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In issuing the "Memoirs of Milwaukee County," the pubhshers take 
the preface as a means of acknowledging obligation to many who have 
so cordially co-operated in their preparation. Whatever of excel- 
lence is attained by these volumes may be attributed primarily to Lieut.- 
Col. Jerome A. Watrous, whose intelligent direction and courteous sug- 
gestions have been unfailing. Colonel Watrous, editor-in-chief of 
the historical volume, has had a long and eminent career familiar to the 
people of Milwaukee county. A native of the Empire State, he became 
a resident of Wisconsin at an early age, and throughout the greater 
part of his life has been identified with the literature and journalism of 
the state. In the Civil war he saw much active service, enlisting as a 
private in 1861, and finishing as adjutant-general of the "Iron Brigade" 
on the staff of Brig.-Gen. John A. Kellogg. After the close of hos- 
tilities he served a term in the state legislature, at the end of which he 
resumed journalistic work and in 1879 became one of the editors and 
proprietors of the Milwaukee Telegraph. For fifteen years he acted as 
•editor of that paper, and a part of the time was also collector of cus- 
toms for the Milwaukee district. At the opening of the Spanish-Ameri- 
can war, Colonel Watrous tendered his services to both the governor 
and the president, and June 15, 1898, was commissioned major in the 
regular army. He served on the Atlantic coast until June, 1899, ^^''^^ 
then made chief paymaster of the Department of the Columbia, and the 
following year he was assigned to duty at Manila. Six months later 
he was ordered to the Department of the Visayas, and in De- 
cember, 1901, wdien the four departments were consolidated into two, 
he became chief paymaster. Department of the South Philippines, on the 
staff of Maj.-Gen. J. T. Wade. In September, 1904. he was pro- 
moted to lieutenant-colonel. United States Army, and retired for age. 
Since then he has followed his calling as a writer and now resides at 
Whitewater, Wis. 

Hon. George W. Peck, who has edited the chapter on "Literature 
and Journalism," is also a New Yorker by birth, but came to Wisconsin 
with his parents in 1841, when about one year old. He learned the 


printer's trade and worked on papers in Ripon, La Crosse, and Madison. 
He served in the Civil war with a Wisconsin cavalry regiment. In 
1879 he began in La Crosse the publication of "Peck's Sun," a w^eekly 
paper devoted to humor. In 1880 he moved to Milwaukee, where his 
serial, "Peck's Bad Boy," brought him and his paper into prominence 
and prosperity. In 1890 he was elected mayor of Milwaukee on the 
Democratic ticket, and in the fall of the same year was elected gov- 
ernor of the state, the Democrats carrying both the legislature and the 
state ticket. He was renominated and re-elected in 1892 and was 
again renominated in 1894, but was defeated in the election of that fall, 
being engulfed by the Republican tidal wave of that year. Ten years 
later he was again nominated for governor, but went down in defeat 
with his ticket, although he led it by thousands of votes. He has the 
distinction of being the only man nominated for governor four times 
in Wisconsin. Governor Peck is one of the most highly esteemed resi- 
dents of Milwaukee, where he still devotes his time to literary work. 

Dr. Solon Marks, of gallant record as an army surgeon during 
the Civil war, and as an eminent physician and surgeon in the days of 
peace, has edited for this work the chapter upon "The Medical Pro- 
fession." Dr. Marks came to Wisconsin from Vermont in 1848, before 
he had commenced the study of medicine. In 1853 he graduated at 
Rush Medical College, Chicago, practiced at Jefferson, Wis., until 1856,. 
and then located in Milwaukee. During the war he served as an army 
surgeon, and upon resuming private practice he won for himself a 
wide reputation in his professional work. He has served as president 
of the State Board of Health, the State Medical Society, and the Board 
of Pension examiners, and he has held the chair of military surgery in 
the Wisconsin College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Marks is alsO' 
an author of note upon subjects pertaining to the medical profession. 

William G. Bruce, the secretary of the Merchants' and Manu- 
facturers' Association of Milwaukee, has revised and edited the chap- 
ter upon "Finance and Industries." Mr. Bruce is also a native-born 
Milwaukeean, and the city of his birth has been the scene of his ex- 
ceedingly active career. He early turned his attention to journalism 
and was for many years connected with the Milwaukee Sentinel, both 
in the business department and as a general contributor. In 1890 he 
established the American School Board Journal, of which he is still 
proprietor. He has also published text-books on school administration 
and school architecture, and has become well-known in educational 
circles as a writer and lecturer on the former topic. He has filled the 
position of secretary of the Merchants' and Manufacturers' Associa- 


tion since October, 1906, having been elected to that important posi- 
tion on account of his activity in public affairs and his unusual abilitv 

as an organizer. 

The chapter entitled "Poles in Milwaukee," has been written bv 
the Rev. Boleslaus E, Goral, than whom there is none more competent 
to speak upon the history and traits of the people of his nationality. 
Rev. Goral was born in German Poland and there received his elemen- 
tary education. In 1889 he came to America, and during the ensuing 
ten years devoted his time to classical, philosophical, and theological 
studies. As priest, teacher, literateur. and a practical man of affairs, 
he has gained distinction, and is widely known and recognized as an 
able and patriotic Polish-x\merican citizen. 

Acknowledgments are also due to George R. Gove, assistant sec- 
retary of the Merchants' and IManufacturers' Association, to ]\Iessrs. 
Burdick & Allen, Frank Gotschalk, and others for courtesies extended. 

That the "Memoirs of Milwaukee County" may prove satisfactory 
to our patrons, is the hope of The Publishers. 

Table of Contents. 


Topography— Soil— Climate— Fauna 
—Flora. Page 


INDIANS — Tribes, Historical 
dents, etc. Page 





Voyages along the Lake Shore- 
Nicholas Perrot— Father John B. 
De St. Cosme^Marquette and Jol- 
iet— La Salle — Early Jurisdiction — 
Compact of 1787— Indian Treaties 
—County Formations— The Public 
Domain — Provisions for Free 
Schools. Page 38 


ORGANIZATION— Act Creating the 
County— Act Organizing the Coun- 
ty—Mode of Holding Elections- 
First Set of Officials— Personal 
Mention — Narrative of Albert 
Fowler— Early Elections — Census 
of 1836. Page 49 


duced in Size — 18.36 a Memorable 
Year— Number of Land Claims- 
Financial Depression of 1837- Set- 
lers Organize for Protection 
, Against Speculators — Second Elec- 
tion for County Officials— Personal 
Mention— Division of the County 
Into Towns — Population and Other 
Census Figures of 1840— William 
A. Prentiss— Sketch and Early Let- 
ters of Daniel Wells, Jr. — Removal 
of the Indians— Land Sales— Town 
System of Government— George H. 
Walker and Other Personal 
Sketches— Census of 1842. Page.... 60 


TERRITORIAL ERA— (Continued.)— 
Sketch of Edward D. Holton— 
—Election Results in Different 
Years, and Personal Mention of 
Successful Candidates— Census of 
1846— Members of First Constitu- 
tional Convention — Sketches of 
Horace Chase, Francis Huebsch- 

mann, and Others— First Constitu- 
tion Voted Down— Second Consti- 
tution Adopted— Sketch of Gen. 
Rufus King. Page 87 


NANCES, ETC.— Early Roads- 
Government Road to Madison— 
The "Bridge War"— Early Stage 
Lines— Plank and Turnpike Roads 
—Milwaukee and Rock River Canal 
—First Public Buildings— Present 
Court House— Other County Build- 
ings — Finances of Milwaukee 
County. Page 100 


ORS — Early Elections and Issues 
— Party Divisions — Celebration of 
the Election of Harrison and Ty- 
ler—Campaign for the First Con- 
stitution — Ascendancy of the Dem- 
ocratic Party— Republican Since 
1880— Campaign of 1896— Henry C. 
Payne — United States Senators — 
Governors — Other State Offcials — 
Personal Mention. Page 115 


gressmen, Personal Mention — List 
of State Senators, Personal Men- 
tion. Page 141 


FICIALS— List of Assemblymen- 
Personal Mention— Sheriffs— Regis- 
ters of Deeds— County Clerks— _ 
Surveyors— Coroners. Page lo7 




MILWAUKEE CITY— Pioneer Annals 
—Origin of the name— Who was 
the First Settler— Jean Baptlste 
Mirandeau — Solomon Juneau— 
Jacques Vieau— The Settlement- 
Narrative of Horace Chase— Kll- 
bourntown" and its Founder. By- 
ron Kilbourn— "Walker's Pomt — 



^ival Villages— Original Topog- 
raphy of the City — Early Set- 
tlers — Personal Mention — Land 
Speculation— The "Single Tax" as 
an Effective Remedy — First 
'Church — First Brick Business 
Block— Milwaukee as a City- 
boundaries in 1846 — Provisions of 
Ihe City Charter— Complete List 
of Mayors— Labor Troubles— Pub- 
lic Works, Buildings, Etc.— Pub- 
lic Parks— Organized Charities, 
Hospitals, Etc.— Notable Fires- 
Fraternal and Other Societies. 
Page 235 


CHURCH HISTORY— Growth of Re- 
ligious Sentiment — Catholic Cliurch 
— Episcopal Church — Lutheran 
Church — Methodist Episcopal — 
Presbyterian— Congressional — Bap- 
tist — Judaism in Milwaukee— Uni- 
tarian Church — The Evangelical 
Association — Christian Science 
Church— Evangelical Church— Uni- 
versalist Church — Other Churches. 
Miscellaneous Organizations, and 
Personal Mention of Prominent 

Divines. Page. 


First Schools Taught in Milwau- 
kee — Equipment of Early Schools 
— Dawn of a Better Day— Uniform- 
ity in Text-Books— Report of 
School Commissioners in 1849 — 
Later Reports and Extracts Prom 
Records— First Board of Exam- 
iners^Fennimore Cooper Pome- 
roy — Compulsory Education Legis- 
lation—Teachers' Library— School 
Exhibit at the Centennial Expo- 
sition — Evening Schools — William 
B. Anderson— Public School Aux- 
iliaries—Supplementary Reading — 
School Statistics, Etc. Page 


First Milwaukee Newspapers — 
Personal Mention of Editors — 
Other Early Publications — The 
Milwaukee Democrat — Sherman M. 
Booth and the Glover Fugitive 
Slave Case— Peck's Sun and Its 
Humorous Editor — Other Papers of 
More Recent Date— German News- 
papers—Polish Periodicals— List of 
Present Publications — Press Clubs 
—Newspaper Correspondents— Lit- 
erature. Page 




Early "Practitioners"— Drs. Hub- 
bell, Loomis, Enoch Chase, Wil- 
liam P. Proudfit and Other Pio- 
neer Physicians — Erastus B. Wol- 
cott — Francis Huebschmann— Jere- 
miah B. Selby, the First Medical 
Student in Milwaukee — Solon 
Marks — Henry E. Haase — Darius 
Mason — Nicholas Senn— Orlando 
W. 'Wight — Walter Kempster— 
Women Physicians— Medical Soci- 
eties — Medical Colleges — Homeo- 
pathy—Epidemics. Page 474 


BENCH AND BAR— First Courts- 
William C. Frazer, the First 
Judge — Judge Andrew G. Miller — 
Change in the Judicial System — 
Circuit Judges — Probate and Coun- 
ty Judges — Superior Court— Police 
Court — District Attorneys — Mem- 
bers of the Bar. Page 504 


Banking History — Wisconsin Ma- 
rine and Fire Insurance Company 
—State Banks— Bank Riots— Na- 
tional Banks — Panics and Failures 
— Manufacturing — Chamber of 
Commerce— Merchants' and Man- 
ufacturers' Association — Citizens' 
Business League — Other Societies 
— Lake Commerce — Railroads — 
Street Railway System. Page 558 


With the Indians— Early Military 
Companies — The Light Guard and 
Otlier Organizations — The Civil 
War Period — The Period Since the 
War — Veteran Soldier Organiza- 
tions— Re- unions — Spanish Ameri- 
can War— Prominent Soldiers 587 


Comparatively Recent Immigrants 
— Parishes, Churches, and Schools 
—Social Life and Relations— Music 
and Song — Educational Matters — 
Interest in Public Affairs — Com- 
mercial and Business Life— Artis- 
tic Phases — Professional Men- 
Conclusion. Page 612 


Abert, George 166 

Academy, German-English 426 

Academy, Milwaukee 425 

Academy, Milwaukee, of Medicine 498 

Aikens, A. J 436 

Anderson, William E 398 

Armitage, William B 346 

Apportionment, Legislative, 1836 57 

Assemblymen 157 

Associated Charities 313 

Attorneys District 535 

Attorneys-General, list of 135 

Attorneys, Prominent 551 

Austin, Robert N 528 

Bar Association 536-556 

Barber, Lucius 1 477 

Bar, Members of 538 

Bartlett, John K 479 

Bank Failures 573 

Bank Riots 566 


Banks and Banking 95 

Badger State 571 

Central National 570 

Citizen's Trust 571 

Clearings 573 

Commercial 573 

Exchange Bank of Wm. J. Bell & 

Co 563 

Farmers' and Millers' 563 

Fidelity Trust 572 

First National 568 

German- American 571 

German Exchange 568 

Germania National 570 

Germania of George Papendiek & 

Co 563 

Globe 563 

Home Savings 568 

Houghton Brothers «&; Co 570 

Italian Mutual Savings 571 

Juneau 563 

Marine 563 

Marine National 563-574 

Marshall & Ilsley 570 

Merchants 564 

Merchants' Exchange 568 

Merchants' Loan and Safe Deposit.. 572 

Merchants' and Manufacturers' 571 

Merchants' ]Sfe,tional 564-569 

Milwaukee County 564 

Milwaukee National 569 

Milwaukee Savings 571 

Milwaukee Trust 572 

National City 569 

National Exchange 569 

Of Commerce 563-568 

Of Milwaukee 563 

■Of Milwaukee, chartered 1836 558 

Of Milwaukee, first directors 559 

People's 563 

Plankinton 573 

Second Ward 563 

Second Ward Savings 570 

State Bank of Wisconsin 560-563 

Union 564 

West Side 571 

Wild-Cat 558 

Wisconsin Marine and Fire Insur- 
ance 574 

Wisconsin, Marine and Fire Insur- 
ance Co. organized 560 

Wisconsin Marine and Fire Insur- 
ance Co. reorganized 562 

Wisconsin National 570 

Wisconsin Trust 57^ 

Bean, Walker L 480 

Beer ^H 

Bellevue Hotel j'-i^ 

Bennett Law 4on 

Bentlev. John }^^ 

Best, Frederick C 1°^ 

Birchard. Harvey ^^J 

Black, John ]°: 

Blever, George M 4to 

Booth, Sherman M 44^ 

Breed, Allen O. T 2-6 

Brick business block, first ^^| 

Brick clays tj. 

Brick, Nathan J''> 

Bridge, first constructed '"- 

Bridge War :^'^- 

Brigham. Jerome B ^»^ 

Brodhead. E. H 56S 

Brown, Beriah ^^2 

Brown, James S 42, 

Brown, John A ™''> 

Brown, Samuel ^"| 

Brown, William '!, 

Brumder, Geo ^'^ 

Bundy, Jonas M ^^^ 

Burdick, Morgan L i^-'' 

Burnett. Ellsworth ...; ;^i 

Business League, Citizens •>«' 

Butler, Ammi R. R "'^^ 

Buttrick. Edwin L "1-, 

Cadwallader, Sylvanus ]J2 

Calkins, Elias A ^^^ 

Cameron. John E '"J 

Camp, Hoel H -^^i; 

Camp, Robert • • "^ 

Carpenter, Matthew H {-' 

Cary, John W ;;;: 'ii' 

Canal, Milwaukee and Rock River.... 105 

Carter. Walter S... hkariR 

Castleman, Alfred L 268-47fi 

Catholic Church -^^i 

Cawker, Emanuel t;^ 

Cemeteries ''-' 





Of 1836 

Of 1840 

Of 1842 ■ 

Of 1846 

Chamberlain, Everett 

Chamber of Commerce 

Chandler, Daniel R 

Chapin, Emmons E 

Charitable Institutions 

Charities, Org-anizert 


Changes in 

First, summary of 

Of 1852 

Of 1874 

Chase, Enoch 

Chase, Horace 

Chase, Horace, reminiscences 

Cheney. Rufus 






Christian Science 




Evangelical Association 

Free Methodist 


Methodist Episcopal 


Presbyterian '. 



Church History, chapter 

City Hall 

Clark, William 

Clearing House 

Clerks, County 


Clyman, James 

Cogswell, James K 

Cogswell, John B. D 

Colby, Charles L 





Milwaukee — Downer 

Milwaukee Medical 

Of Physicians and Surgeons 

Pio Nono 

Commerce, Lake 

Commissioners, County 

Commissioners, Insurance 

Commissioners, Railroad 

Compact of 1787 

Conflict of Authority 

Congress, Representatives in 

Constitution Adopted .• 

Constitution Defeatetl 

Constitutional Convention 

Constitutional Convention, second 

Coon, S. Park 

Corn Exchange 

Cornwall, Ebcn 


Cottage Inn 

Cottrill, Jedd P. C 

County Buildings 

County Divisions 

County Officials, first 

County Reduced in Size 


Clerks of 


Changes Made by Constitution 



County, judges of 520- 













212 i 


501 ! 


































Municipal 532 

Police 531-535 

Superior 526 

Courthouse 110 

Court House, first 109 

Cramer, William E 435 

Crawford. John 161 

Crocker, Hans 84 

Cross, Jas. B 161 

Crounse, L. L 465 

Crugom, James 484 

Cudahy, Village of 195 

Darling, Enoch G 56 

Davis, Cushman K 550 

Democratic Ascendency 123 

Democratic-Whigs 119 

Deuster, Peter V 146 

Dibley. Joseph 232 

District Attorneys, list of 535 

Dixon, Luther S 550 

Doran, John L 96 

Domschke. Bemhard 454 

Douglas, Andrew 269 

Douglass, James S 496 

Dousman, Geo. D 55 

Dousman, John B 481 

Drafts. Military 597 

Duck River 23 

Duggan, Walter T 611 

Dyer. Charles E 513 

Education. Compulsory Laws 399 


Mode of holding 50 

Of 18.35 54 

Of 1836 55 

Of September, 18-36 57 

Of April, 1837 66 

Of 1838 71 

Of 1839 81 

Of 1840 82 

Of 1841 83 

Of 1842 84 

Of 1844 89 

Of 1845 91 

Of 1846 91 

Of 1847 96 

Elliott, Eugene S 519 

Elliott, Theodore B 544 

Engelmann, Peter 426 

English Occupation 31 

Epidemics 499 

Episcopal Church 341 

Bviston, Thos. H 164 

Fauna 26 

Features of Topography 23 

Franklin. Town of 211 

Frazer, William C 506 

Free Schools 48 

Fredonia 24 

French and Indian War 40 

French Domination 30 

Filter, Wm. F 569 

Finance and Industries, chapter 558 

Finances, county Ill, 

Finch, Benoni W 53 

Finch, Henry M 551 

Fire Department 318 

Fires 317 

Fitzgerald, Garrett M 96 

Flora 26 

Fuller, Albert 209 

Furlong, John 208 

Fond du Lac County 23 

Foote, Erastus 533 

Ford, Jonathan 390 

Ford, Julia 497 

Fowle, John 230 

Fowler, Albert 51 

Fowler's Narrative 52 

Gawin Mirror and Art Glass Works.. 629 

Galena limestone 18 

Lower Heidelberg period 19 

Niagara limestone 18, 19 21 



Geological column 18 

Geology of Wisconsin survey of 

1873-77 17, 20 

Gilson, Frank L 527 

Glover, fugitive slave case 511 

Goodwin, George B 554,611 

Gorham, William M 477 

Governors, list of 130 

Graham, Warren M 464 

Graham, Wilson 540, 542 

Grand Army of the Republic 601 

G. A. R. National Encampment 603 

Granville, town of 218 

Gray, A. W 496 

Green Bay 30 

Greene, Howard 572 

Greenfield, town of 205 

Crreves, James P 482 

Gridley, Leander L, 225 

Griswold. Burr W 548 

Grottkau. Paul, labor riot case 298 

Haase, Henry E 485 

Hadley. Jackson 149 

Hale, Seneca 208 

Hamilton cement rock 19, 20 

Hamilton, Charles A 518 

Hamilton, Charles S 609 

Hamilton, period 19, 20 

Haney, Robert 164 

Harrison, Stephen A 177 

Hathawav. Joshua 56 

Hawlev. Cvrus 67 

Heiss, Michael 338 

Henni, John M 333 

Hewitt, Jesse S 476 

Hickcox, James 552 

Hickcox. J. G 572 

Hillmantel. Heury 185 

Hobart, Harrison C 170 

Hollidav. James 521 

Hollister, David S 279 

Holton, Edward D 87 

Homeopathy 495 

Hooker, David G 552 

Hospitals 314 

Hostilities 558 

Houghton. George G 570 

Howard. James C 193 

Howard. Samuel 555 

Howe. James H 512 

Hovt, Thomas D 226 

Hu'bbell. Levi 169 

Huebschmann. Francis 93 

Hunter. Ed. M 148 

Ide. George H 365 

Illinois Territory 45 

Ilsley, Chas. K. ^, 570 

Indiana Territory 44 


Pottawattomies 32 

Pottawattomies, description of 34 

Removal 80 

Reservation 34 

Trails 100 

Indurated rocks 18 

Industries, see Manufacturing. 

Iron 576 

Iron Industry, see Manufacturing. 

Jacobs, Wm. H 154 

Jail, first 109 

James. Charles 222 

Jenkins, Charles E 524 

Johnson, Daniel H 176 

Johnson, James 481 

Judaism 369 

Judd. Truman H 173 

Juneau, Solomon 239 

Death of 244 

Kalckoff, P 480 

Katzer, Frederick X 339 

Kemper, Jackson 345 

Kempster. Walter 487 

Keogh, Edward 150 

Kilboum, Byron 90 

Kilbourn Road lOO 

Kilbourntown 251 

King, Charles 609 

King. Rufus 97 

Kinnickinnick river 23-24 

Kirby. Abner 295 

Kneeland, James 89 

Knight, Cyrus F 347 

Kraatz, Carl F. W 180 

Kuehn, Ferdinand 134 

Labor Troubles 297 

La Due, Joshua 550 

Lake, Town of 187 

Land Claims 62 

Land craze ■ 61 

Land Districts 47 

Land Sales 81 

Lapham, Increase A 277 

Larkin, Charles H 151-566 

LaSalle's Voyage 39 

Lawyers, Prominent 5,51 

Leather 577 

Legislative Assembly 1839 80 

Leuthstrom, C. A 496 

Library. Law Association 557 

Library. Public 416 

Lieut. Governors, list of 134 

Literature 466 

Lombard, J. W. P 569 

Loomis. Hubbell 475 

Loyal Legion 601 

Ludington, Harrison 132 

Lutheran Church 348 

Lynde. William P 141-541 

MacAlister, James 395 

MacArthur, Artnur 130 

MacArthur, Gen. Arthur 608 

McCreedy, Jeremiah 2.32 

McGregor, John P 542 

McKnight, Louis 485 

Mallory. James A 533 

Mann. John E 525 

Manufacturers' and Jobbers' Associa- 
tion 389 

Manufacturing 5/4 

Manufacturing, Early 575 

Markham, Henry H 550 

Marks, Solon fSf 

Marsh, E. S 480 

Marshall, Samuel 5(0 

Mason, Darius j^*> 

May. A. C ^25 

Mayors, list of ^* 

Meats, Packing of o(>i 

Medical Profession •■••• ■»'4 

Members First Legislative Assembly. 58 

Menominee River ;■■;•■• 

Merchants' and Manufacturers Asso- 

ciation ^80 

Merrill, David 'Z'^, 

Messinger, John A • • *'» 

Methodist Episcopal Chturch am 

Michigan Legislative Council, last ses- 

Michigan Territory 

Middle Devonian age 

Miller, Andrew G 

Miller. Henry • ■'■■■■■ 


Badger State Rifles 

Black Yagers 

Chapman Guard 

City Guards 

Cream City Guard 

Milwaukee Dragoons 


German Riflemen 

History, chapter 

Kosciuszko Guard ^^ 

Light Horse Squadron -^f-^ 

Milwaukee Cadets..... ■»•■ 

Milwaukee City Guard.. &»» 

Milwaukee Light Artillery 







Milwaukee Light Guard 589 

Milwaukee Riflemen 592 

Mountedl Artillery 588 

Milwaukee Zouaves 597 

Montgomery Guard 593 

Rusk Guard 600 

Sheridan Guard 599 

South Side Turner Rifles 599 

Union Guards 591 

Union Rifles 592 

Washington Guards 588 


Brick 21 

City of 235 

Original Boundaries 285 

Origin of Name 235 

Present' Limits 297 

Under City Charter 283 

Milwaukee County Formed 46 

Milwaukee, Town of 195 

Milwaukee River 20-21-23-24 

Mirandeau, Jean Baptiste 237 

Mitchell, Alexander 143 

Mitchell, John L 139 

Miter, John J 363 

Mollusks 19 

Murray, James 270 

Museum, Public 418 

Natural Features, chapter 17 

Newburg 23 

Newspaper Correspondents 464 

Newspapers 431 




American Freeman 



Bayview Herald 

Bayview Worker 


Commercial Advertiser. 
Commercial Letter and 


Commercial Times 


Cudahv Enterprise Vol. II. 

Daily Globe 

Daily Journal 

Daily I^ife 

Daily News 

Daily Reformer 

Daily Times 

Daily Wisconsin 



Evening Signal 

Free Democrat 

Free Press 

Freie Presse / 




Krytyka Vol. 1 1, 

Kuryer Poliski Vol. II 

Labor Review 

List of 

Miscellaneous list of 

Morning News 


Nowiny Polskie 

Oredownik, Jezykowy 

"Packages' ' 

Peck's Sun 

Republican and News 




South Side Courier 

Sunday Telegraph 447 

Temperance Journal 

Tygednik Polski 


Price Cur- 



Yenowyne's News 

Nicholson, Isaac L 

Niedermann, J. C. U 

Noonan, Josiah A US 

Noyes, Thomas J 277 

Oak Creek, town of 

Ogden, John 

Olin, Nelson 

O'Neill, Edward 

Orendorf , Alfred 

Organization of County 

Organization of Settlers 

O' Rourke, John 

Orphanage Asylum, St. Joseph's 

Orton, Harlow S 

Orton, John J 

Orton, Myron H 

Ozaukee County 

Packing* Industry 

Page, Herman L 

Paine, Halbert E 143, 

Park, Kosciusko 

Park System 

Party Divisions 

Patterson, Daniel W 

Paul, George H 

Payne, Henry C 

Peckham, Wheeler H 

Pereles, J. M 

Pereles, Nathan 

Perrot's Visit 35. 

Petit, Louis J 

Pharmacy, Milwaukee Homeopathic. 





Pitkin, Frederick W 

Plankinton, John 

Plank Roads 

Platto. Jacob V. V 


Artistic phases 

Association of, in America 

Business Concerns 

Dramatic Amateurs 

Educational Matters 

In Commercial and Business Life.. 

In Milwaukee, chapter 

In Political Life 

In Public Affairs 

Kosciuszko Hall 

Ladies' Singing Societies 

Male Choirs 

Members of the Legislature 

Military Organization 

Music ana Song 

National Alliance 


Normal School 


Professional Men 


Sharpshooters' Club 

Social T>ife 

Sokol Society 


St. Augustine's Society 

St. Francis de Sales Seminary 


Turner Societies 

Political History 

Pomeroy, Fennimore C 

Pont iac's "War 

Postmasters, list of 

Postoffice Building 

Kostoffice, When established 

Post. William M 

Powell, Charles F 

Pratt, Wallace 

Pre-emption Laws 

Prentiss, William A 

Press Club 








Press Club, German 

Proudfit, William P 277, 

Public Buildings, first 

Public Domain 

Quentin, Charles 



Railway Manufactures 

Railways, Street 

Randall, Alexander W 

Rawson, Luther 

Reed, Harrison ; 

Reed, Henry A [ 

Registers of Deeds 

Relief Associations 

Reunion, Ex-Soldiers 

Reyno.ds, James 

Richards, Daniel H 




Of 1886 ;;;;;; 

Roads, Commissioners to lay out 

Robinson, Chauncey C 

Rogers, Daniel G 

Rogers. James H 

Root River 

Ross, Laura J 

Ruan, John '. 

Rugee. John ." 

Runkel, Henry C 

Ryan, Edward G 

Salomon, Edward 

Salzman, Joseph 

Sanderson, James 

Sandstone, St. Peters V 

Schoeff ler, Moritz 

School, Catholic Normal 

Schoolcraft's "Narrative Journal" 



Commercial course 

Cooking Added 


Early [\\ , 


Exhibits '. 

For the Deaf 





Manual Training 

Normal Training 

Of Trades 



State Normal 


Selby Jeremiah B 

Seminary Provincial 

Senators, State 

Senators, U. S., list of 

Senn, Nicholas 

Settlers, early 

Settler, first who 

Sewerage system 

Sharpstein, John R 

Shaw, Daniel 

Sheboygan Countv 


Sherman. Lewis 

Shields, William 

Sholes, C. C 

Shultz, Alfred G 

Shumway, Perley J 

Silurian age 

Single-Tax, application of 

Sivyer, William 


Small, David W 


Smith, Albert 

E. P 

John B 

Uriel B.... 
William E. 







463 Smith, 
477 Smith, 
109 Smith, 
47 Smith, 
150 Smith, 
584, Clinical Club. 


Fraternal . . . 

Milwaukee County ' Medicai .' .' 
Ml waukee Free Dispensary 
Milwaukee Medical.. 
594 Soil •••• 

602 Soldiers' Home...'. 

163 Soldiers, Prominent. 

175 South Milwaukee, city of 

Spencer, Thomas.... 

566 Stage Coaches. ... 

357 Starr, Elisha 

297 Stewart, Alexander. . . 

104 Stewart, Orlando L.... 

483 St. John's Institute ' " 

St. A-artin, village of.. 
Strohmeyer, George W.... 

Strong, Moses M 

48S!Strong, Reuben 

162 Superintendents, State... 

165 Surveyors 

175 Sutherland, George E...... 

546 Swan, Emory 

131 Sweet, Alanson 

334 Tallmadge, John J... 

270: Taxes ' ; " 

18 : Taylor, Jonathan '.'..', 

183 1 Teachers' Association 


32 Assembly at Burlington 


40.^ Organization 

411 i Road 

401I Thomas, Griff J 

420 Thompson, James H 

3§C Thompson, Jared 

397 Title to Lands 

402 Topography of Milwaukee 

41§ Town Government 

413 Township Formations 

380 Transportation Lines 

423 ^Treasurers, County 

415 Treasurers, State 


Of 1634 







Fort Stanwix 


Trenton Limestone 

Trowbridge, William S 

I Trust Companies— See Banks. 

Tweedy, John H 

I Uihlein, August 

548J Underwood, Enoch D 

445 University, Marquette ,. . . 

23i University of Milwaukee 

182 Upham, Don A. J 

497 Van Schaick, Isaac W 

213 Vliet, Garret 

443 Veterans, organizations 

570 Vieau, Jacques 

160 Virginia's Grant 

19,Vogel. Frederick, Sr — 

275 Vogel, Fred. Jr 

27l!Waldo, Otis H. 









Walker, George H. 
Walker. Isaac P... 

Walker's Point 

Walworth, Clinton. 

. 68 
. 46 
. 56 
. 100 
, 602 
. 486 
. 194 
, 41 
. 257 
. 82 
. 68 
. 584 
. 185 
. 134 

, 30 

. 44 

, 42 

. 42 


, 31 













Spanish- American 



Allyn Capron Post 

"U'ashing-ton County 

Washing-ton Street Bridge. 

'V^^aterworlts System 

T\'atson, George D 

Waultesha County formed. 

"V\'auwatosa, city of 

"V\^auwatosa, town of 

"Webster, Nelson 

Weeks, I^emuel W 

"V\^egg, David S 

"U^elles, E. R 

Wells, Charles K 

"Wells, Daniel, Jr 








Wells, Horatio N 80 

West Allis, village of 229 

West Bend 23 

Whipple, William G 549 

Whiteflsh Bay 205 

Whitney, James P 482 

Wight, Orlando W 487 

Wilcox, F. M 482 

Wilcox, Joel S 189 

Williams, Joseph 193 

Williams, W. C 537 

Wisconsin Territory 46 

Wolcott, Erastus B 478 

Wolcott, Oliver P 486 

Wolf, Herman F 570 

Yates Peter 541 

Young Men's Christian Association.. 378 
Young- Women's Christian Association 379 

Zautclce, Frederick A 178 

Zouaves, Milwaukee 567 


Facing Page. 

Bruce, William George 558 

Chamber of Commerce 579 

City Hall 235 

Court House 49 

Deutscher Club 449 

Goral, Boleslaus E 612 

Juneau Avenue and Monument 305 

Kosciuszko Monument 625 

Library and Museum 417 

Marks, Solon 474 

Milwaukee Club 161 

Milwaukee Yacht Club 326 

Peck, George Wilbur 431 

Postoffice 81 

Soldiers'- Home 316 

Soldiers' Monument 587 

Watrous, Jerome A Frontispiece. 




In writing a chapter on the natural features of Milwaukee 
county we shall necessarily be confined to a brief outline of such 
general principles of geology as may be of interest or profit to the 
general reader, and avoid the use of such technical terms and de- 
tails as may be omitted without sacrificing the subject too greatly. 
For a work at once elaborate and instructive we shall refer the 
reader to "Geology of AVisconsin — Survey of 1873-79," published 
under the direction of the Chief Geologist, and under authority from 
the state government. 

Geology treats of the earth's formation and structure, its rocks, 
strata, minerals, organic remains, the changes it has undergone from 
inundation, also from volcanic and other influences. Geology is a 
history of the earth built upon circumstantial evidence, such as is 
read from the rocks, minerals and organic remains, together with 
stratagraphical construction, and the later disarrangement of that 
by volcanic action, and the slow process of erosion, which has been 
going on for countless ages. It is a well established fact, the result 
of scientific research, that the whole country about this region has 
at some time, ages ago, been covered with water of unknown depth, 
and that these waters were constantly changing as if in motion, or 
by undercurrents, tides and waves. In the course of ages these 
waters receded, having found some outlet into the vast bodies of 
water that now so largely cover the earth's surface. Again, the 
labors of those who, during the last two hundred years, have de- 
voted themselves to the study of the structure of the globe, have 
resulted in the creation of the science of geology, and the claim 


which this department of human knowledge has to science de- 
pends upon the symmetry which has been found to prevail in the 
arrangement of the materials forming the earth's crust. By the 
slow process of adding fact to fact and by comparing the observa- 
tions of the devotees of the science in different lands it has been 
found that the rocky strata of the earth hold definite relation to 
each other in position, and hence in age ; that many of them are 
distinguished by constant or general features and contain charac- 
teristic or peculiar remains of plants or animals by which they may 
be recognized wherever found. This sequence of deposit forms 
what has been aptly termed the geological column. 

