 

Joe was cook in the old schooner Cincinnati (now lying in 
the mud in the rear of Burnham's block"), in '37, and also 
upon the C. C. Trowbridge, in '40 and '41, when Capt. Porter 
sailed her. 

As an illustration of what Joe was I will relate the following 
incident which occurred while he was on the C. C. Trowbridge: 
Capt. Porter was an old sea captain and like most of his 
ilk somewhat of a martinet. While at Green Bay, I think in 
the summer of 1841, one of the crew, a bo}', happened to do 
something that he did not like, for which he undertook to 
chastise him. Joe at once interfered, which so enraged Capt. 
Porter that he threatened to flog him also; whereupon Joe 
walked up to him and seizing him bj' the collar of his jacket 
with one hand and the basement of his pants with the other, 
lifted him into the air as easily, apparently, as an ordinar)' 
man would a four months baby, held him in that position a 
moment, after which he das/ie/f him upon the dock as he would 
a pumpkin that he wished to break, at the same time exclaim- 
ing, "lie there, you dog." Capt. Porter told Joe afterwards 
that if he had him outside, meaning upon the high sea, he 
would tame him. "If you had me outside," said Joe, "and 
attempted to lay a hand on me I would throw you overboard, 
)'0U bloody old tyrant." And he would. Capt. Porter never 
attempted to flog Joe after that. 

Joe was a gigantic and powerful black and tan specimen of 
Western manufacture, a very "Son of Shitan," as the Mo- 



hammedans would sa}^, being a mixture of Indian, Negro and 
DEVIL, principally devil. He died of small pox in 1842. 

The last known of Capt. Porter he was in command of a 
ship on the Pacific. 

Talbot C. Dousman, who figures so prominently at this 
election, came to Milwaukee from Mackinac in 1835 as clerk 
for his brother George. In person he is of medium height, 
slight build, has dark hair and eyes, walks rapidly with his 
eyes apparently fixed upon the ground, has an exceedingly 
pleasant voice, but low in tone, looks 3'ou directlv in the face 
when speaking, and has a greeting that is warm and earnest 
for all his earl}' friends and associates, is reticent with strang- 
ers, keeps his own counsel and nexer meddles or interferes in 
tlie affairs of others. 

Mr. Dousman was for many years one of the busiest men 
that ever li\X'd in tiie state, lie is never idle, always has an 
objectix-e point to reacli to the accomplishment of which all 
his energies are bent, is of a nervous temperament, is fond 
of blooded stock, and could at one time show some of the 
finest stock in the state upon his celebrated farm in Waukesha 
count\"; he was also the first to enter into the propagation of 
fish (trout), which he did \ery extensixei}', hax'ing an arti- 
ficial pond from which the Milwaukee market was largely 
supplied with these speckled beauties. 

Mr. Dousman was for many years a member of the State 
Agricultural Societ\'. is also a prominent member of the Old 
Settlers' Club, is in political faith a Republican, and always 
to be found in the front of the battle when work is to be 
done, and like his friend Bluff Hal can say no with an earn- 
estness that is convincing. Such is Talbot C. Dousman. 
His j)resent residence is in Chicago. 

Wisconsin was at that time a part of Michigan, and a 
proclamation had been made b}' Gov. Mason for a territorial 
legislature to convene at Green Ba}', to which G. H. ^^'alker 
and B. H. Edgerton \vere elected; but on their arrival at that 
place no governor came and therefore no session was held. 


Messrs. Walker and Edgerton returned without accomplishing 
an^'thing in the way of legislation. 

Provisions were ver}' high as nothing was as yet raised in 
the place, they coming mostly from Ohio and Indiana. Game 
was of course abundant but the settlers had not much time 
to devote to hunting, it being taken up in clearing and fencing 
in order to be self sustaining next season. In this emplo}'- 
ment the summer of '35, with all its hopes, labors and 
excitements passed swiftly away. Winter came shutting out 
this little band of pioneers from the Eastern world, leaving 
them to run their horses upon the river and enjo^' themselves 
as i>est they could until Old Sol should break winter's ic}' 
chains and put them in communication with their fellowmen 
once more. 

The following letter written by Hon. Daniel Wells, Jr., to 
a friend, in August, 1835, is inserted here as showing how th-e 
beauties of the countr\" struck him as well as others at that 
earh' da\-. 'Die letter reads as follows: 

GiiiiEN Bay, .Vugust 30, 1S35 
1-"kieni) KlMHALl.: 

The mail has just arrix'ed and 1 am much disappointed in not getting a 
letter from 3^ou. 

I returned last I'riday froni an e.\ploring e.vpedition throuj^h the countr)', 
ha\-ing been out ten days, camping out nights. The country south of here 
is generally good, soil fully equal to that of New York, .\fter leaving here 
ni)' route was up Fox river some fort}^ miles to lake Winnebago. The land 
along the river has been considerably cultivated by the Indians (Stock- 
bridges) who appear to be as well civilized as the whites and have good 
crops of wheat and corn growing. June 21st there was a frost damaging 
the corn, also .\ugtist 23d which killed the x ines 

.\fter leaving the lake our course was easterly to the head waters of the 
Manitowoc river which we followed to its mouth, riding in its bed a good 
part of the way 

Some good farming lands on this river but not well watered. I traveled 
twenty miles in one direction without finding any brooks that contained 
water, their beds being all dry. Some good pine and mill sites, however, 
which I may possibly buy. I have purchased considerable real estate at 
Milwaukee, mostly village property. 


The land about Milwaukee is the best in the territory, and as Milwaukee 
is the only harbor for some distance either way on the lake it must of 
necessity become a place of great importance. It is now laid out in lots 
for two miles north and south and one and a half miles east and west, 
which lots will, I think, sell immediately for from $ioo to $1000, and much 
money has been made speculating in lots already. 

I think money can be made here in the lumbering business if one had 
capital, as all kinds of lumber sell readily and for high figures. The winter 
is the same here as in New England or nearly the same. 

The settlers will all get their claims for $1.25 per acre, as it is considered 
very mean to bid against them; some of them have already sold their 
claims at high figures, in one case for $8000. I have also entered a few 
lots of land at ten shillings per acre. 

There is a mill at the mouth of the Menomonee owned by Farnsworth 
& Brush, which they wish to sell, together with a large quantity of pine 
land of the best quality, for §40,000; have been offered ^30,000. But I 
must close this letter as the mail is about leaving. 

Respectfully yours, 

D. WELLS; Jr. 

The lumber business here spoken of did become Mr. Wells' 
life business, he having been engaged in it for the last fifty 
years, and from this same region mentioned has his vast 
wealth been mostly drawn; it has been a bonanza, truly, to 
him and his partners, neither is it by any means exhausted as 


Daniel Wells, Jr., was born at Waterville, Me., July 16, 
1808, and came to Milwaukee first Julj' 27, 1835, and at once 
took a prominent part in the building up of the j'oung cit}'. 
In person he is tall and commanding, walks witli a slow and 
measured step, never being in a hurry; voice soft and musical; 
speaks slow and distinct with the Yankee accent strong; i.s 
dignified in his manners; has few intimate friends; is verj' 
reticent with strangers; cautious of what he says or does; 
sees all that is going on around him and is seldom if ever 
deceived; like Kilbourn he sees far into the future, acts upon 
his own judgment, and his success fully demonstrates its 





Few men in the state were in office as much or whose 
names stand recorded higher upon Wisconsin's tablet of 
honor than the name of Daniel Wells, Jr., the second com- 
mission as justice of the peace having been issued to him by 
Gov. Henry Dodge August 2, 1836, and one as Judge of 
Probate September 4, 1838, the former being the first one 
signed in the state. As a member of the legislative council, 
where he served in 1838, '39, '40 and '41, he was very 
efficient; and although conservative in politics has always 
been an influentual member in the Democratic party. He 
has also served his district twice in congress with much 
ability. He was a prominent member of the Old Settlers' 
Club and its centennial president, and was among the first to 
help organize the Pioneer Association, in which he takes a 
deep interest. He is also a successful farmer and is the 
owner of one of the finest farms, if not the finest, in Milwaukee 
county, to the successful management of which he devotes a 
large portion of his time and in which he takes great pride. 
Mr. Wells has accumulated much wealth, which he uses in a 
common sense manner, never aping the codfish style so com- 
mon with iriany of the American people who by chance have 
became suddenly rich, his habits of life being very simple. 
Few men in this or any other country carry a wiser head 
upon his shoulders than D. Wells, Jr. His abilit}' for plan- 
ning and carrying out vast money speculations is unquestioned 
and what he plans is sure to succeed. 

Mr. Wells has a strong attachment for his brother pioneers, 
always greeting them with a pleasant smile and a kind word. 
He has reached the autumn of life and the day is now not 
distant when his stately form will be seen no more upon our 
streets, but he will live in the memory of his fellow citizens 
as one of Milwaukee's earliest and best. 

D.^NiEL H. Richards. 
This gentleman was born at Burlington, Otsego count}', 
N. Y., February 12, 1808; came to Milwaukee December 15, 
1835, where he at once became active and prominent. In 


person he was tall and commanding; had a large head, light 
hair, blue eyes, a strong powerful voice which he was fond of 
using; was an uncompromising Democrat dyed in the wool; 
has been an active politician and wire puller; has held many 
important offices; was a good legislator and a verj' useful and 
respected citizen. 

Mr. Richards was at one time involved in a railroad specu- 
lation which came near ruining him pecuniaril}'. He was a 
great reader, a good writer, and edited the first newspaper in 
Milwaukee, the "Milwaukee Advertiser, " the first copj' being 
issued July i6, 1836. He died February 6, 1877. 

Kii.rjxi: OF Ei.lsworih Burxi'/it. 

In the fall of 1835 Ellsworth Burnett and Col. James 
Clyman went to Rock river hunting land and while making 
camp near the present town of Theresa, in Dodge count}', 
Burnett was shot dead and Cl^'man badly wounded in the left 
arm and his back filled with small shot. This occurred about 
dusk. Holding his wounded arm in his right hand Clj'man, 
who was a noted woodsman, made a bee-line for Milwaukee, 
fifty miles distant. He traveled all that night, the next day 
and niglit, and at noon the second day came out at Cold 
Spring, having eaten nothing for fift}' hours. Col. Cl3'man 
was tall and wiry in form and capable of enduring great 
fatigue, as this journe}' full}' demonstrated. The killing was 
done b}' two Indians named Ashe-ca-bo-ma and Usli-ho-ma 
alias Mach-e-oke-mah (father and son) for some fancied 
wrong. They were prompth' arrested, confined in the fort at 
Green Bay until June, 1837, when they were brought to Mil- 
waukee and tried before Judge Frazier, convicted and the old 
man sentenced to be hung; but both were finally pardoned by 
Gov. Henry Dodge as an offset to the escape of the two white 
men, Scott and Bennett, the murderers of Maiiitou, the 
Indian killed in 1836, these villains having escaped from 
the jail in April, 1837, no doubt by the aid of friends. 


and were never retaken. I was present at the trial of these 
Indians.* Clyman afterwards went to Oregon. 

Cat Soup or Fkedinc; the HuN^,R^•. 

Tlie following amusing incident which occurred in the 
winter of 1835-36 I will relate as showing that the white man 
is not the only one that can play a practical joke or enjoy one: 

Among those who came in 1833, was one whom for the sake 
of illustrating this incident we will call Smith. Now it hap- 
pened some time in the month of January', 1836, that Smith 
who had just come in from the woods too late to get a supper 
or a bed in anj' hotel or private house, they being all closed for 
the night, entered the wigwam of an old Indian standing near 
where J. AI. Lawrence's block now does (north-east corner 
of Broadwa}' and Micliigan street) and seeing a kettle upon 
the fire in which some meat was cooking, the smell of which 
was like tlie perfume of Araby the Blest to a man as hungr}' as 
Smith was, he having fasted since the previous day, he at once, 
by signs, intimated to his red brother that one of those things 
philosophers tell us nature abhors, viz., a vacuum, existed 
within him that nothing short of the entire contents of that 
kettle could fill, at which the old Indian smole a smile so 
child-like and bland as to at once gain the entire confidence 
of Smith, at the same time he with a twinkle of his coal-black 
e^'e motioned to him to help himself, which he at once pro- 
ceeded to do, the old rascal watching him attentively the 
while. When at length the contents of the kettle had all 
been safety deposited in the stomach of the hungr}' Smith 
his host asked him, in pantomime, if he knew what he had 
eaten. He replied in the same manner that he did not, but 
in order to ascertain he at once made a sound in imitation of 
the lowing kine, to which he said "cowin'^ (no)- Smith in 
the same manner asked if it was venison, pork, horse, mule, 
bear, and finally dog; to all of which the answer was "co-win.''' 
Smith then intimated to his red brother that he held no more 

*For a more extended account of this aifair see Vol. II, page 12. 


trumps and would have to pass; whereupon the old vagabond 
ejaculated "me-ouw, me-ouw." This at once caused Smith, 
in nautical parlance, to jettison the whole cargo, making a 
total loss for the benefit of whom it might concern, recreating 
a vacuum that would have held all the cats in Juneau's town, 
after which he went out from the presence of his astonished 
host, his heart too full for utterance, his stomach as empty as 
the head of a circus rider, and with a mental vow that if that 
Indian ever lived to die (as the Irishman said) and he found 
it out he would leave an}' business that he might have on 
hand and attend the funeral 171 a body. No more cat soup for 

This was an actual occurrence. The old Indian had taken 
a frozen cat, cooked it, and was about to get outside of it 
himself when Smith came in and he, seeing his white 
brother's need played the part of the good Samaritan. He 
was, no doubt, much amused at the result, but Smith wasn't.* 

I am indebted for the following advertisement and sale of 
lots in Milwaukee, at auction, to Mr. Wm. Brown, the late 
secretar}' of the Board of Local Fire Underwriters of this 
city. The ground where these lots are located was not then 

The First Sale of Lots in Milwaukee. — The following is a copy 
verbatim ct literatlni o£ a handbill announcing an auction sale of lots in the 
then very unpromising village of "Milwaukee." The original is in the 
possession of Dr. Laphara, of this city: 

Auction. — 200 Milwaukee Lots will be sold at A. Ganett's auction 
room on the second, third and fourth days of November, 1835. Terms 
liberal and made known at the time of sale. 

N. B. — The mechanic and working man is on equal footing with the 
capitalist. A few hundred dollars here in the course of two years at farth- 
est will make him worth thousands. The chance here for speculating is 
still better than it was at the Chicago sale. I do not deem it necessary to 
say anything of this important place to those that are acquainted. For- 
eigners are particularly invited to go and examine the premises prior to the 
day of sale as that was the object in publishing the bill that strangers 
should have sufficient time to examine for themselves. 

Chicago, October 8, 1835. A. Ganett, Auctioneer. □ 

*Since the above was written the author has seen the notice of the death 
of the party upon whom this practical joke was perpetrated and as con- 
cealment of the real name is no longer necessary will state that the person 
meant was Andrew J. Lansing, who himself related it to the author in 1837. 




Opening o£ the year 1836 — Names of the Men of 1836 — Location and 
Buildings Erected — How and by Whom Occupied — Claim Record — 
Roads and Cemeteries — Surveys — Platts and Sales — Memoriam. 

1836 was a memorable year for Milwaukee. The tide of 
immigration had now commenced to flow into the embrj'o city 
like a river; speculation was rife; every man's pocket was 
full of money; lots were selling with a rapidity and for prices 
that made those who bought or sold them feel like a Vander- 
bilt. Buildings went up like magic, three days being all that 
was wanted, if the occupant was in a hurry, in which to erect 
one. Stocks of goods would be sold out in man}' instances 
before they were fairly opened and at an enormous profit. 
Ever^'one was sure his fortune was made and a stiffer-necked 
people, as far as prospective wealth was concerned, could not 
be found in America. Nothing like it was ever seen before; 
no western cit}- ever had such a birth, People were dazed at 
the rapidity of its growth; all felt good. The wonderful 
go-aheadativeness of the American people was in full blast; 
neither was it checked for the entire season. Some sixty 
buildings were erected, many of them of goodly dimensions. 
Streets were graded, ferries established, officers of the law 
appointed, medical and agricultural societies formed, a court 
house and jail erected, and all in five short months. 

The following are known to have come this year: Increase 
A. Lapham, John Julien, Rufus Cheney, Sr., Levi Blossom, 
J. W. and Maurice Pixley, Joseph Carey, Sylvester Petti- 
bone, Robert Davis, Daniel D. Sibley, E. S. Fowler, Wm. S., 
Elisha M. and Luther Trowbridge, Joseph Keyes, Ebenezer 
Harris, Byron Guerin, Leverett L. and W. A. Kellogg, 
Wm. Furlong, George Bowman, S. R. Freeman, Louis 

82 IMONKKR HIS-|()R\- 

Francher, Gen. John Crawford,* Jno. E. Arnold, Henry 
Miller, Wm. Brown, J. C. Howard, Joseph R. Thomas. Benj. 

F. Smith, Geo. Hahn, Geo. A. Trayser, Capt. H. White, 
John H. Tweed)', Elisha Starr, Sidney Hosmer, John B. 
Everts, Josiah A. Noonan, Lawrence Rohbins, Thomas 
Horner, Chas. H. Larkin, Henry Williams, William P. Mer- 
rill, Eliphalet Cramer, .Allen W. Hatch. Arthnr Aldrich. 
Capt. Geo. Barber, Smith Kortlirop, Wm. B. Sheldon, 
Chancy C. Olin, Samuel Robinson, Giles Brisbin, \\'m. Hall, 

G. Cady, John Hanaford, J. (i. Belanf^ee, Simon B. Ornish}', 
C. M. Yonn;4", Isaac H. Alexander. Mark Robertson. John 
Hnstis, Alvin I'oster. Dwif^ht Foster, Edwin S. booster. John 
S. Boyd, Geo. McWhorter, Sr.. Matthew R. , Andrew and 
Geo. Mc\\'horter, Jr., Wm. R. Hesk, Geo. Abort, John Fnr- 
lonf;', Levi J. Colb)-, Isham l)a\', J. J. Brown, Reuben Stronj;", 
Hans Crocker, Bigelow Case. James H. Rogers, Jacob M. 
Rogers, Samuel 1). Hinman, Lemncl A\'. \\'eeks, Geo. O. 
Tiffany. Ezra Dcwe)', Chas. C. Dewc}', Wm. A. Prentiss, Thos. 
Peters, John Corse, B3'ron Corse, Wm. Payne. Jas. Lee Smith, 
Hiram Smith, Israel I\irter, Capt. ]ohn Masters, D. J. Wil- 
mot, Isaac .\twood, T. \\'ainwrii;ht. Pleasant Fields. Geo. P 
Deleplane, S. H. !\Iartin, Plinj- H. \'oung', Capt. Josiah 
Sherwood, Daniel Keltner, S. A. Hnbbell, Sjdvester ^^'. Dnn- 
bar, A. S. Tucker, D. S. Hollister, John Corbin, Jeremiah 
B. Zander, Archibald Robinson, C. D. Fitch, Wm. A. Rice, 
Elah Dibble, Leland Crocker. Jesse Eggleston, F and H. 
PlarmcN'er, John Ruan, Marvin C. Curtis, B. J. Gilbert, R. 
B. Raj'mond, Hiram Stoddard, James Bnckner, \\'illiam and 
Henr}' Shew, Lucien Zander, John C. Smith, \Vm. N. Gard- 
ner, Joseph K. Lowry, M. W. Higgins, Geo. Guile, Dr. Wm. 
H. Manton, John Gale, Dr. Hubbell Loomis, Frederick 
Wardner, B. Chapman & Co., Peter Lj'on, J. C. Holmes, 
Lot Blanchard, Aaron A. Herriman, Benjamin Moffat, F. \\ . 
Heading, Edward West, L3'man Burlingame, Samuel li. 
Hnll, William Caton, Onslow Brown, Leonard Martin, W']\- 

"^His famil)' came in 1838. 


liam Flusky, Felix McCauley, Matthew Martin, William 
Cross, Hiram Persons, Elihu Higgins, Wm. Fowle, Asa 
Kinney, Egbert Herring Smith (the poet), Jas. McMartin, A. 
Ferguson, Thomas Orchard, Jacob Brazelton, Thomas 
Eggleston, Charles P. Everts, John B. Everts, Eli Webber, 
Charles, Joseph, Benjamin and Thomas Single, Thomas 
Hughes, Patrick and David Cojnie, Wm. Treadwell, L. J. 
Higby, W. C. Winslow, Nathaniel F. Prentiss, Alex. Mc- 
Donald, Oliver Maliby, J. C. Schermerhorn, Harrison Reed, 
Orson Reed, Aaron Parmalee, R. H. Benton, Richard Had- 
ley, John Y. Smith, Curtis Reed, Herbert Reed, Dr. S. H. 
Graves, B. S. Gilbert, Jeremiah Noble, Mark Noble, Elisha 
E. Lee, Geo. W. Thurston, Hendrick Gregg, Augustus A. 
Bird, Wasliington Bird, Frederick A. Wingfield, Clinton 
Walworth, W. B. Raymond & Co.. Wm. Croft, Obed and 
Solomon Warren, George Wilmot, Chas. E. Savage, John T. 
Haight, Isaac Dewitt, Hugh Wedge, Wm. M. Mayhew, Jas. 
Y. \\'atson, J. S. Rockwell, Lester Rockwell, D. H. Beardsley 
(Longstreet i.^- Beardsley), S. S. Derbeyshire, Geo. P Gre\cs, 
Hobart & Pratt, Alex. F. Pratt. Wm. Noble, Iv^' Stuart, Thos. 
Sanborn, Tobias G. Osborn, Lj'man Wheeler, Joseph Scott, 
Cornelius Bennett, A. H. Nichols, Geo. Goodman, Luther and 
Bradford Churchill, Sidney Evans, Daniel Langdon, Chester 
Ellsworth, John Ellsworth, Justin Clark, Francis D. \\'eld, 
James D. Wells, James Larkin, J. Doole\', Miles Burlingame, 
Benjamin Hunt, Thomas Brock, J. B. Ball, Silas Brown, 
Benjamin Hart, Robert Curran, Samuel Sanborn, Milton, 
Chester and David Johnson, Wm. Howard, Galusha Odell, 
Increase S. Bigelow, I'rancis Metcalf, James P. Moore, 
Orlando Ellsworth, Joseph Langdon, Cephas Howell, Cjrus 
Howell, Capt. Thomas Duffee, Geo. W. Hay, Geo. Howell, 
'Merrick Palmer, Andrew E. Dibble, Samuel Dexter, Rufus 
Parks, Wm. A. Webber (W. A. Webber, Geo. W. Starks), 
J. Currier, Hoosier John (alias Calomel), P. and J. Rogan, 
James and Frank Devlin, Horatio N. Wells, Eben and John 
Cole, Augustus Story, Wm. M. Dennis, J. D. Everts, Robert 


Legg, Richard Hardell, S. D. Cowles, Henry M. Hubbard, 
Dr. Wm. P. Proudfit, Wm. P. Cully, Wm. R. Longstreet, 
Jonathan Brown, Chancy H. Peak, Frederick B. Otis, Silas 
Griffith, and no doubt others of whom no record can be 
obtained. This being the entrepot for the State, of course 
many would simply land and go at once into the country'. 

The location of those named as coming this year, was as 
follows: Commencing upon the South Side, we find J. and 
L. Childs in a small three story frame, southeast corner of 
Pierce and Hanover, where John Rugee now lives. I spent 
ni)' first night in Milwaukee in that house, and it was my 
home, in fact, for two years. D. S. Hollister had built the 
frame now standing south of John Bentley's, No. 318 
Hanover street, where he lived; Zander on southwest corner 
of Florida and Hanover, old house yet standing upon rear of 
lot; Martin on Madison, west of Hanover; Dibble, northwest 
corner of Hanover and Walker; Keltner, on Florida, west of 
Greenbush, (northwest corner of Florida and Greenbush, house 
3'et standing;) Crocker, southeast corner of Hanover and Eliza- 
beth, in a small frame, afterwards owned and occupied by 
m3'self; Thomas Eggleston, a small frame and brick, south- 
east corner of Walker and Hanover streets; Sanderson, south 
of Railroad street, on Grove, house yet standing on southeast 
corner. This house fronted originally on Railroad street, but 
upon the opening of Grove street it was turned around, an 
addition erected upon the south side of it for a store. Its 
present numbering is 520 & 522 Grove; Dr. Hubbell Loomis, 
upon the northeast corner of Hanover and Florida; August 
and Francis Harmeyer, northwest corner of Hanover and 
Walker; Pliny Young in a log house, corner of Railroad and 
Third avenue; J. C. Smith had built a small frame, corner 
Elizabeth and Sixth avenue, where a printer by the name of 
Bryant lived. A brick yard had also been opened at or near 
that place, at which the bricks used in the erection of the 
present residence of Col. H. W. Jacobs were made. A new store 
had also been erected at the Point for Zander and Corbin; 


the Churchills were also at the Point; Wheelock hved with 
Childs; Metcalf, I. S. Bigelow and J. P. Moore hved with 
HolHster; L. Zander with his brother; A. S. Tucker with 
Childs. While in the adjoining towns of Lake, Greenfield 
and Wauwatosa, upon claims, were Wm. and Henry Shew, 
who had a mill where J. Arnold now lives, upon the Kinnic- 
kinnic; Sidney Evans, Walter Shattuck, Daniel Langdon, 
Chester, John and Orlando Ellsworth, Alfred Orrendolf, Jus- 
tin Clark, F. D. Wells, Geo. Goodman, T. M. Riddle, Geo. 
McWhorter, M. R., Andrew and Geo. McWhorter, Jr., Wm. 
S., E. M. and L. Trowbridge, Samuel Sanborn, Milton and 
Hiram Johnson, J. C. Smith, Reuben Strong, William H. 
Skinner, Loren Carlton, Thomas Duffee, G. W. Ha}', Lucius 
Peck, Israel Porter, Merrick Palmer, Joel Hinchman, Joseph 
Tuttle, Geo. S. and Henry West and Galusha Odell. J. Cor- 
bin had built a small frame where Hon. C. H. Larkin now 
lives, in which S. W. Dunbar then lived. This house was 
removed to the Point in '38, and occupied by J. and L. Childs, 
as a hotel, southwest corner of South Water and Ferry streets. 
There were also three families of Creole French, viz: 
Jacques Vieux, the old Cottage Inn landlord, who was upon 
his claim, west of the Shew brothers' mill, afterwards known 
as the Tiffany place. His brother Paul who lived in what is 
now the Twelfth ward, near Horace Chase's present residence, 
and Jacques Chapeau, who with his Indian wife, lived upon 
what is now a part of Forest Home Cemetery. This man 
was killed in a drunken brawl, in July, '38, by an Indian 

named Te-con. 


The number of claims entered in the towns of Lake, Green- 
field, Wauwatosa and Milwaukee, as appears from the old 
claim record of Prof. I. A. Lapham, up to January, 1838, 
were as follows: 

Lake, 119; Greenfield, 148; Wauwatosa 154, and Milwaukee 
8. This fact, taken in connection with the number of settlers 
that were actually here, ma)^ seem incredible. But the 
explanation is this: Many of these parties had made from 


one to four claims, selling out to others, and making new- 
ones; man}' had gone away and never returned; many were 
3'oung men, living in town. Some appear in the list for Lake, 
Greenfield and Wauwatosa; others, who were married, were 
away after their families, with which they did not return until 
'37, '8 and 'g. This made the number of actual residents 
much less than the record of entries, while the facf that so 
few claims were in the town of Milwaukee, was in consequence 
of the land having all been purchased' (or nearly all) at the 
Green Bay land sale in September, 1835, or entered after the 
sale; lea\'ing none upon which claims could be made. 


The old Point road, after it struck the bluff at Oregon street, 
followed the present Reed street, to about midway of Florida 
and N'irginia, w'here it turned directl}' up the bluff into Han 
over, which it followed to Mineral, from there it bore south- 
west, coming into First avenue at Railroad, and thence south 
into the country. This was the old Chicago road. While 
the one leading west, turned oH at Florida, then west to 
(jreenbush, then southwest to Third avenue, or near there, 
then south to Elizabeth, and west on Elizabeth into the coun- 
try This was the old Mukwonago road. There was also a 
cut-off at Oregon, called the Keltner Trail. This ran along 
tlie bluffs to First avenue, where it turned south and con- 
nected with the one up Florida. This cut-off was quite a 
convenience to teams going west. A road had also been made 
across the marsh in '36, by Mr. Kilbourn, striking the south 
side at what is now Ele\enth avenue, which has been in gen- 
eral use since that day. This was known as the Kilbourn 
road, the old Muskego road connecting with it at the Indian 
fields, as Forest Home Cemetery, the W. P. Merrill and 
Layton farms were called at that time. 

FiRsr Surveys'^ .\nii S.m.e of Loj's. 

The first survey' and plat of the South Side, was upon 
Walker's Point addition, signed D. Wells, Jr., district deputy 

"Seaman and Kitchel, abstractors. 

Ol'' MII.WALKKI';. a/ 

surveyor. This plat was received for record, August i8th, 
1H36, at 6 I'. M., and recorded March 7th, 1854, at 9 a. m., 
making an interval of seventeen years, seven months, nine- 
teen days and fifteen hours, between its reception and record- 
ing. Fast work, that. 

The first lot soid upon the South Side, was lot 7, block 21, 
Walker's Point addition, by George H. Walker to Mark 
Noble, Jr., June 6tli, 1836. These sales are the first entries 
upon the record; if tliere were an}' earlier, there is no record 
of tlieni. 

The first cemetery pro[)er on the South Side was on tliat 
block h'ing between Cirove, Florida, N'irginiaand First avenue, 
(juite a number were buried there, and afterwards all removed. 
This block has been cut o\er its entire surface, an average of 
twent\'-two feet, including the west one-half of the adjoining 
block on the east. The second ^vas where George Ljm'uham's 
brick \'ard now stands. These bodies luu'e all been removetl 
to I'^irest Home. 1 ha\ e assisted at a great number of burials 
in these early cemeteries. There were a number of burials 
upon what is now the northeast corner of Lincoln axenueand 
Albs street, in the present 17th ward, during 1836, '37, '38, and 
'39, and perhaps some in 1840, but not later, all of which 
were subse(}uentl\' removed, and the place abandoned as a 
cemetery. This location is now, 1889, co\ered with buildings. 
There was also an old Indian cemeter\' at the extreme end of 
the old Point, which was graded off in 1838, 1 doin^ the work 
for I.). S. llollister. to make room for a warehouse. A large 
(luaniit)' of relics were taken from the gra\ es, consisting of 
beads, silver ornaments, brass and copper utensils, coins, etc. 

\Miile engaged in this "vandalism" I receix'ed a \isit from 
tile late Andrew J. N'ieau, Sr. , then a resident of Milwaukee, \vho 
upon seeing what was going on appeared much affected and 
informed me, that one of the occupants of that old cemetery 
was his Indian great grandfather. This, lioweser, was 
undoubtedly a mistake, as his Indian great grandfather 
.Vkeeneebaway (or standing earth) see vol. XI, State His- 


torical Publications, page 220, Note, was certainly not buried 
in Milwaukee, but his great uncle Mach-e-se-he (bad river), a 
son of Akeeneebaway, was. The reader is referred to the 
following letter from Peter J. Vieau of Muskego, which fully 
explains why Andrew Vieau stated that it was his great grand- 
father instead of his great uncle Mach-e-se-he, who it 
undoubtedly was: 

Muskego Centre, March 25, i88g. 
Mr. J. S. Buck, 

Milwaukee, Wi.s, 

J'><;ny Sir: — Your letter received and contents particularly noted in regard 
to the information desired. I will state to you (as near as I can) what I 
know to be true in regard to the matter in question. In the first place 
O-nau-tis-sah (alias O-nau-ge-sa, for they are one and the same person) had 
two brothers, Mau-che-see-pee (bad river) and Sau-we-yo (the yellow body). 
He was the youngest of three. They were not regular chiefs in command, 
but were the two leading council men of the then existing tribes, under 
Chief O-nau-tis-sah. They were called by the Indians the iron men — 
Me-sau-pic (iron), E-ne-nees (men). They were valiant, brave and strong 
in their will, and for doing what was for the best interest of the nation. 
After their minds were made up no one could prevail against them, not 
even Chief O-nau-tis-sah. Hence they were held in high esteem by all 
surrounding tribes for their valor. I heard O-nau-tis-.sah speak of his 
brothers manv times; used to sa}' the}' were iKHih-lnits-siih, meaning valiant 
braves. Now, in regard to Mau-che-see-pee, he died, I was informed, in 
1S33, for I well remember I was with Ellis & Snydam at Navarino, Green 
Hay, at the time, working as printer on the Green Bay fiil('Hii^nict\ when I 
heard of his death. There is no doubt that he was the very same Indian 
that Brother Andrew had reference to. We used to call him Ne-mish-sho, 
meaning grandfather, which explains why Andrew said to you that's my 
grandfather's grave, as he was certainly buried at the old Indian burying 
ground at the Point 

His brother Sau-we-yo, alias Sho-we-on, the yellow body — well he -.i'ns 
yellow, but a very fine looking Indian after all — followed the Pottawat- 
timecs, when they went to Council Bluffs, and from there he went to Kan- 
sas. I think he died in the Indian Territory. I wish to .say a few words in 
regard to a narrative I saw in the Wisconsin Historical Collections, vol. 
XL,, entitled Antoine Le Claire's Statement. Page 239, he says Onaugesa, 
a large fat fellow, was chief (correct enough so far). Then the narrator 
says that Onaugesa died about year 1807, sixty years old; further on sa3's 
he was a Pottawattimec. Narrator is at fault; he was a pure full-blooded 


Menominee. He says Mau-che-see-pee succeeded him. False again. I will 

go no further. It is most absurd and provoking that such false statements 

are used and printed into our good history of Wisconsin. Le Clair must 

have been drunk or insane, when he was interviewed by Mr. Draper. To 

substantiate my statements, there are a few living yet that I can refer to, 

yourself as one. You have seen O-nau-tis-sah, alias O-nau-ge-sau, at my 

brother's, in 1838, and know that he died at Council Bluffs. I will close and 

will endeavor to see you soon. I have been quite sick since you came up, 

but I am recruiting. 


The removal of this old cemetery was on account of the 
great depth to which the grovind was frozen (nearly seven 
feet) a work of much labor, during which gunpowder was 
freely used; and it often happened tliat several bodies would 
be thrown out at once. I remember that upon one occasion 
■\\e threw out the stalwart form of a brave, whose burial 
shroud was a red Mackinaw blanket, that on account of its 
"gelid" condition, glistened in the sunlight like the sizing 
we used to see in the olden time upon the signs over the stores. 
Might not this body have been all that was mortal of the once 
renowned warrior Mau-che-see-pee i* 

I also helped disinter the bodj' of a squaw, in the summer 
of 1831S, from what is now the intersection of Clinton and 
Lake streets, who, as the Indians informed me, died in the 
winter of 1832. The coffin was a part of a large hollow bass- 
wood log, and near her head lay a paper snuff box, filled 
with black snuff, covered with a slight mould. This snuff 
was taken possession of by a blatherskite by the name of 
Tohn Lee, who took a pinch then and there and carried the 
box home. I have often thought of that scene when passing 
the place. Lee was a hard citizen and died many years ago. 
The E.ast Side. 

Upon the East Side, East Water street had been built up 
during the summer, with small frame buildings, from Huron 
to Mason upon both sides, a few of which were dwellings; 
the most, however, were stores and saloons. Commencing at 
the foot of East Water upon the East Side, we find from 


there to Huron but one small building, viz: a one-stor}' frame, 
owned by the late George Bowman. That stood near the 
corner of Buffalo; from there to Huron all was marsh. Upon 
the northeast corner of Huron and East Water was a small 
frame, built, sa}'s Albert Fowler, by Capt. James Sanderson, 
and occupied at that time by Hon. William A. Prentiss, and 
where he remained until November, 1837. Next above him 
was the Cottage Inn, before mentioned. Col. Morton lived 
near the center of the block at that time; then came Juneau, 
as before stated. 

Crossing Michigan, we come first to Jona. Brown's restau- 
rant, then Geo. Peter's saloon, then the dwelling of U. B. 
Smith and Holmes, before mentioned. North of them was 
the shoe shop of Benton & Parmalee (R. H. Benton and 
Aaron Parmalee). J. Rowell also had a shop near Benton & 
Parmalee; then came the grocerj' store of little Haj'den, as 
he A\as called (a dwarf), upon the rear of the lot, and at Wis- 
consin were two two-stor^' frame stores, in one of which (the 
corner one) the late Levi Blossom was at that time plying his 
vocation as auctioneer. 

Crossing Wisconsin, we come to C. C. Dewey's harness 
shop, Harrison Reed's store, near Juneau's old root house, in 
the rear of which, upon the alley, was the carpenter shop of 
Lee & Thurston. Above Reed's came Balser's bakery, F. B. 
Otis' cabinet shop and J. L. Smith's grocery, which brings 
us to Mason. Above Mason was the paint shop of the late 
James Murray, which completes the improvements in this 
direction upon East Water street. There may have been one 
or two omitted, perhaps, but there could not have been more. 

Upon the west side, from Detroit south, all was marsh and 
water. At Detroit was the warehouse of Dousman, before 
mentioned; from there to Huron all was vacant. At Huron 
was a frame wagon shop, occupied by Hiram Smith. Above 
Huron was Finch & Winslow's store, general merchandise; 
Higby's drug store, Wm. Payne's clothing store, George 
Bowman (Bowman & Green), and at Michigan the store of 


Wm. Brown (Brown & Miller*); then the shanty in the street, 
a low rum hole, kept by a man called old Treadwell, 
This man was a dirty old villain and was rode out of town 
upon a rail, in the fall of '38, for attempting to commit a 
beastly crime upon an idiotic girl, twelve years old. He 
never returned. 

Crossing Michigan we come first to J. Stoddard's grocery, 
then J. C. Schermerhorn's store, a small one-story frame, with 
what was called a battlement front. This old pioneer store 
was removed to the South Side, Ferry street, where it was to 
be seen, with the word Schermerhorn discernible upon its 
front for manj' years. 

.\bove Schermerhorn's was the boot and shoe store of Wm. 
M. Dennis, then Richard Hadle3''s shoe shop, then John Gale, 
general merchandise; Webber & Stark, Washington Coffee 
House, standing where C. Shepard's store (387 East Water) 
now does, then G. Cady's tin shop, then A. O. T. Breed's 
pioneer store, and upon the corner of Wisconsin was the office 
of Albert Fowler, f where the law was administered unto the 
people daily, and occasionalh', some other things. 

Crossing Wisconsin, we come first to the new store of Solo- 
mon Juneau (the contractor for which was Dea. Samuel 
Brown), occupied first by B. Chapman & Co.,| tlien by 

*The store named as being occupied by Jonathan Brown, was first occu- 
pied by Henry Miller, July, '36, he not associating himself with Wm 
Brown until November. 

fThis building, which is the one before spoken of as having been built in 
1834, for Albert Fowler, stood, when built, in East Water street, a little 
south of Wisconsin, but when East Water was filled in '36, it was removed 
to the southeast corner of East Water and Wisconsin, and used as stated. 

^The firms of B. Chapman & Co., Bowman & Green and Harrison Reed, 
were the three great houses upon the east side in '36, as appears from the 
files of the Advertiser for that year, and Dr. Wm. Gorham & Co., Wm, R. 
Longstreet and S. D. Cowles upon the west; but they were quickly sur- 
passed by Brown & Miller, M. & J. W. Pixley and others. It is amusing 
as well as interesting to examine these old records, as it brings to mind all 
the events of those early days, with a vividness that is pleasant to the old 
settler. Neither will any of Milwaukee's coming generations ever be able 
to look back, in their old age, upon as happy and joyous a life as can the 
old settlers, the hardy sons of toil who broke the first ground, and per- 
formed the pioneer work. 



McDonald & Malib}'. This firm failed in the winter of '36, 
and went away in '37, when Mr. Juneau occupied the store 
for a short time; then D. S. HoUister, and lastl}' Ludington 
& Burchard;* next Dr. L. W. Week's store, Maurice and J. 
W. Pixley's (general merchandise), M. \\'. Cawker's saloon, 
D. W. Patterson's blacksmith shop, and Prentiss & Bird's 
carpenter shop. This shop stood where Hon. E. H. Brod- 
head's block now stands, corner East Water and Mason. 
This much for East Water street in 1836. 

Returning now to Huron and Broadwa)', we find upon the 
northeast corner a two-story frame, occupied as a furniture 


store by C. D. Fitch, who afterwards went to St. Louis. This 
was the most southern house on Broadway, and from there to 
Wisconsin, as far as I can remember, all was vacant. At 
Wisconsin, upon the southwest corner was the residence of 
Wm. N. Gardner; upon the southeast, iirst lot south from 
the corner, that of Albert Fowler: upon the northwest, that of 
J. K. Lowry, tailor, and upon the northeast, the Belle View. 
Upon the west side above Lowr3''s, was the cabinet shop and 
dwelling of T. ^^'ainwright, Alex. F. Pratt's store (Hobart 

"^This store (see cut) was removed in 1851, to 527 East Water street, and 
used for a hay barn, and lastly to same number on River street, and con- 
verted into a flouring mill, where, as stated in ^'ol. III, page 31S, it was 
burnt, .'\ug. 10, 1882. 


& Pratt), and the old land office. This building stood where 
the center of the Conro block now stands, No. 425 Broadwa}'. 

There was an attempt made to rob this office in 1842, which 
was prevented by the boldness and presence of mind of the 
clerk, young Meigs, who shot the man, wounding him 
severely, but not fatally. He was never caught. 

Then came the old log house, •'' which stood at or near the 
old police station and jail, northwest corner of Mason and 
Broadway, above which all was vacant to Martin street, where 
there was a two-stor}' frame, built by Capt. Geo. Barber. 
This was the lone house in that direction, f 

Returning to Wisconsin, we find upon the southeast corner 
of Broadway and Mason, the homestef.d of Joshua Hathawa}'; 
and upon the northeast (second lot from the corner), a small 
frame, built by Henry Miller; and upon the southeast corner 
of Broadway and Oneida, one built by Dr. S. E. Graves (the 
old Arnold homestead); and upon the northeast, one built by 
Joseph Keyes (the old Maurice Pixley homestead ).| D. 
Wells, Jr., occupied ths Pixley honse in 1837. 

Going east upon Oneida, we find upon the northwest 
corner of Oneida and Jefferson, a small frame built by Joseph 
Cary;§ upon the .-southeast, one built by Curtis Reed, in which 
lived Dr. T. J. Noyes, but now owned and occupied by 
Clarence Shepherd ; and upon the southwest corner, a small 
frame built bj' Enoch Darling, occupied at that time by Jacob 

*This log house was built by an old Frenchman by the name of Baptiste 
Manor, who occupied it during the winter of 1836 and '37. He had a half- 
breed wife. They had five children. The old house stood at least twenty- 
five feet above the present grade, in a clump of oak trees. I was in it 
often that winter. 

fThis famous house, known as the red roof house, on account of its roof 
being painted that color, was long the residence of Dr. L. W. Weeks, who 
sold it to E. B. Dickerman; he to Horace Belden, who removed it to Wis- 
consin street, corner of Milwaukee, where it finally passed into the hands 
of E. B. Dickinson, who sold it, in 1874, to make room for his new and 
elegant block. It is now somewhere in the First Ward 

:j;The Arnold homestead has been removed to make room for the new 
Jail, and the Pixley house has been replaced by the new Police Station. 

j?The nucleus of his present home. 


M. Rogers. James McNeil was on the southwest corner of 
Mason and Van Buren; old house removed in 1875. 

This man came near being killed by two gamblers, July 25, 
1837, named Charles Blake and Matt Smith, who entered his 
house during one of the worst thunder storms ever witnessed 
in this city, after his money. They were discovered and a 
desperate fight ensued, in which Mr. McNeil was severely cut 
with a knife. They finally escaped from the house, but were 
the next day driven from the cit}', and never returned. Blake 
was a regular Mississippi blackleg, and Smith a New Orleans 
desperado. His body was covered with scars from cuts 
received in his lawless banditti life. 

There was also a frame dwelling on the northeast corner of 
Biddle and Jackson, since removed to make room for Mrs. 
Levi Blossom's elegant block. That was built in 1836, by 
John Y. Smith, where he lived. This was the lone house in 
that direction. 

Returning now to Wisconsin, we find upon the east side of 
Milwaukee, south of Wisconsin, C3'rus Hawley in a small 
frame dwelling (afterwards the Aldrich homestead), where 
Chapman's store now stands; and upon the west side, 
B. H. Edgerton, his house standing a little north of the 
Academy of Music, known as the old Treat homestead. 
North of W^isconsin we find George Bowman, where his 
block now stands. Above him was Nelson and Thomas Olin, 
in the old 3'ellow house, afterwards owned and occupied b}' 
the late Levi Blossom; A. W. Hatch upon the lot now (i88g) 
occupied by A. L. Boynton's livery stable, Samuel Robinson 
came next; old liouse removed to make room for Siddle's new 
store, and upon the corner was Norman D. Clinton, which 
completes the improvements in that direction, except the Cab- 
bage Hollow house, built by George Smith, midway between 
Biddle and Martin. Many of the old settlers lived in this 
house at various times, among whom were E. Cramer, J. H. 
Tweed}', F. A. Wingfield, A. W. Hatch, and others. 


Returning to Wisconsin, we find upon the northwest corner 
of Wisconsin and Jefferson (the old Dr. Wolcott homestead), 
a small one-story frame occupied by James H. Rogers, and 
upon the southeast, one built by Peter Juneau, the Dr. Per- 
rine homestead, now removed to make room for the carriage 
manufactory of Thos. H. Brown; and upon the northeast 
corner of Wisconsin and Jackson, was Dea. Samuel Hinman, 
in a two-story frame, once a part of the Judge Miller estate. 
(This dwelling is now somewhere in the Third ward. ) Upon 
Jackson street William Siv3'er had also erected a small brick- 
cottage, upon the alley in the rear of St. Paul's Church. This 
was the first brick dwelling built in the citj'; and upon Wis- 
consin, between East Water and Broadway, south side, was 
the dwelling of Owen Aldrich (afterwards the residence of 
L. L. Lee), in which Robert Davis had a tailor shop in '36. 
Opposite was the post-office, upon the north side of Wiscon- 
sin, in a small frame, afterwards removed to southeast corner 
of Broadwaj' and Wisconsin, for a real estate office. This 
building was burnt in the fire that swept that corner about 

There were also a few families of French Creoles and half- 
breeds living in the upper part of the Seventh and First 
wards, near Division and west of Market. There were no 
doubt some others that I cannot now call to mind, but I do 
not think there could have been many. 

Among those living at that time on the East Side, not 
already mentioned, were the following: Andrew Vieau, Chas. 
Vieau, John G. Belangee, Peter Brown, Jesse Eggleston, 
Joseph Shunier, Thomas Mason (not the present well-known 
contractor — this one died long ago), T. C. Dousman, Rufus 
Parks, Milo Jones, the old surveyor, now living at Fort Atkin- 
son, Henry Sivyer, Samuel Sivyer, Job Miller, Byron Corse, A. 
J. Lansing, J. Currier (or Cousin), Wm. A. Rice, J. A. Noonan, 
Geo. A. Trayser, Hans Crocker, Hoosier John (him the boys 
gave the calomel to), Geo. O. Tiffany, Peter Rogan, J. Rogan, 
Lawrence Robbins, James and Frank Devlin, H. N. Wells, 


George P. Deleplane, Luther, Eben and John Cole, B. F. 
Smith, Augustus Story, J. D. Everts, Louis Francher, Robert 
Legg, Edwin and Alvin Foster, Henry Hosmer, Worcester 
Harrison, Dr. Wm. H. Manton, Thomas Orchard, Henry 
Williams, Paul Juneau and Narcisse Juneau. There were no 
doubt others. Man}' of these were upon claims and some 
were boarding. 


The onl}' roads leading from the East Side, were one north 
to Port Washington, the present White Fish Ba^' Road, and 
one up the river to Humboldt and on into tlie countr)', and 
these were little better than trails. 

Joseph Carv. 

This gentleman came to Milwaukee from Litchfield, New 
York, in 1836, and commenced a business life as a draper and 
tailor, which he carried on quite extensivel}' for several 3'ears, 
having for his associates, Henr^' Williams, J. W. Ta^dor and 
others. It was during these earlj' 3'ears that the foundation 
for Mr. Car5''s large fortune was laid. He was diligent in 
business, and his heirs are now reaping the reward of his 

In person Mr. Gary was of medium height; brown hair; blue 
e3'es; walked slow, had a soft, somewhat musical voice; was verj' 
reticent, particularly with strangers; alwaj's had his eyes open; 
looked sharp after his business, and never meddled or interfered 
with others; kept his own counsel, and was always upon the 
winning side. Mr. Car}' was also one of the best posted men 
in the city upon the value of real estate, owning a large 
quantit}' himself, which he bought early, and held, never sell- 
ing an}'. 

Mr. Cary was never a politician, or an office seeker, but 
was a staunch Republican; a prominent and active member 
of the Pioneer Association, taking a deep interest in the 

OF MU.WAUKlvE. 97 

objects for which it was organized. He died at Chicago, 
March i8, 1880; buried at Forest Home. 

WiLi.iA.M Brown. 

This gentleman was from St. Clair, Michigan, and came to 
Milwaukee in '36. He had been a clerk for the American Fur 
Company in his youth, in which capacity he had been over the 
entire northwest before the advent of the whites. In person 
he was short and stout, large head, auburn hair, blue eyes, 
very large, and always looked at a person when speaking. 
He was extremely nervous; spoke short and quite low, and 
spoke very little; was a keen observer of men and their 
actions, a habit acquired in his early frontier life. Mr. Brown 
was a good business man; strictly honest and conscientious; 
was much in public life in Milwaukee's earl)' days, and was 
the partner in business of Henry Miller. He died June 17, 
1862, of apoplex}'. 


This gentleman was born at Barnard, Vt., March 5, i8og, 
from where he came to Milwaukee as a merchant, Maj' 15, 
1836. He was tall, walked with a quick, short step; was ver}' 
reticent, never conversing much upon any subject. He was 
a good business man and a successful one. But in all his 
business life he was never known to have a sign or to adver- 
tise. No other merchant who ever lived in Milwaukee, sold 
more goods while in trade than Mr. Bowman, and did it so 
quietl)'. If he had not what you called for, he told you so, 
neither would he make any effort to sell you something else 
that you did not want, and never was known to attempt to 
deceive or misrepresent the quality of his goods. 

His promises to pa}' were always met; his word was with 
him the same as his bond. If he had an enem)', he never 
knew it. He died August 11, 1874. In his death the Old 
Settlers' Club, of which he was treasurer, lost a worthy mem- 


ber, and the City of Milwaukee a useful citizen. Peace to 
his memory. 

Horatio N. Wells. 

This gentleman came from Burlington, Vermont, in '36. 
As a lawj'er, he was both prominent and successful; was of a 
quick and nervous temperament; a ready speaker; in political 
faith, an uncompromising Democrat, and took a deep interest 
in political affairs; was once Mayor; was also in the State 
Legislature, where he at once became a leader. His last 
office was that of Countj' Judge. 

Mr. Wells was a warm friend; a bitter eneni}/; made no 
concealment of liis political views or opinions; was strictly 
honest, and generous to a fault; he knew not the value of 
money, but spent it freely; was at one time very wealthy, but 
at his death, was poor. He died August 19, 1858. 


John W. Pixlej- was born at Hillsdale, Columbia Co., N. Y., 
January' 19, iSii; came to Milwaukee May 6, 1836, and at 
once become a merchant and land speculator in connection 
with his brother Maurice. Maurice remained but a short time 
however, when J. W. quit the mercantile business and became 
a money lender and dealer in tax titles, in which he was ver3' 
successful. In person he was tall and slim, dark hair and 
eyes, spoke short and quick, with a heavy accent upon the 
last part of each word; was a keen observer of men and 
things; knew the value of money and how to make the most 
of it; could tell at a glance what a man was and how far to 
trust him, and seldom, if ever, was any man able to get the 
better of him in a trade. He was never married. 

Few men have ever lived in Milwaukee whose judgment 
upon business affairs was better than John W. Pixley's. He 
was always posted, and never in all his life was known to put 
off until to-morrow what should be done to-dav. 

nv-- 9^hr^. 



In political faith he was a Democrat, but was never an 
active politician. In manners he was very quiet, made few 
intimate friends, and these he retained through life. 

His charity was unbounded, of which the world knew very 
little, for he, like Rood, was no Pharisee. He died August 
i8, 1874; buried at Forest Home. 

Dr. Wm. p. Proudfit. 

This gentleman, one of the earliest physicians in Milwaukee, 
came, I believe, from Rome, N. Y., in 1836, and settled upon 
the West Side, his home standing upon Third street, north of 

In person, he was tall and slim; sharp features; dark hair 
and eyes; voice soft and musical; spoke slow, very distinct, 
and quite low; his face, when talking, always wore a pleasant 
smile, the color coming and going like the changes of the 

He was a ver)' successful physician, as well as a very indus- 
trious one, and had built up a large business, when death 
called him awaj'. He died in 1842, leaving a memory among 
the old settlers that will not fade while life remains. 

He was, in religious faith, a Presbyterian, and one of the 
leading members of the old First church (now Immanuel), 
from its formation to his death, and by his truly Christian 
life added greatly to its usefulness in its infancy. 

Such was \Vm. P. Proudfit, one of Milwaukee's earliest 

and best. 

William P. Merrill. 

The name Merrill (or Merrills, as it was often spelled in the 
olden time), is one of the oldest in America, Nathaniel Mer- 
rill having settled in the town of Newbury in 1638, and as a 
family have furnished the countr}' with many citizens emi- 
nent as lawyers, ministers, merchants, ship-masters and ship 
builders; neither were there man)' of the early New England 
families whose descendants are more numerous than that of 
the Merrills, and wherever found are always ready to do their 


full share in developing the countrj', and as a rule are success- 
ful men. The subject of this sketch has had a varied life, 
and has seen much of it in the rough. He once made a jour- 
ney down the Rock River to its mouth in a dugout. He also 
ascended the Mississippi to Fort Snelling 49 years ago, upon 
which occasion he planted some beans upon the shore of Lake 
Pepin, which he claims to have been the first gardening done 
above La Crosse by a white man.'^' He is fond of company, 
is ver3' social and companionable, a good talker and writer, 
full of life and always wide awake; has a smile and kindly 
word for all, and a heart as tender as that of a child. By a 
luck}' investment back in the forties, and holding on until the 
cit}' grew up to it, he has become wealthy. In person he is 
of medium height, weighs 170 pounds, has an exceedingly 
nervous temperament, speaks quick and with a strong accent; 
is a good business man, sharp and keen; makes a good trade; 
is strictly honest and cannot be induced to do a dishonorable 
act for love or mone}'; keeps his word always, but is careful 
as to what he agrees; is a great reader and thinker; believes 
in the golden rule, and comes as near it as it is possible for 
imperfect human nature to do. He is an active member of 
the Pioneer Association and one of its main pillars. Mr. 
Merrill was born at South Berwick, Maine, March 25, 1817, 
and came to Milwaukee April 2, 1836. 

WiM. A. Prentiss. 

This distinguished gentleman, who has filled so many im- 
portant official positions in his adopted state, was born at 
Northfield, Mass., April 24, 1799. Came to Milwaukee, June 
23, 1836, since which time to the present he has been a 
landmark, and is to-day, at 90 }'ears of age, as active as are 
most men at 70. 

In person he is tall and stout, has a large head, light brown 
hair and blue eyes; has a strong, powerful voice; speaks slow 

*This is probably a mistake, as the early French traders, who settled at or 
about Lake Pepin, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, no doubt 
had gardens, which would antedate Mr. Merrill's. 


and distinct, with a heavy accent upon each word; walks slow, 
and is never in a hurry; is possessed of great brain power; is 
courteous and dignified in manners; is a good legislator, in 
which capacit}' he has been very prominent; has good execu- 
tive abilities — few men better; has been in public life more 
than any other one man in Milwaukee, always retaining the 
confidence of his fellow citizens; is one of the best arbitrators 
to settle disputes that ever lived here, having a quick percep- 
tion and an intuitive knowledge of right and justice. Knows 
the value of time and mone}', is never idle, and is possessed 
of a most retentive memory. 

He is also a prominent and active member of the Pioneer 
Association, and was, in fact, one of those mainh^ instrumental 
in its organization, and drafted its constitution; was its first 
president, and takes a deep interest in its prosperity. He is, 
in political faith, a Republican, neither has he ever swerved 
in the slightest during his long and eventful life from the 
principles of that grand old party, and is (our present mayor, 
excepted) the only Republican ever elected to that high 
office in our city. He is without doubt the oldest living 
pioneer in the state, and one whom our citizens have always 
delighted to honor. 

John H. Tweedy. 

This gentleman was born at Danbury, Conn., May g, 1814; 
came to Milwaukee October, 1836, and at once became active 
and prominent in the building up of the young city. 

In person Mr. Tweedy is of medium height, slight build, 
dark hair, and eyes large and expressive; speaks short and 
quick; voice low in tone; is never in a hurry; alwaj's looks 
sharp after his business; keeps his own counsel, and is verj' 
reticent, except with old acquaintances. He is in political 
faith an old line Whig, and has in common with Prentiss, 
shared in all the public offices of the City, except Mayor, and 
was prominent as a member of the convention, to frame the 
present State Constitution. 


He is bj' profession a law3'er, but has been more prominent 
as a legislator than a lawj'er. He has also been prominent 
in all our railroad enterprises; is in the enjoyment of wealth 
and influence. His habits are retiring and quiet; he likes 
books of science and scientific men. 

Mr. Tweedy has a fine legal mind; is both a ready and 
fluent public speaker; has once represented his district in 
Congress; has also represented the Cit)' in the Legislature 
several times, and is, in ever}' respect, a first class man. 

Mr. Tweed}' retired from actual business many years ago, 
but has never lost his interest in the growth and prosperity 
of the city and state of his adoption, in the founding of 
which he took so prominent a part. He is a fine writer. He 
is also a member of the Pioneer Association; has been twice 
elected its president, and is seldom absent from its meetings. 
Milwaukee has no better or more respected citizen than John 
H. Tweedy. 

The ^^']■;sT Side Buildings. 

The principal part of the buildings that had been erected 
upon the West Side, up to the fall of 1836, were nearly all in 
the immediate vicinity of Chestnut and Third streets. Third 
street had been opened into the country, and was called the 
Green Bay road, then as now. Chestnut was opened to Win- 
nebago, Winnebago to Vliet, and Vliet into the country. 
This was known as the Western or Madison road, as well as 
the Watertown, and is the one in general use to-day. 

This was mainly due to the energy of Mr. Kilbourn, who 
was not only a very smart but a good executive man also, and 
having the faculty of infusing his own spirit into others, his 
town had grown to quite a respectable hamlet in 1836. Every 
one upon that side believed in Mr. Kilbourn, and were not 
only ready and willing to do all that he desired, but also to 
bet their last dollar on the ultimate success of anything that 
he undertook, and were to a man sure that the future 
Milwaukee would be there. 


Kilbourn lived on the southwest corner of Chestnut and 
Third, in a two-story frame (removed long ago); S. D. Coles 
had a store on the first floor, general merchandise; Dr. I. A. 
Lapham, in a small frame just above Chestnut, house now 
known as No. 477 Third street (see Vol. II, Chapter on 
Schools); then came George Knapp, then Wm. P. Cully, 
both restaurants. Wm. R. Longstreet kept a warehouse 
where the elevator now is; George Abert was where he is 
now, corner of Fourth and Poplar; Dr. William Proudfit lived 
on Third, above Cherry; Chancy S. Peak had a grocery, cor- 
ner Third and Poplar; John No3'es was his clerk. F. McCaus- 
liffe lived on Chestnut, west of Fifth; Otis and.Henry Hubbard 
on Third, south of Chestnut; W. P. Merrill, in a small frame 
on Third, above Cherry. This was the first house built north 
of Cherry; Paul Burdick, northwest corner of Second and 
Cherry; R. N. and J. R. Messenger, in a house on Third above 
\'liet; Longstreet on Third, above Galena, afterwards the 
residence of J. T. Perkins. This was also the residence of 
James H. Rogers, in 1837. S. A. Hubbell, with Charles, 
Benjamin, Joseph, Thomas and James Single, were on Chest- 
nut, above Seventh; Thomas Hughes at same place; Patrick 
and David Coyne, on Third south of Chestnut; Geo. Guile, 
on Third above Poplar. John Furlong had also built a house 
between Third street and the river, near the present engine 
house; F. Burns, a house near' the corner of Fourth and 
Vliet. Upon the east side of West Water, north of Spring, 
was a large frame set upon posts above the water, where 
Juneau, at that time, kept an Indian trading house, in which 
Geo. P. Deleplane was clerk; then came Jerry Noble's house 
(also upon posts), and across the alley was the old Caleb Har- 
rison house, built by Isaac H. Alexander, from Tennessee, 
yet standing, and occupied as a Cheap John store; its present 
numbering is 252 and 254 West Water street; it is a dilap- 
idated ruin. Across the street, above Wells, was the resi- 
dence of D. Neiman and Pleasant Fields; and at the inter- 
section of Second and West Water (west side of Second), 


was the store of Dr. William Gorham and W. R. Loiigstreet, '^ 
the largest at that time on the West Side. Leveret S. and 
Wm. A. Kellogg, Joseph E. Howe, Rev. Wm. S. Crissy (a 
local Methodist preacher) and Ebenezer Harris were also 
living somewhere along there in '36. Benoni W. Finch had 
Iniilt the old brick house at the foot of Fourteenth street, 
(pulled down in 1878), which was the second brici< building 
erected in Milwaukee. The bricks for this house were made 
upon the spot, by Benoni Finch, he having opened a }'ard 
there this year. This was the first brick yard proper opened 
in Milwaukee. Mr. Finch was not a little disgusted when he 
saw his bricks were not red, thinking the}' were, of course, 
worthless. 'I' 

Upon Wells, west of Second, was a small Presbyterian 
church, and the dwelling of Hiram and Uriel Farmin. Mr. 
Crawford was the minister in charge of this church; his house 
is yet standing upon Sycamore street, west of Fifth. It was 
stated in the former edition, page 47, that the building known 
as tlie Washington House, afterwards the Republican, was 
occupied in the winter of 1836 by Silas Griffith as a hotel. 
This was an error, as that building, although commenced in 
183O, was certainly not completed and occupied until the sum- 
mer of 1837, after which it was occupied as a hotel and private 
boarding house, b}' Silas Griffith and others. It stood upon 
the northeast corner of Third and Vliet streets, and was 
erected by Archibald Cl3'bourn, of Chicago. The contractor 
was the late Benjamin Church. For its subsequent histor}' 
as the Republican House, the reader is referred to Vol. Ill, 
page 299. J 

*Longstreet was first at the northeast corner of Water and Spring, 
the firm bein{< Longstreet & Beardslej', where they kept a large stock of 
general merchandise. 

fThere were 25,000 bricks made in the summer of 1S3G, at the foot of 
Huron street (see correction in Vol. II, page 27). These were the first 
bricks made in Milwaukee. 

