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Mon- than forty years have elapsed since the story of the City and County 
of Milwaukee was presented in anything like a compact, comprehensive and 
accessible form. Since then the newspapers, the local governmental depart- 
ments and various agencies have hourly and daily recorded the several activi- 
ties of the community. These activities have grown in number, variety and 
importance, and have amplified themselves in so many diversified directions 
that only an assembling of certain leading farts will afford a true picture of 
the whole. 

The current records have served their purpose and the needs of their 
period. These records, however, soon become obscured in the mass of things, 
and the important and more outstanding facts and events become imbedded 
in the mesh of routine and in matters of temporary concern only. Thus, the 
essential facts and data must periodically be rescued from their submerged 
state and brought to the light again, collected and arranged with order and 
sequence, and with a due regard for their meaning and import. 

And since history is a continuous record of activities, tendencies and move- 
ments it demands not only their adequate treatment but successive presenta- 
tion as well. The story which has been halted must be resumed and told to its 
finish, which means that it must be brought up to the present time, and left to 
the future to be resumed and told again. 

With this thought in mind the History of Milwaukee, city and county, is 
approached, presenting in compact form not only the struggles and trials of 
a pioneer day and the story of humble beginnings but emphasizing the crown- 
ing achievements of a later period as well. In his treatment of the work as a 
whole the editor has aimed to deal more generously with the history of the 
past forty years and to reveal with reasonable clearness the forces and in- 
fluences that have made for the growth and development of a great urban 
center of population. While the early pioneer and settlement period is by no 
means minimized it has been sought to accord the fullest measure of attention 
to the later period. It will here be recognized that the city secured in this 
period that economic, civic and social momentum which has reared it to its 
present splendor and importance as an American city. 

A Large part of the manuscript was prepared by J. Seymour Currey who 
wrote an acceptable history of Chicago several years ago and whose services 
as a writer on historic subjects have been recognized. The chapters on the 
Industrial Beginning and Achievements, the Commercial Rise and Expansion, 
the Milwaukee Harbor, the Auditorium and the Milwaukee Association of 
Commerce, Alt-Milwaukee to an American City were written by the editor in 



the belief thai his immediate identification with these interests and institutions 
qualified him to treal them more intimately and adequately. The entire his- 
tory, however, has been written under the supervision of the editor who has 
spared 00 ei'i'urt in verifying the facts presented. 

In the treatment of these several subjects some of which are primary and 
basic in the city's growth and development, the authors have aimed to go 
beyond the mere recital of facts and events by bringing cause and effeel into 
play and in drawing from them permissible and warrantable deductions and 

The Editor. 

Aii American city! What splendid forces — latent and active — arc implied 
in that name! Let us miss no opportunity to bring to our service the best 
thought and experience of the world in city planning, city building and city 
living. Let us not only proclaim a place among our sister cities of the Great 
Republic, but deserve to be arrayed with the most progressive among them. 
Only by exemplifying the truest and best in American urban life shall we 
render ourselves worthy of being an integral part of the greatest nation on 




Preface v 

Introduction 17 


I Discovery of the Great West 21 

1 1 Ordinance of 1787 37 

III Discovery of the Great Lakes 43 

IV Hail Carriers and Routes . 53 

V Indian Villages '. 61 

VI Days of the Fur Trader 67 

VII The Lead Mining Industry 77 

VIII Solomon Juneau and His Family 83 

IX Byron Kilbourn and George H. Walker 99 

X Life and Labors of Andrew J. Vieau 107 

XI Milwaukee in the Pioneer Period 113 

XII The Lady Elgin Disaster 129 

XIII The Great Milwaukee Fire 147 

X I V Lincoln in Milwaukee 153 

X V Immigration and Race Origin 171 

XVI Beginnings, Dates, Events 189 

XVII The Era of Internal Improvements 207 

XVIII Industrial Beginnings and Achievement 219 

XIX Commercial Rise and Expansion 257 

XX Harbor and Marine Interests 569 

XXI The Coming of the Railroads 319 

XXII Banking and Finance 339 

XXIII Life and Fire Insurance 369 

XXIV The Chamber of Commerce 379 

XXV Milwaukee Association of Commerce 383 

XXVI The Milwaukee Post Office 415 

XXVII The Milwaukee Auditorium 421 

XXVIII The Municipal Government 435 

XXIX Water Works Department 469 

XXX The Health Department 477 

XXXI City Planning and Zoning 481 

XXXII Milwaukee County Government 557 

XXXIII Woman's Suffrage in Wisconsin 565 

XXXIV Participation in War 571 

XXXV Roosevelt's Visit to Milwaukee , 607 

XXXVI .Milwaukee Public Schools 629 




XXXVI] Higher Institutions of Learning <H7 

XXXVII] The Public Library and Museum 667 

XXXIX Milwaukee's Musical History 675 

XL The Progress of Art in .Milwaukee 685 

XL! Newspapers and Trade Publical inns 707 

XLI1 Public and Private < lharities 739 

XLII1 The Transition Period 755 



Bruce, William George Frontisjriect 

Milwaukee— An Old-Time View 20 

M ihvaukee in 1840— Outline Map 24 

Milwaukee in 1820 — Bird 's-eye View 36 

Form of Proclamation — 1825 44 

An Old Marriage License 14 

Old Settlers' Club— Presidents 52 

Milwaukee in 1853 — Bird's-eye View 60 

Milwaukee in 1873 — Bird's-eye View 66 

Site of First House— Tablet 80 

Solomon Juneau — Portrait 84 

Solomon Juneau Monument 88 

Solomon Juneau, First Mayor of Milwaukee 92 

Solomon Juneau — Original Letter 94 

Juneau Trading with Indians — Ba's Relief 94 

Byron Kilbourn — Portrait ' 08 

Byron Kilbourn Residence 100 

Walker, George H— Portrait 104 

Chestnut Street in 1860 112 

Increase A. Lapham — Quit Claim Deed 124 

Sinking of "Lady Elgin" 130 

" Augusta" — Schooner 134 

Steamer "Lady Elgin" 140 

John Wilson, Captain of the "Lady Elgin" 140 

Matthew Stein Gun Shop, The 172 

Rufus King Residence 1 7(i 

Old Cream City Base Ball Club 176 

Wisconsin Street in an Earlier Day 180 

John Pollworth 's Restaurant ' 180 

Milwaukee House 1< S 4 

Mrs. Milwaukee H. Smith Hackelberg 190 

Charles Milwaukee Sivyer — Tablet 194 

Bauer & Steinmeyer's Store - { ^ 

East Water Street in the Early Forties 208 

Wesf Water Street— Looking North 210 

Wisconsin Street— About 1867 214 

Ludington Block 216 

Original Penny Store 216 

Skyline of Milwaukee — Looking North 218 

First Steam Flour Mill 218 

Northeast ( lorner Milwaukee and Wisconsin, 1871 220 

Looking North on Main Street. 1870 220 

Republican House 224 

Old Newhall House 224 

Astor Hotel 226 

Medford Hotel 230 

Wisconsin Street — Looking West 232 




Miller Hotel and Third Streel 236 

Menominee Valley — Manufactuiiag ( 'cut it 240 

Milwaukee Manufacturers' Some Building 240 

The Hotel Wisconsin 244 

Toj Theatre and ( Ihinese Restaurant 2 Hi 

Easl Water Street, North of Wisconsin Street 258 

New Plankinton Hotel and Old Plankinton House 260 

Grand Avenue East from Sixth Street 2f>2 

The Pfister Hotel 264 

View of Milwaukee — Looking West 266 

( >hl-Time Schooner Entering Harbor 270 

Car Perry "Grand Haven" 270 

Steamer "Christopher Columbus" 274 

Kinniekinnie Basin 274 

Harbor Plans— Outline Sketch 278 

A Lake Coal ( larrier 2-2 

Me ninee River. Coal Doek Center 282 

Jones Island and Kinniekinnie Basin 288 

Coal Handling Scenes 294 

Menominee River, Coal Shipping ( 'enter 298 

Milwaukee River, Grain Elevators 298 

Sidewheeler "John A. Dix" 304 

Old Goodrich Dock 304 

.Milwaukee River and Commercial ('enter 310 

Milwaukee River North from Buffalo Street 314 

Old Lake Shore Depot 320 

First Railway Depot 320 

Old Lacrosse Depot and Third Street in 1860 322 

Railroad Rate Table 324 

Officers and Employes, Milwaukee & St. Paul Ry 326 

( Ihicago & Northwestern Station 330 

Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Ry. Station 330 

Stock Yards at West Milwaukee 334 

East Water Street — Looking North from Wisconsin Street 338 

First Wisconsin National Bank Building 346 

The .Marshall & Ilsley Bank : 350 

Second Ward Savings Bank 356 

Old insurance Building 370 

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company Building 374 

Northwestern National Fire Insurance Company Building 374 

( 'hamber of Commerce and Mitchell Building : '>7> 

Merchants' Association — Dinner Program 384 

Merchants' Association .Menu Cover Design 386 

Merchants' Association — Banquet Menu 386 

Milwaukee Athletic Club 390 

Grand Avenue, West from Bridge 392 

Wells Office Building 396 

View of Milwaukee Looking Southwest 398 

Majestic Building 402 

The Milwaukee Club 404 

The Calumet Club W8 

The Wisconsin club 408 

Milwaukee Yacht Club U0 

Old Elks' Club House 410 

Post Office Old Building 414 



Post Office and Wisconsin Street -US 

Soldiers' Home Fair Building, 1865 422 

Auditorium Building- 424 

Auditorium — Interior Main Arena 428 

Exposition Building — Old 430 

City Hall and Market Square 436 

Old Courthouse and County Jail 440 

Old-Time Campaign Document 442 

City Hall and Bergh Fountain 444 

Old City Hall ! . . 448 

Fourth of July Announcement 450 

Milwaukee Engine Company No. 1 452 

Hook and Ladder Company No. 1 456 

Expenditure of City Tax Revenues 458 

Mass Meeting of Electors 460 

Carpenter, Matthew H. — A Sentiment 462 

Army Call of 1862 for Volunteers 466 

Water Tower and Park 470 

McKinley Park — Bathing Beach 470 

Columbia Hospital 476 

Milwaukee Hospital 476 

Washington Park— Moonlight Scene 482 

Christian Wahl — Bust 484 

Mitchell Park — Sunken Gardens 484 

Lake Park, Grand Terrace 486 

Entrance to Lake Drive 4!K) 

Skyline of Milwaukee from the Bay 490 

North Point Light House 490 

Grand Avenue Viaduct 492 

Prospect Avenue 494 

Layton Boulevard — Looking South from National Avenue 494 

Juneau Park — Solomon Juneau Monument 4! Mi 

Civic Center Group — Clas 500 

Arteries — Proposed East and West, in Connection with Auditorium and 

City Hall Sites 502 

Sketch of Suggested Grouping of Public Buildings 504 

City Hall Civic Center— Map 504 

Bridge and River Scheme — Clas 506 

Lakeshore Drive and Parkway — Clas 508 

Civic Center Scheme — Bird's-eye View Milwaukee's Proposed Parkway. . . . 508 

Washington Monument 510 

Arteries — Proposed East and West, in Connection with Revised Park Board 

Site 512 

River Improvement Scheme — Clas 514 

Von Steuben Monument 518 

Plan Proposed by Park Board in 1909 520 

Lake Front Study — Clas 522 

Bridge and Dock Area — Clas 522 

Auditorium Site — Plan for Grouping 524 

Dr. E. B. Wolcott Monument 526 

City Hall ( 'ivic Center — Bird's-eye View 530 

Civic Center Plan 1 .' 532 

Civic Center Plan 2 532 

Kosciuszko Monument 5:; I 

City Hall Site — Proposed Grouping 538 



Auditorium Site — Suggested Grouping 540 

Roberl Burns Monument ."ill 

Goethe-Schiller Monument, Washington Park 544 

Washington Park. Seal Enclosure 546 

Liei' Ericson Statue. Juneau Park 546 

Washington Park —Winter Scene 550 

South SI Li ire Park Bathing Beach 554 

Courthouse and St. John 's ( lathedral 556 

Soldiers' Monument , .".Til 

.Milwaukee Light Guard — Group 576 

Milwaukee Light Guard — Card of Thanks 582 

National Soldiers' Home 590 

Fourteenth Distrid School 630 

Twenty-third Distrid School 630 

Trinity Hospital 646 

Marquette University Administration Building 646 

( Joncordia College 650 

Milwaukee-Downer College Buildings 650 

Milwaukee University School 656 

Milwaukee State Normal School 662 

Riverside High School, East Side 662 

Public Library 668 

Old Dam at North Avenue 672 

Layton Art Gallery 684 

Old Academy of Music 690 

Pabst Theatre 696 

Davidson Theatre 702 

Ivanhoe Commandery Temple 706 

Kenwood .Masonic Temple 706 

Emergency Hospital 74(1 

St. .Mary's Hospital 740 

Grand Avenue Methodist Church 742 

Grace Lutheran Church 742 

The Rescue Mission 744 

St. Paul's Church 746 

Altenheim (Lutheran Old Polks' Home) 74 s 

Trinity Lutheran ( Jhurch 750 

The Gesu Church 752 

Temple Emanu-El 754 

St . Josaphat 's Church 754 

Old-Time Milwaukee Garden Saloon 760 

Schlitz Park, Now Lapham Park 760 

I lenrv Wehr's, a Famous Restaurant 766 

Old-Time Whitelish Lav Bay Resort 77- 

Old-World •' I'.ierstulie" 77- 

Bar at Schlitz Palm Garden 784 

Interior of a Famous Palm Garden 784 







Every community has its story of humble beginning's, of earlier struggles 
and trials, and of hard won achievements. Every generation receives its 
inspiration and guidance from the preceding generation. Every people 
demonstrates its character and worth by the estimate it places upon its pro- 
genitors, and the respect and appreciation it manifests for them. 

Thus, an eventful past, with its achievements and its lessons, is reduced 
to historic record that we may enter into the charm of its romance, profit 
by its teachings, and emulate its examples in effort equally worthy and benefi- 
cent. Moreover, it enables a grateful progeny to measure human values, 
pay tribute to the builders of a former day, and realize as well as recognize 
the blessings and benefactions conferred by preceding generations. 

The story of an Indian village that grew in less than a century to the pro- 
portions of a great American city, that has reared mighty structures dedicated 
to the useful arts, to commerce and trade and to the cultural aspirations of 
man, is not wholly without interest or charm. 

True, it notes no historic battles, no brilliant or decisive strokes in war- 
fare, no epoch making turns in the tide of human affairs, no momentous 
events in our national history. And yet it tells of a most splendid conflict — 
a conflict in which man has grappled with the elements of nature in order 
to subject them to uses for which the Creator intended them — a conflict in 
which mind has triumphed over matter. 

The founders of Milwaukee were men of character, of vision, of action. 
The Indian instinctively sought that spot where three rivers converged and 
opened into a beautiful inland ocean. But, the white man saw the gifts of 
nature, the advantage of location and environment, and proceeded to build 
a habitation that should suit his fancy, his needs, his purposes. He applied 
his ingenuity, his enterprise, and his industry, and thus performed his part 
in the great march of human progress and civilization. 

It was the trading instinct that first brought the white man to the haunts 
of the Indian. It was, however, the industrial bent rather than the com- 
mercial instincts of the former that gave stimulus to subsequent economic- 
stability and population growth. The individual mechanic, who, single 
handed and alone, fashioned useful things became the founder of monster 
industrial enterprises. The individual worker gradually resorted to the group 



system, then came the era of organization and of quantity production. Thus. 
greal manufacturing plants, whose products now go to the four ends of the 
world, found their inception witli the simple manic in overalls, who under- 
stood the immediate wauls of his fellowman and knew how to supply them. 

A glance at the cast and west shore lines of Lake Michigan reveals a 
peculiar phenomenon. The easl shore presents a series of small eities and 
villages while the shores of Wisconsin maintain a number of large and impor- 
tant manufacturing centers. The binterland of the two shore lines has. no 
doubt, much to do with the material vitality of these cities but the primary 
cause must be sought elsewhere. The population thai sougbl the wesl shore 
was in the main industrially inclined. It included a preponderance of skilled 
mechanics. There were, of course, those who were trained in commercial and 
professional pursuits, but the artisan at all times predominated. 

The Yankees who came from New England and the Knickerbockers, as 
they were then called, who came from New York state between the thirties 
and forties of the last century, were young, strong and hopeful. They sought 
business opportunities and concerned themselves with transportation, bank- 
ing, insurance and general commercial undertakings. 

With the tide of immigration that rolled in between the years of 1840 
to 187.") from Germany, Austria, Ireland, Scotland and tin' Scandinavian 
countries, came also that industrial impetus which since has so strongly char- 
acterized the Wisconsin lake cities and led to Milwaukee's rise as a greal 
manufacturing center. 

In connection with the foregoing it should be added that the transition, 
too, from a community whose racial origin was at one time more largely 
foreign than native, passing in an orderly, logical and consistent manner from 
a stajre of foreignism to Americanism, constitutes a chapter that deserves 
treatment in the lie-lit of present day conceptions and of developments id' a 
more recent period. 

What is told of the men of Milwaukee in point of industry and perse 
verance, is equally true of the women. They braved the privation and hard- 
ships of a pioneer day. They bore the burdens of motherhood and shared 
with their husbands the sterner realities of life in a new and rough country. 
In the subsequent development and maintenance id' educational, charitable 
and welfare endeavor they assumed the larger task, and thus made a mag- 
nificent contribution to the social and moral progress of their time and their 

It is safe to say that adequate recognition has never been accorded to 
the part which women here played in tin- earlier foundations of a social order 
and in the development of those agencies which gave practical expression to 

the higher anil nobler impulses id' man. 

Histories are frequently subject to revision not so much as to the bare 
facts they chronicle bu1 rather as to the spirit they breathe, the atmosphere 
they aim to reflect, ami the impressions thej ultimately convey. Even isolated 

facts may obtain their true setting and relative import in the light of later 
facts and conditions. ('oiistaut research and the coupling of event with 
event lead to the correction of missl atemenl s, the adjustment id' values, and 


the fixing of conclusions. Again, histories already begun must from time to 
time be brought up to date and amplified by subsequent events. 

In the light of the marvellous progress made by the city and county 
of Milwaukee during the past two decades, and in amplification of the 
assembled records of the past, a new history must be deemed timely and 
desirable. The more important events of that period, a record of the later 
influences and forces that have entered into the growth and development of 
a great population center, must be rendered accessible to present and future 
generations. The lessons and precepts of that period must not be lost. 

The contribution which the people of that political unit with which this 
volume deals, have made to the economic and civic life of the nation is well 
worthy of a dignified and permanent record. Out of the aggregate of events, 
out of its successes and its failures, must spring the history of a nation. 

The people of whom this history treats have manifested the same inven- 
tive genius, the same enterprise and energy, the same constructive ability and 
the same loyalty and patriotism that has characterized the nation as a whole. 
They have been so closely interlinked with its material progress as to share 
in its adversities as well as in its successes; they have constituted so intimately 
a part of its political life as to share fully in its burdens as well as its blessings. 
At all times have they responded, willingly, readily and unselfishly, to the 
national spirit and impulse as they have complied with the duties of citizen- 
ship at home. 

It is with this thought in mind, and in this manner of approach, that the 
task of writing a new history of Milwaukee city and county, as an integral 
part of the Great Republic, is undertaken — a history that shall be concise, 
comprehensive and complete in form and presentation, and worthy of the 
people whose story it tells. 



In the year 16.34, Jean Nicollet, accompanied by .seven Indian companions, 
entered Lake Michigan by way of the Straits of Mackinac, and thus was the 
first white man to behold the broad surface of this inland sea. "Along its 
northern shores his canoe was paddled by his dusky oarsmen," says H. E. 
Legler in his "Leading Events in Wisconsin History." "At the Lay de 
Noquet he briefly tarried, and finally came to the Menomonee, where that 
river pours its waters into Green Bay." 

Later Nicollet ascended the Fox River until he came to the country of the 
Mascoutens and at that point he turned south, when within three days' journey 
of the portage, into the Wisconsin River, thus missing the route to the Missis- 
sippi which -Joliet and Marquette followed in 1673. At length in the course 
of his extended .journey he reached the country of the Illinois Indians. After 
a sojourn with these tribes he returned to Green Bay, "doubtless along the 
western shore of Lake Michigan," says Legler. However, as this is a con- 
jecture the statement may not be accepted as fully authentic. 

Nicholas Perrot came to visit the Wisconsin Indians in 1665, having been 
intrusted by the authorities at Montreal with the task of making peace among 
the tribes who were "fierce as wild cats, full of mutual jealousies, without 
rulers and without laws." In this mission Perrot succeeded remarkably well. 

Voyages of Joliet and Marquette. — The discovery of the Upper Mississippi 
River was made on the celebrated voyage of Joliet and Marquette in 1673. 
The beginning of the recorded history of the Great West dates from this year 
and this voyage, and its importance requires some account of the events which 
marked one of the most brilliant and daring enterprises in the annals of west- 
ern adventure and exploration. 

The Mississippi River had been discovered by a Spaniard, Hernando De 
Soto in 1541, at" a point near the present City of Memphis; but this discovery 
had been well-nigh forgotten at the period of time here spoken of. That a 
great river existed, far to the north of the region where De Soto found and 
crossed the Mississippi, was well known to the French from the reports made 
to them by the Indians, vague and indefinite though they were; and these 
reports excited the imagination and stimulated the ambition of many of the 
adventurous spirits of the time. 

It does not appear to have been suspected by any of the early French 
explorers that the Great River of which the Indians told them, was one and 
the same with that discovered by the Spanish explorer, more than a century 



before. .Manx conjectures were made as to where it reached the sea, on which 
point the Imlians could give no reliable information. Some thoughl thai it 
emptied into the "Sea of Virginia," others contended thai it flowed into the 
Gulf of .Mexico, while Front enae. the governor of New Prance, was convinced 
that it discharged its waters into the Vermilion Sea. thai is the Oulf of Cali 
furnia: ami that by way of it. a passage mighl lie found to China. 

The Great Unknown River.- Reports having reached France, regarding 
the "Ureal River of the West," as it was often spoken of, the French minis 
ter, Colbert, wrote to Talon, the intendanl at Quebec, in 1672, that efforts 
should he made "to reach the sea:" meaning to explore tie- great unknown 
river and solve the mystery of its outlet. This was followed by appropriate 
instruct ions. Father Dablon, in the "Jesuit Relations." says: "The Counl 
Frontenac, our governor, am! Monsieur Talon, then our intendant, recogniz- 
ing: the importance of this discovery [to lie made], appointed for 
this undertaking Sieur Joliet, whom they considered xcry tit for so greal an 
enterprise: and they were well pleased that Father Marquette should lie of 
the party." 

It must he understood that the government of New France ;it this period 
was of a dual character. The French King did not believe it safe to intrusl 
the affairs of his American dominions to the hands of a single man. and there- 
fore the office of "intendant" was created, the ineumbenl possessing coordi- 
nate authority with the governor general. Thus the acts of the intendant 
were regarded as of equal authority with those of the governor general, and 
as mentioned above through the joint action of these two officials the expedi- 
tion was authorized. 

Choice of Leader. — The authorities were not mistaken in the choice they 
made of Louis Joliet. lie was a young man then twenty-eighl veins old. 
possessing all the qualifications that could he desired for such an undertaking; 
he had had experience among the Indians, and knew their language; he had 
tact, prudence and courage, and. as the event proved, he fulfilled all the 
expectations which were entertained of him by his superiors. Father James 
Marquette was a Jesuit missionary, thirty-six years old. and. in addition to his 

zeal for th inversion of the Indians, he was tilled with a burning desire 

to behold the "Great River'' of which he had heard so much, lie was sta- 
tioned at this time at St. [gnace, and here Juliet joined him late in the year 
ltiT'J, and broughl him the intelligence of his appointment to go with him in 

the conduct of tl xpeditiou. "I was all the more delighted at this good 

news," writes Marquette in his journal, "since 1 saw that my plans were 
about to he accomplished; and since I found myself in the Messed necessity 

of exposing my life for the salvation of all these peoples, and especially of 
the Illinois, who had very urgently entreated me. when 1 was at the point 
of St. Esprit, to carry the word of God to their country." Here at St. [gnace 
1 1 1 ' ■ \ passed the winter. 

As the spring advanced, they made the necessarj preparations for their 

journey, the duration of which they could not foresee. In two hark canoes. 

manned by five frenchmen, besides the two intrepid Leaders, the partj em- 
barked, "fullv resolved to do and suffer evervthine Eor so glorious an enter 


prise;" and on the 17th of May, 1673, the voyage began at the mission of 
St. Ignaee. Father Marquette writes in his journal: "The joy that we felt 
at being selected for this expedition animated our courage, and rendered 

the labor of paddling from morning to night agreeable to us. And because 
we were going to seek unknown countries, we took every precaution in our 
power, so that if our undertaking were hazardous, it should not be foolhardy." 
The journal of Father Marquette is the principal source of our information, 
and is full of detail and written in a simple style. Joliet also kept a record 
and made a map, but, most unfortunately, all his papers were lost by the up- 
setting of his canoe in the St. Lawrence, while he was returning to Quebec 
the following year to make a report of his discoveries. Thus it happens thai 
Marquette's name is more frequently and prominently mentioned in all the 
accounts than that of Joliet. 

Beginning of the Journey. — The adventm - ous voyagers proceeded along 
the .northern shore of Lake Michigan, tin' only portion of the lake which had 
at that time been explored, and entered Green Bay. They arrived at the mis- 
sion established by Father Allouez two years before, and from here they began 
the difficult ascent of the Fox River. On its upper waters they stopped at a 
village of the Mascoutins, from whom they procured guides; and by these 
friendly savages they were conducted across the portage into the upper waters 
of the Wisconsin River, whence the travelers made the r way alone. As the 
Indians turned back, they "marvelled at, the courage of seven white men, ven- 
turing alone in two canoes on a journey into unknown lands.'' 

They were now embarked on the Wisconsin River anil soon passed the 
utmost limits of Nicollet's voyage on this river made thirty-five years before. 
Their route lay to the southwest, and, after a voyage of seven days on this 
river, on the 17th day of June, just one month from the day they started from 
St. Ignaee, they reached its mouth and steered their canoes forth upon the 
broad bosom of the Mississippi, "with a joy that I cannot express." wrote 

"Here, then, we are," continues the ivood Father in his journal, "on this 
so renowned river." Westward, coming down to the water's edge, were Lofty 
wooded hills intersected by deep gorges, fringed with foliage. Eastward were 
beautiful prairie lands; while great quantities of game — deer, buffalo and 
wild turkey — were seen everywhere. In the river were islands covered with 
trees and in the water they saw "monstrous fish," some of which they caught 
in their nets. Following the flow of the river, they note the changes in the 
scenery, while passing between shores of unsurpassed natural beauty, along 
which a chain of flourishing cities was afterwards to be built. 

Afloat on the Mississippi. — Steadily they followed die course of the river 
towards the south, and on the eighth day they saw, for the first time since 
entering the river, tracks of men near the water's edge, and they stopped to 
examine them. This point was near the mouth of the Des Moines River, and 
thus they were the first white men to place foot on the soil of Iowa. Leaving 
their men to guard the canoes the two courageous leaders followed a path 
two leagues to the westward, when they came in sight of an Indian village. 
As they approached, they gave notice of their arrival by a loud call, upon 

See Key mi opposite page 











The East Side. 
Kilbourn Town. 

Walker's Point. 
Milwaukee River. 
Msnomonee River. 
Red Bridge, 

Menomonee Bridge. 

Spring Street Ferry (Grand Avenue i . 
Walker's Point Ferry. 
Old Harbor Entrance. 

Proposed Straight Cut (Xew Harbor En- 
trance i . 
The Canal. 

East Water street. 

Swamp — Present City Hall Site. 

Market Street. 

Division Street (Juneau Avenue i. 

Chestnut Street. 

Wesl Water Street. 

Spring Street (Grand Avenue). 

Chicago Road. 

Prairieville Road. 

I liven Bay Road. 

2 2 
2 il 




Washington House. 

Kilbourn Warehouse. 

Leland & American House. 

Fischer Kroeger's German House. 

St. Peter's Chapel (Cathedral). 

Fountain House. 

Milwaukee House. 

Cottage Inn. 

Lutlington's Corner. 

Wisconsin Street. 

Beam & Company Store. 

George H. Walker's Home. 

Rogers Old Corner. 

Market Square. 

1 rge Dousman's Warehouse. 

Longstreet's Warehouse. 
Walker's Warehouse. 
Sweet & .Ten is Warehouse. 
Barber's Wharf near Ludwig's Garden. 
Little German Tavern. 
River Street Swamp. 
34. Small Islands in the Milwaukee River 

Later Removed. 
Lake Brewery. 
Huron Street. 


which the savages quickly rami' forth from their huts and regarded the stran 
gers attentively. Some of their uumber who had evidently visited the mis- 
sion stations recognized tham as Frenchmen, and they res] ded to Mar 

quette's greeting in a friendly manner and offered (lie "calumet," or pet 
pipe, which greatly reassured the visitors. Pour of the elders advanced and 
elevated their pipes Inwards the sun as a token of friendship: and. on Mar 
quette's inquiring who they were, they replied, "we are Illinois;" at the 
same time inviting the strangers to walk to their habitations. An old man 
then made them a speech in which he said. "All our people wait for thee, and 
thou shalt enter our cabin in peace." 

The Illinois Indians lived at this time beyond the Mississippi, whither ti ! 
had been driven by the fierce Iroquois from their former abode, near I. 
Michigan. A few years later most of them returned to the east side and m 
their abode along the Illinois River. Indeed. Joliel and Marquette found a 
large village of them on the upper waters of tin 1 Illinois, while ascending that 
river a few weeks later. It may be remarked here, however, that the Illinois 
Indians never fully recovered from the disastrous defeats they suffered from 
the Iroquois, and held only a precarious possession of their lands along the 
Illinois River after that time: until a century later, the last broken 1 mna il 
of them was exterminated at Starved Rock by the Pottawatomies and 

Visit to the Illinois Indians. — While still at the village of these Illinois 
Indians, a grand feast was prepared for the travelers, and they remained until 
the next day, when they made preparations for their departure. 

The chief made them two gifts which were a valuable addition to their 
equipment, namely, an Indian lad. the chief's own son, for a slave, and "an 
altogether mysterious calumet, upon which tin' Indians place more value 
than upon a slave." The possession of this "mysterious calumet." was th • 
means of placating several bands of hostile Indians, whom they met later in 
their journey. The chief, on learning their intention to proceed down the 
river "as far as the sea,*' attempted to dissuade them on account of the 
great dangers to which they would expose themselves. "1 replied." says 
Marquette, "that I feared not death, and that 1 regarded no happiness as 
greater than that of losing my life for the glory of Him, who has made us 
all. This is what these poor people cannot understand." These were no idle 
words of Marquette's, for before the lapse of two years from that date, he 
died of privation and exposure, a martyr to the cause he had s,, much at 

The sequel to the story of the little Indian boy mentioned above was a 

sad one. He accompanied the voyagers to tl ml of their journey. In the 

following year, when Joliel was on his way to Quebec to make the report 
of his discoveries, his canoe was overturned in the rapids of the Si. Lawrence 
near Montreal, as previously stated. The resl of tin' narrative is quoted from 
Mason's "Chapters from Illinois History." "His box of papers, containing 
his map ami report, was lost, and he himself was rescued w'th difficulty. Two 
of his companions were drowned; one of these was the slave presented to 
him by the greal chief of the Illinois, a little Indian lad ten years of age, whom 


he deeply regretted, describing him as of a good disposition, full of spirit, 
industrious and obedient, and already beginning to read and write the French 

Friendship of Marquette and Joliet. — On the departure of the party, Mar- 
quette promised the Indians to return to them the next year and instruct 
them. They embarked in the sight of the people, who had followed them 
to the landing to the number of some six hundred. The people admired the 
canoes and gave them a friendly farewell. We cannot fail to note the har- 
mony which existed between the two leaders on this expedition, in such strik- 
ing contrast with the bickerings and disagreements observed in the accounts 
of other expeditions of a like nature. For there is no severer test of the 
friendly relations between officers of an exploring expedition than a long 
absence in regions beyond the bounds of civilization. Joliet and Marquette 
were friends long before they started together on this journey, and both were 
single minded in their purpose to accomplish its objects. No more lovely char- 
acter appears in the history of western adventure than that of Marquette, 
a man who endeared himself to all with whom he came in contact, and made 
himself an example for all time. Joliet, in turn, "was the foremost explorer 
of the West," says Mason, "a man whose character and attainments and 
public services made him a man of high distinction in his own day." 

Continuing their journey the voyagers passed the mouth of the Illinois, 
without special notice, but when in the vicinity of the place where the city 
of Alton now stands, and while skirting some high rocks, they "saw upon 
one of them two painted monsters which at first made them afraid." The 
paintings were "as large as a calf," and were so well done that they could 
not believe that any savage had done the work. Joutel saw them some eleven 
years later, but could not see anything particularly terrifying in them, though 
the Indians who were with him were much impressed. St. Cosme passed by 
them in 169!), but they were then almost effaced; and when, in 1867, Parkman 
visited the Mississippi, he passed the rock on which the paintings appeared, 
but the rock had been partly quarried away. 

They had scarcely recovered from their fears before they found themselves 
in the presence of a new danger, for they heard the noise of what at tirsl they 
supposed were rapids ahead of them: and directly they came in sight of the 
turbulent waters of the Missouri River, pouring its flood into the Mississippi. 
Large trees, branches and even "floating islands" were borne on its surface, 
and its "water was very muddy." The name Missouri, which was afterwards 
applied to this river, means in the Indian language "muddy water," and the 
river is often spoken of to this day as the "Big Muddy." They passed in 
safety, however, and continued on their journey in good spirits and with 
thankful hearts. 

They now began to think that the general course of the river indicated 
that it would discharge itself into the Gulf of Mexico, though they were still 
hoping to find that it would lead into the South Sea, toward California. As 
they passed the confluence of the Ohio and the Mississippi, the shores changed 
their character. They found the banks lined with extensive fields of cane- 
brakes: mosquitoes tilled the air. and the excessive heat of the sun obliged 


them to seek protection from its rays by stretching an awning of cloth over 
their canoes. While they were thus floating down the current of the river, 
they were in communication with Europeans, probably the Spaniards of 
some savages appeared on the banks armed with guns, thus indicating that 
Florida. The savages at first assumed a threatening attitude, but Marquette 
offered his "plumed calumet," so called because of the feathers it was 
adorned with, which the Illinois chief had given him, and the strangers were 
at once received as friends. These savages told them that they were within 
ten days' journey of the sea. and with their hopes thus raised they soon 
resumed their course. 

Soothing Effect of the Calumet. — They continued down past the monot- 
onous banks of this part of the river for some three hundred miles from the 
place where they had met the Indians just spoken of, when they weir sud 
denly startled by the war-whoops of a numerous band of savages who showed 
every sign of hostility. The wonderful calumet was held up by Marquette, 
but at first without producing any effect. Missiles were flying, but fortunately 
doing no damage, and some of the savages plunged into the river in order to 
grasp their canoes; when presently some of the older men, having perceived 
the calumet steadily held aloft, called back their young men and made re- 
assuring signs and gestures. They found one who could speak a little Illinois: 
and, on learning that the Frenchmen were on their way to the sea, the Indians 
escorted them some twenty-five miles, until they reached a village called 
Akamsea. Here they were well received, but the dwellers there warned them 
against proceeding, on account of the warlike tribes below who would bar 
their way. 

Joliet and Marquette hei-e held a council whether to push on, or remain 
content with the discoveries they had already made. They judged that they 
were within two or three days' journey from the sea. though we know that 
they were still some seven hundred miles distant from if. They decided 
however, that beyond a doubt the Mississippi discharged its waters into the 
Gulf of Mexico, and not to the East in Virginia, or to the West in California. 
They considered that in going on they would expose themselves to the risk 
of losing the results of their voyage, and would, without a doubt, fall into 
the hands of the Spaniards, who would detain them as captives. The upshot 
of their deliberations was the decision that they would begin the return 
voyage at once. The exploration of the river from this point to the sea was 
not accomplished until nine years later, when that bold explorer. La Salle. 
passed entirely down the river to its month; where he set up a column and 
buried a plate of lead, bearing the arms of France: took possession of the 
country for the French King, and named it Louisiana. 

The party were now at the mouth of the Arkansas, having passed more 
than one hundred miles below the place where l)e Soto crossed it in the 
previous century, had sailed eleven hundred miles in the thirty days since 
they had beei the greal river, an average of about thirty seven miles a 

day, and had covered nine degrees of latitude. ( in the 17th of duly, they 
began their return journey, jusl one month to a day after they had entered 
the river, and two months after they had left the mission at St. [gnace. 


The voyage up the river in the mid-summer heat was one of great diffi- 
culty, but steadily they "won their slow way northward,'" passing the mouth 
of the Ohio and that of the Missouri; until at length they reached the 
mouth of the Illinois River. Here they left the Mississippi and entered the 
Illinois, being greatly charmed "with its placid waters, its shady forests, and 
its rich plains, grazed by bison and deer." They passed through the wide 
portion of the river, afterwards known as Peoria Lake, and reached its upper 
waters, where, on the south bank, rises the remarkable cliff, s'nce called 
"Starved Rock." They were thus "the first white men to see the territory 
now known as the State of Illinois." 

On the opposite bank of the river, where the Town of Utica now stands, 
they found a village of Illinois Indians, called Kaskaskia, consisting of sev- 
enty-four cabins. It should here be stated that the Indians removed this 
village, some seventeen years later, to the south part of the present State of 
Illinois, on the Kaskaskia River, where it became noted in the early annals 
of the West. The travelers were well received here, and, on their departure, 
a chief and a number of young men of the village joined the party for the 
purpose of guiding them to the Lake of the Illinois, that is, Lake Michigan. 

The course of the river was now almost directly east and west, and the 
voyagers could not fail to notice the ranges of bluffs flanking the bottom 
lands through which the stream meanders in its flow. This broad channel 
once carried a mighty volume of water from Lake Michigan to the Missis- 
sippi, at a time when the glaciers were subsiding and the lake level was some 
thirty feet higher than in historic times. 

The travelers soon arrived at the confluence of the Desplaines and the 
Kankakee rivers which here, at a point some forty-five miles from Lake 
Michigan, unite to form the Illinois River. Under the guidance of their 
Indian friends they chose the route by way of the Desplaines as the shortest 
to the lake. On reaching the place where the portage into the waters tribu- 
tary to Lake Michigan was to be made, their Indian guides aided them in 
carrying their canoes over the "half league" of dry land intervening. As 
this portage is much longer than that, it is likely that the "half league" 
mentioned by Marquette referred to one stage of the portage, between the 
Desplaines and the first of the two shallow lakes which they found there and 
on which they, no doubt, floated their canoes several miles on their way to the 
waters of the south branch of the Chicago River. 

Beaching Lake Michigan. — Here their Indian friends left them while they 
made their May down the five miles that yet intervened before they would 
reach Lake Michigan. (Troves of trees lined its banks, beyond which a level 
plain extended to the margin of the lake. This level plain was the only por- 
tion of the "Grand Prairie" of Illinois which anywhere reached the shore 
of Lake Michigan, a space limited to some four miles south of the mouth of 
the Chicago River. They were not long in coming into view of that splendid 
body of water which they were approaching, and must have beheld its vasl 
extent with the feelings of that "watcher of the skies" so beautifully written 
of by Keats, "when a new planet swims into his ken." 

No date is given by Marquette in his journal of the arrival of the party 


a1 this point, luii it was probably early in September of the year 1673 thai 
the site of the present City of Chicago was firsl visited by white men. It 
is quite possible thai coureuf^ de Inns ("wood-rangers" may have visited 
tlic spol while among the Indian tribes, bu1 no record was ever made of such 

visits before the time that Joliel and Marquette arrived u] the scene, and 

made known the discovery to the world. The mouth of the river is shown 

<m all tl arly maps as at a point a quarter of a mile south of the presenl 

nutlet, owing to a long sand spit that ran out from the north shore of the 
river near its confluence with the lake, which has long since been dredged 
away. This was Juliet's first and only view of the Chicago River and its 
banks, as he never passed this way again. 

The stimulating breath of the lake breezes which met them ;is they issued 
forth upon the blue waters of the ""Lake of the Illinois," must have thrilled 
the explorers with feelings of joy and triumph, having escaped so many 
dangers and won such imperishable renown. Turning the prows of their 
canoes northward, they passed the wooded shores still in their pristine love- 
liness. The emerald hues of the prairies, whieh they had left behind them. 
were now replaced by the mottled foliage of the early autumn, and the waves 
breaking on the beach of sand and gravid must have impressed them deeply 
as they proceeded on their way. The shores began to rise and form bluffs 
as they passed the regularly formed coast on their course. 

Throughout their journey the voyagers gaze on scenes familiar now to 
millions of people, then unknown to civilized man. They see the gradual 
increase in the height of the bluffs, reaching an elevation at the present town 
id' Lake Forest of 100 feet or more above the surface of the lake, and the bold 
shores of the present site of the City of Milwaukee. No comments arc made 
regarding the events of this part of the journey by Marquette in bis journal, 
and it most likely was made without special incident. He closes his narra- 
tive by saying that "at the end of September, we reached the Bay des Puants 
(Green Bay), from which we started at the beginning of June." 

The world renowed voyage of Joliet ami Marquette thus ended at the 
.Mission of St. Francis Xavier, where the Village of De Pere, Wisconsin, now 
stands. The explorers had traveled nearly twenty-five hundred miles in about 
one hundred and twenty days, a daily average of nearly twenty-one miles. 
had discovered the Mississippi and the Chicago rivers, as well as the site id' 
the present City of Chicago: and had brought back their party without any 
serious accident or the loss of a single man. Here they remained during the 
tall and winter, and in the summer of the following year (1674), Joliel set 
out for Quebec to make a report of his discoveries to the governor of Canada. 
It was while Hearing .Montreal on this journey that his canoe was upset in the 
rapids, his Indians drowned, and all his records and a map that lie had care- 
fully prepared were lost. Joliet never returned to the West, lie was rewarded 
for his splendid Services with a grant of some islands in the lower St. 
Lawrence, including lie- extensive island of Anticosti, and died in l"tM>. As 
regards the credit due Joliel for the discovery made, the late Mr. Edward G. 
Mason in his valuable work entitled. "Chapters from Illinois History," s-iys: 

••Popular error assigned the leadership of the expedition which discovered 


the Upper Mississippi and the lllino s Valley to Marquette, who never held or 
claimed it.. Every reliable authority demonstrates the mistake, and yet the 
delusion continues. But as Marquette himself says that Joliet was sent to 
discover new countries, and he to preach the gospel; as Count Frontenac 
reports to the home authorities that Talon selected Joliet to make the dis- 
covery; as Father Dablon confirms this statement; and as the Canadian 
authorities gave rewards to Joliet alone as the sole discoverer, we may safely 
conclude that to him belongs the honor of the achievement. He actually 
accomplished that of which Champlain and Nicollet and Radisson were the 
heralds, and, historically speaking, was the first to see the wonderful region 
of the prairies. At the head of the roll of those indissolubly associated with 
the land of the Illinois, who have trod its soil, must forever stand the name of 
Louis Joliet." 

Marquette Continues Exploration. — Father Marquette was destined never 
to return to the French colonial capital. His health had become impaired 
on account of the hardships he had suffered during the return journey on the 
Mississippi, and he remained nearly a year at the Mission of St. Francis 
Xavier in an effort to recover his health and prepare himself for another 
journey to the Illinois Country, as he had promised his Indian friends he 
would do. 

Early in the summer of 1674, that is, about seven or eight months after his 
return to Green Bay from the voyage described in the previous pages, Joliet 
started on his journey to Quebec to inform the authorities regarding the new 
countries he had found. As already related, Joliet met with disaster on this 
journey, and had it not been for the journal kept by .Marquette we should 
have had no detailed record of the explorations of the previous year, though 
Joliet gave some oral accounts afterwards, records of which have only in 
recent years come to light. Later in the same year Marquette, having re- 
covered from the poor health he had been suffering, received "orders to pro- 
ceed to the mission of La Concepcion among the Illinois." On the 25th of 
October, 1674, accordingly, he set out with two companions, named Pierre 
and Jacques; one of whom had been with him on his former journey of dis- 
covery. From this journey Marquette never returned; and indeed it would 
seem to have been a most perilous risk for him to have taken considering his 
physical condition, having only recently been "cured," as he says, of his 
"ailment,"' and starting at a time of year when he would soon be overtaken 
by the winter season. But no toils or exposure could deter those devoted 
missionaries of the cross from engaging in any undertaking which seemed to 
hold out the least prospect of saving souls, as the history of those times 
abundantly shows. 

Details of the Journey. — The route taken was by way of the difficult 
portage at Sturgeon Bay, where now there is a canal, cutting through the 
peninsula, and thus saved them a circuit of nearly one hundred and fifty 

miles. Accompanying his canoe was a flotilla of nil thers, containing parties 

of Pottawatomie and Illinois Indians; and in due time they embarked their 
little fleet on the waters of Lake Michigan. They encountered storms and 
the navigation proved difficult, but at length the party arrived at the mouth 


of the Chicago River, which Marquette calls "the river of the Portage," 
early in December. Finding thai the stream was frozen over, they encamped 
near by at the entrance of the river and engaged in hunting, finding game 
very abundant. While here the two Frenchmen of the party killed "tin 
buffalo and four deer." besides wild turkeys and partridges, which, con- 
sidering the Ideality as we of this day know it, seems difficult to imagine; 
and this passage in the journal composes the lirst sketch on record of the 
site of the great city of the West. 

Having followed the course of the river some "two leagues up.'" Mar- 
quette "resolved to winter there, as it was impossible to go farther." His 
ailment had returned and a cabin was built for his use and protection. Tier.' 
he remained with his two Frenchmen while his Indian companions returned 
to their own people. It must be borne in mind that Marquette's destination 
was the village of Illinois Indians on the Illinois River, where he and Jolict 
had been entertained the year before; and that the cabin here spoken of was 
merely a temporary shelter where he would remain only until spring. But 
sometime during the interval of the fifteen months since Marquette had pre 
viously passed the portage, two Frenchmen had established themselves, about 
"eighteen leagues beyond, in a beautiful hunting country," and these men 
in expectation of the holy father's return had prepared a cabin for him. 
stocked with provisions. This cabin Marquette was not able to reach, and 
the two hunters, hearing of the good Father's illness, came to the portagi 
to render such assistance as was in their power. One of these Frenchmen 
was called "the Surgeon," perhaps because he possessed some knowledge of 
medicine, but his true name is not given. The other was called "La Taupine," 
that is, "the Tawney," whose proper name was Pierre Moreau, a noted 
coureur de bois of the time. Indians passing that way also e-ave assistance. 
and late in March Marquette found himself with strength recovered and able 
to set out on his journey to the Illinois, though not before he was driven out 
of his winter cabin by a sudden rise of the river which obliged him to take 
refuge near the place now called "Summit." 

As in the previous year, Marquette kept a journal which has come down 

to us among that valuable series of papers called the "Jesuit Relal -. 

This journal is the sheet anchor of all the writers treating of the history of 
the two journeys of discovery and exploration which we are here narrating. 
Marquette occupied a portion of the time during his stay at the cabin in writ- 
ing the memoirs of his voyages. In his journal the good Father breathes 
the spirit of self-sacrifice, the concern for the conversion ami spiritual welfare 
of the savages; and with it all tie shows a kern curiosity and interest in the 
manners and customs, the country and habitations, of the tribes he meets 

Winter Quarters of Marquette. — The location of the cabin in which Mar- 
quette spent the wilder of lti74-."i was marked with a cross made of mahogany 

WOOd, at the base of which in recent years was placed a bronze table! with 
an inscription. The site was fixed upon m 1905 by a committee of the Chicago 
Historical Society under the guidance of the late .Mr. Ossian Outhrie, an in- 
telligent and devoted student of local antiquities, with a view of marking tin' 


spot in a suitable manner. An entire day was spent by the party in driving 
and walking over many miles of country in order to compare the topography 
with the journal of th'e missionary, and a scries of photographs taken. The 
investigations resulted in confirming the opinions of Mr. Guthrie, namely, that 
Marquette's winter cabin was situated on the north bank of the south branch 
of the Chicago River at the point where now it is intersected by Robey Street, 
and from which at the present time can be seen, by looking westward, the 
entrance to the great Drainage Canal. 

There is also a. monument at Summit a few miles distant from the site of 
Marquette's winter cabin, marking the spot where Marquette landed after 
being flooded out of his winter quarters at Robey Street. This monument 
is constructed of boulders taken from the Drainage Canal while in process 
of building, and was placed there in 1895 by the Chicago and Alton Railroad 
Company. The inscription on the monument reads, "Father Marquette landed 
here in 1675."' 

Marquette reached the Illinois village which he called Kaskask a in the 
journal of his first visit, and which lie refers to as the "mission of La Concep- 
cion" in his later journal. This was on the 8th of April, 1675, and on reach- 
ing the village "he was received as an angel from heaven." There was always 
an atmosphere of peace wherever the good missionary went, and, no matter 
how unfavorable the circumstances were, he was the object of solicitude and 
kind attentions from his followers. From the time that he crossed the portage 
he discontinued his journal, probably owing to his increasing weakness. The 
account of the remainder of his journey is written by Father Dablon, his 
superior at Quebec. lie summoned the Indians to a grand council and "dis- 
played four large pictures of the Virgin, harangued the assembly on the 
mysteries of the Faith, and exhorted them to adopt it." His hearers were 
much affected and begged him to remain among them and continue his in- 

Last Days of Marquette. — lint Marquette realized that his life was fast 
ebbing way, and that it was necessary if possible to reach some of the older 
missions where he could either recover his health or hand over his responsi- 
bilities to others. Soon after Easter he started on his return, pledging the 

Indians on his departure that h ' some other one would return to them and 

carry on the mission. He set out with many tokens of regard on the part 

of these good ] pie, and as a mark of honor a party of them escorted linn 

for more than thirty leagues on his way. and assisted him with his baggage. 
Some writers have supposed that he took the route by the Desplaines-Chicago 
portage, but it is more probable, according to Mason, that he ascended the 
Kankakee, guided by his Indian friends, and reached the Lake of tin' Illinois 
by way of the St. Joseph River. His destination was St. lgnace and his 
course lay along the eastern shore, which, as yet, was unknown except 
through reports from the Indians. Now alone with his two companions, he 
pushed forward with rapidly diminishing strength, until, on the 19th day of 
May, 1675, the devoted priest felt that his hour had come, and being near a 
small river, he asked to be placed ashore. Here a bark shed was Imill by his 
companions, and the dying man was placed within its rude walls. 


"With perfed cheerfulness arid composure," relates Parkman, "he ga^ 
directions for his burial, asked their forgiveness for the trouble he had caused 
them, administered to them the sacrament of penitence, and thanked Ood that 
he was permitted to die in the wilderness, a missionary of the Faith and a 

member of the Jesuit brotherhood." Soon after I xpired, and was buried 

by Ins ( panions at that place, while they made their way to St. [gnace 

with their sad tidings. Two years later a party of Ottawa Indians, who were 
informed of the death and burial place of Marquette, were passing thai way, 
found the grave, opened it, washed and dried the bones, and placed them in 
a box of birch bark; and bore them, while chanting funeral songs, i ■ ► St. 
[gnace, where they were buried beneath the floor of the chapel of the mission. 
A statue now stands in a public place 1 near the water front at the Town of 
St. [gnace placed there in recent years. 

Thus ends the story of Marquette, who is, one may say. the patron saint 
of the people of Illinois and Wisconsin. He participated with Joliel in dis- 
covering the Mississippi River and- described its vast expanse of plain and 
forest. He came again and spent a winter in a rude cabin on the river bank, 
and from here passed on to his chosen field of work where his last missionary 
labors were performed. Memorials of him have been placed all over the West, 
where lie spent the last two years of his brief but memorable career. The 
story has been often told but never loses its interest. "Let it be told in every 
western home," writes Pres. E. J. -lames, and "every good cause in this section 
will feel tin- beneficent results of its influence," in awakening a pride in our 
earliest annals, "and quickening the spirit of service in all our people." A 
statue of Marquette, clad in his robes, has been placed by the State of Wis- 
consin in Statuary Hall in the Capitol at Washington. 

Father Marquette's Successor. — The promise made by Marquette to the 
Illinois Indians did not long remain unkept. Father Claude Allouez was sum- 
moned by his superior to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Father Mar- 
quette, and promptly responded to the call. Allouez, with two companions, 
embarked in a canoe at St. Francis Xavier in October, 1676, just two years 
after Marquette had set out from the same place: but owing to the ice in 
Green Bay they were not able to reach Lake Michigan until the following 
February. At length in April, 1677, the party reached "the river that leads 
to the Illinois." that is, the Chicago River, where they met eighty Indians 
coming towards them. The chief presented a tire brand in one hand and a 
feathered calumet in the other, from which Allouez discreetly made choice 
of the latter. The chief then invited the little party of whites to his village, 

which was soi listance from the mouth of the river, "probably," as Mason 

says, "near the portage where Marquette hail passed the winter" two years 
previously. Allouez remained at tins village a short time and then passed 
on to the Illinois River Mission, which he reached on the 27th of April. After 
erecting a cross at the mission he returned to Green Bay, as he had made 
the journey, it seems, "only to acquire the necessary information for the 
perfect establishment of tin' mission." He came again the next year, but 
retired to the Wisconsin Mission in 1679 "upon hearing of the approach of 
La Salle, who believed that the .lesuits were unfriendly to him. and that 


Allouez in particular had sought to defeat his plans." "The era of the dis- 
coverer and missionary was now giving plan- to that of the explorer and 
colonist," and the great figure of Robert Cavelier de La Salle appears upon 
the scene. 


v 4y^T 


< (wing to its profound influence on the later history of the State of Wis- 
consin and its people some account will here be given of the Ordinan* f 

1787 and a brief analysis of its provisions. 

The Ordinance of 1787 was passed by the Continental Congress on the 
13th of July in the year named in the title of the ordinance, and the Federal 
Constitution was adopted by the same body mi the 17th of September of the 
same year. Thus the famous ordinance enjoys a priority of date of more than 
two months over that of the constitution. The Ordinance of 1787 has been 
termed by Senator George F. Hoar "one of the title deeds of American con- 
stitutional liberty," and it lias, indeed, all the authority and force of an article 
of the constitution itself. 

By the Ordinance of 1787 there were to be formed from the Northwest 
Territory not less than three nor more than live states. In case there should 
be only three states formed the ordinance provided that these states should 
have certain boundaries, with this proviso: "It is further understood and 
declared that the boundaries of these three states shall be subject so far to 
be altered, that if Congress shall hereafter find it expedient, they shall have 
authority to form one or two states in that part of the said territory which 
lies north of an east and west line drawn through the southerly bend or 
extreme of Lake Michigan." 

Before the formation of states, however, there were territorial divisions. 
When the Territory of Illinois came to be formed in 1809, the boundaries were 
established on the same lines as those of the present State of Illinois except 
that the territory extended northwards to the boundary line between Canada 
and the United States. When the Enabling Act (enabling the people of Illi- 
nois to form a state constitution) was passed, April 18, ISIS, the northern 
boundary of the new State of Illinois was fixed in accordance with the Ord:- 
nance of 1787, on the east and west line drawn through the southerly or 
extreme bend of Lake Michigan, afterwards ascertained to be forty-one 
degrees and thirty-nine minutes of north latitude. 

Nathaniel Pope who was the delegate in Congress from the Territory of 
Illinois moved an amendment to the bill, which was then under consideration 
in the committee of the whole, by striking out that part which defined tli • 
northern boundary and inserting "forty-two degrees and thirty minutes north 
latitude." The amendment was agreed to ami the bill was passed. 

The effect of Pope's Amendment was to include within the limits of the 
new state a strip of country sixty-two miles in width, extending from Lake 



Michigan to the .Mississippi River, containing an area of 8,500 square miles 
n!' fertile country, diversified with forests and rivers, within which at the 
presenl time are located fourteen counties with many populous and pros 
perous cities. 

Mr. Pope's Argument. — In presenting the amendmenl to the enabling ad 
in L818, Mr. Pope made the following argument: "That the proposed new 
state (Illinois), by reason of her geographical position, even more than on 
account of the fertility of her soil, was destined to become populous and 
influential ; that if her northern boundary was fixed by a line arbitrarily estab- 
lished rather than naturally determined, and her commerce was to be con- 
fined to that great artery of communication, the Mississippi R'.ver, which 
washed her entire western border, and to its chief tributary to the south. I 
Ohio River, there was a possibility that her commercial relations with the 
South might become so closely connected that in the event of an attempted 
dismemberment of the Union, Illinois would east her lot with the southern 

"On the other hand," he continued, "to fix the northern boundary of Illi- 
nois upon such a parallel of latitude as would give to the state jurisdiction 
over thi' southwestern shores of Lake Michigan, would he to unite the in- 
cipient commonwealth to the states of Indiana. Ohio, Pennsylvania and New 
York in a bond of common interest well nigh indissoluble. By the adoption 
of such a line Illinois might become at some future time the keystone to the 
perpetuity of the Union. It was foreseen, even at that early time that • Ihicago 
would be a lake port of great importance, and that a canal would be con 
structed across the state between the lake and the Mississippi; and Mr. 
Pope urged that it was the duty of the National Government to give Illinois 
an outlet on Lake Michigan, which, with the support of the population back of 

tl oast, would be capable of exercising a decisive influence upon her own 

affairs, as well as strengthening her position among her sister states." 

Effects of Altering the Boundary. -When we reflect that the region affected 
by Pope's amendment was at that time an almost unbroken wilderness, that 
the advantageous position of Chicago and its contiguous territory was only 
a matter of speculation, we must recognize in Pope's action in proposing and 
urging the adoption of his amendment the work of a keen and far-sighted 
statesman. "No man," says John Moses in his "History of Illinois." "ever 
rendered the state a more important service in Congress than did Nathaniel 
Pope." That the fixing of the northern boundary of the state where it is 
today had momentous consequences can be seen in tile subsequent historj 
,d' the state. Had the northern tier of counties included within the sixty- 
two mile Strip become attached to Wisconsin, as it inevitably would have 
been, the State of Illinois would have lacked, when issues of tremendous 
moment were at stake, a vital element in her legislature at the time of the 
breaking out id' the Civil war. an element that Wisconsin did not require, 
;,s the Union sentiment in that state was at all times verj strong. 

Whether or not the splendid support given to the Union cause in the state 
of Illinois was of such importance as to justify Pope's declaration, when 
arguing for the amendment, that the state mighl become "the keystone to 


the perpetuity of the Union," may be regarded differently by historians. Hut 
the commanding position occupied by Illinois during- the Civil war, with one 
of its citizens in the presidential chair and another leading- the armies of the 
Union, went far to make good the claim made by Hope in his declaration. 
The part taken by Hope in the boundary matter well illustrates whal has been 
called "his almost superhuman sagacity." 

lion. Clark E. Carr, in an address made in 1911, referred to Pope's dis- 
tinguished services in the following eloquent words: "Long- after that greal 
statesman had passed away, his arguments were tested, in the midst of car- 
nage and death, in the smoke of battle by brave Illinois heroes, some of them 
led by his own son, Maj. Gen. John Pope, and proved to be sound." 

Analysis and Comments on the Ordinance. — It may be well to recall the 
opinions of eminent statesmen regarding the importance of the Ordnance 
of 1 7.S7 in the formation of the states under its provisions. A brief summary 
of the ordinance may here he inserted: These provisions, it is declared, shall 
"forever remain unalterable unless by common consent"; "no person shall 
be molested on account of his mode of worsh'p or religious sentiments" ; every 
person shall be "entitled to the benefits of the writ of habeas corpus and of 
trial by jury"; "religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good 
government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of educa- 
tion shall forever be encouraged"; "the utmost good faith shall always In- 
observed towards the Indians": there shall he formed "not less than three 
nor more than five states in the said territory"; "there shall he neither 
slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said territory otherwise than in the 
punishment of crimes whereof the party shall have been duly convicted." 

Perhaps to some readers the word "ordinance" as applied to an act of 
Congress may not be readily understood. Why was it not called an "act" 
for certainly we should so call it if it had passed in a similar manner at the 
present day. The term "ordinance" is now Hinted in its use to measures 
passed in a city council. There is no legal distinction, however, between an 
ordinance and an act or statute. The term has gone out of use as applied 
to acts of Congress, though at the time of the old Continental Congress it 
was quite usual to so employ it. But after the United States became a 
nation, by the rat'fication of the Constitution in 1 7 S , the term act or statute 
became the usual one. 

Lincoln's View of the Ordinance. In his great Cooper Institute s] h 

Mr. Lincoln referred to the Ordinance of 1 7 s 7 . making use of the provisions 
therein contained to buttress his arguments against the extension of slavery 
into the territories. He showed that federal control as to slavery in federal 
territory, as asserted in tin- ordinance, was the deliberate expression of the 
highest power then existing in the country; and that after the Constitution 
had been ratified, namely, in 1789, an act was passed by the new Congress 
"to enforce the Ordinance of 1787, including the prohibition id' slavery in the 
Northwestern Territory," and that this act had been signed by George Wash- 

Quoting from Dr. William V. Poole's treatise on the ordinance, summariz- 
ing the benefits accruing to posterity, it is said: "The Ordinance, in the 


breadth of its conception, its details, and its results, has been perhaps the 
must notable instance of legislation thai was ever enacted by the representa- 
tives of the American people. It fixed forever the character of the immigra- 
tion, and of the social, political and educational institutions of the people who 
were to inhabit this imperial territory — then a wilderness, but DOW covered by 
five great states." 

Of the ordinance as a whole Daniel Webster said: "We are accustomed 
to praise the lawgivers of antiquity — we help to perpetuate the fame of Solon 
and Lycurgus; but I doubt whether one single law, ancient or modern, has 
produced effects of more distinct, marked and lasting character than the 
Ordinance of 1787." 

A Famous Boundary Controversy. — When Wisconsin had arrived at the 
dignity of territorial existence in ]S'-'S, the southern boundary of the territory 
Mas naturally placed at the line of the northern boundary of Illinois as it 
was fixed by "Pope's Amendment" when the latter state was admitted to 
the Union in 1818; that is, at 42 degrees and 30 minutes north latitude. The 
Ordinance of 1787, under the terms of which the states of Ohio, Indiana. 
Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin were afterwards formed, prescribed the 
northern boundary of the state which became Illinois on an east and west line 
drawn through the southern bend of Lake Michigan, that is, sixty-two miles 
south of where it was eventually placed. It was claimed by the Wisconsin 
statesman of that day that Illinois was not entitled to the strip of land thus 
enclosed and added to its area. They contended that this land belonged to 
the new territory and that Congress should repeal that part of the act creat- 
ing the State of Illinois though it had been a settled transaction for eighteen 

It will be remembered that by reason of "Pope's Amendment" the line had 
been changed while the enabling act was passing through Congress so that 
an area of some eighty-five hundred square miles in the northern part of the 
state had been added to Illinois against the plain provisions of tin- Ordinance 
of 1787. 

This tract of country had been rapidly filled with settlers, great projects 
of public improvement were under way, ami it had thus become a very im- 
portant addition to the wealth and population of the state. The Wisconsin 
people appealed to the language of the Ordinance of 17S7 which seemed to 
justify their claim. 

The Ordinance of 1787 provided for the erection of three states out of 
the northwest territory (which afterwards became Ohio. Indiana and Illi- 
nois), and further specified that "if Congress shall hereafter rind it expedient 
they shall have authority to form one or two more staler in that part of 
said territory which lies north of an east and west line drawn through the 
southerly bend of Lake Michigan," and that this provision was to "forever 
remain unaltered except by common consent." The Legislature of Wisconsin 
Territory sent a somewhat belated memorial to Congress nearly three years 
after the organization of the territory, declaring that the determination of 
the nothern boundary of Illinois was "directly in collision with and repug- 
nant to the compact entered into by the original states with people and states 


within the Northwest Territory." Finding that Congress gave no heed to 
this protest the Legislature passed a resolution that Congress had "vio- 
lated the Ordinance of 1787," and that "a large and valuable tract of 
country is now held by the State of Illinois contrary to the manifest right 
and consent of the people of the territory." 

Appeal to the Ordinance of 1787. — Congress, however, still turned a deaf 
ear to these proceedings, and in 1840 the people living in the disputed tract 
in Illinois were invited by a resolution of the Territorial Legislature of Wis- 
consin to hold an election to vote on the question of forming a const. tution 
for the proposed new State of Wisconsin, as if the tract were really a part 
of Wisconsin Territory. Strange as it may seem, the people of the counties 
within the disputed tract complied with the invitation, and delegates were 
chosen to a convention to be held at Rockford. This convention formally 
declared that Wisconsin was entitled to the disputed tract as it claimed. 
Nothing came of this, as it was found that the people of Wisconsin Territory 
generally regarded the movement for the formation of a state government 
as premature, and no action was taken on their part in the matter until a year 
or two later. 

So matters stood until 1812, when a new impulse was given to the move- 
ment for a state organization in Wisconsin. It was argued that if the strip 
of country in Northern Illinois were reckoned as a part of Wisconsin Terri- 
tory, as it rightfully should be, there would be a sufficient number of in- 
habitants, when added to those of the territory, to warrant a demand to be 
admitted as a state to the Union. Orators became belligerent in their claim 
for the "ancient limits," which was how they described the disputed land in 
Illinois. One member of the Legislature declared that Wisconsin ought to 
assume jurisdiction over Northern Illinois, saying: "Let us maintain that 
right at all hazards, unite in convention, form a state constitution, extend our 
jurisdiction over the disputed tract if desired by the inhabitants there, and 
then, with legal right and immutable justice on our side, the moral and 
physical force of Illinois, of the whole Union, cannot make us retrace our 

It seemed impossible, however, to arouse any marked interest among the 
Wisconsin people themselves on the subject, the interest being almost wholly 
confined to the Illinois northern counties and the politicians guiding the 
sentiments there. This willingness of the Northern Illinois people to unite 
with Wisconsin seems the more singular when it is remembered that already 
the Illinois and Michigan Canal, reaching far to the south of Wisconsin's 
possible limits, was in course of construction; and that the chief dependence 
of these northern counties was on the rapidly growing City of Chicago, whose 
future was bound up with the canal's prosperity. The Illinois people, how- 
ever, recovered their senses and in later appeals from the Wisconsin leaders 
became indifferent, and finally were entirely reconciled to their Illinois 

Failure of Congress to Heed Appeals. — The last shot in the controversy 
was tired by a committee of the Territorial Legislature which late in 1813 
prepared an address to Congress on the boundary question, running in part as 


follows: "Had we formed a constitution and state government, and ex- 
tended our jurisdiction over all the territory appropriated, though it mighl 
have involved us in a dbnflict with [llino ! s, qo one could truly say we had 
done more than exercise our lawful rights iii a lawful manner." Bu1 Con- 
gress made qo response io this warlike appeal, and the subjeel failed to 
attract any further attention; no doubl for the reason thai the boundary ih 
it stood was an accomplished fact, and any disturbance of the line after a 
quarter of a century from the time it was established would result in endless 
confusion. Wisconsin was admitted to the Union .May 29, 1848, the presenl 
boundary line being accepted withoul further question. 

It is an interesting fact in this connection that while the boundary line is 
described as at "41' degrees, 30 minutes of north latitude" in all lie acts ami 
proceedings connected with the subject, ami boundary posts ami monuments 
were placed in supposed accordance with that line, yet it was found in later 
years that the old surveys were incorrect, and that there was a variance of 
three-fourths of a mile in places from the true parallel. Indeed the line of 
monuments is north of the parallel in the western part of the state, and 
zigzags to and fro. finally landing some distance south of the parallel at the 
eastern end on the shore of Lake Michigan. 

Wisconsin was admitted as a state of the Union on May 29, I s Is after 
a probation period of twelve years as a territory. It was the fifth state to 
be formed out of the Northwest Territory whieh had been organized under 
the Ordinance of 1 7S7. We have previously given some account of the 
boundary controversy with Illinois while Wisconsin was yet a territory. But 
in the generally prosperous conditions prevailing throughout the regions 
occupied by Illinois and Wisconsin all the grievances between the two sections 
were forgotten, or became the subjeel of humorous references. It is recalled 
that Hon. James R. Doolittle of Wisconsin, in a speech at the beginning of 
work on the great Chicago Drainage ('anal in 1892, spoke in terms of praise 
for the work. The veteran ex-senator said he hoped to see the greal enter 
prise completed and a "'waterway established between the lakes and rivers." 

He eonti I as follows: "I say it with jusl as much earnestness as if all my 

interests were identical with Chicago. I still live in Wisconsin. 1 live in the 
state to which Chicago belongs according to the < Irdinance of 17*7. i Laughter 

and applause, i I sometimes give ; xcuse to those gentlemen who ask me. 

'Why is it you practice law in Chicago, and yet live in Wisconsin?' I tell 
them that by the Ordinance of 17*7. Chicago belongs to Wisconsin, and I 
have a righl to be there. Bui independent of all that my interests are of a 
national characl er. ' ' 


A prospect of Lake Michigan from any point along its shores is like thai 
of the ocean itself in its seeming boundless expanse. And yet all this vast 
flood is destined to pass over the Kails of Niagara in its eventual flow to the 
sea. There will be considerable hiss in its volume from evaporation before 
reaching the falls, and il will also be somewhat diminished by reason of the 
withdrawal of a small fraction of its waters for the use of man ami his works. 
The entire volume of the four great lakes above the falls. Lakes Superior, 
Michigan, Huron and Erie, must find an outlet into Lake Ontario ami so on 
down to the sea through the Niagara and St. Lawrence rivers. It can well 
be imagined that the Hood pouring over the brink of the cliff at Niagara is 
so tremendous that there is not on earth a rival to it in its size ami magnifi- 
cence save the great Victoria Falls of the Zambesi River in South Africa. 

The Order in Which They Were Discovered. — With a map of the Great 
Lakes spread out one sees them clustered in a group like a bunch of tubers 
on a stem, each one connected with the other by rivers or straits. Going back 
to the time when these large bodies of water were as yet unknown to civilized 
men, it is curious to note the course of events through which their existence 
ami bounds were made known to map makers and geographers. It would be 
natural to suppose while looking at the map that Lake Ontario would have 
been the first one of the great lakes to be opened to the knowledge of white 
men, always remembering that the French were the leaders in these dis- 
coveries. From their settlements on the St. Lawrence the French gradually 
pushed westward into the wilderness, but in the early period of their ad- 
vances they chose the Ottawa River as the route towards the west and north- 
west rather than the St. Lawrence itself. This led them in the direction of 
Lake Huron, and thus this lake was the first one of the Great Lakes to be 
discovered. Champlain was the man -who, in Kilo, first saw the waters of 
Georgian Bay, which opened from the larger body of Lake Huron, and thus 
became the pioneer in the discovery of the Great Lakes of the Northwest. 
The discovery of Lake Ontario followed soon after, which was also discovered 
by ( ihamplain. 

Lake Erie Eluded Them.— A few years later, that is in 1634, Nicollet 
crossed Lake Huron, and passing the Straits of Mackinac entered the northern 
waters of Lake Michigan ami penetrated as far as Green Hay. Here he 
entered the mouth of the Fox River and traveled as far as the portage into 
the Wisconsin River, but he did not continue to the .Mississippi as he might 


jfflrm 0% $t&Klai$aUmu 

THERE is a purpose of Marriage between 

residing in 

of which proclamation is hereby made for the 



" the jCC~^sfc~-^lay of ^W^ _ Tl82«^' 
It is hereby certified, That the above-mentioned Parties have 
been Three Times Proclaimed in order to Marriage, in the Parish 

Church of £*^ 

no objections have been offered 

&f/<.>? t 

and that 

Sess. Clerk. 

-.»»*—; 'Sir et«>- 

At {Zu-lt****? — the 2-4 day of lyyu/^C IS2 j' 

The above Parties were Married by 

C^UCS! Vt^Zo <y*A^ Minister. 




have done if he had held on a few days longer. The discovery of the latter 

river was reserved for Joliet and Marquette, who passed over the same route 
thirty-nine years later. In 1658 De Groseilles entered Lake Superior through 
the St. Mary's River. Thus four of the Great Lakes had become known to 
the French, but still Lake Erie eluded their knowledge, and it was not until 
1669 that Joliet, passing south on Lake Huron through the St. Clair River. 
discovered Lake Erie, the last one of the group to become known. 

Thus the five great lakes were discovered in the following order: Huron. 
Ontario. .Michigan, Superior and Erie. Between the discovery of Lake Huron 
the first, and Lake Erie the last, there was an interval of fifty-four years. It 
will be interesting to make a brief survey of what was happening in other 
parts of the country during this interval. Champlain had founded Quebec in 
1608, that is twelve years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, and in 1609 
Hudson sailed up the river now called by his name; and five years later the 
first Dutch settlements were made at New Amsterdam, now New York. Settle- 
ments had been started on the James River in Virginia, and others were scat- 
tered along the Atlantic Coast at Delaware and Maryland. 

Iroqucis Blocked Way. — After the discovery of Lake Erie in 1669 it would 
seem to have been inevitable that Niagara Falls would almost at once have 
been discovered by the French. Cut it must be remembered thai the Iroquois, 
those "pests of the wilderness," who held possession of the region about the 
Niagara River were hostile to the French and prevented their approach. It 
was well known, however, that there was a great cataract somewhere along 
the river connecting the two lakes, Ontario and Erie. But during a lull in 
the age-long hostility between the [roquois and the French, La Salle organized 
his expedition to explore the Mississippi, and laid his route by way of the 
Niagara River. A part of his force, starting from Fort Frontenac on Lake 
Ontario, went in advance of La Salle himself, and landed at the mouth of 
the Niagara River. Father Hennepin was with the advance party, and he 
lost no time after landing in making a search for the falls so long known by 
report, but as yet never seen by white men. 

The Imperial Cataract. — Parkman's account is well worth quoting as to 
what happened, which at the same time is a fair specimen of the famous 
historian's style. "Hennepin, with several others," he says, "now ascended 
the river in a canoe to the foot of the mountain ridge of Lewiston. which, 
stretching on the right hand and on the left, forms the acclivity id' a vast 
plateau, rent with the mighty chasm, along which, from this point to the 
cataract, seven miles above, rush, with the fury of an Alpine torrent, the 
gathered waters of four inland oceans. To urge the canoe farther was impos- 
sible. He landed, with his companions, on the west bank, near the foot of that 
part of the ridge now called Queenstown Heights, climbed I he steep ascent, 
and pushed through the wintry forest on a tour of exploration. On his left 
sank the cliffs, the furious river raging below; till at length, in primeval 
solitudes, unprofaned as yet by the pettiness of man, the imperial cataracl 
burst upon his sight." 

The date of the discovery was December li, 1678, so that when it is remem- 
bered that Joliet and Marquette discovered the Upper Mississippi in June. 


1673, it is seen thai the gn a1 river of the West, as well as the Illinois country 
ami the sites of Chicago and Milwaukee, were actually discovered more than 
five years before the discovery of Niagara Palls was made. Hennepin, in 
his account, described the Falls as 600 feel in height, which, of course. was a 
greal exaggeration. It is well known that the falls arc onlj aboul 171 feel 
high, hut Hennepin was given to enlarging on his facts. With all his failings, 
however, he will go down to posterity as being the discoverer of the most 
wonderful natural feature, perhaps, in the world. The Greal hakes together 
with their connecting straits and rivers were now completely made known 
to the civilized world. 

Aspect of Lake Michigan. — As one stands on the shore of Lake Michigan 
and gazes on its broad expanse stretching far to the north, east and south. 
a noble view is presented. One realizes the great extent over which his eye 
wanders by noting the lake craft in the distance, some vessels lying "hull 
down" with their white sails only in sight, and some trailing clouds of smoke 
along the horizon, indicating passing steamers beyond the limit of vision. 
Those in plainer sight seem to stand motionless while in strange contrast the 
waves near the shore dash violently on the breakwaters and piers, throwing 
up clouds of spray, or break in thunderous surges on the sand and gravel 
at one's feet. 

Such a view from the bluffs along the north shore forms a grand and 
impressive spectacle, and such an outlook is one of the principal attractions 
to the dwellers in the beautiful homes that have been built in the neighbor- 
hood. When tossed by the wind the ruffled surface of the lake shows many 
shades of blue and green according to the light reflected upon it from the 
sky; and when light, fleecy clouds are passing over it, casting broad shadows 
upon its far-extending surface, the colors arc shown in varied hues ranging 
from neutral tints to most beautiful olive greens and violet blues. One of our 
local poets happily likened its broad expanse under these conditions to a 
"pictured psalm." 

"A level plain of a vast extent on land is certainly no mean idea," wrote 
Edmund Burke in his celebrated essay on the •"Sublime and Beautiful." 
"The prospect of such a plain may be as extensive as a prospect of the ocean; 
but can it ever fill the mind with anything so great as the ocean itself?" 
This can be well understood by those who have long dwelt on the shores of 
Lake Michigan. I bit when 

" — storms and tempests wake the sleeping main. 

And lightnings flash while winds grow hoarse and loud. 

And writhing billows toss their white crests high," 

then, indeed, Lake Michigan's aspeel changes from the beautiful to the sub- 
lime. It is then when darkness adds its terrors to the scene that the perils 
of the mariner come home to the observer with moving force and quickened 
s\ mpathy. 

Natural History of Lake Michigan. Lake Superior is the largest bodj of 
fresh water in the World, with an approximate area of 31,200 Square miles. 


Next in order of size comes Lake Victoria Nyanza in Africa, with an approxi- 
mate area of 22,500 square miles. It is 320 miles long and 85 miles broad at 
its widest part. 

'"Lake Michigan receives the drainage of only a very narrow bell in north- 
eastern Illinois and northwestern Indiana, comprised mainly in the drainage 
of the Chicago and Calumet rivers," writes Frank Leverett, the eminent 
geologist, in his monograph published by the Cnited States Geological Survey. 
"It drains about one-half the area of the southern peninsula of Michigan and 
adjacent portions of Wisconsin, mainly tributary to Green Bay. South of the 
Green Bay drainage system only a narrow belt is tributary to the lake. The 
watershed draining to Lake Michigan is estimated to be 45,000 square miles, 
and the total area of the basin (including the lake itself) is 68,100 square 

Physical Features of Lake Michigan. — There is no other lake in America, 
north or south, which traverses so many degrees of latitude, extending from 
45 degrees, 55 minutes on the north, to 41 degrees, 37 minutes on the south. 
There are a number of islands in the northern part of the lake: Beaver 
Island, comprising an area of about forty square miles, the Fox Islands ami 
the Manitous. South of the latter there is a stretch of over two hundred 
miles to the southern end of the lake in which there are no islands or even a 
sand bar of any description rising above the surface. As the bed of the lake 
is composed of clay, sand and gravel throughout this portion of its extent, 
there is no danger to navigation from the occurrence of rocks either in its 
bed or on its shores, and vessels driven by storms can find good holding 
ground for the'r anchors. There are, however, some rather dangerous shoals 
and reefs, especially in the vicinity of Racine and South Chicago which are 
plainly indicated on the Government "Lake Survey" charts, printed for the 
use of navigators. 

The elevation of the surface of Lake Michigan above the level of the 
sea is 581 feet, and its approximate maximum depth is eight hundred and 
seventy feet. Its southwestern shores are bordered with "dunes" of sand 
rising in mounds of many graceful shapes. Many of these dunes rise to a 
height of 100 feet or more. 

Schoolcraft's Observations. — "These dunes are, however, but a hem on the 
fertile prairie lands," wrote Schoolcraft, in 1820, "not extending more than 
half a mile or more, and thus masking the fertile lands. Water, in the shape 
of lagoons, is often accumulated behind these sand-banks, and the force of 
the winds is such as to choke and sometimes entirely shut up the mouth of the 
rivers. We had found this hem of sand-hills extending around the southern 
shore of the lake from the vicinity of Chicago, and soon found that it gave an 
appearance of sterility to the country that it by no means merited." On 
other portions of the lake the shore consists of a somewhat irregular line of 
bluffs, from fifty to seventy-five feet in height, though there are eminences 
which attain a much greater altitude, as for instance. "Bald Tom," situated 
on the Michigan shore, on a line directly east of Chicago, which is 240 feet 
in height. 

An English traveler, in the course of a description of the view landward 


from the deck of ;i passing steamer, used the expression, "the monotonous 
shores of Lake Michigan," which as they appear from a distance may have 
deserved such a mention. 'if by thai it was intended to notice the absence of 
hills or mountains in the vicinity of its shores. But Schoolcraft's observations 
as above quoted will go far to give a true impression to the beholder. 

The whole extent of the shore line of Lake Michigan is 1,320 miles. The 
length of the shore line bordering on Wisconsin, from the Illinois state line 
on the south to the end of the Door Peninsula on tin- north, is about two 
hundred in les. This does not reckon in the coast line of Green Bay. 

Tin' fluctuations in the Level of the waters of the Greal Lakes have at- 
tracted much attention among scientific observers, to ascertain if possibly 
these fluctuations could be identified witli regular tidal movements. As early 
as 1670, Father Dablon in the "Jesuit Relations," says, "as to the tides, it 
is difficult to lay down any correct rule. At one time we have found the 
motion of the waters to be regular, and at others extremely fluctuating. We 
have noticed, however, that at full moon and new moon the tides change once 
a day for eight or ten days, while during the remainder of the time there is 
hardly any change perceptible. 

It is worth while remarking in this connection that Schoolcraft, who was 
an eminent geolog'si and who visited Green Bay in 1820, did not believe 
there were any tides in the lakes. "Governor ('ass caused observations to be 
made.*' he says, "which he greatly extended at a subsequent period. These 
give no countenance to the theory of regular tides, but denote the changes in 
the level of the waters to be eccentrically irregular, and dependent, so far as 
observations extend, altogether on the condition of the winds and currents 
of the lakes." 

Whether or not there is actually a lunar tide in Lake Michigan was made 
the subject of an address by Lieut. -Col. James I). Graham, a Government 
engineer, before the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 
in 1860. Referring to the writings of the early missionaries and explorers, 
he said that in the lakes were noted some peculiar fluctuations in the eleva- 
tion of the waters of these inland seas. "In the speculations indulged in by 
some of these writers." he continued, "a slight lunar tide is sometimes sus- 
pected, then again such an influence on the swelling and receding waters is 
doubted, and their d'sturbanrc is attributed to the varying courses and forces 
of the winds. 

Lack of Systematic Observations. — "But we have nowhere seen that any 
systematic course of observation was ever instituted and carried on by these 
early explorers, or by any of their successors who have mentioned lie subject, 
giving the tidal reading's at small enough intervals of time apart, and by long 

enough duration to develop the problem of a diurnal lunar tidal wav i thes 

lakes. The general idea has undoubtedly been thai no such lunar influence 
was here perceptible. 

"In April. 1854, I was stationed at Chicago by the orders of the Govern- 
ment," continued Colonel Graham in his address, "and charged with the 
direction of the harbor improvements on Lake Michigan. In the latter part 
of Augusl of that year, 1 caused to be erected at the east or lakeward ex 


tremity of the north harbor pier, a permanent tide-gauge for the purpose of 
making daily observations of the relative heights and fluctuations of the 
surface of this lake. 

"The position thus chosen for the observations projects into the lake, 
entirely beyond the mouth of the Chicago River, and altogether out of the 
reach of any influence from the river current upon the fluctuations of the 
tide-gauge. It was the fluctuations of the lake surface alone that could affect 
the readings of the tide-gauge. 

"On the first day of September, 1854, a course of observations was com- 
menced on this tide-gauge, and continued at least once a day, until the thirty- 
first day of December, inclusive, 1858. * * These observations were in- 
stituted chiefly for the purpose of ascertaining with accuracy the amount of 
the annual and also of the secular variation in the elevation of the lake 
surface, with a view to regulating the heights of break-waters and piers to 
be erected for the protection of vessels, and for improving the lake harbors." 

Results of Tidal Observations.— The result of this series of tidal observa- 
tions, continued over a period of four years and four months, is given by 
Colonel Graham as follows: "The difference of elevation of the lake surface, 
between the periods of lunar low and lunar high water at the mean spring 
tides is here shown to be two hundred and fifty-four thousandths (.254) of a 
foot; and the time of high water at the full and change of the moon is shown 
to be thirty minutes after the time of the moon's meridian transit." 

For the benefit of readers who may not be accustomed to terms familiar 
enough to residents of tide-water regions, we will here state that "spring 
tides" have no relation to the spring season. Spring tides occur twice a 

Colonel Graham sought to justify himself in taking so much pains to 
ascertain the facts regarding tidal movements in Lake Michigan, by saying: 
"Although this knowledge may be of hut small practical advantage to navi- 
gators, yet it- may serve as a memorandum of a physical phenomenon whose 
existence has generally heretofore been either denied or doubted." He con- 
cluded his paper by submitting his observations as a solution of the "problem 
in question," and as "proving the existence of a semi-diurnal lunar tidal 
wave on Lake Michigan, and consequently on the other great fresh water 
lakes of North America," varying from fifteen hundredths of a foot to 
twenty-five hundredths of a foot, that is, from one and four-fifths inches to 
three inches' rise and fall. 

"Col. J. D. Graham's report on the tides of Lake Michigan," says R. A. 
Harris in the Coast and Geodetic Report for 1907, "have not been altered by 
subsequent observations." Graham's work was discussed by Ferrel in his 
book "Tidal Researches": and Harris accords Colonel Graham the honor of 
being the discoverer of tides in the lakes. 

Prof. Rollin D. Salisbury of the University of Chicago, sums up the matter 
in his work, entitled, "Physiography," as follows: "Tides are imperceptible 
in small lakes and feeble in large lakes and inclosed seas. In Lake Michigan, 
for example, there is a tide of about two inches." 

Sudden and Gradual Fluctuations. — Oscillations of the lake level are 


familiar phenomena to residents on the shores of the lake "Thej - are g 
crally attributed by scientific men," wrote Thomas C. ('lark.' in the Atlantic 
Monthly for March, I86I5 "to atmospheric disturbances which, by increasing 

or diminishing the atmosphere pressure, produce a corres] ling rise or fall 

in the water level. These are the sudden and irregular fluctuations. The 
gradual fluctuations are probably caused by the variable amounl of 1 
which falls in the vast area of country drained by the lakes." 

Thus it may be said in general that the levels of lakes with river outlets 
of a limited volume change from time to time, according 1" the amount of 
precipitation on their surfaces and the contiguous territory. The sources of 
supply of such a body of water as Lake Michigan, fur example, are springs 
and rivers; and, since they are dependent upon rain and snow, the sources 
of the supply of lake water may be said to be atmospheric precipitation. 

The fluctuations in the level of Lake Michigan in different seasons is thus 
accounted for, though in the case of the frequently observed sudden changes 
in lake levels the cause is found in the atmospheric pressure. "A sudden 
change in atmospheric pressure on one part of a large lake." says Professor 
Salisbury, "causes changes of level everywhere. If the pressure is increased 
in one place, the surface of the water there is lowered and the surface else 
where correspondingly raised." 

Disastrous Fluctuations. — On the 30th of April, 1909, a very remarkable 
rise of water of the lake occurred, reaching a heighl of six feet at Evanston. 
It rose and retired within the space of a few hours, coming just after a storm 
of unusual severity. The accounl of it in the Evanston Index of the next 
day says: '"The lake shore presents a highly interesting sight following the 
action of the tidal wave which washed clear to the middle of the lake front 
park, filling the lagoon with debris andTeaving a big windrow of driftwood 
of all sizes and shapes to mark its extreme reach." 

The Chicago Tribune of May 1, 1009, states that the storm above referred 
to caused the loss of five lives, and of property estimated al sl'.inhi.iiuii 
Collapsed and unroofed houses dotted the stretch of prairie land near the 
Illinois Central Railroad in the neighborhood of Seventy-fifth Street. "The 
storm caused unusual disturbances in Lake Michigan at the Thirty-ninth 
Street pumping station; variations in the lake level of between four and five 
feet occurred The authorities caused the flow of water into the Sanitary 
Canal to be nearly doubled in order to ease the pressure, but despite the 
efforts made the Chicago River at times was reversed and ran its old course 
into the lake. 

In the Coast and Geodetic Survey Report for 1907, it is stated thai "the 
most common cause of these periodic movements is the wind blowing over 
bodies of water in which they occur. The sudden variations in barometric 
pressure maj cause ■seiches' (tidal waves in lakes and other Dearly enclosed 

bodies of water." 

Gradual Fluctuations of the Lake. — The variations in the water levels of 
the lake extending over comparatively lone' periods of tune, for example a 

month, a year, or even for a Longer period, have been carefully measured at 
stated intervals, for more than fifty years. Results from such measuremei 


disregarding the sudden rises and subsidences of which we have spoken, show 
a slow increase or decrease in the general height of the surface, as compared 
with the level of the sea, such fluctuations sometimes extending over years 
of time. 

The mean stage of water on the lake, for the period extending from 1860 
to 1907 (inclusive), is given on the chart of Lake Michigan, issued by the 
United States Lake Survey, as 581.32 feet above mean tide at New York. 
The highest stage of water on record was that of "the high water of 1838," 
when it stood at 584.60 feet above sea level. The lowest stage was that of 
December, 1895, during which month the average was 578.98 feet. Thus be- 
tween the extremes there was a variation of 5.71 feet. 

There had, however, been many noteworthy fluctuations throughout the 
period from 1838 down to the end of the century between these extremes, as 
will be shown below. For example, in the year 1869 the level declined to 
580 feet, followed two years later by a rise to 582.7 feet. Again, there was a 
decline in 1873, to 579.9 feet, followed by a rise, in 1876, to 583.5 feet. 

In 1880, a low stage was again reached when the level stood at 580.7 feet ; 
after which there was a gradual rise to the year 1S86, when the level stood at 
583.6 feet. After that there was a gradual descent for ten years, and, in 
1896, the level dropped to 579 feet, the lowest on record. The level again 
began to rise, so that by the year 1900, the elevation was 580.7 feet above 
thi> level of the sea. 

Aspect of Milwaukee from the Lake. — In an article printed in Scribner's 
Magazine for March, 1892, by Charles C. Rogers of the United States Navy, he 
says: "Perhaps the most pleasing prospect of the lake (Lake Michigan) is 
Milwaukee, whose cream-colored buildings produce a peculiar and most agree- 
able effect. Eight railways center here after traversing a rich and rapidly 
improving country, whose grain forms the chief element in the city's pros- 
perity. In entrances and clearances, it follows closely upon Chicago, the 
number last year (1891) exceeding 20,000; one of the chief contributors to 
this record is the line of wooden steamers to Ludington, in the service of the 
Flint and Pere Marquette Railroad. Its vessels arc built especially 7 to con- 
tend with the lake ice; they run regularly in winter and are never detained 
more than a few hours." * 


MADE IN mis 

Photo liv Guttenstein 


The first mail route that crossed the Alleghany Mountains was established 
in 1788, coming west as far as Pittsburgh. Within the next few years routes 
were extended to Louisville (1794), to Vincennes (1800) and from Vandalia 
to Springfield (1824). As the northern part of Illinois was sparsely settled, 
it was not until the early '20s that mail was brought to Chicago by regular 
"express"' as the carriers were called. Before that time letters arriving had 
come through special conveyance or messenger as opportunity offered, and 
when conditions Were favorable. 

In 1826 David McKee agreed with the Government to carry dispatches and 
letters once a month between Chicago and Fort Wayne. This was mainly 
for the convenience of soldiers or agents occupying Fort Dearborn. He took 
with him an Indian pony to carry the mail bag and sleeping blankets, driving 
his pony ahead of him. For his own food he relied upon the game which he 
could kill, and for his pony's eating he cut down an elm or basswood tree 
here and there on the path. The route lay from Chicago to Niles, Michigan ; 
thence to Elkhart, Indiana; and thence to Fort Wayne. The average tr'p 
took fourteen days, it beiug sometimes accomplished in ten days. 

Writing of the mail at Chicago in 1825, Mrs. Kinzie says, "The mails 
arrived as may be supposed, at very rare intervals. They were brought occa- 
sionally from Fort Clark (Peoria), but were more frequently from Fort 
Wayne, or across the peninsula of Michigan, which was still a wilderness 
peopled with savages. The hardy adventurer who acted as express was, not 
unfrequently, obliged to imitate the birds of heaven and 'lodge among the 
branches,' in order to insure the safety of himself and his charge." The 
carriers often suffered from "snowblind" having to suspend the journey 
or hire it done by another while they recovered in some cabin or other stop- 
ping place along the route. Although usually provided with parched corn 
against the scarcity of game, there were many times when the mail carriers 
traveled for days on the verge of starvation ; just as common a hardship 
was freezing the feet, in sonic instances the men losing their toes as a result. 
One might wonder why horses were not in general use for these long wilder- 
ness journeys. The question is answered by point'ng out the difficulty of 
progress through forests crossed by few or no paths. In writing of his 
western tour, Storrow says, "The thickness of the forest rendered marching 
difficult, and almost entirely impeded the horse; but for exertions in assisting 
him over crags, and cutting away branches and saplings with our tomahawks, 



we should have been obliged to abandon bim. 'J'lic land was broken with 

hillocks and masses of rock." 

The eastern mail was- brought to Wisconsin twice a year by a soldier, 
whose route was overland from Detroit, around the southern bend of Lake 
Michigan and through Chicago. Aboul the year 1825 postoffices were estah 

lished in towns west and smith of Chicago, and mail routes put through i 

necting these places. Tn this way the older settlements in Illinois were more 
closely connected with the northern part of the state. Of the route between 

Green Bay and Chicago much is found in historical records, as it was o E 

the oldest western routes. In an account of one who lived in Green Hay in 
182o. we read, "Once a month a mail arrived, carried on the hack of a man 
who had gone to Chicago, where he would find the mail from the Bast, des 
tined for this place. lie returned as he had gone, on foot, via Milwaukee. 
This day and generation can know little of the excitement that overwhelmed 
us when the mail was expected — expectations that were based on the weather. 
When the time had come, or was supposed to have come, that the mail carrier 
was nearing home, many of the gentlemen would start off in their sleighs t.. 
meet him." 

Alexis Clermont, Pioneer Mail Carrier. — One of the well known carriers 
of the early days was Alexis Clermont, who regularly made this journey, 
after the Black Hawk war. He has told his own story of it: "1 would start 
out from the postoffiee in Shantytown, taking the Indian trail to Manitowoc. 
jOuly twice would I see the lake between Green Bay and Milwaukee — at 
Sauk River, twenty-five miles north of Milwaukee, and at Two Rivers. From 
Milwaukee I went to Skunk Grove, then to Cross Point, where I struck tin- 
lake again, and then I would see no more of the lake until I reached Chicago. 
In making my trips I was not alone. An Oneida Indian always 
accompanied me. The load was limited to sixty pounds and we usually had 
that weight. As a rule it took us a full mouth to make the round trip from 
Green Bay to Chicago and return. We carried two shot haps tilled with 
parched corn; one of them hulled, the other ground. For the greater part 
of our diet we relied upon the Indians, or on what wild panic we could kill: 
the hags of corn wen- merely to fall back upon, in case tin- Indians had moved 
away, as they were apt to do, on hunting and fishing expeditions. At night 
we camped out in the woods, wherever darkness overtook up, and slept in tic 
blankets which we carried on our hacks. In Chicago we merely stopped over 

night, and promptly returned the way we came; unless we were delayed by a 
tardy mail from Detroit, which reached Chicago by steamer in summer, and 
h\ fool, overland, in winter. * Our pay was usuallj from $60 to $65 

for a round trip such as I have described, although in the fall sometimes it 
reached .+70." 

The receptacle carried by the express was not always the bag that i- re 
ferred to so frequently. John II. Fonda, in starting on his trip from Green 
Bay to Chicago, was intrusted "with not mail-bag hut a tin cannister or 
box of a tlat shape, covered with untamed deer hide, that contained the dis- 
patches and letters of the inhabitants." 


In the period about 1825 "the United States mails coming from the East 
to Chicago and other lake ports were conveyed, during' the season of navi- 
gation, by the irregular and lardy conveyances of sail vessels, and the in- 
habitants of the country were oftentimes for weeks and months without 
intelligence of what was passing in other parts of the world from which they 
were completely isolated." The privilege of mail service "was purchased 
partly by voluntary contributions of the citizens and an allowance from U. S. 
Quartermaster's Department, and the military post fund at Fort Howard. 
The Government at Washington found it would not pay to establish a mail 
route, or defray the expenses of carrying the mail, and decreed, no doubt 
wisely, that no expenditure could lie made by the Post Office Department 
for that purpose, exceeding the net proceeds of the mail matter." 

The narrative of Alexis Clermont, from which the above account is in 
large part derived, is printed in the Wisconsin Historical Collections in Vol. 
XV. In that interesting volume, entitled "Historic Green Hay," by Ella Hoes 
Neville, Sarah Greene Martin, and Deborah Beaumont Martin, it is related 
that one Moses Hardwiek was also employed during tin:' ':!(is as mail carrier 
to Milwaukee, where Solomon Juneau was at that time postmaster. The small 
newspaper published semi-monthly at Green Bay, in 1834, had this refrain 
at the head of its columns: 

"Three times a week without any fail. 
At four o'clock we look for the mail, 
Brought with dispatch on an Indian trail." 

Trusty carriers, it is said, "were hard to find, although the pay was ample 
according to the scale of wages in those days, $45 to Milwaukee, and from 
$60 to $65 to Chicago and return, but communication must have been very 
irregular, to judge from letters that passed between Bernard Grignon who 
had the contract for transporting the mail, and the Milwaukee postmaster." 

"The mail carrier (it was said), was necessarily a man of tough fibre 
and strong nerve, for, burdened as he was with his pack, mail pouch, and 
loaded musket, he was forced to keep on his feet day and night, wading 
through snow so deep at times as to require snow-shoes. When overcome with 
sleep he wrapped himself in his blanket and lay down in a snow-bank, taking 
such rest as he could with the wolves howling around him." 

Unsettled State of the Country. — "The country was in a wild, unsettled 
state," continue the authors above quoted from. "Acts of violence were 
frequent, although summary punishment was usually inflicted upon the of- 
fender. The enlisted soldiers at the fort were often desperate characters, 
and officers were in danger of assasination by their own men in revenge for 
arbitrary punishment, as well as from the suspicion and enmity of the 
Indians. In the summer of 1S21, the post surgeon, William S. Madison, was 
shot and instantly killed near the Manitowoc River by a Chippewa Indian 
concealed in the brush. The murderer was captured, taken to Detroit, and 
tried at the September term of the Supreme Court. 


"His counsel, James D. Doty, denied the jurisdiction of the court, alleging 
thai tlic murder was connnitlt'd in a district of country to which the Indian 

title bad qo1 I n extinguished, ami therefore the United States could no1 

take cognizance of the crime, for the Chippewa ami Winnebago nations, both 
being sovereign ami independent, exercised exclusive jurisdiction within their 
respective territorial limits. Further, he argued that the American Govern- 
ment, by repeated treaties with the Indians, had acknowledged that its 
dominion extended no further than as actual owners of the soil by purchase 

from the savages; that the Indians must 1 ither citizens of the United 

states or foreigners; yet were evidently not considered citizens by our Gov- 
ernment, the privileges id' our laws and institutions not being extended to 
them, nor had any aet of theirs been construed as treason or rebellion. 

"He said they had 1 n regarded by the French, English ami American 

governments as allies, and were not a conquered people. Various other argu- 
ments were urged by the brilliant young advocate, hut his plea was over- 
ruled by the court, and Ketauka was sentenced to be hung at Green Hay. 
on December 21, 1821. The sentence was executed at the appointed time and 

Moses Hardwick, Noted Mail Carrier. — In one of the chapters of the 
Wisconsin Historical Society's collections 'for 1882) there is a sketch of a 
mail carrier of the period of 1817, contributed by Morgan L. Martin. This 
mail carrier's name was .Moses Hardwick. He was a discharged soldier and 
was employed for several years by the quartermaster at the fort in carry- 
ing the mail from Detroit by way of Chicago and Milwaukee to Fort Howard 
during the season when lake navigation was closed. He made monthly trips 
on foot between these points for seven consecutive winters, commencing in 

"It was a service," says the writer, "which few could perform, requir- 
ing powers of endurance ami strength, with which men are rarely endowed. 
The depth of snow was such as to require the use of snow-shoes, and to give 
no opportunity for providing a comfortable camp for the night. The person 
engaged in this service was obliged to keep on his feet day and night until 

overcome by fatigue and want of sleep, when rest bei ting an absolute 

necessity In 1 wrapped himself in his blanket, lay down in a snow bank, ami 
took the needed repose, after which he continued the same rout in,' of tramp- 
ing and rest until his destination Mas reached. The severity id' the trial of 
strength seems almost incredible, for in addition to the mail-ba'g, weighing 
usually from fifty to sixty pounds, the carrier had the necessary supply of 
provisions to pack on his back. 

"There were two or three other men engaged in this arduous service, hut 
none it is believed suffered greater hardships than Hardwick: and yet after 
many years of this severe and continued labor, exposed to all changes of 
weather, he lived to tin* remarkable age of eight-eight year 1 -." Hardwick 
was employed to carry the mail on the route between Green Bay and Mil- 
waukee when it was established in 1833. 

Iii an address before the Old Settlers' Cluh in 1873, Judge Andrew G 


Miller, who came to Milwaukee in the late thirties, referred to the early mail 
carriers and the mail routes. He said that between Milwaukee and Green 
Bay the only intermediate stopping places were Port Washing-ton, Sheboy- 
gan Falls and Manitowoc; and that "the postman traveled the trail on foot, 
delivering the mail at the terminus of his route on the fourth day. Return- 
ing from holding court in Green Bay, in October, 1839, a beautiful Indian 
summer day, between Sheboygan Falls and Milwaukee, I met the mail car- 
rier on foot, who was the only white man I observed mi the trail that day, 
but there were numerous Indians enjoying their hunting season." 

John H. Fonda. — Having previously referred to John H. Fonda we will 
here give some account of this picturesque traveler with a brief description 
of his movements through the West. Fonda was a rover who left accounts 
of his travels in the form of memoirs winch are printed in the early records 
of Wisconsin. He belongs to the "Realm of Vagabondia" who, urged by 
his boyish love of roving, joined in about 1819, a party which was going 
to Texas, taking their departure from New York State. After following 
the occupation of fur trader in that country for about four years which 
seemed to be as long as his interests in his surroundings held out, he 
traveled in a haphazard fashion toward Saint Louis, sometimes crossing the 
plains "on board an old pack mule," at one time stopping for a season in 
a mixed settlement of trappers, Mexicans and Indians; moving on again to 
Saint Louis in charge of a caravan of wagons and cattle over a barren coun- 
try, that even then seemed to him rich in its possibilities. In Texas he had 
been a fur trader; in Saint Louis he was a bricklayer; and next, after a few 
months in that place, hearing that fortunes were to be made in lead mining 
near Prairie du Chien. and that a number of men were starting up the Missis- 
sippi, he made himself one of this party. It was sufficient for him that they 
were seeking new experiences. On the journey up the river rumors of Indian 
disturbances in the mining region came to them, so they branched off at 
the Illinois River, went on up the Desplaines, across the old slough into tin.' 
Chicago River, and thus Fonda first entered Chicago paddling down toward 
Fort Dearborn in a canoe. 