The indurated rocks, being everywhere covered with a heavy 
bed of drift, have been reached in this county only by boring, and 
this only at a few places. A well drilled in the city of Milwaukee, 
after traversing 170 feet of drift, met the Niagara limestone, with 
a thickness of 267 feet, and underlaid by the Cincinnati shale with 
a thickness of 165 feet. Beneath the Cincinnati shale were the 
Trenton and Galena limestones with a thickness of 253 feet, and 
these rested upon St. Peters sandstone, into which the well was 
drilled to a depth of 193 feet. The surface of the well is about ten 
feet above Lake Michigan, which shows that at that point the 
Niagara limestone lies 160 feet below the surface of the lake. Com- 
paring this again with wells in other localities it appears that the 
strata of limestone dip to the eastward. 

The geology of the soil is independent of the underlying rocks, 
and is referable exclusively to the drift ; for, as before stated, the 
bedded rocks of Milwaukee county are covered with a heavy sheet 
of drift to a depth averaging more than 150 feet. Long after Mil- 
waukee county was raised above the sea as a sort of plain, topped 
by the ocean-rippled shales of Niagara limestone ; long after the 
depressions and uprisings that accompanied the deposit of the car- 
boniferous or coal-bearing rocks to the eastward ; and long after 
the streams of that ancient time had cut away the rocks to form the 
valleys nearly as they are today ; throughout a period of erosion, 
when the Alleghany Mountains were reduced from a height of five 
miles to something near their present modest altitude — after all 
this the ice age came and covered the greater part of Wisconsin 
with a glacier sheet Avhich completely enveloped what is now Mil- 
waukee county. This count}^ therefore, has the same glacial his- 
tory as has all the eastern and southern parts of the state. Not a 
summit is there that stood above the glaciers, and the clay and 
boulders that mark the drift overlie all the ordinary high land of 


the county. The areas covered by the drift furnish far more varied 
and fruitful soils than the native rocks, and hence the lands in Mil- 
waukee county take their place among the best lands in the state of 

In the vicinity of Mud Creek there is a small area of rock re- 
ferred, somewhat doubtfully, to what is known as the Lower llel- 
derberg- period. The rock is a hard, brittle, light-gray, magnesian 
limestone, distinguished by numerous minute, angular cavities, that 
give it a very peculiar porous structure. It is thin-bedded and lam- 
inated, by virtue of which it splits readily into flags and thin plates. 
Some layers exhibit an alteration of gray and dark-colored liminae 
peculiarly characteristic of this formation. The rock is closely as- 
sociated with the Niagara limestone, in a depression of which it 
appears to lie, and it is overlain by rock of the Middle Devo- 
nian age. 

This last mentioned rock is the uppermost and newest of the 
indurated formations of Wisconsin; it is the only representative 
of the Devonian age, and it is known as the Hamilton cement rock. 
It is found near the city of Milwaukee and occupies a limited area, 
lying adjacent to the lake, immediately north of the city, and rests 
in part upon the shaly limestone above described, and apparently 
upon the Niagara limestone in other portions. In general litho- 
logical characteristics it consists of a bluish gray or ash-colored, im- 
pure dolomite, which weathers upon exposure to a yellowish or 
buff color, owing to the oxidation of the iron which constitutes one 
of its ingredients. The impurities consist chiefly of silica and 
alumina. The rock is characterized in certain portions by the occa- 
sional presence of cavities, in which occur crystals of iron pyrites 
and calcite, and, very rarely, zinc blende. Crystals of the two for- 
mer minerals are disseminated more or less through certain por- 
tions of the rock. In texture it is somewhat varying, being quite 
homogeneous in some layers and quite irregular and lumpy in 
others, while the chemical composition changes much less marked- 
ly though sufficiently to affect the hydraulic properties of the rock. 
In degree of induration it ranges from rather soft to moderately 
hard. The beds are usually thick, with the exception of some por- 
tions, which are somewhat shaly. 

In relation to organic remains the Hamilton period marked a 
new era in the history of the life of the Wisconsin formations. 
While multitudes of Protozoans, Radiates, Mollusks and Articu- 
lates lived in the seas of the Silurian age and left their remains em- 
bedded and embalmed in the accumulating sediments, whether of 


sandstone, shale or limestone, no fragment or trace of a Vertebrate 
has been found. The Hamilton period witnessed the introduction 
of this highest type of the animal kingdom into the Wisconsin se- 
ries. The vertebrate remains of this formation are confined to the 
relics of fishes, but unfortunately these are fragmentary and imper- 
fect. They have been submitted to the inspection of eminent au- 
thority in such matters and have been found to be a new and un- 
known species. 

The most extensive and important outcrop of this formation, 
known as the Hamilton Cement Rock, is found along the Milwau- 
kee river in the vicinity of the Washington street bridge, extending 
above and below in sections 4 and 5, town 7, range 22 east. The 
rock nowhere rises to any considerable height above the river-bed, 
so that no extensive vertical section can be seen, and the frequent 
interruptions of the exposure, as traced along the river, prevent any 
trustworthy correlation of the strata. The lithological characters 
of the rock at this point are essentially those before given as gen- 
eral characteristics, and this locality may be regarded as the typical 
one of the formation. A portion of the layers found west of the 
bridge are more shaly than the average rock of the formation, and 
upon exposure tend to disintegrate somewhat more readily. A 
stratum found below the bridge possesses a more granular charac- 
ter than the rest of the formation, but the chemical analyses that 
have been made of the several portions indicate that these varia- 
tions are largely of a physical nature, and that the chemical compo- 
sition is less varying. In the drift lying upon this rock an abun- 
dance of black shale is present in thin, fragile, more or less rounded 
chips, indicating the near presence of the formation from which 
they are derived, and which may be conjectured to be the overlying 
black slate so abundant in other regions. The fishes mentioned in 
a foregoing paragraph have been found in this localit}-, together 
with a long list of invertebrates, which indicates a rich and abun- 
dant fauna. For the names and description of the fossils found in 
this region we would refer those interested to Volume IV of the 
"Geology of Wisconsin — Survey of 1873-1877," to which the writer 
is indebted for a great deal of the information contained in this 

In section 11, town of Granville, a railroad cut just south of 
the station known as Brown Deer exhibits a few feet of this forma- 
tion. The original lithological characters are essentially those al- 
ready referred to, but the rock of this localit}^ has been more exten- 
sively weathered than that near Washington Street bridge, and 


presents a buff color, except in the interior of some of the heavier 
layers, and it is also somewhat decomposed in certain portions. In 
sections 9 and 10 of the same township occurs another exposure of 
this formation, occupying the brow of a hill, and underlaid by lime- 
stone belong-ing to the Niagara formation. The rock here is a 
rather soft, granular, buff, impure, dolomite, much stained with 
iron, which is doubtless due to the decomposition and oxidation 
of pyrites, originally disseminated through it. Along the lake 
shore on Whitefish bay the formation rises slightly above the water 
level in a very limited exposure. The strata at this point have a 
firmer texture, but more uneven structure than at the previously 
named localities. The lines of deposition and bedding are irregu- 
lar, and angular cavities of moderate size are not infrequent, some 
of which are filled with a semi-fluid, tar-like bitumen. An analysis 
of this rock shows it to' have much less silica and alumina than the 
beds on the Milwaukee river. The extent of this deposit in Mil- 
waukee county is abundantly sufficient for all anticipated wants 
and its location is convenient and accessible, so that it forms one 
of the important resources of this vicinity. 

. By far the most important resource springing from the drift 
in this region has already received consideration — the fertile and 
enduring soils. The powdering and commingling of such a vast 
variety of minerals by the glacial forces was a process than which 
none could be better suited to produce a secure and permanent 
foundation for agricultural industries — a resource that is the basis 
of all wealth and prosperity. But second only to this in importance 
are the building materials furnished by the drift formation, promi- 
nent among which are the deposits of brick clay. These belong 
to two classes, the light colored and red clays. The former, found 
extensively in Milwaukee county, are lacustrine or fluviatile de- 
posits, derived from the wash and redeposit of the bowlder clay, 
and occur within the area covered by that formation. A portion 
of these clays burn to a beautiful cream color, and their superiority 
in texture as well as color makes them a general favorite in the 
market. It is thought to be entirely safe to say that in quantity, 
quality, convenience of situation and facilities for shipment the Mil- 
waukee clays are unsurpassed on this continent. The superiority 
of the brick is universally acknowledged, and their beauty is a mat- 
ter of general commendation. The product has the light cream 
dolor, so long known in the market as the characteristic of "Mil- 
waukee brick." and they are made from a light colored clay, a mod- 
ified form of the glacial deposit. 


When Eastern Wisconsin first emerged from the ocean it 
doubtless presented an essentially plane surface, having a slight 
inclination to the east and southeast. The irregularities which it 
now presents are due, in a large measure, to three different agents, 
acting at different times and under different conditions. These are : 

1st. During that long cycle of time that existed between the 
emergence of the land from its bed in the vasty deep, and what is 
known as the drift period, the numerous streams and rivers were 
ploughing their beds deeper and -deeper into the primeval rocks, 
and rendering the former level surface more and more irregular. 
The softer rocks being more readily eroded than the harder ones, 
increased. their unevenness, there being a constant tendency of the 
streams to follow the softer strata wherever the slope of the land 
favored, and as these run in a northerly and southerly direction 
generally throughout this region, the main streams had, that gen- 
eral course. The little streams gathered into the larger ones in a 
manner not unlike the branches of the forest tree as they gather 
into the parent stem. The erosion of this nature produced in the 
unevenness of the surface a symmetry and a certain system easily 
recognizable. As this action upon the rocks occupied the period 
preceding the glaciers, we, for convenience, call it the pre-glacial. 
In Milwaukee county, however, these pre-glacial features have be- 
come wholly obscured, except in their grander outlines, by the gla- 
cial deposits, which cover this section of the state. 

2nd. The modifications of the surface constituting the first 
class of topographical features were produced by running water; 
those of the second class, which follow next in order of time, were 
formed by ice in the form of glaciers and by the various agencies 
brought into action by their melting. The work of the ice was 
twofold ; first, in the partial leveling of the surface by planing off 
the hills and strewing the finely pulverized rock upon the surface 
of the valleys ; second, in the creation of a new, uneven surface by 
the promiscuous heaping up of the clay, sand, boulders and gravel, 
thus giving the land a new aspect. Among the features produced 
by this movement of gigantic mountains of ice are parallel ridges, 
sometimes many miles in length, having the same general direc- 
tion as the ice movement; hills of a rounded, flowing contour, like 
many found along the shores of the Milwaukee river; half-embos- 
omed rocky ledges cropping out of the hillsides, like giant battle- 
ments on titanic castles ; all of which combine to form a peculiar 
and distinctive contour of surface easily recognizable. As all of 
these apparent freaks of nature are due to the action of the ice, 
they are denominated glacial features. 


3rd. Subsequent to the subsidence of the glacial periods the 
streams resumed their wearing action, but under different condi- 
tions, and carved out a new surface contour, the features of which 
may be termed post-glacial or drift. In addition to this there oc- 
curred a depression of the land, attended by an increased volume 
of water in the lakes, by which doubtless all of Milwaukee county 
was submerged. The advancing waters leveled down many of the 
surface irregularities, and while the land was submerged the "red 
clay" was deposited, thus still further leveling the surface. After 
the land again rose from the water the streams resumed their cut- 
ting, and as the clay was soft, they rapidly eroded the gorges which 
are now extant. 

To the three agencies, lake action, ice and running water, as- 
sisted slightly by winds, the topographical features of Mihvaukee 
county are chiefly due. There is no evidence of violent eruptions, 
upheavals or outbursts. There was the gradual elevation and de- 
pression of the surface and probably some little flexure of the crust, 
but in general the region has been free from violent agitation, and 
owes none of its salient topographical features to such causes. 
Properl}^ speaking, the county can not be said to be hilly, nor does 
it sink to a dead level over any considerable area. It presents the 
golden mean in a gently undulating, diversified surface, readily 
traversible in all directions by the various highways of communi- 

The features of topography of Milwaukee county are the rivers 
and smaller streams that traverse it, making it a well watered dis- 
trict, and a gentle undulating surface, a number of eminences ris- 
ing above the general level. The largest stream is the Milwaukee 
river, while second only in size is the Menominee river, which 
unites its waters with the Milwaukee, and then uniting with the 
Kinnickinnick, the three streams flow together into Lake Michigan 
at the city of Milwaukee. The southern portion of the county is 
well drained bv Duck and Root rivers and Oak creek. The course 
of the Milwaukee river is decidedly interesting. It originates 
chiefly in Fond du Lac and Sheboygan counties from a number of 
nearly parallel southward-flowing streams, which gradually unite 
to form the main river. At West Bend, Washington county, it 
turns abruptly eastward. After passing Newburg it makes a rude 
sigmoid flexure to the north and resumes its eastward course. 
When within about nine miles of the lake it bends suddenly to the 
right and flows almost directly south parallel to the lake shore for 
more than thirty miles, being distant from it at some points in its 


course less than two miles. Near the great bend in the town of 
Fredonia, Ozaukee county, the stream reaches an ancient beach 
line, which marks the shore of the lake at the time of the deposit 
of the lower red clay, heretofore mentioned. The river follows along 
this beach line to its mouth at Milwaukee. 

The Menominee river rises in the southern part of Washing- 
ton county and running in a southeasterly direction through the 
towns of Granville and Wauwatosa, enters the Milwaukee river 
within the city limits of Milwaukee. It is a fine little stream and 
afforded many valuable pioneer mill privileges, several of which 
were improved. Several limestone quarries were opened along its 
banks, wdiich are usually high. It receives a branch in the town 
of Granville, called the "East Branch," and above that point the 
valley is much contracted in width, there being no bottom lands on 
either side. Below the East Branch the level or bottom lands are 
usually about a half-mile in width. 

The general slope of the surface of the county is to the east 
and south and is quite moderate. The lowest land is in the town 
of Lake, at the west line of section 8, near the Kinnickinnick river, 
where the surface lies but ten feet above the level of Lake Michi- 
gan, or 588 feet above the level of the sea ; while in the northwest 
corner of section 30, in Greenfield township, the altitude reached 
is 843 feet above sea level. The remainder of the surface of the 
county varies in altitude between these two extremes. It should 
be mentioned in this connection that a considerable portion of the 
shore of Lake Michigan is formed by high, steep banks of clay, 
sand and gravel, and that these are being continually undermined, 
thrown down and borne away by the restless activity of the waves. 
The rate at which the land is thus being swept into the lake be- 
comes a question of importance, but it should be understood that 
the lake is not advancing at all points, and that the rate of its ad- 
vance at different points is not uniform. The encroachment seems 
to be most rapid in the neighborhood of Racine, and by measure- 
ments it was ascertained that in the forty years that elapsed be- 
tween the surveys of 1835 ^"*^ ^^75 ^^^ abrasion of the shore in 
Milwaukee county ranged at different points from two to five and 
one-half feet. The material washed out from the shore is borne 
southward and accumulates rapidly on the north side of all the 
solid piers that extend out from the shore. 

The soil of Milwaukee county, generally speaking, is abund- 
antly rich and adapted to the growth of the usual crops in this 
climate and latitude. The greater portion of the county was origi- 



nally covered with a heavy growth of timber, among which were 
the following species or kinds : Hard and soft maple, white birch, 
hickory, white and red cedar, white and red beach, black and white 
walnut, white and yellow pine, tamarack, sycamore, hackberry, 
poplar, balm of Gilead, aspen, white, red, burr and pin oak, bass- 
wood and common and slippery elm. Several of these, as the red 
cedar, pine and sycamore, were very scarce, however, and were 
found but rarely, but the bass-wood, that true indicator of a moist 
and rich soil, was more plentiful, as were also the other trees men- 
tioned. Where these dense forests existed a marked effect was 
noticed upon the climate in several particulars. They protected 
the houses and cattle from the rigors of the north winds of winter 
and from the fierceness of the burning sun in summer. They pre- 
served the moisture of the ground, and of the air, and rendered per- 
manent and uniform the flow of water in springs, brooks and rivers. 
By the fall of their leaves, branches and trunks they restored to the 
soil those elements of vegetable life and growth that would, with- 
out this natural process, become less rich and productive. The 
leaves of the trees absorb the carbonic acid from the atmosphere 
and restore it to the oxygen, thus rendering it more pure and better 
suited for respiration by man and animals. 

As regards climate, Milwaukee county is about the same as 
that of other sections of the state in the same latitude, except that 
it has the benefit of proximity to Lake Michigan, the influence of 
which prevents the extremes of heat and cold from which the in- 
habitants of the inland localities sometimes suffer. The win- 
ters, usually long- and severe, are occasionally mild and almost en- 
tirely without snow. The ground generally becomes frozen to a 
considerable depth, and the rivers and ponds are bridged over with 
ice. The snow usually falls in December and continues until 
March, but the "January thraw" often carries off the snow and 
occasionally dissolves the ice in the rivers. The Milwaukee river 
generally becomes closed with ice in the latter part of November 
and becomes open some time in March. Lake Michigan has a very 
sensible effect upon the climate by equalizing the temperature- 
making the summers less hot and the winters less cold than they 
would otherwise be. Hence the difference between the mean tem- 
perature of winter and summer is several degrees less at Milwaukee 
than at a point in the same latitude in the western part of the state 
About the same dift'erence is observed when we compare the mean 
temperature of winter and spring at the same places; the change 
from winter to spring being more sudden in the interior than on 


the lakes. This fact is also inferred from the vegetation of spring, 
for it has been ascertained by direct observation that in Waukesha 
county the early spring flowers show themselves about ten days 
earlier than on the lake. In the spring vegetation, in places remote 
from the lake, shoots up in a very short time and flowers begin to 
show their petals, while on the lake shore the cool air retards them 
and brings them more gradually into existence. Another effect of 
the lake is, as perhaps might be expected, to create a greater de- 
gree of humidity in the atmosphere, and hence a greater quantity 
of, rain. It is worthy of remark, however, that fogs do not occur 
with any great frequency, and Milwaukee is comparatively free 
from that inconvenience. Fogs are often seen lying on the surface 
of the lake itself, and vessels often experience trouble in making 
their way through them, but the mists appear to be dissipated upon 
approaching land. 

In speaking of the flora of Milwaukee county it should be 
noted that it belongs to the heavily timbered land district. In its 
primitive state it abounded in plants of an interesting and useful 
character, embracing all varieties, from the stately oak which 
towered its head above the other trees of the forest to the humblest 
"wild wood flower." The openings in the forests were covered 
with a profusion of flowers of every form and hue, which changed 
with every change of season. In the wet natural meadows was 
found the different kinds of the plant family known by the scien- 
tific name of Carices, and this grew in great abundance, being 
annually cut by the pioneer farmers for hay. It was a highly im- 
portant aid in the settlement of the new country, for it enabled 
the early inhabitants to support their teams and stock until artificial 
meadows could be prepared. Many of these natural meadows were 
occasioned by the dams of the beaver. A list of the diiTerent plants 
native to the county, with their scientific botanical names, is, of 
course, not wnthin the province of this work, but sufifice to say that 
numerous prepared specimens have been distributed among botan- 
ists of note and by them properly arranged and classified. The 
specimens were found to embrace about 150 of the natural orders 
or families, 450 genera, and at least 1,000 species — all found within 
thirty miles of the city of Milwaukee. A soil so adapted to the 
growth of wild flowers and plants was found to yield readily to 
the demands of the agriculturist, and in the production of the staple 
products of the farm the agricultural districts of Milwaukee county 
rank with those of any other section of the state. 

The natural fauna of this portion of ^^^isconsin, with the ex- 



ception of some of the smaller animals, has, of course, largely dis- 
appeared with the destruction of the forests. Of the large game 
none are now to be found within the domain of Milwaukee county, 
but the black bear, badger, otter,, common wolf, red fox, lynx and 
wildcat, together with deer in large numbers, are among the species 
mentioned by the earlier records. But there are probably no speci- 
mens of these animals now remaining in the county. These ani- 
mals had a range of the entire forests of the county. The coulees 
and ravines running down to the streams were the natural haunts of 
wolves and wolverines, and these lingered upon the outskirts of 
settlements after many others of the wild denizens of the forest 
had disappeared. The native fauna of the county is not yet extinct, 
however, as the grey, fox, black, red and striped squirrels are still 
found in considerable numbers, and the muskrat and rabbit have 
their habitat in the localities suited to their abode. 

But the demands of civilization and the gigantic strides of prog- 
ress in Milwaukee county during the past seventy-five years have 
changed the old order of things for the new, and where were once 
the hunting grounds of the red man are now to be found the marts 
of trade of the pale-face. In the succeeding pages an attempt has 
been made to give the story of this metamorphosis somewhat in 




The Indians who inhabited the northern region east of the Miss- 
issippi at the beginning of historic times were, in language, of two great 
families, which are given the French names Algonquin and Iroquois. 
These are not the Indian names. In fact, from the word Indian itself, 
which is a misnomer — arising from the slowness of the early voyagers 
to admit that they had found an unknown continent — down to the names 
of the tribes, there is a confusion of nomenclature and often a deplora- 
able misfit in the titles now fixed in history by long usage. The Algon- 
quin family may more properly be termed the Lenape, and the Iroquois 
the JMengwe, which the English frontiersmen closely approached in the 
word, Mingo. The Lenape themselves, while using that name, also em- 
ployed the more generic title of Wapanacki. The Iroquois, on their 
part, had the ancient name of Onque Honwe, and this in their tongue, 
as Lenape in that of the other family, signified men with a sense of im- 
portance — ''the people," to use a convenient English expression. The 
Lenape became a very widespread people, and different divisions of them 
were known in later years by various names, among which were the 
Sauks or Sacs, and their friends and allies, the Ottagamies or Foxes, 
these two divisions being practically one, and according to Dr. Morse, 
in his report of his Indian tour in 1820, were the first to establish a 
village upon the present site of Milwaukee. 

When, as early, it is believed, as 1634, civilized man first set foot 
upon the territory now included within the boundaries of Wisconsin, 
no representatives of the Iroquois had yet been seen west of Lake Michi- 
gan — the members of that great family at that date dwelling in safety 
in the extensive regions northward and southward of the Erie and On- 
tario lakes. But the Algonquins were here in large numbers, and mov- 


ing westward had checked the advance of the Sioux in the excursions 
of the latter eastward. Already had the French secured a foothold in 
the extensive valley oi the St. Lawrence, and, naturally enough, the 
chain of the Great Lakes led their explorers to the mouth of Green bay, 
and up that water-course and its principal tributary, Fox river, to the 
Wisconsin, an affluent of the Mississippi. On the right, in ascending 
this bay, was seen, for the first time, a nation of Indians, lighter in com- 
plexion than neighboring tribes, and remarkably well fomied, afterward 
well known as the Menomonees. 

This nation was of the Algonquin stock, but their dialect differed 
so much from the surrounding tribes of the same family, it having 
strange guttural sounds and accents, as well as peculiar inflections of 
verbs and other parts of speech, that for a long time they were sup- 
posed to have a distinct language. Their traditions pointed to an immi- 
gration from the east at some remote period. When first visited bv the 
French missionaries, these Indians subsisted largely upon wild rice, 
from which they took their name. The harvest time of this grain was 
in the month of September, and it grew spontaneously in little streams 
with slimy bottoms, and in marshy places. This grain was found to be 
quite plentiful along the shore of Lake Michigan in Milwaukee county. 
When the time for gathering came the harvesters went in their canoes 
across the watery fields, shaking the ears right and left as they advanced, 
the grain falling easily, if ripe, into the bark receptacle beneath. To clear 
it from the chaff and strip it of a pellicle inclosing it, they put it to dry 
on a wooden lattice above a small fire, which was kept up for several 
days. When the rice was well dried it was placed in a skin of the form 
of a bag, which was then forced into a hole made on purpose in the 
ground. They then tread it out so long and so well that the grain being 
freed from the chaff was easily winnowed. After this it was pounded to 
meal, or left unpounded, and boiled in water seasoned with grease, and 
it thus became a very palatable diet, something of the nature of oat 
meal. But it must not be inferred that this was the only food of the 
Menomonees, as' they were adepts in fishing, and hunted with skill the 
game that abounded in the forests. 

For many years after their discovery the Menomonees had their 
homes and hunting grounds upon or adjacent to the Menomonee river, 
which flows into Green bay. Finally, after the lapse of a century and a 
quarter, down to 1760, when the French yielded to the English all 
claims to the country, the territory of the Menomonees had shifted some- 
what to the westward and southward, and their principal village was 
found at the head of Green bay, while a smaller one was still in existence 
at the mouth of their favorite stream. So slight, however, had been this 


change, that the country of no other of the surrounding tribes had been 
encroached upon by the movement. 

In 1634 the Menomonees probably took part in a treaty with a rep- 
resentative of the French, who had thus early ventured so far into the 
wilds of the lake region. More than a score of years elapsed before 
the tribe was again visited by white men, or at least there are no authen- 
tic accounts of earlier visits. In 1660 Father Rene Menard had pene- 
trated the Lake Superior country as far at least as Kewenaw, in what 
is now the northern part of Michigan, whence some of his French com- 
panions probably passed down the Menomonee river to the waters of 
Green bay the following year, but no record of the Indians, through 
whose territory they passed, was made by these voyagers. Ten years 
more — 1670 — brought to the Menomonees Father Claudius Allouez, to 
win them to Christianity. Proceeding from the "Sault" on Nov. 
3, Allouez, early in December, 1669, reached the mouth of Green bay, 
where, in an Indian village of Sacs, Pottawattamies, Foxes and Winne- 
bagoes, containing about 600 souls, he celebrated the holy mass for the 
first time upon this new field of his labors — eight Frenchmen traders 
with the Indians, whom the missionary found there upon his arrival, 
taking part in the devotions. His first Christian work with the Me- 
nomonees was performed in May of the next year. Allouez found this 
tribe a feeble one, almost exterminated by war. He spent but little time 
with them, embarking on the 20th of that month, after a visit of some 
Pottawattamies and Winnebagoes, "with a Frenchman and a savage to 
go to Sainte Mary of the Sault." His place was filled by Father Louis 
Andre, who erected a cabin not long afterward upon the Menomonee 
river, but the building, with one at a village where his predecessor had 
already raised the standard of the cross, was soon burned by the sav- 
ages. The missionary, however, living almost constantly in his canoe, 
continued for some time to labor with the Menomonees and surrounding 
tribes. His efforts were rewarded with some conversions among the 
formei;;, for Marquette, who visited them in 1673, found many good 
Christians among them. 

The record of ninety years of French domination in Wisconsin — be- 
ginning in June, 1671, and ending in October, 1761 — brings to light 
but little of interest so far as the Indians in Eastern Wisconsin are con- 
cerned. Gradually the Menomonees and Pottawattamies extended their 
intercourse with the white fur traders. Gradually and with few inter- 
ruptions they were drawn under the banner. of France, joining with that 
government in its wars with the Iroquois, in its contest with the 
Foxes and subsequently in its conflicts with the English. 

The French post at what is now Green Bay, Wisconsin, was sur- 


rendered to the British in 1760, along with the residue of the Western 
forts, but actual possession of the former was not taken until the Fall 
of the next year. The land on which the fort stood was claimed by the 
Menomonees. Here, at that date, was their upper and principal villao-e, 
the lower one being- at the mouth of the Menomonee river. These 
Indians soon became reconciled to the English occupation of their terri- 
tory, notwithstanding the machinations of French traders who endeav- 
ored to prejudice them against the new comers. The tribe was at this 
time very much reduced, having, but a short time previous, lost 300 of 
their warriors by the small-pox, and most of their chiefs had been slain 
in the war in which they had been engaged as allies of the French aginst 
the English. It was not long before the sincerity of the Menomonees 
was put to the test, however, as Pontiac's war of 1763 broke out and the 
post of Mackinaw was captured. But they continued their friendship 
to the English, joining with the latter against the colonies during the 
Revolution, and fighting on the same side during the war of 1812-15, 
When, in July, 1816, an American force arrived at Green Bay to take 
possession of the country, the Menomonees were found in their village 
near by, very peaceably inclined. The commander of the troops asked 
permission of their chief to build a fort. "My Brother!" was the re- 
sponse, "how can we oppose your locating a council fire among us? 
You are too strong for us. Even if we wanted to oppose you we have 
scarcely got powder and ball to make the attempt. One favor we ask is, 
that our French brothers shall not be disturbed. You can choose any 
place you please for your fort, and we shall not object." No trouble had 
been anticipated from the Menomonees, and the expectations of the 
government of the United States in that regard were fully realized. 
What added much to the friendship now springing up between the 
Menomonees and the Americans was the fact that the next year — 181 7 — 
the annual contribution, which for many years had been made by the 
British, consisting of a shirt, leggins, breech-clout and blanket for each 
member of the tribe, and for each family a copper kettle, knives, axes, 
guns and ammunition, was withheld by them. 

Upon their occupation of the iMenomonee territory it was found by 
the Americans that some of the women of that tribe were married to 
traders and boatmen who had settled at the head of the bay, there being 
no white women in that region. Many of these were Canadians of French 
extraction, hence the anxiety that they should be well treated, which was 
expressed by the Menomonees upon the arrival of the American force. 
The first regular treaty with this tribe was "made and concluded" on 
March 30, 1817, "by and between William Clark, Ninian Edwards, and 
Auguste Chouteau, commissioners on the part and behalf of the United 


States of America, of the one part," and the chiefs and warriors, de- 
puted by the Menomonees, of the other part. By the terms of this com- 
pact all injuries were to be forgiven and forgotten, perpetual peace es- 
tablished, lands, heretofore ceded to other governments, confirmed to the 
United States, all prisoners to be delivered up and the tribe placed under 
the protection of the United States, "and of no other nation, power, or 
sovereign, whatsoever." 

The territory of the Menomonees, when the tribe was taken fully 
under the wing of the general government, had become greatly extended. 
It was bounded on the north by the dividing ridge between the waters 
flowing into Lake Superior and those flowing south into Green bay and 
the Mississippi ; on the east, by Lake Michigan ; on the south, by 
the Milwaukee river, and on the west by the Mississippi and Black 
rivers. This was their territory, though they were practically restricted 
to the occupation of the western shore of Lake Michigan, lying between 
the mouth of Green bay on the north and the Milwaukee river on the 
south, and to a somewhat indefinite area west. Their general claim as 
late as 1825 was north to the Chippewa country, east to Green bay and 
Lake Michigan, south to the Milwaukee river, and west to Black river. 
Henry R. Schoolcraft, mineralogist, whose "Narrative Journal," pub- 
lished in 1 82 1, is replete with valuable information relative to this por- 
tion of the country, and gives the account of a trip made in 181 9 by a 
party of which he was a member, says that on Aug. 26 of that year 
the party encamped at the mouth of the Milwaukee river, where they 
found "two American families and a village of Pottawattomies ; it is the 
division line between the lands of the Menomonees and the Potta- 
wattomies ; the latter claim all south of it." 

The Menomonee territory, as late as 1831, still preserved its large 
proportions. Its eastern division was bounded by the Milwaukee river, 
the shore of Lake Michigan, Green bay. Fox river, and Winnebago lake ; 
its western division by the Wisconsin and Chippewa rivers on the west. 
Fox river on the south. Green bay on the east, and the high lands whence 
flow the streams into Lake Superior, on the north. This year, however, 
it was shorn of a valuable and large part by the tribe ceding to the 
United States all of the eastern division, estimated at 2,500,000 acres. 
This tract included all of Milwaukee, city and county, lying between 
the Milwaukee river and the shore of Lake Michigan. The following 
year the Menomonees aided the general government in the Black Hawk 

Deserving a place in a notice of the Indian tribes of this part of 
Wisconsin is the nation known as the Pottawattomies, who in historic 
times laid claim to the major portion of what is now the county of Mil- 


waukee. As earl)- as 1639 they were the neighbors of the Winnebagoes 
upon Green bay. They were still upon its southern shore, in two 
villages, in 1670, and ten years subsequent to that date they occupied, 
at least in one village, the same region. At the expiration of the first 
quarter of the eighteenth century only a part of the nation was in that 
vicinity — upon the islands at the mouth of the bay. These islands were 
then known as the Pottawattomie islands, and were considered as the 
ancient abode of these Indians. Already had a large portion of this 
tribe emigrated southward, one band resting on the St. Joseph of Lake 
Michigan, the other near Detroit. One peculiarity of this tribe— at 
least of such as resided in what is now Wisconsin — was their intimate 
association with neighboring bands. When, in 1669, a village of the 
Pottawattomies, located upon the southeast shore of Green bay, was 
visted by Allouez, he found with them Sacs and Foxes and Winneba- 
goes. So, also, many years subsequent to that date, when a band of 
these Indians were located at Milwaukee, with them were Ottawas and 
Chippewas. These ''united tribes" claimed all the lands of their respec- 
tive tribes and of other nations, giving the United States no little trouble 
when possession was taken of the western country by the general gov- 
ernment. Finally, by a treaty entered into at Chicago in 1833, their 
claims, such as they were, to lands along the western shore of Lake 
Michigan, within the present state of Wisconsin, extending westward to 
Rock river, were purchased by the United States, with permission for 
the Indians to retain possession of their ceded lands three years longer, 
after which time this ''united nation of Chippewas, Ottawas, and Potta- 
wattomies" began to disappear, and soon were no longer seen in south- 
eastern Wisconsin or in other portions of the state. By this treaty of 
1833 the territory comprised in the present limits of Milwaukee county 
came into legal possession of the pale-face, and the Indians who re- 
mained after 1836 did so by sufferance of their white brethren. 

The Chippewas, who are mentioned here as close friends or allies 
of the Pottawattomies, when the territory now constituting the northern 
portion of Wisconsin became very generally known to the civilized in- 
habitants of the eastern part of the United States, were found in pos- 
session of that vast scope of country. Their hunting grounds extended 
south from Lake Superior to the heads of the Menomonee, the Wiscon- 
sin and Chippewa rivers, also farther eastward and westward. At an 
early day they were engaged in a war with the Sioux — a war indeed, 
which was long continued. The Chippewas persistently maintained 
their position, however — still occupying the same region when the gen- 
eral government extended its jurisdiction over the whole country south 
of the great lakes and west to the Mississippi. By treaties with them 



at different periods, down to the year 1827, the government had recog- 
nized them as the owners of about one quarter of what is now the entire 
state of Wisconsin. The same policy was pursued toward this tribe as 
with neighboring ones in the purchase of their lands by the United 
States. Gradually they parted with their extensive possessions until, in 
1842, the last acre within what is now Wisconsin was disposed of. It 
was the intention of the government to remove the several bands of the 
Chippewas who had thus ceded their lands to a tract reserved for them 
beyond the Mississippi, but this determination was afterward changed so 
as to allow them to remain upon certain reservations within the limits 
of their old-time hunting grounds. These reservations they continue to 
occupy, located in Bayfield, Ashland, Chippewa and Lincoln counties. 
The clans are known, respectively, as the Red Cliff band, the Bad River 
band, the Lac Courte Oreille band, and the Lac de Flambeau band. 