^The contract for putting on the cornice was sublet to Wm. P. Alerrill, 
who performed the work in a good, workmanlike manner, fifty-three years 
ago last June. 

OK ^-MH.WAUKKK. 105 

The Lelands kept the Shanty Tavern, afterwards the Amer- 
ican, where the Second Ward Bank now stands, at the inter- 
section of Third and West Water. Dr. S. E. Greves had 
erected a two story building with battlement front, yet stand- 
ing upon West Water, a little south of State. 

There were also, upon claims north of the Cold Spring, 
Byron Guerin, Patrick D. Murray, Thomas Hoyt, George 
and Charles James, and upon the present race course, a man 
by the name of Hall, who had a half-breed wife. 

Hiram J. Ross and James Cl3'man had built a mill where the 
stone quarr}' is in \A''auwatosa, and Chas. Hart one at Wauwa- 
tosa. Alanson Sweet was upon a claim south of Spring and 
west of Twenty-Fiftli street, and in the winter of 1837 1 
ptirchased twenty bushels of rutabaga turnips of him at this 
farm, tliat were actually counted out to me, man}' of them 
being twehe inches and more in diameter, each of which 
counted for one half bushel. They were by far the largest 
turnips I lia\e ever seen, and some may not believe it, but it 
is true, nevertJieless. 

Among tliose not ah'ead^' mentioned, tliat I remember, at 
that earl)' da}', living upon the West Side, were \\'illiam, 
Jcrr}' and Fred Noble, Morgan L. and William Burdick, 
Henr}- Cole, Doc. Jennings (a printer), Daniel Proudfit, Ezra 
Dewey, Daniel D. Sibley, William P Merrill, J. H. Tweedy, 
F. A. Wingfield, John Hustis, J. J. Brown, J. Bowen, John 
Wren, A. A. Bird, George Hahn, Lucius I. Barber,''' C. H. 
Larkin, John Hanaford, Timothy Wooden, John Parker, 
Samuel E. PIuU, Hendrick Gregg, \\'illiam Caton, Hiram 
I^urdick, James Clyman, S. R. Freeman, Onslow Brown, 
Wallace Woodward, William Furlong, Capt. John Masters, 
Uriel Farmin, Leonard Martin, William Flusky and perhaps 
others whose names can not be ascertained at this late day. 

■■'Lucius I. Barber was a prominent man in early times. He was a native 
of Simsbury, Conn., and returned there about 1.S50, or perhaps later, 
where he died, in 1888. He was very prominent in early legislation. He 
was never a business man. He was anions the early settlers at Jefferson 
I remember him well. 


The first cemeterj' on the West Side was upon that block 
Jying between Spring, Sycamore, Eighth and Ninth streets, 
in that portion lying west of the alley; St. James Church now 
stands upon this spot. I have helped to bury quite a number 
there; no burials have taken place, however, for many years 
upon that ground, and all who were buried there have been 
removed. The second was on the block bounded by Thir- 
teenth, Chestnut, Poplar (now Cold Spring avenue) and 
Summer streets. This ground is now built over, the bodies 
having all been removed. There was also a cemetery on the 
East Side upon the block bounded by Astor, Racine, Kewau- 
nee and Brady streets. I have helped to bur}' quite a number 
there. This burial ground was abandoned long ago and all or 
nearly all the bodies removed, and with the exception of Pot- 
ters Field, near the hospital, there is now no cemetery upon 
the East Side. There were also quite a number of inter- 
ments upon the south-west corner of Ogden and Astor streets, 
but who the}' were or when interred there I am unable to 
ascertain; there were some twent}' in all; this ground is now 
entirel}' built over. The third was the old Catholic cemetery 
on Spring street above Twentj'-second; this was also aban- 
doned long ago, man}' of the bodies being removed to the 
new one (Calvary) in Wauwatosa. 

This was Milwaukee in the month of December, 1836, the 
whole population not exceeding, probably, 700 souls. 

The floaters had left with the close of navigation for their 
homes in the then distant East leaving as a permanent pop- 
ulation only that small band of stalwart pioneers (a few of 
whom yet survive) "to hold the fort," and by whom the 
foundations of this queenly city were securely laid. 





Made from U.S.Surveys and From Minutes 
furnished by 





-V'^^ johx^O^^'' 

Etitered aecording fy> act ff/'Conffrgss in year /876 ty ./as. S.Biick. with Lihrarian ofdm^nss. 



Milwaukee in a State of Nature — The South Side, or Walker's Point. 

The reader will, b}' this time, have seen that Milwaukee, 
when I first saw it, in the winter of 1836, was as yet, mostl}' 
in a state of nature. 

The ever ceaseless march of civilization had not changed 
its appearance materially, the era of the "pick and spade," 
not having fully come. 

And notwithstanding that Juneau and Martin had filled East 
Water street, from Michigan to its foot, and Huron to the 
lake, the previous summer, built a courthouse and jail, (those 
distinguishing marks of civilization,) yet was the place but a 
small village, divided into three sections, called respectivel}', 
"Walker's Point," "Juneau's Side," and " Kilbourn 
Town," in honor of the three distinguished claimants, who 
had entered the land, and commenced each for himself, to 
found a cit3' thereon, and over which, for a season, the}' exer- 
cised almost kingly powers. 

And as it is my purpose to describe the original topograph}' 
of the city, as it appeared in that early day, as near as I can, 
and the changes that have been made therein, I will commence 
with the South Side, or Walker's Point, as it was then called, 
where I first made my home, and lived for fifteen years. 

There has been an immense amount of grading and filling 
done in this part of the cit}', changing its appearance ver}' 
materially. What is now Reed street, was formerly all water 
and marsh, except where it cut the old point, which was about 
midway between Lake and Oregon streets. This point ran in 
a southwest direction (see map), from the foot of Barclay 
Street to the bluff, which it struck at or near the intersection 
of Reed and Oregon streets. 

It was about twelve feet high, in the center, and from four 
to six rods wide; sloping each way, from the center, to the 


marsh and river. It was not only used for a roadway, but the 
first house built by a white man, on the south side, (if we 
except Jacques Vieu's trading house,) stood upon its terminal 
point, the old log house built by George H. Walker, in 1834; 
and it was subsequently built up like a street, nearly its entire 
length. On its southern side, all was marsh and water; on 
its northern, all marsh and river, over which I have sailed in 
a small boat many times. Where the St. Paul R. R. yard 
now is, there was at least ten feet of water, and where the 
present elevator stands, I have passed in a steamboat often. 
And there is an old vessel, the Cincinnati, now lying buried in 
the mud in the rear of George Burnham's block, southeast 
corner of Reed and South Water streets, that I helped to put 
there. The water at that place was at least eight feet in depth, 
with a hard, pebbl5' bottom. The side walk in front of 
House's Bakery* on Lake street, now 2gi, crosses the old 
shore line, and underneath it was the stump of a willow tree, 
removed in 1887, to which S. H. Martin used to fasten his 
canoe, " The Green Mountain Boy," in 1836. 

This description will, I think, give future generations some 
idea of how that part of Milwaukee looked in a state of nature, 
as well as the changes that have been made in fifty 3fears. 
^Vhere now stands the best business portion, then all «as 
water and marsh. 

The west side of Reed street skirted the bluffs, or hard 
ground, with one or two exceptions, from Florida to Railroad 
streets, now Greenfield avenue. These bluffs were from ten 
to twent}'-five feet high, /■ c, they reached that height between 
that and Greenbush street from Oregon to Afineral. At Min- 
eral was a ravine, where the grade from Reed west to First 

*David House was born at Bennington, Vt., December 21, 1822, came 
to Milwaukee October 6, 1846, and opened a bakery, which occupation he 
followed up to 1879, his last place of business being at 291 Lake street. 
He was among the first to make pilot or sea buiscuit Mr House has not 
been a very successful man as far as accumulating wealth is concerned; he 
is too going for that. 


avenue, was practicallj- the same then as now, from there to 
Railroad the bluffs were lower. 

Oregon street runs along what was originall}', in part, their 
northern face. This face was quite steep and abrupt until it 
terminated near Fourth avenue where the Wunderl)- and 
Best propert}' still show their original height. 

At that point there occurs a fault or set-off in the bluff; 
it retreating south to Park street, from where it continued 
west at its original height, until merged in the main high 
lands. This bluff is now being cut from Elizabeth to Park, 
an average of twenty-five feet. 

'■'These bluffs upon Oregon street were covered upon their 
northern face from Reed street west to Second a\'cnue with a 
growth of poplar and hazel, a great resort for black, gra3- and 
fox squirrels, great numbers of which have been shot there 
by John Corbin and m^'self ; and all that portion lying between 
Florida, \'irginia, Grove streets and Second avenue was also 
covered with a thick mat of hazel, interspersed with a few 
black and burr oaks. 

All that block 13'ing between Florida, Oregon, Hanover and 
Reed streets was the homestead of Dr. Hubbell Loomis, the 
father of Mrs. George G. Dousman and Afrs. H. K. Edgerton. 
This block has been cut from twelve to twenty-five feet over 
its entire surface.* \\'hile in front of L. H. Lane's, north- 
west corner of \'irginia and Hanover streets, in Hanover 
street, was a sharp hill fifteen feet in height; from there to 
Pierce street the ground descended to about its present 
grade where it commenced to rise again, and at Elizabeth 
street has been cut at least twenty-five feet; from there it 
again descended to Mineral street to about its present level. 
This can be seen by comparing the present grade with Mrs. 
Pierce's property between Pierce and Elizabeth streets, 
which is yet, in part, in its original state as to grade. 

*Many of our oldest citizens can well remember the old red house and 
the orchard once standing upon that block. The doctor used to raise some 
splendid apples there. The old house is now standing on South \\'ater, 
east of Barclay street. 


Where St. John' s Church stands was a pond hole in which the 
water stood nearlj' all the year. And all that part lying between 
Pierce, Virginia Greenbush streets and First avenue, or the 
most of it, was a tamarack swamp, where the water was knee 
deep, while the grade on Elizabeth street is nearly as it was 
then, except where it cuts the hill in Elizabeth street (now 
National avenue) from Greenbush to Hanover, where the cut 
was at least twenty-five feet, and the cut on those two blocks 
lying between Hanover, Greenbush, Walker and Pierce streets 
has been an average of twenty feet over their entire surface, 
except that part of Mrs. Pierce's property which, as before 
stated, is as yet in its original state as to grade.* 

That block bounded by Reed, Clinton, Elizabeth and Min- 
eral streets, known as the old Weeks Garden, was a low 
point extending into the marsh and so thickly covered with 
plum trees as to be impassable, except in one place, and then 
it could only be done in a stooping position. 

The cut on Reed street through or past this garden was at 
least fifteen and I think twenty feet, a round point so to 
speak, extending into it from about the center of block loo 
at least eighty feet, upon the terminus of which the doctor 
built his famous ''Swiss cottage" that no doubt many of the 
present inhabitants can remember. I put a fence around that 
block in 1846 and the doctor had a fine garden there for 
many years. 

The cut has also been heavy from Hanover to Reed street 
on the south side of Elizabeth street, the whole distance, 
including block 100, and on the north about half waj', a piece 
of bottom land ending here that extended from there north 
to Virginia street. 

This bottom was in form a crescent and bounded on the 
west by Hanover from Virginia to Pierce street, where the 
bluffs again approached Reed street. The west half of this 
block has been cut about fifteen feet upon an average from 

*This hill is now, 1889, however, being removed by Mrs. Pierce and will 
soon be known only in the memory or history. 


Pierce to Elizabeth street, as well as that between Florida 
and Virginia street, which has been both cut and filled upon 
an average at least fifteen feet. 

A small brook came into the marsh at the intersection of 
Reed and Mineral streets which had its rise in the marsh or lake 
in the rear of Clark Shepardson's farm, that flowed the year 
round, in which I have shot suckers and pickerel as far west 
as Grove street. This brook has long since disappeared and 
its fountain head is now all covered with buildings.* The 
fish used to go up this brook to the meadow then lying 
directly west of the present Muskego road and great numbers 
have been taken there in the spring of the )'ear with a spear 
by Horace Chase and others. 

All that portion of the present Fifth and Eighth wards 
bounded by Elizabeth, Hanover, Railroad streets and Elev- 
enth avenue was thickly covered with hazel brush interspersed 
with a few black, burr and white oaks. 

This part has not changed so much, although the changes 
there are to an old settler quite apparent. The grading upon 
this portion has been more uniform, but will, I think, amount 
to an average of eight feet over its entire surface, the cutting 
and filling being about equal. 

All the marsh proper was covered at times with from one 
to two feet of water in every part and would in the spring be 
literally alive with fish that came in from the lake, great 
numbers of which were caught in the following manner: We 
used to wade out beyond Clinton street and shoot them, the 
report of the gun stunning them, when they could be easily 
taken out by the hand before they recovered from the shock. 

This was fun for us but not for the fish. And the number 
of ducks that covered the marsh was be)'ond computation. 
Thousands of young ones could be seen in the breeding sea- 

*This ancient lake occupied all that portion of what is now known as 
Wechselberg and Elliott's subdivision, lying between Twelfth and Fif- 
teenth avenues and Washington and Lapfiam streets, its outlet being on 
Muskego avenue between Lapham street and Greenfield avenue, from 
whence it wended its tortuous way via the present Eighth Ward Park 
street to its terminus in the marsh at Mineral street as stated in the text. 



son, apparentlj' not a week old, swimming around as happj' 
as need be, wholly unconscious ol the fate that awaited them 
from the hands of the sportsmen. 

But all is changed now; their ancient haunts are covered 
with the dwellings of the white man, and they, like the fated 
Indian, whose congeners they were, have gone toward the 
setting sun. Their day in Milwaukee is over. 

So much for the topography of the South Side. We will 
now cross the river and describe the East or Juneau's side. 

Thf. East or Jixkal's Sidi;. 

The East or Juneau's Side, as that part of our city was 
called in 1S36, was much the largest part of Milwaukee, the 
reason for which can be easilj' accounted for. All its upper 
portion was high and dry. but aside from this and its position 
between the lake and river, it had got the first start. Juneau 
lived there, and being in a position so to do, had offered 
inducements to emigrants and speculators that Kilbourn and 
Walker were at first unable to do. Walker's title ha\'ing 
been rendered imperfect on account of a float, was held in 
abeyance b}' the government, and not until 1N45 could a clear 
title be secured. This misfortune had kept the South Side 
back until the East had stolen all their "thunder" and beaten 

Juneau's log house and store (see page 29 <7/i/e) stood in or 
near the center of East Water street, a little north of Wis- 
consin street, but in the summer of 1835 he built a frame 
house on the south-east corner of East Water and Michigan 
streets (see page 65 a>!ie) where the Mitchell building now 
stands, where he lived when I first saw him. 

In his front 3'ard were two posts about twelve feet high, to 
each of which a bear was chained, and I have spent many an 
hour watching the gambols of those bears. The)- would 
climb to the top of these posts, place all of their feet close 
together and from thence survej' the crowd of loafers and 
idlers that were watching them with the greatest complacency'. 

01' MII.WAUKi;!';. 113 

Tliey were killed and eaten at a feast Juneau gave the Indians 
in the fall of 1837. 

But to the topography. The amount of cutting and filling 
that has been done on the East Side in the Seventh and 
Third wards is very great and would, to a Milwaukeean 
born fifty years hence, seem perfectly incredilile; neither could 
he he made to believe it, except the written proof was before 
him. It is for that purpose, in part, that this has been writ- 
ten, the present generation not requiring it; but in ten or 
twenty years all these early men will have passed awa\' and 
no one then living could do this. But thousands will read 
til is in 3-ears to come and wonder at the magnitude of the 
work that was done in Milwaukee in the days of its founders. 

Beginning at Michigan street, which was the southern limit 
of the high lands and from whence the ground descended 
gradually to Huron street, I will first give a description of the 
present Third ward. 

All that portion l)'ing between these two streets was soft 
and bogg\', or mosth' so, caused b}' the numerous springs 
which came from the bluffs. From Huron south all was 
marsh and water, except two small islands and the strip along 
the beach. One of these islands, the largest, was bounded, 
or nearly so, by Jefferson, Milwaukee, Chicago and Buffalo 
streets, and was called Duck Island b\' the bo3's, probably on 
account of the numerous duckings they used to get in tr^'ing 
to reach it. The other was on that block bounded hy Me- 
nomonee, Broadwa3', Erie and East Water streets, and was 
the same place \\'here Nelson Soggs had his blacksmith shop 
some twent}' years ago.* 

Where the Chamber of Commerce now stands, southwest 
corner of Michigan and Broadway', the ground was soft and 
sjiongy. From Michigan to Wisconsin the ascent was rapid, 
and at Wisconsin the cut has been at least twent^'-five feet in 

■•■'Josepli Shaunier, the old first city marshal, wintered upon thnt island 
in 1H16, two years before Mr. Juneau's arrival, the snow being four feet in 
depth on the level. This was told to me by Mr. Shaunier himself. 


Broadway; from there to Division (now Juneau avenue) on 
Broadway it has been from ten to t\venty feet, as can be seen 
by looking at the residence of the late D. A. J. Upham, and 
others, between Martin and Division, also of M. Medbury, 
north of Division, this property being in its original state yet 
as to grade; and there is now a brick house standing on Broad- 
way, in the rear of the old Martin Medbury place. No. 633 
Milwaukee street, that has been lowered fort}' feet, which 
shows what the grade has been in that locality. The bluffs at 
this place were originally very steep, and the cut has, of 
course, been correspondingl}' large. 

From Broadway east on Wisconsin street the cut has been 
eight feet, on an average, to the ravine at \'an Buren street, as 
can be seen b}' looking at the northwest corner of Jefferson 
and Wisconsin streets, where the new club house stands, where 
the ground yet retains its original height nearly. 

From Wisconsin south to Michigan, on Milwaukee, Jeffer- 
son and Jackson streets, the cut has been from eight to 
eighteen feet, running out at Michigan street, as the bluffs 
here were quite steep, while from Wisconsin street north to 
Mason street, it has been very little, just enough to make it 
level and uniform. 

And all that part lying between Wisconsin, Division, Mil- 
waukee streets and the lake was mostly covered with a thick 
growth of small bushes, interspersed with black, burr and 
white oaks, man}' of which are yet standing. 

From Broadwa}' to East Water street the descent was 
rapid, /. e., East Water street bounded these bluffs on the 
west from Michigan to Mason street, where they commenced 
to trend east a little on Market street. 

From midwa)', or near there, of Wisconsin and Michigan 
streets, on the west side of East Water, the ground was low 
and wet to Detroit Street. This low point did not exceed 
four rods in width, the west line of EastWater not touching it. 
From Detroit to the foot of East Water street all was marsh' 
and from midway of Michigan and Wisconsin streets, north 


to Mason street, it was hard, sloping and grassy. At Mason 
street was a hill (see cut on page 29) from which dirt enough 
was taken in 1842, (see Vol. II, page 109,) to fill East Water 
street from there to Division, (now Juneau avenue). The 
cut there must have been at least forty feet, while all that 
part north of Oneida street and west of Market street was 
low and wet, a bayou extending the whole length of River 
street, in which the water was from four to ten feet in depth. 

All along the east side of Market to Oneida street the cut 
was heavy, and in fact to Division street, as can be seen by 
the cross streets, the bluffs being nearly uniform the whole 
distance, and thickly covered with bushes. 

The east side of Market street skirted the hills which 
reached their full height between there and Broadway, i. e., 
the deepest cutting was there, it being on the Market street 
front at least thirty feet. 

These bluffs terminated on the east side of Broadway, in a 
series of small sand dunes, some of which were standing in 
the vicinity of St. Mary's Church, as late as 1846. 

The fountain from which the pump formerly standing on 
the square was supplied, was originally a spring, called the 
Ball Alley Spring, coming directly out of the bank, a ball 
alley once standing in the ravine just above it.* Many of the 
first settlers got their water from this spring, even coming 
from the West Side for it, and I have lain down and drank 
from it often. 

Many of the present inhabitants can remember the old 
frame row once standing opposite the Newhall House, where 
the New Insurance Building stands, and the cutting there, 
when the present blocks were built. There was also an ex- 
cellent spring coming out of the bank at that place, about the 
center of the block, to which many of the people used to 
come for water. From Broadway to the lake on Michigan 
street, the hills were steep on their southern face, and as 
before stated, full of springs the entire length. Returning to 

*This pump stood in front of the Murray block, No. 458 East Water street. 


Wisconsin street we find all that blociv 13'ing between Wis- 
consin, \'an Buren, Cass and Mason streets, or the most of it 
was a quicksand hole, in which grew a few tamaracks, and in 
Avhich the water was four feet or more in depth; the old 
W^aterman house, northwest corner of Cass and Wisconsin 
streets, standing parti}' in and partly out of that hole, and fish 
have been caught there b}' Henrj' Siv3'er and others, while 
all the east half of that block bounded b}' Van Buren, Jack- 
son, Wisconsin and Michigan streets was a ravine whose 
northern terminus was in the next block north, once a part of 
the Judge Miller estate, its southern in the marsh at Michigan 
street. And from X'an Buren street to the lake, and from 
Wisconsin to Huron street it has been cut an average of fifty 
feet over the entire tract, it being fort)' feet at \'an Buren, 
and seventy feet or more at the lake, and from Wisconsin 
street, north, and Cass street, east to the lake the cut was 
nearly as much, running out on the north at Oneida street. 
This bluff terminated at Huron street, and upon its terminal 
point was an Indian cemetery, wliere Manitou the Indian 
killed b}' Scott and Bennett in 1K36, as will i)e stated farther 
on, was buried, and over whose gra\e was waving a little white 
flag as late as 1H38. 

From Huron street to the mouth of the river the lake beach 
was at least ten feet in height and from one to two hundred 
feet wide, upon which was the roadway up to the cit}', and it 
was the onl}' wa^• that teams could reach the town from the 
south in 1835 and' 36 or goods be got up from the boats, and 
was in general use up to 1838, /. e. it followed the beach to 
about midway of Huron and Michigan streets, whence it 
turned west to the ravine just mentioned and marked E in 
map, then north along the ravine to Wisconsin street, thence 
west on Wisconsin to East Water street. This ravine was an 
immense hole; it was filled b}^ the late John Furlong in 1839. 
A block of fire-proof flats are now, 1889, in process of erec- 
tion by the heirs of James B. Martin over a portion of this 


This beach was quite thickly covered with white cedar, 
bahn of Gillead, crab apple and oak timber, many of the trees 
being eighteen inches and somewhere over two feet in diameter. 
What a change' And incredible as this may appear to a 
person seeing the beach now for the first time, yet it is never- 
theless true. And in addition to this the whole bluff from 
Mason street north has worn away from one hundred and fifty 
to two hundred feet, /. e. the old roadwaj' along the bluff was 
that much east or out from the present edge of the bank then 
than now. This is an average wear of five feet per annum. 

All that part l3'ing between Oneida, Biddle, Astor and Cass 
streets, or the most of it, as well as a jiortion of the block on 
the north-west corner of Biddle street, now owned by R. Elliot, 
was a swamp hole and has been filled from two to four feet 
over its entire surface. A small ravine also ran along here in 
a north-east and south-west direction, a small brick dwelling 
fronting on Cass street TNo. 490 Cass street) and owned by 
George Ellis, standing in that ravine. There was also a large 
ravine (marked F in map) now nearly all filled, wliose terminus 
was in the Milwaukee river at the foot of I^acine street, which 
ran in a north-easterly direction to Farwell avenue; also one 
now partly filled near the intersection of Cambridge and North 
avenues (terminating also in the river), in which is situated 
A. L. Kane's celebrated Siloam Springs; one near the pres- 
ent Pumping Works, whose terminus was in the lake, which, 
as far as I can remember, comprises all the ravines not pre- 
N'iously mentioned within the limits of the present First and 
Eighteenth wards. 

There was also a large hole in the Court House square, in 
which I have seen the water four feet deep, where John B. 
Merrill, Hiram Merrill and others have been in swimming 
often; also a low place on the north-west corner of Jackson 
and Biddle and on the north-west corner of Jackson and 
Division, the one on Biddle extending to Jefferson street; 
one where the Union Baptist Church (now the new Musical 
Conservatory) stands and one on the north-east corner of 


Milwaukee and Oneida streets, yet partly unfilled; but the 
largest was known as Cabbage Hollow, upon which quite a 
history could be written. So much for the topography of the 
Third and Seventh wards. 

The changes in that portion of the present First ward not 
already described, have not been as great and what there are 
have mostly been made in the last fifteen years. 

The bluffs overlooking Market street were, as before stated, 
extremely bold, and from there north to the ravine, from 
whence flow cool Siloam's healing waters, the ground was 
covered with oak bushes, commonly called scrub, from 
six to twelve feet in height and so thick as to be almost im- 
penetrable; this was a great resort for rabbits, great numbers 
of which have been shot there; it was also a hiding place for 
Ij'nx, a number of which were killed there prior to i860. 
This portion is now being improved, however, very fast and 
will soon be as thickl}' settled as any part of the city. 

The W'esj- Side or Kii.hourn Town. 

The West, Side or Kilbourn Town, as it was called in 1836- 
37, did not present a very inviting aspect to the eye whereon 
to build a city compared with the East or Juneau's Side, and 
the only advantage its founder or his friends did or could 
claim for it over the East Side was that it held the ke}' to the 
beautiful lands be3'ond the timber, and that the East Side 
being merely' a narrow strip of land, lying between the river 
and lake twenty-five miles in length, and in no place exceeding 
four in breadth, and is in fact an island, its future inhabitants 
must, of necessit)', pay tribute to them instead of receiving 
it. This was what decided Mr. Kilbourn to make his stand 
upon that side and the rolling years have fully shown his 
wisdom and sagacity in so doing. 

But to the topography: Although the changes upon the 
West Side do not show as much to the eye as do those upon 
the East or South Side yet they fully equal them in magni- 
tude, and a stranger seeing our city to-day for the first time 


could not comprehend the amount of filling that has been 
done here. 

Commencing at the Menomonee river we will describe the 
low or swamp land first: 

All that portion of the Fourth Ward bounded by the 
Menomonee on the south, the Milwaukee on the east, Spring 
street on the north, and to a point about midway between 
Fourth and Fifth streets on the west, where the hills com- 
menced, was a wild rice swamp, covered with water from two 
to six feet in depth; in fact, an impassable marsh. The 
amount of filling that has been done upon this portion is 
immense, averaging twenty-two feet over the entire tract. 
There was a small island near the corner of Second and Cly- 
bourn streets, upon which was a large elm tree. This tree 
disappeared long ago. All else was a watery waste. 

At Spring street the ground commenced to harden, and 
from there to Chestnut, with the exception of West Water 
from Spring to Third, (which was also marsh), the whole was 
a swamp, upon which grew tamaracks, black ash, tag alder 
and cedar in abundance. Here was where Nat. Prentiss used 
to get his sawed stuff, as he called it, before sawed lumber 
became plenty (meaning hewn studding and floor timbers), 
and many of the oldest buildings standing to-day have hewn 
tamarack studs and floor joists that came from this swamp. 
From Spring to Third (on West Water street), as before 
stated, the ground was covered with at least two feet of water, 
and where the sidewalk now is, east side of West Water, 
crotched stakes were driven into the mud upon which cross- 
pieces were laid, and upon them a plank two feet above the 
water for a sidewalk, which was in use up to '38. From the 
intersection of West Water with Third to Chestnut streets 
the ground was soft and difficult to pass over with a team. 
Some work had been done upon it in '36, but it was as yet 
nothing but a mud hole. At Chestnut street the ground was 
hard enough to build upon, and it was there that Kilbourn 
commenced his cit)'. 


F"rom Chestnut to about midwa)' between Vliet and Cherry 
it was nearly the same. This was the northern terminus of 
the low land, and from this swamp, between Sprinj^ and 
Chestnut, I have obtained cedar as late as 1852. 

The bluffs, or high land, had a uniform front along the line 
mentioned, from tlie Menomonee river to about midway Ije- 
tween Spring and Wells streets, or nearly so. Here occurred 
a fault, or set-off, to tlie west to a point midway between 
Eighth and Nintlr streets (see mapj, as can now be seen in 
the unfilled lots upon the west side of Eighth, (that street 
having now an average fill of fifteen feet from Wells to 
Chestnut). From Wells to Chestnut their course was north. 
Here occurred a second fault, to the east, to about midwa\' 
between Sixtli and Seventh; from there to midway of Vliet 
antl Cherry' their course was again north to Walnut, then 
due cast to the ri\-er, along which they ran to the dam, their 
termini being the crown at North street ujion which stands 
the rcscrx'oir. 

This will, I think, describe the original direction of these 
bluffs for all time, whatexer changes may come upon them to 
the contrar\ notwithstanding. This f sa^' because I well 
know great changes are 3'et in store for them in coming \ears. 

These bluffs were e.xceedingl}' beautiful in a state of nature. 
Their fronts were bold and round, .and from Spring street to 
the Menomonee, and from Seventh to Twenty-fifth streets, 
were covered \\\\\\ a x'oung and thrifty growth of oak, mostly 
being what is termed "openings," many of which are ^•et 
standing upon the Rogers and Kneeland property. 

From Spring north to Chestnut, and from Eighth west to 

Sexenteenth, it was much tlie same, but from these streets 

west and north the timber was heavy, inchiding all of the 

present Ninth ^^'ard. But alas for these beautiful hills: 

Tlie white man crime with pick and spade, 
,\nd soon our hills were brought to grade, 

Those hills, so round and pretty — 
Our river front was lined with docks, 
("anals were built, with gates and locks. 

And soon we had a citv 


These bluffs have been cut from ten to forty feet in order to 
make the streets running west and north practicable, and will, 
I doubt not, be cut in future years as much more. 1 think 
the cutting on Winnebago, Poplar, Vliet and Mill streets west 
of Seventh, and on Fourth, Fifth and Sixth north of Cherry 
has been more than fort}'. But the deepest as yet was on 
Spring, it having been cut in some places as much as sixty 
feet or more, and, no doubt, there are many now living who 
can remember when Joseph Sprague had a house on the 
northwest corner of Spring and Sixth streets that was as 
mucli as sixt}', and the late Benjamin Bagnall sa3's seventy' 
feet above tlie present grade. 

Incredible as this statement may appear to many, 3'et it 
is nevertheless true. 

Wliere the Congregational Church stands, southwest corner 
of Sixth and Spring streets, was a quicksand hole with tam- 
aracks growing in it, which had its terminus at Fifth street, 
where the M. E. Church now stands. This may also seem in- 
credible, but it is true, and fish ha^•e been caught in that hole. 

Many will no doubt remember the Goodall place south 
of the old Spring Street Congregational Church, and some 
eight}' feet above it, also of the next block south, once the 
residence of the late James H. Rogers. The amount of earth 
taken from the bluffs along Fifth street, from Spring south to 
Fowler, and from Fifth west to Eighth street, and along 
Fowler, west to Ninth and north to Cl3'bourn street, to help 
fill up the marsh, is immense, and would, I think, average 
twenty feet over the entire district. Eighth street being the 
point of minimum, and Sixth street of maximum grade, upon 
the east or Fifth street front, and Sycamore the minimum and 
Clybourn the maximum upon the south or Fowler street 
front. But from Eighth west to Tenth street, and from Spring 
south to Sycamore street, the average has been about eight 
feet, as can yet be seen bj' looking at the southwest corner of 
Eighth and Spring streets, where the ground is yet in its 
original state, or nearly so, as to grade. 


The cut upon Spring street, from Seventh to Eighth street, 
west, and from Spring south to Sycamore, has been at least 
fourteen feet on an average, being at the southeast corner of 
Eighth and Spring streets, where there was a sharp hill, as 
much as twenty feet. Man}' of the present Milwaukeans will 
no doubt remember when the old frame, now standing upon 
the rear of that lot, stood upon the front, and at not less than 
twent}' feet above the present grade. Sand enough was taken 
from that lot in 1857 to pave Broadway from Wisconsin street 
to the river. From the north side of Spring street the ground 
<!osccnded toward Wells street quite rapid!}'. 

?■.! ,.,■, i-.;r.v living will no doubt remember the great change 
made b}' the opening of Tenth street from Spring south to 
Cl3'bourn street through the Kneeland propert3',f and the 
beautiful ravine that was spoiled in consequence (see map A). 
This beautitul place will be remembered by us and our chil- 
dren, but bej'ond that there will be no track, trace or remem- 
brance of it. A great mistake was made when this ravine 
was filled. This whole tract from Eighth to Twelfth street 
and from Spring to Cl3'bourn should have been reserved for a 

There was also a large ravine (see map B) between Thir- 
teenth and Fourteenth streets, now parti}' filled, whose 
fountain head was at Sixteenth and Cedar streets, and its 
terminus in the marsh at Cl3'bourn and Thirteenth streets. 
This was the drain for the swamp then existing between 
State, A'liet, Sixteenth and Twentieth streets. This swamp 
is now dr}' and covered with buildings. Also a deep ravine 
(now filled up) running in a southeast direction through 
the block bounded b}' Spring, Clybourn, Fifteenth and Six- 

■jThis beautiful ravine, a portion of which is now occupied by Mr- 
Kneeland's artificial lake, had its head or northern termini in the block 
bounded bj' Spring, Wells, Eleventh and Twelfth streets, its direction was 
southeast until it reached the intersection of Tenth and Sycamore from 
where it curved to the southwest until it terminated as stated in the text. 
At Clybourn street it was the most beautiful ravine in Milwaukee and a 
great resort for the youth of both se,\es in pleasant weather. 


teenth streets, terminating in the marsh at Fifteenth and 

This propert}' (yet unsurvej'ed into lots) was the old James 
H. Rogers homestead, now the residences of Messrs. John 
and William Plankinton, the ravine running directly between 
these two fine residences. It was filled in 1875. 

There was also a circular basin-shaped depression, filled 
with surface water six feet in depth, which, up to i86g, was a 
swimming place for the bo3's, upon that block bounded bj' 
Spring, Wells, Sixteenth and Seventeenth streets, that is now 
filled up, also one now filled, extending from the southeast 
corner of Spring and Nineteenth streets in a southeast direc- 
tion whose terminus was in the marsh at the foot of Sixteenth 
street. These last ravines were both surface water channels. 
There was also a large ravine (marked C) whose northern end 
was at Walnut and Eighth streets, now (i88g) nearl}' all filled, 
that ran in a southeast direction crossing Mill street (now 
Central avenue) between Seventh and Eighth streets, Cherr}' 
just west of its intersection with Seventh, Seventli midway 
between Vliet and Poplar (now Cold Spring avenue") and 
terminating in the low ground on Fifth at its intersection with 
Chestnut. Also one known as the big ravine, now (1889) 
partly unfilled (marked D), which had its rise at or near the 
intersection of North avenue and Hubbard streets, and its 
terminus in the Milwaukee ri\er at the foot of Hubbard 
street. This was by far the largest ravine within the present 
corporate limits of the city. 

There were, however, in addition to these a few smaller 
ravines upon the west bank of the Milwaukee river just above 
the present dam, one of which (now the property of Dr. 
H. H. Button), and known in the olden time as the "Picknick- 
ers " retreat, is as yet unchanged, the others having mostly 

I state all this so minutelj', because I well know that the 
march of improvement will in a few years more totally oblit- 
erate all traces of these original water courses. 


This description will, I think, give a very correct idea of 
the appearance of Milwaukee in a state of nature. To say 
that it was simply beautiful does not express it; it was more 
than beautiful — those bluffs, so round and bold, covered with 
just sufficient timber to shade them well, and from whose 
tops could be seen the lake extending bej'ond the reach of 
human vision, while between them ran the river, like a silver 
thread; not the filthy sewer it is to-da}', but a clear stream, 
in which the Indian could detect and spear fish at the depth 
of twelve and even eighteen feet, and upon whose surface 
sparkled the rays of the morning sun, as upon a mirror. No 
wonder it had received the appellation of the Beautiful Land. 
I certainly have never seen a more beautiful spot upon the 
entire lake shore. Yea. and it is beautiful fo-da}-, but its 
beaut}' to-dav and in '36 are different. The former was 
the work of God, the latter of man. 

Neither was this beauty confined to Milwaukee alone. The 
whole country was the same, but it was not until after passing 
the belt of timber extending along the grand old lake, and 
which concealed the beautiful countr}' beyond, as the veil 
concealeth the features of the youthful maiden, that the full 
glories of the land burst upon the sight. 

If the timber was grand, what pen can do justice to the 
prairies? Certainl}' mine cannot. Think, 3'e readers of this 
sketch, of those almost boundless oceans of countr)' over 
which nature had spread her carpet of emerald green, thickl}- 
interspersed with the wild rose, the blue bell, the tiger lilj' 
and numberless other beautiful flowers, and over which 
roamed in countless herds the red deer, the more stately elk 
and the bison,* while in the distance could be faintly seen in 
former times the dim, hazy outlines of those magnificent 
groves of timber, with which these ^'ast plains are dotted, 
here and there, like an archipelago in mid ocean. 

No man or woman with an)' poetr)' in their nature, or love 

*It is about one hundred years since the buffalo left the east side of the 

OF MILWAUKI'.r;. 125 

for the beautiful, could ever tire of gazing upon those bound- 
less plains, or divest themselves of a feeling of awe at their 
grandeur and immensity, and of reverence for the Being who 
had created them. But with the advent of the white man 
came a change. These prairies, so old and so hoar)', over 
which the red man and his congeners had for ages roamed at 
will, were quickly covered with the golden grain. In place of 
the red deer, the elk and the bison we see the lowing herds and 
the bleating flocks. Nature has given place to art, and all 
the primeval glories of those grand old prairies in Wisconsin 
have passed a^\'ay forever. 


Milwaukee, .\ugust 22d, 1876. 

I certify that I have read the above "Topographical Description of Mil- 
waukee in a State of Nature," by the author, J. S. Buck, together with 
the changes that have been made therein, and believe the same to be cor- 
rect in all its details. 


1st Ass't Cit}' Engineer. 

Correction — I find it .stated by Andrew J. Vieau, Sr., in Vol. XI, State 
Historical Publications, page 227 (when speaking of Milwaukee), that all that 
portion of the present Fourth ward lying south of Spring and east of Fourth 
streets was formerly an Indian corn field, and that it was occupied as such 
up to 1834, or later. This is evidently an error, as it was certainly covered 
with water from two to four feet in depth in 1S36, neither were there any 
indications that it had been dry for many years back, if ever. Albert 
Fowler makes no mention of its being dry when he came, although he does 
of the Third ward marsh. The late Mrs. Theresa Juneau White has often 
stated to the writer, when speaking of her early life, that when a girl she 
had often passed in a canoe from the foot of Wisconsin street directly 
across this marsh to Fifth street and that she u.sed to gather wild rice there 
every season up to the time the whites came. Mr. Vieau must have been 
thinking of some other locality. 



Histor}' of 1836 resumed. 

Formation of a Territorial Government — Appointment of State Officers — 
Government Organized — First Caucus — Election of Members of Coun- 
cil and Assembly — Spicy Correspondence — Conventions — Gen. Jones 
Elected Delegate — Rail Road Charters — The Old Bellevue — The Ex- 
change — The First Murderers. 

This year witnessed an organization of a Territorial Gov- 
ernment for Wisconsin, (which at that time included all of 
the present states of Iowa and Minnesota) Congress having 
passed a bill for that purpose, to take effect July 4th, 1836, 
thereb}' taking her from under the control of the \\^olverines, 
and starting her in life for herself, and over which the follow- 
ing ofHcers were appointed b}' the President, and confirmed 
by the Senate: 

Governor, Henry Dodge; Secretarj', J. S. Horner; Chief Justice, 
Charles Dunn; Associate Justices, AVm. C. Frazier and Da\'id Erwin; 
Attorney General, W. W. Chapman; Marshal, Franklin Gehon, 

The appointments by the Governor were as follows: 

Aide de Camp, Paschal Parquette, with the rank of Colonel; Peter Hill 
Engle, Colonel of Militia; Adjutant General, James P. Kingsbury; Private 
Secretar}', Hans Crocker, with the rank of Major; Attorne}' General, H. 
S. Baird; District Attorneys, Iowa, Daniel C. Fenton; Dubuque, \\m 
W. Corvielle; Crawford, Thos. P. Burnett; Milwaukee, Wm. N. Gardner; 
Racine, Marshall M. Strong. 

As one of the natural results of such an assemblage thrown 
together from all parts of the country, would be more or less 
lawlessness, especially in the wilderness, and although as 
little was perhaps exhibited in Milwaukee as in any other 
frontier settlement, 3'et the people soon began to feel the need 
of the restraining influences of the strong arm of the law, as 
the following notice published in the Advertiser of July 14th, 
will show. 



A meeting of the citizens o£ Milwaukee will be held at the Bellevue for 
the purpose of considering the propriety of petitioning the Governor to 
appoint two or more Justices of the Peace, a Judge of Probate and a 
Sheriff for the township and county of Milwaukee. All good men and true 
are requested to attend. 

July r4th, 1836. Various Persons. 

This first attempt to organize under the territorial govern- 
ment resulted in the following appointments: 

Sheriff, Henry M. Hubbard; Justices of the Peace, D. Wells, Jr., John 
A. Messenger, S. W. Dunbar, Barzillai Douglass and Elisha Smith; Judge 
of Probate, Nathaniel F. Hyer; Auctioneers, Wm. Flusky and C. D' 
Fitch; Notaries, Wm. N. Gardner, Cyrus Hawley and Geo. Reed; District 
Surveyor, Joshua Hathaway. 

These appointments were made August 2, with the excep- 
tion of Hathaway and Reed, whose commissions dated July 
8, all, however, to hold until the first Legislative Council 

should convene. 

Executive Department for the Territory of Wisconsin, 
September 9, 1836. 
Returns of the different Sheriffs of the census or enumeration of the 

inhabitants of the Territory of Wisconsin. 

Pop. Reps. Councilors. 
Des Moines County 6,257 7 3 

Iowa " 5,234 6 3 

Dubuque " 4.274 5 3 

Crawford " 850 2 o 

Brown " 2,706 3 2 

Milwaukee " 2,893* 3 2 

Summary of votes polled at the election of October 10, 1836, in Milwaukee 


Milwaukee precinct 449 

Pike River " 108 

Louis Vieux " 60 

Moses Smith ' ' on Fox river 36 

Upper Fox River precinct 13 

Racine precinct 92 

Rock River precinct 23 


*Of the 2,893 inhabitants at that time in Milwaukee county 1,328 are set 
do%vn as living within four miles of the mouth of the river. 


The apportionment that this census gave us for Council and 

Assembly, held at Belmont, Iowa count)', October 25, of this 

year, were as follows: 

Council. House. 
Brown County 2 3 

Crawford " o 2 

Des Moins " 3 7 

Dubuque " 3 6 

Io«a " 3 5 

Milwaukee " 2 3 

13 26 

The notice for an election upon the basis of this census was issued 
September 15, 183G. Signed, Henry M Hubbadd, 

SJwrijf Mil-'.'aul^i'c County. 

A full copy of all the proceedings had at these first con\'en- 
tions is given in order that the readers maj' understand the 
political status at that time and, as ■will be seen, Racine and 
Walworth counties were then a part of Milwaukee count}-, 
joining in the election: 

At a meeting of the Democrasic electors of the town of Milwaukee, 
friendly to the general administration, convened according to previous 
notice, at the Bellevue House September 15, Wm. B. Sheldon was called 
to the chair and Giles S. Brisbin appointed secretary The notice for the 
call of the meeting having been read hy the chairman and several gentle- 
men having exchanged views it was 

Resolved, That in the opinion of this meeting it is expedient that a 
county convention be called to make nominations lor the candidates to be 
supported at the coming election. 

Rcsolvcii, That said convention be called at Godfreys, on Fox river, 
Saturday, October i, at 10 o'clock a. m., and that the different precincts be 
requested to send delegates as follows, \'iz.; Racine, 3; Pike Ri\er 
(Kenosha), 3; Skunk Grove, i, Fox River, i; Upper Fox River, i; Rock 
River Rapids, i; Prairie Village, i; and Milwaukee, 10. 

Resolved, That the Democratic Electors of this town are requested to 
meet at the Bellevue House on Saturday the 24th inst., at two o'clock, 
for the purpose of choosing delegates to attend the county convention. 

Resolved, That the Chairman appoint a committee of five, for the pur- 
pose of circulating the proceedings of this meeting, and of conferring with 
our Democratic friends generall)'; whereupon the Chair appointed the 
following gentlemen, viz: Byron Kilbourn, Solomon Juneau, A. O. T. 
Breed, H. M. Hubbard, and Wm. N. Gardner. 

OF MII,WAUKi;i',. 129 

/•^L'soh;;/, That the proceedings of this meeting be signed by the Chair- 
man and Secretary, and be published in the Milwaukee AdTcrlisdr. 

The meeting then adjourned siiid die. 

Wm. B. SHiiLDON, C/iiiiriiinn. 
Giles B Bkisbix, Scii-elory 

At a meeting of the Democratic Republican electors friendly to the 
present general government, held at the Bellevue, in the Village of Mil- 
waukee, on the 17th of September, 183C, pursuant to public notice, for the 
purpose of reconsidering the subjects acted upon at the meeting held at the 
same place on the afternoon of the 15th, S. Pettibone was called to the 
chair, and Dr. S. H. Greves appointed secretary. 

After a long and spirited discussion, in which many gentlemen partici- 
pated, it was, on motion of J. Hathaway, Esq., 

Rcsoh'L'd, That the subjects acted upon bv the meeting held on the 15th 
be reconsidered 

When the following resolution, submitted b)' K Cramer, Est}., was 
unanimously adopted : 

/vV.rn/7V(/, That the Democratic Republican electors of Milwaukee county 
be, and they are, hereby invited to meet at the Court House in the Village 
of Milwaukee Saturday, October i, at 9 o'clock a m., to make nominations 
for the ensuing election, and to transact such other business as may be 
brought before the meetin.i; '•■' 

On motion of D. Wells, Jr., Esq., it was 

AVw/f'tv/, That the chairman appoint a committee of live to circulate 
information of the proceedings of this meeting throughout the count\- 

Whereupon the chairman appointed the following: 

Daniel Wells, Jr., J. Hathaway, B. W Einch, Wm, I'ayjie, and Wm. 
N. Gardner On motion ol George R. Dyer, Est] , it was 

Rcsohu-il, That the Proceedings of this meeting be signed b)- the Chair- 
man and Secretary and published in the Milwaukee .Id-.h'rtist-r. 

S. PETTMJONli, Clininiltlll. 

Samuel H. Gkeves, Sciri'lury. 

The election for delegates to attend the convention at God- 
fre3''s, held at the Court House, resulted as follows : 

Samuel Brown, 121 votes: Isaac Dewitt, 121: Byron Kilbourn, 121; 
Robert Love, 121; Wm. P. Proudfit, 121; Albert I'owler, 121; D H. Rich- 
ards, 121; Leonard Brown, 121; N. F. Hyer, 116; scattering, 15. 

* There is evidently some mistake here, and instead of October i, the 
date should be September 24, the previous Saturday; for if the meeting 
was called for the appointment of delegates to the convention at Godfrey's 
October i, then would their attendance be an impossibility, as they could 
not be chosen in Milwaukee and reach Godfrey's the same day. It is prob- 
able, if the date of the call is correct, that no nominations were made by 
the Democratic Republicans, as they were all friendly to the then adminis- 
tration, and therefore, nominally all Democrats 


From Racine — B. B. Gary, John M. Meyers and Wm Luce. 
From Pike River (Kenosha) — Samuel Resiquie, E. D. Woodbridge and 
E. R. Hugunin. 

From Skunk Grove — Levi Blake and Isaac Butler. 

From Prairie Village — Isaac Stuart and Madison W. Cornwall.* 

This convention at Godfrey's resulted in the election of 
Alanson Sweet and Gilbert Knapp as members of the council, 
and Wm. B. Sheldon, Charles Durkee and Madison W. Cron- 
wall as members of the assembly, to convene at Belmont, 
Iowa county, October 25, 1836. 

This election also resulted in sending Gen. Jones, of Iowa 
count}', as delegate to Washington, the vote standing as fol- 
lows : 

( 'oKiiliii Jones. Meeker. 

Hrown 314 ii 

Crawford 56 10 

Des Moines 860 8 

Duijuque 930 49 

Iowa 612 Oiy 

Milwaukee 750 o 

Total 3.522 695 

Majority for Jones, 2,827. 

Henr}' S. Baird was elected president of this council, and 
P. H. Engle, of Dubuque, speaker of the house. 

The following appointments were made at Belmont, b)' 
Governor Henry Dodge, with the approval of the council, 
for Milwaukee county: 

December 2, 1836, James Clyman was appointed Colonel of Militia, 
Isaac Butler, Lieutenant Colonel, and Alfred Orrendolf, Major; December 
5, for Justices of the Peace, for three years, Isaac H. Alexander, A. A. 
Bird, Sylvester W. Dunbar, Barzillai Douglass and John Manderville; for 
Sheriff, three years, Owen Aldrich; District Attorney, Wm. N. Gardner, 
three years; Supreme Court Commissioner, John P. Hilton, three years; 

* The election of this gentleman, as Wm. A. Prentiss states, was purely 
an accident. Messrs. Sheldon and Durkee were before the convention in 
regular form, but when they commenced canvasing for a third man no one 
appeared to want it. At last some one happened to see this gentleman 
standing in the door, and made a motion that he be the third one, which 
was put and carried. The singular part of it was that he was an entire 
stranger to all present. 


Master in Chancery and Judge of Probate, Wm. Campbell, three years; 
Notaries Public, Cyrus Hawley, Joseph R. Ward and Wm. N. Gardner, 
three years; District Surveyor, Geo. S. West, four years; ,\uctioneers, 
Geo. S. Wright and Wm. Flusky, two years; Inspector of Provisions, A. 
Peters, two years. 

The first settlers of Milwaukee certainly meant to be in 
season in applying for railroad charters, as we find a call for 
a meeting for that purpose as early as September 15, 1836. 
This call was to obtain a charter for a railroad to the Missis- 
sippi river, terminating at Dubuque; also a notice in the 
Advertiser of that date that a bill would be presented at the 
next session of the legislature, held at Belmont, for a charter 
for one from Milwaukee to the city of Superior, then an 
Indian trading post. This meeting adjourned to meet on the 
22d, when the following proceedings were had: 

Capt. Samuel Brown was called to the chair and Byron Kilbourn 
secretary, when after due consideration, it was on motion 

Rt'sohcd, That it is expedient to petition the legislatuie at its next 
session to pass an act incorporating a company for the purpose of con- 
structing a railroad by the nearest and best route from the town of Mil- 
waukee to the Mississippi river, making Mineral Point a point on said 
road if practicable; if not, then so near that place as a feasible route can 
be found. 

Resolved, That a committee consisting of fifteen members, including the 
president and secretary of this meeting, be appointed, whose duty it shall 
be to correspond with the people of other parts of the territory upon this 
subject and to draw up a petition, circulate it for signatures and present 
the same to the legislature, and in general to take such measures as they 
may deem proper and needful to carry into effect the objects of this 

Rdsolveil, That in addition to the president and secretary the following 
named persons shall constitute such committee, viz.: N, F. Hyer, Hans 
Crocker, S. Juneau, Wm. A. Prentiss, D. S. Hollister, S. W. Dunbar, 
Horace Chase, Wm. R. Longstreet, Colonel A. B. Morton, Jas. H. Rogers, 
B, H. Edgerton, Wm. N. Gardner and Thomas Holmes, and that a majority 
of said committee may transact business. 

Resolved, That the proceedings of this meeting be signed by the president 

and secretary and published in such papers as are friendly to the project. 

Samuel Brown, Chainuan. 
Byron Kilbourn, Seeretory. 


This was, no doubt, the time when the present Milwaukee 
& Mississippi Raihoad was conceived, our friend Hans 
Crocker being present and taking part in both its conception 
in 1836 as well as its birth in 1849. He was the only one 
living in 1876, of allthat committee, when the former edition 
was published, who had anything to do with its organization 
and construction when it was finallj' built. At that time, 
1836, there was no railroad west of New York except from 
Albany to Schenectad}', the present New York Central, which 
reached Utica in 1838 and Buffalo in 1842. But here was a 
city not a 3'ear old in the midst of an Indian countr}' asking 
for a charter for a railroad not only to the Mississippi river, 
but also to Lake Superior ^^■here, at that time and for long 
afterwards, not a white man resided and which is not much of a 
place to-da}', although every effort that speculation could 
devise to make it a prosperous place has been exerted in that 
direction for the last thirty years.* 

The resources of Milwaukee were great; she was the natural 
market for a large and rich agricultural region, and her suc- 
cess has fully demonstrated the truths of the laws of trade 
and commerce. She did not need to labor much to become 
a great cit}- and she has not. Her growth has not been as 
rapid as that of Chicago, but she has a health}' body. Her 
solid men arc solid; neither is there a city in the countr}', all 
things considered, whose citizens own their homes to as great 
an extent or whose financial standing is superior to that of 
our cit}'. Such is Milwaukee. 

'•'.•V great effort was made about thirt}'-five years ago by a few speculators, 
principally from Kentucky, to start a rival to Milwaukee at the head of 
Lake Superior, to be known as " Superior City," where for some five or six 
years a large amount of money was expended as well as poor whisky drunk 
in the vain attempt to accomplish it. It collapsed finally and was aband- 
oned by all who could get away, and it became for a season, metaphorically 
speaking, like " Tadmor of the desert." The subsequent settlement at 
Duluth has, however, caused its citizens to awake from their long financial 
night and take a part in handling the vast amount of cereals now passing 
and that will, no doubt, continue to pass over that transcontinental route, 
The Northern Pacific Railroad, for centuries to come. May their success 
be all they could desire. 


The following notice, taken from the Milwaukee Sentinel 
of September i8, 1838, shows that the idea of a railroad to 
the Mississippi river had not been abandoned. The notice 
reads as follows: 


Three government engineers arrived here last evening with the necessary 
apparatus and will immediately commence the survey of a route for a 
railroad from this place to the Mississippi river, for which purpose the 
government made an appropriation of $2,000 at the last session of congress. 
Of the vast importance of this work to the territor}' as well as the whole 
North-west we have before spoken and are pleased to see this early atten- 
tion paid by the government to this important work. 

A land office was first opened at Milwaukee September 15, 
1S5S, for pre-emptions or private entr}', with Colonel A. B. 
Morton as Register and Rufus Parks as Receiver. 

The following is the official notice of the Receix'cr: 


The Receiver's office \\ill be opened in this place for the receipt of 
mone\ for the sale of public lands in the Milwaukee land district on 
Mondav, the igth day of September next, at lo o'clock .\. m. The funds 
received will be gold and silver and in proper cases Virginia land scrip, 
and no draft, certificate or other evidence of money or deposit, though for 
specie, will be received unless signed by the Treasurer of the United States 
in conformity to the act of April 24, 1S20; but until the 15th of December 
next the bills of the Bank of Michigan and the Farmers and INIechanics' 
Bank of Michigan, at Detroit, wtll be recei\ed for any quantity not 
exceeding three hundred and twenty acres to each purchaser who is an 
actual settler or bona fide resident in this territory. 


.Milwaukee, September 13, 183C. A'c'ifii^cr of Fii/i/ii .Momys 

Thio Bei.t.evue. 

The Bellevue (afterwards the Milwaukee House) stood, as 
before stated, upon the north-east corner of Wisconsin street 
and Broadway. It was commenced in 1835, occupied in 
1836 and finished in 1837. It was built by Juneau and 
Martin. Its first landlords were Sidney A. Hosmer aud 


Elisha Starr, in 1836; its second, Willis and Noyes, '37; its 
third, H. Williams and B. H. Edgerton, '37; its fourth, 
George E. Myers; its fifth, Childs and Cotton; its sixth, 
Myers and Hurley; its seventh, Geo. P. Greaves; its eighth, 
D. Wells, Jr.; its ninth. Hurley and Ream; its tenth, \\'hit- 
ne}' and Wall, '42; afterwards Caleb Wall, who sold in 1844 
to Col. Jones, of Waukesha, and was, as far as I know, its last 
landlord. This old pioneer house was famous in its da}', 
being to Milwaukee in those earl}' times what the Astor House 
was to New York forty years ago; and to have stopped at the 
Bellevue or Milwaukee House was a big thing. It was a 
"big bug" house and no mistake, i. e. the bugs were larger 
there than elsewhere. But all that is past now. I ate my 
first meal in Milwaukee in that house on the 17th day of Jan- 
uary, 1837. Many of the early settlers, with and without 
families, were boarders there for years, even up to the da}- 
of its removal. No other house that has or will be built in 
Milwaukee will ever have such a record. The whisky drank 
there would float a steamboat. It was a high toned place. 
But alas! its glories have departed; it outgrew its usefulness 
and was removed to make room for a business block, I think 
in 1849. Sic transit. 

The compeer of the Bellevue was the shanty tavern built 
in '36 by the Lelands at the intersection of Third and West 
Water streets, afterwards called the American. 

The Milwaukee hotels hav2, geologically speaking, had 
three eras or epochs — the Cottage Inn, the Bellevue and Le- 
land's Exchange, representing the first, or Eocene period; 
the United States, Holmes Hotel and Kane's American 
House the Second or Miocene, and the Newhall, the Plankin- 
ton and the Kirby the present or Pliocene. 

The history of all these first dwellings, could it be truth- 
fully written, would of itself be quite a book. For the first 
five years after the writer came he made an attempt to keep 
a record of their travels as the city began to grow, but at last 
he gave it up as a useless as well as an impossible undertaking. 


The wanderings of Schermerhorn's old store, the Dousman 
warehouse and dweUing, together with the old Bellevue and 
several others have already been given, but their history 
would comprise but a small portion of the great whole. Some 
of these first buildings were removed several times; several 
were removed from the east to the west side and 7iice versa. 
In one instance, one building crossed the river three times 
before finding a permanent home, which it did at last on 
Wells street. Many were rebuilt, and a few not mentioned, 
3'et occupy their original sites, but the most of them are now 
in the Third Ward, being sold cheap when no longer suited 
to the increasing wants of trade. They were all low in ceil- 
ing — seldom over six feet — seven and a half being in that 
early day as aristocratic as thirteen is now. They were also 
mere shells, not one of them being sheatlied before the sid- 
ing was put on, as is the custom now, unless Messrs Juneaji 
and Dousman' s were, the scarcity of both lumber and money 
compelling the people to build as cheaply as possible. The 
chimney seldom if e\'er came below the first floor, resting in 
most cases upon the ceiling joist overhead — a prolific cause 
of fire. The}' had, as a rule, no foundation, in consecpience 
of which they soon became hogged in the middle, giving 
them an unsightly appearance. The old yellow house on 
Jackson street, once a part of the Judge Miller estate was the 
best one upon the hill when built in '36 b}' Deacon Samuel 
Hinman. This gentleman was noted for his politeness and 
well merits the appellation of the polite man. He was tall 
and commanding in person; had light hair, blue eyes, a florid 
complexion; voice soft and musical; with a pleasent word 
and smile for everyone, even for the brutes. 

It is related of him that when driving oxen he would, when 
wishing them to go to the right or left, lift his hat very 
respectfully and say, "Haw, bright, sir," or "Gee, bright, 
sir, if you please. " 

But to see him in his glor}' was when presiding at a public 
assembly; that was well worth going ten miles to witness. 



In that position he certainlj' surpassed an}' and all the men 1 
ever knew. 

He was both prominent and active in the formation of the 
first town and ward governments, being upon the Board of 
Trustees. He was also prominent in the organization of the 
old first church. He was truh- a good man and has long 
since gone to his reward. 

Ell resume The old John Y. Smith House also had a 
stj'le of finish that would be called quite elaborate to-day. 
although not modern. But the old Cabbage Hollow House 
before mentioned was the wonder of the town in '36. It stood 
where the double brick now does, east side of Milwaukee street, 
between Martin and Biddle streets.'-' It was built by Geo. 
Smith; it was the aristocracic house in that earh' day, being, 
as before stated, the residence at various times of some of the 
most wealth}' as well as tlie most cultixated of Milwaukee's 
earl\- men. ^^'hat became of it I am unable at this late dav 
to ascertain. If in existence, its location is unknown, but its 
form often cames to mind. Neither do I ever pass the 
Badger State Hotel in the Third \Vard, without the inner life 
of tiie old Bellevue (of which it was once a part) and the wild 
scenes I have witnessed within its walls in the days of ''.Vuld 
Lang S\"ne, " passing in review before memory's e\e. 