Feeble Beginnings of Chicago. — "At this period,'" he relates, "Chicago 
was merely an Indian agency; it contained about fourteen houses, and uo1 
more than seventy-five or one hundred inhabitants at the most. 
The staple business seemed to be carried on by Indians and runaway sol- 
diers, who hunted ducks and musk-rats in the marshes. There was a great 
deal of low land, mostly destitute of timber. The principal inhabitants were 
the agent (Dr. Alexander Wolcotti, a Frenchman by the name of Ouilmette, 
and John B. Beaubien. It never occurred to me then that a large city would 
be built up there." 

From Chicago he started to Green Bay, but at the scanty trading settle- 
ment of Milwaukee he stayed two years, perhaps for no reason at all, per- 
haps for one having to do with the fact that a few years later he married the 
niece of the only merchant in the settlement. In 1827 he roved toward Green 


Bay. In all his wanderings the scenery on the way afforded him as much 
interesl and exeitemenl as actual adventures. 

Al Fori Howard, neat Green Hay. hi' was delighted i" see Yankee sol 
diers, after eighl years' absence from his eastern home. Colonel McKenney 
was in command of the Eort, and visiting him was Oen. Lewis Cass, who was 
thereon a commission to hold a treaty with the Local Indians. Ai Oreen Bay, 
he was continually hearing rumors increasingly alarming, of Indian disturb 
ances,- the first warning notes of the Winnebago war: he "continued," as 
he said, "to hang around the fort, leading a sort of free ranger life, some- 
times accompanying the officers on their hunting tours, hut refusing all pro- 
posals to enlist. " 

Soon there came a task that suited his fancy. "It was the winter of '27 

that the U. S. Quartermaster, having heard of me through son I' his 

men with whom I was a favorite, came to me one clay, and asked mi- if I 
thought I could find the way to Chicago. I told him it wasn't long since 
I had made the trip up the lake, lie said he wanted to get a person who 
was not afraid to carry dispatches to the military post at Fort Dearborn. 
I said I had heard that the Indians were still unfriendly, hut 1 was readj 
to make the attempt. He directed me to make all the preparations neces 
sary, and report myself to his quarters at the earliest moment. 1 now began 
to consider the danger to lie provided against, which might he classed under 
three heads, viz., cold, Indians, hunger. For the first i1 was only needful to 
supply one's person with good hunting shirts, flannel and deer-skin loggins. 
extra moccasins, and a Mackinaw blanket; these, with a resolute spirit, were 
deemed sufficient protection against the severest weather. And fortunate 
was he who possessed these. Hunger, except in case of getting lost, was 
easily avoided by laying in a pouch full of parched Indian corn and jerked 

Against danger from Indians, he provided himself with adequate arms, 
a rifle, a sheath knife, and two pistols. — took unto himself a comrade lor 
sociability's sake and was ready to start on the long journey to Chicago. 

Suffice it to say that Fonda with his companion started for Fori Dearborn 
(Chicago) on foot in the dead of the winter of lM'T. passed through a coun- 
try then little known to the white man, depending upon his compass and 
the course of rivers to keep the right direction. <>u the fourteenth day after 
leaving Qreen Bay (Fori Howard thej arrived at Juneau's settlement on 

the Milwaukee River, and at the end of one month arrived at Fort Dear- 
born. Here he delivered his dispatches and in a few days started on the 

return journey, arriving at Green Bay, ahoiit the lasl of February. In the 

Black Hawk Mar he served in the army and from that time forward lived 
at Prairie du Chien for the remainder of his life. 

Mail Carriers of the Early Days. It is amusing to regard these two com- 
panions together, •Fonda, the valiant, Eree lat tall, powerful. <j 1 

natured; and Boiseley beside him in comical contrast, a short, uncouth, hir- 
sute woodsman, with long arms, having an endurance and power even greater 
than that of his companion. These two lei't Fori Howard on foot, with 


letters and dispatches for the Indian agenl at Fort Dearborn. The trip was 
made by land, and in a little more than a month then- destination was 
reached. This was the second time that Fonda had come to Chicago, and 
in 1] is approach as a carrier of dispatches, he felt a certain importance, a 
dignity which his former arrival as a casual tourist had lacked. The dis- 
patches were delivered to Captain Morgan, whom he found in command 
at the fort with a company of volunteers from the Wabash country, who had 
come in response to Gurdon S. Hubbard's appeal for aid. The two men then 
went out from the fort into the settlement to a house "built," as Fonda says, 
"on the half breed system, — partly of logs and partly of boards." At this 
house, kept by a Mr. Miller, Fonda and his companion stayed while in the 
settlement. Of the place at the time of his second visit he said, "With the 
exception, that the fort was strengthened and garrisoned (that is, by the 
volunteers mentioned), there was no sign of improvement having gone on 
since my former visit." 

In another month they were hack at Fort Howard with return dispatches 
from Fort Dearborn. Regarding this experience Fonda makes his confes- 
sion: "The Quartermaster at Fort Howard expressed himself satisfied with 
my performance, and he wanted me to make another trip; but as 1 had seen 
the country, which was all I cared for, I did not desire to repeal it. Get- 
ting my pay from the Department and a liberal donation from the people, 
a portion of which 1 gave to Boiseley, 1 left Uncle Sam's employ and took 
up my old profession, as a gentleman of leisure, and continued to practice 
as such until the spring came, when with a view to extend the field of my 
labors, I made ready to bid goodbye to Green Bay." Urged on by the "joy 
of the open road," he started forth with his little goblin of a companion 
tow y ards Fort Crawford, near Prairie du Chien, where Col. Zachary Taylor 
took command in 1829. 

Fonda in the Black Hawk War. — During the Black Hawk war Fonda 
served in the army, and for his service he received at the end of the war 
a land warrant, whereupon he married and settled down. From that time 
he lived at intervals, in Prairie du Chien, taking his family with him as he 
moved from place to place. After his last discharge from the army he was 
a Justice of the Peace for a number of years. In 1858, Fonda related the 
story of his pioneering. lie was then about sixty years old. ami for the 
past thirty years a resident of Prairie du Chien, having come there as a 
young man when it was the extreme frontier settlement in the Northwest. 
He is interesting rather as a personality than in any historical connection 
with Milwaukee or Chicago. He was one of the brotherhood of Borrow and 
Stevenson, of Josiah Flynt and Richard Hovey. lie felt the glory of the 
open air and knew the worth of a wayfaring companion. He loved adven- 
ture, was brave in danger, of great physical endurance and did well what- 
ever he set himself to do. It is characteristic of him that he fought hard 
against the Indians and yet could say, "No person under heaven sympathizes 
more sincerely with them than I do." 

p ™ 

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O ? - 

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When Lieutenant James Gorrell of the British army visited the western 
posts in October, 1761, in order to take them over from the French (Canada 
now having passed into the possession of the English in consequence of the 
surrender of Quebec two years before), he found at Green Lay, or La Bay 
as the French called it, but one family of Indians in the village at that place, 
the other Indians having gone, according to their custom, on their annual 

The English detachment under Lieutenant Gorrell consisted of twenty 
men. The absent hunters were not expected back at the village until the 
following spring when it would be in order to hold councils with them and 
cultivate their friendship and loyalty. There were six tribes that visited 
La Bay where they met with the traders, some of them having two or more 
villages within their limits, and each of these subdivisions would expect the 
indispensable wampum belts as well as various other presents. In May of 
the following year (1762), a1 a council with the chiefs of the Folles Avoines, 
the name given by the French to the Menomonees, Lieutenant Gorrell pre- 
sented them with belts of wampum and in addition a number of other articles 
both useful and ornamental. 

While Lieutenant Gorrell was at La Bay holding councils with the re- 
turning Indians he was visited by a party of Indians from "Milwacky" mak- 
ing complaint of a certain trader among them, but as the trader had come 
to them from Mackinac the lieutenant referred the visitors to the officer in 
command at that point. In later years when Col. Arent de Peyster was in 
command at Mackinac, he delivered a speech to the Indians in which he 
spoke of "those 'runegates' of Milwakie, a horrid set of refractory Indians." 
In the same speech he alluded to "a sensible old chief at the head of a re- 
fractory tribe." probably the Milwaukee band whom he had already called 
"runegates," and who no doubt dwelt in a village at this place. 

The Menomonee Indians. — The Menomonee Indians were an Algonquian 
tribe the members of which, according to Dr. William Jones, claimed to 
understand Sauk, Fox and Kiekapoo far more easily than they did Chippewa, 
Ottawa or Pottawatomie. "Hence it is possible," writes a contributor to 
Hodge's "Handbook of American Indians," "that their linguistic relation was 
near the former group of Algonquians. Grignon speaks of the Noquel as 
a part of the Menomonee, and states that 'the earliest locality of the Menomo- 



nee, al the firsl visil of the whites, was a1 Bay de Noque and the Menomonee 
River, and those al Bay de Noque were called by the early French Des Noques 
or Des Noquia.' 

"The Jesuil Relation for Kill includes the Menomonee among the trihes 
driven from their country, that is. 'the Lands south of the Michilimackinac, ' 
which is the locality where Hip Noquet lived when they firsl became known 
in the French. It is generally believed that the Noquet, who disappeared 
from history at a comparatively early date, were closely related to the Chip- 
pewa and were incorporated into their trihes; nevertheless, the name 
Menomonee must have been adopted after the latter reached their historic 
seat: it is possible they were previously known as Noquet." Charlevoix 
says: "I have been assured that they had the same origin and nearly the 
same language with the Noquet and the Indians at the Falls." 

"The people of this tribe," says the same writer, "were first encountered 
by the whites when Nicollet visited them, probably in 1634, at the month of 
the .Menomonee River. In KiTl. and henceforward until about 1852, their 
home was on or in the vicinity of the Menomonee River, not far from where 
they were found by Nicollet, their settlements extending at times to Pox 
River. They generally have been at peace with the whites. A succinct 
account of them, as well as a full description of their manners, customs, art-, 
and beliefs, by Dr. "W. J. Hoffman, appears in the Report of the U. S. Bureau 
of Ethnology for 1896. In their treaty with the United States. February 8, 
1831. they claimed as their possess ; on the land from the mouth of Green Hay 
to the mouth of the Milwaukee River, and on the west side of the bay from 
the height of land between it and Lake Superior to the headwaters of the 
Menomonee and Fox rivers, which claim was granted. They now reside on 
a reservation near the head of the Wolf River. Wisconsin. 

Characteristics of the Tribe. — "Major Pike described the men of the tribe 
'as straight and well made, about middle size: their complexions generally 
fair for savages, their teeth good, their eyes large and rather languishing; 
they have a mild but independent expression of countenance that charms 
at first sight.' Although comparatively indolent, they are described as gen- 
erally honest, theft being less common than among other tribes. Drunken- 
ness was their most serious fault, but even this did not prevail to the same 
extent as among some other Indians. Their beliefs and rituals are substan- 
tially the same as those id' the Chippcwas. They have usually been peaceful 
in character, seldom coming in contact with the Sioux, but bitter enemies of 
the neighboring Algonquian tribes. They formerly disposed of their dead 
by inclosing the bodies in Ion"' pieces of birchbark, or in slats id' wood, and 
burying them in shallow "raves. In order to protect the bodies from wild 
beasts, three logs were placed over the grave, two directly on the grave, and 

the third on these, all being secured by stakes driven oil each side. Tree 

burial was -asioiially practiced. 

"The Menomonee -as their name indicates- subsisted in pari on wild 

rice; in fact it is spoken id' by earlj writers ;is their chief vegetable Eood 

Although making such constant use id' it from the earliesl notices we have 


of them, and aware that it eould be readily grown by sowing in proper 
ground, Jenks, who gives a full account of the Menomonee method of gather- 
ing, preserving and using the wild rice, states that they absolutely refused 
to sow it, evidently owing to their unwillingness to 'wound their common 
mother, the earth.' " 

There are two rivers in Wisconsin bearing the name of Menominee or 
Menomonee, the former being a. comparatively small stream that flows into 
the Milwaukee River at Milwaukee, the latter forming part of the boundary 
line between Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. 

Indians at Milwaukee. — "The Indians were principally Pottawatomies, " 
says A. J. Vieau, in the narrative elsewhere quoted from. "Those who were 
at what came afterwards to be called Walker's Point, on the south shore of 
Milwaukee River, were considerably intermixed with Sacs and Winnebagoes. 
They were lazy fellows as a rule, and preferred to hind and fish all summer 
long to cultivating corn. They were noted players of the mocassin game 
and la crosse, were heavy gamblers and given to debauchery. In the winter 
time these fellows scattered through the woods, divided into small hunting 
parties, and often Walker's Point was practically deserted. 

"But in the summer there was a large settlement here, the hark wigwams 
housing from a thousand to twelve hundred Indians of all ages and condi- 
tions. On the old Juneau marsh, where are now Water, Main, Milwaukee, 
Jefferson and Jackson streets, Indian ponies would graze in great droves in 
the earlier years, it being then, I am told, a quite dry meadow; but as far 
back as I can remember it, it was flooded and the home of countless water- 

"The Spring Street flat, from the river back to the bordering highlands, 
the Indians had under • j ■ i te excellent cultivation. On the lime ridge there 
was a big Indian settlement. Some of the Indian families there would raise 
as much as one hundred and fifty bushels of corn and a considerable store 
of potatoes; they were quite industrious and counted as honest, in striking 
contrast to what we used to call 'the Walker Point rogues." On the K nm- 
kinnick River, there was a small band of one hundred fifty or two hundred 

The Menomonee Tribe was peaceful and friendly, and in consideration in 
part of benefits received of government, they ceded to the United States the 
lands described in the following treaty: 

"The Menomonee Tribe of Indians, in consideration of the kindness and 
protection of the government of the United States, and for the purpose of 
securing to themselves and posterity a comfortable home, ceded and forever 
relinquished to the United States all their country on tin- southeast side of 
Winnebago Lake, Fox River and Green Bay, described in the following 
boundaries: Beginning at the south end of Winnebago Lake and running 
in a southeast direction to Milwaukey or Minnawakey River, thence down 
said river to its mouth, thence north along the shore of Lake Michigan to 
the entrance of Green Bay, thence up and alontr Green Bay, Fox River and 
Winnebago Lake to the place of beginning excluding all private land claims. 


which tlic United States has heretofore confirmed and sanctioned — and also 
all the islands in Fox River and Green May arc likewise ceded, the lands 
ceded comprising by estimation, two million five hundred thousand acres." 

This treats- and a cession from the Pottawatomies and other tribes in- 
cluded the lands covered by this city. The month of the Milwaukee River 
was the extent of the Menomonee's lands on the south, the lands of the I'ot- 
tawatomies, and other tribes extending from that point south and west. The 
cession of the friendly Menomonee was made in 1831, the year before the 
Black Hawk war. The cession of the Pottawatomies and of the Sacs and 
Foxes, which tribes were warlike, was made in 1833, the year after that 
war. , 

At Milwaukee, says A. C. Wheeler in his history, the unexplored wilder- 
ness of Wisconsin lay all about the early traders. " If the treacherous natives 
in a moment of vindictiveness came out of their lurking places and shot down 
the trader they had but to fall back into the recesses of their own forests, 
and pursuit or punishment was impossible." Still the red man was sus- 
ceptible to a certain kind of treatment which the early traders knew how 
to employ. He quickly realized that outrages and revengeful cruelty towards 
the whites reacted disastrously upon him in many ways for early in their 
relations he found that he had become dependent upon the trader for the 
supply of his wants, rude as they might be. Thus the wisdom of the chiefs 
often put a restraint upon their followers which operated as a protection 
to the traders. 

The Indians at Mahn-a-wauk-kie, as the Indians called this trading post, 
were very difficult to manage. "At one time O-nau-ge-sa, a well known 
chief, would seem to wink at the overbearing disposition of certain bullies 
of his tribe," says Wheeler, "and the violence must needs be overlooked 
by the sufferers from it. Treachery lurked under the guise of friendship. 
and the scalping knife was worn nearest the heart. Discretion was the higher 
law, and it required all the shrewdness of the white men to preserve their 
own standing in the community of traders." 

The Whiskey Tribute. — O-nau-ge-sa levied a tax of several gallons of 
whiskey a week for himself and his followers, and if the traders refused the 
regular supply, or demanded money therefor, it was regarded as a cause for 
hostility, upon which "the scalping knife leaped from its lurking place, and 
the lords of the forest put on their most fiendish war paint." A copious 
supply of lire water pacified them but it usually brought a demand Eor more 
and that made demons of them. "When under its influence all the dark vil- 
lany of their natures came uppermost, and to refuse to satisfy their drunken 
thirst but precipitated violence. Therefore was cunning greatly exercised by 
these early traders in order to save their own lives as well as to preserve 
their goods and chattels." 

These Mahn-a-waukies were incurable thieves besides being confirmed 
whiskey sots. "They would at all times." says the historian, "rather steal 
than trade, and it is but justice to say that the fear of the white man's guns 
alone saved the trailer's stock from rapid depletion without equivalent 


The historian invites us to gaze with him on the scene presented in 1818. 
"Could the reader have seen Milwaukee then," he says, "he would have 
beheld the still expanse of forest and river rendered picturesque by these 
savages, mayhap in an encampment, or it may be gathering the wild oats 
in their canoes, where now commerce has piled up monuments of brick and 
stone, and mechanical industry thunders night and day." He would have 
beheld the far-flung lines of breakers on the shore of Lake Michigan, its sur- 
face as today stretching away blue in the distance beyond the bounds of 
human vision. 

2 * 

.- - 

— s 



Wisconsin, Early Forms of Name. — In the oldest French documents the 
name is spelled "Misconsing, " " Ouisconching, " " Ouiskensing, " etc., bnt in 
time the name was finally crystallized into " Ouisconsin, " says R. <i. Thwaites 
in a footnote on page 233 of his volume in the American Commonwealth 
series. "The meaning of the aboriginal word thus variously rendered," con- 
tinues Thwaites, "is now unknown. Popular writers declare that it signifies 
'gathering of the waters,' or 'meeting of the waters', having reference pos- 
sibly to the occasional mingling of the divergent streams over the low-lying 
watershed at the Fox-Wisconsin portage; but there is no warrant for this. 
In order to preserve the sound in English it became necessary, on the arrival 
of the Americans, to modify the French spelling." Thus the official spell- 
ing has become "Wisconsin." 

Pioneer Traditions. — The rich variety of picturesque names applied at 
one time or another to the historic site upon which the City of Milwaukee 
now stands is constantly met with in the narratives of the explorers and 
missionaries, and in the traditions of the aborigines. One writer says: 
"Man-a-waukee (rich and beautiful land)!" said the Indian brave as the 
slow current carried his canoe out of the forest twilight. His gutturals 
christened a metropolis, and he was its first citizen; for Milwaukee stands 
on "the ashes of by-gone wigwams." 

"The future heart of the city was a swamp of wild rice which his squaw 
beat into the bottom of the canoe as he paddled slowly along. Three rivers 
— the Milwaukee, the Menomonee and the Kinnickinnic — brought the beaver, 
the nniskrat, the mink and the otter to his traps among the, alders. 

"After the first Indian found 'Man-a-waukee' it wasn't many moons he- 
fore other Indians followed him to the 'rich and beautiful land.' They came 
with the war-paint washed from their faces to set up their tepees when white 
winter covered river and lake. Some of the later arrivals, in a different 
dialect, named the attractive spot 'Mahn-a-waukec Seepe' — 'gathering place 
by the river.' • 

"On the open glades in the forest the squaws planted and harvested the 
golden corn while the braves stalked wild game in the woods and took fish 
and furs from the streams. A warm welcome awaited the pale-face when 
he journeyed hither from the land of the sunrise." 

"Near Thanksgiving time in 1674, fifty-four years after the Pilgrim 



Fathers landed on Plymouth Bock," says the writer of the historical Leaf- 
lets for the First Wisconsin National Bank, "Father Marquette, the Ji 
missionary, saw the beautiful Milwaukee harbor and its sheltering blull's. It 
is possible that he stopped here, where many years later a greal university 
was named in his honor, lie was on his way, with a party of Indians, from 
Green Bay to 'Chicagou.' During the next decade other missionaries fol- 
lowed him, and they left record of 'Millioki,' ' Alehvarik. ' and ' Mie-sit-gan. ' 

"Indian legends tell id' a greal battle on the .Milwaukee between the 
Menomonee and the Sioux tribes for the mastery of this rich territory," 
continues the account printed in the bank leaflet already quoted from, 
piping of the blue-bird mingled thenceforth with the lapping of the waters 
"Hut never after that was the war-whoop heard in 'Man-a-waukee,' and the 
where the wild daisies held watch over the braves whose spirits roamed the 
'Happy Hunting Grounds.' " 

Early Mention of Milwaukee.— Among the early notices of .Milwaukee in 
which the name of that city appears in one or another of the various forms 
of spelling met with in the records is found a mention by St. Cosme in his 
letter to the Bishop of Quebec printed in John G. Shea's "Early Voyages Up 
and Down the Mississippi." The letter states that St. Cosme ami his party 
set out from Miehilimackinac on September 14. 1698, and reached Melwarik 
on the 7th of October, where they remained two days, •partly on account 
of the wind and partly to refresh our people a little, as duck and teal shoot- 
ing was very plenty on the river." 

In Lieutenant James Gorrell's Journal, printed in the Collections of Cm 
Wisconsin Historical Society, Volume I, it is stated that he visited Detroit 
in 1762, and there met "a party of Indians from Milwaeky," as he writes 
the name in his journal. A note by the editor of the reprinted collections, 
Mr. Reuben Gold Thwaites, says that at the time it was "quite an Indian 
town," and adds that there was "an English trader residing there." In 
Hodge's "Handbook of American Indians," other modes of spelling are 
given, — Meliwarik and Melwarik (St. Cosme), Mellioki (Shea), and Milwau- 
kee (in a Congressional document in 1824). 

Origin of Name. — In Schoolcraft's "Mississippi." the author gives the fol- 
lowing account id' the origin of the name, Milwaukee, or Milwaukie. 

"The name id' Milwaukie exhibits an instance of which there are many 
others in which the French have substituted the sound of the letter / in place 
of n in Indian words. Mia, in the Algonquin languages signifies .</<»'</. WauMt 
is a derivative from mil.-ii, earth or Land, the fertility of the soil along the 
banks of that stream being the characteristic trait which is described in the 
Indian compound." 

In William George Bruce'fi "Century of Progress" it is stated that the 
name is id' Pottawatomie origin, first spelled Mil-wah-kie, derived from Man- 
na wah kie, meaning "good land." Bu1 Milwaukee cannot compare with 
Chicago in tin' variety of its forms of spelling as found in the early records, 
giving occasion for l'residenl John Quincy Adams' remark thai "during his 
administration no two government officers, writing from Chicago, r\rv spelled 
the name the same way;" and Doctor stennett. the historian of the Chicago 


& Northwestern railway, gives examples in his book of a score or more of 
the uncouth combinations that served to indicate the name of Chicago. 

The early fur traders made extensive use of the streams and lakes for 
the transportation of their furs to the greal centers of the trade, principally 
at Mackinac Island. The accumulations of their winter's trading with the 
Indians were made up into bales and transported along the smaller channels 
and trails, eventually passing into the great routes as they aeared their 
destination, ('amies and barges- in charge of voyageurs, usually Canadian 
French, were employed in great numbers. The share of the Indians in this 
trade was that of trapper and hunter with whom the traders exchanged 
various articles of merchandise for their furs. 

Each year the fur traders assembled in great numbers at Mackinac Island 
which although only a village of some five hundred permanent inhabitants 
was swelled to a transient population of several thousands, — traders, voy- 
ageurs and Indians, who remained during the summer, until as fall 
approached they gradually left the island and returned to their winter hunt- 
ing grounds and trading posts scattered throughout the vast region of the 
western country. 

Gurdon S. Hubbard. — About the time thai Solomon Juneau was becoming 
established at Milwaukee in 1818, Gurdon S. Hubbard, then a young man 
under twenty years of age, was in the employ of the American Fur Company 
which made its headquarters at Mackinac Island, or Miehilimackinac as the 
traders of those days seemed to prefer to call it. During the winter of 1818-19 
young Hubbard was learning the details of the fur trade at Mackinac, and 
in tlie spring he accompanied Antoine Deschamps on a trip to tin' Illinois 
country with a stock of supplies suitable for the trade with the Indians. 

In later years Hubbard wrote a book of reminiscences in which is de- 
tailed many adventures in the life of the fur traders of those days, a book 
which is of great value to the historian in later times. Hubbard made many 
trips to and from Mackinac in succeeding years and became well known to 
the traders and Indian tribes throughout the country among the latter of 
whom he was known by an Indian name which meant "Swift Walker," by 
reason of Ins speed when traversing the trails of the region. lie was in- 
trusted by the A I'ienn Fur Company with the conduct of many expedi- 
tions in later years. 

Navigation of Lakes and Rivers. — The boats which in the spring bad 
brought the furs to Mackinac and bad deposited them in the warehouses 
of the American Fur Company were in due time loaded with merchandise 
of every description for the Indian trade, ami dispatched in fleets on their 
return journeys in the fall, not to appear again until the following spring 
or early summer. These fleers were called "brigades," and one of them 
described by Hubbard was in charge of a commander (in this case Antoine 
Deschamps i with himself as clerk, and a full complement of voyageurs to 
act as paddlers on the twelve boats of the brigade. There were also passen- 
gers to be accommodated who found this the speediest method of reaching 
various points on the distant frontiers. Tn fact these passengers were con- 
sidered a very desirable addition to the expedition as they paid well for 


their subsistence and transportation. The Pur Company al Maekinac Wore 
the necessary expenses of these expeditions and provided ample supplies 
besides the merchandise designed for bartering with the Indians. 

The boats in use by the i'ur traders were called "batteaux." They very 
much resembled the boats used in later days by fishermen on the lake Each 
of them was manned by a crew of five men besides a clerk, called "the bour- 
geois." "Four of the men rowed while the fifth steered," continues Eub- 
bard. "Eaeh boat carried about three terns of merchandise, together with 
the clothing of the men and rations of corn and tallow. No shelter was 
provided for the voyageurs, and their luggage was Limited to twenty pounds 
in weight for each man, carried in a bag provided Eor that purpose. The 
commander of the brigade took for his own use the besl boat, and with 
him an extra man who acted in the capacity of orderly to the expedition. 
The will of the commander was the only law known. The clerks were fur- 
nished with salt pork, a bag of flour, tea and coffee, and a tent for shelter, 
and messed with the commander." The men hail only such shelter as was 
provided by the boat tarpaulins, and no other covering than a single blanket 

for each of them. Their rations isisted id' one quart of "lyed corn" and 

two ounces of tallow daily, or "its equivalent in whatever sort of food is 
to be found in the Indian country." 

Characteristics of the Voyageurs. — The voyageurs, or "it-jj^-'v " 
were a race of people unlike any other class of men. In Mrs. John 11. 
Kinzie's book, entitled "Wau-Bun," she describes them as Eollows: "1. 
the poet they seemed born to their vocation. Sturdy, enduring, ingenious, 
and light-hearted, they possessed a spirit capable of adapting itself to any 
emergency. Xo difficulties baffled, no hardships discouraged them: while 
their affectionate nature led them to form attachments of the warmest char- 
acter to their 'bourgeois,' or master, as well as to the native inhabitants 
among whom their engagements carried them." 

An atmosphere of romance surrounded the lives of these children of 
the frontier. They are always regarded with the greatesl interesl by his- 
torians through the sympathy fell for the hardships they endured and the 
example they furnished of light-hearted cheerfulness at all times. Their 
simplicity, their readiness to undertake any task of physical endurance. 
their inextinguishable sense of fun and hilarity, and their capacity for enjoy- 
ment under every vicissitude that fell to their lot. rendered them the mosl 
picturesque feature of the life of the early day, especially in the part they 
tools in the Ui\- trade which we are here describing. 

"One of the peculiarities of the voyagteurs," writes .Mrs. Eanzie in "Wau- 
Bun," was "their fancy for transforming the names of their 'bourgeois' 
into something funny resembling them in sound." Thus Kinzie, the Chii 
trader, would be called by them "quinze nez" (thai is. fifteen noses . and 
another of the traders '.Mr. Shaw) was by the voyageurs called "Monsieur 
Le Chat" (that is, Mr. Cat . It is related thai "ti quitting the Indian coun- 
try Shaw married a Canadian lad\ and I ame the father of several chil- 
dren. "Some years after his return to Canada, his old foreman, named 


Louis la Liberte, went to Montreal to spend the winter," Mrs. Kinzie relates. 
"He had heard of his old 'bourgeois' marriage, and was anxious to see him. 
"Mr. Shaw was walking in the Champ de Mars with a couple of officers 
when La Liberte espied him. He immediately ran up and seizing him by 
both hands accosted him, "Ah! mon cher Monsieur le Chat, comment vous 
portez vous?" "Tres bien, Louizon." "Et comment se porte Madame la 
Chatte" (How is the mother eat?) "Bien, bien, Louizon; elle est tres 
bien." (She is very well.) "Et tons les petits Chatons?" (And all the 
kittens?) This was too much for Mr. Shaw. He answered shortly that the 
kittens were all quite well, and bidding him call at his house, turned away 
with his military friends, leaving poor Louizon much astonished at the ab- 
ruptness of his departure. 

Practices of the Fur Traders. — It is a generally accepted notion among 
white ] pie that the traders took advantage of the ignorance and sim- 
plicity of the savages with whom they dealt. On one occasion a lady travel- 
ing in a party conducted by Joseph Rolette, a famous fur trader of those 
days, remarked, "I would not be engaged in the Indian trade; it seems a 
system id' cheating the poor Indians." "Let me tell you, madame," replied 
Rolette, "it is not so easy a thing to cheat the Indians as voir imagine; 1 

have tried it these twenty years, and have never yet sin eded." 

While one of the American Fur Company's boats, on another occasion, 
was passing through Lake "Winnebago enroute to Green Lay for supplies, 
it came in sight of a party in charge of Rolette himself returning to his 
post at Prairie du Chien after an absence of several week's duration. As 
Rolette was one of the agents of the American Fur Company the men of 
both parties were his employees. 

The meeting of the boats in these lonely waters was an occasion of great 
excitement among the men and the news from home was eagerly inquired 
for by the men of the returning party. The boats were stopped, earnest 
greetings exchanged, questions following each other rapidly. Rolette asked 
if the new house was finished, whether the chimney smoked, if tin 1 harvest- 
ing had been completed, and if the mill was at work. Then he asked about 
his favorite horse, about the store, and about other activities of various 
descriptions; and having exhausted his stock of inquiries lie shouted the 
order to his men to move on. 

Then suddenly seeming to remember something he called out, "arretez, 
arretez!" (stop, stop!) "comment se portent Madame Rolette et les enfas?" 
(How are Mrs. Rolette and the children?) Saving now received satisfac- 
tory answers to Ids questions the parties then resumed their melodious boal 
songs, bent themselves to their oars, and quickly lost sight of each other. 

Of Rolette the editor of the Wisconsin Historical Society collections says: 
"In consequence of his early settlement in the country, and from his energy 
and enterprise as a trader and a merchant, Rolette well deserves to be kindly 
remembered as one of the prominent pioneers of Wisconsin. 

Boats of the Fur Traders.-— When Mrs. Elizabeth Therese P.aird was 
traveling from Green Pay to Mackinac Tsland in 1S2.~>. she took passage in 


one of a fleet of six boats lailcn with furs belonging t<> the Americai] Pur 
Company, m charge of her brother-in-law, Joseph Rolette. Mrs. Baird at 
that tunc was a young woman scarcely fifteen years of age. In later years 
she contributed a paper to the collections of the Wisconsin State Historical 
Society, printed in volume XIV, pages L7-64, drawn from In')- recollections 
of the time. 

This interesting holy was horn at Prairie du Chien in L810, ami was the 
granddaughter of an Ottawa Indian chief, thus having a strain of Indian 
blood in her veins. ".Mrs. Baird," says the editor of the historical series 
quoted from, "was a woman of charming personality and excellent educa- 
tion, proud of her trace of Indian Mood, and had a wide acquaintance with 
the principal men of early Wisconsin." In the previous year (1824) she had 
been married to Henry S. I laird, a rising young lawyer of Green Bay. 

During his life there it was said of him that he had taken long journeys 
in the eourse of his law practice by various primitive modes of conveyance 
to Mackinac and Detroit by sailing craft, to Prairie du Chien by bark canoes 
with Indian voyageurs, and to .Milwaukee on horseback. 

Journey from Green Bay to Mackinac- Mis. Baird's descriptions of the 
boats in use by the fur traders and other particulars of the journey arc 
here given in her own words in the main, though involving some repetition 
of portions of the previous narratives in this history. The route taken by 
the party was along the eastern shore of Green Pay to its opening into the 
northern portion of Lake Michigan, and thence to Mackinac Island. The 
account is replete with many lively details of the passage. 

"In each of the boats," she says, there were seven men, six to row ami 
a steersman, all being Frenchmen. There was in addition in each boat a 
clerk of the American fur Company, to act as commander, or bourgeois. 
These boats were each thirty feel long, the furnishing of which was com- 
plete. The cargo being furs a snug-fitting tarpaulin was fastened down ami 
over the sides, to protect the pelts from rain. This cargo was placed in the 
center of the boat. A most important feature of the cargo was the mess 
basket, one of the great comforts of the trip and a perfect affair of the 
kind. It was well filled with everything that could be procure! to satisfy 
both hunger and thirst, such as boiled ham. tongue, roast chicken, bread, 
butter, hard biscuit, crackers, cheese, tea. coffee, chocolate, pickle, etc., and 
an abundance of eggs. Then there were wines and cordials, and in addition 
we depended upon securing fresh game and fish on the way. Rolette was 
a generous provider, sending to distant markets for all that this part of 
the country could not supply. 

"'The mess basket on this occasion see 1 to have an extra supply of 

eggs. It seemed strange, however, that such faithful workers as the men 

were should have been fed so poorly; they had nothing but salt pork, 'lyed 
corn' ami biscuit, the general Eood of workmen in the fur trade. Our bo; ' 

Carried two tents and had a cot bed ami camp stool for my use. 

"The party in our boat consisted of Rolette (the head man . John Ivu/ie 
'of Chicago), my husband and myself. Starting quite late in the day we 


were only able to gel as far as Red Banks before it was time to stop and 
camp for the night. As I stepped from the boat I saw that my tent was 
almost ready for me, so quickly did these men arrange matters for the 


"Next morning dawned gloriously, and we started off in our boats after 
breakfast in fine spirits, cheered and enlivened by the merry songs of the 
boatmen who always begin the journey with a song'; always keeping within 
easy distance of the shore in ease of a sudden squall or violent wind. The 
camping hour was always hailed with delight by the men at the close of a 
hard day's work, and it was an agreeable change to the passengers as well. 

"As we rowed away from Red Banks on that most beautiful June morn- 
ing many were the amusements indulged in by the crews of the boats. This 
morning the men began by throwing 'hard tack' at each other, but this did 
not last long as the prospect of needing the biscuits later checked their 
sport. Shortly after we began to sec eggs flying in the air which continued 
with considerable activity until the end of the day's journey. It was re- 
newed after the men got ashore amid great hilarity until the ammunition 
was nearly exhausted." This stopping place was afterwards called "Egg 
Harbor," in honor of the occasion, a name it has ever since borne. 

The Shores of Green Bay. — "The names of some of the islands in Green 
Bay have been changed since our trip in 1825, and many that in that day 
had no names whatever have since been christened. Then we knew by 
names only Washington Island, the Beavers, — Big and Little, — Chambers, 
Fox, and Pottawatomie, or Rock Island. Never were we obliged to dine or 
encamp on the east shore at any spot not attractive. One night we encamped 
at a place called Petit Detroit, not far from Death's Door. It is a small 
island formed like a half moon, the inner portion being a most beautiful har- 
bor beyond which rose rather high bills. The whole island was then a per- 
fect garden of wild roses. Never have 1 seen at one time so many flowers 
of any kind as I then saw. The charms of the place so attracted us that 
we made an early landing. The men had to clear a spot to pitch the tent, 
and in finishing their work they very thoughtfully decorated my lent with 
roses. ' ' 

Mrs. Baird, in her account, goes on to describe the practical features of 
the long journeys of the fur traders. "This fleet of boats," she says, "was 
originally loaded at Prairie dn Chien, ami then unloaded at the portage 
between the Wisconsin and Fox rivers, where the men carried firs! the packs 
of furs on their backs, then returned I'm' the boats, and reloading them would 
run down to the Big Chute, now Appleton. Here the boats again had to he 
unloaded and the furs portaged around by the men. The boats, however, 
made the journey down the swift water, which was called 'jumping the 
rapids.' The unloading was repeated at Grand Kaukauna; but at Rapides 
Croche and at Rapides des Peres, now De Pere, the loads Mould hi' carried 
through on the boats, all the men walking in the water to guide the boats 
with their valuable cargoes. Our boats were loaded for the last time at 
Kaukauna, not to be unloaded until they reached Mackinac. 

"We now traveled slowly, waiting for a day which would show signs 


of being fine throughout, thai we might make in safety 'La Grande Traverse' 
— to cross the lake 1" the easl or north shore. The crossing started from 
Rock Island and we ma'cle a successful crossing. We were six days in mak- 
ing- the journey from Green Bay to Mackinac." As they neared their des 
tination the fleel stopped at Pointe a la Barbe to give the men an opportunity 

to shave for the first time si they Lef1 Green Bay and to array themselves 

in fresh garments so that they mighl make a presentable appearance upon 
their arrival at the "grand emporium of the West." "Each man Looked 
well in his striped cotton - shirt, blue pantaloons, red sash around the waisl 
and red handkerchief around his neck. Caps of all surfs they wore but no 
hats. They purchased high hats when they reached Mackinac; everybody 
then wore the hat since called the 'stove-pipe.' 

The Fashion for Tall Hats. — Making a brief digression a1 this point in 
our history we may remark that one ran scarcely imagine the rage among 
all classes nf men for the tall hats of the period of which we are writing. 
As we see by the above allusion to this ungainly feature of men's attire even 
the voyageurs did not consider themselves completely equipped in dress 
until they had provided themselves with tall hats, a notion which they shared 
with men of all classes and degrees everywhere. It is recalled that when the 

mounted men of the Kentucky volunteers made their appeara at the battle 

of the Thames, in 1813, they wore stove-pipe hats in the charge that resulted 
in the death of Tecumseh, and doubtless the ground was strewn with hats of 
this description in all stages of battered ruin after the fight. 

It has been said that when Sir Thomas Picton led the charge of the British 
cavalry at Waterloo he wore a frock coat and a tall hat. not having had time 
to put on his military uniform before the action commenced. Tt is recalled 
by veterans of the Civil war that General Sheridan habitually wore a hat 
with an abbreviated crown of the same description, in battle ami on his cam- 
paigns; and after the war he was often seen on the streets of Chicago in 
a tall silk hat of the latest fashion. 

Conductors on passenger trains in the thirties and forties usually wore 
tall hats while on duty: Mississippi River pilots likewise wore high hats as 
•well as the ocean pilots of the present day. Even the Indians wore them if 
they were able to procure them, though often devoid of other clothing, as 

it is mentioned in the recollections of a pioneer printed in the "Pro dings 

of the Wisconsin Historical Society for 1916. John Kinzie. the Chicago 
pioneer, is shown wearing a high hat in a picture of the fort Dearborn mas- 
sacre of 1812, where he was present endeavoring to assuage the fury of the 
savages on that terrible occasion. Everyone is familiar with the numerous 
portraits of Abraham Lincoln thai are in existence showing the tall hat in 
all its glory. 

Effects of the Fur Trade on the Indians. The fur trade was at its b.eigb.1 
in 1820, ami seriously on the wane by 1835. The fur trade was dependenl for 
its successful prosecution on the Indian hunter though his advancemenl 
towards civilization was imperilled by this occupation. The most important 
step for the improvement of the Indian's condition was in the practice of 


agriculture rude as were his methods. It was a distinct reversion in savage 
life when they became hunters exclusively. 

"The introduction of the fur trade, - ' says Thwaites, "wrought a serious 
change in the life and manners of the Indians. They were induced to aban- 
don much of their agriculture and most of their village arts. Becoming 
hunters, they took a backward step in the long and painful road towards 
civilization. Heretofore they needed furs only for raiment, for sleeping- 
mats and tepee coverings. Now they found that peltries were eagerly sought 
by the white trader, who would exchange for them weapons, cloth, iron 
kettles, tools, ornaments, and other marvelous objects of European manu- 
facture, generally far better and more efficient than those which they had 
been wont to fashion for themselves. 

"Thus the Indians soon lost the arts of making clothing out of skins, 
kettles from clay, weapons from stone and copper, and heads from clam- 
shells. They were not slow to discover that when they hunted their labor 
was far more productive than of old. Comparatively slight effort on their 
part now enabled them to purchase from the white traders whatever they 
desired. Moreover, the latter brought intoxicating liquors, heretofore un- 
known to our savages, but for which they soon acquired an inordinate greed, 
of which advantage was taken by charging prices therefor that brought 
enormous profits to the traders. Aside from this new vice, the general 
result was disastrous to the improvident aborigines, for in considerable meas- 
ure they ceased to be self-supporting. They soon came to depend on the 
fur traders for most of the essentials of life; and so general was the credit 
system among them, the summer's supplies being bought on the strength 
of the following winter's hunt, that the tribesmen were practically always 
heavily in debt to the' traders, which rendered it advisable for them to stand 
by their creditors whenever two rival nations were contesting the held. In 
the end these conditions materially ass ; sted in the undoing of the Indian." 

In the forest traffic of the American Fur Company the variety of goods 
was extensive, and the enumeration of a few of the articles may he found 
interesting. There were blankets, shawls of brilliant hues, coarse cloths, 
cheap jewelry, heads of many colors and sizes, ribbons and garterings, gay 
handkerchiefs, sleigh and hawks' hells, jewsharps, mirrors, combs, hatchets, 
knives, scissors, kettles, hoes, firearms, gunpowder, tobacco, and the never 
failing intoxicant. 

These goods were brought to Mackinac from Montreal in canoes, bat- 
teaux. and later by sailing vessels; the cargoes were there divided and dis- 
tributed to the several larger agencies and posts, whence they ultimately 
found their way to the farthest "trading shanties." This was the heyday 
of the fur trailing days, hut the trade gradually declined, as American agri- 
cultural settlement slowly developed. 

The Fur Traders of Revolutionary Times. — The influence of Gen. George 
Rogers Clark on the Milwaukee Indians was felt even in those early days 
succeeding his conquest of Illinois. Clark did not himself penetrate into 
"Wisconsin, but from his headquarters in Kaskaskia there were sent out active 
agents by him to gain the neutrality of the tribes, throughout the southern 


Wisconsin region, towards the struggle then in progress between the Ameri- 
cans and the British. In this he was successful and be secured a promise of 
neutrality from the Saulf, Fox and Winnebago chiefs, and an alliance with 
the Americans even was accepted by the Milwaukee Pottawatomies. 

The British maintained three sloops on Lake Michigan during tin- war. and 
one of them made a reconnoitering voyage around the lake in 1779, "visiting 
ami supplying the Indians and traders at the mouths of several rivers on the 
cast shore, and at 'Millwakey' on the west," according to a narrative printed 
in the collections of the Wisconsin state Historical Society (Volume XI. 203 . 
At the last named port the captain found a white trader and a "mixed tribe 
of Indians of different nations." 

This allusion to the Milwaukee trading post of that early period hint- at 
certain complications with the American and Spanish settlers of Cahokia, 
Illinois, which would require many pages of narrative to set forth clearly. 
The events thus referred to may be found in full detail in the collections of 
the Wisconsin State Historical Society, Vol. XVIII, preface (p. XXI i, and on 
page 416 of the same volume. 

The events thus referred to occurred many years prior to the permanent 
occupation of Milwaukee as a fur trading center. But it may be said that 
the fur trade of Milwaukee, carried on at that time, as it was. by visiting 
traders from Mackinac (then in British possession i was not of sufficient im- 
portance to exercise much influence on the later development of that trade, 
except as indicating where the site of a great city would eventually be 

In his volume entitled. "Leading Events of Wisconsin History," the late 
Henry E. Legler wrote as follows: "The influence of the fur trade has been 
well described by Frederick .1. Turner as 'closing its mission by becoming the 
pathfinder for agricultural and manufacturing civilization.' for where the 
posts were located, the leading cities of the state have since been built. 'The 
Indian village became the trading post, the trading post became the city. The 

trails 1 aim- our early roads. The portages marked out the locations for 

canals at Portage City and at Sturgeon Bay; while the Milwaukee and Rock 
River portages inspired the project of the canal of that name, which had an 
influence on the early occupation of tin 1 state. The trader often put his 
trading house at a river rapids, where the Indian had to portage his canoe, 
and thus found the location of our water powers.' 

"Among the cities that have been built on the sites of the trading sta- 
tions and 'jack-knife posts.' as the dependent stations were termed, may be 
enumerated. Milwaukee. La Cross.', Green Bay, Prairie du Chien, Manitowoc, 
Sheboygan, Eau Claire. Black River Falls, Eudson, Racine, Two Rivers, Kau- 
kauna. Peshtigo, Oconto, Fond du Lac. Oshkosh, Chippewa Falls, Kewaunee, 
Portage, Trempeleau, .Madison, st. Croix Falls, Shullsburg, Rice Lake, Cass 

ville, .Menonionee. 

"For many years the fur trade was Wiscons'n's chief source of wealth. 
It continued such until the lead mine fever in Southwestern Wisconsin de- 
veloped a new channel of industry and started the immigration that brougb.1 
thousands of settlers to the territory." 


Among the earliest exports passing through the porl of Milwaukee was the 
movement of lead from the mines in Southwestern Wisconsin across the 
territory both in pig metal form and in the form of shot, for both of which 
there was a constant demand at home and abroad. 

During the period that the lead mining industry flourished in Southwestern 
Wisconsin, there were lively times and every sort of business activity. It con- 
tinued to flourish until the discovery of gold in California proved a stronger 
magnet. . Its decline was hastened by unfriendly tariff legislation, and in 
addition, inadequate transportation facilities operated largely to prevent its 
continued successful prosecution. "In this age of myriad ribbons of steel 
radiating from every commercial center," says Legler in his volume, "Lead- 
ing Events of Wisconsin History," "it is hard to appreciate the difficulties 
encountered by the pioneers in transporting commodities. 

"There were then no railroads in the Northwest, and the great transporta- 
tion projects all centered in canals. The lead industry and its transportation 
necessities influenced many of the early canal schemes which played a large 
pari in the early politics of the territory. The Pox- Wisconsin route, as well 
as that of the greater Mississippi River highway, was used for the shipment 
of ore to a considerable extent." 

Shot Tower on the Wisconsin River. — In the year 1831, Daniel Whitney, 
a merchant of Green Hay. built a shot tower at Helena on the Wisconsin River, 
which on account of its contiguity to the lead mines insured a reliable supply 
of metal for the manufacture of shot. Whitney hail observed that shot 
towers were successful commercial ventures in Missouri and a company was 
formed under the name of Whitney, Platte & Company to build one. The 
tower was two years in course of construction. It was built on the sum.mi1 
of a bold escarpment fronting Pike Creek. A contemporary description is 
cited by Legler, as follows: "One hundred feet from the base of the rock 
there is a ledge or landing place; on this ledge rises the shot lower, of frame 
construction, eighty feet to the roof: of course the depth from the top of the 
tower to the base of the rock is 180 feet. A well or shaft has been sunk 
through the rock, which is of sandstone. 100 feet, and a lateral drift or 
entrance ninety feet in length, has been cut from I he bank of the creek to 
the perpendicular shaft." 



The daily outpul of the shol tower employing six bands was 5,000 lbs. of 

shot, and the i ess of making it is described as follows: "At the edge of 

the cliff stood the melting. house with two kettles in which the mineral was 

prepared for dropping. A little to the cast of tins were an arch ami a Large 
kettle protected by a small roof. Here the lead was tempered by the addi 
tion oi' arsenic, and run into 'pigs' I'm- further use; the pigs thus obtained 
were used tu give the requisite brittleness to the Lead from which the shut 
was made. A small portion would suffice to temper a kettle holding 1,003 
pounds of lead. The 'dropping ladle' was perforated with hoi.- of varying 
si/e. and when partly full of melted Lead would be tilted gently sidewise, forc- 
ing the metal out in drops to form the shot, which falling 1 v feet would 
assume a spherical shape and at the same time he cooled.. At the bottom of 
the shaft the shot fell into the shot-cistern, tilled with water, which served 
to break the fall, and cool the shot." 

Shipping Eoutes for Lead and Shot.- The earliest shipments of shot made 
at Helena were to Galena and Fori Winnebago, though shipments of lead 
had been made to the cast by way of Green Bay in previous years. "The 
importance of the early shot trade of Wisconsin in developing lines of com- 
munication with the lake, overland across the state, deserves mention here." 
says Prof. O. G. Libby in a chapter by him in the "Collections" of the state 
historical society, for 1895. "The Helena shot tower passed from the owner- 
ship of Daniel Whitney in 1836, and was bought up by certain Buffalo capi- 
talists, who held it with hut little interruption till I s IT. 

"Now when we remember," continues Professor Libby, "that tin- Missis 
sippi markets were monopolized by the shot makers of Missouri, the signifi- 
cance of this eh a nue of owners will he at once apparent. ( 'ut off from western 
markets by the competition of long-established rivals, the only cuius,, open 
was to develop eastern markets, with which the Buffalo capitalists wen 
already more or less familiar. As a consequence of this, the shipments 
shot between 1841 and 1844 were made to Buffalo and by no other than the 
lake route. For at least ten years then, interest and necessity combined t" 

turn the shot trade through Milwaukee." 

Iii the Milwaukee Sentinel for September 18, 1838, it is stated that "it 
was a common thing to see oxen haulm-' wagons laden with lead from Grant 
and La Payette counties appear at the wharves after a journey of eight or 

ten days." Even two years before this time the Milwaukee Advertiser an- 
nounced that, at Racine, "two wagons, containing 4,200 lhs. of Pig Lead, 
arrived there last week from the rapids of Rock River." 

Increasing Popularity <6f the Lake Route.— Following the example of the 
shot tower owners the lead smelters began sending an increasing proportion 
of their produd to the lake ports. This movement had begun as early as 
1836 and 1838, and in a Madison paper for 1841, cited by Professor Libby, 
the following statements appear: "The Lead Trade: We arc pleas..,! to 

Observe by notices in the .Milwaukee and Southporl (Kenosha papers that 
this trade is beginning to find its way to our lake ports on its way tu eastern 
mark-els. The Milwaukee Courier of the Ith inst. says: 'Our citizens mi Satur- 
day afternoon were not a little surprised by the appearance on mir streets 


of four sucker teams loaded with lead from the furnace of Thomas Parish, 
near Muskoday in Grant County. These teams brought over about ten tons 
of lead to be shipped to New York.' " 

The Madison paper adds to its quotation from the Courier that "the lead 
which arrived here on Saturday was shipped on the steamer 'Madison' on 
Monday, and will be in New York within twenty days from the time it left 
the furnace near the Mississippi River; and the owner will get his returns in 
about four weeks from the time the lead was smelted. A gentleman from 
Galena recently informed us that he shipped over ninety days since about 
fifteen hundred dollars worth of lead to New York by the southern route and 
he had not then got his returns from it. Besides getting a better price for 
their lead on the lake shore than can be afforded on the Mississippi, our 
miners can procure their necessary supplies more cheaply, generally, at the 
lake cities than at Galena or other points on the river where they have been 
in the habit of trading, and this including the cost of transportation. The 
teams of which the Courier speaks returned with salt which was obtained at 
Milwaukee for about two dollars and fifty cents per barrel, and can be sold 
at the mines at about seven dollars per barrel. - ' 

Influence of the Lead and Lead Mining Industry. — The history of the lead 
mining industry has been very fully investigated by various industrious in- 
vestigators whose contributions to this important branch of activity have 
been printed at different times in the series of the state historical society 
publications. The preparation of these contributions has required much 
painstaking research and an adequate presentation of the subject would need 
a volume or more to contain the details. 

The lead was brought across the country to Lake Michigan in wagons 
drawn by oxen, at a cost of $10.00 a ton. The teamsters found it a profitable 
business as they got loading both ways, carried their own provisions, and the 
prairies afforded all the fodder for their cattle at the nightly camping places 
in the open. The teams would return to the mining regions laden with 
lumber, shingles, salt and merchandise, which under these circumstances could 
be obtained from lake shore ports to better advantage than from any other 

In 1842, nearly two million pounds of lead and "2,(114 kegs of shot were 
shipped from Milwaukee to New York; and in 1843, the shipments from the 
same point totaled 2,200,000 lbs. of lead and 250,000 lbs. of shot. The route 
from Milwaukee was by way of the Straits'of Mackinac, Lake Huron, and 
Lake Erie to Buffalo, where it was transshipped on the Erie Canal to New 
York and from there distributed to Boston and other Atlantic cities. 

Commenting upon this movement of heavy metals, a Buffalo paper said, 
'•Illinois. Iowa and Wisconsin will soon send to this mart an incalculable 
amount of lead and copper, in addition to the whole of their surplus agricul- 
tural products. We already export lead to England, from whence we have 
heretofore imported many millions of pounds. * * Capitalists interested 

in the lake and canal trade should not delay in aiding the construction of 
a canal or railway from Milwaukee, or some other point on Lake Michigan, 
to the Mississippi River." 




J*J 12&Cwi^ i^UiUjufli JUimi2 

» ■■■ " ■ ■■ ' — ■ 


*A*SJ+m m \jA4& 

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Wist ii\si\ SI REET, N'EAB BRIDG] 


Milwaukee Merchants Alert for Trade. — An advertisement in the Mil- 
waukee Courier for April 5, 184:!. announces thai Weeks and Miller of Center 
Store, M'lwaukee, offer goods in exchange "for most kinds of country prod- 
uce — lead, shot, furs, peltries, etc." A Milwaukee store at Walker's Poinl 
advertises that "James Rathbun has just arrived from New York with an 
extensive assortment of goods suitable to the wants of the country round 
about which he will sell or exchange at the lowest prices for cash, wheat, 
shot, copper, lead, flax and timothy seed." A Rochester (New York) paper. 
in 1S44. says that "Within the last eighteen months an excellent road has 
been opened from Milwaukee to the .Mississippi, passing through the mining 
district which will be much used hereafter in sending lead to the East by 
way of the lakes. " 

.Mail stages followed (dose after the freight routes already in use. It was 
announced in the Argus of September 26, 1844. that "we would call the atten- 
tion of the traveling public to C. Genung & Co.'s line of mail stages now 
running between Madison and Milwaukee, on the old United States road 
leading from Madison through Cottage Grove, Lake Mills, Aztalan, Summit 
and Prairieville to Milwaukee." In Lapham's ""Wisconsin," referring to the 
trade of Mineral Point, he says: "The quantity of lead and copper sent from 
here is very considerable; most of it finds its way to Galena, Illinois, whence 
it is shipped down the .Mississippi and by way of the ocean to Xew York. 
Within the last few years, however, much of i1 is sent by wagons to Lake 
Michigan, mostly to Milwaukee, and thence sent direct by way of the lakes 
to New York." 

A Milwaukee newspaper published the following item in 1847: "The 
'Lead schooners' (a variation of the term 'prairie schooners' as used by the 
pioneers to denote the great covered wagons carrying the emigrants and 
transporting heavy freight i are constantly arriving here from the mineral 
region. These singular teams, drawn by six. eight or more yoke of oxen, 
excite some curiosity in those who are not used to such sights in the East. 
The teamsters and their cattle sleep under the canopj of heaven beside their 
camp fires, their meals prepared military fashion, and rising with the early 
dawn to continue their journey." 

Decline of Lead Production.- -" Next to the wheat and grain products," 
says Miss Phelps in her "Story of Wisconsin." "the minerals of Southwestern 
Wisconsin brought wealth. This, the oldest settled region, kept for a long 
time a distinct character allied to the south and southwest, its population, 
however, remained nearly stationary. The production of lead reached its 
highest point in 1844. and thereafter declined. With the decline of mining 
the old frontier character of the mining region passed away, the shifting 
populace moved off to new centers, notably to California in 1848. About the 
middle of the '4()s the lines of transportation shifted. Lead began to be 
hauled to the lake board: by 1*47 the bulk of the product crossed the terri- 
tory in wagons drawn by six- and eight-yoke ox-teams, and was transshipped 
by steamer to the Last . 

"With this change in connections the population of the southwestern por 

Vol. I— 6 


t ion of Wisconsin began to assimilate to the type of the remainder of the 
territory. The lead-mining region, however, has never quite overtaken the 
remainder of 1 1 1 <■ stale in enterprise and in the production of wealth." 

Planning for Improved Transportation Lines. -By 1847 tl verland lead 

trade from the mining regions to Milwaukee was well estahlished. -lust as in 
1839 and 1840 the delays and difficulties of the Mississippi mute brought 
about the opening of better and shorter, routes to the eastern markets, so now 
it began to be keenly felt that improvements must be made in the means of 
communication between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River. The agri- 
cultural interests also began to suffer for want of transportation facilities. 
"The capacity of production has satiated and overpowered the capacitj of 
consumption," wrote a correspondent to his paper; "we need a reliable, 
liberal market for our increasing agricultural products." 

But men's thoughts tended towards canal navigation as the most desir- 
able method of transporting products of all description. Railroads were 
dreamed about and, indeed, occupied the thoughts of multitudes. Canals, 
however, had proved successful in several states. Steam navigation on the 
large rivers and lakes was already established and steadily increasing. Canals 
were enormously popular wherever the country was adapted for their con 
struction. The Erie Canal in New York State was opened in 1825, and was 
regarded as the mother of canal transportation. As early as 1826 Ohio began 
the construction of a canal to join the waters of Lake Erie and the Ohio 
River. Indiana launched an extensive system of improvements, and Illinois 
began the eonstruct'.on of a canal between Chicago and the Illinois River in 
1836. Wisconsin, then a territory, began a preliminary survey for the 
Milwaukee and Rock River Canal in 1837 which, however, was destined never 
to be completed. 


An interesting sketch of Solomon Juneau and his family is found in the 
pamphlet issued in June, 1921, under the title of the "Milwaukee Diamond 
Jubilee." This sketch is here included in the early history of Milwaukee 
as it contains many details not readily accessible from other sources, although 
throughout the pages of this volume frequent mention is made of Juneau 
in connection with the stirring events of the early day. 

More than a century ami, 2,000 miles intervening, two babes were born, 
a boy and a girl, who were destined to play important roles in the early his- 
tory of the great Northwest. The boy was born of pure Alsatian French 
parents, the girl was of French and Indian extraction. The boy was reared 
in a home of refinement, the girl grew to womanhood amidst the primitive 
surroundings of the frontier. Fate decreed they should meet. 

Across the broad expanse of wilderness extending from the St. Lawrence 
Valley to the beautiful shores of La Baye Verte (Green Bay), braving the 
perils and hardships which lay before him, this young man — in all the strength 
and beauty of youth — came to seek his fortune in this land of vast commercial 
advantages. It was at the old Indian trading post in historic Green Bay that 
he met the noble-hearted child of the forest that fate had decreed should be 
his. Joined in the holy bonds of matrimony, they began their journey 
through life and together laid the foundation of a city. 

At the outbreak of the French Revolution, in 1789, Francois and Therese 
La Tulipe left France and sought refuge in Canada, settling in the little ham- 
let of L'Asumption, near Montreal. As did many others, who left France 
during those troublous times, they changed their name from La Tulipe to that 
of Juneau, trying in a way to obliterate all sad memories connected with hav- 
ing to leave the land of their birth and of their honored ancestors. 

. "The French Revolution was a violent reaction against that absolutism 
which had come in time to supplant the old feudal institutions of the country. 
It began with an outbreak of insurrectionary movements in July, ITS!), includ- 
ing the destruction of the Bastile. On January 21, 1798, King Louis XVI 
was beheaded, the Christian religion was deposed, the sacredness of the re- 
public and worship of reason established, and a disastrous reign of blood and 
terror followed, which was brought to an end in 1704, when Robespierre, 
himself, suffered the same fate to which be had condemned countless numbers 
of his countrymen."— Library of Universal Knowledge, Vol. NIT, p. 598. 

Birth of Juneau. — Solomon Laurent Juneau, the subject of this sketch, 
second son of Francois and Therese Juneau, was born at L'Asumption, Can- 


Milwaukee's first permanent white settler, village president and mayoi 
l i am an engraving in possession of the Old Settlers < lull ot Milwaukee 

( .unit I 


ada, on the banks of the St. Lawrence River, August 9, 1793, where his boy- 
hood days were spent. On reaching manhood he became imbued with the 
spirit of adventure so common among the young men of the St. Lawrence 
Valley in those early days, and during the summer of 1816, a1 the age of 
twenty-three years, he left L'Asumption to seek his fortune in the great 
Northwest, arriving in Mackinac in September. Shortly after his arrival at 
that place, he met Jacque Vieaux, a French trader, who had trading posts at 
Mackinac, Green Bay and Milwaukee, and into whose employ he entered at 
the Green Ray and Milwaukee posts as a clerk, which position he held until 
the year ISIS, after which year he was not connected with Mr. Vieaux in a 
business way. 

He attended the village school at L'Asumption, later entering a Catholic where he completed his education. Tie was well educated in French. 
and was in this country but a short time before he mastered the English 
language which he spoke fluently, ami was well versed in many Indian dia- 
lects, especially the Menomonee tongue. 

Solomon Laurent Juneau was a man of rare personality. Of commanding 
figure, in height he was six feel four inches, he had brown curly hair, clear 
cut features, and large gray eyes. While of a jovial temperament, he never 
for a moment lost his natural dignity; of a kind and benevolent nature, he 
was the friend and confidant of all. Tin' Indians looked upon him as a father, 
and whatever advice their beloved "Solomo" gave them, was accepted and 
followed in f\cry detail. His word was sacred, and once given, nothing could 
make h m change his promise either in public or in private life. 

During the year 1818 the American Fur Company established a trading 
post at Milwaukee and Mr. Juneau was their authorized agent up to Hie time 
of the removal of the Indians in 1838. lie. however, continued in business 
on his own account in Milwaukee until 1852, when he removed with his family 
to Theresa. Wisconsin. 

As agent of the American Company lie settle, 1 in Milwaukee in 1818, at 
which time lie erected the log house, corner of East Water and Wisconsin 
streets, which lie occupied as his residence until the year 1835, when he 
erected a dwelling house on the southeast corner of Michigan and East Water 
streets, where he resided a number of years, later building the commodious 
dwelling, corner of Milwaukee and Division (now Juneau Avenue) streets 
where he lived until 1852. 

During his many trips as an Indian trader between Milwaukee and Green 
Bay, he was attracted to a pretty spot on the banks of the Rock River where 
during the early '30s he established a trading post, which in later years 
became a prosperous village. Mr. Juneau named the post Theresa, in honor 
of his mother, whose memory and early teachings he held sacred and were 
his guiding spirit in all dealings through life with his fellow men. Mr. 
Juneau's mother died February 2, 1815. His father died in 1828. 

In September. 1820, .Mr. Juneau married Miss Josette Vieaux, of i liven Bay. 
Seventeen children were born to them, three dying in youth. Seven of their 
children were born in the old log house. Mr. and Mrs. Juneau resided con- 
tinuously in Milwaukee for thirty-two years. 


White men had visited Milwaukee trading with the Indians prior to 
advenl of Solomon Juneau, but their stay was of shorl duration. To Mr. 
Juneau must be conceded the honor of being the firsl permanent white settler, 
as well as the firsl land owner, he having acquired title to a Large tract of 
land. He was known as the most successful of all the Indian traders and 
in and around Milwaukee, being closely connected with the commercial life 
of that region. 

He was closely identified with every step in the progress of Milwaukee. 
In 1835, when a postoffice was established, he was appointed postmaster, 
which office he held for a period of nine years. In 1837, when Milwaukee was 
incorporated as a village, he was elected president. In 1846, when Milwaukee 
became a city, he was chosen its first mayor. He encouraged every under- 
taking that could benefit the community. He was a member of the State 
Historical Society, and was liberal in his contributions to its archives and 
picture gallery. Aside from his interests on the east side, he had property 
on the west side. He and T.ynm Kilbonrn were warm personal friends and 
close business associates in many enterprises. He assisted Mr. Kilbourn in the 
platting of the west side. Mr. Kilbourn was an intimate friend of Mr. 
Juneau's entire family. 

Mr. and Mrs. Juneau were generous in their gifts to the city which they 
founded. He built the first courthouse, and with the land upon which it stood. 
they presented it to the county, that the people might have a temple of 
justice. They gave the land upon which St. Peter's Catholic Church stood 
(corner Martin and Jackson streets), and the material for building, that their 
family, the incoming white population and the Indians might have a place to 
worship; they gave largely to St. John's Cathedral, among which was a strip 
of land between the pastor's house and the Cathedral, for which they and 
their descendants were forever to have two seats in the church; they gave 
the land for the first C4overiiment lighthouse at the bead of Wisconsin Street ; 
they gave the land, corner of Milwaukee and Division streets, whereon a 
college was erected. All this they gave that their city might lie as other 
cities. To those who were too poor to buy, they gave land and in many 
instances the material for building, that their poor might have homes. 

Generous Hosts. — They were fond of entertaining their friends and pos 
sessed the virtues of hospitality and thai warmth of heart which was char- 
acteristic of those good old pioneer days. The few remaining old settlers 
look back with fond recollection to those ties of friendship and good cheer 
which at all times prevailed in and around the •Juneau home. 

.Mr. .lean Pierre Busting, Mayville, Wis., once said of Mr. and Mrs. Juneau: 
"They united in their personality those qualities of unselfishness, generosity, 
Christianity, nobility of purpose and good will toward all mankind, rarely, 
if ever, found in any one individual."' 

After his removal to Theresa. .Mr. Juneau engaged in many b pur- 

suits, among which were a general merchandise store, saw and grisl mill, 
and trading with the Indians. He was postmaster of the village. At the time 
of his death he was reputed to have left quite a fortune. Aside from his 
husiness enterprises, lie hail large real estate holdings. Mr. Juni d to 


see his Indian trading posl at Milwaukee develop into a thriving city, which 
from the very first had been his highest ideal. 

In the early part of November, 1856, ^Ir. Juneau left Fond du Lac for the 
Indian Reservation at Keshena, near Shawano, Wis., to attend the annual 
payment of the Indians, lie bad not been well for some time, the death of his 
wife had completely crushed his spirit and broken his health. His daughter, 
Mrs. Frank Fox, at whose home he had been visiting in Fond du Lac prior to 
his departure for the reservation, tried in vain to persuade her father to 
abandon the trip, but all effort on her part and that of her husband were of 
no avail. Owing to his indisposition and the inclement weather, he was taken 
very ill shortly after his arrival at the reservation, and he continued to grow 
worse until November 14, when he passed away. 

All that medical aid and careful nursing eould do was done for him. 
Doctors Hiibschmann and Wiley did not leave his bedside until death came. 
To Doctor Hiibschmann he gave his dying messages for his children, and he 
proved a faithful messenger. With him at the time of his death were Doctor 
Hiibschmann, Indian agent ; Doctor Wiley, Hon. Geo. W. Lane, B. Hunkins, 
Edward Outhwaite, Win. Johnson, Wm. Powell, Chas. Corron and others. At 
the time of his death Mr. Juneau was sixty-three years, three months and five 

When the announcement of his death reached Milwaukee, it was a great 
shock to the citizens and in fact to the entire country from Green Bay to 
Chicago. The Indians were broken hearted over the loss of their beloved 
"Solomo." He was buried on the reservation, the Indians would have it so. 
Had not the ''Great Manitou" claimed his spirit. Why then did they not 
have the right to claim his body. The spot selected by the Indians was on a 
knoll just back of the Council House. But there were others who claimed him 
— his grief-stricken children and the citizens of Milwaukee. 

The funeral on the reservation was held from the Catholic Church, fol- 
lowed by a large concourse of white men and Indians. Four of his pall- 
bearers were Indians, one of whom was the famous Chief Oshkosh. During 
the services at the grave, the deep and solemn grief of the Indians, both men 
and women, over the loss of their "Solomo," was indeed pathetic. 

When the news of Mr. Juneau's death reached Theresa, his sons, Nar- 
cisse and Paid, and his son-in-law, Frank Fox, left for the reservation to con- 
vey the remains to Milwaukee, the trip both ways being made by team. 
The Indians accompanied them as far as Shawano, loth to give up all thai 
remained of their beloved friend. 

On arriving at Milwaukee his remains were taken to the home of his 
daughter, Mrs. II. K. White. The funeral was held on November 26, from 
St. John's Cathedral, Reverend Riordan officiating. Interment was in the 
Catholic Cemetery at the head of Spring Street. This, however, was not the 
final resting place of Solomon Juneau and his wife. After a period of sis 
teen years their remains were removed to Calvary Cemetery. 

The monument erected to the memory of Mr. and Mrs. Solomon Juneau 
in Calvary Cemetery bears the inscription: "In memory of Solomon Juneau, 
Founder of Milwaukee, Born August 19, 17!):!. at L'Asumption, Canada." 

Located at i In* lake front . Juni .1 u Pari 


On the reverse side, "Josette Juneau, Wife of Solomon Juneau, Born at Fort 
Howard, 1803." In 1906 members of the Old Settlers' Club of Milwaukee 
placed marble markers at the head of the graves of Mr. and Mrs. Juneau. 

Mrs. Solomon Juneau. — Josette Vieux was horn at Fort Howard, Brown 
County, Wis., April 16, 1803. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jacques 
Vieux and was the granddaughter of an Indian chief, Ah-ka-ne-po-way. Her 
girlhood was spent amidst the primitive surroundings of the frontier. She 
was taught to read in French. Reared a Roman Catholic, she began at an 
early age to do mission work among the Indians, which work she continued 
for many years after her marriage. She was of medium height ; her black 
hair and eyes, clear olive complexion, low sweet voice and courteous manner, 
gave evidence of her French and Indian origin. 

In 1820, at the age of seventeen years. Miss Yieux was married at the old 
Mission Church in Green Hay to Solomon Laurent Juneau. Their wedding 
journey from Green Bay to Milwaukee was made in a hark canoe, paddled by 
Indians. She received from her parents the customary wedding presents of 
those pioneer times, consisting of feather beds, pillows, quilts, blankets, etc. 
Although young in years at the time of her marriage, she was an adept in 
the art of housekeeping. 

The country at the time Mr. Juneau brought his" young bride to Milwaukee 
was destitute of roads; nothing hut the Indian trail traversed .the wide 
expanse of prairie and forest between Milwaukee and Green Bay, and travel 
was made on foot or on horseback. There was little to break the monotony 
during the firsl few years aside from an occasional vessel bringing goods 
and taking away furs, or the Indian traders passing thrbugh that section 
from Green Bay to < Ihicago. 

Mrs. Juneau exercised great influent ver the Indians and was of much 

assistance to her husband in carrying on his business in the fur trade with 
the Indians, speaking several Indian dialects. She dressed in Indian costume, 
which style of dress she wore for many years. Of a retiring nature, she 
mingled little with the incoming white population and rarely spoke English, 
French being the language used in the home circle. 

Jas. S. Buck, in his "Pioneer History of Milwaukee," pays the following 
tribute to Mrs. Juneau: "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. 

"Many of the first settlers were indebted to this braveJiearted woman for 
their persona] safety, more than once, in 1836, when the Indians were anxious 
to destroy them, which they certainly would have done upon one occasion, 
had she not interfered to protect them, upon which occasion she stood guard 
over the whites all the night hm,e- during her husband's absence." 

Mrs. Juneau possessed many noble traits of character. Aside from her 
many duties to her family, she was every ready to minister to the wants of 
the sick and the needy. The poor she had always with her. Her home was a 
stopping place for ministers of all denominations who passed through the 
trading post. She made them all welcome. She mighl lie called the guardian 
angel of the unfortunate. Many a p • girl who had started life wrong "a- 


taken into her home, given religious instruction, taughl to do housework and 
sew, and positions secured for them. 

As years passed, and'the tide of immi'jrat ion eontinued to How into the 
infant metropolis, the inhabitants numbering thousands, where a few short 
years before the country was but a wilderness, .Mrs. Juneau longed for the 
quiet of the country, and persuaded her husband to remove to their summer 
home at Theresa. There, surrounded by every comforl a Loving and indul- 
gent husband could provide, she settled down to enjoy the declining years of 
her life. 

After removing to Theresa she became ill and gradually failing, Mr. Juneau 
took her to Milwaukee to consult their family physician, Dr. E. I>. Wolcott. 
It was found her malady was of a more serious nature than was at first sup- 
posed. Doctor Wolcott. assisted by Doctor Hewitt and a specialist from Chi- 
cago, held a consultation and it was found necessary to perform an opera- 
tion, which proved unsuccessful. At the time of her death Mrs. Juneau was 
fifty-two years, seven mouths and three days. Thus closed in perfect peace, 
a life of love and service to God, November 19, 1855. 

The funeral was held from the residence of her daughter, Mrs. II. K. 
White. Services were conducted by Reverend Riordan at St. John's Cathedral. 
of which church she was a devout member during her residence in Milwaukee. 
Burial was in the Catholic Cemetery at the head of Spring Street. 

Uriel B. Smith pays the following tribute to Mrs. Juneau: "I was in- 
timately acquainted with Airs. Solomon Juneau. My child, Milwaukee Smith, 
was born October 10, 1835. She was the first white child born in Milwaukee, 
and Mrs. Juneau was present at her birth, and attended upon my wife in 
such a kind and motherly manner as to win the love and esteem of my wife 
as well as myself. 

"Mrs. Juneau was also an attendant and watcher at the death bed of my 
wife some two years after, and during the whole period of our acquaintance 
we were on the most intimate terms. 

"For such services rendered to my wife during her sickness. 1 offered 
ample remuneration, which was immediately declined — she saying to me. 
'Such services were due all, and that, too, without consideration.' Such inci- 
dents cannot he forgotten. 1 trust that Milwaukee today has her equal — I 
know it has not her superior." 

Martin's Estimate of Solomon Juneau. — In the narrative of Morgan I.. 
.Martin, printed in the Wisconsin Historical Collections, Volume XI. extended 
mention is made of Juneau and others contemporaneous with him. "I firsl 
visited Milwaukee in -July, is:;:;.'' he says, "on a tour of exploration. With 
me were Daniel Le Roy and P. B. Grignon, and wo were mounted on horses. 
As far as Fond du Lac our course lay on the same trail that Judge Doty 
and I hail made in 1829. After thai we struck southeast to the shore of 
Lake Michigan, following it closely until Milwaukee was reached. 

"Jacques Vieau and Sol >n Juneau traded at this point. 1 had known 

them and their families since 1827, for their homes Mere really in Green Baj 
at which place they obtained all their supplies. Both Vieau, senior, and 
Juneau were in Chicago with the greater pari of their families at the time 


of our arrival, but young Jacques Vieau, sou of the elder, officiated under the 
parental roof. 

"When we set out on our tour, we agreed to eat everything we saw, and 
one time we were compelled to thus dispose of a hawk. At Milwaukee there 
were no provisions for us, but there were several Indians loafing around 
and we engaged one of them to go out and get us some ducks. These Jacques 
cooked for us and we ate them cold upon our return trip which was made by 
way of the lake shore. On Sheboygan River, four miles above its mouth, 
there was an Indian village. We found a net spread near the mouth of the 
river, and in it two tine fish which we appropriated without ceremony. 

En Route to Green Bay. — "Next morning an Indian. from the village over- 
took us and supplied us with dried and smoked whitefish which we found 
quite palatable. Manitowoc was out of our line of travel so we did not see 
the native village said to be there. We reached Green Bay after a delight- 
ful trip, in which the eager search for provisions only served to strengthen 
our appetites. Both Solomon Juneau and Jacques Vieau were intelligent and 
worthy men, Mr. Juneau having the polished manners and airs of the French 
gentleman. In a certain 'History of Milwaukee,' published by the Western 
Historical Company, in 1881, Juneau has been described as being on a par 
with the Indians, as to intelligence and manners. That they and their fami- 
lies were far removed above the savage tribes by which they were surrounded, 
is proven by the fact that they were enabled to procure goods and supplies 
to a large amount on the usual credit from the American Fur Company. 

"Neither of them did at that time regard themselves as permanent settlers 
of Milwaukee, but were temporary residents there for the purposes of trade 
with the Indians. Their homes were in Green Bay. When I first visited 
Milwaukee in the summer of 1833, on the tour of exploration before nar- 
rated, they and their families were not there, the premises being in charge 
of employees and one of Vieau 's sons. A further evidence that all were mere 
sojourners was found in the fact that no land was cleared, fenced, or even 
under cultivation, except a small patch of ground used by a brother of 
Juneau, in which he cultivated a few vegetables. Subsequent events, how- 
ever, proved Solomon Juneau to be the first permanent settler, when the 
land he occupied was ceded by the Indians and subjected to sale as Govern- 
ment land. 

Martin a Frequent Visitor. — "From 1833 forward, I was a frequent and 
always welcome visitor to the house of Solomon Juneau. His home was the 
'old trading house,' and so far from being the filthy, disgusting home repre- 
sented in the 'History of Milwaukee,' was in all respects neat and comfort- 
able; for the proverbially neat and tidy French women know how to make 
their habitations attractive. In the fall of 1834, the late Governor Doty, 
Byron Kilbourn and myself were at Milwaukee and spent a few days, being 
entertained at the hospitable old trading house, the only habitation there. 
In April previous, on my way home from Detroit, Mr. Juneau's house was my 
only stopping place between Chicago and Green Bay; my business relations 
with him compelled my sojourn there for several days. At none of my visits 
did the partially cured skins or the odors given off by fresh meats and fish 


y 3 
< S 

< — 

— i 

< — 

W - 



winch had become rank produce an unsavory sine]]. If there were any such 
they never invaded the comfortable dwelling in which we were entertained. 

but wer mfined to the storehouse, the usual adjunct of all Indian trading 


"As a man, Solomon Juneau needs no encomiums from me. He was 
always the same unselfish, confiding, open-hearted, genial, honest and polite 
gentleman. Our business relations commenced in October, 1833, and con- 
tinued for several years. His first hint of the prospective value of his loca- 
tion at Milwaukee came from me, and he was so incredulous that it was some- 
times difficult tn prevent his sacrificing his interest to the sharks who soon 
gathered about him. Himself the soul of honor, and unaccustomed to the 

wiles of speculators, without a friend to caution him he would have 1 n an 

easy prey of designing individuals. Green Bay was his home as well as that 
of the Vieaus, and it was not until is:;.") or 1836 that Juneau first thought of 
permanently residing in Milwaukee, after it came to he seen that the place- 
was going to become a village. 

Martin and Juneau Original Plat Owners.— "Juneau and 1 were joint 
owners of the original plat of .Milwaukee. We never made any written 
memorandum of the terms of our partnership, and on account of his residence 
on the spot he took the principal management of our joint interest for more 
than three years. At the close, accounts were adjusted between us and 
property valued at hundreds of thousands divide. I, with as little difficulty as 
one would settle a trifiiiie.' store bill. 

"It would take a volume to enumerate the many admirable traits of char- 
acter which distinguished my friend. Solomon Juneau. The intimate rela- 
tions existing between us made me well acquainted with his family, ami 
their every day social relations. Mrs. Juneau, instead of the pure French 
of her husband, had a slight tincture of Indian blood. Her native tongue 
was French, and that language was used in their family intercourse, though 
both spoke English. They both probably had also acquired a knowledge of 
the languages of several Indian tribes, with whom Mr. Juneau was accus- 
tomed to do business; but that they 'dressed and ate like Indans. and in their 
domestic conversation spoke in the Indian tongue,' is far from the truth. 
Mrs. Juneau was an amiable and excellent woman, and many of the first 
settlers around Milwaukee will no doubt bear ample testimony to the deeds 
of charity by which she was distinguished." 

The Dawn of a Better Day.— " Hut in the year 1818," says the historian, 
"the first grey streaks of the coming dawn in Milwaukee were visible. So 
faint were they that the wily chief, O-nau-ge-sa, with all his natural watch- 
fulness, did not perceive them. They were to gradually brighten into the 
rosy tints of civilization, as the night of barbarism sank away in the west." 
Up and down the river Solomon Juneau pursues his search for a suitable 
place for settlement. Finally he finds "a green spot a1 the fool of a long, 
wood-covered hill that rises to the east, and here he builds his own cabin 
with the river between him and tin' opposite swamp." 

But wandering traders have already appeared and for a brief time have 
lent an appearance of activity to the scene. ".Mi-. Hypolite Grignon is alreadj 


ts^fc^ /L&^t -PWY 

^yuV-L^i-iic fi'/fr^ ^jy(/<<(si /z^r^t^ ^uuc-^^^Uc. 

~ff ' ^tot-is /My /jz^r ' ys<^^ 


J t/t-t^tsz^^ 


Bas relief on pedestal <'t Solomon Juneau Monumenl 


here," says the chronicle, ''and James Kinzie (the half -brother of John Kinzie 
of Chicago) is expected with a large stock of goods from the American Pur 
Company at Mackinac. There are three other white men in the settlement, 
and this constitutes the entire white population. Chicago, or 'Eschicagou' 
(as Col. Arend De Peyster called it), contains two white inhabitants living 
outside of Fort Dearborn. Detroit is composed of French half-breeds, and 
lias one brick house which had been built by Governor Hull many years 
lief ore. There is one little steamboat on the Upper Lakes called the 'Walk in 
the Water,' which makes the round trip from Buffalo to Detroit once in two 
weeks, but never ventures into the unknown waters past Mackinac." 

About this time Jacques Vieau built a trading post up the Menomonee 
two miles where the Green Bay trail crosses that river. "The sand heaps at 
the mouth of the Milwaukee River," says historian Wheeler, "with the one or 
two bark wigwams and the scarcely better tenements that had been erected 
under the supervision of French Wanderers,, offered no attraction to him; and 
so we find the first trading post which was destined to be permanently located 
away off to the west. Here Vieau, who-coming from Green Lay, a place already 
somewhat advanced in civilization and Christianity, had more refined ideas, 
perhaps, than his neighbors, built a log house, a magazine and repository 
for furs. All three of these structures were standing in 1836." 

From the time when Jacques Vieau first settled here up to IMS, there 
was very little of historic interest transpired, says Wheeler: "the Indians 
flitted about the bluffs, and when a companion died they lighted their funeral 
fires on the burial ground at the foot id' Michigan Street, and danced their 
wild orgies between the lurid flames and the dark midnight on the lake." 

Juneau as a Young Man. — "A few years later than 1818," we read in 
Wheeler's "Chronicles," "there might have been seen, leaning against the 
door of Jacques Vieau 's log house, a young man attired in a calico hunting 
shirt and corduroy pantaloons. His countenance is rather pleasing, not from 
any beauty in its outline, but on account of an open, frank expression, which 
is at once indicative of a generous nature and a steady will. This is Solomon 
Juneau, clerk for Jacques Vieau, his father-indaw. He stands in the doorway 
of the cabin, and looks listlessly across the great marsh to the east, and up 
to the oak-crowned bluffs beyond; nor does it occur to him that in the short 
space of a few years the bayou beneath his eyes will be swarming with 
vessels, and that a populous city will be crowning the eminences with wealth 
and magnificence. 

"Young Juneau does not for a moment allow his youthful enthusiasm to 
soar into even improbabilities: not being a visionary young man his fancy 
sees no Utopia in the green banks of the Mahn-a-waukie. The outlines of 
a few duties to be carefully performed are enough for his contemplation at 
present. " 

Juneau's Claim as "First Settler." — But lest the foregoing account might 
seem inconsistent with the statement frequently made that Juneau was the 
first settler and founder of Milwaukee in 1818, it is proper to add some 
explanation. In Isabella Fox's biography of Solomon Juneau, published in 
11)16, it is stated that "as agent of the American Fur Company he settled 


in Milwaukee in 1818, and continued to live there until 1852." Isabella Pox 
was a grand-daughter of Solomon Juneau, and in the biographj mentioned 
she says thai "white men had visited Milwaukee, trading with the Indians 
prior in the advenl of Solomon Juneau, bu1 their stay was of shorl duration. 
To Mr. Juneau musl 1"' conceded the honor of being the firsl permanenl 
white settler as well as firsl landowner, he having acquired title to a large 
tract nf land." 

Jacques Vieau who has been mentioned as having built a trading posl 

two miles up the Men onee River, was a resident of Green Bay and his 

trading post here was a branch of his Green Bay establishment. Henry B. 
Legler, in his bonk. "Leading Events of W sconsin History.'" says of Juneau, 
"It was as Vieau 's clerk that he came to Milwaukee in 1818; he was the first 
landowner here, for the others exercised 'squatter sovereignty' merely. Th - 
Eacl iias probably had some influence in crediting Juneau with having been 
.Milwaukee's first permanenl settler." 

Many years lain- (in 1887) Andrew Vieau, in an interview with th litor 

of the Wisconsin Historical Collections related to him that he was a son of 
Jacques Vieau, and thai his father had for many years previous to 1818 
••considered Green Bay his home; he had a farm there and I and several 
oilier members of the family were horn upon the homestead." As to the form 
of the name which is variously spelled. Andrew said: ■■The family name was 
originally De Veau; but as that meant calf or veal in French, other children 
would annoy my ancestors in their youth by bleating in their pre-, .nee. so 
the name was changed to Vieau in self-defense." 

In Andrew J. Vieau's narrative printed in the "Collections of the Wisi 
sin State Historical Society," Volume XI. it is stated thai Solomon Juneau 
was appointed clerk to Jacques Vieau in 1818 at .Mackinaw. "Tim- il was," 
says the son. "that Juneau arrived at the Milwaukee River in August of that 
year in my father's company. The next year father withdrew as agenl of 
what had by that time become the American Fur Company, and procured the 
agency for Juneau, who had in the meantime married my half sister. Josette. 
He had a farm there and J ami several other members of the family were 
My father had for many years before this considered Green Baj his home. 
born upon the homestead on the west bank of the Fox River. 

"Green Bay also became Juneau's home and remained such until about 
1834 ,,|- 1835, when Milwaukee began to grow and Juneau platted the village 
ami settled there permanently. Juneau was one of the lasl to recognize that 
Milwaukee was dest i I to hecome a permanent settlement, and had to 1 

persuaded by his friends into taking advantage of the laid. Green Bay re 
mained as his home and that of my father despite their business interests at 
.Milwaukee. From about 1810 forward the family would frequently remain 
at tin' Bay during the winters while father was off among the [ndii 

Description of Mackinaw Boats. A description is given of the-, boats 
by Mrs. Elizabeth Therese Baird in a chapter of renvniscences, printed in the 

Wisconsin Historical Society's collection-. Volume XIV. p. 17. Ill 1825 

made a journey from Green Baj to Mackinac Island, accompanied by her 
husband. Their route lay alone ti astern shore of Green Bay and the 


northern shore of Lake Michigan. They took passage in a Mackinaw boat, 
one of a fleet of six which were laden with furs. 

"In each of the boats," she writes, "there were seven men, six to row 
and one a steersman, all being Frenchmen. There was, in addition, in each 
boat a clerk of the American Fur Company to act as commander or bourgeois. 
The furnishing of these boats, each thirty feet long, was quite complete. The 
cargo being furs a snug-fitting tarpaulin was fastened down and over the 
sides to protect the pelts from the rain. The cargo was placed in the center 
of the boat. A most important part of the cargo was the mess basket, one 
of the great comforts in the past days, well filled with everything to satisfy 
both hunger and thirst. Rolette, who was in charge of the fleet, was a gen- 
erous provider, sending to St. Louis for all that this part of the world could 
not supply. 

"It seemed strange that such faithful workers as the men were, should 
have been fed so poorly. They had nothing but salt pork, 'lyed' corn, and 
bread or biscuit. This was the general food for workmen in the fur trade.*" 
The boats are usually unloaded from the time they leave port until they 
reach their destination, which in this ease occupied six days. "This fleet of 
boats," she continues, "was originally loaded at Prairie du Chien, and then 
unloaded at the portage between the AVisconsin and Fox rivers, where the 
men carried first the packs of furs on their backs, then returned for the 
boats, and after reloading them would run down to the Big Chute, now 
Appleton. Here the boats again had to be unloaded and the furs portaged 
around by the men. 

"The boats made the journey down the swift water which was called 
'jumping the rapids.' The unloading was repeated at Grand Kaukauna, but 
at the rapids below the loads were carried through, all of the men walking in 
the water to guide the boats and their valuable loads. Our boats it will be 
seen were loaded for the last time at Kaukauna. not to lie unloaded until they 
reached Mackinac." 

VA i;m\ Ml BOURN 
Founder of Kilboum Town. 1 1 < > w known :is the Wesl Side 


Byron Kilbourn. — "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 his profession," says James S. Buck in his "Pioneer History of -Mil- 

"In person he was tall and commanding, sharp features, keen, expressive 
eye; 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 
magnet ism that would both attract and attach to himself and his plans all 
who came under its influence. He was a horn leader. 

"He knew the value of money, and how to use it; could tell at a glance 
the competency of every man, and the right place for him. He was the 
originator of our railroad system, and it was mainly due to his great executive 
abilities that they were so soon completed. 

"His positive character often made him enemies, but for that lie eared 
very little. The more he was opposed the stronger became his will, and tic 
result would he the accomplishment of whatever he undertook. 

"He took a deep interest in politics ami was 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. He died and was buried 
at Jacksonville, Florida, December 16, 1870." 

Juneau and Kilbcum. — In Wheeler's history it is said that Juneau and 
Kilbourn were rivals, hut the two men were friendly to each other and 
cooperated in procuring legislation, in 1839, to consolidate the two towns 
known at the time as "Juneautown" on the east side and "Kilbourntown" 
on the west, in the Town of Milwaukee, with two wards, the East and the 


In commenting upon the rivalry which existed between the two towns the 
historian remarks: "The Milwaukee River was the dividing line with our 
settlers. Not only the nation but states, communities, sects and families, all 
have a Mason and Dixon's line." The very harmony of our system, observes 
our historian in a curious strain of reasoning, its "discords, antagonisms and 
•wars,' afforded a healthy recrimination essential to the stimulation and pros- 
perity of the contending opinions." Whether the reader will agree with such 


Corner Grand Avenue anil Fourth Street after same had been converted into stores 

Originally built in isj.1 


a view or not the fact remains that whatever virtue there may have been 
in that doctrine it was thoroughly tested in the early days of Milwaukee. 

In a paper by James Seville, printed by the Old Settlers' Club of Mil- 
waukee, in l'J16, it is said that there were but few men of his time "whose 
opinions had more influence in the state at large than those of Mr. Kilbourn. 
He could do more with the Legislature, governor, etc., than any other man, 
and that, too, without any seeming effort on his part. He was a man of large 
build, a large head and brain, a skilful engineer, and just such a man as is 
required to manage large enterprises; sociable, communicative, benevolent 
and always ready to engage in anything to help his adopted city." 

Byron Kilbourn was born in Connecticut in 1801, but when a young lad his 
parents moved to Ohio. His father was a member of Congress in 1812 and 
again in 1814. Having received a good education young Kilbourn, at the age of 
twenty-two, entered the service of the state as an engineer for the great 
system of internal improvements then being carried on by Ohio. In 1832, he 
journeyed to the far-off country beyond the western shores of Lake Michigan. 
He landed in Green Bay May 8, 1834, and soon found employment as a sur- 
veyor of public lands. In the course of his travels he was attracted by the 
advantages offered by the region around the mouth of the Milwaukee River. 
Here he found Solomon Juneau who had been settled here many years in the 
fur trade with the Indians. 

"Juneau was one of Nature's noblemen," says a writer in a history of 
Milwaukee published in 1881, "and was the very soul and embodiment of 
hospitality and good cheer. Among his pleasantest recollections Mr. Kil- 
bourn often adverted to the cheerful fireside scenes in Mr. Juneau's wildwood 
home after days of travel, toil and privation." 

Here Kilbourn determined to settle and purchased a tract of land on the 
west side of the Milwaukee River at the same time that Juneau purchased a 
tract on the east side. Both of these tracts were in the same section and 
were divided from each other by the river. These two tracts extending along 
the river for one mile constituted the nucleus of the present City of Mil- 

"The east side was platted in the summer of 1835," it is stated in tin- 
article on Milwaukee, in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, "and very soon after- 
ward the plat of a settlement on the west side was also recorded, Byron 
Kilbourn being the chief projector and proprietor of the latter." These two 
settlements bore the popular names of Juneautown and Kilbourntown respec- 
tively. A third settlement, begun mi the south side by George II. Walker. 
and known as "Walker's Point," was subsequently platted. The rivalry 
between the east and west sides of the river became intense, the plats were 
so surveyed that the streets did not meet at the river, and there were bitter 
quarrels over the building of bridges. On one occasion a force of armed men 
was assembled on the east side "to defend their rights," and a cannon was 
leveled at Mr. Kilbourn 's house on the opposite bank of the river. After some 
further complications the "bridge war" was amicably settled, and since that 
time bridge building has gone forward in an orderly manner. 

"When the public mind began to comprehend the importance of railroad 


communication with the interior," says a writer in ;i history of Milwaukee, 
published in 1881, "Mr. Kilbourn was by common consenl designated as thi 
mosl suitable person to lead the firsl enterprise of thai description. Be was 
accordingly elected president of the 'Milwaukee and Mississippi Railroad 
Company.' This company was organized in the early pari of 184!), and Mr. 
Kilbourn continued to occupy the position of president of the company until 

In 1846, the City of Milwaukee was chartered, and Mr. Kilbourn was 
chosen a member of the first board of aldermen. In the next year Mr. Kil- 
bourn was chosen a delegate to the state constitutional convention, and in 
that body he drew up and reported the "Declaration of Rights" and some 
other important articles. In ISIS, he was (dec-ted mayor of Milwaukee, which 
had then become a city of about fifteen thousand inhabitants. Mr. Kilbourn 
was again elected mayor in 1854. 

•"It has been said that no man in Wisconsin has made so many railroad 
speeches," says the writer above quoted, "or lias s,, often presided over 
state and district conventions ami other public meetings as Byron Kilbourn. 
.Mr. Kilbourn was a zealous Free Mason and left the use oi a beautiful hall 
to the lodge and chapter named after him. He was a member of this lodge 
and chapter, and also of Wisconsin Commandery, K. T. 

"Owing to exposure in early life Mr. Kilbourn was afflicted with rheuma- 
tism, and in the fall of 1868 he made a tour of the South for the benefit of his 
health, lie spent several months at Hot Springs, Ark., but received no 
especial benefit. Finding the climate of the extreme South most agreeable to 
his exhausted system he located at Jacksonville, Florida, where on December 
Hi. 1870, he died suddenly and painlessly of apoplexy, in the seventieth year 
of his age. He passed away full of years, an honor to his familj name, and 
a benefactor to his race." 

George H. Walker. — In 1834, George II. Walker came to Milwaukee from 
Virginia, where he was born October '2-. 1811, and located on the south side 
of the river. He was then twenty-three years of age. Mere be erected a log 
house, "the first." says J. S. Buck in his "Pioneer History," "ever built by 
a while man upon that side of the river." The spot is known to this day in 
common parlance as "Walker's Point." He carried on the business of an 
Indian trader ami was identified thereafter with the growth of Milwaukee in 
many and various ways throughout his life. 

In 1S4'_\ he was elected to the territorial legislature and was made speaker 
of that body, and two years later was re-elected to the same office. In 1851, 
Walker was elected mayor of Milwaukee and again in 1853. He was a demo- 
crat m politics but at the breaking out of the civil war he look a decisive 
stand in favor of the preservation of the Union. 

"The city was largely indebted to him." writes -1. A. Watrous in his 

"Memoirs of Milwaukee County," "for the building of the Milwaukee and 

Mississippi Railroad. He was at oik' time president of this railroad company, 
and lone a member of the hoard of directors. He built the first streel rail- 
way ill Milwaukee at a considerable hiss to himself which was the foundation 
of the present splendid system. One of the last public acts of his useful life 


was to aid in securing the Ideation here of the National Soldiers' Home." 
He died at his home on Biddle Street, September "in, 1866. 

George II. Walker engaged in many building enterprises and promoted 
various corporations of a semi-public or public nature. He built a large four- 
story brick block bearing his name, which stood on the corner of South 
Water and Clinton streets, and was. at one time, the center of the largest 
trade upon the South Side. This brick building is undoubtedly the most 
substantial brick building ever built in the City of Milwaukee. 

In a pamphlet issued by the Milwaukee Times in June, 1921, the leading 
events of his life are described. From this pamphlet much information has 
been derived for this work, as for example the following paragraph: 

"Colonel Walker was a very active, energetic and pushing citizen. He 
was a large and portly man, with a genial manner, betokening hearty good 
will to all whom he met, with genuine kindliness beaming from every feature 
of his face. He had a magnetic presence, ami a most hearty greeting for 
all whom he knew. He was selected to rill many offices of responsibility by 
his fellow citizens, and among them we find he was made supervisor, twice 
elected a member of the Territorial Legislature, in 1 S4l2 and 1844, and on each 
occasion was made speaker of the lower house, was appointed register of the 
Milwaukee Land office, elected alderman, and twice elected mayor of Mil- 
waukee, once in 1851 and subsequently in 1853. At that time the mayors held 
office for Imt one year. As register of the Land office one of the strong char- 
acteristics of (he man became ('specially prominent, and that was his most 
perfect honesty. In this position as register he had abundant opportunity for 
making himself very wealthy, hut he would neither permit himself nor any of 
his subordinates to take advantage of the knowledge which the office afforded 
them to enrich themselves. This characteristic was always a prominent one 
throughout his life. His integrity was unquestionable. 

"From 1835 to 1849 he was continually pestered by men who tried to 
'jump Iks claim' to his quarter section, and who insisted that the pre-emption 
laws of that day did not permit the location of a 'float' claim upon so valu- 
able a piece of land." 

Colonel Walker's Picturesque Heme. — Tin- writer of the pamphlet re 
ferred to describes the location of Colonel Walker's home with some interest- 
ing details. He says that it was located upon a high hill fronting upon Han- 
over Street in the center of the double block lying between South Pierce 
and Virginia streets. The house was built in the style of an old Virginia 
mansion, with broad doors and windows, spacious rooms with a wide hall 
running through from front to rear, into which might he driven a horse 
hauling logs for the fire places. 

The house had a beautiful outlook over the city and a complete view of 
Milwaukee Bay clotted over with the white-winged messengers of commerce 
Hanover Street in front of tin' residence had been graded down some twenty- 
five or thirty feet leaving a steep bank in which many deep cavities had 
been left. These cavities formed convenient uesting places for hundreds upon 
hundreds of swallows in which to brood and mir their young. The whole 
front and perpendicular face id' this block- id' land was a curiosity to passersby 

Founder of Walker's Point, now known as the South Side 


upon the street below, and they often stopped to view the myriads of birds 
flitting in and out from these holes in the clay bank, busy with their domestic- 
duties. In consequence of this deep cut of the street in front of his resi- 
dence. Colonel Walker's only means of access to his home was by way of 
Greenbush Street, upon the west front of this tract of land. As the colonel 
was a very ponderous man, it was difficult for him to do much walking, and 
at a regular hour each morning he could be seen getting into his buggy, 
which he filled to its full capacity, to drive down to his place of business, 
returning with the same regularity at noon and in the evening. His horse and 
buggy and his corpulent figure and benignant face were known all over Mil- 
waukee, and nothing seemed to please him more than to be greeted with the 
familiar appellation of "George," omitting all titles whatsoever. 

Pioneer Railroad Construction. — It was through the active and persistent 
work of Colonel Walker and other prominent citizens that the City of Mil- 
waukee was at this time induced to loan its credit to the first railway enter- 
prise by issuing its bonds to the Milwaukee & Mississippi Railroad Company 
for the sum of $234,000, and it further aided this enterprise, which was then 
urgently in need of funds, by subscribing in cash for $16,000 worth of the 
railroad company's stock. 

In addition to his many other enterprises for the development of the city, 
Colonel Walker undertook the construction of a street railway, which was 
opened to the public in May, I860. It began at the foot of East Water Street, 
north to Wisconsin Street, east on Wisconsin to Jefferson, on Jefferson to 
Biddle, on Biddle to Van Buren, north on Van Buren to Juneau Avenue, thence 
up Prospect Avenue to Albion. The cars ran on a single track with turn- 
outs at intervals. The cars were entered by a single step and door at the 
rear and drawn by mules. The fare-box was at the front of the car where 
passengers deposited their fares. This was the beginning of the present 
splendid system of street railways in Milwaukee. 

Activities in the Civil War. — At the breaking out of the Civil war no man 
living north of Mason and Dixon's line could have been more ardent in his 
loyalty and more active in his efforts for the preservation of the Union than 
Col. George H. Walker. Though a Virginian by birth and a democrat in his 
political allegiance he joined the party of the Union and aided in the most 
conspicuous manner in its efforts to suppress the rebellion. He made it his 
daily and nightly occupation to attend meetings in every part of the city and 
lent his voice and great influence toward arousing his fellow citizens to the 
necessity of prompt action for the preservation of the Union. 

He was seen at these meetings with Hon. Matt. Carpenter, Judges Mc- 
Arthur and Hubbell, engaged in awakening the loyalty of the people. Being 
a corpulent and heavy man as heretofore noted, he would often find difficulty 
is ascending the steps of the platforms used for the speakers, and it was 
necessary for his friends at such times to assist him in the operation. But 
ready hands pulled and pushed him up amid the cheers and laughter of his 
audiences. He worked most faithfully and loyally until there was no longer 
necessity for such patriotic labors. 


And al the conclusion of the war, be was among the Eoremosl in securing 
from the Government the location and purchase of grounds near this city 
for the establishment of £ comfortable and adequate Soldiers' and Sailors' 
Eome, for the wounded, maimed and worn-out veterans who had helped pre- 
serve our common country. He was appointed one of the Board of Soldiers' 
Home Commissioners by the secretary of war, and beld this office at the time 
of his death. It is said that his trip to Washington, D. ( '.. on behalf of the 
Soldiers' Home caused bis death, as he never recovered from a cold contract 
at that time. 

(_'ol. George II. Walker died September 20, l<S(i6, at the early age of fifty- 
four years and eleven months, after an active life spent in hardships, trials 
and labors in behalf of his fellow men, mourned by a loving wife and by 
every one who knew him. Truly may it be said of him as was said by the 
poet Homer, "He was a friend to man and lived in a house beside the road." 

A. C. Wheeler's "Chronicles of Milwaukee." — Concerning this excellent 
history it may be remarked that a vein of humor pervades its pages through- 
out. Writing of the difficulties he encountered in gathering the facts about 
early history the author, in his introduction, says: "So bitterly opposed were 
some even to open their mouths that the author was at first fain to believe 
that the early hisory of .Milwaukee had formerly been the witness of a mon- 
strous iniquity in which all the first inhabitants were implicated." 

The reluctance hinted at above gradually disappeared anil the author 
acknowledges the assistance of many of the "Id settlers in the preparation 
of ids history, which was published in 1861. "To such men as Colonel Walker. 
Byron Kilbourn, Elisha Starr. II. Kirke While. Jonathan E. Arnold. Joshua 
Hathaway, William Brown ami a host of others, the author is indebted for 
all that is of any material value in these pages." 