As will have been inferred from the foregoing, when the white men 
first visited what is now Milwaukee county it was with the Pottawat- 
tomie Indians that they had chiefly to deal. Hence the following de- 
scription of that tribe, their habits, customs, etc., will be of interest in 
this connection. It is an extract from Bacqueville de la Potherie's His- 
tory of America, published at Paris in 1722 and again in 1753. The 
author was a French historian of the late seventeenth and early eight- 
eenth centuries, and in 1697 he visited Hudson Bay as a royal com- 
missioner : 

"The Pouteouatemis [ Pottawattomies] are their [the Illinois] 
neighbors ; the behavior of these people is very affable and cordial, and 
they make great efforts to gain the good opinion of persons who come 
among them. They are very intelligent ; they have an inclination for rail- 
lery ; their physical appearance is good, and they are great talkers. When 
they set their minds on anything, it is not easy to turn them from it. 
The old men are prudent, sensible, and deliberate ; it is seldom that they 
undertake any unseasonable enterprise. As they receive strangers very- 
kindly, they are delighted when reciprocal attentions are paid to them. 
They have so good an opinion of themselves that they regard other Na- 
tions as inferior to them. They have made themselves Arbiters for the 
tribes about the Bay, and for all their neighbors ; and they strive to pre- 
serve for themselves that reputation in every direction. Their ambition 
to please everybody has of course caused among them jealousy and di- 
vorce, for tlueir Families are scattered to the right and to the left along 
the Mecheygan [Lake Michigan]. With a view of gaining for them- 
selves special esteem, they make presents of all their possessions, strip- 
ping themselves of even necessary articles, in their eager desire to be 
accounted liberal. Most of the merchandise for which the Outaouas 
[Ottawas] trade with the French is carried among these people. 


"The Sakis [Sacs] have always been neighbors of the Pouteou- 
temis, and have even built a Village with them. They separated from 
each other some years ago, as neither tribe could endure to be subordi- 
nate ; this feeling is general among all the Savages, and each man is mas- 
ter of his own actions, no one daring to contradict him. These Peoples 
[the Sacs] are not intelligent, and are of brutal nature and unruly dis- 
position ; but they have a good physique, and are quite good-looking for 
savages ; they are thieves and liars, great chatterers, good Hunters, and 
very poor Canoemen." 

La Potherie also gives an account of Perrot's visit to the Wiscon- 
consin tribes, and of his success in inducing them to become allies of the 
French. Of Perrot's relations with the Pottawattomies we quote : 

"On one occasion, among the Pouteouatemis, he was regarded aa,a 
God. Curiosity induced him to form the acquaintance of this Nation, 
who dwelt at the foot of the Bay of Puans [Green Bay]. They had 
heard of the French, and; their desire to become acquainted with them 
in order to secure the trade with them had induced these savasres to so 
■down to Montreal, under the guidance of a wandering Outaouak who 
was glad to conduct them thither. The French had been described to 
them as covered with hair (the Savages have no beards), and they be- 
lieved that we were of a different species from other men. They were 
astonished to see that we were, made like themselves, and regarded it as 
a present that the Sky and the Spirits had made them in permitting one 
of the celestial beings to enter their land. The Old Men solemnly 
smoked a Calumet and came into his presence, offering it as a homage 
that they rendered to him. After he had smoked the Calumet, it was 
presented by the Chief to his tribesmen, who all offered it in turn to one 
another, blowing from their mouths the tobacco-smoke over him as if it 
were incense. They said to him: 'Thou art one of the chief spirits, 
since thou usest iron ; it is for thee to rule and protect all men. Praised 
■be the Sun, which has instructed thee and sent thee to our country.' 
They adored him as a God, they took his knives and hatches and in- 
censed them with the tobacco-smoke from their mouths ; and they pre- 
sented to him so many kinds of food that he could not taste them all. 
'It is a spirit,' they said, 'these provisions that he has not tasted are not 
worthy of his lips.' When he left the room, they insisted on carrying 
him upon their shoulders ; the way over which he passed was made clear ; 
they did not dare look in his face, and the women and children watched 
him from a distance. 'He is a Spirit,' they said ; 'let us show our affec- 
tion for him, and he will have pity on us.' The Savage who had intro- 
duced him to this tribe was, in acknowledgement thereof, treated as a 
■Captain. Perot was careful not to receive all these acts of adoration, al- 


though he accepted these honors so far as the interests of Rehgion were 
not concerned. He told them that he was not what they thought, but 
only a Frenchman ; that the real Spirit who had made all had given to 
the French the knowledge of iron, and the Ability to handle it as if it 
were paste. He said that that Spirit, desiring to show his pity for his 
Creatures, had permitted the French Nation to settle in their country 
in order to remove them from the blindness in which they had dwelt, as 
they had not known the true God, the author of Nature, whom the 
French adored; that, when they had established a friendship with the 
French, they would receive from the latter all possible assistance; and 
that he had come to facilitate acquaintance between them by the dis- 
coveries of the various tribes which he was making. And, as the Beaver 
was valued by his people, he wished to ascertain whether there were not 
a good opportunity for them to carry on Trade therein. 

"At that time, there was war between that Tribe and their neigh- 
bors, the Malhominis. The latter, while hunting with the Outagamis, 
had by mistake slain a Pouteouatemi, who was on his way to the Outa- 
gamis. The Pouteouatemis, incensed at this affront, deliberately broke 
the head of a Malhomini who was among the Puans. In the Poute- 
ouatemi Village there were only women and old men, as the Young 
Men had gone for the first time to trade at Montreal, and there was 
reason to fear that the Malhominis would profit by that mischance. 
Perot, who was desirous of making their acquaintance, offered to medi- 
ate a Peace between them. When he had arrived within half a league 
of the Village, he sent a man to tell them that a Frenchman was coming 
to visit them ; this news caused universal joy. All the youths came at 
once to meet him, bearing their weapons and their warlike adornments, 
all marching in file, with frightful contortions and yells ; this was the 
most honorable reception that they thought it was possible to give him. 
He was not uneasy, but fired a gun in the air as far away as he could 
see them; this noise, which seemed to them so extraordinary, caused 
them to halt suddenly, gazing at the Sun in most ludicrous attitudes. 
After he had made them understand that he had come not to disturb 
their repose, but to form an alliance with them, they approached him 
with many gesticulations. The Calumet was presented to him; and, 
when he was ready to proceed to the Village, one of the savages stooped 
down in order to carry Perot upon his shoulders; but his Interpreter 
assured them that he had refused such honors among manv other Na- 
tions. He was escorted with assiduous attentions ; they vied with one 
another in clearing the path, and in breaking off the branches of trees 
which hung in the way. The women and children, who had heard 'the 
Spirit' (for thus they called a gun), had fled into the woods. The men 


assembled in the cabin of the leading war Chief, where they danced the 

Calumet to the sound of the drum. He had them all assemble next 

, day, and made them a speech in nearly these words: * * * 

The Father of the Malhomini who had been murdered by the 
Pouteouatemis arose and took the collar that Perot had given him ; he 
lighted his Calumet, and presented it to him, and then gave it to the 
Chief and all who were present, who smoked it in turn ; then he began to 
sing, holding the Calumet in one hand, and the collar in the other. He 
went out of the cabin while he sang, and, presenting the Calumet and 
collar toward the Sun, he walked sometimes backwards, sometimes for- 
wards ; he made a circuit of his own cabin, went past a great number of 
those in the Village, and finally returned to that of the Chief. There he 
declared that he attached himself wholly to the French ; that he believed 
the living Spirit, who had, in behalf of all the Spirits, domination over 
all other men, who were inferior to him ; that all his Nation had the 
same sentiments ; and that they asked only the protection of the French, 
from whom they hoped for life and for obtaining all that is necessary to 

Perrot, accompanied by some Pottawattomies, made a voyage along 
the west shore of Lake Michigan in 1670, passing from Green Bay to 
Chicago. Two years later a similar vo3-age was undertaken by Allouez 
and Dublon, and as a result of these voyages an extensive fur-trade was 
established with the Indians. There is no data from which to estimate 
the quantities of furs purchased by the French at this early period, and 
sent to Europe, but this constituted almost the sole motive for "locating" 
in this wild, and till then unknown region. The French possessed the 
peculiar faculty of making themselves ''at home" with the Indians, and 
lived without that dread of their tomahawks which was so keenly felt 
by the pioneers of English settlements. Wisconsin remained in pos- 
session of the French, and constituted a portion of "New France," until 
1763, when it was surrendered to Great Britain and became subject to 
her government. British authority was then exercised until the north- 
western country was transferred to the American government in 1794. 
But during this period and until a number of years later little change 
took place in the region of which the city of Milwaukee is the metrop- 
olis. The Indian continued to hunt the deer and to trap the beaver 
unmolested, and bartered his furs at Green Bay or other convenient trad- 
ing points, for the trifles or the "fire-water" of the trader. 





It was not until many years after the close of the American 
Revolution that the /Vnglo-Saxon race undertook the project of 
colonization in the region now known as Wisconsin, of which Mil- 
waukee county forms so important a division. It should not be in- 
ferred, however, that the territory contained within the limits of 
the county remained unvisited by white men and unknown to 
them until after the epoch mentioned above. While this portion 
of North America was under the dominion of the French govern- 
ment, as has been stated in the previous chapter, an extensive trade 
with the Indians was carried on, and in pursuit of the returns that 
came from the traffic with the red men the wily and skillful French 
traders traveled extensively over this portion of their mother-coun- 
try's possessions. They continued their relations with the natives, 
notwithstanding that the result of the French and Indian w^ar trans- 
ferred the right of dominion to the English government, and even 
for years following the American Revolution they followed their 
vocation, undisturbed and without competition, save the rivalry 
existing among themselves. So it is fair to presume that during 
their many excursions in quest of trade the limits of Milwaukee 
county were frequently invaded, and as their much traveled route, 
connecting Green Bay with the trading post on the present site 
of the city of Chicago, was through this region and along the lake 
shore, it can easily be inferred that the natives who then inhabited 
this section were the beneficiaries or victims, as the case might be, 
of commercial intercourse with the earlv French traders. 


The first authentic account we have of a voyage along the 
west shore of Lake Michigan (or IlHnois lake, as it was then called) 
was by Nicholas Perrot, who, accompanied by some Pottawattomies, 
passed from Green Bay to Chicago in 1670. In 1669 Perrot was dis- 
patched to the west as the agent of the Intendant Talon to pre- 
pare a congress of the Indian nations at St. Mary's, and by his visit 
to the Miamis at Chicago became the generally accepted pioneer 
of European explorers to the southern part of Lake Michigan. By 
other authorities, however, it is stated that on Oct. 7, 1699, a pries't 
named Father John B. de St. Cosme (also given in manuscript as 
"Comeze") arrived at Milwaukee in light canoes and remained at 
that place two days during a heavy storm. He was on his way 
from Mackinaw to "Chicagu." He called Lake Michigan "the Mie- 
sit-gan" and Milwaukee "the Melwarik." Of the place he wrote 
to the Bishop of Quebec : "This is a river where there is a village 
which has been considerable. We remained there two days, partly 
to refresh our people (probably Indians), as duck and teal shoot- 
ing was very plenty, and partly on account of the high wind." 
Father de St. Cosme described other places visited, the river and 
the surrounding country, in such a manner as to leave no doubt in 
the minds of some authorities that he visited Milwaukee at the 
time mentioned. In 1671 the cross was borne by Allouez and Dab- 
Ion through eastern Wisconsin and the north of Illinois, among 
the Mascoutins and the Kickapoos on the Milwaukee, and the 
Miamis at the head of Lake Michigan, as well as the Foxes on the 
river which bear their name, and which, in their language, was 
the Wau-ke-sha. In 1673, or four years after the establishment at 
the Bay of Puans,, now Green Bay, Marquette, with the Sieur Joliet 
(the latter having been appointed by the French government to 
"discover" the Mississippi) explored the Fox and Wisconsin rivers 
and descended the Mississippi below the entrance of the Arkansas, 
and then, returning, ascended the Illinois, and making a portage to 
the Chicago river, descended it to Lake Michigan and returned by 
that lake to Green Bay. Joliet returned to Quebec and Marquette 
spent the winter and the following summer at the mission of Green 
Bay, suffering from illness. In October, 1674, he left Green Bay, 
intent upon establishing a mission on the Illinois river, and in 
November he reached the present site of Chicago, again passing 
down the west shore of Lake Michigan. 

It was six years after the discovery of the Mississippi by Joliet 
that La Salle made his voyage up the lakes in the first vessel (the 
Griffin) built above the Falls of Niagara. An interesting account 


of this voyage was published by Louis Hennepin, in Paris, and is 
preserved in the "Transactions of the American Antiquarian So- 
ciety." "Mr. La Salle," says Hennepin, "without taking anybody's 
advice, resolved to send back the ship to Niagara laden with furs 
and skins, to discharge his debts. Our pilot, and five men with him, 
were therefore sent back. They sailed on the i8th (of September, 
1679) with a westerly wind. It was never known what course 
they steered, nor how they perished, but it is supposed the ship 
struck upon the sand and was there buried. This was a great 
loss to Mr. La Salle and other adventurers, for that ship, with its 
cargo, cost about 60,000 livres." The adventurers continued their 
voyage in four canoes along the coast of the lake by Milwaukee, 
to "the mouth of the river Miamis" (Chicago), where a fort was 
erected. During this voyage they experienced one of those severe 
storms which are still so much dreaded on Lake Michigan. "The 
violence of the wind obliged us to drag our canoes sometimes to 
the top of the ricks, to prevent their being dashed to pieces. The 
stormy weather lasted four days, during which we suffered very 
much, and our provisions failed us. We had no other subsistence 
but a handful of Indian corn, once in twenty-four hours, which we 
roasted or else boiled in water, and yet rowed almost every day 
from morning till night. Being in this dismal stress, we saw upon 
the coast a great many ravens and eagles, from whence we con- 
jectured there was some prey, and having landed upon that place, 
we found about the half of a fat wild goat which the wolves had 
strangled. This provision was very acceptable to us, and the rudest 
of our men could not but praise the Divine Providence who took 
such particular care of us." 

Other explorations followed, but generally in the tracks of 
previous ones, and, except at "the bay," there was not, so long as 
the French had dominion over the northwest, a single post occupied 
for any length of time by regular soldiers. At the ending of the 
French and Indian war, in 1763, there was not a single vestige of 
civilization within what are now the bounds of Wisconsin, in the 
way of posts or settlements. The vagrant fur-trader represented 
all that there was of civilization west of Lake Michigan. These 
commercial adventurers were not pioneers in the true sense of the 
word, and it is doubtful if they could properly be called advance 
agents of civilization. Their mission in these parts was neither to 
civilize the denizens of the forest nor to carve out homes in the 
western wilderness. "The white man's burden" rested lightlv on 
their shoulders and gave them little or no concern, the only motive 


that fetched them hither being a desire to possess, at as little cost 
as possible, the wares which the Indians had for sale. This object 
being- attained, they wended their way homeward, and the locali- 
ties which had known them knew them no more. So it remained 
for the forerunners of Anglo-Saxon civilization, as they led the 
"march of empire" in a westerly direction, to open this section of 
country for actual settlement, and win from hostile nature — and at 
times a more hostile foe in human form — homes for themselves 
and posterity. 

Before proceeding with an account of the organization and 
settlement of Milwaukee county, a brief review of the question of 
title to the lands will be necessary, the word title as here used hav- 
ing special reference to racial dominion and civil jurisdiction. As 
is well known, and as heretofore stated, the French were the first 
civilized people who laid claim to the territory now embraced 
within the state of Wisconsin, and France exercised nominal lord- 
ship over the region until the treaty of Paris, in 1763, which ended 
the French and Indian war. Prior to this date the French actually 
occupied isolated places in the vast extent of territory claimed by 
them, but no such occupanc}^ existed in Wisconsin, unless we ex- 
cept Green Bay, where Augustin Langlade had settled a few years 
previous and was with his family and a few others, the only per- 
sons of European blood permanently located in the present boun- 
daries of the state. And in no place was there the semblance of 
courts or magistrates for the trial of civil or criminal issues, and 
hence the chief function of civil government was lacking. Even for 
some years after the country passed under the control of the of- 
ficials of the British government, afifairs were managed by army 
ofificers, commandants of posts on the frontier. 

Immediately after the peace of 1763 with the French, the 
Province of Canada was extended, by act of Parliament, southerly 
to the Alleghany and Ohio rivers. This, of course, included all of 
the present state of Wisconsin, notwithstanding the claims of the 
colony of Virginia that it had the title to all the land northwest of 
the Ohio river, and also those of New York and Connecticut, who 
asserted authority over territory stretching away to an unbounded 
extent westward, but not so far to the south as Virginia. ^ This 
conflict of authority was at its height during the Revolutionary 
war, and in 1778, soon after the conquest of the British forts on 
the Mississippi and the Wabash by Gen. George Rogers Clark, Vir- 
ginia erected the county of Illinois, with the county seat at Kas- 
kaskia. It practically embraced all the territory in the present 


States of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. But 
the British held possession of all the lake region, and in the same 
year (1778) Lord Dorchester, Governor-General of Canada, divided 
Upper Canada into four districts for civil purposes, one of which 
included Detroit and the lake territory. The Northwest remained 
in a comparative degree of quiet during the progress of the Revolu- 
tionary war, except the predatory excursions of the Indians from 
this region, on the frontiers of the old states. It exhibits few events 
worthy of attention, in regard to organized government, produc- 
tion or commerce, and a total barrenness in relation to settlement 
and growth of population. 

Great Britain had promised the Indian tribes that the whites 
should not settle north of the Ohio river, and the government of 
this almost unlimited region was, during English control, ex- 
clusively military, with Detroit as the central post. This was the 
condition during the Revolutionary war, and even after the treaty 
of peace, in 1783, the same state of affairs continued until after the 
second, or Jay treaty, in 1795. Early in 1792 the Upper Canadian 
parliament authorized Governor Simcoe to lay off nineteen counties 
to embrace that province, and it is presumed that the county of 
Essex, on the east bank of the Detroit river, included Michigan and 
Wisconsin. While this supposition is not conclusive, it is certain 
that some form of British civil authority existed at their forts and 
settlements until Detroit and all its dependencies were given up in 
August, 1796. 

The treaty of 1783, which terminated the War of the Revolu- 
tion, included AVisconsin within the boundaries of the United 
States, and the seventh article of that treaty stated that the King 
of Great Britain would, "with all convenient speed, withdraw all 
his forces, garrisons and fleets from the United States, and from 
every post, place and harbor within the same." Military posts 
were garrisoned, however, by British troops, and continued under 
the dominion of Great Britain for many years after that date. Pre- 
paratory to taking possession of it, and in order to avoid collision 
with the Indian tribes, who owned the soil, treaties were made 
with them from time to time (of which more is said on other 
pages'), in which they ceded to the United States their title to their 
lands. But the territory thus secured by treaties with Great 
Britain, and Avith the Indian tribes — and concerning which we had 
thus established an amicable understanding — was for many years 
sequestered from our possession. The British government urged 
as an excuse the failure of Americans to fulfill that part of the 


treaty protecting the claims of British subjects against citizens of 
the United States, but, from the "aid and comfort" rendered the 
Indians in the campaigns of Harmar, St Clair, and Wayne, the 
apparent prime cause was to defeat the efforts of the United 
States to extend their power over the country and tribes north 
of the Ohio, and continue to the British the advantage of the 
fur trade, which, from their relations with these tribes, they pos- 
sessed. The ultimate results of this international difficulty were 
the campaigns of 1790-91-94, ostensibly against the Indians, but 
substantially against them and their British allies, which bear so 
intimate a relation to the formal surrender of the country to Ameri- 
can control that they perform an essential part of history. 

Virginia, however, still adhering to her claim of sovereignty over 
the northwestern country, on March i, 1784, ceded the territory to 
the United States, and immediately Congress entered seriously upon 
the consideration of the problem of providing a government for the 
vast domain. Its deliberations resulted in the famous "Compact 
of 1787." It might not be out of place here to call attention to 
the fact that this compact, in two provisions which were inspired 
by Thomas Jefferson, guaranteed to all the right of religious free- 
dom and prohibited slavery in the territory. Hence the citizens of 
Milwaukee county, in common with the citizens of Wisconsin and 
those of the sister states that were carved from Virginia's grant, 
can feel a pardonable pride that never, under any American juris- 
diction of this domain, has a witch been burned at the stake or a 
slave been sold on the auction block. It cannot be said, however, 
that slavery was not practiced in Wisconsin to some extent, as 
"involuntary servitude," notwithstanding the 6th article of this 
ordinance, continued to exist at Green Bay. During the constant 
wars of the Indians, the Wisconsin tribes made captives of the 
Pawnees and members of other distant tribes and consigned them 
to servitude. Augustin Grignon says in his "Recollections," that 
he personally knew fourteen of these slaves, and that his grand- 
father, Charles De Langdale, had two Indian slaves. It also ap- 
pears quite certain that negroes were held as slaves at Green Bay, 
one of whom, Mr. Grignon says, was a boy purchased by Baptist 
Brunett from a St. Louis Indian trader, and that the negro boy was 
taken away from Brunett as late as 1807, by Mr. Campbell, the 
Indian agent at Prairie du Chien, in consequence of the cruel treat- 
ment inflicted upon him. 

All the pretensions of sovereignty and conflictions of authority 
heretofore mentioned were aside from the claims of the real m- 


habitants of the countr>^ The Iroquois Indians, or Six Nations, 
laid claim to the entire extent of territor)^ bordering on the Ohio 
river and northward, basing their contention upon the assumption 
that they had conquered it and held it by right of conquest. In 
1722 a treatj-- had been made at Albany, New York, between the 
Iroquois and English, by which the lands west of the Alleghany 
mountains were acknowledged to belong to the Iroquois by reason 
of the conquests from the Eries, Conoys, Tongarias, etc., but this 
claim was extinguished by the terms of the treat}' of Fort Stanwix, 
concluded Oct. 22, 1784. The Indian war in the west, which fol- 
lowed the Revolution, was brought to an end b}' the victorious 
arms of Gen. Anthony Wayne, upon the banks of the Maumee 
river, in what is now the state of Ohio, in the year 1794- The treaty 
of Greenville was entered into the next year with twelve western 
tribes of Indians, none of whom resided in Wisconsin. Neverthe- 
less, one of the provisions of the treat}' was that, in consideration of 
the peace then established and the cessations and relinquishments 
of lands made by the Indian tribes there represented, and to 
manifest the liberalit}' of the United States, claims to all Indian 
lands northward of the Ohio, eastward of the Mississippi, and west- 
ward and southward of the great lakes and the waters uniting them, 
were relinquished by the general government to the Indians having 
a right thereto. This included all the lands within the present 
boundaries of Wisconsin, and a further stipulation in the treat}' 
was that when the Indians should sell lands it should be to the 
United States alone, whose protection the Indians acknowledged, 
and that of no other power whatever. 

Under the Ordinance of 1787 Arthur St. Clair was appointed 
governor of the Northwest Territor}-. After July 4, 1800, all that 
portion of the territorv' of the United States northwest of the Ohio 
river, lying to the westward of a line beginning upon that stream 
opposite the mouth of the Kentucky river and running thence to 
what is now Fort Recovery, in Mercer county, Ohio, thence north 
until it intersected the territorial line between the United States 
and Canada, was, for the purpose of temporar}- government, con- 
stituted a separate territory, called Indiana. Within its boundaries 
were included not only nearly all of what is now the state of In- 
diana, but the whole of the present state of Illinois, more than 
half of what is now Michigan, a considerable portion of the pres- 
ent state of Minnesota, and the whole of Wisconsin. 

On Nov. 3, 1804, a treaty was held at St. Louis between the 
Sacs and Foxes and the United States. These tribes then ceded 


to the general government a large tract of land on both sides of 
the Mississippi, extending on the east from the mouth of the Illi- 
nois to the head of that river, thence to the Wisconsin. This grant 
embraces, in what is now Wisconsin, the whole of the present 
counties of Grant and LaFayette, and a large portion of those of 
Iowa and Green. In consideration of the cession of these lands, 
the general government agreed to protect the two tribes in the 
quiet enjoyment of the residue of their possessions against its own 
citizens and all others who should intrude on them, carrying out the 
stipulations to that effect embodied in the Greenville treaty of 
1795. Thus began the settlement of the Indian title to the eminent 
domain of Wisconsin by the United States, which was carried for- 
ward until the whole territory (except certain reservations to a 
few tribes) had been fairly purchased of the original proprietors. 

On Feb. 3, 1809, an act of Congress, entitled "An act for di- 
viding the Indiana territory into two separate governments," was 
approved by the President and became a law. It provided that 
from and after March i, of that year, all that part of the Indiana 
territory lying west of the Wabash river and a direct line drawn 
from that stream and "Post Vincennes" due north to the terri- 
torial line between the United States and Canada, should, for the 
purpose of temporary government, constitute a separate territory 
and be called Illinois, with the seat of government at Kaskaskia, 
on the Mississippi river, until it should be otherwise ordered. By 
this law, all of what is now Wisconsin was transferred from In- 
diana territory to that of Illinois, except that portion lying east of 
the meridian line drawn through Vincennes. 

Upon the admission of Illinois into the Union, in 1818, all "the 
territory of the United States, northwest of the River Ohio," lying 
west of Michigan territory and north of the states of Indiana and 
Illinois, was attached to and made a part of Michigan territory, by 
which act the whole of the present state of Wisconsin came under 
the jurisdiction of the latter. The territory within what are now 
the limits of Milwaukee county thus became a part of the territory 
of Michigan. It was incumbent, therefore, upon the governor of 
Michigan, Lewis Cass, to at once form new counties out of the 
area thus added to his territory, and to provide for their organiza- 
tion. This he proceeded to do by issuing proclamations, in one of 
which the county of Brown was formed, as follows: To include 
the area east of a line drawn due north and south through the 
middle of the portage between the Fox river of Green bay and the 
Wisconsin, bounded on the north by the county of Michillimack- 


inac, on the east by Lake Michigan, on the south by the state of 
Illinois, and on the west by the line above described. The seat of 
justice of Brown county was established at the village of Green 


In order to understand what extent of country was, by this 
proclamation, formed into a separate county, to be called the 
county of Brown, it is necessary to know that the southern limits 
of the county of Michillimackinac, as established by the governor 
on the same date, ran across from Lake Michigan to the Missis- 
sippi, east and west, near the northern limits of the present county 
of Barron. It will be seen that the territory now comprised in Mil- 
waukee county was a part of this tract, and it remained a part of 
Brown county until 1834, when Milwaukee county was created, 
comprising all that district of country bounded north by the line 
between townships eleven and twelve north (the line being just 
north of West Bend), east by Lake Michigan, south by the state 
of Illinois, and west by the line which now separates Green and 
Rock counties, extending north until it intercepted the northern 
boundary between townships eleven and twelve. Milwaukee 
county remained attached to Brown county for judicial purposes 
until Aug. 25, 1835, when an act was passed by the territorial legis- 
lature giving it an independent organization. The territorial legis- 
lature, at the session which convened on Oct. 25, 1836, subdivided 
all the terrotiry south and east of the Wisconsin and Fox rivers 
into counties, the boundaries of which were mainly like those of 
the existing counties, with a few exceptions, among which is that 
Milwaukee county as then formed was co-extensive with the pres- 
ent boundaries of Milwaukee and Waukesha counties. In 1846 
Waukesha county was created by taking from Milwaukee all of the 
territory west of range 21. This reduced Milwaukee county in 
size and left it with limits exactly the same as they are today. 

The prospective admission of the state of Michigan into the 
Union, to include all that part of the territory lying east of Lake 
Michigan, caused the territorial council to adopt a memorial, ask- 
ing Congress for the formation of a new territory, to include all 
of Michigan territory not to be admitted as a state. In compliance 
with this request the territory of Wisconsin was created by act of 
Congress of April 20, 1836, to take effect from and after July 3, 
following, and then began the territorial government, with a legis- 
lative body, governor, etc. 

A special session of the territorial legislature, to take action 
concerning the admission of Wisconsin into the Union, began Oct. 


18, 1847, and a law was passed for the holding of a second conven- 
tion to frame a constitution. At a previous session a constitutional 
convention had been ordered, but the product of its deliberations 
had not met with the approval of the people of the territory and 
had been defeated at an election. The result of the labors of the 
second constitutional convention was the formation of a constitu- 
tion, which, being submitted to the people on the second Monday 
of March, 1848, was duly ratified, and on May 29, of the same year, 
by act of Congress, Wisconsin became a state. 

The public domain of the new state was classified as "Congress 
Lands," so called because they are sold to purchasers by the im- 
mediate officers of the general government, conformably to such 
laws as are or may be, from time to time, enacted bv Congress. 
They are all regularly surveyed into townships of six miles square 
each, under authority and at the expense of the national govern- 
ment. The townships are again subdivided into sections of one 
mile square, each containing 640 acres, by lines running parallel 
with the township and range lines. In addition to these divisions, 
the sections are again subdivided into four equal parts, called the 
northeast quarter section, southeast quarter section, etc. And 
again these quarter sections are also divided by a north and south 
line into two equal parts, called the east half quarter section and 
west half quarter section, containing eighty acres each. It was not 
until about the time that Wisconsin was formed into a separate 
territory that surveys were ordered in this section of the state. 
For this tract a base line was run, corresponding with the northern 
boundary line of the state of Illinois, on or near the parallel of 42 
degrees and 30 minutes north latitude. The ranges were numbered 
east and west from the fourth meridian, which now forms the 
eastern boundary of Grant county, and the townships were num- 
bered north from the base. 

With the exception of some private land claims at and near 
Green Bay and Prairie du Chien, which had been confirmed by the 
general government, none of the public lands within the limits of 
Wisconsin had been disposed of previous to 1834. By an act of 
Congress approved June 26, 1834, it was enacted that "all that tract 
north of the state of Illinois, west of Lake Michigan, south and 
southeast of the Wisconsin and Fox rivers, included in the pres- 
ent Territory of Michigan, shall be divided by a north and south 
line drawn from the northern boundary of Illinois along the range 
of township line next west of Fort Winnebago, to the Wisconsin 
river, and be called, the one on the west side the Wisconsin, and 


that on the east side the Green Bay land districts." Two years 
later the Green Bay district was "divided by a line commencing on 
the western boundary of said district, and running thence east, be- 
tween townships ten and eleven, to the line between ranges seven- 
ten and eighteen east; thence north to the line between townships 
twelve and thirteen ; thence east to Lake Michigan," and the coun- 
try south of this line was called the Milwaukee land district. Some 
of the public domain had been surve3'ed previous to 1834 and the 
surveys were afterwards rapidly prosecuted, and the permanent 
ownership of the country speedily passed from the government 
to individuals, and settlements extended in every direction. It 
might be added that the land within the limits of Milwaukee county 
was sold by the Federal government at the statutory price of $1.25 
per acre. Fractional townships seven, eight, nine and ten, of range 
22, in Milwaukee and Ozaukee counties, embracing almost the 
entire city of Milwaukee, were offered for sale at Green Bay, Aug. 
31, 1835. 

Early provisions were made for the support of free schools, and 
Congress reserved one-thirty-sixth part of all lands lying north- 
west of the Ohio river for their maintenance. Passing through the 
varied experiences of speculation, as the territorial era and the 
early years of statehood passed, the question of school lands was 
finally systematized, and the lands became the nucleus of the pres- 
ent magnificent school fund of the state. 

3KAR7 1 






We will now return and take up events incidental to the formation, 
organization and development of Milwaukee county. During the early 
part of the year 1834, and through the summer following, the question of 
a new county was canvassed, and although there were but few residents 
in the district in question, at a special session of the Michigan territorial 
legislature, on Sept. 6, 1834, an act was passed entitled "An Act to 
establish the boundaries of the counties of Brown and Iowa, and to lay 
off the county of Milwaukee." The act provided as follows : 

"Section i. That all that district of country bounded north by the 
county of Michilimacinac, west by the Wisconsin river, south by the 
line between townships eleven and twelve north in the Green Bay land 
district, and east by a line drawn due north, through the middle of Lake 
Michigan,' until it strikes the southern boundary of the county of Mich- 
ilimacinac, shall constitute the county of Brown. 

"Sec. 2. All that district of country bounded north by the mid- 
dle of the Wisconsin river, west by the Mississippi, south by the north 
boundary of IlHnois, and east by the principal meridian dividing the 
Green Bay and Wisconsin land districts [this was the range line between 
ranges eight and nine east] shall constitute the county of Iowa. 

"Sec. 3. All that district of country bounded north by the 
county of Brown, east by the eastern boundary of Illinois extended, 
south by the state of Illinois and west by the county of Iowa, shall con- 
stitute the county of Milwaukee. 

"Sec. 4. The county of Milwaukee is hereby attached to the 
county of Brown for judicial purposes." 



Milwaukee remained under the jurisdiction of Brown county until 
Aug. 25. 1835, when it was organized and took its place among the 
separate and distinct political divisions of the state of Wisconsin. 

As there has been no event of greater importance to the county or 
its people than that which gave it an organized existence, it is deemed 
proper that the essential portions of the enactment which created the 
county government should be given. The act was approved on Aug. 25, 
1835, and was entitled "An Act to organize the counties of Allegan and 
Milwaukee." The first eight sections of the act pertain to the organi- 
zation of Allegan county, Michigan, and hence has no place in this con- 
nection, but the ninth section reads as follows : 

"Sec. 9. That the county of Milwaukee shall be, and the same 
is hereby declared to be organized, and the inhabitants thereof entitled to 
the same rights and privileges, in all respects whatever, with the inhabi- 
tants of other organized counties within the said territory. 

"Sec. 10. There shall be a county court established in the said 
county, which court shall hold one term on the first Monday of May, and 
one term on the first Monday of October, in each and every year, at the 
village of Milwaukee, which is hereby declared to be the county seat of 
said county. 

"Sec. II. The county clerks of said counties of Allegan and 
Milwaukee, shall be ex-officio register of deeds in and for said counties 
until a register shall be elected according to law." 

The mode of holding elections in the county was provided as fol- 
lows : A majority of the judges of the county court were authorized to 
designate as many places in the county, in addition to those provided by 
law, as they deemed expedient, where the electors of said countv might 
meet for the purpose of voting for delegate to Congress and members 
of the legislative council, and it was made the duty of the sheriff of the 
county to publish a notification thereof. On the day and at either of 
the places so designated, a majority of the electors present were in- 
structed to choose a moderator, viva voce, who, together with any two 
justices of the peace of the county, should be inspectors of said election, 
and being first sworn, should proceed to open the polls, receive and can- 
vass votes, and make returns thereof, and do all other acts or things in 
the same manner that inspectors of elections are authorized and re- 
quired to do. The clerk of the county was required to receive the state- 
ment of votes, which were to be transmitted to him by such inspectors, 
and the votes polled at any such election were to be calculated and ascer- 
tained by the board of canvassers for the county, and included in the 
general estimate of votes given in the county. 