But a few x'ears more, however, and all these early land- 
marks will ha\'e disappeared leaving no trace. Their da}' of 
usefulness, like the men who built them, is over. 

Mention should have been made of the meat market of 
Owen Aldrich, the first in the place, opened in '36. It stood 
in the rear of his house on Wisconsin street, but fronted on 
East Water about one hundred feet south of Wisconsin. 
Peters also had a market upon the West Side in '36-37 at or 
near the corner of Wells and Second streets. Dr. L. \^^ 

'"This Pioneer dwelling was a two story frame with a brick basement; it 
had a frontage of 54 feet and was in reality a three tenement building; it 
had a veranda the entire length, front and rear; its present numbering 
would have been 526, 528 and 530 Milwaukee street. 


Weeks also kept one in the summer of '38 in the old Scher- 
merhorn store on East Water street, for a short time. Fresh 
meat, however, except game, was the exception and not the 
rule in those early times in Milwaukee. 

Mention was made in the descriptive history of the South 
Side of the quantities of fish that came on the marshes and 
that were shot there. They would go up the Milwaukee, 
Menomonee and Kinnickinnic rivers in the spring by the mil- 
lion, remaining about a month, covering all the marsh as thick 
as they could lay, where, as the water was clear at that time, 
they could be seen a long distance. I have waded out often 
and shot them as they lay upon the grassy bottom, and a cart 
or wagon could be loaded in a few minutes, and has often 
been done under the old dam at Ross' mill in Wauwatosa, 
near the old stone quarry. But that will never be done again 
in Milwaukee. Their day, like that of the ducks, is over. 

Thi-; Old Col'rt House .and Jail. 

I cannot close the history of 1836 without giving a short 
sketch of this famous building. It was (I quote now from 
McCabe's Directory) a plain frame building of the Tuscan 
order, surmounted by a Belvidere of one section. It was 
fifty-one feet in length by forty-two in width, two stories in 
height with a pediment front extending nine feet from the 
wall of the building, supported by four Tuscan columns. The 
court room was in the second story, the first floor being divided 
into four jury rooms; it faced the south. This pioneer Tem- 
ple of Justice was built by Juneau and Martin at an expense 
of $5,000, and with the jail was presented to the countj' as a 
free gift from these generous hearted men, together with the 
square and lots upon which it stood. What a history could 
be written upon that old building. What trials it has wit- 
nessed ! How often in the early history of the city have its 
walls echoed back the ringing words of H. N. Wells, J. H. 
Tweedy, D. A. J. Upham, James Holliday, J. E. Arnold, 
Wni. P. Lynde, Asahel Finch, and in later years those of 



Matt. H. Finch, O. H. Waldo, Matt. H. Carpenter, A. R. 
R. Butler, E. G. Ryan, J. G. Jenkins, H. L. Palmer, Jas. A. 
Mallory, and others of Milwaukee's distinguished pleaders, 
who so ably defended their clients in days gone by. Here 
sat Judge Wm. C. Frazier in 1837 for the trial of the Indians 
who killed Burnett. Here was held the famous Bass murder 
trial. Here, too, stood David Bonham for his life. Here 
was held the trial of Ann Wheeler for the murder of John W. 
Lace. Here, also, was where Judge A. G. Miller held his 
first court in 1838. What a record has that old building left 
as an inheritance for Milwaukee's coming generations. What 
legal wisdom has emanated from its bench in the days of 
Frazier, Miller, Hubbell, McArthur, Smith and May. It was 
there that Reycraft, Mason and Bingham were tried for par- 
ticipation in the rescue of the fugitive slave, Glover, and 
acquitted, the writer being one of the jurors. The new one 
may stand longer, but will never have such a record as did 
the old one.* 

Its adjunct, the jail, has also been rightly called by McCabe 
twin cousin to the black hole of Calcutta. It was a loathsome 
place in its palmiest days, and those who had endured its hor- 
rors once, even for a brief period, were not apt to scare much 
when the pains and penalties of Tartarus were set before them 
in Moody's best style. They had been there. Nevertheless, it 
has been the home of many an unfortunate criminal while 
waiting for the slow-moving wheel of justice to bring him lib- 
erty or Waupun. 

This modern Bastile disappeared however, long ago, a new 
one being built by the politicians, who, knowing the uncer- 
tainties of their vocation, were fearful that its hospitalities 
might some day be extended to them, and were anxious, if 
such an emergency should ever arrive to have a more artistic 
residence, if it was a forced one. So it is ever in this chang- 
ing world — mankind desires improvement, even in jails. 

*For a complete description and cut of this pioneer Temple of Justice 
together with profile of the first county buildings, see Vol. 2, page 52 to 57 

of milwaukee. 139 

The First Murderers. 

Perhaps no new city has ever been founded in which a mur- 
der was not committed. At least Milwaukee cannot claim to 
be an exception. Among those who came in '36 were two 
hard cases known as Joseph Scott and Cornelius Bennett. 
These villains killed an Indian named Manitou (or the Spirit), 
in the month of November in front of Wm. Brown's store, 
southwest corner of East Water and Michigan streets. 

This murder was wholly unprovoked and the excitement 
growing out of it among the Indians (some three hundred of 
whom were camped here at the time) was intense, so much 
so that it required all the courage and influence of Solomon 
Juneau to prevent them from killing every white man in the 
place. The murderers were at once arrested and confined 
first in the office of Albert Fowler, southwest corner of East 
Water and Wisconsin streets until the jail was completed, 
when they became its first occupants, where the writer saw 
them in the month of January, '37, while awaiting their trial, 
which they were not destined to get in Milwaukee, for in 
April they escaped from jail, assisted, no doubt, from the out- 
side, and were never retaken. 

Scott was hung afterwards at Laporte, June 15th, 1838, for 
the murder of his uncle. Bennett was never heard from. 
Scott was the most villainous looking rascal for a white man 
that I have ever seen. 



1836 — Continued. 

Agriculture, Samples of — Ferries — Rates Established — Vessel Arrivals — 
First ^'essel Built — Opening of the Straits and First Arrivals from 
1836 to 1871 — First Newspaper established — Letters, Etc. — Sketch of 
John Pickle. 


The writer made mention in the history of the West Side 
of the enormous growth of the vegetable productioriS of 
\\'isconsin, particularly turnips. But here is one that com- 
pares well with it, that I find recorded in the Adveriiscr of 
November 17, 1836, which appears to be in answer to a pre- 
vious notice, being headed "Still L.-\rger," and reads as 

Mr. Editor: — Our agricultural productions and resources being a subject 
of great interest to the country, I take the liberty of offering through your 
columns an account of such articles as have been brought in since those 
that were noticed by you a few weeks since. I have received from Syl- 
vester Pettibone, Esq., two turnips, ruta-baga, one weighing twenty-two 
and the other twenty-three and a half pounds; also si.\ty potatoes, weigh- 
ing sixty-eight pounds and two ounces, the heaviest ten of which weighed 
thirteen pounds and fourteen ounces; also a carrot eighteen inches long, 
which demonstrates the depth as well as the richness of our soil. These 
potatoes were raised at Prairieville on sward ground broken up earl}- last 
spring, and I am assured by Mr. P. that they were not hoed during the 
season, or, to use his own language, a hoe was never in the field, not e\'en 
to dig them, that having been done with a shovel. 

I also received from the farm of Mr. Douglass at Kinnickinnic a turnip, 
common English, twent}'-two inches in circumference, weighing eight and 
a half pounds; also a radish fourteen inches round, vveighing four pounds 
and five ounces. 

Also from Mr Isham Day, four miles up the Milwaukee river, ten 
potatoes weighing fourteen pounds; the seed was planted in June. Can 
Dubuque beat this? 



In the Sentinel oi November 6, 1838, we find the following: 


We were this day presented with a turnip, ruta-baga, raised by Doctor 
Enoch Chase of this town (meaning Lake), which measured three feet ten 
and a half inches in circumference. Who will beat this? 

At the fair held December 25, 1836, the following awards were given: 

To S. Pettibone, of Prairieville, for the heaviest bushel of oats weighing 
forty-four pounds and four ounces; for the largest ruta-baga weighing 
twenty-three pounds and etght ounces. 

To John Douglass for the largest English turnip, eight pounds and eight 
ounces; for the largest raddish, four pounds four ounces. 

To Isham Day for the ten largest potatoes, eleven pounds. 

Byron Kilbourn, PicsiiifiiL 


The first ferry was at the mouth of the river (Chase's 
Point), established by Horace Chase in 1835, the Chicago 
mail crossing at that place. Charge for a team, fifty cents. 

A ferr}' was established at Spring street in 1836 by James 
B. Miller, also at the foot of East Water street by S. W. 
Dunbar, as a speculation; but no regular charge seems to 
have been fixed upon, as the following would indicate: 

Mr. Editor: — Would it not be well for our citizens to take some meas- 
ures to establish a free ferry over the Milwaukee river at Spring street? 

A. B. 

To which the reply was: 

The ferry is already free. Any person has a right to row the boat 
across the river if he is able, free of expense. 

The legislature, however, held at Belmont (or Burlington) 
in 1836 passed a bill authorizing the establishment of a ferry 
at the foot of Wisconsin to connect with Spring street, and at 
the foot of East Water street to connect with the South Side; 
and in accordance with this law thej' were established by 
James K. Orrendolf at Wisconsin street and S. W. Dunbar 


at the foot of East Water street with the following table of 
rates to apply to all three: 

Single person 6% cents. 

Person and horse 12^ 

Each additional horse 6^ ' ' 

One-horse wagon or cart 18^ 

Two horses, oxen, wagon or cart 25 " 

Each head of horned cattle 6^ 

Each hog, sheep or goat 3 

July 29, 1837. C. HAWLEY, C/er/c. 


It was stated in the previous edition, page 83, that the first 
vessel to land goods at Milwaukee of which there is any 
record was the Chicago Packet, a schooner of thirty tons, 
Capt. Britton, in 1823; and that the second was the Virginia, 
one hundred and thirty tons, Capt. Wilson, same year, which 
brought goods for Mr. Juneau and took away his furs. 

It is very evident that this statement is incorrect, as the 
schooner Felicity, Capt. Samuel Robertson (see page 22 ante), 
visited Milwaukee in November, 1779, one hundred years 
ago, and left some goods (presents for the Indians); and there 
ma}' have been, and no doubt were, others here during the war 
of the Revolution of which there is no record to be found. 
I also find it stated, in Vol. XI, State Historical Publications, 
page 239-40, that the posts at Milwaukee, St. Joseph (Bur- 
nett's) and Chicago (Kinzie and Forsyth) were visited yearly 
in the month of May by a sailing vessel, which brought goods 
and took away their furs from 1800 to 1809, which is, no 
doubt, true. There was in the first edition a tabular list of 
vessel arrivals, copied from a record kept by Horace Chase, 
which is omitted in this volume and the gross number alone 
given, viz.: 200 sail vessels and 16 steamboats. The steain- 
boats were the New York, Pennsylvania, Chicago, Columbus, 
Michigan, Monroe, Daniel Webster and Commodore Perry. 



First Vessel Built. 

The first vessel ever built at Milwaukee was the Solomon 
Juneau, in the winter of '36, on the river above Division 
street by Capt. Geo. Barber. She was ninety tons burthen. 
She was run upon the beach south of the old harbor in the 
spring of '39, and got off, the writer assisting in the work.* 

Opening of the Straits and the First Arrival of Boats. 
I find it stated in Wheeler's chronicles, that the first large 
steamer we had was the James Madison, which came in 1845. 
Whether this date is intentional on the part of Mr. W. or a 
misprint, I cannot tell, but where he could have obtained such 
data, as correct, I cannot imagine. The James Madison came 
in '37, May 28th, and was the first boat to pass the straits 
that year, as the following will prove: 


On Sunday last, the splendid steamer James Madison came into port, 
six days out from Buffalo, being the first arrival of a steamboat from the 
lower lakes this season. She brought up a great number of passengers, 
over 1000, and about 4000 bbls. bulk of freight. Nearly one-half of her 
passengers were destined for this place, the freight being mostly for Chi- 
cago. She proceeded to the latter place on Monday, and on Thursday left 
this place for Buffalo. The Madison is a beautiful boat, the largest we 
believe on the lakes, built last winter by Mr. Reed of Erie. — Advertiser of 
Snliirdiiy, June jd, iSjj. 

This, if nothing else, should forever put this disputed 
question at rest. 

In 1838 our first boat was the Pennsylvania, April 26; 1839, 
the Columbus, April 30; and 1840, the Chesapeake, April 11. 
These boats being in each case the first ones through the 

*It was incorrectly stated in the previous edition, that this pioneer vessel 
was subsequently lost on Lake Ontario, where she also had the misfortune 
to go ashore, I think in 1841. She was lost at Milwaukee near the foot of 
Chicago street in the fall of 1846 while in the command of the late Capt. 
James Doyle, thus laying her bones after a stormy life of ten years, within 
less than a mile of the spot where she was built. Sic transit. 



The following list of first arrivals up to 187 1, furnished by 
D. G. Fowler, Esq., is inserted here more as a reference than 
a part of the History proper: 

1841, April 28, Str. Great Western. 
r842, March 26, Str. Chesapeake. 

1843, May 8, Str. Bunker Hill. 

1844, April 10, Str. Missouri. 

1845, April 3, Pr. Hercules. 

1846, April 10, Str. Bunker Hill. 

1847, April 2g, Str. Louisiana. 

1848, April 13, Pr. Manhattan. 

1849, April 12, Sch. Petrel. 

1850, April 4. Sch. Republic. 

1851, April 4, Sch. Republic 

1852, May 9, Pr. Wisconsin. 

1853, April 13, Pr. Forest City. 

1854, April ro, Brig Globe. 
r855, May 2, Sch. Republic. 
1856, Mny 2, Sch. David Todd.. 

1857, May I, Str. Lady Elgin. 

1858, April 6, Sch. Fred Hill. 

1859, April 2, Str. City of Cleveland. 
i860, April 13, Pr. Prairie State. 
1861, April 25, Pr. Nile. 

1861, April 25, Pr. Free State. 

1862, April 18, Pr. Que'n of the L'k's. 
1S63, April 20, Pr. Badger State. 
1864, April 22, Pr. Bristol. 

1S65, April 21, Pr. Montgomery. 
1866, April 29, Pr. Montgomery. 
1S67, April 23, Pr. Montgomery. 
iS58, April 20, Pr. Montgomery 

1569, April 27, Pr. Dominion. 
1870, April 17, Pr. City of Cleveland. 

1570, April 17, Pr. Ne\\ York. 


The following letter published in the Milwaukee Advertiser 
of July 14th, 1836, is inserted here as an indication of what 
the first settlers thought of Milwaukee : 

Milwaukee is situated on the Milwaukee River and Bay about 90 miles 
north of Chicago, and directly west of Grand Haven, Michigan. The land 
in the district was sold August last (1S35), and a town laid out. Milwau- 
kee is very beautifully situated upon both sides of the Milwaukee River, 
about 2 miles above its mouth, and was formerly the site of a French vil- 
lage and a resort of the once powerful Indian tribes that inhabited this 

It is called by the Indians the Beautiful Land, and by the early French, 
" Z(7 Belle Terrc." The river is the largest upon the western shore of the 
lake, joining with the Menomonee two miles above its mouth, and although 
nothing has as yet been done to improve its harbor, the largest vessels can 
enter the river, and have, at different times, discharged their cargoes at 
the various wharves in the city, and when a harbor is built, it will be one 
of the safest on the Lake. 

A year ago Milwaukee had no existence, the land being owned by the 
government ; but there are now from five to six hundred inhabitants. A 


year ago there was not a frame building in the place.* Now there are from 
fifty to sixty finished, and double that number would have been built if 
material could have been procured. 

Clay of the finest quality for brick has been found in abundance along 
the Menomonee and Milwaukee rivers from which a kiln has been burnt. 
Lime is also abundant. 

Success to La Belle Terre, soon to become La Belle City. 

The following letter, from a gentleman in Milwaukee to a 
friend in Kentucky, dated September 6, 1836, shows the 
feelings then prevalent as to the future of Milwaukee. After 
some desultory remarks, he writes as follows: 

The city of Milwaukee enjoys such decided advantages that, according 
to my judgment, it will become in a few years not only the most impor- 
tant town in this territory, but likewise in all this region of country, not 
e.vcepting the far-famed Chicago, over which nature has given it a marked 
superiority in every particular essential to the growth of a great city. It 
has the best harbor on the lake, is surrounded by a timber country of very 
rich land and of great extent. A stream empties into the Milwaukee river, 
the Menomonee, at the town, running directly west into the country. The 
springs are of the best quality and its healthiness is unquestioned. 

This city had its commencement about fifteen months ago and has at 
this time a population of 1200, which is increasing daily; and its mechanics 
are busily engaged in the erection of new houses for the reception of those 
who are daily flocking to it. Ne.\t year it will count at least 2500 inhabi- 
tants, and in five years its population will out-number Chicago's. Lots are 
selling readily now, from $1000 to ,^5000, and the prices still ad\'ancing. 
You never knew a people more enterprising and public spirited. They are 
fully advised of the advantages of their situation and are determined to 
make the most of it. Mr. Juneau is the principal proprietor of the east 
and Mr. Kilbourn of the west side of the river, that being the part that is 
connected with the country. They have one hundred and fifty men now 
at work grading and improving the streets, which they are laying out in the 
best possible style, and upon which they will expend $40,000 this year 
Each has built a large three-story tavern, and Mr. Juneau has built a 
spacious Court House. One is also to be erected on the West Side, when 
the people will decide where the Court shall be located. 

I think the West Side will become the most important for business, and 
of course the most valuable. Its water advantages are equal to those on 

*The writer is mistaken. She had an existence as well as several frame 
buildings in 1835, and one, Albert Fowler's office in 1834. 


the East Side and it has the advantage of being directly connected with 
the country, from which the East Side is cut off by the river. 

The river runs about twenty miles from north to south parallel with the 
lake and within a mile or two of it; it then makes a sudden bend and emp- 
ties into the lake; the water upon the bar being seven feet in depth, and 
for three miles up it is sixteen feet in depth. It is clear and beautiful, 
never varying in depth more than three feet, the banks being nearly level 
with the water, upon which up to its edge the storehouses are built, the 
wharves extending a few feet into the river, up to which the steamboats 
and schooners come and discharge their cargoes at each merchant's door. 

In a few years each side of the river will be built up for a mile and a 
half with stores receiving and sending off the products of the country. 
Even now they contemplate building a railroad to the Mississippi river 
which, if done, will greatly advance the growth of Milwaukee. 

It would surprise you to see what excellent houses they build in this 
new place and the character of their improvements generally. I saw here 
for the first time a wooden pavement (plank sidewalk), such as they use in 
St. Petersburg, laid down by that most enterprising gentleman, Byron 
Kilbourn, and it makes a most delightful walk. Everything is wonderful. 
But I must close. Your Friend. 

This letter but expresses the opinion of many distinguished 
men who visited Milwaukee in 1836, men who " knew of what 
they spoke," and if tlie same unanimity and concord had 
obtained at that time between its founders and business men 
as at Chicago, the prediction in this letter would certainly 
have been verified and Milwaukee would to-day have been 
larger than Chicago. Her natural advantages were vastly 
superior, and one-half the money that has been spent at Chi- 
cago spent in the right way would have made her the largest 
city on the lake. 

But such was not the case. There might have been some 
excuse for Mr. Juneau, on account of his ignorance of civilized 
life and the laws of trade, but for Kilbourn or Walker there 
was none whatever. 


It was not thought best to give a full account of the organ- 
ization of the pioneer churches in this second edition or 
reprint the short reference made concerning them on pages 90 
and 91 in the previous edition, as their full history will be 


found in Vol. II, pages 285 to 306 (where, in fact, it more 
properly belongs), to which the reader is referred for any 
information wanted upon that subject. 

The Advertiser. 

The first newspaper ever published in Milwaukee, was a 
weekly, called The Advertiser, by D. H. Richards, who issued 
the first number July 14th, 1836. It was, from the start a 
wide-awake and spicy little sheet, and had for its editors and 
correspondents some of our most talented men, such as H. 
N. Wells, J. H. Tweedy, Hans Crocker, Byron Kilbourn and 

It soon became the champion of Kilbourn Town, its owners 
living upon that side, and such was the influence it exerted 
that the East-siders were fain to get hold of it, and which 
they did in 1841. Josiah A. Noonan became its owner, who 
at once changed its name to The Courier. 

Mr. Noonan sold out to John A. Brown and Wm. H. Sul- 
livan in 1844, and they, two years later to Cramer & Curtis, 
who changed its name to The Daily Wisconsin. 

This Pioneer sheet has had a varied history. It was in its 
infancy a Democratic paper. In fact its political status was 
never changed nntil ten years after it came into possession of 
its present owners, when it became Whig and lastly Republican. 

Under the control of William E. Cramer, it soon became 
a great favorite, and an influential party journal, gaining rap- 
idly in circulation. It is ably edited, and is the most popu- 
lar of all our evening papers to-day. Its present proprietors 
are Messrs. Cramer, Aikens & Cramer. 

The press upon which this pioneer paper was printed went 
from Milwaukee to Madison, and thence to Manitowoc. It is 
now doing duty in the office of the Record at Ahnepee. 

John Pickle. 

While writing the history of The Advertiser, now The Wis- 
consin, the following incident in which the present chief editor 
took a hand, came to mind. 



At the time referred to, the office of The Wisconsin was 
directly over Mr. Mitchell's bank, and was reached by a long 
flight of stairs from the Michigan street front, and upon the 
opposite corner was the jewelry store of Samuel M. Gardner, 
where the old State bank now stands. In this store the late 
Herman L. Page had an office, which was a great resort for 
the fraternity, and many were the plans for mischief that were 
concocted in that old building. 

While sitting there one cold winter's da}', talking with Mr. 
Page, I think in 1852, there came into the store a tall, lank 
specimen of the genus homo, about eighteen 3'ears old, who 
looked as though he might be a cross between a shingle 
shaver's horse and a fireman's ladder, (whoever got him up 
must have worked b}' candle light, anyhow). Upon his 
bush}' head was an old slouch hat; his pants were patched 
upon both knees; his coat was at least four sizes too large for 
him, giving him more the appearance of a last year's scare- 
crow than anything else, while upon his shoulder was an old 
flint-lock rifle covered with rust. He stood a moment or 
two staring about him, with a curious expression on his boy- 
ish face, as though he was uncertain whether he was in a 
police court or a class meeting: but he was not long in finding 
out. Mr. Gardner finally broke the silence that his entree 
had caused by asking what he could do for him. His reply 
was that he wished to sell that rifle, at the same time bring- 
ing the breech of the old relic to the floor with a thud that 
made the windows rattle. At this. Page, Atho had been 
quietly watching him all the while, with fun in his eye, asked 
him where he came from and what his name was; to which 
he replied, that he came from West Bend, and his name was 
John Pickle. This answer caused us all to look him over 
more closely, never having seen any of the Pickle family 
before, especially so green a one as he was, after which Page 
said in his quiet, dry manner, and in his blandest tone, "You 
look like a good boy, although not thoroughly pickled yet ; 
but we will see what can be done for you. What do you ask 


for your rifle?" He answered that "she were worth eight 
dollars," but that as money was wanted bad to bring the 
Pickle bank account up to grade, five would buy her any time 
during the day. "Is she sound?" asked Page. He answered 
that she was, with one exception. "What is that?" "W-e-1-1 
she are a little breech-burnt." "Well," said Page, "if that's 
all, I know a man that just wants that rifle." 

At this announcement Mr. Pickle's face brightened, and he 
at once asked to be put in cominunication with him. 

Page then led him to the door, and pointing across the 
street, said: "Do you see them stairs?" Mr. Pickle answered 
that he did see them stairs. "Well, you go up them stairs, 
turn to the right, and in the first room you enter you will see 
a small man with glasses on. He is the man that wants that 
gun; don't you think so. Buck?" Thus appealed to, I 
hastened to assure Mr. Pickle that I fully agreed with Mr. 
Page; in fact, 1 was sure he could effect a sale the moment 
Mr. Cramer saw the rifle, as he was a great sportsman. 

Now, as we knew that a rifle was of about as much use to 
Wm. E. Cramer as an eight day clock would be to the King 
of Dahomey, we naturally expected to see some fun — and we 

Pickle went up "them stairs," entered the sanctum, and 
approaching Mr. Cramer, said: "Good morning, sir, buy a 
gun?" Buy what?" "Buy a gunl" "No, you fool. Who 
sent you here? what's your name?" My name is John Pickle; 
but the gun is all right, only a little breech-burnt." "Breech 
burnt!" said Billy, "you get out of here, you nincompoop, 
or I'll brain you." Mr. Pickle left, and from the circular 
form of his body when he appeared upon the landing, his 
abdomen being well advanced, we inferred that Bill)' had 
helped him. He came slowly down the stairs, putting his 
hand behind him every two or three steps, to be sure he was 
all there, and looking thoroughly disgusted. At length he 
reached the sidewalk, looked across at Mr. Page and mj'self, 
who he saw were watching him, shook his clenched hand at 


US, and was gone. He was pickled. Shortly after that I 
met Mr. Cramer in the barber shop, and asked him if that 
rifle shot well. This remark posted him, as he was not in 
anywise ignorant of the mischief that was plotted in that old 
store, or who were the plotters. He looked at me a moment, 
and exclaimed: "You sent the fool up there, did you? Pretty 
good, Buck, pretty good. Nice boys, you and Page." 




Non-Parallelism of Streets — Changes in the Marsh and River, and the 
Author's Opinion of the Purpose for which many of the Tumuli were 
Built — The Pioneer Women of Milwaukee. 

Non-Parallelism ov Streets. 

One of the first things hkely to be noticed by a stranger 
visiting our city, is the want of a parallehsm between the 
streets upon the East and West Sides, /. e., they do not 
approach or abut upon the river in parallel lines. That this 
is so, is greatly to be regretted, for if any one thing can add 
to the beauty of a city more than another, it is in having its 
streets and avenues parallel. This fault can be mainly, if 
not wholly, accounted for as follows: 

As stated previously, blocks one, two, three and four upon 
the East Side were surveyed in the fall of 1834, by William 
S. Trowbridge, who commenced upon the quarter section line 
at Wisconsin street, the government having made a surve}' of 
a part of the East Side that year, these four blocks being, no 
doubt, considered by Mr. Juneau as sufficient for business 
purposes, a small village being all that he expected to see 
Milwaukee become, and the thought that any considerable 
settlement, if indeed any, would ever be made upon the West 
Side never entered the inexperienced mind of honest Solomon 
Juneau. From this first starting point the subsequent sur- 
veys were all made, i. e., upon the East Side. 

Kilbourn, from the first start, never intended that any com- 
munication by bridges should exist between the East and 
West Sides, and acting upon that principle, made his survey 
in such a manner as to prevent the streets upon the two sides 
from matching each other, always insisting that the West Side 
did not want, and, if he could prevent it, should never have 


any communication with the East Side, except by boats. It 
was a great mistake, marring the beauty and S3'mmetry of the 
cit}', for all time, as it is too late now to correct it. 

j\Ir. Juneau did attempt it from Oneida street north, and 
did to some extent effect it, so that at Division street the non- 
parallelism does not exceed 40 feet. This, for a man of ^Ir. 
Kilbourn's abilit}', was a most stupendous piece of foil)'. 

High W.^ter. 

Much has been said and written upon the subject of the rise 
and fall of the water in the lakes, and upon that, I will say 
this much as the result of my own observation . As before 
stated, East Water street had been filled from Michigan street 
to its foot in '36, but in '37 the water came up over this 
street to the depth of 16 inches at its foot, running out at 
Detroit street, and remained so all summer. This could not 
be on account of the settling of the street, for in '38 it was all 
dr\' again. 

I am certain that the water was higher then than it has been 
at an)- time since, until 1876. 

^Ir. William S. Trowbridge informs me that the lowest 
water he has ever seen, was in '34 and the highest in '39. If 
that is so, it must have risen ver)' rapidly to ha\'c reached the 
height that it did in '37 and '39, for you could sail all over the 
marshes then, in a boat or scow whenever j'ou wished. 

M)' recollection is, that the highest water was in '37, '39, 
'59 and '76, and Jul)- 5th of 1876 it was higher than I have 
ever seen it before, at least, such was the appearance of it 
The lowest was in '47. 

Duncan C. Reed has informed me that in 1834 he came 
here on the steamer Michigan on her trip to Chicago, and 
that the Indians were camped all along the west bank of 
the river, from the straight cut to the old mouth. If 
that is so, it would substantiate Mr. Trowbridge as to when 
was the lowest water. They certainly could not have 
encamped there however, in '35, or '36 or '37, which leads me 
to think that Mr. Reed is mistaken, particularly, as Horace 


Chase, who came first in '34, does not confirm it. He does 
say, however, that the Indians were encamped along the line 
of Reed street, which is undoubtedly where Mr. Reed saw 
them. September 6th, 1876, Mr. Albert Fowler informed 
me that in 1834 the Third ward marsh was all dry, the 
Indian ponies feeding and racing upon it all summer, and 
that hay was made upon the Fourth ward swamp below Spring 
street; and yet, in '36, the water was from two to four feet 
in depth all over it. Corn hills were also visible upon the 
narrow strip of mud lying betAveen the river and the bayou 
now River street, in the present Seventh ward, in '33, show- 
ing that the Indians had formerly cultivated it. The cause 
of the rise and fall of the water in the lakes, it is not the 
province of the author to discuss, that being a matter for the 
savans of science to determine. 

The Changes in the Marsh. 

As much speculation has existed in regard to the former 
condition of our marshes, I will here state what was told me 
by Mr. Juneau and others concerning them: 

Mr. Juneau informed me in 1838 that twenty-five years 
previous to that time the lower marsh from Walker's point 
to the mouth of the river was hard ground and used by. the 
Indians as a race ground for their ponies. This will appear 
incredible to manj', but it is, no doubt, true, and although, 
as before stated, it was when the whites first came covered 
with at least two feet of water over its entire surface, j'et, I 
think in 1847, all that portion east of Clinton and south of 
Oregon to Mineral was dr}' enough for pasture, the cows 
of the South Siders feeding upon it all summer, and you 
could, in fact, go upon it with a team; but that cannot be 
done to-day. The cause for this change just spoken of, is 
probably to be found in the fact that the three previous years 
had been unusually dr)', at least that is m}' theory and recol- 
lection about it. It has certainly not been as hard since; 
neither have the cattle ever attempted to go upon it. 

I do not recollect of ever hearing Mr. Juneau speak of the 
upper or Menomonee marsh, but Mr. Jean Baptist le Tendree, 


a French creole, whom many of the old settlers will remember 
as Le Tontee, gave me the following information about this 
marsh, also, in the summer of 1842 while standing with him 
upon the bridge on the old Kilbourn road, near the present 
railroad crossing. He stated that thirty years previous that 
marsh was all hard and drj'. This I can more readily believe, 
as its upper portion was then covered, from Eighteenth 
avenue to the present C, M. & St. P. Railway shops, with a 
heavy growth of black ash timber. This timber was all killed 
by the water in 1837; many of these trees were six and eight 
inches in diameter, showing that the water had not been as 
high before in many 3'ears. The existence of this timber is a 
strong argument in proof of Le Tontee' s statement. 

This man had lived here for many 3'ears as a trapper and 
courier du bois for the American Fur Company.* 

Chaxges in the Ru'er's Mouth. 

There have been four changes in the mouth of the river in 
the last fifty 3'ears, viz.; In 1822 it debouched near the foot 
of Washington street; in 1836 it was at the old harbor; in 
1837 it cut for itself a new channel near where the present 
harbor is, where it discharged all summer, when it returned to 
its old mouth. It is very evident, however, that its oldest 
mouth is Deer creek, at the rolling mill; but that was many 
years ago. 


The bluffs or high lands upon the East and West Sides 
must have been a favorite resort with the old Mound Build- 
ers, particularly the West Side, many of their works standing 
there when the whites first came, both upon the high and low 
grounds. But as these have all been fully described by 
Doctor I. A. Lapham in his Antiquities of Wisconsin, I shall 
speak of them no further than to say that the mound in 
Quentin's Park is in m}^ opinion an artificial work, there 

*Baptist le Tendree was the most noted guide in the Northwest, and 
was in almost constant employment as such in the early days of Milwaukee. 
He had also carried the mail for the government from one frontier post to 
another for years before the advent of the whites. He died at Topeka, 
Kansas, in 1885, over ninety years old. 



being no other way to account for it in such a locahty. The 
view of the lake and city is very fine from that point, and, no 
doubt, one of the greatest pleasures enjoyed bj' that pre- 
historic race was the view from the summit of this mound. 

There is also an ancient work not yet spoken of, which is 
upon the farm once occupied by Mr. G. D. Dousman, south- 
west quarter of section twenty-three, town seven, range 
twenty-one, in Wauwatosa. This was originally the claim of 
Miss Almira Fowler (afterwards Mrs. B. F. Wheelock); and 
in the winter of 1836 I camped upon it, cut five acres of 
timber, cleared it, split the rails to fence it, and put up a 
good block house for Wheelock. The timber was heavy; and 
when that and the thick coating of leaves was removed, rows 
of corn hills were plainly visible; and to our astonishment 
we saw a ditch at least 1000 feet in length, running north and 
south, upon the east side of which the ends of these rows 
rested, while upon the west side of it they ran parallel with 
it; and oak trees were standing in that ditch that were three 
feet in diameter, whose consecutive rings would indicate an 
age of at least one thousand years. 

This was the most wonderful of all the ancient works I 
have ever seen, as it illustrated the high state of civilization 
to which these old Mound Builders had attained, particularly 
in agriculture. No modern field was ever laid out with more 
regularity than was this. Below is a rough sketch of this old 
corn field: 





Those upon the east or right hand represent the rows with 
their ends resting upon the ditch, and those upon the west, 
or left hand, those that were parallel with it. These hills 
were as well defined as though made the previous year, yet 
they must have been at least one thousand years old. 

There were also upon that part of the South Side, l)'ing 
between Elizabeth and Park streets and Fourth and Eighth 
avenues, originally eight mounds or tumuli, about twenty feet 
in diameter at their base, and twelve feet in height, arranged 
in the following manner: 

These have long since all disappeared; and in Elizabeth 
street, now National avenue, above Twenty-fourth avenue 
was a gigantic lizard, at least two hundred feet in length, 
upon which stood oak trees three feet in diameter. All traces 
of this have disappeared.* 

Perhaps no one thing in America has been the subject of 
more thought and research among the savans of science, or 
the antiquarians, than have these curious earth-works, scat- 
tered over this continent that we call the New Woi'ld, although 
geologicall}', it is the Old. And why may it not have been 

*This fine specimeu of the artistic skill of that singular race known as 
Mound Builders, stood in what is now National avenue, which it crossed 
in a transverse direction from northeast to southwest, its head was to the 
southwest, but the main part of its bod)', including the legs, were in the 
avenue. It was discovered by the writer in June, 183S, while engaged in 
conveying the material for the construction of the center portion of the 
dwelling now known as the residence of the late Col. William H. Jacobs. 


peopled first? Old as is Egypt, her history is well-known, as 
well as the manners and customs of her people, and she is, 
beyond all doubt, the oldest of the historic nations. Neither 
can the history of the Cave and Lake Dwellers of Europe be 
said to be a mystery any longer. But these Mound Builders 
— who were they? Shall we ever know? I fear me not. No 
Rosetta stone from which some future Champollion can 
decipher their history, has yet been found, and we are to-day 
as much in the dark as ever. That they were warlike and 
highly civilized, we know, but that is all. 

But what I wish to say is this: Between Waukesha and Pe- 
waukee there is, as is well known, an elevated plateau. This 
plateau the writer saw for the first time in the month of 
March, 1837, when himself, B. F. Wheelock, A. S. Tucker 
and C. C. Olin crossed it in going to Pewaukee Lake, and 
were, perhaps, the first white men who ever saw or exam- 
ined it. We quickly saw that we were in the midst of vast 
numbers of curious earth-works in the shape of lizards, tur- 
tles, birds, serpents, etc., which covered the ground as thickly 
as do the monuments of to-day in our cemeteries, and extend- 
ing over an era of some two miles in length, by one in breadth; 
and it was, in fact, a pre-historic grave yard. We rear mar- 
ble monuments to our dead; the}' reared earthy ones; and it 
was my firm belief then, and is now, that this plateau was a 
pre-historic cemetery. 

That the whole valley along the Fox River was once thickly 
settled, we know, and there is much to indicate that a large 
and populous city existed at or near the present Waukesha 
in pre-historic times, the inhabitants of which died, and were 
of course, interred in some way, and as all of these earth- 
works that have been examined, or nearly all, contain human 
bones, the fact is patent that what Greenwood is to New 
York, Mount Auburn to Boston, or Forest Home to our own 
Milwaukee, this beautiful spot was to them, viz: a cemetery. 
It was pure sacrilege to disturb this sacred spot; but alas! the 
plow has long since obliterated all traces of these works. 


The following lines have been suggested while thinking of 
this ancient Race: 

Far back into the misty past 

My thoughts will often flow; 
Who built these ruins in our land? 

Is what I'd like to know. 

Whence came the race of men, who reared 

These mounds, so round and high ; 
Crowned with old oaks ten centuries old. 

That in our valleys lie? 

Thousands of years have passed, since first 

That nation found its wa}- 
To this fair, goodly land of ours — 

Long before Adam's day. 

The giant race, with faces stern, 

And forms so straight and tall; 
Whose heads were decked with feathery plumes. 

Found on Palenque's old wall. 

Old are they? yes, so very old 

Are these deserted halls. 
That mighty oaks have pushed their way 

Up through their massive walls. 

O, what a pleasure 'twere to know 

Who built these cities old. 
And of what race of men they were. 

So war-like and so bold. 

Perhaps from old Atlantis came 

These warriors decked with plumes ; 
That fabled land, by earthquakes sunk 

Into an ocean tomb. 

O, that the secrets of this land 

Would open to our sight. 
And we behold that ancient race 

In all their power and might. 


But much I fear, we'll never know, 

Who built these ruins grand, 
That reach throughout the length and breadth 

Of this most ancient land. 

Their history, God alone can tell. 

It's hidden from our sight ; 
Ages ago it passed into 

A pre-historic night. 

The Women. 

The first white or Anglo-Saxon woman to make Milwaukee 
her home, was Mrs. Quartus Carley, who came in Ma}', 1834, 
with her husband, accompanied by a Miss Cleveland, from 
Chicago. Neither of these women, however, remained per- 
manently. Miss Cleveland returning to Chicago in the Fall. 
Mrs. Carley remained, I think, until 1839, when she and her 
husband removed to Kenosha county. Whether the}' reside 
there now, or have passed away, I cannot tell. Such, how- 
ever, is their history. 

At the head of the column of noble women who came to 
stay, the purity of whose lives and example has had so pow- 
erful an influence in softening the manners of those early 
times, stands Mrs. Deacon Samuel Brown, who came in 1835, 
being the second American woman to settle in Milwaukee. 
This is no small honor, and right worthy was Mrs. Brown to 
enjoy it. Her life and example have been noble. Such a 
woman is a crown to her husband, and the glorj' of her children. 

She was joined during the summer and fall by Mrs. Dr. 
Enoch Chase, Mrs. Joseph Williams, Mrs. Joel Wilcox, Mrs. 
U. B. Smith, Mrs. Paul Burdick, Mrs. John Childs, Mrs. B. 
F. Wheelock, Mrs. Capt. J. Sanderson, Mrs. Geo. D. Dous- 
man, Mrs. Hiram J. Ross, Mrs. H. Farmin, Mrs. P Balser, 
Mrs. Thos. Holmes, Mrs. Wm. Sivyer, Mrs. A. Sweet, Mrs. 
A. O. T. Breed, Mrs. Andrew Douglass, Mrs. E. S. Estes, 
Mrs. John Ogden, Mrs. James McMeil, and perhaps others 
whose names are now forgotten. 


At the head of the cohunn for 1836 stands Mrs. Daniel 
Wells, Jr. She was quickly joined, however, b)' Mrs. Jas. 
H. and Mrs. Jacob M. Rogers, Mrs. D. S. Hollister, Mrs. 
Byron Kilbourn, Mrs. I. A. Lapham, Mrs. S. Pettibone, Mrs. 
W. S. Trowbridge, Mrs. L. S. and Mrs. W. A. Kellogg, Mrs. 
Joseph Gary, Mrs. T. J. Noyes, Mrs. Henry Williams, Mrs. 
Henry Miller, Mrs. C. H. Larkin, Mrs. J. G. Belangee, Mrs. 
Geo. Barber, Mrs. Samuel Hiuman, Mrs. L. W. Weeks, Mrs. 
John Corse, Mrs. Stoddard H. Martin, Mrs. Hubbell Loomis, 
Mrs. Elah Dibble, Mrs. Pliny Young, Mrs. John Gale, Mrs. 
Wm. N. Gardner, Mrs. Wm. A. Prentiss, Mrs. Daniel Kelt- 
ner, Mrs. M. W. Higgins, Mrs. Geo. O. Tiffan}', Mrs. Elisha 
Starr, Mrs. B. PI. Edgerton, Mrs. J. DeBow, Mrs. Owen 
Aldrich, Mrs. John Furlong, Mrs. J. B. Zander, Mrs. Luther 
Churchill, Mrs. Ebenezer Plarris, Mrs. August Harmeyer, 
Mrs. L. PL Lane, Mrs. S. W. Dunhar, Mrs. Thomas Ho)'t, 
Misses Betsey, Christina and Mar)' James, Mrs. Horace Chase, 
Mrs. Albert Fowler, Mrs. C3"rus and Mrs. Frank Hawk-}-, 
Mrs. Henry and Mrs. Samuel Siv3'er, JNIrs. E. H. Sabin, Mrs. 
Geo. Guile, Mrs. Wm. P. Proudfit, Mrs. Wm. R. Longstreet, 
Mrs. \\'. P. Merrill, Mrs. D. D. Sibley and perhaps others. 

While 1837, '38 and '39 brought us Mrs. Geo. Reed, Mrs. 
David Merrill, Mrs. Richard Hackett, Mrs. Henry Bleyer, 
Mrs. J. E. Arnold, Jilrs. J. S. Buck, Mrs. Morgan L. Bur- 
dick, ]\'Irs. Garret Vliet, Mrs. Clinton Walworth, Mrs. Lind- 
sey \\'ard, Mrs. Clark Shepardson, Mrs. James Larkin, Mrs. 
A. G. Miller, Mrs. C. J. Lynde, Mrs. H. Ludington, Mrs. 
Alex. Mitchell, Mrs. John Hustis, Mrs. J. H. Tweedy, Mrs. 
E. Cramer, Mrs. Ransom Rice, Mrs. Samuel Luscombe, Mrs. 
Doctor E. B. Wolcott, Mrs. Rufus Chene}', Mrs. James Mur- 
ray, Mrs. D. A. J. Upham, and perhaps others who have all 
been more or less prominent in the building up of our fair 
cit)', sharing all the privations incident to a pioneer life, with 
a fortitude equal to, and in man}' cases superior to that exhib- 
ited by the men. Of this number, Mesdames Joseph Williams, 
Wilcox, Sweet, Breed, Douglass, Ogden, Henr}' Williams, 


H. Miller, C. and F. Hawley, B. H. Edgerton, Lane, 
W. P. Merrill, Sibley, J. S. Buck, M. L. Burdick, Vliet, 
Mitchell, Hustin, Tweedy, Cramer, Rice, Cheney, Murray 
and Miss C. James are all that are known to be living; and 
of those who have gone to their reward, it can be truthfully 
said, that for the works they have performed, future genera- 
tions shall bless their name. 

To remember the names of all who came during these years, 
would be simply impossible; and should any pioneer woman, 
who may read this history, find her name omitted, she will 
please consider the omission unintentional. 




Year Opened with General Gloom — Financial Depression — Year Compared 
with 1836 — Improvements — Claim Organizations — Organization of a 
Village Government — Trustees Elected — General Crawford Brings the 
Detroit — Kilbourn Builds the Badger — Description of — Capt. Hubbell 
— The Sentinel Started — Judge Frazier Opens Court — Its Results — 
Organization of Agricultural and Medical Societies — Conventions — 
Elections — Incidents — List of Prizes — How the Author Spent the First 

The reader has now seen Milwaukee as it appeared in the 
fall of 1836, both topographically and statistically, which 
ma}', with justice, be called its natal year. True, the first 
marks were made and the first stakes driven in 1834 and 1835, 
but 1836 was the opening year, more having been done that 
year than in the two previous and four subsequent ones. 
The sound of the hammer and saw with the ring of the mason's 
trowel were heard from earl}' morn to dewy eve throughout the 
entire working season; but with the close of navigation came 
a change. The speculators and capitalists, like the birds, 
had departed for their homes in the East and South to enjoy 
the coming winter with their families, leaving those who 
had come to stay to spend the winter in speculating upon 
their present and prospective wealth; racing horses upon the 
river, getting up shooting matches and amusements of vari- 
ous kinds; all of which thej' did with a vim, while anxiously 
awaiting the coming year, in which, they firmly believed, the 
growth of the young city would surpass 1836 as much as 1836 
had 1835. But in place of that came the crash. A great 
financial embarrassment convulsed the whole country, putting 
an end to all improvements, particularly in the West, leaving 
Milwaukee hard and fast, for a season, upon the rocks of 
commercial bankruptcy and despair, to whose waiting inhabi- 
tants the spring brought no relief: The speculators and 
capitalists came not with the birds; the emigrants were few 


and far between, and a wave of disappointment rolled over 
the little hamlet, filling the hearts of the people with sadness, 
blasting all their hopes and leaving them to live as best they 
could upon their own resources and to prey upon each other. 
The wealth that many supposed they possessed took to itself 
wings and flew away. Lots and lands for which fabulous 
prices had been paid in 1836 were now of' no commercial 
value whatever. The great desideratum that year was bread 
and clothing and the man who could procure these was lucky. 

Many a lot for which the owner had paid ^500 or even 
$1,000 in 1836, was in 1837 and 1838 given in exchange for a 
barrel of pork and flour or a suit of clothes; and there are 
parties now living in the city who hold and occupy lots worth 
from $6,000 to 12,000 which they got in exchange for a suit 
of clothes that could be purchased to-day for $35 in an}' 
clothing house in the city. 

But notwithstanding the stagnation all over the country 
the following are known to have come during the spring and 
summer: Fennimore C. Pomeroy, L. Flusky, Richard Rey- 
nolds with his sons James, William and Hugh P. Reynolds, 
David Merrill, John B. Merrill, J. S. Buck, Hiram Merrill, 
D. A. J. Upham, David Knab, Matthew Keenan, Geo. D. 
Weston, Edward and Edwin Rogers, Street & Thomas, har- 
ness makers, Asa Clark, Mosel}' and Lyman Clark, Silas 
Lyman, Henry Bleyer, Henry U. Bleyer, G. G. Bright, Wm. 
M. Mayhew, E. Bates, S. S. Conover, Geo. Munn, Wm. 
Golden, Linas N. Dewey, E. W. Strasburg, M. Stine, Ed. 
Hackett, Richard Hackett, Williamm Jewel, R. G. Owens, 
J. B. Peck, Gilbert and Dean Jonas Adams, C. Berry, 
John Vosburg, Norton Vosburg, J. D. Parker, Adam Hinch- 
man, Loring Doney, Egbert Mosely, A. H. Gardner, Charles 
C. Savage, Jared Thompson, Edward S. Cosgrove, 
John Thompson, M. C. Frary, David Brownell, J. T. 
Fordham, A. L. Monroe, Sanford Wheeler, S. Sackett, 
Emery Swan, H. L. Maynard, Benedict Barber, C. Schwartz- 
berg, Joseph Porter, Capts. James and William Porter, 



Joseph Porter, Jr., C. Latham Sholes, Walter S. and C. R. 
Evarts, Jr., Benjamin Hunkins, J. C. Putney, A. F. Parker, 
Luzerne Ransom, Wm. S. Watrous, Michael and Theodore 
Childs, Alex. L. Monroe, Rufus Childs, Peter Turck, and no 
doubt others who are forgotton. 

En resume: There was, however, in that dark year some 
little progress made. The 28th daj' of Ma}' brought us, as 
previously' stated, the good steamer James Madison, Capt. C. 
H. Bristol, seven days from Buffalo, her first trip, and our 
first boat for that season. She had a large freight, mostly, 
however, for Chicago. The arrival of this boat was a great 
event, and nearl\' half of the population spent the entire day, 
it being Sunda)', upon the beach at the mouth of the river 
watching her. 

Some new buildings were also erected, that 3'ear, viz: upon 
the South Side J. and L. Childs built the one now known as 
Nos. 319 and 321 Hanover street. 

Capt. Josiah Sherwood built a two stor}' frame, east side of 
Hanover, between Florida and X'irginia streets, he having 
previoush- occupied the old log house on Clinton street, first 
occupied by Capt. James Sanderson. 

S. W. Dunbar also built a two-storj' frame upon the hill, 
then called Mount Zion (principall}', I suppose, on account 
of the wickedness of the people), where the Fifth ward school 
house now stands. The old house is yet standing upon 
Greenbush street. 

Silas L^'uian built a two-story frame at or near the inter- 
section of Greenbush and Walker streets. This, as far as I 
can remember, comprised all the improvements upon the 
South Side, in 1837. 

The East Side, also made some little improvement in 1837. 
Heur}' Williams built one or two small frame dwellings upon 
the northeast corner of Van Buren and Mason streets; James 
McNeil, a second one upon the southwest corner, old house 
yet standing; Wm. A. Prentiss, one upon the southeast cor- 
ner of Wisconsin and Cass streets; John Furlong, one upon 


Broadway between Martin and Biddle streets; Henry Bleyer 
one upon Jackson street below Michigan street, yet standing; 
George O. Tiffany, a livery stable on the alley north side of 
Wisconsin street, between East Water street and Broadway; 
Mathew Stein one, his old gun shop on Market street, above 
Mason, removed in 1875 to make room for Nunnemacher's 
new block; John Julien one upon Market street above Biddle 
street; and there may have been, and no doubt were some 
others now forgotten. Some grading was also done on East 
Water street, above Wisconsin, and on Mason, Broadway, 
Jefferson and Wisconsin streets in 1837. A small Metho- 
dist church was also erected on the southeast corner of East 
Water and Huron streets. 

Some few buildings were also erected upon tlie West Side, 
in the vicinity of Chestnut street, and one on Second street 
above Cherrj' street. Andrew Vieau opened a store on West 
Water street, just above Spring street, with a stock of gen- 
eral merchandise, including paints and oils, and Lee & Thurs- 
ton, a cabinet shop on the nortlieast corner of Spring and 
West Water streets. Some filling was also done on Spring, 
West Water ami Wells streets, but the amount was verj' little. 

This year witnessed the organization of a town or village 
government, each man having been a law unto himself, to a 
great extent, up to that time, a bill or act of incorporation 
having been passed the previous year, at Belmont, and an 
election ordered, the preliminary proceedings for which, taken 
from the ^Idvcrtiscr of December 24th, 1836, were as follows : 


The citizens of this town some time ago addressed a memorial to the 
lei;islature praying tor the incorporation of all the points into one town, to 
be divided into three wards, with equal representation in each. The bill, 
however, did not pass agreeably to the petition, but a general law of incor- 
poration did pass under which we can incorporate and obtain the same 
results as under that act. 

Let the voters in the different towns on the river meet in their respective 
limits and adopt the law by incorporating them.selves agreeably to its pro- 
visisions. Each will then possess the same privileges that they would have 


done if the act of incorporation would have extended over the whole and 
divided it into different wards as was proposed by the memorial. The law 
only admits of two miles square being incorporated under one organization, 
and it would, therefore, be impracticable to organize all the points for 
which our memorial prayed under one system, they comprising more than 
two miles square. It is therefore deemed best by many of our citizens 
that each point should organize separately, and we therefore give 


That a meeting of the citizens of the town of Milwaukee, on the east side 
of the river, will be held at the Court House on Saturday, the nth day of 
February next, at 2 o'clock p. m., to take into consideration the propriety 
of organizing and incorporating said town, under the act of the legislative 
assembly, for such made and provided. 

Many Voters. 

A similar notice as just stated had already been published 
in the Advertiser of December 24th for a preliminary meeting" 
at Leland's Exchange for the West Side, to be held on the 
3d day of January, 1837, which meeting was held and an 
election ordered, as the following notice will show:* 


Agreeal^l}' to a resolution of the citizens of Milwaukee situated on the 
west side of the river assembled in a general meeting on the 3d inst., and 
in pursuance of the act to incorporate such town as may wish to be incor- 
porated, I hereby gi\e notice that an election will be held on Saturda}', the 
4th day of February next, at Leland's Exchange, commencing at 10 o'clock 
\. M. and continuing until 4 o'clock p. M., for the purpose of electing five 
trustees of said town to serve during the ensuing year. 


Milwaukee, January 27, 1S37. Clcrh. 

The West Side elected : 

Bresident, Byron Kilbourn; Trustees, Wm. R. Longstreet, Lucius I 
Barber, Benoni \V. Finch and S. D. Cowles; Clerk, N. F. Hyer; Assessor, 
Wm. P Proudfit; Marshal, Paul Burdick; Surveyor and Engineer, I. A. 

*The first notice that a change from a township government to a village 
organization was contemplated was by a call from some one published in 
the Milwaukee Ad-wrtiser October 13, 1836, but no meeting appears to have 
been held or any steps taken to organize previous to 1837. 


On February 3th the following appeared in the Advei User: 


A meeting will be held on Saturday, the nth inst., at 2 o'clock p. m., at 
the Court House, for the purpose of taking into consideration the acts and 
doings of our representatives in both houses of the legislature during the 
recent session of that body. It is believed by a great number of our citi- 
zens that at least one or two of our members betrayed the trust reposed in 
them by the people and that it would be well for the people to revise their 
acts and decide upon their merits. 

The legislature passed an act dividing the old county of Milwaukee into 
several counties with two distinct organizations, and it is questionable 
whether our present representatives can properly hold their offices to which 
they are elected by the people who have since that election been set off 
into a separate county. 

These are matters of general interest and it is hoped that a general 
attendance will be given. It was thought necessary by many to hold such 
a meeting at an earlier period, but not knowing the precise boundaries of 
the county as fixed by the late law, it was deemed best to defer it until that 
law was received. The county now consists of townships five, six, seven 
and eight in all the ranges as far west as range thirteen, embracing Rock 
river. Several Voters. 

Milwaukee, February 4, 1837. 

At this meeting, held on the nth, the people upon the East 
Side decided to organize, and an election was ordered, as the 
following will show: 


The inhabitants of Milwaukee are hereby notified to meet at the Court 
House on Tuesday, February 14, 1837, at 10 o'clock a. m., for the purpose 
of selecting five suitable persons to serve as trustees for said town the year 
ensuing. WM, A. PRENTISS, 

Milwaukee, February 11, 1837. Clert. 

On Tuesday Solomon Juneau, Wm. A. Prentiss, Geo. D. 
Dousman, A. A. Bird and Samuel Hinman were elected 
trustees of the East Side. The Board of Trustees was 
subsequently organized and the following officers elected: 

President, Solomon Juneau; Clerk, Horatio N. Wells; Assessors, Henry 
Miller, Wm. Brown and B. H. Edgerton; Marshal, Enoch Darling; Sur- 
veyor, D. Wells, Jr. 


The annexed are a part of the proceedings had at this 
meeting, February ii. 

In the Advertiser of Februarj' i8, 1S37, is the report of 
meeting called on the nth, at which some severe resolutions 
were passed in regard to Mr. Sweet's public acts at Belmont, 
and a call upon him, in strong language, to resign the office he 
had disgraced by betraying the liberties of the people into 
the hands of a heartless bank monopoly and other heinous 
sins; but he didn't resign. Prominent at this meeting were 
D. Wells, Jr., A. Fowler, S. Hinman, who was chairman, 
and N. F. H3'er, secretar)'. 

Also in that of the 25th were five spicy articles, signed 
respectivel}' X., T. G., Q. in the Corner, Lector and Timoth}' 
Tickle, all bearing upon the same matter and the eligibilit}' 
of Mr. Hawle}' for the office of Register of Deeds, for which 
he ran and to which he was elected. 

These articles are too length}' for insertion here and are 
mentioned simpl}' to show the strong partisan feeling existing 
at this time, which made the April election a very exciting 
one, principal]}- perhaps, because the people had not much 
else to be excited about. 


Some gentlemen from Belmont saj- that Mr Sweet represents Mr. 
Kilbourn as being an inti'rlopiT at Milwaukee, and when Mr. Juneau's name 
was mentioned for Bank Commissioner he said the same of him. Mv 
Co.nscien'ce! who, pray, is Mr. S%veet? He must have been born and 
raised in the territory; he must be a badger by nature. But this is not all; 
Kilbourn wants to force the town out of its natural place, and Sweet, poor 
soul, has enough to do to keep it where it belongs. But the most curious 
of all is that Juneau is an interloper. QUERY. 

The course pursued by Mr. Sweet at Belmont in relation 
to the location of the Capitol at Madison, the charter of the 
Bank of Milwaukee and the division of the county at this 
session caused great excitement when known in Milwaukee 
and a very bitter newspaper warfare was the result, much too 
voluminous for insertion here in full, but the above will show 
its animus. 


It is plain to be seen by the spirit of the above that the 
organization of a town or village government did not in any 
wise modify or soften the spirit of jealousy existing between 
the two sections, but, on the contrary, had a tendency to 
increase it. 


Alanson Sweet came from Owasco, N. Y., in 1835, settled 
upon a claim and became a farmer and speculator generall}'. 
He was by trade a stone mason, but I do not think he ever 
worked at his trade in this city, although he did in Chicago 
in her infantile years. 

He is about six feet in height and of a fine ph^'sique; speaks 
slow and distinct; has a large brain; good executive abilities; 
knows the value of mone}' and is one of the men who alwaj's 
kept it moving. He built largely in Milwaukee, dwellings, 
stores and vessels, and the first steam elevator was built bj' 
him; and he was in every sense a representative man. He 
also constructed many of the light-houses for the government 
on the lakes and the custom house at Mobile, Alabama. 

Mr. Sweet, in his latter 3'ears, became involved in law suits 
and lost his property. The writer was in his emplo}' for sev- 
eral years, in his palmj' days, and can truly say that he never 
wished for a better employer than Alanson Sweet. He is at 
present a resident of Evanston, 111. 

The boundaries of the corporation were fixed upon both 
sides of the river as follows: 

.\N ORDINANCE, fixing the corporate boundaries of the " Town of Mil- 
waukee, on the west side of the river." 

Be it ordained by tlie President and Trustees of the Town of Milwaukee 
on the west side of the river, that the following lines shall be fixed and 
established as the corporate limits of said town. 

Beginning on the north line of section twenty-one, in the center of the 
Milwaukee River; thence running down the middle of said river, to the 
south line of section twenty-nine; thence west along the south line of sec- 
tions twenty-nine and thirty to the west line of township seven, range 
twenty-two east; thence north, by said township line to the quarter post on 
the west side of section nineteen; thence east to the center of said section 


nineteen; thence north to the quarter post on the north line of said section 
nineteen; thence east, along the north line of sections nineteen, twenty and 
twenty-one, to the place of beginning. 

Passed February 6, 1837. 


N. F. HvER, Clerk. President. 

AN ORDINANCE, for grading a part of Spring street. 

Be it ordained by the President and Trustees of the town of Milwaukee 

on the west side of the river, that the grading and filling up of Spring 

street, from the first high ground west of Water street to the river, be 

immediately put under contract; and that the President have full power to 

let the same. 

Passed February 6, 1837. 


N. F. HvER, Clerl:. President. 

AN ORDINANCE, fixing the corporate boundaries of the town of 

Be it ordained by the President and Trustees of the town of Milwaukee, 
on the east side of the river, that the following lines shall be fixed and 
established as the corporate limits of said town: 

Beginning on the shore of Lake Michigan, on the south line of lot one, 
in fractional section number thirty-three, in township number seven north, 
of range number twentj'-two east, of the fourth principal meridian; thence 
running northerly by the shore of Lake Michigan to the quarter section line 
of fractional section number twenty-one; thence due west on said quarter 
section line to the center of Milwaukee River; thence southerly, following 
down the center of said Milwaukee River to the south line of said lot num- 
ber one in said fractional section number thirty-three; thence due east to 
the place of beginning. 

Passed February 17, 1837. 

H. N. Wells, Clerl;. President. 

The reader will no doubt ask why Trustees were not elected 
for the South Side also. The answer is- this: 

The title to the land upon the South Side was, as before 
stated, clouded by a float, put upon it by Ebenezer Childs 
and others; consequently the South Siders had no status in 
law, except that of squatters, an appellation, that, if applied 
to them personall}', would breed what our Celtic citizens 
would call a ruction, any time. Consequently they could not 


organize a ward or village government, but were a law unto 
themselves, submitting to the jurisdiction of the county, by 
whom they were taxed for highway, and other purposes, very 
lightly, however, in comparison with the east and west wards. 

In this way they lived, maintaining their rights as best they' 
could, until 1845, when, after a long contest with the govern- 
ment, the floats were raised and a patent for the land in dis- 
pute issued to Dr. Weeks as trustee; both Walker and those 
claiming under him, either by deed, contract, or squatter's 
rights consenting thereto, the doctor in turn deeding to each 
of the parties in interest his claim, at the nominal price of 
$2. 50 per acre. 

Such is the early municipal history of the South Side. 
Neither had they any voice in public affairs, until the adoption 
of the city charter, in 1846, when they became a part of the 
great whole, electing for their first Aldermen, Dr. L. W. 
Weeks, Lotan H. Lane and Peter N. Cushman; Robert 
Allen, from the South Side being the first city treasurer. 
Since that tinie her march has been onward and upward, both 
in wealth and population. 