After stating that he was born in Green I'.ay in 1818, Andrew J. Vieau, in 
iiis narrative, says that he went to the French school kept by John 1!. Jacobs 
in 1826 or 1827. Mr. Jacobs abandoned the school a year or two after and 
J. B. Dupre became his successor. After some time with Dupre young Viean 
received instruction at home from his father's old clerk, Petteel. "Father 
Fauvel was also my teacher for a time. Rev. R. F. Cadle, the Episcopalian 
missionary, came in 1830. He was a very fine gentleman, and 1 went to his 
excellent mission school in company with my brothers, Nicholas and Peter." 
It is thus seen that the elder Vieau hail an exalted idea of the value of 
education for the younger generation. 

"There I remained until 1833, when I went to clerk for R. & A. J. Irwin 
at their general store and post office in Shanty Town. Robert Irwin was the 
postmaster and I served as his deputy. This was during the Black Hawk 
war, ami 1 well remember the soldiers coming down the Fox River with Black 
Hawk in 1833 on his tour to the Fast. The Irwins failed in 18:14. and I went 
to -Milwaukee to clerk for my brother-in-law, Solomon Juneau, who was agent 
for the American Fur Company." It is stated in the narrative that Juneau 
was doing a fine business in those days. ''I think," says the narrator, "that 
the company allowed him one-half the profits as a commission." 

Young Vieau remained in the employ of Juneau seven months and then 
went to Chicago to clerk for Medore Beauhien a merchant there. "I suc- 
ceeded in this new position." he continues, "to a Mr. Saxton, who had gone 
to Racine to do business there. There were several clerks in Beaubien's store 
and I was at the head of them. I stayed in Chicago until September, 1836," 
when the payments to the Indians were made in that year. In the course of 
the narrative young Vieau enters upon a brief description of what he saw in 
Chicago which we will quote in this place. 

"Chicago was very small then," he says. "The principal store was kepi 

by Oliver Newberry and George W. Dole, on South Water Street. ner of 

Dearborn. Beaubien's stor icupied the opposite corner. Mai. John Greene 

was commandant at Fort Dearborn, with perhaps one company of soldiers. 
J. B. Beaubien, father of my employer, lived in the old American Fur Com 
pany's post, south of Fort Dearborn on the lake shore. There were, perhaps, 
from one hundred and twenty-five to one hundred and fifty buildings in Chi 
cago, shops and all, at the time of which I speak. They were mostly un- 



painted and there was certainly no promise of the place ever amounting to 
anything. On the streets mud was knee deep, and wagons had often to be 
lifted mit of the mire with handspikes. I am sure thai nearly every inhabitant 
of the place would have smiled incredulously if any one had prophesied thai 
here was to be the great eity of the west." 

Milwaukee in 1836. — In December, 1836, Andrew J. Vieau 'whose narra- 
tive lias been so freely drawn upon) returned from Chicago to Juneau's post 
in Milwaukee and served him for a time as his bookkeeper. Soon after he 
bought out the Juneau establishment, "lock, stock and barrel," and con- 
tinued the business on the west side of the river, a half block north of Spring 
Street. There had been a big rush to Milwaukee while he was in Chicago, 
and it continued unabated during that fall. In the following February he 
was married at Green Bay to Pebeeea R. Lawe. "Our bridal trip." he says. 
"was made across the country to Milwaukee on what was called a 'French 
train." The sleigh was a deep box, (i feet lone' by :!•"> inches broad, which 
slipped easily on the surface of the snow, when drawn by two horses hitched 
tandem. There were, of course, no wagon roads in those days, but there 
were two regularly traveled trails to Milwaukee. 

"The one we took led first on a short cut southeast from Green Bay to 
Manitowoc. At Manitowoc rapids, 2C> miles from the lake shore, the path 
turned almost due south, striking' the mouth of the Sheboygan River. Thence 
we would proceed south along the lake shore, sometimes on the beach and 
aga'n on the high land, for fifteen or sixteen miles; thence west southwest to 
Saukville; thence directly southeast to Milwaukee. This path between Green 
Bay and Milwaukee was originally an Indian trail, and very crooked; but 
the whites would straighten it by cutting across lots each winter with their 
jumpers, wearing bare streaks through the thin covering, to be followed in 
the summer by foot and horseback travel along the shortened path. 

"The other trail was by way of Fond du Lac, taking advantage of the 
military road along the east shore of Lake Winnebago; thence south-south- 
west to Watertown; thence east to "Waukesha, and coming into Milwaukee on 
the Kilbourn Road. The time occupied in traveling from Green Bay to Mil- 
waukee was four days, either by foot or by 'French train.' the distance being 
estimated at 12.") miles." 

Having returned to Milwaukee from his wedding trip in the picturesque 
manner described, Vieau soon afterward sold out his establishment to Solomon 
Juneau, his brother-in-law, not being satisfied to lead the humdrum life of 
an Indian trader, these two men buying and selling out to each other on fre- 
quent occasions. 

In the fall of 1837, he removed to Port Washington with a small stock 
of goods and was appointed postmaster at that place. "A little settlement 
had been established here," he relates, "by Wooster Harrison and other 
.Michigan City speculators, but the place had been starved out and practically 
abandoned." It is interesting to note in this connection that Abraham Lin- 
coln about Ibis time contemplated making Port Washington his home, having 
traveled all the way from his place of residence at Xew Salem. Illinois, to 
make the necessary arrangements. An article in the Wisconsin Magazine of 


History for September, 1920, describes this episode in the life of the great 
Emancipator, and mentions the man whom he met on that journey. 

Abraham Lincoln in Quest of a New Home. — In a history of Port Wash- 
ington it is stated that the first dwelling house built in the village was erected 
by "Gen." Harrison, as Wooster Harrison, above mentioned, was familiarly 
termed by the old settlers. This first dwelling house was erected in 1835. 
"It is still standing," so a writer states in the history mentioned which was 
published in 1881. "It is a little story-and-a-half frame building with gable 
ends, the sills resting on the ground. A partition divides the first floor into 
two apartments, and also the upper or half story. It was at this house that 
the first votes of the town were polled. 

"This old and time-worn structure has become one of the sacred relics of 
the past, commanding a prominent place in the history of the town of Port 
Washington, not only on account of the relation it bears to the first white 
settler of the village, but because it once served as a shelter to one of Amer- 
ica's greatest statesmen. It may be of interest to mention the fact that the 
great and martyred President, Abraham Lincoln, during his days of 'rough- 
ing it,' once walked from Milwaukee to Sheboygan, and stopped a night or two 
in this old house." 

Lincoln's Purpose in making the Visit. — Professor Julius E. Olson of the 
University of Wisconsin contributed the article printed in the Wisconsin 
Magazine of History referred to -above, and in the article he elucidates some 
particulars of this historic visit, which does not appear to be mentioned either 
in Nicolay and Hay's or Miss Ida Tarbell's works. Mr. Lincoln "s purpose in 
making the journey was to find a location where he might establish himself 
in the practice of the law, as he was just then completing his preparation for 
that profession. Professor Olson says that in an interview furnished by 
Harry W. Bolens to the Milwaukee Daily News, sometime during the Lincoln 
centennial year (1909), Mr. Bolens. who had formerly been mayor of Port 
Washington, stated that the Lincoln visit was made at some period between 
1835 and 1840, the exact year not being known. Mr. Lincoln was returning 
from Sheboygan having concluded after his visit to that place that "it had 
no future before it." 

Mr. Lincoln remained at Port Washington two days during which time 
he arranged with General Harrison for the rent of quarters for his law office. 
This was in the fall of the year (probably 1835), and the arrangement w;is 
that Mr. Lincoln should return in the spring and take possession of his quar- 
ters. "In the spring, however, the floods put a quietus on all travel, the Wes1 
was fairly afloat in the freshet, and the heavy rain storms kept up until Late 
in the summer. Under these conditions Mr. Lincoln decided to locate else- 
where and later sent his regrets to General Harrison." From this it would 
appear that Lincoln's presence in Milwaukee in 1835 (at least about that 
time), while going to Sheboygan and Por1 Washington, considerably ante- 
dates the visit he made in 1859 to Milwaukee when he addressed the Wiscon- 
sin State Agricultural Society giving his views on agriculture; though in 
Conard's excellent work it is stated thai this latter visit was his "only visit." 

What had induced Mr. Lincoln to direct his attention to the lake shore 


region uorth of Milwaukee and to look here for a location for his new home? 
Professor Olson answers the question. Mr. Lincoln had seen considerable of 
Southern Wisconsin during his brief service in the Black Hawk war and knew 
the country had many attractions. In fact the Black Hawk war was Wiscon- 
sin's introduction to the American people, jusl as ii proved i<> be the start 
in emigration from the eastern states to Illinois. "There was an immediate 
and rapid increase of immigration, not only in the mining region, bu1 in vari 
mis parts of what is now Wisconsin, more especially in thai portion bordering 
mi Lake Michigan," using the quotation from the history of Washington and 
Ozaukee counties found in Professor Olson's article "Lincoln knew of this 
strong trend of immigration," adds Professor Olson. "Then he may have 
wanicd in see Lake Michigan, particularly as the eastern part of the state 
was the most accessible." 

Lincoln in Milwaukee. — Lincoln visited Milwaukee, October 1. 1859, and 
made an address at the State Fair being held there at the time. He attended 
the performance of a so-called "strong man" which greatly interested him. 
The performer went through the \isual antics, — tossing iron balls and letti 
them roll down his arms, lifting heavy weights, etc. Apparently Lincoln had 
never seen such a combination of strength and agility before, and every now 
and then gave vent to the ejaculation, "l!y George! By George!' After 
making his speech Governor Iloyt introduced him to the athlete; and as Lin- 
coln stood looking down at him from his great height, evidently pondering 
that one so small could be so strong, he suddenly gave utterance to one of 
his quaint speeches. "Why." he said. "I could lick salt off the top of your 

Lincoln was called on by many of his admirers during his visit to .Mil- 
waukee. He stopped at the Newhall House and in the evening he delivered 
a campaign speech, standing on a table while doing so. Tin' presidential cam 
paign of 1860 occurred a year later than the period of his visit above spoken 
of. All of Lincoln's speeches at that period were discussions of the issues 
raised during the debates of the previous year between himself and Senator 
Douglas. These debates had attracted nation-wide interest, and the able 
ami original treatment of these subjects at the hands of Mr. Lincoln were 
i Ii nil it less responsible for the immense popularity he had achieved when the 
nominating convention met in Chicago in May, 1860. 

Vieau Leaves Port Washington. — "In the spring of 1839," continues the 
narrative of A. .1. Vieau, which is written remarkably in the vein of Sinbad, 
the Sailor's, narratives, "I (dosed up my post, bought a lot of sugar from 
the Indian^, loaded a boat with the sugar and furs that I had collected and 
went up to Milwaukee, where I disposed of my venture, having had an e\ 
cellcnt winter's trade. 1 had started in with only seven hundred dollars' 

worth of ■- Is. While at Porl Washington I would take in loads of turkey s, 

venison, and other game by ox teams to Milwaukee, in which enterprise 1 was 
particularly successful. "When I left Milwaukee for tin- Port, my frame 
house in the former place was rented from me by Governor Harrison Luding 
toil, then a young man newlj married. With the results of my venture I now 
built two new houses and had iej enough h-ft in the fall of Is:'.' 1 to go into 


business with Solomon Juneau who had traded but little since I originally 
bought him out. In the spring of 1840, we dissolved partnership and divided 
our stock. That summer I bought and handled lumber from Two Rivers 
and other points, and dealt as well in dry goods, groceries and Indian sup- 
plies. This store was on the west side of East Water Street, between Huron 
and Michigan streets. 

"I thus continued in trade in Milwaukee and made money, until the fall 
of 1843, when I went to Two Rivers, then called Twin Rivers, and took pos- 
session of John Lawe's old sawmill there. The place was then a small fish- 
ing village of some eight or ten houses, with perhaps twenty-five inhabitants. 
A part of the time I ran the sawmill myself, but leased it for the most part, 
at first to Bascom and Ward; then to Daniel Smith of Manitowoc; in 1845, to 
II. II. Smith of Milwaukee, who finally bought the plant about 1846. I also 
did some trading with the Indians while at Two Rivers." 

Editor's Note. — It is not generally known to the people of Milwaukee that the small park 
bounded by National Avenue, South Pierce, Hanover and Greenbush streets was named Yieau 
Park at the public opening of the same in memory of Jacques Yieau, father of Andrew 
J. Vieau, and father-in-law of Solomon Juneau. 






The first permanent settlement of Milwaukee was made by Jacques Vieau 
who came in 1795. Vieau was an Indian trader and was quite successful, 
though he lost his property in 1832. He was well known for his integrity. 
Solomon Juneau bought Vieau 's trading post in 1819, at which time "he was 
already married to Vieau 's daughter, Josette, so that his relations with Vieau 
were necessarily close," says Edwin 8. Mack in a sketch entitled, "The Found- 
ing of Milwaukee,'* printed in the Proceedings of the Wisconsin State His- 
torical Society for 1906. 

Vieau, however, soon resumed trading, becoming the agent of Michael 
Dousman of Chicago. His son, Andrew J. Vieau, is quoted at length in the 
Wisconsin Historical Society's Collections for 1888. He says that his father 
was "the first man to engage in the Indian trade on the ground now occupied 
by the City of Milwaukee." The editor in a note qualities this statement 
(which also applies to the statement contained in the first sentence of the 
previous paragraph) by saying that "there were, off and on, several traders 
at the mouth of the Milwaukee River previous to the arrival of Jacques Vieau, 
chief among them, Alexander La Framboise, v ho commenced his trade in 

Continuing his narrative Andrew says: "The family name was originally 
De Veau, but as that meant veal or calf in the French, the language we were 
familiar with in childhood, other children would annoy my ancestors in their 
youth by bleating in their presence; so the name was changed to Vieau in 
self-defense." Other particulars about his father are given. He was a full- 
blooded Frenchman but he married Angeline, daughter of Joseph Le Roy, a 
trader at Green Bay in 178(3, and she was of Indian blood, so his children 
partook of that strain. His father's family were quite numerous, the children, 
in order of their birth, were as follows: Madeleine, Josette, Paul, Jacques, 
Louis, Joseph, Amable, Charles, Andrew (the narrator), Nicholas, Peter, and 
Mary, — "a round dozen in all," as he says. 

Andrew's narrative is continued as follows: "My father (Jacques) first 
went to Mackinaw from Montreal as a voyageur for the Northwest Fur 
Company, in 1793, when he was forty-two years of age. His first trip in 
that capacity was to La Pointe in Lake Superior. In 1794, he returned to 
La Pointe, but this time as a clerk for the company. In 1795, he was appointed 
one of the company's agents being sent out with a supply of goods to explore 
and establish posts on the west shore of Lake Michigan. The goods were con- 



Mined in a large Mackinaw boat, beavily loaded and manned by twelve men. 
He with Ills family, consisting then of mother, Madeleine, Paul and Jacques, 
followed in a Large bark canoe, in which was stored also the camping equipage. 

My father's clerk mi That trip was .Mike le Petteel." 

Establishing a Site for a Trading Post.— The expedition started from 

Mackinaw in July, and the first important camping pla was where Kewaunee 

is now situated. Here he established a "jack-knife" posl to open the trade. 
and left a man in charge of it. "My father's expedition," continues Andrew, 
'•arrived at Milwaukee on either the 18th or 20th of Augusl (1795). He me1 
at the month of the river a large number of Pottawatomies, but mingling 
freely with them were Sacs and Foxes, and a few Winnebagoes who had mar- 
ried into the other three tribes. The Indians told my father that he was the 
first white man whom they had seen there, and he was warmly welcomed. He 
had a good stock of -nods, and French traders Mere always particularly well 
received at the outposts of civilization in those days. He erected two log 
buildings, one for a dwelling and the other for a warehouse, a mile and a 
half up the Menomonee River, on the south side at the foot of the lime ridge. 
I was in Milwaukee during the Civil war period (nearly seventy years after 
the arrival of my father), and the places where the store and dweUing had 
stood were plainly visible from the remains of banks of earth which had sur- 
rounded them." 

The editor of this narrative remarks in a note, as follows: "It will be 
noticed that nowhere does the narrator mention Jean Baptiste Mirandeau, 
who is reported in all existing histories of Milwaukee to have been in Jacques 
Vieau's company. In answer to later questions relative to his recoUections 
of Mirandeau. I have letters from A. J. Vieau. dated October _7 and 'J!». 1887, 
in which he says in substance: 'I never heard my father say that Jean I!. 
Mirandeau went to Milwaukee in his company. 1 never heard him say what 
time Mirandeau arrived there. 1 am of the opinion that Mirandeau came after 
my father, but not long after, lie was never in any sort of partnership with 
my father. 1 have heard my father and mother and older brothers all say 
that Mirandeau carried on blaeksmithing and did father's work whenever 
engaged to do it, like any other mechanic' lie was. from my father's account 
of him, a very good man but had one bad fault— he drank whisky, and that 
was the cause of his death. 

•'.Mirandeau married a Pottawatomie squaw with whom he lived t ; ll his 
death in the sprine; of 1819. After Ins death she and her children went to 
live anion- the Pottawatomies again, except Victoria, who was raised by the 
Kinzies in Chicago, and in 1822 she married a Canadian named Joseph Por- 
thier. .Mrs. Porthier is still living (1887 in the town of Lake near Mil 
waukee. I think nearly all Mirandeau's sons and daughters married Indians. 
Louis was alive fifteen years ago near Grand Rapids, Wisconsin. Several of 
the others went with the Pottawatomies to Kansas in 1837. 

"Mirandeau was buried on the slope of the hill on what is now the north- 
easl corner of Main and Michigan streets. When in 1837 or 1838, Michigan 
Street was being graded Solomon Juneau told the workmen to take care ot 
Mirandeau's bones, their resting place being marked by a wo,, den cross, i 


was standing near the grave with others when the blacksmith's skull came 
tumbling down the hank. The greater part of the hair was still attached to 
the skull, and some one remarked that the reason for this was that Mirandeau 
had drunk so much poor whisky that he hail become sort of pickled. I do 
not know how much truth there was in the remark. The rest of the bones 
came down almost immediately after, and all the remains were picked up by 
Juneau's orders, put in a box and placed in the regular cemetery." 

Life Routine of a Fur Trader. — "My father remained at his post during 
the winter of 1795-17 n G, and indeed, every winter thereafter for two or three 
years. Each spring, after packing up the winter's peltries and buying all the 
maple sugar obtainable from the Indians, father would start out with his 
family and goods on his return to Mackinaw, after leaving a clerk in charge 
of the post, to superintend the planting of potatoes and corn and the purchase 
of what were called "summer furs." These were the 'red skin' or summer 
skin of the deer: this was the only summer fur that was good for anything, 
for all other animals shed their hair during that season. 

"Upon his return down the lake father would stop at his various 'jack- 
knife posts' and collect their furs and maple sugar, and often relieve the men 
stationed there by substituting others for them. This trip to Mackinaw would, 
with fair weather, take about a month. He would set out on his return in 
August, distributing goods to the lake shore posts, and stay at Milwaukee 
until May again. Thus he did not abandon any of his posts; he was not doing 
a roving business, but was in possession of the establishments the entire time." 

It is stated in the further course of A. J. Vieau's narrative that his father 
while still in charge of the lake shore posts was ordered by the Fur Company 
to the Fox-Wisconsin portage in 1797 or 1798, and thither he went with h'.s 
family, remaining there in the company's behalf for two or three seasons. 
Then he returned to Milwaukee anil resumed his former mode of life there, 
going either to Mackinaw or Green Pay, each spring, with 'long-shore goods 
and returning in the fall. 

"After disposing of his interests to Juneau in 1819," continues the narra- 
tive of A. J. Vieau, "my father was equipped by Michael Dousman of Chicago, 
and for several years traded at his old post on the Menomonee River near 
the bluff. He was an active man, very prompt and precise in his business deal- 
ings and sociable in his manner, so that he commanded much influence with 
the Pottawatomies. In the winter of 1832-33 the small-pox scourge ran 
through the Indian population of the state. Father and bis crew were busy 
throughout the winter in burying the natives who died off like sheep. 

* * In this work and in assisting the poor wretches who survived, my 
father lost much time and money, while of course none of the Indians who 
lived over were capable of paying their debts to the trailers. This winter 
ruined my father almost completely, and in 1836, aged seventy-four years, 
he removed to his homestead in Green Bay where his father-in-law, Joseph 
Le Roy, still lived." 

Cabins of the Pioneers. — Living conditions in the thirties while terri- 
torial government prevailed (1836 to 1848) were bard but wholesome. In 
the Wisconsin Magazine of History, for December, 1919, Miss Louise Phelps 


Kellogg describes some of the features of life among the settlers. "As a rale 

eaeli family was a unit largely self-sufficing," she writes. "When necessity 
arose for combined labor, .it was accomplished by voluntary services called 
'bees,' which were made the occasion of social recreation. The must impor- 
tant 'bee' was that for cabin-making. The logs were cut and trimmed before 
hand, and people came for miles around to take part in the 'raising. 1 The 
proper space having been marked off, the logs were quickly rolled and laid 
in plaee, notched at the ends to hold firm. The roof was made of bark or 
'shakes,' the floor of puncheons — logs split in two with rounded side down. 
The interstices between the logs were chinked in with clay or mud and 
usually whitewashed both inside and out. Sometimes the entire cabin was 
made without the use of nails. A blanket was used for a door until a board 
one could be made. Windows were covered with shutters, but few had in 
them any glass. 

"The most important part of the structure was the chimney, which some 
times occupied all one side of the cabin. This was commonly built of small 
stones and (day, although sticks occasionally took the place of stones, lid" 
this capacious fireplace great logs were hauled, somet'mes by the help of a 
horse, to keep the family warm in the severe Wisconsin winters. Almosl 
all the immigrants from the older states brought with them furniture, cook- 
ing utensils, linen for tables and beds, and some store of quilts and clothing 
Additional furniture was quickly provided by the handy skill of the men 
and boys. Bedsteads were improvised with one side fastened between the 
logs, ticks were filled with straw or hay and most housewives brought with 
them a cherished feather bed. The •truck patch' quickly furnished vege 
tables, while the woods and streams abounded with fish and game. Deer 
were easily obtained, and plenty of smaller animals and game birds were 
within reach of a gun.*' 

This attractive picture of living conditions among tin' pioneers is made 
more interesting by other matter-of-fact details. "Tools and implements 
were precious," continues Miss Kellogg in her account. "Except the axe 
and hammer, tools were freely borrowed and lent, agricultural implements 
were almost common property. One grindstone usually served a considerable 
community." The neighbors assisted one another not only at house raising 
but at plowing and harvesting, clearing land and grubbing stumps, fencing 
and planting. "Sickness, death, anil marriage were community affairs; 
everyone lent a helping hand, and any skill or ability he possessed was at 
the service of his neighbors." 

A Pioneer Journey from New York State. — The incidents of a journey 
undertaken by one of the emigrating families from the eastern portion of 
New York Stale about the year 1820, form a picture of pioneer conditions 
such as was commonly experienced among the arrivals in the New Wesl of 
that period. The following account, substantially quoted below, was written 
by one id' the daughters of the family as she recalled the scenes of her girl- 
hood days. In an address prepared in late)- years and read before a small 
company of fr'ends, she said: "I will ask yon to take with me the journey 
■which seemed like a weary march from one world to another. 


"No railroads had then been planned, and as a great internal improve- 
ment the Erie Canal was being constructed. My father and second brother 
had preceded us and my mother and eldest brother had charge of the cara- 
van, the mental picture of which may increase your appreciation of the rail- 
way and palace ear of the later days. We may see several wagons waiting 
loaded with household necessities (all else had been sold at auction), with 
only room for personal belongings and places for the accommodation of the 
members of our large family. 

Breaking- the Old Home Ties.— "When all was ready a tearful company 
assembled at the parting, and the caravan moved on toward 'the West' not 
knowing whither it was going beyond that indefinite destination. At Utica 
we exchanged our teams for canal travel as far as Rochester, then wagons 
aga'n to Buffalo, where we arrived just in time for the steamer waiting with 
tires burning at the wharf. We were to sail on the 'Superior,' the second 
steamboat put afloat on Lake Erie. Only time remained to get a hasty din- 
ner which I decided to forego, 

"I had asked about the boat and it had been pointed out to me, so being 
somewhat enterprising, I set out on my own account to make sure of my 
passage and got safely aboard without question. So when the family were 
ready to take ship one silly lamb was missing. In great consternation the 
missing one was sought for everywhere. The moments were growing pre- 
cious. If they should miss the steamer it might be two weeks before an- 
other trip Mould be made. 

"At the last moment my mother remembered my question as to the 
whereabouts of the steamer, and with a faint hope of finding the lost one 
they all came dashing down to the wharf, the horses being urged to the top 
of their speed in dread of beinjj' left, when, behold, the lost child stood wait- 
ing for them, well satisfied with her performance and quite innocent of any 
intention to give the anxiety and trouble she had caused. 

The Voyage on Lake Erie. — "Very soon we were steaming out into the 
open sea which practically was just as boundless as the broader Atlantic, 
for when you are out of sight of land, what matter whether the distance 
be one hundred or one thousand miles. And as for sea-sickness the inland sea 
is worse for the waves arc shorter and the motion more upsetting. Well, as 
retribution for the trouble I had caused my friends, or as a precaution lest 1 
climb over the guards to have a visit with the fishes, I was taken very ill 
and continued so during the four or five days between Buffalo and Detroit. 
The voyage, I think, was stormy but I only know that it seemed interminable 
and that I was very, very sick. I did not recover quickly and was still poorly 
when we embarked again on a small boat which plied between Detroit and 
Monroe, the place to which we were going." 

A few words as to the status of both Michigan and Wisconsin at this 
period may be appropriate in this place. At the period referred to in the 
pioneer's narrative Lewis Cass was the governor of Michigan Territory which 
included the present State of Wisconsin, the capital being at Detroit. This 
area had previously formed a part of the old Northwest Territory under the 
Ordinance of 1787, but in the organization of Indiana Territory in 1800 it was 


included in its boundaries. In 1809, it became a pari of Illinois Territory 
after its formation. When Illinois vvas admitted to the Union, in 1818, it 
became a pari of Michigan Territory, and did not have a separate and dis- 
tind existence until 1836, when it was organized under a territorial form of 
governmenl and took the name of Wisconsin, although Governor Doty en- 
deavored long and hard to secure the adoption of the name of "Wiskonsan" 
in which, fortunately, he did not succeed. 

Territorial Days (1836-1848). "Previous to 1836," says II. E. Legler in 
his volume, "Leading Events in Wisconsin History." "Wisconsin had been 
a neglected section, successively, of the territories of the Northwest, Indiana. 
Illinois and Michigan. As early as Isiid. Judge -lames Duane Doty, who rep- 
resented the judicial authority of Michigan Territory in the region west of the 
lake, had begun an agitation to secure separate territorial governmenl for 
Wisconsin. He represented that the seal oi governmenl Detroii . 

being 600 miles distant, totally inaccessible during the winter season and 
nearly so by land at all periods of the year, the people regarded it as little 
more than the capital of a foreign government; that their votes for repre- 
sentatives could not lie forwarded in time to he counted; that this being the 
home of some of the most numerous and warlike nations of Indians within 
the United States, the people ought to have better facilities for protection," 

While Judge Doty was partial to the ungainly orthography of the name 
of "Wiskonsan." he also proposed as an alternative choice the name "Chip- 
pewau." Other names proposed during the long period of agitation were, 
"Huron" and "Superior," hut the euphonious rendering of the French 
"Ouisconsin" finally prevailed in the present form. Into the territorial lump 
was included a large section of what is now Iowa. .Minnesota and a part 
of Dakota. "Until given separate territorial rights," says heeler. "Wiscon- 
sin was an orphan in the neglectful charge, first of the Northwest Territory, 
then of the territories of Indiana. Illinois and Michigan." 

Albert Fowler, Early Settler. -The firsl countj clerk of Milwaukee County 
was Albert Fowler, a sketch of whom is given in .1. S. Buck's "Pioneer His 
tory of Milwaukee." lie was also the first justice of the peace in the county. 
lie was thirty-one years of age when he came to Milwaukee an. I soon after 
his arrival he entered the employ of Solomon Juneau as a clerk. "He was 

the first white man of Anglo-Saxon hi 1 to settle in Milwaukee," says 

Watrous, and he held many town and county offices during his residence here. 
In 1853 he removed to Etockford, Illinois, where he was three times elected 
to the mayoralty of that city. He died there at the age of eightj oni 

.Mr. Fowler's narrative of his coming 1" Milwaukee in the fall of 1833 
is full of interest and presents a lively picture of pioneer conditions. "Having 
acquired a few hundred dollars." he relates, "by speculating in corner lots 
ami trading with the Indians at Chicago, during the summer and autumn of 
1833, I left during the early pait of November of that year, in company \ 
K. .1. Furrier. Andrew .1. Lansing and Quartus <i. Carley for Milwaukee. Tii 
journey passed without further incident than the difficulty 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 en- 
eamped on the banks of Root River, and on which oeeasion the great meteoric 
display occurred that so alarmed the Indians and which has become a matter 

of historical remark to this day. 

"We pursued our journey the day following, I being compelled 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. George H. Walker who had a small store of 
Indian goods and was trading there. We reached Milwaukee on the 18th of 
November, 1833. After our arrival in Milwaukee, my three companions and 
myself took possession of an old log cabin where we lived during the winter 
of 1833-4, doing our own cooking and amusing ourselves as best we could, 
there being no other white man in the place during the winter except Solo- 
mon Juneau." 

Fowler made a trip to Chicago a few weeks after his arrival in Milwaukee 
which was the occasion of considerable hardship and suffering. "In the early 
part of the month of January. 1834," he says, "Mrs. Juneau was taken ex- 
ceedingly ill, and there being neither medicines nor physicians nearer than 
Chicago, I was started off by Juneau on an Indian pony, clad in Indian 
mocassins and leggins and a spare blanket, for medical aid. The journey in 
mid-winter, through eighty-five or ninety miles of wilderness, was one of 
great hardships, and one' I should never desire to undertake again. The 
Indians predicted I would perish, but thanks to a vigorous constitution and 
a physique already inured to frontier life, I succeeded in reaching Chicago, 
pbtaining the desired aid, and was rewarded with the double satisfaction of 
having assisted in relieving a most kind and noble hearted woman, besides 
the gift of a new su'.t of clothes from .Mr. Juneau." 

"In the spring of 1834, my companions went up the river to the school 
section and made a claim, upon which they afterwards built a mill, and 1 
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 Potta- 
watomie and Menomonee languages with considerable fluency, dressed in 
Indian fashion, and was known among them as 'Red Cap,' a name given me 
because 1 wore a red cap when I first came among them. I remained in Mr. 
Juneau's employ until 1836. After he was appointed postmaster I assisted 
him in the post office, and prepared the first quarterly report ever made out 
at that office." 

Modes of Travel. — There were several different modes of travel employed 
by the immigrants of the '30s and '40s. J. S. Puck mentions in his book 
two men, Palser and Holmes, who came from Michigan City in an open boal 
drawn by a horse following the beach tiie whole distance. Enoch Chase came 
in 1835, traveling in a wagon from Chicago in company with James Plinl 
and Gordon Morton. The first day they traveled as far as Gross Point, 
twelve miles from the starting point, and the next day they covered the dis- 
tance to Sunderland's, back of the present City of W'aukegan. 

"We intended to stay at Louis Vieau's trading house at Skunk Grove 
(in Racine County) the third night, but found the house filled with drunken 


linliaiis. and concluded to push on, reaching Root River which we crossed on 
a pole bridge before dark. * * The following day we reached Walker's 

Point in Milwaukee about noon." 

Edward D. Holton's Reminiscences. — In his address before the .Milwaukee 
< 'handier of < lommerce in 1858, Edward U. Holtmi gave a rapid and interesting 
review of his arrival in .Milwaukee in 1838, and of his subsequent experiences 
as a citizen. Portions of his address are given below: 

"When a boy of fifteen or sixteen years of age I read the history of the 
Valley of the Mississippi by the Rev. Timothy Flint, an itinerant missionary 
of the Presbyterian Church. Never will the impressions of his graphic and 
delightful descriptions of our own portion of the great valley pass from my 

mind. I longed to depart from my New England mountain home and I ome 

a citizen of that fair land. Following the open door of opportunity I made my 
way first to Wisconsin in the fall of 1838. I spent one day in Milwaukee. 
A period of high water was then prevailing on the lake and much of the 
lower part of the settlement was submerged — no sidewalks, no streets; specu- 
lation had raged here through the years 1836 and 1837, and everything was 
now prostrated. Surely a more desolate, down-at-the-heel, slip-shod looking 
place scarcely could be found than was Milwaukee in October, 1838. It 
population was from twelve to fifteen hundred. 

"I turned away from the town then with the feeling that if it was a fair 
sample of tin' glorious and beautiful West. I had seen enough, lint my journey 
took me into the interior of the state, through all the southern part of our 
own ami the northern and central parts of Illinois. At this time the popula- 
tion was very sparse. As an illustration, 1 passed a night and a day at the 
cabin of a gentleman who was almost the sole occupant of the beautiful little 
prairie known as Prairie du Lac which later became the site of the Village of 
Milton, in Rock County, and the populous region round about. The owner 
and occupant of that cabin is now a member of this board and is present 
upon this floor. I allude to N. G. Storrs. 

"At what is now the site of Janesville, I tarried a number of days. There 
were there then three log houses and one log blacksmith shop. John P. 
Dickson, just elected a member of the Legislature from the City of Janes- 
ville. entertained travelers in his more than usually ample log house. Old 
Squire Janes, a frontiersman from whom the town took its name, was residing 
there. At that time there were no bridges and but \\'\v roads in the whole 
country. But the weather was delightful, and who that saw Southern Wis- 
consin and Northern Illinois in that early day. when the annual tires swept 
prairie and opening, and made them (dean and smooth as a house floor, will 
ever forget their beauty, or the facility with which the traveler passed through 
the country even without roads and bridges? Most fully now did my own 
observat'ons confirm the description given by Mr. Flint, of the beauty and 
natural wealth of the country ! 

"It was not difficult for the commonesl observer to arrive at a conclusion, 
after an observation of the surrounding country, that important towns must 
arisu upon the west shore of Fake Michigan, and hence it was that my own 


mind turned again toward Milwaukee as one of those natural commercial 
I mints to which this delightful interior country must become tributary. 

Takes Up His Abode in Milwaukee.— •' On the 12th day of November, 1840, 
I took up my abode iii .Milwaukee, with the profession of merchant. I first 
opened my goods in one corner of a warehouse known as Hollister Ware- 
house, just below Walker's Point bridge, but soon after removed to another 
location on the corner of Wisconsin and East Water streets." Mr. Holton 
then recalled some of the early business men of the period. There was 
Maurice Pixley, a brother of John Pixley, who did business on the west side 
of East Water Street; Ludington & Company, composed of Lewis Ludington, 
Harrison Ludington and Harvey Birchard; Gary & Taylor, clothing; Higby & 
Wardner, general merchandise; Cady & Parwell, iron and tin; J. & L. Ward. 
This firm did a large business and was •"the first to induce the transportation 
of lead across the country by wagons drawn by oxen from the lead mines." 
This business was continued to a greater or less extent for two or three 

Among the other places of business mentioned by Mr. Holton in his 
address were the shop of Robert Davis, Tailor; the shoe shop of Richard Ilad- 
ley; and the store of George Bowman. These were all above Michigan Street. 
and on the west side of East Water Street. Below Michigan Street and above 
Huron, was the store of William Brown & Company, one of the first firms 
which did business in Milwaukee. Next to them was the store of L. Rock- 
well & Company; next, that of Goo. F. Austin, and of Cowles & Company. 
George Dousman was the leading forwarder of that day; and Holton 's store 
was the only one on the east side of the street. Below Michigan, and above 
Huron, was the residence of Mr. Juneau, and the Cottage Inn. The hotels 
and taverns were made up as follows: The Milwaukee House, kept by Graves 
& Myers, on the corner of Wisconsin and Main streets; the Cottage Inn, kept 
by Mr. Vail; and the Fountain House kept by X. P. Hawks. The Cottage Inn 
was consumed in the great fire of 1845. 

•"And now I am amazed," cont'nued Mr. Holton in his address, •'when I 
visit either the northern or southern ends of our city and witness the extent 
of business done. Now, hundreds of people come to the city daily to do busi- 
ness, and in coming from the north, market their productions ami make their 
purchases, and do not get east of the river, or south of Tamarack Street. The 
same is approximately true when an equal number approach the city from 
the south and do not get north of the Milwaukee and Menomonee rivers; so 
numerous and extensive are the mercantile and manufacturing establishments 
in those quarters of the town, where, at the time to which our observation 
goes back, not one of them existed." 

Professional Men and Others. — Following the mention of the business men 
Mr. Holton gives the names of professional men and others belonging to that 
period. Among the members of the legal fraternity there were J. II. Tweedy; 
Upham & Walworth; Wells, Crocker & F neh ; Graham & Blossom; Charles 
J. Lynde; J. E. Arnold; and Francis Randall. The physicians of that day 
were Drs. E. P.. Woleott, Proudfit, Ilewett. Bartlett and Castleman. Members 
of the clerical profession were Rev. Lemuel Bull, rector of St. Paul's Church; 


Rev. Stephen Peet, minister in charge of the Presbyterian Church; Rev. Mr. 
Bowles, of the Methodisl Episcopal Church; and Rev. Father Morrissey of the 

< 'at Inilic- ( Ihurch. 

Others mentioned by the speaker were Cyrus Hawley, clerk of the court; 
Rufus Parks, receiver; Colonel Morton, register; Daniel Wells, deputy sheriff; 
Clark Shepardson, blacksmith; Ambrose Ely, shoemaker; C. I>. Davis, livery 
keeper; .lames Murray, painter; Elisha Starr and Geo. Tiffany, stage men; 
Matthew Stein, gunsmith; Doney & Mosely, founders; I. A. Lapham and 
Joshua Hathaway, land agents; 1'.. II. Edgerton and Garretl \*liet. surveyors; 
Harrison Reed, publisher of the Sentinel; Daniel II. Richards, publisher of 
the Advertiser; Alexander Mitchell, banker; and Messrs. Kilbourn, Juneau, 
G. II. Walker. I.. W. Weeks. James II. Rogers, Mayor Prentiss, ami E. Cramer. 
proprietors, land dealers and money lenders. These were the names of the 
leading men of that day and their occupations. 

Beginnings of the Grain Business. — Mr. E. D. Holton, in his address before 
the Milwaukee Chamber of Commerce in 1858, gave some interesting infom 
tion about the grain business in its early days. "I")) to 1841, no grain had 
gone iint of Wisconsin," he said. "I think 1 am correcl in stating that I 
purchased during the winter of ls-h> and 1841 the firsl cargo of grain thai 
was sent from the then territory. The amount was small: I advertised to 
pay cash for it. and gathered about four thousand bushels which wenl to 
Canada in the spring of 1*41. From this time on more or less grain came to 
town, and I suppose I am correct still in saying that the firm of Holton iV 
Goodall, up to ]N44. purchased more wheal than all others put together. But 
still the amount was trifling, not exceeding in tl ntire year, nor even reach- 
ing, as much as now arrives in a single day in the season of marketing this 

As the grain hnsiness increased there were warehouses hnilt fur handling 
this important staple. In 1848, the first building to use a steam engine for 

the elevation of grain was completed by Alanson Sweet. From thai tun i 

building operations were frequent in adding t<> the facilities I'm- storage. 
"It took three days in 1*41." says Holton, "to ship the 4,000 bushels of wheal 
I spoke of, as the first shipment made from Wisconsin. Now, I suppose, if 
need be, more than as many hundred thousands of bushels could he shipped 
in t he same time. " 

Piers Along the Lake Shore. — The first pier was hnilt at the font of Huron 
Street in the year 1842, by Horatio Stevens, of New 5Tork. He added to this 
a second in the next year, and .Mi'. Higby hnilt a third iii 1845. These piers 
were near together. In 1845, Doctor Weeks hnilt the smith pier. For several 
years these piers did nearly the entire business both for imports and exports, 
until their construction," says Bolton, "vessels and steamers anchored 
and in the absence of a harbor they answered the purpose admirably. "For, 
in the hay. and received ami discharged their cargoes at infinite cosl and 
trouble upon a small steamhoat. or sc,,\\s." The opening of the new harbor 
was begun ami partly broughl into use in L844. From L840 until the new 
liarlmr came into use the little steamer. "C. < '. Trowbridge" performed the 
hnsiness of running up and down the river, taking freight and passeng ts, 


to and from the steamers and vessels in the bay. This little steamer drew 
about two feet of water and was able to get over the bar at the mouth of the 

Increase A. Lapham. — The records of early Milwaukee as well as those of 
the state are filled with allusions and frequent mentions of this distinguished 
man. Increase A. Lapham came to Milwaukee in July, 1836. He was then 
a young man of twenty-five having emigrated to this state at the invitation of 
Byron Kilbourn, and at once became a conspicuous figure among the early 
settlers and later among the scientific men of the state, as his tastes were 
chiefly in the direction of scientific investigations. He studied and made 
known through various publications the physical features, topography, geol- 
ogy, natural history, meteorology ami antiquities of the state. 

The animal-shaped mounds of Wisconsin early attracted his attention of 
which he made an extended survey, and an account of which was published 
by the Smithsonian Institution in 1855. He also examined and described 
several masses of meteoric iron found near Milwaukee on which he found 
peculiar marks afterwards known as "Laphamite markings." Mr. Lapham 's 
education consisted only of that obtained in the common schools, supplemented 
by his own studious efforts. In I860, he received from Amherst College the 
degree of "LL. D." 

In the biographical sketch printed in Conard's "Milwaukee," it is stated 
tiiat Doctor Lapham made numerous observations on the rise and fall of water 
in Lake Michigan by which the highest and lowest and the mean or average 
stage was determined. These observations were used by the engineers of 
Milwaukee and Chicago in establishing their systems of sewerage and water 
supply. "In 1849, he made a series of very careful observations by which 
he discovered in the lake a slight lunar tide like that of th •can. This im- 
portant fact was announced in the papers at the time, and the observations 
were communicated to the Smithsonian Institution. Many years later Lieut. - 
Col. James I). Graham of Chicago made a like discovery at that city, the tide 
there being much larger than at Milwaukee." More extended remarks are 
made on the subject of lake tides in another portion of this work contained 
in tiie chapter on the Natural History of Lake Michigan. 

At the unveiling of the Lapham Memorial in Lapham Park, Milwaukee, 
on June 18, 1915 (the centennial anniversary, it may be noted, of the battle 
of Waterloo), Mr. William Ward Wight made an address which contains 
many interesting facts concerning the subject of this chapter. 

Increase Allen Lapham was horn at Palmyra, New York, .March 7, 1811. 
His father, Seneca Lapham, was a contractor on the Erie ('anal, and in 1824 
the family lived at Lockport, N. Y., where stupendous and intricate engineer- 
ing was employed in the const met ion of the canal locks at that place. He 
acquired experience and knowledge in surveying while at work with his 
father, and was afterwards employed in similar work in Ohio and Ken- 
tucky. On his arrival in Milwaukee he engaged in a variety of occupations 
and soon gained recognition for his scientific accomplishments both al home 
and in more distant centers of learning. 

"Mr. Lapham was intensely interested in the education of youth, and his 


part b of the fret part, in comideiolim of >L&t\^ ^C- fi^L^^X^i^J 
/l^vvw paid by L/ dj 6^ 3-<- t^OZCV 

^___ . ■ — part'P of the second part, the receipt thereof 

is ncrcby acknowledged, do£d "hereby bargain, sell, convey, and forever Q, U I T CLf A I M, to the said pari 4f oj the 
second party jwj heirs and assigns forever, \hc following real estate, viz: ^t!^/^' vl^t^-v-v^/L 


li/Cih Iv-^isO ff £fca- 7^-i^n^ cS^ 

Together with all the privileges and appirrtenances to the same belonging: TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the same to the 
said partis of the second part, Av-? heirs and assigyis forever: Hereby covenanting that the title so conveyed is elecx, 
free, afnd unincumbered by any act of the grantor herein. 

In witness whereof the said part if of the frst part has hereunto set *ti~? luimd and scat , flu* 

£fa^/€Z£^Z£- day of ^tf&-/j fc^S^-r- •" ">* y<"v eighteen hundred and UsmtifA ■rj7fci*^ . 

In the presence of J * 

J? ^.e£ajtJL 




name appears at the head of those citizens who, on March 1, 1851, became 
incorporated by legislative act as the Normal Institute and the High School 
of Milwaukee. This institution became later the Milwaukee Female College, 
and still later the Milwaukee Downer College. Of this girls' school he became 
president in 1851, and so continued until he declined further election in 1863. 
He was a trustee from 1851 until his death, twenty-four years. In the welfare 
of the young women gathered in that college he was deeply interested, tem- 
pering and holding in check the extreme views of the early patron of the 
school, Miss Catherine Beecher, yet advocating the advanced and symmetrical 
development of the feminine mind. His bonks, his collections, the wealth of 
his varied learning were always at the service of teachers and pupils." 

"How gladly would I," continued Mr. Wight in his address, "his remote 
successor at the head of the trustees of Milwaukee Downer College, exhibit 
to President Lapham the present institution in the Eighteenth Ward the seeds 
of which his labors planted and his industry watered!" 

In a bibliography of Wisconsin authors published in 1873, Doctor Lap- 
ham's name appears as the author of a long list of works in the form of 
contributions to periodicals or in separate volumes and pamphlets, on his 
chosen subjects. Of these the list mentions some fifty titles. In a list of 
eminent meteorologists by Prof. Henry J. Cox, of the United States Weather 
Bureau, and Dr. J. Paul Goode of the University of Chicago, published by 
the Geographic Society of Chicago in 1906, Doctor Lapham is named by these 
authors as "the man who took a prominent part in influencing Congress to 
establish the Weather Service, then known as the Signal Service, in this 
country." He helped to organize the new service and for a time in 1870 
hi' served as forecaster in charge of the Storm Warning service. In 187.'! he 
was appointed state geologist of Wisconsin. 

Doctor Lapham was married October 24, 1838, to Ann M. Alcott of 
Rochester, N. Y. Mrs. Lapham died in Milwaukee February 25, 1863. In 
the address of Mr. William Ward Wight at the unveiling of the Lapham 
Memorial in Lapham Park, Milwaukee, June 18, 1915, he adds this tribute to 
tlie memory of Mrs. Lapham: "She was a worthy helpmeet for her husband; 
his papers received her criticism, all his labors her encouragement, all his scien- 
tific tasks her assistance, all his varied successes her applause." 

In the publication of the "State Historical Society" (Volume VII, 472). 
Dr. Lyman C. Draper writes of the death of Doctor Lapham, as follows: 
"Wisconsin's great naturalist, Increase A. Lapham, LL.D., died of heart dis- 
ease while alone in a boat on Lake Oconomowoc, September 14, 1875, in the 
sixty-fifth year of his age. Coming to Wisconsin in 1836, he, probably more 
than any other person, drew attention by his writings to the advantages 
for settlement and enterprise which the territory, afterwards the state, of 
Wisconsin, presented to eastern emigrants; and as a scientist his nam,' had 
become familiar to the savants of both hemispheres. For twenty-two years lie 
served as president or vice president of the Wisconsin State Historical So- 
ciety. The services and memory of such a man deserve fitting memorial 
recognition by the society." 


Rapid Growth of City.- I. A. Lapham, writing of the growth of the city 
in bis history of Wisconsin, in the early times, --ays: 

"No town or city has grown up with anything like the rapidity of Mil 
waukee. Within ten years from the time when the first family arrived here, 
with a view to permanent residence, we see a city with a population of at 
leasl ten thousand. 

"The City of Rochester, in Western New York, lias often been referred 
to as having increased more rapidly in wealth and population than any other 
in the world — and perhaps she has Keen entitled to that distinction. Mr. 
O'Reilley, who lias written a very valuable hook, entitled, 'Sketches of 
Rochester and Western New York.' asks exultingly, 'Where, in what place, 
through all the broad and fertile West, can there be shown any town which 
has surpassed Rochester in the permanent increase of population, business and 
wealth?' We may answer the question by making a little comparison. 

"Rochester was laid out in 1812, and in 1816, or in four years, the popu- 
lation was 331. In 1820, or eight years, the population was 1,500. 

"Milwaukee was laid out in ls:!,">, and in is:',!), or in four years, the popula- 
tion was 1,500 — or as much increase in four years as Rochester had in eight. 
B\it in 1843, or in eight years, the population of Milwaukee was over m\ 
thousand, or an increase of four times as much as Rochester during a similar 

The "Father of the Typewriter." — An important page in the history of 
inventions which have had their birthplace in .Milwaukee should he assigned 
to the inventor of the typewriter, and the beginnings of his useful invention. 
Christopher Latham Sholes was horn in Columbia County. Pennsylvania, 
February 14. 1819. At an early aye he entered a newspaper office to learn 
the printing business, and at the age of eighteen he joined a brother in the 
same business at Green Bay, Wisconsin. A year later, when only nineteen 
he compiled the house journal of the Territorial Legislature and attended to 
its printing. 

At twenty years of age young Sholes took charge of the Wis, sin "In- 
quirer" at .Madison, and later he edited the Southport (Kenosha "Tele- 
graph." In 1844 he became tin 1 postmaster, receiving his appointment from 
President Polk. "Later." says the biographical sketch of ( '. L. Sholes in the 
"National Cyclopaedia of American Biography," "during his residence at 

.Milwaukee he was postmaster, and filled with credit the positions of COmmis 
sinner of public works, and collector of customs. He was for a long tint'' 
editor of the 'Sentinel,' and the 'Xews' which at a later date was absorbed 
into I he 'Sentinel. ' 

While discharging the duties of collector of customs at Milwaukee in 

1866, sholes became interested in making a consecutive numbering machine 
especially \'^v use on hank notes and on the pages of blank hooks. Hi- 
attention being directed to an account of a machine devised by John Pratt, 

an A ri, 'an inventor, published in an English journal, for writing by me- 
chanical means, lie at once saw the possibilities of "a revolution in the 
handling of a pen," and "from that moment he devoted his whole time and 


thought to the idea which has given to the world the typewriter." This won- 
derful creation is the result of his creative genius. 

"In 1SU7, the first crude instrument was made. James Densmore became 
interested, and, in 1S7>>, the invention was so far perfected as to warrant 
the production of machines on an enlarged scale. The Remington factory 
at Ilion, X. Y., was selected, and the manufacture begun. For a long time 
the financial returns were small, and Mr. Sholes, who was to receive a royalty 
on each machine, disposed of his right for a comparatively small sum. Later 
he invented several improvements, which with an excess of conscience char- 
acteristic of the man he gave to the persons in control of the manufacture. 
In the last years of his life, although confined to his lied, lie invented two new 
machines for typewriting- which were more satisfactory to him than any of 
his previous inventions. This last work of the weary hours in the chamber 
of sickness was consigned to tin 1 care of his executors." 

Mr. Sholes' Folitical Activities. — "In addition to his inventive powers," 
continues the sketch, "Mr. Sholes did much as an editor and a politician. 
He witnessed the evolution of the State of Wisconsin from its wild begin- 
nings, and contributed no small share to shape the laws that were necessary 
to set the new state government in successful motion. Although at all times 
interested in general politics, he was never a strictly party man. He was 
raised a democrat, but in 1848 joined the free-soil movement. He served in 
the State Senate in 1848-49 from Racine County, and in 1852-53 represented 
Kenosha County in the Legislature; and in 1856-5? was state senator, being 
president pro tern, for more than a year. He was a man of such broad and 
generous sympathies that he took naturally to the side of the minority. His 
innate abhorrence of wrong and cruelty made him an abolitionist, and he was 
one of the most active founders of the republican party in the state. He was 
a dreamer and an idealist, and though not a writer of poetry, was imbued with 
a true poetic nature." 

Mr. Sholes disliked the details of business and the painstaking efforts 
usually found necessary to make money was with him a particular aversion. 
A man of an excessively tender conscience in all matters pertaining to the 
practical affairs of life he failed to secure the pecuniary reward that was 
undoubtedly due to his abilities in perfecting the first successful typewriting 
machine. "He lived to see the work of his genius," says the cyclopaedia 
article already quoted from, "accepted throughout the world, and to hear the 
pleasing compliment rendered him, that he was "the father of the type- 
writer. ' 

Mr. Sholes died in Milwaukee February 17, 1890, at the age of seventy-one 

The foregoing sketch of C. L. Sholes and his invention is by no means a 
complete history of the typewriter. Such a history is found in widely scat- 
tered publications of which the more important ones are the biographical 
cyclopaedia mentioned above, under the names of James Densmore, G. W. N. 
Yost and John Pratt. 

In a historical sketch of Kenosha County of which C. L. Sholes was one of 
the early settlers (printed in the collections of the State Historical Society) 


it is quaintly remarked by the writer thai C. 1j. Sholes had "always been for- 
ward in every improvement and good work, and that if the spirits of the de- 
parted influence none to worse deeds than they did to him we shall not be very 
jealous of their visits." 

In Commemoration of Sholes' Invention. — On the occasion of the "Dia- 
mond Jubilee," held in Milwaukee during the month of June. 1921, a letter 
written by Mr. Frederick Heath was sent to the committee in charge urging 
that some action be taken to honor the memory of C. Latham Sholes. the 
inventor of the typewriter. Mr. Heath is a member of the county board, and 
in the course of his letter he said: "It is more than fifty years since the 
typewriter was invented, and it was a product of Milwaukee genius. Mr. 
Sholes, the inventor, has never been fittingly recognized by Milwaukee, and 
it is coming to be a matter of remark on the part of visitors to the city. 
Even his grave lacks a monument and a collection is now being taken up 
nationally by court reporters and stenographers for such a purpose. 

"A few years ago, the Milwaukee County Board, of which 1 am a member. 
purchased a piece of ground west and north of the Grand Avenue viaduct, 
and just beyond what was known as Castalia Park. It was known as the 
Winkler tract, and I had it named Sholes Park; with the design also of 
making it a so-called historic park, in which might be placed educational 
evidences of the lives of the early settlers, such as a log house, trading post. 
windmills, etc. The park has never been formally thrown open to the people, 
and I would suggest that it be fittingly dedicated." 


The appalling disaster, known in the history of Lake Michigan as the 
"Wreck of the 'Lady Elgin'," occurred on September 8, 1860, on which occa- 
sion 297 lives were lost, most of them residents of Milwaukee. The particulars 
of this disaster are narrated in the following pages. In point of the number 
of lives lost this disaster was the greatest that had ever up to that time 
occurred on any of the Great Lakes. It remained the most important event 
of that kind for fifty-five years until the foundering of the steamer "East- 
land" in the Chicago River on July 24, 1915, with the loss of 812 lives. 

The steamer "Lady Elgin," a large side-wheel steamer, and the finest one 
on the lakes, left Chicago late in the evening of September 7, 1860, with 
nearly four hundred passengers on board bound for Milwaukee. While pro- 
ceeding on her course about three hours later, that is, about two o'clock in 
the morning of September 8th, the steamer came into collision with the 
schooner "Augusta" bound for Chicago. Immediately after the collision tin' 
captain of the schooner hailed the captain of the steamer inquiring if his 
ship had suffered any damage and whether help was needed, but receiving an 
answer that no assistance was required the schooner proceeded on her course. 
<>u her arrival in Chicago Harbor next morning the captain of the schooner 
learned from the papers that tin' steamer had gone down in half an hour after 
the collision and that a large number of lives were lost. 

Position of the Ill-fated Steamer. — The blow received by the unfortunate 
steamer was far more serious than her captain realized at first. The bow of the 
schooner had struck her forward of the paddle box on the port side, the 
broken stump of her bowsprit entering the sal i where many of the pas- 
sengers, largely composed of young people, were occupied in dancing and 
merry-making at the time. A great hole was opened in her side reaching 
far below the water line and the water began pouring in flooding the engine 
room and lower decks. The steamer was proceeding north about five miles 
from shore and was then about opposite Highland Park, a village twenty- 
three miles from Chicago. As Milwaukee is eighty-five miles from Chicago 
the steamer had covered a little more than a quarter of the distance to that 
port which was the destination of the great majoriy of her passengers. 

There was a gale blowing from the northeast accompanied by rain, and 
the waves were running high. The steamer was brought to a stop imme- 
diately after the collision and three boats were lowered manned by sailors 
provided with mattresses and sail-cloth for the purpose of stopping the hole 






- - -- 


'-'£ Z 

_ y -- 



in her side; but the oars were broken or lost in the attempt and the boats 
drifted away, eventually arriving on the neighboring shore with their occu- 
pants in safety though no passengers were with them. It was the report 
of these men that gave the first intelligence of the disaster mi shore and 
which was telegraphed to Chicago from the Highland Park Railroad Station. 

Foundering of the Steamer. — Large quantities of wreckage were loosened 
as the steamer went down, and the passengers seized upon any object that 
would serve to keep them afloat. In the cargo was a drove of cattle and 
the struggling animals were precipitated into the lake among the passengers. 
Many found a precarious hold on the backs of these animals as they swam 
about, although none of the cattle reached the shore alive. A large piece 
of the hurricane deck of the steamer became detached at the moment when 
the steamer went down, and on this raft-like object the heroic captain 
gathered more than fifty people and navigated the improvised raft toward 
the shore at Winnetka. The steamer hail no other boats than those lowered 
by the sailors in the attempt to stop the leak and these did not return to 
the ship, and consequently proved of no assistance in the work of rescue. 
The raft ran on a sand bar at some distance from the shore and went to 
pieces and most of those who had so nearly reached a place of safety were 
lost in the raging surf, and with them the captain who was plainly seen 
from the shore holding a child in his arms whose life he was endeavoring 
to save while retaining his hold on the raft. Llis efforts, however, were in 
vain, as will appear in the later course of this narrative. 

Newspaper Accounts. — The issue of the New York Illustrated News for 
September 22, 1860 (preserved' in the rooms of the "Old Settlers' Club" at 
Milwaukee), contains an account of the disaster accompanied by a number of 
illustrations, a portrait of Capt. John Wilson, and a picture of the schooner 
"Augusta" after her arrival at Chicago showing her damaged condition. 
There are other views, one of them a large double page picture of the steamer 
just before she sank, which of course is drawn from description. 

The disaster is described as taking place twenty-five miles from Chicago 
and ten miles from shore. The schooner, says the account, struck the steamer 
"at the midship's gangway on tin.' larboard side." She sank in half an hour 
"in nearly three hundred feet of water." .Mr. Caryl, the clerk of the steamer, 
was one of the survivors, and his account is printed among others, which is 
substantially as follows: "Left Chicago Harbor at 11:30 P. M. of the 7th 
with Milwaukee excursionists, a party of about three hundred persons known 
as the 'Union Guard' and their invited friends." The plan of the excursion 
party was to spend the day in Chicago where they were to attend a political 
meeting which was to be addressed by Stephen A. Douglas, United States 
Senator from Illinois, and return to .Milwaukee in the evening. The Union 
Guard was a volunteer military company composed of Irishmen and demo- 
crats, and, as in consequence of a controversy with the state government 
some mouths before, their arms had been called in by the adjutant general, 
if was intended that the profits from the excursion should be used to pur- 
chase a new outfit. 

Efforts to Stop the Water. — In the direction opposite to that in which 


the steamer was moving the schooner "Augusta," lumher Laden, was bearing 
down upon her, though all Lights were burning both on the steamer and 
schooner, with her sails set and approaching a1 a bigh rate of speed with 
the wind in her favor. As appears from subsequenl reports both the officers 
of the steamer and the schooner bad seen the Lights of the other for some 
time before the collision. After the crash a dumb panic seized the throngs of 
passengers. The mate reported afterwards that be passed through the cabin 
after the collision and "the silent women sal there with their beautiful pale 
t'aees. motionless and resigned, sunn to be engulfed in the raging waters of 
the lake." 

At this point Lake Michigan is about sixty miles in width, ami the land 
on the Michigan shore even in clear daylight is invisible. No Life savings 
crew was then in service, the Government not having yel established the 
station at Gross Point which indeed did not begin its existence until June, 
1871. There was therefore little or no hope of relief from the shore. The 
three boats of the steamer were quickly lowered manned by sailors provided 
with blankets and mattresses with which it was intended to stop the yawning 
gap in her side, as stated above. The engine and walking beam had broken 
away from their fastenings as the result of the collision and dropped through 
the bottom of the steamer, thus relieving her of an immense weight but at 
the same time causing another great opening through which the water rushed 
hastening the inevitable moment of her sinking. 

In an editorial article of one of the papers it was said: "A tragedy which 

almost puts a paralysis upon one's faculties, and certainly strikes t hen 

for words to utter or tears to express its agonies." is that of the sinkinc il 
the "Lady Elgin." "The excursionists were composed." it says, "of a volun- 
teer military company of Milwaukee known as the 'Union Guard.' In the 
party were many youths and maidens, the flower ami beauty of Milwaukee 
and Chicago, anil of young and old from various parts of the States and 
foreign countries. Universal merriment ami revelry prevailed among the 
passengers, a band furnishing the music for the dancing in the saloon which 

was brilliantly lighted." Outside the sky was dark and murky, the m had 

risen at midnight and it was able to lighten the gloom only slightly through 
the heavy clouds, while a steady rain was falling. 

The Account of the Captain of the Augusta. Captain Malott, of the 
schooner "Augusta," states that when he first discovered the steamer's lights, 
both red and blight, hi' supposed her to be from a quarter to a half mile dis- 
tant, and steering northeast: il was raining very bard at the lime. "We 

kept our Vessel on the course east by SOUth, Until We saw a collision was 
probable, when we put the helm hard and struck the steamer two Or three 
minutes afterwards on the port side; the steamer kept on her course, her 
engine in full motion. The 'Augusta' headed around north, alongside the 
steamer, but they got separated in about a minute, when the schooner fell 
into the trough of the sea: all the head '/ear. jibboom and Stanchions were 
carried away. We took in sail and cleared away the anchor, supposing the 
\esscl would till. After we hail cleared the wreck and got up tin- Eoresail, 


we succeeded in getting before the wind, and stood for land; we lost sight of 
the steamer five minutes after the collision." 

.Mr. Beman, second mate of the steamer "Lady Elgin," stated thai "at 
half past two a small squall struck us, and in five minutes more we saw the 
lights of the vessel one point off the port bow. I sung out 'hard-a-port,' but 
the vessel seemed to pay no attention, and struck us just forward of the 
paddle-box, larboard side, tearing off the wheel and cutting through the 
guards into the cabin and hull. We were steering northwest by west, a point 
to windward; our course at the time was northwest. After striking us the 
vessel hung for a moment, and then got clear; I went below to see what 
damage was done, and when 1 got back the vessel was gone." 

The Prince of Wales, afterward King Edward VII, was traveling in 
America at the time of the disaster, and the same storm which prevailed over 
so extensive a territory as to include both the Lake Michigan region and the 
surrounding shores of the great lakes, held him and his party storm-bound 
at Toronto, Canada, for a week. 11 will be remembered that the Prince 
visited Chicago in the latter part of the same month as that in which the 
disaster occurred. 

There is a piece of sheet music to be obtained at any music store entitled, 
"Lost on the Lady Elgin," by Henry ('. Work, who it will be recalled was 
the composer of many popular songs. The refrain of the song is as follows: 

"Lost on the 'Lady Elgin,' 
Sleeping to wake no more! 
Numbered in that three hundred 
Wile failed to reach the shore." 

There were some notable passengers on board and among others was Mr. 
F. A. Lumsden of New Orleans, the proprietor of the "Picayune." one of 
tin' most prominent of the southern newspapers. Mr. Lumsden had estab- 
lished this paper some thirty years before the event described. His wife and 
son were with him and all of them perished. 

On board, also, was another gentleman, Herbert Ingram, Esq., M. P., well 
known both in England and America as the proprietor of the London Illus- 
trated News, who had his son with him, both of whom perished. .Mr. Ingram's 
history is very interesting from the fact that he "rose from the ranks" ami 
from a mechanic became one of the richest commoners in England, and a 
member of the English Parliament. About twenty years before he had 
started the London Illustrated News. It was at this time that the illustrated 
papers -first began to appear, and owing to the energy ami judgment which 

Mr. Ingram bestowed upon the Illustrated News, it succ led, and got the 

start of the five or six competitors which made their appearance about the 
same time in London. Since the starting of the pictorial paper Mr. Ingram's 
career had been one of unbroken prosperity, and everything he hail put his 
hand to of any importance had succeeded with him. He was a large landed 
proprietor, and his paper realized a princely income. 

The body of .Mr. Ingram was r >vered and sent to England where it is 

now lying in the churchyard of the Church of St. Botolphe, Boston, England. 

THE sciiooxi'.i; ■ wcrsTA." AFTEB THE COLLISION 





The body of his son, a lad of twelve years of age, was never found. A monu- 
ment to Mi-. Ingram's memory was built for him surmounted by a statue of 
himself. In Harper's Magazine for September, 1908, there is an article by 
William Dean Howells giving an account of a visit made by him to old Boston, 
the "Mother of the American Athens," and in the course of his description 
he notes the monument to Herbert Ingram standing near the church ami 
overlooking the market place of the city, of whom he writes, that he founded 
the "Illustrated London News" with the money he made by the invention ami 
sale of "Old Parr's Pills." Regarding the monument the guide book records, 
"that whilst on a visit to America in I860 Ingram was drowned, together with 
his eldest son, Herbert, in Lake Michigan." 

Thus a reminder of this great disaster exists in a quiet churchyard over 
seas, but few of the visitors to that spot will know the details of the event 
as Ave have here related them. Even our own Howells did not seem to con- 
nect the event witli the monument he was describing. 

Scenes in Milwaukee When the News Arrived. — The news of the calamity 
cre-ated the wildest excitement in Milwaukee and Chicago and the morning 
papers in both cities were filled with vivid details of the disaster. There was 
scarcely a house or place of business which had not lost an inmate or an 
employee and it was said that there were 300 orphans in the homes of Mil- 
waukee caused by the deaths of young parents on board of the ill-fated 

An eye witness related that the scene in Milwaukee on Saturday morn- 
ing, when the news of the catastrophe was first received, can never be effaced 
from his memory. The stores in the principal streets were deserted imme- 
diately, many of them being left open and unattended, and all rushed to the 
telegraph office to learn the extent of the disaster. In walking along the 
streets, it seemed as if every second person met was either crying or so dumb- 
stricken that lie could not express himself, nor recognize his friends and 

The campaign in which Abraham Lincoln was the presidential nominee 
of the new republican party was in full swing, but the political excitement 
was forgotten in the face of such an appalling calamity. All the tales of the 
survivors were unanimous in, according to Captain Wilson, the commander, 
praise for his bravery and daring throughout. He was foremost in confront- 
ing danger and earnest for the safety of his passengers. He was drowned 
within a hundred feet of the shore. More than a hundred persons arrived 
within fifty yards of the beach but were swept back by the returning waves 
and lost. Up to nine o'clock on Saturday night only twenty-one bodies had 
been recovered most of which were recognized by friends as those of residents 
of Milwaukee. 

Scenes at the Wreck. — At about ten o'clock in the morning of the daj 
of the wreck a number of reporters for the newspapers of Chicago readied 
the scene at Winnetka where most of the passengers from the "Lady Elgin" 
came ashore. The surf was rolling in heavily and breaking in thunder along 
the beach, the gale having risen to a fearful fury from the northeast. The 


shore there is an uneven bluff, ranging from thirty to sixty feet in height, 
with a narrow strip of beach al its base. 

"The whole beach for three miles we found strewn with fragments of the 
light upper portions of the ill fated steamer," said one of the papers, "and 
out to sea, where the waves were rolling inure heavily than is usually seen 
even in our September gales, the surface of the angry waters for miles in 
extent, as far as the eye could reach seaward, was (lotted with fragments 
of the wreck, and rafts and spars, with what was made out (dearly to be 
human beings clinging to them. At this time various authorities estimated 
that from eighty to one hundred persons could have been counted driving at 
the mercy of the maddened elements, toward the high rolling breakers and 
surf-washed beach and bluff, from the tup of whieh thousands, with straining 
eyes, watched their progress, and with pale cheeks noted that many met their 
fate in the waves." 

Parties of men were on the alert and ready for the work id' rescue. Word 
was sent to Evanston, some four miles distant, and the citizens and its entire 
student community came up in force. Attention was first directed to a large 
raft coming in steadily hut bravely over the waves, upon whieh were clinging 
a large number of human beings, since known to have been some fifty in 
number. Around it and beyond it on all sides were single survivors and 
groups of two or three or more keeping afloat on pieces of wreckage, hut 
interest centered about the fate of that large raft. It ueared the seething line 
of surf. "With a "lass, those on shore could see that the company on board the 
raft seemed to obey the orders of one man, and that there were ladies and 
children on hoard. The hearts of those on shore forgot to heat for an 
instant when they saw the raft break up and disappear in the seas. Of the 
entire number on board of the raft only fifteen appear to have been saved. 
Among the lost was the brave heart who tried his Lest to save those com- 
mitted to his charge and who perished in the attempt — brave ('apt. Jack Wil- 
son, tin' commander of the unfortunate steamer. 

Spencer's Rescue Work. — Among the students of the Garret! Biblical 
Institute at Evanston many of whom rendered heroic service on that day 
was Edward W. Spencer who by his own exertions saved seventeen lives 
Spencer was a man of slight physical frame hut a famous swimmer, having 
heen brought up on the banks of the Mississippi River where he had learned 
the art thoroughly. As he looked out on the distressing sceue lie perceived 
;it once that it was a case of swimming out and seizing the half-drowned 

people and forcibly drawing them through the surf, as tew or none of them 

were able to reach the shore by their own efforts, lie divested bimself of his 
outer clothing and with a line fastened around his body he boldly swam 
through the waves when he would grasp tin' persons in the water and bring 
them through to a point where others could help them to s footing on dry 

Others followed his example and soon there were a number of resellers 
working by the same methods. The steepness of the bluff alone the Winnetka 
shore, where most of the unfortunates reached the laud, made it very diffi- 
cult to gel a foothold after coming out of the water in a weakened condition. 


Spencer repeatedly plunged through the surf and each time brought out a 
sufferer, though some would escape his grasp and drown in spite of every 
effort to help them. 

But soon Sjiencer's strength began t<> be exhausted and he was obliged 
to lie down to recover his strength after each effort. All day. at short in- 
tervals, he would rise to enter again upon the work of rescue. This continued 
until he had in this manner saved the lives of seventeen persons. The last 
persmis saved by Spencer were a man and his wife. The man was observed 
coming toward the shore near the high bank of the bluff, to strike against 
which would be almost certain death. He was clinging with one arm to a 

piet f wreck-age. and in the other he seemed to be holding a bundle which 

he was trying to keep above water. It was seen that it was a woman or child 
whom lie was trying to bring to the shore. 

Spencer at this moment was almost at the end of his endurance, bid he 
pulled himself together for another effort. "Cost what it may," he exclaimed, 

"I will save them or die in the attempt." S i be was seen far out in the 

lake where he reached the man who then cried out, "Save my wife!" "I'll 
save her and you too," he answered; and fastening his hands in their cloth- 
ing he said to them, "You must swim now for your lives and mine as well." 
They obeyed his instructions ami safely reached the land. Many rescues 
were made on that dreadful day which deserve to be recorded. Altogether 
there were about one hundred lives saved along this shore. 

Recognition by Evanston People.— The citizens of Evanston presented 
Spencer with a gold watch in recognition of his heroism and efficient services 
in saving lives. .Many years later the class of 1898 in the Northwestern Uni- 
versity erected a bronze tablet in the reading room of the University library 
which bore this inscription: "To commemorate the heroic endeavors of 
Edward W. Spencer, first Northwestern student life saver. This tablet is 
erected by tin- Class of 1898. At the wreck of the Lady Elgin, off Winnetka, 
September 8. 1860. Spencer swam through the heavy surf sixteen times, 
rescuing seventeen persons in all. In the delirium of exhaustion which fol- 
lowed, his oft-repeated question was, 'Did I do my best?' ' 

The Lady Elgin disaster occurred many years before the establishment of 
the Government life-saving service, now known as the Coast Guard. The 
strain upon his physical endurance on that occasion broke his health so 
that he was never the same man as he had been before. At that time the 
power to reward life savers had not been conferred on the Secretary of the 
Treasury to bestow medals for heroic deeds, and thus no official recognition 
was ever given to Mr. Spencer who so richly deserved it. But he won an 
enduring fame and will be remembered as long as golden deeds such as his 
are cherished in the memories of his neighbors and friends. 

Efforts to Obtain Medal for Spencer. — At different times during the years 
1907, 1908 and 1909, persevering efforts were made to obtain a medal from 
the Government in recognition of Spencer's heroic services at the time of 
the disaster above described. .Mr. David I). Thompson, for many years editor 
of the Northwestern Christian Advocate, joined with the Evanston Historical 
Society and a number id' other friends and neighbors of Evanston, in these 


efforts. Mr. Thompson was a frequent visitor to Washington during those 
years and often was a welcome guesl of Presidenl Roosevell al the White 
Eouse. < > 1 1 one occasion while a1 the tahle he related the story of Spencer's 
rescue work at the time of the Lady Elgin disaster nearly half a century 
before, which attracted the deepesl interesl of the President. The Presidenl 
was so much impressed with the story thai he soon after caused an investiga 

lion to be made to ascertain whether a medal could not In- obtained even 
after so long a time had elapsed since the event. A hill was introduced in 
Congress but it failed of passage because it was feared thai by conferring 
a medal on an individual for an action so long in the past would open the 
door for many other claims that could no1 he considered. 

Spencer died in California in 1917 at the age of eighty-one. In the later 
years of his life the papers of Los Angeles, near which city he had his resi- 
dence, frequently printed pictures of him with lone- accounts of the rescue 
work performed by him at the time of the Lady Klein disaster. lie was 
aboul the most popular hero of that section of the country on account of his 
exploit at the famous disaster which we have lore described, an evenl not 
connected with the history of California, hut adopted as a part of their 
heritage in common with us dwellers here on the shores of Lake Michigan 

Distressing Scenes Along Shore. — Thenceforward the scene on shore until 
L' P. M. when the last survivor was drawn out of the surf, was a scene which 
lookers-on will never forget. Of its nature the best proof is the fact that 
the forty or fifty persons saved alone- this shore were less than one-third of 
the number that came from the open lake to pass that fearful gauntlel of 
the line of breakers, several hundred feet off shore, where under tic verj 
.yes ami almost within hail of those on shore the majority perished. The 
rafts would come into the line of surf, dip to the force of the waves and then 
turn completely over. Again and again would rafts containing from one to 
five persons gradually near the shore and then he lost, where a stone's cast 
would reach them, yet really as far from human help as if .in mid-ocean. 

A peculiarly distressing experience was that of Mrs. Jane Cook and her 
daughter Elizabeth of Fond du Lac. who had hut a day or two before come 
up the lakes from Buffalo on the steamer Sun, intending to land at Mil- 
waukee. But owing to the gale blowing at the time the steamer did no1 
make ils usual call there and they were brought to Chicago, where they were 
placed on hoard of the Lady Elgin to return to Milwaukee. Both of them 
were lost. William Farnsworth, an early settler of Sheboygan, was also 
among the lost. 

The Damage Done in the Collision. — It afterwards became evident from 

the appearant I' a portion of the wreck which came ashore near Waukegan 

thai the final catastrophe was broughl aboul by the dropping of the engine, 
walking-beam and its supporting frame through the side and bottom. At the 
point mentioned all that pari of the hull abaft the midships, on the larboard 
side, lay upon the beach, a full fourth of the hull from the plank shear to 
the keel. The most rational explanation of the disaster seems to have been, 
according to contemporary accounts, that the colliding vessel carried away 
the Larboard paddle wheel and most of the engine braces on that side, and 


that as soon as the steamer rolled a-port, the engine, walking-beam and its 
heavy frame, having nothing to support them, were loosened and fell through. 
carrying away a large part of the hull. These heavy objects went out on 
the larboard side of the vessel, producing the catastrophe, which all the sur- 
vivors describe as very sudden. It is probable that the first violent roll after 
the collision did the fatal work. On no other hypothesis can the separa- 
ration of the hull be accounted for, or the positive testimony of some of the 
officers be explained, than that the walking-beam went down through the 
lower part of the hull before the upper works floated off. 

The Lady Elgin and Her Captain.— The Lady Elgin was built in Canada 
about nine or ten years before, and named after the wife of the then governor- 
general of British America, Lord Elgin. She was a side-wheel steamer of 
about three hundred feet in length and 1,000 tons burden. She was a fas1 
and favorite boat, and went on three or four excursions annually. For the 
first five years after her construction the Lady Elgin was employed in the 
Canadian traffic of the lakes, and carried the mails along the northern 
shores, while the Grand Trunk Railway, which now perforins that service, 
was yet incomplete, or even in embryo. Four or five years previous to the 
disaster she Mas purchased by Hubbard, Spencer and Company of Chicago, 
to whom she belonged at the time of the calamity. Captain Wilson, her com- 
mander, was a man of ten years' experience in the navigation of the upper 
lakes, a fine officer, vigilant in his duties, and a popular commander among 
the travelers on Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, lie was also a man of 
family and resided in Chicago. 

The News at Milwaukee.— It was Sunday forenoon when news of the 
appalling calamity reached Milwaukee. Inquiry brought the confirmation 
"Only thirteen saved." Out of 400 happy pleasure seekers only thirteen 
saved ! 

"The excitement was dreadful. A crowd of several hundred collected 
about the Sentinel office, and it required the presence of all the clerks to pass 
out to the crowd the slips on which was printed the meager intelligence," 
reported the Milwaukee Daily Sentinel, in black bordered columns, on Monday 
morning, September 10, I860. "Still the extent of the calamity, the awful 
magnitude did not seem to be fully comprehended by the public. That some- 
thing appalling had transpired was felt, but that so many of our citizens 
had been hurried into Eternity was hard to believe. 

"It would be utterly impossible to convey any idea, to- those who did 
not visit the Third Ward, of the scene presented there. It seemed as though 
sounds of moaning proceeded from every third house. Little crowds of 
women were congregated along the walks, some giving free expression to 
their grief, others offering condolence. Never before has our city been 
stricken witli such a calamity. 

"The scene at the lake shore depot baffles description. Thousands had 
congregated there to await the arrival of the noon train, and as it approached 
the crowd, impatient to learn tidings of friends, could not wait for the loco- 
motive to stop, but besieged the train. 

"Then it was that the heart-rending tidings were received by broken- 



Published in the New York Illustrated News, September -"-', L860 




hearted parents and friends with demonstrations of grief thai could not be 

repressed. Timothy O'Brien was the first survivor who was recognized, and 
it was doubtful for some time whether lie could survive the rude but honest 
congratulations of his friends. All about the long depot were anxious 
females, some with their heads bowed, and others too heavily stricken to weep. 
With each detail of news there were fresh wails and wringing of hands. 

"A special train of five cars was sent to the scene. At the suggestion of 
Charles H. Larkin a committee was formed with John L. Doran as chair- 
man, whose duty it became to take charge of the work of searching the beach 
and caring for the bodies recovered. Francis Hubsehmann, the acting mayor, 
issued a proclamation declaring Tuesday. September 11, 1860, a day of mourn- 
ing, fasting and prayer, and ordering the closing of all public offices. At a 
meeting of citizens held at Albany Hall suitable resolutions were adopted 
and arrangements made to provide for destitute survivors." 

The survivors as recorded in the newspapers following the disaster were: 
Timothy O'Brien, Frank Boyd, Thomas Keogh, John McLander, Edward 
Burke, John J. Crilley, Charles Beverung, William Beman, John Doyle, "W 
Elwood, John Gillmore, Bridget Kehoe, Fred Kuttemeyer, Thomas Ken- 
nedy. Adelbert Doebert, Wm. Kinsella, Isaac Kingsley, .John II. Millard, 
Charles May, Wm. Miller, Patrick Maher, James McManus, John McCanley, 
John McLinden, Patrick Myers, T. McCoslen, John O'Brien, James Rogers, 
John Rossiter, E. J. Powers, Wm. Weiger, Fred Snyder, Wm. Sivyer, W. C. 
Smith, P. Walsh, Wm. Wilson. 

A military and civic funeral procession was held on Tuesday morning. 
It was formed at the City Hall Square and moved to St. John's Cathedral 
where a solemn requiem high mass was read for the repose of the souls of 
the victims. 

Some of the survivors had a miraculous escape from a watery grave bj 
holding to pieces of wreckage. It is told of Charles Beverung, the drummer 

boy of the band, that he swam ashor i his drum which he had converted 

into a life preserver. 

On the anniversary a year later in the calm of retrospection, the Sentinel 
said: "Never, perhaps, did such a calamity fall upon one city, as did that 
of the Lady Elgin disaster upon Milwaukee. The victims of the wreck were 
mostly poor — mostly from the Third. Ward mostly Irish. Whole blocks 
of houses were rendered nearly tenantless; and, perhaps never was more' real 
Christian charity exhibited than was there and then. Never was there a 
nobler sight than that of the Sisters of Charity, like ministering angels, dis 
pensing their Cod-directed aid and assistance." 

Every year since 1860 a solemn requiem mass is read on the morning of 
September 8th. On this day the survivors attended in a body until they had 
all passed away. The last survivor, Adelbert Doebert, a musician, died at 
Milwaukee November 10, 1921, at the age of eighty-nine years. 

Number of Lives Lost in the Disaster. — "The loss of life in the Lady 
Elgin disaster is nowadays given as 295," says Dr. Henry M. Bannister of 
Evanston, in his account of the wreck. "It may have been more. When a 
vessel goes down in deep water in Lake Michigan few bodies are recovered 


and sometimes doI any. N T one, so Ear as I have heard, were recovered from the 
Alpena, lust October 16, L880, or from the Chicora, lost January H4. 1895, 
in the same waters. Only about two hundred, however, were rescued or their 
bodies washed ashore from the Lady Elgin, though sin- sank a number of 
miles from the shore in deep water. There musl have been, therefore, a 
large number thai went to the bottom with the ship." 

Doctor Bannister in his lifetime was recognized as an eminenl scientisl 
and his observations are perfectly reliable and ran safely be accepted as 
good authority. The Lady Elgin had about four hundred people aboard 
when she sank and only about one hundred bodies were recovered besides 
the same number rescued. Thus half the whole number were entirely unai 
counted for, the most of whom presumably went down with the ship and 
remain at the bottom where their hones are no ilonht lying at the presenl 

The loss of the Lady Elgin is the classic event in the long and thrilling 
chapter of marine disasters on Lake Michigan. It resulted in poignant 
grief to hundreds of families especially in Milwaukee where the greal ma 
jority of the lost previously lived, and it was the great evenl with which 
all disasters of a like nature were compared. In these days of coast guards 
and numerous lighthouses, of fog-horns and careful regulations for sailing, 
the chances of such appalling events are reduced to the lowest proportions, 
ami it may he fervently hoped that such disasters cannot again occur for 
ages to come. 

Lessons of the Disaster. — When a vessel founders far from land, either 
on the lake or on the ocean, the scenes at the crisis of the calamity are of the 
most heart-rending description. The interest aroused among the readers 
of a tale like this easily becomes morbid, and although it is perhaps not wise 
for the historian to dwell al too great length upon calamities of any kind. 
ye1 the warnings and cautions involved in such narratives have their use^. 
However, it is needful and proper to relate enough to give the later genera- 
tions of travelers a knowledge of necessary precautions, at least such as it 
is in their power to take for themselves. The most important lessons of 
the Lady Elgin disaster were the necessity of life-saving stations along the 
shore which in consequence id' this dire evenl began to lie apparent, a full 
supplj of life preservers (those provided by the steamer were merely short 
pieces of plank six feet long ami a foot wide with a short line looped at the 
end), a letter system of signalling between passing vessels, and a lar 
number of life-boats than were carried by any of the passenger steamers 
at thai time. 

A few days after the disaster Dr. Daniel 1'. Kidder, one of the professors 
at the Garrett Biblical Institute at Evanston, addressed a letter to a Chicago 
paper in which he said: "A principal object of the presenl note is to suggest, 
while the topic is before the minds of the community, that measures he taken 
to establish life leal stations along this shore." Eventually such measures 

were taken and though it was not until 1^71 that a life-boal was provided by 
the Government, manned by students of the Northwestern University, it 


speedily proved its usefulness, and in time a regular station house with crew 
and full equipment was established ou laud donated by the University. 

Other Notable Lake Disasters. — The Indians of the Mackinac Island region 
called Lake Michigan "the man-devouring lake," so we are told by Col. 
Arent de Peyster who was in command of that post when it was held by the 
British in 1776. In view of the dangerous character of the waters of the 
Straits of Mackinac and of the lakes which are connected by them the epithet 
is an appropriate one, as will appear from the record of disasters, a few of 
which' will be mentioned in this place, particularly those occurring on Lake 

The earliest disaster of which there is a record was that which befell the 
Griffin, built by La Salle at the entrance to the Niagara River, in 167!t. She 
was a small sailing vessel of about forty-five tons burden, was armed with five 
small cannon and carried about thirty-four men. La Salle himself was in 
command and in due time the vessel safely reached Mackinac and then con- 
tinued its voyage to Green Bay. Here La Salle left the vessel in charge of 
the pilot and continued his journey in canoes down the west shore of Lake 
Michigan after leaving orders for the vessel to follow him a few weeks later 
to the St. Joseph River. His purpose was to reorganize his party at St. 
Joseph and push on to the Illinois River at Peoria where he intended to build 
another vessel and go down the .Mississippi River to its mouth as that river 
had never yet been fully explored. 

Not finding the Griffin at the expected rendezvous La Salle went on fo 
the Illinois without knowing any further particulars as to the cause of her 
failure to arrive. It seems from later accounts that after La Salle had parted 
company with the Griffin in Green Hay she was loaded with furs to he scut 
back to the Niagara River where they were to he forwarded to .Montreal. 
Some Pottawatomie Indians reported that after La Salle's departure the pilot, 
who had anchored off the north shore of the lake under the shelter of a 
headland near the wigwams of these savages, determined to proceed to 
Mackinac, despite the warnings that a mighty tempest was raging in the 
open lake, which was white with foam. "Mocking at their fears and assert- 
ing that no wind could stay his course," says E. G. Mason in his "Chapters 
from Illinois History," "the pilot set sail in the face of the increasing storm. 
Hardly had the little vessel gone a quarter of a league from its anchorage 
when the natives saw it rolling wildly amid the huge waves, and then with 
its canvas furled, driven irresistibly before the blast. In the gathering gloom 
and floods of rain it disappeared from view, ami they never saw it more." 

There were discovered, however, some relics of the disaster. Mason relates 
that in the following spring there was found "some clothing along the shore, 
and in the summer a hatchway, a hit of cordage and a few packages of beavei 
skins." These, with the head of ;i flagstaff', were the sole relies of the un- 
fortunate craft, which undoubtedly foundered not many hours after it was 
last seen from the Pottawatomie Village. .Midnight guns had been heard by 
the wondering savages above the roar of the tempest, her last appeals for 
help as she went to her doom in the depths of the lake. 

"Romance has been busy with her fate," says Mason, "and has even 


fancied thai the Griffin, shaped as we sec her in the picture in Hennepin's 
'New Discovery,' after the fashion of ancienl men-of-war, her bow and stern 
lmili high and her beat head displaying a flying griffin and an eagle, with 
her five small cannon and all the rest of her antique equipment, is preserved 
in this day beneath the sand dunes of the coast." 

Loss of the Fropeller Phoenix.— The Milwaukee Sentinel and Gazette, in 
its issue of November -4, 1S47. contained the startling announcement thai the 
propeller Phoenix had been burned on Lake Michigan with the loss of 250 
lives, and told that it was "the must terrible calamity that lias ever occurred 
on the waters of Lake Michigan." The following account is summarized from 
the Sentinel and Gazette, a photographic copy of which, taken from the files 
preserved in the State Historical Society at .Madison, is before us as we write. 

The Phoenix had Left the previous week from Buffalo bound for Lake 
Michigan ports. She had made a stop at Manitowoc and lay there for 
several hours waiting for the sea to go down, intending to make the uexl call 
at Sheboygan, twenty-five miles distant. At one o'clock in the morning she 
started on her fatal voyage. After being out an hour or two the fireme i 
discovered that the pumps did not work and this fact was immediately re- 
ported to the engineer, but he seemed to pay no attention to this alarming 
condition. Soon afterward it was observed that the water in the boilers 
was very low. 

Before any steps had been taken to remedy the difficulty, and aboul four 
o'clock in the morning, the boilers had become red-hot on top and had com- 
municated fire to the boat. The firemen in the hold at once tools active steps 
to stop the fire, but the progress of the flames was so rapid that they were 
soon driven out of the hold. The alarm had now become general, tin- pas- 
sengers were all amused, lines formed on deck and water passed up in buckets 
and poured upon the flames. But it soon became apparent that all efforts 
to check' the tire were utterly unavailing, and both passengers and crew began 
to think only of how they might save their lives. 

Tic Phoenix carried three boats. Captain Sweet who was confined to Ids 
quarters with a fractured knee resulting from an injury he had received 
while coming up Lake Erie, consented, at the entreaty of Mr. Blish, to 
eider the first boat to leave the burning propeller in company with twenty 
others, and reached the shore in safety. The second boat, carrying nineteen 
persons also arrived safely on the shore, about ten miles north of Sheboygan. 

The light of the fire was firsl seen at Sheboygan at 1:30 in the morning 
and the propeller Delaware, then lying there, immediately got up steam 
and started to the assitance of the burning vessel. But it was an hour and a 
quarter before she reached her and aid was impossible bj that time. The 

Phoenix was burned t" the water's edge. The rescuing vessel eould only 

take the burning wreck in tow and bring her into the harhor where she sunk 
soon after. 

The propeller Delaware was able to rescue only three persons from the 
burning wreck, and these besides those who had reached the shore in the 
boats were ;ill that were saved old of a total 300 souls. The boats when the\ 
left the burning propeller made directly for the shore, distant about four 


miles. The intention was to leave the passengers on the land and return to 
the wreck to take off others, but long before this could be done all human 
aid was unavailing'. 

Scenes and Incidents. — Among the incidents of this famous wreck it is 
related that "one man ascended to the mast-head and there remained till 
the mast itself toppled over into the lake. As the fire advanced the shrouds 
became thronged with human beings who, scorched by the ascending flames, 
gradually dropped off one by one. Many, frightened, or despairing, threw 
themselves into the lake, in the vain hope of struggling to the distant shore." 

The Phoenix had on board a full cargo of freight, and of her passen- 
gers, about fifty were Americans, including the crew, and l!.~>() emigrants, all 
Hollanders and all coming to Milwaukee. Among the latter were many who 
had considerable sums of money with them. It was supposed that they had in 
the aggregate some fifty thousand dollars in gold. One young girl of seven- 
teen was the sole survivor of a party of twenty-five who had together $18,000. 
An old man, the father of nine children, was left to mourn the loss of all 
those for whose sakes he left his native land and emigrated to America. 
"Indeed," concludes the account, "the whole calamity is the most afflicting 
in its details that we have ever been called upon to record." The vessel 
was insured in Buffalo for $12,000. Her books, papers, freight and pas- 
senger list, etc., were all lost. 

The Burning of the Sea Bird. — <>n the morning of the 9th of April, 
1868, the steamer Sea Bird, while on her way from Two Rivers, Wis., 
to Chicago, and while opposite Lake Forrest, Ilk, caught fire and was totally 
consumed. There were seventy persons on board at the time, and of these but 
three escaped. The Sea Bird was a sidewheel steamer of about five hundred 
tons burden, and was making the first trip of the season on her regular route 
along tlie west shore of the lake. 

"How the fire originated," says Andreas, "was never known, but is was 
supposed to have been through the carelessness of one of the porters, who was 
observed by one of the survivors to throw a scuttle of coal and ashes over- 
board, ami a very short time afterward the fire broke out in the after 
part of the vessel, near where the porter hail stood. It was a little be- 
fore seven o'clock in the morning when the fire was discovered, as the pas- 
sengers were rising from breakfast. The steamer was immediately headed 
for shore, but the wind was blowing heavily from the northeast and drove 
the flames forward, soon stopping the machinery. The fire rapidly drove 
the passengers toward the bow, and then over into the lake. No boats seem 
to have been lowered nor any effective effort made to save life, by the 
officers. If there were any life-preservers, mi board, and there presumably 
were, n ■ was used. Panic seems to have seized officers, crew and pas- 
sengers alike. Before noon the vessel was burned to the water's edge. The 
survivors were A. C. Chamberlain, Mr. Hennebury of Sheboygan, Wis., and 
•lames II. Leonard of Manitowoc. 

"In recalling lake disasters," says a recent writer, "many old residents 
confuse the particulars of the Lady Elgin disaster with those of the Sea Bird. 
The details of the former event are related in previous pages of this history. 

Vol. I-IO 


Tin' Lady Elgin was lost September 8, 1860, and nearly three hundred persons 
drowned. Its loss was occasioned by a collision with a Lumber schooner on a 
stormy night, the steamer sinking within half an hour after the accident. The 
Lady Elgin was a much larger steamer than the Sea Bird. The two events 
were separated by an interval of nearly eight years. 

Loss of the Steamer Alpena. — The steamer Alpena was built in lstii;. 
and bought by the Goodrich Company two years later. She was a staunch 
boat of 650 tons burden, and for several years was engaged on the route 
between Chicago, Grand Haven and Muskegon. The Alpena left Grand 
Haven for Chicago about 8 o'clock Friday evening, October 15, 1880, though 
the weather bureau signals indicated that a severe storm was approaching. 
Captain Napier was in command. 

She carried a crew of thirty men and there was a "fair passenger list." 
numbering in all about seventy-five persons. The steamer as she put out 
into the open lake encountered a gale of great severity. The narrator who 
contributed an article giving this information in the Chicago magazine for 
June, 19112, says that he was the clerk of the propeller Messenger which 
safely made her regular trip that night from Benton Harbor to Chicago. At 
midnight the gale had greatly increased in violence and it was thoughl that 
the Alpena encountered the full force of the storm when about forty 
miles from Chicago at which point she probably foundered. At all events 
she was never seen after her departure from Grand Haven. Not a soul 
survived to tell the tale. 

Loss of the Car Ferry steamer Pere Marquette, No. 18. — The loss of 
the carferry steamer, Pere Marquette, No. IS. occurred September 9. 1910, 
while she was on her voyage from Ludington, .Mich., to Milwaukee. She sank 
in Lake Michigan, between 6 and 8 o'clock on Friday morning, when about 
thirty miles off Sheboygan, Wis. Two passengers and thirty-one of the officers 
and crew were drowned. Thirty-three persons were rescued by ear ferry No. 
17, which had been summoned to the scene by a wireless call for help. 

The exact cause of the disaster could not We ascertained. The weather at 
tin' time it occurred was good and only a moderate sea was running. 

Accident to the Steamer, Christopher Columbus. — The Chicago Daily 
News Almanac fur L918, printed the following record of the painful event 
referred to above. "Sixteen lives were lost by a peculiar accident to the 

whaleback excursion steamer, 'Christopher Columbus,' hi the river at Mil- 
waukee, Wis., June 30, 1917. The craft was starting mi its return trip 
to Chicago when i' became unmanageable and ran into the river bank, 
where it struck one of the supports of a Large Steel water tank on top of a 
tower 10(1 feet high. The tank fell and hit the steamer, carrying away part 
of the pilot house and the tWO upper decks, and flooding the ship with water. 
There were some four hundred excursionists mi board at the time, most of 
them teachers and pupils in Chicago summer schools. In addition to the 
sixteen killed a number of other persons were severely injured." 


The most serious fire that ever occurred in Milwaukee was that which 
broke out October 28, 1892, often referred to as "the Great Fire." The fire 
started in the evening of the date above mentioned at 275 East Water Street, 
between Detroit and Buffalo streets, on the premises of the Union Oil com- 
pany, and quickly communicated to an adjoining wholesale drug establish- 
ment. The fire spread to other large buildings near by and involved a large 
portion of the Third ward before it was finally got under control, destroying 
sixteen blocks which included extensive residence districts. The surging 
flames shot high in the air and the reflection of them in the heavens could 
be seen at a distance of thirty miles from the city in various directions. 

"The conflagration," writes Mr. E. P. Bacon in Conard's history, "was 
prevented from extending farther northward than Detroit Street by the 
strong wind which prevailed from that quarter. It extended eastward and 
southerly to the lake in one direction and to the main arm of the river in 
the other. It swept over the side tracks of the Chicago & Northwestern 
railway which were filled with standing cars, and there were 215 cars con- 
sumed, most of which were loaded with merchandise of various kinds. The 
freight houses of the company were partially destroyed, with a large portion 
of their contents. 

"The loss sustained by the company, including claims paid to owners 
of freight damaged and destroyed, amounted to $160,000. The total number 
of buildings destroyed by the fire was 440, of which 81 were brick and 359 
were of frame or wood. The value of the buildings and contents destroyed, 
as estimated by the officers of the fire department, was upwards of $4,500,000. 
The insurance thereon was $2,111,450, which was collected by the owners." 

Fire engines from other Cities. — Two firemen and an unknown man were 
killed during the efforts made to combat the flames, besides a number se- 
riously injured. Fire engines from the cities of Racine, Kenosha, Sheboygan 
and Oshkosh quickly arrived in the course of the evening and rendered 
effective aid. Four engines from Chicago with forty men came by the 
Chicago & Northwestern railway, the train making a speed of fifty-six miles 
an hour, but they did not reach the scene until near midnight when the 
fire had been brought pretty well under control. They afforded great 
relief, however, to the almost exhausted force of the Milwaukee tire depart- 
ment in staying the further progress of the flames. 

"The region devastated by the fire," continues the narrative, "was one 



of the oldesl quarters of the city and contained a large number of frame 
dwellings which had been occupied for many years by a class of laboring 
men with their families, ma"inly of Irish origin. Large business blocks, bow- 
ever, used for commercial and manufacturing purposes, covered the western 
portion of the region, a large number of which were destroyed. Hundreds 
of families were driven from their homes by the flami s in their rapid progress, 
without opportunity being given by the occupants to rescue any of their 

Relief Measures Organized. --A mass meeting of citizens was called the 
following- morning by the Chamber of Commerce in the exchange room of 
their building, ami measures were promptly adopted to afford relief to the 
victims of the conflagration. A committee was appointed to take general 
charge of the work of providing relief, known as the "Board of Organiza- 
tion and Control," consisting of the following persons: E. P. Bacon, F. <l. 
Bigelow, C. C. Rogers, J. E. Hansen. II. C. Payne, Washington Becker, -las. 
A. Bryden, P. J. Somers, Patrick Cudahy, Rev. J. J. Keogh, J. G. J. Camp- 
bell, Prank Siller. -lames Hannan, and George W. Porth. Mr. Bacon was 
elected chairman. 

A special Relief Committee was appointed at once to which all applica- 
tions were to be made, and through which the distribution of funds should 
he administered, consisting of -1. (i. -I. Campbell, chairman; Rev. -I. -I. Keogh. 
James Hannan, George Koeppen, Prank Siller, Bernard Goldsmith, Adolph 
Meinecke, Rev. Judson Titsworth, Rev: -lames I). Foley. Paul -I. Foley, Cor- 
nelius Corcoran, (i. Prellson, and R. D. Whitehead. 

Efficient Aid Extended. -The committee had the advantage in organizing 
their work of relief of the example furnished by the Chicago Relief and 
Aid society in their work of a similar character after the great Chicago lire. 
twenty-one years before. The report id' the Chicago society was published 
in a thick volume of 441) pages, in 1874. The report gave a complete 
history of that great event ami of the disbursements made in the vast work 
of relief after that unparalleled disaster, and the committee had access to the 
record there printed for their guidance. 

The population of Chicago at the time of iis great tire (in 1>>71 was 
334,270. The loss of life was estimated to he nol less than three hundred 
persons though the number was never accurately ascertained. The property 
losses were given at $196,000,000. One hundred thousand people Were drA'en 

from their homes by the Chicago fire. In tin' work of relief the vast sum 
of $5,000,000 was disbursed, contributed by every civilized country on earth 
as well as by every stale and nation of the western hemisphere. 

The Chicago World's Pair was dedicated October 21, 1892, seven days 

before the greal lire in .Milwaukee occurred. It will he re inhered that 

the World's Fair was nol opened to visitors until .May firsl of the following 
scar, namely, .May 1, 1893. An interval of over six months took place 
between the "dedication" and the formal "opening." The immense amount 
O.f news in regard In the World's Fair which tilled tile ordinary channels 
of the newspapers prevented tin' wide publicity which the great importance 
of the .Milwaukee lire would otherwise have claimed. 


The work of the Milwaukee committee was of much the same character as 
that of the Chit-ago committee though of course was not on so large a scale. 
Both committees discharged their Herculean tasks in a thoroughly credit- 
able manner, so that both cities have always taken pride in the splendid 
record made by them. 

Methods of Relief. — The first and most pressing needs were food for 
those rendered destitute, and shelter for the homeless. The Milwaukee com- 
mittee lost no time in supplying f 1 and money as the first requisite and then 

proceeded to make plans to provide houses for the victims of the great 

"This committee devised a plan for the systematic canvassing of the 
city for funds,"' says Mr. Bacon in his account, "'but voluntary contribu- 
tions were offered so freely that solicitation proved wholly unnecessary. The 
spontaneity and liberality with which money was poured into the hands 
of the committee by all classes of citizens, was a demonstration of human 
kindness and sympathy rarely witnessed. Many of the individual contribu- 
tions were three or four times as large as would have been expected if 
solicited, and people of all conditions of life and of all creeds, were par- 
ticipants alike. Over $53,000 had been contributed before three o'clock of 
the day following the fire." 

The population of Milwaukee in 1890 according to the Federal census 
was 204,468, and ten years later, in 1900, it was 285,315. Thus for the year 
1892, the year in which the fire occurred, it was not far from 230,000. 

"Telegrams were received from the mayors of several cities and from 
various commercial organizations offering aid, which were gratefully ac- 
knowledged, lint tin' kind offers were courteously declined on the ground that 
local contributions were on such a scale that they seemed likely to meet 
all requirements. Several contributions were, however, received from indi- 
viduals residing elsewhere who were former residents of Milwaukee, or were 
specially interested in her welfare. 

"Collections were taken for tin' relief fund in all the churches of the city 
on the Sunday next following the occurrence of the tire (October, 30), which 
amounted in the aggregate to $6,293. Members of several branches of trade 
and clerks and employees of large establishments, and some benevolent 
societies also, made up separate funds among themselves, which they con- 
tributed to the general fund. Several newspapers, both English and German, 
opened their columns for subscriptions to the fund, through which medium 
$10,448 was contributed and added to the fund. Proprietors of the principal 
places of amusements gave benefit performances, the proceeds of which were 
contributed to the fund. By the 14th of November the contributions amounted 
to $136,825, and the Board of Organization and Control adopted a resolution 
to the effect that a sufficient amount of money had been subscribed to meet all 
probable requirements for the suitable relief of the sufferers by the fire, and 
directed that the public be so notified through the press of the city which was 
immediately done. 