During this same session of the Michigan legislature, and in fact on 


the same day upon which the act organizing Milwaukee county was 
approved, Gov. Stevens T. Mason, "the boy governor" of the territory of 
Michigan, appointed and commissioned the following gentlemen as the 
first set of officials for the county : Chief Justice, William Clark ; asso- 
ciates, Joel Sage and James Griffin ; count}- clerk, Albert Fowler ; sheriff, 
Benoni W. Finch ; judge of probate, Gilbert Knapp. Upon the same date 
the governor also commissioned the following named gentlemen to serve 
as justices of the peace : Benjamin Felch, John Bullen, Jr., William See, 
Joel Sage, Symmes Butler, Henry Sanderson, and William Clark. Of 
the last-named gentleman, who served in the dual judicial capacitv of 
justice of the peace and chief justice of the county court, but little is 
known. His name seems to have been lost to the memory of the other 
early settlers in the years immediately following, during which history 
of the village and county was so rapidly made. But Dr. Enoch Chase, 
in one of his reminiscences, is authority for the statement that Dr. Wil- 
liam Clark was the first Angle-Saxon to die in Milwaukee, and that he 
died in the spring of 1836. Mr. Clark also served as inspector of com- 
mon schools for the township of Milwaukee, being chosen at the organi- 
zation of the township. There is no further record to be found of him, 
but he was probably the same man who served as chief justice, and if 
so it will be seen that his term of office was short. In fact this so-called 
"county court" had but a brief existence, as in the act of Congress organ- 
izing the territory of Wisconsin it was provided that "the judicial power 
of the said territory shall be vested in a supreme court, district courts, 
probate courts, and in justices of the peace," thus abolishing the county 
court over which Mr. Clark had been chosen to preside, and which 
existed only in name, as no causes were ever known to have come before 
it for adjudication. 

Albert Fowler, Avho was appointed as the first county clerk, and 
who also was commissioned as the first justice of the peace in Mil- 
waukee county, was born at Tyngham, Mass., Sept. 7. 1802. From there 
he came to Chicago, at which place he remained a short time, and then 
removed to Milwaukee, arriving on Nov. 18, 1833, and entered the em- 
ploy of Solomon Juneau as a clerk. In fact he was the first white man, 
of Angle-Saxon blood, to settle in Milwaukee, and as has been stated, he 
was the first law officer appointed to hold court in Milwaukee county, 
his jurisdiction at the time of his appointment as justice of the peace 
extending over nearlv half of what is now the state of Wisconsin. In 
accordance with legislative enactment, when he received the appointment 
as county clerk, he also became, ex-officio, the first register of deeds 
of the county, and he held many town and county offices during pioneer 
days, being one of the most honored citizens of the county. He was a 


member of the second convention, in 1847, for framing the state con- 
stitution, the one that was adopted by the people, and six years later, in 
1853, he removed to Rockford, 111., where he resided until his death, that 
event occurring on April 12, 1883. He was three times elected to the 
mayoralty of Rockford. We have taken the liberty to quote somewhat 
extensively from a "narrative" of Mr. Fowler, which was published in 
James S. Buck's "Pioneer History of Milwaukee," as it gives some in- 
teresting facts concerning affairs incident to the time of which we now 
write : 

"Having acquired a few hundred dollars by speculating in corner 
lots, and trading with the Indians at Chicago during the summer and 
autumn of 1833, I left during the early part of November, of that year, 
in company with R. J. Currier, Andrew J. Lansing, and Quartus G. Car- 
ley, for Milwaukee. The 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 encamped on the banks of Root 
river, and on which occasion the great meteoric display occurred which 
so alarmed the Indians, and has become a matter of historical remark 
to this day. 

"We pursued our journey the day following, I being 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. Geo. H. Walker, who 
had a small store of Indian goods, and was trading there. We reached 
Milwaukee on the i8th 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; amusing ourselves as best we could, 
there being no other white men in the place during that winter, except- 
ing Solomon 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 I went into Mr. Juneau's employ, kept his books and accompa- 
nied him in his trading expeditions among the Indians. I soon learned 
to speak the Pottawattomie and Menomonee languages with considera- 
ble fluency ; dressed in Indian fashion, and was known among them as 
Mis-kee-o-quoneu, which signified Red Cap, a name given me because 
I 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. 

"During the latter part of the summer of 1835, James Duane 
Doty and Morgan L. Martin went as delegates from the territory of 
Wisconsin to a session of the council, which was held at Detroit. They 
brought me, upon their return, a commission as justice of the peace, 
also as clerk of the court, but of what court was not very clearly de- 
fined, there being none organized at Milwaukee at this time. The com- 
mission I still have in my possession ; it is signed by Stevens T. Mason, 
Governor of the territory of Michigan. 

"My commission as justice of the peace is the oldest in Wisconsin, 
outside of Brown and Crawford counties. Its jurisdiction extended 
over nearly one-half the state — that part lying east of Rock river." 

^ Benoni W. Finch, who served as the first sheriflf of Milwaukee 
county, in the territorial era, was a dealer in general merchandise in the 
pioneer days of Milwaukee, and was a man of much prominence among 
the early settlers. At the first election held in the newly organized 
county, Sept. 19, 1835, ^^ was chosen commissioner of roads, director 
of the poor, and fence reviewer — ^all of these he performed in addition 
to his duties as sheriff. The latter, however, were not very onerous. On 
Oct. 7, 1835, Mr. Finch appeared before Albert Fowler, county clerk» 
and took the oath of office, but it seems that he did not serve very long, 
at least not until his "successor was elected and qualified," for in the first 
issue of the Milwaukee Advertiser, July 14, 1836, the following notice is 
given : 

"A meeting of the citizens of Milwaukee will be held, on Saturday 
evening, at the Belle Vieu Hotel, for the purpose of considering the 
propriety of petitioning the governor to appoint two or more justices of 
the peace, a judge of probate and a sheriff for the township and county 
of Milwaukee." 

Mr. Finch filled a number of other minor offices, and in 1836 
started the well known brick yard in the fourth ward of Milwaukee at 
the foot of Fourteenth street. In the summer of the same year he also 
built the second brick dwelHng in the embryo city, the same being lo- 
cated on the south side of Clybourn street, at the foot of Fourteenth 

At the same session of the legislative council of Michigan that wit- 
nessed the passing of the act providing for the organization of Milwau- 
kee county, an act was also passed, on Aug. 22, fixing the first Monday 
of October as the time for holding the election of delegate to Congress 
and members of the Legislative Council. But in the meantime penin- 
sular Michigan had adopted a state constitution and formed a state 


government ; and although it was not admitted into the Union until Jan- 
uary, 1837, in consequence of its boundary troubles with Ohio, yet it 
chose to abandon its territorial form of government and assume the 
powers of a sovereign state, as it clearly had a right to do under the Or- 
dinance of 1787. But that portion of Michigan territory not within the 
limits of the new state of Michigan still remained vested with all the 
governmental powers of the Territory of Michigan, and as the "contin- 
gent remainder" of the ancient territory consisted of the counties of 
Brown, Milwaukee, Iowa, Crawford, Dubuque, and Des Moines, every- 
thing was now in readiness for the inhabitants of these counties to elect 
from among themselves a delegate to Congress, members of the Legisla- 
tive Council, and to assume to themselves the legislative powers of the 
government of the territory of Michigan. In the legislative apportion- 
ment the counties of Brown and Milwaukee were placed together in one 
district and were given five members of the council. In accordance with 
the legislative enactment organizing the county, an election was ordered 
held at the following places : Milwaukee, at the house of Solomon 
Juneau ; Root River Rapids, at the house of WilHam See ; Mouth of 
Root river (Racine), at the store of Capt. Gilbert Knapp ; and at the 
Forks of Pike or Pickerel river (Kenosha), at the house of James 
Griffin. At that election there were the five official positions mentioned 
above (not including that of delegate to Congress), the aspirants for 
which were required to run the gauntlet of popular approval and have 
their merits passed upon at the ballot box. The election was held "on 
the first Monday in October," 1835, ^^ ordered, and the balloting resulted 
in the choice of the following gentlemen, who were the first to don the 
official garments at the behest of vox populi in Milwaukee county : John 
Lawe and William B. Slaughter, who resided in Brown county; and 
George H. Walker. Gilbert Knapp, and Benjamin H. Edgerton, who 
claimed their abode in what was then the large domain of Milwaukee 

After the election the newly appointed secretary of the territory of 
Michigan, John S. Horner, who succeeded Governor Mason, when the 
latter was chosen governor of the new state of Michigan, thought it 
proper to issue a proclamation as secretary and acting governor, which 
was a cause of great confusion and misunderstanding and resulted in an 
abortive session of the legislative council, at Green Bay. The proclama- 
tion, "for divers good causes and considerations," changed the time of 
the meeting of the council from the first day of January, 1836, to the first 
day of December, 1835. The proclamation was dated on Nov. 9, and 
owing to the nature of the country, the season of the year, etc., it was 
impossible for the members to reach Green Bav on the dav set. None of 


the members elect went to Green Bay on the first of December, neither 
did Secretary Horner appear, but on Friday, Jan. i, 1836, a quorum of 
the legislators convened ready for the transaction of business. The 
members of the legislative council remained in Green Bay, holding ses- 
sions almost daily, from Jan. i until Jan. 15, but Secretarv Horner was 
conspicuous by his absence during the entire period. A number of mat- 
ters were considered and acted upon, none of which, however, pertained 
to the local history of Milwaukee county, and a select committee was ap- 
pointed by resolution to prepare a memorial to Congress praying that a 
separate territorial government in the country west of Lake Michigan, 
commonly called Wisconsin Territory, might be established. And the 
seventh and last session of the Legislative Council of Michigan Terri- 
tory, on Friday, the 15th day of January, 1836, adjourned sine die. 

On April 4, 1836, the first election was held for the purpose of 
choosing county officials, and the record of the election, which is still 
in existence, shows that "Pursuant to public notice the meeting was 
called to order at S. Juneau's." On motion it later adjourned to Child's 
Tavern, and "all the votes having been received and canvassed, it was 
ascertained that the following persons were elected," who proceeded to 
qualify for their respective official positions : Register of Deeds, Albert 
Fowler; Treasurer, George D. Dousman; Coroner, Enoch G. Darling; 
and a large number of other positions were filled which come more prop- 
erly under the head of township offices. 

George D. Dousman, who was thus called upon as the first man to 
handle the finances of Milwaukee county, came in 1835 from IMackinac, 
and was from the time of his arrival recognized as one of the prominent 
men of Milwaukee. He built the second warehouse in the city, and 
after Horace Chase was the first warehouseman, which business he fol- 
lowed for many years. He was much in public office, as county treas- 
urer, town trustee, and other places of honor and trust, and it can 
truthfully be said of him that all moneys which came into his hands, as 
a public officer, were honestly and fully accounted for. Soon after com- 
ing to Milwaukee, in 1835, he built a two-story frame dwelling upon the 
lot now occupied by the Custom House, and a warehouse at the foot of 
Detroit street on the west side of East Water street. This was a famous 
warehouse in its day, it having the honor to receive and ship the first 
cargo of wheat that ever left the city, in 1841. Upon the erection of the 
Custom House in 1856 the dwelling was removed to 484 Astor street, 
where it remained until 1883, and was then removed to the northeast 
corner of Lyon and Jefiferson streets. Some years after its erection the 
warehouse was removed to Milwaukee street, south of Huron, where 
it was used as a furniture factory. Upon the organization of the East 


Side and the institution of a village government there, in February, 
1837, Mr. Dousman was elected a member of the first board of trustees. 
At the election for county officers, held on April 3, 1837, he was a can- 
didate for re-election as county treasurer, but was beaten in the race by 
Henry Miller. One year later, however, on March 6, 1838, he was again 
elected to the position, being re-elected on Sept. 10 of the same year, 
and again in 1840. Mr. Dousman's last years were spent upon his farm 
in the town of Wauwatosa, having retired from business, and from there 
he came into the city almost daily to get the news and see his old friends, 
whose name was legion. He died upon his Wauwatosa farm, March 15, 
1879, and was buried in Forest Home cemetery. 

Enoch G. Darling, as a result of the above mentioned election was 
the first man who served as coroner of Milwaukee county. In February, 
1837, he was elected as the first marshal of the town of Milwaukee, but 
soon thereafter he resigned and removed to Jefferson. 

The Act of Congress providing for the organization of the Terri- 
tory of Wisconsin was passed on April 20, 1836, and went into effect 
on July 4 of the same year ; and Henry Doge, of Dodgeville, Wisconsin, 
was appointed by President Jackson as the first governor of the new ter- 
ritory. On July 4 the governor took the prescribed oath of office, which 
event contributed a novel and interesting element to a grand celebration 
of the national jubilee. It will be recalled, as mentioned on a previous 
page, that the offices of probate judge and sheriff of Milwaukee county 
had become vacant, either through the abdication of the gentlemen 
whom Governor Mason had appointed to such incumbency or from 
some other cause, and it became one of the earliest duties of Governor 
Dodge to fill these vacanies. Accordingly, at a mass-meeting called at 
the suggestion of the governor to nominate persons for the offices re- 
quired to be filled by him, Nathaniel F. Hyer was named as probate 
judge and Henry M. Hubbard as sheriff. Those gentlemen were com- 
missioned on Aug. 2, 1836, and about the same time Governor Dodge 
appointed the following additional officers : Justices of the Peace, D. 
Wells, Jr., John A. Messenger, S. W. Dunbar, Barzillai Douglass, and 
Elisha Smith ; Auctioneers, William Fusky and C. D. Fitch ; Notaries, 
William N. Gardner, Cyrus Hawley, and George Reed; District Sur- 
veyor, Joshua Hathaway. 

The last-named gentleman came to Milwaukee from Rome, N. Y., 
in 1835, and at once assumed a high rank in the young city. He was by 
profession a civil engineer and as such surveyed a part of the territory 
now comprised within the limits of Wisconsin, more particularly the 
southern portion, during 1833 and 1834, making his headquarters at Chi- 
cago. On his arrival at Milwaukee he at once pitched his tent upon the 


lot SO long occupied as his homestead, at the southeast corner of Broad- 
way and Mason streets, and in the spring of 1836 he built a commodious 
dwelling, in which he commenced his wedded life and where his earthly 
career was ended. His fellow citizens were not slow to appreciate his 
sterling business qualities, as is evidenced by the fact stated above, upon 
the organization of the territorial government he was honored with the 
appointment as district surveyor, a position of great responsibility in the 
embryo state. His commission was dated July 8, 1836. He also held the 
office of public administrator for Milwaukee county in 1838, a post of 
great responsibility, being the same as judge of probate under the pres- 
ent system, and he also filled this position with honor to himself and sat- 
isfaction to the public. He entered at once largely into speculation, both 
in Milwaukee and other lake towns, particularly Kewaunee, and few 
are the names that appear in the early records with more frequency than 
Joshua Hathaway 's. In 1854 he was elected Commissioner of Surveys 
for the first ward of the citv of Milwaukee. Mr. Hathaway died July 4, 

The first important thing to be done to complete the organization 
of the territorial government was the convening of the Legislative As- 
sembly. Preliminary to this a census was to be taken by the sheriffs, and 
an apportionment of members of the two branches made by the governor 
among the several counties. The population of Milwaukee county in 
August, 1836, as exhibited by the census, was 2,893. On Sept. 9, Gov- 
ernor Dodge issued a proclamation to the effect that he had apportioned 
the members of the Council and House of Representatives amongst the 
several counties of the territory, and that Milwaukee county was en- 
titled to two members of the Council and three of the House of Repre- 
sentatives. The proclamation further ordered and directed that the first 
election should be held on the second Monday of October. The notice 
for this election was issued on Sept. 15, 1836, and upon the same date a 
meeting of the Democratic electors of the town of Milwaukee was held 
for the purpose of making arrangements for a county convention, at 
which candidates should be selected to "run" for the several legislative 
positions. The convention was held at Godfrey's, on Fox river, Oct. 
I, and the ticket there selected was successful, viz : Council — Alanson 
Sweet and Gilbert Knapp ; Representatives— William B. Sheldon, Madi- 
son W. Cornwall, and Charles Durkee. 

Alanson Sweet came from Owasco, N. Y., in 1835, settled upon a 
claim and became a farmer and speculator generally. He was by trade a 
stone mason and worked at his trade in Chicago during the infantile 
years of that city, but never followed the occupation after locating m 
Milwaukee. He built largely in the "Cream City," dwellings, stores 


and vessels, and the first steam elevator was built by him. He also con- 
structed many of the light-houses for the government on the lakes and 
the custom house at Mobile, Alabama. He became involved in law suits 
in the latter years of his residence in Milwaukee and lost his property, 
after, which he removed to Evanston, Illinois. The course pursued by 
Mr. Sweet in the session of the legislative assembly which convened at 
Belmont, in relation to the location of the capitol at Madison, the charter 
of the Bank of Milwaukee, and the division of the county at that session, 
caused great excitement in Milwaukee, and a very bitter newspaper war 
was the result. In the Advertiser of Feb. i8, 1837, is the report of a 
meeting called on the nth, at which some severe resolutions were passed 
in regard to Air. Sweet's public acts at Belmont, and a call was made 
upon him in strong language to resign the office he had disgraced by be- 
traying the liberties of the people into the hands of a heartless bank 
monopoly, and other heinous sins. But he didn't resign. He became 
one of the directors of the Bank of Milwaukee, and as indicated above, 
was in possession of considerable property at one time. He was very 
prominent in politics and an acknowledged leader of the Democratic 
party in Milwaukee county during the territorial days. In 1845 he was 
running a warehouse at the foot of Washington street, and two years 
later was a member of the pool formed by the storage and commission 
men of the South Pier. 

As a matter of interest it may be stated here that of Milwaukee 
county's representatives to this, the first legislative assembly to convene 
in the new territory of Wisconsin, Gilbert Knapp was a native of Barn- 
stable county, Massachusetts ; Alanson Sweet, of Genesee county, New 
York ; William B. Sheldon, of Providence, Rhode Island ; Madison W. 
Cornwall, of Monroe county, \'irginia, and Charles Durkee, of Royal- 
ton, Windsor county, Vermont. 

Both houses convened at Belmont on the day appointed by the gov- 
ernor (Oct. 25. 1836), and a quorum being present in each house they 
were duly organized, the oath having been administered by the governor. 
The first act of this session was one which privileged the members from 
arrest and conferred upon them authority to punish for contempt. The 
next act divided the territory into three judicial districts, and made an 
assignment of one of the three judges to each district. Milwaukee and 
Brown counties were made to constitute the Third district, to which 
Judge William C. Frazier was assigned, and the act further provided 
that two terms of the district courts should be held annually in each of 
the counties, the dates in Milwaukee county being the second Monday in 
June and the first Monday in November. 

During this session of the legislative council at Belmont, with the 



approval of the council, the following appointments were made for Mil- 
waukee county by Governor Dodge, and this division of the territory 
was then considered fully equipped for local government : James 
Clyman was appointed colonel of militia; Isaac Butler, lieutenant- 
colonel ; Alfred Orrendolf, major; justices of the peace for three years, 
Isaac H. Alexander, A. A, Bird, Sylvester W. Dunbar, Barzillai Doug- 
lass, and John Manderville ; for sheriff, three years, Owen Aldrich ; dis- 
trict attorney, William N. Gardner, three years ; supreme court commis- 
sioner, John P. Hilton, three years ; master in chancery and judge of 
probate, William Campbell, three years ; district surveyor, George S. 
West, three years ; auctioneers, George S. Wright and William Flusky, 
two years ; inspector of provisions, A. Peters, two years. 






SUS OF 1842. 

The fact should be borne in mind that Milwaukee county at 
the time of the convening of the first territorial legislature com- 
prised all that vast scope of territory extending from the lake on 
the east to what is now the western boundary of Rock county on 
the west, and from the state line on the south to the line between 
townships 11 and 12 on the north. In other words the dominion 
extended over what is now the southeast portion of Columbia 
county, the greater part of Dodge, Washington and Ozaukee coun- 
ties, all of Dane county east of a north and south line drawn 
through the city of Madison, and all of Jefiferson. Waukesha, Mil- 
waukee, Rock, Walworth, Racine and Kenosha counties. But at 
this first session of the legislative council, by an act which was ap- 
proved on Dec. 7, 1836, the territory above described was divided. 
Townships numbered one, two. three and four north, of ranges 
fifteen, sixteen, seventeen and eighteen east of the fourth principal 
meridian were constituted a separate county, to be called Walworth. 
This created Walworth county, in extent of territory, exactly as it 
is today. Townships numbered one, two, three and four north, 
of ranges nineteen, twenty, twenty-one, twenty-two and twenty- 


three, east, were constituted a separate county and called Racine. 
This included what is now Racine and Kenosha counties. Town- 
ships numbered five, six, seven and eight north, of ranges thirteen, 
fourteen, fifteen and sixteen east, were constituted a separate coun- 
ty and called Jefferson, and this erected Jefferson county exactly 
as it stands today. Dane county was formed with its present limits 
as to territorial extent, and all of the present Columbia county, 
which was then a part of Milwaukee, was taken from the latter and 
made a part of Portage county. Dodge and Rock counties were 
erected in limits the same as they are at present, and Washington 
county was created with the territory now embraced in the coun- 
ties of Washington and Ozaukee. 

Thus shorn of a great portion of its original territory, Mil- 
waukee was reduced in size to what is now embraced in the coun- 
ties of Milwaukee and Waukesha. This arrangement existed until 
1846, when, at the fourth annual session of the fourth legislative 
assembly, which convened at Madison on Jan. 5, the county 
of Waukesha was formed, comprising all the territory in Mil- 
waukee county west of range 21. It was provided that the act 
creating Waukesha county should not become effective unless ap- 
proved by a majority of the voters of the proposed new county. 
The requisite majority of votes w^as cast, however, Waukesha 
county was organized and Milwaukee county was thus finally re- 
duced in extent of territory to its present limits. At the time of 
their creation the counties of Washington, Dodge and Jefferson 
were attached to Milwaukee county for judicial purposes and re- 
mained so attached until they w^ere organized at a subsequent ses- 
sion of the territorial legislature. 

The year 1836 w^as a memorable one for Mihvaukee. Says 
James S. Buck in his "Pioneer History of Milwaukee": "The tide 
of immigration had no\v commenced to flow into the embryo city 
like a river, speculation was rife, every man's pocket was full of 
money, lots were selling with a rapidity and for prices that made 
those who bought or sold them feel like a Vanderbilt. Buildings 
went up like magic, three days being all that was wanted, if the 
occupant was in a hurry, in which to erect one. Stocks of goods 
would be sold out in many instances before they were fairly opened, 
and at an enormous profit. Every one was sure his fortune was 
made and a stiffer-necked people, as far as prospective w^ealth was 
concerned, could not be found in America. Nothing like it was 
ever seen before; no western city ever had such a birth. People 
were dazed at the rapidity of its growth ; all felt good. The won- 


derful go-ahead-itiveness of the American people was in full blast, 
neither was it checked for the entire season. Some sixty buildings 
were erected, many of them of goodly dimensions. Streets were 
graded, ferries established, officers of the law appointed, medical 
and agricultural societies formed, a court house and jail erected, and 
all in five short months." 

^The number of claims entered in the towns of Lake, Greenfield, 
Wauwatosa and Milwaukee, as appears from the old claim record, 
up to January, 1838, were as follows: Lake, 119; Greenfield, 148; 
Wauwatosa, 154, and Milwaukee, 8. This fact, taken in connection 
with the number of settlers that were actually "on the ground," 
might seem incredible ; but the explanation is that many of these 
parties had made from one to four claims, selling out to others, and 
then making new ones, while the fact that so few claims were in 
the town of Milwaukee was in consequence of the land there hav- 
ing nearly all been purchased at the Green Bay land sale in Septem- 
ber, 1835, or entered after the sale, leaving none upon which claims 
could be made. The population of the village of Milw^aukee at the 
close of 1836 is estimated to have been about 700, and this estimate 
would not be greatly increased by taking in those who resided in 
other portions of the county. The floaters had left with the close 
of navigation for their homes in the then distant East, leaving as a 
permanent population only a comparatively small band of earnest 
pioneers, by whom the foundations of the queenly city and sur- 
rounding country were laid. No doubt existed in the minds of 
these pioneers that the growth of the community during the com- 
ing year would be equal to or greater than that of the one just 
closed. Cut a great financial embarrassment (the panic of 1837) 
convulsed the whole country, putting an end to all improvements, 
particularly in the West, and leaving Milwaukee, for a season, upon 
the rocks of commercial bankruptcy and despair. The spring 
brought no relief, and the speculators and capitalists remained in 
the East, the immigrants were few and far between, and a wave 
of disappointment rolled over the pioneer settlement and blastea 
completely their extravagant hopes. The wealth that many sup- 
posed they possessed took to itself wings and flew away.i- James 
S. lUick is authority for the statement that "lots and lands for 
which fabulous prices had been paid in 1836 were now of no com- 
mercial value whatever." But notwithstanding the stagnation all 
over the country a number of immigrants arrived, and with the 
passing away of the lowering clouds in the financial world, the 
city and county took a new start and improvements were visible 
on everv side. 



An important event in the early settlement of Milwaukee coun- 
ty and those attached to it took place in the early part of 1837, and 
it is deemed appropriate to give the facts here somewhat in detail, 
as it resulted without doubt in the most perfect organization for 
mutual protection that ever existed in any country under like cir- 
cumstances. By the second section of an act of Congress, ap- 
proved May 29, 1830, it was provided that when two or more per- 
sons were settled on the same quarter section it was to be equally 
divided between the first two actual settlers, and each should be 
entitled to a pre-emption of eighty acres of land elsewhere in the 
same land district, so as not to interfere with other settlers havino- 
a right or preference. Such rights of pre-emption "elsewhere" were 
called "floats," and w^ere in very great demand by speculators in 
lands, for the purpose of securing desirable locations in advance of 
the public sales. The pre-emption laws in force at the time of the 
land sales in August and September, 1835, required that the settler, 
to entitle him to a pre-emption right, should have cultivated some 
part of his land in the year 1833. In a great many instances settlers 
had gone upon lands with their families, in good faith, to make 
homes for themselves and their children, in the hope that the pre- 
emption laws would be extended to them. But as the bill for this 
purpose had failed the}^ were without protection of any pre-emption 
law, and a serious and widespread fear existed that they would be 
deprived of their hard-earned possessions by the greed of heartless 
speculators. However, at the Green Bay land sales, a spirit of 
justice and honorable dealing proved to be paramount to the de- 
mands of grasping rapacity, and by a mutual understanding the 
claims of settlers were respected by the speculators, and the former 
were allowed to purchase their "claims" at the minimum price. 
But the settlers did not care to depend upon the chance of similar 
good fortune at the future land sales. They asked to have the pre- 
emption laws extended or renewed, but their efforts in that direc- 
tion were fruitles, as a bill for this purpose, after passing the Sen- 
ate, was defeated in the House. But even this bill required oc- 
cupancy of and residence on the tract before Dec. i. 1836, and 
cultivation within the year 1836, so that if it had passed it would have 
been practically valueless to the great mass of those who had made 
"claims" in this district of lands subject to sale at Milwaukee. 

On Feb. 27, 1837, an anonymous notice was published in the 
Milwaukee Advertiser and in hand-bills, that a meeting of the 
people of Milwaukee, Washington, Jefferson and Dodge counties 
would be held in the court house at Milwaukee on March 13, "for 


the purpose of adopting such rules as will secure to actual settlers 
their claims on principles of justice and equity," and stating that 
in the absence of pre-emption laws it was the duty of the settlers 
"to unite for their own protection when the lands shall be brought 
into market." Before noon of the appointed day the number of 
settlers assembled in response to this notice astonished every one 
present, and no one more than the settlers themselves. The most 
reliable estimates placed the number at not less than 1,000, while 
many thought it was much greater. It was not a rabble of lawless 
"squatters," but earnest and patriotic pioneers, who assembled on 
this occasion to protect their "claims" and improvements against 
the rapacious greed of avaricious speculators. The meeting was 
organized by the election of Samuel Hinman, president ; Samuel 
Sanborn and Sylvester Pettibone, vice presidents ; and A. O. T. 
Breed and I. A. Lapham, secretaries. A committee of twenty-one 
was appointed to report rules and regulations for the consideration 
of the meeting. 

After a recess of two hours the committee reported with a 
preface or preamble, which recited that the settlers of Milwaukee 
county and the several counties thereto attached had removed to 
and settled in this section of country for the purpose of bettering 
their condition by agricultural pursuits. That the Congress of the 
United States, b)^ the repeated -passing of pre-emption laws, had 
impressed them with a reasonable belief that the same policy would 
continue to be pursued for their benefit. That in order to secure 
the fruits of their labors in a peaceable and equitable manner it 
was necessary that certain fixed rules and regulations should be 
adopted by the settlers, whereby the right of occupancy should be 
determined. Therefore it was resolved that they adopt and would 
to the best of their ability sustain in full force of obligation the 
rules and regulations adopted. 

These rules and regulations prescribed that any person who 
had prior to that date made a claim on one or more quarter sec- 
tions, not exceeding in the whole one section, and made improve- 
ments thereon equal to fifty dollars for each quarter section, should 
have the right to retain such claims, and the future right to make 
such claims was also recognized; but such rights were subject to 
the right of improvement and cultivation in the mode and within 
the time prescribed by the rules, which also contained definitions 
of what constituted cultivation and improvement. The rules also 
provided for the appointment by the meeting of a central execu- 
tive committee of fifteen, whose dutv it was to fix the limits of the 



different precincts, the people in each of which precincts were to 
appoint a judicial committee. A clerk of the committee and a 
register of claims were to be appointed, and eight or more mem- 
bers of the committee constituted a quorum, a vote of a majority 
of the members present deciding all questions, including appeals. 
The judicial committee in each precinct was to decide all disputes 
between claimants in each precinct to the same tract of land, sub- 
ject to an appeal to the central executive committee. It was pro- 
vided that all existing claims should be entered with the register of 
claims, and that any one not entered by the first day of May should 
be considered as no claim, and might be occupied by any person 
who might choose to take it, and that all claims thereafter made 
should be entered with the register within ten days, or be consid- 
ered vacant and subject to be entered b}^ any other person. If any 
claimant neglected to make the improvements required by the rules 
within the time limited therefor, he forfeited his rights, and any 
person might take possession thereof in his own right. When any 
person purchased a claim from another he was required to give 
immediate notice thereof to the register and have the transfer 
made in his name. The party in whose favor any decision was 
made by any judicial committee, or by the central committee on 
appeal, was to receive a certificate thereof, on presenting which to 
the register of claims he was to enter the tract of land therein de- 
scribed in the name of such party, any previous entry to the con- 
trary notwithstanding, and such party was thereupon entitled to 
take possession of such tract without any further judicial 

But the essence of all these rules and regulations was con- 
tained in rule No . 9, which was as follows: "AVhenever the lands 
shall be brought into market, the executive committee shall ap- 
point an agent to bid off the lands in behalf of the settlers whose 
claims are entered on the book of registry, and no person shall in 
any case be countenanced in bidding in opposition to such agent. 

The moral sentiment of the whole community was all in one 
direction, and it was well known and felt by all to be abundantly 
adequate to protect the agent against any competition in biddmg 
at the land sale, and to secure to the settler his claim at the gov- 
ernment minimum price. 

Not to be "countenanced" was a mild mode of expressing the 
deep-seated determination of the pioneer settlers, but it was quite 
as effective as if it had been in the form of a threat of lynching, 
which would have been an unseemly mode of publishing an unlaw- 



fill combination and conspiracy to prevent competitive bidding at 
a public sale of the lands of the United States. 

The central executive committee appointed by the meeting con- 
sisted of A. A. Bird, Solomon Juneau, N. F. Hyer, Samuel Brown, 
Albert Fowler, D. H. Richards, A. O. T. Breed, Samuel Hinman, 
William R. Longstreet, H. M. Hubbard, James Sanderson, C. H. 
Peake, Daniel Wells, Jr., Byron Kilbourn, and Enoch Chase. At a 
meeting of this committee the next day the following officers were 
elected: A. A. Bird, president; Byron Kilbourn and Samuel Hin- 
man, vice-presidents; William A. Prentiss, clerk, and Allen O. T. 
Breed, register of claims. It was ordered that in deciding appeals 
from precinct committees the central committee would proceed 
according to the practice of courts of equity, and that it would 
meet on the first Monday of every month. It was also ordered that 
the territory to which the rules and regulations were applicable 
be divided into ten precincts, the townships in each of which were 
definitely specified. At a meeting of the central committee, held 
on April lo, I. A. Lapham was appointed register of claims, vice A. 
O. T. Breed, resigned. 

The mode provided for determining disputed claims between 
settlers and its administration appeared to give great satisfaction 
to all parties interested, and the provisions of the organization, 
when adhered to. never failed to protect the settlers and foil the 
speculator, for they were strictly enforced prior to and at the dif- 
ferent land sales. When a claim was once entered in the record 
book it was a guarantee that the occupant would get it at the sale. 

On April 3, 1837, the second election for county officials was 
held in Milwaukee county, and according to Buck's "Pioneer His- 
tory," it was a very exciting one. "It was a beautiful April morn- 
ing, the voters marching to the polls in procession, with music and 
banners, under their respective ward captains, H. N. Wells, George 
D. Dousman and Josiah A. Noonan being very active at the polls. 
But the fun was in the evening, when a barrel of liquor was rolled 
into the street in front of what is now 400 East Water street, the 
head knocked in, some tin cups procured, and the crowd told to 
help themselves, which they needed no second invitation to do. 
Every man of them seemed anxious to examine the bottom head 
of that barrel, and were not long in bringing it to view, a barrel 
of liquor standing as poor a chance then as it would now. It was 
amusing as well as instructive to watch the elTect that liquor had 
upon the crowd. Many of them when full, seeming to forget that 
election was over, commenced at once to repeat, showing that they 



had been there before; others commenced to sing something about 
not going home 'till morning, and if my memory is correct, they 
kept their word in that respect; in fact, some of them did not go 
then, having forgotten where they lived." 

The result of this contest at the polls was the election of the 
following gentlemen to fill county positions: Register of deeds, 
Cyrus Hawley ; coroner, Pleasant Fields ; treasurer, Henry Miller. 
And at about the same time the governor made the following ap- 
pointments, to hold until the assembling of the next legislature : 
Justices of the Peace : William A. Prentiss, Asa Kinney, N. F. Hyer, 
Lot Blanchard, Thomas Hart, Samuel Wright, Thomas Sanborn, 
and Ivy Stewart ; notary public, N. F. Flyer ; inspector of provisions, 
B. W. Finch; auctioneer, C. D. Fitch. 