Claim Organization. 

There had been some understanding about the right of 
claimants in 1835, but the great meeting was at the court 
house, March 13th, 1837. At that meeting, a code of laws 
were adopted, that gave effectual protection to the squatter 
until his land could be purchased from the government. For 
a complete record of this famous organization, see Appendix 
to Volume II. 

The notice for the April election, was as follows: 

To the Deniocrniic Anti-Bank and Settler's Riglits Party : 

Notice is hereby given that a meeting of the Democratic Anti-Bank Party, 

of the town and county of Milwaukee, will be held on Wednesday, the 29th 

inst., at the court house, in Milwaukee, at i o'clock p. m,, for the purpose 

of nominating candidates for town and county officers. 

Many Voters. 
Milwaukee, March 25, 1837. 


The official notice is as follows: 


Notice is hereby given, that the annual town meeting will be held at the 
court house, in Milwaukee, on the first Monda)' in April next, at nine 
o'clock A. M., for the purpose of choosing township and county officers. 
Officers to be elected are three Supervisors; one Town Clerk; five Asses- 
sors; one Collector ; two Directors of the Poor ; three Commissioners of 
the Highways; three Commissioners of Schools; one Coroner; one County 
Treasurer; one Register of Deeds; seven Constables and Fence Viewers: 
one Pound Master; as many Overseers of Highways as there are road dis- 
tricts, and three School Inspectors 


Milwaukee, March 25, 1S37. 'J't'iu'/i Cli'rl;. 

It was upon this call and official notice, that the following 
ticket was put in the field by tlie democrats: 

Supervisors, S. D. Cowles, \Vm Brown, and Wni- Shew, Coroner, 
Henry M Hubbard; County Treasurer, G. D. Dousman; Register of Deeds, 
Albert Fowler; Town Clerk, W'm. A Prentiss; Assessors. T. H. Olin, 
Pleasant Fields, Samuel Brown, Jonas Folts and N ^\'halen; Collector, 
John B. Miller: Directors of the Poor, S Hinman and Wm. P. Proudlit; 
Commissioners of Highways, S. Juneau, B Ivilbourn and A. Orrendolf; 
Commissioners of Schools, Samuel Brown, S. Sanborn and J. H Rogers; 
for Inspectors of Schools, Jacob M Rogers, Wm. Burdick and Elihu Hig- 
gins; Pound Master, William \\'oodward; Constables, J. R. Robinson, 
Jesse Eggleston, Elihu Higgins, H. H. Brannan, John Willard, H, White 
and R. J Currier. GEO. REED, 

X. F. HvEK, Sccrclary. Clniinnnn. 

At the same time the democratic republicans met at the 
Bellevue; S. W. Dimbar, Chairman, J. T. Haight, Secretar}', 
and made choice of the following ticket: 

Register of Deeds, Cyrus Hawley, Coroner, Pleasant Fields; County 
Treasurer, H. Miller; Supervisors, J. B. Zander, A O. T. Breed and S. 
D Cowles; Treasurer, G O. Tiffany; Assessors, Alvin Foster, J. Mander- 
ville, Barzillai Douglas, E. W. Edgerton and Lucius I. Barber; Collector, 
A J. \'ieau; Commissioners of Highways, S. Juneau, Enoch Chase and B 
W Finch; Directors of the Poor, S. Hinman and D. S. HoUister; Com- 
missioners of Schools, S. Sanborn, J. Folts and I. H. Alexander; Inspectors 
of Schools, Eli Bates, E. D. Phelps, Worthy Putnam, Geo. S. West and 
L. I. Barber, Constables, H. H, Brannan, D H. Sargeant, Horatio Higgins, 


M. L. Burdick and Jesse Eggleston; Committee on Election, Wm. M. 
Gardner, A. F. Pratt, C. E. Thurber, H. A. Hinkley and J. T. Haight. 

J. T. Haight, Secretary. Cliairnian. 

This election, full returns of which will be found in the 
Appendix to Vol. IV, was a very exciting one. It was a 
beautiful April morning, the voters marching to the polls in 
procession, with music and banners, under their respective 
ward captains; H. N. Wells, Geo. D. Dousman and Josiah 
A. Noonan being very active at the polls. But the fun was 
in the evening, when a barrel of liquor was rolled into the 
street in front of what is now 400 East Water street, the head 
knocked in, some tin cups procured, and the crowd told to 
help themselves, which, being mostly democrats, they needed 
no second invitation to do. Every man of them seemed 
anxious to examine the bottom head of that barrel, and were 
not long in bringing it to view, a barrel of liquor standing as 
poor chance then as it would now. 

It was amusing as well as instructive, to watch the effect 
that liquor had upon the crowd. Many of them when full, 
seeming to forget that election was over, commenced at once 
to repeat, showing that they had been there before; others 
commenced to sing something about not going home 'till 
morning, and if my memory is correct, they kept their word 
in that respect; in fact, some of them did not go then, having 
forgotten where they lived. 

An ordinance was also passed April nth, to fill Cl3'bourn 
street from the Menomonee river to Finch's bridge; Sycamore 
to Sixth, Spring to Sixth, Tamarack and Prairie to Fifth 
street, Vliet street to the Six Points; and to grade Second, 
Third, Fourth and Fifth streets, from Spring street to Chestnut 
street. Very little of this work was done, however, that year 
or the next five, but as ordinances were cheap, they passed 
them ad iiifinitum, of every kind and nature. 

In the Advertiser of April 25, 1837, is the following notice: 

Jacob M. Rogers is appointed Marshal and Collector to the Board of 
Trustees of the town of Milwaukee, in place of Enoch Darling, resigned. 


From which it appears that Mr. Darling soon laid down his 
new found honors. He left about this time, for Jefferson, 
where he settled, which was the probable reason. 

The following were the appointments by the governor for 
Milwaukee county for 1837: 

Justices of the Peace, Wm. A. Prentiss, Asa Kinney, N. F. Hyer, Lot 
Blanchard, Thomas Hart, Samuel Wright, Thomas Sanborn and Ivy 
Stewart; Notary Public, N F. Hyer; Inspector o£ Provisions, B. W. 
Finch; Auctioneer, C. D. Fitch. To hold until the next legislature shall 

An ordinance was passed b}' the trustees on May 4th to 
levy a tax of fift3' cents upon each Si 00 valuation real estate, 
and one-fourth of one per cent, upon all personals; also: 

At a meeting held on the 5th G. D. Dousman was authorized to contract 
for the grading of Main street (Broadway) from Wisconsin to Oneida 
street; East Water from Wisconsin to Mason street; Jefferson street from 
Michigan street to the Public Square; and Mason from East Water to 
Main street. G. D. DOUSMAN, 

H. N. Wells, CU'ik. J'rcsi,/,-ii/ pro U-iii. 

Sealed proposals were received this 3'ear for the construc- 
tion of a draw bridge at the foot of Oneida street, resting 
upon piles, with draw in center, said draw to elevate and not 
swing, to be finished by the ist day of September.* A. A. 
Bird, Rufus Parks, Pleasant Fields and Solomon Juneau, 

This 3'ear also brought us our first steamboat, i. c, one that 
we could call our own, to run between Milwaukee and Chi- 
cago, viz. ; the Detroit, Capt. John Crawford. She came in 
June. She was lost, however, off Southport (now Kenosha) 
in October, in consequence of not having a sufficient supply 
of wood. The following is her advertisement: 


The steamboat Detroit, Capt. John Crawford, will run for the remainder 
of the season from Michigan City, in connection with a daily line of stages 
from Toledo and Detroit, to Milwaukee, Wisconsin territory. Leaving 

*It was not built, however, until 1849. (See Vol. Ill, page 204.) 


Michigan City on Mondays at 8 o'clock a. m., Wednesdays at 2 o'clock p. m. , 
and Fridays at 7 o'clock p. m., touching at Chicago, Pike River, Root 
River, and arrive at Milwaukee the day after leaving Michigan City. She 
will leave Milwaukee on Tuesdays at 11 o'clock a. m., Thursdays at 6 
o'clock p. M., and Saturdays at 9 o'clock p. M., on her return to Michigan 
City. She will, wind and weather permitting, make a trip to Port Wash- 
ington, at mouth o£ Sac river, once a week. 

For freight and passage apply to T. J. Field, Michigan City, Ind., D. S. 
HoUister or S. D, Cowles & Co., Milwaukee, W. T., or to the captain on 

Milwaukee, June 22, 1837. 

She used to come inside and land at the foot of Wisconsin 
street, where I have sat upon the grassy bank and watched 
her often. This was a favorite spot with Crowing Joe. 
Aboard the Detroit was a herculean rooster, of the old barn- 
yard breed, as full of fight as a hornet, and whenever the old 
boat came in Joe would take his stand upon the bank and 
crow, at which the one upon the boat, no doubt thinking 
it was a challenge from some farm yard, would answer. 
For this Joe was arrested, as will be hereafter stated, and 

Mr. Kilbourn also built his famous boat, The Badger, the 
first steamer ever built in Milwaukee, this year. 

She was simply a scow, her upper works being just sufficient 
to support her wheel house and keep the engine dry. This 
engine was about seven mule power. She was commanded 
by Capt. Hubbell, a large and powerful man with a squint 
eye. She had an immense helm to which she, however, as a 
rule, paid very little attention, her course at times being as 
giratorj' as are those of a hen that has eaten salt. 

Capt. Hubbell's orders were not always given in strictly 
nautical language, but woidd when landing his boat be some- 
thing like this: "Give her a turn ahead." This would send 
her too far, upon which he would yell: "Half a turn back! " 
This would probably send her as much too far astern and 
further from the boat or dock, as the case' might be, when, 
with a stamp of his enormous foot would come the stereo- 
typed order: "Give her a lick sidewaj's, G-o-d d-a-m y-o-u!" 


She was very useful, however, as a tender or hghter for the 
large boats, as they could not come inside then. But she and 
her gigantic commander have long since passed away. The 
day for such as she was in Milwaukee is over. 

She went ashore near the present harbor and was lost in 
the fall of 1839 or 1840, I do not remember which, but think 
it was 1840. 

The advent of this boat was a new source of trouble between 
the East and West Sides, she refusing to land her passengers 
upon either the East or South Sides, carrying them to Kil- 
bourn Town, nolens volens. Remonstrance or objection was 
of no avail with Capt. Hubbell; he had his orders, and right 
well did he execute them. 

This was also the natal year of the present Milwaukee 
Sentinel, started by Mr. Juneau, to defend the rights of the 
East Side. Its first editor was Mr. J. O'Rouke, who died in 
1838, when Harrison Reed became the editor. Mr. Reed was 
followed by Elisha Starr, who had just started a small paper 
called the Herald, which was merged in the Sentinel; then 
David M. Keeler became its chief, and in 1844 issued its first 
daily. In 1845 it passed into the hands of J. S. Fillmore, 
Jason Downer being its editor, who, the same year, vacated 
the editorial chair, in favor of General Rufus King. In the 
fall or winter of the same year, Wm. Duane Wilson started 
the Milwaukee Daily Gazette, which in 1846, was merged in 
the Sentinel under the name of the Sentinel and Gazette. It 
was, however, soon changed to the Sentinel, Mr. Wilson retir- 
ing from the editorship. General King becoming editor and 
proprietor.'^ Mr. King finally sold to Messrs. Jermain and 
Brightman, who, in their turn sold it to the present company. 
This pioneer sheet has changed its owners and editors oftener 

*It was at this time that General King sold a half interest to Mr. A. G. 
Fuller and returned to New York. Mr. Fuller died in Paris, France, in 
March, i88g, where he had gone for his health. I remember Mr. Fuller 
very well; he built the brick dwelling now known as the Noonan Home- 
stead, southeast corner o£ Mason and Jackson streets, at that time the finest 
residence on the East Side. 

c^ ( ra (j(c^ ( ^^ ^ c c I ( c c I 


than any other paper in Wisconsin. In pohtical faith it is 
repubhcan, and claims to be the leading party journal in the 

It has had many able men as editors since its birth, the 
most renowned of whom was General Rufus King. 

The paper has a very large circulation, and is a powerful 
competitor for its enemies to contend with. May its shadow 
never grow less. 

Matthew Keenan. 

This gentleman, whose form has been for j'ears so familiar 
on our streets, and whose name and record for ability, energy, 
integrity and worth stands with the highest in our cit}', was 
born at Maulius, Onondaga County, New York, on the 5th 
of January, 1825, and in June, 1837, with his father and 
family removed to Milwaukee, where he attended school, one 
of his teachers being the late Eli Bates, to whose generosity 
Chicago is indebted for the statue of Abraham Lincoln. His 
first emploj'ment in the embryo city was as ferryman (and we 
never had a more faithful one"), upon the old ferry at the foot 
of Wisconsin street, during the summer of 1839, after which 
he again attended school until 1841, when he accepted a 
clerkship in the general merchandise store of William Brown, 
Jr., (Brown & Miller) now known as 363 East Water street, 
and continued there for some eight years, a portion of the 
time as partner under the firm name of Hayden and Keenan, 
to whom the interest of the former owner was transferred. 
Mr. Keenan afterwards disposed of his interest in the business 
to Messrs. Hayden Bros. 

Entering the political arena, he was in 1852 elected on the 
democratic ticket, to the office of Clerk of the Circuit Court, 
and by his business ability and correct methods gained the 
fullest confideuce and esteem of the bar, and all others with 
whom he had business relations, and as a mark of his popu- 
larity he was re-elected and served for four consecutive 


terms, and afterward, for one year, assisted his successor, 
Col. Jacobs, in the office. The office of circuit court clerk, 
being in those days a very lucrative one, Mr. Keenan, upon 
his retirement from the position, had saved a competency, 
and with this as a nucleus, by judicious investments, business 
sagacity and sound judgment he soon became one of the solid 
men of our cit}', and so stands to-day. 

In 1863 the office of tax commissioner was tendered to him 
and accepted, and the sj^stem inaugurated and successfully 
carried out in the office during his term, is practically the 
same as that now in use. Mr. Keenan held the office for three 
3'ears, and in i86g was again induced to serve for another 
term. Although he was a staunch democrat and lived in a 
republican ward, in 1869 he was elected as a member of the 
common council of the city, from the Seventh ward, and in 1871 
was elected to the legislature from that ward, serving his con- 
stituents with abilit)' and success, being largely instrumental 
in securing the passage of the law under which the present 
S3'stem of the water works of our city was constructed. In 
1872 he was elected secretarj- of the board of water commis- 
sioners, and also superintendent, and labored in that behalf 
during the construction of the works, and until the system of 
water rates was perfected and established, and the entire 
plant in full and successful operation, a period of about two 
years, when, with the consent of the board of commissioners, 
he resigned to accept a position with the Northwestern Mutual 
Life Insurance Co., as superintendent of agencies; this was 
in 1874 (Mr. Keenan had been elected a trustee of the Com- 
pan3' in 1871). In 1876 he was elected vice-president of the 
compan}', and acted also as superintendent of agencies, until 
he resigned that position and assumed the management of 
the special real estate department of the compan}'. Mr. 
Keenan was a Regent of the Wisconsin State University for 
three years, and has been a trustee of the Milwaukee Public 
Library since its organization. At the present time he holds 
the office of vice-president of the Northwestern Mutual Life 


Insurance Co., the head of the special real estate department, 
and member of finance and executive committees of the com- 
pany, and the presidency of the board of trustees of the 
Milwaukee Public Library. 

Such in brief is the record of the business career of 
Matthew Keenan, of this cit3', one of uninterrupted success, 
as step by step, unaided, he has climbed the ladder, his private 
and social life irreproachable, of pleasing mien and gentle 
bearing, a true friend, generous without ostentation, tempe- 
rate in all things, in political faith a democrat, in religion a 
catholic, he is held in highest esteem and respect by all who 
know him, whatever their calling, political affiliations or 
religious creed. 

Don a. J. Upham 

who took so prominent a part in the building up of our city, 
as a lawj'er, legislator, speculator and who was a general 
favorite with the early settlers, came to Milwaukee, from 
Northfield, \'ermont, June 15, 1837. 

In person he was tall; had a large head, blue eyes, brown 
hair, strong, powerful voice; spoke slow and distinct, with 
a lengthened sound upon the last syllable of each word; 
walked slow, with his e3'es fixed constantly upon the ground, 
but at the same time was cognizant of all that was being 
enacted around him; was courteous and dignified in manner, 
but fond of fun and mischief, few men more so, and usuall)' 
on the watch for it; was a good public speaker and a prom- 
inent democrat. 

He has been twice mayor; he was also a candidate for the 
governorship, and was, in fact, fairly elected, but was counted 
out in some unaccountable manner, and L. J. Farwell counted 
in. He was one of the first to join the Old Settlers' Club 
upon its organization in i86g, and, upon the organization of 
the Pioneer Association in 1879, took an active part in that. 
Few men in the state were better known than Don A. J. 
Upham. He was very aggressive, and of course made 
enemies, but that never gave him any trouble. He was born 


at Weathersfield, Windham county, Vermont, Maj' 31, i8og, 
and died June 15, 1877, and was buried at Forest Home. 

En resume: This year was also made memorable on account 
of the holding of the first United States District Court, Judge 
William C. Frazier, and for the trial of the tAvo Indians for 
the murder of Ellsworth Burnett, November, 1835. 

Judge Frazier was what is termed in military lore, a marti- 
net, and he made it lively for the boys, as the law3'ers were 
called. They at once joined issue with him, making his court 
anything but a paradise. Such was the feeling against him, 
that they all joined in a letter missive, asking him to resign, 
which called forth such a flow of blasphemy as probably never 
came from the mouth of a judge, since the da3's of Jeffre3's. 
If, as the Bible sa3's, it is what cometh forth of a man, that 
defileth him, then was Judge Frazier, internall3', exceedingly 
unclean. He refused to resign; but death came, if not to his, 
to our relief, in 1838, and Judge A. G. Miller succeeded him. 

The following fersonale of this noted pioneer jurist, will not 
be out of place in this histor3-: He was fully six feet in height, 
compactly built, large head, red face, the result of his intem- 
perate life; had a powerful voice, sharp and rasping in its 
tone; was of a very irascible and violent temper, and was as 
unsociable as a bear. His dress consisted of drab pants, white 
vest, bottle-green coat with brass buttons, then the st3'le: bell 
crowned white hat, white gloves and a ruffled shirt. He was, 
without exception, the most expensivel3' dressed man that 
came to our cit3' in 1837. 

A medical societ3' was also organized this year, February 
14th, at which Dr. Thomas J. No3'es was elected President; 
Sullivan Belknap, Vice-President; S. H. Green, Secretary; 
Wm. P. Proudfit, Treasurer. 

A County Agricultural Society was formed this 3'ear. 
President, B3'ron Kilbourn; First Vice-President, Solomon 
Juneau; Second \'ice-President, S. Pettibone; Third Vice- 
President, Hugh Wedge; Secretary, I. A. Lapham; Corres- 
ponding Secretary, Wm. A. Prentiss; Treasurer, S. Hinman; 


Directors, James H. Rogers, G. D. Dousman, J. Manderville, 
John Ogden, D. S. Hollister, Wm- R. Longstreet and Henrj' 
M. Hubbard. 

This year also witnessed the formation of the first Temper- 
ance Societ}'. President, S. Hinman; Vice-President, W. 
P. Proudfit; Secretary, F. Hawley; Directors, Wm. A. 
Kellogg, Robert Love, Geo. H. Dj^er, H. W. Van Dorn, 
Daniel Worthington and Daniel Brown. 


There was a httle affair in which I took a hand in the 
winter of 1837 with the Indians, which commenced in fun, 
but came near causing the death of one of us boys, which 
occurred in the following manner: 

B. F. Wheelock, mj'self and a P'renchman named Garvey 
were in the old store on the point in company with six Indi- 
ans, one of whom, Ne-guon, "The Feather," was the 
brother of Maaitou, who was killed by Scott and Bennett the 
previous summer. This Indian got playing with the clerk, 
young" Bird, now living at Madison, which continued until 
the Indian got mad, and springing upon Bird he threw him 
upon the floor and raised his knife to kill him, which he cer- 
tainly would have done in a moment more if we had not 
interfered. There were some ax handles in a cleat overhead, 
which I went for, and with these we quickl}' put the whole of 
theui to sleep, threw them out of doors, and not until the 
following day were some of them able to walk away. This 
was the only trouble I ever had with Indians that ended in 

I knocked one of these Indians called Oseebwaisum 
(Corn-stalk), the father of the Feather, on the head and pitched 
him out of doors into a puddle of snow watei some four 
inches in depth that had settled into a small depression in 
front of the door, it having rained the previous da)', where 
we left him. During the night it turned cold, froze him in, 
and when he came to the following morning he broke out. 


came up to the house nearly dead with cold and with pieces 
of ice attached to his blanket a full half inch in thickness. 
We gave him some hot coffee and a good breakfast and sent 
him on his why; but the shape of him remained in the ice for 
several daj's. 

Oseebwaisum (or the Corn-stalk) was a very large and 
powerful Indian and when full of benzine or fire-water a bad 
one. He was chief of the Kinnickinnic band. I often saw 
him after our little misunderstanding, but he never showed 
any disposition to injure me. He attempted, however, to 
drown Dr. Chase once while carrying him across the river in 
a dug-out. He went to Council Bluffs in i83<S where he died 
a few years later. "Ne-guon" (or The Feather) left tlie 
battle field with two of the blackest e\es I ever saw a man 
have, given him b5' the Frenchman Garve}'; John L. Sullivan 
could not have done a better job- in that line. He was led 
awa\' h\ his companions (for he was totally blind) to his wig- 
wam, near the present La\ton House, where he met Joseph 
Tuttle, who, seeing his condition, inquired how things came 
to be tliKsly, upon which The Feather, b\' waN' of explanation, 
gave an imaginary blow siraiglit from tlic slwvlder tls, he blurted 
out, Che-mo-ko-man B-o-o-o-o-o-o!!ll! It was rich. 

Pigeon SHOorixc. 

The author cannot close 1837 without making mention of 
the vast number of pigeons with which the woods were filled 
all tlie spring and summer and the splendid hunting they 
afforded, as well as a description of the hunters, particularl3' 
of John Nowel, alias Christmas, Mr. G. D. Dousman's old 
ser\-ant, before mentioned. 

After the ground was cleared of its coating of leaves by the 
fire, mention of which was made in the pre-historic sketch, it 
would be covered with pigeons in search of the mast (acorns), 
their glossj' blue coats forming a beatiful contrast with the 
blackened earth. Nowel used to come out where I was then 
working, armed with an old Queen Anne musket, that if over- 
loaded, would kick worse than a mule, with which he would 


slaughter them by the thousand in the following manner. 
The old man would sit down under a tree with the breech of 
his miniature cannon placed upon the ground (not daring to 
hold it against his shoulder for fear of being kicked across 
the Menomonee), where he would sit until the tree became 
filled with pigeons, which would be as often as every ten 
minutes, when bang would go the old gun, the report of which 
could be heard a mile, the discharge covering the ground 
with pigeons as thick as they could lay, some badly wounded, 
mixed with leaves and small twigs, the noise of their fall 
resembling that of apples when knocked from a tree with a 
pole; many would be completely denuded of feathers, others 
would be blown all to pieces. But the best of all was to see 
the smile of satisfaction stealing over the old man's wrinkled 
visage at the effect of his fusilade. I shall never forget it 
while life remains. 


As a proof of what whisky can do for a man I will relate 
the following incident: 

Two drovers with cattle from Indiana were camping on the 
South Side, in 1837, and one of them, Philip Bensel, was 
drowned in the Menomonee river at the foot of Fourth 
avenue. A jury was summoned, of which I was one, to 
inquire into the cause of his death, which we found to be 
whisky, a flask of which was in his pocket. This was taken 
out and while we were rendering the verdict his comrade, 
who was sitting near, took a hearty drink of that whisky. 
The scene often recurs to my mind when passing the locality. 

Thought It Was The Devil. 

While building the new part of the house for J. and L. 
Childs, in 1837, some very laughable incidents occurred, 
which I will relate: 

The small part, before spoken of as being where I spent my 
first night in Milwaukee, built in 1836, and yet standing next 


north of the present residence of Hon. Geo. H. Paul, was full 
of men, some eight or ten workmen being" emplo3'ed upon the 
new, ail of whom slept in the third story of this small part, 
which was all in one room and reached b}' two flights of box 
stairs. The plates were at the sides about four feet from the 
floor and the roof about sixteen inches from the top of the 
beds, which were ranged along the wall, six in number. This 
miniature black hole was like an oven in the summer, there 
being but one small window in each end.* 

Among those who slept there was an Irishman named Mike 
Connor who, like most of his race, had a hereditar)- hatred of 
the negro. Mike's bed was the middle one of the north row, 
he sleeping at that time alone. 

Coming up to bed myself one hot July night I found Mike 
was sound asleep, and while thinking what I could do for 
him, Parker came up. Parker was a Yankee and as full of 
mischief as a tame monkey. To him I proposed to have 
some fun with Mike. "All right," sa^'s Parker, "let's come 
the nigger on him." Whereupon he at once returned to the 
kitchen, blacked his face with soot, came back, took off his 
clothes and got quietly into bed with the unsuspecting Mike, 
motioning me to wake him up. When all was read3' I woke 
Mike and asked him where that nigger came from. He gave 
one look at Parker's face and sprang from the bed, his head 
striking the rafter overhead with a thud, like a ram butting a 
barn door, the force of the blow sending him to the floor the 
back side of the bed, from where he attempted to escape b}' 
crawling underneath it, in which attempt he cut a gash in his 
scalp two inches in length, besides nearly knocking out what 
few brains he had against the sharp edge of the bed rail. 
He, however, at last regained his feet, gave one look at 
Parker's face and exclaiming, "Holy Jasus! " was down 
stairs in the twinkling of an e3'e and we saw no more of him 
until morning, when he came after his clothes, having lain, as 

•'This pioneer hostelrie now (iSSg) forms the rear o£ Capt. Geo. Claige's 
residence, 317 Hanover street; it is fifty-three years old. 


he said, under a work-bench in the new part all night. In 
answer to my kind inquiries as to how he passed the night, 
Mike, who had got posted, replied, "To hell with yee's!" 
A foin thrick yee's played, wasn't it?" To which I replied, 
"Why, Mike, I hope you don't think I had any hand in it." 
"Hand in it, is it?" said Mike. "Be gob, yee's ware the 
father of it, yee blatherin Yankee! Yee's are as full of the 
divil as an egg is of mate. Warsn't it yoursel' that planned 
it? Of course yee's had a hand in it. Who but the loikes 
of yee's would have thought of it?" Seeing that Mike was 
posted and further evasion useless, I replied apologetically, 
"Well, Mike, you should have got up quietly and then you 
wouldn't have been hurt." "Quietly, is it?" he replied. 
"Be gorra, I jist thought it was the divil, shure, and no mis- 
take." Mike carried his head in s^ sling {or a month, during 
which time he often assured me that he would pay me for that 
ilirick, but he never did. 

Mike Connor's wounds were not fuUj' healed before my bed- 
fellow, Anson S. Tucker, also came to grief in the following 

This gay and festive young Knickerbocker contracted the 
very unfortunate habit of staying out nights, coming in at lo, 
II' and 12 o'clock, the noise of which would wake us all up; 
and when remonstrated with he told us to help ourselves if 
we could; and I thought we could. "VS'ell, the next night he 
remained out I fixed things in such a manner as to cause him 
to not only wake us but the whole neighborhood as well. 

Our chamber was, as previously stated, reached by two 
steep flights of box stairs, the doors at the foot of each flight 
openingin to the room from whence they started. Against the 
door at the head of the first flight, which opened directly into 
the room occupied by Mr. Childs and wife, I placed two 
chairs, bottom up, one above the other and upon the upper 
one placed about half a bushel of broken crockery, some tin- 
ware, the shovel, the tongs and several other sonorous articles, 
all calculated to make a noise if upset. I then got a log 




chain, fastened one end to the inside of the door at the foot 
of the second flight, carried the other to the top of the stairs, 
where I secured it in such a way as to have it roll down if 
disturbed; after which I retired, my mind as clear as a moun- 
tain spring to await the arrival of the victim. At length the 
young gent came in, ascended the first flight, opened the 
door and was greeted with a crash that could have been heard 
a block off. Things were working. This so frightened him 
that instead of opening the next door carefully he opened it 
with a jerk, that brought about eighty pounds of old iron 
down upon him, with a noise like the dumping of a load of 
stone. B}' this time however, he was mad, his breath coming 
in short puffs, hot enough to burn his teeth, and with a heart 
thirsting for vengeance, he came quickly up the stairs, intend- 
ing, no doubt, to whip every man in the room, took two steps, 
^\•hen his foot came iu contact with a rope stretched across 
tlie floor, (accidentl}-, 1 suppose, ) which brought him to grass 
with a force that knocked all the fight out of him, as well as 
pretty much all the cuticle from his nose. This misfortune 
caused him to beat a hast}' retreat in search of bandages and 
arnica, after which he came up again, and got quietlj' into 
bed without any comments upon the roughness of the road, 
where he continued to sigh like a grieved child, while we 
slept on in apparent unconciousness of all that had happened. 
It was more than a week however, before he would speak to 
an}' of us, for not knowing who to lay it to, at first, he was, 
of course, mad at all hands. The most wonderful part of it 
all was, that he should suspect a poor, innocent youth like 
me of having any hand in it; but he did. It cured him how- 
ever, of sta3nng out nights. 

Smoking Out the Boys. 
Going up to bed late one hot night in August, I found the 
bo3's all asleep and sweating beautifull}', filling the room not 
only with nasal music, pitched upon nearly every key in the 
scale, from the martial tone of C to that of C flat minor, but 
rapidly consuming all the oxygen it contained as well; and 


as Dr. Johnson's health office had not yet been established, I 
concluded to operate upon the boys myself, and cool them off 
a little; neither did it take me long to fix upon a plan that 
would do it. Returning to the kitchen, I got a tin plate, upon 
which I placed a paper of fine cut tobacco, sprinkled a little 
snuff over it, carried it up stairs, (first telling Mr. and Mrs. 
Childs what I was going to do) placed it in the center of the 
room, shut both windows carefully, after which I set it on fire, 
and crept under the bed to watch the result. It was not long 
before the chamber was filled with a perfume not in general 
use as a breath sweetener. Every one in the room was awake 
in less than two minutes, coughing and sneezing at a terrible 
rate; but not one of them seemed to have the least idea what 
was the matter. I knew, though. At last Mike Connor got 
his eye upon the plate, saw the dull glimmer of the burning 
tobacco, and thinking it was some invention of Satan, gave 
one unearthly screech, and was down stairs like a shot, fol- 
lowed by every one in the room, in full dress, i. c, in their 
shirts, passing through Mrs. Childs' sleeping room to the new 
part, where Mike, who had got his breath somewhat, exclaimed, 
" Howly mither, boys! Did ye iver schmell the loikes of 
that? Phat the devil is it, at all, at all?" This was a ques- 
tion not one of those frightened men could answer, each being 
too busy clearing his lungs of the fumes of the tobacco, sneez- 
ing all the time, with a noise that reminded me of an old 
fashioned hand loom when working, ^or at least five minutes, 
giving me ample time to remove the plate and air the room, 
which I did. 

By this time the mosquitos had found a bonanza, and at 
once commenced prospecting, causing the boys to jump round 
quite lively, making them wish themselves safely upstairs 
again; but not one of them seemed willing to lead the way, 
or sacrifice himself for the good of the crowd, and find out 
why things were thusly. 

At length I put my head out of the window, and in my 
blandest tones, asked what the matter was, and if any thing' 


was wanting down there, or could I do any thing to add to 
their comfort; if not, would they please come to bed, or should 
I pass down their clothes in order that they might make a 
presentable appearance at the police court, in the morning? 

This brought a laugh from all but Mike Connors, who 
exclaimed: "Sould again, by Jasus! Not five weeks since, I 
nairly broke mee head in trying to escape from a bogus nager, 
put in mee bed by that divilish Buck; and now, bee gob! he's 
druv us all out in the middle of the night, in light marching 
order, to be eat up wid miskateees, wid a stink that would 
make a dog commit shueside. I wonder what in thunder 
he'll be doing next!" 

The boys now came up stairs, creeping through Mrs. 
Childs' room upon all fours, she laughing heartily all the time 
at the joke, and the ridiculous figures they cut, (their gait 
being about as graceful as that of a spancelled mule,) where, 
after a good laugh, they were soon asleep again, and all was 

It was more than a week, however, before any of them fully 
understood what it was that cleaned out that room so quick, 
and Mike Connor always insisted it was some invention of 
the devil, and that I was in league with him. Poor Mike! 
A better hearted boy never lived, but sharper ones have. 

Speeding a Redskin. 

A laughable incident occurred at the celebration of the 
Fourth of July, 1837, at Kilbourn Town, which I will relate: 

There were a large number of Indians at that time hanging 
around the cit\', several of whom were looking on to see the 
boys fire crackers. At last one of these boys bolder than the 
others, fastened a bunch to the dirty old blanket of one of the 
young braves, and set fire to it. At the first discharge, he 
got off without any preliminary scoring. Down Third street, 
for Spring, he went as though old Clootie was after him. We 
were too much amused to time him correctly, but his time 
has certainly never been beaten, and the track in no condition 


for a race. He would make leaps of twenty feet or more, 
land in the mud, when a new discharge would set him going 
again. He spoilt all his good clothes. 

When he turned the angle at the intersection of Third and 
West Water streets, one of his companions exclaimed : 
"Waugh! che-mo-ko-man papoose heap d — n rascal," after 
which they all faced to the west, probably expecting to see 
him come from that direction in a few hours. His race, how- 
ever, came to an end at Spring street, not being able to 
proceed any further without a boat. For a long time after 
that no boy could get an Indian to look at any thing red, no 
matter if it was a painted nail, and whenever you wished for 
an Indian's room in preference to his company, let a small 
boy creep towards him with his hands behind his back, and 
your wish would be immediately gratified ; he would be off 
like a shot. The medicine was too strong. 


The condition in which I landed in Milwaukee will be best 
understood by the following statement of my finances . My 
entire capital at that period consisted of the clothes upon 
my back and eleven dollars in money; consequently, it would 
not answer for me to remain idle, and as no work was to be 
procured for wages, I was compelled to work for my board or 
go in debt, which I did not like to do, even if I could ; and in 
order, therefore, to come out even in the spring, I went upon 
the claim of Mrs. B. F. Wheelock, (now the property of the 
heirs of the late Geo. D. Dousman) slept in a shanty eight by 
ten, and seven feet in height with no floor, my bed consist- 
ing of a bundle of straw, one mackinac blanket and a blanket 
overcoat. Chopped five acres of timber, cleared it off, split 
the rails to fence it, put in a crop, built a good log house, 
and all the compensation I ever received was my board while 
performing the work. My mind often reverts to that winter 
and its labors, my first in Wisconsin. Neither is there any 
other that my hands have done, the recollection of which 


calls up SO many pleasant memories as does the clearing of 
that five acres, and the erection of that log house in the 
winter of 1836 and 1837. 


The price of hay, grain, vegetables, pork, flour, groceries 
and labor in 1836 were substantially as follows : Hay, per 
ton, $40.00; wheat, per bushel, $2.50; corn, $2.50; oats, 
from $2. 50 to 154.00; potatoes were S2.50 by the vessel load; 
sugar, per pound 25 cents ; butter, 50 cents ; eggs, per dozen, 
75 cents; pork, per barrel, $40.00; flour, $20,00; labor for 
man per day, in 1836, from $3.50 to $5.00; in 1837 and 1838, 
from $3.00 to $4.50; team, per day, in 1836, S16.00; in 1837, 
and 1838, $8.00; and notwithstanding all this we got good 
board in private houses for $5.00 per week. But the highest 
prices paid for potatoes was in the spring of 1838. That 
spring $6.00 was paid, and in one case $10.00 for one bushel 
of potatoes for seed, that were carried to Rock river upon 
a man's back. What would the j'oung men of the present 
day think if compelled to do that. 

These prices were maintained with little or no reduction 
uutil the fall of 1838, when the country began to be self-sus- 

In confirmation of what is here stated in regard to the 
prices paid for the necessaries of life, as well as the hardships 
and privations endured by the settlers in those early times, I 
will insert the following extracts from letters written by Hon. 
Daniel Wells, Jr., to his brother Charles, then at Yale Col- 
lege, the first being dated at Madison, August 5, 1840: 

I am doing a little farming this summer and also sell some lumber on 
commission, which together give me a very comfortable living, though t/iis 
year instead of a benefit I have suffered a heavy loss, as my crops were 
utterly destroyed last week by a tremendous hail-storm, an account of 
which you will see in the papers sent you. I had let out my farm* to a 
young man to cultivate, at the halves, and I had about twenty-five acres in 
crops, eight of corn, five of oats and twelve in wheat; and the outlook for 

*This farm was on the north half of section two (2), village of Prairieville. 


a good crop was fine, when, last Thursday, the storm came, extending 
over a tract about a mile in width and some ten miles in length. The hail 
continued to fall for about five minutes, accompanied with a tremendous 
wind. I never saw anythmg half equal to it. The glass and sash were 
broke out of the windows, even on the lee side of the house, and the bark 
beat off the trees. Three of my pigs were killed by the hail and all my 
crops utterly ruined. The loss to me will be about $300; but I think I 
shall live through it well enough. 

The second letter, which was also addressed to Charles 
Wells, was dated at Milwaukee, April 7, 1841, and contains 
the following: 

Money matters are in rather a bad state in the west. All the banks 
have suspended specie payments and all bills on western banks are 12 
per cent, discount. Western bank money, generally passed at par and 
eastern money and specie, is from 10 to 12 per cent, premium. 

I am doing but little business at this time nor is there much prospect 
that I shall engage in any active business for some time to come, as I am 
still crippled with old liabilities contracted in 183G and how they will be 
cancelled it is now difficult to say. I do about enough business to pay 
present expenses, which are quite small. I start to go to Rock river 
to-morrow in order to sell some lumber owned by myself and Mr. Brown 
(at Dixon's ferry); shall be absent about two weeks. 

The farmers out here are doing a hard business as produce is so low. 
Wheat is worth only 40 cents; corn, 31 cents; oats, 20 to 25 cents; and 
pork, 2^ to 'iYz cents per pound. All kind of business is in a bad state 
and how long it will so continue is uncertain, The people must fall back 
on their old habits of industry and economy and do away with all extra- 
vagance and then the country will start ahead again. A new start of 
prosperity must be the work of years to be permanent. 

Milwaukee, April 7, 1841. 

The third letter, which is dated at Madison, January 25, 
1842, contains the following: 

The winter so far has been fine; we now have about a foot of snow and 
the sleighing is splendid. Wheat sells for 75 cents per bushel; oats, 23 
cents; corn, 31 cents; pork, 2^ cents per pound. The territory is on the 
gain and we expect a larger immigration next summer than any previous 
year. Milwaukee is improving very fast and a railroad is about to be 
started (the one mentioned in 1836) from there to the Mississippi river, 
through the center of the territory, via the lead region, and in a few years 
we shall have a continuous railroad from Boston to the Mississippi river. 


The perusal of these pioneer epistles brings to memorj''s 
sleepless eye many forms that were seen upon our streets in 
the infancy of our city as merchants, mechanics and profes- 
sional men who were active and useful citizens, man}' of 
whom were successful in all they undertook, who left not 
only a goodl}' estate but also a good record as an inheritance 
for their children. It also brings to mind many whose whole 
life was a failure and who died financial as well as mental 
wrecks, leaving no record worth preserving. But such is life! 
A few succeed, but the masses do not. 

The following notice will, to some extent, show that the 

prices asked for real estate in 1836 and 1837 were high 



There acres in fraction six (6)* at eight thousand dollars (S8,ooo) per 
acre. One-fourth down, balance in one. two or three years. 

June 7, 1838. L. BLOSSOM, Jr. 

As can be seen there are two lots upon the map numbered 6, 
one in the present First ward and one in the present Fifth 
ward, and I ver}' much doubt if an acre would bring more 
than $8,000 in either of them to-day, or even as much. 

Vessel Arrivals. 

It has not been thought best to continue this list in tabular 
form any further, as the space it would occupy could be filled 
with matter of more interest to the public. We shall, there- 
fore, simply epitomize it. 

The following list of vessel arrivals for 1837 was furnished 
me b}' Horace Chase, who had the original and only record in 
the city: Whole number of arrivals, 358, of which 297 were 
sail vessels of all classes and sixty-one were steamboats, viz. : 
James Madison, Pennsylvania, Peninsula, Detroit, Michigan, 
Columbus, Thomas Jefferson, Bunker Hill, United States, 
DeWitt Clinton, Constellation, Constitution, Cleveland and 
Monroe, which altogether inade us sixty-one visits during the 

*See map. 


season, the Madison being the first, May 28, and the last in 
the fall, leaving November 9. This list exceeds in number 
that of 1836, showing that if the coujitry did not improve 
very rapidly they kept the vessels moving. 

The first vessel to arrive was the schooner Thomas Jeffer- 
son, from Chicago, March 27, and the last one to leave was 
the Oregon, December 8. 

The whole number of arrivals in 1835 was fifty-two, fifty of 
which were sail vessels and two were steamboats, viz. : The 
United States, which came, as before stated, June 17, and 
the Michigan, July 16. The first vessel was the Westward 
Ho, March 30. 


Men Noted rok. their Peculiar Traits or Character or 

FOR THEIR Personal Appearance. 

Otis Hubbard. 

This man was noted for his profanitj', in which vice he 
certainly surpassed all the men I ever knew. He was a very 
smart man and could, when he would, be a perfect gentle- 
man; but when his passion was roused he would go through 
the streets for hours pouring forth such a torrent of blasphemy 
as was awful to hear. The boys would stand in silence until 
he had passed; even the dogs gave him the sidewalk, and 
men who made no pretensions to godliness would flee his 
presence. These fits of passion would sometimes last for a 
week. Many thought him insane. He has been dead for 
many years. 

William Baumcartner. 

This man was noted for his personal ugliness. Short in 
stature, with an immense head and face, flat, short, thick 
ears and a mouth that, when open, would have fooled a 
king-fisher or a sand martin. But his chief deformity was 
his eyes, these organs being like those of the trilobite, placed 


nearly in the side of his head, and in addition to all this he 
was cross-eyed. He properljf belonged to the olitic period 
when monsters were the rule. The only way to approach him 
unseen wat to come directly in front of him. He was, with- 
out exception, the worst looking human being that it was ever 
my fortune to see. His very presence caused a chill wherever 
he went and no child could be induced to approach him. 
Even strange dogs eyed him askance. Where he came from 
or where he went to I never knew; he disappeared in 1838. 

TmoiHY WoonEN. 

This man was noted for his laziness, in which he surpassed 
all the white men in Wisconsin. He was of medium height, 
heavy moulded; walked with a half-swinging gait with his 
head moving from side to side, much as does the ox. He 
would eat anything that came in his way, but would not work 
if he could help it. The last time I ever saw Tim was at 
Mequon, forty years ago, where he had a claim. It was a 
matter of necessit}' for him to keep in advance of civilization, 
as in a city like this he would have been run over every day. 
No man that ever lived in Milwaukee was the victim of more 
tricks by the wild young men of 1836 than Tim Wooden 
except Hoosier John, and I very much doubt if as much cal- 
omel as the}' gave John would have had any effect upon him. 
It might have rolled him over, but it certainly would not have 
drove him up. When he got planted in a comfortable posi- 
tion nothing short of gunpowder or nitro-glycerine would 
ever have started him. Poor Tim I he died of cholera in 

HoosiER John. 

Hoosier John, as he was called, was a curious specimen of 
humanit}'. He was one of those waifs, so to speak, often 
found floating around the frontier, that like Melchisedec, 
would seem to have had neither father or mother. He had 
arms of great length, feet of an immense size, and a head 


soggy enough for a supervisor; he was also slow of speech 
and movement, except upon the occasion referred to, when 
his movements were quick enough. 

Some of the boys had given him thirty-six grains of 
calomel, "unbeknownst to him," as the Irishman would say, 
one-half of which would have killed any common man, the 
operation of which created quite a sensation in his immediate 
vicinity. The joke of it was in his not knowing that he had 
taken anything, and that when asked what was the matter, 
replied that he had an overflow of the gall. Well, I think 
he had, and a bad one. He left in the spring of 1838, the 
country having got too thickly settled for him. 

Joseph Revais, or Crowing Joe. 

There was another curious mortal, a Frenchman, called 
Crowing Joe, whom many of the old settlers will remember 
for the singular propensity he had of crowing in imitation of 
chanticleer. This at last became such a nuisance that he was 
arrested and brought up before the police justice, but as no 
law was in existence which would prevent a man from playing 
rooster if he wished to, he was, of course, discharged, and 
when told that he was free, he immediately gave such an 
exhibition of his powers as to fairly shake the windows, which 
was replied to by every cock within hearing. He was a 
worthless vagabond and disappeared long ago. 

Nathaniel C. Prentiss. 

This man came to Milwaukee from Rochester, N. Y. , in 
1836, and at once became noted as a builder and contractor. 

In person he was of medium height, thick set, large head, 
brown hair, coarse and shaggy, dark eyes, a voice that could 
be heard half a block, rough and harsh, its tones resembling 
the subdued growling of a dog more than anything else, and 
a mouth that, when open, resembled the entrance to Mam- 
moth Cave. For profanity no man in the army of Flanders 
could have surpassed him, and in lying he was the compeer 


of Cad}'. His word was as good as his bond, and that was a 
thing no man wanted, unless he wished for a keepsake to 
remember the giver by. His hegira from Rochester is said to 
have occurred between two days on account of the number of 
these same keepsakes, the constant reminder that the holders 
of them gave him being too much for so sensitive a nature as 
his to endure. The first impression his blustering way of 
talking would give to a stranger was that of fear of his 
prowess, but a further acquaintance would dispel all that. 
He was the biggest coward in the place; any boy twelve 3'ears 
old could make him run like a scared hound. The cognomen 
by which he was best known was "Old b}' Jesus." But 
with all these imperfections he was one of the best mechanics 
that ever came to this cit}'. He left many years ago, the 
place getting altogether too civilized for him, going to St. 
Paul, Minnesota, where, after running pretty much such a 
career as he did here, death came and took him over the 

01'" MILWAUKEE. 197 



Its Opening — Outlook — List o£ Those Who Came — Improvements — Dous- 
man Builds his Warehouse at the foot of East Water street — Election 
of Trustees — Appointments by the Governor — Newspaper Warfare — 
Convention at Prairie Village — Its Amusing Incidents — Election — 
Other Conventions — Bill for Uniting the Two Wards — Its Results — 
Tax Levy — Census — Removal of the Indians — Opening of Road to 
Madison by Government — Light House Built — Eli Bates, Keeper — 
Toads — Bull Baiting — County Expenses — Vessel List — Close of Year — 
Biographical Sketches of Joseph Shuney, Te-pa-kee-nee-nee (n/ias 
Capt. Morgan), O-not-sah, his son Kow-o-set, and Mrs. Solomon 

The outlook at the opening of navigation in 1838 was much 
brighter than in 1837. The great financial cloud which had 
covered the country was broken, and the sun of prosperity 
began to shine once more upon the western shore of Lake 
Michigan. People began to take courage. The hard winter 
was past, and a new lease of life seemed to have come to all, 
and unusual cheerfulness and vivacity of spirit was exhibited 
throughout the whole community; hope in the ultimate suc- 
cess of the young hamlet grew stronger, causing all to feel 
sure that the night of commercial disaster was past, and the 
dawn of the morning of prosperity had come. Everyone was 
at work; new buildings were commenced in all the different 
parts of the city, immigrants began to flock in, new farms 
were opened here and there by the hardy sons of toil, who 
quickly made the wilderness to blossom like the rose, all of 
which helped to make the country self-sustaining. Roads 
were opened west and south, new locations for town sites 
were selected, to the building up of which the owners put 
forth ail their energies, each claiming for his particular loca- 
tion advantages superior to any possessed by the others; and 
all was bright and fair. 

Among those who came this 3'ear was Judge A. G. Miller, 
His Excellency Gov. Harrison Ludington, Lewis Ludington, 


Harvey Birchard, Nelson Ludington, Tully H. Smith, T. 
Mower, Wm. Clemens, Wm. Coates, H. W. Chubbuck, 
J. and G. Sercomb, J. Turton, Joseph and Lindsay Ward, 
Clark Shepardson, Lotan H. Lane, Benjamin Ackley, Ackley 
Carter, Caleb Harrison, Sr. , Caleb Harrison, Jr., R. L. 
Edwards, D. S. Ordway, Abram Vliet, Wallace W. Graham, 
Geo. H. Chase, A. N. Phelps, John Vliet, Wm. and Jasper 

Vliet, Warren S. Churchill, J. M. Warren, T. Boyd, 

Field, Carpenter Albert Jones, A. Schofield, L. W. 

Ryckman, J. Larkin, Geo. Q. Pomeroy, L. P. Crarey, 
Jared Thompson, Jr., Hayden M. and William B. Thompson, 
Plummer Brownell, Thomas Boyd, J. B. Hart, H. W. 
Blanchard, Silas Brown, Geo. G. Dousman, Seth Reed, 
Charles J. Lynde, and no doubt there were many others 
whose names are unknown. 

Harrison Ludington. 

This gentleman was born at Kent (now Ludington), Putnam 
count}', N. Y., Jul)' 30, 1812, came to Milwaukee November 
3, 1838, as a merchant, and in company with Lewis Luding- 
ton and Harvey Birchard opened a store in Juneau's old 
warehouse, northwest corner of East Water and Wisconsin 
streets, with his brother Nelson as clerk. As merchants this 
firm at once took a high position, their open and honest mode 
of dealing soon making them not only prominent and popular 
but veiy successful, until in a short time their store was the 
largest in the citj'. 

After being in business for several years this firm was dis- 
solved, Mr. Birchard retiring, Messrs. Lewis, Harrison and 
Nelson Ludington becoming sole proprietors, who continued 
the business until May i, 1848, when Nelson retired and 
James Ludington became a partner, the new firm entering 
into the lumbering business also, which they prosecuted for 
several years with great success, when the business was 
closed up, and the firm dissolved, the subject of this sketch 



entering into co-partnership with D. Wells, Jr., and A. G. 
Van Schaick, in Chicago, in the lumbering business, the pros- 
ecution of which has made them all very wealthy. 

In person, Gov. Ludington is of medium height; heavilj' 
built ; very nervous temperament, with a strong, powerful 
voice ; speaks loud and quick, particularly when excited ; is 
courteous and dignified in manners, and affable to everj' one, 
if not thwarted, when he can and will say no I with a bluff- 
ness that has procured for him the sobriquet of Bluff Hal. 

Mr. Ludington has been much in office, as alderman, 
counselor, mayor and was Wisconsin's centennial governor. 
He is, in political faith, an uncompromising Republican, and 
like Morgan L. Burdick, votes the way he shoots, never 
turning to the right or left, and will do nothing for an}' one 
that he does not believe to be right, or appoint a man to 
office that is incompetent or unworthy. 

He is also very fond of blooded stock, in the raising of 
which he has been very successful upon his splendid Wau- 
watosa farm, in the cultivation and adornment of which, like 
his competitor, Mr. Wells, he gives his personal attention ; 
and, like him, spares neither time nor monej' to make it the 
banner farm in the countrj'. As a member of the State Agri- 
cultural Society he has also been both prominent and useful 
from its formation to date, spending his time and money 
freely to promote its interests and make each annual exhibit 
not only a success but to make it surpass, if possible, all pre- 
vious ones. 

He is also a prominent and worth}' member of the Pioneer 
Association, to the presidency of which he has had the honor 
to be three times elected. He is one of Milwaukee's solid 
and best men, and one her citizens as well as those of the 
state delight to honor. 

This year also witnessed the erection of Mr. G. D. Dous- 
an's warehouse, at the foot of East Water street, the sills for 
which were laid January ist, and the building occupied Ma}' 
I St. This was a famous warehouse in its day, it having the 


honor to receive and ship the first cargo of wheat that ever 
left the cit3', viz: the one shipped in 1841, and will be more 
fully spoken of hereafter. 

George D. Dousman. 

This gentleman came in 1835 from Mackinac, and was from 
his arrival, one of the prominent men of Milwaukee. He 
built the second warehouse, and was the first warehouseman 
after Horace Chase, which business he followed for man}- 
years : 

In person he was of medium height, dark hair, blue e3'es, 
spoke in a sharp commanding tone of voice, with a slight 
Frencli accent, his mother tongue, was very particular about 
his business, doing whatever came to his hand thoroughly 
and in order; no cob-house work would pass inspection b\' 
him. He was much in public office, as Count}' Treasurer, 
Town Trustee, and other places of honor and trust, and it 
can be said of him, truthfull)', that all moneys which came 
into his hands, as a public officer, were honestly and fulh' 
accounted for, which cannot he said of some of his success- 

His last \ears were spent upon his farm in Wauwatosa, 
having retired from business, from where he came into 
the cit3' almost dailj' to get the news and see his old friends, 
whose name was legion, with whom he was always welcome. 
He died upon his Wauwatosa farm, March 15, 1879, and 
was buried in Forest I-iome. 

E,n ri-siniic: At the election of trustees this j'ear two tickets 
were put in nomination, viz: the Frazier and anti-Frazier 
party, one party disliking the course of Judge Frazier, which 
was ver^' arbitrary. The following is the vote : 


S. Juneau, 134 votes; D. Wells, Jr., 135 votes; Wm. A. Prentiss, 128 
votes; Wm. Brown, 129 votes ; Geo. D. Dousman, 130 votes. 



A. W. Hatch, 40 votes; John Gale, 34 votes; Geo. Bowman, 35 votes; 
J. S. Rockwell, 40 votes; Wm. B. Sheldon, 34 votes. 

It appears by this vote, that the course of Judge Frazier 
was not endorsed by the people. He was a bad egg, Judge 
Wm. C. Frazier. 

The roster for this year, for the East Side, stood as 
follows : 

Trustees, Solomon Juneau, D. Wells, Jr., Wm. A. Prentiss, Geo. D. 
Dousman and William Brown ; President, Wm. A. Prentiss ; Treasurer, 
Albert Fowler ; Assessors, Henry Miller, Henry Williams, and Henry 
S. Hosmer ; Surveyor and Engineer, B. H. Edgerton, Esq.; Marshal, 
Geo. Mclntyre ; Collector, Geo. S. Vail ; Clerk, Horatio N. Wells. 

The West Side elected as Trustees, Byron Kilbourn, H. 
M. Hubbard, P. G. Leland, F. A. Wingfield and D. H. 

The officers of the Canal Board were B. Kilbourn, Presi- 
dent; F. A. Wingfield, Secretary and Solicitor; Chancy H. 
Peake, Treasurer, and I. A. Lapham, Engineer. 

The following appointments were made by the Governor 
this year : 

For Justice of Milwaukee, Wm. A. Prentiss. 

Joshua Hathaway was appointed Public Administrator of 
Milwaukee County, in place of C. H. Larkin, removed, and 
William Brown, Inspector of Provisions. 

The first session (special) of the legislature assembly for 
1838 was also held at Burlington, commencing June ii and 
adjourned June 25. 

The Fur Flies. 

There was a split in the Democratic ranks at the convention 
held at the village of Prairieville on February 26, that came 
near ending in a free fight. 

The author well remembers this convention and its amusing 
incidents. Never was Dr. L. W. Weeks so excited as upon 



that occasion. He placed himself upon the old Turtle 
Mound* where, with all the strength of his powerful voice as 
well as the eloquence he was master of, he endeavored to con- 
vince the dear people that their only salvation was in placing 
themselves upon that pre-historic base at his side, he contin- 
uing to exclaim, "All that love their country come up here! 
All that love their country zouxe: u-p h-e-r-e!! H-e-r-e is the 
only place of s-a-f-e-t-y! " While at his left, standing upon 
the head of a barrel, was Dr. T. J. Noyes blowing for the 
other side, the gas escaping from him at a fearful rate. This, 
together with his immense weight, was too much for the 
barrel, it going down with a shock that made the doctor's 
head snap. At the same time Levi Blossom, from the top of 
a sleigh, was endeavoring to make the dear people understand 
why things were thusly, when, right in the middle of one of 
his loftiest flights of eloquence, Capt. J. Sherwood gave the 
board upon which he was standing a tilt that sent Levi to the 
ground, spoiling his speech and plans. The. noise and con- 
fusion for a short time was equal to a camp meeting and 
more like one than an orderly' convention. The scenes of 
that day are vivid and fresh in my mind as though made yes- 
terday. Prairie Village was a noted place for the politicians 
of those days. They always went out there to work off their 
superfluous gas, there being more room on the prairies than 
in Milwaukee. 

At the election, however, March 6, the following were 

Commissioners, Wm. A. Prentiss, H. C. Skinner and John Richards: 
Assessor, Wra. R. Longstreet; Treasurer, Geo. D. Dousman; Coroner, 
Charles Leland; Constables for the town of Milwaukee, Geo. S. Vail, 
James H. Wheelock, Geo. S. Wright and I. T. Brown. — Practically the 
same old crowd. 

A Strong effort had been made for several months to have a 
new deal this year, as the following articles, published in the 

*The famous Turtle Mound mentioned in Lapham's Antiquities of 


Sentinel of February 20, 1838, will show, and to defeat this 
ticket nominated at Prairieville in particular; but it was not 
successful. The men referred to as blowing their own trum- 
pets were elected, or at least some of them, the county being 
Democratic then as well as now. But let the articles speak 
for themselves: 

Mr. Editor: — The election of county commissioners and other county 
officers will take place one week from Monday next and its importance 
should call out every voter in the county. The office of county commis- 
sioner has now become one of great importance, requiring men of ability 
and integrity. The commissioners will have the control of all money col- 
lected in the county, the location of roads and bridges, as well as the 
appointing of several town officers. It is therefore, we repeat, of the 
utmost importance that we select competent men to guard our interests; 
men of correct principles; men who will regard the interests of the people 
as of more value than the favor of designing politicians; men who will not 
ben4 the knee to gratify the wishes of any set of men at the sacrifice of 
the interest of the county. Such men we can and shall elect if the voters 
will turn out, and come to the polls, notwithstanding the deception that is 
now being practiced by a faction who are determined to rule the count)^ at 
whatever hazard. 

Let the people come out on the day of election, and the overthrow of 
these self-constituted oracles will be as complete in the county as it has 
been in the town. 

Secret meetings have been held by a few office seekers in town, and nom- 
inations made for county officers, and these self-nominated men,* panting 
for office, are now riding through the country, endeavoring to gull the peo- 
ple into the belief that they are the voice of the people of Milwaukee. 
We first heard of them at Prairie Village, and since at several other places 
on their way west, where they were loud in their professions of regard for 
the people — the dear people. They don't want office. O no, they merely 
suffer themselves to run because the people wish it so. This is for what 
they are trumpeting their own praise. None other than themselves are 
competent for the task; therefore they are going it at their now expense. 
Lord save the county from the tender mercies of such benevolence! 

John Gale wishes us to say that the constitution of the 
Frazier party was abandoned some time since, and that they, 

♦Meaning D, Well, Jr., Wm. A. Prentiss, Wm. Brown, Wm. Payne, and 
Wm. N. Gardner. 


as a party, are no longer known by that name. If that is so, 
we wish they would display their new colors, then, so that we 
may know what to call them, for we still find them acting 
together. * 

Party spirit ran rampant in 1838, but the election held 
September 10, resulted in sending Daniel Wells, Jr., and 
Wm. A. Prentiss to the Council; Augustus Storj', Ezekiel 
Churchill, Wm. Shew, Lucius I. Barber and Henry C. Skin- 
ner, to the House of Representatives; and F. B. Otis, for 
Commissioner; J. Y. Watson, Assessor; G. D. Dousman, 
Treasurer, and Henry Miller, Coroner. 

The hostile feelings between the two sections was abated 
somewhat this year, both Juneau and Kilbourn having 
become satisfied that its continuance would work irreparable 
injury to the interests of the young city, and a better feeling 
began to show itself between the inhabitants of both sides, 
as well as between the respective chiefs; the South Side 
being left out in the cold, both the East and West combining 
agamst it. This feeling resulted in uniting in a memorial to 
the legislature, asking for a charter or bill to consolidate the 
two sides under one head, to be hereafter known as the East 
and West wards, of the town of Milwaukee, which was 
granted; the first election under it, as will be seen further on, 
being held May ist, 1839, and all subsequent ones on the first 
Monday in January of each year. 

This consolidation, it was hoped, would in a measure, if 
not wholly, eradicate the feeling of hostilitj' existing between 
the two sections, by bringing the leaders as well as the peo- 
ple more together, causing them to feel that their interests 
were one, at the same time it made the machinery of govern- 
ment less cumbersome; which hope was in a measure realized, 
but not wholly. The question of bridges, then in its inception. 

*The party here referred to, was, I presume, that afterwards known as 
the Calathumpians, the fundamental principles of which were first 
explained by John Gale. If he was correct, then the party is certainly not 
dead, but holds the balance of power to-day, and always will. 


was soon to become a new casus belli, in which both sides 
acted the fool in turn. Neither would give up, and neither 
alone could prevail. 

The trustees of the East Side, voted September 15, to 
levy a tax of five mills upon all real estate, and two and a 
half mills upon all personal property for improvements. The 
people also voted to borrow 1 15, 000 for public use, eighty 
votes being cast for, and none against, it being the first 
loan ever made by the town. The following is the advertise- 



Whereas, by an act of the Council and House of Representatives of the 
Territory of Wisconsin, approved January 3d, 1838, the President and 
Trustees of the Town of Milwaukee, are authorized to call a meeting of 
the qualified voters of said town, for the purpose of deciding by ballot on 
the propriety and expediency of authorizing the President and Trustees 
to borrow a sum of money, not exceeding Twenty Thousand Dollars, on 
the credit of said Town, to be expended in making streets, and such other 
improvements as the interests of said town may require. 