"The two principal railways whose lines concentrate in Milwaukee, namely: 
the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paid, and the Chicago & Northwestern, each 


contributed $5,000, although the latter suffered ;i very heavy Ions from the 
fire. The Milwaukee Sired Railway company also contributed $5,000." 

Work of Various Committees. — other committees were appointed in order 
to make more effective the work of relief, one of which was an advisory 
committee to give aid and counsel to the fire sufferers in their endeavors to 
better their condition, and also to aid in the proper adjustment of insurance 
claims. This committee consisted of Bernard Goldsmith, chairman; Rev. J. J. 
Keogh, Benjamin M. Weil. Matthew Keenan, and Peter Doyle. The committee 
rendered valuable assistance in numerous eases. A committee on providing 
quarters was also appointed to devise some plan for temporary quarters for 
families unable to privide dwelling places for themselves. This committee con- 
sisted of S. E. Hansen, chairman; Jeremiah Quin, John Johnston, Edward Bar- 
ber, and Emil Burr. 

The report of the last named committee recommended that barracks be 
constructed for 100 families, or such portion as might be found requisite, on 
such suitable public or private grounds as might be secured for the pur- 
pose. The recommendation was adopted and the committee was authorized 
to proceed at once with the erection of tin' barracks. Before the close of tin- 
week the barracks for ten families were erected in the Lake Shore Park 
grounds. It was then found that dwellings and apartments had been secured 
for occupancy by the homeless families to such an extent that further provision 
was unnecessary. In a short time all the homeless families were comfortably 
housed and provided with needful furniture and bedding. 

The Board of Organization and Control held two meetings daily dm 
the first three days following the fire, and daily meetings thereafter during 
the ensuing week, then less frequently until the loth of December. A few 
days after the fire the relief committee was authorized to give to the bead 
of each family made destitute by tin' tire the sum of $50, and, in addi- 
tion thereto, $5 tor each child or other dependent of the family, for the 
purpose of immediate relief, (in the 5th of November the sum <<\' $70 to $100 
was authorized to be given to each family for furniture, varying accordi 
to the size of the family, excepting to those whose loss of furniture was made 
good from insurance. 

No money was given to any person or the Eamilj of an\ person <e\ inn- 
real estate- or other available property. Pupils in public or parochial schools 
who had lost their school books in the tire Mere supplied with new ones, and 

mechanics who had lost their tools were provided with monej to purchase 
a new supply. Sewing women were supplied with sewing machines and wo 
ing girls received monej Eor new clothing. "The case of every applicant 
aid in an} way, " continues Mr. Bacon 's narrative, " was carefullj investiga 
by the relief committee. It is believed that very few if any received aid Erom 
the fund thai were ao1 in destitute circumstances and had become so in 
consequence of the fire; and on the other hand that none who wej -red 

SO destitute were refused neeiled aid." 

Expenditures for Relief.— I >urinu the winter months following the fire aid 
had been rendered to 1.710 persons, including members of families and single 
persons. mostlj obi people in .the receipl of monthlj allowances |',\ the 6th 


of May, 1 S ! > : ; . the number requiring continued aid was reduced to fifty-seven 
persons comprising- old, and infirm people, widows and invalids. The amount 
remaining- in the hands of the treasurer was $655, which was ordered to be 
distributed among the remaining beneficiaries from month to month until 
exhausted. The total amount thus distributed, according to the treasurer's 
statement was $137,136. 

"It is worthy of note," concludes Mr. Bacon's chapter, "that the entire 
expense incurred in the administration of the fund was only $1,158, being 
less than one per cent of the amount disbursed. There was received for in- 
terest on deposits $1,016 which nearly covered the expenses of administra- 

The systematic manner in which the work of relief had been performed 
by the various committees working in cooperation reflected the highest credit 
on the public-spirited citizens who devoted time and means to the relief of 
distress resulting from the losses in the great fire of 1892. 

The Great Fire of 1871 in Chicago. — During the preparation of the manu- 
script for this history the City of Chicago has been engaged in the commemo- 
ration of the fiftieth anniversary of its great fire which occurred on October 
9th, 1871. This event also claims the particular notice of the people of 
Milwaukee because of the distinguished share they had in the work of relief 
and aid rendered by them in that dreadful event. 

In the report of the Chicago Relief and Aid Society, published some three 
years after the great fire, in a volume of over 400 pages, there occurs frequent 
mention of the aid rendered by I lie people of Wisconsin and Milwaukee in 
particular to the sufferers in that great calamity. The numerous proclamations 
and telegraphic messages calling attention to the extremely serious nature of 
the disaster, and the words of sympathy thus extended, accompanied by more 
substantial gifts of money and provisions to the people of the stricken city, 
are briefly noticed in the following quotations from the report. 

<»n the day of the great fire, the governor of Wisconsin, Hon. Lucius Fair 
child, issued a proclamation, in which he appealed to the people id' tin' state 
for aid to the sufferers from forest fires, then raging, in the regions of the 
northern part of the state. That part of the proclamation referring to the 
Chicago lire was as follows: "The telegraph also brings the terrible news that 
a large portion of the City of Chicago is destroyed by a conflagration, which 
is still raging. Many thousands of people are thus reduced to penury, stripped 
id' then- all. and are now destitute of shelter and food. Their sufferings will 
he intense, and many may perish unless provisions are at once sent to them 
from the surrounding country. They must be assisted now. 

"In the awful presence of such calamities the people of Wisconsin will 
not be backward in giving assistance to their afflicted fellow-men. I, there- 
fore recommend that immediate organized effort he made in every locality to 
Forward provisions and money to the sufferers by this visitation, and suggesl 
to mayors of cities, presidents of villages, town supervisors, pastors of 
churches, and to various benevolent societies, that they devote themselves 
immediately to the work of organizing effort, collecting contributions, and 


sending forward supplies for distribution. And I entreal all to give of their 
abundance to help those in such sore distress." 

Response to the Call of -Humanity. — Prom far away Switzerland was re- 
ceived a message from the United Slates minister to thai country, Hon. Horace 
Rublee, well-known in Milwaukee (having been appointed to thai posl by Pre- 
sident Grant, the year before), addressed to .Mayor Mason of Chicago, enclos- 
ing a draft I'm- $1,500 for the relief of the fire sufferers. In the accompanying 
message Mr. Kid dee said, "this sum is the aim mnt of divers contributions made 
in Switzerland for the benefit of' the sufferers by the <rrea1 fire in Chicago, and 
forwarded through this legation." 

A message was r tved by Mayor It. B. .Mason id' Chicago from ll. Luding- 

1 mi, mayor id' .Milwaukee, on the day id' the fire, saying, that a ear load of pro- 
visions would be sent the next morning, and this was followed up by the 
visit of a representative from the Milwaukee Chamber of ( !ommerce with offers 
id' further supplies and contributions. .Mayor Ludington closed his letter 
accompanying this offer with a warm expression of sympathy in these words: 
'•Yours with respect and sorrowful feeling for the sad calamity that has been 
east upon your once beautiful city." 

Many car loads of provisions and materials of all kinds were sent to 
during the period of distress through which the city passed in those troublous 
Chicago by the kind and generous people throughout the state of Wisconsin, 


The centennial of the birth of Abraham Lincoln occurred February 12, 
1909, and the anniversary was distinguished at that time quite generally 
throughout the country by a great number of newspaper articles and remin- 
iscences concerning this renowned man. The vast volume of literature in 
existence, know among collectors as "Lincolniana," received a great acces- 
sion in that year and has continued to increase ever since. Much additional 
information in the form of the recollections of former friends, neighbors and 
associates has been published, and the newspapers of former years have been 
carefully searched for every scrap of mention or reference to the great Eman- 

Thus we find that Milwaukee has had a notable share in the incidents of 
Mr. Lincoln's wonderful career. In a previous chapter of this history we have 
described .Mr. Lincoln's appearance in Wisconsin, first as a captain of Illinois 
volunteers in the Black Hawk war of 1832, and some years later as a visitor 
to Milwaukee and Port Washington while on a search for a location for a 
future residence. 

Again, in 1859, Mr. Lincoln came to Milwaukee to make an address at the 
State Fair, in September of that year. An article by -J. E. Moriarity was 
printed in recent years, in the Milwaukee Free Press, giving interesting de- 
tails of h.s visit, and quotations from his speeches made on that occasion. 

"Few among us remember the day," writes Mr. Moriarity, "when Mil- 
waukee was just branching out of its infancy, that Abraham Lincoln spoke 
before the people of this city a1 the State Fair, held September 30, 1859, at 
tin' old Brockway Fair grounds. There was nothing about Abraham Lincoln 
in those days to distinguish him much above the average man in public life. 
True, it was just following the (dose of the famous 'Lincoln-Douglas 1 debates 
which had trained the eyes of the continent on the rising young lawyer of 
Illinois. He bad battled his way in a few short months to the front rank 
among the orators, and when the time came for choosing a speaker for the 
annual exhibit of the Wisconsin Agricultural Society Abraham Lincoln was 
invited as worthy of that honor. 

Previous Visits Referred To. — "Before going further," continues the 
writer, "we might state that this was not Mr. Lincoln's first connection with 
Milwaukee. Few among us know how close Milwaukee came to being the 
home of the martyred president id' the United States. Back in 1836 or 1837 
(the exact date is not known) when young Lincoln was a member of the 



Illinois legislature, he began to look aboul him for more Lucrative prospects 
in liis law practice. He was then living in New Salem, and it was aboul this 
time thai he came north fo Milwaukee which was a thriving town in those 
days. He found the prospects hen' favorable bu1 wenl on to Port Washing- 
ton for further investigation. He returned to Milwaukee after a short stay, 
and soon afterward he went back to his home in Illinois." The writer then 
quotes from Henry Bleyer, the veteran newspaper man. who said of the visit. 
"he did not meet with much encouragemenl in Milwaukee, however. The 
same was true of Port Washington." 

It was not until 1859 that Mr. Lincoln ajrain came to Milwaukee, this time 
as the state fair orator. "There was no brass hand to greel him at the depot 
when lie arrived. There was no crowd of hacks or swarming reporters. It 
was just plain Abraham Lincoln, the citizen, who was met by a representative 
of the State Fair board and quietly conducted to the old Newhall House where 
he was to stay." 

The old Brockway Fair grounds were located at Twelfth Street and Grand 
Avenue which was "the edge of the city" in those days. Just where the 
platform stood from which Lincoln spoke is a much disputed question. It 
was somewhere, probably, near the intersection of the two streets— near the 
grand stand not far from the gate. "It was a dusty day. a high wind sweeping 
the grounds, making it uncomfortable for speaker and audience. The papers 
of the next morning made slight mention of the occasion, merely that "at 
the conclusion of the address three lusty cheers were given to the 'Kentucky 
boy.' " 

"That was all." proceeds the account. "And yet hut a few months later 
the country over was ringing with the name of Abraham Lincoln." In the 
National Republican convention, held in the following May at Chicago, he was 
nominated for the presidency ami triumphantly elected in the following No- 
vember of 1860. 

Epitome of the Address. — "One feature. I believe, of every fair is a regular 
address," Mr. Lincoln began. "The Agricultural Societj of tin- young and 
prosperous state of Wisconsin has done me the high honor of select inu me to 
make that address upon this occasion, an honor for w h it-li 1 make my profound 
and grateful acknowledgment. I presume I am not expected to employ the 
time assigned to me in the mere flattery of the farmers as a class. My opinion 
of them is that, in proportion to numbers, thej are neither better nor worse 
than other people. In the nature of things they are more numerous than any 
other class, and I believe there are more attempts to flatter them, the reason 
for which I cannot perceive, unless it be thai they can cast more votes ti 
any other. On reflection I am nol quite sure that there is no1 a positive 
suspicion againsl you in selecting me, in some sort a politician, ami in no sort 

a farmer, to address you. The farmers being the most numerous class, it 

follows thai their interest is the largest interest. It also follows thai thai 
interest is most wurthj of all to be cherished and cultivated and thai if there 
be inevitable conflict between thai interest and anj other, thai other should 

"\li Lincoln then branched into a discussion of labor and capital, the 


relation of one to the other, a discussion that has often 1 n repeated, and 

which has been heard many times in Milwaukee since in the .Socialistic 
campaigns," continues Mr. Moriarity. "But he was not a Socialist. Mr. 
Lincoln's argument aimed rather at the existence of slavery and he had not 
talked many minutes before he struck right into the heart of his subject. 

"He met a willing audience. lie was in the heart of the abolition north, 
in the country where everyone was excited, where the Missouri Compromise 
was being fought out as bitterly as the conflicts in the war that was to follow. 

"Those farmers of Wisconsin, whom he did not flatter, whom he did 
not praise, were attracted to him as a man, and according to the few survivors 
who remember his speech, cheered him repeatedly throughout. They were 
free men, believed in free labor, and his comparison of the lot of the 'mud 
tiller* with the 'free laborer" touched them with sympathy for the black men of 
the South who were held in bondage to the soil which they tilled ; who were 
sold as so many cattle, were traded back and forth as so many horses, who 
Worked their lives throughout, creating wealth for their owners but never a 
cent for themselves. 

"No community whose every member possesses this art (the art of deriving 
a comfortable subsistence from the smallest area of soil) can ever be the 
victim of oppression in any of its forms. Such community will alike be 
independent of the crowned kings, money kings, and the land kings." 

Took Interest in the Fair. — Lincoln was given a rousing applause "three 
lusty cheers for the 'Kentucky lad/ ' "Such words today." continues Mr. 
Moriarity 's narrative, would lie hurled across the continent, printed from coast 
to coast in a single day. He was attacking an institution, that institution 
that while it was tottering seemed to he on its strongest legs, bound to exist 
as long as the South was the South and the North was the North. 

"Mr. Lincoln was royally entertained that afternoon, and it is said he 
enjoyed the attractions as much as any man at the fair. Then- were the 
ordinary county fair attractions of that time, the races, and all was followed 
by a big fireman's parade. He did not get much opportunity to see Milwaukee. 
He viewed the city in his carriage as he rode to the grounds and again on 
his way back to the hotel. He saw many of the improvements that hail 
occurred since the time more than twenty years before when he had thoughl 
of settling in the city as a young lawyer. 

"He may have remained around the fair grounds for a while after that 
speech. No one remembers. lie was just the 'Hon. Mr. Lincoln.' He had 
given his speech and he might go. Perhaps some crowded around to shake his 
hand and tell him of their sympathy in the new cause. 

"The next we know of him in his visit to Milwaukee was that night at 
the Newhall house. Train service was crude in those days. There was no 
two-hour schedule to Chicago, and no trains running every two hours. There 
was no railroad commission to appeal to for better service. Automobiles had 
not made their appearance and Mr. Lincoln was obliged to remain in Mil- 
waukee until the next day. 

"Peter Van Vechten, Jr., then a youngster working in his father's store 
adjoining tin' Xewhall house, tells a, picturesque story of the tlighl of Septem 


ber 30, 1859, at the Newhall bouse. 'He arrived at the hotel rather late from 
the Pair grounds. Many local politicians had gathered at the hotel. Some 
remained around to talk to him, or gathered in the lobby to talk over his 
speech. Slavery was a great question in those days, more important than 
the tariff question of today, and caused more discussion than the Canadian 
reciprocity treaty. 

" 'After supper a number of Mr. Lincoln's friends prevailed upon him to 
make a short speech,' said .Mr. Van Vechten. 'Then' was not much of a crowd 
there, not over fifty men. He consented. 

What shall I stand on .'" he asked. 

" 'There was nothing there, so I ran hack to tin' store and gol a dry g Is 

box. This we placed in a eornei- in the lobby. 1 don't remember much id' thai 
speech. 1 know it was on the slavery question. < hie sentence stands out 
prominently in my mind, however, a sentence which lias often since been 

I do not believe," he said, "that this nation can exist half free and 

half slave." ' 

"Those words became a part of the campaign issue when he was nominated 
for president and proved to the South that the time had come to make or 
break when Mr. Lincoln was elected. 

"Little more id' Mr. Lincoln's visit can he learned. That was the lasl time 
he ever visited Milwaukee. In the campaign which followed there was no use 
of his spending tine in Wisconsin. The Badger State was strongly for aboli- 
tion, and it was in this state that Republicanism and Mr. Lincoln's policies had 
their birth, lie spent the time fighting the question out in the east and on 
the border states, where the battle for votes was to be followed by the battle 
of blood. 

"Then came his election, his inauguration, lapping almost into the period 
of the war. There was no traveling and little speech-making for him after 
that. He was confined to a ghastly business which ended in his own death by 
an assassin's bullet, after he had piloted the country to the' freedom for which 
he pleaded in his only Milwaukee address." 

Walter Distelhorst, president of the Milwaukee Historical Society, in an 
address delivered before that body on February 8th, 1922, gave a most inter- 
esting account of "Lincoln in Milwaukee," which we republish herewith: 

If tin' Milwaukee newspapers in 1859 had told with the same richness of 
detail the story id" Lincoln's visit to this city as they do today whenever some 

celebrity conies to town, we might have a verj interesting picture of the 
incident and of the period. Bui the art of quick photography and of photo 

engraving were not discovered until many years later, so that no illustrations 
appear in the papers id' the day upon which we must depend for the printed 
record of Lincoln's visit; and furthermore, there did not seem to he at that 

early time that intense curiositj on the part of the newspaper-reading public 

for tiie intimate details ihat obtains at the present day. If it did exist. 

the journalists of 1859 did not cater to it. for their reports are extremely 
brief, not to say barren, of such facts as we today would like to read. 

As to Lincoln's personal appearance, we are safe in saying ihat Milwau- 


keeans of this early day did not see the Lincoln with whom we are familiar, 
for the MeClure portraits show that he was smooth-shaven in 1859. His 
pictures do not show him as wearing' a beard until 1861. 

There is a story to the effect that while he was riding on the train to 
Washington a little girl, his fellow passenger, suggested that whiskers would 
improve his appearance, and that it was her suggestion upon which he acted 
when he let his beard grow. 

The Milwaukee Public Library lias mi file only the Milwaukee Sentinel 
and the Daily News of this particular period. Both were morning papers of 
four pages, eight columns wide (as is the present width of the .Milwaukee 

dailies), tlie length being about four inches more than now. Th litors 

must have been unusually busy witli their "blue pencils" on the Lincoln 
"copy," or the papers may have been short-handed of compositors (all type 
being at that time set by hand), for it does seem that in view id' Lincoln's 
participation in the epoch-making debates with Douglas only a short time be- 
fore, which served to make him a national figure, somewhat more extended 
mention should have been made id' his address in .Milwaukee. 

In connection with these debates, it may he of interest to (piote from an 
Associated Press report which appeared in the daily papers of the country 
on October 7, 1921, under a Galesburg, 111., date line. My ({notation is taken 
from the .Milwaukee Journal, the item in full reading as follows: 

Standing where Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas stood on 
the same day in 1858, in front id' "Old Main," the historic building of Knox 
college. Dr. William E. Barton, Chicago, spoke on the emancipator at a 
celebration commemorative id' the Lincoln-Douglas debates. 

The celebration was under the auspices of Knox college, which conferred on 
Lincoln the honorary degree of doctor of laws. 

"Lincoln's high title to honor in that notable series of debates lies in 
the fact that he did not rest his ease on the opportune split in the party of 
his opponents, hut forced the moral issue, and would not permit even so 
astute an opponent as Douglas to evade it," said Doctor Barton. "Standing 
in this spot, Lincoln said to Douglas: 

' 'Judge Douglas declares that if any community wants slavery, they have 
a right to it. He can say that logically if there is no wrong in slavery; but 
if you adm'.t that there is wrong in it. he cannot logically say that anybody 
has a right to do wrong. Now", I confess myself as belonging to that class 
of society who contemplate slavery as a moral, social and political wrong. 
He is blowing out the moral lights around us when he contends that who- 
ever wants slaves has a right to hold them.' 

"<>n that platform Lincoln lost the sonatorship of Illinois in 1858 and on 
that platform he won the presidency in 1860." 

It is not unlikely that these debates were largely influential in inducing 
the Wisconsin Agricultural Society to invite Lincoln to deliver the annual 
address at the State Fair. Vet in its announcement in the Sentinel running 
during Fair Week, Lincoln's name was not given. Evidently this was a paid 
advertisement, similar to our present-day display advertisements, for it ap- 
peared in a '.)Yi> inch single-column spi >n the front page and presented the 


program for the Pair in a way similar to that followed today. It was headed 
"Ninth Annual Shite Fair of the Wisconsin Stair Agricultural Society. Sep- 
tember 26, 27, 28, 29 & 30" 1859." Lincoln's speech was mentioned as the 
"annual address" which was to be delivered on Friday al 10 a. m. 

In the issue of Monday morning, September 2tith, the Sentinel article on 
the opening of the Fair had these words: 

"Hon. Abram (note the spelling of the firsl name) Lincoln, of Illinois, will 
deliver the annual address." 

In the issue of Friday morning, September 30th, substantially the same 
words were used- and that was the day of the address. 

No more space was given in the Monday issue to Lincoln and his forth- 
coming address than to "Professor Steiner" who was scheduled to make a 
balloon ascension on the Saturday following. 

On Tuesday the Sentinel in referring to the speaker said: "No better 
orator for the occasion could have been found in the whole Northwest." 

This is not waxing unduly enthusiastic, in the light of similar mention of 
our public men today by a journal that is of the same political faith as the 
man referred to. 

We learn also from the news columns that the schools closed on Thursday 
and Friday to permit "scholars and teachers" to visit the Fair. An announce- 
ment appeared for several days to the effect that the hanks would close at 
1 o'clock on Thursday afternoon, to permit their employees to visit the Fair 
also, and it bore the signature of a number of banks, but nothing was said 
about the following day, the day on which Lincoln was scheduled to give 
his address. 

Henry W. Bleyer, a veteran Milwaukee newspaper man. who died in 
.Madison on January 19th, 1922, at the age of 86 years, recalled that Mr. 
Lincoln's train was late when he reached Milwaukee on Friday, September 
30th, so that Lincoln did not arrive until late in the forenoon. These recol- 
lections are included in a letter which was written at Mr. Bleyer's dictation 
by his nephew, Prof. Willard G. Bleyer. of the University of Wisconsin, at 
Madison, where he resided. The date of the letter is October 3rd, 1921. Owing 
to his advanced age, Mr. Bleyer was himself unable to write. 

Mr. Bleyer, the uncle, recalls that the distinguished visitor was driven in 
a carriage to the Newhall House, and from there to the fair grounds. It was 
probably after his speech that he made the rounds of the fair grounds with 
the president of the Wisconsin Agricultural Society. Elisha W. Edgerton. 

George Richardson, a Milwaukee pioneer, who was a boy a1 the time of 
Lincoln's visit, told the writer i in a personal reminiscence al the Old Settlers 
Club in the fall of 1920) thai Lincoln walked over to the scene of the plow 
ing contest, in the course of his rounds, the contest being held somewhere in 
the vicinity of what is now about Twelfth and Clybourn streets, outside the 
Fair Grounds proper, and thai his homely comments on the eontesl were 
enjoyed by the by-standers quite as much as his more formal words a few 
minutes before. 

The address has until very recently been practically unknown. Prof. 
Julius Iv oison. of the University of Wisconsin, writing in the quarterly 


of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, the "Wisconsin Magazine of 
History," Volume IV, Number 1, for September, 1920, says that the only 
place in which he found it was in the C. S. Hammond & Company edition 
of Lincoln's works, which was published in 1907, and in none of the other 
biographies of Lincoln, so far as he knows. A page of the manuscript was 
reproduced in connection with this article, the page being among Professor 
Olson's treasured possessions. 

On October 1, 1859, the "Sentinel" printed Lincoln's address in full 
on the front page. It ran several columns. For this journalistic feat the 
writer had been led to believe that the paper was indebted to Henry Bleyer, 
as the writer had understood from Julius Bleyer, a brother of Henry and 
a Milwaukee newspaper man, too, but the letter already referred to (now 
in the collection of the Milwaukee Historical Society) explains that "the 
manuscript was secured from Lincoln by a 'Sentinel' reporter" — obviously 
not Mr. Bleyer — "and the speech was set up in the 'Sentinel' composing 
room," of which another uncle of Professor Bleyer, Louis Bleyer, was foreman. 

This letter also corrects another mistaken impression on the writer's 
part (and this was generally shared because it was repeated in the press 
at the time of Mr. Henry Bleyer's death), that during the Civil war, after 
President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation had been issued, that Mil- 
waukee negroes visited the "Sentinel" office and begged Mr. Henry Bleyer 
for hits of the manuscript penned by their beloved Lincoln's own hand. 

Professor Bleyer writes : 

"Louis Bleyer kept the original manuscript and later gave it to my uncle, 
Henry W. Bleyer. After Lincoln became prominent, Henry W. gave aw r ay 
pieces of the manuscript to various persons, cutting it up for the purpose. 
Another uncle, George, gave Lathrop E. Smith, of Beloit, the page of tin' 
manuscript reproduced in the 'Wisconsin Magazine of History," while Smith 
and George Bleyer were working together on one of the Beloit papers. 

"The story about Henry Bleyer distributing some of the pieces of manu- 
script to negroes from the steps of the 'Sentinel' office is incorrect. My 
uncle (Henry) says that he recalls giving some pieces to some of the leaders 
among the negroes in Buffalo, New York, after he moved to Buffalo in 1860, 
but not to any negroes in Milwaukee." 

The manuscript, Mr. Bleyer says, was in large part written in ink on 
legal cap paper, "but apparently on the (rain Lincoln had written a page 
about the importance of the steam plow, in lead pencil." 

Referring to the page of the manuscript reproduced in the Historical 
Society quarterly, Professor Olson says in his article that "a 'Sentinel' 
printer" gave it to Mr. Smith that same year (1859), and ultimately it 
came into his (Professor Olson's) possession. 

The headline over the article in the "Sentinel" on the day after the 
address was a single line of small blackfaced type — "Hon. Abram Lincoln's 
Address." The introduction follows: 

In another column we publish in full the very able address of Abram 
Lincoln, of Illinois, before the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society. It is 
in every sense a practicable and readable effort and will receive attentive 


perusal. Yesterday ;i high wind combined with the dusl rendered the day 

s >wha1 unfavorable bu1 there was ;i large attendance al the Pair Grounds 

nevertheless. At 11 o'clock the plank auditorium a1 Brockway's was filled 
with an expectant crowd waiting with commendable patience the appeal 
ance of Abram Lincoln who bad been announced to deliver the address at 
10 o'clock. It was qo1 Ear from noon when the distinguished gentleman 
made his appearance and be was immediately welcomed with clapping of 
hands and a stamping of feel <m the raised scats which caused the afon 
mentioned Brockway to show considerable nervousness. Upon being in- 
troduced Mr. Lincoln waited a few minutes for the applause to subside and 
spoke as follows. 

Just before the opening of the Wisconsin State Pair late in August, 
1921, the .Milwaukee "Journal" ran a considerable portion of Lincoln's 
address delivered at the Fair sixty-two years before, under title of "Here's 
Lincoln Message to Wisconsin Fair in 1859," two lines of type across two 
columns, the letters being half an inch high. 

The address" in full can be found at the Public Library, so only two 
excerpts will be given : 

"1 presume 1 am not expected to employ the time assigned me in the 
mere flattery of the farmers as a class. My opinion of them is that, in 
proportion to numbers, they are neither better nor worse than other people. 
In the nature of things they are more numerous than any other class, and 
I believe then' are really more attempts at flattering them than any other, 
the reason of which I cannot perceive, unless i1 be that they can cast more 
votes than any other. On reflection, I am not quite sure that there is not 
cause of suspicion against you in selecting me, in some sort a politician, 
and in no sort a farmer, to address you. 

"But farmers being the most numerous class, it follows that their interesl 
is the largest interest. It also follows that that interest is most worthy 
of all to he cherished and cultivated — that if there he inevitable conflict 
between that interest and any other, that other should yield. 

"hi all this, book learning is available. A capacity and taste for reading 
c-ives access to whatever has already been discovered by others. It is the 
key. or one of the beys, to the already Solved problems. And not only SO; 
it gives a relish and facility for successfully pursuing the unsolved ones. 
The rudiments of science are available, and bighly available. Some knowl- 
edge of botany assists in the dealing with the vegetable world with all 
growing crops. Chemistry assists in the analysis of soils, selection ami ap- 
plication of manures ami in numerous other ways. The mechanical branches 
of natural philosophy are ready help in almost everything, but especially 
in reference to implements and machinery. 

"The thought recurs that education— cultivated thought- can best be 
combined with agricultural labor, on the principle of thorough work; 

that careless, half-performed, slovenly work makes no place for such 

a combination: and thorough work, again, renders sufficient the smallest 

quantity of ground to man: and this, again, < forms to what musl occur 

in a world less inclined to wars and more devoted to the arts of peace than 


heretofore. Population must increase rapidly, more rapidly than in former 
limes, and ere long the most valuable of all arts will be the art of deriving 
a comfortable subsistence from the smallest area of soil. No community 
whose every member possesses this art can ever be the victim of oppression 
in any of its forms. Such community will be alike independent of crowned 
kings, money kings and land kings." 

In the Sentinel art'cle, after the text of the address we find the following: 

"At the conclusion of the address three hearty cheers were given for 
the 'Kentucky boy' and the Secretary proceeded to read the awards of the 
premiums. " 

In the Daily News of the same date we read that the speaker occupied 
an "elevated stand" — and the article does not contain much els-, the editor 
going on to explain the reason for the brevity of the mention (tin article 
also appeared on the front page) in these words: 

"Mr. Lincoln's address was a written one and will doubtless be pub- 
lished, hence we refrain from giving a synopsis id' it. .Mr. Lincoln 
spoke about an hour and was listened to with attention by the large auditory, 
lie is a man of ability and is possessed of a stentorian voice which could 
be distinctly heard by every person in the vast assemblage." 

The Daily News, which was democratic, made another mention of the 
occasion on its editorial page. This was headed "In Questionable Taste" 
and refers to the short speeeh made by Lincoln the evening before at the 
Newhall House. Some of Lincoln's friends had gathered there after dinner 
and insisted on his addressing them. 

We read : 

"There is some diversity of opinion as to the propriety of bringing black 
republican speakers here to make political speeches under the auspices id' 
the State Agricultural Society." 

Peter Van Vechten gave some reminiscences of this Newhall House ad- 
dress in an article written for the Milwaukee Free Press of February 12, 
1911, by J. E. Moriarity. Mr. Van Vechten worked in his father's store 
adjoining the NewhaU House at the time, and brought a box from the store 
fin' the speaker to stand on. (This is corroborated in Professor Bleyer's 
letter.) .Mr. Van Veehten's recollection as here given is that about fifty 
persons heard this talk, but tin' Daily News, from which the foregoing 
quotations were taken, was probably nearer right when it gave the number 
as 250. 

(Newhall House, which was located on the northwest corner of Michigan 
Street and Broadway, was on January 10th, 1883, the scene of one of Mil- 
waukee's greatest tragedies, when it was destroyed by tire and sixty-four 
persons lost their lives. In Lincoln's day it was the largest and finest hole] 
in the West, being of brick, six stories high and having 300 rooms, accord- 
ing to the "History of Milwaukee," 1663 pages, published by the Western 
Historical Company, of Chicago, in 1881. The hotel was built by Daniel 
Newhall ami his associates in 1857 (p. 1426), and the property, including 
building, site and furnishings, represented an outlay of $270,000. Messrs. 
M. Kean and A. M. Rice were the landlords at the time of Lincoln's visit.) 

Vol. 1—11 


A letter from \V. P. Powers, of Los Angeles, Cal., appeared in the Mil- 
waukee Journal of September 4th. 1921, which throws considerable light 
mi Lincoln's visit to Milwaukee. David J. Powers, mentioned in the letter 
was the secretary of the Agricultural Society, under whose auspices Lincoln 
spoke. The letter follows: 

"In 1859 my father, David J. Powers, in arranging for the State Pair 
al Milwaukee, invited Abraham Lincoln, a lawyer of Springfield, Illinois. 
In dr|i\ .■!• the address. 

"Mr. Lincoln had become widely known through the debates between 
himself and Stephen A. Douglas. 

"To the first letter of invitation, written in July, no answer was re- 
ceived, and a second letter written a few- weeks later broughl the following 
reply : 

" 'Dear Sir: — Reaching I ie after an absence of nine days 1 find yours 

of the twelfth. I have also received that of July 27th: and to lie plain. I 
disliked to decline the honor you tendered me. Two difficulties were in the 
way — first, I could not well spare the time from the courts: and secondly, 
I had no address of the sorl prepared, and could scarcely spare the time 
to prepare one: and 1 was waiting, before answering yours, to determine 
whether these difficulties could lie surmounted. I will write you definitely mi 
the first of September, if you can safely delay so long. 

"•Yours very truly. A. LINCOLN'.' 

"Upon receipt of the letter my father, reading between the lines, thought 
In- saw the real reason for the stand-off when he remembered that he had 
said nothing about compensation in either of the previous letters, lie there- 
upon wrote him again, saying he had neglected to mention in his former 
letters that there would he a compensation of .^loO, which appeared to strike 
him favorably, as in a few days a letter came to the effect that he was 
phased to say that he had so arranged matters in the courts that he could 

"He came and delivered the address and j| appears in some of the lives 
of Lincoln, interested as he was in the absorbing topics, of tiie day. he was 
little adapted to a talk to farmers, and the address nave slight promise of 
the wonderful heights to wh'ch his genius later mi attai I. 

"His address was largely devoted to the desirability of steam plows, a 
want that is now so happily filled by the modern tractor of which he seemed 
to have a vision. 

"He was careful in his address to avoid anything of a political nature 
hut in the evening at the old Newhall House, to a select company of those 
of his own faith, he freely held forth on the suliject that was nexl to his 

".My father said he had given tie- letter to the Illinois State Historical 
Society, and it is now in the Lincoln Memorial Collection at Springfield, 


"Now conies to the writer, the i nt crest ' ng part of this matter. At the 
San Francisco Exposition in 1915, entering the Lincoln .Memorial room in 
the Illinois Building, my attention was attracted to a frame over which 


was the inscription, 'Letters of Abraham Lincoln previous to I860.' Re- 
membering the story often told by my father, I intuitively looked at the 
letters under the glass in the frame and to my surprise and delight the 
first one I saw was addressed to D. J. Powers." 

There is more to the letter, but the rest is of a personal nature and 
has no special bearing on this particular subject. 

At the time of Lincoln's visit Milwaukee had a population of about 
forty-six thousand.. The edge of town was at about Twelfth Street, and the 
stand from which Lincoln spoke was probably close to what is now the 
corner of Twelfth Street and Grand Avenue, or perhaps a little to the north 
of this spot. 

Mr. Lincoln on leaving the grounds was driven about the city. Accord- 
ing to Mr. Richardson's recollection, he attracted comparatively little atten- 
tion, and Mr. Richardson himself, with others, did not stay for more than 
a part of the address at the Pair, little realizing that they were in the 
presence of a later president of the United States and one of the greatest 
figures of all time. 

On October 4th, following Lincoln's address in .Milwaukee, he gave an 
address during the afternoon at Beloit and during the evening af Janes- 
ville, both being political addresses. 

In view of the manner in which the Milwaukee papers handled Lincoln's 
speech, it is unlikely that he was at that time considered seriously as a 
candidate for the presidency. This reminder is found in the Carl Schurz 
essay, "Abraham Lincoln" (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1891): 

"As late as April, 1859, he had written to a friend who had approached 
him on the subject that he did not think himself tit for the presidency. 
The vice-presidency was then the limit of his ambition." 

Lincoln's visit to Wisconsin on the occasion of his address at the State 
Fair at Milwaukee in 1859 was his third to this state. 

His first visit was in 1832 during his participation in the Black Hawk 
war. He was among the first to respond to the call of Governor Reynolds 
for volunteers to repel the invasion of Black [lawk. It is an early testi- 
monial to Ins leadership that at the age of twenty-three he was chosen 
captain by his fellow militiamen. His power over men was shown when he 
defended an old Indian who strayed into camp and was detained because 
the men though! he was a spy, and they wanted blood. 

Before Lincoln's company go1 as far as Wisconsin, however, it was mus- 
tered out; and on the same day (May l2Sthi he re-enlisted as a private in 
the Independent Spj Company and with that organization crossed the state 
line near Beloit on June 30, 1832. 

With the company Lincoln pushed north, but they did not come in con- 
tact with the enemy, and no fighting was done. On July 10th they wen 1 
'mustered out near Fort Atkinson, and returned home before the battles of 
Wisconsin Heights ami Bad Axe, with which the Black Hawk war was 
ended on August 2d. In all Lincoln spent about two weeks in Wisconsin 
at that time. 

The Black Hawk war episode was an important one in the life of the 


future president, because ii broughl him to the notice of Maj. John K. Stuart, 
the Springfield lawyer, which resulted in the latter's giving Lincoln en- 
couragemenl and assistance in his law studies, and in his inviting Lincoln 

in 1837 to become his law partner. 

The record of Lincoln's second visit to Wisconsin to which reference is 
made also in Professor Olson's article is found largely in the "Historj of 
Washington and Ozaukee Counties," 1881, Western Historical Company, 
Chicago. The visil is more or less shrouded in mystery, If Lincoln did 
come to Wisconsin, and it is very likely that he did, in the ligh.1 of what 
follows, then of course he visited .Milwaukee also. 

On page 508 of the "History" we read: 

"The lirst dwelling house buill in the village was erected bj Gen. 
(Wooster) Harrison in 1835. It is still standing (1881), apparently in a 
good state of preservation. It is a little story-and-a-half frame building, 
gable end. the silk resting on the ground. A partition divides the lirst floot 
into two apartments, and also the upper or half story. It was at this bouse 
that the first votes of the town were polled. This old and time worn si mc 
ture has become one of the sacred relics of the past, commanding a prom- 
inent in the history of the town of Port Washington, not only on 
account of the relation it hears to the first white settler of tin' village, bu1 
because it once served as a shelter to one of America's greatesl states 
men. It may he of interest to mention the fact that the greal and martyred 
president, Abraham Lincoln, during his days of roughing it, once walked 
from Milwaukee to Sheboygan, and stopped a night in this old house. After 
the defeat of the Merrimac by the Monitor, .Mr. Lincoln, in company with 
some of his Cabinet officers, visited Fortress Monroe to gel a practical knowl- 
edge of the fort. While viewing the works, desiring some information, lie 
approached an officer, who proved to he ('apt. Berger, from Port Washing- 
ton. 'Well, my man.' said Lincoln, 'where are you from.'' 'Porl Wash 
ington,' replied the Captain. 'Por1 Washington— le1 me see: that is in 
Wisconsin about twenty-five miles north of Milwaukee is it not.'' The Cap- 
tain answered that it was. "1 stopped there over night once.' said the 
President; 'jusl name over some of tin' men who lived there in the early 
days.' The Captain proceeded to name over quite a number, finally men 
tioning thai of Harrison. 'Harrison, that is the man!' said .Mi-. Lincoln. I 
remember him well.' He then walked off to join Ids escort, Leaving Capt. 
Berger very much elated to think that his town hail been honored h\ the 
presence of so great a man." 

Harry W. Bolens, ex mayor of Port Washington, and a well known journal- 
ist, in an interview in the Milwaukee Daily News during the year of the 
Lincoln centenary (1909), supplemented this story. He said that the visit 
occurred some time between 1836 and L840. Lincoln also visited Sheboygan, 

Mi'. Bolens said. L't In returned at once to l'ort Washington and stopped 

there for two days, during which ii he rented quarters for a law office 

from General Harrison, This was in the fall. It was Lincoln's intention 
to return in the spring, hut Hoods prevented all travel in the Middle West 


during the following year, rains continuing till early fall, so Lincoln sent 
his regrets to Harrison and remained in Illinois. 

Professor Olson thinks that all this may he true. The records show an 
abnormally heavy rainfall during 1836. Furthermore, Ann Rutledge died 
on August 25, 1835, the great tragedy of Lincoln's life. He was driven 
nearly msane with grief, Ave read in all his biographies. Friends urged a 
change of scene, and his Wisconsin trip probably resulted, there being 
some weeks at this period in his life which none of his biographers can 
account for satisfactorily. 

In this connection, biographers and lecturers on Lincoln call attention 
to his great liking for William Knox's poem "0, Why Should the Spirit 
Of Mortal he Proud?" He often quoted passages from it during these 
dark days. 

(The first stanza is as follows: 


Oh, why should the spirit of mortal he proud? 
Like a swift-flitting meteor, a fast-flying cloud, 
A flash of the lightning, a break of the wave, 
lie passeth from life to his rest in the grave.) 

Carl Schurz, considering this great tragedy, writes in his essay on "Abra- 
ham Lincoln" : 

"In the meantime he had private sorrows and trials of a painfully afflict- 
ing nature. He had loved and been loved by a fair and estimable girl, Ann 
Rutledge, who died in the flower of her youth and beauty, and he mourned 
her loss with such intensity of grief that his friends feared for his reason. 
Recovering from his morbid depression, he bestowed what he thought a now 
affection upon another lady, who refused him. And finally, moderately 
prosperous in his worldly affairs, and having prospects of political distinc- 
tion before him, he paid his addresses to Mary Todd, of Kentucky, and was 
accepted. Bui then tormenting doubts of the genuineness of his own affec- 
tion for her, of the compatibility of their characters, and of their future 
happiness came upon him. His distress was so great that he felt li mself 
in danger of suicide, and feared to carry a pocketknife with him ; and he 
gave mortal offense to his bride by not appearing on the appointed wedding 
day. Xow the torturing consciousness id' the wrong he had done her grew 
unendurable. He won back her affection, ended the agony by marrying her, 
and became a faithful and patient husband and a good father. Hut it was 
no secret to those who knew the family well, that ins domestic life was full 
of trials. The erratic temper of his wife not seldom put the gentleness of 
his nature to the severest tests; and these troubles and struggles, which 
accompanied him through all the vicissitudes of his life from the modest 
home in Springfield to the White House at Washington, adding untold private 
heartburnings to his public cares, and sometimes precipitating upon him 
incredible embarrassments in the discharge of his public duties, form one of 
the most pathetic features of his career." 

Two years before Lincoln's trip through Milwaukee to Port Washing 


ton and Sheboygan, a pioneer Norwegian, EQeng Peerson, traveled alone 
from Chicago to Milwaukee on foot, over the Chicago Green Bay Indian trail. 
This trail had for sometime been used by the half-breed who packed the 
mail on his back between the two lake shore poets. Peerson found only 
Solomon Juneau ami one other white man at Milwaukee at thai lino-. 

If Lincoln actually made tin- trip, as it seems likely that he did. it is 
strange that no record of it has come down to us. Quite likely he spenl 
less time here than at Port Washington, but Milwaukee was the more im- 
portant post and without doubt even for a brief visit Lincoln would have 
come in contact with more whites in Milwaukee than at the post further 
up the lake shore. 

Henry Bleyer is quoted in the Milwaukee Pree Press in .Mi-. Molarity's 
article as saying that Lincoln met with little encouragement to settle either 
here or at Port Washington at that time, and so returned to Illinois. And 
as success came to him later in his native state, there was little likelihood 
of his leaving; so that Wisconsin lost its opportunity of numbering the 
Great Emancipator among its famous sons, if it ever had the opportunity. 

Milwaukee achieves connection with Lincoln once more in the controversy 
which raged in 1916 and 1917 over the Bernard statue of Lincoln. The Mil- 
waukee Sentinel took part in this controversy and is quoted as follows by 
the Literary Digest under date of February Id, 1917, the article appearing 
in the "Art World"' of June of that year under the title of "A Mistake in 
Bronze," which fj-ives a hint as to its purpose: 

"The question arises (says the Sentinel), is it realism at all! 1 Is it a faith- 
ful presentment in bronze of the real Lincoln? That question is still fairly 
capable of settlement, There are entirely credible and competent witnesses 
now living who knew Lincoln in the flesh and remember perfectly well how 
he looked — no difficult thing, for 'Old Abe' was a striking figure that, once 
seen, was never forgotten. 

"We have tried this test, by submitting to some who knew Lincoln in 
life the appalling photographic cut of the production, which is supposed to 
perpetuate for < Jincinnatians the appearance of Lincoln. The consensus of 
usually indignant testimony is that it is fearfully and wonderfully unlike 
Lincoln as they knew him. 

"The sculptor seems to have evolved his conception of Lincoln out of 

his inner consciousness, though he states that he was greatlj assisted by 
Contemplating a man he met in Louisville, who was six feel EoUT and one-half 
inches tall, who was horn not far from Lincoln's birthplace, and who had been 
splitting rails all his life. 

"The finished artistic result of these processes is one that, s,, far as our 
own inquiries go, is calculated to stir to wrath and resentment those who 
knew Mr. Lincoln in life and must be admitted to be competenl witnesses 
as to his personal appearance. 

"It is perfectly possible to combine good art with a respectable degree 

of verisimilitude in these productions. If we are going to have statues of 
Lincoln, a decent respect for tin' memory of 'Old Abe' seems in require that 

thej resemble him, and are not Leaks of fancy that with a few alterations 


might do duty as figures of [chabod Crane, or Dominic Sampson, or St. 
Simeon Stylites on his penitential pillar." 

A noble statue of Lincoln, seated, occupies the crest of the Upper Campus 
hill at the State University of Madison, in front of Bascom Hall (formerly 
known as "Main Hall") where it dominates the vista between the great 
elms over the beautiful lawns. A mile to the east is the State Capitol, under 
whose great dome is housed the machinery that keeps this great Common- 
wealth functioning in our democracy, and toward which the spirit of Lincoln 
gazes steadily out of the bronze eyes. It is one of the shrines of the State 
of Wisconsin. It helps to shape the ideals of the thousands of young men 
and young women from this Nation and cither nations who are training them- 
selves for citizenship in the shadow of this great memorial. 

Adolph Weinman is the sculptor, the original of which it is the replica 
being at Hodgensville, Ky., Lincoln's birthplace. It is the Lincoln whom his 
neighbors knew and loved, the statesman who piloted a nation through a great 
war and then gave his own life on the altar to heal the breach caused by the 
four years of bloody warfare. 

Weinman was born in Germany in 1870, but came to this country at an 
early age and was educated in the public schools of New York. He was a 
pupil of St. Gaudens, another of the outstanding sculptors of the immortal 

A personal reminiscence by a Milwaukee man of the nomination of Lincoln 
at the convention of 1860 may be of interest. Amherst W. Kellogg, a resident 
of Wisconsin since 1836, was an eye-witness. The following is from an inter- 
view given by him to the Milwaukee Sentinel on October 23, L'21 : 

When Illinois presented the name of Abraham Lincoln I was much surprised 
at the demonstration that occurred: however, when Seward was nominated by 
New York he seemed to awaken even greater enthusiasm. Salmon P. Chase 
was Ohio's favorite son; Edward Bates was .Missouri's choice; Pennsylvania 
presented Simon Cameron. On the first ballot Seward had more votes than 
any of the others, but not enough for a nomination. Before the second 
ballot was taken Simon Cameron withdrew his name and his votes went to 
Lincoln, who then almost equaled Seward's vote. 

With the third ballot the excitement grew intense; state after state turned 
over to Lincoln and lie seemed likely to succeed ; but we who had been keeping 
tab found as the last vote was cast that he was two votes short of the number 
necessary to nominate. Then just before the figures of the ballot were an- 
nounced Carter of the Ohio delegation got the floor and shouted: "Ohio 
changes four votes from Salmon I*. Chase to Abraham Lincoln.'' 

With that such a wave of emotion swept over the vast audience as I have 
never seen in all my experience; women threw up their parasols and men their 
hats. Though we were packed in so we could scarcely move, Mr. Daggett 
(S. S. Daggett, also of Milwaukee, who was at that time seventy years old) 
danced up and down like a boy. One man standing beside us, down whose face 
the tears were pouring in streams, cried out: "I can't help it! I can't help it! 
I've been working for him a week and I didn't really hope for it." Another 
old man near us began to shout at the top of his voice: •'Glory, Glory Halle- 


lujah ! Now, Lord, lettesi Thou Thy servanl deparl in peace, for mil yes 

have seen the redempt on of Egypt" (as Southern Illinois was then called). 

Meanwh ; le the chairman of the convention, George Ashmun of Massa- 
chusetts, moved thai the vote for Abraham Lincoln be made unanimous. With 
that the enthusiasm broke out afresh and continued until the audience was 
fairly exhausted. 

Notwithstanding the impression made by Lincoln in his address at the 
state Pair, the feeling of dismay which was common throughout the country, 
as Carl Schurz rem mis us, dovibtless was shared by citizens of .Milwaukee 

and Wisconsin when after Lincoln's election the Southern states s< ded and 

war became imminent. 

Mr. Schurz writes : 

"Honest Abe Lincoln." who was so good-natured that he could not say 
"no;" the greatest achievement of whose life hail been a debate on the 
slavery question; who had never been in any position of power; who was with- 
out the slightest experience of high executive dut'.es, ami who hail only a 
speaking acquaintance with the men upon whose counsel anil cooperation he 
was to depend. Nor was his accession to power under such circumstances 
greeted with general confidence even by members of his party. While he hail 
indeed won much popularity, many Republicans, especially among those who 
had advocated Seward's nomination for the presidency, saw the simple '•Illi- 
nois lawyer" take the reins of government with a feeling little short of 
dismay. The orators ami journals of the opposition were ridiculing ami 
lampooning him without measure. .Many people actually wondered how such 
a man could dare to undertake a task which, as he himself had said to his 
ueighbors in his parting speech, was "more difficult than that of Washington 
himself had been." 

The Gettysburg address is great, if short, hut the closing words of Lincoln's 
second inaugural, Schurz says, are "like a sacred poem. No American presi- 
dent hail ever spoken worils like these to the American people. Americans 
never hail a president who found such words in the depths of his heart." 

Let us consider Lincoln 's words : 

Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of 
war may speedily pass away. Vet if God wills that it continue until all the 
wealth piled up by the bondman's 250 years of unrequited toil shall he sunk, 
and until every drop of blood drawn with the last shall be paid by another 
drawn with the sword, as was said 3,000 years ago, so still it must be said. 
"The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether." With malice 
toward none, with charity for all. with firmness in the righl as God gives us 
to see the right, let us strive to finish the work we are in; to hind up the 
Nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for 
his widow and for his orphan ; to do all which may achieve and cherish a just 
and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations. 

And then the closing scenes of the war. The fall of Richmond, with Lincoln 

himself entering the citj on font, where the slaves crowded about him. kissing 
his hands and his garments, while tears streamed down his care-furrow ed 
cheek's. Following cdose on the heels of the news of Lee \ surrender, came llie 


stunning' news of Lincoln's assassination. And all the civilized world wept 
beside his coffin. The judgments of those mourning nations of his worth and 
greatness have never been reversed. 

The "History of Milwaukee," page 736, says: 

"The city was hushed in grief. Silently and sorrowfully the buildings, 
many of them still gaily flaunting the joyous decorations of the week before, 
were clad in the habiliments of woe." 

11 was the saddest week in Milwaukee's history. 

Mayor Abner Kirby issued a proclamation, the day, April 15th, being the 
hist of his term. This is what he said. 

Mayor's Office, April 15 — The joy of the Nation is turned into mourning. 
The Chef .Magistrate of our country is reported to have been slain at the 
hands of an assassin, and the life of our Secretary of State taken by a still 
more infamous hand. Therefore, I, Abner Kirby, Mayor of Milwaukee, do 
hereby recommend that all the dwellings and business places of our city forth- 
with be clad ill mourning as a token of the deep and common sorrow that 
prevails; and that the people, abstaining from all excitement improper for 
such solemn occasion, postpone their ordinary duties today, and that in all 
the churches, tomorrow, such services be performed as will duly express the 
great and general grief. ABNEB KIRBY, Mayor. 

Word of the assassination, which occurred on Pr'.day night. April 14th, 
did not reach .Milwaukee until the following day. 

Issuance of the foregoing proclamation was Kirby's last official act. for 
John J. Tallmadge was inaugurated as mayor immediately afterward. Tall- 
madge's first public proclamation, which appeared on Tuesday, April 18th, 
announced the public funeral, set for the following Thursday. 

Services were held in all the churches between It and Id o'clock. The 
procession was scheduled at 11 o'clock, but rain interfered and the sun did 
not come out till afternoon, so that the procession did not start until •'! o'clock. 

There was a hearse, and the following well-known Milwaukeeans acted as 
pallbearers: Hans ( 'rocker, Jackson Hadley, Alexander Mitchell (later United 
States senator). Angus Smith, John Bradford, James S. Brown, Doctor John- 
son. John W. Cary and Mortiz Schoeffler. 

There wen 1 4,(10(1 persons in line, the procession being over a mile long, 
while 40,000 more, with bared heads, lined the streets as the solemn pageant 
passed to the accompaniment of dirges, tolling bells, muffled drums and the 
firing of minute guns, the afternoon sun shedding its benign rays over all. 

A great meeting on the Courthouse Square hail been arranged to take 
place during the forenoon, but this too had to be postponed on account of 
the downpour. Addresses were to have been made from three stands at 
different parts of the grounds, three speakers being scheduled at each stand. 
George II. Walker, founder of Milwaukee's South Side, was one of the 
chairmen, and Senator Matt II. Carpenter was one of the speakers. These 
eulogies had to be given indoors, meetings being held in the Plymouth Con- 
gregational and the First Presbyterian Churches. 

Milwaukeeans have a personal interest in the splendid Lincoln memorial 
recently completed at Washington. Lyman II. Browne, for many years a 


residenl of this city, informed the writer thai his brother-in-law, Fred Drew, 
of Washington, I). C, was the contractor and builder. 

Theodore <i. Joslin sonic time ago described the memorial in the Boston 
Transcript, the article being reprinted in the Literary Digesl of December 20th, 
1919. We read: 

"A great axis planned scores of years ago is completed by the memorial. 
At one end is the Capitol, containing the national legislative and judicial 
bodies, which is a monument to the United States Government. A mile to 
the westward, in the center of the axis, is the monument to Washington, who 
established the Government. Terminating the axis is the new memorial to 
Lincoln, who saved the Government." 

The movement to establish the Lincoln memorial had its inception in 
1867. The memorial, costing over two and a half million dollars, takes the 
form of a monument symbolizing the union of the Nation, enclosing in the 
walls of its sanctuary three memorials of the man. himself — one a statue 'of 
heroic size expressing his humane personality; the others memorials of his 
two great speeches, one of the Gettysburg address and the other his second 
inaugural, each with attendant sculpture and painting telline; in allegory of 
his splendid qualities evident in those speeches. William Howard Taft turned 
the first spadeful of earth on Lincoln's birthday in 1H14. 


In the process of assimilation, as exemplified in sections of the Middle West, 
where, during the last half of the nineteenth century emigrants grouped 
themselves in great numbers, striking social situations have been evolved 
which either have escaped, or have been deemed unworthy, the attention of 
the essayist and fiction writer. 

Every phase of American life, susceptible to literary treatment, has- been 
explored to the fullest, The conditions, characters and complications of a. 
quaint New England village, of a peaceful Dutch settlement in New York 
Stale, or a German county in Pennsylvania; the race problem and Creole life 
of the South, and the thrilling picturesqueness of the western frontier — all 
have been treated by author and poet. 

The home-hunting foreigners, who came to the north central west, may 
have tended to that prosaic industrialism which leaves no surface indications 
of romance or dramatic situations, and yet upon closer analysis they reveal 
in unique setting and scenery, life's drama in climaxes as compelling and 
touching as those enacted in other parts of the new world. 

Where the foreigners are sparsely sprinkled among the natives the absorp- 
tion is necessarily rapid, but where those of similar racial origin have settled 
in numbers, they cling tenaciously to language and customs, and stand out in 
stronger contrast to social order of the native. 

The assumption that the transition stages from a raw emigrant to a 
fullHedged American citizen are colorless, or that the collective newcomer 
merely offers in subdued colors a reproduction of old world customs and 
mannerisms, might be wholly true if the foreigners wholly isolated themselves 
from the natives. But where, in the commingling of foreign and native born, 
the amalgamation proceeds along social as well as economic and civic lines, 
the element of conflict and heart interest become pronounced and appealing. 

The clashes between foreign and native tradition, between old and new 
world conceptions are bound to ignite the sparks of prejudice and hatred. 
In the manifest course of human adjustment many situations are created 
in which tolerance and the nobler impulses of man may come vividly into 
play. The writer has here seen an unplowed held rich in material and setting 
for the dramatist and novelist. 

In thus directing attention to what seems to the author an unexplored, or 
at least only partially explored field tor study and treatment, he is convinced 
that much, in the inner struggles and outward movements of the emigrant, 
during the transition period, constitutes an essential factor in American life, 




'40s -VXD KAK'I.V '50s 
See "lil Town Pump to the left below 


and is therefore worthy of permanent record. Admirat'on is aroused when 
the progress of the emigrant is contemplated, when his preconceptions per- 
ceptibly have yielded to openmindedness, when alienism has faded into a 
sturdy loyally to American institutions, when the humblest and must unpromis- 
ing lies linings are followed by useful service and valuable contributions to 
the prestige, power and prosperity of the nation. 

Racial Complexion. — It would be difficult to establish with any degree of 
accuracy the racial origin of the population. That is, it would be practically 
impossible to deal in exact figures, separating the native from the foreign 
horn and at the same time trace the ancestry of the native born. Yet we may 
venture appropriate figures based upon the various sources of information that 
nave been at our command. 

Before doing so. it may be well to ascertain the probable order and the 
periods in which the different nationalities made the r appearance. Tin.' 
Indian, the primitive man, was first joined by the French Canadian. Then 
came the Anglo-American from the New England states and the so-called 
Knickerbockers, Dutch descendants from New York state. The "New England 
Society" and the "Sons of New York" flourished for several years as social 
and patriotic bodies. 

Tiie Easterners wen' followed in large numbers by the Irish and Germans, 
with a sprinkling of Scandinavians. Hollanders, Bohemians and Austrians 
In the period from 1S44 to 1878 the German immigration outnumbered all 
other nationalities. During the latter part of this period the Polish immigra- 
tion began to secure momentum, continuing for some years. While the emigra- 
tion from Central Europe declined, the peoples from eastern and southern 
Europe began to turn towards the United States and Milwaukee received a 
goodly number of them. 

Those coming from eastern and southern Austria-Hungary included Sla- 
vonians, Croatians and Hungarians. The Slovaks and Serbs came somewhat 
later. During the past thirty years there has also been a steady but some- 
what meager influx of Italians, Greeks and Russians. 

Composition of the Population. — Prof. Lawrence M. Larson, in his review, 
remarks that "Milwaukee is a cosmopolitan city. She has drawn her citizen- 
ship from all parts of the civilized world. In the old Third ward, once the 
heart of the city, the Italian now (LUIS) reigns supreme; while in Kilbourn- 
town the African and the Russian .Jew have inherited the earth. On the 
South side of the city the Poles arc the strongest, numbering more than 
90,000 and controlling two or three wards. The Scandinavian elements are 
located principally on the south side. Greeks and Hungarians have their rep- 
resentatives in the city, and occasional Asiatics may also be found. The more 
distinctly American population is found in greatesl numbers on the East side 
and in the southern part of the West side. But most numerous of all is the 
German element. It is estimated that at least 200,000 Germans, native born or 
of German parentage, live in Milwaukee. 

"It is therefore inevitable," continues Professor Larson, "that the city 
should display certain prominent foreign characteristics. On the religious side 
these are particularly evident. Stronger than all the Protestant churches 
combined is the Catholic church with its large German, Polish, Irish ami 


[taliaii parishes. Of the Protestants more than half belong to the Lutheran 
churches, mainly Germans and Scandinavians. The presence of these two 
powerful organizations lias treated an interesting situation in the system of 
elementary schools. About forty per rent of the total school attendance is 
found in the parochial schools. Alongside of the public school system has 
grown up therefore, a group of rival systems entirely independent of the 
former. ' ' 

Language Difficulties of the Immigrants. — The first obstacle met with by 
the newly arriving immigrants was the diversity of languages among them 
The acquisition of the English language by foreigners was of course a neces- 
sity, but it often proved a very difficult task for the older men and women. 
The children, however, quickly learned to speak and write it. and families 
gradually dropped the use of their native forms of speech, ami thus could co- 
operate with their neighbors in affairs of business and government. The estab- 
lishment of schools for the young was the chief agency in this amalgamating 
process, and few neighborhoods were without a schoolhouse and teachers, even 
in the earliest stages of settlement. 

Thus was developed a community spirit of vital importance in the main- 
tenance of our American form of government and its institutions. Americans 
indeed have made language a more powerful nationalizing instrument, says 

a recent writer, than even the English people themselves have I n able to 

do in their own country. The same writer goes on to say that the old stock 
of native born Americans have been largely replaced by the newly arriving 
elements from foreign countries, now represented in our population; and 
that the nationalizing processes have been of such a thoroughgoing character 
as to produce a new type spoken in a purer language than that in use in the 
country of its birth. 

"Political and social institutions in the United States," continues the 
writer above mentioned, "have a quality which speedily transmutes various 
types into one type, the public school probably being the most powerful of 
them. " 

The German Immigration. —" When .Milwaukee was but a small cluster of 
houses in the early thirties," writes II. E. Legler in his volume, "Leading 
Events of Wisconsin History," "Germans had made their home in the village. 

but it was not until a decade later that colonists began to arrive ii nsider- 

able numbers from the fatherland. Political disturbances at I sent many 

id' them over the ocean, and the low price of land and liberal laws of Wiscon- 
sin attracted many of them to this territory. Between 1840 and 1848 
pamphlets and books describing the resources and favorable climatic condi- 
tions of Wisconsin were circulated in greal numbers in some parts of Germany, 
and undoubtedly greatly influenced intending settlers to seek tin' golden 
Northwest. In the Rhine region, in the Wupper valley and in the duchy 
of Brunswick these guides for immigrants found especially eager readers. 

".Milwaukee soon became known as the German Athens of America, but 
the German population of Wisconsin was not confined to the chit' citj of 
the territory. The wooded sections aloni;- the lake shore and In the inteii 

attracted large numbers of h seekers. The early German settlers were 

mostly of the Catholic faith, but In the early forties I'omerania and luanden 


burg, as the result of religious contentions, lost many of their people, and 
their leaders directed many of them to Wisconsin." 

Prominent among the citizens of Wisconsin who were born in Germany 
was Carl Schurz whose political career opened in this state when he was yet 
a young man of twenty-seven. He settled at Watertown, Wis., in 1856, and 
became prominent in the republican party of the state. He had received a 
good education in his native country, and after his arrival began the study 
of law. He was admitted to the Wisconsin bar in 1858, and began the prac- 
tice of law in Milwaukee. In the Republican National Convention of 1860, 
he was chairman of the Wisconsin delegation which voted for William II. 
Seward for the presidential nomination. He was a member of the committee 
appointed to notify Mr. Lincoln of his nomination. In 1861, he was sent as 
minister to Spain, but lie returned In the United States in the following year 
and was commissioned brigadier general. As a commander of division he 
took part in the second battle of Bull Run. He was promoted to the rank 
of major general and was present at the battles of Chancellorsville, Gettysburg 
and at Chattanooga. 

After the close of hostilities he resigned his commission and thereafter 
became identified with .Missouri affairs. From 1869 to 1875, he was United 
States senator from Missouri, and in 1S77 he was secretary of the interior 
in President Hayes' cabinet. In 1881, he removed to New York City where 
he became engaged in editorial work, and died there in 1906. 

A most interesting study of Wisconsin's German element, by Kate A. 
Everest, is printed in Volume XII of the Wisconsin Historical Collections. "In 
the Western States many large German settlements were formed," she says, 
"especially in Ohio, but they did not become centers of attraction, nor of 
any political importance. The masses of colonists hail German sentiments, hut 
not the German ideals. They would not suffer themselves to be directed by 
their countrymen, especially since the leaders, who were often idealists and 
free-thinkers, were men far removed from the general German sentiment ; but 
the immigrants settled rather where business interests were most favorable. 

"The general sentiment of later years is well expressed by Priedrich Kapp 
and Carl Schurz. 'The well-being of the Germans,' says Kapp, 'does not lie 
in separation from the American educational interests nor in fantastic dreams 
of founding a German state in America — a German Utopia. A German 

nation within the American they cannot be, but they can throw the rich 
treasures of their life and thought into the struggle for political and human 
interests, and their influence will penetrate the more deeply and create for 
them a wider field of activity, the less peculiar they make it.' ' 

In a speech by Carl Schurz in New York he expressed himself as follows: 
"Let us never forget that we as Germans are not called upon here to form a 
separate nationality, but rather to contribute to the American nationality 
the strongest there is in us. and in place of our weakness to substitute the 
strength wherein our fellow Americans excel us, and to blend it with our 
wisdom. We should never forgel that in the political life id' this republic 
we as Germans have no peculiar interests, hut that the universal well-being 
is ours also." 

These sentiments were held and expressed by eminent writers and pub- 

Archie McFadden, M. Lumkin, I'.. C. Wells. \Y. II. Dodsworth, \V. ( . Smith, George Redding, 

.1. II. \Y I. K. A. Smith. t . S. Norris. 

Northeast corner Mason and Van Buren Btreets. Built 1 > v Henry Williams, 1838 


lieists many years ago and are still held by the clear-thinking men of our later 
time. We honor the German element in our population, and that element in 
turn forms a most valuable ingredient in the development of the "one hundred 
per cent Americanism" of Wisconsin people. 

Native versus Foreign Bern. — The attitude which obtained among the 
Germans, and the reciprocal prejudice which the native and foreign born 
entertained for each other, were some years later well expressed by Hugo 
Miinsterberg, who said: 

"The German immigrant can justly claim to be a respectable and very 
desirable element of the American population ; he has stood always on the 
side of solid work and honesty; he has brought skill and energy over the 
ocean, and he has not forgotten his music and his joyfulness; he is not second 
to any one in his devotion to the duties of a citizen in peace and in war, and 
without his aid many of America's industrial, commercial, and technical 
triumphs would be unknown. 

"But all that does not disprove the fact that he is often somewhat unfit 
to judge fairly the life which surrounds him. First, lie belongs almost always 
to a social stratum in which the attention is fully absorbed by the external 
life of a country, and which is without feeling for the achievements of its 
mental life; he was poor in his fatherland, and lives comfortably here, and 
thus he is enthusiastic over the material life, praises the railroads and the 
hotels, the bridges and mills, but does not even try to judge of the libraries 
and universities, the museums and the hospitals. 

"On the other hand, he feels socially in the background; he is the 'Dutch- 
man,' who, through his bad English, through his habits and manners, through 
his tastes and pleasures, is different from the majority, and therefore set apart 
as a citizen of second rank, if not slighted, at least kept in social isolation. 
On the side of the German, the result of this, situation is often an entire 
ignorance of the Anglo-American life. 

"But there were more important factors — industry and civic virtues, 
which, brought from Germany, helped to build up the land and the nation, 
and it is unfair to stamp the German-American as a citizen of second rank 
and thus to isolate him socially." 

In placing an estimate upon the American the same writer says: "What 
most quickly misleads is, doubtless, his consuming interest in money-making, 
together with the sharp struggle for existence, the gigantic scale of his 
undertakings, his hasty, impulsive movements, his taste for strong sensational 
stimuli, his spoils politics, and the influence of corporations upon his legis- 
lation. But is not all that merely the surface view? The American is not 
greedy for money; if he were, he would not give away his wealth with such 
a liberal hand, and would not put aside all the unidealistic European schemes 
of money-making which exclude individual initiative, as, for instance, the 
pursuit of dowries, or, on a lower level, the tipping system. 

"The American runs after money primarily for the pleasure of the chase; 
it is the spirit of enterprise that spurs him on, the desire to make use of his 
energies, to realize his personality. And there is one other factor: in a country 
where political conditions have excluded titles and orders and social distinc- 
tions in general, money is in the end the only means of social discrimination, 


iinil financial success becomes thus the measuremenl of the ability of the in- 
dividual and of his power to realize himself in action. That the struggle for 
existence is sharper here than in Europe is simply a fairy tale. In a country 
where the greatesl enterprises are undertaken in the service of charity, and 
where the natural resources of the land are inexhaustible, even the lowest 
classes do not struggle for existence, but, seen from the Continental stand- 
point, merely for comfort; of this the lyrical character of the discussions of 
social problems here compared with their dramatic character in Germany 
gives the fullest evidence. 

"■But the most amusing misunderstanding arises when the American him- 
self thinks that he proves the purely practical character of his life by the 
eagerness with which he saxes his time, on the ground that 'time is money.' 
It strikes me that, next to the public funds, nothing is so much wasted here 
as time. Whether it is wasted in reading the endless newspaper reports of 
murder trials or in sitting on the base-ball grounds, in watching a variety 
show or in lying in bed, in waiting for the elevator or in being shaved after 
the American fashion, in attending receptions or in enjoying committee meet 
ings, is quite unessential. 

"The whole scheme of American education is only possible in a country 
which is rich enough not to need any economy of time, and which can there 
fore allow itself the luxury of not asking at what age a young man begins 
to earn his own living. The American shopkeeper opens his store daily one 
hour later than the German tradesman, and the American physician opens 
his office three years later than his German colleague of equal education. 
This may be very good, hut it is a prodigality of time which the Germans 
would he unable to imitate. 

"Add to it tin' American's gratefulness and generosity, his elasticity and 
his frankness, his cleanliness and his chastity, his humor and his fairness; 
consider the vividness of his religious emotion, his interest in religious and 
metaphysical speculation, his eagerness always to realize the besl results of 
science — in short, look amund everywhere without prejudice, and yon eannol 
doubt that behind the terrifying mask of the selfish realist breathes the 
idealist, who is controlled by a belief in ethical values. 

"Undeniably, every one of these characteristics may develop into an ah 
surdity; gratitude may transform the capture of a merchant vessel into a 
naval triumph, speculative desire may run into the blind alleys of spiritualism, 
fairness may lead to tin' defense of the most cranky schemes, and the wish 
for steady improvements may chase the reformer from one fad to another; 
and yet it is all at bottom the purest idealism. 

"Whenever I have written about America for my German countrymen, 
1 have said: 'You are righl to hate that selfish, brutal, corrupt, vulgar 
American who lives in your imagination; hut the true American is at least 
as much an idealist as yourself, and Emerson comes nearer to representing 
his spirit than do the editorial writers of the New York Journal.' If 1 had 
to draw the American with a few lines, I should emphasize three mental 


" 'All the essential features of his public life spring from the spirit of self 


determination, which was developed by his separation from his mother 
country; the features of his economic life, from the spirit of self-activity which 
was developed by his pioneer life ; and the features of his intellectual life 
from the spirit of self-perfection, which has partly a utilitarian and partly 
Puritan origin.' Every one of these three strong tendencies involves dangers, 
but essentially they are forces of purely idealistic poAver." 

The Story of an Old Neighborhood. — The older section of the city known 
as the Lower East Side was described in a paper before the Old Settlers' Club 
some years ago by William George Bruce as follows: 

"The section of the city now known as the lower Seventh and First 
wards is not only one of the oldest but also one of the most interesting as far 
as its earlier history is concerned. It possessed a community life seventy years 
ago that was peculiarly its own, and was in its time the very heart of the 
small city. While the upper and eastern part of the ward, known as Yankee 
Hill, was the residence district of the better conditioned, the lower part was 
the industrial and commercial centre. 

"It was the home of the mechanic, the laborer, the small shop keeper, and 
the small manufacturer. Everybody knew everybody else. The policeman 
wore no uniform but lie was known by everybody in town. Every physician, 
preacher and lawyer was known by everybody. The names and location of 
streets were as familiar to everyone as the alphabet. 

"To tell the story of this section means after all only to say something in 
a fragmentary way of some of the people who resided there and who were 
a part and parcel of its activities; to recall names that later figured in the 
life and traffic of the city. Again, such a story must be told from the stand- 
point of recollections and the vision and views of a child — a condition of life 
as seen by a small boy and remembered as a man. 

"My earliest recollections take me back as a four year old boy peering out 
of the windows of my grandfather's old home on East Water Street near the 
corner of Johnson Street, a two storied wooden structure with, a moss covered 
roof, slanting towards the street. Large locust trees shaded the cottage which 
sat back a respectable distance from the street and gave the immediate 
neighborhood a village air. 

"This section of the city was distinguished from the others in point of 
nationality in that its residents were in the main German-born. The people 
residing on the hill and who were known as Yankees, came from New York 
and the New England states. That portion lying to the south of the hill and 
known as the Third Ward was almost wholly settled by the Irish as they 
landed here. 

"The Know-nothing movement which had its inception in the East and 
which swept across the country in early '50s found some expression here. 
The Germans of this neighborhood were obliged to hear the cry 'Damn the 
Dutch,' and the constant influx of both Germans and Irish gave the Yankee 
element some concern. But, when these foreigners began to manifest their 
thrift and industry, adding to the growth and development of the city, and 
incidentally adding to the wealth of so-called Yankee element, the motto 
'America for Americans' became more faint and finally died out. 

Located ai No. 2 Grand Avenue and established in L846 

The dwellings i<> the ri^lii gave way ;>» ;i — i t « - for the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance 

i < • 1 1 1 1 • .- 1 1 1 \ Building. 


"The Larger industries which clustered in the valley at that time were 
Mabbett's lumber yard, Elmore's coal yard, Higby's elevator, Bertchy's mill, 
the old Davidson ship yard and the Pierrou Pottery. It was the small indus- 
tries, however, that thrived more actively. The machine had not yet come 
into use as a potent factor in manufacturing products. Shoes were made by 
the shoemaker who took the measurements of the foot, the tinsmith made 
the pots and kettles, the cooper made washtubs, etc. 

"The German market at the corner of East Water and Division streets, 
now known as Juneau Avenue, was a bee hive in small trade. It was more 
popularly known as the 'Green Market,' a designation which had its origin 
from the green vegetables which formed the principal commodity. The good 
housewives from all sections of the city came here to get the provisions, their 
vegetables and dairy products. 

"The hills now forming the handsomest residence districts in the First 
and Sixth wards then were the choice grazing grounds for the cattle that fur- 
nished the butter and cheese that was sold by the market women. The little 
back yard gardens on the northside provided the cabbages, onions and lettuce 
which was brought in wagon loads to the market before sunrise each morning. 

"The market life, aside from its congenial commercialism, had its interest- 
ing phases. The market men and women were not devoid of that human 
interest which embraces the liveliest gossip and which concerns itself with 
everything from the merry wedding bells to the solemn strains of a recpiiem. 
It was the clearing house for the news of the day and when the good house- 
wife carried home the day's provender in her basket she took with her also 
the town gossip of the day. 

"Many of the small vendors and hucksters of the Green Market later 
became well to do business men and in course of time retired with a hand- 
some competency. Their sons in many instances are now among the important 
merchants and manufacturers of the city. Their daughters are the wives of 
some of the most prosperous men in the community. 

The Main Street. — East Water Street from Wisconsin Street to Juneau 
Avenue was like the main street of a country town. There was the butcher, 
the baker, and the candlestick maker; the small dry goods merchant, the 
druggist and the hotel keeper. 

At the corner of Biddle Street was Hoffmann's butcher shop. The owner 
of this small shop was none other than John Hoffmann, later the head of John 
Hoffmann Sons & Co.. the wholesale grocery house. Across the street was the 
small retail grocery store of John Wellauer, who later with John Hoffmann: 
founded the great grocery house above mentioned. 

"Further down the street were John Poss, the butcher; Krauthoefcr, the 
shoemaker; Boeshaar and Manschot, the cobblers; Stephen Hoff, the grocer, 
the father of Stephen II. Hoff, later of Ilackett, Hoff & Thiermann ; Higler, 
the second hand man, father of James A. Higler, manager of the Alhambra 
Theater; Koch's barber shop, owned by the father of William Koch, a promi- 
nent musician; Chaintron, the dyer; Gebhardt and Hubmann, the bakers; 
Memminger's restaurant conducted by the father of the late Fire Chief Mem 
minger; Wiese's drug store; Grosch's horse shoeing shop; Friedberg's notion 


store, conducted by the father of Joseph Friedberg, later manager of the 
Friend Bros. Clothing Co.; Mittendorf's milliner simp. etc. 

"At the German markai a modesl booth in Yankee notions was conducted 
by the mother of Bishop A. P. Schinner; Oscar F. Miller the late manager of 
the Alhambra Theater was born and raised on Markel Street ; a curly headed 
handsome lad raised in the same neighborhood, later Judge John C. Ludwig; 
Hans .!. and Max Grove the show printers saw their boyhood days here; the 
immediate relatives of Solomon Juneau resided here; the Geilfuss family from 
which A. B. and Frank Geilfuss sprang, lived in Hi is vicinity, etc. 

The Old Pierron Pottery. — There was a time when Milwaukee promised 
to be a greal pottery center. Clay was brought in vessel loads across the lake 
from Ohio and eastern points and loaded on the docks at the fool of Johnson 
Street. Here it was taken to the Pierron Pottery, for a time known as the 
Hermann Pottery, aud turned into jars and jugs. These were set out on the 
streets and back yards to dry and were then placed into large kilns to be 
burned into solid earthenware. 

"At night the heavens would blaze in scarlet red from the heat which 
shot forth from the great kilns as an emblem of useful industry. These kilns 
were for years fed with the choicest maple wood brought in by the farmers 
from the neighboring country districts. 

"The interior life and activities of the pottery was intensely German in 
character. The men who were gathered here had come from different portions 
of Germany, but principally from South Germany. They possessed all the 
prejudices of a divided Germany. The Bavarian who came from South Ger- 
many had no particular love for the Mecklenburger who came from Northern 
Germany. They differed in religion, in politics, and in their social views 
They were known to each other as Hans, Fritz or Michel, or else as the Prus- 
sian, the Bavarian, the Hannoverian, the Pommeranian, etc. 

"They enjoyed their pint of beer during the several luncheon periods of 
the day, denounced the money grasping Y'ankee and the corruption in Ameri- 
can public life and incidentally praised the solidity of Germany's officialdom 
and the beauties of their native villages. 

"The pottery industry thrived until the competition from Akron and other 
Ohio points became too strong, and what was once a thriving local industry 
has been converted into a warehouse and distributing center for Ohio pottery." 

Polish Immigration. -The immigration of Poles had its beginning in the 

early '60s. A few families came and settled on the lower east side towards 
the south. The tide of immigration secured its real momentum, however, in 
the early '70s of the last century when a great number of Poles arrived daily. 
The old Hoed Street Station was the scene of their coming. 

William George Bruce, in an article published in one of the local news- 
papers offers this description of the advent of the Polish immigrants: "We 
deemed it one of the sights to behold these anxious men and women and 
abashed children nestled among the boxes, bundles and bedding of an old 
world household, awaiting transfer to a permanent abode. Usually a ricket \ 
express wagon took them to the southern limits of the city which up to this 


time had only been sparsely populated. They were travel stained, poor and 
ignorant, but they were hopeful, courageous and ambitious. 

"The wooded lands south of Greenfield Avenue were soon transformed 
into a vast area of cottages with high basements accommodating two families, 
with gardens in the rear and some shrubbery and a rest bench in the front. 

"Their life in a new world began. Everybody went to work. The men 
dug sewer trenches, built streets, bridges and houses. The boys and girls 
entered the factories and mills and stores. Many of the married women 
went out to do a day's washing in addition to doing their daily housework. 

"They imbibed the American spirit. Progress was in the air. With the 
passing of time the rising generation performed more exacting duties in the 
industrial and commercial life of the city. They entered the skilled trades. 
Some of the young men entered the professions. Others went into the chan- 
nels of trade, still others into the public service, until there are among the 
present generation young lawyers, physicians, judges and representatives in 
the city, county, state and national legislative bodies. 

"The Poles also settled upon the east and the north sides of the city. The 
colony on the south side is by far the larger. These several colonies, aggre- 
gating a population of approximately one hundred thousand, note the progress 
of the Polish-American by thousands of neat and cozy homes and the mar- 
velous size and beauty of their churches." 

Mr. Bruce, in discussing the tendency of the Polish element to colonize, 
says: "If the Polish-Americans have colonized in certain sections of American 
cities, it has been clone in response to expedience rather than from a desire 
to foster isolation. Their colonies or neighborhoods not only manifest from 
within an intense progress in the various activities that make for a modern 
city, but they are an essential part of the community as a whole." 

He adds: "There is a disposition on the part of those of other nationali- 
ties to ridicule Polish names. In the days of political conventions it was not 
uncommon to resort to laughter and jeers when the names of the Polish- 
American delegates were read. I took occasion to remind one of these con- 
ventions that these names were no more subject to laughter than were any 
series of German, Irish, or Scandinavian names. These names had been in- 
herited from honorable fathers and mothers, were borne by the families of the 
present generations and hence were sacred to them. The convention there- 
after indulged in no more laughter at the mention of Polish names. In his 
home life the Pole may foster the traditions and the nobler impulses of a 
mother country, but in his economic and civic life he is an American." 

In discussing the advancement by the Polish-American element, the same 
author says: "My evening walks frequently extend into the southern part of 
the south side and when I contrast the scenes which attended the earlier 
Polish immigration at the railway station with the thousands of clean and 
comfortable homes, magnificent churches and schools, the business blocks on 
Mitchell Street, Kosciuszko Park and the many beautiful streets which char- 
acterize the Polish section, I am thrilled with the transformation that has 
taken place. Here is the evidence, eloquently demonstrated, that the Polish 
immigrants were industrious and thrifty, law abiding and God fearing, and 


. i- r' rir, -.- J ^"'*V~L^ S'|l'WiB'lF ln iYVI M I 

"i 1 1,-..: nSn»^'' i ri|iMr,iiiii i 


I!W B ffl B IMS 

j^aJp is 1*1 


8 fell 

(From ;, wood cut in Milwaukee Under the < barter, published in L884) 


that to tlic best of their ability, they arc making their contribution to the 
progress of the city and to American civilizat'on as a whole." 

While many of the Poles hail from Austria and Russia, the larger number 
come from what was the grand duchy of Posen, formerly a part of Germany. 
A number of Poles, specially those formerly residing on Jones Island, were 
known as "Kashubes" who have their own peculiar dialect and customs and 
came from a northeast section of German-Poland. 

Monsignor Goral, in a chapter on the Poles in Milwaukee, says, "Whoever 
is closely acquainted with the psychology of the Polish nation will readily 
understand why it always has been, and still continues to be, the ambition of 
the Poles to organize a parish and to have their own school and church when- 
ever the numbers warrant it. It is admitted by all that at least ninety-five per 
cent of the Poles are Catholics. There is probably no other nation on God's 
earth that loves so fanatically and clings so tenaciously to its language and 
national traditions as the Poles do. Woe to those that would ever dare to 
conspire against this most sacred heritage of theirs!" 

The Jewish Pioneers.-— The first Israelite to come to Wisconsin was Jacob 
Franks who settled in Green Bay in 1704. He was an agent of the Canadian 
Fur Company and became one of the enterprising men of that settlement. 
Franks and Meyer Levi of La Crosse, concerned themselves in the erection 
of the first sawmills in the territory then known as Wisconsin. 

Isador S. Horwitz, who is the acknowledged historian of the Jewish element 
in Wisconsin, says that the arrival of Jews in Milwaukee had its beginning 
in the early '40s. The records of those years reveal a number of Jewish 
names. Among the first and most prominent among them were 1 the Sehoyer 
brothers. Gabriel Sehoyer, the older, conducted a mercantile enterprise on 
East Water Street for a number of years. 

In the year 5610. according to the Jewish calendar, or in the year 1S47, the 
beginning for a Jewish Synagogue with ten members was made. The first 
religious services were held on the Jewish new year, Rosh Hashona, and the 
feast of Torn Kippur. 

The synagogue was at first located at the home of Henry Neuhaus ami a 
year later at the home of Isaac Neustadel. In 1849 the first regular Jewish 
congregation was formed and located over a small store on Chestnut Street 
conducted by Nathan Pereles. Gabriel Sehoyer became president of the con- 
gregation and Solomon Adler its secretary. The congregation later erected 
the Temple Emanu-El on Broadway and Johnson Street. 

The first Jews to arrive here were of English and Holland birth and later 
came the Bohemian and German. The Russian Jews who are represented in 
larger numbers came at a later period and colonized in the area hounded by 
Chestnut, Center, Third and Sixteenth streets. 

The Jewish worshipping places are Emanu-El and B'ne Jeshurum (Re- 
form), Beth Israel, Anshe Stard, Anshe Lebowita, Moshab Zkenim, Anshe 
Ungarn, Degel Israel, Agudath Ahim and Beth Hamedrosh Hagodel (Ortho- 

Italian Immigration. — The Italian population is estimated at nine thousand, 
of which probably one-quarter is American born. The greater number live 


in the districl bounded by Michigan Street, Broadway, the hike and the river. 
They are mostly Sicilians who came from the Province of Palermo. The 
Italians residing elsewhere "in the city come from south, central and north 

Fully seventy-live per cent of the Italians of the city are common laborers. 
The number of skilled mechanics and small tradesmen is minor. (!. La Piana, 
who in 1915 made a survey of the Italian population in Milwaukee, stales thai 
many of those who had been farmers, fishermen and mechanics in their native 
laud, had been obliged to resort to common labor in this country. Ee claims 
that the difference in language and usage in a new country lias been respon- 
sible for this condition. 

This explanation, however, must be deemed insufficient. Some years ago 
(1912) the editor of this volume met a distinguished Italian nobleman in 
Rome who was much concerned in the progress of the 7,000,000 Italians who 
had left their native land and were now settled in different countries of the 

"We have just held a convention here in Rome" said the nobleman, "of 
delegates who came from all parts of the world for Hie purpose of advancing 
the interests of Italians who had left their mother country. 

"It is a pecular fact that our Italian emigrants are not sharing adequately 
in the economic fruits of their adopted countries. They colonize, for in- 
stance, in the American cities, and at the same time isolate themselves from 
the life and activities about them. They continue to eat Italian food, drink- 
Italian wines, and sing Italian songs. This is all very well. But they should 
assimilate some of the customs, habits and ways of their new surroundings. 

"Italians who live in America should become Americans, in England become 
Englishmen, in Prance become Frenchmen, in Germany become Germans. They 
should, as do other nationalities, find their way into the commercial, indus- 
trial, professional and political activities of their adopted countries, and share, 
adequately in the material and civic advantages afforded them. 

"The object of this international convention, which was under the patron- 
age of the Queen of Italy," said the nobleman, "was to stimulate our country- 
men in distant lands to make for greater material and civic progress and thus 
secure a more adequate share of the world's material blessings." 

Skandinavian Element. — Among the immigrants who came to Milwaukee 
in the '40s and '50s there was a liberal sprinkling of Skandinavians, particu- 
larly of Norwegians. Upon lauding they lived for a time on the lower east 
side. Later, as their numbers grew, they settled on the central and eastern 
part of the south side. Many of them became identified with the marine 
activities. They excelled as seamen and fishermen, and in some ef the me- 
chanic arts. A number of them owned vessel property and became well to do. 
They founded a number of churches, sonic of which have discarded the native 
tongue, and employ only the English language in their sermons. When the 
tide of Skandinavian immigration was directed to Minnesota it practically 
ceased here. 

Negro Population. The negro population compared with that of other 
American cities has always been rather small. At no time did the number 


exceed the three thousand mark. When the leading hotels some years ago 
dispensed with colored help the population dwindled to even a smaller num- 
ber. During the World war, when white labor was at a premium, several of 
the larger manufacturing concerns brought several hundred negroes from the 
South. Some of these have returned to their native states again. 

Variety of Nationalities. — During the World war in 1918 a local patriotic 
woman's committee made a survey of the city and located the foreign born, 
and the districts in which they dwelled without, however, dealing in any 
statistics or attempting to separate accurately the native from the foreign 
born. They prepared an interesting chart showing the sections where the 
foreign born resided indicating proportionately their race origin. 

Aside from the native born, some twenty nationalities were represented 
as follows: Albanian, Anglo-Saxon, Armenian, and Syrian, Austrian and 
Hungarian, Belgian, Bulgarian, Chinese, Colored, Croatian, Czechoslovakia, 
English, German, Greek, Hebrew, Holland, Irish, Italian, Polish, Roumanian, 
Russian, Scandinavian, Scotch, Serbian, Slovene, Welsh, Dalmatia, Ukriane, 
Macedonian, Turkish (thirty-one nationalities). Recording also the following 
scattering nationalities: Arabians, Canadians, Finns, French, Lithuanian. 
Spanish and Swiss (thirty-seven nationalities in all). 

The Census Bureau gave out the following statistics regarding the country 
of birth of foreign born white for Milwaukee for the year 1920: 

Total foreign-bom white 110,068 

England 1,968 

Scotland 589 

Wales 252 

Ireland 1,447 

Norway 1,852 

Sweden Sli:! 

Denmark 732 

Belgium 109 

France (incl. Alsace-Lorraine) 565 

Luxemburg 164 

Netherlands 528 

Switzerland 931 

Germany 39,576 

Poland 23,060 

Austria 5,906 

Hungary 4, SOI! 

Czechoslovakia 4,497 

Jugo-Slavia 4.359 

Russia 7,105 

Finland 147 

Lithuania 398 

Portugal 7 

Spain 43 

Italy 4,022 


Greece 1,815 

Bulgaria 53 

Roumania r 633 

Turkey, Europe II 

other Europe 283 

Asia 386 

Africa 14 

Australia 37 

Canada, French 22:; 

Canada, Other 1,830 

Newfoundland 26 

Cuba and other West Indies 29 

Mexico 36 

Centra] America 4 

South America 4-") 

Atlantic Islands 4 

Pacific Islands 8 

At Sea 82 

( 'ountry not specified 623 

These figures are based on a population of approximately four hundred 
and sixty-five thousand. Basing the population of city and county in round 
numbers at one-half million, the proportion of nationalities will probably 
undergo but slight changes. On the whole it may be safe, assuming that cities 
like Cudahy, South Milwaukee and West Allis have large percentages of 
foreign horn, to fix the entire foreign horn population at 125,000 and the native 
horn at 375,000. 

The census of 1920 fixed the citizenship of foreign-born white men at 
50,856, the number of those naturalized at 27.44s, and those who had taken 
out their first papers a1 12,454, leaving the number of aliens at 14,7:!1. with 
1,953 unreported. 


A compilation of dates relating' to the beginning' of things in the several 
activities of men, the inauguration of movements, establishment of enter- 
prises and institutions, events and occurrences was made in 1915 and am- 
plified since then by John R. Wolf, a Milwaukee journalist, as follows : 

Advertising.— March 15, 1890— First whole page ads published by Frank 
A. Lappen. 

Aeronautics.— .March 2, 1908— Aero Club; 1910— Aviator Art Hoxey at 
State Fair; 1911-12-14 — Aviator Lincoln Beachey at State Far. 

Allis-Chalmers Mfg. Co.— May, 1847— Established as Reliance Works by 
Decker & Seville; 1860, bought by Edward P. Allis, Charles D. Nash and 
John P. McGregor, and conducted under name of E. P. Allis & Co.; March, 
1913, incorporated in Delaware. 

Area.— 1910 Census — 14,585.8 acres; metropolitan district — city and im- 
mediate environs, 112,826.6 acres; 1910—24.35 miles; 1900—21.5; 1880—15. 

Art.— 18S6— Milwaukee Art Society; 1910— revived ; April 5, 1888— Lay- 
ton Art Gallery opened; Feb. 17, 1890 — Carl Marr left for Germany; April 
21, .1890— Art League organized; April 10, 1896— Carl Marr's "Flagellants" 
presented to city by Mrs. Emil Sehandein. Later placed in lobby of Audi- 

Automobiles.— May, 1899— First car operated by George L. Odenbrett; 
1912 — Vanderbilt Cup and Grand Prix races. 

Auditorium.— September 21, 1909— Opened. 

Baseball Championship. — April 8, 1868 — Founded; 1887, annexed. 

Bald Heads. — June :!0, 1889 — Neumueller's Park scene of a picnic held by 
the Moonshiners, an organization of bald-headed men. 

Bennett Law.— April 18, 1890— Bennett Law Democrats organized; March 
14, 1890 — West Side Turners support law; May 2, 1890 — Wisconsin Lutherans 
called convention to oppose Bennett Law. 

Bethel Home.— August, 1868— Established by the Wisconsin Seamen's 
Friend Society. 

B'Nai B'Rith.— June 29, 1861— Gilead Lodge, No. 41. 

Butterine.— April 20, 1915— First butterine factory. 

Canal. — January, 18:58 — Milwaukee and Rock River. 

Cemeteries. — 1850— Forest Home; Nov. 2. 1857 — Calvary ; 1859— Holj 
Trinity; January 11, 1865— Union ; August, 1880— Pilgrim's Rest: April 1. 
1872— Greenwood : September 6, 1894— Wanderers' Rest; June 5, 1909— Holy 


First white yirl born in Milwaukee, 1835 


Centenarians. — October 2, 1914 — ^\Irs. Louise K. Thiers, 100; December 25, 
1914— Thomas Kelly, resident of the Soldiers' Home, 100; 1913— Mrs. Kath- 
erine Orzechowski, 100. 

Chamber of Commerce. — 1854 — Known as Board of Trade ; February 3, 
1863, new building; November 18, 1880, present building at Michigan Street 
and Broadway opened. 

Churches. — 1835 — Methodist Mission, Rev. Mark Robinson first pastor, 
place of worship, carpenter shop, Huron and East Water streets; May, 1841, 
first church built on east side of Broadway, between Oneida and Biddle streets; 
1848, first German Methodist Church, Rev. Casper Jost, pastor, built on Fifth 
Street; 1849, Welsh Methodist Church built on lake shore at Huron Street; 
March 25, 1865, Norwegian Methodist, Rev. A. Haagenson. 

1836 — First Baptist Church, Washington Street, and First Avenue, Elder 
Griffin; 1855, First German Baptist Church, Chestnut and Third streets; Rev. 
Carl Kleppe. 

1836 — St. Paul's Episcopal, Milwaukee and Wisconsin streets. 

April 13, 1837 — First Presbyterian, Rev. Moses Ordway. 

1837 — First Congregational Church; 1857, Welsh Congregational Church. 

August, 1837 — First Catholic services held in home of Solomon Juneau by 
Rev. Fleurimont Bonduel, March 19, 1844, Very Rev. John Martin Ileum con- 
secrated bishop of Milwaukee; St. Mary's 1846; 1863, St. Stanislaus Church 
established at Grove and Mineral streets by Father Bonaventura Buczynski. 

1839— St, Paul's Lutheran; 1847, Trinity Lutheran. 

1848 — Our Saviour's Norwegian Evangelical, Scott and Reed streets. 

1841 — Unitarian. 

1844 — Universalist. 

April 19, 1846 — Corner stone of St. Mary's Catholic Church laid; conse- 
crated September 12, 1847. 

1847 — Evangelical. 

1848— First Reformed (Dutch). 

October 5, 1856— B'ne Jeshurum ; August 5, 1869— Temple Emanu-El ; 1900 
— Sinai. 

1862 — Trinity Evangelical, Fourth and Lee streets, Rev. William Geyer. 

November 17, 1877 — Union Gospel. 

September 6, 1878 — Lutheran Theological Seminary. 

1889— -First Christian Science. 

March 9, 1890 — Methodists celebrated semi-centennial. 

City Hall.— February 24, 1894— Corner stone laid; December 23, 1895— 
inaugural proceedings; cost of building and fixtures, $1,016,935; height of flag 
pole, 393 feet; bell weighs 20,505 pounds and cost $4,000. 

Clearing House — December 1, 1868. 

Clocks. — 1906 — Street clocks removed by Mayor Becker. 

Colleges.— September 14, 1848— Milwaukee College; 1895— Milwaukee- 
Downer ; 1864 — Marquette University. 

Comm'on Council. — 1851 — First meeting held in Spring Street Methodist 
Church, Grand Avenue and Fifth Street. 

Courts. — 1835 — Albert Fowler appointed justice of peace; 1836 — Court- 


house sit.' donated by Solomon Juneau and Morgan L. Martin ; June 13, 1837 — ■ 
Federal Court opened by Judge William ('. Frazier; 1>,:!7 -Cyrus Eawley 
first clerk of Federal Courf; July 7. 1848-J. S. Rockwell first United States 
marshal; March 18, 1859 — Erasmus Foote elected first judge of Municipal 
Court; election later declared unconstitutional and -lames A. Mallory, then 
district attorney, appointed judge; 1872 — Courthouse, cost $1,000,000; June 
29, 1889— Jury commission; April 19, 1910— Civil courts. 

Dancing.— < Ictober, 1856 — First academy. Prof. L. W. Vizay; November 
'iii. 1910 — People's dances. Auditorium. 

Debate, Liquor.-- April 30, 1909— Rose-Dickie. 

John Dietz, Cameron Dam Hero. — April 2s. 1905 Seventeen Milwaukeeans 
sworn in to arrest Diet/: October S, 1910 — Captured. 

Dime Museum. — December 31, 1889 — Closed. 

Disasters. — May 7. 1875 — Steamer Schiller lost off England; Joseph Sehlit/.. 
Henry Friend. Herman Zinkeisen, Marcus Stein and .Mrs. Marie Millner and 
chilli of Milwaukee lost; April 20, 181)3 — Waterworks crib disaster, fifteen 
lost; March 1. 1N92 — Seven killed in wreck in Milwaukee road yards: Feh 
ruary 4, 189.") — Three drowned when car ran into open draw at Kinnickinnic 
bridge; May 29, 1914 — Mr. and Mrs. Henry Freeman saved from the steamer 
Empess of Ireland, lost in St. Lawrence River. 

Drama. — 1850-56 — Albany Hall, on site of Chamber of Commerce: March 
24, 1S62, burned. 

February. 1852 — Young's Hall completed; February 17. 1 S. V2. burned; 
March, 1853, rebuilt: April 8, 1853, opened with the production of "The Czar 
and the Ship Carpenter." by the Musical Society; June 21, 1859, burned. 

1860- Academy of .Music: 1869, leased to Young Men's Association, became 
first public library. 

January 10, 1865 — Daniel Bandmann. 

January .'51. 1865 — Music Hall dedicated: 1869, name changed to Academy 
of Music. 

October 21, 1868— Stadt Theater. Third Street, dedicated. 

August 29, 1889— Bijou Opera House. 

Augusl 17. 1871 — Grand Opera Eouse opened with production of "Martha" 
by fhe Philharmonic Society. 

April l(i. 1890 Booth and Modjeska played at Grand Opera House. 

April 6, 1890— Ernest I'ossart. German actor, firsl appearance. 

1891— Pabst Theater; 1890— Davidson Theater; 1909— Drama Club. 

March 20, 1910— -Hedwig Beringer's golden jubilee at Pabst Theater. 

May 21. 1915 Ludwig Ereiss silver jubilee. I'abst Theater. 

Druids.- -Augusl 22. 1853 Walhalla Grove, No. 2. 

Earthquake. — Augusl 31, 1> SS C 

Eight-Hour Day. -.May 9. lsiio Carpenters' demand granted. 

Epidemics.— Cholera. 1849 104 die; Ship fever. September. 1850—37 
die; Smallpox. 1871 — 774 die; 1872-217 die: 1894-5 268 die; rioting during 
removal of patients to isolation hospital. 

Exposition Building.— September 6, 1881 Opened: June 4. 1905, burned 

Famous Sayings. — 1898 — "There are some things worse than war: somi 


things better than money." — Senator John L. Mitchell in debate on question 
of declaring war on Spain after the destruction of the battleship Maine. 

Father of Weather Bureau. — November 1, 1870 — Increase Allen Lapham. 

Federal Building.— April 22, 1899— Opened. 

Fire Department. — December, 1836 — First tire, Samuel Brown's residence. 
Cherry Street, between Second and Third streets; 1837 — Volunteer Hook and 
Ladder Co.; 1839 — "Neptune, No. 1," first fire engine; 1840 — Second com- 
pany; 1844 — Third company; February, 1869 — Alarm system; March, 1874 — 
Paid department established; February, 1878 — Relief fund established: 
August 17, 1885 — Thomas A. Clancy joined Engine Co. No. 4; 1S.")8-1867 — . 
Jobst II. Buening, first chief; December 2, 1877 — Fire insurance patrol; 1889 — 
Henry Haerter, first fireman pensioned; September 4, 1889 — Mayor Brown 
christened Cataract; 1885 — Fire and Police Commission; Thomas Shea. Gen 
F. C. Winkler, Jacob Knoernsehild, Jerome R. Brigham; April 10, 1915 — First 
fire engine placed on Jones Island. 

Fires. April li, 1845 — First big fire burned block bounded by Broadway, 
East Water, Huron and Michigan streets; August 24. 1854 — Block bounded by 
Broadway. .Michigan, Huron and Fast Water streets, old Mitchell Bank, Tre- 
mont House, United States Hotel at East Water and Huron streets, and four 
livery stables on Broadway destroyed. January 18, 1851 — Block bounded by 
Broadway. Erie, East Water and Chicago streets; March 20, 1860 — Twenty 
stores on Wisconsin Street; January 1, 1863 — Camp Siege! barracks, three 
soldiers killed; November 15, 1869 — Gaiety Theater, three killed; February 
2, 1865 — Van Etta, Treedman & Co.'s tobacco factory; October 23. 1865 
Block on Wisconsin Street between Broadway and Milwaukee streets; October 
10, 1871 — Refugees from Chicago fire came to Milwaukee; January 10, 1883 — 
Newhall House, northwest corner of Broadway and Michigan streets; 90 to 
100 kiUcd; October 20, 1883— First Assistant Chief George M. Linkman 
joined department; October 26, 1913 — Goodyear Rubber Co. Building, 380 
East Water Street; nine firemen killed and seventeen injured; October 28, 
1892— Twelve blocks in the Third Ward: started in Union Oil Co. store on 
East Water Street and burned to the lake and the river; two firemen killed. 
two women died from excitement; loss, $3,000,000 to $4,000,000; Milwaukee's 
most disastrous fire: April 9, 1894 — Davidson Theater burned; Third Asst. 
Chief August Janssen and eight other firemen killed; fifteen firemen injured; 
March 28, 1895 — Grand Avenue, Landauer Bros, wholesale dry goods house, 
loss $1,000,000; July IS, 1899— Hotel Grace, Park and Heel streets, one fire- 
man killed and six injured; February 3. 1903 — Schwaab Stamp ami Seal Co., 
372-4 East Water Street; nitric acid gas caused death of Chief James Foley 
Capt. Andrew White and Pipeman Edward Hogan and Thomas Droney; Asst. 
Chief Thomas A. Clancy and twelve firemen overcome; February 24, 1905 — 
Lieut. Charles Dressel killed by fall from hosecart; February 13, 1909 — H. 
W. Johns-Manville Co.. Clybourn Street, fire firemen killed, one employe 
killed and several firemen injured; January 3, 1910 — American Bridge Co., 
Seventeenth Street and St. Paul Avenue, four firemen killed; October 29, 
1910 — Phoenix International Light Co., 317 Chestnut Street, one fireman 

"iUir:.-.? _..:-£ • 

-.-■ ■/: n.Mffli»;< 

> ■"» • 



■l i .i U — ' — _-_ 



The first white boy born in Milwaukee was Charles Milwaukee 
Sivyer whose parents resided on the site now occupied bj the First 
Wisconsin National Bank. Be died ai Los Angeles, California, in 
October, 1921, at the age of eighty-five, and was buried in 


killed; March 24, 1911 — Middleton Manufacturing Company, 354 Broadway, 
fire firemen killed; March 19, 1914 — Windsor Hotel, one life lost. 