Cyrus Hawley was born at Hampton, Fairfield county, Con- 
necticut, June 12, 1802; came to Milwaukee Aug. 30, 1835, ^"^ ^^ 
once became prominent in the A'oung and rising city. He held 
many important offices, was elected as the second register of deeds, 
was the first man who performed the duties of clerk of courts in 
Milwaukee county, Albert Fowler having only nominally held that 
position. Mr. Flawdey filled the position for many years, giving 
imiversal satisfaction. These continued mental labors finally im- 
paired his health and he retired to his farm, where he spent the 
remainder of his days in watching the steady advance of the city, 
and the constant increase in land values made him one of the 
wealthy men of Milwaukee. Upon the organization of the Repub- 
lican party he became a believer in that political faith and was very 
active in the political contests of the times in wdiich he lived. In 
religious faith he was an Episcopalian, and was one of the staunch 
pillars of the old St. Paul's church, being a member of its official 
board for years. He was an active member of the Old Settlers' 
Club, and took a great interest in the objects for which it was 
organized. He died in 1871 and was buried at Forest Home 

Henry Miller came to Milwaukee from Lee, New York, in 1836, 
and opened a store at the northeast corner of East Water and 
Michigan streets, where he remained until early in 1837, when he 
associated himself with William Brown, Jr., under the firm name 
of Brown & Miller, their store being on the southwest corner of 
East Water and Michigan streets. Later in Hfe Mr. Miller went 
to California and became very wealthy as a banker in Sacramento, 
but he still retained property in Milwaukee. In political faith he 
was an old-line Whig, but later became a Republican, and as a 


politician was very active, holding several important offices, among 
which was that of Deputy United States Marshal. At the first 
election held on the "east side" in the town of Milwaukee, when 
the local government was organized in February, 1837, he was 
chosen as one of the assessors, to which position he was re-elected 
in 1838. In September of the latter year he was elected coroner of 
the county. Mr. Miller was born at Providence, Rhode Island, 
April 15, 1806, and died at Sacramento, California, Feb. 23, 1879. 
He was buried at Milwaukee in Forest Home cemetery. 

The second session of the first territorial legislative assembly 
convened at Burlington (in the present state of Iowa) on Nov. 6, 
1837, and a number of acts were passed pertaining to local affairs 
in Milwaukee county. Among these was the first division of the 
county into towns for the purpose of local government. An act, 
which was approved Jan. 2, 1838, provided in section 2 "That the 
country included within the following limits, to-wit: beginning on 
the shore of Lake Michigan, at the southeast corner of Milwaukee 
county, thence west to the southwest corner of town five north, 
range twenty-one east; thence north to the northwest corner of 
town six north, range twenty-one east; thence east to the 
shore of Lake Michigan, thence southerly along the shore of said 
lake to the place of beginning, be, and the same is hereby set off 
into a separate town, by the name of Lake ; and the polls of elec- 
tion shall be opened at the house of Elisha Higgins, in said town." 

Section 3 provided "That the country included within the fol- 
lowing limits, to-wit: Beginning on the shore of Lake Michigan, at 
the southeast corner of township seven north, of range twenty-two 
east ; thence west to the southwest corner of town seven north, of 
range twenty-one east; thence north to the northwest corner of 
town eight north, of range twenty-one east; thence east to Lake 
Michigan ; thence southerly along the shore of said lake to the 
place of beginning, be, and the same is hereby set off into a sepa- 
rate town by the name of Milwaukee; and the polls of election 
shall be opened at the court house of Milwaukee county." This 
divided the present limits of Milwaukee county into two towns, 
Lake comprising the present towns of Franklin, Greenfield, Lake 
and Oak Creek, and Milwaukee took in all of the territory now in- 
cluded in the towns of Granville, Milwaukee, Wauwatosa, and the 
city of Milwaukee. At the same session of the legislative council 
an act was passed organizing a board of county commissioners in 
each county in the territory, and among the enumerated powers of 
these several boards was one to "alter, amend, or set off any new 



towns, or locate any of the towns established before the board of 
commissioners, acting for the time being, came into office, on peti- 
tion being presented, signed by a majority of the qualified voters 
of such town or towns, applying for the same." But is seems that 
the commissioners of Milwaukee count}^ never exercised their pow- 
ers in this direction. At the first session of the second territorial 
legislative assembly, or rather at the adjourned session which con- 
vened at Madison on Jan. 21, 1839, ^^ act was passed, the third sec- 
tion of which follows : 

"Sec. 3. That the country included within the following limits, 
to-wit : beginning at the southeast corner of town five north, of 
range twenty-one east ; thence west to the southw^est corner of 
town five north, of range twenty-one east; thence north to the 
northwest corner of town six north, of range twenty-one east; 
thence east to the northeast corner of town six north, range twenty- 
one east ; thence south to the place of beginning, be, and the same 
is hereby set ofif into a separate town by the name of Kinnikennick." 

The above act w^as approved on March 8, 1839, and by its pro- 
visions the town of "Kinnikennick" had domain over the territory 
now included in the towns of Franklin and Greenfield. The next 
division of the county was made by an act which was approved on 
Dec. 20, 1839, and which provided as follows: 

"Section i. That all that part of the town called Kinnikennick, in 
the county of Milwaukee, which is comprised in township five 
north in range tw^entv-one east, shall be and the same is hereby set 
ofif into a separate town by the name of Franklin." 

Again, by an act approved on Jan. 13, 1840: 

"Sec. 2. That all that part of the town of Milwaukee compris- 
ing township eight north, and range twenty-one east, be and the 
same is hereby set off into a separate town by the name of 

By an act approved on April 30, 1840: 

"Sec. I. That all that part of the town of Milwaukee, in the 
county of Milwaukee, which is comprised within the limits 
of township seven north, in range twenty-one east of the fourth 
principal meridian, shall be and the same is hereby set oflF into a 
separate town by the name of Wau-wau-too-sa." 

And by another act, approved on Aug. 13, 1840: 

"Sec. I. That all that part of the town of Lake, in the county 
of Milwaukee, which is comprised in township five north, in ranges 
twenty-two and twenty-three east, shall be, and the same^is hereby 
set ofif into a separate town, by the name of Oak Creek. 


This marked the last division of the county into towns, and the 
last mention of that nature in legislative annals was in an act, ap- 
proved on Feb. 19, 1841, which provided as follows: 

"Sec. I. That the town called Kinnikinnick, in town six, range 
twenty-one east, in the county of Milwaukee, shall hereafter be 
called Greenfield." 

Milwaukee county was now fully organized, so far as township 
government was concerned, the divisions being exactly as they are 
today, and which are more accurately described as follows : Frank- 
lin, township five, range twenty-one ; Granville, township eight, 
range twenty-one ; Greenfield, township six, range twenty-one ; 
Lake,, township six, range twenty-two; Milwaukee, all of township 
eight, and so much of township seven, in range twenty-two, as is 
not included within the limits of the city of Milwaukee ; Oak Creek, 
township five, ranges twenty-two and twenty-three ; and Wauwa- 
tosa, township seven, range twenty-one. The history of these sev- 
eral divisions will be found in succeeding chapters of this volume. 
The population of these towns in 1840, according to the United 
States census, was as follows: Franklin, 248; Granville, 225; 
Greenfield, 404; Lake, which then included Oak Creek, 418; Mil- 
waukee, 1,712; and Wauwatosa, 342, making a total of 3,349 as the 
population of the territory now included in the county. These 
figures, of course, include the population of the city of Milwaukee. 
In the same year, according to the census, there were in the pres- 
ent limits of the county 225 horses, 2,202 neat cattle, 368 sheep, 
3,362 swine, one iron foundry, two printing offices ; and in 1839 the 
amount of produce was 6,341 bushels of wheat, 4,313 of oats, 13,757 
of Indian corn, 28,497 o^ potatoes, and 31,115 pounds of maple sugar, 
The amount of money received at the Milwaukee land office in 
1840 for sales of public land was $138,661.02, and there were 174 
steamboat arrivals at the Milwaukee harbor. The effects of the 
financial depression of 1837 were rapidly disappearing and the 
county was well started on its remarkable growth. 

The year 1838 opened with prospects in general much brighter 
than they had been during the year preceding. The great financial 
cloud which had covered the country was broken to some extent, 
and the dawn of another period of prosperity was visible. In the 
village and community of which we write every one was at work, 
new buildings were commenced, immigrants began to make their 
appearance, new farms were opened here and there by the hardy 
sons of toil, who, seemingly with a magic touch, "made the wilder- 
ness to blossom like the rose" — and all these forces contributed to 



the development and upbuilding of the pioneer community. Roads 
were opened, leading west and south from the future metropolis, 
and at convenient distances new locations for town sites were se- 
lected, to the building of which the owners put forth all their 
energies ; and it may truthfully be said that from the beginning of 
the year 1838 Milwaukee county dates its rapid growth and de- 

In making his annual appointments, the governor of the ter- 
ritory favored Milwaukee county by making William A. Prentiss 
justice of the peace ; Joshua Hathaway was appointed public ad- 
ministrator in place of C. H. Larkin, removed; and William Brown 
was made inspector of provisions. The last named gentleman was 
from St. Clair, Michigan, and came to Milwaukee in 1836. He had 
been a clerk for thciAmerican Fur Company in his youth, in which 
capacity he had been over the entire northwest before the advent 
of the whites. He was a good business man ; strictly honest and 
conscientious ; was much in public life in Milwaukee's early days, 
and was the partner in business of Henry Miller, who has been 
given a more extended mention on a preceding page. Mr. Brown 
was one of the first assessors elected at the time of the organization 
of a village government for the East Side, Milwaukee, and in April, 
1837, he was elected as one of the supervisors of the township gov- 
ernment. In 1838 he was one of the trustees for the East Side, and 
in 1 84 1 he was elected treasurer of the county. Mr. Brown died 
June 17. 1862, of apoplexy. 

At the election for county officers, held on March 6. the fol- 
lowing gentlemen were elected : As the first board of county com- 
missioners, WilHam A. Prentiss. H. C. Skinner, and John Richards; 
assessor, William R. Longstreet; treasurer, Greorge D. Dousnian; 
coroner. Charles Leland ; constables for the town of Milwaukee, 
George S. Vail, James H. Wheelock, George S. Wright, and I. T. 

William A. Prentiss was a very distinguished gentleman, who 
filled many important official positions in his adopted county and 
state. He was born in Northfield, Mass., March 24, 1800, to Dr. 
Samuel and Lucretia (Holmes) Prentiss. He received a common- 
school and academic education, and while yet a boy engaged m 
mercantile pursuits, intending to make that his life work. He 
spent one year with his brother, at Cooperstown, N. Y., thence went 
to Albany, where he remained one year, and then spent five years 
in the employ of Pomeroy, Prior & Brown, of Northfield, Mass. In 
1822 he began business for himself in Montpelier, Vermont, and 


two years later removed to Jericho in the same state, where he was 
engaged in merchandising until he removed to Milwaukee in 1836. 
While residing in Jericho he served eight years as chairman of the 
board of selectmen and overseer of the poor, was justice of the 
peace several years, and in 1829 was a member of the Vermont 
legislature. In the summer of 1836 he came to Milwaukee, which 
was at that time a mere village, and a month after his arrival here 
formed a co-partnership with Dr. Lemuel W. Weeks, and engaged 
in general merchandising in a primitive store room, twenty b}^ forty 
feet in its dimensions, located on what is now East Water street. 
This partnership lasted nearly two years, when Mr. Prentiss with- 
drew from the firm and for many years thereafter gave a large share 
of his time and attention to the discharge of official duties which he 
was called upon by the people of Milwaukee and Milwaukee county 
to perform. Early in 1837 he was appointed by Governor Dodge, 
justice of the peace for Milwaukee county, and the office was one 
giving him jurisdiction throughout Milwaukee county in both civil 
and criminal cases. In the early history of the county the posi- 
tion was an important one, and Mr. Prentiss continued to discharge 
the duties of the office with marked ability until the organization 
of the state government in 1848. He was also elected a member of 
the county board of commissioners in 1837 ^"d served three years 
as chairman of that board. In 1838 he was elected a member of the 
council, at that time the upper branch of the territorial legislature, 
and served four years as a member of that body. During the ses- 
sion of 1840 he served as president of the council and wielded 
throughout his entire term of service an important influence in 
shaping the legislation of that period and perfecting the organiza- 
tion of the territorial government. In 1837 he was chosen a mem- 
ber of the board of trustees of the village of "Milwaukee on the 
East Side," but although his interests were largely in this portion 
of the city, he took a broad and liberal view of the situation and 
advocated a policy which would mould the two sections into a 
harmonious whole, under a system of government which would 
enable all good citizens to do their utmost for the growth and pros- 
perity of the entire community. During the entire period of the ex- 
istence of Milwaukee as an incorporated village, he continued to 
represent his ward as a member of the board of trustees, serving 
several years as chairman of the board and contributing largely 
through his enterprise and executive ability to the improvement 
and general upbuilding of the city. After the incorporation of the 
city in 1846 he served in both branches of the city government, and 


in 1858 was elected mayor, retiring from that office with the en- 
viable record of having been one of the most capable and efficient 
mayors the city has ever had. In 1866 he was elected a member 
of the general assembly of Wisconsin, and was re-elected in 1867. 
He was connected with the city government as a member of the 
council the greater part of the time up to 1872, when he retired 
from official life, giving himself up to the enjoyment of his com- 
fortable fortune, devoting himself to his private business affairs 
and to the perusal of choice literature, of which he was always a 
great lover, and of which he was a wide reader in the course of his 
life. Originally an old-line Whig in politics, when the Republican 
party was organized he became a zealous member of that organiza- 
tion, and always interested himself actively in advancing its prin- 
ciples and policies. In 1888 he was a distinguished figure in the 
Republican national convention held in Chicago, at which time he 
was the oldest person present. Mr. Prentiss was practically the 
founder of the "Pioneer Association," which was formed in 1877 
AS an outgrowth of the "Old Settlers' Club" of Milwaukee. Tie 
took an active interest in all the gatherings of his old associates 
and contemporaries, and appeared last in public at the annual ban- 
quet of the Pioneer Association, given at the Plankinton House on 
Feb. 23, 1891. His death occurred on Nov. 10, 1892. and when he 
passed away the fact was generally recognized throughout the 
state that one of the most interesting and useful men who had 
settled in W^isconsin during the pioneer period, had gone to his 

The territorial legislative assembly convened in special ses- 
sion at Burlington, in the present state of Iowa, on June 11, 1838, 
pursuant to a joint resolution adopted in the preceding January, 
and William B. Sheldon, a representative from Milwaukee county, 
was chosen as speaker of the house. The session was a short one, 
lasting only two weeks, having been held mainly for the purpose 
of making a new apportionment of members of the house of rep- 
resentatives, based upon the census taken in the May preceding. 
The population of Milwaukee county as then constituted, shown 
by this census, was 3,131, and on July 13, the governor issued his 
proclamation, making the apportionment, in Avhich Milwaukee 
county was given two members of the council and five members of 
the house. The time fixed for the election was the second Monday 
in September. Party lines had not yet been drawn, and the members 
were chosen without reference to, and perhaps in many cases with- 
out a knowledge of their views upon national politics. But a spirit 


of rivalry ran rampant in Milwaukee county, and after a heated 
contest the election resulted in sending Daniel Wells, Jr., and Wil- 
liam A. Prentiss to the Council, and Augustus Story, Ezekiel 
Churchill, William Shew, Lucius I. Barber, and Henry C. Skinner, 
to the House of Representatives. At the same election Frederick 
B. Otis was chosen for commissioner, J. Y. Watson as assessor, 
George D. Dousman as treasurer, and Henry Miller as coroner. 

Daniel Wells, Jr., was born at Waterville, Kennebec county, 
Maine, July i6, 1808, and was the son of Daniel Wells, a well-to-do 
farmer of that region, who also owned and managed a custom 
carding and cloth dressing mill. From his New England ancestry 
he inherited the industry, frugality and rugged honesty which were 
distinguishing characteristics of his career, and he combined with 
these the broad enterprise and intense activity of the Western 
man of afifairs. He passed his boyhood at his father's home, di- 
viding his time between farm labor and work in the mill, attending 
school only during the winter months of each year. Limited as 
were his educational advantages, he made such use of his oppor- 
tunities that he had qualified himself to teach school and had taught 
two terms before he was twenty years old. While teaching school 
he gave a share of his attention to the study of navigation and ac- 
quired considerable knowledge of that science. Self-reliant and 
ambitious, he entered upon a busin^ess career as soon as he attained 
his majority, and the following extracts are from an account of his 
subsequent life written by one admirably qualified for the task by 
a long and intimate acquaintance with Mr. Wells: In 1830 he in- 
vested his savings in a stock of apples, cider, butter, cheese, dry 
goods, etc., which he took to Magnolia, near St. Marks, Fla., where 
a New England colony had settled. Going thence to Tallahassee 
he chanced to meet one Robert B. Kerr — a private tutor in the 
family of General Butler, surveyor-general of Florida — who had 
been oiTered a contract for surveying, a large tract of government 
land in eastern Florida, 1)ut lack of money prevented him from 
accepting the ofifer. Ready for any honorable enterprise, Mr. Wells 
agreed to furnish the money needed, and disposing of his stock of 
goods at a handsome profit, he purchased the required outfit. The 
survey began on Dec. 25, and Mr. Wells — making good use of his 
knowledge of navigation and mathematics — with the help of M!r. 
Kerr, became proficient in the science of surveying. In September, 
1831, he engaged in business at Palm3'ra, Maine, having shipped 
thither a stock of goods which he purchased in Boston. He con- 
ducted this business with success until the spring of 1835, and 



while a resident of Maine held at different times the ofBces of 
justice of the peace, selectman, town clerk, assessor and overseer 
of the poor. Becoming- impressed with the possibilities of develop- 
ment in the West„ he came here in company with Winthrop W. Gil- 
man, also a native of Waterville, and made considerable purchases 
of land and lots in Wisconsin and Milwaukee in 1835. Returning 
to Palmyra after a time, he arranged to move his eft'ects to Mil- 
waukee, to the great regret of his eastern friends, who regarded 
the departure from them of one who had been so public spirited as 
little less than a public calamity. Accompanied by his wife, he left 
his home in April and arrived in Milwaukee on May 19, 1836. He 
now turned his knowledge of surveying to good account in the 
young city, which was expanding in all directions, and soon became 
known as a trustworthy and enterprising citizen. Recognizing his 
abilities, Gov. Henry Dodge, on Aug. 2, 1836, appointed him 
justice of the peace for Milwaukee county, comprising what is now 
Milwaukee, Washington, Ozaukee, Jefferson, Racine, Walworth 
and Kenosha counties. On March 13, 1837, he was elected a mem- 
ber of the Executive Committee of the Claim Organization, formed 
to protect the "squatter" until he could get title to his land from 
the government. In 1838 he was made one of the trustees for the 
East side of Alilwaukee, and on Sept. 4 of that year was appointed 
probate judge. In 1841 he was elected one of Milwaukee's first 
fire wardens, his associates in office being Alexander Mitchell and 
Maurice Pixley. He rendered efficient; services as under sheriff in 
1842, and on April 3 of that year was appointed commissioner in 
bankruptcy, and held the office until the repeal of the bankruptcy 
law. He also held the office of county supervisor and town sur- 
veyor. He made the first survey and plat of town lots on the South 
Side in what is now the Fifth ward of the city of Milwaukee. He 
also surveyed and platted tracts in the First and Seventh wards. 
But of all his varied services in those early days, that as a member 
of the Territorial Council, to which he was elected in the fall of 
1838, was perhaps the most important. Mr. Wells served on the 
committee on territorial affairs, finances, ways and means, schools, 
territorial roads and enrollment. His efforts were especially di- 
rected to secure measures beneficial to his own city, and among the 
important measures whose passage he secured was that authonzmg 
his county to build a bridge across the Milwaukee river. He also 
secured the passage of a law as a protection to actual settlers and 
against non-resident land holders who had monopolized large tracts 
during the land excitement of 1836, for speculative purposes, to 


the effect that taxes should be assessed against the land alone, and 
not against the improvements thereon. Another important service 
by Mr. Wells that should not be overlooked, was in preparing and 
framing the passage, through a legislature hostile to banking in 
any form, of the charter of the Wisconsin Marine & Fire Insurance 
Company. Although elected for four years, Mr. Wells resigned at 
the end of his fourth session, which closed Aug. 14, 1840. His 
next public office was as commissioner from Wisconsin to the 
World's Exposition, held in the Crystal Palace, at London, in 1851. 
While abroad he visited Scotland, Ireland, France and other Euro- 
pean countries, and returned home in March, 1852. In his political 
affiliations Mr. Wells was originally a Whig, but after settling in 
Milwaukee and the organization of the state government for Wis- 
consin he acted with the Democratic party, though not always 
supporting its measures. He opposed the Kansas-Nebraska policy 
of his part3% and during the Civil war was an earnest supporter of 
the Federal cause. In 1852 he was elected, as against Mr. Durkee, 
the nominee of the Free Soil party, and Mr. Durand, of the Whigs, 
to represent the First district of Wisconsin in the Thirty-third con- 
gress, which assembled on Dec. 5, 1853. The following were among 
the early measures introduced by him : "A bill giving right of way 
and granting alternate sections of the public lands to the state of 
Wisconsin and its grantees and assigns to aid in the construction 
of a railroad from Milwaukee to Prairie du Chien, on the Mississippi 
river;" "A bill giving the right of way and alternate sections of 
land to the state of Wisconsin and its grantees and assigns to 
further the construction of a certain railroad therein specified;" 
and "A bill giving right of way and granting alternate sections of 
public lands to the states of Michigan and Wisconsin and their 
grantees and assigns to further the construction of certain railroads 
therein specified." He also introduced a bill providing for the 
purchase of a site and the erection of a suitable building at Mil- 
waukee for a postoffice and custom house, and secured an appro- 
priation of $50,000 for that purpose. During the same session he 
introduced a resolution instructing the committee on postoffices 
and post-roads to report a bill reducing ocean postage to a uniform 
rate of ten cents each on letters not exceeding one-half ounce in 
weight, and followed it by securing the passage of a joint resolu- 
tion 1)y the Wisconsin legislature relating to cheap postage. He 
also introduced a measure relating to foreign and coasting trade on 
the northern and northeastern and northwestern frontiers. At the 
session of 1854 he introduced bills making appropriations for the 


improvement of Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha harbors, and 
secured an additional appropriation of $38,000 for the JMilwaukee 
postoffice and custom house. In appreciation of his great service, 
he was re-elected to the Thirty-fourth congress, which opened Dec. 
3, 1855. In the contest for the speakership of the House of Repre- 
sentatives at that session, Mr. Wells, having regard lor the good 
of the whole country, went quietly to work among his friends and 
secured eleven Democrats, beside himself, who were willing to 
vote for a plurality rule, and Mr. Banks was elected. Chiefly by 
his influence and efforts were secured the valuable land grants for 
railroads in Minnesota in the congress of 1855-57. •'^t the end of 
his second term he declined to become a candidate again, though 
strongly urged to do so, feeling that his private aitairs demanded 
his whole attention. Through his early purchases of land he be- 
came one of the most extensive dealers in real estate, and was from 
an early day a promoter of public improvements. In 1844 he built 
the present Kirby House,, which was opened under the name of the 
City Hotel, from 1847 to 1849 ^^ was a member of the firm of 
Dousman & Wells, engaged in shipping and storage, and also in 
buying and selling grain and other farm products; during that time 
in 1848, he was one of the organizers of the Madison, Watertown & 
Milwaukee Plank Road Company. From 1849 to 1856, associated 
with Horatio Hill, under the name of Wells & Hill, he conducted 
a large trade in grain and wool. Beginning in 1847, when, in con- 
nection with another gentleman, he built the large lumber mill at 
Escanaba, Mich., he was largely interested in the lumber trade, and 
besides his int-erest in that plant, he was a large shareholder in the 
N. Ludington Company, the Ludington, Wells & Van Schaick Com- 
pany, the Peshtigo Lumber Company, the H. Witbeck Company, 
and the I. Stephenson Company. In banking circles he was promi- 
nent for many years. He w^as a stockholder and director in the 
Wisconsin Marine & Fire Insurance Company until its reorganiza- 
tion under the state law; for many years president of the Green 
Bay Bank, he held the same office after that institution became the 
First National Bank of La Crosse. He was vice-president of the 
old Board of Trade during its short existence, and for many years 
was a member of the Milwaukee Chamber of Commerce. He was a 
director of the Northwestern National Insurance Company, and 
always favored all measures tending to the development of rail- 
roads in the Northwest. The Northern Pacific Railroad had no 
firmer friend than he, and as early as 1847, when a bill to incor- 
porate the Milwaukee & Mississippi Railroad passed the Wisconsin 


legislature, he was named as one of the commissioners therein. He 
served in a like capacity in securing the Milwaukee & Watertown 
Railroad, which afterward became the La Crosse division of the 
Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul. He was president of the La Crosse 
& Milwaukee Railroad, and was also president and a director of the 
Southern Minnesota and of the St. Paul & Minnesota Valley Rail- 
roads. For many years Mr. Wells declined to take public office of 
any kind, but his interest in the welfare of his adopted city and 
state was not abated. He died on March i8, 1902. 

The following extract from a letter written at Green Bay by 
Mr. ^^'ells, on Aug. 30, 1835, to an Eastern friend, will convey to 
the reader an idea of the conditions at Milwaukee then, as Mr. 
Wells viewed them : 

"I have purchased considerable real estate at Milwaukee, most- 
ly village property. The land about Milwaukee is the best in the 
territory, and as Milwaukee is the only harbor for some distance 
either way on the lake it must of necessity become a place of great 
importance. It is now laid out in lots for two miles north and 
south and one and a half miles east and west, which lots will, I 
think, sell immediately for from $100 to $1,000, and much money 
has been made speculating in lots already. I think money can be 
made here in the lumbering business if one had capital, as all kinds 
of lumber sell readily and for high figures. The winter is the 
same here as in New England or nearly the same. The settlers 
will all get their claims for $1.25 per acre, as it is considered very 
mean to bid against them ; some of them have already sold their 
claims at high figures, in one case for $8,000. I have also entered 
a few lots of land at ten shillings per acre. There is a mill at the 
mouth of the Menomonee owned by Farnsworth & Brush, which 
they wish to sell, together with a large quantity of pine land of 
the best quality, for $40,000; have been offered $30,000." 

Three years later, on Aug. 5, 1840, he wrote a letter to his 
brother Charles, who was then a student at Yale College, from 
which we take the following extract : 

"I am doing a little farming this summer and also sell some 
lumber on commission, which, together, give me a very comfort- 
able living, though this year instead of a benefit I have suffered a 
heavy loss, as my crops were utterly destroyed last week by a tre- 
mendous hail-storm, an account of which you will see in the papers 
sent you. T had let out my farm to a young man to cultivate, at the 
halves, and I had about twenty-five acres in crops, eight of corn, 
five of oats and twelve in wheat; and the outlook for a good crop 


was fine, when, last Thursday, the storm came, extending- over a 
tract about a mile in width and some ten miles in length. The hail 
continued to fall for about five minutes, accompanied with a tre- 
mendous wind. I never saw anything half equal to it. The glass 
and sash were broken out of the windows, even on the lee side of the 
house, and the bark beat off the trees. Three of my pigs were killed 
by the hail and all my crops utterly ruined. The loss to me will be 
about $300; but I think I shall live through it well enough." 

Another letter, also addressed to Charles Wells, was dated at 
Milwaukee, April 7, 1841, and contained the following: 

"Money matters are in rather a bad state in the west. All the 
banks have suspended specie payments and all bills on western 
banks are 12 per cent, discount. Western bank money generally 
passed at par, and eastern money and specie is from 10 to 12 per 
cent, premium. I am doing but little business at this time, nor is 
there much prospect that I shall engage in any active business for 
some time to come, as I am still crippled with old liabilities con- 
tracted in 1836 and how they will be cancelled it is now difficult to 
say. I do about enough business to pay present expenses, which 
are quite small. I start to go to Rock river tomorrow in order to 
sell some lumber owned by myself and Mr. Brown (at Dixon's 
ferry) ; shall be absent about two weeks. The farmers out here 
are doing a hard business as produce is so low. Wheat is worth 
only 40 cents; corn, 31 cents; oats, 20 to 25 cents; and pork, 23^ to 
3^ cents per pound. All kinds of business is in a bad state, and 
how long it will so continue is uncertain. The people must fall 
back on their old habits of industry and economy and do away with 
all extravagance and then the country will start ahead again. A new 
start of prosperity must be the work of years to be permanent." 

A third letter, which is dated at Madison, Jan. 25, 1842, con- 
tains the following: 

"The winter so far has been fine; we now have about a foot 
of snow and the sleighing is splendid. Wheat sells for 75 cents 
per bushel; oats, 23 cents; corn, 31 cents; pork, 2i/^ cents per 
pound. The territory is on the gain and we expect a larger immi- 
gration next summer than any previous year. Milwaukee is im- 
proving very fast and a railroad is about to be started (the one 
mentioned in 1836) from there to the Mississippi river, through 
the center of the territory, via the lead region, and in a few years 
we shall have a continuous railroad from Boston to the Mississippi 


Lucius I. Barber, who was chosen as one of the members of 


the territorial House of Representatives at the election heretofore 
mentioned, was a prominent man in early times. He was a native 
of Simsbury, Connecticut, returned there about 1850, or perhaps 
later, and he died at that place in 1888. He was very prominent 
in early legislation, but was never a business man. He was elected 
as one of the first board of trustees when the West Side changed 
from a township government to a village organization, in January, 
1837, and in April of the same year he was elected to the position 
of assessor. In 1839 he removed to Jefferson, where he was one 
of the early settlers, and he lived there several years. 

Among other notable things accomplished in the year 1838 
was the removal of the Indians west of the Mississippi river, which 
event occurred in the month of June. They were collected at the 
old Indian fields, near the Layton House, where they were fed at 
the expense of the government until preparations could be made, 
teams procured and supplies collected in compliance with the treaty 
made at Chicago in 1833. The contract was given to Jacques Vieau, 
Jr., who was compelled to press into service every available team 
in the county in order to accomplish the removal of the red men. 
This cleared the country of all the Pottawattomies and Alenomo- 
nees, with the exception of the Shawano band and a few others, 
who, on account of inter-marriage with the Creole-French, were 
permitted to remain at Theresa, Horicon, and other places along 
Rock river, leading the wandering nomadic life they so much pre- 
ferred. This year also witnessed the opening of a road to Madison, 
a government appropriation having been made for that purpose. 

The second territorial legislative assembly commenced its sec- 
ond session at Madison on Jan. 21, 1839, to which time it had ad- 
journed on Dec. 22. preceding, and Lucius I. Barber, of Milwau- 
kee, was elected speaker of the House of Representatives. The 
county was also rcognized by the governor in the appointment of 
Horatio N. Wells as attorney-general for the territory. 

Horatio N. Wells came from Burlington, Vermont, in 1836. 
As a lawyer he was both prominent and successful ; was of a quick 
and nervous temperament, a ready speaker and in political faith 
he was an uncompromising Democrat, taking a deep interest in po- 
litical afifairs. He served as mayor of Milwaukee, was also in the 
territorial legislature, where he at once became a leader, and his 
last office was that of county judge. Says the historian, J. S. 
Buck: "Mr. Wells was a warm friend, a bitter enemy; made no 
concealment of his political views or opinions; was strictly honest, 
and generous to a fault ; he knew not the value of money, but spent 

THE miy^ YORK 

PUBLIC libr; 

'^-^ T — ;o r,' 








I — I 





it freely ; was at one time very wealthy, but at his death was poor." 
At the time of the organization of the East Side into a village gov- 
ernment, Mr. Wells was elected as the first village clerk, and in 
1847 he was chosen mayor of the city. He died Aug. 19, 1858, a 
victim of intemperance. 

The political campaign of 1839 in Milwaukee county, like that 
of 1838, was hotly contested. The election was held the hrst Mon- 
day in August, and resulted in re-electing practically the same offi- 
cials, as follows: Territorial Council — William A. Prentiss and 
Daniel Wells, Jr.,; House of Representatives, Augustus Story, 
Adam E. Ray, William R. Longstreet, William Shew, and Horatio 
N. Wells. 

The public sales of the government land in the Milwaukee land 
district were first proclaimed to take place at Milwaukee on Nov. 
19 and Dec. 3, 1838, but in accordance with the general wish of 
the settlers, as expressed in their petitions, the sales were post- 
poned by proclamation of the President of the United States, until 
Feb. 18 and March 4, 1839. The sales took place on these dates, 
and during the first week averaged $25,000 per day. There was 
no competition at the sales, nor any attempt by "greedy specu- 
lators" to interfere with the claims of the settlers, who adjusted 
all conflicting disputes by arbitration, and the capitalists found it 
more for their interest to loan money to the settlers on the security 
of the land purchased by them than to invest it in the land them- 
selves. Thus all apprehensions on the part of the settlers in ob- 
taining title to their claims proved to be groundless, and very few 
lands were bought on speculation. As a consequence a great por- 
tion of the best lands in the district were subject to entry at $1.25 
per acre by the throng of immigrants that soon afterward peopled 
the entire country. Among these immigrants was the first install- 
ment of Germans and Norwegians — the advance guard of thou- 
sands that were to flock to Wisconsin's soil in search of homes. The 
eflfect of the arrival of these foreign-born home-seekers was very 
refreshing to the hardy pioneers of Milwaukee county, as they 
brought with them gold and silver with which to purchase homes, 
and money now became more plentiful. The spring of 1840 opened 
with brightened skies, as the country had become largely self-sus- 
taining, and the best land had nearly all been taken for farms. 
Provisions of all kinds were much cheaper than the previous year. 
The political atmosphere of Milwaukee county in 1840, in com- 
mon with the country in general, was filled with storms. But oi 
course the issues in Milwaukee were local in their nature, as 


the territory had no voice in national affairs and therefore could 
have but a sentimental interest in the great conflict being waged 
with the presidenc}' as the prize. The election for members of 
the territorial legislature and for county officers was very hotly 
contested, and as this was the first election in which the Germans 
participated, a determined effort w^as made by both factions to 
secure their support. The result of the election was as follows : 
Council, J. E. Arnold and Don A. J. Upham ; House of Repre- 
sentatives, John S. Rockwell, Joseph Bond, Jacob Brazelton, W. 
F. Shepherd, and Adam E. Ray; county commissioner, William A. 
Barstow ; collector, Horace Chase ; treasurer, George D. Dousman ; 
assessors, Cromwell Hills, Ira Bidwell,, and George Watson. 