Therefore, Notice is hereby given to the qualified voters of the Town 
of Milwaukee, that a meeting will be holden at the "Milwaukee House" on 
Saturday, the loth day of March next, at two o'clock in the afternoon, for 
the purpose of deciding by ballot, on the expediency of authorizing the 
President and Trustees to borrow on the credit of said town, a sum of 
money not exceeding Fifteen Thousand Dollars, to be expended for the 
purposes mentioned aforesaid. The Polls will be opened at two o'clock 
r. M., and close at five o'clock p. m. on said day. 

By order of the Board of Trustees. 

H. N. Wells, Clfrk. Pi-esident. 

Milwaukee, February 20, 1838. 

At the same time the trustees of the town of Milwaukee, 
upon the West Side, levied a tax of twenty cents upon each 
one hundred dollars valuation, upon all the property within 
the town. The ordinance authorizing this levy, was signed by 
James H. Rogers, as president, and J. H. Tweedy, as secretary; 


why, I cannot tell, as the names of these gentlemen do not 
appear upon the roster for that year. Neither was signed, 
pro iem. 

The census of 1836 gives the population of the then 
Milwaukee county, which included what is now Jefferson, 
Washington and Dodge counties, at 2,802. It is now (1838) 
7,230, being a gain of 150 per cent, in less than two years. 
Of this number Milwaukee county, as now constituted, has 
3,681, while Racine county, including the new counties 
attached to her for judicial purposes, has 3,550, being 131 less 
than Milwaukee county alone. Brown county, in 1836, had 
2,706 and in 1838, 2,497, being an increase of 241 in two years. 

Such' was, it seems, the population of what is now Wis- 
consin and Iowa in 1838. 

These facts are stated for reference merely. 

Removal of the Indians. 

Among other notable things done this year was the removal 
of the Indians west of the Mississippi river, which occurred 
in the month of June. They were collected at the old Indian 
fields, near the Layton House, where they were fed at the 
expense of the government until preparations could be made, 
teams procured and supplies collected in compliance with the 
treaty made at Chicago in 1833. The contract was given to 
Jacques Vieau, Jr., who was compelled to press into service 
every available team in the county in order to accomplish 
their removal. 

This removal cleared the countr}' of all the Pottawatomies 
and Menomonees with the exception of the Shawano band 
and a few who, on account of inter-marriage with the Creole 
French, were permitted to remain at Theresa, Horicon and 
other places along Rock river, leading the wandering nomad 
life they so much love. These are now, however, mostly 
gone and an Indian of the Menomonee or Pottowatomie race 
is rarely seen in the streets of Milwaukee — the beautiful land 
their fathers loved so well. 


I often think of those Bedouins of the west, all doomed to 
pass away, and the manly forms and smiling faces of Saukie 
Par-a-moo, Kow-o-sett and others whom I saw daily, in 1837, 
often rise up before me and are plainly seen in memory's eye, 
all of whom have gone to the happy hunting grounds long 
ago, they being old men in 1838. Peace to their memory.* 

Dr. Lemuel W. Weeks. 

This gentleman was born at Hardwick, Vt. , November 18, 
1806, came to Milwaukee July 5, 1836. In person he was tall 
and commanding, heavily built; walked with long and regular 
strides; was of a nervous temperament; spoke short and 
quick; was a firm friend if a friend; had strong likes and 
dislikes; was very fond of making money and as fond of 
spending it. 

Dr. Weeks was one of our most industrious men and 
during his life was a real estate speculator, a builder, a wheat 
operator, a merchant, an insurance man, a farmer and a 

The writer of this sketch owes his start in life to Dr. 
Weeks; neither can he ever forget the many acts of kindness 
he received from him in the long ago. 

He died at Summit, Waukesha county. May 6, 1884, and 
was buried at Forest Home. But the memory of his stalwart 
form will live with the pioneers until the last of the band 
shall have joined him in the better land. We shall never see 
his like again. 

Dr. Thomas J. Noyes. 

This gentleman came to Milwaukee in 1836 from Franklin, 
N. H., and at once became prominent in politics as well as 
eminent in his profession. In person he was rather above 
the medium height, stoutly built, weighed 220 pounds and 

*I find it stated in Vol. XI, State Historical Publications, page 222, by 
Andrew J. Vieau, Sr., that the Indians were removed from Milwaukee to 
Kansas in 1837, This is an error; this removal was in 1838. I remember 
the circumstance perfectly as I was one of those selected to go, but did not. 


was exceedingly fine looking; his hair, which he wore rather 
long, was quite dark; he had dark eyes, a very small hand, of 
which he was somewhat vain, and a fine voice; he spoke 
quick and distinct. Very few men have ever lived in Mil- 
waukee that possessed as fine a physique as did Dr. T. J. 
Noyes. His love for mischief was unbounded, no opening 
for which ever escaped his watchful eye. In political faith 
he was a Jeffersonian Democrat and, as before stated, took 
an active part in politics. The doctor was Justice of the 
Peace for several years, the duties of which he performed 
faithfully and fearlessly (which could not be truthfully said of 
some of his compeers). He died while on the way to Cali- 
fornia in 1852. I remember him well. Peace to his memory. 

Joseph Shuney or Shaunier. 

This man of whom so much has been said was, like Jean 
Baptiste LeTendree, a courier du bois. He was about five 
feet and ten inches in height, heavy moulded, large features, 
spoke sharp and quick, always carried a smile upon his frank, 
open countenance, was strictly honest and trusty, had been 
upon the frontier for forty years and wintered, as before 
stated, upon the island in the Third ward, corner of East 
Water . and Menomonee streets, in 1816, snow four feet in 
depth on the level. He often spoke of that winter as being 
remarkable for its continued cold. Large quantities of quail, 
prairie hens, deer and wild turkey were frozen, as well as 
many of the Indians. 

Could this man have been educated he would have, no 
doubt, attained a high position among men, as nature had 
been lavish of her gifts in his organization. He was the first 
village or city marshal, in which office he was both efficient 
and useful, and was killed, while in office, in the attempt to 
stop a runaway horse belonging to Allen W. Hatch in Decem- 
ber, 1848. He left a wife and family, some of whom are yet 
living in the city. 

of milwaukee. 209 

Tee-pa-kee-nee-nee (English, Man of the Night). 

This Indian, a full blooded Menomonee, known among the 
whites as Capt. Morgan, was a remarkable man. He was of 
medium height, weighed about 140 pounds, with a face thin 
and sharp, Roman nose, eye like an eagle and was the 
only Indian I ever saw who would speak English, which he 
spoke fluently, having learned it at the old fort at Portage, 
where he spent his time when a boy. He was a great 
favorite with the officers, particularly Capt. Morgan, hence 
the name. He was much in Milwaukee (not going to Council 
Bluffs) from 1836 to his death, which I think occurred in 1842 
of typhoid fever. He was buried somewhere in the First 
ward, where I cannot now remember. 

Manj' of the old settlers will remember him as the white 
man's friend, which he certainly was; and his funeral was 
attended by many of the whites. He was a famous hunter 
and would often come up the river standing upon the gun- 
wales of his canoe, which would be filled with muskrats, 
ducks and fish, his spear held lightl}' in his hand, scanning 
the river for pickerel, which could be plainly seen at that 
early day as they lay upon its bottom, from which he would 
bring them with his spear, a sight that will never be witnessed 
again in Milwaukee. The day for that has passed away. 

O-NOT-SAH (French, LaFarrinee; English, The Flour). 

This man, a noted Menomonee chief, was at least 100 years 
old when the whites first came. He was the great-uncle of 
Mrs. Solomon Juneau upon her mother's side. The writer 
will never forget the last time he saw this aged warrior, which 
was at the farm of Jacques Vieau, Jr., in May, 1838. He was 
totally blind. Some of the family had helped the old man 
out of the house and seated him upon a bench in the warm 
sun. He was perfectly nude, except his breech-cloth, and 
two young squaws were amusing themselves in tickling him 
with straws, he thinking it was flies. The coal black eyes of 



these Indian belles were glistening like beads at the futile 
efforts of the old chief to rid himself of his imaginary tor- 
mentors. Their fun, however, was soon terminated by the 
appearance of Vieau upon the scene, causing them to flee to 
the woods. A playful smile stole over the old chieftain's 
wrinkled visage at the sound of Vieau' s voice, as it at once 
made him aware of the kind of flies he had been fighting. 
He seemed to enjoy the joke hugely. He went to Council 
Bluffs that year, where he subsequently died, aged 112 years.* 

He was the head war-chief of the Milwaukee band, and 
was when too old, succeeded by his son, Kow-o-sett, or Kow- 
o-sott, who was the acting chief when the whites came, and 
who died at Theresa, Dodge county, in August, 1847. 

For this information I am under obligations to the late 
Narcisse Juneau, of Topeka, Kansas. 

Mrs. SoloiMon Juneau. 

This lady was of mixed French and Indian blood, being 
what is termed a quarter breed. She was the daughter of 
Jacques Vieau, Sr. , a French trader before spoken of as com- 
ing here first with John Baptiste Mirandeau, in 1795. Mr. 
Vieau was of that pioneer race who over-ran this county in 
the seventeenth century; a contemporary of LeFrambois, 
LeClerc, Robedeau, DeLanglade and others, the companions 
and associates of the Jesuit Fathers. 

*This is the same chief of whom mention is made in Vol. V, State His- 
torical Publications, page 290, by Grignon, also in Vol. XI, page 219, by 
Andrew J. Vieau, Sr., and by Antoine Le Claire, ih., page 239, as Onau- 
ge-sa, and as being a brother of Mrs. Joseph Le Roy, and consequently a 
grand-uncle to Mrs. Solomon Juneau. He is also called by Mr. Andrew 
Vieau in his sketch, page 227, Poh-quay-gee-gon (bread). It now, however, 
appears by the statement of Peter J. Vieau, a brother of Andrew, made to 
the writer April 14, i88g, which statement is confirmed by Mrs. Harriet 
Juneau Fox, now living in Milwaukee, that O-nat-e-sah and O-nau-ge-sa 
were one and the same person, and that consequently O-nau-ge-sa's death 
and burial did not come off as described by Wheeler in his chronicles of 
Milwaukee upon the bluif of the lake, at the head of Wisconsin street in 
1820, or as stated by Le Clair in 1807, as O-not-e-sah, (alias O-nau-ge-sa) 
certainly did accompany his band to Council Bluffs in 1838, where he after- 
wards died as stated above, some twelve years later. 



Mrs. Solomom Juneau. 


In person, Mrs. Juneau was tall and stout, clear complex- 
ion, showing the Indian blood very little, and was, like all 
her race, very reticent, particularly in the presence of the 
whites. She was among women what her husband was 
among men, one of the noblest works of God. Honest and 
true; a fitting wife for the noble hearted man, with whom she 
lived so long, and to whom she bore sixteen children, one of 
which, the second daughter, Mrs. Harriet Juneau White, is 
yet living in this cit)'. 

Many of the first settlers were indebted to this brave- 
hearted child of nature, for she was truly one of that class, 
for their personal safety, more than once, in 1835, when the 
Indians were anxious to destroy them, which they certainly 
would have done upon one occasion, had she not interfered 
to protect them, at which time she stood guard over the 
whites all the night long. 

She was the grand-niece of LaFarrinee, the old Menomo- 
nee king, who died at Council Bluffs as before stated. Mrs. 
Juneau died in November, 1855, at Milwaukee. 

Old Gunpowder. 

Pre-eminent among the Nimrods of 1838-39 and even up to 
1844, was our distinguished fellow citizen. Dr. E. B. Wol- 
cott; and in fact, no man has ever lived in the citj' who 
surpassed him, either in love for, or whose hunting expedi- 
tions were crowned with better success than were his. The 
report of his trusty rifle announcing the death of some unlucky 
deer, turkey or wolf, could be heard almost daily in those 
early years; and the last wild turkey killed in the county, as 
far as known, fell by his hand in the winter of 1839, near the 
present hospital in the First Ward. But deer hunting was his 
favorite sport. 

The doctor owned at that time a very celebrated horse 
called Gunpowder; why thus called I do not know. In color 
he was a light bay and at least thirty years old when first 
brought to the city; knee-sprung, spavined and ring-boned 


throughout his entire underpinning; but notwithstanding all 
these imperfections he was the best hunter in the west and 
the doctor seldom or ever went out for deer without him. 
When a deer was once sighted and brought within range 
Gun Powder would erect his head, upon the top of which the 
doctor would rest his rifle, the old veteran standing like a 
statue while the game was shot in this novel way from the 
saddle. The doctor would then dismount, fasten the game, 
if a deer, to the old horse's tail with a rope or a strip of bark 
if no rope was at hand, after which he would remount and 
start for home. It was a common occurrence in the winter 
of 1838-39 to see him trotting up Wisconsin street in this 
manner, with a deer dragging behind him in the snow. 

But at last there came a time when Gunpowder could 
hunt no more on account of old age and infirmities; but for 
him there was no rest, his last days being spent in a water 
cart. It was a sad sight to see the old veteran, who in his 
youth must have been a very Bucephalus, condemned in his 
old age to the ignominy of a water cart. But such was the 
end of old Gunpowder. 


This year witnessed the opening of a road to Madison, a 
government appropriation having been made for that purpose. 
Several of the streets, Spring street among the number, were 
also improved; Wisconsin street was also graded in part and 
a lighthouse built at the head of the street, James H. and 
Jacob M. Rogers being the contractors; this was the first 
government money spent in Milwaukee; with the completion 
of this and the installation of Eli Bates as a keeper, at a 
salary of J300, the season came to a close; the last boat took 
her farewell of Milwaukee; winter again came, and 1838, like 
its predecessor 1837, was soon numbered with the past. 

214 pioneer history 

The Boys Visit Eli. 
Mention was made and a humorous sketch given of this 
visit and its results in the previous edition, page 151, which 
was republished and illustrated va Vol. II, page i6g (where in 
order of date it more properly belongs) and has consequently 
been omitted in this edition. 


There was an extraordinary display of batrachians or small 
toads in the month of August, 1838. 

There had been no rain for at least four weeks, in conse- 
quence of which everything was dry and dusty, and during 
this drought I saw East Water from its foot to Detroit 
street literally alive with young toads, not larger than a 
dime. They covered the whole street as thick as the grass- 
hoppers on the prairies. The show lasted for an hour when 
they all disappeared as mysteriously as they came. 

This I consider the more singular, as toads are not plenti- 
ful in Wisconsin. Where they came from, and where they 
went to, no one could tell. This singular display was wit- 
nessed by many others. Will some Cuvier explain this? 

This same phenomena was witnessed in 1836. 


A laughable incident occurred this year upon the South 
Side, which I will relate: 

I lived in the summer of 1838 with D. S. Hollister, who, 
although a deacon, was as fond of a joke as I was; but on 
this particular occasion he got the worst of it. 

Some drovers, who came up from Illinois with cattle had 
left a bull on the South Side which they could not sell, who 
roamed around at will, taking in for his circut the towns of 
Lake, Greenfield, and Wauwatosa also. He came along one 
evening to the old ferry at the Point, and intimated in some 
way to the Deacon that he would like to cross to the East 
Side. This seemed to be an opening for rome fun, and the 


■deacon went in, drove the gentleman on to the boat and 
pulled out to the middle of the river, where he stopped the 
boat, and attempted to make him go the balance of the 
way by water, or in other words, tried to make him jump 
overboard. This he not only refused to do, but he quickly 
hoisted the deacon into the river, eyed him for a few 
moments as he came up from the bottom, gave a snort, and 
swam ashore, where, in plain bovine, unabridged, he inti- 
mated to the deacon that he would be happy to see him a few 
moments upon the land, on business. The deacon however, 
declined, thinking the safest place for him was in the river. 
Taurus was finally persuaded to go away, and the deacon 
allowed to come ashore, a wetter if not a wiser man. 

The discomfiture of the deacon inade the boys laugh for a 
long time. 

Vessel Arrivals. 

The whole number of arrivals this year, were 260; of which 
141 were vessels and iig steam-boats. The names of the 
boats are as follows: 

Jefferson, Pennsylvania, Madison, DeWitt Clinton, New 
England, Michigan, Columbus, Constellation, United States, 
Rhode Island, Anthony Wayne, Illinois, G. W. Dole, Marcy, 
Erie, Taylor, Buffalo and Constitution. The first was the 
Pennsylvania, April 26, and the last, the Madison, No- 
vember 21. 

The first vessel arrival this year was the schooner Jefferson, 
from Chicago, March 30; and the last to leave, the Western 
Trader, November 30. 


The following statement of the receipts and expenditures 
for the county of Milwaukee, and the counties thereunto 
attached, for the year 1836, '37 and '38, and up to and includ- 
ing January 12, 1839, will not be deemed out of place in this 
history, as showing the small amount of expenditures at that 
time, compared with the present: 


Statement of the expenditures and receipts of the county of Milwaukee 
and the counties thereunto attached for the years 1836, 1837, 1838 and 
up to and including January 12, 1839. 

Amount of orders drawn on the Treasurer by the Board of Su- 
pervisors, previous to the first Monday of April, A. D. 1838, 
when the Board of County Commissioners was organized. . . $5,359 32 

Amount of demands against the county which accrued previous 
to the organization of the Board of County Commissioners 
and which have been allowed by said Board 1,782 81 

Making the county debt which accrued previous to April, 1838. $7,142 13 
Amount of expenses which have accrued since April, 1838, for 
the support of paupers, elections. District Court, Commis- 
sioners and Clerk's services, assessment of property, collec- 
tion of taxes, Treasurer, District Attorney and Sheriff's 
services and for books and stationery for Commissioners, 
Treasurer and Register's offices up to and including January 
12, 1839 2,215 54 

S9.357 67 

Fi'om which deduct amount of orders on Treasurer 
drawn by the late Board of Supervisors and can- 
celed in the settlement with Henry Miller, former 

Treasurer of the county, April, 1838 $2,939 84 

Amount received for licenses during past year 435 00 

Amount received for fines during past year 27 50 

Amount received for jury fees in District Court 

during past year 24 00 

Amount received from A. J. Vieau on tax of 1837. . 82 19 

Amount received on delinquent returns of the tax 

of 1837 157 67 

Amount received on tax list of 1838 4,234 23 

7, goo 43 

Leaves this amount of orders outstanding against the county. . $1,457 24 
From this amount deduct cash in hands of Treasurer, January 

II, 1839 221 76 

Making the county debt, January 12, 1839 $1,235 ' 


Comity Coiumissioiicrs. 
Milwaukee, January 12, 1839. 




Improved Appearance of the City at its Opening — List of Names — Bridge 
War Inaugurated — Improvements — Settlers' Meeting — Conventions — 
Opening of the Milwaukee and Rock River Canal, Ceremony of — 
Author Goes to Jefferson — Life at Jefferson — Bee Hunting — Indians — 
Allen's Leap — Author Returns to Milwaukee — Dueling — Pioneer 
Banking — Arrival of Germans — Vessel Arrivals. 

At the opening of navigation this year a marked improve- 
ment was visible all over Milwaukee. The previous winter 
had been unusually cold and snowy; but the spring was 

And to behold 
The woods and fields that through the wintry months 
Had worn their snowy garb so cold and white 
Put on anew their suits of emarald green 
With flower and leaflet glancing in the light; 
To hear the soft wind o'er the hills and vales 
Once more career, drying the dampened earth. 
While feathered songsters filled the balmy air 
With notes of joyful praise, so round and clear; 
To God, from morn to eve, was joy supreme to hear. 

Money also, that lever which moves the world, began to 
circulate once more quite freely and labor could not be pro- 
cured for store pay wholly,* as was the case in 1837 and 1838. 
Building went on quite extensively. Docks were built, 
streets graded and new stores opened; confidence in the 
future was greatly strengthened; the people worked willingly 
and everything went with a rush. 

*The custom of paying in orders upon the store was almost universal 
from 1837 to 1840 and to a large extent up to 1843, as the writer well 
remembers. There was very little or no money in the country from 1837 
to 1839, except wild cat, and in order to make what little there was go as 
far as possible the plan of paying at the store was adopted and managed as 
follows: A wants to build a house; B contracts to do the work; C, who has 
a store, makes B an offer of twenty per cent, off if he will pay his men in 
orders at his store, often adding this twenty per cent, to the already ruinous 
price charged for the goods, which, of course, all came out of the work- 



The Milwaukee and Rock river canal was opened in due 
form, the ceremony of which will be spoken of more at 
length further on. 

This year also witnessed the commencement of the bridge 
war (a bill for the erection of one at Chestnut street having 
been passed by the legislature the previous winter), which 
continued with more or less fighting until 1845, when the last 
great battle was fought between tne East and West Sides, 
after which peace once more spread her white mantle over 
the city. 

This year brought us Hon. Alex. Mitchell, whose history 
..ill be found further on, Haskell Whcelock, L. J. Farwell, 

Linas R. Cad3', J. A. Warren, L. B. Potter, L. L. Gridley, 
William Bonniwell, Geo. Bonniwell, Harmon Sanderson, 
Henry Crawford, B. K. Miller, J. M. Miller, Galbraith Miller, 
Daniel W. Fowler, Leverett T. Rice, Ransom Rice, Romanzo 
B. Rice, Thomas H. Brown, Giles A. Waite, Daniel Waite, 
Rufus Cheney, Jr. (biographical), Solon Johnson, Dea. Moses 
Ordway and no doubt many others now forgotten. 

men. This would enable a laboring man to carry his week's wages home 
in a market basket on Saturday night and the basket not very well filled at 
that. At the same time it enabled the merchant to get his full price for his 
goods in money and the contractor a large percentage also upon his men. 
Under this system the writer worked for D. S. HoUister, in 1838, for twelve 
dollars per month and paid fifteen dollars for a pair of pants, working one 
and one-fourth months to earn them. It is easy to see that such a state of 
affairs would quickly clothe a man in rags and keep him so. 


RuFus Cheney, Jr. 

This gentleman was born at Martinsburg, Sciota county, 
Ohio, July 4, 1817; came to Milwaukee September 3, 1839, 
from Wheelersburg, Ohio; settled first in Milwaukee, after- 
wards removed to Whitewater, and became a merchant, 
where he remained for several years; he finally removed to 
Evanston, where he now resides, but has always claimed to 
be a Badger. 

In person he is short and somewhat corpulent, of a genial 
temperament, fond of company, tells a good story and is, in 
fact, one of the most companionable men in the state. He 
has always taken an active part in the political issues of the 
day and was an uncompromising Whig until the death of 
Lincoln when he became, from some unaccountable reason, a 
firm friend of Andy Johnson and his monarchical style of 
government, going with the lamented James, called Doolittle. 

At the opening of the Rebellion he was commissioned as 
paymaster, with the rank of Major, which position he held 
until failing health compelled him to resign. He has a high 
sense of mercantile honor and always kept his word. 

Uncle Rufus, as he is called, has reached the autumn of 
life and is in the enjoyment of a competency of this world's 
goods, honestly earned, which he uses wisely and well. He 
is in every respect a first class man. 

The two wards were united this year under one head, 
a bill for which had passed the previous winter, its object 
being to bring about peace between the rival towns. But 
there was no peace. 

The first election under the Act of Consolidation was in 
May, and resulted as follows: 

Trustees, East Side — Elisha Starr, President; W. A. Pren- 
tiss, Lindsey Ward, W. N. Gardner and B. H. Edgerton. 
Trustees, West Side — D. H. Richards, Chancey H. Peak, 
J. Hustis, W. M. Mayhew and H. M. Hubbard. Clerk, J. 
E. Arnold. 


Joseph Shaunier was appointed marshal, his duties con- 
sisting in not only looking after things generally, the town 
bull* included, but he was the health officer also, and was, in 
fact, the man of all work, attending faithfully to every duty. 
The city may have had a more competent, but it certainly never 
had a more faithful officer since its foundations were laid, 
than was the old courier du bois, Joseph Shaunier. 

The directors of the canal company were Byron Kilbourn, 
J. S. Rockwell, James H. Rogers, W. R. Longstreet, S. D. 
Cowles and Garrett Vliet. President, B. Kilbourn; Secretary 
and Solicitor, F. A. Wingfield; Engineer, I. A. Lapham; 
Treasurer, C. H. Peake. 


The following is the call, issued July 19, for a meeting on 
the 27th, to elect delegates to the county convention; 


The electors of the county of -Milwaukee are desired to meet in their 
several towns at the usual places of township meetings, on Saturday, the 
27th inst., at two o'clock p. m.. to choose delegates to a convention, to be 
holden at Prairie Village, at the house of James Buckner, on Monday, the 
29th inst., at two o'clock p. M., for the purpose of nominating suitable 
candidates for the several county offices, to be filled at the coming election. 

This campaign like that of 1838 was a hotly contested one. 
The election was held the first Monday in August, and 
resulted in re-electing practicall}' the same old crowd, to-wit: 

Collectors, S. W. Dunbar; Assembly, Ray, Longstreet, H. N. 'Wells and 
Augustus Story; Council, William A Prentiss and Daniel Wells, Jr: 

There was also a fourth session of the second legislature 
held at Madison, August 3, and adjourned August 12, sitting 
for eleven days. 

This year was also memorable for the celebration had at 
Kilbourntown, on the Fourth of Jul}', when the act of break- 
ing ground, as it is called, for the opening of Mr. Kilbourn' s 

*The corporation at that time owned the bull. 


famous Rock river canal, a charter for which had been 
granted the previous year, accompanied by a grant of lands 
from the general government, was performed, with grand and 
imposing ceremonies; the orator of the day being the Hon. 
John Hustis. 

When the eventful day came a procession under Marshal 
L. H. Cotton, was formed at Chestnut street, corner of Third, 
headed by a brass band, from whence they marched to the 
place selected, which was upon the triangular piece of ground 
lying east of Third street and south of Cherry street. When 
the precise spot had been selected, upon which the incision 
was to be made, Mr. Kilbourn at once placed himself upon 
it; his first assistant spade holder and chief barro7U nite, Felix 
McCauley, an Italian from Cork, standing just fornnist him, 
his eagle eye steadily fixed upon his chief, anxiously awaiting 
the order to begin. 

The implement first selected with which to perform this 
important ceremony, was a common grain scoop; wh}', I 
cannot say, unless considered emblematic of the grain that it 
was expected would pass over or be carried through the con- 
templated canal in the coming years; but so it was. 

When at last the auspicious moment arrived, Kilbourn, in 
anticipation of the severity of the labor to be performed, 
divested himself of his coat, standing before the assembled 
multitude, the very personification of a sinewy son of toil, 
seized the treacherous scoop, placed its point upon the virgin 
soil, so soon to become historic, placed his foot upon its heel, 
and like the Indian upon the lake bluff, so graphically des- 
cribed by the poet, Egbert Herring Smith, in his epic, 

"He took a good look at the village and town, 

With its thousands of houses and people, 
And cast his bold eye up and down, 

O'er many a mansion and steeple," 

gave the fatal thrust and all was over, i. e., with that scoop, it 
doubling up like a piece of tin. The look of mingled disa- 
pointment, mortification, rage and disgust which came over 


the face of Mr. Kilbourn, at this faux pas, I shall never forget 
while life remains. He threw the treacherous and disabled 
scoop upon the ground with an exclamation that sounded like 
profanity. His assistant, however, quickly placed in his 
trembling hands a tool suitable for the work, with which the 
ground was at once broken, the barrow filled with earth, 
wheeled off, and deposited at the spot selected; after which 
the procession was re-formed, marched to the old American, 
corner of Third and West Water streets, then kept by James 
Ward, where a dinner suitable for the occasion had been pro- 
vided, of which the crowd partook, and at which toasts were 
given with champagne, speeches made, and all was lovely. 

To discuss the merits or demerits of Mr. Kilbourn' s canal 
scheme, or the benefits the city would have derived from its 
construction, is not the province of this little book. Its his- 
tory is fully recorded in Smith's History of Wisconsin, where 
the curious reader can examine it at his leisure. It is sufficient 
for the author's purpose to say in this connection, that after 
that portion extending from the foot of Cold Spring avenue 
to the dam, (all that was ever constructed) serving as a water 
power for some thirty-five )'ears, during which there was 
more or less litigation between the company (or these who 
claimed to be) and their lessees, the whole plant passed, as 
the late President Cleveland would probably have expressed 
it, into a state of innocuous desuetude, (^as a water power) 
in which condition it came into the possession of the dvty, 
who have filled it up and christened it Commerce steet, sic 

The Author at Jefferson. 

This year being considered a good time to branch out in 
business, the Messrs. Corbin concluded to open a store in the 
country and selected Jefferson as the place. I was accordingly 
sent out there with a small stock to make the trial; but the 
place was yet too small, there being but three buildings in it, 
Enoch Darling's, in whose house my goods were, P. Rogan's 


and William Sanborn's.* This store was the first one opened 
in Jefferson. It was abandoned however, in the fall. 

Doctor Lucius I. Barber, A. J. Lansing, R. Currier, 
Charles Allen (from Lancaster, N. H.), and a Mr. William 
Ball, were all the young or unmarried men at that time in 

The journey from Milwaukee to Jefferson was made on 
foot, and the sufferings on account of heat and thirst during 
a part of it, were the severest that I have ever endured in my 
life. The weather was extremely hot; no rain had fallen for 
a long time, consequently there was, besides the heat, plent)' 
of dust. Between Silver Lake, in Waukesha county, and 
Johnson's Creek, sixteen miles, lay a heavy belt of timber 
through which ran the road, cut out the previous year by 
government, four rods wide, into which the sun sent its 
burning rays, heating it like a furnace. 

This miniature Sahara I entered at 3 o'clock p. ,m. and 
imtil 7 o'clock p. m., at which time I reached the creek, my 
sufferings were awful. So badly was my tongue swollen and 
my throat parched with thirst that I was unable to speak, 
and ni)' face was covered with blood from the bites of the 

My appearance frightened Mrs. Johnson at first, but by 
pointing to my mouth she quickly understood what was 
wanted, seized a pail, ran for the spring and soon placed in 
my eager hands the life-giving water, a good draught of 
which soon enabled me to speak. I have been through some 
dry places in my life, having been on the short allowance of 
one quart of water per day for two months at a time beneath 
the burning equator, but my sufferings during that time, 
although severe, were nothing compared with that July after- 
noon. I often think of that journey at this late daj', and 
although fifty years have passed since then, the recollection 
of it is as vivid as though made yesterday. 

*The notice of the death of this man was in the Milwaukee Sentinel of 
April 26, 1876, aged 75 years. He was one of the early and prominent 
men in Jefferson. 


There are two important incidents with which I have been 
connected and in which I feel a just pride. The first was being 
one to help ship the first cargo of wheat that ever left Mil- 
waukee, which I did in connection with Lotan H. Lane, 
Duncan C. Reed, William Howard, George G. Dousman and 
Capt. Josiah Sherwood. This is the cargo spoken of by the 
Hon. E. D. Holton in his speech at the organization of the 
Milwaukee Board of Trade in 1858. This wheat was shipped 
in 1841 from the old Dousman warehouse at the foot of East 
Water street on the schooner Illinois, Capt. Jonas Pickering. 
The vessel was owned at Oswego. 

The other incident was the opening of the first store in 
Jefferson, previously mentioned. 

Bee Hunting. 

Trade was, of course, dull and much of our time was spent 
in amusements, among which was bee hunting and in which 
there occurred many amusing scenes, one of which I will 

This Mr. William Ball before spoken of was a noted bee 
hunter and would find from one to three swarms per day and 
at night we would all turn out and take them up; fifty-two 
swarms were taken up by us upon the town site alone. 
Honej' was plenty with us; st> were stings. The place of 
advance guard, to stop the door and prevent the bees from 
escaping after their home was down, was not always a sine- 
cure. Many a prod would we get while performing this dut)' 
from the plucky little warriors; but it was fun this bee hunting 
and we kept at it. 

Coon hunting was also good, i. c, coons were plent}', and 
for this business we had a large pack of dogs. These dogs 
would alwa3's accompan}" us in our forays upon the bees. 
The}' soon learned the difference between a coon and a honey 
bee; and although always ready to go in when the tree fell, 
they were always as read}' to get out and refresh themselves 
in the river, for which they usuall}' ran after the first round 


with the bees. But at length our pack was increased b}' the 
addition of a pointer purp that, Hke some of his two legged 
brethren, put on a great many airs which, out of charity or 
pity for his inexperience, were all overlooked. His first lesson 
was with a young coon which he finally killed after a hard 
fight; and from that time forth his vanit}' and self-conceit was 
very great until he met with the following disaster, which cut 
him to the heart, ending in his total disgrace for life, and 
occurred as follows: 

Mr. Ball had found a swarm in an immense white oak 
nearly four feet in diameter, where, from all indications, he 
expected to find a large amount of hone}' and, of course, we 
all turned out to get it. While the men were felling the tree 
this "purp" sat upon the ground watching things very 
attentively. He had hung out his shingle as a full-fledged 
coon dog and his eye said plainly: "Just you wait until that 
tree falls and you will see something." And we did. When 
it fell he rushed in with the rest after the coon. The old dogs 
were soon on their way to the river covered with bees, but as 
this was his first case after being admitted to the bar he, 
unfortunately for himself, remained and while sniffing around 
after that coon the bees took an unfair advantage and came 
Marcy's game on him. 

One of the enraged little warriors went for one end of him 
(not the one he barked with) and the fun commenced. Down 
came his cord-like narrative with a snap like a coach whip 
and with a yelp that would have won him the chieftainship of 
a band of Arapahoes he sprang into the air and quickly dis- 
appeared from view at a speed which, if kept up, would have 
carried him into Lake Michigan in two hours and we saw no 
more of him until the following day, when his appearance 
indicated that he had enjoyed an exciting day and a sleepless 
night. The gas was all out of him and from that time on he 
was as modest a dog as you could wish to see. I think if 
there were any church for dogs he would have joined. He 
quit the coon and bee hunting business, took down his 



shingle, Stayed in nights and, in fact, became in his habits a 
very Puritan — all the result of one little sting! 

This, as I stated, was in 1839, yet the scene often recurs to 
my mind. It should have been witnessed, however, to be 
fully appreciated. 

Thought ihf, Indians H.mi Hni. 

Another amusing incident in which Allen, before mentioned, 
took an active part occurred that summer at Jefferson, which 
I will relate. 

This man Allen, who was from Lancaster, N. H., was a 
rollicking, noisy gas machine, always blowing his horn and 
boasting what he had performed in the old Granite State in 
the way of bear and Indian fights and was, in fact, a nuisance 
generallj'. The boys, not taking much stock in his war record, 
made up their minds that the first time an opportunity offered 
they would put it to the test. It soon came. 

Some fifty Winnebagoes came down the river and camped 
upon the point at the confluence of the Rock and Crawfish 
rivers (just across the Rock river), opposite the settlement. Of 
course they soon managed to get some whisk}' and were tear- 
ing around as only Indians can when drunk. Allen, Lansing, 
Currier, Ball the bee hunter and myself all slept in the 
chamber of Sanborn's new house, which was reached by a 
pair of box stairs and upon the floor at the head of these 
stairs stood eight or ten kegs and half-kegs of nails. One 
night after Allen, who had been gassing all day, had got fast 
asleep, Ball crept down stairs, went behind the house and 
gave a war-whoop that, had it been delivered through a four 
foot tin horn would have split it from end to end. It fairly 
shook the house. Allen, frightened nearly to death, thinking, 
probably, that all the redskins east of the Rocky Mountains 
were after him, sprang up, gave one unearthly screech and 
leaped right down the stairway, pulling down upon himself 
the contents of two partly filled kegs of nails, making a noise 
like an old saw mill running against time. The smash 


brought us all to our feet, a light was procured and Allen 
rescued from his bed of shingle nails; and such a frightened 
mortal I never saw before as he was; but when he came to 
understand the trick that had been played upon him his 
wrath found vent in language more expressive than classic, a 
qualification in which he excelled, and would, whenever the 
matter was spoken of afterwards, swear like the arm}' in 
Flanders. He never heard the last of it though while I 
remained in Jefferson. 

The following are some of the improvements made this 
year: Upon the South Side, D. S. Hollister commenced and 
finished a large warehouse, at the foot of Barclay street, the 
timber for which had been framed by Lee and Thurston, upon 
the East Side, in 1836; U. B. Smith built the old Clinton 
House }'et standing upon No. 132 Clinton street; John 
McCoUom built a blacksmith shop near him; Benjamim Ack- 
ley and Ackley Carter, a store where J. Burnham's block now 
stands, or near there; Richard Hadley, a shoe shop upon the 
old point, at what is now 123 Clinton. D. S. Hollister also 
erected the house that summer, where Mrs. Col. Jacobs now 
lives, and I think a small frame dwelling was erected at corner 
of Sixth avenue and Elizabeth, but this I am not quite cer- 
tain; all of which gave to the South Side a healthy look, 
notwithstanding the cloud upon their title, before spoken of, 
showing that the natural advantages were largely in their 
favor, and the prediction of its founders, that there was to be 
the future Milwaukee, bid fair to be be realized. 

Upon the East Side, Henry Williams erected an additional 
frame dwelling upon Mason street, adjoining his first, then 
called Williamsburg, and J. McNeil also built a third one upon 
the southwest corner of Mason and Van Buren; old house yet 
standing upon Van Buren. Clark Shepardson put up his 
famous blacksmith shop where the New Insurance building 
now stands, upon Broadway, where the sound of the hammer 
upon his ringing anvil, could be heard daily as late as 1842. 
Two frames were erected where Pfister's block now stands; 


one or two upon Jefferson, south of Wisconsin, and there 
were also three or four small frames erected in the upper part 
of the present Seventh ward, one on Milwaukee, one on Jeff- 
erson, and I think, one upon Marshall and one upon Astor, 
but by whom built I have forgotten. Several small buildings 
were also erected upon Wisconsin, north side, by Mr. Juneau 
and others; two small frames upon East Water, between 
Michigan and Wisconsin, and three between Wisconsin and 
Mason, by whom, I cannot now remember, but I think John 
Gale built one, Balser one, and F. B. Otis one, which were 
all the improvements made as far as I recollect, upon the 
East Side in 1838, except the old house built at the mouth of 
the river, by Dea. Ogden, mention of which was made in his- 
tory of 1835, which was, as before stated, placed upon East 
Water street just north of the old Cottage Inn, between 
Huron and Michigan street in 1838, and used as a store. 

The West Side made some litte advance this year, two or 
three small frames being built upon Wells street, west of 
Second. Jacob M. Rogers built the small part of what after- 
wards became the residence of his brother, James H., upon 
Sixth street, between Sycamore and Clybourn, and a few 
were erected at Kilbourn Town, in the vicinity of Chestnut 
street, the exact location of which is now unknown. Mr. 
Vliet also erected a part of his old residence this year, which, 
as far as known, completes the buildings upon the West Side 
in 1838. If there were more their location is now forgotten. 


This year brought us also the first installment of immi- 
grants froin Germany and Norway — the advance guard of the 
countless thousands .that were to flock to our shores from all 
parts of the old world in search of new homes in this free 
land where labor is not only respected, but where a man's 
labor belongs to himself and not to a titled master. 

The effect of the arrival of these hardy sons of toil with 
their gold and silver, wherewith to purchase homes for them- 
selves and their childen in Wisconsin, was electric. 


The circulation of this gold and silver amongst the people 
was like the distribution of the staff of life among the starv- 
ing. It set their semi-stagnant blood in motion, and from that 
hour all doubts about the future were dissipated, confidence 
was again fully restored, and in Milwaukee the long, dark 
night of financial depression was over. 

Vessel Arrivals. 

Whole number of arrivals for this year was 266, of which 
75 were sail vessels, and 191 steamboats, viz: G. W. Dole, 
Columbus, Madison, Constellation, Illinois, New England, 
Thos Jefferson, Gen. Wayne, Pennsylvania, United States, 
Great Western, Chesapeake, DeWitt Clinton, Buffalo, 
Cleveland, Rochester, Com. Perry and C. C. Trowbridge. 
It will be readily seen that a great falling off had taken place 
in the last two years, in sailing vessels, their place being sup- 
plied by steamboats, which continued for the next eight 
years, when the side-wheelers reached their maximum, and the 
day of propellers began. The first boat was the Dole, from 
Chicago, April gth; the first from Buffalo was, as previously 
stated, the Columbus, April 30. The first vessel was the 
schooner General Thompson, from Chicago, March 6, and 
fhe last to leave was the schooner Celeste, December 8. 

Pioneer Banking Institution. 

The charter for the first bank in Wisconsin, notice for the 
organization of which is herewith appended, was obtained 
in 1836, at Belmont, subject, however, to the approval of 
Congress, before becoming valid. It was not a success, not 
being founded upon a rock; in fact, it is a matter of doubt, 
notwithstanding its numerous calls for installments, if its 
vaults ever contained any rocks, its directors being principally 
occupied as its history shows, in endeavoring, each for him- 
self,, to obtain possession of it; their meetings could in no 
sense be taken as an illustration of the happy family. It was 






a mushroom institution from the start, and after a short time, 
lingering along in this Kilkenny cat manner, it finally came to 
an end. 

Its history shows that some effort was made to get capital 
enough paid in to enable them to organize, three calls for 
installments having been made in one month, which, with the 
one in April, of forty per cent., would amount to seventy 
per cent, of the capital stock. How much of this was paid 
in the writer cannot say, but the bank never issued any bills. 
The following is a copy of the call for a meeting to oganize 
under the act for incorporation. 


Notice is hereby given, that in pursuance to the act, entitled "An act to 
in incorporate the stocl<holders of the Bank of Milwaukee," the books for 
receiving subscriptions for said stock, will be opened at the office of Rufus 
Parks, in Milwaukee, on the first Monday of June next, at ten o'clock, a. 
M., under the superintendence of the undersigned Commissioners, named 
in said act. 

Klikus Parks, George Bowman, 

Horace Chase, Jesse Rhodes, 

James Sanderson, Cyrus Hawlei', 

Gri-Es S. Brisbin, Solomon Juneau. 

Sylvester W. Dunbar. 
Dated, -April 13, 1837. 

The following is a copy of the proceedings at one of its 
last business meetings; 

At a meeting of the liosad of Directors of the Bank of Milwaukee, 
to-wit: A. B. Morton, H Larkin, James Sanderson, Geo. Bowman, Alan- 
son Sweet, and C. Hawley, held at the Banking House, on the igth day of 
February, 1838, the Board was called to order by Geo. Bowman, Presi- 
dent, /;'(' /c'//i. Whereupon 

Kc'sokvii, That the resolution passed on the day of December last, 

calling a meeting of the stockholders for an election of seven Directors, on 
the — inst., be and the same is hereby rescinded. 

Resolved, That Francis K. O'Farrell be, and he hereby is removed from 
the ofBce of Cashier of said Bank of Milwaukee. 

Kesok'vd, That Francis K. O'Farrell be required forthwith to give a 
bond to be approved by the Board, for the fathful performance of the 
duties of his office, as Fiscal Agent of said Bank. 


Kdsolvfil, That Francis K. O'Farrell, as Fiscal Agent of the Bank of 
Milwaukee, be required to lay before the Board of Directors of said Bank 
at their Banking House to-morrow morning at eleven o'clock, all books, 
papers, documents, funds, notes, etc., entrusted with him, belonging to 
said bank. 

Resohvd, That a call of forty per cent, be, and is hereby made on each 
share of the capital stock of said Bank, payable on the twenty-fourth day 
of April next, at the Banking House in Milwaukee. 


Pri'siiit'fit, pro h'ui. 

The Old Wisconsin Marine and Fire Insurance Company. 

This famous banking institution in which our people have 
so much pride was organized in 1839 by a special act under 
the control of commissioners appointed by the legislature, 
the first board consisting of D. Wells, Jr., Hans Crocker, 
Wm. Brown, Jr., Jas. H. Rogers, Allen W. Hatch, George 
Smith of Chicago, president, and Alex. Mitchell, secretary.* 
George Smith and Daniel Wells are now the only survivors of 
all those who took part in the organization of this compan}'. 

The following call for installments, the first one made after 
its organization, will show what a feeble institution it was 
when started: 

The stockholders of the Wisconsin Marine and Fire Insurance Company 
are informed that an assessment of ten dollars per share has been made, 
payable at the company's office. By order of the board, 


June 15, 1839. Scrrc'litiv. 

No private banking institution in the country has ever left 
such a record or become such a power in the land as has this, 
it being to Milwaukee as well as to the state what the house 
of Prime, Wood & King was to New York in 3'ears gone by. 

*The charter of this pioneer bank as first presented to the legislature 
was drafted by Daniel Wells, Jr., but such was the hositility then existing 
against all banks, particularly in the west, on account of that region having 
been flooded with the worthless bills of the Michigan "Wild Cat" Banks 
(then nearly all the currency in circulation), as to render it impossible to 
pass it as a bank of issue; but it issued bills all the same and it was well 
for the state that it did. 


furnishing a sound, metallic currency for the people, sufficient 
for all their wants, growing as the county grew, under the 
wise management of Mr. Mitchell, until it became the largest 
moneyed institution in the west. Its foundations were laid 
upon a rock. It was organized on May 7, 1839, and in the 
semi-centennial address of the bank issued to its patrons on 
May 7, 1889, I find the following: 

May 7, i88g. 

To the friends of tJie Wisconsin Marine and Fire Insurance Company Bank, 
Milwaukee : 
Greeting — Fifty years ago to-day the Wisconsin Marine and Fire 
Insurance Company was organized. On the minute book of the company 
we find a certificate by H. Crocl<er, A. W, Hatch, C. H. Peak, Samuel 
Brown, William Brown and James H. Rogers, commissioners, that 4052 
shares of stock had been subscribed and $2 per share paid in. On June 3, 
1839, we find the following entry; 


The financial cyclone of 1837 had swept away every bank in the north- 
west and with the most urgent need of a circulating medium there existed 
an intense prejudice against all banks. The charter of the company 
passed by the territorial legislature of Wisconsin authorized it to do an 
insurance business, receive deposits, issue certificates and lend money, but 
at the same time it provided that the company should not do a banking 

George Smith was president and Alexander Mitchell was secretary and 
their certificates of deposit, which looked like bank notes, a fac-simile of 
which will be found herein, circulated freely from the Missouri ri\'er to 
Detroit and as far south as Cincinnati; and although the amount at one 
time reached $1,470,235, with no security save the business integrity 
of Mr. Smith and Mr. Mitchell, every dollar presented was promptly 
redeemed in coin. 

The circulation of the "Wisconsin Marine" was first issued in i<S40 
and fluctuated as follows: 

March, 1840 $ 41,841 March, i84>i $ 372,452 

1S41 115.673 , " 1849 592,015 

1845 76,786 i " 1851 1,027,793 

1846 121,247 ' " i'~'52 1.044.934 

1847 241,629 Dec. 1852 1,470,235 

Although unsecured every dollar presented has been redeemed in gold. 
Its official status remained the same until 1853, when the company organ- 
ized under the banking law of Wisconsin, with Mr. Mitchell as president 
and Mr. David Ferguson as cashier, and continues to this day, i8go, as a 
state bank, with a capital of $500,000, the largest capital allowed to a. 
bank under the constitution of the state of Wisconsin. 

The fact that Mr. Mitchell did not live to see this anniversary casts a 
shadow over it. He died in New York on the afternoon of April 19, rSS6, 
and his only son, Mr. John L. Mitchell, was elected to take his place. Mr 
Smith still survives. Mr. David Ferguson, vice president, has been con- 
nected with the bank for forty-nine years; Mr. John Johnston, cashier, for 
thirty-three years; and Mr. Robert L. Jennings, assistant cashier, for 
twenty-five years; while Messrs. Caspar and Hoff, accountants, have been 
respectively twenty-six and fifteen years, and Mr. Bollow, first teller, 
twenty-two years. 

The annexed is a fac-simile somewhat mutilated of one of 
its bills. 






Alexander Mitchell, a brief sketch of whose business life 
has been given above, was born at Aberdeen, Scotland, 
October 17, 1817, came to Milwaukee, May 28, 1839, as scre- 
tary of the Wisconsin Marine and Fire Insurance Company 
then just organized, and at once commenced to lay the foun- 
dation for a life business, the growth of which has been 
wonderful. Mr. Mitchell, who for executive and financial 
ability, as well as integrity, had no superior west of New 
York, if he had there, at once took the lead of the banking 
business in the west, suppl)'ing the whole country with a 
currency equal to gold; and though often ran his bank 
never failed to pay or redeem its bills throughout all the 
commercial panics under which our coimtry has suffered for 
the last forty years. 




This famous bank was first opened in a small frame build- 
ing (see cut) belonging to Daniel Wells, Jr., standing at 
what is now 425 Broadway, Mr. Smith giving his personal 
attention to its management until the arrival of Mr. Mitchell, 
Ma}' 28,* when he was placed in charge, and where his life 
work can be said to have properl}' begun. Here the business 

*As it is not improbable that some future historian will notice the inter- 
val between the organization of this bank, May 7, and the arrival of Mr. 
Mitchell May 28, which is his record upon the books of the Pioneer 
Association, I will state that two meetings had already been held prior to 
May 7, at which all the preliminaries necessary to complete the organiza- 
tion were had while he was on his way here to take the official position to 
which he had been elected. 



was conducted until the spring of 1840, when he was joined 
by Mr. David Ferguson, and the office was removed to the 
north side of Wisconsin street, near the alley, (its present 
number would be 86 Wisconsin) into a small one-story frame, 
built by Mr. Juneau, where the business was continued until 
the summer of 1843, when such had been its growth as to 
necessitate a second removal which was made to the old 
Lowry mansion,* northwest corner of Broadway and Wis- 
consin street, where the Old Insurance Building now stands, 
in which a new and commodious office was fitted up, the 
writer working upon it. 

In this building the business was carried on until the spring 
of 1847, when a third removal was made to the southeast 
corner of East Water and Michigan streets, the old Juneau 
homestead, the north twenty feet of that lot having been 
purchased through Daniel Wells, Jr., in April, 1846, upon 
which a building (see cut) was erected, 60 feet in depth, into 

*As there has been some difference of opinion expressed in relation to the 
kind of a building the Lowry mansion was, some claiming that it was brick 
and others agreeing with the writer that it was a frame, I will state, that 
as I was one of the men who helped fit up that office for Mr. Mitchell I 
feel justified in stating that it was in the same frame building erected by 
Mr. Lowry in the summer of 1836. In this I am also confirmed by Mr. 
William Sivyer, who had the contract for constructing the vault, which he 
subsequently transferred to the late William Payne for a bonus of $10. 
Neither was there any brick building erected upon that corner prior to 
1847, if as early. This statement is also substantiated by Mr. Sivyer and 
Henry Buestrin. 



which the office was removed and where it remained until 
August 24, 1854,* when the whole square was destroyed bj' 
fire; so rapid was this fire that Mr. Mitchell's clerks had 
barely time to place the mone}' and effects of the bank in its 
securely built vault before the flames reached the building. 
This fire was barely extinguished before the ground was 
alive with men clearing away the debris, such was the energ}' 
of Mr. Mitchell, and Phcenix-Iike a new one quickl}' appeared 
(see cut), the business being conducted during the interval 

*The date given in Vol. II, page 134 and 242 for the date of this lire as 
the 17th was a misprint; it should have been the 24th in both cases. 



in the old Bell & McCrea office, corner of East Water and 
Huron streets, in which the business was continued until 
1857, when the adjoining forty feet on the south having 
been secured it was pulled down and the one known as the 
Dillingburg Block (see cut) — on account of that gentleman 
being its architect — with a fronting of sixty feet on East 
Water street and extending east to the alley erected in its 
place, where the business was continued until 1877, when the 
adjoining twenty feet on the south having been secured it was 
also pulled down and the present costlj' structure, Mr. 

Mitchell's Monument, erected upon its site, in which is a 
banking office superior to an)- of its size in the west. Such, 
in brief, is the history of this famous bank and banker. But 
it was not as a banker alone that Mr. Mitchell was prominent, 
he was also one of the most successful railroad presidents in 
the country, n;ver failing to accomplish whatever he under- 
took, as the success of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul 
railroad full}' demonstrates, it having become under his wise 
management ore of the most powerful corporations in the 
country', extending its long arms into Iowa, Minnesota and 
Illinois and is destined ultimately to extend its tracks to the 
Pacific ocean. 



Mitchell BriLiiiNc;. 




Mr. Mitchell's success was something truly wonderful. He 
was one of the most active men amongst us, never idle, but 
kept his vast wealth in motion and has done much to beautify 
and adorn Milwaukee. His name, in commercial circles, was 
a tower of strength; neither was there in his vocabulary any 
such word as fail. 

Mr. Mitchell has twice represented his district in congress 
with much ability, his knowledge of and experience in money 
matters being of great value in settling the financial issues 
of the day. He was also a prominent member of the Pioneer 
Association, taking a deep interest in its affairs and had a 
just pride in belonging to that early band who made the first 
marks and performed the pioneer work in this queen city of 
the lakes. 

In person he was of medium height, stoutly built, had a 
keen expressive eye, a voice clear and musical with the 
Scotch accent strong. He had few intimate friends, saw at a 
glance all that was being enacted around him, decided quick, 
read a man like a book and was seldom deceived. 


There has been no little dispute as to where the banking 
office in this building, erected in 1846 and burned in August, 
1854, was located, some claiming that it was on a level with 
the sidewalk with the entrance in the corner. The second 
and third stories being reached by an outside stairing, (as 
seen in its successor) while others, including the writer, insist 
that it was above the sidewalk and reached by a short stairway 
from the Michigan street front, unfortunately for a final settle- 
ment of this question, a print of the photograph of this first 
bank, taken by Henry S. Brown in 1847, cannot be found at 
this late day, rendering its re-construction by the author 
wholly a matter of memory. He does not claim that the cut 
here given is a fac-simile, but that it is as near so as it is pos- 
sible to make it; and in order to satisfy himself of the 
correctness of his own memory, he finally decided to consult 


a number of our citizens, who, from their prominence as 
business men as well as their known familiarit}- with this 
bank from having been its customers or otherwise, ought to 
give weight to their opinions as to its form, with the following 

To J. S. Biiik: 

The Mitchell Bank building built in 1846, and burned in August, 1854, 
on the corner of East Water and Michigan streets as I remember it, was a 
three-story and basement building with the entrance on Michigan street. 
The banking room was on the first floor and entered by a short stairway 
of about a half-dozen steps. The building was a plain one without any 
pretention to ornamention. Yours Trul)', 


My recollection of the Mitchell building fully agrees with Mr. Houghton. 


I fully concur with Mr. Houghton as to my recollection of Mr. 
Mitchell's bank building. DUNCAN C. REED. 

The Mitchell Bank built in 1846, was a plain, three-story building with 
Bank on first floor, entrance on Michigan street, about twenty-five feet 
from the corner, and about five or six steps above the sidewalk. 


My recollection of the Mitchell Bank building prior to the fire of 1854, 
accords with the statement of Mr. Houghton. W. J. LANGSON. 

My recollection fully accords with the within. A. W, SCHLEY. 

My recollection is the same as stated b}' Mr. Houghton. 


My recollection very nearly corresponds with Mr. Houghton's statement 


My recollection corresponds with that of Mr. Houghton. 


My recollection fully concurs with the above. 


My recollection fully accords with the testimony of the signers herein. 



1 think Geo. G. Houghton's statement is correct. 


My recollection very nearly corresponds with that of Mr. Houghton in 
regard to the Mitchell Bank building in 1846. H, R. BOND. 

My impressions concerning the Mitchell Bank building are the same as 
above. E. R. PERSONS. 

Of the Mitchell Bank building, my recollections correspond in every 
respect with Mr. Houghton's. HENRY BUESTRIN. 

My remembrance of the Mitchell Bank building is the same as the 

Are the memories of all these men at fault? / tlimk not. 





Opening of — Names of Those Known to Have Come — First Brick Block 
Erected — Other Buildings — Trustees Elected — Names of Canal Officers 
— Political — Convention at Hart's Mill Held in the Interest of the 
Canal Company — Sweet Joins Kilbourn — Convention at Prairie Village 
— Nominations — Election — That Love Feast — That Bridge — Fire 
Company Organized — Census — Arrival of the C. C. Trowbridge, 
Description of — That Ordinaiice — Barbecue, Description of — Peter 
Yate's Leap — Immersing an Irishman — The Shingle Maker Plays 
Circus — Its Result — Speeding an Immigrant — Unequaled Engineering 
— A Free Ride — The Old Settler's Club — Closing Remarks. 

The spring of 1840 opened with brightened skies; and 
notwithstanding the previous winter had been cold and 
snow}', the spring opened quite early. This the writer well 
remembers, he being engaged that winter from fall to spring 
in cutting wood above Lueddemann's upon the White Fish 
Ba}' road. 

Money had now become more plenty as compared with the 
four previous years, mostly silver, brought by the immigrants 
from Germany, Norway and Sweden, our foreign increase up 
to that time being principally from those kingdoms. The 
countrj' had also now become largely self-s>istaining; the best 
land had nearlj' all been taken for farms 

Where 'neath the sturdy yeoman's vigorous arm 

Daily the forest fell, those giant oaks, frotn acorn born. 

Whose annual rings told how a thousand years had come and gone 

Since first their tiny forms appeared from out the earth — 

In whose round, gnarled tops the bold war-like eagle had for ages 

Built her nest and reared her young in safety 

And 'gainst whose massive trunks the stormy winds 

Had spent their force in vain 

Were by the ax brought low with thundering crash. 

Letting upon the new-born field the sun's warm rays 

To quicken into life its virgin soil. 


Provisions of all kind were much cheaper than the previous 
year. Potatoes, that cost ^2.50 per bushel, by the vessel 
load, in 1837, brought from Ohio and Indiana, could now be 
procured at home for fifty cents. Pork, flour, and in fact all 
staples in the line of breadstuffs were cheap and plenty. 
Business commenced early; the sun of prosperity, whose first 
returning light came back in 1838 was now fully risen and 
steadily ascending up the sky, filling the hearts of the people 
with joy. 


Among those who are known to have come this year, are 
David Ferguson, F. W. Horn, Edward D. Holton, Charles 
A. Hastings, Alonzo L. Boynton, Ira E. Goodall, Russell N. 
Kimball, John L. Hathaway, Jesse M. Hubbard, Jacob L. 
Bean, Irving S. Bean, James T. Lewis, Plummer Brownell, 
Patrick Walsh, E. H. Saxe, Hiram Wheelock, Ira Wheelock, 
D. H. Wheelock, R. Gilbert and A. S. Anderson. 


This year witnessed the erection of the first brick block 
ever built in Milwaukee by the Anglo-Saxons. What the 
mound builders might have erected in their day, I cannot say, 
but that they made brick we certainly do know. I refer to 
the building erected by Hon. John Hustis, northwest corner 
of Third and Chestnut streets, taken down in 1&76 to make 
room for a larger one. This pioneer store was a famous one 
when built, but not up to the present standard. It was 40x50 
feet, three stories, and in it was held the first theater in 
Milwaukee. If its successor shall earn its owners as much 
money as has this one, it will be a lucky building. 

The second was built by C. C. Dewey, in the summer of 
1842, between Wisconsin and Michigan, now Nos. 373 to 377 
East Water street, upon the west side of the street (afterwards 
called Hiedies' block), William Sivyer, master mason. 


This was pulled down in 1872 and re-built. This was a 
famous block also, and our citizens had the pleasure of list- 
ening to Frank Johnson's famous brass band, (colored) from 
its roof in the fall of 1842. They gave us some splendid 

Charles J. Lynde also erected a small, two-story frame 
north-east corner of Jackson and Mason, afterwards the 
homestead of Hon. Wm. Pitt Lynde. 


The election this year resulted as follows: 

Tru.stees, West Ward; Henry M Hubbard, J. H. Roger.s, John Hustis 
I. .\. Lapham and D. H. Richards; East Ward, Elisha Starr, Geo. D 
Dousman, Henry Williams, Lindsey Ward and John S. Rockwell. Presi- 
dent, Henry M. Hubbard; Clerk, Wm. .\ Prentiss. 

The following were the officers of the canal company this 

President, B. Kilbourn, Engineer, I. A. Lapham; Secretary and Solici- 
tor, F. A Wingfield; Treasurer, C, H. Peak: Justice, West Side, J. P 
Pjowers; Collector, E. R. Collins. 

Appointment by the Governor for canal officers, were; 

For Commissioners, Geo. H. Walker; Register of Canal Lands, John 
Hustis; Receiver, J. H. Tweedy. 


The political atmosphere of Milwaukee county was this 
year filled with storms, It was like unto, and in fact was, 
a troubled sea. Tlie canal interest had now become a great 
element in the local politics of the day, and bid fair to 
become, if not checked, a hydra headed monster, that would 
ultimately swallow not only the canal lands, but the people 
upon them also. The municipal affairs of the young city 
had been controlled mostly, if not wholly, up to this time 
b3' Kilbourn and his party, and the people who were not in 
league with the canal company were looking anxiously for a 
change. A bridge was also to be built this 3'ear, that would 


help to swell the tax list materially, the opponents of which 
were both active and numerous. As the season passed away, 
bringing the time for holding the county election, the excite- 
ment became intensified. The outs wanted to get in and the 
ins wanted to stay in and did, neither could all the craft that 
the political wire pullers could bring to bear change it. 