First Bank Chartered. — 1839 — Wisconsin Marine & Fire Insurance Co. 
(now Marine National Bank). 

First Barbecue. — January 1, 1841 — Honor of Harrison and Tyler's election. 

First Blacksmith Shop. — 1835 — D. W. Patterson. 

First Block Pavement. — 1861 — West Water Street from Clybourn Street 
to Grand Avenue. 

First Brewery. — 1840 — Owens & Pawlett. 

First Brick. — September, 1835 — Nelson Olin. 

First Bridge. — Built by Byron Kilbourn across the Menomonee to connect 
Chicago road and Kilbourntown (west side). 

First Commissioners of Public Works. — May 10, 1869 — C. Latham Slioles, 
Henry Millman and James Reynolds. In April, 1871, Mr. Reynolds resigned; 
sm-ceeded by Jacob Velten. 

First City Attorney.— 1846— Charles E. Jenkins. 

First City Clerk.— 1846— A. H. Bielfeld. 

First City Comptroller. — 1852 — Cicero Comstock. 

First City Directory.— February 10, 1847 — Julius P. B. McCabe; April, 
1881, A. G. Wright began publication of city directory. 

First Electric Car.— April 3, 1890— Wells Street line. 

First City Engineer.— May 20, 1869— Theodore C. Brown. 

First Dam. — 1842 — Built on Milwaukee River for Rock River Canal Co., 
by Capt. John Anderson. 

First City Treasurer. — 1846 — Robert Allen. 

First Commissioner of Health. — April, 1S77 — Dr. I. II. Stearns. 

First Commissioners of the Public Debt. — 1861-65 — Alexander Mitchell ; 
1864-72 — Charles II. Larkin; 1871-86— Guido Pfister. 

First Constable. — October, 1835 — Sciota Evans. 

First Express Line. — 1852 — Arthur Flanders, over Milwaukee and Prairie 
du Chien Road. 

First Foundry. — 1842 — Egbert Mosley, Loring Dewey and Stephen New- 

First German Settler. — 1835 — Wilhelm Strothman. 

First Grocer, Wholesale.— 1845— P. W. Badgley. 

First Hotel.— 1835— Triangle, East Water Street, Jacques Vieau; 1836, 
called ( !o1 tage Inn. 

First Lighthouse.— is: 18. 

First Match Factory .—1844— R. W. Pierce. 

First Marshal. — 1846-7 — Thomas II. Fanning. 

First Mayor.- 1846— Solomon Juneau. 

First Milwaukee Surgeon in the Philippines. — 1899 — Dr. John R. MeDill. 

First Motion-Ficture Theatre.— July 10, 1906— Saxe Bros., N. E. Grand 
Avenue and Second Street. 

First Murder. — November, 1836. — Indian named Manitou killed by Joseph 
Scott and Cornelius Bennett at southeast corner of Michigan and East Water 


streets, murderers escaped from jail; Scotl hanged in Indiana: Bennetl never 

First Natatorium. — February 14. 1890. 

First Newspaper. July 14. 1836 -The Advertiser, democratic, published 
mi the sit' 1 of the Republican House by Daniel II. Richards; June 9, 1*17. 
absorbed by the Evening Wisconsin, founded by William E. Cramer. 

First Passenger Conductor. — November 21, 1850— Edwin Bridgeman of 
the Milwaukee & Mississippi. 

First Pier. — ls42 — Built by Horatio Stevens of New York, fool of Huron 

First Planing Mill. — 1 84'^ — Robert Luscombe and John T. Perkins. 

First Poet. — 1836 — Egbert II. Smith. Oak Creek. 

First Postmaster. — 1835— Solomon Juneau; Augusl 7. 1*4:;. removed; suc- 
ceeded by Josiah A. Noonan. 

First President of the Common Council. — 1874 — II. M. Benjamin; served 
until 1878. 

First Sailing Vessel. — 177!) — British sloop Felicity, Capt. Samuel Robert- 
son, vis ted Milwaukee. 

First Steamboat. — June 17. 1835 — United State-. 

First Survey of Lots. — 1834 — By William S. Trowbridge. 

First Tannery. — 1 848^Pfister & Vogel. 

First Tax Commissioner. -1869-72 — Matthew Keenan. 

First Type Foundry. — December, 1856. 

First Vessel Built Here. — 1836 — Sloop Wenona, by George Barger for 
William Brown. 

First Water Registrar. — 1872-4 — .Matthew Keenan (secretary board of 
water commissioners i . 

First Woodenware Factory. — 1844 — ('. E. Woolsey. 

Five Times Mayor.— 1898, 1900, 1902, 1904, 1908— David Stuart Rose. 

Flood.— November 2, 1858; March 23, 1865. 

Flushing Tunnel.— September 8, 1884 -Finished; Sept ember 18, 1888, first 

Foundation.- -May 24, 1915 — Milwaukee Foundation organized at meeting 
of Wisconsin Trust Company directors. 

Gas Works.- Nqvember 12, 1852 — First jet lighted. 

Gatherings.— June 8, 1880; August 26, 1889 -G. A. R.; June 17. 1888 
First national skat tournament; June 20, 1889 Saengerfest, July 23, 1893 
Turnfest; 1896 -Semi-centennial; 1898 Carnival; Augusl 3-7, 1909 Home- 
coming; September 1910— American Health Association; Augusl 1. 1913— 
Perrj Centennial; June 11. 1914 -Comptrollers. 

German Association. Ma\ 8, 1880 Organized to proted immigrants. 

Harugari. — February 18, 1855 — Guttenberg Lodge, No. 57. 

Home for the Aged. September, 1878 Established by the Little Sisters 
of the Poor. 

Home for the Friendless. October, 1867. 

Hospitals. -July. 1848 st. Mary's, at Jackson and Oneida streets; Augusl 
:;. 1863 Milwaukee, established by the late Rev. William Passavant; Octo- 


ber 15, 1877 — City (isolation), Mitchell Street and Nineteenth Avenue; August, 
1880 — County; May, 1888 — Johnston Emergency Hospital. 

House of Correction. — 1865 — Windlake Avenue. 

House Numbers.— April 24, 1865— Property owners given ten days to 
number houses under penalty of $5. 

Humane Society. — December 5, 1879. 

Illumination.— April 5, 1880— Streets lighted by electricity by Prof. C. II. 
Ilaskins; February 28, 1890— $600,000 municipal electric light plant plans 
before board of public works. 

Immigration, Board of. — March, 1879. 

Indians.— September 4, 1862— Fear of Uprising; October, 1844— Last 
annual dance. 

Industrial School for Girls. — February 11, 1875 — Michigan Street; April 
15, 1875 — Jackson Street; 1878, North Point. 

Infants' Home. — June 1, 1882. 

Insurance, Fire—February, 1852— M lwaukee Mechanics; February 20, 
1869 — Northwestern National; March, 1871 — Concordia. 

Insurance. Life.— November IS. 1858— Northwestern .Mutual Life Insurance 
Co. organized in Janesville : moved to .Milwaukee, March 7. 1859 — February 
14, 1915, George W. Young, 50 years in its employ; October 1, 1915, occupied 
new building on Wisconsin Street; April, 1910 — Old Line Life Insurance Com- 
pany of America. 

Inventor of Typewriter.— 1S68 — C. Latham Sholes. 

Investigations.— March :;, 1905— Beef "trust;" March 0, 1905— Tenement 
houses; October 2, 1911 ; Senator Isaac Stephenson; July Li. 1914 — Vice com- 

Jenny Lind Club.— 1861. 

Jitneys.— Fein-nary 6, 1915— First license issued to W. B. Putnam; May 
I'. 1915. Robert Stauss killed; June 3, 1915, 1.0(1(1 licensed. 

Journalism.— 1910 — School Founded at Marquette University by Rev. J. E. 
i lopus, S. J. 

Klondike Gold Excitement. — luly 15, 1891— News of discovery; Milwau- 
keeans prepare to leave for gold fields. 

Knights of Honor.— September 9, 1870— Milwaukee Lodge. No. 300. 

Knights of Pythias.— September 9, 1870— Milwaukee Lodge, No. 1; May 
21, 1890 — Wisconsin brigade, uniformed rank, organized; July, 1890 — encamp- 

Labor.— February 20, 1887 — Federated Trades Council organized; August 
14, 1887, received charter; March 7, 1890 — Eight-hour day, building trades. 

Legion of Honor.— 1880— Six subordinate councils. 

Library, Public— February 7, 1878— Established, taking over books of 
loung Men's Association. 

Library and Museum Building. 1898— Cost $(27,674. 

Lincoln. April IS, 1865 — Funeral services in memory of President Lincoln. 

Literary Workshop.— 1915— 420 Marshall Street. 

Lynching. September (i. 1861— Marshal] Clark Lynched following murder 
of Darbey Carney. 


Man Girl.— May 4, 1914 — Ralph Kerwiniec discovered to be .Miss Cora 

Marine.— 1S47 — Dry doffk, floating; slip. February, 1877, Wolf & David- 
son; .May I, 1877— Life saving station; 1838 Lighthouse, fool of Wisconsin 
Street; 1855— Lighthouse, North Point; November I, 1870 -U. S. Signal 
service; January 5, 1890— Whale Club; 1908— Strike of lake seamen, fire- 
men, oilers, watertenders, cooks and stewards against Lake Carriers' Asso 
ciation; December 1 5, 1912 — Ligbtship, three miles off Wisconsin Street; May 
l.'i, 1!H.">— Interstate Commerce Commission divorces lake-rail lines: order 
effective December 1, 1915. 

Marine Disasters. — June 17, 1852— S. P. Griffith burned; 322 lost: October 
24. 1856— Steamer Toledo foundered off Port Washington; thirty lost: Sep- 
tember 8, 1860 — Steamer Lady Elgin lost off Winnetka, III.: about 300 
drowned ; April 9, 1868 — Steamer Sea Bird burned off Waukegan, III. ; seventy- 
three drowned; October 14, 1872 — Steamer Lac La Belle foundered in Lake 
Michigan; seven lost; September 15, 1873 — Steamer Ironsides foundered in 
Lake Michigan; Captain Sweetman and sixteen others lost: September 9, 1875 
—Bark Tanner wrecked; Captain Howard drowned; crew of nine saved by a 
volunteer life-saving' crew, Henry M. Lee, X. A. Peterson. Burnt Oleson, Henry 
Spark and John MeKenna, assisted by the revenue cutter Andy Johnson and 
the tug F. C. Maxon; October 16. 1880 — Steamer Alpena foundered in Lake 
Michigan; about 10H lost; March 19, 1885 — Steamer Lake Michigan crushed by 
ice in Lake Michigan; no lives lost ; October 20, 1887 — Steamer Vernon found- 
ered; twenty-two lost; October 30, 1888 — Explosion on tug Lawrence kills 
Capt. John Sullivan and three others; May 18, 1894 — Schooner M. J. Cum- 
mings lost off Milwaukee; six drowned: January 21, 1895 — Steamer Chicora 
lost in Lake Mchigan; thirty-six drowned; September !), 1910 Car ferry 
Pere Marquette No. 18 foundered in Lake Michigan: twenty-eighl lost; Octo- 
er 8, 1913 — Explosion, cutter Tuscarora; November 7. 1913 — Storm on great 
lakes: I'll sailors drowned and seventeen vessels lost. 

Masonic.--.! uly 5, 18.43 — Milwaukee Lodge. No. 22. 

Medical Society County. -1846-53, lapsed; November, 1879, revived. 

Merchants' and Manufacturers' Association. March. 1861 Organized as 
Merchants' Association. Later changed to Milwaukee Association of Com 

Military. -1845— Washington Guards; Milwaukee (German) Riflemen; 
1854, reorganized as the City Rifles; 1847— Milwaukee (German) Dragoons; 
1848 Milwaukee City Guards; 1854 — Milwaukee Union Sarsfield Guards; 
National Guards; 1855, reorganized as the Union Guards; July 16, 1855, again 
reorganized as the Milwaukee Light Guard; 1856 Washington Artillery; 
1857 — Milwaukee Light Guard Cadets; 1858 reorganized as Milwaukee 
Cadets; 1861, changed name to Milwaukee Zouaves; July 13, 1861, mustered 
into the 1". S. service as Company I!. Fifth Wisconsin Regiment; August .'!. 
1864; mustered out; 1857 Black Yagers; entered U. S. service for three 
months as Company I). First Wisconsin Regiment; mustered oul at expira- 
tion of thai term; 1858 Montgomery Guards; July Pi. 1861, mustered into 
C. s. service as Company P>. Fifth Wisconsin Regiment; mustered ou1 at 


the close of Civil war; 1858 — Juneau Guards; 1858 — Milwaukee Cavalry 
Company; 1859 — Green Yagers; October 10, 1861 — Second Wisconsin Bat- 
tery; June 15, 1869 — Company A, Sheridan Guards; September 14, 1874 — 
Company K, Kosciuszko Guards; June 20, 1879 — Company L, South Side 
Turner Rifles; April 22, 1880 — Light Horse Squadron organized; April 25, 
1 ss 4 — Sheridan, Kosciuszko and Lincoln Guards and South Side Turner Rifles 
organized into Fourth Battalion, W. N. G. ; 1887 — Company I. Rusk Guard; 
October 24. 1888, mustered into National Guard as Company E; January 19, 
1889— Company F, Badger State Rifles; June 25, 1898— Fourth Infantry at 
Oshkosh riots; July 26, 1898 — Company D, Scofield Guard; February 28, 
1899 — Fourth Regiment mustered out at Anniston, Alabama. 

Milk Famine.— July •"., 1914. 

Milwaukee Lyceum. — January 10, 1839 — Lucius I. Barber, president. 

Milwaukee to Liverpool. — July 21, 1856 — Schooner Dean Richmond sailed 
with 14.0(H) bushels of wheat; arrived December, 29. 

Monuments and Statues. — November 7, 1885 — Washington; (lift of Miss 
Elizabeth Plankinton; July 6, 1887 — Juneau: Charles T. Bradley and William 
II. Metcalf; November 15, 1887 — Ericson : Mrs. Joseph T. Gilbert; March 25. 
1901— Elk: B. P. O. E.— June 19, 1905— Kosciuszko : Popular subscription: 
June 28, 1898— Soldiers : Popular subscription; July 14, 1908— Schiller-Goethe : 
Popular subscription; June 26, 1909 — Burns: James A. Bryden; August 11)21, 
Baron von Steuben. 

Music. — January, 1843 — Beethoven Society; E. I). Holton, President ; May 
1, 1850 — Musical society; Jacob Mahler, president; 1840 — First music hall 
built at Third and Chestnut streets by John Hustis; July 23, 1858 — Lieder- 
tafel; John Marr, president; November 2D, 1877 — Arion Musical club; June 
16, 1859 — Deutscher Maennerverein, originally the Catholic Young Men's As- 
sociation: September 17, 1871 — Nunnemacher 's Grand Opera House (now 
Pabst theatre); "Martha" presented by Philharmonic Society; March 29, 
1905— "Parsifal," in English. 

Museum, Public. — April 14. 1882 — Accepted collection of Wisconsin Natural 
History Society. 

Odd Fellows. — 1846 — Kneeland Lodge, No. 5. 

Odotological Society. — August 25, 1878 — To protect and further interests 
of dentists. 

Orphan Asylums. — May !», 1848 — St. Rose's (Catholic); January 4, 1850— 
Protestant; June 12, 1877 — St. Vincent's. 

Paper Mill.— 1848 — North side of Menomonee River, block west of West 
Water Street bridge; owned by Ludington & Garland; destroyed by a freshet 
in 1864. 

Parks.— June 1, 1864 — Quentin's park opened; April 4, 1865 — Juneau 
park established; 1889— Park law authorized, $1,000,000 bond issue; 1889 
Park Commission: Christian Wahl, Calvin E. Lewis, Charles Manegohl, Jr., 
Louis Auer and John Bentley. 

Pfeil Funeral Pyre.— < >ctober 22, 1855. 

Phonological Institute for Deaf Mutes. — January, 1878 — 594 National 


Police Department.— September 10, 1855 Organized with Chief William 
Beck and eleven patrolmen; chief's salary, $800; men, $30 a month; October 
26, 1885 — John T. Janssea made chief. .May 7. 1921, Jacob G. Laubenheimer 
made chief. 

Thirteenth City (Census 1920) 

13. Milwaukee 457,1 17 

12. San Francisco 506,676 

11. Buffalo 506,775 

10. Los Angeles 576,673 

9. Pittsburgh 588,343 

8. Baltimore 733,826 

7. Boston 748,060 

6. St. Louis 772,897 

5. Cleveland 796,841 

4. Detroit 993,678 

3. Philadelphia 1,823,779 

2. Chicago ■ 2,701,705 

1. New York City 5,620,048 

Population.— 1915, estimated— 41 9,054. 

Growth— 1850— 20,061; 1860—45,246; 1870—71,440; 1880—115,587; 1890 
—204,468; 1900—285,315; 1910—373,857; 1920—457,147. 

Press Club, English. — September 7, 11)10 — Silver jubilee; Theodore Roose 
velt guest of honor: "The Big Stick" published, Harlowe Randall Hoyt, editor; 
Fred W. Luening. associate editor. 
Press Club, German. — 1887. 

Postal Service. — 1835 — First post office, southwest corner East Water and 
Wisconsin streets: April 13, 1915 — Louis Manz a letter carrier for fifty years: 
aged < s <> years April 9, 1915; oldest letter carrier in the United States. 

Pound. — May 12, 1865 — Thirty cows were reported in Caleb Wall's Seventh 
Ward pound. 

Railroads, Steam.— 1S47 — Milwaukee & Waukesha chartered: 185] — Mil- 
waukee & Mississippi finished to Waukesha; 1854 — Finished to Madison: 
1857 — Built to Prairie Du Chien; 1854 — Milwaukee & Watertown built from 
Brookfield to Oconomowoc; 1854 — Line south from Fond du Lac. now owned 
by Chicago & Northwestern; 1856 — Milwaukee >.y. La Crosse begun; I s ' 1 - 
Reached La Crosse: 1866— Union depot, Reed Street; 1879-80 -West Milwau- 
kee shops; December 19, 1886 — First train ran into new Tnion passenger 
station, between Third and Fourth and Everett and Clybourn streets, a1 5:45 
p. in., Sunday, June 24, 1889 — General passenger and freight departments 
of the Milwaukee mad moved to Chicago; December 10, 1889 — Northwestern 
depot, Wisconsin Street ; June 16, 1905 — Passes abolished. 

Railways, Street.--. Inly 1859 — River and Lake Shore City Railway; May 
30, 1859, first two cars operated with four horses each, from Fast Water 
Street bridge to Juneau Avenue; one car's receipts first day were $38; March, 
L865 Milwaukee City: 1874- Cream City; June 1, L874 West Side; April 
17, 1890— Pittsburgh syndicate boughl Cream City; April 3, 1890 First 
eh'. 'trie car. Wells Street : February 1. 1905 — Public Service Building planned; 


February 11, 1905 — Henry C. Payne, president Cream City; October, 1905— 
Milwaukee-Northern organized; October 28, 1907, first train to Cedarburg; 
November 2, 1907, Port Washington ; September 22, 1908, Sheboygan ; February 

I, 1915 — Railroad conrmiss : on rescinds order directing Electric Co. to sell 
thirteen tickets for 50 cents; June 14, 1915 — U. S. Supreme Court upholds 
Circuit Court order in thirteen-tickets-for-50-cents (coupon) case. 

Real Estate. — May 22, 1905 — Railway Exchange (Herman) building, sold 
for $400,000; March 3, 1890— Pabst Building site leased for 99 years. 

Riots. — April 6, 1845 — Rev. E. Leahy attacked in Spring Street (Grand 
Avenue) Methodist Church and at U. S. Hotel; May 8, 1845 — Bridge ; March 
4, 1850— Residence of State Senator John B. Smith in Third Ward mobbed 
by crowd which objected to a measure he had introduced in the Legislature 
and which became known as "the blue liquor law"; June 24, 1861 — Bank; 
May 4, 1886 — Bay View; five killed; March, 1889 — Chinese mobbed; August 
22, 1893— Unemployed ; May 3, 1896— Street railway. 

Roosevelt Shot.— October 14. 1912— Theodore Roosevelt shot by John 
Schranck while leaving Hotel Gilpatrick. 

Royal Arcanum. — December 29, 1877 — Alpha Council, No. 4.'!; February 2. 
1878, Allen ( louncil. 

Sane Fourth Commission. — 1911. 

Schools. — 1835 — Private schools established; 1845 — Thirteen schools, four 
public; 356 pupils out of 1,781 children of school age; 1885 — State Norma! 
School; August, 1857 — Three high schools established; 1860 — abolished; No- 
vember, 1859 — Normal class established; 1859 — Rufus King first superin- 
tendent; 1879 — First kindergarten; June 7, 1904 — Frank M. Harbach, sec- 
retary; March IS, 1890 — Supreme court decides against reading bible in 
public schools. 

Settlement. — 1789 — Jean Baptiste Mirandeau and Jacques Yieau arrived; 
September 14, 1818 — Solomon Juneau located on the site of the Wisconsin 
National Bank, northwest corner of Wisconsin and East Water streets; 1833 - 
Morgan L. Martin of Green Bay became a partner of Juneau: 1834 — George 

II. Walker located on Walker's Point, south of the Milwaukee River; 1835 — 
Laid out as a village; 1835 — Byron Kdhourn bought a tract on the west side; 
September, 1835 — First town meeting held at Juneau's home; May 4, 1835 — 
Charles Milwaukee Sivyer, first white boy horn in Milwaukee; October 10, 
1835 — Milwaukee H. Smith, daughter of Uriel B. and Lucy C. Smith, horn; 
first Anglo-Saxon girl horn in Milwaukee; December 25, 1837 — Louis Bleyer, 
son of Henry Bleyer, first German child horn in Milwaukee; September 12, 
1844 — Aid. Henry Smith arrived from Stark County, Ohio, with his parents, 
two. brothers and sister: January 31, LS46 — Charter adopted; .Inly 5, 1S69 - 
Old Settlers' Club organized. 

Slave Rescued. — 1S42 — Caroline Quarles; March 11, 1858 — Joshua Glover, 
a runaway slave, rescued by abolitionists led by Sherman M. Booth, editor 
of the Free Democrat. 

Slot Machines.— March 22, 1905— Destroyed by Sheriff Cary; June 9. 
1915, destroyed by Sheriff Melms. 


Socialists.— 1<J10— Emil Seidel elected mayor; 1910— Victor L. Berger 
elected congressman from Fifth District. 

Soldiers' Home.— March"31, 1864^-Opened ; June 28, 1865 Greal fair raised 

$110,000 iii ten days for new building. 

Sons of Hermann. — April 20, 1848 — Milwaukee Lodge, No. 1. 

Spelling, in Early Days— Minwaki, Minewaki, Maunawaukee, Meloaki, Me] 
leoki, Meloaky, Milouaqui, Milwaukie, Milwalky. 

St. Andrew's Society. — January 25, 1859— Alexander Mitchell, president. 

Stockyards. — 1870 — Established by Milwaukee road. 

Strikes.— .March 10, 1890— Switchmen ; .May 1.".. 1905— Molders. 

Swimming record. — August 17, 1894— World's record, eighty yards: fifty 
seconds, George J. W li it taker. 

Tax, Income. — March 19, 1865 — Incomes for year: Alexander Mitchell, 
$53,071; Guido Pfister, $42,221: Angus Smith. $30,000; 1913— Largest tax- 
payer, Patrick Cudaliy, $9, 556.31! ; largest woman taxpayer, Charlotte Hartig, 
$5,128; 1914 — Largest corporation tax. Schlitz Brewing Co., $103,852. 

Titanic Victim. — April 15, 1912 — Capt. E. G. Crosby among the 1 . -"> 1 7 

Telegraph. — January 17, 1848 — First dispatch sent to The Evening Wis- 
consin from the Chicago Journal: "Chicago and Milwaukee united." 

Telephone. — 1877 — John S. George, first subscriber; first exchange. 411 

Traveling Men. — December 9, 1893 — Post IS. Travelers' Protective Asso- 
ciation; June 29. 1895 — Milwaukee Council, No. 54, United Commercial Trav- 
elers of America. 

Turners. — July 18, 1853 — Turnverein Milwaukee. 

United Workmen.— March 23, 1877— Schiller Lodge, No. 21. 

Visitors.— 1679— La Salle; October 7, 1698— De St. Oosme; 1778— Charles 
de Langlade: April 28, 1853— Ole Bull; April 28, 1853— Adelina Patti (at the 
age of 13 i : September 30, 1859— Abraham Lincoln ; October 14, lsiiii Stephen 
A. Douglas: January 23. ISlio Ralph Waldo Kmerson ; February .">. 1865 
John B. Gough; 1865 — Artemus Ward: 1865 — Josh Billings; September 4. 
1865. June 9, 1880— Gen. U. S. Grant; October 2, 1865— Gen. W. T. Sherman; 
November 2. 1870 — James A. Garfield; January 2, 1872— Grand Duke Alexis; 
September 12, 1878— President Rutherford B. Hayes; 1880— Henry Ward 
Beecher; July 9, 1887— Earl of Aberdeen: October 6, 1887 Presidenl Grover 
Cleveland and bride, Frances Folsom Cleveland: June 20, 1889 -June 28, 1899, 
September 1. 1901, April 4, 1903, September 7, 1910, October 14. 1912 Theo- 
dore Roosevelt; April 10, 1890 Rev. T. De Witt Talmage; January 12, 1890 
Princess Engalitcheff ; March 9, 1890- George Francis Train: March 15, 
L890— Bill Nye; 1890-1910— Nelly Bly; October 9, 1894 October lb 17. 1899 
Presidenl William McKinley; October 21, 1896— Carl Schurz; January 11, 
1898 Cheiro; February 9, 1898 James J. Corbett; February 10, 1899 Wal- 
ter A. Wyekoff; October 26, 1900 James Whitcomb Riley; March I. 1902 
Prince Henry of Prussia; April 10, 1903 -George Kennan; June 5, 1904 

Mayor Weaver of Philadelphia, with liberty bell; October 26, L904 -Libert 
Hubbard; November 3, 1904 -Gen. Nelson A. Miles: January 14. 1905 


Melba ; March ](i, 1905 — Harry K. Thaw and wife, on their honeymoon trip; 
January 25, 1905— Judge Ben. B. Lindsey; April 21, 1906— Admiral Robert 
E. Peary: October 16, 1906— Sir Thomas Lipton; March 2, 1907— Edward 
Payson Weston: May 29, 1907— Gen. Tamemato Kuroki ; October 16, 1907 
— Sir Thomas Lipton; November 7, 1907 — Senator Benjamin R. Tillman: 
April 21, 190S— Dr. Frederick A. Cook: February 9, 1909.— Admiral Robley 
I). Evans; February 10, 1909— James Bryce; March 6, 1909— Count Joliann 
von Bernstorff ; November 12, 1909— Opie Read; October 21, 1910— Karl Lid,. 
knecht ; November 17, 1910 — Woodrow Wilson; December 8, 1910 — Charles 
W. Eliot; February 20, 1912— Attorney-General Wickersham ; February 8, 
1913 — Capt. Roald Amundsen; August 9, 1913 — Cardinal Gibbons; January 
23, 1914— Miss Anne Morgan; 1912, 1915— William II. Taft. 

War. — August 6, 1847 — Mexican war enlistments; April 15, lsiil — War 
meeting called to order by Dr. Lemuel Weeks; April 25, 1861 — Seven com- 
panies recruited and assigned to the First Wisconsin Regiment; April 23, 
June 9, 1861 — Camp Scott, north side of Grand Avenue, between Twelfth and 
Fourteenth streets; May 8, 1861 — Flag, gift of the women of Milwaukee, 
presented to the First Wisconsin Volunteers by Mrs. George II. Walker; July 
2, 1861 — First engagement at Falling Waters; George Drake first Milwaukee 
soldier killed; February 13, 1862 — Milwaukee celebrates capture of Fort 
Donaldson on February 12, 1862; October 19, 1862— State draft; November 
1863 — National draft; October 19, 1861 — Milwaukee Ladies' Association for 
the aid of military hospitals organized; February 27, 1865 — City enjoined from 
paying bounties; 1S98 — Camp Harvey, state fair grounds, Spanish-American 
war; July 28, 1014 — Many Milwaukeeans marooned in Europe when great 
war broke old. 

Waterworks. — October 24, 1873 — River supply; September 14, 1874, lake: 
July 21, 1014 — Record consumption, 65,975,480 gallons. 

Weather.— June 4, 1816 — Blizzard; June 17, 1816 — Snow storm; (known 
as the year thai had no summer) ; January 1, 1846 — 35 to 40 below zero; June 
2, 1866 — Tornado; May 2, 1875 — 25 below zero coldest May day in history of 
weather bureau ; March in. 1881 — Record-breaking snow storm; .May 31, 1889 
— Snow; June 23, 1892 — forty-one days' rain ended; May 18, 1894 — Snow; 
May 24, 1901— Snow ; May 27, 1907— Snow. 

Whisky Cases.— October, 1875— July, 1876. 

Wisconsin's Birthday. — May 29, 1848 — Wisconsin admitted to the Union. 

Woman's Industrial Exchange. — 18S2. 

World's Fairs. — May 20, 1890 — Wisconsin commissioners to Chicago 
World's Fair appointed; August 9, 1904— Milwaukee day; June 29, 1904— 
Wisconsin building at St. Louis presented to the management. 

Youngest Mayor. — 1906 — Sherburn Merrill Becker, aged 29 years. 

Young Men's Association. — December 8, 1847 — J. II. Van Dyke, president. 

Y. M. C. A.— December 22, 1876— Organized ; May 3, 1890— German branch 
opened. Y. W. C. A.— September. 1892. 

Zoo.— 1005. 






Along in the middle thirties a great wave of enthusiasm swept over the 
country in favor of public improvements. Building of railroads, canals, and 
new towns everywhere were proposed. The legislatures of the older slates 
were besieged with demands for new lines of communication, improvement 
of country roads, building of bridges and establishment of stage lines. The 
sentiment became so strong that the more conservative element of the com- 
munities, both rural and urban, was overwhelmed and completely silenced 
for some years while the fever lasted. 

At the session of the Territorial Legislature of Wisconsin, held in 1837 and 
the following years, the most important measures for interna] improvements 
were discussed. "Numerous roads were ordered to be laid out, charters 
granted for railroads that were never built, ferries were licensed and dams 
permitted on unnavigable streams," writes Miss Kellogg in her "Story of 
Wisconsin." Petitions to the national government were sent asking for the 
improvement of harbors on Lake Michigan and for the rivers Mowing into 
the lake, for lighthouses and mail routes. "Two large projects for water- 
ways were vigorously promoted. These were the Milwaukee and Rock River 
ranal and the Fox-Wisconsin Improvement. The former was promoted by 
Milwaukee capitalists, the latter by those of Green Bay. Both projects se- 
cured land grants from Congress and both became seriously involved in 
political disputes. No work of importance was ever done on the Rock River 
project: the canal at Portage and the water control of the lower Fox River 
are the results of the Fox-Wisconsin improvement which, in 1872, was taken 
over by the Federal government. In fact the navigation of either route was 
possible only to light draft and small sized craft that could never compete 
in modern times with the rail carriers." 

Land Speciilation. — The internal improvement craze was accompanied by 
an era of wild speculation in town sites. About the year 1836 the speculative 
madness reached its height. Men besieged the land office and purchased tracts 
of land from the Government at a $1.25 an acre which in a few days would be 
regularly staked out and platted into town sites, exhibiting in the highly 
colored drawings the public spirit and generosity of the promoters in provid- 
ing public squares, church sites, and schoolhouse reservations. The prairies 
of Illinois, the forests of Wisconsin and the sand hills of Michigan presented 
an almost unbroken chain of imaginary cities and villages which as yet were 
in a state of nature. 




Corner of Fourth si r>>.-t , occu] 1 bj Bauer & Steinmeyer until L8T< 


Often in these pictorial prospectuses could be seen a fi < > w i 1 1 i_f stream 
winding its romantic course through the heart of an ideal city thus creating 

water lots and wharfing facilities even though no stream existed on the 
spot. But where a real stream, however diminutive, did rind its way to the 
shores of the lake, no matter what was the character of the surrounding 
country, some enterprising promoter would hasten to the nearest land office 
and secure the tract at the Government price. "Then the desolate waste of 
sand and Fens," says a historian of the period, "was suddenly elevated into 
a nrghty city with a projected harbor and lighthouse, railroads ami canals, 
and in a short time the circumjacent lands were sold in lots. Not the puniest 
brook on the shore of Lake Michigan was suffered to remain without a city 
at its mouth, and whoever will travel around the lake will find many a mighty 
mart staked out in spots suitable only for the habitations of wild beasts." 

Speculation in Milwaukee. — In a paper by Silas Chapman, read before the 
"Old Settlers' ('lub" in IS]):;, he graphically described the conditions pre- 
vailing at that time. "Speculation ran rampant." he said, "prices of every- 
thing went upward, ami this speculat'on culminated in 1836 by platting and 
throwing on tin- market lots, not only in cities and villages, but on mountain 
tops and under water. It mattered not where the real estate was, it became 
real to the speculator, and his credit if not his money was invested in it. It 
was supposed to lie a fact that lots were platted and sold that were then and 
are to this day under water. It was nearly true of lots in Milwaukee." 
The land -where our city is now located has just been surveyed and 
was an enticing field for speculation. The place was outs'de of civilization 
and could only be reached by tramp boats on the lake. The land was 
platted., the plats looked well on the map and the maps were ready. In all 
nearly 5,000 lots were in the market." 

"Then began the furious and reckless sale id' lots," continues Chapman. 
"Sellers were as reckless as buyers, for everybody was a seller and everybody 
was a buyer. There was no limit to the prices and expectation of prices. 
Lots were sold for a given price with a guarantee that within a named period 
they could be sold al a certain per cent advance. Mr. Juneau is said to have 
sold lots with such guarantee, and afterwards, according to his ability, honor- 
ably redeemed his pledge." Milwaukee recovered slowly from the madness 
of 1836. "It has since kept its real estate at a fair but not at a speculative 

Canal Building. — "The movement toward establishing steamboat naviga- 
tion," says E. B. Usher, in his "History of Wisconsin." "by the route then 
uppermost in tin- minds of all southwestern Wisconsin, as well as Green Bay. 
began early. It obtained a footing in 1834 by the chartering of tin' Portage 
Canal Company by the Michigan Legislature." Morgan L. Martin, a leading 
citizen of Green Hay. was chiefly instrumental in procuring the charter which 
was to «Miable Daniel Whitney to build the canal. In 1838, Martin was elected 
to the Wisconsin Territorial council which position he held until 1S44. and 
was twice its president. 

In 1845, .Martin was a delegate to Congress and during that time he pro- 
cured tin' first grant of lands to aid "the improvement," and in the years 
vol. i—: 4 


\\ I.MT. 
The original Caswell store and building to the lefl 


from 1851 to 1853 he lent his powerful aid to the work. When the state failed 
to complete the canal Martin devoted his whole energies and all the fortune 
he had made af Milwaukee and Green Bay to render it a success. However, 
in spite of these efforts, it may be said that no more complete extinction of 
the great expectations and high hopes indulged in by the people of Wisconsin 
in regard to canals and waterways could be imagined than the Fox-Improve- 
ment Company was shown to be in its hugely disappointing results. 

The Fox-Wisconsin Improvement. — From the time of the early explorers 
the portage from the upper waters of the Fox River to those of the Wisconsin 
River had been seen to be a reasonable possibility. The natural obstacles 
were not great, as only a boggy plain but \\U miles in width separated the two 
rivers at the site of the modern City of Portage. The Fox River, however, 
was much broken by rapids, and until improvements could be made in its 
channel the navigation of that river for boats of considerable size would he 
impossible. For canoes and boats of light draft a limited communication 
could be kepi up. The early explorers found it answered their purpose, and 
it was across this portage that Joliet and Marquette, on their voyage for 
the discovery of the Mississippi River in 1673, carried their canoes from the 
Fox to the Wisconsin. 

In IS06, the Illinois and Michigan canal to connect Chicago with the Illi- 
nois River at La Salle was begun, about the time that the Territory of Wis- 
consin was organized, and it was opened for navigation soon after Wisconsin 
was admitted, as a state in the Union, in 1848. The people of Wisconsin, hav- 
ing this example before them, began an agitation for an improvement of the 
Fox River by Congress, and a canal to connect the two rivers at the ancient 
portage. Tn 1846, a grant of land in aid of the project was made by Congress. 
But the board of public works, having this enterprise in charge, soon ran the 
state in debt, and in 1851 it was announced the work would have to stop on 
account of the slow sales of land. 

Work Continued by a Citizen of Green Bay. — At this critical juncture 
Morgan L. Martin, a citizen of Green I lay, offered to do the work from Green 
Bay to Lake Winnebago through the channel of the Fox River, the cutting 
through the portage plain having already been completed. This proposal 
was accepted by the Legislature and Martin began his task witli a large force 
of men, being given state scrip as the work progressed, which was to be 
redeemed from the proceeds of land sales and prospective tolls. Hostile 
legislation interfered with this arrangement, but in spite of many discourage- 
ments the Fox and Wisconsin Improvement Company, as it was called, sent 
its first boat through on its passage from Pittsburgh to Green Bay in 1856. 

A year or two previously Congress had increased the land grant to the 
company, but as the enterprise still Lacked capital for its future operations, 
the whole enterprise was foreclosed by creditors, and the corporate title was 
changed to the "Green Bay and Mississippi Canal Company." In 1872 the 
entire plant was sold to the United Slates government. 

Subsequent Status of the Work. — "The Fox-Wisconsin improvement," 

said the late R. G. Thwaites in his 1 k, "Stoiw of Wisconsin,"' "cost tile slate 

and nation millions of dollars but it has never been a complete success. The 


lower Fox has by means of an elaborate system of locks been made navigable 
for boats of a few feel draughl between Green Bay and Omro, bu1 the traffic 
is slight, the chief advantage accruing to the thrifty manufacturing towns 
of Neenah, Menasha, Appleton, Kaukauna and Depere, where splend'.d water 
powers have been incidentally developed by the governmenl works. 

"From Omro to Portage there is a slight spasmodic freighl traffic for small 
flat-bottomed steamers of not over three feel draught. The canal at Portage, 
fast falling into decay, is sometimes not opened throughoul an entire season 
(1887). The Wisconsin River is clogged with shifting sandbars and wholly 
unreliable for vessels of three feet draught except at high water. It is 
seldom used now that logging on the Upper Wisconsin has I q greatly re- 
duced in extent; and a government engineer lias made the assertion that the 
only way to 'improve' it for a national waterway, is 'to either lath-and-plaster 
the bottom or construct a canal alongside all the way from Portage to 
Prairie du < 'hien.' 

Concerning the general sentiment of the people regarding the Fox-Wis 
cousin improvement Mr. Thwaites remarks: "In early days, there was no doubt 
whatever in the minds of the Wisconsin public, that this projected improve 
ment, apparently so feasible, could be easily constructed and the historic 
streams be made to bear monster war and freight vessels through the heart 
of the state, between the Great Lakes and the great river artery of the con- 
tinent: but it is now the general opinion that the difficulties in tic way are 
too great to be overcome, chiefly owing to the peculiar character of the 
Wisconsin River, and 'improvement talk," so common in former years, is now 
no longer heard in our legislatures and political conventions." 

The Milwaukee and Rock River Canal. -A charter for the Milwaukee and 
Rock River 'anal Company was obtained in 1838 from the territorial legis- 
lature, as previous efforts to secure Congressional aid had proved a failure. 
Congress, however, finally voted a land grant to the canal company, and its 
promoters endeavored to procure financial aid from the territorial govern- 
ment, but it was ultimately refused. In accepting the gift of land from Con- 
gress it was stipulated that the territory was to conduct the sales therefrom 
and to use tin' proceeds in completing the canal. "Iii accepting tin-- gift," 
writes Reuben Gold Thwaites, in his volume on Wisconsin, in the American 

Commonwealth series. "The territory unwittingly 1 ame m effed a partner 

in the undertaking, a condition of affairs leading to much popular discontenl 
and legislative bickering, and ultimate disaster to the canal l s ll . upon 
which some $57,000 hail been expended, chiefly in improvements to the .Mil- 
waukee River. 

"The territory fell heir to some of the canal bonds, which it repudiated. 
although later the state itself paid them. When Wisconsin entered the Union, 
the Federal Government claimed that she still was owing upwards of $10 1,0 (0 
to the canal fund, and withheld this sum from the net proceeds due the 
stale from the sale of public lands within her bounds. As to whether 01 

not this canal, had it been completed as designed, would have proved a 
valuable asset of the commonwealth, is still an open question in Wiscon 
sin history." 


Preliminary Steps in Construction.— During the year 1S.">7 a preliminary 
survey of the proposed route of the .Milwaukee and Rock River Canal, and 
an approximate estimate of the cost of the work, had been submitted by 
Byron Kilbourn and Increase A. Lapham, both of whom were surveyors. 
The cost was estimated to be about $800,000, and its length about fifty-one 
miles. A charter was obtained from the Territorial Legislature dated 
January 5, 1838, and work commenced July -t, 1839. 

The object of the proposed canal was to connect the waters of the 
Milwaukee River and the Rock River near Lake Koshkonong and thus to 
form a waterway from the Great Lakes to the 'Mississippi. .Mi-. Kilbourn 
was the president of the company. 

The canal was tobe built by a private corporation, aided by the pro- 

< ds of a Federal land grant held in trust by the territory of Wisconsin 

in anticipation of Wisconsin being admitted as a state in the Union. The 
congressional grant of lands had been secured the year before the work 
began. A newspaper published in Green I lay called the improvement of 
the Fox and Wisconsin rivers, to open connection with the Mississippi, as 
the "Green Hay hobby,"' and the Milwaukee and Rock River Canal as 
the "Milwaukee hobby." 

Historical events of whatever character were regarded in those days 
as good material for humorous accounts, and this occasion was no exception 
in this respect. In his "Pioneer History," J. S. Buck relates that Mr, Kil- 
bourn, at the head of a procession led by a brass band, arrived at the spot 
where the "incision" in the earth was to be made. The work having been 
performed in a satisfactory manner, the participants marched to the old 
"American," at the corner of Third and West Water streets, then kept by 
James Ward, where a dinner suitable for the occasion had been provided. 

Canals Versus Railroads. — There is a very full discussion of the early 
canal and ra'lroad enterprises of the '40s in the publications of tin 1 Wis- 
consin State Historical Society (NIY, pp. 206), and in the article there 
printed we find the following passage in reference to the Milwaukee and 
Rock River Canal:- "While a bare beginning was made in building it, for 
a number of reasons the project was soon recognized as -a failure." Argu- 
ments were urged to bend the energies of the people in the direction of 
railroad building. Even during territorial days agitation was begun to< 
divert the Federal grant of lands from canals to railroads. 

The Milwaukee Sentinel and Gazette, on October 23, 1841, published an 
article on the subject, as follows: "The Milwaukee and Rock River Canal 
has been regarded as a project of great importance, and is one which has 
received the favorable consideration of Congress as well as the public gen- 
erally. But the mere connection of Lake Michigan with Hock River will 
not answer the end for which the wm-k was originated, until it shall be con- 
tinued to tiie Mississippi; and then the immense expense of such a work ren- 
ders its i struction impracticable; and, if constructed, that it should pay 

the interest upon the money expended. While a railroad, besides offering 
every facility of a canal for purposes of transportati< ould be built in 



The old Insurance Building in course "t construction, iboul 1861 


one quarter of the time, and would be available at all seasons of the year. 
a canal would be locked up by iee nearly half the time." 

The .Madison Argus, in 1844, remarked upon the project, as follows: "A 
canal is to be made from Milwaukee to the Rock River, and there it stops. 
What is there at Roek River? Neither an ocean nor a lake nor 
even a navigable river. There are neither steamboats nor flatboats run- 
ning on Rock River anywhere in the neighborhood of the proposed termi- 
nation of the canal, and the river will not admit of this kind of navigation 
to any advantage." Instead, however, of the blessing the canal might 
have been, says C. R, Tuttle in his "History of Wisconsin," "it proved a 
curse and a blight upon the early prosperity of the territory, owing mainly 
to the antagonisms that grew up between the officers of the canal company 
and the territorial officers intrusted with the disposition of the lands granted 
by Congress and of their proceeds, and to the conflicts between the benefi- 
ciaries of the land grant, and some of the leading politicians of the time." 

Growth of Wheat Production.— In the early part of the Civil war period 
the slate of Wisconsin had become one of the principal producers of wheat 
among the western and northwestern states, the effect of which was to 
greatly enhance the growth and relative importance of Milwaukee which 
had now become the state's chief port for the shipment of surplus products 
of every kind. 

"The impetus thus given to Milwaukee," writes Thwaites, "was such as 
to assure her future as a great lake port. In due time she became a promi- 
nent center for the influx ami distribution of immigrants from the eastern 
states and from Europe, her manufacturing interests grew to large pro- 
portions, and her commerce and population kept full pace with the growth 
of the sturdy state of which she had early become the metropolis." 

Effects of the War. — The war with its heavy demand for men to supply 
the Union armies seemed to threaten a shortage of farm labor, a danger 
which the South did not fear with its abundant supply of slave labor. 
But the invention and perfection of the reaping machine during the few 
years before the war prevented by its use a deficiency in grain production. 
"The reaper is to the North," said Edwin M. Stanton in 18111, "what slavery 
is to the South. By taking the place of regiments of young men in the 
western harvest fields, it releases them to do battle for the Union at the. 
front, and at the same same keeps up the supply of bread for the nation 
and the nation's armies." The Commissioner of Agriculture, in his report 
for 1862, asserts that owing to the absence of so many farm laborers at the 
front, it would have been impossible to harvest the wheat crop for that 
year had it not been for the increased use of mechanical reapers each of 
which effected a saving of the labor of five men. "Notwithstanding the 
enormous draft of recruits from our rural districts to fight in the armies 
of the Union," says Thwaites, "agricultural operations could still not only 
be carried on by the North, and in numberless instances by mere youths, 
Imt the product itself was substantially increased." 

Comparison with the Southern States. — Comparing the northern and 
southern sections of the country at the time previous to the Civil war it has 

245 Water Street— Built 1836 by father of Caleb Harrison 


sit,, of Pabsl Building, later known ;i* First Wisconsin Trust Company Building 


been found, generally speaking, that in the South slavery and manufactures 
excluded each other. The South lived almost entirely by agricultural indus- 
tries, its capital was monopolized by agriculture. "Manufacturing industry," 
says Von Hoist, "did not accord with the longing for aristocratic leisure 
which must characterize the free population in a community which owes its 
specific industrial character to slave labor." Therefore the manufacturing 
industries of the northern slates easily surpassed those of the southern states, 
and this, indeed, was one of the determining factors in the greal ('ivil war of 
1861-1865, which abundantly proved the superiority of the North in its ma- 
terial resources over the limited advantages possessed by the South in the 
prosecution of that unhappy war.'* Even the importance of cotton, claimed 
to lie the "king" of agricultural productions, failed in the final test in com 
parison with th? food producing power of the North. 

Original Site, South Water street. Now located on Virginia Street 

Taken from the south Bide 


The labors of the earliest artisans who came here were naturally confined 
to the satisfying of local needs. Gradually, as the Land in the surrounding- 
territory became settled the farmers required many thing's which these skilled 
mechanics could supply. They could grind wheat into Hour, make a harness 
and build a wagon, quarry stone and make brick, shoe a man as well as shoe 
a horse, and turn raw products into usable articles. 

Hut, the local artisans by no means met every need. The ships that 
plied regularly between Milwaukee and Buffalo brought in many articles 
of household equipment, wearing apparel and food products. The mechanics 
required tools, every household needed pottery and hardware, cloth for wear- 
ing apparel, and food products such as coffee, tea and spices. 

But the same economic law which governs exports and imports of a 
nation applied here in a diminutive way. The balance of trade had to be 
kept at an equilibrium. The ability to buy was governed by the ability to 
produce and market. The importations had to be met in gold or its equiva- 
lent in agricultural or manufactured products. 

The earlier exports consisted of furs, lumber and grain. It was not until 
the production ability of the community had met both local needs and those 
of a. surrounding territory and had reached a surplus that the exports of 
manufactured articles found its beginning. 

When it is contemplated that Milwaukee has, in a very brief period, risen 
from most humble beginnings to one of the most important industrial centers 
in the United States, we may well inquire into the causes that have led to 
it. This development assumes significance when it is remembered that Mil- 
waukee was reared within the shadows of a great world city, exposed to all 
the absorbing power of Chicago the great metropolis of the Midwest. 

Large cities do not as a rule spring up adjacent to each other, but usu- 
ally, owing to the trend of commerce and the exigencies of distribution, leave 
large areas of territory between them. Thus, it follows that every other 
large city coming within the commercial zone of Chicago is located at a dis- 
tance of several hundred miles from that city. Chicago becomes the veritable 
hub with Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Louisville, Si. Louis, Omaha, St. Paul 
and Minneapolis, all placed upon the outer rim and within a night's ride from 
the great world city with its three million population. 

Milwaukee is the only city, which lies within a distance of only eighty- 
five miles and only a two hours' ride from Chicago, which has resisted the 



STREET, 1870. 


i 'r U 1 * I % 1 " 2 * 

; fl 1 1 » -v 3 - I- 1 15' II ?, t iff 



absorbing power that all great metropolitan centers possess, and has grown 
to over a half million population. 

Natural conditions and environment, more than accident, usually cause 
the location of cities. Ft is true that three rivers and the promise of a fine 
harbor primarily prompted the location of Milwaukee, but its subsequent 
growth in population strength and rise as a producing center must in large 
part be found in the character of the people who sought their homes here. 

East and West Lake Shore Cities. — In order to demonstrate this statement 
let us for a moment look at the east and west shores of Lake Michigan. On 
the east shore may he found a series of small cities and villages while on the 
west, or Wisconsin shore, are presented a number of important manufacturing 
cities, including Kenosha, Racine, Sheboygan, Manitowoc, and Milwaukee. 
True, the Wisconsin shore offers many tine harbors hut the Michigan shore 
has been equally blessed with harbor possibilities. 

Thus, the industrial development of the Wisconsin lake cities is due to other 
causes besides favorable water inlets. Nor can it he held that a rich hinter- 
land alone lias been the main cause for their growth. The interior of the 
State of Michigan is fully as fertile as is the State of Wisconsin. 

While favorable harbor entrances and a fertile back country have con- 
tributed to the growth of the lake shore cities, it was in tin- main the enter- 
prise of the population that availed itself of the natural advantages which 
weic at their command. 

Admitting all this, we must find the real cause of the power and prestige 
of these Wisconsin cities in the industrial character of the earlier settlers 
and of the subsequent immigration that added itself to them. Tin' new comers 
were mechanics who came from both the old and the new world, while those 
who settled on the east shore followed agricultural pursuits. This accounts 
for the fact that nearly all the important manufacturing cities bordering on 
Lake Michigan are located on the Wisconsin shore. 

An Industrial Population. — The population that settled them not only 
understood how to build houses and ships, make a plow and shoe a horse, 
but they also knew how to tan hides into leather, saw lumber and grind 
flour. There were butchers, bakers, and basket makers, bookbinders, broom 
and brick makers, coopers, cobblers and cabinet makers, potters, printers and 
paper makers, weavers, wagon ami wheelbarrow makers. 

The young Yankees who came from the New England states and the so- 
called Knickerbockers who came from New York, were in the main of the 
commercial class. There were, however, many skilled mechanics among 
them. The main body of the workmen came from Europe, including Ger- 
mans, Austrians, English, Irish. Scotch, Bohemian and Dutch. The greater 
number of the skilled men came from Germany. The Polish, Italian. Hun- 
garians, Slavonians anil Croatians came at a later period. 

These mechanics knew how to fashion useful things for themselves ami 
their fellowmen. At first they worked, singly and alone, then they were joined 
by an apprentice and a journeyman. With the passing id' time these groups 
enlarged themselves and the backyard shed grew into a factory plant. Fur- 
nace and engine, chimney and smokestack, engine and machinery came upon 


the scene. Organization was introduced. The area of distribution was 
widened. The era of quantitj production arrived. Greal industries became 
a reality. 

Thus, the mciili'st men in overalls, who stood a1 the workbench themselves, 
who conceived and constructed their own enterprises, became the founders 
of mighty industrial enterprises whose products now go to the four ends 
of the world. They fashioned useful things— things thai were classed among 
the necessities rather than the luxuries of Life. 

The one factor which lent both stimulus and stability to these industrial 
enterprises was the pride and sense of honor which characterized these work- 
ers. They breathed their character into their products. Every article was 
honestly made. The names that were behind them became synonyms for in- 
tegrity and honesty. 

Secret of Industrial Success. — The younger generation thai joined and 
succeeded them availed itself of the precepts and policies that had been estab 
lished. The sons of the founders went into the factories and worked through 
the various branches of manufacture from the crudest labor to the most 
skilled arts. Thoroughness became the goal of the recruits. "Start at the 
bottom and work your way up," became the watchword of their elders. 

But, the example set by the early founders was repeated again and 
again through the years that followed. Men who began life as mechanics in 
workshops and mills ultimately founded new industries, making small begin- 
ings and rising to eminence and power as producers. A new idea, an im- 
provement or an invention usually became the basis for a new industry. 
Frequently, too, articles hitherto manufactured in the East could, it was 
found, be manufactured more advantageously at home. 

Tn this connection it is interesting to note many industries, specially those 
dealing in textiles, which found their origin in the fact that wholesalers and 
jobbers, who were buying and selling goods made elsewhere, themselves be- 
came manufacturers. Usually the "nods were made in the industrial centers 
of the New England states which adhered to fixed designs and styles. The 
western jobber who sold in a competitive market sought a greater variety 
of goods and the introduction of innovation and changes. 

The traveling man, for instance, who sold goods in the lumber and 
ging districts of Wisconsin, Michigan and .Minnesota, came home with practi- 
cal suggestions as to the making of a glove, a si or a garmenl thai would 

meet the need of climatic and industrial conditions more adequately. 

Jobber Becomes a Producer. — The enterprising jobber in the Midwest 
made his rceommeudat ions tn a conservative manufacturer in the East. The 
latter was slow in recognizing innovations, with the result that the former 
began to produce at home and found a ready sale tor tin' improved article. 
In many instances the Milwaukee manufacturers, who aimed to make their 
product more attractive and at the same time more utilitarian, met with 
i • ■ 1 1 1 . j 1 1 able success. 

These strokes of enterprise, together with the constant addition of new 

lines of production, gave diversity to the industrial activities of th.- com- 
munity. The clement of diversify also tended towards greater stability in the 


economic progress of the community, steadying- the general output, and 
keeping the workmen more uniformly employed. If the demand for one 
product plant laid oft' men another added them. 

The result was that there grew up in time a remarkable industrial con- 
stituency. The number and quality of skilled mechanics became a factor 
that lent momentum and efficiency to production and made the expansion 
of manufacture a possibility. The manufacturers were enabled to compete 
successfully, in many lines of production, with the manufacturers of other sec- 
tions of the country. 

Middle of the Last Century. — The status of the manufacturing interests 
in 1856 is well told in a report made by the Board of Trade during the year 
following-. It reads as follows: 

""We have found more difficulty in arriving at a just estimate of the value 
and extent of this branch of business than any other. A large class of manu- 
facturers arc unwilling to give the amount of their business or other essential 
particulars concerning it. 

"But we have been able to gather sufficient accurate information to show 
that there has been a large increase in manufactures over the year 1855, both 
in value and variety. 

Steam Engines, Boilers, Machinery, etc. — "Under this beading, we find 
in the city some eighteen shops, employing from 12 to 100 men each, and 
turning out an aggregate amount of $800,000 of work per annum. Fully 
one-half the presenl capital was added the past year, and no less than six of 
the establishments were new during the year 1856. Extensions and enlarge- 
ments are contemplated for the present year to the amount of $300,000, 
besides one or two entire new establishments. 

Ale, Beer, Etc. — "There were in operation during the year 1856, in the 
city, twenty-six breweries, manufacturing 75,000 barrels of ale and beer, the 
larger portion of which was Lager beer. Of this amount, probably 30,000 
barrels were sent from the city. The entire capital employed in this Imsincss 
is little short of -$1,000,000. Enlargements and extensions were made during 
the year to the amount of $25,000. The number of men employed is about 
five hundred, at average wage of $8 per week. The increase over the pro- 
duction of 1855 was nearly 50 per cent. 

Brick Making. — "Notwithstanding the demand from abroad for the 
beautiful .Milwaukee brick has been unabated, still the consumption at home 
has been so great that but few have been exported. While we manufactured 
20 per cent more— or 35,000,000 in 1S56— we exported only about 1,000,000. 
Then- arc eight brick-yards in operation employing about 300 men. It is con- 
templated to increase the manufacture the coming year to 40,000,(100. The 
pressed brick of Milwaukee is not exceeded in beauty and durability by any 
made in any other part of the world. 

Flouring Mills. — "During the past year large outlays have been made 
upon the mills of the city, causing them to remain idle a considerable portion 
of the time. The aggregate amount expended upon them is $50,000, one- 
third of which consisted in the construction of an immense steam engine and 

,.j5> '■ ' -'■■■ ■ "i ^t^m v. »m\ 

,«** " 


L-. ! 

Destroyed by fire Janvary 10, 1883. Seventy-five lives lu>t. Albany Hall, for mam years 

a model meeting place, to the left. 

i 'orner Third and i edar bI reel - 


machinery for the Empire Mills. The total amount of flour manufactured 
by the five mills, aside from custom work, was 116.000 barrels. 

Miscellaneous Industries. — "During the past year the first eattle market 
ever opened in the city was started by Layton & Plankinton. It was com- 
menced in August, and they sold, to the close of the year about $60,000. 
They anticipate a large increase another season. 

"The beef packing- season is now over, and amounts to about the 
same as 1855, or about 10,000 bbls. The pork packing is not yet closed, but 
will evidently fall considerably below the amount packed in 1855. About 
100 men men are employed in this business at $1.50 per day for the season. 
"There has been a material increase in the manufacture of boots and shoes. 
The whole amount manufactured the past year was $350,000, against $185,000 
for the year before. There are 500 men employed at average wages of $7 
per week. 

'"The manufacture of clothing for the year 1856 was nearly double the 
amount of 1855, and foots up at $600,000. The number of hands employed 
by the wholesale house is over 450, at average wages of $7.50 per week. 
"A want spoken of in the last Annual Report has been supplied by the 
establishment of a Lard Oil Manufactory, which has been in operation for 
several months. 

"In the ship-building branch of industry the present winter has not 
witnessed so much advancement. During the first months of 1856 the amount 
of tonnage launched was 1,600 — one propeller and five schooners. About the 
same tonnage will be launched during the coming season. 

"There are many branches of industry that could be spoken of with 
interest, would the limits of this report permit. It is a satisfaction to notice 
that our manufacturers are so prosperous and successful. The advancement 
has been beyond all expectation, and the future bids fair to outrival the past 
history of our industrial city. 

Table. — Showing the principal articles and their value manufactured 
in Milwaukee, for the year 1856 : 

Ale and Beer $ 750,000 

Brick 350,000 

Barrels 120,000 

Boots and Shoes 350,000 

Burr Mill Stones 30,000 

Book Binding 25,000 

Bread and Crackers 175,000 

Brooms 10,000 

Billiard Tables 45,000 

Clothing 600,000 

Cabinet Furniture 225,000 

Confectionery 35,000 

Carriages 30,000 

Camphene and Fluid 30,000 

Cigars and Tobacco 75,000 

Vol. 1—15 



Cow Bells 1,000 

Daguerrean and Photographs 50,000 

Engraving and Lithography 20,000 

Flour 696,000 

Guns and Pistols 7,500 

Glue 12,000 

(Moves and Mits 8,500 

Harness and Carriage Trimmings 150,000 

Horse Shoeing and Smithing 55,000 

Iron Manufactures of all kinds 1,500,000 

Jewelry and Silver Ware 20,000 

Job Printing 75,000 

Lumber Planing 250,001) 

Millinery 75,000 

Maps, ( 'harts, &e 6,000 

Piano Fortes 9,500 

Paper 31,000 

Patent Machines ; . . . 200,001 1 

Pipes 9,000 

Pork and Beef Packing 400,00(1 

Rope 20,000 

Root Beer 6,000 

Railroad Cars 20,000 

Rectified Whisky and Spirits 500,000 

Stone and Earthen Ware 26,000 

Sheet Iron, Tin & Copper Manufactures 250,000 

Soap and Ca ndles 150,000 

Ship Building 140,000 

Safes 35,000 

Stoves and Hollow Ware 35,000 

Saleratus 30,000 

Sleighs 90,000 

Tanning and Wool Pulling 280,000 

Turning, Wood and Brass 50,000 

Vinegar 8,000 

Umbrellas 3,000 

Window Shades 3,000 

Wool and Yam 35,000 

Wire Screening 15.000 

Total 1856 $8,057,000 

Total 1855 5,590,000 

Total 1854 4,633,000 

Then and Now. — In noting the production ability of the city for 1S56 it 
may be well to observe by contrast the figures presented a half century later. 
They demonstrate the vitality which the city had assumed as an industrial 
center. In naming the ten leading manufacturing cities of the United States 


the United States Census Bureau in L910 named Milwaukee as the firsl for 
thai year. 

The five leading' industries and the value of their production for 1910 was 

as follows : 

Iron, steel and heavy machinery $34,] 12,555 

Leather anil tannery products 24,940,000 

Beer and malted tonics 23,510,344 

Packed Meats 21,650,000 

Railroad equipment and supplies 12,931,000 

Some idea of the volume the manufacturing interests had then assumed 
may be formed from the following figures : 

Number of manufacturing concerns 4,126 

Number of factory employes 109,216 

Amount of wages paid $ 65,853,152 

Amount of capital invested 2:36,558.011 

Value of total year*s production 329,526,667 

A summary of Milwaukee industry and commerce during the year 1918 
was as follows : 

Total of all manufactures $741,188,557 

Total Capital 392,644,414 

Total Wages Paid 141,455,203 

Total Number of Employes 1 Hi. 109 

Ten leading manufactures in 1918: 

Iron, Steel, Heavy Machinery 155,696,044 

Packed Meat 68,200,000 

Leather 45,000,000 

Auto Accessories, Commercial Trucks 31,000,000 

Boots and Shoes 30,100,000 

Coal and Wood Products 30,100,000 

Electric and Phone Supplies 29,233,000 

Malt 21,000,000 

Hosiery. Knit Goods 12,300,000 

Soap 11. 475. 1 mi) 

Agricultural Implements 10,800,000 

Obsolete and New Industries.-- A study of the manufacturing activities of 
the past half century reveals some interesting changes. Some of the indus- 
tries which led in an earlier day have been reduced to minor importance while 
others have disappeared entirely. 

For instance, brick making- was a thriving industry in the '50s of the lasl 
century. The cream colored brick made during that period attained great 
popularity and led to the city's nickname of "Cream City." It was used 
as a face brick for some of the best structures, and many of the older build- 
ings of a substantial character, seen in Milwaukee today, were made of the 
famous cream colored brick. But the industry declined gradually until the 

kilns were redu I both in size and number. The cream color faded par 

tially with time and exposure into a dusty gray and the brick lost its popu- 
larity. Only mi i brick is now being made. The face brick employed in 


modern l>u Idings and construction work usually comes from other sections 
of the country. Willow basket weaving 1 , which was at one time a flourishing 
industry, has practically gone out of existence. 

The brewing of beer and ale was one of the earliest ami remained for 
many years one of the most important industries, ranking third and fourth 
in the value of annual output. In 1856 the city already boasted of having 
twenty-six breweries and a capital investment in them of over one million 
dollars. Gradually the number of breweries was reduced but those remain- 
ing in the business increased their capacity from year to year until some 
id' them were classed among the largest in the United States. 

The rapid development of this industry may be accounted for in the fact 
that while the brewers in most American cities produced for local consump- 
tion only the Milwaukee brewers built up a national and even international 
trade. Through ingenious advertising and efficient sales organizations the 
output grew into enormous demands. Tin; slogan "The Beer that Made 
Milwaukee Famous" became a national by-word and gave the city extensive 
publicity as a beer producing center. 

It created the impression in many sections of the country that beer 
making was Milwaukee's leading industry, whereas its steel and iron indus- 
tries, its machinery and engines, meat packing and leather products were 
always in the lead. Those who chafed under the erroneous impressions which 
had been gained throughout the country frequently boasted that the water 
pumping machinery produced by Milwaukee factories pumped more water 
throughout the United States in a single day than the beer produced by all 
the breweries in a year. 

Decline of the Breweries. -This by no means argued that the industry 
or its owners were unpopular. Their product was locally sold in 2,200 saloons. 
The brewers were regarded as public spirited men, who were concerned in 
I he progress of the community and wdio gave liberally to civic, educational 
and charitable projects. They had large property holdings in the business 
section of the city and manifested at all times in building up 
and beautifying the city. 

The annual production of beer had run into many millions of dollars in 
value when the dry wave struck it and practically rendered the industry 
obsolete. Buildings and machinery, constituting enormous investments, were 
rendered idle and thousands of men were thrown out of employment. Some 
of the breweries were dismantled, others engaged in the manufacture of near 
beer and non-alcoholic beverages, still others were thrown open to other 
industries. Those who were formerly engaged in the brewing industry are 
gradually directing their energy and capital into other fields of production. 

In an article discussing industries that arc no longer pursued in Milwaukee, 
and at the same time describing some of the newer and somewhat unique 
articles produced, a writer in the Sunday Milwaukee Telegram of February 12, 
1922, says the following : 

"Now that beer is out of the way and the spread of Milwaukee's fame 
in that direction has ceased to be a jarring note to the ears of a certain part 
of its citizenry, there arises a question as to just what has taken or is taking, 

Third and Sycamore streets 


or even will take the place of the foaming beverage, as a rallying product 
of this tremendously industrious city. 

"Some hard headed individuals point to the fact that Milwaukee is char- 
acterized by its production of iron fabrication, leather, packinghouse spe- 
cialties and textile goods. It is a fact that these products lead in Milwaukee 
industries. More than that, the first three have led the brewing industry, in 
value of product, for many years. Still, even when these industries stopped 
brewing, there was no life to the cry: 'Milwaukee leads in iron goods,' or 
'Leather is making Milwaukee famous,' or "The packinghouse product that 
made Milwaukee made the world sit up!' 

"Things like iron, leather or meat do not lend themselves readily to 
tuneful slogans. The beer epigram was an inspiration. And, incidentally, 
it cost several millions to tell the world about it. 

"There must have been a little romantic flavor to the word 'beer,' to 
make it the basis of so popular a cry. Perhaps some people thought the word 
just a little naughty, and used it with a tinge of mischievous pleasure. At 
any rate, the reaction of the epigram on many Milwaukeeans was quite 
similar to that caused by flying a crimson scarf before a maddened bull. But 
still it prevailed until Volsteadean days sheared it oft', as a waste page in a 
ledger is removed. 

"I 'pon what subject is Milwaukee now gaining fame? What do they 
manufacture here that characterizes the town in such a way that the popular 
mind will take to it. Is prestige and the value of free advertising to go. 
just because beer is not? 

"Things to Be Proud of. — Well, there are a number of things that appear 
susceptible to segregated fame in connection with the city — things that might 
be picked up ami singled out and parted from the hum of industry, ami 
placed upon a pedestal before which America would stand in admiration. 

"For instance there are tacks; there are birdcages: there are rimless silk 
stockings which the girls wear; there are amazing fabrications in flowers; 
there is tempting mayonnaise: there are beautiful mannequins; there are — 
well, there are rye bread and there are sausages. And the greatest of these 
is sausages ! 

"Sausages! Spicy, savory, tasteful sausages! Sausages for every race, 
creed and personal preference ! Sausages given a zip by round black peppers ; 
sausages which are given a flavor of garlic. 

"Is it possible that this, to the average mind, humble and prosaic tid-bit 
will mount upon a commercial steed and ride gloriously tilting through the 
world with flaunting banners, emblazoned with its emblems, heralding the 
fame of Milwaukee as the supreme master of the art of sausage-making? 

"Will the flavor of romance achieve ascendency over the flavor of garlic? 
It. looks as if it would, and as a matter of fact Milwaukee today is recognized 
from coast to coast and from Canada to Mexico (and even into the interior 
of those countries) as the monarch of the sausage kingdom. 

"Amid the blare and confusion of hundreds of Coney Island resorts, the 
shouts of waiters for 'Milwaukee sausages' burst above the clang and clamor 
of orchestrion and 'leedle German band.' At Revere beach, in staid Bos- 

tl MM 


ton, the 'hot dog' purveyor who gets the cream of the business is able to 
bark 'Milwaukee frankfurts!' 

"The Cliff House in San Francisco echoes the fame of Milwaukee as 
sausage producer par excellence. Forest Park Highland at St. Louis is a 
big consumer of this Milwaukee product. And along the beaches at Venice 
and Santa Monica, at the Minnesota State Fair in the Twin Cities, on Belle 
Isle at Detroit, and at Atlantic City, the prestige of the Milwaukee sausage 
iias become a watchword with vendors, in season, and the one-time fame of 
Milwaukee on the playgrounds of the big cities is being superseded by a 
more substantial, if more pungent and less 'heady,' reputation for excellence. 
It is extremely unlikely that an anti-'hot dog' amendment will ever be placed 
upon the federal constitution. 

"Both Chicago and New York City are large consumers of Milwaukee 
sausages and in thousands of markets and delicatessens in those cities 
preference of the trade for the Milwaukee product is manifested by proud 
placards denoting its presence in stock. 

"And in this connection — literally — the fame of Milwaukee rye bread 
is not to be sneezed at. Milwaukee rye bread is a standard preference in 
hundreds of cities. How many people here know that big shipments of 
'Milwaukee rye' are made every day in the year to New York, Washington; 
Philadelphia, San Francisco, Chicago, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Seattle and 
intermediate points? 

"It is a fact, nevertheless. Rye bread and frankfurt sausages make a 
particularly appetizing combination, especially with mustard added. It ap- 
peals to the masses, and the masses are responsible for slogans and epigrams 
becoming a part of ordinary speech. 

"It all comes to conclusion of fact that Milwaukee excels in industrial 
effort. If the government suppresses the manufacture of an excelling beer 
which the populace acclaim by giving credit to the city, the spirit of 
supremacy manifests itself in another direction — the preparation of excel- 
ling sausages and rye bread. 

"Milwaukee is bound to be noted for something. Away back in the early 
days Milwaukee was known nationally as the 'Cream City.' This was not 
on account of the creamy frothiness of the beer made here, as some have 
believed in later years. It was on account of a certain type and color of 
building brick made here. And the name continued until the certain kind 
of clay with which the bricks were made ran out and Milwaukee's brick 
industry shrank to an unimportant place. 

"Milwaukee used to produce great quantities of pottery — the clay was 
brought here from Ohio. But many years ago the potters went to the clay 
hanks and Milwaukee subsided as a pottery center. 

"Right after the Civil war Milwaukee was quite a center for the manufac- 
ture of coffee essence. This article, besides being a popular substitute for 
coffee, winch was scarce then, made a great hit with the 'kids' as a means 
of fooling parents, teachers or friends with the fiction that tobacco was 
being 'chawed.' The public preference for coffee, however, wrecked the 
business and several essence factories in .Milwaukee were closed. One of 


the lasl ones was operated by the grandfather of Walter Bummel, the North 
Side rea] estate man. 

"Milwaukee has produced and still is producing many oddities of manu- 
facture which are somewhat interesting for her citizens to know, and many 
achievements of invention are marked to the credit of the city in the far 
readies of the commercial world. 

"Leads in 'Hobbies.' — It requires something to eat or drink, perhaps, to 
inspire a general recognition of a certain production, in a line or a sentence. 
Commercial oddities, however, crop out here and there in an interesting man- 
ner. The product may not be as unusual as some feature of its production, 
but the feature emphasizes notices. 

"Who would think to inquire, for instance, if Milwaukee was the Leading 
producing city of America for toy horses.' If such inquiry were made, never- 
theless, it would be found that Milwaukee, for nearly 50 years, has I u 

manufacturing' and selling more toy horses than any other city in the United 
States, and perhaps the world as well. 

"Who would imagine that from every quarter in the United states and 
from Europe come orders for a certain make of artificial flowers, used for 
show-window adornment and clothing display, and — even as window dis- 
plays for the most fashionable florists in the large cities.? 

"The fame of the art flowers of Milwaukee is abroad throughout the 
country and a large portion of the outside world. They are the product of 
the artistic efforts of a woman who started making a few at a time some 
years ago, but who enlarged the scope of her work as the demand for perfect 
imitations of posies grew. These flowers are made with a secret waxing 
process and are said to be so exact in reproduction that frequently mistakes 
are made winch lead to much amusement. 

"The story is told of a woman who went into one of Chicago's fashionable 
stores for a nosegay anil ordered a selection from a salesman. The eroupine 
was laid down momentarily beside a cluster of imitations of a similar flower. 
When tlie salesman picked them up again the customer objected. 

'No, not those,' she said. 'These are the ones I selected,' pointing to 
the imitations. After some indignation had arisen by the salesman's persisl 
ence that the bouquet he held was the right one. she was asked to Eeel the 
imitations, and did so. Her surprise was equaled by her astonishment. 

"Bird houses! A lot of wooden cages and houses for domestic and wild 
birds, does not sound very important. But it is important in Milwaukee, for 
there is one manufacturing plant which turns out nothing else. 

"In Hie bird store world .Milwaukee is of the highest Standing. The 
maker of Milwaukee bird houses started in business while a youngster at 
School. He made a little wooden cage one day and showed it 1" some of his 
chums. 'Aw. that's punk,' said one of the Imy spectators. 'Better chop it 
up for kindling.' 

"Apparently this was what the young manufacturer needed, for instead 
of becoming discouraged, he persevered in his efforts to make a perfeel cage 
and eventually became a specialist in that line. Today there come to him 
orders from all parts id" tl unilry and bis trade is a large one. Incidentally. 


and having nothing to do with the story, this bird house builder related 
recently that he had been informed that the boy who jeered at his first effort 
was convicted of a forgery in an Eastern city and now serving time. 

"Though the bird houses are diminutive as a workman's task, compared 
to a real house, the volume of output from the bird house factory is greater 
than many a millwork concern which manufactures for the construction of 
human habitations. 

"In fineness and skill in the manufacture of delicate instruments for gaug- 
ing, Milwaukee is at the fore, also. A number of concerns manufacture gauges 
of miscroscopic measurement capability, and during the war the government 
found that Milwaukee was a valuable possession, indeed, in the production of 
this class of instruments. 

"A pair of specialities, whose coupling seems somewhat incongruous, is 
mayonnaise and mannequins. There are several large makers of mayonnaise 
and other dressings, one specializing in 'Thousand Island dressing' a product 
that is distributed all over the United States. The volume of business that 
this line of industry develops is so large as to be astonishing, running into 
several hundreds of thousands of dollars a .year. 

"The making of mannequins is an industry of comparatively recent origin, 
but it is rapidly increasing, largely because of the superior production attained, 
which, in turn, is due to a high quality of workmen procurable in Milwaukee. 

"In a modest way Milwaukee aspires to be a silk hat center, and one 
large hat manufacturer distributes this (in the West) infrequent article of 
apparel to many parts of the country. In fact, it is probable that much of 
this product is used to dislodge French or English importations. 

"People who light their gas stoves by pressing a button connected with 
a. Hash lighter, probably do not know that the device was born and bred in 
Milwaukee and is, even now, largely manufactured here. Yet it is perfectly 
true. Another common device that is 'Milwaukee' is the automatic lubricator, 
in a variety of forms for various uses. This device was developed here and is 
still a large factor in manufactured products. 

"Refrigerating machinery, electrical appliances, wheelbarrows, iron 
'washers,' boat propellers, locomotives, cigar boxes ('cedared'), heavy dig- 
ging, hoisting and conveying machinery, magnetic separators, herringbone 
gears and battleship fire control devices are some of the oddities of Milwaukee 

"Growth of Enterprises. — 'There is a great romance in Milwaukee in- 
dustry,' said William George Bruce, long secretary of Milwaukee's merchants' 
and manufacturers' organizations. 'It lias its incept inn in the lowly condition 
which existed when many of our present industries were founded. It lies 
in the transformation of back yard shacks into great factories — from the 
tumble down huts where sonic gritty man with real vision, started fashioning 
with his own hands some article which would be useful to mankind. Those 
were the days when the apprentice was the boss' chum. Then came the step 
to quantity production, scientific organization and distribution on a systematic 



" 'Today those little enterprises have forged ahead and into huge in- 
dustrial mnts of tlie city. Romance? I'll tell the world it is. 

" 'Then there is the interesting phase showing how Milwaukee came to 
lean toward manufacture. In early days the wholesale district, east of the 
river and south of Wisconsin Street, was a large, important factor of the city. 
These houses handled Eastern manufactures. There came a time when the 
trade in the Middle West demanded special attention in adaptations of manu- 
factures to meet local needs. The Eastern makers did not respond. One by 
one, the wholesalers turned to producing the goods wanted here, and grad- 
ually the wholesale business quarter shrunk to what it is now. 

" 'Milwaukee is a wonder city. It has grown and thriven as no other 
city in the world, in the usually destructive shadow id' a huge metropolis — 
Chicago. Every commercial advantage exists in Chicago, and nature itself 
conspires to defeat large cities in the shadows of a metropolis. Yet Mil- 
waukee has increased, though Chicago's roots reached out to deprive it of 

" 'The vision of the pioneers of industry who settled here lias proved 
correct. The initiative of a later generation has made it a great center. The 
cause is something besides geography, and 1 have concluded that it is what I 
may describe as "production ability" of the population. For Milwaukee is 
a great factory town, and commercial interests are secondary. 

" 'We manufacture so much here that we do not know all that we make. 
I recall a worsted maker here, who tried to sell his cloth directly to tailors. 
He was unsuccessful. But one day a tailor sent a rush order to his cloth 
dealer in New York for an additional piece from a cei'tam bolt. The tailor 
was surprised a week later to receive his cloth from the worsted maker. He 
had supposed his purchases were imports. 

'We have been selling that "import house" for years;' the manufacturer 
said to the tailor. 'And I tried to get you to buy direct. But you wouldn't. 
And it cost you a great deal more the way you got it.' 

" 'It did, but it won't any more,' replied the tailor. 

" 'And I know that it didn't." " 

Paper making also was an industry fostered many years ago, and while 
it never gained any considerable proportion and in fact led a somewhat pre- 
carious existence, it had to give way to the more favorably situated paper 
mills in northern and central Wisconsin. 

The same may be said of some of the woodworking industries. While 
the manufacture of sash, doors, and blinds and the designing and building 
of interior wood work grew to magnificent proportions other woodworking 
industries declined. Boxes and barrels, and particularly the former, how- 
ever, are still produced on a large scale, but the manufacture of such things 
as ax handles and household utensils is no longer carried on. 

One of the old time industries somewhat unique in character, consisted 
of pottery making. The kilns were located in the very heart of the city. 
and the product consisted of jugs, mugs and jars which went into the econo- 
mies of the household. The raw materials, namely the clays, came in ves- 
sels from Ohio ports. The competition of Ohio potters who had ready access 


to clays, ii is said, eventually caused the decline of the industry here. Today 
the plant is still a jobbing house for pottery made in other states. 

Individual Enterprise -and Location.- In noting the industries thai • 

flourished here and then declined it would be difficult in every instai to 

assign the causes for such decline. It is commonlj assumed thai industrial 
enterprises secure a better footing in certain Idealities than in others because 
of definite advantages, such as ready access to raw materials, proximity to 
markets and favorable labor conditions. This claim might be urged here, but 
the writer fears that it, does not hold good entirely. 

The iron industries may flourish best near the supply of ore and the fuel 
beds, coupled with a favorable center of distribution, but this does not 
apply too all other industries. The cotton for instance, which is grown in 
the South is largely manufactured at the New England mills. .Many other 
industries might be enumerated where individual enterprise ami energy 
rather than location 'and environment have led to success. 

Thus, in noting some of the industries in Milwaukee which have become 
obsolete through unfavorable conditions, it may be well to point to the fact 
that many new industries have since come into existence through the sheer 
force of individual foresight and industry. The stability of an industry is 
also aided by the momentum it has acquired and the prestige thai has 
been achieved. Certain centers in Ohio that created pottery industries be- 
cause of their proximity to clay beds now draw their raw materials from 
other states and even from foreign countries. Their plants and organiza- 
tions have become highly developed, and their trade connections and reputa- 
tion firmly established. Proximity to the supply of raw materials is no 
longer an essential factor. 

Thus, there are today large and flourishing industrial enterprises in Mil- 
waukee whose success is largely if not wholly due to the enterprise and in- 
genuity of their projectors. When the knitting industry, for instance, was 
projected some years ago there were sceptics who held that the East enjoyed 
advantages in the way of access to materials, skilled labor and distribution 
facilities not at command in the midwest territory. 

But, today the knitting industry in .Milwaukee has assumed enormous 
proportions and its products have found a market in all parts of the coun- 
try. Individual enterprise, ingenious production, successful advertising and 
marketing overcame the advantages usually credited to location. The in- 
herent ability of .Milwaukee to produce wisely and market Successfully is 
well demonstrated in tin' many new industries which have sprung up during 
the past quarter of a century. While the older industries have steadily grown 
in proportion and stability they have also amplified themselves in point of 
variety ami in the newer things evolved with the progress made in the 
mechanic arts ami the science of production. 

With the advent of electricity, and its application to the uses of man. 
there also sprung into existence a number of plants making a great variety 

of electrical apparatus ami devices. Inventive genius also made its , 

tribution and evolved improvements which found universal recognition. 

"Milwaukee now ranks as the fourth largest candy manufacturing center 


in the United States, while from the standpoint of per capita output it is 
the largest. There are now more than twenty candy manufacturing plants 
in the city, including two chocolate manufacturing concerns,"' says Alva H. 
Cook, an authority on the subject. 

"During the year 1920, Milwaukee's confectionery output amounted to 
$18,659,115, but the 1921 output is valued at a lower figure because of the fact 
that candy prices declined during the year, while the volume of production 
was smaller. The candy factories here employed during the last year between 
3,000 and 4,000 people, representing a wage expenditure of nearly $3,000,000. 
The capital stock of the manufacturing confectionery houses totals more 
than $8,000,000. 

"Despite the fact that Milwaukee candy factories employ more than 
3,000 people, there never has been even a hint of labor trouble here, largely 
because of the fairness shown by the manufacturers, who strongly believe 
in a spirit of cooperation between employer and employes." 

The evolution of the automobile, too, found expression in many new 
plants producing accessories and parts. The efficiency manifested here has 
made. Milwaukee one of the largest producers in this field of industry. While 
the production of pleasure cars has never gained great importance it has at 
least a good start. In the meantime the building of 1 rucks has made consid- 
erable progress. Whether or not the city will ever become an automobile 
center it remains that it has received sufficient momentum in the production 
of accessories to promise even greater activities in this field in the future. 

But, a long array of industries, which did not exist twenty-five years ago, 
have risen to importance and have attained a demand for their product cov- 
ering a wide area. 

Inventors and Inventions. — C. Latham Sholes was the inventor of the 
typewriter. He germinated the idea which was developed into the modern 
typewriter and which has become an indispensable instrument in the field 
of intercommunication and record keeping. Mr. Sholes' device was crude 
in construction and incomplete in operation, but it embodied the principles 
which later on led to the development of the finished machine. 

Arthur L. Morsell, a leading .Milwaukee patent attorney, tells the story 
of this remarkable invention as follows: "While the Sholeses, father and 
son, were not the first inventors of the broad idea, they developed the same 
into a really practical and commercial machine. The first patent taken out 
for a typewriter in which the Sholes family figured was one issued to Sholes, 
Glidden and Soule on June 23, 1868. Another patent Mas issued July 11, 
1868, to Sholes, Glidden and Soule. On August 29, 1871, C. Latham Sholes 
obtained another patent covering an improvement on the machines patented 
to Sholes, Glidden and Soule in June and July, 1868. Subsequently, in 1876, 
Sholes and Schwalbach, and in 1878, Sholes, Sholes and Glidden obtained 
other patents for improvements in typewriting machines. 

"These patents of Sholes, Glidden and Soule (Sholes, Sholes and Schwal- 
bach having come into the control of Remington & Sons of Ilion, New York), 
formed the basis that, in connection with excellent mechanical workmanship 
and extensive and persistent advertising, has placed machines of the gen- 

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eral class covered by these patents in extensive use. The typewriter is one 
of the important inventions of modern times. As a substitute for handwrit- 
ing it is a great labor saver, not only for the individual who would himself 
write, but enables him to divide the work with another. In giving oppor- 
tunity for wider business transactions with more accurate results and in 
providing employment for young women, it is the chiefest instrument of the 
age, and Milwaukee, as will be seen, has contributed largely to the develop- 
ment of this wonderful invention, and has had, and is entitled to, an important 
and honorable part." 

The invention of a system of temperature regulation by Prof. Warren 
S. Johnson has proven a beneficent contribution to the welfare of mankind. 
The thermostatic control of temperature enables the saving of fuel wher- 
ever artificial heat is employed. The system is installed in thousands of 
schoolhouses, hotels, office buildings, hospitals, horticultural hothouses, re- 
frigeration plants, etc., in this country. It has not only proven a fuel saver, 
but also a conserver of health. The system has gone into general use through- 
out the United States. It may also be found in many foreign countries. Some 
of the most sumptuous palaces of Europe, including those of many royal 
families, as well as hospitals, schools and .hotels, are equipped with it. 
During the earlier part of this century a body of scientists of Germany sub- 
jected the invention to the severest test and declared it a permanent con- 
tribution to the well-being of the human race. Among the noted buildings 
equipped with the Johnson thermostat and temperature regulation in Europe 
is the Peace Palace^ located at the Hague, Holland, erected by the late Andrew 
Carnegie. On the whole, Professor Johnson was a remarkably prolific inven- 
tor having invented several electric, pneumatic, horologic and thermatie de- 
vices of the greatest utility. 

The old Allis Works have used to advantage hundreds of patented de- 
vices, beginning with Edwin Reynold's improvement on the Corliss engine. 
The late W. D. Gray's inventions in the line of milling machinery also con- 
tributed very greatly to the success of the original Allis Company. Other 
manufacturing plants in the same line in this city are likewise to a great 
extent dependent upon patented devices, so it is unquestionably true that 
Milwaukee's success in the line of iron, steel and heavy machinery is due, 

in a siderable measure, in patented devices. The leather industry, judging 

from the many patents taken out in this field, has also been greatly benefited. 

The endless railway rail was the product of the inventive thought of a 
former Milwaukeean, A. von Hoffmann, now a resident of St. Louis. The air- 
brakes which are now used generally on railroad cars throughout the world 
are the invention of Niels A. Christensen. A standard concrete mixer, which 
amassed a fortune for its inventor is the invention of the late Thomas L. 
Smith of Milwaukee. Stephen V. Moore, now deceased, a poor man. was 
without sufficient funds to pay for his application for patent, and the fees 
were advanced for him. He invented a machine for carving wood, particu- 
larly adapted for use in carving furniture. He made a fortune out of his 
United States patent, and obtained $15,000 cash for his English patent. 

Henry II. Cutler, one of the original organizers of the Cutler-Hammer 


Company of this city, a stupendously successful company, lias taken out 
patents on various types of electric controllers which perhaps have a larger 
sale than any device of n similar character now on the market. Thus a 
whole manufacturing directory might be catalogued. 

The boat motor invented by Ole Evinrude and known as the Fvinrude 
motor has met with great success. It consists of a portable motor which 
can be attached to small boats providing ready propelling power. The motors 
have found recognition in all parts of the world. 

Other inventions which have proven their utility and value are the uni- 
versal bolter by J. F. Harrison, saw mill set works by W. II. Trout, single roll 
crushers-convex by R. C. Newhouse, hydrocone by W. M. White, high speed, 
low head hydraulic turbine by F. Nagler, brazed steam turbine blading by 
C. E. Search, electrical machinery by B. A. Behrend, retarded relay electrical 
machinery by II. W. Cheney, governor by J. F. Max Patitz, a so-called island 
light by William W. Rumsen, and a carburetor by E. <i. Hodge. 

Diversified Production. — One of the elements of strength which attaches 
to the industrial activities of the city is found in the diversification of its pro- 
duction. Serious conditions have arisen in manufacturing centers where pro- 
duction has been confined to a few lines only. In time of a depression in these 
lines unemployment leads to migration of labor and the dissolution of plant 

It has been a peculiarity of Milwaukee's industrial field that while many 
of the plants have grown to enormous size and output, many smaller industries 
covering a large variety of output have come into existence. Nor. are the 
larger plants confined in the production to a limited number of articles. 

The advantage which has accrued here is that while certain articles may 
for the time being command a limited sale other articles of production may 
command a fair market. Labor that may be rendered idle in one branch of 
industry may find employment in another, and while labor is not readily 
shifted from one to the other, it nevertheless follows that a part of the labor 
forces is constantly employed. 

Another phase of industrial stability is found in the fact that .Milwaukee 

factory plants deal in the main with the useful and the n< ssarj things 

of life. Few industries are engaged in the production of luxuries. Bence, a 
greater steadiness of output. 

It will not be altogether out of place to mention here the progressive and 
humane attitude of the employer towards his employes. The manufacturers 
have been able to maintain efficient working organizations because they have 
paid good -wages and accorded fair treatment. In times of depression they 
have managed to distribute the days of labor among those most deserving and 
in greatest i d. 

Notwithstanding the changed relations from the old time employer and Ins 
few journeymen to the monster plants, many employers have succeeded in 

remaining in personal touch with their men and in demonstrating a practical 
and helpful interest in their material and moral welfare. 

Exceeded the Billion Dollar Mark. — In the year 1920 the maximum figures 
in the value of production was reached. The increased cost of material and 


labor, together with an intensified production, no doubt, tended to swell the 
figures over those of previous years. At the same time these figures included 
the normal increase as well, and it must be assumed that if the war had not 
come the growth for that period would have continued at the rate of former 

The figures are stupendous. The billion dollar mark was exceeded by a 
handsome margin. The statistics compiled by the Commercial Service Depart- 
ment of the First Wisconsin National Bank for the year 1921 show a return 
to normal figures. (See statistics beginning with page 247.) 

Where Industrial Milwaukee Excels.— As already stated, the industries of 
the city enjoy both stability and momentum in that they deal with a diversified 
list of articles which go in useful channels of life and must be regarded as 
necessities rather than luxuries. It is equally interesting to point out where- 
in, or in what branches, the production is notable or excels. The following 
provides instructive reading in this direction : 

Iron and Steel — Milwaukee is one of the largest steel casting centers and 
has turned out some of the largest steel and grey iron eastings made in the 
United States. 

Machinery — Has some of the largest machinery construction shops in the 
world. Is a large producer of water pumping, ice-making and refrigeration 
machinery. Has exported more excavating machinery than any other city 
in the country. 

Engines — Has turned out large Diesel engines, the largest gas engines, 
Uniflow engine and a majority of the gas engines built in the United States. 

Traveling Cranes — Has the largest and best equipped plant for the manu- 
facture of electric traveling cranes and hoists in the United States. 

Mine Hoists — Constructed the largest mine hoist units in the world, now 
building one still larger. 

Car Works — The third largest locomotive and car works in the United 
States, the largest owned by a railroad corporation. 

Gears and Controls — Milwaukee leads the country in the manufacture of 
herring-bone gears for power transmission and gasoline locomotives for min- 
ing and plantation use. Furnished the electric firing controls for many 
battleships in the United States Navy and most of the automobile electric 
controls vised in the country. 

Refrigeration Machinery — Is an important center for the construction of 
ice-making and refrigeration machinery. 

Enameling — It is one of the largest tinware and enameling producers in 
the world. 

Saw Mills — Manufactures 75 per cent of the heavy saw mills machinery 
made in the United States. 

Boat Motors — Makes more outboard, detachable rowboat motors than any 
other city in the world. 

Motorcycles — Milwaukee leads the world in the manufacture of highest 
quality motorcycles. 

Automobile Accessories — One of the largest general automobile accessory 
manufacturing centers in the United States. 

THE HOTEL \\ 1st o\si\ 


Leather and Shoes — Milwaukee manufacturers a more varied line of 
leathers than any other city in the United States. Is one of the leading shoe 
manufacturing cities in America. Its tanneries are among the greatest in the 

Temperature Regulation — Was the pioneer in temperature regulating de- 
vices and leads the world in the manufacture of this line. 

Rubber Tires — Maintains one of the leading rubber tire manufacturing 
plants in the United States. 

Dyes — Has since the war built up the second largest dye industry in the 
United States. 

Trunks and Grips — Is one of the three largest trunk and grip manufac- 
turing centers in the United States. 

Clothing — Stands as the eleventh city in the production of clothing. 

Candies and Chocolates — According to population, makes more candy and 
chocolates than any city in the United States. 

Delicatessen — Sends fresh rye bread daily to nearly all sections of the 
United States. This applies also to a large variety of fine prepared meats. 

Dairy Capital — Is the metropolis of the greatest dairy producing state 
in the Union. 

In bringing to a close this chapter, which must be regarded as the most 
important in noting material progress, the reader is brought to the inevitable 
conclusion that Milwaukee is primarily a monster factory town. Moreover, 
its future must be found in industrial production. It cannot in the nature of 
things become a successful rival to the world metropolis to the south, either 
as a great financial or commercial center. Its operations in commerce and 
finance will always be important and will continue to grow, but Milwaukee's 
future clearly lies in the industrial field. 

As a producing center it has acquired stability and prestige. Its products 
have demonstrated their utility and value, its markets are established, and 
its reputation is fixed. The industries are capable of producing efficiently and 
marketing advantageously. Their future is assured. Just as they have in 
the past made an ever growing contribution to the material progress and 
economic stability of the nation so they will continue to grow, and expand 
and prosper and thus promote the advancement, the well-being and prestige of 
the City of Milwaukee. 








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The earlier records dealing with the activities of Milwaukee do not always 
clearly distinguish between trade, commerce and industry. The figures relat- 
ing- to production and distribution are not only imperfect, as might be 
expected, but frequently too interwoven to afford accurate deductions. 
Then, too, the business man of the last century was less inclined to submit 
figures regarding his operations than is the modern business man who, through 
tax laws and governmental regulations, has been taught to lay all his cards 
on the table. Besides the old-time merchant was less thorough in the keeping 
of his business accounts. 

Those who were inclined to occasionally summarize the trade activities 
of the community, in order to demonstrate economic progress, preferred to 
speak in terms of imports and exports. The figures here employed were 
designed to demonstrate commercial importance without any attempt at 
showing what the trade balance in favor of or against the community might be. 

It is an economic law in international trade that nations cannot buy more 
than they can sell. This applies to communities as well. Yd some of the old 
time records would go to show that Milwaukee usually imported much more 
than she exported. This, of course, cannot be true. The constant growth 
and development of the city would prove that the products of its labor were 
advantageously marketed and that it bought wisely, and kept expenditures 
well within its means. 

The commerce of Milwaukee had its earliest beginning in the fur trading 
engaged in between the Indians and the white men. The latter were the 
French who came from Canada to gather the trophies of the savage man and 
carry them back to the marts of civilization. The consideration usually con- 
sisted of trinkets and articles that appealed to the fancy and appetites of the 
Indian until money became a medium of value and enabled him to purchase 
what lie pleased. When civilization brought its general commercial parapher- 
nalia, giving the Indian his choice of purchase, he began to appreciate the 
value of money and exacted it. 

The young Yankees who came from the New England Slates and the young- 
Knickerbocker coming from New York State were decidedly commercial in 
their inclinations. They soon outnumbered the few French Canadians who 
had arrived before them. They were not only traders but builders ;is well. 
In the course of time they constructed mills and warehouses, ships ami road- 
ways and railroads. They also became the founders of banks and insurance 




enterprises. They became the land speculators as well as the constructors 
of their time. 

Imports and Exports. — A report made by Secretary Andrew J. Aikens of 
the local Board of Trade in 1856 is interesting not only in that it reveals the 
character of the imports and exports of that period but also because it deals 
with the comparative value of the two factors. 

Articles Imported at the Port of Milwaukee, for the year 1858 

Lumber, joists, etc., feet. . .84,000,000 

Lath, pieces 18.382,000 

Shingles 21.0(1(1.(1(10 

Shingle bolts, cords 7,24-9 

Wood, cords 2,000 

Bark, cords 3,628 

Square timber, feet 339,000 

Railroad iron, tons 19,846 

Coal, tons 20,000 

Horses, number 5,000 

Salt, barrels 94,277 

Salt, sacks 180.000 

Plaster, barrels 8,800 

Oats, bushels 150,000 

Com, bushels 250,000 

Barley, bushels 10,000 

Potatoes, bushels 20,000 

Sugar, hhds 9,072 

Sugar, barrels 38,508 

Molasses and syrup, barrels 18,243 

Codfish, boxes 7,107 

Coffee, bags '. 28,440 

Mackerel, barrels 4,266 

Dried apples, bushels 105,675 

Dried peaches, bushels.... 14,582 

Apples, barrels 33,790 

Tea, chests 

Raisins, boxes 

Candles, boxes 

Glass, boxes 

Nails, kegs 

Axes, boxes 

Candy, boxes 

Starch, boxes 

Rice, tierces 

Tobacco, pounds 

Soap, boxes 

( )il, barrels 

Saleratus, boxes 

White lead, kegs 

Cheese, pounds 

Steel, tons 

Bar iron, tons 

Cider and vinegar, barrels. 

Alcohol, barrels 

Oranges, boxes 

Lemons, boxes 

Prunes, pounds 

Spices, pounds 

Nuts, pounds 

Pipes, boxes 

Wooden Ware, doz 



























Comparative Value of Imports 

Total. 1854 .+11,124.000 

Total, 1855 18,649,832 

Total, 1856 27,974,748 

Articles Exported from the Port of Milwaukee During the Year 1856 


I leer, ba rrels 


Oats, bushels 

White fish, barrels .... 


Barley, bushels 



Grand Avenue between Wes1 Water and Second streets, which was razed to give place t<> 

the Plankinton Arcade. 

Corner Wesi Watei and Syca streets 



Malt, bushels ' 32,250 

Grass seed, bushels 10,300 

Cranberries, bushels 1,464 

Flour, barrels 213,451 

Pork, barrels 

Beef, barrels 

Vinegar, barrels . 

Lime, barrels 

Lard, barrels 

Beans, barrels 
Whiskey, barrels . 

Peas, barrels 

Tallow, barrels 
Provisions, barrels 
Corn meal, barrels 





•j .Slid 







Bacon, boxes . . . . 

! loap, boxes 

Fish, boxes 

Packing barrels . 
Ashes, casks 



Wool, pounds . . . 


Broom corn, bales. 

Hops, hales 

Pig iron, tons 

Ship knees 


Comparative Value of Exports 















1854 $ 7,709,571 

1855 17,329,531 

1856 20,274.301) 

"By the above it will be seen that the ratio of increase on imports has 
been about 50 per cent on the year 1855, while the increased exportation is 
somewhat less. The same circumstances that explain the deficiency of east- 
ward bound produce on the railroads, will explain this want of a larger 
increase. Besides the rates of freights for the last three months of navigation 
were unprecedentedly high — ranging from fifteen to thirty cents per bushel 
for wheat from Milwaukee to Buffalo. 

"The tables of imports and exports will be defective until Congress makes 
some requirement of inland ship masters and ship owners in regard to reports 
made at the Custom houses. Every steamer, propeller and vessel should be 
compelled to give a duplicate copy of the bill of lading to the collector of each 
port. The board should take some action in the matter, and see if such a law 
could not be passed. 

"The Lake Commerce now amounts to .$700,000,000, and seems to us is of 
sufficient importance to attract the attention of Congress. The imports and 
exports for the year 1856 amount, as given above, for the Port of Milwaukee, 
to the sum of $48,000,000. This docs not represent the entire traffic of the 
city by many millions of dollars. We estimate that the entire imports and 
exports by lake and railroad, amount to $75,000,000 or about one-fifth of the 
entire commerce of Lake Michigan. 

"As soon as our railroads are all in operation from the lake to the Missis- 
sippi River, the traffic will at once double or treble its present extent. Not 
only shallwe drain a vast and new region of its products, but we shall receive 
their supplies of eastern merchandise at our docks and forward it over our 
various and diverging lines of railway. 





"Speculations upon the future prospects, however well founded, are not 
the purpose of this report, and we leave them for a simple record of what 
Milwaukee has done in the past."' 

Jobbing and Wholesaling. — The early trader was followed by the local 
small merchant. He bought from the producers in the East and sold direct 
to the consumer. The local producer usually sold direct but frequently also 
to the retailer. 

But, the commerce of the community soon demanded an additional agency 
of distribution and the wholesaler came into being. He bought from pro- 
ducers everywhere and sold to the retailer, both at home and elsewhere. He 
either bought his goods outright or received them on consignment. 

It may here be stated as a remarkable fact that the wholesale trade grew 
rapidly in volume and in the widening of its zone of operation. This fact, too, 
verified the prediction made by some of the pioneers that Milwaukee was well 
situated to become a great distributing center. The ships that entered the 
harbor increasing in numbers came from all parts on the Great Lakes and 
brought a great variety of commodities. With the constant development of 
the rich agricultural territory to the west of the city there came also increased 
trade possibilities. This was clearly foreseen by those concerned in securing 
a substantial commercial footing. The farmers travelled long distances to 
sell their products in Milwaukee and to make their purchases. The horse and 
wagon method of transportation was slow and the volume thus transported 
was meagre. They could supply their own needs only in the ratio that they 
were able to dispose of their own products. Upon his prosperity depended the 
prosperity of the merchant. 

The problem became clear. Transportation facilities must be provided. 
Just as the ox-cart gave way to the horse and wagon so the horse and wagon 
must be superseded by the steam railway in reaching the larger distributing 
centers of the state. The zone of trade must be widened. 

Thus, with the advent of the railroads the wholesale trade began to take 
definite form. While there were those who engaged in the export of grain, 
hides, wool, fish, flour, meats, etc., there came upon the scene the wholesalers 
of groceries, dry goods, hardware, drugs, clothing and boots and shoes. 

Status in 1858 of Wholesale Trade. — The status of the wholesale trade in 
1856 is well stated in a report made by the Board of Trade, as follows: 

"Tlie penetration of the interior of the state by railroads, and the tapping 
of the great Mississippi Valley in the early part of the year, have given a new 
impetus to the wholesale business of Milwaukee; and though the trade fur the 
last year has been such as to astonish even those engaged in it, there is 
abundant reason to believe that it has but just begun, and that the future will 
see it increase in still greater ratio. 

"During the present year, the Milwaukee and Mississippi Railroad will 
be opened to Dubuque and Galena, and also to Prairie du Chien. By either 
of these routes merchandise can be delivered from Lake Michigan to the 
Mississippi River with less railroad transit than any routes now in existence 
from the lake to that river. 