Don A. J. Upham, who is here mentioned as a member-elect 
of the legislative council, took a prominent part in the building up 
of Milwaukee. He was a lawyer by profession, and during his 
active career was a legislator, speculator, and a man who was a 
general favorite with the early settlers. He came to Milwaukee 
from Northfield, Vermont, arriving on June 15, 1837. James S. 
Buck describes him as follows: "In person he was tall; had a 
large head, blue eyes, brown hair, strong powerful voice ; spoke 
slow and distinct, with a lengthened sound upon the last syllable 
of each word ; walked slow, with his eyes fixed constantly upon 
the ground, but at the same time was cognizant of all that was be- 
ing enacted around him ; was courteous and dignified in manner, 
but fond of fun and mischief, few men more so, and usually on the 
watch for it; was a good public speaker and a prominent Demo- 
crat." He served two terms as mayor of the city of Milwaukee, 
and was also a candidate for the governorship in 185 1, when, in 
the opinion of many, he was fairly elected but counted out in some 
unaccountable manner, and L. J. Farwell was given the position. 
He was one of the first to join the Old Settlers' Club upon its or- 
ganization in 1869, and in the organization of the Pioneer Associa- 
tion in 1879 ^''6 ^'so took an active part. Few men in the state 
were better known than Don A. J. Upham. He was born at 
Weathersfield, Windham county, Vermont, May 31, 1809, died 
June 15, 1877, and was buried at Forest Home. 

The first session of the third territorial legislative assembly 
convened at Madison on Dec. 7, 1840, and the most important act 
of its deliberations, so far as Milwaukee icounty was interested, was 
the "Act to provide for the government of the several towns in this 
territory, and for the revision of county government." The New 
England and ,New York system of local self-government is what 



may be called the town system, while that of the western and 
southern states is what may be called the county system. Milwau- 
kee county, during the first four or five years of its existence, 
rapidly became settled with a population largely inbued with the' 
ideas of New England and New York, in which they had been 
educated, and a desire was manifested that the system of local gov- 
ernment should be changed to conform to their ideas. The act 
mentioned above, and which was approved on Feb. 18, 1841, con- 
tained a complete system for the organization of towns, and speci- 
fied all the details of town government. It provided that the legal 
voters should at the next general election vote for or against the 
provisions, and if a majority of the electors in any county should 
vote in favor of the adoption of the act, the countv so voting- 
should be governed by and be subject to the provisions of the act, 
on and after the first Tuesday of April, 1842. The result was that 
in Milwaukee county the town system was adopted, and the board 
of commissioners was succeeded by the board of supervisors, after 
the date above named. At the April election in 1841, however, an 
entire new board of commissioners was elected, the successful can- 
didates for these and other positions being as follows: County 
commissioners — Charles Hart, Thomas H. Olin, and Peter N. Cush- 
man ; county clerk, Uriel Farmin ; register of deeds, Henry Miller ; 
collector, John T. Haight ; treasurer, William Brown ; assessors, 
Jared Thompson, Benjamin Hunkins and William Shew ; sur- 
veyor, George S. West ; coroner, John Crawford. Jonathan E. Arn- 
old, having been nominated as the Whig candidate for delegate in 
Congress, resigned his position as a member of the territorial coun- 
cil from Milwaukee county, and the vacancy was filled by the elec- 
tion of John H. Tweedy. 

John H. Tweedy was born at Danbury, Connecticut, Nov. 9, 
1814, and graduated at Yale College. In October, 1836, he came to 
Milwaukee, where he at once became active and prominent in the 
building up of the young citv. In political faith he was an old-line 
Whig, and, in common with William A. Prentiss, shared in all 
the public offices of the city, except mayor. In 1841 and 1842, he 
was elected a member of the territorial council, and he was also 
prominent as a member of the convention that framed the constitu- 
tion of the state. He was by profession a lawyer, but was more 
prominent in the legislative halls than in court. He was also 
prominent in all of Milwaukee's early railroad enterprises, and 
realized the enjoyment of wealth and influence. He had a fine legal 
mind, was a ready and fluent public speaker, and in 1847 was 


elected territorial delegate to Congress, being the last incumbent 
in that position. He also represented the city of Milwaukee in the 
state assembly in 1853 and was considered in every respect an 
estimable citizen. He retired from actual business a number of 
years before his death, but he never lost his interest in the growth 
and prosperity of the city and state of his adoption, in the founding 
of which he took so prominent a part. He was a member of the 
Pioneer Association, and was twice elected as its president. Mil- 
waukee has had no better or more highly respected citizen than 
John H. Tweedy. He died on Nov. 12, 1891. 

The following appointments in Milwaukee county were made 
by the governor in 1842: Joseph Ward, sheriff; D. Wells, Jr., 
deputy sheriff; Sylvester W. Dunbar, judge of probate; Joshua 
Hathaway, public administrator; John A. Messenger, justice of the 
peace ; Louis Francher, Cyrus Hawley, Charles Delafield, Henry 
Miller, Levi Blossom, L A. Lapham and D. Wells, Jr., notaries. 

At the session of the legislature in the early part of 1842 a law 
providing for the enumeration of the inhabitants of the territory 
was passed, and the governor was instructed to make an appor- 
tionment of the members of the Council and the House of Repre- 
sentatives among the several election districts in accordance there- 
with. The number of inhabitants in Milwaukee county was shown 
to be 9,565, those of Washington county 965, and together they 
were given three members of the Council and six members of the 
House of Representatives. The ensuing election was probably the 
most hotly contested one that had been held in the county up to 
that time, and the sii'cessfai ticket .vas as follows: Hans Crocker, 
Lemuel White and David Newland, members of the Council; An- 
drew E. Elmore, Benjamin Hunkins, Thomas H. Olin, Jonathan 
Parsons, Jared Thompson and George H. Walker, members of the 
House ; Charles C. Savage, register of deeds ; Clark Shephardson, 
treasurer; George S. West, surveyor;' Leveret S. Kellogg, coroner. 

Hans Crocker came to Milwaukee from Chicago in 1836, and 
at once commenced the practice of law, his first partner being 
Horatio N. Wells, and he afterwards was associated with J. H. 
Tweedy. He was a good political wire-puller, and took a promi- 
nent part in all of the contests of those pioneer days, and served 
for a considerable length of time as a member of the territorial 
council. He was also canal commissioner under the old canal sys- 
tem, and was connected with the various railroad enterprises per- 
taining to the formation of the present Chicago, Milwaukee & St. 
Paul system. He served one term as mayor of the city. Upon the 



organization of the territorial government of Wisconsin he was 
selected as the private secretary of Governor Dodge and officiated 
in that capacity for some time. Upon the organization of the Wis- 
consin Marine and Fire Insurance Company, in 1839, he was ap- 
pointed by the legislature a member of the first board of commis- 
sioners of that institution. His death, which occurred March 17, 
1889, left a void not easily filled, as his peculiar personal charac- 
teristics were such as to make him prominent in any capacity or 
position he chanced to occupy. 

George H. Walker was a native of Virginia, born in Lynch- 
burg, Oct. 22, 181 1. When he was fourteen years old his father 
removed to Gallatin county, 111., so that he may be said to have 
been brought up in the West, and to have begun his career as a 
pioneer in early boyhood. He was an Indian trader at eighteen 
years of age, and was only twenty-two years old when he first 
penetrated the wilds of what was then Michigan territory, as far 
north as the site of the city which he helped to build in later years. 
After visiting Juneau's trading post in the fall of 1833, he turned 
back and spent the winter of 1833-34 at what was then known as 
"Skunk Grove," about six miles west of the site of the present city 
of Racine. His first visit to Milwaukee must, however, have im- 
pressed him favorably with that location, because in 1834, after 
spending some time at Chicago and other frontier trading posts 
of this region, he returned to this place with the intention of locat- 
ing here permanently. He accordingly selected a tract of land 
lying south of that portion of Milwaukee river which runs east- 
ward to the lake, on which he established a trading post, and to 
which he laid claim as first settler and "squatter," no survey of 
the land having been made at that time. The first improvement 
which he made on the land to which he hoped to acquire title in 
due time, was to build a small cabin, not unlike that which Juneau 
was occupying at the time, at what is now the intersection of South 
Water and Ferry streets, the site being that at present occupied by 
the Ricketson House. From 1835 to 1845 he divided his time 
between trading with the Indians, as a rival of Juneau, and fight- 
ing ofif the "squatters" who attempted to "jump his claim." It 
was not until 1849, after Wisconsin had been admitted into the 
Union as a state, that Walker finally obtained a patent from the 
Federal government for 160 acres of land, which cleared the title 
of all clouds. In 1845 he was appointed register of the Milwaukee 
land office, and held that important office until 1849. He was 
elected to the territorial legislature in 1842. and was made speaker 


of the lower house. In 1844 he was again chosen to represent the 
city at Madison, and was again elected to the speakership. In 
1850 he was elected mayor of Milwaukee, and held that office for 
one term. In politics he was a Democrat, but at the breaking out 
of the Civil war he took a decided stand in favor of the preserva- 
tion of the Union. The city was largely indebted to him for the 
building of the Milwaukee & Mississippi railroad, he was at one 
time president of this railroad company, and long a member of 
the board of directors. He built the first street railway in Mil- 
waukee at a considerable loss to himself, and thus laid the founda- 
tion of the present splendid system. One of the last public acts 
of his useful life was to aid in securing the location here of the 
National Soldiers' Home, and his arduous labors in that connection 
undoubtedly shortened his life. He died at his home on Biddle 
street, Sept. 20, 1866. 

At the census taken in 1842 for the purpose of legislative ap- 
portionment the returns showed the population of the towns which 
now constitute Milwaukee county to be as follows : Franklin, 448 ; 
Granville, 356; Greenfield, 667; Lake, 356; Milwaukee (2,500 in the 
village and 285 in the town), 2,785; Oak Creek, 389; Wauwatosa, 
512 ; making a total population of 5,513. In 1840 it was 3,349, an in- 
crease in two years of 2,164. 


TERRITORIAL ERA— (Continued.) 





The territorial legislature, at a session held in Madison in March, 
1843, passed an act providing for the election of probate judges, sheriffs, 
and justices of the peace, by the people, these positions having previous- 
ly been filled by appointment by the governor, "with the advice and con- 
sent" of the council. The election for sheriff and judge of probate was 
held in May of that year and resulted in the election of Ed. D. Holton 
as sheriff and Joshua Hathaway as probate judge. 

Edward Dwight Holton, a distinguished pioneer of Wisconsin, was 
born at Lancaster, N. H., April 28, 1815, the son of Joseph and Mary 
(Fisk) Holton. In his earlier years he worked on the farm on which he 
was born, and when fourteen years of age was indentured to D. Smith, 
of Bath, N. H., for a term of four years as a merchant's clerk, his com- 
pensation to be a salary of thirty-five dollars per year. His facilities for 
obtaining an education were what the common schools afforded, but he 
was fond of books, and diligently applied himself to study during his 
spare hours, and thus gathered sufficient knowledge to qualify himself 
for teaching. At the close of his indenture he returned to his native vil- 
lage, where he taught school a year, after which he became clerk in a 
store in the town of Lisbon, N. H. In the spring of 1837 he proceeded 
to Buffalo and assumed the responsible position of bookkeeper and 
cashier in the shipping and forwarding house of M. Kingman & Com- 
pany, and continued to act in that capacity nearly four years. At the 


end of that period, in the fall of 1840, having determined to become a 
merchant, and believing himself qualified for a more independent 
place, he resigned his position, purchased goods on his own account 
and proceeded to Milwaukee, where he opened a store and carried on a 
prosperous and constantly increasing business until 1850. In 1849, be- 
lieving that something should be done to open up the rich prairies of the 
interior and develop the latent resources of the state, he interested him- 
self in the organization of a railroad company to construct a road that 
should traverse the state westward from Lake Michigan to the Missis- 
sippi, and labored earnestly to secure stock subscriptions for the pro- 
posed road. He became its active manager and financial agent, and re- 
mained connected with the great enterprise until it was completed to 
Prairie du Chien. As a member of the legislature of the state in i860 
he carried through a law called a readjustment law, by which the bond- 
holders were permitted to take possession of the road, with a new bond 
or preferred stock as they might select, they having a first lien, and the 
subsequent liens and ownerships to be preserved intact, and deriving div- 
idends in their order as first, second, third and fourth classes, the reve- 
nues of the property being employed for the payment of dividends on 
these classes ; and in the event of no revenue to either of the classes in 
any one year, there should be no loss of ownership or position, but it 
simply waited until revenue enough should accrue, when it should draw 
its dividend or interest. In 1852 Mr. Holton became'the president of the 
Farmers' and Millers' Bank of Milwaukee, a small institution of $50,- 
000 capital, then recently organized and in operation under the new 
banking law of the state, and continued in its successful management for 
ten years. Early in 1862 President Lincoln conferred upon Mr. Holton 
the appointment of allotment commissioner. Congress having authorized 
the appointment of three for each state, the object being to secure an 
allotment of soldiers' pay, or a part thereof, to their families or friends, 
and thus save from waste in the camp vast sums that would be valuable 
if sent home. Quitting his large and varied business, he gave himself 
personally to this work, followed the Wisconsin regiments from state to 
state, and with his associates was instrumental in securing large allot- 
ments from the regiments visited. In 1863, resigning the presidency of 
his bank — first having taken steps to bring it under the new law as a 
national bank — with his family he sailed for Europe, bearing influential 
letters from Secretary Seward and others. At the expiration of a year, 
with his family he safely returned from his European journey, and re- 
tired to his farm in the suburbs of Milwaukee. After the great Chicago 
fire he was called from his retirement to take the management of the 
Northwestern National Insurance Company, with a paid-up capital of 



only $150,000, and he brought it within three years to one of the strong- 
est and soundest companies in the country, its capital in this brief period 
being increased to $600,000. In connection with his services as manager 
of the Northwestern National Insurance Company, he took an important 
part in organizing and maintaining the International Board of Lake 
Underwriters, of which he was president from its organization to the 
date of his death. He was a prominent member of the National Board 
of Trade, having been its president, and often appointed upon important 
committees. In 1869 he made an able and telling speech before the 
National Board of Trade at Richmond, Va., on the subject of our na- 
tional finances and in favor of returning to a specie basis. Soon after 
his advent to the territory of Wisconsin, he was elected, without any 
(solicitation on his part, sheriff of the county of Milwaukee, embracing 
at that time what are now the counties of Waukesha and Milwaukee. 
This was in 1843. ^^ ^"^'^^ frequently the candidate of the Liberty 
party, and ran for Congress in the infancy of that political organization. 
In 1853 he became the nominee of the Free Soil party of Wisconsin for 
governor against William A. Barstow, Democrat, and J. C. Baird, 
Whig, concentrating, for the first time in the history of the state, a large 
Free Soil vote. In 1856 he was nominated as one of the prominent 
candidates for LTnited States senator, the other two being J. R. Doolittle 
and T. O. Howe. He, however, withdrew from the field, leaving Mr. 
Doolittle, who held similiar opinions,, to be made United States senator. 
He became a staunch Republican ; but was not a politician in the com- 
mon acceptation of that term. In 1845 he married Lucinda C. Millard, 
a cousin of the late President Millard Fillmore. Mr. Holton died in 
Milwaukee in 1890. 

At the September election for county officers the following were the 
successful candidates : Solomon Juneau, register of deeds ; Clinton Wal- 
worth, treasurer; George S. West, surveyor; and John A. Messenger, 

The political contest of 1844 was a spirited one and resulted in the 
election of the following gentlemen to fill the various positions : Adam 
E. Ray, James H. Kimball, and James Kneeland, members of the terri- 
torial Council ; Charles E. Brown, Pitts Ellis, Byron Kilbourn, Benja- 
min H. Mooers, William Shew, and George H. Walker, members of the 
House ; Owen Aldrich, sherifif ; Solomon Juneau, register of deeds ; Burr 
S. Crafts, clerk ; Rufus Parks, treasurer ; Clinton Walworth, judge of 
probate ; George S. West, surveyor ; and Joseph R. Treat, coroner. 

Among those who came to Milwaukee in 1841 was James Kneeland, 
who three years later was honored by election to the upper house of the 
territorial leg-islature, as stated above. From the day he landed in the 



future "Cream City" he was one of its most active and prominent citi- 
zens. He was a native of Leroy, Livingston county, New York, but 
came to Milwaukee from Chicago, where he had been previously en- 
gaged upon the Illinois canal as a successful contractor. He brought 
a large stock of general merchandise, the largest that had, up to that time 
been brought by any one firm, and he opened his place of business under 
the firm name of James Kneeland & Co., the partner being John Clifford. 
This firm was dissolved, however, on Dec. i,, 1841, Mr. Clifford re- 
tiring, and Nicholas A. McClure became a partner. This partnership, 
too, was of short duration, Mr. McClure soon retiring, after which Mr. 
Kneeland remained alone until 1847, when a new partnership was en- 
tered into for five years, with William Brown, or "Albany Brown," as 
he was usually designated, and Milton Edward Lyman, as the other 
partners, the last-named gentleman remaining so connected, however, 
but a short time. In 1852 Mr. Kneeland went out of the mercantile 
business, in order to devote his whole time to the improvement of his 
real estate, of which he had a large amount that was fast becoming very 
valuable owing to the influx of population, and to the improvement of 
this property and the enjoyment of the "unearned increment" he devoted 
the remainder of his active life. He did much to beautify and adorn 
Milwaukee in the way of ornamental shade trees, and his private resi- 
dence and grounds were among the finest in the city. He was quite 
prominent in the early municipal affairs, and as a member of the legis- 
lative council, in 1845, outwitted those who were engineering a bill in 
opposition to the city charter ; and he was successful in securing the 
passage of the bill under which the charter was adopted. In political 
faith he was a Democrat, and in religious faith an Episcopalian, being 
one of the pillars of St. James' church. 

Byron Kilbourn came to Milwaukee from the state of Ohio in 1835. 
He was by profession a civil engineer, and as such held a high rank in 
the profession. He was prominent in the organization of the Prairie du 
Chien and LaCrosse railroads, particularly the latter, of which he might 
truthfully be called the father. He took a deep interest in politics as a 
Democrat, served as mayor of the city two terms, and to his liberality the 
city was indebted for the ground upon which stands the Kilbourn Park 
reservoir. Upon the organization of a village government for what was 
known as the West Side, in 1837, Mr. Kilbourn was chosen as the first 
president, and the same year he built "The Badger," the first steam-boat 
ever built in Milwaukee. The year 1838 found him a member of the 
board of trustees for the West Side village, and in 1854 he was elected 
mayor of the city. He became a member of the board of directors of the 
board of trade, when it was organized on Jan. 16, 1856. Mr. Kilbourn 



died at Jacksonville, Florida, Dec. 16, 1870, at the age of sixty-nine 
years, and his body was laid to rest in that city. 

From the time of its creation until 1845 the county of Washington 
had been attached to Milwaukee county for judicial purposes, but at the 
session of the territorial legislature, convened in January, 1845, ^^ was 
organized for judicial purposes and became a full-fledged division of the 
territory. At the same session a law was passed which provided for an 
election by the qualified electors of Milwaukee county, for or against the 
removal of the seat of justice. The vote was to be taken at the spring 
election in 1846. and if a majority of the votes cast were in favor of 
"removal," the seat of justice of the county was to be removed to Prai- 
rieville (now Waukesha). If any election was held in pursuance of this 
law the returns of it can not be found ; but it is probable that none was 
held, for the legislature of 1846, prior to the time set for holding the 
county seat election, passed an act dividing the county of Milwaukee and 
organizing the county of Waukesha, subject to the decision of the in- 
habitants of the proposed new county. The project carried, and thus, as 
has been stated on a preceding page, Milwaukee county was reduced to 
its present size, as regards territory, in 1846. Another act passed at this 
session of the territorial legislature specially authorized the board of 
supervisors of Milwaukee county to levy and collect $3,000, subject to 
the approval of tax-payers at town meeting, to be expended in the con- 
struction of roads and bridges. And by still another enactment, Joachim 
Grenhagen, his associates, successors and assigns, were authorized to 
erect and maintain a dam across the Milwaukee river, on sections 19 or 
20, town 8, range 22 east, in Milwaukee county, at what has since been 
called Good Hope. 

The election in 1845 resulted in the choice of the following gentle- 
men for the positions named: Curtis Reed, Jacob H. Kimball, and 
James Kneeland, members of the Council ; Samuel H. Barstow, John 
Crawford, James Magone, Benjamin H. Mooers, Luther Parker, and 
William H. Thomas, members of the House of Representatives ; William 
A. Rice, register of deeds ; Silas Griffith, treasurer ; Robert L. Ream, 
clerk ; George S. West, surveyor ; Joseph R. Treat, coroner. 

On June i, 1846, a census of the city and county of Milwaukee was 
taken, and the result showed a very flattering increase in the population. 
The official figures were as follows: Franklin. 747; Granville, 1,531 ; 
Greenfield, 1,032; Lake, 447; Milwaukee, 490; Oak Creek, 732; Wau- 
watosa, 1,112; city of Milwaukee, 9,501 ; making a total of 15,592 ^ 
city and county. 

The September election in 1846, resulted in the choice of the follow- 
ing: Horatio N. Wells, member of the Council; William Shew, An- 


drew Sullivan, and William W. Brown, members of the House of Rep- 
resentatives ; George E. Graves, sheriff ; William S. Wells, register of 
deeds; Isaac P. Walker, judge of probate; Charles P. Evarts, county 
clerk; Silas Griffith, treasurer; John B. Vliet, surveyor; Joseph A. 
Liebhaber, coroner. 

At the January, 1846, session of the legislature a bill was passed, 
the principal feature of which was that on the first Tuesday of April, 
"every white male inhabitant above the age of twenty-one years, who 
shall have resided in the territory for six months, next previous thereto, 
and who shall either be a citizen of the United States or shall have filed 
his declaration of intention to become such according to the laws of the 
United States on the subject of naturalization," shall be authorized to 
vote for or against the formation of a state government. If a majority 
of all the votes were "for state government," the governor was to make 
an apportionment among the several counties of delegates to form a state 
constitution. The basis was one delegate for every 1,300 inhabitants, and 
an additional delegate for a fraction greater than a majority of said 
number, but there was to be one delegate to each organized county. The 
vote of the people in April was about six to one in favor of a state 
government, Milwaukee county giving a good majority, and upon the 
basis of the population given above the county was given twelve mem- 
bers in the constitutional convention. The election to fill these posi- 
tions was held on the day of the regular annual election, the first Mon- 
day in September, and the following gentlemen were the successful can- 
didates : Charles E. Browne, Horace Chase, John Cooper, John Craw- 
ford, Garrett M. Fitzgerald, Wallace W. Graham, Francis Huebsch- 
mann, Asa Kinney, James Magone, John H. Tweedy, Don A. J. Upham, 
and Garret Vliet. Upon the meeting of the convention in October Mr. 
Upham was elected president and served as such during the delibera- 

Horace Chase, one of Milwaukee's prominent representatives in 
this first constitutional convention, was born at Derby, Orleans county, 
Vermont, Dec. 25, 1810, and came of a New England family, descended 
from one of the colonists of 1629. Jacob Chase, his father, was a 
farmer, and the son was brought up to that occupation. Before he was 
seventeen years of age, however, he manifested a fondness for trade, 
and went to Barton, Vermont, where he became a clerk in a country 
store. In 1833 he went to Stanstead, Canada, and found employment 
there in the same capacity for a year or more, when he determined to 
"go south" and fixed upon Charleston, S. C, as a desirable place to 
locate. Through the representation of a friend, after he had proceeded 
as far as Boston, he was induced to change his plans, and came to Chi- 



cago instead of going to South Carolina. He remained in Chicago only 
a few months, being employed a portion of the time as a clerk in his 
friend's store and the remainder of the time in other similar capacities. 
In the fall of 1834 his attention was called to Milwaukee and in Decem- 
ber he set out for this place accompanied by Morgan L. Burdick and 
Samuel Brown. When he arrived at the Milwaukee settlement, he pro- 
ceeded to select a couple of tracts of land, on which he filed claims after 
the fashion of that period, after which he returned to Chicago where he 
spent a considerable portion of the winter of 1834-35. In April of 1835 
he brought a stock of goods to Milwaukee, being compelled to cut a road 
through from Root river rapids to the mouth of Milwaukee river, in 
order to reach his destination by what he regarded as the most direct 
route. He served as a member of the first constitutional convention of 
Wisconsin, and also as a member of the first legislature of the state 
which convened in 1848. In 1861 he served as alderman and supervisor 
of the Fifth ward, and at a later date was for several years a conspicuous 
member of the city council. He was mayor of the city in 1862-63 and as 
a public official and an enterprising, public-spirited citizen, left a marked 
impress upon the city with which he became identified in the infantile 
stage of its existence. He died in September, 1886. 

Dr. Francis Huebschmann, one of the early physicians of Milwau- 
kee, who became especially prominent in public afifairs, and for years was 
widely known throughout the state, settled here in 1842, and was the 
first German physician in the city. He was born in 1817 in Riethnord- 
hausen, Duchy of Saxe-Weimar, Germany. After being graduated at 
the Universities of Erfurth and Weimar, he studied medicine in Jena, 
receiving his diploma from that institution in 1841. Young, enterpris- 
ing, active and ambitious, he looked about for a field for professional 
work, and reached the conclusion that in America he would find a land 
of splendid opportunities and good government, in which intelligent 
effort must be rewarded by success. Coming to this country in the 
spring of 1842, he stopped a short time with friends in Boston and then 
came to Milwaukee, where he opened an office and at once began to 
practice his profession. As early as 1843 he was elected a school com- 
missioner of Milwaukee and in this capacity he served eight years, aiding 
in every way possible to promote the educational interests of the city. 
Notwithstanding the opposition of the "Know Nothing" element of the 
population he was elected a delegate to the first constitutional convention 
of Wisconsin. In 1848 he was chosen a presidential elector from Wis- 
consin, and again in 1852 ; and in 1851-52 he served as a member of the 
state senate. Several times he was elected a member of the board of 
aldermen and in 1848 served as president of that body of municipal 


leg-islators. In 1853 President Pierce appointed him Superintendent of 
Indian Affairs for the Northwest, in recognition of the valuable services 
he had rendered to the Democratic party and the general public, and he 
discharged the duties of the office with credit to himself and to the satis- 
faction of the administration, until the term for which he was appointed 
expired in 1857. Entering the Twenty-sixth Wisconsin infantry as regi- 
mental surgeon at the outbreak of the Civil war, he was promoted first to 
brigade and then to division surgeon with rank of major, participating 
in the battles of Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Kenesaw Mounttain, 
Peachtree Creek, Atlanta and many other less important engagements. 
At the battle of Gettysburg, in company with nine assistants and 500 
wounded, he was captured by the Confederates and held for a short time 
a prisoner. In 1864 he was honorably disharged, and retiring from the 
service he returned to Milwaukee, where his family continued to reside 
during his absence at the front. In 1870 he was again elected to the 
state senate, receiving two-thirds of all the votes cast in his district for 
the candidates for that office. At the close of his term of service in the 
legislature he withdrew in a measure from public life, but he continued 
to take a deep interest in all matters involving the public welfare. In 
politics he was always a Democrat. He came to America a Democrat, 
served his adopted country as a Democrat and died a Democrat. He 
affiliated with that party because in his judgment it was in thorough 
harmony, in the main, with the purpose an intent of the framers of 
the government, whom he had revered always for their wisdom and pa- 
triotism. Dr. Huebschmann died on March 21, 1880, lamented by the 
people of a community with which he had been identified nearly forty 

Garrett Vliet was born at Independence, Sussex county. New Jer- 
sey, May 10, 1790, and came to Milwaukee with Bryon Kilbourn, in 
1835. He was by profession a civil engineer, and was one of those ap- 
pointed by the government to survey a portion of the lands in Wiscon- 
sin. He was employed in his younger days upon the Ohio canal, in con- 
nection with Dr. Lapham and Byron Kilbourn, and it was at the solici- 
tation of the latter that he came to Milwaukee. In political faith he was 
a Democrat of the Jeffersonian school, and he was also a member of the 
Old Settlers' Club. Mr. Vliet died on Aug. 5, 1877, and was buried in 
Forest Home cemetery. 

The most important event of the year 1847, '" the county of Mil- 
waukee as well as throughout the entire Territory, and the one that ex- 
cited the greatest interest among the people and engendered the greatest 
amount of contention, attended by no small degree of acrimonious feel- 
ing, was the submission to a vote, on the first Tuesday of April, of the 


constitution framed by the convention. The article "on Banks and Bank- 
ing" in the main drew the fire of those opposed to the adoption of the 
constitution, and the matter is thus explained by Moses M. Strono- in 
his admirable work, "History of Wisconsin Territory" : 

"At this time (1846-7) the country was overrun with a depreciated 
currency, and the channels of circulation were flooded with 'wild-cat' 
bank notes, and the article on banks and banking was intended as a rem- 
edy for the evil and a security against its recurrence. It strictly prohib- 
ited banking of every description, whether of issues, deposits, discounts 
or exchange by corporations. And although the legislature could confer 
no banking power or privilege whatever, upon any person or persons, 
and although it was declared not to be lawful for any person or persons 
to issue any evidence of debt whatever, intended to circulate as money ; 
yet all the other branches of banking — discounts, deposits and exchange 
— were left entirely free and open to private enterprise. It was this pro- 
hibition of the power to issue, in other words to manufacture currency, 
that excited the opposition to the constitution of a certain class, espe- 
cially in Milwaukee, that could not tolerate a constitutional law which 
would deprive them of the power of making paper money by which they 
alone would reap all the benefit, while the mass, of the people would be 
subjected to all the hazard of loss in the event of the inability or unwill- 
ingness of those who issued it to redeem it. This class were earnest, de- 
termined, and to some extent systematic and organized in their opposi- 
tion. The great mass of the Whig party, by the teachings of their party, 
became the ready and willing supporters of the ideas upon which this op- 
position was founded, and allies of those most interested in their pro- 
mulgation. This reason for opposing the adoption of the constitution 
was readily supplemented by other objections to it which were pre- 
sented ; the most prominent of which were the elective judiciary, the 
rights of married women, exemptions, too numerous a legislature, and 
that it legislated too much. 

"x\ number of able and influential leading Democrats were found 
ready and willing to aid these opponents of the constitution, so many 
that a sufficient number of the rank and file, following their lead, united 
with the nearly solid body of the Whig voters, were able to affect its re- 
jection by a large majority. 

■^ ^ ■:{: ^ ^ :^ ^ 

"The advocates of the constitution predicted that if those of its fea- 
tures which were most antagonized should be then defeated, they would 
ultimately be adopted either in a new constitution or by a legislative 
enactment, and their anticipations have been completely verified in every 
particular except the sixth section of the bank article, which provided 
for the suppression of the circulation of small bank notes." 

q6 memoirs of MILWAUKEE COUNTY 

At the election, however, the constitution was defeated in the terri- 
tory at large by a majority of 6,112, and the admission of Wisconsin 
into the Union as a state was thus delayed. The adverse majority in 
Milwaukee county was 318, of which 289 was in the city, the vote in the 
outlying districts being very close. 

At the regular election, held on Sept. 6, 1847, the following officers 
were elected : Isaac P. Walker, James HoUiday, and Asa Kinney, mem- 
bers of the territorial House of Representatives ; John E. Cameron, reg- 
ister of deeds ; Sidney L. Rood, county treasurer ; James McCall, county 
surveyor ; Leverett S. Kellogg, coroner ; and Charles P. Evarts, county 
clerk. At this election, also, John H. Tweedy was elected as the Wiscon- 
sin delegate to Congress, being the only citizen of Milwaukee to achieve 
that distinction during the territorial days. 

On Sept. 27, 1847, the governor of the territory issued a proclama- 
tion, appointing a special session of the legislative assembly of the Ter- 
' ritory, to be held on Oct. 18, to take such action in relation to the admis- 
sion of the state into the Union and adopt such other measures as in their 
wisdom the public good might require. Upon convening the assembly 
, confined its action to the one subject of admission to statehood, and 
after a brief session of ten days it adjourned sine die. It passed an 
act providing for an election, on Nov. 29, of delegates to another con- 
stitutional convention, to be composed of sixty-nine members, of which 
number the apportionment gave seven to Milwaukee county. The act 
further provided that a census should be taken between the ist and 15th 
days of December, of all persons residing in the territory on Dec. i. 
The enumeration in Milwaukee county showed a toal population of 
22,791, an increase since June i, 1846 — a period of eighteen months — 
of 7,199, which gives a good idea of the rapid development of that por- 
tion of the state. 

This second convention to form a constitution for the state met at 
Madison on Dec. 15, and the following gentlemen were present as the 
representatives from Milwaukee county, they having been the success- 
ful ones in a spirited contest for the honors. John L. Doran, Garret 
M. Fitzgerald, Albert Fowler, Byron Kilbourn, Rufus King, Charles H. 
Larkin, and Morritz Schoeffler. John L. Doran was a native of Ireland 
and a lawyer by profession ; Garret M. Fitzgerald was also a native of 
the Green Isle and a farmer by occupation ; Albert Fowler has been 
biographically mentioned on a preceding page of this work, as has also 
Byron Kil1x>urn ; Charles H. Larkin was a native of Connecticut and 
a farmer by occupation ; and Morritz Schoeffler was a native of Bavaria 
and followed the occupation of a printer. 