A public meeting was held September 12 at Hart's Mill 
in the interest of the canal company, at which Alanson Sweet 
was chairman and Geo. Watson secretary, the Whigs holding 
one the same day at Prairie Village, at which J. Y. Watson 
was chairman and Levi Blossom secretary, neither making 
any nominations, at both of which the county commissioners 
were charged with the wasteful expenditures of the public 
moneys and complaints made of the unequal system of taxa- 
tion which threw the burden upon the towns. A change 
from the commissioner to the supervisor system was called 
for and various other complaints were made and changes 
asked for, all tending to increase the strong partisan feeling 
already existing. The usual call was made by the would-be 
ins for all to ignore party and come over to Macedonia and 
help, but it availed them not; the result was a Democratic 

At the conventions held at Prairie Village on the 19th the 
following tickets were put in the field by the two political 


For Members to the Couacil, Cephas L. Rockwood, Jonathan E. Arnold; 
for the House of Representatives, A. F. Pratt, Joseph Bond, James San- 
derson, Ohiey Harrington, Sylvester Pettibone; for County commissioner, 
James Y. Watson; for Collector, Horace Chase; for Assessors, Henry A. 
Hinkley, Cromwell Hills, J. B. Zander; for Treasurer, William Brown. 

For the Council, Don A. J. Upham, Jonathan E. Arnold; for the House 
of Representatives, Joseph Bond, James Sanderson, Alexander F. Pratt, 
William F. Shepherd, Russell R. Otis; for Collector, Horace Chase; for 
County Commissioner, William A. Barstow; for Assessors, William S. 
Trowbridge, Cromwell Hills, Andrew Schofield; foi Treasurer, George D. 



The following were elected: 

Council, J. E. Arnold, D. A. J. Upham; Assembly, John S. Rockwell, 
Joseph Bond, W. F. Shepherd and Adam E. Ray, for Milwaukee county. 


County Commissioner, Wm. A. Barstow; Collector, Horace Chase; 
Treasurer, G. D. Dousman; Assessors, Cromwell Hills, Ira Bidwell and 
Geo. Watson. 


For School Commissioners, Wm. Brown, Jr., and S. W. Dunbar; for 
Constables, J. Eggleston, E. Nauman and R. H. Bryant.* 

This was a very hotly contested election, as the writer well 
remembers, every conceivable mode being adopted by the 
wire pullers to hoodwink the dear people. This being the 
first election in which the Germans had participated, a great 
effort was made to secure their vote by both parties, the 
Democracy winning the daj'. 

Love Feast. 

This was the year when the celebrated meeting between 
Kilbourn and Sweet was held in the swamp below Chestnut 
street, called the Love Feast, where, seated upon a tamarack- 
log, these two old political enemies came to an understanding, 
smoked the pipe of peace, buried the hatchet and became 
politically the best of friends. It was, says an eye witness, 
an affecting scene. The day was the holy Sabbath, when 
things temporal are supposed to have been laid aside and 
men's thoughts fixed upon things spiritual. How interesting 
to a beholder must have been this meeting. Here, seated 
upon a mossy log, surrounded by the umbrageous tamarack, 
the tag alder, the arbor vitae and numerous other green things, 
animate and inanimate, to be found within the boundaries of 
that delectable place in those early days, their hostile feelings 
soothed bj' the syren song of the festive mosquito — here, 

*This legislature convened at Madison December 7, r84o, and adjourned 
February 19, 1841. The second session of this legislature convened 
December 6, 1841, and adjourned February ig, 1842. 


unseen, as they supposed, full confession of former sins was 
made, new pledges of fealty given on both sides, with mental 
reservation to break them at the first opportunity, and all was 

Colonel Walker used to sing a song commemorative of this 
event, but the author is unable at this late day to obtain a 
copy of it. 

The following mention of this meeting appeared in the 
Sentinel at the time: 


Alanson Sweet and Byron Kilbourn now work in the same yoke! After 
.seeking, by every means in their power to overthrow each other — after 
many unsuccessful attempts by each to get unlimited sway in the county 
— it was at last determined in a. Sabbath conclave in the "Tamarack 
Swamp," no more to turn the "screw" upon, or tell the truth of each other, 
but to embrace and go hand in hand and divide the spoils! Yes! "Dog 
eats dog" no longer! They heard the story of the Kilkenny cats, and they 
remembered the sequel! Has the union saved them? 

Probably no two men who ever lived in Milwaukee were 
more deadly enemies, politically, than were Sweet and Kil- 
bourn previous to this meeting. The quarrel arose in 
consequence of something Sweet had charged Kilbourn with, 
in connection with the canal and the bank charter, while Kil- 
bourn charged Sweet with betraying his constituents in the 
location of the capitol at Madison, the division of the county, 
etc. A bitter newspaper warfare was the result, several spicy 
articles being written upon both sides, in one of which allu- 
sion is made by Kilbourn to the fact that he held the screws 
upon Sweet, which he would turn on him unless he withdrew 
his charges as publicly as he had made them, which Sweet 
refused to do; therefore this meeting and reconciliation of 
these two deadly enemies which is said to have occurred just 
prior to the meeting at Hart's mill, at which Sweet pulled for 
the first time in the canal traces, causing no little astonish- 
ment in the community. 




That Bridge. 
The Sentinel of January 29, 1840, contained the following: 

By an advertisement in another column it will be seen that the county 
commissioners have advertised for proposals to build a bridge at Chestnut 
street as authorized at the last legislature. It is not our purpose at the 
present time to discuss the propriety of building this bridge at the expense 
of the county, as the tax-payers will doubtless pass judgment upon that 
matter whenever they shall graciously be allowed to do so by the commis- 
sioners. The commissioners will please to remember that they are not 
the creatures of the legislature but the servants of the people, under the 
general laws of the territory, and that no legislative enactment can compel 
them to levy a tax for a local improvement — it can only authorize them, 
and in this very law the people of the East ward are required to grade 
certain streets leading to the bridge. 

But suppose, for instance, as is very likely to happen, that the people of 
said ward should refuse to grade said streets, could they be compelled by 
the commissioners to do so? Certainly not. We hope they will act wisely 
in this matter and if we must have a bridge let it be as cheap a one as 

The following is the advertisement: 

Office of the Board of County Commissioners, 
Milwaukee, January 29, 1840. 

Sealed proposals will be received at this office until Saturday, the 8th 
day of February next, for furnishing all the materials for and the con- 
struction of a draw bridge across the Milwaukee river, in the town of 
Milwaukee, from the foot of Chestnut street on the west side to the foot of 
Division street on the east side thereof, agreeably to a plan and specifica- 
tions now on file, and which can be examined by calling on the Clerk of 
this Board. The contractor will be required to give good and sufficient 
security for the completion of the bridge on or before the first day of 
November next, and drafts on the Treasurer of the County will be given 
in payment for one half the amount in the course of the year 1840, and 
the remainder during the year 1841. 


County Conuiiissioiiei's. 

The author has inserted this article to show that the bridge 
was fought persistently by certain politicians from its incep- 
tion to its completion. 

The bridge was built by George Guile. 

of milwaukee. 251 

First Fire Company Organized. 

The first meeting for organizing a fire company was held at 
the Milwaukee House, February 14, 1840. 

Arrival of the Trowbridge. 

As opposition begets opposition and always will, so the 
foolish course adopted by the West Side in refusing to allow 
the Badger to land her freight or passengers upon the East 
Side, spoken of in the history of 1837, bore its legitimate 
fruit this year, the East Side purchasing a steamer, the C. C. 
Trowbridge, and from that time on were able to control the 
traffic of the river and, what was of more importance, they 
had the good sense to land the freight and passengers at any 
point desired. The advent of this boat took the wind out of 
the West Siders immensely, resulting in causing the hatchet 
to be buried in part, not wholly; but from this time forth 
their prestige was gone and the carrying of passengers to 
Kilbourntown, nolens volens, could be done no more. 

The C. C. Trowbridge was a famous boat in its day, having 
for its commanders Capt. Porter, an old sea captain, who 
came in her, Josiah Sherwood, Lotan H. Lane, William W. 
Caswell, Duncan C. Reed, Leister H. Cotton and others, 
with William Howard as engineer, all of whom, with the 
exception of Lane and Reed, are dead. 

When the harbor was opened, however, she went out of 
commission; her engine was placed in the planing mill of 
J. B. Smith upon West Water street, where it continued to 
work for many years. When the mill was pulled down the 
old engine again changed owners and is now doing duty in a 
mill in Pentwater, Michigan, having run longer and earned 
more money probably than any other engine in the country. 

To this boat also belongs the honor of helping ship the 
cargo of wheat spoken of in the history of 1839 as being the 
first one shipped from Milwaukee, which was done in the 
following manner: 


It was first put in bags, after which it was placed upon the 
Trowbridge, we carrying it aboard on our backs, taken out to 
the vessel, which lay outside, and emptied into the hold, a 
whole week being consumed in its shipment; and it was while 
engaged in putting the last load aboard the vessel that the 
steamer Milwaukee, spoken of in Wheeler's Chronicles as 
having been stolen out of Buffalo harbor on the 4th day of 
July, 1841, by Capt. L. H. Cotton and Duncan C. Reed, 
came into the bay, running at a speed of twenty miles an 
hour. She was built to run and she could run. 

In order to illustrate somewhat the hostile feelings existing 
between the East and West Sides in those early days, the 
author has concluded to print the following resolution, 
adopted by the board of trustees upon the West Side May 7, 

Resolved, That the president of the board of trustees of the town of 
Milwaukee, on the west side of the river, be and is hereby authorized to 
take a loan of Byron Kilbourn to the amount of $100 (one hundred dollars) 
for the purpose of furnishing and putting into order the harbor steamboat 
owned by said corporation, sometimes called by the name of Menomonee 
or Badger. And that in case said Kilbourn shall loan said corporation 
said sum of one hundred dollars, the board of trustees of said town hereby 
stipulate to run said boat to and from the lake, first touching on its upward 
trip at the wharf in front of Leland's Exchange, and then at such other 
points upon the west side as they may deem proper. But not in any case to 
touch on the east side of the river, nor to take load or passengers on or from 
the east side in her upward or downward trips at any time or under any 
circumstances during the year 1839. Said loan to be refunded with the 
first earnings of said boat. 

I hereby certify that the above is a true copy of a resolution passed 
May 7, 1839, by the president and trustees of the town of Milwaukee, 
upon the west side of the river, as appears on record. 


Clerk of Board of Trustees. 

This foolish act shows to what extent some men will go to 
gratify their selfish desires. But when a corporation gets so 
poor as to be compelled to borrow the munificent sum of one 
hundred dollars to fit out a steamboat, it is very evident that 


it is on its last legs. There is no record that the loan was 
accomplished; neither does the writer believe that Mr. 
Kilbourn ever was or ever would be a party to so small and 
contemptible an act as the above. 

That Barbecue. 

This year was also made memorable by the Whig celebration 
on account of the election of Wm. H. Harrison to the presi- 
dency, the call for which is as follows: 


A public celebration of the recent triumph of the Whigs of the Union, 
in the election of Wm. H. Harrison to the presidency and John Tyler to 
the vice-presidency, will be held at Milwaukee on Friday, the ist day of 
January next. 

An address prepared for the occasion will be delivered by J. E. Arnold, 
Esq., at the Court House at i o'clock p. m. and a plain, substantial dinner, 
with an ox roasted whole, with plenty of hard cider will be provided by 
Messrs. Greves & Meyers at the Milwaukee House at 5 o'clock p. m. 

The friends of Gen. Harrison throughout the territory are invited to 
attend and participate in the celebration of an event of so much import- 
ance to the wellbeing of our government and the general interest of the 
people of the Union. The following are the officers of the day: 

President, Wm. A. Prentiss; Vice Presidents, J. Y. Watson, James 
Clyman, Asa Kinney, J. Hustis, S. W. Dunbar, A. E. Elmore, C. Leland, 
Abner Rowe, A A. Story, W. R. Longstreet, H. Chase, M. Davenport and 
H. C. Benson; Marshal, L. H. Cotton; Committee on Toasts, J. H. Hustis, 
Wm. A. Prentiss and J. H. Tweedy; Committee on Arrangements, Maurice 
Pixley, Henry Williams and Lindsey Ward. 

Tickets to be had at the bar, seventy-five cents. Persons desiring tickets 
will please call a few days previous to January i. 

Milwaukee, December 15, 1839. 

It is needless to say that the boys had a good time on this 
occasion. The ox spoken of was roasted in the bank where 
Pfister's block stands, southeast corner of Wisconsin street 
and Broadway; but, alas, for the hungry Whigs! while they 
were soaking their toasts in champagne and such like liquids 
to make them soft, the crafty West Siders came and stole 
their ox, carried it to Kilbourntown and had one good square 


meal. This so enraged Mr. Pettibone, who furnished the ox, 
that in order to be revenged he got upon the table and walked 
its entire length, making children's crockery of half the delf 
upon it in less time than it would take a stuttering man to 
count six. 

The effect of this promenade upon the assembly was 
electric; Fred Wardner immediately ran out and slid down 
the hill to East Water street in a champagne basket and W. 
A. Webber, not to be outdone, rolled down in a hardware 
cask, and several others played circus to the great amuse- 
ment of all the little boys. 

The Whigs of Milwaukee were an unlucky set in those 
days; if they had anything to do they were pretty sure to do 
too much. 

' ' But we enjoyed those early days, 

When in our youth and prime; 
Those days when mischief was the rule, 
Those days of 'Auld Lang Syne' " 

Peter Yates' Leap. 

The bridge built this summer at Division street was after 
the following pattern: Its sides were formed of 3x10 joists 18 
feet long in the form of a lattice; the draw ran upon a railroad 
track opening in the center. This draw, however, soon prov- 
ing useless, on account of the impossibility of keeping it 
level, was taken out and one of the old "hoist up" pattern 
put in its place; and from the sides of this old draw was 
made the first floating bridge at Spring street in 1842, being 
the one mentioned in Wheeler's Chronicles as carried into 
the lake by the freshet. These latticed sides were laid 
directly upon the water and covered with plank, forming a 
sort of raft. Such was the first bridge at Spring street. It 
was at best a miserable affair and if a team was not hurried 
over it was pretty sure to sink from four to six inches under 
the water. 

Some amusing incidents occurred in connection with this 
bridge, one of which I will relate. 



As stated above it was little better than a raft and was, 
when the water was low, too long, and when high, too short; 
and in order to get ashore in the latter emergency a plank 
was used to piece it out, one end of which rested upon the 
bridge the other upon the bank. 

Several of the boys of that period living upon the East 
Side were wont to cross to the West Side and spend their 
evenings in the society of the thrifty West Siders in pursuit 
of knowledge and other things, among whom was our worthy 

An Unlocked For Bath. 

townsman the Hon. Peter Yates. Now Peter was not ignor- 
ant of the fact that the water was high and therefore the 
plank must be used in order to gain the shore in safety. But 
his stay upon the West Side on that eventful night lasted 
until the witching hour of twelve, when he essayed to return. 
Creeping carefully along the bridge he came in safety to the 
east end and commenced a search for that plank, but not 
finding it, the night being extremely dark, he finally con- 
cluded to jump to the shore and in order that sufficient 
momentum might be acquired to make the leap a success, he 


backed up as does the festive ram when upon the war path, 
made the leap and, "great Caesar's ghost!" instead of 
landing upon the bank he struck the water just clear of the 
bridge, went to the bottom, twelve feet, frightening the bull- 
heads from their quiet slumbers upon its oozy bed. He, 
however, came quickly to the surface, swam to the shore, 
crawled out and seated himself upon the ground, where he 
repeated the pirate's prayer "Now I lay me," "Twinkle, 
twinkle, little star" and several other soothing things not 
found in the Westminster Catechism, all calculated to quiet 
his mind, after which he got a lantern, found his hat and 
wended his way home, meditating upon the events of the 
night and thinking how curious it was that Spring street 
bridge had shrunk so much in four hours. The trouble with 
Peter was he backed up too far. 


The first bridge built at the foot of East Water street was 
in 1844. It was an immense float with a draw in the center, 
worked with a windlass and requiring nearly as much time 
and labor to open as do any three of the present ones, and, 
like its congener at Spring street, has a history. 

In the month of April, 1845, the old Putnam warehouse, 
formerly standing where the Marine block now does (burnt 
afterwards), was built, upon which James Magone, Wm. A. 
Tucker, myself and others were working, when the following 
amusing incidents occurred: 

Some Irishmen from New Berlin came into the city with 
wood which they disposed of upon the East Side, after which 
they filled up with benzine, alias whisky, and started for 
home. After getting upon the bridge one of them, probably 
thinking he had not got the place in the procession that his 
rank entitled him to, there being five of them and he the last 
or rear one, attempted to run past his companions, the result 
of which was that he was shoved into the river by his own 
team; the team, however, succeeded in passing the others 


and was first to land. It was lively times on that bridge then 
for a few moments; every man for himself and the devil take 
the hindmost was the game. 

Where the Axtell House now stands was at that time a 
row of low rum holes and in the street an old well, then about 
six feet in depth and dry; its top had been covered with 
plank and dirt, completely concealing it from view. The 
bath in the river had cooled off this gay and festive son of 
Erin's green isle somewhat and he was bound to have some 
more fire-water. Leaving his team (oxen) in front of this 
well he entered one of these places and while in there some- 
thing frightened his oxen, causing them to back, when the off 
one happened to step upon the old rotten cover and was at 
once precipitated to the bottom, where he quietly rested, 
leaving his head just clear of the ground. 

Magone, who was an Irishman himself and an inveterate 
wag, hallooed to the man, telling him that the well was sixty 
feet deep; while he, thinking this was so and that his ox was 
only prevented from going to the bottom by the yoke, seized 
him by the horns, and if ever a man lifted or thought he did, 
he was the man, at the same time calling upon all the saints 
he ever heard of in Ireland or America to come and give him 
a pull, we, of course, cheering him on. After we thought he 
had exercised himself sufficiently with his new fashioned 
health lift, we went down, unyoked his ox and pulled him 
out. But the way that man blasphemed when he saw how 
badly he had been fooled was enough to make the hair of a 
pirate stand on end; he put the whip to his oxen, ran against 
a wagon standing by the sidewalk, upset it and left. 

But the fun for the day was not over yet, for no sooner was 
this case disposed of than our attention was directed to a 
man upon the dock in front of the warehouse, seated upon a 
shingle maker's horse, thinking he was actually shaving shin- 
gles, but he wasn't. He was a small man with a head about 
the size of a potato masher, but not half as useful; he soon, 
however, became the observed of all observers. He was 


drunk through and through, weaving around upon his wooden 
Rosinante, his back towards the edge of the dock and close 
upon it; sometimes his draw-shave would hit the shingle and 
then again it wouldn't. At last came the crisis. 

He had placed a shook in the jaws of his pony with a hard 
pitch knot in the center of it. After one or two futile attempts 
to cut it, he leaned well forward, ran out his tongue as onlj' a 
drunken man can, "gave a long pull, a strong pull and a pull 
altogether," and the next we saw was the end of his back as 
he turned a somersault into the river, revolving so rapidly as 
to give his legs the appearance of the spokes in a wheel. As 
he came to the surface I caught him by the hair and pulled 
him out, his teeth rattling like castanets from the effects of 
his wintry bath, stood him up, took a good look at him and 
then told him to get, and he did, neither did he ever come 
back. Who he was I never knew. 

Speeding an Immigrant. 

No man who ever lived in Milwaukee was better known or 
more universally respected than the late Sidney L. Rood, 
sometimes called the rough man, who came here from Detroit 
in 1842. 

In person he was tall and slim, florid complexion, long 
dark hair, dark eyes, voice loud and boisterous, spoke quick 
and distinct but very emphatic, as full of mischief as a tame 
crow and always on the watch for victims upon which to 
operate. In this respect he was a duplicate of the fun loving 
Eli; but unlike Eli he was always the victor, never the 

He was also always on the defensive in an argument, never 
agreeing with anyone, more, perhaps, for the purpose of 
hearing himself talk and getting his opponent excited than 
from a love of combativeness, for a kinder or warmer heart 
never beat within the breast of a human being. He was a 
rough diamond, but one of the first water. His benevolence 
to the poor was unbounded; but of this the public were 
ignorant — he was no Pharisee. 


The following laughable incident will illustrate his fun- 
loving propensities somewhat: 

Among those who landed at the foot of Huron street in the 
summer of 1845 was a man from northern New York in 
search of a home in Wisconsin. This individual, who had 
probably never been outside of his native town before he 
became an immigrant, was arrayed in a garb that was, to say 
the least, somewhat unique and had no doubt been worn by 
his grandfather. His pants were of home make, cut small 
and at least six inches too short for his legs; coat of the 
claw-hammer pattern, as the sailors call it, the collar of which 
came half way to the top of his head; red fustian vest with 
immense metal buttons; cotton shirt, the collar starched as 
stiff as a board and extending above his ears, called in com- 
mon parlance side boards; his feet encased in heavy cow-hide 
boots, while upon his little bullet head was one of those old 
fashioned bell-crowned hats, about the shape and size of a 
butter firkin. Thus attired he came ashore to view the city. 

Now Huron street at that time was little better than a mud 
hole, while nearly the whole marsh below Detroit street was 
as yet in a state of nature and during the summer filled with 
ducks. Rood, being quite a sportsman, was in the habit of 
taking his stand upon Huron street just before dark to shoot 
them as they left the marsh for the river above the dam, their 
usual resort at the approach of night. 

Now it happened that this unfortunate Knickerbocker, after 
spending the afternoon in doing the city, as the tourists call 
it, had started on his return to the boat to join his family and 
report, feeling perfectly satisfied with Milwaukee, himself and 
the world in general, when, upon turning out of East Water 
into Huron street, his eye fell upon a man just ahead of him 
with a gun, who seemed to be there with a purpose, in fact, 
his movements indicated that he was looking for something. 
This aroused his suspicion somewhat, causing him to halt in 
order to reconnoitre. Sid, seeing his hesitation, walked slowly 
towards him until within speaking distance, when he addressed 


him thusly: "Whither goest thou, pilgrim stranger?" 
New York answered that he was on his way to the boat. 
"Stranger, are you not?" "Yes, rather so. Got a nice 
town here," said the man, still approaching Rood with a 
sidling kind of step, much as a hen does when looking for a 
dole of corn but is at the same time on the lookout for a club. 
It needed but one quick glance from Sid's eagle eye to com- 
prehend the whole situation and seeing fun ahead, answered 
in a half nonchalent manner, "Well, yes, it's rather a nice 

town or will be when the d-- d Injins are all killed off." 

The man's listlessness was gone in a moment; he was alive 
all over and in a voice trembling with fear he exclaimed: 
"Jnjins.' Why, you don't mean to tell me there's any Injins 
here now?" "Yes," replied the truthful Sidney, "this 
swamp is full of them. We have to keep a guard along this 
street all the time to prevent the red devils from scalping the 
immigrants as they come off the boats. They are hell on 
immigrants." "Oh! Lordy? Lordy!" said the now thor- 
oughlj' frightened victim, "will I ever get onto that boat 
alive?" "Can you run well?" said Rood. New York inti- 
mated that the iron horse could not surpass him in speed. 
"Well, then," said his tormentor, "if that is so, I think 
perhaps you can be saved, but it will be through great tribu- 
lation." "I don't keer a durn for the tribulation, stranger; 
only let me get safe to the boat and if I ever come ashore 
again in this blarsted town, the derned infernal Injins can 
have my scalp and welkim. ' ' 

His tormentor then told him to pull off his boots so that 
"them Injins" wouldn't hear him and start slowly for the 
boat, while he kept watch, "and if" said Rood, "you hear 
me shoot, you run like h — 1, or the Injins will get you, sure." 
New York pulled off "them boots" and started, his heart 
pounding against his ribs like a steam trip-hammer, went one 
block, when bang went the gun; when the smoke lifted that 
man was going down Huron street forty miles an hour, the 
mud flying in all directions; and, as Sidney expressed it, 
"was out of sight in the shake of a lamb's tail." 


Rood looked after him a few moments and started for 
home, muttering to himself: "Tally one for the Whig party. 
That fool never' 11 come ashore in this town again." And he 
didn't. The place was too new for him. 

Unequaled Engineering. 

The following wonderful piece of engineering was related 
to me by our late worthy citizen Dr. James Johnson: 

It will be remembered that in the description of Juneau's 
Side mention was made of a hole in the Court House square, 
in which was some four feet of water. It happened some- 
where about 1845 that the doctor, who was a trustee that 
year, was standing near that hole contemplating the reflection 
of his smiling face in its crystal depths and thinking how it 
could be best got rid of, when the celebrated octogenarian 
engineer John Gregory, now dead, came along, whereupon 
the doctor, who likes fun and knew Mr. Gregory's great 
hobby was engineering, asked him which was the quickest 
and cheapest way to get rid of it. At which Mr. Gregory at 
once replied that he would fix a way, in fact would draft a 
plan and present it to the doctor in a few days and took his 
leave. In about a week, however, the doctor again visited 
the place and while conversing with one of his countrymen 
from Wauwatosa saw Mr. Gregory approaching with a roll of 
paper, who, in answer to the question as to what it was, 
replied: "I have it! yees can thunnel from here to the lake 
or river, as the water will run either way. Here is the 
report," at the same time handing the doctor the roll. 

"Tunnel!" said the astonished doctor; "why, man alive, 
it would cost a million dollars!" "Yes," said Gregory, 
"sure, and it would, but then consider what a beautiful piece 
of engineering it would be; not a cit}' in America could boast 
the loikes of it." At this the gentleman from Wauwatosa 
asked the doctor what was up and when told what Mr. Gre- 
gory's plan for getting the water out was, he replied: "Be 
gob! I think it would be a dale cheaper to haul in a few loads 
of gravel and fill up the hole." 


The doctor had the good sense to think so too and the 
Gregory tunnel was never built. 

Another good story is related of Mr. Gregory by Morgan 
L. Shinn, the builder, who, when erecting the store lately 
occupied by Mr. Hoes, corner of Wisconsin and East Water 
streets, called upon Mr. Gregory, who was city surveyor that 
year, to give him the corner. 

He came, planted his tripod, squinted down East Water, 
up East Water, up Wisconsin, across the river, etc., after 
which he measured across the street, down the street and up 
the street, but no corner could be found. It was tion est. 

Finally he said to Mr. Shinn, "You go on with your wall 
and when you get up to the surface of the ground I'll give 
yees the exact spot." Mr. Shinn, however, declined to do 
that, but got Brown to come, who was not long in finding the 

Mr. Gregory may have been a good engineer theoretically, 
but practically he was not a success. 

A Free Ride. 

The following incident, which occurred April 5, 1850, serves 
to illustrate the idea that some of the early immigrants from 
Germany had of libertyr 

A German, living at that time in the Ninth ward, was 
accused by his wife of abusing her during child-birth, upon 
which his neighbors went to his house, placed him upon a 
rail, first giving him a coat of tar and feathers, after which 
they carried him down Third to West Water, down West 
Water to Spring, crossed to East Water, down East Water 
street to the bridge at Walker's Point, crossed to Ferry, up 
Ferry to South Water, up South Water to Reed, down Reed 
to Florida, up Florida to Hanover, up Hanover to Elizabeth 
street, intending to carry him out of town and kill him, which 
they certainly would have done had they not been prevented 
by Dr. L. W. Weeks and myself, who succeeded after much 
trouble in convincing them that such an act would hang 
every one of them. 


The poor frightened wretch begged piteously for his life all 
the while. In appearance he resembled nothing that is upon 
the earth, in the air above or the waters beneath it; and to 
say that he looked like the devil would certainly be treating 
that functionary with great disrespect, for although described 
as having horns and hair, he has never received a coat of tar 
and feathers yet, being much too sharp for that, although he 
has, no doubt, often been the indirect cause of its application 
to others. When released he at once took to the marsh and 
buried himself in its oozy depths, from which he was finally 
persuaded to emerge by the constable, aided by a revolver, 
and taken to jail, where, after being used as a bed bug exter- 
minator for a few days, he was released. The most wonderful 
part of this affair was, that a man could be carried through 
the city as he was in broad daylight, and no one interfere to 
rescue him until he came opposite my house; but such was 
the fact, nevertheless. Neither was there anything done 
with the brutes who committed this cruel deed. 

In 1843 work was commenced on the harbor at the mouth 
of the river, the government having passed a bill for that 
purpose accompanied with an appropriation of $30,000, to be 
expended as soon as the preliminary surveys could be made.* 
This event, the news of which reached the city on the 17th 
day of March, was duly celebrated upon the 22d with a grand 
procession, representing the various mechanical professions, 
ending with a dinner at the Cottage Inn and a ball at the 
Milwaukee House. For a full history of the bridge war see 
Vol II, page 269-277. 


Prominent among the improvements upon the East Side 
was the erection of St. Peter's church (Catholic) upon Martin 
street, the land having been donated for that purpose the 

*For a full history of the harbor question and its attendant litigation 
see Vol. IV, page 245 to 259 inclusive. 


previous year by Mr. Juneau. This was the first Catholic 
church erected in Milwaukee; it was removed this year. * 

Wm. Sivyer also erected a brick dwelling, his present 
residence, now No. 347 Jackson street, it being the eighth 
one erected in the city. Several stores were built on East 
Water street and quite a number of frame dwellings erected 
in the First and Seventh wards, the exact location of which I 
cannot remember, with the exception of the second house 
above Oneida street, east side of Broadway, which was built 
this year for a Wesleyan Methodist church, afterwards known 
as the old Larrabee House. 

The West Side also commenced to go ahead quite rapidly 
this year, some twenty buildings being erected in various 
localities upon that side. The old American (Leland's 
Exchange) was refitted and opened anew, streets were graded 
to considerable extent, giving to that part of the city a 
healthy outlook. 

Several dwellings were built upon the old Point, at the west 
end, and some filling done. The roads leading into the 
country were improved, vessels were built and launched and 
a stage line established to Madison. 

J. and L. Childs opened a hotel upon the Point and L. 
Churchill built a frame store and dwelling upon the present 
site of the Axtel block. 

S. L. Corbin came this year from Whitehall, New York, 
with a heavy stock of hardware, and located upon the South 
Side in company with his brother John. 

Such is the history of Milwaukee's earliest days. She was 
now fairly upon her feet and from that time to the present, 
although sometimes under a cloud, her onward march to 
the position of a great commercial city has been steady. In 

1 84 1 she shipped her first cargo of wheat, the one referred to 
as having been shipped from the old Dousman warehouse; in 

1842 she built her first pier at Huron street, built by Horatio 

*For a full history of this pioneer church see History of Churches, 
Vol. II. 


Stevens, for a full history of which see Vol. II, page 183, and 
the same year witnessed the arrival of the first propeller, the 
Vandalia, from Oswego, which, although a small craft of 
about six mule power, was nevertheless a modern wonder for 
a season. In comparison with the propellers of the present 
da}- she and her consort, the Milwaukee, were what the little 
Badger was to the present side-wheelers; but everything must 
have a beginning. She was followed in 1843 by the Hercules 
and Sampson, and so on, ad infinitum. 

Edwakji D. Holton. 

This gentleman came to Milwaukee in 1840 from Lancaster, 
New Hampshire, and at once commenced his business life as 
a merchant in the old frame store, where J. B. Martin's iron 
block now stands, with Ira E. Goodall as partner. 

In person Mr. Holton is of medium height, has a large 
head , blue ej'es, light brown hair, florid complexion and a voice 
strong and clear; speaks loud and distinct, with a heavj' 
accent; is a good judge of men and human nature and is of 
an exceedingly nervous temperament; will have his own way, 
which he always thinks is the wa}'; will not occupy a second 
position if he can help it, but figures to be the head of any- 
thing he maj' be connected with. Mr. Holton is a good 
impromptu public speaker and never lets an opportunit}' pass 
to make a speecli. He is also fond of travel, which he has 
done quite extensively, having visited not only most of the 
notable places in his own country, but Europe and the Holy 
Land also, where, during the Centennial year, he maintained 
the reputation of his countrymen for horsemanship ( Vide 
his letter in Ei'cning Jf'iscousin of May 20) by an exhibition of 
his equestrian skill, of which he is justly proud, in a quarter 
race with Selim-Ben-Hamet (O' Pasha), a wild Bedouin 
of the desert, pitting himself and his plebeian horse against 
the thorough-bred Arabian courser of his opponent and, as 


he says, beat him, much to the old Sheik's disgust. A 
greater cloud of dust was raised at this race than has been 
seen in that Moslem accursed country since the days of the 
Crusades. His humility is also well known to all men, he 
being the only one of his party to kiss the hand of the Pope 
of Rome at a public levee given by His Holiness {Vide his 
letter of March i8, ib.), at which himself and party were 
present, during this same European tour of 1875 and '76. 

He is also fond of money, in the accumulation of which he 
has been uncommonly successful. He has been much in 
office as a banker, alderman, sheriff, member of the legisla- 
ture, vice-president and manager of an insurance company, 
and land speculator, in all of which positions he was promi- 
nent and active. In fact, few men have ever lived in the city 
of Milwaukee who have been more active than Ed. D. Holton. 
His morals are of the strictest kind, and in the cause of 
temperance he is a very Samson, standing as firm as a rock 
against this great curse of the human race; and is in the 
discharge of what he thinks to be his duty as fearless as a 

In political faith Mr. Holton was originally an Abolitionist, 
standing up for the slave when it cost something; next a 
Whig or Republican; but what his political opinions are now 
is a matter of great uncertaint}', he having made a new 
profession of faith* in 1877, which astonished his old life 
associates not a little. 

Mr. Holton, like Kilbourn, has a positive character, which 
makes him at times many enemies, but for this he cares as 
little as did Kilbourn. 

He was prominent in the inception and construction of the 
Prairie du Chien Railroad and was its first superintendent, 
resigning when or shortly after it reached Waukesha. 

Mr. Holton was born at Lancaster, N. H., April 15, 1815. 

*This has reference to his voting for Samuel J. Tilden, for president, 
and his famous letter published in the Daily A^i'ws, in which he says he 
rose to explain to his benighted countrymen why things were tincsly. 

of milwaukee. 267 

Frederick W. Horn. 

This gentleman came to Milwaukee from Posen, in the 
Kingdom of Prussia, in 1840, and quickly became prominent 
in our public affairs. 

In person he is tall and stout; has a large head, brown 
hair, dark eyes, voice loud and clear; speaks quick and dis- 
tinct, with a slight German accent and very emphatic; has 
great faith in his own judgment; is a fair business man, but 
likes politics better than anything else. 

Mr. Horn has been much in office as a member of the 
state senate and assembly; is a good public speaker and as a 
presiding officer has few equals in this or any other state. 
His love for fun is unbounded, as well as for the ridiculous, 
and many are the practical jokes, of which his associates 
have been the victims, that were concocted in his fertile 
brain; no opening that promised any sport ever escaped his 

Mr. Horn has been one of the most prominent men in his 
county (Washington) for years, and is or was in political faith 
until the last four years an old Hunker Democrat, but of late 
has reformed in that respect and now the writer hopes to see 
him die in grace, which he certainly will do if he does not 
backslide. Such is F. W. Horn. 


One of the most amusing as well as most ridiculous incidents 
that ever occurred in Milwaukee, when we consider the men- 
tal calibre of some of the parties concerned in it, was in the 
early part of the winter of 1839-40. The boys had not much 
to do at that time and of course no opening that promised 
any sport escaped their watchful eyes. 

There was then living at Oak Creek a poor half-witted 
cripple, who bore the very euphonious name of Egbert 
Herring Smith, alias Limpy. He was a school teacher and 
quite a character in his town. This man had written a poem 
entitled, "Lo, the Poor Indian," which was published in the 


Sentinel {then in its babyhood.) The epic was much admired 
as a curiosit)', for it hmped as badly as its author. It was 
also severely criticised, which Smith iu his innocence took 
for praise and out of this came the duel. 

Smith was greatlj' elated at the notice taken of his poetic 
abilities and became the lion of the town for a short time; 
but at length the thing not only got to be monotonous, but 
Smith himself became a nuisance and the boys finally, after 
much fasting and prayer, hit upon the following plan to 
squelch him. 

Among those engaged in this scheme was a young law3'er 
from Virginia named Frederick A. Wingfield. This gentle- 
man, who was very fine looking, was also exceedingly fond of 
the cup that inebriates, and was, when under its influence, a 
bigger fool than Smith, if such a thing could be, as the sequel 
will show. 

It was intimated to Smith that Wingfield was selling copies 
of his poem at Madison for the drinks at one shilling each, at 
which he became greatly e.xcited, and at once sent Wingfield 
a note asking for an explanation of his conduct, and the fun 

Wingfield pretended to consider this as a challenge and by 
his second, the late William Pa3'ne, sent Smith a "letter 
missive," which he Vvfould not accept; but in order that the 
fun might not stop Henry Williams offered himself as Smith's 
second and the high contending parties met at Breed's old 
pioneer store, then kept b}' Lindsey Ward, to settle it. 

But when the pistol was placed in Smith's hand (loaded 
with red paint) his courage, if he ever had any, like that of 
the valiant Bob Acres, had all oozed out at his finger ends and 
the harmless weapon dropped to the floor. 

Wingfield then exclaimed, "die villain I " and discharged 
his pistol at the ceiling, the report of which so frightened 
Smith as to cause him, to use a classic expression, to //^/// <?///, 
which he did instantly, taking refuge at first beneath the front 
counter, between which and the side counter was a small 


opening through which he, still fearing he would be shot, 
attempted to crawl, in which attempt he was so far successful 
as to get hung by the neck, nearly pulling off his worthless 
head in his frantic efforts to release himself, which at last, 
however, he did, dashed out of doors, ran up Wisconsin 
street, down Broadway and stopped not until he had placed 
the raging Milwaukee between himself and, as he believed, 
his would-be murderer. He was the worst frightened man I 
ever saw, and would, while describing his escape to me, keep 
his eye upon the river, seemingly fearful that the bloodthirsty 
Wingfield would yet pursue and kill him. 

Smith immediately retired to the classic shades of Oak 
Creek and related his adventures to his friends at that place, 
who, feeling indignant that the only poet and literary man in 
their town should be assaulted in that way by the Milwaukee 
roughs, immediately commenced a suit at law. This, of 
course, necessitated the aid of counsel, whereupon the gay 
and festive Don,* so child-like and bland, was retained for 
the murderous Wingfield, and John T. Haight, a young dis- 
ciple of Blackstone then living at Oak Creek, was the attorney 
for the much abused Smith, for which, if successful, he was 
to receive a deed of forty acres of land as a fee; and in due 
time a suminons was served upon Wingfield, in which he was 
commanded to be and appear before the Hon. Asa Kinney, a 
Justice of the Peace for the borough of Oak Creek, there to 
answer for the attempt upon the life of Smith. 

When the eventful day came a four- horse sleigh was pro- 
cured of Geo. O. Tiffany, in which Sheriff Corbett with the 
parties in suit attended by the Don, Henry Williams, }. E. 
Arnold, E. Cramer and Col. Morton took seats for the place 
of trial. It was with difficulty, however, that Smith could be 
induced to take a seat in the sleigh, so great was his fear of 
Wingfield. But on the assurance that he would not be 
harmed he finally did so and the journey commenced. 

*!). A. J. Upham. 


Of course no affair of that magnitude could go on without 
spiritual aid, and this they carried in a jug. Smith was soon 
induced to take a drink with Wingfield, which so mollified 
him that a second followed, then a third, the result of which 
was that both were as drunk as fools before they reached the 
town of Lake. It was then proposed that they step into the 
snow, which was at least three feet in depth, and embrace 
like brothers, which they did four times before arriving at 
Oak Creek. But at last that place was reached and all were 
ushered into the judicial presence, the parties placed in 
position and the case called, when the Don arose and spoke 
thus unto Kinney: 

"May it please this honorable court, as counsel for the 
prisoner, I move 3'ou that both prisoner and plaintiff stand 
up." This feat, on account of their high spiritual condition, 
was a work of some difficult}', but at last that position was 
attained, when the Don continued thusl}': 

"Prisoner, embrace the plaintiff. Plaintiff, embrace the 
prisoner;" which was instantl}' done. "And now," said the 
Don in stentorian tones, "let the sheriff embrace the court! " 

At this finale the scales fell from the eyes of the learned 
Haight, whereupon he sprang to his feet and exclaimed, "By 
God! it's all ad dsell!" 

The astute Kinney put himself upon his dignity, utterly 
refusing the proffered embrace from the sheriff or even any 
spiritual consolation out of the jug, retiring at once to Kinnej' 
Castle, where he spent the entire daj' in fasting and self- 
examination as to his fitness for judicial honors, some doubts 
of which had entered his mind upon the result of this trial 
and upon the awful uncertaintj' of the law, while the house 
rang with yells of delight from the victorious Milwaukeeans. 
A dinner was called for, at which Smith and Wingfield were 
placed vis a vis and made to change plates, i. c, eat each 
other's food, in order to strengthen their brotherly love and 
finally wound up with a kiss. 

This was Kinne3''s first case, for which he had fully pre- 
pared himself with lots of authorities upon dueling and upon 


the trial of which he expected to immortahze himself. But 
many long years elapsed before he or Haight heard the last 
of the famous suit of Smith vs. Wingfield. 

Thus ended this ridiculous farce, which broke the heart of 
poor Haight and cost the judiciary of Oak Creek more drinks 
than any other act of his life.* The case, however, has 
never found its way into Smith's Wisconsin Reports. 

Milwaukee's First Bard. 

As many of my readers have never seen Smith's wonderful 
poem, I reproduce it from "Wheeler's Chronicles," with a 
description of the poet himself and accompanying newspaper 

Egbert Herring Smith settled at Oak Creek, near Milwaukee, 
as early as 1836 or 1837 and made a claim. He afterwards 
taught school in a log house in the same place. His was a 
peculiar idiosyncras3', and no less peculiar was his personal 
appearance. Green goggles, a limping gait and an unsophis- 
ticated air were the characteristics of the young man. We 
saj' young, though the verdure of over thirt)' summers had 
given him a tinge of its hue. Mr. Smith would have vege- 
tated undoubtedly to this day in rural retirement, had not 
the Fates in the form of three or four respectable but never- 
to-be-forgotten gentlemen of Milwaukee whispered in his ear 
the soft and seductive allurements of fame. 

Mr. Smith in an incautious moment displayed a "poem" 
of his own composition. 

The friends were enraptured with it and, as true friends 
will, gave Mr. Smith some good advice, viz. . to publish it, 
to cultivate his talents, to devote himself to it, to show the 
world that genius flourished in the west. The first Hesperian 

*I suppose no other two men were ever more completely sold than 
were Haight and Kinney, a deed for 40 acres of Smith's claim having been 
actually made out and executed to Haight as a fee ; as for Kinney, the 
glory he expected to obtain was enough for him. In order to fit himself 
for the occassion he had donned what is known in western parlance as a 
"biled shirt," the long-pointed corners of the collar extending some distance 
above his ears, giving him somewhat the appearance of a jackass rabbit ; 


fruit that resulted from this cultivation appeared in that 
literary orchard, t\\& Sentinel. It was called "Lo, the Poor 
Indian," and though it partook somewhat of the gait of the 
author must be admired by all. We give it as we find it: 

The Indian on the high bluff stood! 
Alone, and nobody 'round him, 

Save tenants of the ancient wood. 
That always did surround him. 

He folded his arms and lit his pipe. 
And smoked awhile to ease him, 

And took a long, last look about. 
On things most like to please him. 

He took a good look of the village and town — 
With its thousands of houses and people; 

And cast his bold eye up and down. 
O'er many a mansion and steeple, 

Then, folding his blanket up close. 
He heaved a long-drawn sigh, — 

And casting his eyes up above him, he said: 
"O, that the poor Indian might die! 

"To die and be at rest away from the foe — 
Who follow my track night and day: 

To forget in the grave, my race's woe — 
For this, I hereby pray." 

Then, throwing one more look adown. 
He gathered his blanket tight. 

And taking one long, unwavering step. 
Flung himself off the height! 

One of the revinos of this poem is altogether too good to 
be lost — one must accompan}' the other. It appeared in one 
of the Milwaukee papers simultaneously with the "poem:" 

We present to our readers this morning the famous poem, of our distin- 
guished citizen Mr. Smith, the production of which places him at once 
among the first poets of the age. The perusal of it will not fail to discover 

a white cambric choker encircled his judicial neck; upon his broad 
shoulders was a swallowtail or claw-hammer coat, and upon his feet a heavy 
pair of stoga boots. Taken as a whole, he looked like a mixture of law, 
gospel and horse jocky combined. Which of the three professions he was 
willing to bet he belonged to when he left the court, it would be difficult to 
determine, but he certainly did not look the victorious judge. 


"internal evidences" of genius such as animated and inspired the bards of 
other ages. The poem is short for an epic, but brevity is the very soul of 
wit and poetry, and we are happy to note that our bard has simply said all 
he had to say and stopped. It is not perfect, though approaching perfection. 
The author is a young man and this, his first attempt, should be regarded 
leniently. What we say is prompted by the best wishes for his ultimate 
success in the path of renown which he has chosen. In this spirit we shall 
take the liberty of offering a few suggestions, and correcting a few trivial 
errors, which it seems to us the poet has fallen into. In the first place the 
measure is not adapted to the full expression of ideas which the author had. 
He was evidently cramped by the mechanical limits of his lines. Blank 
verse for instance would have given a much better opportunity for the 
expression of the fine thought in the second line, 

"Alone and nobody 'round him." 

It might be rendered, 

"Alone and nobody 'round him 
Except himself." 

And the same may be said of the first line in the second stanza. How 
much fuller and broader the same idea becomes when let out — 

"And of the town and village then he took. 
And of the city — one long squint." 

But we will not presume to illustrate our ideas. Ours is not the lyric 
pen. The line as it stands evinces an insight into human nature which 
belongs to the poet alone. No one but an Indian could ever be expected to 
see a town and village in one settlement — and one settlement is meant, for 
the next line reads — 

"With its thousands, etc." 

So that in the words there is a delicate allusion to the prophetic power of 
the savage who saw the present village and the prospective town. 
In the fifth line there is a very "clever conceit," 

" He folded his arms and lit his pipe." 

How he lit his pipe we are at a loss to discover, unless it was by his eyes 
before he " cast them up and down," as we are assured in the second verse 
he did. This mysticism is rather a fault in so young a writer. Shelley 
may have written his best things so that nobody understood them, but 
would they have been any the less meritorious for being less mysterious ? 
And so in this case. If our author had informed us how the act was con- 
summated with his arms folded, we should not have to tax our memory for 
all the legerdemain tricks we had ever read of as being performed by the 


aborigines. The " throwing " of first one eye and afterwards both of them 
comes under the same objection. If the poet wishes us to understand that 
he tossed them up to amuse himself, very well, but is it not very much like 
an encroachment upon the ridiculous to contemplate this noble savage, 
standing on the verge of a bluff meditating suicide ; his mind sombre with 
thoughts of dissolution, an uncertain hereafter, or perhaps a lingering death 
at the foot of the bluff — and tossing up his eyes^ as boys toss up apples ? 
We think so, and it is justly chargeable to the occasional obscurity. In 
this case the perspicuity was sacrificed to the music of versification. The 
poet was misled by his ears. They are evidently de\'eloped dispropor- 

In the management of the catastrophe Mr. Smith redeems himself. 
There is no obscurity here; the most stupid reader will not hesitate and 
ask whether the red hero rolled down or walked down — "he gathered 
his blanket tight" — to prevent himself from presenting the appearance of 
a spread eagle in his descent — and taking one step he Jlimg himself. He 
had taken a comfortable smoke; made all the necessar}- observations on 
life, death, etc. ; amused himself with his eyes for a while and all was over 
— of course we mean over the bluff. There can be no doubt that the 
efforts of Mr. Smith's maturer years will outshine these, his maiden pro- 
ductions. There is a charm about his writings that we have never yet 
discovered in any American poet and we predict for him a name high in 
the annals of literature and song if he but labors and polishes. Before we 
close this article we take this opportunity to say that a gentleman has 
informed us that the Plot of " Lo, the Poor Indian" is founded on fact. 
A year or two ago Mr. Smith picked up a short clay pipe on one of our 
bluffs, near an Irishman's shanty, and from this little incident has he 
woven the beautiful story of "Lo." 

In a short time Mr. Smith became the most notorious man 
in Milwaukee. The papers "set him up," and he was 
dubbed "Laureate." Poem after poem followed "Lo," all 
of similar "genius," until the thing became so flagrant a 
"sell" that even the people of other cities smelt the mouse 
and presumed to laugh. Ever}'body praised Smith, every- 
bod}- being fond of jokes, especially such colossal jokes as 
these. The especial patrons of the poet advised him to write 
an epic and he finally consented. The result of his labor in 
the heroic field was a book of 274 pages, entitled "Ma-ka- 
tai-me-she-kia-kiak or Black Hawk. An epic poem." This 
was published in good stj'le in 1848 in this cit}'. A copy of 


it may be found on the shelves of the Young Men's Library. 
A portion of the poem is devoted to Milwaukee, which portion 
commences in this wise: 

" Delightful village of Milwaukie, 
I went in November your beauties to see; 
Leaving my home and the land of my tillage, 
To visit this early and new founded village. 
I entered your courts, the jury I saw. 
And all your attorneys and counsellors at law; 
The learned Judge enthroned looked sedate and complacent. 
The sages of law sat smiling adjacent " 

It was through the advice of admirers — or pretended 
admirers — that Mr. Smith was led into this speculation; and 
when the book appeared they did not desert him. Resolu- 
tions of thanks were offered him, long and flattering notices 
beset him and the book sold. The thing became so flagrant 
that at last one or two not appreciating the joke or else tired of 
it went to Mr. Smith and solemnly assured him that the public 
were "running a rig" upon him — making a scape-goat of 
him — and so forth. Mr. Smith referred to the receipts of his 
book and replied: "Not much, I guess." 

And in truth, he was right, for the book sold as no epic has 
ever sold in the western country since. He traveled down to 
Chicago, but his fame preceded him; he was met b}' admirers 
on all hands. The freedom of the city was voted to him and 
eulogistic articles appeared in the journals. Mr. Smith, 
either oblivious of the true state of affairs or purposely 
"keeping dark," selling his books all the while. Criticism 
was dumb; and for once the common herd as well as the 
literati became interested in poetry. 

Perhaps the best joke of all transpired in 1853, during the 
height of the literary excitement in England, over the poet 
Alexander Smith, whose volume of poems was subsequently 
published and read by all lovers of the true and beautiful. 
During this furore over the Scotch Smith the Memphis 
^//ra/ started the story "That Alexander Smith over whom 


the eastern people were making such an ado was, in 1846, a 
seedi' and neglected individual in Wisconsin, the butt for 
ridicule of all the literarj' people and, that after seeking in 
vain through all our principal cities for a just appreciation of 
his merits, went to England, where he became famous." 
This confusion of the two Smiths was actuallj' copied and 
doubtless believed b}' hundreds all over the country. \\'hat- 
ever became of the laureate we do not know. As nothing 
has been heard of him since his epic he is doubtless reposing 
on his laurels, undisturbed bv the ghost of a murdered 

The Old Settlers' Cluii. 

This club was organized July 5, i86g, pursuant to notice 
previousl}' published in the Milwaukee daily newspapers, 
which notices were signed by about seventy-five old settlers 
of Milwaukee county. 

At such organization the Hon. A. G. Miller was elected 
chairman and F. C. Pomero}' secretar)', f^ro icm. 

Committees were appointed to draft a constitution and 
by-laws, which constitution is as follows: 


For the purpose of reviving old associations and renewing the ties of 
former years the undersigned unite in an organization to be known as the 
"Old Settlers' Club" and adopt the following 


Article i. An\" person of good moral character, who settled in Mil- 
waukee county as organized before January i, 1S37, may become a member 
of the Club by signing the constitution and paying an initiation fee of two 
dollars and an annual a.ssessment of one dollar each year thereafter. 

.Article 2. The officers of this club shall con.sist of a president, three 
vice-presidents, secretary, treasurer and an executive committee of five 

Article 3. The president, vice-presidents, .secretary and treasurer shall 
perform such duties as usually appertain to their respective offices; and all 
matters relating to the club shall be under the control and management of 
the executive committee. 


Article 4. The officers of the club shall be elected by ballot on the 
4th day of July in each year; provided that when the 4th falls upon 
Sunday, they shall be elected upon the succeeding day. 

Article 5. New members may be admitted by the executive com- 
mitttee, provided that thirty years have elapsed since the applicants settled 
in Milwaukee county. 

Article 6. The executive committee shall give notice through the 
papers of the time selected for the funeral of any of the deceased members, 
and all members, if possible, shall attend said funeral, wearing the club 

Article 7. Whenever twenty-five persons have signed this constitution 
they may elect officers and organize the club. 

The following is the correct list of officers from the organi- 
zation of the club to 1S81: 


President, Horace Chase; Vice-Presidents, Samuel Brown, George 
Bowman and Enoch Chase; Secretary, Fennimore C. Pomeroy; Treasurer, 
Clark Shepardson ; Executive Committee, I. A. Lapham, LL.D., Levi 
]31ossom, William P Merrill, Andrew Douglas and Charles James. 


President, Samuel Brown; Vice-Presidents, Geo. Bowman, Enoch Chase 
and Wm. A. Prentiss; Secretar}', F. C. Pomeroy; Treasurer, Fred. Ward- 
ner; Executive Committee, Levi Blossom, Wm. P. Merrill, I. A. Lapham, 
LL.D., and Hon. A. G. Miller; Marshal, James S. Buck. 

This year a marshal was added to the list of officers, whose 
duty it is to take charge of funerals and collect dues. 


President, Dr. Enoch Chase; Vice-Presidents, Henry Miller, Geo. 
Bowman and Wm. .\. Prentiss; Secretary, John M. Miller; Treasurer, 
Fred. Wardner; Executive Committee, L A. Lapham, LLD., Wm. S 
Trowbridge, Cyrus Hawley, George J. Rogers and Uriel B. Smith, 
Marshal, James S. Buck 


President, Judge A G. Miller; Vice-Presidents, Wm. .\ Prentiss, Gen, 
John Crawford and George Abert; Secretary, John M. Miller; Treasurer, 
Fred. Wardner; Executive Committee, Henry Williams, L. H Lane, Dr. 
A. L. Castleman, Lindsey Ward and Wm. P. Merrill; Marshal, James S. 


Same officers as in 1872, excepting Geo. Bowman was elected Treasurer. 


President, I. A. Lapham, LL. D.; Vice-Presidents, Herman Haertel, M. 
L. Burdick and Robert Davies; Secretary, John M. Miller; Treasurer, 
George Bowman; Executive Committee, Harrison Ludington, George 
Abert, Chauncey Simons and L. H. Lane; Marshal, James S. Buck. 


President, Wm. A. Prentiss; Vice-Presidents, John Furlong, Giles A. 
Waite and Abner Kirby; Secretary, John M. Miller; Treasurer, George J. 
Rogers; Executive Committee, Wm. P. Merrill, Enoch Chase, Joseph 
Cary and Daniel W. Fowler; Marshal, James S. Buck. 


President, Daniel Wells, Jr.; Vice-Presidents, George Abert, Matthew 
Keenan and L. H. Lane; Secretary, John M. Miller; Treasurer, George J. 
Rogers; Executive Committee, Alexander Mitchell, William P. Merrill. 
Rufus Cheney and Enoch Chase; Marshal, James S. Buck. 


President, D. A J. Upham; Vice-Presidents, M. L. Burdick, Herman 
Haertel and John Dahlman; Secretary, John M. Miller; Treasurer, George 
J. Rogers; Executive Committee, Alexander Mitchell, Wm. P. Merrill, 
Rufus Cheney and Enoch; Marshal, James S. Buck. 


President, Morgan L. Burdick; Vice-Presidents, Rufus Cheney, George 
Abert and U. B. Smith; Secretary and Treasurer, John M. Miller; Execu- 
tive Committee, Alexander Mitchell, Wm. P. Merrill, Rufus Cheney and 
Enoch Chase; Mar.shal, James S. Buck. 


President, Wm. P. Merrill; Vice-Presidents, Rufus Cheney, George 
Abert and U. B. Smith; Secretary and Treasurer, John M. Miller; Execu- 
tive Committee, Alexander Mitchell, Rufus Cheney, Enoch Chase and 
Daniel W. Fowler; Marshal, James S. Buck.* 

*It was at this time that the older members withdrew and united in the 
formation of the present Milwaukee County Pioneer Association (for full 
history of which see Vol. II, page 314); the two clubs, however, still con- 
tinuing to unite in holding the annual banquet up to and including that of 
r88g, and the writer to act as marshal of both clubs. 



President, Wm. A. Prentiss; Vice-Presidents, John H. Tweedy, Wm. 
P. Merrill and George Abert; Secretary and Treasurer, John M. Miller; 
Executive Committee, Alexander Mitchell, Enoch Chase, Harrison Luding- 
ton, John B. Merrill and Daniel W. Fowler; Marshal, James S. Buck. 

President, D. W. Fowler; Vice-Presidents, T. H. Brown, T. H. Smith 
and George Abert; Secretary and Treasurer, Charles Durkee Simonds; 
Executive Committee, Peter Van Vechten, George H. Chase, Fred. 
Ludington and Geo. Ogden; Marshal, James S. Buck. 

From 1 88 1 to October 1887 (when the club was reorganized 
by ail act of incorporation) no official record of the annual 
meetings can be found, the first officers under the new organ- 
ization were: 

President, M. A. Boardman; First Vice-President, J. A Dadd; Second 
Vice-President, H. Broich; Secretary and Treasurer, C. D. Simonds; 
Executive Committee, C. D. Stanhope, J. G. Ogden and Jos. Deuster; 
Marshal, J. S. Buck. 


President, J. A. Dadd; First Vice-President, H. Broich; Second Vice- 
President, C. A. Place; Secretary and Treasurer, J. M. Pereles; Executive 
Committee, J. G. Ogden, M. A. Boardman and T. P. Collingbourne; 
Marshal, J. S. Buck. 


President, John A Dadd; First Vice-President, Hugo Broich; Second 
Vice President, C. A. Place; Secretary and Treasurer, James M. Pereles; 
Executive Committee, J. P. Collingbourne, James Bonnell and Joseph 
Deuster; Marshal, James S. Buck.* 

List of the Members of the Pioneer and Old Settlers' Club.s at 
Whose Funerals I Have Officiated as Marshal. 

Fennimore C. Pomeroy August 25, 1870. 

Linas N. Dewey June 11, 1870. 

Caleb Harrison October 3, 1871. 

Cyrus Hawley June 3, 1871-. 

Joel L. Wilcox September 20, 1872. 

Eliphalet Cramer September 18, 1872. 

Owen Aldrich April 19, 1872 

*Resigned July 17, 1889. 


David Merrill March 14 

Ambrose Ely August 4 

Geo. S. West July 29, 

Wm. H. Byron September 12, 

Jos. Porthier February 20 

Samuel Brown December 22 

John W Pixley .\ugust 20, 

Geo. Bowman .August 13 

Andrew G. Miller October 2 

Edward Hackett December 16 

A. O. T. Breed September 27, 

I. A- Lapham September 17, 

Sylvester Pettibone July 24 

Jas. B. Cross Februar\- 5 

Daniel H. Richards February g, 

Henry Crawford \ugust 28, 

D. .A J. Upham July 21 

Giles A. Waite \pril 21 

Jonathan M. Warren Ma\- 14 

James S. Brown .April 17 

Henry A\'illiams February 23 

Geo. D. Dousman March 2 

Thos. Keogh September 23 

Richard L. Edwards December 23 

Joseph Carey March 20 

Erastus B. Wolcott January 7 

Cyrus T. Hawley February ig 

John Crawford March 27 

Frank Charnley July 2 

Morgan L. Skinner October 3 

Josiah A- Noonan December r3 

Richard G. Owen November 12 

Williams Lee July 14 

Lindse}- Ward November 22 

Albert Fowler April 14 

John Furlong December 28 

Priam B. Hill June 17 

Amos H. Gardner June 25 

Robert Davies November 18 

Lemuel W. Weeks May S 

Wm . Fink September 3 

Wm . M. Gorhani September 15 

Wm. .A. Webber November 18 




1 8 76 




Clark Shepardson March 27, 1885 

W. P. Lynde December 18, 1885 

Horace Chase September 3, 1886 

Frederick Wardner March 9, 1886 

Wm. S. Trowbridge September 12, 1886 

Benjamin Bagnall April 19, 1886 

Robert C. Jacks October 19, 1886 

M. L. Burdick September i, 1886 

P. W. Dodge Jnly 8, 1886 

Benjamin Church December i, 1887 

Alexander Mitchell April 26, 1887 

John B. Stempers August 29, 1887 

Elijah S. Estes December 11, 1887 

John C. Smith January 20, 1887 

Royal D. Jennings February 6, 1887 

John Dahlman February 2, 1887 

Nathaniel M. Graham August 21, 1887 

Luzerne Ransom November 16, 1887 

Timothy O'Brien August 25, 1888 

Reuben Strong September i, 1889 

Daniel D. Sibley June 15, 1889 

Henry Miller (brought from California) May 10, 1878 

For all of whom, with the exception of seven, I have selected the 


J. S. BUCK. 

The first Anglo-Saxon to die in Milwaukee, says Dr. Enoch 
Chase, was Dr. Wm. Clark, who died in the spring of 1836; 
but where he came from or where interred is unknown to the 



Memorial Sketches — The Founders of Milwaukee. 

Solomon Juneau. 

Solomon Juneau was born on the gth day of August, 1793, 
at the parish of L' Assumption, Canada. He was of pure 
French or Alsacian descent, and, hke all of his race in this 
country, had a strong passion for a frontier life. He came, 
when a youth, to Green Bay, then an important point, and 
from there to Milwaukee as an Indian trader in 1818. He 
was without exception the finest looking representative of his 
race that I have ever seen. 

In height over si.x feet, large frame, straight as an arrow 
and an eye that seemed to pierce your ver}' soul; he was in 
truth one of the noblest works of God, an honest man. But, 
in consequence of his whole life having been spent in the 
wilderness, the tricks of trade and the ways that are dark and 
vain, so much in practice in our da3', were to him a sealed 
book, the ABC of which he was too old to learn and too 
honest to practice. 

Of the value of money he had no conception and the 
consequence was that his vast wealth was, in a short time, all 
in the possession of the ever-grasping Anglo-Saxon. 