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"By the lines of propellers now running between this and the lower hike 
ports, the merchants of this city procure transportation at the least possible 
tariff of freight of any port on the lake, so that the wholesaler here is able 
to sell to the more western houses at rates of advance on New York, Boston 
and Philadelphia prices, little more than cost, insurance and transportation. 
"We have made diligent inquiry for the amount of wholesale trade done in 
The city for the past year, in the principal branches of business. The increase 
upon former years has been limited only by increased capital. We find that 
our merchants have had more good orders than they could fill, and that 
double the capital invested would double the sales for the present year. 

"A number of heavy houses have been opened in different kinds of trade 
the past year, and we learn of several to be opened this year by merchants 
from eastern cities. 

"There are engaged in the various wholesale branches of trade, 150 mer- 
chants, besides a larger number who do a heavy retail trade with 11 ountry 

lying on the railroad lines. 

"Below we give the result of a careful collection of figures, showing the 
amount of sales for the year 1856 : 

Groceries (twenty houses) * 3,401, 

Dry Goods (eight houses) 1,830,000 

Furniture 450,(1(10 

Crockery 280,000 

Drugs and Dye Stuffs 750,000 

Wines and Liquors 856,000 

Clothing 500,000 

Boots and Shoes (125.000 

Iron, Hardware and Stoves 2.200,000 

Salt and Coal 550,000 

Lumber (sixteen yards) 2,505,000 

Not enumerated 3,000,000 

Total wholesale trade $16,942,000 

"Among the houses included in the above table are eighteen whose sales 
are over two hundred thousand dollars each; eight that sell over three 
hundred thousand dollars each: three that sell over four hundred thousand 
dollars each; and two that sell over five hundred thousand dollars each. 

"During the present year our railway connections will open up a region 
of country to our wholesale merchants, populated by 500,000 inhabitants — or 
nearly as many as were supplied by this city durin<_i' the year 1856. We may 
then safely estimate that the wholesale trade of the city will double in the 
course of the next two years." 

For a number of years the Milwaukee wholesale trade area was free from 
outside competition, except such competition as came from the eastern 
markets. But, Chicago began to extend her trade territory and became a 
strong rival. Later St. Paul. Minneapolis and Duluth merchants not only 

iz ,- 

- z 

/. — 


'— y. 
v. — 

3 / 


secured trade within a certain radius of these cities but invaded the Milwaukee 
territory as well. Even cities like Green Bay, Eau Claire, and LaCrosse en- 
tered the wholesale field in certain commodities. 

But, be it said to the credit of the Milwaukee merchants that they met 
competition on all sides. They continued to multiply their numbers and to 
extend their trade area far beyond the borders of the state. While certain 
wholesale lines are restricted in their trade area by freight rates, others have 
entered every state in the midwest and have even extended their business 
relations to the Pacific Coast. 

Thus, monster grocery, hardware, dry goods and drug wholesale institu- 
tions have become established whose annual trade volume runs into large 
figures. Moreover, the jobbing trade has amplified itself in many other lines, 
including clothing, furniture, machinery, coal, building materials, crockery, 
household utensils, etc., forming on the whole a large factor in the commer- 
cial activities of the metropolis. 

The enterprise and energy of the jobbers and wholesalers may be noted 
in the annual trade extension journeys which were planned and carried out 
under the auspices of Merchants and Manufacturers Association and its suc- 
cessor the Milwaukee Association of Commerce. They were inaugurated about 
the earlier part of this century and were organized upon a well planned basis. 
They are dealt with elsewhere in this volume. 

The Retail Trade Interests. — The retail trade interests of Milwaukee 
present one peculiarity seldom found in American cities, or at least not empha- 
sized in the same degree, namely a decentralization in store location. 

What is here meant is this: Every city has its downtown retail trade 
center where the larger department stores are located and where the various 
trade interests are grouped. They meet every human want in food, raiment 
and household paraphernalia, and thus concentrate the retail trade activi- 
ties within a given radius, or in a central section of the city. 

In .Milwaukee this tendency is not true in the same degree that it is true 
in the average American city. Large department stores and a great variety 
of trade interests may be found at a distance of one and two miles from the 
heart of the city. While the downtown retail district is large and important 
it has its rivals in the centers that have grown up in both the northern and 
southern sections of the city. 

The merchants in these several sections manifest the same enterprise and 
energy that is manifested by the downtown merchants. Through local busi- 
ness men's organizations they promote all the conditions that tend to bold 
and increase trade. They maintain well stocked shelves and advertise 

For the downtown merchants it may be said that a more keen, progressive 
and public spirited body of men cannot be found anywhere. They realize to 
the fullest the opportunities at their command, aim to serve the public 
efficiently and concern themselves in all that makes for the welfare of the 
community. Many of the more important merchants give liberally of their 
time ami means in fostering civic, educational or charitable projects. 

11 is sometimes remarked by strangers, who sojourn in the city, thai its 


downtown streets do not, during nil hours of the day, manifest the same 
crowding and bustle thai is observed in other American cities. This state 
ninii is unquestionably true, and is in pari accounted for in the somewhal 
decentralized character of its retail trade activities. Again, ii must be remem- 
bered thai Milwaukee is an industrial rather than a commercial or financial 

In this connection the question, whether the retail interests draw an ade- 
quate share of trade from outside of the city, may be asked. The answer 
must be in the affirmative. 

The merchants have from time to time advanced their individual trade 
interests as far as this may be dime consistent with the interests of the city 
as a whole. This statement requires an explanation. 

.Modern retail trade promotion, as exemplified in many American cities, 
contemplates various devices, methods and agencies, fostered individually 
and collectively, to attract customers from the outside. They include excur- 
sion trains from interior points, special bargain days, rebating of railroad 
fares, free lunches, etc. 

When some of these promotional efforts were engaged in by the Milwaukee 
merchants it was found that the socalled country merchants, namely the re- 
tailers in the cities and villages affected, raised serious objections. They were 
not inclined to see their trade diverted to the metropolis without a struyjrle. 
The retaliatory weapon was in their own hands, and they threatened to use 
it if organized trade extension efforts were not discontinued. They boughl 
their stocks from the jobber and manufacturer of the metropolis and could 
readily shift their patronage to Chicago or other markets. 

Here it became clear to the Milwaukee merchant that the producing in- 
terests of the metropolis were primary. Their output must not lie lessened. 
The payroll supported the community and gave vitality to its retail trade. 
The manufacturer believed that it was more important to the community as 
a whole to hold tiie patronage and good will of an entire state for Milwaukee 
made products than to secure added trade for the retailer. The latter readily 
shared in this view and desisted in all trade methods likely to incur the ill 
will of the upstate merchants. 

The policy adopted by the Milwaukee Association of Commerce in dealing 
with the subject, may he summed up in the following: Loyalty to community 
interests implies support for the local merchants. The latter is a citizen, an 
employer and a taxpayer who is entitled to the patronage of the community. 
If the customer requires anything which the local merchant cannot supply then 
such customer is warranted in going to the larger center for his purchases. All 
things equal, the local merchant is entitled to the preference. 

Thus, the customer in the inland city is advised to support his local mer- 
chant, and to extend his patronage to the merchant of the metropolis only 
when the former is unable to supply his needs. Price, quality and personal 

prefere: of course, guide all purchases, bul consistent with thes,. Eactors 

the integrity and welfare of the home town should receive first consideration. 


The Indians, who, in a primitive day, came down the three streams later 
known as the Milwaukee, Menomonee and Kinnickinnie rivers, found these 
converging into a waterway which emptied in a beautiful inland ocean. 

They were lured into the blue waters of the bay. Their canoes were rocked 
by the waves and their bronze visages were cooled by the breezes that traveled 
over the broad expanse of the sea. They were fascinated by that mysterious 
horizon to the East which separated water and sky. The land which skirted 
the lake with its high bluffs, receding into a valley to the West which was 
traversed by the main river, rose again beyond that river to a magnificent 

'I he spot that commanded a view of this valley and at the same time 
afforded a view of the blue waters of the lake, with its distant horizon, was 
indeed desirable for human habitation. The savage instinct yielded to its 
allurements. An Indian village was reared. 

'I he earlier explorers noted the spot in their chronicles, and the traders 
who came after them landed here to carry on their negotiations with the 
Indians of that day. As navigators they found that nature had here pro- 
vided a harbor which was readily accessible, and upon whose shores a peaceful 
tribe of Indians had taken up their habitation. 

While the Indian was drawn to this spot by instinct the white man came 
by design, lie sought the treasures of the savage for the comforts of the 
civilized man. lie continued to come with each season in increased numbers. 
He saw the commercial advantages of a natural landlocked harbor. Com- 
munication with the outer world was confined to the vast waters which 
stretched out to the north and the east. 

The harbor had attracted the aborigine, it had brought the Caucasian. 
The harbor had prompted an Indian abode, it gave impetus to a white man's 
village. The harbor afforded commercial relations with the eastern centers 
of population, and became the great incentive for the rearing of a city. 

Until 1850 the only communication which Milwaukee had with an outer 
world was via the Great Lakes. It brought supplies to the city through the 
means of water transportation and sent the products of the state on to the 
East in the same way. The small wooden vessels that came to its shores not 
only brought those earlier pioneers who founded the village but also the 
immigrants who later formed the bulk of the population and enabled it to 
pass from the rural to the urban stage. 






The First Vessel Arrivals. — Solomon Juneau, Milwaukee's first permanent 
white settler, chartered two vessels to bring stores for the trading post and 
to carry away the furs he had accumulated. The first of these made its 
appearance in 1823 and anchored in the hay. It was a small schooner with 
a. carrying capacity of thirty tons, bore the name of "Chicago Packet" and 
was commanded by Captain Brittain. During the same year came the " Vir- 
ginia" with a capacity of 180 tons, followed by the "Aurora," sailed by Capt. 
David Graham who brought a cargo of supplies form Green Bay. The land- 
ings were usually made on the lake front in the vicinity between Wisconsin 
Street and the present harbor entrance. The second vessel that arrived, how- 
ever, entered the river. 

The men of that day soon realized that an inner harbor must be provided. 
A petition for a survey of the river was sent to the War Department at 
Washington. The authority to proceed with the survey was granted in 1835 
but owing to the slow means of communication the work could not be imme- 
diately undertaken. Besides, the Government had made no provisions for 
employing and compensating the engineers. 

The support of the National Government had to be sought. Byron Kil- 
bourn communicated on January 2D. 1836, with Senator Louis F. Linn of 
Missouri, then a member of the Committee on Commerce, of the Tinted States 
Senate. In Ins letter Kilbourn describes the rivers and their outlet into 
the bay. 

"This bay," says Kilbourn. "will form a safe and easy entrance into the 
harbor when constructed. The liar al the mouth of the river is narrow; 
indeed it is peculiar in this respect and different from most of the rivers mi 
the lakes." 

Here it should be explained that the "bar" referred to consisted of a 
narrow strip of land later known as Jones Island. This strip of land which 
is now a peninsula was then virtually an island. The natural outlet spoken 
of was located at a point east of what is now known as Greenfield Avenue. 
What constitutes the present harbor entrance was then a submerged sand bar. 

But, the survey which was conducted by Lieutenants Center and Rose of 
the United States Topographical Engineer Corps was accompanied with the 
recommendation that a "straight cut" be made 3,000 feet north of the 
"natural outlet." That meant that the old natural harbor was abandoned 
and that the present harbor entrance was determined upon. In ls:>7 the 
Government engineers decided upon the construction of two piers at a cost 
of $92,183.54. 

Era cf Wateroorne Commerce. — The encouragement given by the National 
Government in enabling the entrance of vessels to the inner harbor aroused 
considerable interest. Newspapers in the Last began to discuss the great 
possibilities of the Milwaukee harbor and gave glowing accounts of the 
commerce likely to result with this improvement. The ships, too, that trav- 
eled between the several ports, including Detroit, Buffalo, Cleveland, .Mil- 
waukee and Chicago came in for liberal praise. "The majestic steamer 
Michigan sailed westward," etc., wen' some of the phrases employed. 

The local people soon caught the spirit of enterprise. They saw a future 


in their proximity to the lakes and in their ability to bring ships into the 
several rivers. Solomon Juneau Imilt a wharf on the river hank adjacent 
to his first house which stood near what is now known as the corner of East 
Water and Wisconsin streets. Private enterprise as well as Government aid 
were well warranted for the open navigation season of 1836, from April 14th 
to November 14th. saw 314 vessel arrivals. 

That year, too, in the winter saw the construction of the first vessel in 
.Milwaukee. It was built on the Milwaukee River near Division Street, now- 
known as Juneau A venue, by Capt. George Barber. Her capacity was ninety 
tons and her name Solomon Juneau. The timbers for this vessel were 
secured in the immediate vicinity which prompted the citizens to make an 
effort in securing some of the eastern builders to locate a shipyard on Mil- 
waukee River. The Solomon Juneau met with a mishap in 1839 by run- 
ning oil the beach SOUth of the old harbor. She was. however, safely released 

hut was years later lost on Lake Ontario. 

While the Solomon Juneau was the first vessel to he planned and placed 
under construction, the Wenona was the first to he completed. She had a 
tonnage capacity of only thirty tons and was used as a lighter. Yet. she 
deserves the distinction of being the first craft built in Milwaukee. Further 
enterprise in the direction of ship building was manifested when the sum of 
$45,000 was subscribed for the purpose of constructing a steamboal to ply 
between Milwaukee and Chicago. 

In the spriny of 1837 the James Madison then known as the Largesl steamer 
on the Great Lakes arrived. She brought 1.00(1 passengers and 4.000 barrels 
of freight. In June of the same year there arrived also the first steamboal 
owned by Milwaukee men. She was known as the Detroit and was in com- 
mand of Capt. John Crawford. During her short five months' career she 
always landed at the foot of Wisconsin Street, she was lost off Kenosha in 
November, 1838. 

Byron Kilbourn, in 1837. caused the construction of a river steamboal with 
a tonnage of fifty tons. This boat was largely built in a competitive spirit 
againsl the east side. The fact that she was a steamboal was an achievement 
for the west side and designed to overshadow the schooner Solomon Juneau, 
a sailing vessel. The cast siders, however, said that •"she was an old scow 
with an engine that was about seven mule power and her course about as 
gyratory as a hen that has eaten salt, and that her commander was scpiint- 
eyed, and never knew which way he was steering." 

Another steamer was Imilt by Kilbourn during the following year and 
records show that the trustees of the wesl side village passed resolutions 
urging him to refuse to land passengers <>n the rival hank. While these small 
river steamers stimulated rivalry between Juneau Town and Kilbourn Town, 
it is not recorded that any gross discrimination was entered into. More river 
steamers followed to hecome husiness competitors to each other. They prac- 
tically went out of use when the harhor was fully opened. 

A more pretentious venture was a steamboat named Milwaukee built at 
Buffalo for Solomon Juneau ami George II. Walker, They sacrificed some 
valuable land in order to raise the monei for this the firsl real steamboal to 


be owned by Milwaukeeans. On July 9, 1841, this proud craft steamed into 
the Milwaukee River but struck a sand bar and was held fast. The old chron- 
icles stated that she "mocked her owners" by her inability to float. During 
the following year she was sold to Detroit parties and the same chronicles state 
that all that Juneau realized from his venture was "a quantity of the ship's 
bedding and furniture." 

The first warehouse was built in 1838 by G. D. Dousman at the foot of 
East Water Street. Three years later there was shipped from this ware- 
house Milwaukee's first export cargo of wheat consisting of 5,000 tons. In 
the same year the first lighthouse was built by the Federal Government and 
placed at the foot of Wisconsin Street. 

Government Aid Is Sought. — While the lake navigation of that day had 
its discouragements in delays and losses caused by storms, the navigators 
remained courageous and ambitious of success. The citizens, too, were zealous 
in encouraging lake commerce and to that end sought the improvement of 
the harbor at the hands of the Federal Government. 

A meeting of citizens was held at the Milwaukee House on March 6, 1840, 
to formulate plans for petitioning Congress to improve the harbor. The 
men who figured prominently at this meeting were George A. Tiffany, II. X. 
Wells, George J). Dousman and William A. Prentiss. 

The event of the meeting was an address by Col. Hans Crocker in which 
he enumerated facts and figures regarding the Village of Milwaukee designed 
to impress Congress with its commercial progress. Colonel Crocker stated 
that Milwaukee had a population of 1,600, that it maintained twenty-two dry 
goods and grocery stores, an iron foundry and a machine shop; also that two 
stage lines penetrated the agricultural districts to the south and the west. 
The river which was navigable the entire length was not readily accessible 
to all the craft that sought entrance, but that, notwithstanding that fact, in 
a few years the waterborne commerce of the village had experienced an enor- 
mous increase. In 1835 two steamboats entered the bay and in 1839 there 
was a total of 179 vessel arrivals. 

A petition was sent to Congress asking for a liberal appropriation for 
harbor improvement. Various towns joined in the petition and when Con- 
gress manifested dilatory tactics there was much indignation on the part of 
the lake towns. 

This indignation was intensified on the part of the Milwaukee people 
through an accident which occurred in the bay due, it was alleged, to the 
negleet of the Government. A boat was upset by getting caught in a buoy 
line and two men were drowned. The Courier remarked: "Two more citizens 
have found premature graves in consequence of the cruel injustice id' Congress 
in not making appropriations for our harbor." 

The catastrophe was followed by an indignation meeting in which a com- 
mittee consisting of W. A. Prentiss. L. J. Farwcll, Hans ('rocker, L. 1'. Can 
ami A. Finch, Jr., drafted resolutions "favoring the raising of funds by 
private subscription for the construction of a harbor." Subsequently plans 
were submitted by 1. A. Lapham, L. II. Carlton and B. H. Edgerton. Public 
projects id' this character, however, are somewhat slow of realization. The 

Vol. 1— IS 

A portion of the . lours Island area seen tn the I'll 



citizenship had evidently come to the conclusion that the improvement of the 
harbor was a matter of Government concern and not a private undertaking'. 
In the summer of 1S42 the Sentinel and Parmer, the enterprising newspaper 
of that day, offered to loan the Government $20,000 wherewith to begin the 
improvement. It was assured that the Government would ultimately raise 
the sum out of the sale of public lands. 

In the spring of 1843 Congress appropriated the sum of $30,000 which 
caused much rejoicing. The struggle in Congress had been an intense one 
owing to the fact that the southern statesmen were hostile to expenditures 
for public improvements in the western territory. When the news of favor- 
able action arrived the town went wild with delight. 

About this time the commercial importance of the village was again 
demonstrated in facts and figures. It was shown that the imports had in- 
creased from $588,950 in 1835 to $1,805,277 in 1841. The exports proved even 
more illuminating. In 1835 there wen' shipped 125,000 pounds of furs, 
25,000 pounds of "merchandise and sundry articles."' 5,000 pounds of hides 
and 3,500 cords of wood at a total value of $2(i,145. In 1839 there were 
exported 100 barrels of flour, 25 barrels of pork and 5,000 pounds of shot 
and lead. The latter was brought over land from Fever River, later known 
as Galena. The total value of these shipments aggregated the sum of $43,568. 

Milwaukee's subsequent importance as a wheat shipping center had its 
beginning in 1841. It was then that 5,000 bushels of wheat were shipped 
by Holton and Goodall to the East via the Great Lakes. During the same 
year there were shipped 30,000 pounds id' copper and 1,738,175 pounds of 
lead. Tlic latter was valued at $75,546. The total exports for the year were 
estimated at $28(5,777. 

On May 22d an industrial parade under the leadership of Marshal L. II. 
Cotton, was held. This festive event included a float picturing a shipyard 

at work and a blacksmith's forge in action. The speech of th icasion 

was delivered by Hon. Jonathan E. Arnold in front of the Milwaukee House. 
The parade and (he speech drew "enthusiastic cheers from the throngs of 

S] tators. " Public dinners were engaged at the Cottage Inn and other 


The German-American residents conducted a separate parade and demon- 
stration led by Dr. Francis Iluebschmann and Rev. Father Kundig. The 
records also show that a Reverend Schmidl and Messrs. Loth, Luther, Wiesner 
and Winter served on the committee on arrangements. "The body moved 
from the Wisconsin House to the Catholic Church where it was joined by 
French and Irish citizens, and thence proceeded to the Milwaukee House 
where all united in a general body." 

The congressional action which caused this jubilant expression was ap- 
proved March 3, 1843, and read as follows: "For the construction of a, 
harbor at the most suitable situation at or near .Milwaukee, in the Territory 
of Wisconsin, to be made under the survey id' an officer to lie appointed by 
the Secretary of War, for the said half of the calendar year (ending December 
31, 1843) $15,000, and for tin- said fiscal year (ending June 30, 1844) $15,000." 

The joy expressed, however, proved to be somewhat premature. In the 
judgment of the leading citizens the "straight cut" where the harbor en- 


trance is now located was the more direcl and practical. The Government 

engineer was reticent and no1 over friendly to Milwaukee. He led il iti- 

zens in believe that he would ignore their judgment altogether. Indignation 
meeting's followed, protests were sent to Washington, and for a time great 
turmoil prevailed. With the passing of another year the projeel was com- 
pleted to the satisfaction of the citizens. 

Then opened the period when the municipality spent money for the im- 
provement of its harbor. The enterprise of the individual citizens began to 
assert itself in the construction of docks and warehouses, and the National 
Government, recognizing the growing commerce of the port, gradually 
■granted appropriations for harbor protection. 

The local Chamber of Commerce later asserted its influence in maintaining 
the harbor upon a high plane of efficiency. Government support came, from 
time to time, with increased liberality, and competent engineers were assigned 
to carry out the needed improvements. 

Milwaukee's Grain Trade. — Milwaukee made her debut as a grain ship- 
ping port in the spring of 1841, when the late E. 1). Ilolton. then a member 
of the firm of Ilolton & Goodell, shipped a cargo of 4,000 bushels of wheat to 
a Canadian port on the schooner Illinois. No doubt small driblets of grain 
went to Chicago by lake previous to that time, but the cargo above noted 
marked the beginning of the grain trade to the lower lakes and thence to tide- 
water ports, a trade which eventually won for .Milwaukee the proud distinc- 
tion of being the greatest primary wheat market in the world. 

This nattering title was achieved in 1862, when the total receipts of wheat 
reached the aggregate of 15,613,995 bushels and the shipments 14,915.680 
bushels. The total receipts of all kinds of grain during the same year 
amounted to 16,451.789 bushels and the shipments to 15,174,794 bushels. Chi- 
cago, which was Milwaukee's only rival as a wheat market, received 13,978.116 
bushels in 1862 and shipped 1:5,809,898 bushels. 

Milwaukee's wheat trade reached high tide in 1ST:! when the total re- 
ceipts of that grain aggregated 28,457,937 bushels and the shipments 24,991,266 
bushels. The total receipts of all kinds of grain in 1873 amounted to 32,567,565 
bushels and the shipments to 27,124,194 bushels. 

Beginning with 1875, owing to various causes, but mainly to the develop- 
ments of markets at St. Paul. Minneapolis ami the head of the lakes. Mil- 
waukee's wheat receipts began to fall away steadily. On the other hand. 
the receipts of other grains began to increase, hut it was not until 1892 
that the total receipts of all kinds of grain exceeded the record of 1875. 

Since that time, with the exception of two or three years, the combined 

receipts of all grains increased annually. The record of tin- year 1914 id' 
76,654,300 bushels represents the largest amount of grain received during any 

one year in the history of the city. 

In 1920 wheal represented only 12.9 per cent of the volume of all kinds 
id' grain received at .Milwaukee, whereas, in 1873, when wheal receipts were 
at high tide, it made up s7. 1 pel- cent of the volume of all kinds of grain. In 
1862, when .Milwaukee became famous as a wheal market. per cent of 
the total grain r ipts consisted of that product. 


Naturally the total shipments of grain from this market have kept pace 
with the receipts, minus, of course, the amount consumed by local millers and 
others. The course of grain shipments has undergone a great change, however. 

In the early days of Milwaukee's prominence as a grain market, the bulk 
of the outgoing surplus went forward by way of the lower lakes; but rail 
routes gradually made inroads on the sum total of grain shipments, until in 
late years shipments by way of the lower lakes, except on railway line 
steamers, have been nominal in character. 

The change was largely the result of rail rate manipulation, the ex-lake, 
or the rate between the lakes and the seaboard, being maintained at a point 
which, coupled with other insinuating advantages, made it more profitable for 
shippers to consign grain products by way of all-rail routes. Since 1880 ship- 
ments of grain from upper lake ports by way of the Great Lakes, and Erie 
Canal have declined over 85 per cent. Shipments from Milwaukee by way 
of the lower lakes during 1914 were larger than during any -year since WOO. 

Report of Milwaukee's First Harbor Commission. — Rendered February 17, 
1842, by Messrs. I. A. Lapham and F. Randall, who were appointed by the 
trustees of the Town of Milwaukee to make a survey relative to the commerce 
of the Town of Milwaukee and the commerce of Lake Michigan. 

To the President and Trustees of the Town of Milwaukee : In compliance 
with the requirements of the resolution of your board, appointing the under- 
signed to collect information in relation to* the Imports and Exports of this 
town since its first settlement in 1835, and such other facts, as may be im- 
portant with reference to the application for an appropriation from Congress 
for the construction of a harbor at Milwaukee, we have attended to that duty, 
and now beg leave to submit for .your consideration the result of our in- 
quiries : 

As a more ready means of obtaining the desired information, a printed 
circular, giving an appropriate form, and requesting that it might be filled up, 
was sent to the principal business men (amounting to eighty-six in number), 
and from most of them, full and satisfactory returns were received; a state 
ment of the amount of these returns, with a suitable addition for those who 
neglected, from sickness or other cause, to make return of their business, is 
herewith communicated, marked A. 

A copy of this statement was sent on the 12th hist, to Col. J. J. Abert, 

"of the Topographical Bureau, in answer to his letter directed to thi Hector 

of the Port of Milwaukee, accompanied by a letter calling his attention to the 
subject; a copy of which is herewith communicated, marked B. This letter 
and statement, in order to secure their being brought properly before the 
Bureau, were inclosed with a letter (marked (') to our delegate in Congress. 

The whole amount of business each year, in the sha | £ Imports and 

Exports, is shown in the table marked I). The grand total being nearly six 
millions and a half of dollars. 

We have also received the statements of the business done at one of the 
towns in this county (Prairieville), and a table of the result for the past year 
is inclosed, marked E. The commerce of this town is of course done through 
the Port of Milwaukee. 

The Register of the Land Office has obligingly furnished at our request, a 


statement of the proceeds of the sales of public lands, in this district, which 
with the amount received at Green Bay, for land in this district before the 
establishment of the land office at this place, amounts to about one and- a half 
millions of dollars. 

From this statement we can safely say that this portion of our country 
has paid at least its due proportion toward the support of the General Gov- 
ernment, and is therefore as much entitled to consideration as any other part 
of the country. Five per cent on the amount we have paid for lands alone 
would be more than sufficient to construct the work we ask for, and this is 
no more than is now granted, as a permanent fund, to several of the states. 

From the general statement, marked A, a great many facts may be seen 
which show the growing importance of our place from a commercial point of 
view, and the high character of the surrounding country in agriculture. It 
will be seen that the amount of merchandise, lumber, shingles and salt im- 
ported has been increasing with a gradually augmenting ratio — while the im- 
portation of agricultural products which are now mostly supplied from our 
own soil — as flour, pork, etc., has been gradually diminishing until they are 
now taking their places in the tabic of exports. 

The very great excess of 1841, over those of former years, occasioned by 
the introduction of several new articles of trade (especially lead, shot and 
copper), and by the rapid increase of the agricultural products, cannot fail 
to strike every one, and it goes far to prove, what is believed by us all, 
that our commerce is yet only beginning to be developed. We will not, how- 
ever, stop to enumerate all the inferences that may be drawn from the facts 
collected by us, as they will readily occur to intelligent persons, upon in- 
specting the statement herewith presented. 

The experiment now made, in the transportation of the valuable mineral 
products of our western counties, has shown that Milwaukee may, and soon 
will, be made the outlet of most of that trade, even during the present unim- 
proved state of the roads — and when greater facilities, which are now being 
made for transportation across our territory shall be completed, the amount 
of business of this kind which will be done here, can hardly be calculated. 

Another subject has engaged our attention, which in importance we be- 
lieve to be inestimable. We allude to the information in the accompanying 
paper marked G, in which we have enumerated all the losses of life and prop- 
erty, on Lake Michigan, so far as we have been able to ascertain the facts, 
since 18-'J4, which may be considered as the commencement of navigation 
upon this lake. We can say with truth that we are astonished at the result 
of our inquiries on this subject. We may state as the general result, that 118 
lives have been lost — or fifteen each year. That $1,052,450 worth of prop- 
erty has been destroyed or lost — being $131,556 per annum. That eighty-nine 
vessels, including several steamboats, have been more or less injured or lost 
being eleven each year. 

These are facts, not mere conjecture, and to show that we have confined 
ourselves to facts, we give the name of each vessel injured, the nature of the 
injury, and the year in which it happened; so that if we have exceeded the 
bounds of truth, the means of detection and exposure are before you. We 


will nut pretend to say thai none of these accidents would have occurred, and 
all this loss of life and property been prevented, had there been harbors Eor 
shipping, lint when it is renjembered thai the lisl is Ear from being complete, 
we may with safety suppose thai a very considerable proportion mighl in 
that way have been saved. We might enlarge upon the various considerations 

suggested by our inquiries, lml it is uru ssary. Enough has been elicited 

to show the pressing necessity of harbors on Lake Michigan and the prominent 
importance of one at Milwaukee. 

A statement of the aggregate amount of Imports and Exports, at the Porl 
of Milwaukee, for each year, from the firsl settlement of the town, up to 
January 1, 1842, made by I. A. Lapham and F. Randall, in pursuance of a 
resolution of the trustees of said town: 

Years Imports Exports Total 

1835-136 $ 588,959 .+ '26.145 $ 615,095 

1837 641.235 47.745 688,980 

1838 783,458 47,690 831,148 

1839 866.710 43,568 910,308 

1840 1,147,803 53,828 1,200,631 

1841 1,805,277 286,777 2,092,054 

$5,833,472 $505,753 $6,338,216 


Statement of the amount and value of the exports and imports, at the Town 
of Prairieville (Waukesha), Milwaukee County. Wis., for the year 1841: 

T. Exports 

Flour. 7.(10(1 barrels $35,750 

Pork, 250 barrels 2,250 

Hides. 12,000 pounds 840 

Total value of exports $38,840 

II. Imports 

Merchandise $20,000 

Lumber, 100,000 feet 1,400 

Salt. 600 barrels 1,500 

Irons. 35.000 pounds 2,800 

Total value of imports +25.700 

Total amounl of exports ami imports $64,540 


A statement of the loss of life and property on Lake Michigan, much 
or all of which might have been avoided or prevented by the construction 
of suitable harbors at the most prominent points; made by I. A. Lapham and 
F. Randall, in pursuance of a resolution of t he trustees of the Town of 
Milwaukee, Wisconsin Territory: 

1834. — The navigation of Lake Michigan may be considered as having been 
commenced in this year; only three steamboats and a few sail vessels having 
landed at Chicago; and the amount of life and property lost was probably 
not very great when compared with the next year. The Town of Milwaukee 
was not then in existence. Although there doubtless were many more, we 
have been able to ascertain, witli certainty, only two accidents within this 
year : 

The schooner Prince Eugene was driven ashore near the mouth of C4rand 
River, nearly opposite Milwaukee. One man, the captain, lost. 

'1 lie schooner Juliett, with a valuable cargo, was driven ashore near St. 
Joseph. The expense of getting her off was $1,500. 

1835. — The brig Austerlitz, attempting to land passengers in a small boat, 
it was swamped (or tilled with water by the waves), by which accident four 
men were drowned. 

The brig Austerlitz was afterwards driven ashore, during a severe storm, 
having on board a full cargo of valuable merchandise, which, with the vessel, 
was entirely lost. Two lives lost by this accident. 

The schooner Bridget was sunk at sea — all hands and passengers lost. 
The number of persons on board not known, but supposed to lie twelve. 

The schooner Chance was also sunk while at sea in this year, and the 
number of persons drowned was nine. 

The steamboat Newberryport was driven ashore at Chicago, and proved 
a total loss. 

The schooner Swan (Captain Gilbert), was lost, with all on board, supposed 
to be twenty. 

The schooner Hoe went ashore at four different times during the year. 
No lives lost. 

The steamboat Pioneer was driven ashore at the south end of the lake. 
Total loss. 

The schooner Marengo went ashore opposite Chicago. Cargo and vessel 


The schooner Erie Packet — driven ashore in a gale and totally lost. 

The schooner Post Boy was upset, with ten persons on board ; of whom 
only two escaped. 

The schooner Adelade went ashore twenty miles from Milwaukee, and was 
wholly lost. 

1836. — Four men were drowned in the early part of the year, near the 
mouth of the Milwaukee River. 

A gale occurred in October, in which nine vessels were more or less injured 
or destroyed. 

1. Tin' schooner Martin Van Buren sustained a hole stove in her stern 
and sunk. 

Vessel unloading coal 




2. The schooner General Harrison, with a hole stove in her side, was 
driven ashore very much injured. 

3. The schooner Celeste was driven ashore and filled with water; her 
main mast "gone by the board," and otherwise much damaged. 

4. The schooner Erie was driven ashore, her fore and top-mast gone, and 
her hull not very much injured. 

5. The barque Detroit broke from her fastenings, and dropping an anchor, 
which was dragged some one hundred and fifty rods, finally rode out the 
storm with but little damage. 

6. The schooner Sea Serpent parted her cables and was driven ashore 
near Michigan City, and was entirely knocked to pieces. 

7. The brig North Carolina went ashore thirty miles from Chicago, and 
was thrown upon the beach "high and dry." 

8. The sloop Clarissa Harlow was driven ashore near New Buffalo, on 
the east side of the lake. 

9. The schooner Chicago parted her cables, and was driven ashore with 
immense velocity. 

Several other vessels (one dismasted) were reported to have been seen 
passing Chicago, and if so they were undoubtedly all blown ashore. 

All the vessels lying at Chicago pier, were more or less injured — the 
harbor being then in an unfinished state. 

Several lives were lost during the gale, but the number not ascertained. 

The schooner Wave was driven ashore at three different times during the 
year; no material damage done, except loss of time of vessel and crew and 
cost of getting her off. 

The cost of getting vessels off from the shore, varies from one hundred to 
fifteen hundred dollars, according to circumstances. 

The schooner Agnes Barton lost her main-mast while lying at anchor. 

The schooner Ocean was driven ashore at Milwaukee, but little damaged. 

1837. — The steamboat Detroit, which had been engaged in -the trade 
between Milwaukee and St. Joseph, after having several times been much 
endangered and once actually grounded at Michigan City, was finally, in 
November, driven ashore and totally lost at Southport. 

The steamboat Champlain was driven ashore at St. Joseph, and wholly 


The Harbor Steamboat at Milwaukee, used to convey passengers and 
freight between the town and vessels lying in the bay (unable to enter the 
river), was driven ashore and lost at the mouth of the river. 

There is an annual loss to community at Milwaukee, id' 25 cents for all 
passengers, and 10 cents per barrel bulk, or $10 per ton, on all freight passing 
to or from hike vessels at that place; occasioned directly by the want of a 

The schooner Sea Serpent having I n re-built at Michigan City, was 

driven ashore and lost, at the mouth of the Milwaukee River. 

The schooner Owanungha was driven ashore at the south end of the lake. 

The schooner America, driven ashore near the mouth of the Muskegon 
River, in Michigan, and with her cargo was totally lost. 


The seho r Wenona wenl ashore near Milwaukee. 

The schooner J. S. King went ashore al the mouth of the St. Joseph. 

Such was the force of the storm, thai she was driven over ;i sand bar, which 
is entirely ahove water in*calm weather! 

1838.— Captain Powell killed in the Milwaukee Bay, on board of a vessel. 

The schooner Julietl was thrown upon a rock at the 'them extremity 

of the lake, and much damaged. The cargo was thrown overboard, to save 
the vessel and the lives of the persons on board. 

The steamboat Taylor was driven ashore and totally lost at Michigan 

The schooner Illinois was ashore twice this year, but not materially 

The schooner White Pigeon was driven ashore at Michigan City. 

The brie; John Kenzie went ashore at Michigan City, and proved a total 

The bri<j Queen Charlotte, one of the trophies of Perry's splendid achieve- 
ment on Lake Erie, was driven ashore near Chicago this year and lost. 

The schooner Virginia was driven ashore at the south end of the lake. 

1839. — Four men were drowned at Milwaukee, in attempting to land from 
the steamboat De Witt Clinton, lying in the bay, in a gale; and several others 
very narrowly escaped the same fa*te. 

The schooner Solomon Juneau was driven ashore near the Milwaukee 

The schooner Van Buren was driven ashore at Milwaukee. 

A gale occurred in November, in which five vessels (two of them steam- 
boats) were injured or destroyed : 

1. The schooner Thomas Jefferson driven against the pier at Chicago, 
and much injured. Two lives were lost by this accident, and many more 
would have been lost, but for the timely assistance of the citizens id' Chicago. 

'_'. Tin' schooner Victor was blown by the Chicago pier, and was only 
secured, with her crew, from destruction, by the almost superhuman exertions 
of her captain. 

3. The schooner Virginia, which had just been got off shore, was again 
beached near Michigan City. 

4. The steamboat Vermillion broke her shaft near the Manitou Islands, 
and was driven, by the gale, to St. Joseph. One of her passengers became 
deranged, from fear, and jumped overboard, she was out id' sighl of land 
three days, without wheels. 

.">. The steamboat Kairport was driven back to Chicago, by the gale, not 
having been able to reach Milwaukee Hay. 

The brig Neptune was this year driven ashore on the uninhabited coast 

of M tchigan, north of Grand River, and proved a total loss. 0u1 of twenty-five 

persons on board, only three were able to reach the nearest settlement: the 
others having perished on the way, from cold, fatigue, and hunger. Of tile 
three persons saved, one lost both his legs, the others, each one leg, from 


The ship Milwaukee was driven ashore, having on board a cargo of wheat, 
which was much damaged. 

The schooner (belonging to Leavenworth) went ashore, a total 


A man was drowned in the Milwaukee Bay, while engaged in supplying 
wood to steamboats. 

Two wood scows were driven ashore, at Milwaukee; one of them, and a 
considerable quantity of wood, totally lost. 

1840. — Mr. L. Robbins was killed by accident, on board the Harbor Steam- 
boat, at Milwaukee, while engaged in unloading vessels lying in the bay. 

The schooner Marsh went ashore at the mouth of the Milwaukee River. 
Total loss, vessel and cargo. 

The schooner Milwaukee, and the sloop Clarissa, driven ashore at Mil- 

1841. — Four persons drowned near Milwaukee by the swamping of a boat, 
viz.: R. Young, A. Brown, - - Pinney, and I. S. Skinner. 

The schooner Post Boy again upset, and sunk, and with crew, passengers 
and cargo — all lost — twenty persons thus found a watery grave. 

The steamboat Milwaukee, in attempting to enter the Milwaukee River, 
got fast on the bar, and laid there until driven in by the gale in October — 
thus materially interrupting the business connected with the navigation of the 

Two wood-scows, and a large amount of wood lost at Milwaukee. 

The schooner Horner was driven ashore near Racine, (twenty-five miles 
from Milwaukee) and was totally lost. 

In November a gale occurred which did much damage to the shipping viz.: 
1. The schooner Jefferson was driven ashore at Chicago. 
'2. The schooner Drift was driven ashore at Chicago. 

3. The schooner Wave was driven ashore at Chicago. 

4. The schooner Dolphin was driven ashore at Racine 

5. The schooner McFarlane was driven ashore at Racine. 

6. The schooner Manitowoc was driven ashore at Southport. 

7. The schooner Memee was driven ashore at Milwaukee. 

8. The schooner Wenona was driven ashore at Milwaukee. 

9. The sloop Black Hawk was driven ashore at Milwaukee. 

10. The schooner Henry Norton was driven ashore at Milwaukee. 

11. The brig Francis Mills, and 

12. The brig Osceola, were driven about at the mercy of the wind but 
not materially damaged. 

13. 'I lie brig Winslow which was heavily laden with merchandise, while 
discharging her cargo at Milwaukee, was obliged to put to sea. and was 
driven ashore seventeen miles north from Chicago, and was with her cargo 
wholly lost. This occurrence, by which about $50,000 worth of property was 
lost, is directly chargeable to the want of a harbor at Milwaukee, which 
could be constructed with the amount lost by this one accident! 

It is supposed that several other vessels were driven ashore on the Easl 
side of the lake, of which we can obtain no definite information. 


The steamboal Dlinois entered the Milwaukee Bay in September in a gale, 
and having no wood, was compelled to lie a1 anchor three days until the 
storm abated— although she dragged her anchor some distance, she came 
off finally with but little damage. 

The detent inn of vessels ill 1 ll is way, is a very greal drawback upon the 

navigation of Lake Michigan. A large steamboal may have on board some 
five hundred to eight hundred passengers, and their time and expenses, ami 

tin- expenses id' the officers and crew, forms a pretty considerable item to 
he charged against the traveling and trading community. — Prudenl navigators, 
knowing that if they leave the port there is no safety for them, are compelled 
to lie by two or three days waiting for fair weather; while, it' there were 
safe harbors at convenient distances, which could lie made in a storm, thej 
would not hesitate to pursue their voyage. 

The schooners Dolphin, McParlane, Manitowoc, were got off shore after 
the November gale, and were each driven ashore a second time and lost. 

The schooner Drift was also got off and upset ; one man being lost. Vessel 
and cargo also lost. 

The schooner Milwaukee also got off, and while on a voyage to the Manitou 
Islands, with provisions from Milwaukee for the men there engaged in 
supplying wood to steamboats, was driven across the lake and beached on the 
Michigan shore, late in fall. In consequence of this loss, serious apprehensions 
are entertained for the fate of the unfortunate islanders, who depended upon 
this cargo for their winter's supply of provisions. 

The steamboats Madison, Chesapeake and Missouri, three of the largest 
and most powerful steamboats in the world, were ashore on the west side of 
tin' lake during this year. They were not however materially damaged. 

Recapitulation. — From the foregoing statement, it appears that the number 
of lives lost on Lake Michigan was: 

In 1834 1 

In 1835 53 

In 1836 4 

In lS.'W 1 

In 1830 33 

In 1840 1 

In 1841 25 

Total 11s 

Making a total of 118 lives lost, or about fifteen each year, since the 
commencement of the navigation of Lake Michigan, in 1834. 

We have, with the assistance of several persons well acquainted with 
the history of the different vessels hist or damaged, and of the amount id' 
freight, &C, injured or destroyed on each, formed an approximate estimate of 

the amount of property destroyed on Lake Michigan during each year, the 

result of which is as follows : 


In the year 1834 amount of loss $ 37,500 

In the year 183-5 amount of loss 178,500 

In the year 183(3 amount of loss 298,750 

In the year 1837 amount of loss 171,400 

In the year 1838 amount of loss 78,000 

In the year 1839 amount of loss 111,800 

In the year 1840 amount of loss 31,(100 

In the year 1841 amount of loss 145,500 

Total $1,052,450 

Showing a grand total of more than a million of dollars, being over 
•$131,000 yearly, and enough each year to construct two harbors. 

From the foregoing statement it appears further, that the number ol' 
vessels lost or injured has been : 

In 1834 2 

In 1835 11 

In 1836 15 

In 1837 !) 

In 1838 8 

In 1839 13 

In 1840 3 

In 1841 28 

Total 89 

Showing a yearly average of eleven. 

In these statements, it will he perceived that we have included only those 
cases about which we have obtained definite information, and we do not 
hesitate to say that were all the facts ascertained, this list would be very 
materially enlarged. 

Besides the actual loss and damage, there have been many hair breadth 
escapes of which we have no account. If from the superior skill of the 
captain and crew or from the greater strength of the vessel, she is able to 
endure the storm, we seldom hear anything of the circumstance, although 
the actual danger might have been as great as in other cases where accidents 
did really happen. The enumeration of those would till a small volume. 

Major Judscn ar.d the Randolph Report. — The movement which led to 
the first study of the ultimate possibilities id' Milwaukee's harbor had i1s 
inception with the creation of a special harbor committee by the City Council. 
This committee was headed by Alderman Frederick C. Bogk who displayed 
unusual zeal and energy in bringing expert engineering service into play 
and in providing the municipality with a comprehenisve harbor plan. 

.Ma.j. W. V. Judson, then the resident United States engineer, manifested 
a. deep interest in the harbor and made the statement that "Jones Island 
is the key to .Milwaukee's future harbor development." He discussed the 
subject as follows : 

"Ports of the composite class to which .Milwaukee belongs need harbors 
which are adapted to perform two functions. In the first place, being ports 

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of general importance, such as Chicago, Duluth, Superior and Manitowoc. 
they must compete among themselves for tonnage to be transhipped from 
lake to rail and vice versa. As to such tonnage it is of the greatest impor- 
tance that vessels coming to the wharves shall experience the least possible 
delay. A very few cents, or even a fraction of a cent per ton imposed upon 
this tonnage through avoidable delays will by at least that much increase 
the cost to the consumer or producer in the region tributary to the port. 
This certainly means that a portion of such ports must be comparatively 
free from bridges and tortuous channels and be prepared to do through 
business at a minimum of expense. If any economies are neglected, as at 
Chicago, for example, the through business of the port declines. 

"Jones Island the Key. — To perform'the second function, to-wit, to serve 
the needs of local commerce and local industries, ports of this class must 
possess great extension of dock frontage, alon<i- which factories and ware- 
houses may be built. The manufacturing establishments, jobbing houses, 
etc.. will not, of course, use their docks to the same extent as will those en- 
gaged exclusively in the transportation of business. The dock is a mere 
auxiliary to the manufacturer or .jobber. It is not so important in this case 
that the vessel shall secure great dispatch as that commercial or industrial 
plants shall be conveniently near their consumers, labor supply, etc. Further- 
more, the dockage for local trading vessels should be located near the center 
of the town. Tortuous channels and bridges may be endured by these in- 
terests. In fact, it is absolutely necessary to use the interior channels for 
local industries by reason of the great extent of dock frontage required. 

"Jones Island is the key to the future greatness of Milwaukee as a port 
to serve through commerce. It is complementary to the inner harbor, which 
is, or can be made, so well adapted to the use of local commerce and local 
industries. If there were an outer harbor at .tones Island there would be 
less congestion in the inner harbor, as the latter would be relieved of the 
vessels engaged in through commerce. And if the wharves for through com- 
merce were on Jones Island, there would remain a greater extension of dock 
frontage on the interior rivers to serve local needs. That the development 

of .Jones Island would 1 f the greatest benefit to the region Lying west 

of Milwaukee itself, and to nearly every one resident thereat, cannot for a 
moment be doubted. " 

The Bogk committee in making its report to the Common Council pre- 
f; il the same with the following paragraph: "The proposition id' con- 
verting Jones Island into a useful municipal dock and wharf and thereby 
adding to the city's transportation facilities, both water and rail, has had 
the serious attention of your special committee. We find, upon a thorough 
investigation, that the project bears many phases which deserve the most 
careful consideration. Aside from the advantage to be derived to the city 
as a commercial and shipping proposition, which is generally admitted, we 
find that the physical, legal and financial consideration involved must be 
set forth before an intelligent judgment can be formed. In fact, the final 
determination to proceed with the project must rest primarily and solely 
upon the feasibility and the utilitarian advantages to be derived from such 

Vol. 1—19 . 


project. Both factors, we believe, have I □ established in this report. Every 

phase is discussed with candor and with such thoroughness as was within 
the grasp of your committee." 

The committee which-in addition to Alderman Frederick C. Bogk con 
sistcil of Alderman Osear Alpeter, Max Grass, 1'. II. Connelly and L. IL 
Tarrant, submitted an exhaustive report to the council, summarizing its 
arguments and recommendations in the following twenty points: 

1. Increased transportation facilities are absolutely necessary to growth. 

2. No prospect of more railroads unless we build them ourselves, and 
not much prospect of improved conditions on the part of present railroads. 

3. Lake transportation necessary to maintain parity as between Chicago 
and the East. 

4. Inner harbor, though great, cannot be extended so as to care for our 
growing needs. 

5. Jones Island has natural advantages. "The key to our future great- 
ness." Who shall hold the key? 

6. Will provide directly more and needed facilities for water and ulti- 
mately for railroad transportation. 

7. We need more harbor room, docks, warehouses, storage houses, ele- 
vators, earferry slips, team tracks, storage tracks. 

8. Good investment. 

9. Docks now monopolized by railroads. 

10. Systematic, efficient building, and the working out of a greal plan. 
cannot be done by individuals, but only by the city. 

11. The Government will assist, if we begin, spending large amounts 
in Milwaukee. 

12. Jones Island the only suitable location and area. 

13. Our responsibility for the future and its needs, we must provide for. 

14. Opportunity is passing; we are not getting our share. 

15. No legal obstacles. 

16. No engineering or physical obstacles. 

17. Finances can be provided. 

18. When private capital cannot or will not act for public good, then it 
becomes the duly of the municipality to act. 

l!t. Property is cheapest now. 

20. It is a good thing, grab it, and do it now. 

Thereupon the council appropriated the sum of $5,000 for a survey and 
report on the harbor and Isham Randolph, a well known engineer, was 
employed. This reporl laid the basis for the development of Jones Island 
and the utilization of the Kinnickinnic basin. The realization of this plan 
involved considerations which were no1 readily overcome. Delays were en 
countered in the acquirement of Jones Island and in complying with the 
Legal and financial requirements connected with such acquirement. 

With the advent of the Milwaukee Harbor Commission the subject was 
approached from a new and broader angle and the II. McL. Harding report 
followed in 1920. This study dealt with the entire harbor problem in the 


light of changed conditions and was that year adopted unanimously by the 
common council. 

Concentrating the Harbor Traffic— With the passing of the small wooden 
schooner and the advent of the large steel vessel there also came about changes 
in the character of the harbor traffic. The larger ships could not be afforded 
the extreme depth in all parts of the three rivers. Again, they were obliged 
to seek the well-equipped terminals for their cargoes. 

The constant growth of the traffic on the streets paralleling the river 
in the business section of the city, and the location of manufacturing plants 
in increasing numbers on dock property, rendered, in many instances, the 
location of terminals impracticable. On the one hand some dock property 
had become obsolete, owing to changed conditions, while on the other their 
use for commercial or industrial purposes had rendered them too costly 
for terminal purposes. 

With the introduction of more bridges and the regulations governing 
the opening and closing hours, the movement of large craft about the channel 
has become more cumbersome and at the same time more hazardous. 

All this lias led to the thought that some day the inner harbor traffic 
must be concentrated to the more readily accessible points and that the 
undeveloped areas near the mouth of the harbor must be developed. 

The time which elapsed between the earlier conception of the plan and 
its final formulation also developed the difficulties which would eventually 
have to be encountered. The island was privately owned and had to be 
acquired by the municipality if the contemplated improvements were to be 
made. It was in part owned by fishermen who lived on the island and in 
part by the Illinois Steel Corporation. 

About this time the municipality was confronted with the problem of 
locating its sewage disposal plant. The various sites which had been under 
consideration had been objected to by the citizenship. The location of the 
plant in the northern end of Jones Island Mas deemed most practical, and 
consequently an area having 1,000 feet of lake frontage was chosen. 

The city administration then conceived the idea of creating a so called 
harbor commission consisting of nine members, citizens who were familiar 
with the physical and commercial conditions attending the harbor. This 
body served in an advisory capacity to the common council. 

The harbor possibilities were then subjected to close study and the formu- 
lation of plans which utilized all the natural advantages afforded in the 
land and water areas involved, were worked out. The acquisition of the 
island and the control of the basin was determined upon. Every successive 
recommendation to that end was adopted by the common council, and the 
citizens loyally supported the bond issues that were submitted. Members 
of the common council, especially President Cornelius Corcoran, became 
strong champions of a comprehensive harbor plan and the steady and un- 
hindered development of the same. 

Through the efforts of President Corcoran and Mayor G. A. Hading the 
municipality secured the riparian rights of the lake frontage from Wisconsin 
Street south to the mouth of the harbor. 


Subsequently the city condemned the north half of -I ;s Island to a 

point opposite Greenfield Avenue, and also took steps t< lemn thai part 

of the island lying south down to Wilcox Street. 

Harbor Needs Winter TVIooring- Facilities. — .Mdwaukee harbor found itself 
greatly in need of a place where a fair-sized fleel of vessels could be moored 
for the winter without the possibility of being disturbed during the closed 
period. This shortcoming of the port had never been more apparent than at 
the elose of the season of 1919, when the Harbor Master was called upon to find 
berths for forty-three of the larger class of coal and ore carriers. The task was 
a difficult one, but the fleet was finally provided for. Eowever, si. me of the 
steamers had to be shifted about during the winter. This involved considerable 
expense. Vessel-owners seek to avoid trouble of this nature when they assign 
craft to winter quarters, and this explains why .Milwaukee's winter fleets have 
been so insignificanl in recent years. The assignments of cargoes to Milwaukee 
by the coal administration at the (dose of last season lefl many owners im choice 
l»ut to lay up their vessels at this port. 

There is seemingly miles of water frontage in the harbor where vessels could 
be moored for the winter with reasonable surety of not being forced to move, 
but some property-owners are averse to allowing large craft to lie alongside 
their docks for so lone' a period. Other points lack mooring piles, ('are was 
also taken to keep channels clear so that fire tugs would be able to navigate 
freely in times of stress. This latter necessity prevents vessels from lying 
abreast where channels are narrow. 

Aside from the advantage to navigation interests, a winter mooring basin 
would be profitable from a business point of view, because of the large amount 
of money required to tit out vessels in the spring. Kinnickinnic Bay, when 
properly deepened will provide winter berths for fifty or more large vessels. 
The Harbor Commission had this in mind when it planned for the enlargement 
of the inner basin behind Jones Island. 

Jones Island Condemnation. — The Common Council, on Monday, duly 7. 
1913, passed a resolution requesting the Harbor Commission to make imme- 
diate recommendation as to what lands on Jones Island should, in its judg- 
ment, first be taken in prosecuting the proposed inner harbor improvement, the 
COSt of Such lands not to exceed ihe sum of $50,000.00, the amounl of a bond 

issue ordered by the Common Council for that purpose. 

The matter was taken up by the Harbor Commission on Friday, August 15, 
1913, when the secretary presented a draft of a communication recommending 
the condemnation of certain blocks, as platted, i'ii the southern extremity id' 
the island. Action was deferred, however, until the members of the Commis- 
sion and Committee on Harbor had made personal inspection of the premises 

involved. Tins was accomplished on August l!'. 1913. 

At a meeting of the Harbor Commissi n Friday afternoon. September 

4. 1913, it was decided that a conference be had with representatives of the 
Illinois Steel Company, which corporation is the owner id" most of the land on 
Jones Island, and the secretary was ordered to make arrangements Eor the 


A conference was had on Friday afternoon, October :!, HUM, two repre- 
sentatives of the legal department of the Illinois Steel Company appearing' 
for that corporation. The Jones Island situation was discussed in its every 
phase, with a view to opening the way to the acquirement of the island in whole 
or in part. The representatives of the steel company gave the city officials to 
understand that their company would not stand in the way of the proposed 
improvement, Tint that it wished to retain sufficient land in the outer or inner 
harbor area to admit of the enlargement of the present works, should the com- 
pany so desire at some future time. 

In response to a growing sentiment in favor of acquiring the whole of 
Jones Island in one proceeding, the Harbor Commission submitted a request 
to the Common Council on Monday, October I-'!. 1913, that it direct the Hoard 
of Estimates to provide the sum of $250,000.00 in the budget for 1914, for the 
further acquirement of Jones Island property. At the same time the commis- 
sion submitted a recommendation in accordance with the resolution passed by 
the Common Council July 7, 1913, that blocks 185, 186, 1ST and 188 of Jones 
Island, as platted, be condemned. The former communication was referred to 
the Committee on Finance and the latter to the Committee on Harbor. 

The Board of Estimates having meanwhile included the sum of $250,000.00 
in tin' budget for 11114 to be applied to the acquirement of Jones Island prop- 
erty and making other harbor improvements, a resolution was introduced in 
the Common Council on .Monday, January 5, 1914, to the effect that the whole 
of Jones Island he acquired by the city. The resolution was referred to the 
Committee on Harbor anil also the Hoard of Public Land Commissioners, who 
rendered a favorable report at a meeting of the Common Council on Monday. 
February 2, 1914, whereupon the resolution was adopted unanimously. 

At the same meeting tiie first formal step in the condemnation pr dings 

was taken by the introduction of a resolution formally authorizing the con- 
demnation of the property. 

Fishermen Plead for Consideration. — One of the problems involved in the 
transformation of Jones Island into a shipping center is the disposition of the 
fishermen who uow occupy the land and maintain sheds and small mooring 
piers for tugs and launches along the river frontage. The Harbor Commission 
has given the matter serious thought, for the reason that the fishing business 
occupies an exclusive field and is one of the pioneer industries of the city. It 
is also the main support of a small colony of people who will be compelled to 
remove elsewhere if another base of operations cannot be established in Mil- 
waukee harbor. The further fact that the fishing business has a favorable 
bearing on the food supply of the city also counts in favor of its retention, 
although it must be admitted that in this respect it would render more efficient 
service if it was conducted in a less isolated location than it is at present. 

The magnitude of the industry can best be uiiderst 1 by a study of the 

following figures showing the total catch of fish and the valuation of the same 
during the past eight years. The figures were obtained from the records of 
the State Conservation Commission at Madison, Wis. No record of the Jones 
Island catch was kept prior to 1909: 


A vessel in process of unloading 


Year. Pounds of Pish. Value. 

1909 1,614,990 $ 96,571.00 

1910 1,693,838 68,708.70 

1911 1,535,524 100,619.25 

1912 1,658,544 91,161.75 

1913 2,328,340 125,527.40 

1914 2,003,670 106,629.40 

1915 1,913,865 102,006.90 

1916 1,370,460 101,554.40 

Total 14,119,231 $792,778.80 

Average yearly catch, 1,764,904 pounds. 
Average yearly return, $99,097.35. 

A delegation of Jones Island fishermen appeared before the Harbor Com 
mission on Thursday afternoon, September 10, 1917, and presented their claims 
for consideration in connection with the development of the island. The peti- 
tioners represented the owners of fifteen tugs and nine gasoline launches, which 
constitute the fishing fleet operating out of Milwaukee Harbor at the present 
time. The object of the petitioners was to secure from the commission some 
assurance that they would be permitted to continue their business on the island 
under reasonable regulation and rental. 

Mr. Cornelius Tamms, spokesman of the delegation, stated that there are 
about 175 men directly engaged in the fishing business and that about an equal 
number make a livelihood in selling fish. He said if the fishermen were forced 
to leave the island most of these people would have to move away from the 
city. He promised that during the progress of preliminary operations on the 
island the fishermen would shift about and double up so as not to interfere with 
the work of the contractors. Mr. Tamms favored the construction of a slip 600 
feet in length with two-story sheds or warehouses on each side, the lower stories 
to be used for drying nets and the upper floors for storing extra nets and 
supplies. For such facilities Mr. Tamms said the fishermen would be willing to 
pay a reasonable rental. 

Chairman Bruce informed the delegation that in formulating its plans for 
the future use of Jones Island the Harbor Commission would take the needs of 
the fishermen into serious consideration, and that meanwhile they would not 
be disturbed any more than was actually necessary. 

On the day following, Friday, September 11, 1917, the same delegation of 
fishermen attended the meeting of the Common Council Committee on Public 
Buildings and Grounds, where the assessment of benefits and damages in the 
Jones Island condemnation was being considered. Members of the. Harbor 
Commission who were present, repeated the assurances given the fishermen at 
the commission meeting the day previous, whereupon the fishermen withdrew 
the objections they had intended to present and the assessment was favorably 
reported upon. 

The Harbor Commission of 1911. — In response to agitation on the part of 
public officials, and manufacturing and shipping interests of the city, in favor 


hi in 

niter hai bor developmenl on the lake side of whal is known as Jones Island, 
the ( 'iiiiiiiiiiii Council, on Monday, September 25, 1911, adopted a resolution 
authorizing the mayor to appoinl ;i commission of nine members, to be known. 
as the Harbor Commission, whose duty it should be to make a careful survey 
of thr present and future needs of the city in the Line of barbor facilities, 
miii! tn in vest i gal e all proposed plans and suggestions, and report its findings 
tn the mayor at as early a date as possible. 

Iii pursuan f the resolution, the mayor, on Monday, October 23, 1911, 

appointed as members of the commission, M. A. Beck, \V. P. Bishop, William 
George Bruce, K. G. Butler. Robert Clarke, Edward Cornillie, Capt. -T. J. Mc- 
Sweeney, Prank J. Weber, and A. L. Worden. K. G. Butler. Robert Clarke 
and A. L. Worden declining to serve, the mayor, on Monday, November 2(). 

1911, appointed Carl C. -Toys, Win. Selilosser and ('apt. < >. X. Anderson to 
the vacancies. 

The commission was formally organized on Wednesday. November 22. 
1911, luit did not begin active work until Tuesday. February 13, 1912, the 
Common Council having meanwhile made financial provision for the prosecu- 
tion of the investigation. The first act of the commission was to eleel Herman 
Bleyer as secretary. 

On May 27, 1H12, the commission rendered a preliminary report to the 
Common Council recommending the early acquirement of Jones Island and 
the deepening and docking of Kinnickinnic Bay fur inner barbor purposes, 
the outer harbor plan being rejected. It also recommended that conditions 
in the Menomonee and Kinnickinnic rivers be improved in accordance with 
the recommendations of United States engi rs. 

At this stage of the investigation the legality of the Harbor Commission 
was challenged on the ground that the appointment to its membership had 
not been confirmed by the Common Council, in obedience to tin' rules of that 
body. The i- mission thereupon ceased its activities. The secretary, bow- 
ever, continued the work inaugurated by it up to that time. 

The Harbor Commission created by act of the Common Council of the City 
of Milwaukee, August 1!'. 1D12. was simply advisory in capacity and had no 
authority to carry out what it planned. Its function was to study the shipping 
needs of the city and make recommendations to the Common Council looking 
to improved harbor facilities. The definite purpose of the Harbor Commis- 
sion was to promote harbor development along progressive lines, with an 

eye to the betterment of present adverse conditions and to till' probable needs 
of the city in the ultimate future. 

The following were the members of the Committee mi Harbor of the 

Common Council in 1912, when the Harbor Commission was created: Alder 
man Edward A. Wittig, chairman, Frederick C Bogk, George T. Grede, Harry 
Dempsey, Arthur Urbanek. 

While the members of the committee were named ex-officio members of 
the Harbor Commission by the resolution creatine- the latter body, the com- 
mittee as a whole or in part met with the Harbor Commission mi only one 
or two occasions. 

In April. 1914, the Common Council committees were reorganized, and the 


old Harbm- Committee abolished, its duties being- transferred to the Commit- 
tee on Public Buildings and Grounds. Prom that time on committee connec- 
tion with the Harbor Commission was disregarded. 

The following- citizens served on the original commission up to the time 
of its disqualification: Messrs. William George Bruce, W. P. Bishop, M. A. 
Beck, J. J. McSweeney, Edward Cornillie, Carl C. Joys, 0. N. Anderson, Win. 

The Harbor Commission was reorganized in pursuance of a resolution 
adopted by the Common Council on .Monday, August lit, 1912, authorizing 
the mayor to appoint nine citizens of the City of Milwaukee to act in an 
advisory capacity to the regular Harbor Committee of the Common Council 
regarding the development of shipping facilities and the best means of pro- 
viding for future requirements of a like nature. The terms of the first ap- 
pointees to the commission were fixed as follows: Three for one year, three 
for two years, and three for three years, the mayor being empowered to 
appoint three members of the commission annually thereafter. The com- 
missioner of public works and members of the Harbor Committee of the 
Common Council were constituted ex officio members of the commission. The 
commission was required to report its findings to the Common Council once 
each year, or as often as the urgency and importance of the proposed work 

The initial appointments to the commission were made by the mayor, and 
dulv confirmed bv the Common Council, on Monday, October 14. 1912. They 

were as follows: William G 'ge Bruce, Walter P. Bishop and Carl C. Joys 

for three years; Fred J. Schroeder, Fred C. Reynolds and Conrad Trimborn 
for two years, and Jesse B. Whitnall, William C. Starke ami (apt. Henry 
Leisk for one year. 

In order to provide the commission with a secretary, it having no author- 
ity to create a salaried position, tin- Common Council, on Monday, September 
30, 1H1:!, passed an ordinance creating the position of secretary of harbor sur- 
vey work within the Department of Public Works, and in conformity with 
the ordinance the commissioner of public works, on Tuesday, October 15, 

1912, appointed Herman Bleyer, secretary of the first Harbor Commission, 
to the position. 

The first report of the reorganized commission was rendered .May 12, 

1913. It urged the early acquirement of Jones Island by the city, on the 
ground that it afforded the only remaining opportunity for the municipality 
to acquire water frontage capable of comprehensive terminal development. 
Acting upon this recommendation the Common Council provided for a bond 
issue of $250,000 in the budget for 11)14 for the purpose of securing the island. 

The following citizens served on the reorganized Harbor Commission for 
various periods, from its inception up to July 1, 1920, when it was superseded 
by tile Board of Harbor Commissioners : William George Bruce, W. I'. Bishop, 
Carl C. Joys, Pred J. Schroeder, Pred C. Reynolds, Conrad Trimborn, Jesse 
B. Whitnall, William C. Starke, Henry Leisk, John C. Davis, I). W. Chipman, 
John S. Stover, Frank Tilley, William F. Quick, R. II. Pinkley, Harry M. 
Stratton, L. J. King, Bennett Larson, John F. Jackson. 



Personnel of the Harbor Commission 


William George Bruce, chairman. 
W. P. Bishop. 
Carl C. Joys. 
M. A. Beck. 
Win Schlosser 
John J. McSweeney. 
E. A. Cornillie. 
0. N. Anderson. 
Frank J. Weber. 
Herman Bleyer, secretary. 

William George Bruce, chairman. 
W. P. Bishop. 
John C. Davis. 
Carl C. Joys. 
Fred C. Reynolds. 
Henry Leisk. 
Jesse B. Whitnall. 
William C.Starke. 
Conrad Trimborn. 
Herman Bleyer, secretary. 

William George Bruce, chairman. 
W. P. Bishop. 
John C. Davis. 
Carl C. Joys. 
Fred C. Reynolds. 
Henry Leisk. 
Jesse B. Whitnall. 
William C. Starke. 
Conrad Trimborn. 
Herman Bleyer, secretary. 

William George Bruce, chairman. 
W. P. Bishop. 
John C. Davis. 
Carl C. Joys. 
Fred C. Reynolds. 
Henry Leisk. 
Jesse B. Whitnall. 
William C. Starke. 
D. W. Chipman. 
Herman Bleyer, secretary. 


William George Bruce, chairman. 

W. P. Bishop. 

John C. Davis. 

Carl C. Joys. 

Fred C. Reynolds. 

Henry Leisk. 

Jesse B. Whitnall. 

William C. Starke. 

D. W. Chipman. 

Herman Bleyer, secretary. 

William George Bruce, chairman. 
W. P. Bishop. 
Carl C. Joys. 
John C. Davis. 
Fred C. Reynolds. 
Henry Leisk. 
D. W. Chipman. 
John S. Stover. 
Frank Tilley. 
Herman Bleyer, secretary. 

William George Bruce, chairman. 
Carl C. Joys. 
Fred C. Reynolds. 
Henry Leisk. 
John S. Stover. 
R. H. Pinkley. 
Harry M. Stratton. 
William F. Quick. 
Frank Tilley. 
Herman Bleyer, secretary. 

William George Bruce, chairman. 
Henry Leisk. 
Fred C. Reynolds. 
R. H. Pinkley. 
Harry M. Stratton. 
L. J. King. 
Bennett Larson. 
William F. Quick. 
Frank Tilley. 
Herman Bleyer, secretary. 


1920 L921-22 

William George Bruee, chairman. William George Bruce, president. 

1 [enry Leisk. Fred < '. Reynolds. 

Fred ('. Reynolds. R. II. Pinkley. 

li. II. Pinkley. I >ennet1 Lai son. 

Harry M. Stratton. G.J. DeGelleke (sue Led by 

I lennel t Larson. ( '. F. Ringer i . 

L.J. E0ug. Herman Bleyer, secretary. 

William F. Quick. Changed from commission to Board 

John F. Jackson. of Harbor Commissioners. 

I lerman I Sleyer, secretary. 

Board of Harbor Commissioners. The Board of Harbor Commissioners 
was created by the Common Council on Monday, June 1. 1920, under author- 
ity granted by Chapter 289, Laws of Wisconsin, 1919. The membership of 
the Board is confined to five qualified electors of the City of .Milwaukee with 
terms of office extending over three years. The resolution creating' the board 
fixed July 1, 1920, as the date of the beginning of the terms of its members, 
and provided that the initial appointments to the hoard should be for one. 
two and three years, all successive appointments to he for three years. 

Agreeable to the action of the Common Council, the mayor, on Monday, 
June 14. 11)20, made the following appointments, which appointments wen 
continued by the Common Council on the same day: 

Term Expires 

G. J. DeGelleke July 1. 1921 

Henry Leisk July 1. L922 

R. II. Pinkley July 1. 1922 

Bennett Larson July 1. 1923 

William George Bruce July 1. 1923 

The hoard formally organized on Thursday. July 15, 1920. William George 
Bruce was elected president for a term of one year, and R. II. Pinkley, \ ice 
president, for a similar term. Herman Bleyer was chosen secretary. 

On January IS. 1921, Fred ( '. Reynolds was appointed a member of the 
board in place of ('apt. Henry Leisk. it having been determined thai the latter 
was disqualified under the law for service on the hoard, being a residenl of 
Wauwa'tosa. C. F. Ringer was chosen in H'21 to succeed Mr. DeGelleke. 

The Hoard of Harbor Commissioners, under the law authorizing its ere,, 
tion, is empowered to make plans for the improvement of all waterways of 
the harhor. to provide for and supervise the construction and equipment of 
docks, wharves, warehouses, etc., and railway connections to the same, sub- 
ject to approval by the Common Council, and is given jurisdiction over all 
publicly-owned docks and public lands abutting on public waterways, and 
the dock lines of the various channels in the harhor. 

The Milwaukee River Problem. — The Milwaukee Harbor Commission en- 
tertains the belief thai some day the city will have to determine upon the 

final disposition of the Milwaukee River. Will this part of .Milwaukee's inner 

harhor become obsolete, or will it he wise, even with a declining commerce, 
to maintain the navigati fficiency of the channel.' The commission pro 


poses to solve the problem before it assumes acute form and before the econ- 
omies of the situation force the solution. On the one hand the navigation 
service of the river must be dealt with, and on the other the cost of dredging-, 
the building of draw or bascule bridges, and their maintenance and operation. 
Hence the question, does the commercial utility of the river warrant the con- 
tinued expense of maintaining the same as a navigable stream? 

A study was made by a local engineer's society several years ago which 
answered this question in the negative. Landscape artists have devised elab- 
orate plans for converting the river surface into a great boulevard, or to 
narrow the stream into a canal and to boulevard both banks. The municipal- 
ity is harassed over the problem of introducing stationary bridges and thus 
obviating the great cost of building bascule bridges and operating them. 

The United States Government is in absolute control of all the navigable 
waters within its domain and jealously guards every inch of water surface 
and combats all encroachments upon the same The Milwaukee River is a 
navigable stream of no mean importance. The annual tonnage carried north 
of Grand Avenue exceeds 700,000 tons. This is a large tonnage when con- 
sidered in the light of the fact that the United States has spent millions of 
dollars in river and harbor improvements followed by a smaller tonnage or 
by absolute failure. 

The tonnage which goes up the Milwaukee River north of Grand Avenue 
consists in the main of coarse bulk' such as coal, sand anil stone. Whether 
this tonnage will diminish, as time goes on, remains to be seen. With the 
concentration of the port activities nearer the harbor entrance, namely, on 
and about Jones Island, the Kinnickinnic Basin and the Menomonee River, 
one thing becomes clear, namely, that the .Milwaukee River has seen its besl 
days as a navigable stream and that ils service will lessen rather than in- 
crease in the future. 

If, on the one hand, the municipality finds that the cost of river main- 
tenance is too high compared with the commercial utility that is secured and 
on the other hand Uncle Sam will not surrender the river, then one practical 
solution which will meet both exigencies may be open. 

Tin' introduction of a type of lighters or barges that may navigate up and 
down the river without compelling the opening and closing of bridges is in 
order. Such barges, if successfully devised would, it is believed, obviate the 
maintenance of draw and bascule bridges and at the same time permit the 
introduction of the stationary type of bridges at a greatly reduced cost of 

North of Grand Avenue there are now six bridges — Oneida, State, Chest- 
nut. Cherry, Walnut and Ilolton. Five of these would have to be raised from 
an average of eight feet of vertical clearance over water levels to at lasl 
twelve feet if they are to be rendered stationary. The Harbor Commission 
inaugurated a careful study of the whole subject with a view of reaching 
a solution of the navigation problem as applied to the Milwaukee River north 
of Grand Avenue. 

Railroads Own Steamboat Wharfage. — Practically all of the wharfage in 
Milwaukee Harbor suitable for warehouse and transhipping purposes is owned 


by railway companies. The exceptions arc the docks of the Goodrich Transit 
Company, those of the Chicago, Racine & Milwaukee Line, and some ware- 
houses belonging to the E. H. Abbot estate on the north side of Milwaukee 
River, near the harbor entrance. In the case of the two steamboat lines just 
named, however, the wharves are devoid of railway connection. The Good 
rich warehouses are on ground leased from private parties, and the Chicago, 
Racine & Milwaukee Line occupies modern fire-proof warehouses on the -Mil- 
waukee River east and west of Broadway Bridge. The Abbot warehouses 
are managed by an agent for the estate and are not under lease to any rail- 
road or steamship line. Freight intended for rcshipment or local delivery 
is discharged at these warehouses by steamers of various lines, subject to a 
charge for storage. The warehouses have connection with the < 'hicago & 
Northwestern line only. 

The Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Company is the largesl 
single owner of Milwaukee dock property. Virtually all of the desirable 
frontage in the Menomonee Valley suitable for the warehouse transhipping 
trade, or 27 per cent of the entire river frontage in that zone of the harbor, 
is owned by this road. Its holdings on the Menomonee River and Kneeland 
Canal represents 32.2 per cent of the dock facilities on these channels. On 
the South Menomonee and Burnham canals the same company's holdings 
amount to 22.1 per cent of the entire frontage. Some of the railway's river 
property in the Menomonee Valley is under lease to parties engaged in the 
coal and salt trade, and to others requiring yard room for handling coarse 
freight, such as lumber, wood, ties, etc. 

One grain elevator, with a capacity of 1,650,00(1 bushels, situated on the 
South Menomonee Canal, is also owned by the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul 
Railway Company. In fact, no other railroad has access to this immense 
manufacturing and grain and coal receiving district. 

The Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Company owns the only piece 
of warehouse frontage in the upper shipping zone of the Milwaukee River. 
This property was used by lower lake steamboat lines in the early history 
of the city. It is now under lease to the Pabst Brewing Company which 
devoted two large warehouses to its bottled beer shipping industry, which 
made use of railway transportation exclusively and there was no provision 
for handling freight on the river side of the warehouses. The same road owns 
the best warehouse property in the harbor zone of the Milwaukee River — on 
the west front of the river, north and south of the entrance to the .Menomonee. 

The Chicago & Northwestern Railway Company owns two elevators and 
a warehouse in the lower harbor zone. One elevator wilh a capacitj of L,500,- 
000 bushels is situated on the Milwaukee River jusi east of Broadway Brid 
The other elevator faces ELinnickinnic Bay, opposite Jones Island, and has 
a capacity of 1,350,000 bushels. 

The F. & P. M. Railway Company owns ISO feet of warehouse property 
in the mercantile section of the .Milwaukee River. It lies just north of Buffalo 
Street bridge, on the west hank «\ the river, and is the landing place of the 
I'ere Marquette Line steamers. The Milwaukee Electric Lighl & Railway 
Companj is the owner of 800 feel of dock property on the Milwaukee River. 


It represents the sites of power houses on the west bank of the river, north 
of Chestnut Street bridge, and some vacant frontage on the east bank of the 
river between Martin and Oneida streets. 

The railway ownership of property on the Milwaukee River, between 
Racine Street and the harbor entrance, is divided as follows: Chicago, Mil- 
waukee & St. Paul, 6.12 per cent; Chicago & Northwestern, 5.04 per cent; 
F. & P. M. Railway, 0.6-4 per cent; Milwaukee Electric Light & Railway Com- 
pany, 2.88 per cent. Total, 14.68 per cent. 

The Chicago & Northwestern Railway Company owns considerable water 
frontage in the Kinnickinnic zone of the harbor, but none of it is, as yet, 
available for shipping purposes. The F. & P. M. line owns 425 feet just west 
of the Chicago & Northwestern Railway bridge, on the north bank of the 
Kinnickinnic River, which it uses as a carferry terminal. 

The Milwaukee Electric Light & Railway Company owns 300 feet adjoin- 
ing the F. & P. M. property, which is used for storing coal and transferring 
the same from rail to barge. The holdings of the Chicago & Northwestern 
Company represent 11 per cent of the entire developed and undeveloped 
water frontage on the west shore of Kinnickinnic Bay and in the Kinnickinnic 
River. The Illinois Steel Company has an ore dock and trestle 1,400 feet 
in length reaching from the point of the old harbor entrance south along the 
inner front of the neck of land leading to Jones Island proper. This com- 
pany claims the greater portion of Jones Island and the submerged land 
known as Kinnickinnic Bay. 

The Milwaukee Gas Light Company owns 2,270 feet of valuable dock prop- 
erty, the greater portion of which lies on the Menomonee River. The Menomo- 
nee River frontage is leased in part to the Y. & O. Coal Company. The 
Milwaukee River frontage of this company is situated just west of the Chicago 
& Northwestern Railway bridge, near the harbor. It is used as a drying yard 
for material used in filtering gas and also as a site for gas purifying tanks. 

Amount Expended for Bridge Repairs and Maintenance. — The following 
table shows the amount expended by the City of Milwaukee during the years 
named, for bridge repairs and maintenance: 

1853 * 8,878.15 1868 45,991.46 

1854 13,053.70 1S69 50,625.58 

1855 9,243.66 1870 92,494.72 

1856 26,217.04 1871 79,059.54 

1857 40,270.87 1872 77,404.63 

1858 7,744.09 1873 83,543.30 

1859 1 874 29,641.86 

1860 7,436.75 ]875 43,698.91 

1861 9,860.34 1876 12,265.54 

1862 9,539.83 1877 33,995.52 

1863 1 5,960.06 1 878 50,616.85 

1864 13,118.55 1879 39,143.41 

1865 8,998.73 1880 51.909.47 

1866 71,396.25 1881 57,922.52 

1867 53,542.67 1882 138,829.90 


— ^- 

in u 



1883 82,258.08 1903 215,546.26 

1884 156,307.31 11)04 341,685.8Q 

1885 57,065.74 1005 124,034.13 

1886 149,315.1)4 1906 94,179.30 

1887 55,946.71 1907 389,742.40 

1888 $ 44,780.83 1908 645,796.20 

1889 46,277.48 1909 377.013.70 

1890 58,261.2s 1910 415,518.49 

1891 112,767.49 1911 190,581.50 

1892 109,349.21 1912 175.62S.74 

1893 117,077.73 1913 130,750.06 

1894 387,378.25 1914 136.368.17 

1895 206,448.16 1915 123,172.54 

1896 93,230.64 1916 124.207.19 

1897 79,709.25 11)17 153,665.25 

1898 60,228.69 1918 135,658.58 

1S99 60,864.84 1919 246,075.37 

1900 60,921.66 1920 279,728.77 

1901 130,880.62 

1902 181,645.86 Total $9,309,373.12 

These figures include not only river bridges, but all stationary bridges 

and viaducts over streets, valleys and railway subways. 

Amount Expended for Dredging and Docking. — Following is a record of 

the amount expended by the City of Milwaukee for dredging and docking, 

during the years named. The sum includes th jst of the original '"Straight 


1 853 * 1874 40,935.34 

1854 3,050.00 1875 20,522.07 

1S55 1,521.63 1876 17,063.10 

1856 736.S1 1877 14.S46.35 

1857 *72,763.57 1 878 21 ,923.06 

1858 1879 25,665.96 

1S59 1880 31,243.32 

1860 7,186.86 1881 14,216.15 

1861 981.60 1882 22,171.62 

1862 1,722.91 1883 18,645.18 

1863 5,416.44 lss4 15,111.89 

1864 12,316.91 1885 24,21 7.08 

1565 9,960.43 1886 23,977.26 

1566 9,073.95 1887 14,576.2s 

1867 21,165.67 1888 $ 31,010.75 

1868 8,227.97 1889 23,694.94 

1869 *44,4S9.s;i 1890 27,081.88 

1870 *S5,s55.s:i 1S91 23,829.33 

1S71- *56,026.50 1892 25,400.83 

1872 *68,974.36 1893 37,194.63 

1873 21,501.09 1894 35,590.88 

Vol. 1—2 


1895 21,560.82 1909 48,946.44 

»1896 30,721.77 L910 37,921.43 

1897 31,989.53 1911 25,699.64 

1898 *19,598.67 191-2 30,000.00 

1899 16,145.17 1913 66,189.7 1 

1900 14,473.58 1914 53,527.10 

1901 19,971.86 1915 40,956.78 

1902 21,538.21 1916 42,067.46 

19(13 18,626.23 1917 19,020.64 

1904 1 9,058.02 1918 27,216.46 

1905 17,921.69 1919 25,960.00 

1906 31,237.27 1920 32,395.66 

1907 *181,137.39 

1908 9,493.86 Total $1,843,265.68 

There are six years in which extraordinary expenses are shown — (*) 1857, 
1869, 1870, 1871, 1872, and 1907. The figures for 1857 include Milwaukee's 
first investment of $50,000 in the "Straight Cut." The expense in the next 
four years enumerated was augmented by payments in liquidation of the 
Ilasbrouck claim growing out of the construction of the "Straight Cut," and 
in 1907 the expense included the sum of $142,724.30 which was awarded to 
owners for land taken for a turning basin in the Kinnickinnic River and for 
widening the river. 

There is no record of dredging and docking expense in 1853 and 1858, 
and possibly no river work was done in those years. There are no records 
of 1859 extant. 

The expenditures enumerated above do not take into account tin- amounts 
spent on the greater harbor project during the past few years. 

Milwaukee's Lake Freight Tonnage for the Past Thirty-One Years 

Year Inbound Tons Outbound Tons Total Tons 

1890 1,706.973 655.149 2,362,052 

1891 2,155,311 761,167 2,916,478 

1892 2,181,730 838.741 3,020.471 

1893 1,926,604 735.233 2,661,827 

1894 2,160,706 718,889 2,879,605 

1895 2,238.401 826,651 3,065,055 

1896 2,328,196 1,118,301 3,446,497 

1897 2,656,889 1,093,457 3,750,346 

1898 2,753,243 1,357.44:: 4,110,686 

1899 2.720.097 1,226,423 3,946,520 

1900 2,630,348 1,072,892 ::. 703,240 

1901 3,031,163 1,006,434 4,037,597 

1902 2.579.157 1,014,965 3,594,122 

1903 3,935,816 1.135.952 5,071,768. 

1904 3,895,255 1,032,912 4,928,167 

19ii5 4.197.5:13 1,256,874 5,454,407 



1906 5,013,304 1,190,720 6,204,024 

1907 6,091,333 1,604,669 7,696,002 

1908 5,027,416 1,314,529 6,341,945 

1909 5,619,155 1,395,350 7,014,505 

1910 6,563,345 1,500,739 8,064,084 

1911 6,061,164 1,445,329 7,506,493 

1912 6,456,160 1,316,804 7,772,965 

1913 7,225,887 1,649,344 8,875,231 

1914 6,546,478 1,942,487 8,488,965 

1915 6,444,367 1,683,334 8,127,698 

1916 6,616,116 1,308,783 7,924,899 

1917 5,744,662 1,075,230 6,819,892 

1918 5,475,340 1,611,210 7,086,550 

1919 5,591,434 1,411,557 7,002,991 

1920 4,792,868 1,068,638 5,861,506 

Milwaukee's Lake and Rail Freight Tonnage for the Past Twenty Years 

Year Lake Rail Total 

1901 4,037,597 6,034;869 10,(172,466 

1902 3,594,122 7,187,595 10,781.717 

1903 5,071,768 6,947,511 12,019,279 

1904 4,928,167 6,767,972 11,696,139 

1905 5,454,407 7,899,817 13,354,224 

1906 6,204,024 8,414,620 14,618,644 

1907 7,696,0:i2 9,155,717 16,851,709 

1908 6,341,945 8,356,774 14,698,719 

1909 7,014,505 9,389,223 16,403,728 

1910 8,064,084 10,326,515 18,390,599 

1911 7,506,493 9,924,538 17,431,031 

1912 7,772,965 9,545,420 17,318,385 

1913 8,875,231 13,347,806 22,223,037 

1914 8,488,965 14,274,251 22,763,216 

1915 8,127,698 13,097,561 21,225,259 

1916 7,924.899 15,452,251 23,377,150 

1917 6,819,892 14,279,726 21,099,618 

1918 : 7,086,550 14,262,459 21,349,009 

1919 7,002,991 11,753,968 18,756,959 

1920 5,861,506 13,407,299 19,268,805 

Status of Proposed Harbor Development. — A rather long and complicated 
legal procedure put the island into the city's hands in 1917 at a cost of 
about $500,000. The condemnation was made in conformity with the bound- 
ary limitations established by the original plat, which represented a total 
acreage of 49.34 acres, 36.1 acres of which were condemned. The remainder 
the city already possessed. In the official appraisal two prices were fixed, 
$5,227.20 per acre for submerged land, and $8,712.00 per acre for dry land. 


There were at the time of condemnation 339 buildings of all kinds and con- 
ditions on 31 1 /-) acres of 1 his land. 

"The island could no1 be used without firsl changing its irregular shape 
and increasing its area," said K. A. Kaiser, senior engineer of the Harbor 
Commission. "Steps were then taken to remedy these conditions and as ;i 
starter an ordinance was passed by the Common Council on September 22, 
1919, establishing a new inner harbor line on Jones Island, reaching from 
the south pier of the harbor entrance to Greenfield Avenue extended. On 
November 18 of the same year a contract was lei for the construction of 
1,375 feet of -pile and timber revetment along this newly established dock 
line. The south end of this revetment was placed on the south limit of the 
city's property, which is the old harbor entrance, and thence it extends 

"The revetment consists of a single row of round piles spaced three feel 
apart with sheet piling driven behind it, and secured by wales, binders and 
tie-rods to anchor piles, driven about 30 feet back from the face of the dock. 
The dock is so designed that it can readily he converted into a permanent 
concrete structure by the addition of extra piles ami a concrete cap. It is 
impervious to the passage of dredged material and provides for water 30 feel 
in depth. The cost was $99, 4S7. 

"Along the outer frontage of Jones Island, aboul 700 feet from shore, it 
was planned to build a bulkhead or revetment to retain the fill for the en- 
largement of the island and on February 24, 1920, the Common Council pro- 
vided for the construction of 2,250 feet of bulkhead, at a cost of $215,863. 

•'This bulkhead is of heavier type than the inner revetment; it consists 
of two parallel rows of closely driven round piles of variable distances apart, 
depending upon the 'depth of water in which it is constructed. As a general 
rule the width equals the depth of water. These rows of piling are hound 
together by wales, binders and tie-rods, and the space between is filled with 
stone, carried above the tops of the piles to a height of about 7 feet above the 
water. The lakeside of the bulkhead is rip-rapped to three feet below water 


"The lake frontage north of the harbor entrance as far as Wisconsin 
Street, about 5,000 feet in length, was not included in the Randolph plan, 
because the city, at that time, had in mind to use this area for park purposes. 
Later, however, the Government refused to permit this to be used for park 
purposes, and set il aside as a proper held for outer terminal development. 
To complete the riparian rights for the entire area, the city had to condemn 

a number of lots in the Third Ward. 

"A story is connected with the condemnation of these lots, the motto of 
which is: 'Look before yon fill, especially when condemnation is in view.' 
The city, in this case, had to pay for property which had been made at its 
own expense and without cost to the beneficiaries. The city received these lots 
at a cost of $17,650. 

"To protect the filling which was being deposited north of the harbor 
entrance, a rubble-mound bulkhead was built, made up of quarry run stom- 
as a core, and large stone for covering. Work was begun on this bulkhead in 


May. 1917, and it was built at an expenditure of $319,304. It is proposed to 
develop this frontage for piers and warehouses to be devoted to the passenger 
and freight business of the port. 

"In January, 1919, an appropriation of $5,000 was made to engage en- 
gineering service for the purpose of drafting plans for harbor improvement. 
Important changes from the situation which existed in 1909 when the Ran- 
dolph plan was submitted, caused the Harbor Commission to seek new plans, 
or a modification of the old plan. As, for instance, the large lake frontage 
north of the harbor entrance was not utilized in the plan of 1909 and the 
selection of the north 1,000 feet of Jones Island for the Sewerage plant was 
exceedingly disadvantageous to the general harbor plan. 

"H. McL. Harding, a leading terminal engineer of New York City, who 
had executed plans for a number of important harbors of the country, was 
engaged to prepare plans for the future development of the port. The en- 
gagement was authorized by the Common Council on May 5, 1919. 

"The plan is not intended to construct at once the entire system of wharves, 
piers and slips outlined in the plan. This is to be a project of progressive 
development, the most important units will be built and equipped as neces- 
sity requires. 

"Tlie plan shows that the lands in the old harbor entrance and those 
south thereof as far as Wilcox Street are necessary for harbor development 
under this plan. The ore and stone docks of the Illinois Steel Company, are 
located on the west side of this peninsula and these facilities are reached by 
tracks crossing the lands which an' necessary for the harbor project as laid 
out. Provision, however, has been made in this plan for the extension of the 
steel works, eastward, on lands to be filled in, which will add about 100 acres 
to the steel plant, as compared to 4:! acres required to lie taken by plan. At 
present, condemnation proceedings are pending with reference to this land. 

"The dredging in the Kinnickinnic River along the west side of Jones 
Island and filling in behind the bulkhead on the outer side id' the island, to 
an elevation of 6 feet above lake level, amounted to 430,000 cubic yards. 

"So far there have been 19 old hulks and wrecks of vessels removed from 
the bottom of the water area to be dredged, west of Jones Island. These 
wrecks, including schooners 100 feet Long, tugs, dredges, scows, floating dry 
docks, launches, and skiffs, were deposited there at various times between 
1872 and 1911. These wrecks were removed by the contractor who is doing 
the dredging, and were broken up by the use of dynamite and loaded onto 
a wrecking barge and then deposited at the foot of Greenfield Avenue, where 
the general- public scrambled for the wood. Trucks loaded with this wreck- 
age could be seen there daily. 

"After having acquired the lands south of the old harbor entrance, which 
is Greenfield Avenue extended eastward, it will be possible to develop the 
great inner Kinnickinnic Basin and also acquire, by filling, a large tract of 
valuable land. The material from the basin, which is about 1,500,000 cubic 
yards, considering dredging to 25 feet, would be removed by hydraulic dredge 
and deposited behind a bulkhead in tin' Lake, which would be built in the 
extension of the present lake bulkhead. It will require 3,800 feet of bulk- 



head to reach the scmth street line of Wilcox Street and 600 feet more to 
close in to the shore along the south street line, or a total of 4,400 feet, 

"With the Kinnickinnic Basin developed, many large vessels could moor 
there for the wilder and relieve this situation which has been a serious one 
so far. This basin could be filled every fall with these large coaldaden ves- 
sels, which could afterwards be taken to the river docks and unloaded as 
needed, thereby lessening the possibility of a coal shortage in the winter 
season. It is estimated that 40 or 50 vessels could find room in this basin. 
The revenue from these vessels could be applied against the expense of dock- 
age maintenance, etc. 

"The fill from the basin and the remainder of material at the north end 
of the island in the Kinnickinnic River will be sufficient material to level 
up the entire area between the basin and the lake bulkhead and give about 
113 acres of land in addition to the 37 acres now being filled in, or a total of 
150 acres. 

"As soon as the Government builds the outer breakwater which will pro- 
tect the harbor, the piers shown on the east side of the peninsula can be built 
successively as needed, and in accordance with the best practice. The slips 
as shown south of the harbor entrance are 1,000 feet in length. Those north 
are 700 feet with widths of 250 feet, This width of slip permits free move- 
ment of the vessels in docking and gives ample room for lighters or barges to 
tie alongside of the vessels, to load or unload, without disturbing the vessel 
docked on the opposite side of the slip." 

The Future Harbor Project. — When the Milwaukee Board of Harbor Com- 
missioners urged the acceptance of its plans by the common council in 1920 
and again when it urged the condemnation of Jones Island south to Wilcox 
Street in August, 1921, it outlined its future plans and policies in a brief 
from which the following extracts are taken : 

A comprehensive study of Milwaukee's harbor possibilities leads to the 
inevitable conclusion that the peninsula known as Jones Island affords the 
primary basis for practical development and the ultimate key to a ultilitarian 
port. In connection with the Kinnickinnic Basin it affords a complete land- 
locked harbor, and at the same time such outer harbor facilities as the future 
may demand. The island area, with its contemplated enlargements, will en- 
able the establishment of such terminal facilities as will be required by the 
constantly increasing and exacting demands of a modern lake commerce. 

The question as to whether the entire island will be required to realize the 
city's best opportunities and possibilities in providing for a future lake com- 
merce has been raised. The answer must be in the affirmative. It is the pur- 
pose here to demonstrate that the entire island area, as outlined by the plans 
laid down by both Mr. Isham Randolph and Mr. H. McL. Harding, two 
eminent terminal engineers, will be required to ensure Milwaukee's future as 
a serviceable lake port, and enable the construction of such facilities as will 
render the harbor efficient for the handling of a future lake commerce. 

In support of the Harbor Commission's contention that the Jones Island 
area, to be utilized for harbor and terminal purposes, must extend south to 
Wilcox Street, the following facts and arguments are here set forth: 


Water Frontage and Land Areas. J< s Island has »i lake frontage from 

the mouth of the harbor to Wilcox Streel of 6,900 feet, and a frontage on 
the inner or river side of 5,750 feet. On the north end of the island L,000 feel 
has been reserved for the sewerage plant, thus reducing the water frontage 
mi the outer side to 5,900 feet, and on the inner side to 1,480 feet. After 
straightening the inner dock line and filling in the lake to a bulkhead line 
approximating 700 feet from the present shore, the total island area will be 
166 acres. 

The total inner harbor area employed at present for shipping purposes 
approximates 217 acres. Here it should be added that the tracts of proper 
size and suitable for water and rail transshipping purposes are no longer avail- 
able. The industrial and commercial enterprises which have located about 
the river fronts cannot he displaced to accommodate water shipping interests. 
Thus, all the dock property having rail facilities is being utilized and more 
cannot 1 btained. 

Furthermore, the future of Milwaukee's present barbor facilities is not 
definitely assured. Practically all river frontage is privately owned and 
there is nothing to prevent the owner of I he best water frontage now in 
existence from building upon it and using it for factory or like purposes. 

Milwaukee's Future Water-borne Commerce. — When it is remembered 
that .Milwaukee's water-borne commerce increased about 260 per cent dur- 
ing the twenty-five years preceding the war. and applying this ratio of 
increase to the future, it will become clear that the present dockage will have 
to be materially increased. No doubt, with increased commerce, the pres- 
ent facilities will lie subjected to more intense use. In the ease of coal business. 
this is bound to lead to serious congestion of some of the channels. It is 
not a good advertisement for a port to have an ordinance on the statute books 
forcing vessels to anchor behind the breakwater ami await their turn at the 

Here it should also be remembered that the Milwaukee River is destined 
ultimately to go into disuse, except for barge traffic. The time will arrive 
when the Municipality will no longer submit to costly bridge maintenance 
in the face of a diminishing commerce north of Grand Avenue. In pail this 
will apply to the more remote sections of other harbor channels. 

On the other hand the large vessels will seek docks most conveniently 
accessible, and which can be reached without navigating through bridge 
openings and around river turns,— docks where cargoes can be discharged 
or received with a minimum loss "id' time, labor and expense. 

What applies to ordinary channels of trade applies also to lake commerce. 
The lake port that affords the most economical conditions for the handling 

id' freight will draw the lake business. The element of time is an important 
one in the movement of vessel property which represents large investments 
and heavy operating expenses. Expeditious arrivals and departures constitute 
important factors in the conduct id' water-borne commerce. 

Increased Facilities Not Unreasonable. For the reasons outlined, and 
as years progress, much of .Milwaukee's inner harbor facilities will have 
become inefficient or obsolete; therefore it would be fallacious to entertain 


anything like comparisons between present shipping frontage and acreage 
with the frontage or acreage proposed to be added by the new harbor plan; 
nor can it be denied that in the main the proposed new harbor area, under 
modern utilization, has a potentiality for service far beyond thai of a like 
area in the present harbor. Exception in this respect must be made in the 
matter of coal dockage, however, as Milwaukee's present coal handling fa- 
cilities are of the very best. 

The Harding plan adds about 280 acres to the shipping area of the harbor. 
Of this area about sixty acres will be taken up by railway tracks and road- 
ways. The. plan adds fifty-five acres to the coal facilities of the port, or an 
increase of about thirty-seven per cent over the acreage at present employed 
in the trade. The new coal acreage will have to be worked intensively in 
order to keep pace with the growth of the coal trade, which, it is figured, 
will he more than doubled in the next tw. nty-five years. The prospect is 
that Jones Island will eventually hi' devoted to coal handling' exclusively. 

Thus, with a prospective increase of 26(1 per cent in Milwaukee's lake 
commerce in the next twenty-five years, it must be admitted that the increased 
facilities provided by the Harding plan are in no wise unreasonable. 

Public vs. Private Interests. — In estimating the interests of the city as 
a whole in the creation and maintenance of an efficient system against the 
interests of a private corporation there can he hut one line of reasoning: 
Which of the two is id' greater importance to the material welfare of a whole 

The harbor interests on the other hand, however, affect the welfare of a 
larger constituency. While the water shipping interests distribute a payroll 
of over $'J,(iliO,0Oil annually and $250,000 in the purchase of supplies, they 
affect the entire industrial life of the city and to some extent the state. 

The item of fuel alone is so vital as to overshadow the interests of any 
one private institution. Wisconsin does not produce an ounce of coal. All 
coal must lie shipped in from a long distance and the element of economical 
water transportation becomes a vital factor in keeping the factory furnaces 
ablaze and in warming the homes of the people. Here it becomes highly 
essential that the port he kept upon a basis of the highest efficiency. The 
import of 5,000,000 tons id' coal will in a comparatively few years he increased 
to 10.000,000 tons. To bring this quantity of fuel in at the most advantageous 
transportation cost involves an economy that will readily mean millions in 
actual saving, and winch concerns the workingman's home as well as the 
manufacturing plants. 

Why More Dock Room is Absolutely Necessary. — Milwaukee is a great 
coal distributing center, and ample provision must be made for the growth 
of this important trade. It is impossible to move coal out by rail as fast 
as it can be received by water, hence reasonable storage space is absolutely 
essential to the coal business. In normal times Milwaukee receives approx- 
imately five million tons of coal during the season id' navigation. 

Ahoid half of this coal moves out by rail to interior points or to suburban 
industries. To ensure the needs of this trade during the closed winter season 
it is necessary to have close to three million tons of coal on the dock when 










navigation closes. In the same ratio, when Milwaukee's coal receipts ag- 
gregate 10,000,000 tons, which they eventually will, the stock required to 
tide over the winter season must aggregate 6,000,000 tons. 

The area necessary to handle this large additional amount of coal can be 
found only on Jones Island peninsula. All water frontage on the several 
channels of the inner harbor suitable for receiving and shipping coal is now 
occupied. Business is conducted at a disadvantage in some instances. In 
the Menomonee Valley district some yards are compelled to dock vessels 
in narrow slips extending from the main channels. This confines such yards 
to the use of the smaller-sized vessels carrying from 5,000 to 6,000 tons. 

Small-sized vessels are growing fewer in number on the Great Lakes every 
season and the time will come when this class of carriers will be able to com- 
mand a premium freight on coal delivered to docks located in slips. When 
terminals are provided nearer the harbor mouth, large vessels will no doubt 
also discriminate against coal delivered to docks remote from the lake, be- 
cause of the heavy tow bills in navigating the narrow river channels. 

Tow Bills in the Inner Harbor Burdensome. — The tax imposed on the earn- 
ings of coal and grain carriers by tow bills is necessarily reflected in freight 
rates demanded to and from the port. Large craft require two tugs to assist 
them in moving up and down river channels, as the danger of damaging bridges 
or docks is very great. It has been estimated that tow bills and loss of time 
in going to and from receiving docks mean a loss of 5 cents per ton to the coal 
carrier. This is a serious handicap to the business of a port and must event- 
ually result in a loss of business, as a differential of this amount runs up into 
big figures when millions of tons of freight are involved. 

With ample outer and inner terminals on the Jones Island peninsula Mil- 
waukee will be able to overcome to a great extent the burden at present 
imposed on the carrying trade by tow bills and loss of time in port. For this 
reason the surrender of any of the water frontage embraced in the Harbor 
Commission's plan would mean the sacrificing of a valuable economic ad- 

Milwaukee to Marseilles. — Someone has picturesquely_said that an Amer- 
ican Mediterranean will wash the shores of Wisconsin. This is practically 
true now and will, with the passing of time, become absolutely true. A water- 
borne commerce from Milwaukee to Marseilles, from Chicago to Liverpool, 
from Sheboygan to Stockholm, sending the products of the great Mid-West 
directly to the markets of Europe promises to become an assured fact within 
a comparatively few years. It involves the construction of a deep waterway 
from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean, via the Welland Canal and the 
St. Lawrence River — a project that is at once feasible, practical and desirable. 

During the World w T ar substantial vessel cargoes were carried directly 
from the ports of Chicago, Milwaukee, Cleveland and Toledo to ports of 
Europe. The thoughtful man will here ask why we do not constantly send 
cargoes abroad during the open season of navigation. If you can send one 
ship from Lake Michigan to Europe why not send many ships? On this 
question hinges the answer to the inquiry. 

The immediate answer is that the ships which the ports of the Great Lakes 


have been able to semi to Europe were doI large enough to prove profitable 
in norma] times. Again, it is easier for a vessel to go down stream on 
the St. Lawrence River than to plow its way back up stream. 

The size of ships and their cargoes, together with the depth of the water- 
ways constitute the controlling factors. A ship carrying a cargo of 1,000 
tons will have a draft or water displacement of 13% t'eet depth. The present 
Welland ("anal and the locks and canals paralleling the St. Lawrence River 
have a depth of fourteen feet, just deep enough to carry a vessel of the size 

But, a 4,000-ton cargo is a small cargo. During the World war, when 
shipping facilities on the Atlantic Ocean were taxed to the utmost and freighl 
rates ran sky-high, it paid to send even the smaller ships to Europe, lint, 
in normal times the unit must be larger. Ships must carry from 8,000 to 
15,000 tons in order to render the trips profitable. Thus, a deeper water- 
way must he provided, and the most direct, natural and utilitarian route is 
by way of the Welland Canal and the St. Lawrence River. 