Gen. Rufus King, whose name appears in the above hst as a mem- 
ber of the Milwaukee county delegation in the second Constitutional 
convention, and who for many years occupied a prominent position in 
Milwaukee as a journalist and educator, is deserving of more than a 
passing mention at this time. He was born in the city of New York 
on Jan. 26, 1814. His father was President Charles King, of Columbia 
College, and his grandfather, Rufus King, had the honor of being the 
first senator from the Empire State upon the formation of the Federal 
government, and also served as minister to England during Wash- 
ington's administration. The prestige of such an ancestry could not fail 
to have great influence in shaping a future career, and as a natural 
sequence young King was honored with the appointment to a cadetship 
at West Point, which was then the Mecca of the sons of the wealthy and 
influential citizens of the young Republic, and there he graduated in 
July, 1833, with high honors, ranking fourth in his class ; and he was 
assigned to duty with the engineer corps of the regular army. His 
first employment in his new vocation was to aid in the construction of 
Fortress Monroe under Robert E. Lee, who subsequently became the 
Confederate leader during the war of the 6o's. But the youthful soldier 
wanted something more stimulating, more exciting, something outside 
of a strict military occupation, and in order to obtain it he resigned, in 
1836, and accepted a position as assistant engineer upon the preliminary 
survey then being made for the New York & Erie railroad, which posi- 
tion he held until 1838, when he left and accepted that of editor-in-chief 
of the Albany Advertiser, thereby commencing the life in which he be- 
came so famous in after years. He had now found his proper sphere, and 
at once commenced to take an active and prominent part in all the excit- 
ing political contests of the day. In 1839 he was also commissioned as 
adjutant-general of the state, a position which his thorough military 
education rendered him eminently well qualified to fill, and which he 
held until July i, 1843. He remained upon the Advertiser until 1841, 
when, at the solicitation of Gov. William H. Seward, he severed his 
connection with that paper and became associate editor upon the Albany 
Evening Journal, in which position he was the trusted friend and adviser 
of that renowned journalist, Thurlow Weed, who was then editor-in- 
chief of that paper. There he remained until 1845, when, induced by 
liberal offers, he came to Milwaukee and assumed the editorial chair of 
the Milwaukee Sentinel, then the leading Whig organ in the Territory, 
and during the next twelve years he made that paper a power in the 
dissemination of Whig principles. During the most of that time he 
also held the responsible office of school commissioner, having had the 
honor of election as the first president of the board upon the organization 



of the public school system in 1846. Financial embarrassments duritig 
the commercial panic of 1857 necessitated a change in the ownership 
of the Sentinel, although General King remained as editor-in-chief for 
a season, but he was ultimately compelled to let it pass into other hands. 
This disaster was a sad blow, after which he remained somewhat in 
obscurity until in March, 1861, when, without solicitation on his part, he 
received from Abraham Lincoln the appointment as minister to Rome. 
He accepted the position and had placed his baggage upon the vessel 
which was to convey him to that historic city, when the attack was made 
upon Fort Sumter in April and the Civil war became a reality. This 
changed the programme, the commission to Rome was surrendered, and, 
resuming the sword, he was at once commissioned a brigadier-general, 
his brigade being composed of Wisconsin volunteers and the Nineteenth 
Indiana, afterward famous as the "Iron Brigade." General King par- 
ticipated in General Pope's campaign of 1862, but the arduous duties 
incident thereto were of such a nature as to greatly impair his health, 
and he asked to be relieved, which request was granted. He was 
assigned to court-martial duty and in the defenses of Washington, being 
thus engaged until the spring of 1863, when he again took the field in 
command of a division at Yorktown and was actively engaged in watch- 
ing and counteracting the Confederate movements in that region until 
the fall of the same year, when he was again appointed to the Roman 
mission, where he iremained until its abolition in 1867. after which he 
returned to his native city and died there on Oct. 13, 1876. General 
King was a born journalist, wielded a ready pen, and was the acknowl- 
edged leader of the Whig party throughout the state of Wisconsin 
during the early history, being for several years one of the regents of 
the State University. He was a prominent offtcial in the old volunteer 
fire department, and in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which 
latter organization he took great pride. It may also be of interest to 
state that he was the president of the first base-ball club in Milwaukee, 
organized in April, i860. There is a fine portrait of General King in the 
Milwaukee city library. 

The constitutional convention adjourned on Feb. i, 1848, after pro- 
viding that the result of their deliberations should be submitted to the 
electors of tlic proposed State for their ratification or rejection on the 
second Monday in March ; that in case the Constitution was adopted 
the election of state officials, members of the state legislature, and repre- 
sentatives in Congress should be chosen on the second Monday in ^lay; 
and that the first session of the state legislature should convene on the 
first Monday in June. On March 13, 1848, the proposed Constitution 
was ratified by a majority of the electors, the vote in Milwaukee countv 


being 2,008 ''yes'* and 208 "no," and with the final adjournment of the 
territorial legislature on the same day the Constitution was ratified, the 
Territory of Wisconsin, after a turbulent existence of twelve years, be- 
came only a memory. 

And the change from territorial to a state government was re- 
ceived by the people of Milwaukee county with unfeigned satisfaction, 
as it signalized the end of the pioneer epoch and the beginning of a de- 
velopment that has few if any parallels among the many counties into 
which the "Old Northwest Territory" has been divided. But yet in 
many respects the annals of those pioneer days are filled with subjects 
of the most intense interest, and a study of that portion of the county's 
history cannot fail to be instructive to a people who have, by one leap, 
as it were, placed themselves out of sight of the immediate past, and 
merged themselves so deeply in the concerns of the present as to regard 
the scenes through which their immediate ancestors passed as almost 
a myth. Let the reader try to forget the present for a few moments, 
and transport himself to the log cabin of his grandfather, with its curl- 
ing smoke striving to make its way through the little break in the forest ; 
let him contemplate his grandfather out in the "clearing" at work, or 
seated by the fire on a winter's evening with a family of healthy children 
about him, and his wife with them, dressed in homespun, preparing the 
evening meal of the simplest articles over a fire whose unruly smoke is 
seriously afifecting her vision, and perhaps her temper, too. The "big 
boys" have fed the cattle and are making ax-handles or scrubbing 
brooms around the fire, while the faithful dog by their side 
pricks his ears at every sound, as if placed on guard by the family. 
How^ interesting those early scenes ! Why can we not pause in the hurly- 
burly of busy life and contemplate them, if not for the instruction they 
afiford, at least for the diversion they would give? Severe were the trials 
through which our forefathers passed in the early years of western life ; 
but they laid the foundation of the better times that we witness, during 
the formative period of Milwaukee county. 










The first thought taken by early settlers, when a few homes are 
once established, is of facilities for communicating with a modest sec- 
tion of the outer world, and the realization of this desire becomes a 
business and social necessity. Afterward, when the limits of a village 
are expanded into a city, comes the thought of general means of com- 
munication and transportation, not only within the bounds of the cor- 
poration, but far beyond into the distant districts of the state and nation. 
The first roadways leading into and out of Milwaukee were not public 
highways. They were adopted by accident ; belonged to nobody in par- 
ticular, and extended across the country without regard to the cardinal 
points of the compass, but as irregular as a cow-path. AVhen Americans 
first visited the present site of Milwaukee, there were four principal 
Indian trails centering at the trading post that was destined to become 
the Wisconsin metropolis of Lake Michigan. Two of these diverged 
from the South Side, one of which led to Chicago and the other to Fox 
River ; another led from the West Side to Green Bay, and one proceeded 
up the peninsula to Port Washington. The wagons of the pioneers 
usually followed these trails ; and as they were found to be the best 
routes, the principal roads to the interior were established on very 
nearly the same courses, and in 1835 these were all the roads that led to 
into Milwaukee. In 1836 Byron Kilbourn made a road across the 
Menomonee marsh, extending the same southward into the country, 
and it is still known by his name. 

But these roads were mere openings through the timber, with logs 


laid across some of the streams — and varied occasionally by stumps and 
hollows. Still the tide of immigration passed through these channels 
with an unceasing flow, and spread out over the rich country to the 
west. As the population increased, however, the demand for more and 
better highways became constant and imperative. In response to these 
demands the territorial legislature at its first session authorized a road 
to be laid out, at the expense of the several counties through which it 
ran, from Milwaukee via Madison to the Blue Mounds. Madison had 
been selected as the seat of the territorial government, and as Milwaukee 
was slowly but surely becoming a place of importance it was but natural 
that a road connecting these two villages was the first to be suggested. 
As illustrating the difficulties of travel in those days, on May 31, 1837, 
Augustus A. Bird, one of the commissioners for the erection of public 
buildings at Madison, left Milwaukee with thirty-six workmen and six 
yoke of oxen, and all the necessary mechanical tools, provisions, cook- 
ing utensils, etc., to enable operations at the capital to be commenced 
immediately. The territorial road had not as yet been laid out, and the 
men were compelled to make a pathway for their teams and wagons as 
they went along. It rained incessantly, and the obstructions to their 
progress presented by the drenched ground, fallen trees, unbridged 
streams, hills, ravines and marshes, and the devious course which they 
necessarily pursued, so delayed them that they did not reach Madison 
until June 10. 

In the early part of 1838 Congress appropriated $30,000 for the 
construction of roads in Wisconsin, $15,000 of which was for a road 
from Fort Howarrd, via Milwaukee and Racine to the Illinois state line, 
and $10,000 for the road from Milwaukee to Madison and thence west- 
ward. As a result of this appropriation the road to Madison was com- 
menced in 1838, and by Sept. i, 1839, the roadway had been cut and 
cleared as far as the capital, a distance of seventy-nine miles. Other 
roads were also opened and improved into the interior at about this time, 
among which was the one running north and south along the lake shore. 
At the session of the legislative assembly in the early part of 1839 acts 
were passed appointing commissioners to lay out territorial roads from 
Geneva to Milwaukee, and from Milwaukee to Watertown. These 
matters at that early day were regarded as of great local importance. 
The legislative assembly of 1840 passed an act prescribing the manner 
in which territorial roads should be laid out, surveyed and recorded, and 
one of the provisions of this act was that, "No part of the expense of 
laying out and establishing any Territorial road * * * shall be 
paid out of the territorial or county treasury." The effect of this pro- 
vision was that all such expenses had to be provided for l\v individual 


personal contributions, and the only advantage of an act to provide for 
locating a territorial road was that if laid out according to the require- 
ments of the law a legal highway could be established. It can easily be 
inferred that this gave no great impetus to the construction of new roads. 
The "Bridge War" in Milwaukee first assumed practical shape by 
the enactment at the winter session of the legislative assembly of 1840 
of a law which authorized and required the county commissioners of Mil- 
waukee county to locate and construct a drawbridge across the Milwau- 
kee river from the foot of Chestnut street to the foot of Division street. 
This was the first bridge joining the East and West sides of the embryo 
city, and much historic interest attaches to it for the reason that it 
involved the pioneers in controversies assuming at times a threatening 
and dangerous aspect. What has passed into local history as the "bridge 
war" was in fact a war of contending factions, and of rival sections, 
each seeking to obtain a temporary advantage over the other. The 
first bridge built in the vicinity of Milwaukee was the one constructed 
by Byron Kilbourn across the Menomonee river, near its junction with 
the Milwaukee river. It connected the Chicago road with the road 
which terminated in the village on the west side of the Milwaukee river, 
and its tendency was to divert travel from a road which led up to a ferry 
at Walker's Point and terminated in Juneau's village on the east side 
of the river. In the legislative enactment of 1839, consolidating the two 
villages, provision was made for the building of a bridge at Chestnut 
street under the auspices of the new village government, but no action 
was taken under this authority, and in the face of much opposition the 
bridge was built -under a contract let by the county commissioners, in 
accordance with the legislative enactment mentioned above. A bridge 
was constructed at Spring street in 1843, ^"^1 ii^ 1844 another bridge was 
built, connecting Oneida and Wells streets, both of which were erected 
and kept in repair mostly at the expense of the citizens of the east ward, 
the west ward claiming that if the people on the east side wanted the 
bridges they must pay for them. In this way the matter remained until 
February, 1845, when, for the purpose of finally settling the vexed 
question, a bill was introduced into the territorial legislature, and favor- 
ably acted upon, providing that the people in the east ward "shall for- 
ever have the right and authority to maintain, repair, rebuild and keep 
in operation, at the sole expense of said ward, the present bridges across 
the Milwaukee river," naming "the bridge from the foot of Chestnut 
street on the west side to the foot of Division street on the east side, 
and the bridge from the foot of East Water on the east side, near 
Dou&man's warehouse, to Walker's Point." It will be noticed that this 
bill did not include the bridge at Wisconsin and Oneida streets, nor the 


Spring street bridge, and hostilities were soon commenced. In the 
early summer of the same year the Spring street bridge was seriously 
damaged and the "draw" entirely torn away by a schooner, and while 
the residents of the east side claimed that the injury to the bridge was 
purely accidental, they were charged by those on the west side with hav- 
ing instigated an act which was deliberately and intentionally com- 
mitted. Another writer thus relates the incidents in the "war"' that 
ensued : 

"Retaliatory action followed, and one morning in the spring of 
1845, the people of the east side awoke to discover that the west end of 
the Chestnut street bridge was being torn down, and that the west end 
of the Oneida street bridge had been rendered impassable. The excite- 
ment which had resulted from a long controversy as to the location of 
bridees was at fever heat, and the inhabitants of the west ward seem to 
have determined to break off conmiunication by way of the Chestnut 
and Oneida street bridges, with their neighbors on the opposite bank of 
the river. The 'east siders' soon congregated on the river front, and 
so intense was their feeling of resentment that some of the more vindic- 
tive and fiery spirits brought out a small cannon with which they pro- 
posed to bombard the home of Byron Kilbourn, who was looked upon as 
the head and front of the movement which provoked their hostility. The 
field-piece was charged and brought to bear on Kilbourn's home. 
Tragic consequences might have followed shortly had not Daniel Wells, 
Jr., Ijrought to the highly wrought-up crowd the news that the shadow 
of death rested upon the Kilbourn homestead, Kilbourn's daughter hav- 
ing died the night before. Then Jonathan E. Arnold, the silver-tongued 
pioneer lawyer., appealed to them not to become transgressors of the law, 
and others counseled calm and judicious action. The crowd dispersed 
for the time being, but some days later again assembled and destroyed 
the Spring street bridge and the bridge over the Menomonee, being 
willing, apparently, to suffer the inconvenience of doing without bridges 
entirely, rather than allow their west side neighbors to dictate where 
bridges should be maintained. 

"For many weeks thereafter the controversy continued to be waged 
with much bitterness, accompanied by both serious and ludicrous inci- 
dents, and temporary expedients were resorted to in the interval which 
followed, until the winter of 1846, when James Kneeland, who was then 
a member of the territorial council, succeeded in obtaining a legislative 
enactment which settled the bridge question and restored peace between 
the sections of the village, which was then about to assume the name and 
dignity of a citv. The law passed at that time provided for the con- 
struction of bridges connecting East Water with Ferry street, Wisconsin 


with spring street, and North Water street with Cherry street. The 
Chestnut street bridge was to be vacated as soon as the North Water 
street bridge was completed, and the Oneida street bridge was to be 
removed within five years from the date of the enactment. The cost of 
maintaining the bridges was apportioned among the wards, and the 
entire plan of settlement of this vexed question was submitted to vote 
of the people of the east and west wards at an election held Feb. 12, 
1846. It was ratified by a decisive majority, and comparative harmony 
has since prevailed in locating new bridges, and in providing for the ex- 
penses of their construction and maintenance." 

The territorial assembly of 1845 appointed commissioners to lay out 
roads as follows : From Milwaukee to Fort Winnebago via the county 
seat of Dodge county; from Milwaukee to Fox Lake, crossing Rock 
River near the outlet of the Winnebago marsh ; from Spring street in 
Milwaukee to intersect the road leading from Milwaukee to Muk- 
wonago ; from Third street in Milwaukee until it intersects the United 
States road from Milwaukee to Green Bay,, south of Mad creek, and from 
Milwaukee to Fond du Lac, passing near the center of Washington 
county. At the same time the compensation of road supervisors was 
fixed by law, and provision was made for the application of delinquent 
road taxes to the repair of highways. The board of supervisors of 
Milwaukee county were specially authorized to levy and collect $3,000, 
subject to the approval of the taxpayers at town meeting, to be expended 
in the construction of roads and bridges. This systematized the busi- 
ness of road construction to some extent and gradually the county of 
Milwaukee became threaded with public highways. Upon them the 
settlers had to depend as routes of travel into the interior, for as yet no 
railroads were under construction. However, by the joint enterprise of 
Messrs. Frink, Walker & Co., of Chicago, L. P. Sanger, of Galena, and 
Davis & Moore of Milwaukee, a daily line of four-horse post coaches 
ran from Milwaukee to Galena, through in three days. The line, which 
left Milwaukee on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, went via Troy, 
Janesville. Monroe, Wiota, Shullsburg and White Oak Springs, lodging 
at Janesville and Shullsburg. The line which left Milwaukee on Tues- 
days, Thursdays, and Saturdays, went via Prairieville (Waukesha), 
Whitewater, Fort Atkinson, Madison, Blue Mounds, Dodgeville, Min- 
eral Point, Platteville and Hazel Green, lodging at Madison and Mineral 
Point. Another tri-weekly line ran from Milwaukee to Berlin, Vernon, 
Mukwonago, and Troy, returning every alternate day, forming a daily 
line between Milwaukee and Troy. Another tri-weekly line ran from 
Milwaukee via Oak Creek. Racine, and Southport, to Chicago, return- 
inq: alternate davs. 



Although the subject of railroads had begun to occupy the thoughts 
of the more sanguine and far-seeing, plank wagon-roads were regarded 
as more practicable and better adapted to the wants of the community in 
reaching a market for their agricultural products, of which at that time 
wheat was the principal. In the legislative assembly of 1846 a charter 
was passed incorporating a company with authority to construct a road 
"of timber or plank, so that the same form a hard, smooth and even sur- 
face" from the place ''where the north Madison Territorial road now 
crosses the range line, dividing range 19 and 20," to "within one mile 
of the Milwaukee river, in right direction to the westward of Milwaukee 
village." The company was organized, the capital subscribed and paid 
by citizens of Milwaukee, the .road built from Milwaukee to Watertown, 
and was not only of great advantage to the people of the whole territory 
but a remunerative investment for a time to the stockholders. Follow- 
ing the building of this road, numerous applications were made to the 
legislature for charters authorizing the construction of other plank and 
turnpike roads. At the last session of the territorial legislative bodies 
sixteen acts of incorporation were passed, giving to companies authority 
to construct plank or turnpike roads and collect tolls. In most cases they 
were to be constructed of plank, but in some cases of other material, and 
of the sixteen proposed roads the following were on routes that touched 
Milwaukee county : From Milwaukee, via Big Bend on Fox river, and 
East Troy to Janesville ; from Milwaukee, via the iron mines and Hori- 
con, to Beaver Dam ; from Milwaukee via Hustisford, to Beaver Dam ; 
from Milwaukee, via Waukesha, Delafield, and Summit, to Watertown, 
and also from Waukesha to Rock River, via Genesee, Palmyra, and 
Whitewater, with a connecting track to Jefferson and Fort Atkinson; 
and from Milwaukee to the town of Muskego, thence to Fox river, 
thence to Waterford and to Wilmot. The growth of Milwaukee county 
and surrounding territory was by successive, if not rapid, steps of prog- 
ress. None of these steps were of more importance than the locating and 
building of public roads, which were annually authorized by the legisla- 
tive assembly ; and it is the duty of the historian to mention these nu- 
merous steps, even though they do not possess for the present genera- 
tion the interest which inspired them. 

The Milwaukee and Rock River Canal was a proposed means of 
communication and transportation that for more than ten years cut a 
commanding figure in the politics of Milwaukee county and the territory 
of Wisconsin. During the summer of 1836 public attention was directed 
to the importance of uniting the waters of Lake Michigan with those of 
Rock river by means of a canal; and, although the country was then 
but little known, some general examinations were made by Byron Kil- 


bourn, who had not only devoted much tuue to the surveys of the pubHc 
lands in Wisconsin, but had been in charge as civil engineer of the canal 
in Ohio, connecting Lake Erie with the Ohio river. The object of the 
proposed canal was to connect the navigable waters of the Milwaukee 
and Rock rivers, thus providing the beginning of a commerial highway 
from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi. The estimated cost of the im- 
provement was originally $750,000, but this estimate was afterward cut 
down to the neighborhood of $600,000. The canal was to be built by a 
private corporation, aided with the proceeds of a federal land grant held 
in trust by the territory of Wisconsin ; and after assuming statehood, 
Wisconsin was to have the option of acquiring ownership of the canal 
upon reimbursing the corporation to the extent of its actual expendi- 
tures together with legal interest. The matter came before the Territo- 
rial legislature at its first session, at Belmont, in 1836, and was discussed 
in some of its phases at every session of that body until Wisconsin be- 
came a state, in 1848. The congressional grant was secured in June, 
1838, the bill making the appropriation having been introduced by Col. 
George W. Jones, the Territorial delegate. 

Byron Kilbourn was president of the canal company and L A. Lap- 
ham was chief engineer, while among the members of the board of di- 
rectors were Solomon Juneau, James H. Rogers, and Samuel Brown. 
All that was ever built of the canal was a section about a mile long, ex- 
tending from a point north of Humboldt avenue to a point south of 
Cherry street, near the west bank of the Milwaukee river. This af- 
forded a water power which materially stimulated the establishment of 
manufactures in Milwaukee, but was unavailable for purposes of trans- 
portation. The stockholders of the canal company expended about 
$25,000, and out of the moneys derived from the sale of the canal lands 
the state expended on account of the improvement about $31,000. But 
by far the greater part of the proceeds of the land grant was diverted 
from the purpose for which it was m'ade, and although the enterprise 
started with glowing promise it was wever carried to completion. The 
political history of the canal was thus related in a former publication by 
John H. Gregory : 

"The bare fact of the land grant would have been sufficient to bring 
the canal compan\- under the criticism of people whose political prin- 
ciples were opposed to government subsidies. It was only natural that 
the company should go into j^olitics to protect its interests. It needed 
friends in Congress and in the legislative assembly. It was not less 
natural that the people whose interests were not bound up with those of* 
the company should regard with strong distrust the political candidates 
suspected of being put forward as its especial representatives. More- 


over, as time wore on, a belief grew up in Milwaukee and Jefferson 
counties that the enhancement of the price of lands in the canal grant 
retarded the settlement of the country. The canal grant embraced the 
alternate sections in a strip ten miles wide, extending from Milwaukee 
to the Rock river. The intervening sections, which were retained by 
the government, were withheld from pre-emption and by a provision of 
the law could not be sold for less than $2.50 per acre, although the 
usual price of government land was $1.25. Settlers looked at these 
lands as longingly as in our day other settlers have looked at lands in 
the Cherokee strip. Popular meetings were held, at which the policy 
of withholding the lands from actual settlers anxious to take them and 
pay the usual minimum price of government lands was loudly denounced. 
In Milwaukee there were East-siders who regarded the canal with 
jealousy, simply because it was an enterprise likely to help Kilbourn- 
town. Such sectional feeling was not creditable, but it is to be remem- 
bered that it was by no means confined to one side of the river. Did 
not the Kilbourntown people oppose the building of bridges, because 
they did not want communication with the East side of the town ? Did 
they not refuse to land passengers on the East side ? Did not Kilbourn 
lay out his streets so that they would be difficult of connection with the 
streets laid out by Juneau ? Old Milwaukeeans now living say they have 
no recollection of friends of the Fox and Wisconsin Improvement ex- 
erting themselves to foment opposition to the Milwaukee and the Rock 
river canal project. Yet it is worthy of note that the government sur- 
vey for the Fox and Wisconsin Improvement was made in 1839. 

"The crisis of the Milwaukee and Rock river canal company's fate 
was reached in a clash between the president of the corporation and John 
H. Tweedy. Mr. Tweedy held the office of receiver, acting on behalf of 
the territory as custodian of money which came by reason of its trustee- 
ship. He was appointed by the legislature. To hasten the settlement 
of the lands along the route of the canal, the territory had adopted the 
policy of selling them on long credit. The cash payments not producing 
as much money as the canal company needed for immediate use, the 
legislature authorized pledging the credit of the territory for a loan not 
to exceed $100,000, based on the unsold lands. Mr. Kilbourn, who was 
appointed by Governor Dodge to act as the agent of the territor\- for the 
negotiation of the bonds, made arrangements in Cincinnati and else- 
where for the disposal of several blocks of them, aggregating $56,000. 
But his arrangements were broken in upon by Mr. Tweedy, who warned 
the Cincinnati people that Mr. Kilbourn had gone beyond his authority 
in modifying the conditions upon which the bonds were to be sold, and 
that all who purchased from him under the circumstances would do so 


at their peril. It was not competent, Mr. Tweedy argued, for the bonds 
to be sold for anything but specie, yet Mr. Kilbourn's Cincinnati ar- 
rangement contemplated their sale for bills or certificates not legal tender 
and not convertible into money at the place of deposit without serious 
loss. Furthermore, Mr. Kilbourn's arrangement comprehended the de- 
posit of the price of the bonds subject to other control than that of re- 
ceiver of the canal fund. 'The agent had no more authority by the law 
and the instructions under which he had acted to take, keep and expend 
any of the funds for which the bonds might be negotiated than he had to 
take, keep or expend any other funds of the territory without leave or 
license.' Kilbourn's contention was that the consideration for which he 
had undertaken to part with the bonds was currency, the same in char- 
acter as the currency in which they would be paid, and that as it would 
not be practicable to sell them for anything else, Mr. Tweedy's insistence 
upon specie was a technicality, obviously resorted to in a spirit of hos- 
tility to the completion of the canal. Mr. Kilbourn added that he would 
sooner have assumed the loan himself on behalf of the company than 
have permitted it to go in the receiver's hands, and that he held himself 
ready to account for the faithful expenditure of every dollar for the 
purpose for which the bonds were sold. 

"The clash between Mr. Tweedy and Mr. Kilbourn occurred in 
1841. The loan had been authorized by a legislative assembly favorable 
to the canal. A new legislature, in the council of which Mr. Tweedy 
was a member, had since came into office. Moreover, Governor Dodge, 
who had favored the canal, and who had appointed Mr. Kilbourn as 
loan agent, had been superseded by Governor Doty. The new governor 
revoked the commission of Mr. Kilbourn as loan agent, and published 
a notification that Mr. Kilbourn was not authorized to sell or other- 
wise dispose of the canal bonds. He also sent a message to the legisla- 
tive assembly declaring that, in his opinion, it was impracticable to 
1)uild the canal on the route surveyed, and that the work ought not to 
be continued. The council referred .this portion of the message to a 
select committee of which Mr. Tweedy was a member. Don A. J. Up- 
ham, of Milwaukee, Morgan L. Martin, of Green Bay, and Moses M. 
Strong, of Mineral Point, were also members of the committee. It re- 
ported — Mr. Strong, however, not concurring — that the fifty-five $1,000 
bonds said to have been negotiated by Mr. Kilbourn, had been 'illeg- 
ally' disposed of, that the territory was not Hable for their redemption, 
and that a similar objection would be valid as to a bond for $1,000 which 
had been issued by Mr. Kilbourn to himself, but 'inasmuch as a part at 
least of its par value has been received by the proper officer of the 
territory,' his act in issuing it might be considered to have been virtu- 


ally ratified, and its redemption ought to be provided for. The com- 
mittee reported resolutions declaring the bonds, with the exception 
noted, to be null and void. These resolutions, afterward known as the 
'repudiating resolutions,' were adopted in the council bv a vote of ten 
to one, and in the house by a vote of fourteen to eleven, and approved 
by Governor Doty. They sounded the knell of the canal project. 

"After having stood for more than six years, during which time 
one of the bonds had been paid and the others surrendered and canceled, 
except ten, for $1,000 each, which remained unpaid and were held as a 
debt against the territory, the repudiating resolutions were rescinded 
by a vote of eleven to two in the council and a unanimous vote in the 
house. This action was taken in 1848, at the instance of Governor 
Dodge, who had again been raised to the post of chief executive of the 
territory, and who in his communication to the legislative assembly ex- 
pressed the opinion that the resolutions did great injustice 'not only to 
the creditors, but to the good reputation for honor and integrity of the 
territory.' At the same session, joint resolutions were adopted declar- 
ing that all connection of the territory of Wisconsin with the Milwaukee 
and Rock River Canal Company, ought to be dissolved. By the act of 
Congress providing for the admission of Wisconsin as a state of the 
Union, the provisions of the act of June 18, 1838, making the canal 
grant were altered. Subsequently the unsold lands were appropriated 
to the endowment of the school fund." 

The first public buildings in Milwaukee county, as may readily be 
inferred, were simple and in keeping with their surroundings. The 
courthouse was built in 1836. It was a frame structure, two stories 
high, having a frontage of about forty-two feet and a depth of about 
fifty-one feet. The court room was on the upper floor, and the first 
floor was divided into four jury rooms. It was a commodious and airy 
building, a model one for its size, well built and nicely finished both 
within and without, and it presented a very good appearance, having a 
pediment front extending nine feet from the wall of the building, sup- 
ported by four Tuscan columns. This pioneer temple of justice was 
built' by Solomon Juneau and Morgan L. Martin, at an expense of 
$5,000. and with the jail was presented to the county as a free gift from 
these generous hearted men, together with the square and lots on which 
it stood. As will be seen the court house was arranged to be used only 
for court purposes, the county ofificers' apartments being in separate 
buildings erected in 1843 and enlarged in 1846, on land adjoining the 
court house. The jail was also built in 1836. It was an unpretentious, 
though substantial wooden building, one story in height. It has been 
described as "a loathsome place in its palmiest days, and those who had 


endured its horrors once, even for a brief period, were not apt to scare 
much when the pains and penahies of Tartarus were set before them 
in Moody's best style." Nevertheless, many an unfortunate criminal 
made a transitory stay within its walls while waiting- for the slow-mov- 
ing wheel of justice to bring him liberty or condign punishment. This 
jail stood till 1847 when it was replaced by a new one, which, with the 
old court house and other county buildings, answered the needs of the 
county until 1870, when they were all torn down to make a place for 
the present more pretentious buildings. 

The present courthouse stands on the northern portion of the 
square and faces south on the park. It extends from Jackson street on 
the west to Jefiferson street on the east, a distance of 210 feet, and its 
greatest width from north to south is 130 feet. It is constructed of Mil- 
waukee brick, veneered with Bass Island sandstone, and on its several 
sides rise massive Corinthian columns which give to it a beautiful and 
classic appearance. It was built under the supervision of L. A. 
Schmidtner, architect, and was completed in the spring of 1873. The 
wings are two stories, and the central portion three stories high. From 
the center of the roof rises a lofty dome which is surmounted by a 
gilded figure of "Justice," whose head towers two hundred and eight 
and a half feet above the ground. This gilded figure suggested the title, 
"The Golden Justice," for a novel by William Henry Bishop. This 
building cost $650,000. The county jail was long ago removed from the 
courthouse square. The present structure, which contains also com- 
modious offices for the sheriff and his deputies, is situated at the corner 
of Broadway and Oneida streets. It was built in 1886, and is one of the 
handsomest buildings in the city. 

Other county buildings are the Milwaukee County Hospital for the 
Insane, the Milwaukee County Hospital for the Chronic Insane, the 
Milwaukee County Hospital, and the Milwaukee County Almshouse. 
-Ml of these institutions are situated in the town of Wauwatosa, west 
of the village of that name. They are supplied with water from artesian 
wells, and get a portion of their other needed supplies from the county 
farm in the same locality. The County Insane Asylum was established 
under an act of the legislature, passed in 1878. Included in this act 
was the provision that the state should pay half the cost of suitable 
buildings, and the county one-half, while the state also agreed to pay 
eighty per cent, per capita of the cost for maintaining the inmates from 
state institutions. The act relating to the Milwaukee County Insane 
Asylum was originated and introduced into the state senate by George 
H. Paul, and the first board of trustees was organized on Feb. 21,, 1880. 
The board of trustees consists of five persons, three of whom are ap- 


pointed by the governor of the state and two are elected by the board of 
supervisors, each member serving- five years withont compensation. The 
inmates include the quota of Milwaukee county in the state institutions, 
the surplus number from the county hospital, and the surplus insane of 
eight other counties in the state. The first inmates were admitted on 
March 26. 1880. The buildings were constructed upon the most im- 
proved of modern plans, at a cost of $150,000. The almshouse consists 
of a number of buildings, in which are sheltered the poor and super- 
annuated, who have thrown themselves upon the charity of the county. 
Besides cultivating" and improving the land, the male inmates who are 
able to work have the care of quite a respectable quantity of live .stock. 
The women do the indoor work, and the kitchen and laundry, where 
they perform most of their labor, are patterns of order and cleanliness. 
Good, wholesome and substantial food is provided in abundance, as is 
also comfortable and seasonable clothing, and occasional religious ser- 
vices supply the spiritual needs. 

To give a complete statement of the finances of Milwaukee county 
during its nearly three-quarters of a century of existence would of 
course not be within the scope of this work. But as the increase in 
wealth and population is unmistakably indicated by a corresponding in- 
crease in the amount collected by taxation and expended in satisfying 
governmental demands, it is thought that the subjoined statistical re- 
view will be of interest to the reader. The earliest report made of taxes 
collected in the county was that made by the three county commissioners 
in 1839 in regard to the first three years of the county's independent 
existence — 1836, 1837. 1838, and up to and including Jan.' 12, 1839. 
This report shows that the amount of orders drawn on the treasurer 
by the board of supervisors, previous to the first Monday in April, 1838, 
when the board of county commissioners was organized, was $5,359.32. 
and the amount of demands against the county which accrued previous 
to the organization of the board of commissioners and was allowed by 
the board was $1,782.13, making the expenses of the county from its 
organization to April, 1838, $7,141.45. The expenses of the county 
from April, 1838, to Jan. 12, 1839, for the support of the poor, elec- 
tions, district court, commissioners' and clerk's services, assessment of 
property, collection of taxes, services of the treasurer, district attorney, 
and sherifif, and for books and stationery for the offices of the com- 
missioners, treasurer and register, was $2,215.54, making the total 
expenditures of the county from the time of its organization to Jan. 12, 
1839, $9,356.99. To oflfset these expenses there were orders drawn by 
the board of supervisors and cancelled in the settlement with the county 
treasurer, in April. 1838, amounting to $2,939.84, the amount received 


for licenses during the year 1838 was $435 ; fines, $27.50; jury fees in 
district court, $24 ; amount received from A. J. Vieau on tax of 1837, 
$82.19; amount received on delinquent returns of the tax of 1837, 
$157.67 ; and the amount received on the tax list of 1838 was $4,234.23. 
These several sums amounted to $7,900.43, which left outstanding 
against the county, orders to the amount of $1,456.56. There was cash 
in the hands of the treasurer, however, at the time of the making of this 
report, to the amount of $221.76, which made the county debt on Jan. 
12, 1839, $1,234.80. 

The above figures are of interest in showing the financial condi- 
tion of the county in its days of infancy, and also for the purpose of 
comparison with the figures of the present decade. This report was 
made in 1839, and a third of a century later, in 1872, the tax of the 
county was $1,087,192, divided as follows : Total county tax, $215,341 ; 
total of town, city and village tax, $769,614 ; state tax, $102,237. Dur- 
ing a more recent period, in the years given below, the state and local 
taxes in Milwaukee county were as follows : 

Total County Total town, city State 

Year. Tax. and village tax. Tax. Total. 

1875 $195,600.00 $1,068,111.00 $79,730.10 $1,343,441.10 

1876 132,100.00 1,082,025.00 94,827.06 1,308,952.06 

1877 150,000.001 1,004,639.00 82,923.00 1,237,562.00 

1878 209,348.00 985,924.00 110,216.00 1,305,488.00 

1879 310,000.00 785,545.05 55.844-33 1,151,389-38 

1881 437,320.20 1,567,559.18 90,301.07 2,095,180.25 

1882 493,891.89 1,339,299.57 94,718.45 1,927.909-91 

1901 688,662.53 2,881,614.65 563,305.12 4,133,582.30 

1903 1,065,971.76 3,271,790.91 246,207.25 4,583,969.92 

1905 1,231,765.89 3,680,524.37 239,618.36 5,151,908.62 

A statement of the items of all county taxes, exclusive of town, city 
and village taxes, shows that in 1903 the total was $1,065,971.76, of 
which $801,275.31 was for county purposes, $262,696.45 for the county 
school tax, and $2,000 for the salary of the superintendent of schools. 
In 1905, $990,631.93 was for county purposes, $238,533.96 for the 
county school tax, and $2,600 for the salary of the superintendent of 
schools. Of the town, city and village taxes, in 1903, $15,000 was for 
loans or interest, $89,056.31 for school district tax, $36,610.04 for high- 
way tax, $1,478.50 for poll tax, $39,042.14 for all other purposes, and 
$486.39 overrun of tax roll. In 1905, $3,650 was for loans or interest, 
$124,739.28 for school district tax, $78,189.94 for highway tax, $1,- 



585.50 for poll tax, $23,182.25 for all other purposes, and $532.28 over- 
run of the tax roll. 