He died while at the Indian payment held at Shawano, 
November 14, 1856, aged sixty-three years. But surel}', 
while life remains, his manly form will be ever present with 
the old pioneers of Milwaukee. He was in religious faith a 
Catholic. His bod}' lies in Calvary cemetery. 

Mr. Juneau was first buried at Shawano, but was subse- 
quently brought to Milwaukee and his obsequies held in the 
Cathedral with all the grand and imposing ceremonies of the 
Catholic church, of which he was a prominent member; and 
to him, more than to any other of its many laymen, is it 



G^:n i{ vVA^^Kt^H 

of riic 

City of Milwaukee. 



indebted for the first financial aid it ever received in this city. 
This was the first time that the old settlers came out in a body 
to attend the funeral of a pioneer, and led to the formation 
of the present club. Over five thousand people were present 
on this occasion. Mr. Juneau was interred first in the old 
cemetery on Spring street and subsequently at Calvary. 

"Juneau, so fair and whose wit was so keen 
Came here in the year eighteen hundred eighteen. 
An Indian trader of fame and renown 
Lived on the East Side, called Juneau's town. 
And in fact, was the king of the place. 
So manly and bold, with a dark hazel eye, 
Always told you the truth and never a lie. 
This pioneer man of his race." 

George H. Walker. 

George H. Walker came to Milwaukee from Bedford 
county, Virginia, in 1834, and located upon the South Side. 

Here he erected a log house upon the old point, it being 
the first ever erected by an Anglo-Saxon, with the exception 
of the one built by Capt. Thomas G. Anderson in 1803, upon 
that side. 

In person he was of medium height, heavy build, with a 
countenance expressive of mirth (of which he was full), com- 
manding presence, courteous and dignified in his intercourse 
with his fellow men and generous to a fault. He was also 
possessed of great personal magnetism. 

He, like Juneau, cared nothing for money for its own sake, 
but spent it freely. 

He was a man of great influence in public affairs; in politics 
a Democrat of the Jeffersonian school; was active in all the 
political campaigns of his time and the public enterprises of 
the day; was one of the first to aid in building the Milwaukee 
& Mississippi Railroad (now the Prairie du Chien division 
of the C. , M. & St. P. R'y), was upon its board of directors 
for years ; and there was, in fact, no enterprise of any 
importance undertaken in his day in which he did not 


He also held many important offices ; was canal com- 
missioner, twice mayor, register in the Land Office under 
Polk, and one of the board of managers over the National 
Asylum, appointed by the secretary of war, which office he 
held at his death. He was truly a representative man. He 
died Sept. 20, 1866, aged 56. 

"Walker, thy name, too, with Kilbourn's shall stand. 
As one of the fathers in this goodly land. 
Where you took so early and active a part, 
Which gave to this city her first grand start, 
And watched o'er her infantile years; 
Who was so well known all over the west. 
As one of Milwaukee's earliest and best. 
And a leader among her peers. 

Byron Kildourx. 

Byron Kilbourn came to Milwaukee in 1835, from the State 
of Ohio. He was by profession a civil engineer, and as such 
held a high rank in the profession. 

In person he was tall and commanding, sharp features, 
keen, expressive e3'e ; looked you square in the face when 
speaking, and was in every respect one who would command 
attention from all with whom he came in contact. 

He was possessed of a will of iron, good judgment, 
excellent executive abilities, great brain power, saw far away 
into the future, and possessed a magnetism that would both 
attract and attach to himself and his plans all who came under 
its influence. He was a born leader. 

He knew the value of money, and how to use it; could tell 
at a glance the competency of ever}' man, and the right place 
for him. He was prominent in the organization of the Prairie 
du Chien and La Crosse railroads, particularlj' the latter, 
of which he might truthfuU}' be called the father. 

His positive character often made him enemies, but for that 
he cared ver}' little. The more he was opposed the stronger 
became his will, and the result would be the accomplishment 
of whatever he undertook. 


He, like Walker, took a deep interest in politics, and was 
like him, a Democrat. He was twice mayor, and to his 
liberality is the city indebted for the ground upon which 
stands the Kilbourn Park Reservoir. 

Such was Byron Kilbourn. He has left a record, both in 
city and State that shall never die, 

' ' Kilbourn ! The sound of that magical name 
Awakens old memories, opens old veins — 
A man of large brain, and great power of will, 
Who kept things moving, ne'er let them stand still. 
And vast were the works that he planned ; 
With the eye of a seer, he looked far away, 
And told us the best place our railroads to lay, 
That to-day extend over the land. 

He died and was buried at Jacksonville, Florida, December 
1 6th, 1870, aged 69 years. 





Gentlemen : 

During the last year death has taken from us one of our members, 
to whom, more than any other, we owe the separate and peculiar organiza- 
tion of this Association, who was for several terms its president, and who had 
been for many years the most prominent and the most influential of our 
citizens — Alexander Mitchell. At our meeting on the day of his funeral I 
promised to prepare a memorial address for this anniversary. 

While it is utterly impossible to do anything like justice to the life and 
character of such a man in the brief space permitted by this occasion, it 
cannot be allowed to pass without an attempt to place on our records some 
appropriate, even though inadequate, tribute to his memory. 

Alexander Mitchell, born in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, October i8th, 1817, 
came to America and to Milwaukee in the Spring of 1839. He came at the 
invitation of George Smith, also a Scotchman, who had established him- 
self in Chicago as a banker some half a dozen years before. Mr. Smith had 
procured from the territorial legislature of Wisconsin the incorporation of 
the Wisconsin Marine and Fire Insurance Company, and had organized 


the same early in 1839. While this corporation was ostensibly intended to 
carry on the business of Fire and Marine Insurance, and one clause of the 
charter denied it banking powers, other clauses specifically authorized it to 
receive deposits, to issue certificates of deposit and to loan money. These 
banking privileges were what Mr. Smith meant to use, and did use; very 
little insurance business ever having been done by the corporation. Mr. 
Smith, the president, remained in Chicago, attending to his banking 
business there, while Mr. Mitchell was sent to Milwaukee to take charge of 
the Wisconsin Marine and Fire Insurance Company, as its Secretary. 

The village of Milwaukee had then a population of about twelve 
hundred, while the whole territory of Wisconsin contained only thirty 
thousand people. 

In this small village, in a sparsely settled country, Mr. Mitchell, a youth 
not yet twenty-two years of age, opened his modest office and commenced 
his career as a banker. The business at first must have been exceedingly 
small, but the bank was soon found to be a great convenience to the 
community, while the young banker rapidly gained the confidence of the 
business men. The country was fast settling up, the town was growing and 
the volume of commercial transactions grew with it. 

But Mr. Smith's main purpose in establishing the Wisconsin Marine and 
Fire Insurance Company was not to afford banking facilities to the people 
of Milwaukee, nor did he mean to content himself with the profit to be 
derived from receiving their deposits and loaning them mone3\ His real pur- 
pose became apparent when certificates of deposit, issued by the Wisconsin 
Marine and Fire Insurance Company, in the similitude of bank notes and 
payable to bearer, began to be put in circulation, not only in Milwaukee, 
but by his Chicago office and by his correspondents and agents at different 
points throughout the west. The western people had suffered so much 
from irredeemable and utterly worthless wild-cat bank currency that they 
were naturally very suspicious, and little inclined to place an}- confidence 
in the new circulating notes. Their issue was denounced by many, as a vio- 
lation of the charter of the Company, and provoked the Territorial Legis- 
lature to pass an act in 1844 repealing the Act of Incorporation. But in 
spite of all question as to its legality, the new issue gradually made its way 
into general use throughout the west; and as this paper was always 
redeemed in coin upon presentation, as every organized run was successfully 
met, the distrust of the people wore away, and was succeeded bj' the 
utmost confidence in the solvency of the corporation and in the ability and 
good faith of its managers. The amount of this circulation rapidly 
increased. It reached half a million of dollars, then a million, and finally 
nearly a million and a half. Of course the profits of such a circulation 
were enormous, in a country where the rates of interest ranged from ten to 
twelve per cent, per annum, and even much higher. 


These profits went into the pockets of George Smith, as, within a short 
time after the company commenced operations, he had bought out nearly 
or quite all of the other stockholders, who were doubtless rendered timid 
by the continued threats of the legislative or other authorities of the terri- 
tory to attempt the legal suppression and winding-up of the company. 

Wisconsin was admitted as a State in 1848, and in 1852 Leonard J. Far- 
well became Governor, and, as is supposed, by his influence or direction 
the Attorney General commenced proceedings by quo warranto to test the 
legality of the operations of the Company and to wind it up; but a truce 
was soon arranged and the proceedings stayed. The legislature had passed 
a free banking act, which, under the provisions of the State Constitution, 
was to be submitted to a vote of the people at the November election in 
1852, and, if approved by them, would go into effect January ist, 1853. On 
the part of Mr. Smith it was agreed that if this law should so go into 
effect, the Wisconsin Marine and Fire Insurance Company should be wound 
up, its circulation withdrawn, and the institution should be reorganized 
under the general banking law of the State. On this understanding the legal 
proceedings came to a halt. The law was approved, and under its provis- 
ions, in January, 1853, the Wisconsin Marine and Fire Insurance Company 
Bank was organized, with acapital of $100,000, with Alexander Mitchell 
as President, and David Ferguson as Cashier, though George Smith owned 
subst£ntially all the stock. 

But events now began to shape themselves for a culmination, in the spring 
of 1854, which should bring a great change in the position and fortunes of 
Mr. Mitchell, and a corresponding benefit to Milwaukee. Under the Wis- 
consin banking law, a bank could not issue circulating notes to a larger 
amount than its capital stock; and it soon became evident that Mr. Smith, 
accustomed to the great profits arising from the large circulation of the 
Wisconsin Marine and Fire Insurance Company notes, was not going to 
be content with the $100,000 permitted the new bank. He procured a 
charter from the legislature of Georgia and organized a bank of issue at 
Atlanta — then a rather inaccessible point in that State. He undertook to 
replace the retired circulation of the Old Wisconsin Marine and Fire 
Insurance Company, by paying out through his offices in Chicago and in 
Milwaukee, and through his correspondents, the issues of his Atlanta Bank. 
The people of Wisconsin did not take kindly to this operation, regarding it 
as an infringement upon the rights of the new banks of the State, and as an 
attempt to occupy the field which belonged to them. After a sharp struggle 
for several months to force his Georgia money into circulation, he was com- 
pelled to give up the fight in the spring of 1854, and came to the determina- 
tion to withdraw from Wisconsin. It is said that in his chagrin, he sent 
word to Mr. Mitchell to close up the Milwaukee bank and bring its effects to 
Chicago. However this may be, it is certain that at this time Mr. Mitchell 


entered into negotiations with Mr. Smith, which ended in the transfer of 
the stock of the bank to Mr. Mitchell, and gave him the opportunity to 
enter upon his subsequent independent and most successful career. 

Mr. Mitchell was now nearly thirty-seven years old. He had married in 
1841, and had built and occupied in 1848 the plain brick house on Ninth 
street, which, with many alterations and additions, and with a very great 
enlargement of the grounds, continued to be his homestead as long as he lived. 
While by no means a very rich man when he became a banker on his own 
account and responsibility, he had yet made considerable savings, which it 
is needless to say had been invested to good advantage and had largely 
increased. He had had fifteen years experience and training in his profession, 
as the trusted lieutenant of George Smith, in charge of one division of his 
large financial operations, and now a free career was open to him, on 
which he was to enter relying on his own abilities, and his own resources. 
The rapid development and wonderful success of this career can be justly 
appreciated only by those who understand that Mr. Mitchell had been up 
to this time the employee of Mr. Smith, and that while he had managed 
with signal ability the legitimate business of the Milwaukee office, the 
maintenance of the enormous circulation of the Wisconsin Marine and Fire 
Insurance Company had rested mainly upon George Smith, and at times 
had tried his great abilities and resources to the utmost. 

But it was still the day of small things in Wisconsin. At this time (1854) 
the population of Milwaukee was about 27,000, and of the state 500,000. 
The railroads connecting Milwaukee with the interior were slowly making 
their way across the state. The pioneer road — The Milwaukee and Missis- 
sippi — had reached Madison (100 miles); the Milwaukee and Watertown 
ended at Watertown {44 miles): the La Crosse and Milwaukee was running 
out about thirty miles towards Horicon. These were all the railroad facili- 
ties Milwaukee then had — but they were destined to increase rapidly, and 
the business and population of the city increased with them. 

The new Wisconsin Marine and Fire Insurance Company Bank received 
no check from the withdrawal of Mr. Smith; but though a number of strong 
banks and banking houses were now in full operation in Milwaukee, it 
steadily maintained the leading position, and advanced rapidly in strength 
and amount of business transacted. 

The great panic of 1857 came and passed away, but continued prosperity 
attended Mr. Mitchell's operations. 

The opening of the war of the rebellion in 1861 threatened a nearlj' gen- 
eral overthrow of the banks in operation under the general banking :aw of 
Wisconsin. The securities deposited with the State to secure their circu- 
lating notes, were, to a large extent, the bonds of southern states, which 
suddenly fell to less than one-half their par value, while all other securities, 
whether State or National, were much depreciated. It was only by the 


most vigorous efforts on the part of the bankers and merchants of Milwau- 
kee that utter disaster was averted, and the outstanding circulation of the 
Wisconsin banks was put on a specie-paying basis. The measures adopted 
not only saved the banking system, but materially assisted to help the State, 
by providing a home market for the State bonds, issued to defray the 
expense of putting the Wisconsin volunteers in the field, on much better 
terms than the State officers had been able to make in the money markets 
of the east. This was done by replacing with Wisconsin bonds, in which 
our own people had full confidence, the depreciated securities held for the 
protection of our bank circulation. 

In all these operations Mr. Mitchell took an active and leading part. 

At this time (1861) the finances of the city of Milwaukee were in very 
bad shape. To help the different struggling railroads, the city had issued 
its bonds to the amount of about a million and a half of dollars. These 
bonds were issued as a loan of credit to the railroad companies, which were 
expected to pay the interest and ultimately the principal. Nearly all the 
railroads (all but one, I believe) failed to pay this interest, which then 
became a charge on the city that it was unable to meet. After some years of 
default and confusion, reaching nearly to repudiation and bankruptcy, a. 
scheme was devised for the re-adjustment of the city debt at a lower rate 
of interest, with provision for a sinking fund, and restraining the city from 
getting deeper in debt; all of which was sanctioned by legal enactment in 

These measures were, in a large degree, due to Mr. Mitchell, and were 
fully effectual in restoring the credit of the city, and in keeping its finan- 
cial affairs henceforward upon a sound basis. Mr. Mitchell was appointed 
one of three commissioners of the public debt at this time, and served the 
city continuously from term to term, in that capacity, until his death. 

But we must pass on to consider the next important turning point 
in Mr. Mitchell's life, when, in 1865, under circumstances most honorable 
to himself, he became a prominent railroad manager, by accepting the 
Presidency of the Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Company. 

All the early Wisconsin railroad corporations had failed to be remunera- 
tive to their stockholders; they could not pay their running expenses and 
the interest on their mortgage debt, so that all had to be re-organized on 
foreclosure of mortgages, and thus passed into the hands of the mortgage 
bondholders, who were mostly eastern men. 

Mr. Mitchell had been more interested in the Milwaukee & Watertown 
than in any of the others. This road had become consolidated with the 
La Crosse & Milwaukee in 1856, and had then been sold out and changed 
hands, and changed names two or three times. Mr. Mitchell became 
engaged with Mr. Russell Sage and other eastern capitalists, in a plan to 
reorganize the La Crosse & Milwaukee Railroad Company and the 


Milwaukee & Watertown. The litigation was prolonged, but in 1863 the 
Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Company was organized, having that year 
got possession and ownership of that part of the La Crosse & Milwaukee 
Railroad between Portage and La Crosse, and of the Milwaukee & Water- 
town, then completed as far as Columbus; but the old La Crosse Line from 
Milwaukee to Portage was still in the hands of the receiver. The Milwau- 
kee & St. Paul got a continuous line from Milwaukee to La Crosse, by 
building in the links from Columbus to Portage, and from Brookfield 
Junction to Milwaukee. D. M. Hughes was the first President of the 
Milwaukee & St. Paul, and then Russell Sage. 

But the new corporation did not succeed any better than the old ones. It 
failed to pay running expenses and the interest on the mortgage debt. In 
the spring of 1865 the road was in a very embarrassed condition. It owed 
everybody; it could not pay its employes nor the people who furnished its 
supplies. Under these circumstances, the eastern directors proposed to 
allow the first mortgage to be foreclosed and all the unsecured creditors to be 
cut off. But Mr. Mitchell, who was also a director, said no, this should not 
be done; that with proper management the road could be rescued from its 
difficulties and made to pay its way. 

He was thereupon challenged to take the Presidency, and make the 
attempt to save the Company. This office he agreed to accept, provided 
they would allow him to call to his aid Mr. S. S. Merrill as the active 
manager of the road. This was agreed to. By Mr. Mitchell's influence, 
some extension of time was obtained on the most pressing debts, and under 
the vigorous, prudent and enterprising management of Mr. Mitchell and 
Mr. Merrill, the business and earnings were rapidly increased, so that within 
it very few months the company began to pay off the floating debt, and 
within a year was in good financial condition. Its prosperity increased, 
and it soon entered on that career of extension of its own, and absorption 
of other railroads, which continued for the twenty-two years of Mr. 
Mitchell's Presidency. 

When he accepted that office, all the road belonging to the Milwaukee 
& St. Paul Company was the line running from Milwaukee to La Crosse, by 
way of Watertown, Columbus and Portage, with a short track from Water- 
town to Sun Prairie, and the disconnected line from Horicon to Berlin of 
about fifty miles, or in all about 270 miles. When he died, the corporation 
owned and operated over 5,000 miles of railway, covering Wisconsin, North- 
ern Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, Dakota and reaching down to Kansas City, 
in Missouri. 

While during these twenty-two years the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul 
Railway Co. had grown to be a giant among corporations, the country cov- 
ered by its net work of iron had also increased enormously in wealth and 
population. In 1865 the inhabitants of Milwaukee numbered 55,641, and 


of Wisconsin, 868,000. In 1887 our city contained about 175,000 people, 
our state 1,650,000, and great empires had grown up in the new region west 
of the Mississippi. 

Of course the position of Mr. Mitchell, as the head of a large and pro- 
gressive railway company, gave him, in many ways, enlarged opportunities 
for making money. He was already a rich and prosperous banker, but 
from this time on his wealth increased most rapidly. His successful man- 
agement extended his reputation over the country, while Milwaukee, Wis- 
consin and the whole Northwest had reason to be thankful that the control 
of this great railroad corporation had fallen into his hands. 

But Mr. Mitchell's operations were by no means confined to his bank, to 
the railroad, and to his exertions for the general interests of the city and 
the state. He had a share in many business enterprises in Milwaukee and 
was expected to take part in nearly all. 

In 1869 the Northwestern National Insurance Company was organized and 
commenced operations. Mr. Mitchell became the largest stockholder, and 
the President of the Company, which, under his continual and fostering 
care, had, at the time of his death, become a large, strong and successful 

Mr. Mitchell served two terms in congress, having been elected in 1870 
and again in 1872. But though he made his mark in the House of Repre- 
sentatives by his general ability, and drew the attention of the country bj- 
a very able speech in 1874, on the financial situation, a political career was 
not in accordance with his tastes. 

To those who knew Mr. Mitchell during all these years it was very inter- 
esting to observe how his character seemed to broaden and deepen, and his 
ability to grow with every additional burden of responsibility put upon 
him, until it actually seemed as if the greater the load the more easily he 
carried it. 

During the last ten or twelve years of his life the casual observer might 
readily have set him down as a gentleman of leisure. At a reasonably 
early hour in the morning he would put in an appearance at the bank, 
examine his mail, and give brief attention to any matter that required it. In 
a little while he would take a stroll through the railroad offices, and then 
perhaps step in to have a little chat with the officers of the Insurance Com- 
pany, all in a leisurely, unconcerned sort of a way, as if he had no busi- 
ness in particular to look after and was making a friendly call. Yet you 
may be sure he had a perfect understanding of what was going on in all 
these institutions, and was fully competent to advise or direct when occa- 
sion arose. At noon he usually appeared on the floor of the Chamber of 
Commerce, as a disinterested spectator, quietly observing what was going 
on. Then a leisurely lunch, another short visit to the bank, and at three 



o'clock, rain or shine, hot or cold, his carriage was at the door of his office, 
and a drive of two or three hours, with some friend for a companion, was 
the order of the day. 

Such was the manner of his daily life for years. .\l\ his various business 
interests were so systematized that other hands did the work, though his 
assistants were required to use their heads as well as their hands; but the 
clues to all these diverse operations centered in his brain, and everything 
was under his supervision. 

While his understanding of all kinds of business seemed almost intuitive, 
he was pre-eminently a banker and financier. With the true modesty of 
his nature he would always disclaim the credit for his success as a railroad 
manager, and would insist that the praise should be given to Mr. Merrill 
and his other assistants for the achievements in this line. 

But he was proud of his Bank. That to him was his chief glory. Its 
perpetuity was his chief care. 

While, by the pro\'isions of his will, the bulk of his great wealth went to 
his onl}' son, John L. Mitchell, the bank was left in equal shares to his son, 
to his nephew, John Johnston, who had been in it for many years, and to 
David Ferguson, who had been its Cashier from the start, and had been in 
the old Wisconsin Marine and Fire Insurance Company from 1840 He 
thus left the Bank strong in resources and in financial support, and strong 
in the ability and experience of its managers, insuring, as far as human 
foresight could, its continued prosperit\- and usefulness. 

During the last two years of his life, I was often asked, " \\'hat is ^Ir. 
Mitchell going to do for Milwaukee ? My reply usually was that he had 
been at work for this city for forty-five years. " Yes; but what charitable 
or educational institution is he going to establish and endovv with a part of 
his great wealth?" I could only repl}- that I had no information whatever 
on that subject; but that with my idea of his character, I did not believe he 
would undertake to set up any such institution ; that it did not seem to me 
to be his way, and that I thought him little likel}^ to put any considerable 
part of his estate into the hands of trustees to be managed for any such 
purpose. Nor would he seek to perpetuate his memory by such means; 
but would leave to his heirs the responsibility of managing his accumulated 
wealth, and of guarding the honor of the name which his life had made so 
notable ; and so dear to the people of Milwaukee. 

After Mr Mitchell became so prominent in position and in wealth, the 
calls on him for financial help, for all sorts of enterprises and for all 
purposes, were unceasing and often most unreasonable. The amount he 
gave to objects that he thought deserving must have made quite an inroad 
on his large income. He was always ready to do his share, but he disliked 
exceedingly to be asked to carry the burdens of those who did not make 
vigorous efforts to help themselves. Speaking of such a case once to me 


he said, " ought to put his own shoulder to the wheel before he 

calls on Hercules." 

Mr. Mitchell was a true Democrat — a true Republican— in the general 
sense of those words. There was no shoddy in his composition. He dis- 
liked anything like display or ostentation. He could not bear flattery nor 
anything approaching the gushing or bombastic in style — he used clear, 
simple and vigorous English himself, and could express his ideas in very 
concise and pithy language. His keen intellect and strong common-sense 
had received the advantage of a fair education in his youth and of a wide 
range of reading and experience in his maturer years. 

He was perhaps more affable and easy of approach in his latter days of 
great wealth and high position than when he was younger and poorer. 

What the people of Milwaukee thought of him was shown on two 
memorable occasions, 

On his return from his last visit to the old country in October, 1883, he 
received at the hands of his fellow-citizens a reception and ovation as 
hearty, cordial and demonstrative as was ever accorded to the best loved 
prince or ruler by any people. The sayings and doings on that occasion 
are matters of history. They are in print and are preserved in the archives 
of our A.ssociation. 

For a year or two Mr. Mitchell's usually robust health had at times 
shown signs of giving way, and to avoid the rigors of our climate, by the 
advice of his physicians he spent the whole of last winter in Florida, 
residing at his wife's beautiful winter home, the "Villa Alexandra " on the 
St. John's River, near Jacksonville. On his way home in the spring he 
was taken down with pneumonia in New York city, and died there, April 
19th, 1887. 

On the occasion of his funeral, our whole city was in mourning. It was 
evident that thousands felt that they had lost a friend, to whom in case of 
need they could have gone for counsel or help, and whose death they 
mourned with sincere grief. The members of our Association attended 
his body to the grave, in our beautiful "Forest Home Cemetery," whose 
gates must, in the course of nature, soon open for the last of us; when, as 
of him, so of us, there will be nothing left in this world but a fading 
memory, and such measure of influence as our lives may leave behind us. 



Milwaukee, Wis., April 21, 18S7. 
The Board of Directors of the Northwestern National Insurance 
Company, finding it their painful duty to take note of the death of their 
late president, Mr. Alexander Mitchell, have ordered this minute to be 
entered in the records of the Company. 


While the great qualities of mind and heart of the deceased have 
endeared him to his neighbours, to his business associates, and to the 
people of our city; and his long, successful and eminent business career as 
the oldest and most prominent banker of our state, and as president for 
many years of one of the greatest and most progressive railroads in the 
world, has given him a national reputation and has made his name a house- 
hold word in our Northwestern region as a synonym of financial ability and 
strict integrity; his relations with this company have always been peculiarly 
intimate, cordial and confidential, and he was, so to speak, a great part of 
the company itself. 

On his wise and prudent counsels, his financial support, and his wide- 
spread reputation, the success and the continued growth of the company in 
business and in strength has largely been dependent, from the early days 
when it was severely tried and nearly overwhelmed in the great Chicago 
fire, until it has attained its present properous and strong condition. 

As expressed by one of our absent Directors in a telegraphic message: 
" We are filled with sorrow at Mr. Mitchell's death; we who know him so 
well can best understand the value of his counsels and appreciate 
the magnitude of the loss his death occasions." 

While we try to give some expression to our own grief, we must not 
forget those on whom the loss falls yet more severely than on us, and we 
would therefore tender to the widow and family of our deceased president 
our most sincere and heartfelt sympathy. 

Judge Andrew G.'\lhraith Miller. 

This gentleman came to Milwaukee from Gettsysbnrg, 
Pennsj'lvania, in 1838, as the successor of Hon. Wm. C. 
Frazier. In person he was tall and stout; had a large head, 
blue eyes, black hair; voice clear and distinct; spoke with 
emphasis and quite rapidl}'; was of commanding presence 
and in every sense one who would attract attention in any 
place or position. He was straight as an arrow, walked with 
an eas}', dignified movement, each step always the same in 
length, a la viilitaire. He was a keen observer of men and 
their ways; saw all that was enacted around him — nothing 
ever escaped his eye; kept his own counsel and always acted 
upon his own judgment. His habits were simple and uni- 
form, never changing. His morals were of the strictest kind; 
neither could he be made to swerve from what he believed to 
be right, or in any way countenance wrong doing in others. 


With Strangers he was reticent; with acquaintances and 
friends he was social, and affable and polite to all. And as 
a judge no man has ever sat upon the bench in this country 
whose decisions have given more satisfaction or have been 
more universally respected than were his. 

Like Kilbourn, he had a positive character, which, of 
course, made him enemies, but for this he cared very little, 
preferring the approval of his own conscience to the good 
will of any one. 

He was very industrious, always seeking to understand the 
merits of the cases brought before him and did, no flaw or 
technical mistake ever escaping his observation. His law 
books were not for show; they were his constant study; and 
of him it can be truthfully said that he possessed one of the 
best legal minds in the country. He was a born jurist; the 
law was his delight. He looked upon the legal profession as 
the grandest of all professions (and it is if rightly adminis- 
tered). In social intercourse his face always wore a pleasant 
smile. He had a healthy mind, as well as a healthy body, 
and enjoyed life in a dignified, common sense manner. 

His charities to the poor were boundless, but of this he 
made no boast, having his reward in an approving conscience. 

In political faith he was a Jeffersonian Democrat of the old 
school and believed in executing the law as he found it. In 
religious faith he was a Churchman and for years one of the 
main pillars of old St. Paul. 

He was also one of the most prominent men in the Old 
Settlers' Club, in which he took a deep interest; was twice 
elected its president; and some of the most valuable historic 
matter ever published by it for the public was the work of his 
hand, particularly that upon the judiciary. 

Such was Andrew G. Miller. He was born at Carlisle, Pa., 
September i8, 1801. He died September 30, 1874, aged 
seventy-three, having previously resigned his office, after a 
continuous service of forty years, and was buried at Forest 
Home cemetery. 

296 pioneer history 

Deacon Samuel Brown. 

This gentleman came to Milwaukee from Chicago first, as 
previously stated, with Messrs. Chase and Burdick, in 1834, 
and lastly in 1835, settling in what is now the Ninth ward, 
where he continued to reside until his death. His fellow- 
citizens were not slow to discover in Deacon Brown those 
sterling qualities that make the perfect man, and he at once 
became popular and influential. A strong friendship was 
soon formed between himself and Mr. Kilbourn, lasting 
through life, Mr. Brown having great faith in Mr. Kilbourn 
and his plans. 

In person Deacon Brown was tall, with a large frame, 
capable of great endurance; he had dark brown hair, dark 
blue eyes, a soft voice, almost feminine in its tone; he spoke 
short and quick, walked with a quick, steady stride, his e}'es 
usuall}' cast upon the ground, as though in deep thought; he 
was somewhat reticent in company; kept his own counsel, 
never interfering, unasked, with the affairs of others; was 
regular and methodical in all he did; was a good financier; 
quick to see and quick to decide; and as a companionable 
man unexcelled. 

Perhaps no person has ever lived in Milwaukee with so 
positive a character as Deacon Brown, who had so few ene- 
mies, or to whom more people have applied in the hour of 
trouble, domestic or pecuniary, for advice, than to him. Many 
a law suit has been prevented by his influence. He was a 
peacemaker, always. 

Deacon Brown was one of the few of the earlj' men who 
had the good sense to hold on to the place first selected until 
the cit)' grew to him. The result was that he became 
wealthj'. Much of his farm was, however, embraced within 
the cit}' previous to his death and a few }'ears more will see 
the whole of it covered with buildings. 

He was a man of the strictest morals and rectitude; neither 
would he countenance wrong doing in others. He was also a 
firm champion of temperance; and his word once given was 



&'-C r ^' 



never violated; neither would he go in debt if it could be 
avoided, always paying as he went. He was also a prominent 
member of the Old Settlers' Club and its second president, 
and in his death the club lost a worthy member, the church a 
consistent Christian, and the country a valuable citizen. He 
was born at Bethlehem, Hampshire county, Mass., January 8, 
1804. He died December 22, 1874, aged seventy years, and 
was buried in Forest Home cemetery. 

Dr. Erastus B. Wolcott. 

This distinguished son of ^sculapius was born at Benton, 
Ontario count}', N. Y., October 18, 1804. He was bred an 
army surgeon and as such his early years were spent among 
the different frontier posts, lastly at Mackinac; but tiring at 
length with the monotony and sameness of garrison life, he 
resigned and came to Milwaukee first in the spring of 1838, 
lastly July 4, 1839. He at once took a high position as physi- 
cian and surgeon, ranking the first in the northwest, which 
rank he held through life. 

In person he was tall and slim and straight as an arrow; 
had a large head, light hair, blue eyes, florid complexion; 
stepped quick; his_ voice was clear and distinct; spoke quick 
and very emphatic, and was one that would command respect 
and whose lead men would instinctively follow. He was in 
fact, physically, one of nature's most perfect models. 

The doctor was a lineal descendant of Gov. Oliver Wolcott, 
one of that Spartan band whose name is affixed to the 
Declaration of Independence, and whose sterling qualities he 
had inherited, viz. : courage, firmness and resolution, backed 
by a will of iron. He was in manners a perfect gentleman, 
courteous and affable to all, but would brook no insult from 
any one. 

Few men in the profession have performed as many and 
difficult surgical operations as has he. He was a born sur- 
geon, and as a horseman had no superior in the state. He 


was without exception the handsomest rider that ever lived 
in Milwaukee; he was also a great sportsman, spending nearlj' 
half his time in his early life in hunting. 

In political faith he was an unswerving and uncompromising 
Republican; always at the front when work was to be done; 
voted the way he shot; was fearless and outspoken in his 
views on all matters pertaining to the public good; no man in 
the city more so; had a high sense of mercantile honor and 
probity, never stating anything that was not strictly true. 
Neither has any man ever lived in Milwaukee who possessed 
the magnetism, or who could control the passions of an 
excited mob, or put down a riot, or to whom the people would 
listen on occasion of great excitement as quickly, or in whom 
they had as much confidence as in Dr. E. B. Wolcott. Fear- 
less himself, he soon infused the same spirit into others; his 
courage was undoubted and his coolness wonderful. 

He was also one of the most industrious men in the city, 
never idle, and was when over seventy apparently as active as 
a boy; neither was there a man in all the cit}' whose step was 
lighter or more elastic than his. 

He has held man}' offices of importance and honor; was 
surgeon-general during the rebellion and one of the first 
commissioners appointed by the secretary of war in charge 
of the National Asylum for disabled soldiers. 

He was also a prominent member of the Old Settlers' 
Club and took a deep interest in the objects for which it was 
organized, attending all its meetings and aiding to promote 
its usefulness. 

Such was Erastus B. Wolcott, one of Milwaukee's most 
respected and useful citizens, and one whom her people 
delighted to honor. He died January 5, 1886. 

' Eliphalet Cramer. 

This gentleman was born at Waterford, N. Y., June 18, 
1813, and came to Milwaukee June 17, 1836. He was by 
profession a lawyer but I think never practiced in this state. 


It was his good fortune to have money and of course he 
made money. As a money-lender and speculator he was the 
compeer of Pixley. 

In person he was of medium height and build and of an 
extremely nervous temperament; wanted his own way in 
everything and generally managed to have it, nolens volens; 
he was keen and sharp and had good executive abilities; held 
several important public offices and was one of the most 
industrious and hard working men of his time. He was fond 
of fun and mischief and generally had a hand in all that was 
going on among his associates in that line in his youthful 
days. As he grew older he became more sedate and reticent. 

He was for years the president of the gas company in this 
city, in which he was a large stockholder, and lastly in the 
old State Bank, the duties of which proved too much for his 
failing strength, causing a mental prostration from which he 
never recovered. He was also a prominent member of 
Plymouth church (not of Brooklyn) from its infancy to the 
close of his life. He accumulated a large property and was 
one of Milwaukee's solid men. He died September i8, 1872, 
and was buried at Forest Home cemetery. 

Cyrus Hawley. 
This gentleman was born at Hampton, Fairfield county. 
Conn., June 12, 1802; came to Milwaukee August 30, 1835, 
and at once became prominent in the young and rising citj'. 
He was above the medium height, of slight frame; had a 
large head, high forehead, light hair, blue eyes, a sharp, clear 
voice; was exceedingly nervous at times, not always; kept 
his own affairs as close as possible; was very conscientious; 
strictly honest, even to a fault; looked sharp after his busi- 
ness; was very economical and of course made money; saw 
far ahead, and upon the strength of his own judgment made 
those large purchases of real estate that became the founda- 
tion of all his wealth. He held many important offices; was 
register of deeds (the first one ever elected); was the first 
clerk of court, which office he held for many years, giving 


universal satisfaction. These continued mental labors finally 
impaired his health and he retired to his farm, where he spent 
the remainder of his days in watching the steady advance of 
the city towards his homestead and its consequent daily 
increase in value until he became in fact as he was in name, 
one of Milwaukee's solid men. 

In political faith he was a Republican; was very active in 
all the political issues of the times in which he lived; firm for 
the right and as firm against the wrong. 

In religious faith he was an Episcopalian; was one of the 
staunch pillars of the old St. Paul's church and was for years 
upon its official board. 

It will not be considered flattery to say that Mr. Hawley was 
one of the most useful men of his time, which he certainly 
was. His example was one to emulate. He was an active 
member of the Old Settlers' Club and took a great interest in 
the objects for which it was organized. He died in 1871 and 
was buried at Forest Home cemetery. 

Fennimore C. PomeroV. 

This gentleman was born at Cooperstown, Otsego county, 
N. Y., November 4, 1818; came to Milwaukee, May 28, 1837. 
He was engaged as teacher in the public schools, in which he 
was very successful, and was for several 3'ears superintendent, 
giving general satisfaction to both teachers and pupils. He 
was of medium height; had dark hair and eyes; was of a 
nervous temperament; walked fast, with his eyes constantly 
fixed upon the ground. 

He was also very retiring in his manners; made few 
acquaintances; seldom went from home; had no evil habits 
or associates, and was in fact a first-class man, strictly honest 
and conscientious, and although one of the earliest to come 
to Milwaukee, was perhaps the least known of any among 
our citizens outside his immediate circle, never seeking 
notoriety, but rather avoiding it. Mr. Pomeroy had a pre- 
sentiment that he would die in 1870; and as the year 
approached was gloomy and sad, and when taken sick made 




the remark that this would be his last sickness. When 
talking Mr. Pomeroy was animated, the color coming and 
going in his face, like Dr. Proudfit. Peace to his memorj'. 

He was very active in the organization of the Old Settlers' 
Club and was its first secretary, which office he held at his 
death, which occurred August 25, 1870. He left a wife and 
daughter to mourn his untimely death. 

Hans Crockkr. 

This gentleman came to Milwaukee from Chicago, in 1836, 
and at once commenced the practice of law, his first partner 
being Horatio N. Wells, afterwards Mr. J. H. Tweedy. 

In person he was short and stoutly built; had a florid 
complexion and dark eyes; walked with a quick, nervous step; 
had a nervous temperament; spoke short and quick, with a 
strong accent upon the last part of each word; voice loud and 
clear; had few intimate friends; was usuallj' very reticent, 
particularly with strangers. Mr. Crocker was a good political 
wire-puller and as such took a prominent part in all the issues 
of the day; and as has already been seen, was much in office 
in the earlj' history of our state as a member of the council. 
He was also canal commissioner under the old canal system, 
and was known far and wide as Mr. Mitchell's right hand 
man in the various railroad enterprises connected with the 
formation of the present C, M. & St. Paul system. 

His death, which occurred March 17, i88g, has left a void 
not easily filled, as his peculiar personal characteristics were 
such as to make him prominent in any capacit}' or position he 
chanced to occupy. An obituary of this pioneer will be found 
in the Sentinel of March 18, i88g. He was once mayor. 

James MuRRA^■. 

This gentleman came to Milwaukee from Crieff, Scotland, 
in 1835. He was by occupation a painter and the first of the 
craft to make his home in the embryo city. 

He was of medium height and heavy build; had light, 
sandy hair, dark blue ej'es, a full, open countenance, a large 


head and great bodily strength; walked fast and erect; saw 
all that was going on around him; was always full of mirth; 
had good business and executive abilities and was a universal 
favorite with all. He was among the first to go in pursuit of 
the Indians who killed Burnett, in the fall of 1835, and 
remained with the party until they were safely lodged in the 
fort at Green Bay. I do not think he knew what fear was. 
He was a splendid looking man. 

His habits of life were simple and his morals of the strictest 
kind; neither could he in any way be induced to lend his aid 
or influence to anything that was wrong. With that thrift so 
peculiar to his race he at once commenced to accumulate 
wealth, in which he was more than usually successful, the 
property known as Murray's addition being among his first 

His voice was round, clear and musical, with the Scotch 
accent strong. He was in political faith a Republican and 
took an active part in all the political issues of the day. In 
religious faith he was, like most of his race in this country, a 
staunch Presbyterian and one of the main pillars of the old 
first church. 

No man that ever lived in Milwaukee has left a better 
record behind him as a legacy to his children than James 
Murray; neither will his manly form and pleasant smile ever 
fade in the memory of his brother pioneers while life remains. 
He died in June, 1863, in the same unpretending house in 
which he commenced his wedded life, where his widow still 
resides in the enjo3'nient of abundant wealth honestly earned. 
Peace to his memory. 

Joshua Hathaway. 
This gentleman came to Milwaukee from Rome, N. Y., in 
1835, and at once assumed a high rank in the young city. 
He was by profession a civil engineer and as such surveyed a 
part of the then territory, now comprised within the present 
limits of Wisconsin, more particularly the southern portion, 
during 1833 and 1834, making his headquarters at Chicago. 

ri||ii'||i;|iri,ii!n;i||'p,',qi;,|i| ,;ii 
' I. ,11!'.' 'Mm 

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On his arrival at Milwaukee he at once pitched his tent upon 
the lot so long his homestead, southeast corner of Broadway 
and Mason street, in which he lived until the spring of 1836, 
when he built the house before spoken of in the history of the 
East Side, in which he commenced his wedded life and where 
his earthly labors were ended. 

In person Mr. Hathaway was tall and slim; had a large 
head, blue eyes, dark brown hair, a long face and a voice soft 
and musical; spoke slow and distinct (always thought twice 
before speaking), usually in a low tone, but when excited or 
animated, very loud; he walked slow with a lengthy step 
always the same; his manners were always courteous and 
dignified, which won him friends at first sight. 

His fellow citizens were not slow to appreciate his sterling 
business qualities, for we find upon the organization of the 
territorial government in 1836 the first to be honored with the 
appointment of a district surveyor, a place of great respon- 
sibility in the embryo state, was Joshua Hathaway, his 
commission being dated July 8, 1836. He also held the 
office of public administrator for Milwaukee county in 1838, 
a post of great responsibility, being the same as judge of 
probate under the present system, which he also filled with 
honor to himself and satisfaction to the public. 

He entered at once largely into speculation, both in 
Milwaukee and other lake towns, particularly Kewaunee, and 
few are the names that appear in the early records and news- 
papers oftener than Joshua Hathaway' s. He was a man of 
excellent judgment and unimpeachable morals; had a high 
sense of mercantile honor and possessed one of the best legal 
minds at that time in the city of Milwaukee. 

He was also, like James Murray, full of mirth, fond of 
home and its adornments, viz. : wife and children, to whom 
he fulfilled faithfully all the duties of husband and father. 

He was fond of friends and company, particularly of 
educated men; was a good geologist and possessed social and 
companionable qualities that few can equal. 


His office was often visited b}' those in search of information 
concerning lots, lands and taxes, unattainable elsewhere; and 
although he might be in the midst of the most difficult prob- 
lems connected with his business, or making drafts for maps, 
in which he took a great delight, he always received you 
pleasantly, answered 3'our questions if he could, and if he 
could not, you might well despair of finding what you sought, 
for if you left his office unenlightened 3'ou would be likely to 
remain so, as far as any information concerning Milwaukee 
lands or lots were concerned. 

Such was Joshua Hathawa}', one of Milwaukee's earliest 
and best. He died Julj' 4, 1863. 

Hrxrv Miller. 

This gentleman came to Milwaukee from Lee, N. Y., in 
1836, and opened a store where the State Bank now stands, 
northeast corner of East Water and Michigan streets, where 
he remained until earl}' in 1837, when he associated himself 
with William Brown, Jr., under the firm name of Brown & 
Miller, their store being on the southwest corner of East 
Water and Michigan streets. 

Mr. Miller was of medium height; had light hair and blue 
eyes, in which could alwa3's be seen an expression of kindness 
for everything and everybody; he was of a nervous tempera- 
ment; had a soft voice, somewhat musical in its tone; spoke 
slow and always thought twice before he spoke; attended 
strictl}' to his own business and never interfered with others; 
was careful what he agreed to do, but an agreement once 
made was never broken on his part. 

Mr. Miller went to California many years ago and became 
very wealthy as a banker in Sacramento, but never entirel}' 
severed his connection with us, still retaining some propert}' 
in Milwaukee. He visited us yearl}', spending several weeks 
among old scenes and friends. 

In political faith Mr. Miller was an old line Whig or 
Republican and as a politician was very active, held several 


important oflices, among which was that of Deputy United 
States Marshal. He was considered one of the best account- 
ants of his time, and a set of books which he could not 
understand must have been badly kept indeed. Few of the 
early men are ever spoken of with more respect or affection 
by the old settlers than was Henry Miller. He was born at 
Providence, R. I., April 15, 1806, and died at Sacramento, 
Cal., February 23, 1879. He was buried at Forest Home 


Mrs. Samuel Browx. 

This pioneer lady was the daughter of Thomas and Susannah 
Demerrit Hoyt, and was born at Tuftonborough, N. H., on 
the 27th day of June, 1813. She remained at Tuftonborough 
until 1833, at which time she accompanied her parents to 
Chicago. There she made the acquaintance of Mr. Brown, 
to whom she was joined in marriage February 3, 1834. The 
newly wedded pair remained at Chicago until the following 
spring, when they decided to make their future home in 
Milwaukee, Mr. Brown having made a claim here in Decem- 
ber 1834. They came to take possession, arriving here early 
in March, 1835, thus giving her the honor of being the first 
Anglo-Saxon woman to make a permanent home in the then 
embryo city, where to the day of her death, October, 1887, 
she occupied a prominent position among her sister pioneers. 

As a woman of great worth of character and a model wife 
and mother Mrs. Brown, like Mrs. Daniel Wells, who in 
many ways she much resembled, was possessed of a strong 
mind and a dignity of character that would win the confidence 
as well as the respect of all with whom she became associated. 
She was gentle in manner, true to every correct principle 
and, like her husband, always a safe counselor. In the pro- 
motion of the cause of religion she was prominent and was, 


unless prevented by sickness, always to be found in her 
accustomed seat in the church, ready to perform her whole 

Of Puritan ancestry, she inherited many of those traits of 
character for which the early settlers of New England were 
famed, among which were self-reliance, the moral courage 
to do what she believed to be right and an unswerving faith 
in an overruling Providence. She was the acknowledged 
head of the little band of pioneer women who with her 
shared in the toil and privation incident to the settlement of 
our fair city. Her death has left a void never to be filled. 

Mrs. Jacob M. Rogers. 

The death of Mrs. Jacob M. Rogers removed from our 
midst another of the oldest as well as one of the most useful 
of the now rapidly contracting circle of Milwaukee's pioneer 
women. Mrs. Rogers, whose maiden name was Betsy Feries, 
was born at Glenns Falls, state of New York, January 8, 1805, 
where at the age of sixteen she was married to Mr. Rogers, 
with whom she came to Milwaukee, reaching here July 3, 
1836, where in connection with Mrs. Samuel Brown, Mrs. 
Daniel Wells, Mrs. John Childs, Mrs. James Sanderson, Mrs. 
D. S. Hollister, Mrs. Joseph Williams, Mrs. Joel Wilcox, 
Mrs. Horace Chase, Mrs. Enoch Chase, Mrs. William A. 
Prentiss — all of whom with the exception of Mesdames 
Enoch Chase, Wilcox and Williams have preceded her to the 
better land — she at once took a prominent position as a 
woman of worth as well as great force of character, which 
she maintained to the end of her long and eventful life, shar- 
ing with her husband all the toil and privation incident to a 
pioneer life with a Spartan fortitude. She was the mother of 
sixteen children, eleven of whom, nine boys and two girls, 
survive her and are among our most useful and respected 
citizens. She was a crown to her husband and an honor to 
her sex. 


of milwaukee. 307 

Increase Allen Lapham. 

The writer cannot close these sketches of Milwaukee's 
early men without making some mention of this distinguished 
scholar and savant who while living was first in science, first 
in art, and whose memory lies embalmed in the hearts of his 
fellow citizens, and who, if we may be permitted to judge 
the future by the past, is now collecting and classifying the 
beautiful flowers that bloom upon the verdant shores of the 
river of life, an employment in which he took so much delight 
in this life. It may seem and no doubt is an act of unpar- 
donable egotism in the author to enter upon this ground 
made almost hallowed by Prof. S. S. Sherman in his beautiful 
memorial biography of Doctor Lapham, read before the Old 
Settlers' Club December ii, 1875; nevertheless, the attempt 
must be made, for which the author will plead his privilege 
as a life-long acquaintance; neither could this history be 
complete and omit the man to whom the citizens of this fair 
city as well as the whole country are indebted for some of 
the most useful as well as the most wonderful achievements 
in science of the nineteenth century, all of which have been 
so eloquently portrayed by Prof. Sherman. 

Doctor Lapham came to Milwaukee July i, 1836, as the 
protege of Hon. Byron Kilbourn, who saw in him those 
elements and qualifications that fit a man for the position he 
was to occupy in the building up of the young city. He was 
a natural draughtsman and the first complete map of Mil- 
waukee was the work of his hand. 

In person Doctor Lapham was of medium height and slight 
build; had a large head, dark blue eyes, dark hair, a voice 
soft and musical, but low in tone; walked with a quick, 
nervous step; was of a quiet disposition, never seeking noto- 
riety, but always seeming to avoid it; was a true friend and 
possessed one of the kindest hearts that ever beat within the 
breast of a human being. Such was the personate of this 
distinguished man. 


The writer first saw Doctor Lapham at the great claim 
meeting held in the old Court House March 13, 1837, where 
an acquaintance commenced which lasted without interruption 
until broken by death. A similarity of taste in scientific 
matters brought us often together; I anxious to learn and he 
ever readj' to impart. 

With what patience he watched the winds, the tidal waves 
and the rain-fall for years, at the same time studying the flora 
and fauna of Wisconsin as well as its geolog}', hoping at some 
future time to make this knowledge useful to his adopted 
state; and when at last the goal so dilligently and eagerly 
sought was in sight and the great aim of life about to be 
realized, this hope was bj' one fell blow dashed to the ground, 
leaving him heart-broken. From the effects of this ingratitude 
he never recovered; he had now reached the autumn of life, 
and to his sensitive nature this cruel blow came with crushing 
force, under which he sank rapidl}'. From that time life was 
a burden to him. 

He was a prominent member of the Old Settlers' Club, 
working zealousl}' to promote its usefulness, contributing 
valuable papers yearh' upon the early history of our state 
and cit}', particularly upon the Indian tribes that formerh' 
inhabited this beautiful country; also the valuable chronolog- 
ical table published b3' the club. He was its president in 
1874 and was upon its executive committee from its formation 
until his death. 

He was also without doubt (see his letter in Appendix 
marked A i ), the originator of the present storm signal 
service, but on account of his reluctance to claim it the honor 
was given to another. 

His demise was sudden and its manner such as no doubt 
he would himself have chosen had he been consulted. Alone 
with God upon that crystal lake he loved so well, upon whose 
forest-clothed banks nature had commenced to paint her 
autumnal glories, emblematic of his own waning years — here, 
in this beautiful spot, on the 14th of September, 1875, while 


the shadows of the dying year were steahng over the land, 
the gate to the great beyond was opened by the dark angel 
and the voice of the bright one was heard, saying, "Come 
hither, for the Master hath called thee." 

This will close the biographical part of this book and as it 
is impossible to remember or to give a separate sketch of 
every old settler in a work of this kind, those who have been 
overlooked or forgotten will please take the will for the deed, 
as the writer would gladly sketch them all if he could. To 
those who have so kindly furnished information when asked 
the author is truly thankful, and to those who have furnished 
their portraits is he doubly so; neither will this distinguished 
mark of their confidence in and respect for the author ever be 




From thf. Eaklikst Ti.mes down to the Adopiidx oi- thk 
State Constitution, in 184S. 

By I. A. Lapham. 

1639 — Nicolet explored the country as far as the Wisconsin river. 

1654 — Fur traders occupied the country as far as Green Bay. 

16G0 — Rene Menard penetrated to Chegoimegon Bay, Lake Superior. 

1661 — Menard crossed the country from Lake Superior to Black Ri\'er 

1664, November 15 — The French minister officially permits the sale of 
brandy to the Indians. 

1665 — Claude Allouez established a mission at La Pointe, Lake Superior. 

1CC7 — Louis Nicholas joined Allouez at La Fointe. 

i6Gg — Allouez established a mission at Des Peres (Green Bay). 

1G70, May 20 — Allouez went down the Wisconsin river nearly to its 

1671 — The French took formal possession of the noithwest. 

1C73, June 17 — Marquette disco\ered the Mississippi river. 

1G74 — Marquette coasted Lake Michigan from Green Bay by Milwaukee 
to Chicago. 

1G76 — Allouez voyaged over the same route. 

1670 — The first sail craft (the Griffin) arrived at Green Bay and was lost 
on the return vojage. 

iG7g — La Salle coasted Lake Michigan from Green Bay to St. Joseph. 

1G79 — Capt. De Lut negotiated a peace with the Indians of Lake Superior. 

1G80 — Tonti established a military station at Green Bay. 

1G81 — Marquette's Journal and map published in France. 

1G83 — Le Sueur went down the Wisconsin to the Mississippi river 

1G85 — Durantaye erected a fort at C/iein:-iin . 

j(388 — La Hontan explored the country. 

[6SS — Fort St. Nicholas built at the mouth of the Wisconsin river. 

i(38S — Parrot established a trading post on Lake Pepin. 

1688 — Fort St. Antoine built at the mouth of the Chippewa river. 

1688 — Fort Beauharnois built on the north side of Lake Pepin. 

iGgs — Le Sueur built a fort on an island in the Mississippi below the 
St. Croix river. 


1699 — John Buisson de St. Comes coasted Lake Michigan, stopping at 
"Afehaarik'* November 10. 

1700 — Le Sueur's voyage up the Mississippi river in search of copper ore. 

1714 — Le Louvigny's battle with the Fox Indians at Butte des Morts. 

ryig — Francis Renalt with two hundred miners explore the upper 
Mississippi river. 

1721 — P. De Charlevoix traveled in Wisconsin. 

1726 — A French fort established at Green Bay. 

1726 — Prairie du Chien first settled. 

1726, June 7 — M. DeLignery concluded a treaty of peace with the 
Indians at Green Bay. 

1727. The French established a fort on Lake Pepin, commanded by 
Sieur de Lapperriere. 

1728 — Great flood in the Mississippi river; Fort Beauhairnois submerged. 

1728 — French expedition under DeLignerj' from Green Bay against the 
Fox Indians. 

1734 — Battle between the French and the Sauk and Fox Indians. 

1747, October i — Capt. DeVorcheres takes command at Green Bay. 

1754 — Sieur Martin in command at Green Bay secures peace with the 

1755 — A French fort established at Prairie du Chien. 

1760, October 12 — Capt. Balfour and Lieut. Gorrell with English troops 
took possession of Green Bay. 

1762, August 21 — Indians went from Milwaukee to Green Bay to complain 
of dishonest traders. 

1763 — The English under Lieut. Gorrell abandon Green Bay. 

1763, February 10 — Treaty of Paris; all New France surrendered to 
the English. 

1763 — The Pontiac conspiracy. 

i764^Green Bay reoccupied by the English under Capt. Howard. 

1764 — Louisiana ceded to Spain by the French. 

1766 — Laws of Canada extended over the northwest. 

17G6-68 — Jonathan Carver traveled through the country. 

1767 — Indian grant of land to Carver. 

1774 — Northwest Fur Company organized. 

1774 — Civil government established in the northwest by the "Quebec 

1777 — Indians from Wisconsin joined the British against the Americans. 

1780 — Lieut. Gov. Patrick St. Clair of Canada purchased Green Bay, 
Prairie du Chien, etc. of the Indians. 

1785, April — A great flood in the Mississippi river. 

1786 — Julian Dubuque explored the lead region of the upper Mississippi 


1787, July 13 — Ordinance of Congress for government of Northwest 

1788, September 22 — Indian council at Green Bay; permission to work 
lead mines given to Dubuque. 

1795 — Jacques Vieau settled at Milwaukee. 

1796, July I — Green Bay, Prairie du Chien, etc. surrendered by the 
English to the United States. 

1796 — Laws of Northwest Territory extended over the country. 

1800, July 4 — Indian Territory organized, including Wisconsin. 

1800, October 1 — Louisiana ceded to France by Spain. 

1803 — Antoine Barth settled at the portage of the Fox and Wisconsin 

1803, April 30 — Louisiana ceded to the United States by France. 

1804, November 3 — Indian treaty at St. Louis; southern Wisconsin 

1805, January 11 — Michigan Territory organized. 
1805 — Lieut. Pike ascended the Mississippi river. 

1809 — Thomas Nuttall, the botanist, explored Wisconsin. 
1809 — Illinois Territory organized, including Wisconsin. 
1809 — First saw mil! built near Green Bay. 
1812 — Indians assembled at Green Bay to join the British. 
1814 — Gov. Clark took possession of Prairie du Chien. 
1814, July 17 — Prairie du Chien surrendered to the British. 
1815 — American Fur Company began to establish trading posts. 
1815 — United States trading post established at Green Bay. 
r8i6, May 18 — Indian treaty confirming that of 1804. 
1816, June 21 — United States troops took possession of Prairie du Chien. 
1816, July 16 — Col. Miller commenced the erection of Fort Howard at 
Green Bay. 

1816, August 24 — Indian treaty; lands relinquished to Indians, etc. 

1817, March 30 — Indian treaty at St. Louis. 

1817 — Maj. S. H. Long ascended the Mississippi river, etc. 

1818, April 18 — State of Illinois organized; Wisconsin attached to 

1818, September 14 — Solomon Juneau settled at Milwaukee. 
1818 — A saw mill built four miles above Prairie du Chien. 
1818, October 26 — Brown and Crawford counties organized, including 
the whole state. 

1 8 19 — A saw mill erected at Black River Falls by C. A. Andrews. 

1819 — Fort Snelling built and occupied. 

1820 — United States Commissioners adjusted land claims at Green Bay. 

1821 — Oneida and Stockbridge Indians settled near Green Bay. 

1821 — First post office established at Green Bay. 


1821 — Fort Crawford built at Prairie du Chien. 

182Z — The New York Indians purchase lands east of Lake Winnebago. 
1822 — Jannes Johnson obtained from the Indians the right to dig for lead 
by Negro slaves from Kentucky. 

1823, January — Wisconsin made a separate judicial district by congress. 
1823 — First government leases to lead miners. 

1823 — Land claims at Prairie de Chien adjusted by the government, 

1823 — Maj. S. H. Long's expedition to the upper Mississippi river, etc. 

1823 — First steamboat on the upper Mississippi river, with Maj. Taliafero 
and Count Beltrami. 

1823 — Lieut. Bayfield of the British navy made a survey of Lake 

1823 — An Episcopal Mission established near Green Bay. 

1824 — James D. Doty appointed judge by President Monroe; he held the 
office nine years. 

1824, July 12 — First court held in Brown county. 

1824, October 4 — First term of U. S. Circuit Court held at Green Bay. 

1825, August I and 19 — Indian treaties at Prairie du Chien. 
1825 — The Carver grant of land rejected by congress. 
1826 — First steamboat on Lake Michigan. 

1826 — Indian treaty at St. Louis. 

1826 — Great flood in the Mississippi river; twenty-six feet above low 
water at Prairie du Chien. 

1827 — A rush of speculators to the lead mines. 

1827 — Difficulties with the Indians; troops sent to settle them. 

1827, August II — Treaty with the Menomonee Indians at Butte des 

1828 — Fort Winnebago built at "the portage," 

1828 — Indian treaty at Green Bay; the lead region purchased. 

1828 — Lead ore discovered at Mineral Point and Dodgeville. 

1829, July 29 — Winnebago treaty at Prairie du Chien. 
1829 — A Methodist mission established at Green Bay. 
1830 — A Methodist mission established at La Pointe. 

1830, May — The Sioux Indians killed seventeen Sauks and Foxes near 
Prairie du Chien, 

1831, February 8 — Menomonee treaty at Washington, 

1831 — Public lands in the lead region surveyed by Lucius Lyon and 

1832, June 16 — Battle with the Sauk Indians on the Pecatonica river, 
1832, July 21 — Battle on the Wisconsin river. 

1832, August 2 — Battle at mouth of the Bad Axe river; Black Hawk 

1832 — First arrival of a steamboat at Chicago. 


1832 — Schoolcraft discovered the true source of the Mississippi river. 
1832, September 15 — Winnebago treaty at Fort Armstrong. 

1832, October 27 — Treaty with the Menomonees. 
1832 — High water in the Mississippi river. 

1833 — A Methodist mission established at Ottawa Lake (Chippewa river). 

1833, September 26 — Indian treaty at Chicago; lands south and west of 
Milwaukee ceded to the government. 

1833, December 11 — First newspaper (Green Bny Intelligcmer) published. 

1834 — Public lands near Green Bay surveyed by A. G. Ellis. 

1834 — Land offices established at Mineral Point and Green Bay. 

1834 — Population by census taken, 4795. 

1835 — First Anglo-Saxon family settled at Milwaukee. 

1835 — J. Nicollett, commenced scientific exploration. 

1835 — Public lands at Milwaukee surveyed by Wm. A. Burt. 

1836, January g — The legislative council of Michigan met at Green Baj'. 

1836, April 30 — Henry Dodge appointed governor by President Andrew 

1836, July 4 — Territory of Wisconsin organized. 

1836, July 14 — MihiHiuktw .lik'ertisLT published at 371 (now 369) Third 

1836. September 3 — Treaty with the ^lenomonees at Green Bay. 

1836, October 10 — George W. Jones elected delegate to congress. 

1836, October 25 — First legislature of Wisconsin convened at Belmont, 

1836, December 3 — Seat of government established at Madison, 
1836 — First school opened in Milwaukee at No. 371 Third street. 
1836 — United States Land Office opened at Milwaukee. 

1837, January 26 — Michigan admitted as a state. 
1837, July 29 — Chippewa treaty at Fort Snelling. 

1837, September 29 — Sioux treaty; lands east of the Mississippi river 

1837, November i — Winnebago treaty ; lands ceded. 

1837, November 6 — Legislature met at Burlington, Iowa. 

1838, June II — Special session of the legislature at Burlington, Iowa. 
1838, September 10 — James D. Doty elected delegate to congress. 

1838, November 26 — First session of the legislature at Madison. 

1839, January 21 — Legislative session; statutes enacted. 
1839 — Indian (Sioux and Chippewa) battle; 200 killed. 
1839, September — James D. Doty re-elected to congress. 