The peninsula of land which separates the lakes Erie and Ontario con- 
sists entirely id' Canadian territory. Just ten miles west of Niagara Falls 
the old Welland Canal was due- many years ago and has rendered excellent 
service in permitting certain types of ships to pass from one lake to tl ther. 

The present Welland ( 'anal cuts across twenty-five miles of land, is equipped 
with seven locks, and lowers and raises ships 325 feet which is the water level 
difference between lakes Erie and Ontario. 

The Canadian Government began the construction of the new so-called 
Welland Ship Canal some five years ago which in part utilizes the old canal 
and in part takes a new course. This new canal, together with the locks will 
he considerably wider, longer and deeper than the old. 

Note the difference. The present Welland locks are 14 feet deep. 30 feet 
wide, and 240 feet long. The New Welland locks will be 30 feet deep. 80 feet 

wide, and sou feet long. These several locks will have a lifting capacity of 
4b 1 » feet each, rivalling the great locks of the Panama Canal. 

Locks with similar dimensions will be built in connection with the St. 
Lawrence River, thus enabling the larger sized ocean freighters as well as 
tin' larger lake vessels to pass through them. 

Why the Saint Lawrence Route?- By consulting a globe instead of a Hat 

map, it will be found that the route from Milwaukee to Liver] 1 via the 

St. Lawrence River is more direct than the route via New York City. In 
fact, it is over four hundred miles nearer. When it is considered that Mil- 
waukee lies within the latitude of Rome, Italy, it is found that the I'.ritish 
Isles and Central Europe are considerably to the northward. The route via 
the Great Lakes, the Welland ('anal ami the St. Lawrence River runs in a 
northeasterly direction and is, therefore, the most direct route that could be 

ehosen, between Wisconsin and the leading ports of Europe. 

But the MilwaukeeanS adhere to another and more COgenl argument in 
favor of the direct all-water route. The freight now shipped from the west- 
ern lake ports destined for Europe is transferred at Buffalo to tin' rail 
lines or to barges. From there it is carried to New York City, where it is 


subjected to another handling. Here it is finally loaded into the ocean 
freighters and carried to Europe. 

The extra handling- of grain involves an enormous expense. It is esti- 
mated that by eliminating this extra handling fully $200,000,000 annually 
will be saved to the producers of the West on grain alone. The country 
raises 1,000,1 mid, in hi bushels of wheat. Two-thirds is raised in the lake region. 
One-half is sent via the lakes to Buffalo where it is transferred to the rail 
lines or into tow barges for destination to the port of New York. 

When the world's production will have caught up with the world's de- 
mands there will be a trade rivalry of the most strenuous character. The 
countries that can bring their products expeditiously and economically to the 
coast cities will enjoy an advantage over those that cannot. If .Milwaukee 
transforms her lake port into an ocean port she can ship from her very door 
to the markets of Europe. 

When the Rivers and Harbors Bill was passed in 1919, Senator Lenroot 
of Wisconsin secured the insertion of a clause which provided that the United 
States and Canada get together, establish the engineering problems involved, 
ascertain the cost to be met and the commercial utility to be attained. 

Thereupon the several states bordering on the Great Lakes, with the ex- 
ception of New York, organized private and public bodies to make propa- 
ganda for the project. The states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and 
Illinois created public deep waterway commissions while the states of Indiana. 
Ohio and several of the western states, including the Dakotas, Nebraska. 
Kansas, Wyoming and Idaho formed organizations of business men under 
the leadership of the governors and commercial bodies. 

How Will Milwaukee Benefit? — It will make Milwaukee an ocean port. 
With the development of Jones [sland and the lake frontage between Wis- 
consin Street to the harbor Milwaukee will be amply equipped to receive ocean 
ships. The harbor entrance is deep enough and with terminals now planned 
it will lie able to receive the water-borne commerce from all parts of the 

This port will enable Milwaukee to make her imports direct instead of 
making them through the Port of New York. It will enable immigrants to 
land on the Wisconsin shores and be near the farm sections of the Mid-West 
instead of becoming lost in the congested cities of the East. 

(In the other hand, Wisconsin's products, both farm and factory, may 
be shipped directly to the various ports of Europe, to the east coast of South 
and Central America and to Africa. This will prove a tremendous advantage 
in a competitive sense as it will eliminate the costly rail haul to the Easl 
and tin' trans-shipment expense. 

Wisconsin normally has an export trade of thirty millions in factory prod- 
ucts and as much more in farm products. By securing a direct market ami 
eliminating unnecessary freight charges the volume of trade can, no doubt, 
be doubled. When the world gets back to normal production, the products 
of the Mid-West will face a stronger competition which will only be met by 
tin' advantages involved in reaching the high seas expeditiously and econ- 


omically. The Port df Milwaukee will then prove the most ; ssible and 

serviceable on Lake Michigan. 

But, after summing up the concrete arguments why tin' city should possess 
itself of the entire water frontage embraced in the comprehensive harbor 
plan evolved by the Harbor Commission, there still remains the broad con- 
tention that it is the imperative duty of the municipality to protecl its future 
by availing itself of every advantage presented by a most wonderful natural 

Water fronts such as Milwaukee is favored with are a priceless heritage 
which should be safe-guarded in the interest of the people. Let it not be 
said, fifty years hence, that those of this period of commercial enlightenment 
were so blind to the needs of the future as to permit one of the finest natural 
harbor situations in the world to be encroached upon by selfish interests and 
thus rendered useless to posterity. 

W. G. B. 


Along in the thirties the people had begun to long for the appearance 
of the "iron horse" of which they had heard remarkable tales from the East. 
As early as 1825 the first railroad had been opened in England. In that year 
George Stephenson, the famous engineer, had run a train of a dozen or more 
cars, some loaded with coal and others with passengers, from Stockton to 
Darlington, in England. Descriptions of this event filled the newspapers 
of the clay, and the news of its success was the inspiration of railroad building 
in this country. The people everywhere saw in the railroad the promise of 
better conditions in transportation, and became possessed with the desire to 
see them built throughout the land. 

In Illinois, a vast system of railroad construction was undertaken in 1836, 
a period since known in the histories as the "Era of Internal Improvements." 
The disastrous results which followed is of more interest to the people of 
that state than it is to those of the neighboring communities. Among the 
old settlers of the Western states the coming of the railroad was long antici- 
pated as the fulfillment of their fondest hopes for the future prosperity of 
the region in which they dwelt. People had heard of the railroads building 
in the East and a few had actually seen and traveled upon them. In 1852, 
the Michigan Central railroad had been extended from its former western 
terminus at New Buffalo, in Michigan, to Chicago, soon to be followed by 
other lines from the East. Milwaukee was connected with Chicago by the 
Chicago and Milwaukee railroad in 1856, and its influence on lake navigation 
soon began to be felt. 

It was said by Lord Bacon that "there are three things which make a 
nation great and prosperous, a fertile soil, busy workshops, and easy trans- 
portation for men and goods from place to place." This saying was placed 
as an inscription on one of the great World's Fair buildings erected in Chi- 
cago in 1893. Without a doubt the greatest advantage that any city can 
enjoy is its transportation facilities, and by this is meant freight transporta- 
tion as well as passenger traffic. Without industries a city is without life; 
without railroads and canals industries are strangled in embryo. "Com- 
merce is one of the most beneficent among the activities which have engaged, 
or can engage, the abilities and energies of man," wrote George P. Stone, 
formerly secretary of the Chicago Board of Trade. "The demands of com- 
merce for constantly increasing facilities for rapid and economical exchange 
of commodities, are imperious and resistless. There is no alertness so sensi- 


Milwaukee and Mississippi Railroad, corner Fowler and Second Streets 

Chicago and Northwestern Railway About 1865 


tive and swift as that of commerce; there is no vigilance equal in intensity 
and constancy to commercial vigilance." 

"When railroads were first talked of in the thirties and forties, people 
and communities were ready to "go broke" to assist new railroad enterprises, 
and it actually happened that towns, counties and cities voted for the pur- 
chase of stock and bonds to assist them far beyond what seemed to be their 
power of ultimate payment. In these days the statement seems hardly cred- 
ible when we consider the state of public sentiment in regard to them, when 
railroads, their projectors, financiers and officers are subjected to disparage- 
ment and every form of hostile criticism. 

Changed Attitude of the People. — "Immediately after the Civil war," says 
Legler, in his history of Wisconsin, "railroad extension was carried on in 
the state at a remarkable rate. The attitude of the railroad magnates toward 
the people grew so arrogant that in a message to the Legislature Governor 
Cadwallader C Washburn declared with emphasis that 'many vast and 
overshadowing corporations in the United States are justly a source of alarm, 
and the Legislature cannot scan too closely every measure that comes before 
it which proposes to give additional rights and privileges to the railways 
of the state.' He further recommended that the granting of passes to the 
class of state officials who, through their public office, have power to confer 
or withhold benefits to a railroad company, be prohibited." 

"The farmers considered themselves aggrieved by discriminations in rail- 
road charges," continues Legler in his volume. "The hard times of 1873-4 
were popularly accredited to the dominant party. William lv. Taylor, a 
democrat, was elected governor. The pendulum of polities made the sweep 
to the other end of the are, and the passage of the famous 'Potter law' fol- 
lowed at the next legislative session. This was a drastic measure, limiting 
transportation charges and regulating prices for freight, creating a railroad 
commission and making stringent provision for general regulation of railroad 
traffic. The railroad officials openly defied the provisions of the law, and the 
presidents of the two leading railroad corporations of the state served formal 
notice on the governor that they would disobey them." Governor Taylor 
responded in a proclamation that "the law of the land must be respected and 
obeyed." Long litigation followed which attracted attention all over the 
country on account of the important principles involved, namely, the power 
of the state to control corporations of its own creation. "The railroads were 
beaten in the state and federal courts, and were compelled to acknowledge 

Early Railroad History. — A passage of the early railroad history of Mil- 
waukee has come to light recently through an interview with Edwin II. 
Abbot, printed in the Milwaukee Journal in its issue of January 16, 1!*'J1. 
This interview is transcribed here in full because of its interest to the student 
of our history. 

The recent sale of the Abbot dock property, near the harbor entrance 
to the Hansen Storage Company, and the visit to Milwaukee of Edwin 11. 
Abbot on that and other business, recalls a chapter of great interest in Mil- 
waukee's railroad history. 

Vol. 1—21 





} f) 










Mr. Abbot, who is now a resident of Cambridge, Mass., although for nearly 
thirty years a Milwaukeean and largely interested in the growth and de- 
velopment of Wisconsin, through his large financial interest in the Wisconsin 
Central railroad, is still a holder of Milwaukee real estate ; among other items 
the Colby-Abbot Building. 

In speaking of the manner in which the dock property, just transferred, 
came into his possession, Mr. Abbot said: 

"The clocks were known in the old days as the Shea & George docks, 
and, if I remember rightly, were built somewhere about 1886 fir 1887. I 
purchased the property, some 840 feet of waterfront, in 1889, for the Wis- 
consin Central for $325,000. 

Project Joint Terminal. — "The Northern Pacific had leased the Wisconsin 
Central, in which Charles Colby and I were heavily interested, with the inten- 
tion of using it as an entrance to Chicago. Villard and Oakes wanted to 
bring the Central into Milwaukee. Its nearest approach to the city was 
Waukesha. Having leased it, and having purchased terminals in Chicago, 
on which the Grand Central station now stands, they wanted to swing the 
entire Wisconsin Central and Northern Pacific business down through this 
city. It would have been a tremendous thing for the development of Mil- 

"As a part of the plan, I was authorized to spend $1,000,0011 in picking 
up property, at the then market price, which would he needed later. We 
took an option on the Milwaukee Northern road and the stock of Angus Smith, 
and there was an understanding arranged with .Mr. Rhinelander, of the Mil- 
waukee, Lake Shore and Western, by which both of those roads, now parts 
of the Milwaukee and Northwestern systems, respectively, were to use the 
new terminal which we were planning. 

"The idea was to enter the city from the north, striking the end of Jack- 
son Street and tunneling under the property along the east side of that 
street until we came out on the slope across from the present post office build- 
ing and there our passenger station was to he located. The four roads were 
all to use this tunnel entrance to Milwaukee. 

"The plan was of course kept secret. I bought certain parcels of land 
in advance, which would have been difficult to acquire later, this dock prop- 
erty among others. It was an important link in the scheme, as we planned 
to cross to Jones Island at that point and then, turning to the natural land, 
cross the Northwestern tracks into the Chase Creek district, where I bought 
twenty-three or twenty-four acres for yard purposes ; then run south to the 
main line of the Wisconsin Central and into Chicago. There they had bought 
something like four hundred acres of land, covering the only available entry- 

"That was our plan, and it was a great one, but Villard and Oakes went 
under in the crash of '93 and the Northern Pacific went into the hands of a 
receiver. That killed it. 

"When the Northern Pacific failed, I determined to break the lease and 
regain control of the Wisconsin Central. I petitioned the United States 
circuit court to intervene in the Northern Pacific foreclosure proceedings 

The First Kate Table or the Milwaukee \ Mississippi 
Rail-Road, (Now the Chi. Mil. ft St. Paul Kv.) 




R AT E TA B L E . 

Resolutions adopted by the Board of Directors of the Mil 
wauliee and Mississippi Rail-Road Company, Deo. 1850. 

Resolved, That the following Rules be adopted relative 
to passengers — to be conspicuously posted in each Pas- 
senger Car: 

There is to be no free list: no persons whomsoever snail 
be entitled to a free passage on any train, except by order 
of the Board, or by a free pass, singed by the President 
of the Company, or Superintendent of the mad; and ex- 
cept also in cases of persons on Company business — 
which exceptions will be specially communicated to each 

The following low rates shall he established for Passen- 
ger Fare, until otherwise ordered, viz : 

. o 

r -n\ 

Milwaukee, - - 
.Spring Street Road 
Chase's Mill, 7 
Wauwatosa, - 
Blanchard's, - 
Underwood's, - 
Elm Grove, - - 
Dixon's Road, - 
Power's Mill, - 
"Few's Road, 
Plank Road, - 
Fox River Cottage 
Waukesha, - - - 






5 < 

5 % 

C Z\n 

'< - sIS 

_ w a 


(£ fc-'lPL, 

1016)20 25f80|85|46|S0S5|80 


5110 15 20 25|35i40!45j50 55165 
5 L ' 

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Note. In cases of l'aesengqfci being .taken up between any of hi?^ 

(be aforesaid [Kiints, the fare will be the* same as if taken at the \fa~~,'J 

point back of tliflt at which such paesengern may be received. /rTN'** 

Children under ten years of ai;e, at half the above rates. vw^/ 




and succeeded in having the lease canceled for nonpayment of rent, bringing 
young Mr. Brandeis, now on the United States supreme bench, here from 
Boston as my attorney. 

"The land which I had picked up, in furtherance of our plan for a joint 
entry into Milwaukee, was disposed of from time to time. At the request 
of the company I took this dock property off its hands and have held it 
ever since. With its sale to the Hansen Company about the last trace 'of the 
Northern Pacific-Wisconsin Central plans for a Milwaukee entrance vanishes. 

"We had figured on this water frontage as a most available site .for a 
carferry terminal, as it is the first dock- property after entering the Mil- 
waukee harbor, with no bridges to pass and with 375 feet of open water in 
front of it, because of the junction of the Milwaukee and Kinnickinnic rivers. 
I still expect some day to see it put to such a use." 

Two warehouses, one brick and the other frame, stand on this property, 
which adjoins the city's incinerator plant on the west. One of these houses 
is used by the Milwaukee, Chicago & Michigan City line of steamers, re- 
cently organized by Milwaukee interests, and the other is used by the Hansen 
Company for the storage of automobiles, for manufacturers and dealers, 
and other wares. 

First Locomotive Built in Milwaukee. — The pamphlet published at the 
time of the "Diamond Jubilee" in June, 11121, contains an account of the 
first locomotive built in Milwaukee in October, 1852. This account was com- 
piled by George Richardson, the librarian of the Old Settlers' Club in Mil- 

This locomotive was called the Menomonee for in that day all locomotive 
engines bore names just as ships always do. The Menomonee was buill 
at the shops of W. B. Walton & Company, and when it was completed and 
ready to be moved to the tracks where it was to operate, Mr. Richardson 
had an important part in the task which was indeed a formidable one. lie 
was at that time an employee of John Miller, colloc[uially i known as "Long 
John." He relates as follows: "Much has been recently said and written 
in a local controversy as to the identity of that particular locofSdtive, to 
which should attach the credit of being the first one built in the State of 

The Locomotive Leaves the Shop. — "My interest in th'.s matter," con- 
tinues Mr. Richardson, "attaches not only from a motive of fact, but from a 
motive of personal pride, and the latter condition arises from the fact thai 
I am — so far I know — the only person now living who had anything to do 
with Milwaukee's first locomotive before if was put into active service. It 
is true that my connection with Milwaukee's first locomotive was not over 
important, as I now consider it, hut was such as to give me the right to claim 
connection with it, and to vouch for the absolute truth of all 1 may say 
relative thereto, from a personal standpoint. 

"During the years 1852, 1853 and 1854, I was employed by John Miller 
('Long John' he was called by reason of his great size, six feet nine inches 
in height). Mr. Miller was a1 that time Milwaukee's heavy moving eon- 
tractor, and he it was who moved Milwaukee's first locomotive from the 

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shop where it was built and placed it on the tracks of what was then the 
Milwaukee & Mississippi Railroad, now the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul 

"The locomotive was built at the works of W. B. Walton & Company, 
known as the Menomonee foundry, and located at the southwest corner of 
Reed and South Water streets. The first locomotive differed from all alleged 
drawings of it recently published in some of the Milwaukee papers, and also 
from the alleged drawing of it in the possession of the Milwaukee Old Set- 
tlers' Club, inasmuch as it was what is .known as 'inside connected,' that is, 
the machinery, cylinder, etc., was all underneath the boiler, except the parallel 
rods connecting the two pair of driving wheels. Recently published drawings 
claiming to represent the first engine show the cylinders and machinery as 
being located on the outside, as locomotives of today are built. This is a 
mistake. If such, however, is in existence, this controversy may be the 
means of bringing it to light. I recollect this engine as plainly as though 
I had seen it but yesterday, and I remember that on its dome or sand box 
on top of the boiler was the following: 


No. 1 

JAMES WATERS, Engineer; 


On the side of the boiler was this word : 


Locomotive Crosses the River. — "On October 15, 1852, 'Long John,' with 
his crew of a dozen men and several yoke of oxen, began laying temporary 
tracks from a point at the foundry near which is now located the scales of 
Seeboth Brothers, and thence to Reed Street, on Reed to the bridge over the 
Menomonee River — then a float bridge. No trouble was experienced until 
the bridge was reached. At that time Reed Street was just about wide 
enough for ordinary wagons to meet and pass, and the locomotive and its 
tracks occupied the whole street. At the bridge all the power of men, block 
and tackle, as well as oxen, was needed to enable us to get the locomotive up 
the incline. The engine's weight was about twenty-six tons, and under it 
the bridge barely escaped sinking, but it was safely landed on the north side 
of the river and placed on the track, located about seventy-five feet away 
from the bridge, and here my connection with it ceased." 

From the Milwaukee Sentinel of October 14, 1852, is quoted the following 
comment: "The Menomonee is the name of the splendid locomotive just 
built by the Menomonee foundry for the M. and M. R, R. company. The 
Menomonee leaves the foundry for the track today. It was designed and built 
under, the superintendence of James Waters, to whose skill it bears ample 
testimony. The next engine, now nearing completion, is to be called White- 
water. ' ' 

Again, the Sentinel of October 16, 1852, says: "The new locomotive, the 
Menomonee, now fairly launched from the Walton & Company's foundry 
yesterday, commenced its march toward the railroad track." 


This "march" of the Meno] se is described above. Also, the follow 

ing from the Sentinel cm October 25, L852: 

"The locomotive Menomonee, built by Walton & Company, at the Me- 
nomonee foundry, the first-one manufactured there, was pu1 in motion on 
the track on Saturday (October 23), and performed to the complete satis- 
faction of all concerned. We note the fact with no little pride thai here in 
Milwaukee has been built the first locomotive west of Cleveland." 

The Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad. -As early as 1836 a meeting 
was held in Milwaukee, of which Samuel Brown was chairman and Byron 
Kilbourn, secretary, to consider the feasibility of building a railroad from 
Milwaukee to the Mississippi River. A resolution was adopted to petition 
the Legislature to pass an act incorporating a company for such a purpose. 
In the year 1836 there was great activity in every branch of business through- 
out the country but the following year the panic of 1837 prevented the further 
consideration of any such enterprise. Some influential citizens favored the 
construction of canals rather than railroads, having the example before them 
of the great Erie Canal which had been completed in 1825. But the fad that 
canals could not be operated throughout the entire year gave the advantage 
to the railroads as the proposed means of transportation. 

However, all plans either for railroads or canals had to be abandoned 
until the times became more propitious in which to launch new projects, 
and it was not until 1847 that a bill passed the Territorial Legislature au- 
thorizing the construction of a railroad from Milwaukee tit Waukesha though 
in the following year its provisions were extended to allow of its construction 
to the Mississippi River. At the same time its capital which at first was limited 
to $100,000 was increased to an amount necessary for the extension of the 
road beyond Waukesha. 

The sum of $100,000 of the stock having 1 n subscribed as required by 

the act, an election of directors and officers was held May 10, 1849, thus com- 
pleting the organization of the Milwaukee & Mississippi R. R. Company. 
Byron Kilbourn was chosen for president, Benjamin If. Bdgerton, secretary, 
and Walter P. Flanders, treasurer; the directors were as follows: Lemuel 
W. Weeks, Edward D. Holton, Alexander Mitchell, Erastus B. Wolcott, Anson 
Eldred, James Kneeland, John II. Tweedy. E. D. Clinton. 

In his report to the stockholders in 1850, Mr. Kilbourn gave a liistorj of 
the company from the beginning, including the vicissitudes through which 
it passed in its efforts to secure a charter. In the course of his report \f 
said: "It is of the first importance that this undertaking be in the hands 
exclusively of the people of Wisconsin, and as generally diffused through 
the body of fhe community as possible, so that everj citizen may feel that 
in its success his individual interest is to be promoted. In tin- hands of such 

owners its sui ss is far more certain than if held as a monopoly in the hands 

of foreign capitalists for their benefit alone, and to whom the people of 

Wisconsin would be required forever to pay tribute." 

A suitable corps of engineers was appointed id' which the president. Mr 
Kilbourn. was designated as the chief. His qualifications for this task were 

no doubt suggested by his early experience as a young man in canal building 


when lie was a resident of Ohio. It should be remembered also that Mr. Kil- 
bourn was at that time serving as mayor of Milwaukee then a rapidly growing 
town of 15,000 inhabitants. 

The surveys for the new railroad were begun under the immediate super- 
intendence of Jasper Yliet, I'.. II. Edgerton, and, at a later period, Richard 
P. Morgan. "About four-fifths of the whole number of stockholders," says Mr. 
Kilbourn in his report, "were farmers and mechanics in towns and villages 
of the interior, and the remainder consisted of laborers, mechanics and busi- 
ness men in the City of Milwaukee." 

After the charter of 1847 had been secured and the organization of the 
road completed, there came a pause, owing to the cessation of interest on the 
part of the public. "It was a great undertaking for that day," said E. D. 
Holton in a historical address made in 1858 before the Chamber of Com- 
merce in Milwaukee; "we were without money as a people either in the city 
or country. Every man had come to the country with limited means, and 
each had his house, his store, his shop, his barn to build; his land to clear 
and fence, and how could he spare anything from his own individual neces- 
sities? Some wise men looked on and shook their heads, and there were 
many croakers. 

" P. ut in the minds of those who had assumed the undertaking there was a 
sober, earnest purpose to do what they could for its accomplishment." And 
so for an entire year after tin' work had commenced in 1849 the grading 
was carried on and paid for by orders drawn on the merchants, "payable 
in goods, — by carts from the wagon-makers, harnesses from harness-makers, 
by cattle, horses, beef, pork, oats, corn, potatoes and flour from the farmers, 
all received on account of stock subscriptions, and turned over to the con- 
tractors in payment of work done upon the road. A large part of the work 
done from here to Waukesha was performed in this way." 

Put the payments for iron rails and rolling stock could not be made 
on any system of barter and a large amount of cash must be provided. At 
a meeting of stockholders at Waukesha in the spring of 1850, most of whom 
were farmers, the question before the meeting was how to secure the sum 
of $250,000 for the purchase of iron to reach from Milwaukee to Whitewater? 

It was during this meeting that Maj. Joseph Goodrich of Milton arose ami 
said: "See here; I can mortgage my farm for $3,000 and go to the East 
where I came from, and get the money for it. Now, are there not loo men 
between Milwaukee and Rock River that can do the same? If so, here is 
your money, T will be one of them." The 100 men were found who put up 
the required amount of mortgages. These, however, at first could not be 
sold, but the bonds of the City of Milwaukee could be negotiated, and the 
city came forward promptly and issued $234,000 in aid of the road. The iron 
was at once purchased, and the success of the Milwaukee & Mississippi rail- 
road was thereby assured. 

The road was completed to Prairie du Chien, April 15, 1857, seven and one 
half years from the time that ground was first broken for its construction. 
Meantime a number of other railroads were incorporated which, through 
various mergers, eventually became a part of the original Milwaukee & Missis- 




sippi railroad. By 1863 the road had become known as the Milwaukee & St. 
Paul railroad. "The present Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Com- 
pany," says a writer in the "History of Milwaukee" of 1881, "grew out of 
the organization formed May 5, 1863, for the purpose of purchasing all tin- 
roads which had thus far been formed," though it was not until February, 
1875, that the present name of the system was adopted. 

Mileage Owned and Operated in 1921. — Owned, 10,158.6 miles; owned 
jointly with other lines, 51.36 miles; lines operated under trackage rights, 
400.14. Total, 10,613.10. 

Capital Stock.— Authorized, $350,000,000 consisting of $233,725,101) com- 
mon and $116,274,900 non-cumulative preferred; issued December 31, 1920, 
$233,686,200, consisting of $117,411,3(10 common and $116,274,9(10 preferred. 
Shares, 100. 

Officers. — H. E. Byram, president ; B. B. Greer, vice president in charge 
of operation; R. M. Calkins, vice president in charge of traffic, Chicago; R. J. 
Marony, vice president, assistant treasurer and assistant secretary, New York; 
II. B. Earling, vice president, Seattle; E. D. Sewall, vice president, Chicago; 
E. W. Adams, secretary, Milwaukee; A. G. Loomis, treasurer, Chicago; A. C. 
Hagensick, assistant secretary, Milwaukee; F. B. Simpson, assistant treasurer, 
assistant secretary and transfer agent, New York; Walter V. Wilson, comp 
troller; J. Welch, assistant comptroller; C. F. Loweth, chief engineer; Burton 
Hanson, general counsel; H. H. Field, general solicitor; J. T. Gillick, general 
manager, lines east, Chicago; Macy Littleton, general manager, lines west, 

Executive Committee. — John A. Stewart, William Rockefeller, Samuel 
H. Fisher, H. E. Byram, P. A. Rockefeller, Edward S. Harkness. 

Directors. — J. Odgen Armour, Stanley Field, Burton Hanson, Chicago; 
Samuel McRoberts, New York; A. J. Earling, W. E. Griswold, Edward S 
Harkness, George G. Mason, New York ; H. E. Byram, Chicago ; M. N. Buekner, 
Donald G. Geddes, Samuel L. Fisher, William Rockefeller, New York. Prin- 
cipal office and address, Chicago. Financial and executive office, 42 Broadway, 
New York. 

The Chicago and North Western Railway. — The great forward movement 
in railroad construction occurred during the fifties. The year 1855 especially 
was an epoch-making period in the history of Milwaukee, for it was in the 
early months of that year that the Chicago and Milwaukee railroad was 
completed which connected Chicago with this city, and which afterwards 
became a part of the great Chicago and North Western railway system, the 
pioneer line of the Northwest. This railroad has played a most important 
part in the progress of Milwaukee, and has aided in a remarkable manner 
its great industrial and commercial growth, affording it at all times trans- 
portation facilities second to none and contributing vitally to its develop- 
ment into one of the greatest manufacturing centers and shipping marts in 
the West. 

"The Chicago and North Western line," says a writer in the .Milwaukee 
Sentinel, in its issue of January 1, 1921, "opened the way for this city to be- 
come the gateway to the productive and great manufacturing field covered by 


the Pox River Valley, the famously rich iron and copper country in Northern 
Wisconsin and the upper peninsula of Michigan, the vast lumber resources, 
agricultural and dairy products of the Badger State, and the grain bell of the 
Dakotas and Northwest, by providing terminal facilities in the city which 
have always kepi a stop ahead in the march of progress. This is strikingly 
illustrated especially by the great terminal facilities of the Chicago and North 
Western railway in the City of Milwaukee at the present time." 

Brief Description of Terminal Facilities.— "First and Eoremost," con- 
tinues this writer, "is the Butler yard, which was i ipleted in L912, and 

which was a part of the terminal facilities of the new line built thai year 
across Wisconsin from Milwaukee to Wyeville. This yard covers an area o 
i24!i acres, lias a capacity of 2,130 cars per day. and also has repair tracks for 
240 additional ears. Butler Yard is located on what is known as the Mil- 
waukee belt line of the Chicago and North Western railway, which provides 
interchange freight service at Milwaukee without the necessity of bringing 
the ears into the business district." 

Some of the great industries of .Milwaukee may be mentioned, for ex- 
ample: leather, cooperage, rubber, vinegar, lumber, machinery, electrical sup- 
plies, glass, packing house products, cement, coal and grain. The Chicago 
and North Western railway has built connecting lines to the various plants, 
yards and premises of these various industries to facilitate the transportation 
of the raw materials as well as the finished products, to be shipped to numer- 
ous destinations. Many of these plants now "rank among the largesl of 
the'r kind in the world. " 

The terminal facilities of the Chicago and North Western railway in Mil- 
waukee are given as follows: Third Ward, South Side, Bay View, St. Francis, 
Cudahy, South Milwaukee, Becher Street, Russell Avenue. Dayton Park, 
Lincoln-National Avenue, (West Allis)-North Greenfield, (North Avenue and 
Dake Shore Junction )-Lindwurm. "These facilities." says tOie writer above 
mentioned, "afford direct connection between the central terminal and prac- 
tically all the great manufacturing plants and districts in the City of Mil- 
waukee. " 

Between .Milwaukee and Chicago the Chicago and North Western railway 
is provided with a trunk line of four Macks, and at various points diverging 
lines to principal cities throughout the state and in the Northwest, as well as 
ear ferry service across Dake Michigan to ports on the east coast where they 
connect with lines to eastern territory. 

" Ninety eight passenger trains arrive at and depart daily from the Lake 
Front station located at the fool of Wisconsin Street," it is said. The heavy 
street traffic in Milwaukee caused by this movemenl of passenger traffic is 
plain to the observer. The present commodious passenger station of the 
North West, in was completed during the year L890. Thus frequent com 
munication is maintained with Chicago, Madison. Pond du Dae, Oshkosh, 
Green Bay, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth, Superior, Sioux City, Omaha, 
Denver, Salt Lake City and the many important cities of the Pacific Coast. 
The present North Western system is able by its connecting lines to reach 
practically every point throughout the Greal West. 


Conditions in the Pioneer Period.— "In 1835," says this writer, "there 
was neither a mile of railroad built nor a corporation chartered to build a 
line in Northern Illinois or Wisconsin. Milwaukee was then but a small vil- 
lage, looking for its commercial prosperity to come by way of boats on Lake 
Michigan, and they were few and far between." One of the oldest of the 
constituent parts of the North Western system was the Galena and Chicago 
Union Railroad, completed from Chicago as far as Elgin in 1850. This road 
had been chartered as far back as 1836, and had been fourteen years in ac- 
complishing this short distance, — forty-two miles. 

The rails of the old Galena road were what were known as "strap rails," 
consisting of an iron plate 2% inches wide by % inch in thickness, laid on 
an oak ribbon, which in turn was laid flat-wise on timbers or ties about six 
inches square, and firmly secured by spikes. A better form of rail was about 
that time coming into, use called the "edge-rail," one of the earlier forms 
in the development of the T-rail, but the company was not able to stand 
the greater cost of these rails. On that point the president of the company 
in his report regarding the plans of construction said that owing to the condi- 
tion of the money market the company was prevented ''from getting iron 
and engines in the East, or to purchase edge-rails for their road ; and that 
hence it has been decided that strap-rails (flat or plate rails) would have to 
be used." 

Engines and Rolling Stock. — The first engine in the service of the Galena 
road was called the "Pioneer," and in fact this was the only engine in use for 
many years. In the early days of railroading all engines had names given 
to them just as all vessels bear names by which they are distinguished. 
When in the course of time the railroads acquired possession of large num- 
bers of engines the names, as we find them in the older histories and the 
recollections of the pioneers, form an interesting and picturesque feature of 
early railroading. The old Pioneer lias since become a famous curiosity and 
was exhibited at the World's Fair in Chicago, in 1893, and at St. Louis in 
1904. This engine was built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Phila- 
delphia ; it had cylinders ten inches in diameter with an eighteen-inch stroke, 
it had but one pair of driving wheels of 4 ] L . feet diameter, and weighed ten 
tons. John Ebbert was appointed the engineer to take charge of and run 
this engine, and did so for many years. He had the satisfaction of exhibiting 
the engine at the Chicago World's Fair, and there told its story many thou- 
sand times. Mr. Ebbert died in 1899 in his eighty-sixth year. 

There is a letter in the possession of the Evanston Historical Society, writ- 
ten by A. Z. Blodgett who was an employee of the old Chicago and Milwau- 
kee railroad in which is given an account of the first trip made from Chicago 
to Milwaukee, May 24, 1855. The train consisted of five Hat cars tit ted up 
with seats around the sides to accommodate the invited guests numbering 
some two hundred persons. "We stopped the train about where Zion City 
is now," he writes, "and cut pine trees and put them in the stake sockets 
for shade." This outfit he rather humorously called an "excursion train." 

The Milwaukee Sentinel, in its issue of Friday, May 25, 1855, prints a 
notice of the arrival of the train from Chicago, as follows: "The train 



from Chicago brought up a good load. This is to be a popular and paying- 
route from the start. We are indebted to Conductor Hibbard for New York 
papers of Tuesday (22d), St. Louis papers of Wednesday (23d), and Chicago 
papers of yesterday morning, received at 2 o'clock yesterday afternoon." 

Operation of Trains. — The old wood-burning locomotives used on the rail- 
roads of the fifties were objects to arrest the attention of the beholder as they 
arrived at the station, or dashed by on their "path of steel," leading their 
trains of coaches. The smokestacks on those old-time engines were fear- 
some things to look upon while pouring forth volumes of smoke and sparks 
sent through them by the exhausts from the cylinders. The smokestacks 
were shaped like a balloon often having a breadth as great as the top of 
the boiler itself, and the puffing of the engine was such a terror to horses 
and cattle that a stampede usually took place in the adjoining fields and 
roads when the engine came in sight. The terror was greatly heightened by 
the clanging of the engine bell and the blast of the whistle. The passing 
or arrival of a train was an event calculated to try the nerves of any person 
but those long accustomed to its appearance. Up to the year 1856 wood 
alone was used for fuel, but in this year coal began to be used. However, 
the great smokstacks of the early type of engines continued in use for many 
years and it was only by degrees that coal displaced the use of wood as fuel. 
When coal burning engines came into general use, requiring smokestacks of 
reduced size, it seemed to those who had become familiar with the older type 
that there was a distinct loss of dignity in their appearance. The names 
bestowed upon the engines of the Chicago and North Western line after it 
came into existence were generally associated with some historic personage 
or event. For example, there were such names as Algonquin, Mohawk, Wood- 
bine, Tiger. Moose. Blackhawk, Shabbona, etc. 

It is related that the old Indian chief, Shabbona or Shaubena, after whom 
one of the engines was named, was often to be seen in his old age in the Chi- 
cago depot standing alongside of the engine while passengers were leaving 
the cars, and pointing to the engine in the view of the passing throng he 
would exclaim, "Shabbona, — me!" 

Growth of the Railroads. — In the early days of railroading it was not cus- 
tomary for the employes of the railroad to wear uniforms as is now the 
universal practice. Every conductor, brakeman, and others at the stations, 
wore such clothes as pleased him best. If we should suddenly return to the 
conditions in this respect then prevailing the sight of "plain clothes men" 
on duty would astonish the beholders. It is related that on the eastern roads, 
the New York ( lentral for example, it was usual to see the conductor in a 
silk hat and frock coat passing through the train taking fan's or collecting 
tickets and at the stations giving the signal to start by waving a red silk 
handkerchief. In fact the conductor of a train was the personage who in 
the eyes of the public represented the glory and power of the entire railway 
system, and to whom due homage was rendered by travelers and the resi- 
dents along the line. Trains were known to the regular patrons of the rail- 
road by the name of the conductor, and passengers exchanged greetings with 


him and his associates od the most intimate terms of respect and neighborly 


Last Days of the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad. — When the Galena 
and Chicago Union was chartered in 1836 the initial name of the corporation 
■was taken from the larger and at thai time the more important City of 
Galena. The charter provided for a railroad from Galena and Jo Daviess 
County to the town of Chicago, and fixed the capital at $100,000. It also 
provided that "if at any time, after the passage of this act. ii shall be deemed 
advisable by the directors of the said corporation to make and construct a 
good and permanent turnpike road upon any portion of the route of the rail- 
road, then the said directors are hereby authorized and empowered to con- 
struct a turnpike." 

At the time of the "Great Consolidation," June :>, 1864, the Galena and 
Chicago Union railroad and the Chicago and North Western railway became 
united in one great corporation, under the name of the latter, though the 
Galena road was the older of the two. Other railroad corporations had al- 
ready been merged with the North Western system, as well as in the Galena 
system. "The union of the Galena corporation with that of the North West- 
ern," says Dr. W. H. Stennett, in his historical account of this event, '"was 
much more than a seven days' wonder. It was talked about from the Atlantic 
to the slopes of the Missouri River, and opinions were as varied about it as 
were the people that gave them. It is believed that this was the first really 
important railroad consolidation that had taken place in the United States." 
Thus the extinction of the old Galena road became an accomplished fact. It 
had become a highly prosperous system and it was the most important unit 
in the consolidation. It was then "the leading railroad of the West." 

Railroad Connection with Chicago. — The Chicago and Milwaukee railroad 
and the Milwuakee and Chicago railroad had already consolidated the year 
before the great consolidation, under the name of the former. After .May 2. 
1866, the corporation was leased to the young giant among the railroads of 
the West, the Chicago & North Western Railway. 

The Michigan Southern & Northern Indiana Railroad completed its line 
to Chicago, February 20, 1852, and on May 21st in the same year the .Mich- 
igan Central did likewise. Thus on the opening of these lines, and that be- 
tween Chicago and Milwaukee, the latter city was placed in full communica- 
tion with rail routes to the East. 

Telegraphic Communication.— On the evening of January 15, 1848, the 
first telegraphic message between Chicago and Milwaukee was sent and an 
answer received, the message and reply being as follows: "J. J. Speed "s 
respects to the intelligent, liberal, hospitable people of .Milwaukee. Long may 
their noble city be as now, the pride of the lakes, and the home of enterprise, 
prosperity and happiness." The answer came immediately: "The people of 
Milwaukee thank Col. Speed for his friendly salutation and for the manner 
in which he sends it. Milwaukee tenders to Chicago the right hand of friend 
ship: once united may they never be divided." This, it will be observed, 
was seven years before the two cities had been connected by rail. 

It was usual in those days to se1 the poles supporting the wires along 


country roads, as it is at present in many cases, rather than along the right 
of way of railroad lines which indeed did not exist as yet. A country road 
passing a few miles west of the north shore from Chicago to Milwaukee is 
known to this day as the "old Telegraph Road," owing to this usage. 

Chicago & North Western Railway. — Mileage by States: December 31, 1920, 
Illinois, S24.53 miles ; Wisconsin, 2,160.12; Michigan, 510.90; Minnesota, 650.30; 
Iowa, 1,632.55; North Dakota, 14.28: South Dakota, 1,230.45; Nebraska, 
1.100.S0; Wyoming, 278.35; second track, 278.35— total, 8,402.28 miles. 

Capital Stock: Authorized $200,000,000 in $100 shares, of which $169,963,- 
596 was issued up to December 31, 1920, as follows: Preferred stock and scrip, 
$22,398,955; common stock and scrip, $147,499,641; special stock outstanding, 
$65,000 — total capital stock and scrip (outstanding, $167,617,249; owned by 
company, $2,346,347), $169,963,596. 

Officers: Marvin Hughitt, chairman of hoard ; William II. Finley, president, 
Chicago; Samuel A. Lynde, vice president and assistant secretary, New York; 
Marvin Hughitt, Jr., vice president in charge of operation; A. C. Johnson, vice 
president in charge of traffic; John D. Caldwell, secretary and assistant treas- 
urer, Chicago; Arthur S. Pierce, treasurer and assistant secretary, New York; 
James B. Sheean, general counsel; Lewis A. Robinson, comptroller; Charles D. 
Brandriff, general auditor; Frank Walters, general manager; Walter J. Towne, 
chief engineer; G. B. Vilas, general superintendent; Frank J. Berk, general 
purchasing agent, Chicago. 

Executive Committee: Marvin Hughitt, Chauncey M. Depew, Oliver Ames, 
Edmund D. Hulbert, D. P. Kimball, W. K. Vanderbilt, Chauncey Keep, W. H. 

Directors: C. M. Depew, S. A. Lynde, New York; D. P. Kimball, Gordon 
Abbott, Boston; Marshall Field, Chicago; Childs Frick, L. I. Roslyn, New 
York ; Marvin Hughitt, E. D. Hulbert, Chicago ; William K. Vanderbilt, New 
York; H. C. McEldowney, Pittsburgh; Oliver Ames, Boston; F. W. Vanderbilt, 
H. S. Vanderbilt, New York ; C. H. McCormick. Chauncey Keep, W. H. Finley, 
James B. Sheean, Chicago. Chicago office, 226 Jackson Boulevard; New York 
office, 111 Broadway, Manhattan. 

Vol. 1—2 2 


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A banking institution is primarily an integral and essential part of the eco- 
nomic life of the community. Its intimate relation to the industrial and com- 
mercial activities, its function as a conservator of integrity and stability, 
and its services to the general public, render it at once an indispensable factor 
in the material progress and welfare of a modern day. 

Its assets, therefore, embrace more than the cash and securities in its vaults; 
its function is greater than the service rendered to borrower and lender; its 
influence wider than an immediate touch with its clients. These assets include 
also the character and efficiency of its directorate and official heads. They 
must stand as guardians of the financial stability and material advancement of 
a whole community. 

The banker not only sets standards in business methods but he must up- 
hold the ideals of business honor and rectitude. He must not only protect 
the solvency of his own institution, foster promptness and the orderly relations 
between himself and his customers, but in his capacity of financial adviser 
must hold his customers to wise and safe policies. He must, when the occasion 
arises, stand against the speculative tendencies of his client, protest against 
enterprise born of unwarranted confidence, and counsel a course of action 
that shall ensure security as well as steadiness of purpose in the path of 
development and growth. He must serve as a barrier against ruin as well as 
a guide to success. 

The community may be likened to the family. What makes for the wel- 
fare of the smaller unit applies to the larger. The necessities of life precede 
comforts and pleasures. The farm must be productive, the factory must be 
busy, the mine must yield its treasures. Trade and transportation must be 
moving. Production and the exchange of products must continue. 

The collective community like the individual family must be afforded a 
livelihood. There must be wages and profit. Food, housing and clothing are 
primary; comforts and pleasures secondary. Education and morality must 
be fostered simultaneously with material advancement. One is dependent 
upon the other. The increment of profit and wage must be garnered. It forms 
the capital which must give vitality and zest to labor, to constructive enter- 
prise, to commerce and trade. 

What may concern the material welfare and progress of the community 
as a whole must necessarily concern the bank. The interests of the community 
and the bank are mutual and reciprocal. It follows then that the banker 
must at all times manifest a lively and active interest in the movements 
making for community advancement. Wherever he can, by his presence, his 



counsel, bis assistance, promote the material and moral progress <>t' bis com- 
munity, he should do so. 

Early Banking Days. — The Territory of Wisconsin was established by a<-t 
nf Congress, April 20, 1836, and at the firsl session of the new Legislature 
three banks were incorporated, as follows: the Miners' Hank of Dubuque 
i then under Wisconsin for governmental purposes), the Hank of Mineral 
Point, and the Hank of .Milwaukee. The charters of the three hanks were alike 
but in this sketch the latter will be noticed especially. 

At that time .Milwaukee was a little more than an Indian trading posl and 
local hanking facilities did not exist. The capital stock of the hank of Mil- 
waukee was to be $200,000 in shares of $100 each. The commissioners named 
to take subscriptions to the stock were as follows: Rufus Parks, Horace ( !hase, 

James Sanderson, Giles S. Brisbin, Sylvester W. Dunbar. G 'ge Bowman, 

Jesse Rhodes, Cyrus Hawley, and Solomon Juneau. These men were to be 
the first directors until a regular meeting of the stockholders should elect a 
board of directors (limited to seven) to manage its affairs. 

The first meeting of the commissioners was held at the office of Rufus 
Parks. January 5, 1837, and S. W. Dunbar was elected president. The sub- 
scriptions were slow in coming in and in the course of the following year but 
sixteen shares had been subscribed for, with payments of $10 made on each 
share. By the end of the year the entire remainder of the unsold shares i l.itM 
were taken by Francis K. O'Farrell, who had been appointed fiscal agent. 
However, dissatisfaction arose because O'Farrell made no other payment than 
appeared in a bookkeeping entry. He was authorized to procure necessary 
blank books, stationery, an iron safe, etc. Mr. Juneau made the first deposit 
and his example was followed by others. 

O'Farrell did not long retain the confidence of the board. At a meeting 
held in February, 1838, he was required to lay before the board all books. 
papers and funds belonging to the bank which he failed to do. The public 
was warned not to pay him for stock or notes discounted. Thereupon O'Far- 
rell retired and his purchase of stock was declared forfeited. 

In 1839 the charter of the bank was repealed by the Legislature and what 
residuary value remained was sold to Joseph ami Lyndsey Ward and Alexan- 
der Mitchell for a trifling sum. "Little mischief was done by the bank." says 
the writer of an article under this head in "The History of Milwaukee." pub- 
lished by the Western Historical Company, in 1881, "as it never got enough 
together to make a fair start. The times were unpropitious, the panic of l s '17 
left no money for the speculative purposes of wildcat banking. The history 
of this bank, however, shows what might have been done had times been flush, 
and what sort of machinery it was through which the 'red dog' banking of 
early 1 imes was done. 

Paper Money Issues.- A great deal of the paper money of the '30s, '40s 

and 'oils was in the for f bills issued bj banks which in a large number of 

eases failed and left their obligations nine, lee 1. This kind of currency 

acquired the epithet "wildcat." a term applied to all the issues of this char 
acter. It was said that John Wentworth, publisher of a paper in Chicago, firsl 
applied the name to the issues of the state banks, and in his paper he printed 


a picture of the ferocious animal. Wentworth, in season and out, denounced 
the evil system of irresponsible banking prevailing in those times. 

The bills of the wildcat banks were usually engraved in an inferior style 
and were often counterfeited. Judge Henry W. Blodgett of Waukegan is 
quoted as remarking that it was not difficult to detect the counterfeit bills 
"because they were so much better engraved than the genuine." On one 
occasion a certain storekeeper, having some wildcat money offered him in pay- 
ment of a bill of goods, exclaimed, "Oh, see here, can't you give me something 
else? If you've got any good eastern counterfeits, I'd rather have them." 

The bills of the wildcat banks were generally at a discount among eastern 
banks at from ten to twenty per cent. But little coin was in circulation; 
occasionally would be seen silver pieces from the United States or Mexican 
mints, or a little gold and silver brought by immigrants from foreign coun- 
tries. Very little American gold was in use. What gold coins there were con- 
sisted of English sovereigns and half-sovereigns and the French "Louis d'or." 
The silver money was principally made up of Mexican coins which became 
much worn in use. 

"Thompson's Bank Note Reporter" was the authority as to the value and 
genuineness of all money in circulation, whether of metal or paper. Prior 
to 1835 practically the only subsidiary coinage in use was the silver coins 
just referred to supplemented by traders' scrip which was good for mer- 
chandise. The towns issued scrip good for taxes, merchants issued scrip 
good for the kind of goods in which they dealt. Of all this paper some was 
good and the rest ranged downwards in all degrees of badness to utter worth- 

It was a saying in the "wildcat" times of hanking, when every kind of 
financial heresy was rampant in the land, that "illegal hanking honestly con- 
ducted was better than legal banking dishonestly conducted." Throughout 
the middle decades of the last century the business of the country was con- 
tinually menaced by the widespread practice of "wildcat hanking." The 
idea of regulating the hanking business by law was a favorite one with legis- 
lators, and there were laws in every state, all ;it variance with each other 
and all honestly intended to regulate the business of banking. The situation, 
however, was not much helped by these attempts to place a curb upon specu- 
lative individuals who found in the conduct of banks a profitable channel for 
their operations. 

This state of things continued until the period of the Civil war, when the 
National Banking Act was substituted for the discordant state laws, and 
since that time the entire business of banking has been greatly improved, 
and the tendency is constantly towards a higher standard of safety in ac- 
cordance with the practice of sound principles of finance. 

About this time the Michigan legislators conceived a "brilliant idea" which 
it was believed would remedy the evils caused by the specie and currency 
famine; and they passed what was known as the "Real Estate Banking Law." 
Real estate, it was contended, was plentiful, and what could be better than 
land on which to base an issue of currency? Michigan bankers were author- 
ized to make issues based on land mortgages, and the country soon became 


flooded with this new variety of wildcal currency. The bubble soon burst, 
however, and the people looked to other schemes of financial relief which 
were promptly supplied. "Some of the speculators of Illinois," said John 
Wentworth, "thought they would try the Michigan system, with state bonds 
substituted for lands. Money was borrowed and state bonds purchased. The 
most inaccessible places in our state were sought out for the location of banks 
and bills were extensively issued. The consequences of this system were 
quite as disastrous as those of the real estate system of Michigan. 

The Panic of 1837. — We are now approaching the period of the severest 
panic ever experienced in this country, that of the year 1837. In tracing the 
causes of this famous panic we must momentarily take a wider view of con- 
ditions as they existed in the years preceding. 

Andrew Jackson occupied the presidential chair from 1829 to 1837, and 
the country generally was in a highly prosperous condition. In 1836 the 
United States was out of debt and had a surplus of nearly forty millions of 
dollars, largely derived from the sales of public lands. These sales had been 
increasing at a tremendous rate for some years previously, and as payments 
were accepted by the Government in the currency of the time it began to be 
feared that the banks, which were the sources of issue of the paper money, 
would not be able to redeem their bills. The treasury surplus bad been largely 
deposited with the banks throughout the country, and the banks bad soon conn- 
to regard these deposits as sufficiently permanent to make use of the funds 
in an unwise expansion of loans. 

About this time a proposal was made in Congress to distribute the treasury 
surplus as "loans'" among the states, and accordingly a bill was passed on 
June 23, 1836, to that effect. The spirit of speculation by this time had almost 
reached its climax, and President Jackson, "in his own inconsiderate and 
thoroughgoing manner," (as Yon Hoist expresses it), endeavored to check 
the speculative rage. On his own responsibility President Jackson issued his 
famous "Specie Circular," under date of July 11, 1836, in which he forbade 
the acceptance by the agents of the United States of anything but gold and 
silver in payment for public lands. After this circular had been issued it 
was but a question of time when the bubble would burst. "It was barely 
deferred," says Larned, "till Jackson went out of office, in the spring of 

The effects of the panic after the deluge broke were appalling. The 
banks began to suspend payments of their obligations in specie, failures 
among mercantile houses rapidly followed and the distress became wide- 
spread. Trade relations were almost suspended, bankruptcies came in 
avalanches, and factories were closed throwing thousands out of employment. 
Almost the entire business community was engulfed by the financial storm. 
The wild speculative madness of the previous years now began to abate leav- 
ing a waste of wreckage Oil every hand. 

Writing of conditions throughout the country the German, Professor Her- 
mann vim Hoist, in his valuable work. "Constitutional History of the United 
States." commented thus: "The farmer, the manufacturer and in. •reliant, 
instead of paying their debts, bought lands. The country merchant bought 


lands and paid the city merchant, as well for his old debts as for his new 
purchases in this new currency, upon the strength of valuation which de- 
ceived himself as well as his creditors." A writer in the North American 
Review gives the following description: "All property seemed for a while to 
have lost its value. In some of the new states it was difficult even for the 
wealthy to obtain money for the daily uses of life. We have heard of farm- 
ers, owning large and well stocked farms, who could hardly get money enough 
to pay the postage on a letter. They had scarcely any currency, and most of 
that which they had was bad. In the commercial states, matters were but 
little better. Failures were almost innumerable. Trade had fallen off, and, 
when prosecuted, was hazardous." 

Recovery from the Panic. — "The outlook at the opening of navigation in 
the spring of 1838 was much brighter than in 1837," writes J. S. Buck in his 
"Pioneer History of Milwaukee." "The great financial cloud which had 
covered the country was broken, and the sun of prosperity began to shim' 
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. An unusual cheerfulness and vivacity of spirit was exhibited 
throughout the whole community. Hope in the ultimate success 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. 

"Every one was at work; new buildings were commenced in all the differ- 
ent 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 as the rose, all of which helped to make the country self-sustaining. 
Roads were opened south and west, new locations for town sites were selected, 
to the building up of which the owners put forth all their energies, each 
claiming for his particular location advantages superior to any possessed by 
the others, and all seemed bright and fair." 

Alexander Mitchell. — This gentleman, whose success in business has made 
the city famous, came to Milwaukee from Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1839, as 
secretary for the Wisconsin Marine and Fire Insurance Company's Bank, 
George Smith, president; and at once commenced to lay the foundation for a 
life business, the growth of which has been wonderful, says J. S. Buck in 
his "Pioneer History of Milwaukee." Mr. Mitchell, who for executive and 
financial ability and business integrity, has had no superior west of New 
York if he has had there, at once took the lead of the banking business in 
the West, supplying the whole country with a currency equal to gold. And 
though often subjected to "runs," his bank never failed to pay or redeem its 
bills, throughout all the commercial panics under which our country has 
suffered for the last thirty years. 

"This famous bank," continues Mr. Buck, "was first opened in a small 
frame building standing upon Broadway, between Wisconsin and Mason 
streets, west side, about the center of the block, in May of that year, Mi-. 
Mitchell giving his personal attention to the business, acting not only as its 
secretary, but as cashier and teller also. Here he remained until the spring 
of 1840, when he was joined by Mr. David Ferguson, who became his able 


cashier, and the office was removed to the north side of Wisconsin Street, near 
the alley, in a small one-story frame house built by Mr. Juneau. Here il re- 
mained until the spring of 1842, when his increasing business necessitated a 
second removal, which was made to the old Lowry mansion, northwesl corner 
of Broadway and Wisconsin Streel where the [nsurance Building mm stands. 
Here a new and commodious office was fitted up where be remained until 
L846, when the still increasing business necessitated a third removal to the 
lot upon the southeast corner of Eas1 Water and Michigan streets. Upon this 
site a suitable building was erected, into which the office was removed. At 
or about this time Mr. Smith withdrew his interest, Mr. Mitchell becoming 
sole proprietor. Here the business was conducted until August. 1853, when 
the whole square was burnt. So rapid was this fire that .Mi-. Mitchell's 
clerks had barely time to place the money and effects of the bank in its 
securely built vaults, before the flames reached the building. This tire was 
scarcely extinguished before the ground was alive with men clearing away 
the debris, such was the energy of Mr. Mitchell; and. Phoenix-like, a new- 
building quickly appeared, of vastly increased dimensions, in which the busi- 
ness of this pioneer bank was thenceforth conducted until it was pulled down 
to make room for a new and costly structure. 

"Such, in brief, is the history of this famous bank and banker: but it is 
not as a banker alone that Mr. Mitchell has been prominent, lie was also 
one of the most successful railroad presidents in the country, never failing to 
accomplish whatever he undertook, as the success of the Chicago, Milwaukee 
& St. Paul Railroad fully demonstrated, it having become under his manage- 
ment one of the most powerful corporations in the country, extending its 
long arms into Iowa, Minnesota, and Illinois, clear through to the Pacific 

"Mr. Mitchell twice represented his district in Congress, with much 
ability; his knowledge of and experience in money matters being of greal 
value in settling financial issues of the day. He was also a prominent member 
of the 'Old Settler's Club,' taking a deep interest in its affairs, and felt a just 
pride in belonging to that early band of old settlers who made the first marks, 
and performed pioneer work in this Queen City of the Lakes. 

"In person Mr. Mitchell was of medium height, stoutly built, had a keen, 
expressive eye, a voice (dear and musical; witli the Scotch accenl strong, very 
reticent with strangers, hail few intimate friends, seeing at a glance all thai 

was being enacted around him. decided quickly, read a man like a 1 k. and 

was seldom or never deceived." 

Wisconsin Marine and Fire Insurance Company. — "It was near the firsl 
summer days of 1839 thai Alexander .Mitchell first saw Milwaukee," said Dr. 
.lames I). Butler at the annual meeting of the Wisconsin State Historical 
Society, held January 5, 1888, a condensed account of which is printed in the 
Collections of the Society, Volume XI, page 4".7 : ami from which the follow- 
ing is substantially quoted. 

He came thither to serve as secretary of an insurance company, so called. 
The first proof discoverable of his presence in that village of perhaps twelve 
hundred people, and which Contained no frame house more than five years 


old, is a ten-line advertisement in the Advertiser of June 15th. In this he 
notifies the insurance stockholders that a payment of $10 on each of their 
shares must be made on the first of August, at the company's office in Mil- 

On the 13th of August the Sentinel printed the following notice: ••Insur- 
ance : The Wisconsin Marine and Fire Insurance Company have commenced 
business in Milwaukee, and are ready to enter into contracts of insurance at 
low rates of premium. The Company will also receive money on deposit, and 
transact other moneyed operations in which by their charter they are allowed 
to engage." 

Such, with an office outfit costing $280, was the birth of an institution 
that for more than a decade was the only bank in Wisconsin, which for a 
generation held in its vaults a third of the Milwaukee deposits, and which 
gave to Alexander Mitchell a colossal fortune as well as more than national 
fame as a financier. Accordingly, the rise and progress of this establishment 
will reveal to us where lay the strength of the financier whose career is here 

Fundamental Principles Adopted. — The Wisconsin Marine and Fire Insur- 
ance Company was in fact a bank, with all which that name implies, yet it 
shunned the name of "bank." It was a concern ingeniously devised by 
George Smith, a Scotch farmer who had reached Chicago in 1834, with the 
intention of purchasing farm lands. Friends of his in the banking business 
in the old country soon joined him, and turned his mind towards banking. 
But all parties in Illinois were crying, "Down with the banks!" The name 
"bank" was everywhere spoken against in those times of "wildcat" hank- 
ing, and a banker was as hateful as a mad dog. Many of the settlers had 
been driven AVest by the collapse of eastern banks, and all of them had in 
their pockets "rag money" of western institutions which was not worth the 
paper it was printed on. 

The necessity of the people for a circulating medium was Smith's oppor- 
tunity. An insurance charter granted him in Illinois, while denying banking 
privileges in bulk, conferred some of them in detail. He procured certificates 
of deposit properly engraved with promise of payment on demand. These 
papers he put forth as banks do their notes, and never failed to redeem his 
issues the moment they were presented for payment. 

George Smith's Removal to Milwaukee. — His success in Illinois turned 
Smith's eyes toward new-born Wisconsin. In that territory the Legislature 
met at Madison for the first time, in December, 1838. In the legislative coun- 
cil there was then Daniel Wells, a Milwaukee friend of Smith. To him Smith 
betook himself. "I know," he said, "the name of bank is as hateful in your 
region as that of a king in a republic. The name is a bugbear they detest, 
but the thing is a boon they need and will welcome. I will sugar the pill and 
it will prove sweet and of sovereign virtue to your body politic. Get me then 
a charter with franchises as like a bank as you ran, but call it what you will." 
Wells drew up a bill modeled, as he informed the council, on one that hail been 
enacted in New York for forming a corporation in Utica. The bill became 
a law. 

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The act allowed the company, besides insuring on ship and shore", to re- 
ceive money on deposit, give certificates, loan on the same terms as indiv duals, 
and employ its surplus capital in the purchase of stock or in other moneyed 
operations, "provided nothing- herein contained shall give banking privileges." 
Smith's charter was approved by the governor on the last of February, 1839. 
Early in May, subscriptions to its stock were invited in Milwaukee, and $101,- 
300 was at once subscribed. It was voted that the salary of the secretary of 
the new-born nondescript should be $1,10(1. To fill the secretaryship Smith 
had a Scot ready in Chicago whom he had just imported, namely, Alexander 

Early Life of Alexander Mitchell.— This young Scotchman was born near 
Aberdeen in Scotland in 1817. He was the son of a farmer and never attended 
any school except that of his native parish. Some years later he was employed 
in a bank at Peterhead where he became familiar with banking practice. In 
these years of juvenile training some signs of his characteristics must have 
been manifest, for he had scarcely reached his majority when on the recom- 
mendation of a law firm of Aberdeen he was invited to America by George 
Smith, with the promise of a position there. 

Thus in 1839, this young Scotchman, nut yet twenty-two, and 1 hanks to 
ruddy cheeks and a mild blue eye looking still younger, appeared to a Milwau- 
keeans too young and inexperienced to be trusted with the management of a 
bank; but Smith had measured his man more justly. From first to last Smith 
left everything in the hands of his young lieutenant and lie quickly proved his 
worth and ability. "This Caledonian stripling, whose nationality was be- 
trayed in every word of his tongue," said Doctor Butler in his address, "was 
as reticent and taciturn as if he wished to hide his origin. His spruce but not 
costly attire, and particularly a very long-tailed dress-coat and pantaloons 
of Scotch plaid, were a theme of sportive remark. He lodged in his office, 
swept it himself, and was his own factotum. He went little into society and 
was seldom seen abroad." 

Among his callers he was always found at his post, and "what is more," 
continues Doctor Butler, "with insight into the standing of every man as 
well as the value of all property, no less than if he had been to the manner 
born. One secret of his apparent •omniscience' was the fact that he boarded 
at the house of Smith's friend Wells, whose knowledge extended over the 
whole region and back to its settlement, and whose judgment equaled his 

To save appearances the Smith Insurance Company issued a few policies 
against accidents by fire and flood, but its principal dealings were of another 
nature. Multitudes of new arrivals in the country were then seeking farms 
west of Lake Michigan. Homesteads ought to have been free to such a 
yeomanry. Payment was required by the Government for every acre, and 
that in advance, for the homestead laws were not enacted until 1862. Such 
payments could not be made by settlers, but if they were once masters of 
their land their labor would soon double its value. In a biography of Galusha 
A. Grow, speaker of the House of Representatives in Lincoln's time, "true 
statesman, patriot in so large a sense that today we are reaping a harvest 


which tie helped to sow and largely cultivated.'" the writer says thai "he did 
historical work which should make him proportionately honored." 

The Homestead Laws of 1862. — To the Eoresighl and persistence of Grow 
we owe, in great part, "the* settlement of the Par West with genuine homes, 
the peopling of vast tracts with earnest homesteaders who eould give that 

invaluable element, personal interest, to the task of breaking open thi i 

tinent, and the retention to such people of a considerable part of the domain 
which, in 1850, was in so large a measure not only new possession lmt entirely 
unassimilated, " says his biographer. 

Much of the business of Mitchell's hank soon took the form of assistance 
extended to these prospective homeseekers. When the lands were selected 
by the incoming settler. Mitchell offered to purchase the land from the i»n 
ernment and give him a contract to deed the title at the end of "our years at 
a moderate advance on the cost. Owing to this liberal arrangement on the 
pari of the bank hundreds were enabled to make a start in lite which would 
otherwise have been impossible. "Their debt to him in this regard," says 
Doctor Butler, "is still held in grateful remembrance at many a farmer's 

Another branch of the Mitchell business which soon became gigantic was 
issuing certificates of deposit." About six months after he opened his office 
that is, in March, 1840, the amount in circulation was less than $5,000," says 
Doctor Butler in his address. "But within ten years it had run up to a full 
million, and for years after it still grew. These certificates had the similitude 
of bank notes and bore on the left an Indian, and on the right a goddess 
pointing to a shield. They promised payment mi demand, and they never 
failed to be paid on presentation." 

Many of the competing banks which issued "promises to pay" claimed 
to he based on solid foundations because required by law to keep a certain 
large percentage of specie on hand for redemption purposes and were Ere 
quently inspected. The specie so held often did duty in other banks than the 
one to which it belonged. The reserve of one bank was so manipulated that 
it often performed a similar function in ten banks. The inspector would see 
it one day in "Bank A" but it would be spirited away to "Bank B" before 
the bank official could arrive there: and so through all the bank alphabet 
it still outstripped the inspector. 

Those who took the first Mitchell certificates made many trials to gel 
Specie for paper. As early as 1841, some id' the paper money issued by tie- 
bank turned up in Laporte, lud., where no convertible paper was then in 
circulation. A hundred dollars worth of these issues were gathered up by 
incredulous holders and a messenger dispatched to Smith's Chicago redemp- 
tion office. The prompt return of the messenger with the specie, dollar "or 
dollar, seemed a "miracle" to the holders which vastly increased the faith 
in Milwaukee paper. Thus confidence was established anil this paper was 
more and more sought for. 

Growth of the Banking Business. -Between 1840 and 1850 the population 
of Wisconsin increased from 31,000 to 300,000. It was admitted as a slate into 
the Union May I'll, 1848, and most of this marvelous increase took pi. while 


it was yet in its territorial condition. An article in the Encyclopaedia Britan- 
nica, on this point, says: "At the census of 18-40, with the exception of a 
few thousand French-Canadians, the population was made up of American- 
born pioneers from the Eastern states, and in the southern portion of the terri- 
tory of a sprinkling of men from Kentucky, Virginia and farther south. Be- 
fore the next census was taken the revolutionary movement of 1848 in Ger- 
many, led to the emigration of thousands from that country to Wisconsin, and 
there was an increase of nearly 900 per cent in the population from 1S40 to 
1850. * * * The German element predominates markedly in Milwaukee." 

Thus while in proportion to population the need of banking facilities in 1841 
was double what it had been in the year before, each of the nine years fol- 
lowing added an equal increment to that need. But the Mitchell business grew 
faster. The hour had come and also the man. He saw his opportunity and 
made the most of it. His deposits which in 1840 were but $6,000, within a 
dozen years had been augmented to a million and a half. Within fourteen 
years the institution in which he as clerk had been paid less than a hundred 
dollars a month was all his own. Smith was bought out, all the shares and 
prestige of the establishment, all had become Mitchell's. 

Vicissitudes of a Banker's Life. — "Let it not be supposed," says the writer 
of the article in the Wisconsin Historical Society's Collection, "that our 
banker, though 'monarch of all he surveyed,' had been walking a primrose 
path. There were many so-called 'runs' which rushed upon him like torrents 
or cataracts. Panics, fomented by distant rivals or neighbors who hoped to 
rise by his ruin, would seize depositors. Then steamers would suddenly land 
crowds, all calling for coin. Still larger swarms from the country would 
throng in. In 1849, Chicago and Detroit combined to crush the only for- 
midable opposition their bankers encountered in the Northwest. 

"Whatever Mitchell certificates the conspirators could accumulate were 
concentrated for payment in Milwaukee on the day after Thanksgiving of 
that year, simultaneously with the announcement that Smith's bank, the 
Chicago fountain of all the Mitchell monetary streams, had shut up. The 
report appalled Wisconsin depositors like thunder from a clear sky. But 
Mitchell denied its truth, hurried swift riders to Chicago, so that Smith 
expressed specie by both land and lake, while Mitchell paid up all comers I ill 
banking hours were over, and then had his cashier, David Ferguson, keep on 
paying till bed-time. 

"Even at this crisis money came in as well as went out. People laughed 
at their own fright when they learned that Smith's bank had been (dosed on 
no week day but Thanksgiving. The raid blew over leaving nine-tenths of 
the certificates outstanding. Nothing heightened his prestige more than 
these cyclones, which proved him to be invincible." 

Milwaukee Banks. — Although the First Wisconsin National Bank is now 
only a little more than two years old, in tracing its history we must go back 
to the Farmers' and Millers' Bank, which was chartered in 1853 with a capital 
of $50,000. E. D. Holton was the president and II. II. Camp was the cashier. 

In 1863 when the National Bank Law went into effect, the First National 
Hank was formed. It was a reorganization of Die Farmers' and Millers' Bank. 



On April 4, 1870, the Home Savings Bank was opened for business. This 
remained in existence for only a few months, for on October 27, 1870, it 
merged with the private banking firm of Moritz von Baumbach & Company, 
thus forming the German Exchange Bank. In August, 1879, the German 
Exchange Bank merged with the Bank of Commerce which had been organized 
in June, 1870. The new bank took the name of Merchants' Exchange Bank. 
This bank was absorbed by the First National on January 1, 1894. In the 
'60s, the Houghton Brothers and Samuel McCord organized the private bank 
of Houghton, McCord & Company. In 1875 the name was changed to Houghton 
Brothers & Company, while in 1893 the Houghton Bank was reorganized as 
the Central National, with George G. Houghton as president and Herman F. 
Wolf as cashier. 

The Central National was consolidated with the Wisconsin National in 
1898. The latter had been organized with $1,000,000 capital in 1892. Fred- 
erick Pabst was the first president. In 1908 when L. J. Petit was president, 
the capital was doubled. Mr. Petit remained as president until July, 1919, 
when the Wisconsin National merged with the First National. Fred Vogel, 
Jr., the president of the First National, resigned at the time of the merger. 
Oliver C. Fuller, the president of the Wisconsin Trust Company, was chosen 
president of the First Wisconsin National Bank. Mr. Fuller heads the First 
Wisconsin National Bank, First Wisconsin Trust Company and First Wiscon- 
sin Company, the three financial institutions which comprise the First Wiscon- 
sin group. The vice presidents of the bank are Walter Kasten, II. O. Seymour, 
Edgar J. Hughes, Herman F. Wolf, Robert W. Baird, Henry Kloes, J. M. 
Hays and August W. Bogk. 

The First Wisconsin National Bank occupies the spot on which Milwau- 
kee's first white boy was born in 1836. On the same block but on the site of 
the Trust Company Building, there is a tablet erected to Solomon Juneau, who 
began trading with the Indians here in the early days. 

The oldest bank in Wisconsin is that of Marshall & Ilsley. It began in 
1847, when Samuel Marshall opened a brokerage business here. In 1849 he 
went into the banking business with Charles F. Ilsley. This bank was incor- 
ported and has been in existence ever since. John H. Puelicher is the pres- 

The Second Ward Bank was established in 1855 with a capital of $25,000. 
This became the Second Ward Savings Bank in 1865. It is frequently re- 
ferred to as the Uihlein Bank because it is owned largely by the Uihlein 

Following the passage of the State Banking Law in 1853 a good many 
institutions were organized in Milwaukee. The Bank of Milwaukee which 
later was made the National Exchange Bank was established in 1855. J. W. P. 
Lombard is the president and William M. Post the cashier. The Marine Na- 
tional Bank which is still in existence was established in 1856, with a capital 
of $50,000. Washington Becker is the president. 

The Plankington Bank, which was organized in 1877, failed during the 
panic of 1893. 

The Marshall & Ilsley Bank is the oldest bank in continuous existence in 


the Northwest. Seventy-five years ago, on April 21, 1847, Samuel Marshall 
opened a banking office in a small store on Eas1 Water Streel under the name 
of Samuel .Marshall & Company. Seventy-five years a long time when 
measured by the life of a business fir r of an individual a short time when 

measured by the extent of civilization. How few there are lel't to tell of. 
those days when Milwaukee was an infant city of one year, when Wisconsin 
was still a territory. Those were days of young men ami of small beginnings. 
Mr. Marshal] was twenty-seven years old, a Quaker of sound judgment and 
high principles, a man of integrity. 

The first advertisement of his firm as it appeared in the Daily Sentinel and 
Gazette, May 3, 1S47, is illustrative of the type of business Air. Marshall ami 
.Mr. W. J. Bell, his partner at that time, were carrying on: 

Exchange Brokers. Milwaukee, Wis. 
Land Office .Money. Uncurrent Hank Notes, ami 
Certificates of Deposits, bought and sold ou liberal 
terms. Sight Exchange on New York for sale in 
sums tn suit purchasers. Collections on New York, 
Buffalo, Cleveland and Detroit, made on favorable 
terms. Deposit accounts kept. Office, 196 E. 
Water Street. 

In 1S4D, Charles P. Ilsley became associated with Mr. Marshall and shortly 
afterwards, the firm name was changed to Marshall & Ilsley. Five years later, 
in 1854, the capital of Marshal] & Ilsley had grown to $25,0 mi. The bank had 
been prospering along with the city which now contained 25,000 inhabitants. 
Not only was Milwaukee growing rapidly, but people were pouring into the 
whole state and a pressing need for banking facilities became widespread. 
One of the first duties of the newly formed legislature, therefore, was to 
frame a general banking law. Doubtless, not many persons realize that in 
those days the referendum was already an integral pari of democratic gov- 
ernment, for the people had incorporated in their state constitutions a clause 
which provided that no banking act could become a law until it had first been 
passed by the people themselves. A referendum on the question, "Bank or 
no Rank" was held in 18.11. when a large majority voted for hanks, and in 
1852, after the Legislature adopted a carefully drawn banking act. it also had 
to be submitted to the people before it could become a law. The law under 
which all the banks of Wisconsin, except the national banks, are doing busi- 
ness today is based on that act, which may be called "essentially, preeminently, 
and peculiarly a people's law." 

In 1888 the bank was incorporated under the Wisconsin state Banking Law 
as Marshall & Ilsley Bank with a capital of $200,000. This was increased in 

1895 to $300, , in 1905 n. $£ ,000, ami in HUT to $1,000,000. The increase 

in deposits for the last thirty years shows that the business of the bank has 
steadily grown. Tim deposits were: 

1890 $2,545,516.00 

1900 3,923,366.77 


1010 8,617,488.47 

1920 22,862,472.5S 

In 1901, Mr. Marshall retired as president to be succeeded by Mr. Ilsley who 
held this office until his death in 1904. Succeeding presidents have been 
Gustav Reuss, 1904-1908; James K. Ilsley, 1908-1915; John Campbell, 1915- 
1920; John H. Puelicher, 1920- 

The rapid growth of the bank from its inception, necessitated continual 
moving into larger quarters. The various offices, each considerably larger 
than the one before, have been located on East Water Street and on Broad- 
way. In 1906, a branch bank was erected to care for the south side business. 
The present building of the bank was completed in 1913. It was designed not 
only to furnish a fitting and convenient home for the bank, but by its strength, 
dignity and architectural beauty, to be a fitting monument to its founders, 
Samuel Marshall and Charles F. Ilsley. 

The bank is carrying out the ideals of its founders. Its aim is to serve well 
the community with which it has grown. Each succeeding group of officers 
has recognized that solidity and substantiality combined with character and 
integrity are the elements which make for the longest life and the greatest 
usefulness in business ; and each group has steadfastly held to these basic 
considerations in planning for the growth and development of the business. 
The bank has grown as the community has grown — solidly and substantially 
— and today stands as an evidence of the spirit of those who gave and those 
who are giving their lives to a community service of high character. 

The Marine National Bank of Milwaukee dates its ancestry back to May 
7, 1839. when the Wisconsin Marine and Fire Insurance Company was organ- 
ized by George Smith and Alexander Mitchell. 

That company was empowered by its charter to receive deposits, issue 
certificates, lend money and do an insurance business. George Smith was 
president and Alexander Mitchell, secretary. Their certificates of deposit 
resembled bank notes and circulated throughout the country the same as 
currency, and while notes issued by other institutions frequently depreciated 
in value or became utterly worthless, those of the Wisconsin Marine and Fire 
Insurance Company were always redeemed on demand in gold coin. The 
total amount outstanding in 1840 was about $42,000 which increased gradu- 
ally until in 1852 there was outstanding $1,470,235. 

It is a well known fact, and within the recollection of pioneer citizens 
still living, that the "Mitchell Bank" currency, as it was known, enjoyed 
the prestige throughout the entire Northwest of being the only currency in 
circulation during the period named that was considered safe to accept and 
hold over night without fear of depreciation. 

In 1853 a charter was taken out by Mr. Mitchell under the banking laws 
of Wisconsin and the word "Bank" was added to the name. Again in 1880 the 
charter was renewed for twenty years or until 1900. 

Mr. Mitchell died in 1886 and being the sole owner of the bank bequeathed 
the capital stock in equal shares to his son John L. Mitchell, David Ferguson, 
and John Johnston, who became officers of the bank, remaining such until 

Vol. 1—2 3 


At the time of Mr. Mitchell's death the capital of the hank was $100,000. 
the surplus $2,158,000, which was a fund really representing a sum due to 
Mr. Mitchell carried outside of the deposits, while the general deposits 

amounted to $6,000,000. * 

In 1887 the capital stock was increased to $500,000, and the deposits and 
general business of the hank grew steadily until the panic id' 1893 fell mi tin 1 
country, when the bank was found to have a substantial amount of slow and 
uncollectible loans, making it necessary to suspend payment and have a 
receiver appointed. Mr. Washington Becker was made receiver and within six 
months, after overcoming what appeared almost insurmountable obstacles, 
fresh capital of $500,000 was raised and the bank resumed with Mr. Becker as 
president, John L. Mitchell, vice president, and John Johnston, cashier. Win n 
the charter expired in 1900 the deposits, which aggregated $7,870,000 at the 
time of the suspension, had been fully liquidated with interest. 

In July, 1900, The Marine National Bank of Milwaukee was organized 
under the national laws with a capital of $300,000 and began business, assum- 
ing the deposit liabilities of the old hank. 

Washington Becker became president, John L. Mitchell and John Johnston, 
vice presidents, and Arthur II. Lindsay, cashier. The deposits w T ere then 
$1,693,000. In 1906 the capital was increased to $500,000 which remained 
unchanged December 31, 1921. The earned surplus on that date amounted to 
$1,000,000, while the deposits were $8,756,000. 

The officers are: Washington Becker, president; Arthur II. Lindsay, vice 
president; Edward II. Williams, cashier; George W. Moore, assistant cashier; 
George D. Prentice, assistant cashier; Thomas J. Durnin, secretary. 

Directors: Washington Becker, president; Thomas Daly, vice president 
Old Commercial National Bank, Oshkosh, Wis.; Francis E. Dewey, president 
Edward Dewey Company; Stephen II. Hoff, president Haekett. Hoff <x Thier- 
mann, Inc.; Alfred F. James, president Northwestern National Insurance 
Company; Arthur II. Lindsay, vice president; Edmond J. Lindsay, president 
Lindsay Brothers, Inc.; Samuel McCord, capitalist; Herbert A. Viets, presi- 
dent Fuller-Warren Company. 

National Exchange Bank. — January 2, 1922, marks the sixty-seventh anni- 
versary of the founding of the National Exchange Bank of Milwaukee. 

Organized in December, 1854, as the Bank of Milwaukee, by C. D. Nash. 
it began business the following month and continued until March, 186"), when 
it became the National Exchange Bank. During these sixty-live years, the 
bank has had but three presidents. Mr. Nash served until 1892 when he was 
succeeded by Charles Ray who retired in 1900. Mr. Hay's place was taken by 
J. W. P. Lombard, now the active head of the institution. 

A glance at the list of officers and' directors from the date of the hank's 
organization to the present time, — sixty-seven years filled with remarkable 
changes, — shows that men prnniinent in the business life of Milwaukee have 
been connected with the National Exchange. The directorate included : CD. 
Nash, 1865 1892; John Bradford, 1865-1878; John Plankinton, 1865-1888; S. S. 
Daggett, 1865-1868; J. II. Van Dyke. 1865-1909; R. \Y. Peake, 1868-1869; 
Edward I'. Allis, 1869-1878; F. J. Blair, 1878-1890; W. G. Fitch. 1879 L891; 


Grant Pitch, 1888 to date; G. D. Van Dyke, 1890-1899; George R. Nash, 1890- 
1893; Charles Ray, 1890 to date; J. W. P. Lombard, 1891 to date; Samuel 
M. Green, 1893-1901; J. E. Friend, 1893-1912; Charles Allis, 1900-1901; Henry 
F. Whitcomb, 1902 to date ; Frederick W. Sivyer, 1902-1903 ; W. D. Van Dyke, 
1909-1910; F. L. Pierce, 1910-1919; Lawrence Fitch, 1910 to date; Harry J. 
Brown, 1912 to date, and Frank R. Bacon, 1919 to date. 

Vice presidents who have served the National Exchange Bank are : John 
Bradford, 1865-1879; John Plankinton, 1879-1888; W. G. Fitch, 1888-1891; 
Charles Ray, 1891-1892; J. W. P. Lombard, 1892-1900, and Grant Fitch, 1906 
to date. 

Second vice president: Charles Ray, 1890-1891, and J. W. P. Lombard, 

During the sixty-seven years of the life of the National Exchange Bank, 
the bank has had but three cashiers. They are: W. G. Fitch, 1865-1888; 
Grant Fitch, 1888-1906, and William M. Post, 1906 to date. 

The list of assistant cashiers includes: Abbott Lawrence, 1882-1886; 
Grant Fiteh, 1886-1888; George R. Nash, 1888-1889; Frederick Fasten, 1889- 
1892 ; William M. Post, 1900-1906, and G. W. Augustyn, 1913 to date. 

The National Exchange Bank, then the Bank of Milwaukee, opened for 
business in a three-story brick structure at Detroit and East Water streets. 
This was a most pretentious structure in the days before the Civil war. After 
several years in this location, the bank moved into a new five-story building 
at 86 Michigan Street, in the heart of Milwaukee's financial district. This 
banking house soon became too small and in 1887, the bank was moved to 
its present location at Michigan and Broadway, up to that time the site of the 
Newhall House, Milwaukee's famous hostelry which burned with the loss of 
scores of lives. The bank's capital has grown to $500,000, with surplus and 
undivided profits of over $700,000. 

Through the period of the Civil war and the troublesome reconstruction 
days that followed the end of the struggle between the North and South, 
and through financial panics which wrecked many larger banks and made 
paupers of millionaires, the National Exchange Bank has been of service to 
the community in precisely the fields which at present identify it — the fur- 
thering not of speculation but of commerce, and the furnishing of assistance 
to the individual merchant, business man and country bank. 

Second Ward Savings Bank. — Three score and ten years ago the founda- 
tion was laid for the Second Ward Savings Bank. From that day to this 
the corner stone policy has been to provide a sound and conservative bank- 
ing service for the Milwaukee and Wisconsin public, under the direction and 
management of men of wide business experience and conservative judicial 

On December 26, 1855, by formal articles of partnership, the old firm of 
Wilmanns, Jacobs & Company was reorganized to conform with the new state 
banking statute of April 19, 1852, and took the chartered name of "Second 
Ward Bank." This name in those days was more significant than it is today 
as the Second Ward embraced all of Milwaukee west of the river fortifications. 
The partners were Messrs. Augustus A. Wilmanns and William H. Jacobs. 

Located at the intersection of Wesl Water and Third 



In about 1866 a further reorganization was effected under the corporate 
name of "Second Ward Savings Bank" and the controlling interest fell to 
Messrs. Joseph Schlitz, Valentine Blatz, William H. Jacobs and Phillip Best. 
Mr. Jacobs was cashier and active manager until his death in 1882. He was 
succeeded as cashier by Mr. C. C. Schmidt, who was succeeded by W. L. 
Cheney in 1912. Mr. Cheney was cashier until his death in 1916. Mr. G. L. 
Weigle was then made cashier and is still in that position. At the death of 
Mr. Best in 1869 his interests were acquired by Capt. Fred Pabst and Emil 
Schandein. At the death of Mr. Joseph Schlitz, in 1875, his interest fell to 
Mr. August Uihlein. Mr. Blatz continued as president until his death in 
1894, when Mr. August Uihlein became president. After the death of Mr. 
Schandein and Captain Pabst in 1900, their stock interests were acquired by 
Mr. August Uihlein. At the death of Mr. August Uihlein, in 1911, Mr. Joseph 
E. Uihlein, the present incumbent, became president. 

Except for a few years, under the early partnership arrangement when the 
headquarters were on Chestnut Street, near Third, the main office has been 
located from the beginning at Third, West Water and Cedar streets. The 
present banking building, constructed in 1 912, is the third structure occupied 
by the bank on the same site. 

In 1873 a branch known as the Sixth Ward Branch was established at 
Third Street and Reservoir Avenue, and in 1874 another branch known as 
the Ninth Ward Branch was established at Vliet Street and Central Avenue. 
Both of these branches were rebuilt in 1912 and are now known as the Ninth 
Ward Branch, Twelfth and Vliet streets, and the North Side Branch, Third 
and North Avenue. 

With the advent of the new structures in 1911-12 came an enlarged or- 
ganization and the aggressive policy of developing a commercial as well as 
a savings banking business. At present the bank is on about a 50-50 basis. 
That is, about half of its deposits are savings and half commercial. 

In this policy of progress the securities business was also included, and a 
bond department was organized in 1911. In January, 1920, the business of this 
department was turned over to the Second Ward Securities Company, a cor- 
poration organized for the express purpose of dealing in securities. It is 
controlled by the identical stockholders of the bank. 

The capital which was originally $25,000 has been consistently increased 
to meet the needs of an enlarged business. It was raised from $200,000 to 
$1,000,000 in 1909, and is backed up today with a surplus of $1,000,000 in 
addition to liberal undivided profit and contingent reserves. 

It took about thirty years (to 1880) for the deposits to reach a million 
and another thirty years (to 1910) to reach ten million. In 1920 the deposits 
passed the thirty-five million mark. The latter figure represents the bank 
balances of some fifty thousand (50,000) clients, of which about forty thou- 
sand (40,000) are savings depositors. This makes the Second Ward Savings 
Bank the second commercial bank and the first savings bank in the State of 

The bank has an imbroken dividend record of twenty-five years. It has 
withstood the shock of three United States wars. It has weathered the 
financial storm of four major panics. It is now emerging from the economic 


crisis of the World war in the enviable positi ujoyed by few banks — with 

a large surplus, and Liberal reserves. 

Second in Commercial importance, first in Savings, unexcelled in personal 
service, the Second Ward'Savings Hank and the Second Ward Securities 
Company boasl of their unmarred history, and look to the future with thai 
assurance of continued success and usefulness to the community which sueli 
a record justly inspires. 

American Exchange Bank. — The American Exchange Bank had its incep 
lion in the fad that the southern section of the city was without an adequate 
financial institution to render immediate service to the business interests lo- 
cated there. While the retail interests, which had in an earlier day grown 
up in the northeastern part of the south side had been drifting westward, the 
manufacturing and small jobbing interests continued to grow. 

The need, therefore, of an efficient hanking institution to serve not only 
for the business interests that had grown up in this section of the city, but 
for the general public as well, became apparent. 

Thus, the German-American Bank, which later became the American 
Exchange Bank was founded by Emil Durr, who had for years been identified 
with the lumber business and later with the United States Gypsum Company, 
and who became its president. Charles F. P. Pullen. formerly a hanker at 
Evansville, Wis., became the organizer, cashier and manager of the institution, 
associating with him F. F. Riedel, also an experienced banker. 

The charter was issued in 1892 and the bank was opened at the northeasl 
corner of Reed Street and National Avenue, where a branch of the present 
bank is still maintained. Owing to the large German population in this sec- 
tion of the city, business expediency suggested the name of the German- 
American Bank. The original capital stock was $100,00(1 and the opening 
deposits aggregated $160,000. 

In January, 1900, the capital stock was increased to $200,000. Edwin 
Reynolds, who was then the general manager of the E. P. Allis Company, 
became the president of the bank. During the same year a branch bank was 
opened at the corner of Kinnickinnic and Lincoln avenues, with F. F. Riedel 
as manager. It was known as the Bay View Branch. 

A second branch, known as the Mitchell Street Branch, was opened in 
1906 at the corner of Mitchell Street and Third Avenue. Mr. Henry J. Mill- 
man, who was then connected with the Western Worsted .Mills, became the 
active manager. The opening of this branch was followed by an increase in 
the capital stock to $250,000. 

During the following year Edwin Reynolds, owing to ill health, retired 
from the presidency, and was succeeded by Jesse B. Whitnall, who served until 
L915. Edward A. Farmer was then chosen. 

During the years of 1 !'l 7 and 1918 the bank engaged in an important de- 
parture. The main bank was moved down town and the old hank location 
became a branch. At the same time the capital stock was increased from 
$250,000 to $500,000. During this period, too, the old name was discarded and 
the name American Exchange Bank was chosen. 

New hank quarters were opened in the Plankinton Arcade on Second 


Street. d"'gnified and modern in appointment, and in keeping with the demands 
of a first class financial institution. Safe deposit vaults for the use of the 
patrons of the bank were provided and a bond department was established. 

Inasmuch as the banking laws no longer permitted the addition of new 
branch banks the Bay View branch became an independent institution and is 
now known under the name of the Bay View Commercial and Savings Bank. 
The National Avenue and the Mitchell Street branches were retained and are 
now operated as branches of the American Exchange Bank. Early in the year 
1921 the Mitchell Street branch was housed in a new and commodious home, 
constituting the most imposing bank structure in that section of the city. 

In December, 1919, Edward J. Kearney was made the president of the 
bank. He is of the firm of Kearney & Trecker Company of West Allis, and 
enjoyed a high standing among the industrial and commercial interests of the 
city. Thus, his active connection became a distinct asset to the bank. About 
this time the capital stock of the bank was increased to $1,000,000, made neces- 
sary by its increase of 68 per cent in its deposits. 

Speaking prospectively of the American Exchange Bank it should be 
stated that it has secured a long term lease on the northeast corner of Grand 
Avenue and Second Street, upon which site it will erect a modern bank struc- 
ture within the next year or two. 

The growth of the bank has been a steady and substantial one. "While its 
capital stock was increased within a comparatively few years from $250,000 to 
$1,000,000, its deposits have grown with equal steadiness having now reached 
the $8,500,000 figure. 

National Bank of Commerce. — The Germania National Bank opened for 
business July 1, 1903, with a capital of $300,000. The first board was com- 
posed of the following nine directors: William Berger, Louis W. Bunde, 
George Brumder, Herman Felir, Willibald Hoffmann, George P. Mayer, Alfred 
G. Schultz, Frederick M. Wilmanns, Frank P. Ziegler. George Brumder was 
the first president and held this office until the time of his death, May 9, 
1920. June 9, 1910, Wm. C. Brumder was elected president of the bank. In 
1918 the old name was discontinued and the title National Bank of Com- 
merce was adopted. In July, 1919, the capital of the bank was raised from 
$300,000 to $1,000,000 and the number of stockholders increased from 65 
to 400. 

In January, 1920, Mr. Brumder severed all his active business connec- 
tions. He retired from the presidency of the bank and was succeeded by 
Herman Fehr. At that time the number of directors was increased to thir- 
teen and all of those who then constituted the board are still active. 

The first statement to the Comptroller of the Currency in 1903 showed 
total footings of $900,000. The quarters were very small and the entire 
official and working force consisted of five people. From this small be- 
ginning, the business has grown steadily and at the last statement call the 
footings amounted to about $10,000,000. Additional space has been taken 
on from time to time. The number of employes now exceeds sixty people. 

Building up of a bank is due to the confidence placed in it. Only by giv- 
ing good service and satisfaction can a bank retain and continue to enjoy 


the confidence and patronage of its customers. The bank is thoroughly 
equipped to handle the business of its clients promptly and to extend every 
accommodation consistent with sound banking. Bond Departmenl was added 
in 1912. 

The present Board of Directors consists of: Wm. Berger, Prank P. 
Blumenfeld, Geo. P. Brumder, Wm. C. Brumder, Louis W. Bunde, Herman 
Pehr, Albert T. Friedmann, Wm. J. Krauthoefer, Ceo. P. .Mayer, Arthur 
E. Munkwitz, Alfred G. Schultz, Herman A. Wagner, Chas. II. Whiffen, and 
Frederick M. Wilmanns. 

The West Side Bank of Milwaukee. — A State Bank, was organized in 
April. 1893, and opened for lmsiness on .May 10, 1893, the premises occupied 
being then known as Doctor Senn's Block. This location is known as historic 
ground to the old settlers of Milwaukee. It was on this site that the first 
brick building in the City of Milwaukee was erected by John Hustis. and 
known to the old settlers as The Hustis Block, the pride of early Kilbourn- 
Town, this being the name of the settlement on the west side of the river, 
before its consolidation with the settlement on the east side of the river. 
then known as the original Milwaukee. 

The first Milwaukee newspaper, the Milwaukee Advertise]-, owned and 
published by Alonzo Richards, was printed on this same site that is now 
occupied by the West Side Bank Building. 

The West Side Bank was originally a branch of the Merchants Exchange 
Bank, of which the late Rudolph Nunnemacher was cashier and manager. 
When the Merchants Exchange Bank and the First National Bank were 
consolidated, early in 1894, the West Side Bank incorporated as a separate 
institution, with a charter from the State, as a State Bank, the National 
Banking Laws at that time not permitting branch banks. 

Due to conservative management, the West Side Bank is today one of the 
soundest and financially strongest institutions of the city, which is clearly 
demonstrated by a perusal of its annual statement. 

The first officers elected on July 1, 1894, were as follows: President, Adam 
Gettelman ; vice president, Oscar J. Fiebing; cashier, George Koch: assistant 
cashier, Alfred G. Schultz. 

In 1903 Alfred G. Schultz, assistant cashier, resigned, to become cashier 
of the Germania National Bank, and ('lias. J. Kuhnmuench, who had been 
connected with tin' West Side Bank, since its opening on May It). 1893, be- 
came assistant cashier. 

Oscar .1. Fiebing resigned as vice president in October, 1910, owing to 
continued illness, and George Koch was elected vice president and Chas. J. 
Kuhnmuench, cashier. Herberl Feerick, connected with the bank since 1895, 
became assistant cashier. So that the officers today are: President. Adam 
Gettelman; vice president, George Koch: cashier, Charles J. Kuhnmuench; 
assistant cashier, Herberl Peerick. 

The capital on duly 1. 1894, was $100,000. This was increased to $200,000 
on May Id, 1911, and to +400,000 on May 10. 1920. Today, the surplus is 
+200,000. and undivided profits approximately $175,000. Deposits arc ap- 
proximately $3,000,000. 



The original Board of Directors elected to serve on July 1, 1S94:, was as 
follows : George Koch, A. C. Zinn, Adam Gettelman, Oscar J. Fiebing, Geo. 
P. Mayer, F. L. Schmitt, Chas. Pittelkow, Fred W. Schroeder, and H. J. Kill- 
ilea. The present board is as follows : George Koch, Adam Gettelman, Victor 
Schlitz, V. J. Schoenecker, Otto J. Schoenleber, <T. A. Schwalbach, and Walter 
A. Zinn. 

Consolidated Statement of Milwaukee Banks 




Bonds and 


Real Estate 
Fur. & Fix. 

Cash & Due 
from Banks 


First Wis. National 

$ 77.519.04fl.39t 

$ 6,282,790.70 
2,341.9 IN 78 
2,273,384 12 
1,610,936 30 




11.340 728 87 

Natl. Bank of Com 

National Exchange . . 

150.000 00 



American Exchange 




1,252,595 881 

508, 24 1.33 

565,2,88 17 

80,000 00 

806.3H, 96 


1,563,323 39 

50.173 30 

10,035 96 


221,512 93 

10.000 00 

317,086 96 


106.339 80 


591,484 22 



10,897 93 

2,111,424 99 

254,588 32 




1.6(1 1,037.30 

1 1,903.48 


15,153 48 


114.751 37 

1,171.103 77 










667.982 SO 



Bav View Conil. & Sav. . . 
City Bank 




K:i-l Siilc Kink . . 
Holton Street 

16.289 19 
6,982 56 

28.894 72 
5,641 69 


555,620 It 




112.969 21 

1,3 11,796 37 

Laytun Park State 

Lincoln State 

Marshall & Ilsley. . . 

Merch. & Mfrs 

513,026 67 

271.707 37 




2,278,403 851 





538,803 16 




3,095,490 39 

Milwaukee Coml. . . . 

33,492 32 

Mitchell Street 

1,623.594 88 


23.7X7 69 
10,417 80 

3,341,210 62 
2,701,272 41 

Park Savings 





33,813,022 45 

667, 3S3 26 



Vliet Street .... 


765.261 89 

West Side Bank 

2,903,983 22 










82 1 1.(11,8,429,55 



Capital Surplus and l'rohts 




First Wis. National 

Marine National 

$ 6,0011.000 1111 


1,000,000 on 

$ 3,488,158 29 

719.801 50 


$23,622,483.07 1* 

1,898,792. 84*t 

$ 70,159,086.80 

National Exchange. . . . 


6,678.495 24 

American Exchange 


200,000 00 00 
300.00(1 00 


50,000 00 


11)0,000 1)0 
1,000, 000. 00 

400,000 on 


92,857 27 

10,431 79 




12,969 2] 


152 7.; 

23,635 36 


6,83 1 38 

1,656,150 18 

62,331 89 

185,112 15 



88,786 1 1 



1,500,853 37 

17.57 1 83 


15,(191 72 

20,0011 (III 


1 1 1,860.67 

1,792,795 43t* 

4,000 (in 





City Bank 


East Side Hank.. . . 

934,644 61 

Holton Street 

22,531 88* 
3.800 Oils 
5,296 04* 


3,360,720 961* 

1 1,956.70 

298,967. 82f* 


Italian Mutual 

120,280 16 

Kilbourn State 

1.144.492 28 


Lincoln State 


Marshall & Ilsley. . .. 

21,, MIS, 493. 14 


Merch .V- Mfrs 

2,211,110 12 

Milwaukee Coml.. 


s Is 


38.726 15 




Mitchell Street 


211(1.1 inn 00 

1.1)00.0011 00 

100,000 00 

50,000 00 
50,000 00 

loi i.i ion 00 


2,997.12 1 18 

Second Ward Sav 


Teutonia Ave 

Union Bank 

Vliet Street 

West Side Hank 


81, 26(1 66 
52, 234. 1ST 



502 144.78 



$ 13,880,000 00 
$ 12,980,000.00 

$ 9.247,331 54 


$3,622,095 00 

$ 8.508.071.58 

$209,710,931 13 

t Rediscounts. * Bills pay 

able, bonds borrowed. 

■ it her liabilities ai: 

d unearned discounts iiicludeil s ( fund. 


Bank Officers and Directors, in hanks Located in the city and county of 
Milwaukee serving with the beginning of the year 1922: 

First Wisconsin National Bank. — Officers: Oliver ('. Fuller, president; 
Walter Kasten, vice president; II. 0. Seymour, vice president; Edgar J. 
Hughes, vice president; Heriflan F. Wolf, vice president; Roberl W. Baird, 
vice president; Henry Kloes, vice president; J. M. Hays, vice president; 
August W. Bogk, vice president; A. 0. Casper, cashier; Win. K. Adams, 
assistant vice president; F. K. McPherson, vice president; Fred R.'Sidler, 
assistant vice president; George C. Dreher, vice president; A. V. I). Clark- 
son, assistant vice president; Oscar Kasten, assistant cashier; Frederick 
Wergin, assistant cashier; Franz Siemens, assistant cashier; Oeo. E. Fleisch 
mann, assistant vice president: L. K. Houghton, assistant cashier; II. 6. Zahn, 
assistant cashier, E. R. Ormsby, assistant cashier; Win. ( '. Haas, manager 
Foreign & Savings Department; Herman W. Eskuche, assistant manager 
Foreign & Savings Department; William Zimmer, assistant manager Foreign 
& Savings Department; R. E. Wright, manager Commercial Service Depart- 
ment, S. R. Quaden, auditor. Directors: Isaac D. Adler, Dr. C. E. Albright, 
Robert W. Baird, John I. Beggs, Fred C. Best, L. O. Bournique, Robert Camp, 
Michael F. Cudahy, Walter Davidson, Herman W. Falk, Otto H. Falk, Adolph 
Finkler, Oliver C. Fuller, Fred T. Goll, Howard Greene, Edgar J. Hughes, 
J. P. Hummel, Walter Kasten, Harry Landauer, George P. Miller. II. J. Xun- 
nemacher, Gustave Pabst, Ludingtou Patton, L. J. Petit, Charles F. Pfister, 
Fred C. Pritzlaff, Louis Schriber, H. O. Seymour, Frederick L. Sivyer, Clement 
C. Smith, Henry M. Thompson, Edward A. Uhrig, George I). Van Dyke, John 
C. Van Dyke, Fred Vogel, Jr., Herman F. Wolf. 

Marshall & Ilsley Bank.— (Founded 18-47). Officers: J. II. Puelicher, 
president; John Campbell; vice president: G. A. Reuss, vice president and 
branch. manager ; F. X. Bodden, vice president; J. H. Daggett, vice president 
and manager Bond Department; John E. Jones, cashier; II. .1. Paine, assistant 
cashier; Jos. C. Moser, assistant cashier, A. B. Nichols. Jr., assistant cashier: 
C. R. Jeske, assistant branch manager; Chas. F. Ilsley, assistant cashier; Albert 
S. Puelicher, assistant cashier. Directors: J. 11. Puelicher, John Campbell, 

G. A. Reuss, J. K. Ilsley, William S. Marshall, J. H. 'IV ly, Jr., Robert X. 

McMynn, Julius 0. Frank, A. P. Woodson, Albeit F. Gallun, Win. W. Cole- 
man. Win. E. Black 

Second Ward Savings Bank. -Officers: J. E. Uihlein, president: Henry 
Bielfeld, vice presidenl ; Albert C. Elser, vice president: J. U. Lademan, vice 
president; Robert A. Uihlein, vice president; R. S. Peotter, vice president; 
G. L. Weigle, cashier; W. (i. Whyte, assistant cashier; M. E. Baumberger, 
assistant cashier; Kurt Meyer, assistant cashier: A. II. Ilorneil'er. assistant 
cashier; F. T. Nicolai, assistant cashier: Russell .Jackson, counsel. Directors: 
Jos. E. Uihlein, Henry Bielfeld, Albert < '. Elser, Fred -I. Schroeder, Robert 
A. Uihlein. Win. B. Uihlein, Russell Jackson, Erwin 0. Uihlein, .1. 1'. Lade- 
man, (I. L. Weigle, R. S. Peotter, Fred I'abst. Willits Bollock. 

American Exchange Bank. Officers: E. .1. Kearney, president: l>\ I.. 
Stone, vice president; Carl G. Engelke, vice presidenl and cashier: ('. I). 
Raney, vice presidenl ; -I. Edgar Robertson, assistant cashier; Frank M. ('overt. 


assistant cashier ; Jas. L. White, assistant cashier ; W. A. Manegold, assistant 
cashier; E. A. Nowak, manager; Roman Czechorski, assistant manager; 
Mitchell Street office; W. II. Correll, manager National Avenue office; G. 
H. Babenroth, assistant manager National Avenue office. Directors: Aug. 
C. Beck, John D. Bird, Wm. George Bruce, Hugo Deuster, W. D. Johnson, 
E. J. Kearney, F. A. Lange, M. S. Sheridan, R. L. Stone, Theodore Trecker, 
Frank L. Weyenberg, Edgar L. Wood. 