1839, December 6 — Legislative session commenced. 

1840, August 3 — Extra session of the legislature. 

1840, December 7 — Legislative session. 

1841, September 27 — Henry Dodge elected delegate to congress. 


1841, September 30 — James Duane Doty appointed governor by President 
John Tyler. 

1841, December 6 — Legislature met. 

1842, October 4 — Chippewa treaty at La Pointe; lands ceded. 

1842, December 6 — Legislative session commenced. 

1843, September 25 — Henry Dodge re-elected delegate to congress. 

1843, December 4 — Legislative session commenced. 

1844, June 21 — Nathaniel P. Tallmadge appointed governer by President 
John Tyler. 

1845. — January 6 — Legislative session commenced. 

1845, April 8 — Henry Dodge appointed governor by President James K. 

1845, September 22 — Morgan L. Martin elected delegate to congress. 

1846, January 5 — The legislature met. 

1846, April — A vote of the people in favor of a state government. 
1846, August 6 — Act of congress authorizing a state government. 

1846, December 16 — A state constitution adopted in convention. 

1847, January 4 — The legislature met. 

1847, April — The proposed state constitution rejected by vote of the 

1847, September 27 — John H. Tweedy elected delegate to congress. 

1847, October 18 — Special session of the legislature. 

1848, February t — A new state constitution adopted in convention. 
1848, February 7 — Sixteenth and last session of the territorial legislature. 
1848, March 13 — The state constitution adopted by a vote of the people 

and Wisconsin became one of the states of the American Union, being the 
seventeenth admitted. 





The following concise record of historical facts of local 
interest was compiled from Lapham's Chronology and other 
authentic sources, by Henry W. Bleyer, member of the Old 
Settlers' Club: 

1699, November 10 — First mention of Milwaukee by John Buison de St. 
Cosme; records the fact he stopped at Melwarik two days to weather a 
storm on the lake. 

1762, August 21 — Next mention of Milwaukee; this time by Lieut. James 
Gorrell of the 8oth Royal American Regiment (English), stationed at 

1795 — Arrival of Jacques Vieau of Quebec, agent of the American Fur 

1818, September 14 — Arrival of Solomon Juneau, who subsequently 
founded Milwaukee by platting his claim on the East Side. 

1821 — Death of Mirandeau, the first blacksmith of the place; he was 
buried near the intersection of Wisconsin street and Broadway. 

1823 — First landing of goods by schooner; the vessel was the Chicago 
Packet, a craft of thirty tons burden, commanded by Capt. Brittan; 
chartered by Solomon Juneau. 

1831, summer — Menomonee Indians cede their lands to the government; 
the tract of 2,500,000 acres included the East Side of Milwaukee. 

1833 — At the Indian treaty in Chicago the Pottawatomies relinquished to 
the government all the lands south and west of the Milwaukee river. 

1834 — First frame building; built for Solomon Juneau on the premises 
now known as lot i, block 3, Third ward; it served in turn as a school 
house, justice office, recorder's office, jail and barber shop. 

1834, March 20 — Arrival of Col. George H Walker, who subsequently 
claimed, purchased and platted the South Side; his location was mapped 
and known as Walker's Point. 

1834, September — Milwaukee county set apart from Brown county; 
without Brown the county embraced the present counties of Washington, 
Waukesha, Jefferson, Racine, Kenosha, Walworth and Rock. 

1834, November — Arrival of Byron Kilbourn, founder of Kilbourntown, 
now West Side. 

1835, May — First Protestant meeting (Methodist) for Divine worship. 
1835, July — First meeting of Presbyterians for Divine worship; Rev. A. 

L. Barber officiated. 


1835 — East Side platted and named Milwaukee by Messrs. Juneau and 
Martin; Kilbourn then platted the West Side, 

1835 — Post office established and Solomon Juneau commissioned as 

1835 — Public lands at Milwaukee surveyed by William A. Burt. 

1835, October — First white child born, Milwaukee Smith, daughter of 
Uriel B. Smith. 

1835 — First tavern, by J. and L. Childs; second, by Vieau, in a building 
now known as 346 East Water street. It was enlarged to accommodate 
travelers and was named the Cottage Inn; destroyed by fire in 1845. 

1835 — First hotel, the Milwaukee House, commenced by Juneau and 
Martin, and completed in the year 1837; it occupied the quarter block 
forming the northeast corner of Broadway and Wisconsin street. A wing 
of the building is yet in existence and occupies the northwest corner of 
Milwaukee and Detroit streets. 

1836, Januar} 10 — First service according to the liturgy of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church, by Rev. Henry Gregory, of Syracuse, N. Y. 

1836, July 14 — Publication of the first newspaper, the Mil-ii'tnikec Advcr- 
tisLT. Hon. D. H. Richards, publisher; Col. Hans Crocker, editor; and 
Kilbourn, Dr Lapham, J. H. Tweedy, Dr. I^. I. Barber and J. A. Noonan, 
contributors. The office was located on the present site of Peter Bickler's 
Hall, 371 (now 369) Third street. 

1836, autumn — First brick building; erected by William Sivyer on the 
alley in rear of the premises now known as No. 455 Jackson street. 

1836, autumn — First census ordered by Governor Dodge. The returns 
from Milwaukee county showed a population of 2,893. Our county then 
embraced the territory between town 12 and the State of Illinois and 
included range 9. 

1836 — First vessel built at this port, the Solomon Juneau, a schooner of 
ninety tons burden; built by Capt. George Barber for Solomon Juneau 
near the Pleasant street bridge crossing. 

1836, June 15 — Milwaukee Land District established; United States 
Land Office opened here; first sale of government land in February, 1839; 
Juneau, Kilbourn and Walker purchased their lands at a sale in Green 
Bay, in 1835. 

1836, August — First regular trips of steamers from the lower lakes; 
arrival of the Columbus. As early as 1835 steamers passed this port en 
route to Chicago. 

r836 — First Court House built; land donated by Juneau and Martin; 
building served the early settlers as a meeting house, temple of justice, 
town hall and exhibition hall. It was razed in i87r to make place for the 
present structure. 


1837, June — First session of the United States Circuit Court; Hon. Wm. 
C. Fi-azier, judge. 

1S37 — Organization of the village of Milwaukee; Solomon Juneau elected 
president. About the same time the village of Kilbourntown was organ- 
ized; Hon. Byron Kilbourn elected president. 

1837, August — First celebration of mass. Father Fleurimont J. Bonduel 
officiating; service at the house of Solomon Juneau. 

1837 — First steamer built, the Badger, a boat of fifty tons burden; 
ordered at the expense of Byron Kilbourn to carry passengers to and from 
steamers in the bay. 

1837, winter — Milwaukee county organized for judicial purposes and the 
village of Milwaukee chosen as the county seat. 

1838 — First government lighthouse; built on the bluff at the head of 
Wisconsin street on land donated by Juneau 

1839, July 4 — Ground broken for a canal to Rock river. The project 
failed and the water power is all that remains of this pioneer enterprise. 

1838, December 25 — First child of. German parentage, Louis Bleyer. 

1839, summer — First church built; St. Peter's, on Martin street, west of 
Jackson. Rev. Patricius O'Kelley was the priest then in charge of the 

1839, summer — Arrival of the first colony of German immigrants; the 
party of 800 men, women and children camped on the lake shore near the 
foot of Huron street; settled on the line of Milwaukee and Washington 

1839 — First fire engine. The machine was purchased in Rochester and 
was known as Neptune No. i. George D. Dousman was the first foreman. 
After new and more serviceable engines were introduced the Neptune was 
sold to a town in the interior and is now in service at Kewaunee. The 
building occupied by the Neptune is still in existence and serves as a shoe- 
maker shop on Johnson street, a few doors below Market. 

1839 — Kilbourntown added to Milwaukee by an act of legislature, and 
the divisions of the town designated as the East and West wards. Elisha 
Starr elected president, May i8th, 1839. 

1840, spring — First brewery; built at the foot of Huron street by Owens, 
Pavvlet & Davis, natives of Wales. Site now occupied by M. W. Powell & 

1840 — First bridge across the river, joining the East and West Sides. The 
structure spanned the stream between Chestnut and Division streets, and 
was known as "the red bridge." Before this, communication between the 
East and West Sides was kept up by means of ferries. In our early day 
Hon. Matt. Keenan served as ferryman at Spring street crossing. 


(A I.) 

As early as 1858 Dr. Lapham urged, but without success, 
the importance of an attempt to predict approaching storms 
for the benefit of commerce, as shown by the following letter: 

C. J. Brydges, 

President of Detroit 6^ Milwaukee K'y Co. 

Dear Sir: — The navigation of Lake Michigan during the winter months 
between Milwaukee and Grand Haven is now being attempted by your com- 
pany, and in its success is involved large interests, the interests not only o£ 
the company over which you preside, but also the interests of the people of 
the city of Milwaukee and of the State of Wisconsin, and of the North- 
west generally. 

The eyes of thousands are upon this experiment, and should any disas- 
ter attend it, the consequences may be such as it will require many years to 
overcome. Hence, every effort should be made to secure success. Having 
as long ago as 1844 predicted in a public manner that the time would cer- 
tainly arrive when this winter navigation may be opened (Lapham's Wis- 
consin, 1844, p. 186). I feel a direct and special interest in seeing the pre- 
diction verified. 

One of the greatest difficulties and dangers against which you will have 
to contend arises from the sudden storm-wind, which so often and so unex- 
pectedly puts the sailor upon his hardest service, to keep his vessel from 
shipwreck. During most of the time the winds on the lake are light, and 
not unfavorable to navigation; but after a number of days of fair weather 
a sudden and often unexpected change occurs; the wind hauls around 
towards the northwest and blows for several hours a strong gale. 

On the ocean such gales are not so much dreaded, for there is "sea 
room" enough to enable the vessel to "ride out" the storm; but upon the 
lakes it is often only by the most extraordinary efforts that the vessel can 
be kept "off shore." 

It is quite apparent that if several hours warning could be had of the 
approach of these storms, such preparation might be made as will enable 
the prudent and skillful captain to avoid the danger. Recourse is had for 
this purpose to the barometer; but the "blows" follow too soon after the 
indication to render this instrument of much practical importance; other 
and more certain measures should be adopted, if any can be devised, to 
secure this warning; and it is the object of this communication to call 
attention to what may, with very little trouble and expense, be done in this 
direction. A large corps of meteorological observers are, and have been 
for several years, making daily record of the condition of the weather as 
indicated by the barometer, thermometer, and wind-vane, etc., at very 


numerous points over the United States and Territories. These observa- 
tions have already led to some very important results; and many more 
might be deduced if competent persons could find time to examine and 
compare and properly discuss them. One of the results is, that the storms 
of which I have been speaking originate in the far West (probably along the 
eastern base of the Rocky Mountains) and move toward the East. Accord- 
ing to Prof. Espy, the rate of motion is about thirty-six miles an hour. 
They are preceded by a rising, and accompanied by a much depressed bar- 
ometer. If this is true, then it is only necessary to arrange with the tele- 
graph companies to send to Milwaukee from the remotest station at the 
West these meteorological observations, daily, and during the continuance 
of the storms, hourly. A storm may be at its height in Nebraska, of which 
we may have immediate information; several hours afterwards it enters 
Iowa; next we hear of it crossing the Mississippi, and soon begin to notice 
its effect upon the barometer at Milwaukee. In this way you can have 
perhaps ten hours' notice of an approaching storm; and as it passes the 
different stations you may learn its rate of progress and its other character- 
istics so as to be prepared for its attack upon your shipping. 

For an experiment, and with a view to ascertain more certainly the nature 
and importance of this matter, it will be sufficient to extend the system for 
the present only to the Mississippi river. Should the results be such as to 
justify it, the system could be extended to such points as a careful study of 
the matter and the experience gained should point out as most likely to fur- 
nish the desired information. By this simple means, intelligently and judi- 
ciously directed, you may know the character of all approaching storms 
perhaps half a day before there is any immediate danger, and in extreme 
cases vessels may be detained in port until the danger has passed. The 
cost of these observations can not be very heavy; and if they should be the 
means of saving one vessel and her cargo from loss this cost will be 
returned an hundred fold. 

Inasmuch as the expense will be light, and the results to be obtained 
very important, I have no hesitation in recommending the subject to your 
serious consideration. My deep conviction of the importance of this mat- 
ter must be my apology for thus addressing you. 

Very truly yours, 

Milwaukee, December 31, 1858. 

In reply C. J. Brydges says: 

I am much obliged for your suggestion in regard to procuring intelligence 
of approaching storms. 

But to make the plan feasible there would require to be a cable laid 
from Milwaukee to Grand Haven. 




(Ri^ad before iJie Old Settlers' Club, nt their miiuinl meeting in January, iS'/^.J 

There's a land in the West that is fair and bright, 
That abounds in clear lakes all sparkling with light, 
Whose forests are filled with the grand old pines, 
And the wealth of an Empire concealed in her mines, 

Wisconsin! none can thee excel. 
The Queen of the West, this fair young bride. 
Sits on old Michigan's western side. 

And whose future no man can foretell 

Now in this fair State, our joy and our pride. 
There stands a young City, both large and wide; 
Of her I will speak, "Milwaukee" the fair. 
And of some of the men who placed her where 

She stands, in her pride and beauty. 
Who came here in their youth and prime. 
The landmarks of that early time. 

And true to every duty. 

Surely we'll ne'er forget the time. 

In thirty-seven, eight and nine, 

When first we saw Milwaukee Bay, 

From off the steamer, that wended its way 

To this far off land of the " Nitch'ee." 
Eager were we to grapple our fate. 
As we came from almost every State, 

To found this queenly city. 

Wild was the scene that met the eye, 
And naught could be heard from the shore near by, 
But the voice of the ducks that covered the marsh. 
As they called to each other in tones so harsh. 

While getting their food from the sedges. 
And the sound of the waves, on the lonely shore 
Were echoed back with a constant roar, 

As they broke on its sandy ledges. 


No house of brick, or stone, or frame, 

Was found by those men when first they came. 

Or any clean, suitable place to stay. 

When weary and tired at the close of the day. 

They would fain find rest from their labors. 
No Newhall House, with its parlors so grand. 
But the Indian wigwams covered the land. 

And the Indian had they for a neighbor. 

Did I say there were none? Ah, yes! there was one, 
That was built by good Solomon Juneau, the son 
Of that fair sunny land called La Belle France, 
Whose citizens always have led the advance 

In all of these wilderness places. 
Who traveled this wild forest country all o'er. 
And some lost their lives while hunting for more. 

The most daring of all the pale faces. 

This palace of logs was a store and a fort. 
Though surrounded by neither a ditch nor a moat. 
For often this lonely and primitive place. 
Was sorely beset by that bloodthirsty race 

With whom Juneau had mercantile dealings, 
Of him they bought goods, to him they sold pelts. 
And once every ye^r they would buy soiiicthiitg else, 

Which they drank to increase their good feelings. 

Juneau, so fair, and whose wit was so keen. 
Came here in the year eighteen hundred eighteen; 
An Indian trader of fame and renown. 
Lived on the East Side, called Juneau's town; 

And in fact, was the king of the place. 
So manly and bold, with a dark, hazel eye, 
Always told you the truth, and never a lie; 

This pioneer man of his race. 

The Fowlers came next, the Hawleys and Breed, 
Fowler, the first that recorded our deeds; 
*Hawley, named Cyrus, was first Clerk of Court, 

*This had reference to the United States court, the first session of which 
was held by Judge Frazier in 1837. Mr. Hawley did not come until 1836; 
neither did Mr. IBreed until 1835, while Mr. Fowler, who came November, 
1833, was commissioned in 1835; (see his narrative, page 33, ante). The 
parties named in this verse (and some others) are arranged in this manner 
by "poetic license," and not in order of date of arrival. 


While Breed had a store and sold whisky and pork, 

And gathered in money "galore." 
These were all men of fame and renown, 
And played well their part in this embryo town, 

On old Michigan's wild, western shore. 

The first of our Club to reach this new place, 
Were the two brothers Brown and two brothers Chase. 
The Chase brothers went for the Kinnickinnick, 
And Horace has once been our Mayor, I think. 

And the first o'er this Club to preside. 
While the Browns to the north and west made their way, 
Up over the hills that overlook the Bay, 

And where Samuel still doth preside. 

Kilbourn and Walker, two men of renown, 
Were the next to take stock in this fast rising town; 
Kilbourn the fair, with a forehead so high. 
Walker the round, with his clear laughing eye. 

And both of them learned and witty. 
Walker the South Side took for his stand, 
Kilbourn the West Side went for his land, 

And each commenced a city. 


Kilbourn! the sound of that magical name, 
Awakens old memories, opens old veins; 
A man of large brain and great po-,oer of will. 
Who kept things moving, ne'er let them stand still, 

And vast were the works that he planned. 
With the eye of a seer he looked far away, 
And told us the best place our railroads to lay, 

That to-day extend over the land. 

Walker! thy name, too, with Kilbourn's shall stand. 
As one of the fathers, in this goodly land 
Where you took so early and active a part. 
Which gave to this City her first grand start, 

And watched o'er her infantile years. 
Who was so well known all over the West, 
As one of Milwaukee's earliest and best, 

And a leader among her peers. 


The next on the list, as our history tells, 
Was that man of large wealth, our own Daniel Wells, 
Who came from old Maine, far away down East, 
And the first man commissioned as Justice of Peace, 

In this then not extensive new place. 
Long may his name be known in the land. 
Where he took such an early and dignified stand. 

As one of the best of our race. 

Jacob and James Rogers, both men of strong will. 
And Hiram J. Ross, who built the first mill, 
Came next, with James Murray, then just in his prime, 
Who was the first painter in that early time. 

And was always o'erflowing with mirth. 
These men all stood high in that first early band. 
Who came in those days to this far off land. 

As men of great merit and worth. 

Then came D. H. Richards, so full of good deeds, 
And so quick to perceive that the people had need 
Of something to tell them the news of the day, 
To lighten their burdens, and show them the way. 

To provide for life's Autumn and Winter. 
So he started a paper, the first in the place. 
That was up and awake to the wants of the race. 

And thus he became the first printer. 

Pettibone, Aldrich, Wilcox and West. 

And the Edgerton brothers all rank with the best 

Ones that came to this place with that first early band, 

In the search for new homes in this far off land. 

That's so fair and so rich in its findings. 
Aldrich supplied all the people with meats; 
West and Ben Edgerton laid out the streets. 

That to-day have some curious windings. 

The Dousmans, Castleman, Ogden and Sweet, 
And that early surveyor, good Garret Vliet, 
The Sivyer brothers (first stopped at Oak Creek), 
Are the men it is said who laid the first brick. 

And must sure have a place in this poem. 
With Douglass, the Smiths, and the two brothers Child, 
Who kept the first tavern, I close thirty-five. 

After putting in Richard G. Owen. 


The first in the year thirty-six, as I am told, 
Was the veteran Crawford, a mariner bold. 
Who commanded a steamer, called the Detroit, 
That ran between here and Chicago — in short — 

The first boat we could call our own. 
He has filled many places of trust in the land. 
Has a kindly, warm heart, and a generous hand. 

And is respected wherever he's known. 

Among the first merchants to gather much " siller," 
Were the two Pixleys, brothers, Wm. Brown and H. Miller, 
Each firm had a store that was full and complete; 
Both stood on the west side of East Water street, 

And the largest there were in the town. 
Brown and M. Pixley have gone to their rest. 
But Miller still lives in that far off West, 

.\s a banker of fame and renown. 

Then Dr. I. Lapham, a man of much fame. 
And William A. Prentiss, a lawyer, next came; 
Learned Lapham, who gives us the names of the flowers, 
.•\nd likewise the depth of the yearly rain showers. 

And who made the first map of the City. 
While Prentiss has led in our public affairs, 
.'"ind once has sat in the Mayorial Chair — 

The best man we e'er had on committee. 

Tweedy and Crocker, shrewd men of much fame. 
Helped wean this young State and give her a name, 
And in her first Councils they both had a part, 
Likewise did they give to her railroads their start — 

Those veins through which course all her trade. 
In our city affairs are they both well known, 
And Hans as Jfayor once sat on the throne. 

And a clever old monarch he made. 

You have often, no doubt, heard the minister say 
That a man needs to watch as well as to pray. 
And if he his head above water would keep. 
To stay near the shore, ne'er go where it's deep 

And thereby his usefulness shorten. 
Noonan has once been a man of great weight. 
And would even now be a power in the State, 

Had he never crossed blades with John Orton. 


Eliphalet Cramer, Wardner and Hatch, 
Cary and Williams — that's not a bad match — 
Blossom so smiling, and Bowman so keen, 
Furlong, who came from the island so green. 

Are the last o£ this year to get pictures, 
So, with Belanger and Curtis, (full of their tricks) 
William S. Trowbridge and L. W. Weeks 

I will close out the old Thirty-sixers. 

The number of men that attained to much fame. 
Who came in the year thirty-seven, look tame 
Compared with the number who came to the place. 
And entered their names for a chance in the race 

After honor, as well as for wealth. 
The Merrills and Porters have got their full share. 
While many have nothing but trouble and care; 

The truth is, I came then myself. 

First, Matthew Keenan, what a musical name. 
Put in an appearance and set up his claim. 
And straight for the foot of fame's ladder he went, 
Fixed his eye on the top and commenced the ascent. 

Determined that place to attain. 
Many places of trust he's filled in the land. 
Looks you straight in the eye when giving his hand 

And his record is free from all stain. 

The next after fame, in this veteran land. 
Was ex-mayor Don Upham, so child-like and bland, 
Who a Governor bold once thought to be made, 
Got everything ready, had all the pipes laid. 

And entered his name for the race. 
But when near the goal his steed flew the track. 
For Leonard J. Farwell had turned up a Jack, 

And counted him out of his place. 

At the head of the column for the year Thirty-eight, 
Stood our veteran Judge, from the Keystone State, 
With full bodily strength and a head always clear. 
Unbiased by favors and unmoved by fear, 

And as firm and erect as a pillar. 
High up in the record of fame does he stand, 
With a name that's untarnished all over the land, 
Our much honored Andrew G. Miller. 


The next on the list for the year Thirty-eight, 
Is our good-natured Mayor, called Harry the great; 
A man of strong will and good business tact, 
And had he the power no doubt would enact 

Some suitable laws for this place. 
These old city drones would then work or get stung, 
And not let their bills in committee get hung, 

As is now too often the case. 

Shepardson, Quiner, Edwards and Lane, 
Graham and Ordway, two lawyers of fame. 
The Ward brothers, Joseph and Lindsey, I mean. 
All men of good judgment, active and keen. 

Came here in this year. Thirty-eight. 
There may have been others, if so, they're gone; 
So with one verse more I will hurry along. 

And not keep you here very late. 

Our uncle Rufe Cheeney that every one knows. 
Who always has friends but not many foes. 
He went to the war and paid out the gold. 
Is fond of a joke — but I think he's been sold 

With his stock in the Monitor mine. 
With him and the \\^aits, and the two brothers Rice, 
I can close up the year Thirty-eight very nice. 

And go on with the year Thirty-nine. 

In the year Thirtj'-nine there came to this State, 
From the land of "old Scotia," Alexander the Great, 
With David, who came at the self-same hour, 
Who always has been Alexander's right bower. 

And for both getting wealth is a pleasure. 
Alexander supplied this new country with gold. 
And tho' many have tried it, they ne'er have him sold, 

Or defrauded of very much treasure. 

There's one more of this Club whom you know, I ween. 
Whose tall stately form you so often have seen, 
A man of much learning, great medical skill. 
Can cut off your leg or dose 3'ou with pills, 

And in hunting takes so much delight. 
As a surgeon he ranks every one in the State, 
As a horseman we ne'er yet have seen his mate. 

And is always so kind and polite. 


The last, except one, o£ this Club I will name. 

Is Edward D. Holton, not unknown to fame, 

Who came from New Hampshire, the "old Granite State," 

Whose sons are up early, and never are late. 

Some of whom are both learned and witty. 
For temperance he's strong, therefore has he health. 
Has made a good fight and gathered much wealth, 

No better man dwells in the City. 

Behold! here cometh a man foreign born. 
The windy old Prussian, F. W. Horn, 
The sage of Mequon, that Teuton stronghold. 
Where Sunday the people play ten pins, I'm told. 

And sometimes engage in a race. 
Fred's furnished our legislature with gas, 
When lie goes for a bill it's sure to be passed. 

In fact he's the wit of the place. 

I must not pass over that man of large wealth. 
That's appointed to keep our good city in health. 
Who keeps so strict watch lest the people be ill, 
And has so much trouble with each little bill, 

That he's forced to give up this nice place, 
Few men of his age are as active as he; 
Is a true born son of the "gem of the sea," 

And one of the best of the race. 

Nor must I o'erlook "Charley Larkin," oh, no! 
Who to Madison always is wanting to go. 
Whose head has grown gray in political wiles. 
Who, when he wants votes, has a face full of smiles, 

And when he gets whipped feels so sadly. 
A sly old coon Charley thinks he can be. 
But few men are beaten so easy as he, 

Which has often been done, and badly 

There's another I'll trim while I feel in the mood. 
That staunch old Republican, Sidney L. Rood, 
Who once near went under, it was a close rub, 
When as president bold of the late Greeley Club, 

He sought for both fun and position; 
Who in mischief can beat any man in the State, 
Even Andrew E. Elmore would hang up the slate. 

If the "Cid" was in healthy condition. 


Another old settler who's made no small stir, 
Came here from old Maine, we call him Ab-ner, 
Not the kind of a man that it's quite safe to kick, 
If you try that on you'll find he's a brick, 

And one that has muscle to spare. 
A man we all like, has good business tact, 
If beat in a trade will never "gig-back," 

But settles all up on the square. 

Now these first early men were the sons of toil. 
And quickly before them the forest did fall. 
As through its thick meshes the\' opened their wa\', 
To the goodly lands that beyond it did lay. 

Those prairies so old and so hoar\' 
That were all cox'ered o'er with the earlj' wild rose. 
Where the autlered bucks led the timid does. 

And where often the\- battled for glory. 

These beautiful lands were the red man's home. 
And over them they had loved dearly to roam . 
It was there that old \Vaukesha long did dwell. 
And some of you knev,' the old chieftain well, 

For his village was there when \*ou came 
The pool of Bethesda, he knew well the place. 
For in it he saw the Manitou's face. 

This spring with its scriptural name 

Oh! grand indeed were these prairies so green. 
And no land that excelled them had ever been seen. 
And swift as the settlement over them spread, 
Westward more swiftly the red man fled. 

Toward the far setting sun 
The white man's step was now at his door, 
He had sold these lands, they were his no more, 

And the end of his lease had come. 

Then did the emigrants, fast as they came. 
Seek out these fair lands and make each his claim. 
And soon the whole country was dotted with farms. 
From which when the drum gave the call, to nniis.' 

Sprang so many brave boys in blue: 
Who went to the front to protect the old flag. 
And pull down that ill-looking cross-barred rag. 

That was set up by Davis' vile crew. 


Our City likewise took a glorious stand, 
In the late cruel war that darkened the land; 
Her sons, too, marched forth our honor to shield^ 
Determined to treason they never would yield. 

But in liberty's cause would they fight. 
And before their firm ranks by good Abraham led. 
The thrice-cursed demon of of slavery fled. 

And ended our long, dark night. 

Then was there peace once more in the land. 
And back to their homes came the wreck of our bands. 
That went forth in the hour of their country's great need, 
And performed such worthy and glorious deeds, 

For Columbia's fair happy land. 
Back to their farms and workshops they went, 
And are helping to pay up the money we spent, 

With a willing and diligent hand. 

But now forty years have come and gone. 
In the ceaseless round of night and morn. 
Of weeks and months that made these years. 
So swiftly flown 'midst joys and fears. 

And seeking worldly treasure. 
While some obtained the wealth they sought, 
With others all has come to naught. 

While chasing after pleasure. 

And now this City that's grown so quick. 
This City so famous, this City of brick. 
Has church towers pointing to the skies. 
Court House of elephantine size. 

This great brown stone pavilion. 
So large without, within so small. 
That's made the people " heave and pawl," 

And cost them half a million. 

But the thing in which we take most pride. 
Are our free public schools, found far and wide; 
Those fountains from which all our liberties flow, 
The bulwarks of freedom wherever they go. 

And the rock upon which she stands. 
Cursed be the hand that would them destroy. 
These temples of learning, our hope and our joy. 

The head-lights in this free land. 


Our Water-Works, also, extensive and grand. 
In the starting of which I had a small hand. 
That's cost so much money and labor to build. 
With a reservoir up on the Sixth Ward hill, 

Which looks the Citv all o'er. 
It's supposed that the people this water will use. 
But they can, as no doubt many will do, refuse, 

And drink lager beer as before. 

There is one thing more that is giving us fame. 
Our medical spring, Siloam its name, 
That the Kane brothers found hid in a ravine, 
The most wonderful physic that ever was seen, 

Will cure you all up in a minute. 
This new found prize is a fountain of wealth. 
Makes the Kane brothers rich, and gives you good health. 

So there surely must be something in it. 

But these foily years that are past and gone. 
How old father Time has hurried them on. 
Once we were young, and how quick could we see. 
But now are our heads like the almond tree. 

And our sight is beginning to fail. 
How short seems the time when we look it all o'er. 
From now back to the year Eighteen Thirty-four, 

The time when the first of you came. 

And now, as so much for the living I've said, 
I will speak in this verse of our much honored dead. 
Who dwelt with us through all these first early years. 
Shared all of our joys as well as our fears, 

And whose labors on earth are all o'er. 
Who have gone to a land that is glorious and bright. 
Where the day is eternal and there comes no night. 

On eternity's ever green shore. 

Juneau, Kilbourn, Walker and \\'est. 

With Wilcox and El}^ have gone to their rest, 

James H. Rogers, Dewey and Page, 

With Hawley and Byron, near the same age. 

Have passed from this earth away. 
Cramer, Pomeroy and Blossom are gone. 
And have opened their eyes on eternity's morn. 

In the realms of endless da\ . 


It's but five short years since this club was formed, 
And see what a number have already gone; 
In the next five years we expect to lose more. 
For some of you now have reached fourscore, 

And more than half of us three. 
From this time on we shall go very fast, 
Yes! fall like the leaves when the wintry blast 

Sweeps over the snow-covered trees. 

Yes, the rest of our life here will be very short. 

And soon they will say of us, " iis sont iiwrt."* 

Then a badge of black crape will be put on our door. 

And the places that knew us will know us no more 

In this world we have all so much loved. 
Our spirits will fly to the bright realms of light. 
Where the badge on the door will always be white, 

In that Heavenly Mansion above. 

•Thev are dead. 




[Through the courtesy of Mr. Edgar W. Coleman the author has been 
placed in possession of the following ancient map] . 




fTTTTiTunT:: miTTi rtTTTn imm fnmi 
mm] QEK DUD anm anm QUE 

:t 1, It 

m Kcilm 


The above plat "is a fac siniiW'' (the original being in 
the possession of the clerk of the circuit court) of a survey 
made in 1836, of fraction number four, in section number 
thirtj~-two, in township number seven, north, in range num- 
ber twenty-two, east; by Joshua Hathaway for Capt. James 
Sanderson, and is without doubt the oldest map or plat, with 
the exception of the one known as the speculators map (now 
in the possession of Samuel Howard), of any portion of our 
city now in existence. It is proper to state that it was never 
adopted, and, consequently, had no legal status as a survey, 
and is inserted here as a relic of the time when it was sup- 
posed that the South Side (and particularly that portion 
known upon our present maps as "Milwaukee Proper") was 
where the future city ought to be. The failure b}' Capt. San- 
derson to pay for this work led to a law suit, the case being 
tried in United States District Court before Judge William C. 
Frazier, at the November term, 1837. The attorneys for 
Mr. Hathawa}' were Messrs. H. N. Wells and Hans Crocker. 




Author's General History 1 1 

A-kee-nee-ba-wag, a Menomonee chief 88 

Allouez, Claude 20 

Astor, John Jacob 25 

Anderson, Thomas G. , Capt 25 

Alexander, Isaac H 130, 172 

Aldrich, Owen 130, 136 

Allen, Robert; first city treasurer 171 

Allen, Charles 223 

Anderson A. S 245 

Arrival of the Steamer Detroit 174 

Agricultural Society formed, officers of 180 

Anson, S. Tucker 185, 187 

Arnold, Johnathan E 2ig, 248, 252, 269 

Author opens a store at Jefferson 225 

Ackley, Benjamin 227 

Arrival of the C. C. Trowbridge, effect of 251 

A Correction 61 

A Free Ride 262 

An Historical Poem 324 

An Old Timer 336 


Brown, John A 147 

Brown, Samuel, Dea. , 27, 37, 41, 42, 50, 68, 69, 91, 129, 131, 172, 233, 296 

Brown, Samuel, Mrs., sketch of 305 

Brown, Onslow 66 

Brown, William, Jr gi, 79, 167, 172, 2or, 232, 233, 248 

Brown, Theodore D 125 

Brown, Lemuel 129 

Brown, Silas 198 

Brown, I. T 202 

Brown, Thomas H 218 

Brown, Henry S 241 

Bonniwell, William 218 


Bonniwell, Geo 218 

Burdick, Morgan L 16, 27, 49, 173 

Burdick, William , 27, 31, 65, 172 

Burdick, Paul 65, 166 

Balser, P. W 90, 228 

Balser, P., Mrs 62 

Boynton, Alonzo L 245 

Blake, Levi 135 

Butler, Isaac 130 

Barstow, William A 248 

Bates, Eli 172 

Bowes, J . P 246 

Baumgartner, William 193 

, Bond, Joseph 248 

Bond, H. R 243 

Blanchard, Lot 174 

Birchard, Harvey 198 

Baker, T. L 242 

Button, H. H 243 

Buestrin, Henry 243 

Bean, Jacob L 245 

Bean, Irving S 245 

Brownell, Plummer 245 

Bryant, Randall H 248 

Buisson de St. Comes, John 20 

Beaubien, John Baptiste 24 

Bawbeal, John Baptiste 25 

Bigelow, Amaza 27. 38, 68 

Ballentine, Geo 45 

Burt, William J. (surveyor), note 46 

Broadhead, E. H 63 

Botsford, J. K. (builds a mill) 68 

Burnett, Ellsworth, killing of 78 

Bowman, George 90, 97, 200, 201, 231, 232 

Benton, R. H 90 

Blossom, Levi ■. 90, 202, 247 

Breed, A. O. T 91, 172 

Barber, Geo., Capt 93, 143 

Barber, Lucius 1 105, 166, 172, 204, 223 

Belden, Horace 93 

Baird, H. S 126, 130 

Burnett, Thos. P 126 

Brisbin, Giles B 129, 231 


Bleyer, Henry 165 

Bleyer, Henry U 163 

Bird, Augustus A 167, 174 

Boundaries of Corporation defined 169, 170 

Brannan, H, H 172 

Bridges 174, 250 

Bull Baiting and its results 214 

Ball, William 223, 224 

Bee Hunting — How we did it 224 

Bidwell, Ira 248 

Benson, H. C 253 


Chase, Horace 27 

Narrative 37 

Biographical , 43 

In Memoriam 44 

Mention of. .38, 42, 43, 47, 49, 52, 63, 69, 131, 142, 153, 192, 231, 248,253 

Chase, Enoch Dr., narrative of 49 

Biography of 52 

Where first settled 63 

Erects the first Glass Works 53 

Mention of 69, 172 

Chase, Enoch, Mrs., arrives 63 

Chase,' Geo. H 53,198 

Chase, Clarence G 53 

Carter, Acklej' 227 

Cemeteries — where located 87, 8g, 106, 116 

(This last was Indian). 

Cowles, S. D r66, 172, 220 

Childs, Ebenezer 170 

Caswell, William W 251 

Corbin, John log 

Corbin, Sylvester 264 

Chronology of Wisconsin 312 

Chronological Record 319 

Cushmman, Peter N 171 

Claim Organization 171 

Churches — Mention of 146 

Campbell, Wm 131 

Changes in the Marsh 153 

Changes in the River's Mouth 154 

Cost of Clothing in 1837 163 


Cornwall, Madison W 130 

Cheney, Rufus Jr 218 

Collins, E. R 246 

Crawford, John Capt. — Brings the Detroit 174 

Crawford, Henry 218 

Cady, Linas R 21S 

Canal — Opening of 220 

Cotton, Lester H 221, 251, 253 

Cary, B. B 130 

Courier, Rodney J 24, 27, Cg, 172, 223 

Chapeau, Stanislaus 25 

Carley , Quartus 27, 69 

Carley, Quartus Mrs 6g 

Childs, John 46, 67, 164, 264 

Childs, John, Mrs. , arrives C2 

jNTention of 68 

Childs, Luther 46, 67, TO4 

Clybourn, Archibald 47, 49 

Castle Israel 60 

Coleman, E. W 62 

Church, Harve\ 63 

Corse, John 64 

Castleman, Alfred, Dr 70 

Cost of Living in 1835 and 1836 75 

Clyman, James — sketch of, 78, and Mention of 105, 130, 253 

Cat Soup, or Feeding the Hungry 79 

Claims 85 

Cady, G 91 

Chapman B. & Co gi 

Cawker, M. VV 92 

Cary, Joseph 93 

Sketch of 96 

County Officers for 1836 127 

Chapman, W. W 126 

Crocker, Hans 126, 131, 232, 233 

Biographical 301 

Corvielle, Wm. W 126 

Cramer, Eliphalet 129, 269 

Biographical 298 

Cramer, Wm. E T47 

Chubbuck, H. W 198 

Crarey, L. P igS 

Churchill, Ezekiel 204 



DuCharme, Laurient 25 

Doty, Duane James 33 

Dewey, C. C 90, 245 

Dennis, Wm. M gi 

Darling, Enoch 93, 167, 173, 174, 222 

Dickerman, E. B 93 

Dickinson, E. B 93 

Dodge, Henry M 126, 130 

Dunn Charles 126 

Dyre, Geo. R 129 

De Witt, Isaac C 129 

Durkee, Charles 130 

Dunbar, Sylvester W 130, 131, 164, 172, 220, 231, 248, 253 

Douglass, Barzillai 130, 172 

Douglass, James 243 

District Court Organized 180 

Dunlap, John W 242 

Dousman, Geo. D., 65, 155, 167, 172, 173, 189, igg, 200, 201, 202, 204, 206, 248 

Dousman, Michael 39^ 40, 41 

Dousman, Talbot C 73, 74 

Dousman, Geo. G igg 

Dousman, Geo, G., Mrs 109, 224 

Davenport, M 253 

Downer, Jason ■ 176 

Dueling — humorous 267 


Edgerton, Benjamin H 45, 52, 74, 131, 167, 201, 219 

Edgerton, H. K. , Mrs log 

Edgerton, E. W 172 

Evans, Sciota (of White & Evans) ^7 

Ellis, Albert G 60 

Explanatory 62, 241 

Estes, Elijah S 63 

Erwin, David 126 

Engle, Peter H 126,130 

Early Correspondence j 44, 145, 146 

Early Newspapers 147 

Eggleston, Jesse [72, 173, 248 

Elections (1837), incidents at 173, 220, 246 

Edwards, Richard L 198 

Expenditures 215 

Elmore, Andrew E 253 



Fonda, John H 24 

Fowler, Albert 24 

Narrative 27 

Mention of 32 

Appointed Clerk of Court 33 

Removes to Rockford 36 

Mention of. .38, 40, 46, 47, 50, 52, 64, 69, 90, gi, 92, 129, 168, 172, 201 

Fowler, Daniel W 25, 21S 

Filley, Laurient 25 

Forsyth, Gen 26 

Fox, Harriet Juneau, Mrs 26, 31, 48 

Farmin, Hiram 38 

Farmin, Hiram, Mrs 62 

Flint James 50 

First Brick Block Erected 245 

First Contracts for Lots 71 

First Survey of Lots 45 

First Sale of ■. 71 

First Record of Plats (West Side) 72 

First Sale of Lots 72 

Fields, Pleasant 172, 174 

First Election 72 

Fish Shooting 137 

First Colored Voter 73 

First Vessel Built 143 

Frazier, Wm. C, Judge — First holds court 78 

Mention of 126, 180, 201, 294 

French Creoles — Number of; where located 85 

First Survey upon the South Side 86 

First Plat made by D. Wells, Jr 86 

When Recorded 87 

First Lot Sold upon South Side 87 

Finch & Winslow go 

Folts, Jonas 172 

Flusky, Wm 131 

First Census 127, 128, 406 

First Vessels Through the Straits 14^ 

Fenton, Daniel C 126 

Finch, Benoni W 129, r66, 172, 174 

Ferries Established, and by whom 141 

Furlong, John 164 

Foster, Alvin 172 


Ferguson, David 234, 237, 245 

Fillmore, J. S 176 

First Pier Erected 265 

Fight with the Red Skins 181 

First Money Loaned 205 

Farwell, L. J 218 

Fire Company called for 251 

First Shipment of Wheat 252 

Foolish Legislation 252 

First Propeller to visit Milwaukee — the Vandalia 265 

Fitch, C. D 92, 174 


Gorrell, James, Lieut. — Arrives 20 

Gilman, W. W 39 

Graves, George L 42 

Green Bay Intelligencer — When started 60 

George, David, merchant 60 

Gale, John 91, 200, 201, 203, 228 

Gorham, Wm. M 91 

Gardner, Samuel M 148 

Gardner, Wm. N 92, 126, 129, 130, 131, 173, 219 

Goodall, Ira E 121, 245 

Greves, S. E., Dr 93. 105, 129 

Gehon, Franklin 126 

Grading Streets 174 

Graham, Wallace W ig8 

Gridley, L. L 218 

Gilbert R 245 

Guile, George 250 

Gregory, John 261 


How I Came to Milwaukee 11 

Hubbard, Otis 68 

Sketch of 193 

Hartshorn, Mr 15. iG 

Hinkley, H. A 173 

Hosmer, Sidney A 16 

Hosmer, Henry 201 

Haldimand, Frederick Gen., sends Capt. Robertson to Milwaunee with 

the sloop Felicity, November 4, 1779 21 


Hurlbut's History of Chicago quoted 24 

Historical — Vieau's old trading house 54 

Holmes, Thomas 64, 90, 131 

Holmes, Thomas Mrs 62 

Harrimaii, Rufus P 67, 68 

HoUister, D. S 87, 92, 131, 172, 214, 218, 227 

Higby, Lewis J go 

Hadley, Richard 91, 227 

Hathaway, Joshua 93, r29, 201 

Biographical 302 

Hathaway, John L 245 

Hart, Charles 105 

Hart, Thomas 174 

Hoyt, Thomas 105 

Horn, F. W 245, 267 

House, David , 108 

House Wandering 135 

Haight, John T 172, 173, 269, 270 

Horner, J. S 126 

Hyer, Nathaniel F 129, r3i, 166, 168, 170, 172, 174 

Hugunin, E R 130 

Hilton, J. P 130 

Houghton, Geo G 242 

Hawley, Cyrus 131, 168, 172, 231 

Biographical 299 

Hotels, sketch of 134 

Hinman, Samuel Deacon 135, 167, 168, 172 

High Waters 152 

Hastings, Charles A 245 

How is this 168 

Hubbard, Henry M 172, 103, 127, 201, 219, 246 

Hubbard, Jesse M 245 

Higgins, Elihu 172 

Higgins, Horatio 172 

Howard, William 224, 251 

Hubbell, S. H. Capt 175 

Havens, L. D 242 

Hoosier John, sketch of 194 

Harrison, Caleb Sr 195 

Harrison, Caleb Jr 198 

Hills, Cromwell 248 

Hart, J. B 19S 

Hatch, Allen W 200, 201, 232, 233 


Holton, Edward D 224 

Sketch of 265 

Hustis, John 219, 221, 245, 246, 253 

Immigrants (German), first arrival of 228 

Improvements 67, 84, 164, 165, 227, 245, 263 

Immersing an Irishman 256 

Introduction g, 11 

Indians, removal of 46 

Indian Fields; why so called; note 50 

Indian Trails; where they converged 59 

Irwin, Matthew J 24 

Irwin, A. G 60 


Jacobs, William H 156 

James, George 105 

James, Charles 105 

Jennings, Robert L 234 

Jermain & Brightman 176 

Johnson, Solon 218 

Johnson, James Dr 261 

Johnston, John 234 

Juneau, Solomon — Personal Mention of, 17, 21, 24, 25, 28, 33, 36, 38, 40, 
41, 51, 52, 60, 65, 91, 92, 131, 167, 170, 172, 174, 201, 228, 231, 282. 

Juneau, Solomon, Mrs 32, 47, 210 

Juneau, Solomon (schooner) 12 

Juneau, Peter 38, 40 


Keeler, David M 176 

Keenan, Matthew 177 

Kenzie, James 24 

Kenzie, John B 25 

Keyes, Joseph 93 

Kimball, Russel N 245 

Kinney, Asa 174. 253. 269. 279 

King, Rufus 176,177 

Kingsbury, James P 126 

Kilbourn, Byron 27, 41, 47, 129, 131, ifiO, 170, 172 

Builds the Badger 175 

Mention of 201, 220, 221, 246, 249, 252, 253. 284 



Knapp, Geo. F 27 

Knapp, Gilbert 130 

Kneeland, James 122 


Lapham, Increase A 20, 154, 166, 201, 220, 246 

Biographical 307 

La Salle 20 

La Frambois, Alex 20, 21, 25 

La Frambois, Francis 20 

La Frambois, Joseph 25, 40 

Lansing, A. J 24, 27, 69, 223 

Langson, W. J 242 

La Croix, Joseph 25 

La Tendree, John Baptiste (Le Tonte) 32, 38, 154 

Land Office Open 133 

La Pellieaur, Michael 59 

Lawrence, J. M 79, 242 

Lane, Lotan H log, ig8, 224, 251 

Larkin James 198 

Larkin, Charles H 8z, 201, 231 

Le Claire, Anton, Sr 25, 40, 8g, 210 

Lee & Kaniff (traders) 26, 50 

Lee, John — spoken of 8g 

I^ee & Thurston, carpenters go 

Leland, P. G 201 

Leland, Charles 202, 253 

Lefferts, Skidmore F 27 

Lewis, James P 245 

Lighthouse Erected 213 

Love Feast 248 

Loomis, L. G 26 

Location of the Men of 1836 84, 85 

Longstreet, Wm. R gi, 131, 166, 202, 220, 253 

Lowry, J. K 92 

Loomis, Hubbell, Dr log 

Love, Robert I2g 

Luce, Wm • . . . . 190 

Ludington & Birchard 92 

Ludington, Harrison igy 

Ludington, Lewis ig7 

Ludington, James ig8 

Ludington, Nelson igS 


Lyman, Silas 164 

Lynde, Charles J ig8, 83, 247 

Lynde, Wm. P 246 


Marquette, Pierre 20 

Matthews Bros 31 

Martin, Morgan L 33, 38, 39, 40 

Letter of 41 

Mason, Stephen T 33. 49 

Proclamation of , 74 

Mahoney, Geo. H 45 

Mach-e-see-bee, a Menomonee brave 88, 89 

Martin, James B iig 

Manderville, John 130, 172 

Mayhexv, Wm. M 219 

Magone, James 256 

Mallory, James A 282 

Manor, Baptiste 93 

McKinnie, Thomas L 24 

McCarthy, John 47 

McCabe, J. P. B 61 

McDonald & Malliby 92 

McNeil, James 04, 164, 227 

McCoIlom, John 227 

Mclntyre, Geo 201 

McCauley, Felix 221 

McGregor, JohnP 285 

Menomonee Valley — Appearance of, 1795 59 

Merrill, William P 86 

Sketch of 99 

Meyers, John M 140 

Medical Society Organized- -Officers of 180 

Milwaukee House 16 

Mirandeau, Jean Baptiste 21 

Miller, Henry 68, 167, 172, 201, 204 

Biographical 304 

Milwaukee Street — How occupied 94 

Milwaukee in a State of Nature 107-125 

Miller, John B 172 

Miller, Andrew G 197, 180, 294 

Miller, Benjamin K 218 

Miller, John M 218 



Miller, Galbraith 218 

Milwaukee & Rock River Canal; opening of 220 

Mitchell, John L 234 

Mitchell, Alexander 218, 232, 233 

Biographical 236 

Memorial of 285 

Milwaukee's First Bard 271 

Morton, A. B 130, 231 

Morton, Gordon 50 

Murray, Patrick D 105 

Murray, James 301 


Names of those who came in 1835 69, 70 

Names of the Men of 1836 81 to 85 

Names of West Side Men (1836) 105 

Names of Men of 1837 163, 164 

Names of the Men of 1839 217 

Nicolette, Jean 20 

Nichols, William S 67 

Noonan, Josiah A 147, 173 

Non-parallelism of Streets 151 

Notice for a Change to Village Government First Given 166 

Noyes, T. J 202, 207 

Number of Claims made in Lake, Greenfield, Wauwatosa and Town of 

Milwaukee prior to 1S38 85 


Ogden, John Deacon 63, 64 

Olin, Chauncy C 157 

Olin, Thomas H 172 

Old Gunpowder 212 

O-nau-ge-sa (alias O-not-e-sa) 25, 89, 210, 209, 216 

Opening of the Straits 144 

Organization of Territorial Government — Officers of 126 

Orrendolf, A '. 130, 172 

Organization of Village Government 165 

First Trustees Elected i66 

Organization of Temperance Society — Officers of 181 

Ordway, David S igS 

Ordway, Moses Dea 218 


Otis, F. B 204, 216, 228 

O'Rouke, J 176 

O'Farrell, Francis K 231, 232 


Parltman, Francis 20 

Patterson, D, W 27, 92 

Parmalee, Aaron — Mistake of 46, 92 

Paul, Geo. H 69 

Payne, William 90, 129, 237, 268 

Parquette, Paschal 126 

Parks, Rufus 133, 174, 231 

Page, Herman L 147 

Pettibone, Sylvester 61, 66, I2g 

Peters, A 131, 136 

Persons, E. R 243 

Personal i8g 

Peake, Chancy H 201, 219, 220, 233, 245 

Peter Yates' Leap (Illustrated) 254 

Phelps, E. D 172 

Pixley, John W 91, 98 

Pixley, Maurice gi, 253 

Pickle, John, Sketch of 147 

Pigeon Shooting 182 

Pickering, Jonas, Capt 224 

Pioneer Banking, Sketch of 229, 23 1 

Plankinton, John 123 

Plankinton, William 123 

Potter, L. B 218 

Political Meetings 128, 129, 200, 246 

Porthier, Joseph 42 

Political Buncum 167 

Pomeroy, Fennimore C 300 

Prentiss, Nathaniel 92, 93 

Sketch of 195 

Pratt, Alex. F g2, 173 

Proudfit, William P., Dr 99, 129, 166, 172 

Prentiss, W. A., 90, 100, 164, 130, 131, 167, 172, 174, 201, 202, 204, 
216, 219, 220, 242, 246, 250, 253 

Prices of Provisions, etc. in 1836-37 igo 

Prehistoric 154-159 

Putnam, Worthy 172 



Ravines ii6, 117, 122, 123 

Railroad Charter Called for 133 

Ray, Adam E 220, 24S 

Reed, Geo 67, 172 

Reed, Harrison 90, 176 

Reed, Curtis 93 

Reed, Duncan C 152, 224, 242, 251 

Reed, Seth ig8 

Removal of the Indians 206 

Reinertsen, Robert C 46 

Resiquie, Samuel 130 

Revais, Joseph, Sketch of 195 

Rhodes, Jesse 231 

Rice, Leverett T 218 

Rice, Romanzo B 218 

Rice, Ransom 218 

Richards, John 202, 216 

Richards, Daniel H 16, 77, 129, 201, 219, 246 

Richards, Geo. L 56 

Roads 71, 86, 96, 213 

Rowell, J go 

Rogers, James H....42, 68, I2i, 123, 131, 172, 205, 213, 220, 232, 233, 246 

Ross, Hiram J 105 

Robertson, Samuel, Capt 22, 142 

Rogers, Jacob M 172, 173, 213, 228 

Rogers, Jacob, Mrs. , Sketch 306 

Robinson, J. R 172 

Rockwell, J. S 201, 220, 246, 248 

Rowe, Abner 253 

Rood, Sidney L 258 


Sanderson, James, Capt 38, 90 

Sanderson, Edmond 70 

Sanderson, Harmon 218 

Sanderson, James, Mrs 62, 164, 231 

Sanborn, Samuel 172, 223 

Sanborn, Thomas 1 74 

Sargeant, D. H 172 

Saxe, Ed. H 245 

Schermerhorn, J. C 91 


Scholes, C. C 60 

Schley, C 242 

Shaunier, Joseph 25, 208, 220 

Appointed Marshal 220 

Shepherd, W. F 248 

Shepherd, Clarence 93 

Shepardson, Clark 198, 227 

Sheldon, W. B 129, 130, 201 

Sherwood, Josiah, Capt 166, 224, 251 

Shew, William 172, 204 

Shinn, Morgan L 262 

Sivyer, William 237, 245, 264 

Simonds, Chauncy 242 

Sibley, Daniel D 67 

Skinner, Henry C 202, 104 

Smith, George 232, 233, 234, 285 

Smith, U. B 47, 64, 90, 227 

Smith, U. B. , Mrs. (Arrives) O2 

Smith, Benj. F 67 

Smith, J. L 90 

Smith, Hiram 90 

Smith, John Y 94, 136 

Smith, John B 251 

Smith, Egbert Herring 267 

Smoking Out the Boys 186 

Speeding a Redskin 188 

Speeding an Immigrant 258 

Spurr, Wm. H 67, 68 

Starr, Elisha 16, 176, 219, 246 

Stein, Matthew 165 

Story, Augustus 204, 224, 253 

Stevens, Horatio 264 

Stewart, Isaac 130 

Stewart, Ivy I74 

Stoddard, J 91 

Strong, Marshall M 126 

Sullivan, Wm. H I47 

Suydam, John 60 

Sweet, Richard M 27 

Sweet, Alanson 105, 130, 168, i6g, 231, 247 



Taft, Dexter 67, 68 

Tasse, Joseph 125 

Tax Levy 174, 205 

Tee-pa-kee-nee-nee 209 

The East Side Buildings — How Located and by whom Occupied in 

1836 89-96 

The West Side Buildings — How Located and by whom Occupied in 

1836 102-105 

The South Side Buildings — How Located and by whom Occupied in 

1836 84 

The Changes in the Mouth of the River 154 

The First Bridge at Chestnut Street 250 

The Barbecue — Names of Officers 253 

The Shingle Maker Takes a Cold Bath 257 

The Old Settlers Club, History of 276-279 

Deaths in 279-281 

The Founders of Milwaukee 282 

The Belle View 16, 133 

The Claim Record, where kept 85 

The Shanty Tavern, who kept by 105 

The Ball Alley Spring, where located 115 

The Broadway Spring, where located 115 

The Old Waterman House 115 

The Strip along the Beach 116 

Description of 117 

The Cabbage Hollow 118, 136 

The Old Courthouse and Jail 137 

The First Murderers 139 

The Advertiser, when and by whom started 147 

The Women of 1834 and 1835 159 

Of 1836-7-8 and 39 160, 161 

The James Madison, arrival of 164 

The Fur Flies. 201, 246 

Trustees, Election of 167 

The Status of the South Side from 1837 to 1845 170 

The Milwaukee Sentinel, born 174 

The Wards Consolidate 204 

The Old Wisconsin Marine and Fire Insurance Company 232 

The Lapham Letter 322 

Thought the Indians Had Him 226 

Thought It Was The Devil 183 

Thompson, Jared 198 


Thompson, Hayden M ig8 

Thompson, William B ig8 

Thurber, C. E 173 

Tiffany, Geo. 165, 172, 269 

Toads 214 

Town Meeting 172 

Trowbridge, William S 45. 46, 152 

Tucker, Wm . A 256 

Tweedy, John H., Sketch of loi 

Mention of 205, 246, 253 

Two Nice Men 249 


Unequaled Engineering 261 

Upham, Don A. J 179, 248, 269 


Van Schaick, A, G 199 

Vail's Hotel 16 

Vail, Levi 67, 68 

Vail, Geo. S 201 , 202 

Vegetable Production 140, 141 

Vessel Arrivals 142, 143, 192, 215, 229 

Vieau, Peter J 24, 48 

Letter of 57 

Where Born 59 

Scores Le Clair 89 

Letter of 88 

Mention of 210 

Vieau, Andrew J. , Sr 21, 24, 26, 61 

Visit from 87 

Mention of 125, 165, 172, 210 

Vieau, Louis 50 

Vieau, Jacques, Sr 21 , 24, 25, 26 

Arrival of 57 

Vieau, Jacques, Jr 50, 66, 206 

Vieau, Paul 38 

Vieau, Amable 59 

Vieau, Charles 59 

Vieau, Nicholas 59 

Village Government Organized 165 

Vliet, Abram 198 



Vliet, John ig8 

Vliet, William ig8 

Vliet, Jasper ig8 

Vliet, Jarret 71, 220, 228 


Ward, Joseph R 131 

Ward, Lindsey igS, 268, 219, 246, 253 

Ward, Joseph igS 

Walker, Geo. H 27, 28, 41, 47 

Delegate 74 

Mention of 171, 246, 249, 283 

Walker, Isaac P 38 

Wagon — First Arrival of Note 50 

Wainwright, Timothy g2 

Walsh, Patrick 245 

Watson, Geo 247, 248 

Watson, John Y 204, 247, 253 

Warren, J. A 218 

Waite, Giles A 218 

Waite, Daniel 218 

Wardner, Frederick 254 

Webber, Wm. H 254 

Weeks, L. W 63, 92, 93, in, 137, 171, 201, 207, 262 

Wells, Horatio W., Sketch of 98, 167, 170, 173, 174, 201, 220 

Wells, Daniel, Jr 67 

Letter of 75 

Biographical 76 

Mention of 129, 167, 168 

Correspondence of 190, 191 

Mention of 199, 200, 204, 220, 232, 236 

West Side Men, Names of 105 

West, Geo. S 131, 202 

Whalen, N 172 

Wheelock, James H ii, 13, 14, 16, 202 

Wheelock, Dunham H 245 

Wheelock, Ira 248 

Wheelock, Hiram 245 

Wheelock, Benjamin F 11,12, 155, 157, 181 

Wheelock, Jonathan 11 

Wheelock, B. F., Mrs 189 

Wheelock, Haskell 218 

Wheeler's Chronicles ig 


Whitney, Daniel 1 1 

White, Theresa, Mrs 31, 32, 48, 125 

White and Evens 38, 51, 52 

White Henry 172 

Whisky 183 

Williams, Henry 164, 201, 227, 246, 253, 268, 269 

Williams, Joseph 63 

Williams, Macijah T 47 

Wilcox, Joel S 52, 63 

Willard, John H 172 

Wilcox, Joel, Mrs., Arrives 62 

Wingfield, F. A 201, 220, 246, 268 

Wilson, Duane Wm 176 

Willis' Tavern 16 

Wolcott, E. B., Dr 212 

Biographical 297 

Woodbridge, E. D 130 

Woodward, William 172 

Wooden, Timothy, Sketch of 194 

Wright, Samuel 174 

Zander, J . B 172 





Milwaukee in 1823 18 

Juneau's Trading Post 29-30 

Albert Fuller's Office 47 

Vieau's Trading House 57-5G 

Juneau's New House 65 

Cottage Inn 6G 

Juneau's New Store 92 

Milwaukee in 1839 218 

Bill of Bank of Milwaukee 230 

Bill of Wisconsin Fire and Marine 235 

Cuts of the first and second Mitchell's Bank Buildings 23O 

Lowry Mansion 237 

First Brick Bank Building 238 

Its Successor 238 

The Dillingburg Block 239 

The Present Building and Office 240 

Yates' Leap 255 

Early Map of Wisconsin 318 



Page 63, for Henry Church, read Harvey Church. 

Page 242, for A. W. Schley, read Charles Schley. 

Page 278, for Joel L. Wilcox, read Joel S. Wilcox. 

Page 280 (Geo. D. Dousman), for March 2, read March 15. 

Page 337, second line, for A-kee-nee-ba-weg read A-kee-nee-ba-way, 

Page 388 (Bigelow), for Amiza read Amasa. 

At a regular meeting of the Old Settlers' Club, held at the 
Court House, January 7, 1876, the following preamble and 
resolutions were offered by Major Rufus Cheney, and unani- 
mously adopted: 

IV/iereas, The perpetuation of the names, together with brief histories 
of many of the members of this club, has been secured by James S. Buck, 
one of our esteemed members, in his " Pioneer History of Milwaukee;" 

W/uTrns, Said History contains much that is interesting and valuable, 
both to the members of this club and the old settlers generally; therefore, 
Rcsoh'cd, That the thanks of this club be and hereby are tendered to the 
author for its production, refreshing and reviving as it does early recollec- 
tions, and bringing to life many early events, which would otherwise sleep 
the sleep that knows no waking. 

Resoh'i'd, That we endorse the general correctness of the work, and 
cheerfully recommend it to the purchase and perusal of all who feel an 
interest in the early settlement of the metropolis and commercial center of 
the State of which we are all proud to be called citizens, namely, Wiscon- 
sin., That a copy of this preamble and resolution be presented to 
Jas. S. Buck, as our appreciation of his valuable history and revival of the 
early reminiscences of Milwaukee. 

Alex. Mitchell, Enoch Chase, 

Rufus Cheney, W. S. Trowbridge, 

Wm. p. Merrill, Daniel Wells, Jr. 

Wm. a. Prentiss, Horace Chase. 

Mr. Buck thanked the club for this manifestation of their 
appreciation of his work. The task had been an arduous one 
and, although he has not been rewarded so far as dollars and 
cents were involved, 3'et by this public endorsement of the 
work by the club, and the public generally, he has received 
a reward far above what he had ever dreamed of.