The National Bank of Commerce.— Officers : Herman Fehr, president; 
Geo. P. Mayer, vice president ; Alfred G. Schultz, vice president ; E. A. Redde- 
man, cashier ; Walter C. Georg, assistant cashier; Harry W. Zummach, assistant 
cashier. Directors: Wm. Berger, Geo. F. Brumder, L. W. Bunde, Wm, C. 
Brumder, Herman Fehr, Geo. P. Mayer, F. M. Wilmanns, F. P. Blumenfeld, 
W. J. Krauthoefer, Alf. G. Schultz, ('has. II. Whiffen, Arthur R. Munkwitz, 
Albert T. Friedmann, Herman A. Wagner. 

The National Exchange Bank. — Officers : J. W. P. Lombard, president; 
Grant Fitch, vice president; Wm. M. Post, cashier; G. W. Augustyn, assistant 
cashier. Directors: F. R, Bacon, II. J. Brown, Grant Fitch, Lawrence Fitch, 
J. W. P. Lombard, Charles Ray, II. F. Whitcomb. 

The Marine National Bank. — officers: Washington Becker, president; 
Arthur II. Lindsay, vice president; Edward H. Williams, cashier; Geo. W. 
Moore, assistant cashier; Geo. D. Prentice, assistant cashier; Thomas J. 
Duruin, secretary. Directors: Washington Becker, Thomas Daly, Francis 
E. Dewey, Stephen H. Hoff, Alfred F. James, Arthur H. Lindsay, Edmond J. 
Lindsay, William B. Strong, Herbert A. Viets. 

Merchants and Manufacturers Bank. — Officers: L. M. Alexander, chair- 
man of the board of directors; W. F. Myers, president; H. P. Andrae, vice 
president; Benj. V. Dela Hunt, cashier; Frank Brand assistant cashier; 
James K. Edsall, assistant cashier. Directors : L. M. Alexander, H. P. Andrae, 
Fred Doepke, Benj. V. Dela Hunt, W. F. Myers, E. C. Knoernehild, Judson G. 
Rosebush, George F. Ruez, T. H. Spenee, Gustav J. A. Trostel, F. J. Wood, 
Haskell Noyes, W. H. Park, George Gibhs. 

Bay View Commercial and Savings Bank. — Officers : E. J. Kearney, pres- 
ident ; R. L. Stone, vice president ; Fred W. Niles, vice president and cashier ; 
Frank J. Amann, assistant cashier; Paul A. Papke, assistant cashier. Directors: 
Aug. C. Beck, E. J. Kearney, Fred W. Niles, M. S. Sheridan, R, L. Stone, 
W. P. Westenberg, Edgar L. Wood. 

The City Bank. — Officers: Edw. A. Farmer, president; F. M. Weinhold, 
vice president; John H. Moss, vice president; W. F. Jackson, cashier: W. B. 
Frank, assistant cashier; W. H. Sullivan, assistant cashier. Directors: II. II. 
Bloedel, Chas. L. Borst, Edw. A. Farmer, M. II. Grossman, W. F. Jackson, 
John H. Moss, Benj. Poss, J. E. Sharp, L. R. Stollberg, F. M. Weinhold, J. C. 

Home Savings Bank. — Officers and Directors: Faustin Prinz, president; 
Michael B. Wells, vice president; Alfred Prinz, cashier; Geo. E. Trupke, as- 
sistant cashier; George Durner, Albert Froede, Julius J. Goetz, Chas. J. 
Poetsch, Hugo Zedler. 

Kilbourn State Bank of Milwaukee. — Officers: J. II. Weber, president; 


Jos. Miller, vice president; F. B. Wallber, cashier; C. II. Elwing, assistanl 
cashier; Edwin Schulz, assistant cashier. Directors: John E. Dirk, Val. 
Gerhardt, M. J. Grueschow, ('has. Sommerfield, Frank Frentz, Gust. Kohl- 
hardt, Geo. Bauer. 

Layton Park State Bank. — Officers: M. II. Traub, president; II. J. Gram- 
lin, M. D., vice president; E, W Behrens, cashier. Directors: W. II. Dick. 
II. J. Gramling, M. D., II. Held, Prank Serda, A. M. Lohr, E. II. Mayer, Wm. 
Mitchell. M. Schneider, M. II. Traub. 

Lincoln State Bank. — Officers: A. Szcerbinski, president; P. L. E. Dro 
zniakiewicz, vice president: .Martin J. Daly, cashier. Directors: Thomas 
Kuczynski, Anton Hauerwas, I!. A. Dziennik, Anton Lukaszewicz. 

Milwaukee Commercial Bank. — Officers: Alfred Kay, president; Paul 
Hammersmith, vice president; Wm. C. Ahlhauser, vice president; C. A. Gun- 
derson, cashier; E. M. Kells, auditor. Directors: Alfred Kay, Paid llanimer- 
sniith, Wm. C. Ahlhauser, Theodore Ernst, M. J. Guenther. 

Mitchell Street State Bank.— Officers : J. T. Johnston, president; S. J. 
Wabiszewski, vice president; P. J. Grutza, cashier. Directors: J. T. John- 
ston, S. J. Wabiszewski, Frank J. Grutza, A. E. Martin, J. M. Schneider, J. T. 
Esser, A. P. Kunzelmann, Chas Miksch 

North Avenue Bank. — Officers : Wm. F. Coerper, president ; George L. 
Baldauf, vice president; A. J. Langholff, vice president; Joseph M. Wolf, 
vice president; F. A. Lochner, cashier; J. A. Chivas, assistant cashier: E. 0. 
Perschbacher, assistant cashier. Directors: George L. Baldauf, J. H. Binney, 
J. C. Coerper, Wm. F. Coerper, John Diercksmeier, Wm. C. Garens, A. H. 
Hammetter, Wm. P. Hug, F. W. Kaufman, A. J. Langholff, P. A. Lochner, 
E. L. Mohr, Alberl Sehultz, John Stuesser, Joseph M. 'Wolf. 

Security Bank of Milwaukee. — Officers: Louis Scheich, president; Ernst 
Demin, vice president; Oscar E. King, vice president; Burne Pollock, cashier; 
(ieu. A. Knauer, assistant cashier. Directors: Jos. H. Becker. Henry J. Bend- 
inger, Henry Cook, Ernst Demin, Oscar E. Klug, Chas. Knoersehild, John 
Mueller, Burne Pollock, Dr. Theo. H. Rolfs, Louis Scheich, John P. Schmitt, 
Henry Spielvogel. 

The Union Bank of Milwaukee. — Officers : John ('. Karel, president; Jos. 
M. Crowley, vice president ; J, M. Ettenheim. vice president ; Ceo. I). Luscher, 
vice president and cashier; C. A. Florey, assistant cashier; L. W. Williams, 
assistant cashier. Directors: John C. Karel, Jus. M. Crowley, J. M. Etten- 
heim, Geo. D. Luscher, John Reichert, W. A. Schroeder, D. T. Leisk, Herman 
Toepfer, Prank Roemer, Chas. Stolper, B. V. Davis. 

Vliet Street State Bank.- -Officers: ('has. Knoernschild, president; Mas 

Schoetz, Jr., vice president; Wm. C. Heib, vice president: Arthur If. Emer- 
son, cashier ; Cus. Fondrie, assistant cashier. Directors: ('has. Knoernschild, 
Wm. C. Heib, Max Schoetz, Jr., Arthur R. Emerson, Thomas A. Clancy, Wm. 
R. McGovern, Wm. C. Blommer, Emi] F. Henoch, Clifton Williams. 

Wisconsin State Bank. Officers: Chris, (dans, president; Harry S. Pig 
gins, vice president; Wm. II. Hasse, cashier; C. A. Kamhe. assistant cashier. 
Directors: John P. Bruemmer, Chris. (Hans. Wm. Gutenkunst, Wm. II. Hasse, 


Oscar C. Mehl, John Muekerheide, Herm. Noll, John H. Paul, Harry S. Piggins, 
Ed. E. Plaum, Aug. C. Sehrt. 

First National Bank (West Allis). — Officers: 0. L. Hollister, president; 
Henry Freeman, vice president; I. L. Tipple, cashier, M. W. Markert, assistant 
cashier. Directors: C. Edwin Search, Henry Freeman, S. Breese, Jr., Theo. 
Trecker, 0. L. Hollister, L. H. Schmidt, Theo. Mueller, A. LeFeber, Orville 
Evans, I. L. Tipple. 

The Citizens Bank of North Milwaukee. — Officers: H. A. Wagner, pres- 
ident; E. D. Coddington, vice president; Chas. H. Krolm, cashier; J. F. Mies- 
bauer, assistant cashier; A. Polglase, assistant cashier. Directors: 11. A. 
Wagner, J. H. Rohr, Ed. Butler, Wm. II. Momsen, T. II. Spence, E. D. Cod- 
dington, Wm. 0. Neilson, C. H. Krohn. 

Wauwatosa State Bank. — Officers: Gilbert J. Davelaar, president; S. J. 
Brouwer, vice president; II. A. Digman, cashier. Directors: Gilbert J. Dave- 
laar, S. J. Brouwer, II. A. Digman, Jos. M. Guentner, Wm. Gettelman, L. L. 
Gridley, Michael Schmidt, Robt. Kuhnmuench, Edw. Geske. 

First National Bank of Wauwatosa. — Officers: P. D. Gates, president; 
Wm. R, Nethercut, vice president: F. N. Ferguson, cashier; M. J. Plautz, 
assistant cashier. Directors: Donald 0. Barbee, W. H. Eastman, C. T. Fisher, 
P. D. Gates, E. II. Graber, Wm. R, Nethercut, E. A. Swan, F. D. Underwood. 

West Allis State Bank.— Officers : J. T. Johnston, president; W. R, Mc- 
Kowen, vice president; T. E. Lusk, cashier. Directors: J. T. Johnston, W. 
R. McKowen, T. E. Lusk, P. J. Biwer, Chas. II. Hathaway, Aug. Rosenthal, 
G. C. Hinkley. 

West Side Bank of Milwaukee. — Officers: Adam Gettelman, president; 
George Koch, vice president; Chas. J. Kuhnmuench, cashier; Herbert Feerick, 
assistant cashier. Directors: Adam Gettelman, Otto J. Schoenleber, V. J. 
Sehoeneeker, Jr., Walter A. Zinn, Victor Schlitz, John Sehwalbach, George 

Teutonia Avenue State Bank. — Officers: E. W. Staadt, president; A. E. 
Schunk, vice president; Chas. Elkert, second vice president; John C. Stuesser, 
cashier; J. P. Mueller, assistant cashier. Directors: C. C. Staadt, E. W. 
Staadt, A. E. Sclrank, Frank Dau, Chas. Elkert, Fred W. Kaufman, Geo. Kaul, 
A. G. Netter, Ed. Radtke. 

Park Savings Bank. — Officers: Jesse Cappon, president; Alex Ritter, vice 
president; F. G. Exner, cashier; P. II. Wendt, assistant cashier. Directors: 
Jesse Cappon, Alex Ritter, Peter Kotvis, Robert Reinhold, Fred W. Kemp, 
Stephen P. Croft, Wm. C. Feerick, Paul Hartung, F. G. Exner, Henry Ilnnholz, 
R. S. Witte. 

Holton Street State Bank. — Officers: Henry Vetter, president; A. R. 
Punke, vice president; W. S. Clarkson, cashier. Directors: F. W. Fellenz, 
Theo. A. Trapp, E. II. Williams, Jos. Pozorski, Peter P. Glysz, August Zamka. 

Italian Mutual Savings Bank. — Officers: John Busalacchi, president; N. 
S. Maniaei, vice president; I). M. Giuli, treasurer; J. M. Giuli, secretary. 
Directors: John Busalacchi, X. S. Maniaei, D. M. Giuli, J. M. Giuli, E. ('. 
Baroni, T. Reliant, S. Busalacchi, A. C. Giuli, N. Romano, l>. Coraggio, T. 
1 lusalacchi, A. Arena. 


Liberty State Bank. — Officers: I. J. Rosenberg, president; Charles E. 
Tegge, Dr. H. F. Jermain, vice presidents; B. G. Schlieger, cashier; P. II. SosofiE, 
assistant cashier. Directors: A. J. Bitker, George Born, II. \>. Eder, II. R. 
King-. Henry Kurtz, M. Miller, William M. Raasch, F. Stocklass, Dr. II. L. 
Tilsner, W. A. Wegner, 11. 0. Wolfe. 

East Side Bank.- Officers: William I. Greene, president; P. I>. Dean, vice 
president: W. F. Nolan, cashier. Directors: Dr. W. T. Nichols, W. I. Greene, 
Richard Kiel, P. W. Dean, Otto Best. 

Commonwealth Mutual Savings Bank. — Officers: Emil Brodde, president; 
John C. Kleist, first vice president ; E. G. Rahr, second vice president : C. B. 
Whitnall, secretary-treasurer. Directors: Emil Brodde, John C. Kleist. E. G. 
Rahr, C. B. Whitnall, Louis A. Arnold, Gabriel Zophy, R G. Schuffenhauer, 
Paul E. Schmidt, Howard Tuttle. 

Building and Loan Associations. — Milwaukee County : 

American Mutual Loan & Bldg. Assn. — Samuel S. Weil, secretary. 815 
Railway Exch. Bldg., Brdw. 681. 

Atlas Mutual Bldg. & Loan Assn. — John G. Reuteman, secretary. 442."> 
Lisbon Ave., Kilb. 216. 

Badger Savings, Bldg. & Loan Assn. — Louis E. Stanton, secretary. 902 
Majestic Bldg., Grand 16. 

Bahnfrei Mutual Bldg. & Loan Assn. — John Stattner, Jr., secretary. 1120 
North Ave., Line. 3184. 

Bay View Bldg. & Loan Assn. — J. C. Bullock, secretary, 1285 Kinnickinnic 
Ave., Han. 1831. 

Bohemian Mutual Loan & Bldg. Assn. — F. A. Ambroz, secretary, 661 
Muskego Ave. 

Citizens Mutual Bldg. & Loan Assn. — Frank Armitage, secretary, Loan & 
Trust Bldg., Grand 1532. 

Community Bldg. & Loan Assn. — Nic. W. lleintskill. secretary. 2411 Vliet 
St., Kilb. 3108. 

Employes' Mutual Savings, Bldg. & Loan Assn. — E. J. Evans, secretary. 
215 Sycamore St., Grand 5100. 

Excelsior Mutual Bldg. & Loan Assn. — Charles P. Hermann, secretary. 
640 First St, Line. 4473. 

Fidelity Bldg. & Loan Assn. — G. A. Karsten, secretary. 795 Twenty-first 
St., Kilb. 2613. 

First Slovak Nat'l. Bldg. & Loan Assn. — John Bzdusek, secretary. Cndahy. 
Wis., Cudahy 95-M. 

Green Bay Ave. Mutual Bldg. & Loan Assn. — William .Meyer, secretary, 
14.16 Green Bay Ave.. Line. 327. 

Integrity Savings, Bldg. & Loan Assn. — Fred W. Krueck, secretary, 507 
Trust Co. Bldg.. Brdw. 87. 

Keystone Mutual Bldg. & Loan Assn.. A. Kay. secretary, 158 Fifth St, 
Grand 5167. 

Kinnickinnic Mut. Loan iv Bldg. Assn. — Aug. F. Dunst. secretary, 1141 
Lincoln Ave.. Han. 598. 


Layton Park Bldg. & Loan Assn.— A. J. Muth, secretary, 1141 Lincoln Ave., 
Orch. 895. 

Lincoln Ave. Loan & Bldg. Assn. — A. Szcerbinski, secretary, 556 Lincoln 
Ave., Orch. 1207. 

.Marquette Mutual Bldg. & Loan Assn. — P. Muckerheide, secretary, 985 
Greenfield Ave., Orch. 3551. 

Milwaukee Mutual Loan & Bldg. Assn. — J. J. Maker, secretary, Brumder 
Bldg., Grand 1020. 

Mitchell Street Bldg. & Loan Assn.— R. J. Talsky, secretary, 735 Mitchell 
St., Orch. 788. 

Modern Mutual Bldg. & Loan Assn. — H. R. Graham, secretary, 523 Grand 
Ave., Grand 4224. 

Northern Mutual Bldg. & Loan Assn. — II. E. Ruggaber, secretary, 1092 
Teutonia Ave., Line, 4643-R. 

Northwestern Mutual Bldg. & Loan Assn. — Nic. Hoyer, secretary, 3325 
Lisbon Ave., Kilb. 1080. 

Polish Nat'l Loan & Bldg. Assn. — Louis A. Pons, secretary, 442 Mitchell 
St., Han. 1300. 

Polish-American Loan & Bldg. Assn. — August M. Fons, secretary, "West 
All is, Wis., W. Allis 64. 

Second Bohemian Loan & Bldg. Assn. — Frank Stocklasa, secretary, 1410 
Fond du Lac Ave., Kilb. 3936. 

Security Loan & Bldg. Assn. — Theo. Mueller, secretary, 353 National Ave., 
Han. 364. * 

Skarb Kosciuszko Loan & Bldg. Assn. — B. A. L. Czerwinski, secretary, 
41M Lincoln Ave., ITan. 470. 

Skarb Polski Loan & Bldg. Assn. — I. A. Przybyla, secretary, 442 Mitchell 
St., Han. 159. 

Skarb Pulaski Bldg. & Loan Assn. — S. J. Jazdzewski, secretary, 33 Locust 
St., Line. 825. 

Skarb Sobieski Bldg. & Loan Assn. — Val. Jendrzejczak, secretary, 1090 
Fifth Ave., Han. 3365-W. 

South Milw. Mutual Loan & Bldg. Assn., Viola M. Scott, secretary, So. 
Milwaukee, Wis. 

Standard Bldg. & Loan Assn. — A. R. Calhoun, secretary, Brumder Bldg., 
Grand 4083. 

South Side Mutual Loan & Bldg. Assn. — J. M. Schneider, secretary, 493 
Mitchell St., Han. 627. 

Sterling Savings, Loan & Bldg. Assn. — August Rebhan, secretary, 405 
Broadway, Brdw. 3687. 

United Bldg. & Loan Assn.— Paul F. Berndt, secretary, 1211 Walnut St., 
Grand 256. 

Washington Bldg. & Loan Assn. — Otto T. Salick, secretary, 3610 North 
Ave., Kilb. 3790. 

Wauwatosa Bldg. & Loan Assn. — Edw. F. Geske, secretary, Wauwatosa, 
"Wis., Wau. 1062-W. 


West Allis Bldg. & Loan Assn. — I. L. Tipple, secretary, West Allis, Wis., 
W. Allis 630. 

Wisconsin .Mutual Loan & Bldg. Society —P. A. Schmidt, secretary, Wesl 
Milwaukee Shops, West 4570. 

Wisconsin Savings, Loan & Bldg. Assn. — Clem. P. Host, secretary, Brumder 
Bids'., Grand 6811. 


In the field of insurance, particularly life insurance, Milwaukee has fig- 
ured in a prominent way. This is due to the fact that it founded and reared 
one of the largest life insurance institutions in the United States and which 
here deserves first place in the treatment of the subject of insurance. We 
can do no better than quote Henry F. Tyrell who says: 

"The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company is sixty-four years 
old. It came to Milwaukee when the city was thirteen years old and when 
the company could hardly stand alone. It was not a stalwart child and its 
prospects were poor, indeed. Its sponsors turned it over to its new guardians 
with less than $300 in assets and without enough genuine sustenance to last 
a day. Judge Henry L. Palmer and S. S. Daggett went to Janesville where 
it was born and literally carried the whole institution including 'books, pic- 
tures and family wearing apparel' in their arms, to Milwaukee, where it was 
nurtured and cared for, and where it has 'waxed exceeding strong.' 

"Gen. John C. Johnston was the founder of the institution. Down in old 
Vermont he had been teacher of the Hydes, one general agent of the Mutual 
Life Insurance Company at Boston and the other, president of the great 
Equitable of New York, and when the spirit of unrest moved him, he traveled 
down to New York City taking an agency for the Mutual Life. He served 
seven years, from 1847 to 1854, and resigned, coming west to Janesville, Wis., 
with $30,000 in his pockets, a real fortune for those days. 

"He purchased a tract of about one thousand acres of land 7% miles north- 
west of Janesville, on the Madison road, built thereon a large brick house 
and stone 'milk factory' and cherished the hope that he might establish 
a successful dairy farm. He was poorly equipped for this plan and because 
of lack of experience, rapidly sunk his fortune in the project. Then his 
thoughts reverted to life insurance and he succeeded in getting a bill passed 
by the company incorporating the Mutual Life Insurance Company of the 
State of Wisconsin, the name being changed to the present one, January 20, 

"The company began business at Janesville, Wis., but moved its head- 
quarters to Milwaukee, March 8, 1859. On coming to Milwaukee, The North- 
western was first housed on the site of the present Railway Exchange Build- 
ing. It now occupies an imposing structure at 210 Wisconsin Street, said to 
be the handsomest office building in the world. 

"Imagine for a moment the circumstances in which The Northwestern 



(The larger building was formerly occupied by the Northwestern Mutual 

Life Insurance Company.) 


first saw the light of day. That was back in 1857 when the Badger state was 
not yet ten years old and the City of Milwaukee, less than fifteen. Wiscon- 
sin was sparsely settled, and it was struggling against the hardships of pio- 
neering. The state had but one railroad, and that had just been completed. 
.Markets were few and far between. Financial devastation stalked grimly 
abroad. Civil war, with all its prospective horrors and desolations, loomed 
up menacingly. Doubt and distrust took away the nerves of men. The pres- 
ervation of property appeared far more important than the insurance of lives 
and it was amid these handicaps that Gen. John C. Johnston, from out the 
eastland, came to Wisconsin. Tiring of his preconceived idea of settling 
down on a stock farm near Janesville, he began to interest men in the estab- 
lishment of a life insurance company. 

"The material progress of The Northwestern starts with the day it entered 
Milwaukee, March 8, 1850. The story of that progress is written into the 
official records of nearly every state in the American union and it is a narra- 
tive of accomplishment — of marvelous, but deserved, success. 

"It is the story of hundreds of thousands of persons happily insured; 
of vast sums of money saved from small surplus by thrifty farmers, work- 
men, artisans and others; of millions of dollars furnished for the protection 
of homes and the maintenance and education of American families; of other 
millions which have merged into nation building accessories — railroad sys- 
tems, turnpikes, drainage, canals, telegraph and telephone companies, com- 
mercial and industrial institutions. 

"Indeed, the true story of the material progress of The Northwestern, if 
properly told, would make as fascinating a fiscal recital as a Midas could wish, 
but it would involve an array of figures which would not be particularly 
interesting to the casual reader. It is necessary — and it is eminently proper — 
to say, however, that from a weak, toddling infant which was brought to 
the doorsteps of Milwaukee in 1859, The Northwestern has developed into 
stahvart proportions in its sixty-two years of experience here. Some idea of 
its development may be had from the fact that the company now is composed 
of more than 730,000 American members whose homes are protected to an 
amount exceeding $2,250,000,000 ! 

"Figures are easily written and hastily forgotten. It means little to the 
casual reader, for example, to note that during the year 1920 The Northwest- 
ern paid out in death losses alone, the sum of $18,763,000 but the analyst with 
imagination catches the picture of the producer of the family gone and the 
money turned to the protection of home and to the happiness of survivors. 

"It requires but the dash of a pen and the click of a linotype to record 
that in the year 1920 The Northwestern paid out more than $50,000,000 to its 
policyholders and their beneficiaries, and the casual reader will pass on to 
the next paragraph without a thrill, but the thoughtful reader will instantly 
realize, with proper astonishment, that the state and nation were relieved of 
possible pauperism to just exactly that immense amount. 

"The casual reader misses much of the romance of life insurance. He does 
not appreciate the real service of the institution. He vaguely senses the fiscal, 
but misses the sentimental altogether. He looks upon the picture blankly. 


But the man of imagination sees in life insurance an instrumentality of home 
protection, family support, business conservatism, thrift, solvency, nation- 
building and contentment. 

"It is well enough to* show figures which evidence successful business 
administration, for they are a source of pride, naturally, but the real figures 
of life insurance are graven upon the hearts and minds of those who have 
received of its beneficence 'to keep the broken home from separation and 
from charity.' 

"In a history of this description, however, one would fail to do justice to 
the book, or to the company, if he neglected to point out one paramount 
feature of the development of The Northwestern. For many years — indeed 
so long as to entitle it to the distinction of being the pioneer — The North- 
western has loaned a goodly percentage of its available funds to farmers for 
the purchase and improvement of their property. Millions upon millions of 
dollars have been thus loaned, particularly in the West and Middle West. 
and the largest portion of the investments of the company today is in real 
estate mortgage loans. Equally important and striking is the fact that for 
many years past farmers have been the leading insurers in The Northwestern. 
"Why did The Northwestern succeed? Because it had men administering 
its affairs who knew how to do it and who never compromised a principle. 
It is not the way of the world to dwell upon the accomplishments of the dead, 
but any writer who undertook to account for the success of The Northwestern 
and who neglected to mention the sterling ability of Henry L. Palmer: the 
great genius of Emory McClintock and the constructive facility of Willard 
Merrill, would fail of his undertaking. During the sixty-four years of its 
history The Northwestern has had but five chief executive officers: S. S. Dag- 
gett, who served from 1859 to 1868; John H. Van Dyke. 1869-1874: Henry 
L. Palmer, 1874-1908; George C. Markham, 1908-1919 and W. D. Van Dyke 
elected January 29, 1919, and still serving. 

"The Northwestern has just come through the two greatest years in its 
history. The men who preside over its destinies today are building well upon 
the foundation eternally laid for them by master hands. To these later men 
belongs the credit for the astonishing records of recent years. The executive 
officers are: President, W. D. Van Dyke; vice presidents. P. R. Sanborn and 
M. J. Cleary; secretary, A. S. Hathaway: general counsel, Geo. Lines: actuary. 
Percy II. Evans; superintendent of agencies, George E. Copeland : and medical 
director. Dr. J. W. Fisher." 

The Northwestern National Insurance Company. — This company, which 
has played a leading part in the insurance history of the city, was founded 
in 1869 by some of the foremost business men of thai period. The articles of 
association were signed by Alexander Mitchell. Angus Smith. Lester Sexton. 
Levi H. Kellogg, John Plankinton, Greenleaf D. Norris, Sherburn S. Mer- 
rill, David Ferguson, and John J. Tallmadge. its first presideni was Alexander 
Mitchell who served in that capacity for eight years. 

The original purpose of the company was to engage mainly in marine 
insurance, but it soon took up fire insurance and gradually extended its 
operations to the entire Middle West. The company's first office was located 


at 99 Michigan Street. From there the company in 1878 moved into more 
commodious quarters in the Mitchell building at the corner of Michigan and 
East Water streets. Its present home on Wisconsin Street, which is monu- 
mental in architectural design and a model in interior orientation, \v;is con- 
structed in 1906. 

The company not only brought to its service the most honorable and 
capable business men of Milwaukee in building for an important and useful 
enterprise, but also continued the many years of its existence to gain in 
stability and financial strength. 

This fact was amply demonstrated in the record the company has made. 
It braved the storms which have wrecked so many fire insurance companies, 
met the great losses caused by huge conflagrations throughout the country, 
and stood like a rock against the financial waves that were lashed against it. 

There was the Chicago fire in 1871, the Milwaukee fire in 1892, the San 

Francisco fire in 1906, the Minnesota forest fires in 1918. In these and many 

other conflagrations the company suffered enormous losses which were 

, promptly met. Its loss in the San Francisco fire reached the sum of over 

one-half million dollars. 

The company now does business through more than six thousand agents 
and fifteen branch offices. It carries on its payroll nearly three hundred 
employes. Its annual income exceeds the sum of $5,000,000. 

In 3887 Alfred James succeeded Alexander Mitchell as president of the 
company. Upon the death of Mr. James, Wilford M. Patton was chosen and 
served until 1916. On April 8, 1916, the present incumbent of the office, 
Alfred F. James, was chosen. 

President James has maintained the high standards of business integrity 
and of institutional stability which the early founders have espoused. He 
has not only the distinction of succeeding a line of remarkable predecessors 
but also to succeed his own father who was one of the most important factors 
in the earlier history of the company. 

The assets of the Northwestern National Insurance Company on January 
1, 1919, aggregated the sum of $8,576,596.13, including a net surplus of $1,- 

The officers of the company are: President, Alfred F. James; vice presi- 
dent, William D. Reed; second vice president, Joseph Huebl ; secretary, Lubin 
M. Stuart; assistant secretary, Herman A. Schmidt; general adjuster, Arthur 
J. Wright; manager automobile department, Roger G. Calton; chief examiner, 
Albert L. Hentzen: manager local department, Joseph E. Williams; manager, 
Northwestern Underwriters Agency, John B. Faatz. Directors: Charles 
Ray, Hon. James G. Jenkins, Washington Becker, Grant Fitch, Howard Greene, 
Fred Vogel, Jr., J. Ogden Armour, H. A. J. Upham, J. H. Tweedy, Jr., Robert 
Camp, William D. Van Dyke, Alfred F. James, William D. Reed, Joseph Huebl. 

The Milwaukee Mechanics' Insurance Company was incorporated under 
a charter given by special act of the Legislature of Wisconsin, February 15, 
1852, and, originally, was a mutual company, bearing the name of Milwaukee 
Mechanics' Mutual Insurance Company. In its infancy the company did not 
show much progress ; in fact at times its very existence was endangered, but 

Home ollice building on Wisconsin Street 



it weathered the many storms and soon won an enviable reputation among 
the citizens of Milwaukee and vicinity. 

After the close of the Civil war the company made astounding progress 
and its growth from that time was steady and largely exceeded all expecta- 
tions of its founders. When the desire for greater expansion of the company 
was handicapped by the many failings of mutual companies, the doors of many 
states barring its entrance into new and profitable territory, the company was 
reorganized, the change having been resolved upon by a general vote of the 
members, at the annual meeting in January, 1884, under a special act of the 
Legislature and became a stock company with a capital stock of $200,000 
paid into the treasury, and the company took a place among the millionaires. 

This reorganization vested the company with new power and it immedi- 
ately branched out in every direction, adding to its territory from time to 
time until it now operates throughout the United Sates in practically every 
state. It is the oldest and one of the most reliable of the fire insurance com- 
panies in the Northwest, The cash capital of the company is now $1,250,109, 
and the total assets including the reserves amount to $7,127,867.99, an in- 
crease of about $3,000,000 over the assets of four years ago. 

Its first year closed with assets totaling $1,236.63, while the report of 
January 1, 1922, shows present assets of $7,828,586.13, testifying to the ex- 
pansion of the company. 

The collapse of several foreign insurance companies in 1850 and 1851, and 
the many losses resulting, prompted a group of Milwaukee business men to 
consider the organization of a home mutual fire insurance company, which 
was incorporated under a charter given by special act of the Legislature of 
Wisconsin on February 15, 1852. 

The eight charter members of the board of directors were Isaac Neustadtl, 
William Reinhart, Fred Schloemileh, Val Schranck, Charles Rau, Francis Hoff- 
man. Ernest Prieger and William Schroeder. At a meeting on March 6, 1852, 
they chose the following officers: Isaac Neustadtl, president; E. Prieger, 
secretary, and Fred Schloemileh, treasurer. 

The first policy — and present officials believe there was an omen in that 
name — was issued to Joachim F. Luck on April 1, 1852. 

Up to 1854 there was no startling progress in the company. But after that 
lime, when Christian Preusser was elected president, development was rapid 
and steady. Familiarly known as " Preusser 's Insurance Company," it 
achieved an enviable reputation among the citizens of Milwaukee and vi- 

John C. Dick, who was appointed general agent in 1856 and later elected 
vice president, and Adolph J. Cramer, who became secretary in 1865, were two 
who contributed to the early success of the organization. 

The failures of many companies as a result of the Chicago fire prompted 
the management to cross the Wisconsin boundary line. When the company 
celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary it was operating successfully in nine 
states, and at present is operating in all but California, Delaware, Mississippi 
and Nevada. 

In January, 1884, under a special act of the Legislature, the company 


was reorganized as a stuck company, a capital stock of $200,000 paid into 
the treasury, and the company placed among the millionaires. 

Tlic company has occupied six offices during its career, first in the .Martin 
Mock on the present site of-the Mack block, and. in succession, Grenacher's 
building', Wiesmann's block, the Preusser block and its own building adjoin- 
ing the Preusser block. 

At the present time it occupies the entire sixteenth floor of the First Wis- 
consin National Bank building. 

Charles H. Yunker is president of the company and other officers are: 
G. W. Grossenbach, first vice president; Robe Bird, second vice president; 
R. H. Wieben, secretary; Emil Teich, Charles Klenk, Rene Steckel, assistant 
secretaries, and Ernest G. Ebert, assistant treasurer. 

The board of directors includes Fred Vogel, Jr., Charles F. Pfister, Gustave 
Pabst, Otto H. Falk, W. C. Quarles, Carl G. Stern, Charles II. Yunker, Henry 
J. Nunnemacher, William E. Black, Dr. Joseph Schneider, A. ( '. Swallow. 
G. W. Grossenbach, Fred T. Goll, Armin W. Finger, Oliver C. Fuller, Arthur 
R. Munkwitz, Robe Bird, William H. Schuchardt. 

Old Line Life Insurance Company. — Commenced business in 1910; on De- 
cember 31, 1919, its assets were $2,341,455.16; its surplus $202,453.26. 

The commissioner of insurance, Mr. Piatt Whitman, in the foreword of his 
annual report, says: "The progress of a company or society is usually more 
clearly indicated by the figures covering a period of years than by the figures 
for any particular year." This method is followed throughout the report, 
and detailed statistics of all insurance companies in the state: — life, fire, ma- 
rine, hail and casualty insurance are shown in five-year periods in compara- 
tive form. 

Milwaukee Stock Fire Insurance Companies (December 31, 1920). — Mil- 
waukee Mechanics, commenced business 1852, assets, $7,511,472.88. North- 
western National, commenced business 1869, assets, $9,076,638.24. Concordia, 
commenced business 1870, assets, $4,640,812.52. 

Milwaukee Domestic Mutual Fire Insurance Companies (December 31, 
1920). -American .Mutual, commenced business 1905; risks in force $5.012.7' ls 
Badger Mutual, commenced business 1891; risks in force, $16,945,940. Cream 
City Mutual, commenced business 1889; risks in force, $6,893,266. Druggists 
Mutual, commenced business 1907; risks in force, $648,600. Furniture healers 
Mutual, Ltd.. commenced business 1917: risks in force, $700,750. .Jewelers 
Mutual, commenced business 1914; risks in force, $3,521,300. Limited Mutual 
Conditional Sales Insurance Company, commenced business 1919; risks in force, 
$243,049. Market Men 's Ltd., Mutual, commenced business 1917 ; risks in force, 
$699,000. Milwaukee .Mutual, commenced business 1907: risks in force. $3,031,- 
308. Mutual Church, commenced business 1891; risks in force. $4,845,274. 
Retail Lumbermen's Mutual, commenced business 1897; risks in force. $3,309,- 
172. Security Mutual, commenced business 1919; risks in force. $1,782,019. 
Wisconsin Ltd.. Mutual, commenced business 1905; risks in force. $328,094. 
Wisconsin Retailers .Mutual Fire Insurance Com pa ny. Ltd., commenced business 
1920, risks in force, $172,200. 

Stock Casualty Insurance Companies in Milwaukee. — Midland Casualty 


Company, commenced business 1912. (December 31, 1919), assets, $178,512.67; 
capital and surplus, $133,265.84. Old Line Life, commenced business 1911. 
(See table under "Life Insurance.") Time Insurance Company, commenced 
business 1910. (December 31, 1919), assets, $129,741.38: capital and surplus, 
$76,383.59. Wisconsin Accident and Health Insurance Company, commenced 
business 1915. (December 31, 1919), assets, $44,810.27; capital and surplus, 

11 IP i. 




In the Milwaukee Sentinel of January 1, 1922, Mr. H. A. Plumb tells the 
story of the chamber's earlier activities, as follows . 

"The Milwaukee Chamber of Commerce, organized in 1S58, is one of the 
oldest of the grain exchanges in the West — the oldest with the single excep- 
tion of the Chicago Board of Trade. 

"The Chicago exchange came into existence at about the same time, in the 
same year, at least, but the other exchanges, some of which are now Large 
and important bodies, were organized later — many years later, with the excep- 
tion that the St. Louis Merchants' exchange came onto the scene in 1862. 

"Before Civil War. — Away back in the years before the Civil war there 
was considerable trading in wheat in Milwaukee on the old 'corn exchange,' 
and it was so far back that the word 'corn' had more particularly the mean- 
ing of 'grain,' as we understand the use of those words today, for there was 
very little corn — or 'maize' — handled in this part of the country commercially 
in those days. It was nearly all wheat, but a corn exchange was a grain ex- 
change, and such was Milwaukee's first trading organization, whose members 
were accustomed to gather in the railroad yards during the morning hours 
and buy and sell the wheat upon its arrival. The grain at that time was shipped 
in bags, the handling of bulk grain beginning about 1857. 

"The records kept in the secretary's office show the shipments of grain 
from Milwaukee to the East from 1845 to 1849 as consisting entirely of wheat, 
but do not show the receipts until the year 1858, the year of the organization 
of the chamber, when the total arrivals are given at 5,827,000 bushels of all 
kinds of grain, less than 1,000,000 bushels covering all the corn, oats, barley 
and rye, the balance being wheat. 

"Had Ninety-Nine Members. — In 1858, on October 21st, these early day 
grain merchants of what was by that time one of the most important ter- 
minal markets in the United States organized -'The Chamber of Commerce of 
the City of Milwaukee,' the association being housed at 1 Spring Street, the 
site of Gimbel's store today. There were ninety-nine of these men, of whom 
the late Robert Eliot, who died in 1917, was one, and so far as the writer 
knows, lie was last of the charter members of the Chamber of Commerce. 

"The original organization of the chamber was effected under the general 

laws of the state, but after ten years the grain industry had grown to such 

importance and become so highly specialized that the need for the authority 

' of law for special activities, such as inspection and weighing of the grain, ami 



arbitration i>f business differences and things of thai nature was apparent, 
and so application Avas made to the Wisconsin Legislature for a charter granl 
[ng certain rights and privileges and defining the powers of the association. 
The charter was granted, becoming effective on February 29, 1868, the date 
of its formal approval. 

".Meanwhile the chamber had been removed, in 1863, to a building on the 
site of the present one, which it occupied until Alexander Mitchell erected 
the building now housing the association. This was completed in 1880, the 
grain men being quartered in the interim at 415-417 Broadway. 

"A National Factor. — During this period the Milwaukee Chamber of Com- 
merce became a factor in the grain trade of the United States, and Milwaukee 
was recognized as one of the principal markets of the country. 

"In 1873 the receipts of grain of the various kinds amounted to 32,567,565 
bushels, 28,457,937 bushels of which was wheat. These were extraordinarily 
large receipts, and for a number of years, in fact, all through the '70s, Mil- 
waukee handled what for those times was an immense volume of strain yearly. 
Milwaukee's fame as a market spread all over the world, and 'Milwaukee 
No. 2 wheat' was quoted in Liverpool as a standard. 

"In the '80s the great markets, Milwaukee and Chicago, began to feel the 
effects of the establishment of exchanges at other points. In 1S81 the Minne- 
apolis Chamber of Commerce and the Duluth Board of Trade were organized 
and opened up for business, as the development of the great Northwest 
progressed with the building of railroads and the extens'on of agriculture 
over its wide plains. 

''While the grain industry at Milwaukee did not exactly retrogress, it 
did not progress at the rate to which it had been accustomed, and a period of 
comparative depression ensued, culminating in the early 1900s. Since that 
time the growth has been steady and substantial, and Milwaukee has main- 
tained a position as one of the leading grain markets of the country. 

"Pioneer in Trade. — Being one of the oldest and most progressive ex- 
changes of the middle western states, the Milwaukee Chamber of Commerce 
has been in many respects a pioneer in grain exchange methods. The rules 
in effect in this organization have served as the patterns after which the 

structures of other and more r mtly created trading associations have been 

built. In fact, if one will turn to the rules of almost any of the numerous 
exchanges organized since 1860 he will find entire sections copied word for 
word from the rule book of the Milwaukee Chamber of Commerce. 

"A fact that is not generally known, even among the traders themselves, 
is that the pit — the octagonal trading platform, with steps on the inside and 
outside — which is used by the traders as a convenient device for their par- 
ticular purpose, was first used in the Milwaukee exchange. 

"The grain industry is today one of the mosl important commercial activ- 
ities of Milwaukee. Property valued at $75,000,000 to $100,000,000 is ban, lied 
yearly by the grain and seed firms, which are members of the Chamber of 
Commerce, and this greal business is carried on with so little fuss and feathers 

— due to the high degr »f perfection to which the grain exchanges have 

attained in facilitating the distribution of grain— -thai the average citizen 


does not realize its magniture nor the prestige it gives Milwaukee with the 
outside world. 

"But this standing has not been maintained without effort — the grain 
merchants here have not had things handed to them on a silver tray. It has 
meant hard and continuous labor, and the element of persistency and keeping 
everlastingly at it has entered into the situation. Unremitting watchfulness 
was necessary to prevent the other markets from benefiting from discrimina- 
tory railroad rates, and every so often a battle royal before the interstate 
commerce commission had to be waged to keep Milwaukee on her feet, for 
her grain merchants are facing the keenest sort of competition. New markets 
and new exchanges are springing up at about the rate of one a year, each one 
having its effect, more or less serious, in drawing grain from Milwaukee. 
The strength of Milwaukee, however, as a market for the sale of grain is the 
buying power exerted by her numerous manufacturing plants, which lends 
a steady and continuous demand and this makes for permanence and sta- 
bility — a great advantage over a strictly merchandising or distributing mar- 
ket. " 

At the opening of the Milwaukee Chamber of Commerce in 1858, the prin- 
cipal address was made by Edward D. Holton, portions of which are quoted 
elsewhere in this volume. This was followed by an appropriate speech by 
J. B. D. Cogswell. In his references to the preceding address of Mr. Holton, 
the speaker said: "We have listened to the addresses made, especially that 
of Mr. Holton, with much pleasure. That gentleman is himself an evidence 
of the thrift and prosperity of Milwaukee. He is now in the prime of life, 
and the patriarchs of this state are not yet whitened with age. 

"The day of small things for Milwaukee is but as yesterday. The patri- 
archs of this city less than a generation ago laid the cornerstone of the enter- 
prise and prosperity which you are enjoying. So great has been your growth 
that the pioneers have been almost buried up in the great crowd that has 
followed. You are to be congratulated upon the locality and elegant room 
which you have chosen for your use. It is a place where you will be proud to 
invite the stranger and friend. The organization of the Chamber of Com- 
merce is indicative of the prosperity and wealth of the city. 

Review of the Previous Conditions. — "It is well that such an institution is 
now organized. In small towns there is no need of such things; there was 
no commerce when Juneau came here and traded with the Indians, selling them 
blankets, powder and traps for their furs; there was no commerce when farm- 
ers drew their loads to town over heavy roads ; the place was small and every- 
body knew where to find his neighbor. The common road has been succeeded 
by the plank road, the plank road by the railroad; the farmer went through 
the land and sowed the seed where the prairie flower grew; the axeman and 
surveyor went forth, and then followed the construction of those arteries 
which now enter our city on every hand, and heavy trains come thundering 
along laden with the produce of the land, which but for these roads must 
have rotted in the fields and in the barnyards." 

The advantages derived from such an association are numerous, the mem- 
bers will meet here every day, they will be near each other, they can speak 


to cacli other from stall to stall, ami ran sell whole cargoes by mere samples. 
This is what such an organization is lor. Here may be found the newspapers 
from all the large rities of the Union and here will be received the telegraph 
reports of the eastern and foreign markets. 

"There are other benefits besides," continued the speaker. "This institu- 
tion will be of direct benefit in elevating the character of the business man: it 
is good to come together, it is not good to be alone anywhere. Man isolated 
becomes selfish; if we mingle together we become philanthropic, take each 
other by the hand with more confidence and promote what the French call 
esprit de corps." Mr. Cogswell concluded his address with an appeal Eor 
the strictest business morality among the members, a high integrity which 
should pervade the dealings and actions of the business men ami merchants 
of this city. "To them," he said, "was confided the future prosperity and 
reputation of our city. We have a noble start and the best and only elements 
out of which a large and prosperous city can arise — a fit population, an excel- 
lent natural location and a superior country to back it up." 

The Chamber of Commerce has through its entire career been a trading 
body. It has not been a civic promotional organization as chambers are in 
many American cities. Aside from its strictly trading activities, however, it 
has concerned itself in the rail and water transportation facilities of the city. 
It was for many years the sole guardian of Milwaukee's harbor interests, and 
always maintained a traffic bureau promoting expedition and efficiency in rail 

The Chamber of Commerce has participated from time to time in move 
ments designed to advance the civic and material progress of the community. 
It has never failed to respond to the call. Whenever the interests of the city 
were at stake its membership came forward readily, loyally and liberally in 
tendering their support. 


The effort of American cities to gain in prestige, power and prosperity must 
primarily be credited to individual initiative. The complex character and 
scope of modern business life, however, has evolved a tendency to go beyond 
individual effort and bring into play the concerted force and influence of 
the many. A body or an association of men rather than any one man becomes 
the instrument for promotion and for guidance. Thus every city, large and 
small, has its organization of business and professional men through which 
is expressed the hope, ambition and aspiration of the community. 

The activities engaged in by the local commercial body, in a measure at 
least, is a suggestive index to the commercial, industrial and civic tendencies 
of the community. It supplements individual effort by collective effort, 
prompts a spirit of progress, stimulates enterprise and growth, brings the 
natural advantages of the city to their highest stage of development and 
advances the civic ideals and standards of the community. 

The Hon. James Bryce, a former British ambassador, during an address 
delivered in Milwaukee some years ago said: "A new force has risen in 
American cities which must be dealt with, and which has a peculiar power 
for good. The commercial organization, properly constituted as to policy and 
personnel, wields an influence not only in the promotion of industrial and 
commercial development but becomes also a wholesome civic, factor. And 
what could be a greater influence for good than a body of high-minded, 
progressive and aggressive men, organized on non-political and non-partisan 
lines? The official authorities do not always represent the highest ideals of 
the community. The non-political commercial and civic body may become 
the strongest factor in collecting, focusing and diffusing public opinion, in 
cultivating higher aims and purposes." 

The extent to which commercial bodies fulfill the mission assigned to them 
depends upon the financial support they receive and the intellectual strength 
of the executive officials and upon the spirit of progress with which the mem- 
bership may be imbued. Much, of course, depends upon intelligent and ag- 
gressive leadership, and where the local business men are not too hidebound 
in their conservatism, an active and useful organization can be brought into 

The nature and character of the work performed depends largely upon 
the natural surroundings and the possibilities of the locality. One locality lias 
natural advantages which adapt it admirably for industrial growth, another 


i i] ill -/Amuu 


. \ terclianls -/Ar j t! on, 







by virtue of peculiar location enjoys commercial advantages. But, whatever 
the local conditions may be, as to advantages and disadvantages, it neverthe- 
less remains that the efforts of commercial organizations are directed along- 
economic and civic lines. 

Outline of Association History. — The .Milwaukee Association of Commerce 
is one of the oldest institutions of its kind in the United States. It was on 
March 5, 1861, that twenty-three public-spirited business men, headed by John 
Nazro, then the hardware king of Milwaukee, came together for the purpose 
of organizing a business association. 

They sought to stimulate local commercial activities, establish trade con- 
nections with the outside world, bring current business usage and methods 
upon a higher plane, cultivate cordial relations among business men and 
spread the fame and prestige of Milwaukee as a progressive and prosperous 
commercial center. 

Since the beginning of the association Milwaukee has seen its little shops 
and stores grow in number and size, its business districts grow into important 
marts of trade and commerce, its few small factories multiply themselves into 
thousands of manufacturing plants many of which have grown into industries 
of world-wide reputation. It covers a period when Milwaukee grew from a 
small struggling community into a great city occupying a proud place among 
the sister cities of the nation. 

While the original founder merely sought the extension of trade it took 
many years to develop correct ideas, as to the mission and purposes of a com- 
mercial organization. Many obstacles and difficulties were encountered and 
overcome and only with patient, application and loyalty to the cause in hand 
was an efficient working body finally brought into life. Milwaukee's best 
citizenship was identified in the development of the organization and took a 
lively and active part in all its efforts to promote the growth and prosperity 
of the city. 

Among the association achievements of recent years are the erection of 
the Exposition building, the permanent location of the State Fair in Milwau- 
kee, the establishment of the Milwaukee School of Trades and construction 
of the Auditorium Building and the preparation of the initial plans for the 
acquirement of Jones Island as a public wharf and shipping center. 

The Earlier Beginning's. — The suggestion for some form of organization 
of business men had been under consideration for several years before anyone 
took definite steps in that direction. The immediate cause for the organi/.a 
tion was an excursion trip to the City of Philadelphia undertaken in January, 
1861, by a small group of Milwaukee merchants. Those who participated 
discussed the subject with some enthusiasm and upon their return a meeting 
was called. 

A local paper of that day described them as a "body of enterprising and 
wholesouled men" who saw a future for the city and believed in striving 
upon broad lines for its growth, development and prestige. 

On March 5, 1861, the following, then leading business men of the city 
met: Lester Sexton, Sexton Brothers & Company; W. P. Young, Young & 
French; F. J. Bosworth, H. Bosworth & Sons; W. S. Candee, Candee, Dibble 

Vol. 1—2 5 



IN j-foNOR 



i. id. 

' " 

' 4 , 

/ ... ... 

( I, <*~ 





Mi-:i;i BANTS 


& Company; J. T. Bradford, Bradford Brothers; A. II. Atkins, Atkins, Steele 
& White; George J. Sivyer, J. A. Benedict & Company; E. Terry, Terry & 
Cleaver; John De Bow, Hanley & De Bow; Edward O'Neill, J. Dahlman & 
Company; E. H. Terry, Goodrich & Terry; T. A. Greene, Greene & Button; 
J. S. Richer, Jewell, Davis & Company; John Nazro, George Tracy, W. M. 
Sinclair, Henry Fiss, Jr., Edward Truslow, George Bremer, George William- 
son, J. A. Dutcher, G. P. Hewitt and Clarence Shepard. 

The name chosen for the young organization was that of the Merchants 
Association of Milwaukee. The officers elected were the following: Presi- 
dent, John Nazro; vice president, (J. P. Hewitt; secretary, J. A. Dutcher; 
treasurer, F. II. Terry; directors: J. T. Bradford, George Bremer, Lester Sax- 
ton, F. J. Bosworth and W. M. Sinclair. 

The first promotional effort that was undertaken by the association con- 
sisted of the employment of a man named Captain Mapes who visited the 
various sections of the state to make propaganda for Milwaukee as a trading 
center. This was in 1S62. During the same year the organization together 
with the Chamber of Commerce raised a company of soldiers for the Civil war. 

In 1865 George W. Allen made the charge that the fire insurance rates 
were exorbitant in that they were four times as high as those exacted in 
Chicago. The charge was substantiated in a subsequent committee report. 
The insurance companies responded with considerable sarcasm but the asso- 
ciation eventually won out and the rates were reduced to an acceptable basi°. 
At the same time the fire protection of the city was improved so as to meet 
the requirements of the companies. 

During the following year a unique report was made to the effect that "not 
one member had failed in business." An effort was made to hold high the 
credit of the business men of the city and to worry through the "storm and 
stress" period of the Civil war without bringing commercial calamity upon 
the city. 

In 1S66 George H. Walker, one of the three original pioneers of the city, 
died. The association adopted a resolution which embodied tiie following 
sentence: "May the fair white city, now so young and vigorous, become great 
among the cities of the world, and may the name or the virtues of one of its 
founders, George H. Walker, never be forgotten." 

During the same year Guido Pfister went to Madison to secure legislation 
in the interest of the city. The legislators of both Minnesota and Wisconsin 
visited .Milwaukee in 186!) for the purpose of studying problems of city gov- 
ernment. Under the laws then existing the association had the appoint incut 
of fish inspectors. The fish industry had been an important one for many 
years. The last to serve in the capacity of such inspectors were Edward Fur- 
long, J. W. Barnum and Edward Burke. 

In 1875 funds were collected to secure the state fair and all business houses 
and factories were closed for a day in order to enable the employes to attend 
the fair. Funds were also gathered to aid the fire sufferers of Oshkosh. 

The same year a committee consisting of Charles T. Bradley, E. II. Ball 
and Elias Friend was sent to New York to induce capital to seek investment 
in local enterprises. In 1890 funds were raised to help the New Richmond 


tornado sufferers and for the starving Porto Ricans. Tn 1900 the sum of 

$15,000 was raised to retain the state fair. 

Until 1893 the organization was known as the Merchants Association. A 
Manufacturers' Club had been organized a few years before and in 18!*4 a 
consolidation was effected and the mw organization with a membership of 
346 was named the Merchants and Manufacturers Association. That year 
Mr. John E. Hansen was the president. He urged a campaign to increase 
the membership to 500. The headquarters were then located in the University 

It would be difficult to crowd into a single chapter the long list of labors 
performed during the period that now followed and the results obtained. 
There were, of course, years when little or nothing was accomplished, but 
there also came periods when the actual services performed on behalf of tin 
city's commercial and industrial interests were of immeasurable value. 

Efforts in Transportation. — The association members soon recognized the 
fact that efforts would have to be made against discrimination in railroad* 
rates and service. The protests were frequent and usually attended with 

Among the first moves made by the association was an agitation for a union 
depot. This movement failed as the railroads claimed financial inability to 
build. In 1863 the association aided in the sale of $75,0(>o of bonds of tin- 
Fox River Valley Railroad. Three years later a large delegation witnessed 
the opening of the McGregor and Western Railroad at Cresco, la. 

The Northern Railroad to Menasha was completed in 1872 when a party 
of 200 merchants made an excursion trip over the line. Then followed the es- 
tablishment of a traffic bureau. With an expert in charge, the association has 
been able to render a valuable service to the business public. Thousands of 
complaints were investigated, shipping routes prepared, overcharges collected, 
rate legislation fostered, etc. 

While the association has always advocated more railroads for Milwaukee 
it has not been inclined to disparage the facilities now existing. Its position 
is outlined in the following which is taken from the history of the association 
prepared in 1910 : 

Transportation Facilities. — "Much has been said in recent years about .Mil- 
waukee's transportation facilities. It has been asserted again and again 
that the city needs more railroads and that our connections with the outside 
world should be materially strengthened. This cry still holds good. It will 
hold good in any growing community, more especially when it is recognized 
that shipping connections create trade and add to the prosperity of such 

"But, here it should also lie remembered that the local commerce must 
grow to a magnitude that will employ all additional facilities. The mere 
passing through the city of trains means little, freight that originates here 
as well as the freight that is destined for Milwaukee really counts and means 
commercial activity and prosperity. 

"Again we must not underestimate what we have. The two railroad lines 
which enter here are among the greatest railway systems in the country. They 


tap the great Northwest and connect us directly with the Pacific coast, They 
carry our goods to the North and to the South. 

"The connections with the East are via the Great Lakes. The various 
boat lines and car ferries connect with the important railroad lines which run 
to the ocean ports and through them connect with European centers. Thus, 
it may be said that Milwaukee is linked either by water or land routes with the 
four ends of the world. 

"But, while this is true it does not preclude the desirability of more trans- 
portation facilities. The cry for more roads still has efficacy when it is re- 
membered that more direct connections will bring us in closer touch with the 
other markets and afford more extended opportunity to stimulate new trade 
relations. In 1879 active steps were taken to secure the construction of the 
Lodi branch of the Chicago & North Western Railway to Milwaukee. In 1883 
the effort to induce the C, M. & St. P. Ry. to build a union station was renewed. 

"In 1887 a strong protest was made against freight rate discrimination. 
It was charged that the railroads favored Chicago and exacted unfair rates 
from the Milwaukee shippers. 

"In the year 1894 theassociation secured the defeat of the plan of the rail- 
roads to increase excess baggage charges, and also secured a reduction on 
freight rates and collected many claims for over charges. 

"The necessity of watching the question of shipping facilities and rates 
became more apparent from year to year. A permanent committee on trans- 
portation was finally created and is maintained to this day." 

The Reconstruction Period. — In 1907 the association, then under the lead- 
ership of William N. Fitzgerald, secured the services of William George Bruce 
as secretary-manager. The headquarters of the organization were then located 
in the University Building. The executive staff had up to this time consisted 
of a secretary and a stenographer. 

Under the new regime the dues were increased from $10 a year to $25 
and the membership increased from 900 to 1,200. A few years later a general 
membership campaign was undertaken and the list of members increased to 

The organization, which still went under the name of Merchants and 
Manufacturers moved its headquarters to the Germania Building, now known 
as the Brumder Building, located at the corner of Wells and Water streets. 
Later the headquarters were transferred to the First Wisconsin National Bank 
Building, then a few years ago the present home in the Milwaukee Athlet'c 
Club Building was occupied. 

The arrangement whereby the organization secured the second floor of 
the Milwaukee Athletic Club located at the comer of Broadway and Mason 
Street proved an advantageous one for both bodies. The members of the 
Association of Commerce had become the principal financial backers of the 
Athletic Club, but a merger of the two was nut deemed expedient owing to 
their wide divergence in purpose. 

The association, however, sought certain facilities which the club was able 
to supply. On the other hand the club sought patronage. The jointure 
whereby the association became a tenant of the building and the club re- 





mained the landlord, each retaining its own particular character and function, 
was carried into effect. The association located its offices on the second floor 
fronting on Mason Street, secured the use of an assembly hall, and dining 
privileges. The noon luncheon meetings are held in the assembly hall, while 
private dining rooms are reserved for special committee luncheon meetings 
whenever desired. This arrangement has been deemed practical and has been 
emulated in other cities between commercial bodies and social clubs. 

The offices of the Association of Commerce are arranged to secure the 
highest efficiency in performing the business of such a body. The various de- 
partments are readily accessible by the business public. A large and com- 
modious directors' room is provided which serves also advantageously for 
various kinds of conferences and gatherings. 

During the period beginning with 1907 the Merchants and Manufacturers 
Association absorbed the Retail Merchants Association which had been in 
existence for several years. The Citizens Business League, which has con- 
cerned itself mainly with securing conventions and with city publicity was 
also amalgamated with the association. The league had been originally 
brought into life by the hotel men and brought to a high stage of efficiency 
by Richard B. Watrous. A charities endorsement bureau which had been 
conducted by E. C. Mattison as a private enterprise was absorbed by the 

When the drive for the larger membership was completed the organiza- 
tion changed its name from the Merchants and Manufacturers Association to 
Milwaukee Association of Commerce. This change was largely due to the fact 
that the older name was somewhat restricted. There had now come into the 
organization many members who could not be classed either as merchants or 
manufacturers. Besides, the word "commerce" in its broader interpretation 
seemed better suited to the aims and purposes of the association. 

Here it should be added that the so-called commerce bodies throughout 
I he United States have widened their scope from purely business promotional 
purposes and included efforts in civic advancement as well. The Association 
of Commerce had also broadened its scope and function whereby it concerned 
itself with both the economic and civic welfare of the community, on the 
established theory that the two are intimately interwoven and that primarily 
a city must lie a good place to live in before it can become a good place in 
which to prosper in a material sense. 

During the period mentioned the association established a traffic bureau, 
with a competent transportation man in charge which rendered a valuabh 
service to the shippers. A convention bureau was also created and the effi- 
ciency of that body was demonstrated in the increased number of conven- 
tions secured since then for the city each year. The establishment of a credit 
bureau was also deemed an achievement. This bureau provided thousands 
of credit ratings to the local retail merchants and has since become an indis- 
pensable agency in securing stability and regularity in retail credit trans- 

The endorsement bureau, too, rendered a valuable service not only i'i 
eliminating wasteful and fraudulent charity solicitations bul also in aiding 





worthy charity institutions towards more adequate support. The scope of 
the bureau has in recent years been enlarged in that the subject of advertis- 
ing solicitations receive attention. On the whole the bureau has saved the 
community thousands of dollars annually in protecting it against unworthy 

In 1918 the association began to concern itself with foreign trade promo- 
tion. While no regular bureau was created committees served each year in 
disseminating foreign trade information. The committee also issued a Spanish 
edition of Civics and Commerce, the association's house organ, in which a 
complete list of the manufacturers of the city producing exportable articles, 
is given. This publication was widely circulated in Spanish-speaking coun- 

The association has always given careful attention to legislative matters. 
A committee representative of the various industrial and commercial inter- 
ests has during each session of the State Legislature examined the bills and 
joint resolutions that have come under consideration. The watchful care 
given here has also been extended to measures affecting the professional and 
educational interests. 

The position of the organization lias frequently been misunderstood and 
misinterpreted. While the policy of its legislative committee has been to 
protect the business interests of the state against oppressive regulatory laws, 
it has also supported measures designed to promote the social, educational and 
civic welfare of the state. It has always supported the educational en- 
deavors of the city and state in a loyal manner. 

In local school matters the association has always taken a progressive 
attitude. Among the things worthy of mention is its leadership in establish- 
ing the trade schoool idea and securing the legislation therefor. It also secured 
the abolition of the vertical system of penmanship in the public schools a few 
years ago. 

The Annual Merchants' Trips. — The first trade excursion was taken in 
1878, covering a week beginning with June 17th, when a body of 108 Mil- 
waukeeans, mainly business men, visited a number of Wisconsin and Minne- 
sota cities. The party also included Gen. E. W. Hincks, of the Soldiers Home, 
Judge James G. Jenkins, Mayor John Black, Postmaster Henry C. Payne, 
Judge J. A. Mallory, Gen. C. S. Hamilton and Rev. Dr. John Fulton. Among 
the prominent business men of that day who went on the trip to spread the 
city's fame were T. A. Chapman, S. S. Merrill, Edward P. Allis, Henry L. 
Palmer, Benj. M. Weil, Charles G. Starck, H. N. Hempstead, Edward Ascher- 
mann, Bernard Goldsmith, W. S. Candee, Henry Niedecken and many others. 

They were accompanied by Bach's band. Speeches, extolling the merits of 
Milwaukee as a trade center and as a promising American metropolis were 
made in every town visited. Doctor Fulton was the most popular orator of 
the first trip. 

Some years later the merchants' trips became an annual affair. Over five 
hundred cities, towns and villages have since been visited, thousands of peo- 
ple have been told of the beauties and the natural advantages of Milwaukee, 
and of its manufacturing and commercial interests. Millions of souvenirs 


mid pieces of advertising matter have been distributed throughout the west- 
ern and northern territory. 

For the period beginning with the year 1900 Franklin P. Blumenfeld 
served ms the genius and 'guiding spirit of these trade extension journeys. 
Another business man who won distinction as a promoter of the jobbers' and 
wholesalers' interests was John L. Klingler whose energetic leadership was 
generally recognized. 

The thorough manner in which these remarkable trade extension trips 
have been established, the plan of operation and their purpose may lie noted 
by tin- following study prepared by the association. 

The purpose and value of the animal trade trips and their management 
may he analyzed as follows: The larger commercial centers of the Middle 
West have in recent years engaged to a considerable extent in so-called trade 
excursions or merchants' trips. The jobbers and wholesalers of Milwaukee 
were among the first to engage in such trips and for a time no city sent out a 
larger number of trade promoters or managed such trips with greater success 
Here it should also be said that these excursions were undertaken only by the 
class of cities to which Milwaukee belongs. The larger cities, such as Chicago, 
and the smaller cities such as Des Moines. Sioux City, Aberdeen, etc.. did not 
engage in them until within recent years. 

Thus, it may he said that their value, or at least their popularity, is estab 
lished. ' Hut. it may also lie well to analyze more closely just wherein and to 
what extent the trade excursions are beneficial to the business houses that 
engage in them and to the city that promotes them. The benefits or ad- 
vantages derived from them may he summarized as follows: 

First: They promote the spirit of friendship among those who participate 
in merchants' trips. Business men are afforded an opportunity to become 
more intimately acquainted with their competitors, learn to appreciate one 
another as man against man, with the tendency to substitute wholesome com 
petition for unfriendly rivalry. 

Second: The members or managers of a business firm who participate in 
such trips have an opportunity. 

fa) To meet their customers in person, which is usually appreciated and 
tends to strengthen the business relations existing between the firms and their 

(b) These trips are apt to prompt immediate orders or pave the way for 
future orders. Frequently a sufficient number of orders is secured by busi 
ness men, the profits upon which cover the cost of several trips. 

(c) The visiting merchant is afforded an opportunity to see his customer 
in his home environments ami under conditions which furnish an answer to 
the questions: " Is this a careful business man .' 1 las he a good store, centrally 
located.' Does he keep his stock ill good condition.'" In the adjustment of 
Credits' it is important to know something about the customer's methods o\' 
doing business and the reputation he has at home. 

Third : Affording an opportunity to those who have no trade in the region 
visited, to study its lius'noss possibilities. It has frequently developed that 
business houses have found it to their advantage to place salesmen in a field 


after visiting the same, that had before such visit seemed unpromising. Thus, 
many new trade accounts have followed as the result of these merchants' trips. 

Fourth: A distinctive gain is made for the city that engages in these 
trade trips. If the firms and individuals engaging in them did not derive an 
immediate benefit there is still an advertising value which goes to the city. 
It adds a prestige to such city which could be gained in no other way. 

From the Standpoint of the Cities Visited. — Experience lias taughl (bat the 
expressions of good will and friendship showered upon the Milwaukeeans all 
along the routes traveled have been of the most sincere and cordial character 
The personal expressions as well as the numerous speeches made, taken in their 
entirety, have revealed the elements of genuine hospitality, geniality and good- 
fellowship. While the attitude of the smaller centers of population is not 
entirely unselfish in character there is usually a reciprocal spirit which forms 
an important stimulus to strengthened business relations. 

The basis for the friendly attitude on the part of the smaller town is usually 
found in the following: 

First: A local pride in the thought that an important merchants' exclu- 
sion train honors the town with a visit. Such events are comparatively rare. 

Second: A satisfaction in being afforded an opportunity to point out the 
home town's achievements and possessions. Whether the local commercial or 
industrial or institutional interests are large or small the resident citizen is 
always proud to dwell upon them. 

Third: The authorities usually recognize the fact that hospitality is ;i 
virtue which applies to eommunit'es as well as to individuals and that hos- 
pitality manifested on occasions of this kind denotes also the enterprise ami 
public spirit of a people. 

Fourth: That trade relations between the larger and smaller cities are 
reciprocal; that the products of the farm which maintain the small city must 
find their ultimate outlet for consumption in the larger centers of population: 
that the manufactured article of the large city is in turn essential to the life, 
activities and comforts of the farm and the small city. 

Fifth: That, in other states the element of friendship is always strength- 
ened by the men who claim their birth place in Wisconsin; and in this state 
by the men who have relatives and friends in Milwaukee or who at some time 
in their iives res'ded in this city. Thus, the social element becomes a factor 
in the courtesies which are extended to the visiting merchants. 

Attitude of the Visiting Merchants. — The responses usually made by the 
executive officers and members of the Association of Commerce may be summed 
up in the following thoughts and expressions: 

First: That commerce knows no limitations; that state lines are created 
for purposes of government only; that an interstate commerce is consistent 
with the American idea and conducive to the welfare and prosperity of the 
whole country; that we are fine people, under one flag, with one and the same 

Second: That the progressive merchant of the large city believes in the 
integrity, mission and purposes of the smaller units of population; that the 

WELLS "ITU E Bl 1 1 . 1 > 1 \ < ■ 
Corner Wisconsin and Milwaukee streets 


smallest village alike with the greatest metropol's performs a function in the 
economic, civic, educational and moral welfare of the nation. 

Third: That, while the price list, quality of goods, taste and personal 
preference are leading factors in trade, the element of personal contact and 
friendship cannot be ignored or overlooked. 

Fourth : That honesty and integrity are a permanent and self-accruing 
asset in business and that the Milwaukee merchants come with honorable 
motives, with clean hands and clean intentions. 

Fifth: That commercial and industrial Milwaukee means to compete 
aggressively with other markets; to apply enterprise, energy and industry in 
developing its possibilities. 

Sixth: To tell the world what Milwaukee is, what it has, and what it 
stands for; to tell of its natural advantages, its geographical location; its 
commercial and industrial achievements, its hopes, its aspirations and its 

Administration and Management. — The trade excursions heretofore under- 
taken by the Milwaukee Association of Commerce have been uniformly suc- 
cessful in the ends and purposes which they have aimed to serve, namely 
to promote and strengthen the business relations between Milwaukee and the 
outside world. They have also been conducted upon a self-sustaining basis. 
The expense has been almost wholly borne by those who participated in them. 

In order, however, that the greatest degree of service be attained in point 
of participation, in the selection of an itinerary, in securing a reasonable rate 
of per capita cost, in securing an efficient train service, in prompting a cordial 
reception and in attaining favorable publicity in the towns to he visited, the 
merchants' trips are planned with discriminate care months in advance and 
with a supervisory care on the part of the executive officers and the board 
of directors. More especially must this be done if the trips are to be made 
self-sustaining in point of cost. 

The committees entrusted with the immediate and detail arrangements are 
apt to become engrossed in certain phases of the trip and lose sight of the 
larger problems involved and the ultimate outcome of the financial end of the 
project. Thus, action which shall be timely enough so as to make the veto 
power of the board effective and practical both as to the itinerary and the 
cost involved, should be recommended. The following suggestions have been 
observed : 

First: That, all trips are planned with a view of making them self-sus- 
taining in point of cost. 

Second: That the jobbers' committee plan its itinerary during the month 
of January of each year for the excursion to be undertaken during the 
month of June following, and that a list of probable participants be prepared 
and acceptances be secured as early as possible. 

Third: That the jobbers' committee present to the board of directors at 
their meeting held in February a report on the next merchants' trip, the 
itinerary and date for same, the number of prospective participants, the ar- 
rangements for transportation, specifying cost for mileage, meals and sleep- 


mg car service, accompanied by estimates as to the total receipts and expendi- 
tures involved. 

Relation between Civics and Commerce. — In fixing the status of the modern 
commerce body in its relation to Local government and to the economic progress 

of the community, William George Bruce has defined its scope, which defini- 
tion has been accepted throughout the United States. It embodies the follow- 

"1. All conditions making for the health and comfort and the educational 
and moral progress of the people, in themselves wield a wholesome influence 
upon the material advancement of the community. Industry and commerc ■ 
gain in efficiency and in ethical standards. Community power, prestige and 
prosperity find their best impulse in a constituency that is morally and physi- 
cally sound. 

"2. The commercial organization must assume an advisory and coopera- 
tive attitude towards the local governmental factors. It must primarily 
recognize the powers, duties and prerogatives conferred by law upon thus;' 
entrusted with the legislative and administrative branches of government. 
It must speak only from the standpoint of the private citizen who acts in a 
collective capacity, who is concerned in wise expenditure of pub! c funds, in 
the introduction of laudable innovation, and in the upholding of acceptable 

"3. A commercial organization must confine its efforts to principles an i 
policies involved in local government rather than to persons and parties. Ic 
cannot consistently engage in any activity which can be construed into a 
partisanship between candidates and political parties. Here is the danger line. 
Political parties have their adherents; candidates have their friends. Both 
adherents and friends may be members of the commercial organization. To 
exert partisanship here means to invade the field of practical polities and ths 
domain of opposing political partes and organizations. Among these, divi- 
sion and contest are the order of the day. Such invasion, therefore, leads to a 
sea of disruption and sends the commercial ships upon the. rocks where it will 
surely be wrecked and destroyed. The member of a commercial organization 
may, in his individual capacity, support or oppose men and parties. That is 
his privilege and his duty as a citizen. But, the commercial organization, as 
such, cannot engage in political campaigns without exposing itself to the 
danger of disruption and extinction. Nor is it, wise for the executive officers 
of an organization, the president or secretary, to publicly champion the cause 
of candidates or parties. 

"4. The line of demarkation between civic activities and political activ- 
ities, drawn by commercial bodies, must lie somewhere between ante-election 
campaigning and post-election cooperation, between selfish partisanship and 
unselfish non-partisanship, between party preferment and community progress 
and welfare. Where the partisan efforts of the political organization end, or 
ought to end, namely, on election day, the efforts of the non-partisan com- 
mercial organization ought to begin. The local administration, in attempting 
to carry out laudable measures and in seeking to conduct public affairs with 
economy and efficiency, is entitled to the support of every loyal citizen. Per- 


sonal and party preferences must yield where the welfare of an entire com- 
munity is involved. What applies to the duties of the individual citizen 
applies, iii a larger degree, to the collective citizen, as exemplified in the 
modern commercial organisation. It must stand in a helpful attitude towards 
the public servant, and the governmenl he represents, focus public attention 
in the direction of desirable ends and purposes, crystallize public opinion in 
their behalf, and support policies in municipal housekeeping thai are sound 
and acceptable, and oppose those that are unsound and unwise. 

"5. Among the civic promotional labors coming legitimately within the 
province of commercial bodies, are those relating to the educational, sanitary, 
welfare and recreational conditions of the community. A commercial organ- 
ization must not attempt, as is frequently done, to duplicate a service already 
well performed by the local government. Such activity is likely to prove 
meddlesome and a waste of time and energy. Local conditions must determine 
where effort is most needed. In some communities the educational factors are 
lax, in others the sanitary conditions are weak, the traffic regulations are 
antiquated, etc., requiring a wholesome public sentiment towards correction 
and strengthening. 

"6. The line of demarkation between commercial and civic affairs places 
payroll and profit on one side, and physical and moral wellbeing of the com- 
munity on the other. On the assumption that all the nobler ends and pur- 
poses of life are predicated upon material progress of a people, it logically 
follows that profit and payroll must lay the foundation for that civic and 
social progress which is to follow. Or better still, economic and civic progress 
must go hand in hand. 

"7. The exact extent to which commercial success and progress is de- 
pendent upon good government cannot be definitely fixed in dollar marks or 
in financial statements. Commerce must have a clear roadway in which to 
perform all its legitimate functions. Good government means to afford that 
freedom of action and that protection to life and property which enables the 
merchant, the manufacturer, the mechanic and the professional man to per- 
form his part of the world's work. 

"8. A progressive government, be it national, state or local, invites the 
experience and judgment of a thoughtful and honorable constituency on pend- 
ing measures, policies and departures. A modern commercial organization 
stands ready to serve as the medium through which the judgmenl and the 
conclusions of the citizenship are gathered, collated and submitted to the 

"9. It is the duty of the commercial organization, that aims to serve the 
civic welfare of tin' community, to submit such facts, figures and arguments, 
as are not already at, the command of the public authorities, for or against 
pending policies and measures. An attitude of open protest can be engaged 
in only when palpable or gross misgovernment is in prospect, and as a last 


"lit. The i lorn commercial organization does not hesitate to express 

itself for or against local, stale and national legislation, involving tin' eco- 
nomic or civic progress of the several units mentioned. But, many con- 


troversial questions, upon which the membership may be seriously divided, 
must be ignored. In some organizations, for instance, it would be unwise to 
take a position on questions relating to woman's suffrage, prohibition, an 
eight-hour work day, etc., while in others it would be feasible to do so. Here 
an organization must, in a measure, he guided by a considerable fraction of 
that membership, if it is to maintain its identity and continued usefulness. 

"11. There is no purely commercial or selfish basis upon which a com- 
mercial organization can consistently urge its members to civic activity. On 
the accepted basis that good citizenship implies an active interest in civic 
progress, and that good government does contribute to the material advance- 
ment of the community, the commercial organization can foster an active 
interest in all that will make for better life and living. To foster such inter- 
est purely from the standpoint of commercial gain, without striving also for 
the blessings which civic progress confers, would be unworthy of the American 
business man." 

Competition versus Rivalry in Business. — In striving for higher business 
standards the Association of Commerce enunciated the following: 

"One of the main purposes of organization for the promotion of trade 
and commerce should lie in the substitution of wholesome competition for 
ruinous rivalry, and thus ensure stability as well as security and honor in 
business enterprise. Those seeking mutual advancement for the seller must 
also recognize the interests of the buyer. The consumer has rights which 
the producer and dealer must respect. The adjustment must he found in 
honest competition, not in dishonest rivalry. The objects therefore which 
should guide organization for the mutual advancement of those engaged in 
trade and commerce must include certain fundamental considerations. 

"Those identified with a calling or an interest should primarily seek to 
dignify the same. Every member should become inspired with the ambition 
to direct his activities upon standards that will stimulate pride and command 
the respect of his fellowmen; to strive for higher aims and purposes. Every 
man may contribute something, by word or deed, to the general advancement 
of society. The work of the blacksmith is no less honorable than that of the 
banker if he will but make it so; the vocation of the mechanic as well as that 
of the merchant, be it salesman or savant, tailor or tutor — all, in their own 
spheres, may attain an honorable usefulness. 

"The abuses which from time to time creep into our commercial life must 
be corrected. A checking influence is wholesome in every calling. In their 
contest for gain individuals are apt to lapse into errors and abuses which may 
be selfishly advantageous hut extremely harmful to the many. These are best 
eliminated by pointing them out and thus making them unpopular. Discus- 
sion w II tend to sift the desirable from the undesirable, the worthy from 
the unworthy. 

"The effort for mutual advancement is Laudable. Here it is not meant 
the formulation of combinations designed to control prices or restrain trade. 
These are to be discountenanced. But, it is held that methods and means may 
be standardized so as to insure a higher degree of efficiency and business in- 

Vol. 1—20 

> ii i ... 

i in: majestii mil. dim. 
i ;rand Avenue, near Third SI reel 


"Cordial relations should he fostered. The cloven footed competitor is 
usually the man who is personally unknown to us. A closer acquaintance 
with him frequently reveals a genial human being. The social contact between 
competitor and competitor has the tendency to change hatred into friendship 
and transform bitter rivalry into fair competition." 

An Industrial Exposition. — The most comprehensive exposition of Milwau- 
kee-made products ever presented in the city was made under the auspices of 
the Association of Commerce on September 2-1*2, 1911, in commemoration of 
the fiftieth anniversary of the organization. 

The association records contain the following interesting description of 
this remarkable demonstration of the production ability of the city. 

The inception of the exposition was prompted by a desire to emphasize 
in some dignified and at the same time useful manner, the fiftieth anniversary 
of tlie association. Enquiry as to the average life of commercial bodies had 
revealed the fact that the attainment of a half century mark in their existence 
is indeed rare. Few of the commercial organizations of the leading cities of 
the country can point to a record that will compare in point of age and useful 
service with that oi the Merchants and Manufacturers Association. 

But, if the service rendered, had been nominal in character the longevity of 
the association in itself must be considered unique as well as unusual. The 
fact, however, that the association has an honorable record, has had from 
time to time identified with its activities the best men which this community 
has produced, and has certain distinctive achievements to its credit, rendered 
the anniversary period more important and significant. 

Sentiment and Practicability. — It therefore remained for the organization 
to turn a matter of sentiment into a useful reality and to express in some 
tangible form the achievement of a given period in the history of the city. 

Q] approaching the subject of a celebration that should express in an 

appropriate manner the successful conclusion of an important period in the 
flight of time, it soon developed that the projectors were not dealing mere 
with the anniversary of an association hut the most important period in the 
history o'f tin/ city. 

The thought soon grew that during the past half century the city had 
grown from a modest village into a greal metropolis, an unimportant com- 
munity to an important, thrifty and progressive population unit. Those in 
charge awakened to the realization that years of intelligent toil of enterpr se 
and energy had wrought wonders and that the community had achievements 
to its credit of which any American city might well lie proud. 

The exposition idea assumed a new phase ami met with the enthusiastic 
approval of both press and public, it was soon realized that while the com- 
mercial spirit may have been the primary incentive in tin- display of the home 
products, that the renewed civic pride which they aroused in the community 
and the educational influences which they excited, had a specific value. It 
broughl the c tizenship to an appreciation of itself and its mission and excited 
an enthusiasm in, and ambition for the future. 

An Important Anniversary. — That the anniversary period of the associa- 
tion could not be passeil over in silence and inactivity was apparent, but thai 

Til 10 MII.W'.UKIOIO (I. IT! 


there were several ways of giving emphasis to the event was equally clear. 
That the exposition was the best means, however, of giving useful expression 
to the event may now no longer be questioned. 

"With a building like the Auditorium, the installation of an exposition of 
a certain scope was not only feasible but eminently practical. The building 
which was conceived and brought into realization by the association, con- 
templated the housing of industrial exhibits as well as to serve other public 

It remained, therefore, to plan a series of exhibits which should prove a 
fair index of Milwaukee's industrial importance and at the same time accom- 
modate them to the facilities at command. The earlier plans which were 
under consideration contemplated a much larger exhibit, involved a heavy 
administration expense in the employment of exposition experts and pro- 
vided for an undertaking which increased the financial risk almost tenfold. 
Experience would now indicate that the larger scheme could not have been 
carried out without inviting failure and incurring a financial loss. The condi- 
tions in the manufacturing field have not during the past year (1911) been 
so promising as to prompt general support among the manufacturers of the 

The exposition, therefore, was confined to the space now afforded by the 
Auditorium, and all plans for additional buildings were discarded. The 
estimate of expense was held, or aimed to be held, within the sum realized from 
the sale of exhibit space, thus guarding against a deficit and placing the pro- 
ject upon a sound financial basis. 

Administration of the Exposition. — The experience gained by other cities in 
the planning and management of industrial expositions was applied and the 
services of the executive officers and members of the association were drawn 
into active service. In this manner the employment of expensive expert serv- 
ices was avoided and the financial risk of the enterprise held to a minimum. 

The association employed no solicitors and paid no commissions. The addi- 
tional help which was employed served in the administrative labors only. 
Mr. A. G. Nicoud, the assistant manager of the Auditorium, who was em- 
ployed as manager of the exposition, gave the greater part of his time to the 
work of soliciting of exhibit space and in directing the installation labors. 
Secretary Bruce assumed the general direction of the exposition and the pre- 
paratory labors involved in the project. 

Thus the administration of the exposition was at all times kept upon a 
self-sustaining basis. At no time were the funds of the association drawn 
upon. The part payments made upon the exhibit space covered the current 
administration expenses, while the final payments almost met the entire cost of 
installation. The receipts at the box office met the remainder of the expense 
and provided the surplus. The exposition attracted nearly eighty-five thou- 
sand visitors and yielded a net return of over $11,000 into the treasury of the 

Plan of Installation. — In approaching the subject of a plan for the installa- 
tion of the exhibits it was proposed to provide a general classification of in- 
dustries and then a special grouping of products. While the management 


succ led in preserving the general classification, it failed in securing the 

grouping of exhibits in the manner desired. It was found thai in some in- 
stances certain manufacturers objected to becoming exhibit neighbors to their 
competitors. Here concessions and compromises had to be made in order to 
get the exhibits. 

The grand divisions were made with a due regard to the industries 
which lead and which are characteristic of Milwaukee. Tims was pro- 
vided a Mechanics Arts section, a Leather and Garmenl section, a Brewing 

section and a F 1 Products section. While these enabled classification of all 

the exhibits it was impossible in all instances to avoid inconsistencies. But, 
as already stated, these inconsistencies were in a large measure unavoid- 
able inasmuch as expediency and prompt action were just then more im- 
portant than exacting rules. 

The Educational Exhibits. — Some weeks before the exposition op,- 1. 

negotiations were begun with the school authorities regarding an educa- 
tional exhibit. The School Hoard was notified that the policy id' the 

management aimed to emphasize tl lucational phases of the Exposition, 

and that in this direction the cooperation of that body was sought. 

The hoard was not only requested to place classes in manual training 
and domestic science, but also to provide an arrangement by which the 
pupils of the upper grades and the high schools could visit the Exposition 
accompanied by their teachers during the regular school hours. The re- 
quest was favorably received by the board and instructions given to install 
classes from the elementary to the advanced, illustrating the work done 
by the schools in the branches named. To these classes were added de- 
partments from the School of Trades covering carpentry and joinery as 
well as plumbing and some machinery work. Tims, nearly one hundred 
and fifty pupils were employed in class work each day. During the after- 
noon pupils if accompanied by their teachers, were admitted regardless 
of a<re at an admission price of 10 cents. The regular price of admission 
for adults and for children over the age of ten was 25 cents. 

The number of children who visited the exposition warrants* the state- 
ment that educational purposes of the enterprise were fully met. In this 
connection it should be added that Superintendent Pearse and the School 
Hoard readily appreciated the value of the exhibits as an educational 
factor, and lent their hearty cooperation towards utilizing tie' same. 

Engelmann Hall, in which the several classes were located was crowded 
with visitors during the hours of 2 to A P. M, and from 7 to ;t l>. M., indi- 
cating thai the public was interested in this phase of the exposition. The 
exhibitors were not only liberal in the distributing of souvenirs among 
the children who came but they also aimed to explain to them the opera- 
tions of their machinery ami the utility of their products. 

Advertising and Prizes. The advertising for the exposition was placed 
in the hands of a committee of experts connected with prominent business 
concerns of the city and appointed by the Advertiser's Club of the city. 
The advertising in the main consisted of 10,000 hangers or posters, and 

display space in the dailies and weeklies throughout tin 1 state. 


One of the features adopted by the committee for the purpose of stim- 
ulating attendance was the award of nearly four hundred prizes consisting 
of various articles from a piano to a box of socks and from a residence 
furnace to a box of candy. These prizes were donated by the retail mer- 
chants. The advertising given the prizes was the only remuneration re- 
ceived by the merchants. This advertising consisted of a display of the 
prizes in the most prominent show windows of the city. While this promise 
was carried out it was expected also that suitable newspaper publicity be 
given in which the prizes and their donors were to be named in the pub- 
lication of the winning numbers. 

In tlrs effort the committee met with a decided disappointment; the 
federal government notified the press that all mention of prizes would 
be contrary to the laws and must be omitted. The result was that many of 
the prizes drawn were not called for because the winner had no means 
of knowing the result except as announced at the Auditorium. 

A prize of $100 offered for the best poster design was awarded to 
Gus Klau of the firm of Klau and Van Pietersom. The advertising com- 
mittee also instituted a Slogan contest. For a week each day five single 
dollar prizes were awarded for the best slogans and on the last day a $25 
prize was awarded for the best slogan submitted during the entire week. 
The slogan, "Name it, Milwaukee makes it," submitted by S. A. Minturn 
of West Allis was awarded the first prize. 

A Promotional Factor. — It may justly be said that, in providing for this 
exposition, the association added materially to its laurels as a promotional 
and useful influence in the community. Not only was the exposition the 
first in which Milwaukee-made products were exclusively shown but in 
point of variety of products, artistic and dignified installations, and a rep- 
resentation characteristic of the city as a manufacturing center, the project 
■was an unqualified success. 

At no time in the history of the city have its products been shown 
in a more complete or in a more auspicious manner. The fitness, too, of 
celebrating the association's fiftieth anniversary in an exposition has been 

If expositions possess any value, and experience has taught that they 
do, Milwaukee has been benefited commercially as well as educationally. 
The demand for Milwaukee-made products was stimuated and the youth 
of the community received a valuable and lasting lesson in the importance 
of well directed labor and its results and achievements. The civic pride 
of the community was stirred with a renewed enthusiasm in the achieve- 
ments of a brilliant past and an ambition for a prosperous future. 

Upholding Law and Order. — The association has on several occasions 
asserted its influence in the direction of preserving the tranquility and 
peace of the community. During a serious strike trouble it issued the fol- 
lowing pronunciamento to the mayor and the public: "Recent events in 
the community reveal a tendency which demands the earnest consideration 
of the great body of thoughtful citizens as well as the attention of the 
child' executive. The fact that expressions have recently gained currency 


Till: WIS* ONSIN < l.l B 
(Formerly known as the Deutscher Club) 


which tend to disturb the peace and good order of the community and 
seriously impair its prosperity and stability, is to be deplored. 

"We are not unmindful (if the fact that differences necessarily arise 
between employer and employe and that there are rights and equities on 
both sides. We believe that labor has rights which capital must respect 
and that organization is a legitimate weapon, both defensive and offensive, 
in compelling those rights. But, in reaching adjustments, sane judgment 
and peaceful methods should and must be employed. Law and order must 
be maintained and life and property must be protected. 

"Milwaukee is a manufacturing center. Its material stability and 
prosperity must be derived through the product of the factory which is 
sold to the four quarters of the world. The commercial, financial and 
shipping interests are largely dependent upon the industrial interests. The 
factory pay roll is the very life and soul of Milwaukee's material existence. 
The more employment can be given and the more money can be distributed 
in wages each week the more prosperity will come into the thousands of 
Milwaukee homes. 

"It cannot be denied that a depression exists and has rested during 
the "past year upon many of Milwaukee's important industries. In some 
of these the losses have been heavy. The number of unemployed is already 
distressingly large. Manufacturers are straining every nerve to improve 
conditions, secure what orders they can and keep their plants in full op- 
eration and thus afford more employment. 

"The reports of public utterances of an inflammatory character which 
are heralded to the world tend to impair the credit and standing of the city. 
While they cause unrest at home they are also destructive of the confidence 
which prompts the sale of our municipal bonds and the bringing of out- 
side capital into the city for investment. 

"The destruction of local property is infinitesimal as compared with 
the losses which the community sustains in being deprived of the patronage 
and good will of the country at large. And here it should not be forgotten 
that any losses so sustained will not only fall upon the manufacturers 
but upon the working people as well. A diminished demand for the prod- 
ucts of our factories will reduce the demand for labor and thus the losses 
will have to be borne by both employer and employe. This statement needs 
no elaborate explanation. It speaks for itself. 

"In discussing thus frankly a condition as well as a growing tendency, 
which if permitted to continue unchecked will lead to catastrophe and 
ruin, we are not attempting to sound an alarm. We are merely in a rational 
manner directing the public mind to a dangerous tendency. 

"It is to the interest of all, irrespective of business or calling, that law 
and order be maintained and that those who menace life and property 
be dealt with accordingly. In view of the sentiment above expressed, be it 

RESOLVED. That, we the Directors of the Merchants and Manu- 
facturers Association strongly condemn ;ill public expressions designed to 
incite class hatred and to destroy respect for law and order; that we 
demand the punishment of those who threaten the safety of their fellow- 




men and who wantonly destroy property; that we pledge ourselves to 
employ every honorable means to secure obedience to the law and secure 
that j)eace and goodwill which is so vital to the community's material and 
social progress and welfare." 

List of Presidents. — The business men who have been honored from time 
to time to serve in the capacity of first officer of the association are shown 
in the following list, together with the year of service: Years 1861-1863, 
John Nazro; lS64-18o7, John A. Dutcher; 1868-1870, II. II. Button; 1871-1874, 

F. J. Blair; 1875-1876, Clarence Shepard; 1877-1882, John R. G Irich; 1883- 

1884, George W. Allen; 1885-1886, B. B. Hopkins; 1887-1889, Chas. E. Andrews: 
1890-1892, Chas. M. Cottrell; 1893-1895, John E. Hansen; 1896-1898, John C. 
Spencer; 1899-1900, Fred T. Goll; 1900-1901, Ira B. Smith: 1901-1903, E. A. 
Wadhams; 1904-190.-). Fred W. Sivyer; 1906-1908, fm. X. Fitzgerald; 1909- 
1910, John H. Moss; 1911-1912, Gen. Otto II. Falk; 1912-1914. Fred W. 
Rogers; 1915-1916, Franklin P. Blumenfeld; 1916-1918. John L. Klingler; 1918- 
1920, A. T. Van Scoy; 1920-1921 ; Walter ( !. Carlson, 1921-1922; J. G. Kissinger, 

A List of the Secretaries. — The gentlemen who served as secretary of the 
Merchants and Manufacturers Association during the past fifty years are th? 
following: 1861-1863, J. A. Dutcher; 1864, H. H. Button; 1865-1870, A. 

B. Cleaver; 1871-1874, Robert Hill; 1875-1876, W. A. Collins; 1877-1878, 

C. II. Hamilton: 1879-1886, Chas. E. Andrews: 1887, Ira B. Smith: 1888, Chas, 
L. Blanchard; 1889, L. J. Petit; 1890, A. Meinecke, Jr.; 1891-1892, A. R. 
.Matthews: is!):!. Oscar Loeffler ; 1894, A. Meinecke. Jr.: 1895-1899, H. E. 
Wilkins; 1900-1906, L. O. Whitney: 1907-1909, Wm. Geo. Bruce; 1909-1920, 
Phillip A. Grau, 1920.— 

Invited Notable Men to City. — The first formal banquet given by the -Mil- 
waukee business men who later formed the Merchants Association was held 
at the Newhall House, January 11. 1861. The late John G. Inbusch presided. 

The speakers and the subjects discussed were the following: E. D. Bolton. 
The Commonwealth of Wisconsin; L. \V. Wicks. -Milwaukee and Its Com- 
merce; O. H. Waldo. The Manufacturers of Milwaukee; George W. Allen, 
The Merchants of Milwaukee; Judge McArthur, The Judiciary and Bar of 
Milwaukee; C. E. Andrews, The Newhall House and Its Proprietors. 

The association invited ami entertained many distinguished guests. 
Among them were Grover Cleveland, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt. 
William II. Taft, Hon. James Bryce and many others. President and Mrs. 
Cleveland were entertained October 6, 1887: President ami Mrs. McKinley 
October 16 and 17. 1890; Theodore Roosevelt April 3, 1903; and William II. 
Taft June 10, 1907. 

On March 4. 1902, the association participated in the entertainment of 
Prince Henry of Prussia, also in the entertainment a few years ago of Count 
von Bernsdorff, the German Ambassador. Other distinguished guests, among 
them prominent statesmen, diplomats and financiers have at various times 
been brought to the city and entertained by the association. 

Principles and Policies. — It was upon the principles and policies govern- 
ing modern commercial bodies, as outlined in the introductory paragraphs, 


thai the .Milwaukee Association of Commerce gained its high standing and 
service as a factor in the community. 

It prompted Milwaukee In take an inventory of itself, and then seek an 
answer to each of the following questions: What are the advantages of its 
geographic location? What are its connections with the outside world? 
What are the natural resources of the territory tributary to Milwaukee? What 
are its industrial and commercial possibilities? Is there more room for popu- 
lation and capital? What can be done in the direction of civic and educational 

These and other questions were answered before a line of action along 
promotional lines could wisely be adopted. It taugh.1 -Milwaukee to know 
itself before it determined what was best for itself. Economic', civic and 
social progress is always possible, but in order to avoid a waste of energy 
and to work efficiently and effectively it is well to know what materials are 
at command and how to utilize them. 

The commerce body assumed that Milwaukee drew its share of trade from 
the surrounding agricultural district; thai its financial institutions amply 
met the needs of local business enterprise and that the transportation fa- 
cilities were fairly satisfactory. But, it also held that more stores, more banks 
and more trains did not necessarily mean more business for the city unless 
a greater prosperity must be sought in the manufacturing field. More fac- 
tories meant more population, more capital, more activity, more prosperity. 

It also taught that a new grocery store divided the grocery patronage: 
that a new bank drew business from the older banks, and that the estab- 
lishment of more retail stores and banks did not necessarily increase the 
business of the city. Further, that the dollar which goes from one local pocket 
into another local pocket does not necessarily increase the total wealth of 
the city, but that the dollar which came into your city from the outside for 
labor performed added to that wealth. That dollar is distributed through 
the payroll and finds its way into the markets, thus demonstrating that the 
payroll constitutes the economic vitality of the city. The profits of the retail 
trade go to the few, the payrolls of factories go to the many. 

Milwaukee's possibilities, it was realized, must be found in the industrial 
rather than in the commercial field. One factory employing KID men will 
be worth more than ten new retail stores. Industrial productivity precedes 
commercial activity. 

Association Purpose and Mission. — The primary purpose of the Milwau- 
kee Association of Commerce has been to round out and bring to tin' highest 
stage of development the possibilities of the city. These possibilities were 
studied and analyzed and the prospective growth and development of the 
Commercial ami industrial interests summarized; 

First: That there are greal possibilities. The natural advantage as well 
as a favorable location are there. The capital, brains ami energj essential to 
further commercial development may be found. 

Second: That it is necessary to develop a clear vision as to future pros 

pects, a proper c prehension of the means at command ami the application 

of that enterprise which must lie behind everj bold and determined effort. 


The business men realized that an organization, representative in char- 
acter, infused with enthusiasm and a broad progressive spirit, free from 
selfish motives, safely guided, and amply financed, with a helpful jmblic press 
and a wholesome public sentiment to cheer it on, can become a dominating 
and beneficent force in the community. 

The self-assertive spirit which served to found every industrial and com- 
mercial enterprise in Milwaukee and maintained it successfully also found 
an enlarged expression in new and renewed efforts. The association realized 
that there was ample room for enlargement, for new factories, new firms, new 
connections and an extension of trade into both old and new territory. 

It has also realized that the country is expanding its productivity along 
agricultural lines at an enormous rate, and that with this expansion comes 
the increased demand for manufactured products if proper propaganda for 
such product is made. Thus Milwaukee could continue to grow numerically, 
commercially and industrially : in educational and civic strength ; in social and 
moral advancement. 

W. G. B. 

r- -2 

■ * mm ,m»' ~ H - 

*. •; » im «a 1 *"" »>S 


- r 



The first postmaster at Milwaukee was Solomon Juneau, who began his 
term of service early in the summer of 1835. His commission was signed by 
President Andrew Jackson. The post office was opened in charge of Albert 
Fowler in a building situated at the corner of Wisconsin and East Water 
streets. This building had been occupied by Mr. Fowler as a real estate offic '.. 
The rates of postage ranged from 6 cents to 2"> cents on each letter, accord- 
ing to the distance traveled and its bulk. There were no envelopes or postage 
stamps in use at that time. The mail arrived once a month at first, but soon 
a contract was let and mail came after that from Chicago once each week ami 
from other points whenever convenient. 

Mr. Juneau continued in office until 1S4:! when he was succeeded by Josiah 

A. Noonan. The change in postmasters in the latter year occasioned much 
dissatisfaction among the residents of the village, as Mr. Juneau was ex- 
ceedingly popular and Mr. Noonan was not approved generally by the spokes- 
men for public opinion. However, Noonan was retained as postmaster until 

1849 when he was suc< led by Elisha Stan-. In 1851, John II. Tweedy held 

the office during a portion of that year in succession to Mr. Starr. -la - 

D. Merrill became postmaster and held the office from 1851 to 1853, and 
was succeeded by Josiah A. Noonan in the latter year notwithstanding his 
unpopularity during his former term. 

In the spring of 1857, John Ii. Sharpstein was appointed postmaster and 
held the office for a little more than a year, when .Mitchell Steever received 
the appointment and continued as postmaster until 1861. He was succeeded 
by John Loekvi I who remained in office until the appointment of his suc- 
cessor. 0. K. Wells, in 1864. Wells was succeeded by Henry A. Stan- in 1868, 
who in turn was followed by Samuel < '. West in 1870. 

Henry < '. Payne received the appointment after the expiration of West's 
term, namely, February 4. 1876, and was reappointed February 1, 1880. The 
mention of this name recalls the fact that Mr. Payne became postmaster 
genera] in President Roosevelt's cabinet in 1901, and continued as such until 

Those who followed .Mi-. Payne as postmaster were George II. Paul, Wins 
low A. Xowell, George W. Porth, F. Et. Stillman, David ( '. Owen and Frank 

B. Schutz, the present incumbent of the ot)\v<\ 

1 1 5 


Post Office Locations.— The firsl location of the posl office in 1 ^!"> was 
as mentioned above at the corner of East Water ami Wisconsin streets, h 
was soon after removed to Mr. Juneau's store on the opposite corner of the 
same streets. Somewhat later Mr. Juneau erected a building for a post office 
on the north side of Wisconsin Street. When Mr. Noonan became postmaster 
in 1843, the post office was removed to the City hotel, afterwards to Tweedy's 
block and was again removed by J. D. Merrill when he was postmaster, to 
a building at the northwest corner of Mason and East Water streets. 

Here it remained until 1860. A new l>uildin<r was constructed by the Gov- 
ernment for a post office and custom house at the northwest corner of Wis 
cousin and Milwaukee streets, which was completed and occupied January 
1, 1860. This structure resembled in its general outlines the building com- 
pleted in the same year for a similar purpose at Chicago which was destroyed 
in the great fire in that city. This building has long since disappeared in the 
march of improvements, and a splendid new building was constructed on the 
block bounded by Wisconsin, Jefferson, Jackson and Michigan streets. 

A half century of steady growth of the city in population and commerce 
is demonstrated in the following postal receipts: 

1870 $ 90,437.7.") 

1880 186.771.00 

1890 368,882.79 

1900 666,863.5] 

1910 1,630,288.96 

1920 3,187,570.66 

On January 1, 1922, Postmaster Frank P>. Schutz reported the transactions 
of the post office for the previous year as follows: 

"Approximately two hundred million pieces of mail matter of all classes 
were handled at the Milwaukee post office during the year 1921. This be- 
ing an increase of about fifteen million pieces over the previous year. Of this 
number 50,544,910 pieces were for local delivery. Machine cancellations num- 
bered 94,158,100, an increase of 4,781,500 over the year 1920; 95,919 pouches 
of first class mail were dispatched during the year 1921; 1,440,589 sacks, con- 
taining second, third and fourth class matter, were dispatched, an increase 
of 464,207 sacks over the previous year. Of this number about 705,000 sacks 
wen' made up for dispatch at the Milwaukee terminal and 17,996 sacks con- 
tained circular mail: 10,049,208 pounds of newspapers, magazines, and other 
second class publications were mailed, an increase of 238,767 pounds; Eor 
which $195,753.78 in postage was paid, an increase of $22,183.06 over the year 

"Directory Section. — One million, one hundred thirty-six thousand, one 
hundred and seventy-eight letters received without street address, or bear- 
ing incorrect address, were given directory service during this year. This 
is an increase of nearly two hundred thousand over the year 1920, and shows 
an increasing tendency to 'let Qncle Sam do it.' when it comes in supplying 


addresses. As a result of bad addressing, a total of 73,480 letters were sent 
to the dead letter office, in comparison with 58,085 in 1920. Over four hun- 
dred parcels and pieces of third class matter, of obvious value, were given 
directory service daily, on account of deficiencies of address. 

"It is not generally understood that if the sender will place the words 're- 
turn postage guaranteed' on third and fourth class matter it will be returned 
promptly if undeliverable, and return postage collected on delivery to the 

"The government-owned motor vehicle service, operating on a twenty- 
four hour schedule, transported an average of 3,235 tons of mail per month 
during the last year. 

"The fleet has, in the course of the year, been augmented by four trucks 
of one ton capacity and now consists of twenty-eight three-eighths ton; fif- 
teen one ton. and five one and one-half ton trucks. Five hundred and sixty 
thousand miles were covered in 1921 in the transportation of depot and sta- 
tion mails, the collection from 850 street letter boxes and parcel post d