In 1904 there were special levies as follows : For special charges, 
$10,646.97; for special loans, $420; for school district loans, $5,791.80; 
for the mill tax, $229,348.48 ; a total of $246,207.25 ; while the reappor- 
tionment of the mill tax was $219,680. 

The following statement will show the purposes for which the 
county tax was expended in the years given : 



of Poor. 






Roads and 




Salaries of 
County Officers, 













Sheriff's Jail Relief for All other Total Tax 

Accounts. Expenses. Soldiers. Expenses. Expended. 

$2,577.31 $2,362.04 $172,363.95 $361,535.18 

1,928.96 2,500.99 144,429.61 368,787.55 

5.500.00 177,842.42 391,342.42 

21,082.76 $12,667.30 263,694.96 784,738.73 

16,521.73 12,814.50 352,191.34 769,873.74 

14,237.88 29„i68.72 17,723.80 388,801.75 867,201.04 

The total state taxes received from the county in 1902 was $372,- 
030.09, the items of which were as follows: Mill tax, $35i,795-i3; 
charitable tax, $10,279.38; tax for losses, $5,658.69; accruing taxes, 
$4,296.89. In 1904 the total state taxes were $248,478.51, divided as 
follows: Mill tax, $229,348.48; charitable tax, $10,646.97; tax for 
losses, $6,211.80; accruing taxes, $2,271.26. 

The following special charges have been levied on the county for 
charitable institutions, and collected in the years given : 

Industrial Home for Care of 



State Northern School 

Hospital. Hospital, for Boys. 

,$1,901.32 $4,400.66 $985.00 

• 169.78 7,911.00 1,331-75 

229.11 7,797-77 1.321-25 

Feeble- Chronic Total 
Minded. Insane. Charitable. 





1879... 195.63 7,960.38 1,372-25 9.528.26 

1880... 182.51 5477-54 992-79 6,652.84 

I88I... II2.I6 515.87 1,140.16 1,768.19 

1882... 74.57 386.04 974-27 1,434-88 

1884 304.21 891.00 1,195-21 

1885 224.34 1,101.00 1,325-34 

1886 135.85 1,106.57 1,242.42 

1887... 82.11 78.21 1,550.56 1,710.88 

1888... 21.86 78.68 i,553-oo 1,653.54 

1890 78.76 2,129.57 2,208.33 

1901 742.53 2,877.29 $6,574.64 $84.91 10,279.38 

1903 554-91 2,734.98 7,27^.27 80.81 10,646.97 

1906. . . 95.41 169.73 5,028.58 10,760.30 83.00 16,137.02 

Special levies have been made at different times for the repayment 
of interest and loans of state funds to school districts, etc. In 1901 
the total amount thus levied was $5,658.69, of which $5,208.65 was for 
school district loans and $450 for special loans ; in 1903 the total amount 
was $6,211.80, of which $5,791.80 was for school district loans and 
$420 for special loans; and in 1906 the amount was $7,925.26, of which 
$7,535.26 was for school district loans and $390 for special loans. 

In 1 901 taxes to the amount of $4,296.89 were collected in Mil- 
waukee county and accrued by law to the state, the sources from which 
they were obtained being as follows : Suit tax, $934 ; legacy tax, $2,- 
666.48; vessel tonnage tax, $696.41. In 1903 the amount collected by 
suit tax was $1,145, ^"^ from vessel tonnage tax $1,126.26, making a 
total of $2,271.26. In 1905 the amounts were: From suit tax, $1,262; 
from inheritance tax, $34,041.95; from vessel tonnage tax, $169.17; 
making a total of $35,473.12, all of which accrued by law to the state. 






In giving the political history of Milwaukee count}- it will be 
necessary, although to some extent a repetition, to begin with the 
year of 1835, when the county first acquired an independent po- 
litical organization. In that year, as the reader of these pages will 
recall, Albert Fowler received the appointment as county clerk 
from the governor of Michigan territory. The governor also com- 
missioned for the county of Milwaukee a chief justice and two 
.associates, a judge of probate, seven justices of the peace, and a 
sheriff, the recipient of the last named commission being Benoni 
W. Finch. Milwaukee was the county seat, and the county clerk 
was ex-officio register of deeds. 

The first election held in Milwaukee county took place in 
September, 1835. It was held in the house of Solomon Juneau, at 
the southeast corner of East Water and Michigan streets, where 
the Mitchell Building now stands. This election was held for 
the purpose of organizing the township of Milwaukee, in pursu- 
ance of an act passed by the Michigan territorial legislature, ap- 
proved March 17, 1835. Section 12 of this act provided as follows: 

"That the county of Milwawkie shall compose a township by 
the name of Milwawkie. and the first township meeting shall be 
held on the first Monday of September next, at the house of Solo- 
tnon Juneaux." 


During the summer of 1836 occurred the first enumeration of 
the inhabitants of the county to serve as a basis for the apportion- 
ment of members of the Wisconsin territorial legislature. The 
population of the county was found to be 2,893, o^ whom 1,328 
were returned as living within four miles of the mouth of the Mil- 
waukee river. The first election under the new apportionment was 
held on the second Monday in October, 1836, and there were seven 
polling places in the county, only one of which was within its pres- 
ent limits. There were 781 votes cast in the county, 449 of which 
were polled in the Milwaukee precinct. The issues on which legis- 
lative candidates appealed for votes at this election were the loca- 
tion of the state capital, the division of counties and the location 
of county seats, and — last, but by no means least, so far as Mil- 
waukee county was concerned — the question of local improve- 
ments, including the projected Milwaukee and Rock river canal, 
which has been mentioned at considerable length on preceding 

In 1837 the Sentinel was started, in the interest of Juneau and 
the East Side, the Advertiser having been established on the West 
Side in the interest of Kilbourn. The Advertiser was stoutly Demo- 
cratic. The Sentinel began as a Democratic paper, but before long 
passed out of Juneau's ownership and became the organ of the 
faction which, when the time grew propitious for the avowal of the 
real principles of the proprietors, declared itself upon the side of 
the Whigs. 

At the county election held in March, 1838, county commis- 
sioners were elected for the first time. County business had pre- 
viously been transacted in Milwaukee by a board of supervisors, 
but a legislative act passed in December, 1837, provided for the 
substitution of a board of three commissioners. At this election 
there were two county tickets in the field, and the one supported 
by the Sentinel was defeated. In. the political campaign of the fall 
of 1838, which marked the spirited contest between George W. 
Jones and James Duane Doty for election as delegate to Congress, 
and in which the latter was successful, the cry of "duelist" suc- 
ceeded in turning a large number of votes in Milwaukee county 
against the defeated candidate, he having acted as second for Con- 
gressman Cilly in the fatal duel with Congressman Graves. At 
the same election Alanson Sweet, who had been active against the 
canal in the legislative assembly, was defeated as a candidate for 
a seat in the territorial council, as was also his running mate, 
George Reed, while Daniel Wells, Jr., and William A. Prentiss 


were elected. The delegates elected from Milwaukee county to 
the Territorial House of Representatives were Augustus Story, 
Ezekiel Churchill, William Shew, Lucius I. Barber, and Henrv C. 
Skinner. The convention at which these successful candidates 
were nominated adopted a resolution declaring opposition to all 
secret societies. 

The signs of a party division of the political forces in Mil- 
waukee county were noticeable in many directions in 1838. The 
Sentinel, beginning in April of that 3'ear, published a series of 
articles under the heading "The Aristocracy of Office," which con- 
tained thinly disguised attacks upon Andrew Jackson and Martin 
Van Buren, and openly and bitterly assailed the administration of 
Governor Dodge, asserting that he was unfit to discharge the 
duties of chief executive of the territory, and that he ought not to 
be reappointed, at the expiration of his term in 1839. A local 
application was given to these assaults by bringing in Byron Kil- 
bourn and Congressman Jones as objects of censure with Jackson 
and Dodge. The Advertiser responded by warmly defending all 
the men whom the Sentinel assailed, and lauding the political prin- 
ciples and policies which they represented. In 1839 there were 
two nominating conventions held for the purpose of selecting can- 
didates for the position of delegate in Congress from Wisconsin 
territory. One of these conventions placed James Duane Doty 
again in the field and the other nominated Byron Kilbourn. 
Thomas P. Burnett ran as an independent. The Sentinel sup- 
ported Doty, who was elected by a majority over both Kilbourn 
and Burnett. In Milwaukee county the vote stood 379 for Doty, 
362 for Kilbourn and 54 for Burnett. The Democratic ticket was 
generally defeated and the Democratic-Republicans scored a vic- 
tory. Although the last named was distinctly a Whig organiza- 
tion, as late as September, 1840, the Sentinel raised a prudent voice 
against the holding of a Whig county convention. The issue which 
should govern the selection of county officers, it argued, was not 
a party issue, but a local issue— "Whether the county shall con- 
tinue to be burdened with a project which is destroying her best 
interests, or whether the canal shall be vigorously prosecuted." 
But on Nov. 30 the paper came out squarely for "Harrison and 
reform." On Dec. 15, 1840, a committee of Milwaukee Whigs sent 
invitations to Whigs throughout the territory to unite at Milwau- 
kee on Jan. i following, in a public celebration of the election of 
Harrison and Tvler. The affair attracted an attendance of fully 


12,000 people, including men from all parts of the territory, and the 
event is thus described by another writer: 

"The celebration began at i o'clock in the afternoon, when 
Jonathan E. Arnold, as the orator of the day, delivered an address 
at the court house. Two hours later at the Milwaukee House, the 
celebrants sat down to a repast, which, in the language of the in- 
vitations was to be 'a plain and substantial dinner,' an ox roasted 
whole, with plenty of hard cider.' Sylvester Pettibone, who had 
agreed to furnish the piece de resistance, had contributed, it is said, 
a cow instead of an ox. The carcass was cooked in barbecue style, 
according to the pre-arranged plan, but not a morsel of it ever 
reached the hungry mouths which were waiting for it. While the 
Whigs were sitting expectant around the board, a horde of Demo- 
crats made a successful sortie upon the 'ox,' which was suspended 
above a fire in the open air, near what is now the southeast corner 
of Broadway and Wisconsin streets. The marauders carried their 
plunder across the river and made a hearty meal from it in Kil- 
bourntown. But though disappointed in this respect, the Whigs 
had plenty of hard cider and enthusiasm, and did not permit the 
loss of their roast to rob them of enjoyment. Harrison Reed pre- 
sided as toastmaster, and eloquent responses to Whig sentiments 
were made by John H. Tweedy, Elisha Starr, John F. Potter, and 
others who were for manv vears afterward high in the councils of 
the Whigs and their successors, the Republicans, in Wisconsin. 
The president of the day was W. A. Prentiss." 

Not to be outdone in a social way, the Milwaukee Democrats 
indulged in a Democratic celebration of Washington's birthday, 
and the affair took the form of a dinner at the Fountain House. 
The members of the committee of arrangements were Horatio N. 
Wells, Charles J. Lynde, James Sanderson, Thomas J. Noyes and 
Daniel H. Richards. Daniel Wells, Jr., James H. Rogers, Samuel 
Brown and George H. Walker were on the list of vice- 
presidents, while Hans Crocker was the orator of the day, and 
Joshua Hathaway, Clinton Walworth, and B. H. Edgerton served 
as members of the committee on toasts. Among the speakers at 
the dinner was Fred W. Horn. 

Josiah A. Noonan, who was destined to loom up on the Demo- 
cratic side in the politics of Milwaukee county, became the editor 
and owner of the straight-out Democratic newspaper in the last 
week of ]\Tarch, 1841, superseding D. H. Richards and changing the 
name of the paper from the Advertiser to the Courier. It is stated 
of Mr. Noonan that he "was not an editor whose course could be 


as easily foreseen as that of his predecessor. He was a law unto him- 
self, and never scrupled to disregard the plans of the other local 
leaders of his party if it suited him to do so." 

The "Democratic-Whigs," at their territorial convention in 
1841, nominated Jonathan E. Arnold, of Milwaukee, for delegate to 
Congress, while the choice of the "Democratic-Republicans" fell 
upon Henry Dodge, who had been superseded in the governorship 
through President Tyler's appointment of Governor Doty. The 
campaign was a spirited one throughout the territory, and nowhere 
more so than in Milwaukee county. It w^as at this time that H. N. 
Wells obtained possession of the Sentinel by foreclosing a chattel 
mortgage, and surprised its Whig subscribers by turning the sup- 
port of the paper from Arnold to Dodge. From Aug. 3 to Oct. 23 
the Sentinel remained in charge of the "usurpers," and when Dodge 
was elected, as he was by a majority of 497, the paper came out 
with a cut of a clipper ship, beneath which was this sarcastic invi- 
tation to its Whig friends : "All aboard for Salt River." The sup- 
porters of Arnold had helped him to the best of their ability by pub- 
lishing during the campaign a Whig paper called the Journal, with 
Elisha Starr as editor. When Harrison Reed resigned control of 
the Sentinel, Starr insinuated that there existed a collusion be- 
tween Reed and Wells, and there were Whigs who believed this 
for a time, but there was no evidence to support the charge. 

In the fall election of 1842 the Democrats were successful, elect- 
ing both their legislative and county tickets. It was a hot contest, 
and the Whigs grumbled at the lukewarmness of the support which 
their ticket received from Harrison Reed, who had been re-installed 
as editor of the Sentinel. When the legislative assembly came to- 
gether in 1843, George H. Walker was elected speaker of the house. 
At the election for sheriff and judge of probate, which was 
held in May, 1843, E. D. Holton was chosen to the former office, 
his unsuccessful competitor being William A. Barstow, who after- 
word was elevated to the position of governor of the state. Bar- 
stow was the candidate of the Democracy, while Holton ran as an 
independent, but even at that time the latter was known as an Abo- 
litionist. He was also a staunch teetotaler, and these advanced 
ideas (called "idiosyncracies" in those days) would have handi- 
capped him politically under ordinary circumstances, but in this 
instance they were more than ofifset by an uprising of Democrats 
against Barstow on the ground that he had packed the convention 
which gave him the nomination. The election of a delegate to Con- 
gress this year was conducted on party lines, the Democrats rcnom- 


'mating Dodge, while the nominee of the Whigs was Gen. George 
W. Hickcox. Milwaukee county gave 930 votes for Dodge, 351 for 
Hickcox and 115 for Jonathan Spooner. 

At the county election in 1844 the entire Democratic ticket was 
again victorious, with the exception of John White, the candidate 
for sheriff, who was defeated by Owen Aldrich. The result was a 
surprise as well as a great disappointment to White, and his defeat 
was greatly resented by his friends, who charged it to prejudice 
against his nationality, he being a native of Ireland. In the fol- 
lowing year Charles H. Larkin, the Democratic candidate for regis- 
ter of deeds, was the victim of a similar unpleasant surprise, his 
successful opponent being William A. Rice. 

The Democratic nominee for delegate to Congress in 1845 was 
Morgan L. Martin, of Green Bay ; the Whig convention nominated 
James Collins, of Iowa county, and the standard-bearer of the Free 
Soilers, who this year denominated themselves the Liberty party, 
was E. D. Holton, of Milwaukee. Mr. Martin was elected by a 
fair majority. 

In the delegation from Milwaukee county to the first constitu- 
tional convention, the names of the gentlemen composing which 
will be found in a preceding chapter, the only Whig was John H. 
Tweedy. Dr. Francis Huebschmann was influential in securing the 
provision granting the privilege of suffrage to foreigners who had 
formally declared their intention to become citizens of the United 
States. Mr. Tweedy served on the committee on the constitution 
and organization of the legislature, and also took a conspicuous 
part in the general proceedings of the convention. The period in- 
tervening between the adjournment of the constitutional conven- 
tion and the first Tuesday in April, 1847, the date of the spring elec- 
tion, when the constitution was to be submitted to a vote of the 
people for ratification or rejection, was one of great excitement in 
Milwaukee county. Some of the ^incidents of this campaign are 
thus related by John C. Gregory in another publication: 

"On the 19th of January, 1847, friends of the constitution took 
part in a torchlight procession. Ten days later a meeting arranged 
by 120 Democrats opposed to the constitution, who had joined in 
signing their names to a call, was held at the council chamber on 
Spring street. This gathering was attended by many not in sym- 
pathy with its purpose, and its proceedings were marked by disor- 
der. Don A. J. Upham and A. D. Smith spoke in support of the 
constitution. Byron Kilbourn spoke at some length, setting forth 
the defects of the instrument in a strong light, and a resolution 


offered by James Holliday, calling upon the legislature to authorize 
the holding of a new convention, was adopted. On the i8th of 
February a grand rally for the constitution was held at the court 
house. Marching clubs from the several wards met at the Mil- 
waukee House, where they formed in procession and moved to 
the place of general assemblage, headed by torch-bearers and a 
military band. W. P. Lynde called the meeting to order and John 
P. Helfenstein was chosen as presiding officer. Speeches were 
made by A. D. Smith and Isaac P. Walker, and resolutions, drafted 
by a committee appointed for the purpose and heartily endorsing 
the constitution, were adopted amid great enthusiasm. The com- 
mittee which drew up the resolutions was composed of A. D. Smith, 
Levi Hubbell, John A. Brown, M. Walsh and Moritz Schoef- 
fler. * * * 

"On the 2nd of March the court house was the place of meeting 
of an assemblage of anti-constitutionalists. The call for the gather- 
ing contained no fewer than 800 names. Solomon Juneau was presi- 
dent. The vice-presidents were George Abert, Moses Kneeland, 
John Furlong and S. H. Martin. Powerful addresses, advising the 
rejection of the constitution were delivered by Byron Kilbourn and 
Marshall M. Strong. An overflow meeting listened to speeches in 
the open air by H. N. Wells, James Holliday and others. 

"Gen. Rufus King was among the most active opponents of the 
constitution, not only attacking it in his paper, but organizing the 
opposition throughout the eastern portion of the territory. It was 
for the purpose of this work that he secured the establishment of a 
new German newspaper, the Volksfreund, the editor of whom, 
Frederick Fratney, was brought on from New York by his invita- 
tion. This was a very effective piece of strategy on the part of Gen- 
eral King, as the supporters of the constitution made most of their 
capital, not by defending the banking article, but by appealing to 
the fears of foreign-born residents and seeking to make them be- 
lieve that the chief cause of the opposition to the constitution was 
'nativistic' prejudice against foreigners. Among other influential 
opponents of the proposed constitution were John H. Tweedy and 
Jonathan E. Arnold. 

"On the 15th of March the supporters of the constitution held 
two meetings— one at the court house, which was addressed in 
English by George H. Walker, W. K. Wilson and E. G. Ryan ; and 
the other' at Military hall, where Dr. Huebschmann and Messrs. 
Haertel, Liebhaber, Hasse and Gruenhagen spoke in German. 
Demonstrations and counter-demonstrations followed in rapid sue- 


cession till the eve of election. A torch-light procession by the 
'antis' on the evening of April 3 marched to the Milwaukee House, 
in front of which a bon-fire was built, in whose light addresses were 
delivered by Governor Tallmadge and other speakers." 

Milwaukee county's delegation to the second constitutional 
convention contained only one man who had represented the county 
in the former deliberations — Garrett I\I. Fitzgerald — and he was 
one of the only two men in the territory who were members of both 
conventions. In the second convention Byron Kilbourn was chair- 
man of the committee on general provisions and took an influential 
part in the proceedings of the convention. General King was the 
only Whig in the Milwaukee county delegation. He was a member 
of the committee on executive, legislative and administrative pro- 
visions, and also served on several special committees. Moritz 
Schoeffler drafted the provision on the elective franchise, and 
Charles H. Larkin suggested the banking article, which, with some 
amendments, was finally adopted. 

While the adoption of the second constitution was pending, 
and while the successful opponents of the rejected instrument were 
still aglow with the enthusiasm of victory, a Congressional cam- 
paign was fought. The candidate of the Democrats was Moses 
M. Strong, of Mineral Point, while the Whigs nominated John H. 
Tweedy, of Milwaukee, and the Abolitionists presented Charles 
Durkee, of Kenosha. Mr. Strong had been a vigorous defender of 
the rejected constitution and Mr. Tweed}^ had been conspicuous 
among its opponents. Tweedy beat Strong in Milwaukee county 
by two votes, and was elected, receiving 10,670 votes in the terri- 
tory at large, against 9,648 for Strong, and 973 for Durkee. Mr. 
Tweedy served a short term as the last representative of the terri- 
tory of Wisconsin in Congress, and he was the only citizen of Mil- 
waukee county to go as a delegate to the national legislature dur- 
ing territorial days. 

Wisconsin became a state at a time when public sentiment was 
rapidly crystallizing and the line? were being sharply drawn upon 
the great issue of slavery extension, and at a time coincident with 
the opening of the remarkable Presidential contest between Cass 
and 'l\-iylor, in wliich the Free Soil party, led by Van Buren, made 
it possible to defeat Cass. On May 8, 1848, the election of state 
officers for the new commonwealth took ])lace. John TT. Tweedy 
was the Whig candidate for governor, but was defeated by the 
Democratic nominee. Nelson Dewey. Of the two senators elected 
at the first meeting of the state legislature, one was a Milwaukeean, 


Isaac p. \\'alker. Dr. Huebschmann, of ]\Iihvaukee, was an elector- 
at-large that year on the Democratic Presidential ticket, which was 
successful in the state, though defeated in the nation. The Demo- 
crats elected their candidate for Congress in the Milwaukee dis- 
trict, William Pitt Lynde. 

About 1834, all that were opposed to the Democratic party 
throughout the United States had formed a coalition under the 
party name of Whig, and under this banner fought their battles 
until 1854, when a fusion between the Free-Soilers and Know Noth- 
ings was made and both elements combined under the name of Re- 
publican. But the Democratic party remained constantly in the 
ascendency in IMilwaukee county until long after the Civil war 
period, and what local successes the Republican party met with 
w^ere due to the generosity of its individual opponents and the un- 
popularity of opposing candidates. In 1880, at the November elec- 
tion, James A. Garfield carried the county and the Republican local 
ticket was successful, and this was probably the first instance in 
the political history of Milwaukee county when the regular nomi- 
nees of the Democratic party had been entirely overthrown in a 
strictly party contest. In 1852 Pierce carried the county by a large 
majority over Scott, the Whig candidate, and after that campaign 
the very name and machinery of the Whig party passed out of 
existence, and practically all elements became united in opposition 
to the Democracy, and in the organization of the Republican party. 
In 1856 Milwaukee county increased its vote for the Republican 
ticket, John C. Fremont being the Presidential candidate, but the 
majority given to the opposition ticket was greatly increased, show- 
ing that the Democratic party had received the major part of the 
gain by an increase in population during the preceding four years. 
The contest of i860 terminated in the "irrepressible conflict" be- 
tween the free and slave states, w^hich Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Seward 
had declared several years previously was destined to come; and 
so far as law could make it so, placed the former master and slave 
upon terms of civil equality. Milwaukee county very largely in- 
creased her Republican vote at this election, but Stephen A. Doug- 
las carried the county by a very substantial majority. 

After the Civil war period, as well as before, and until the year 
1880, as before stated, the county was reliably Democratic, and the 
only question was in regard to the size of the majority. And since 
1880 the same question has been equally pertinent in regard to the 
Republican ascendancy. Speaking relatively, the low- water mark 
for the Republicans in the past forty years was reached in 1872, 


when Mr. Greeley received a vote of 8,512, and Mr. Grant received 
5,341, a Democratic majority of 3,171. At the election of 1896 the 
highest vote ever recorded for Presidential candidates in Milwaukee 
county was given. In that campaign Mr. Bryan's wonderful per- 
sonality, magnetic force and matchless oratory, contending for a 
platform of principles that was unequivocal in meaning and clear 
in expression, succeeded in arousing an interest in political affairs 
to an extent seldom if ever witnessed before. In Milwaukee county 
every public hall and district schoolhouse became a political forum, 
and interest in everything else waned while the "battle of the 
standards" was in progress. The financial panic of 1893 and the 
industrial depression from which the country was then suffering 
was a serious handicap for the Democrats in that campaign. Rec- 
ognizing the effectiveness of such a contention, the Republicans 
charged "the party in power" with being responsible for the "hard 
times," and such a charge, easily made, became a conviction that 
was hard to remove from the mind of the average voter. The large 
vote given to Mr. Bryan, under the circumstances, was considered 
a great achievement by his followers. In 1904, however, high-water 
mark was reached so far as Republican majorities in presidential 
years are concerned, and Roosevelt received 32,587 votes, while 
Parker received 18,560. Those figures represent the largest vote 
and largest majority ever given to a political party in Alilwaukee 
county. But. though there can be no doubt that the Republicans 
have a fair majority in the county, the Presidential election of 
1904 is not a fair criterion by which to judge its size. It is but 
stating a truth in history to say that Mr. Parker was not a popular 
candidate with the "rank and file" of the Democratic party, and 
especially was this true after he expressed his views on the coinage 
question. With such an independent character as Mr. Roosevelt 
in the field, many Democrats considered it an opportune time to 
consign Mr. Parker, "irrevocably," to the shades of political ob- 
livion. In 1906 the vote for governor was as follows : Davidson 
(Rep.), 24.521 ; .Aylward (Dem.)," 12,856; a Republican majority of 
11,665 votes. In 1908, for President, Taft received 28,625 votes, and 
Bryan, 26.000 votes. 

In local affairs, however, an independent spirit has been mani- 
fested more or less throughout the political history of the county. 
The voters have been generally given to "scratching" their tickets, 
and it has been difficult to estimate results, particularly as regards 
candidates for county officers ; and members of the minority party 
have frequently been the incumbents of official positions. 

In the chapters immediately preceding this one mention has 



been made of the early elections and the men who filled official posi- 
tions in the county during territorial days. While securing this 
data an attempt was also made to perfect an official list of ]\lil- 
waukee county from its organization to 1908, and it has also been 
deemed worth while to devote a few paragraphs of a biographical 
nature to some of the men who have been signally conspicuous in 
the political life of the county. In many instances the favored ones 
have passed away, leaving neither "kith nor kin" to preserve their 
record ; but notwithstanding difficulties, considerable information 
is here presented concerning residents of Milwaukee county who 
have borne official honors. For court judges and officers, see the 
department devoted to the 'Bench and Bar," and the biographical 
volume of this work also contains additional information. 

Postmaster-General of the United States. — From 1901 to 
1904, Henry C. Payne. 

The above named gentleman acquired national prominence by 
reason of his influence and activity in politics and through his iden- 
tification with vast corporate interests, and he was a t3'pical rep- 
resentative of the able and accomplished class of business men 
which shouldered the burdens laid down by the pioneers of Mil- 
waukee county. A native of Franklin county, Mass., Mr. Payne 
was born in Ashfield, Nov. 23, 1843. Brought up in a village, in a 
modest country homestead, his chief inheritance was a vigorous 
intellect and a capacity for hard work. In his early boyhood he 
attended the common schools and was graduated at Shelbourne 
Falls academy in 1859. At the beginning of the Civil war he en- 
listed in Company H, of the Tenth regiment Massachusetts infan- 
try, but his youthfulness and somewhat diminutive stature com- 
bined to thwart his ambition to become a soldier, and he turned 
his attention to commercial pursuits. In 1863 he arrived in Mil- 
waukee with fifty dollars in his pocket, and found employment soon 
after his arrival as clerk in a dry-goods store. To this business he 
gave his attention for the next four years, becoming recognized by 
his employers as a most capable and efficient salesman, and by tliat 
portion of the general public with which he came in contact as a 
young man of more than ordinary ability and enterprise. An early 
member, if not one of the organizers of the Young Men's Library 
Association of Milwaukee, he soon became its president, and con- 
tributed largely toward making it one of the leading social and in- 
tellectual organizations of the state. Having a natural liking for 
politics, and being an earnest and enthusiastic Republican, he took 
an active interest in the Presidential campaign of 1872, devoting 


his energies to the organization of the Young Men's Republican 
Club of Milwaukee, which at a later date became the Republican 
Central Committee of Milwaukee county. He served at different 
times both as secretary and chairman of the city and county organ- 
izations, his zeal and ability commanding the enthusiastic admira- 
tion and endorsement of his political associates, not only of Mil- 
waukee county, but of the entire state. The result was that he was 
elected to the chairmanship of the Republican State Central Com- 
mittee and entered the broader field of state politics. Designated 
by the Republicans of Wisconsin to act as their representative on 
the national committee, he was called into that inner circle of cam- 
paign managers known as the National Executive Committee, and 
had much to do with formulating the policies and directing the 
course of the party. In 1880 he sat as a delegate in the National 
Republican Convention at Chicago and was one of the men through 
whose efforts the nomination of Gen. James A. Garfield was 
brought about. In 1888 he was a delegate-at-large to the conven- 
tion which nominated Benjamin Harrison and also headed the Wis- 
consin delegates to the national convention of 1892 at Minneapolis. 
In 1876 he was appointed postmaster at Milwaukee by President 
Grant and was reappointed to successive terms by Presidents 
Hayes and Arthur, serving in all ten years in this important official 
capacity. Retiring from this office in 1886, Mr. Payne held no other 
public political positions, other than those connected with the cam- 
paign work and conventions of the party, until 1901, when he was 
appointed Postmaster-General of the United States. 

In the conduct of the various business enterprises with which 
Mr. Payne was identified he showed executive ability of such high 
order as to bring him constantly increasing responsibilities. The 
Wisconsin Telephone Company recognized his ability as an organ- 
izer and director of affairs by making his president of that corpora- 
tion in 1885, and he was also for some years a director of the First 
National Bank of Milwaukee, and president of the Milwaukee & 
Northern Railroad Company. Becoming interested in the street 
railway system of Milwaukee, he was elected vice-president of the 
Milwaukee City and Cream City Street Railroad companies, and 
when these lines were transferred to the syndicate which obtained 
control of all the street railway property of the city he was made 
vice-president and general manager of the new corporation. At the 
meeting of the American Street Railway Association held in Mil- 
waukee in 1893. he was elected president of that organization, and 
his abilitv as a railwav manager was recognized in various wavs. 


In August of 1893, when the atfairs of the Northern Pacific Rail- 
road Company became involved to such an extent as to necessitate 
placing it in the hands of receivers, Mr. Payne was appointed by 
the United States courts one of the conservators of this vast inter- 
est, aomunting in the aggregate to hundreds of millions of dollars. 
In addition to his interests in the corporations already alluded to, 
he was associated with other gentlemen in founding the town of 
Tomahawk, Wis., which in three years developed into a citv of 
7,000 inhabitants. He was also interested to a considerable extent 
in building up the towns of Minocqua and Babcock, both flourish- 
ing towns in the timber belt of the state. Mr. Payne died in the 
city of Washington on Oct. 4, 1904. 

United States Senators. — From 1848 to 1855, Isaac P. Walker; 
1869 to 1875, and 1879 to 1881, Matthew H. Carpenter; 1893 to 
1899, John L. Mitchell ; 1899 ^o 1905, Joseph V. Ouarles. 

Isaac P. Walker, a native of Virginia, was born in 1813. Com- 
ing West when quite 3^oung, he first settled in Illinois, but in 1841 
removed to Wisconsin. Mr. Walker held several prominent politi- 
cal positions, and in 1848 was sent to the United States Senate with 
Henry Dodge. After the expiration of the short term which had 
fallen to him by lot, he was re-elected for the full term. He retired 
in 1855, and settled on his farm near Eagle, Waukesha county, 
where he remained a few years, and then returned to Milwaukee to 
resume the practice of law. He died on March 29, 1872. 

Matthew H. Carpenter was born on Dec. 22, 1824, at More- 
town, Washington county, Vermont, the son of an eminent lawyer 
and citizen of prominence ; and the parents, as if the spirit of proph- 
ecy were upon them — says a biographer who has written of him in 
"The Bench and Bar of Wisconsin" — named the child after the 
great English jurist, Matthew Hale Carpenter. When he reached 
the age of eleven years his mother died, and Paul Dillingham, aft- 
erward governor of the state, having charged himself with the boy's 
education, Matthew became a member of his family at Waterbury. 
In 1843 John Mattocks, being then the representative in Congress 
from that district, procured for young Carpenter an appointment 
as cadet in the military academy at West Point, and he there was 
a classmate of Gen. Fitz John Porter and others who attained prom- 
inence in the Civil war. The weakness of his eyes made it neces- 
sary for him to resign his cadetship at the expiration of his second 
year, and returning to Waterbury in the summer of 1845. he en- 
tered upon the study of the law in the office of Mr. Dillingham. 
Two vears later he was admitted to the bar at Montpelier. and soon 


afterward removed to Boston and finished his studies in the office 
of Rufus Choate. In the spring of 1848 he was admitted to practice 
by the supreme court of Massachusetts, and the same year removed 
to Beloit, Wis., where he opened an office. In 1852 he was a candi- 
date for district attorney of Rock county. The election was con- 
tested, and the case was taken to the supreme court, where it was 
decided in his favor. He removed to Milwaukee in 1856, and was 
for a number of years engaged in the intricate and embarrassing 
litigation arising out of the construction and consolidation of cer- 
tain railroads in Wisconsin, and maintained the rights of his clients 
with great ability and persistency. When a case arose that in- 
volved the determination by the Supreme Court of the Unitea 
States of the constitutionality of the Reconstruction Acts, Secre- 
tary Stanton retained him as one of the counsel for the government 
In 1876, when W. W. Belknap, secretary of war, was impeached 
before the Senate of the United States for high crimes and misde- 
meanors in office, the respondent retained for his defense Jeremiah 
S. Black, ex-Attorney-General ; Montgomery M. Blair, ex-Postmas- 
ter-General, and Mr. Carpenter. The latter was also retained by 
Mr. Tilden to submit an argument in favor of counting the votes of 
the Democratic candidates for electors in Louisiana, in the trial of 
the title to the presidency in 1876, and he performed the duty with 
the ability that he never failed to bring to bear upon questions of 
this important and delicate character. He had been a Democrat 
from the time that he attained his majority, and in the election of 
i860 supported Douglas for the presidency. Upon the attempt of 
the South to dissolve the Union, without formally dissociating him- 
self from that party, he gave his support to the war policy of the 
administration, and delivered a series of addresses in that behalf 
that were characterized by great eloquence and patriotic fervor. 
Subsequently he publicly affiliated with the Republican party, and 
in 1869 was chosen to succeed James R. Doolittle in the Senate of 
the United States. At the expiration of his term he was nominated 
by the caucus of Republican members of the legislature for re-elec- 
tion, but was defeated by a combination of certain Republican 
members with the Democrats. In 1879 he was chosen to succeed 
Timothy O. Howe in the Ignited States Senate, and took his seat 
again in that body, after an interval of four years. In June, 1880, 
Senator Carpenter attended the Republican national convention at 
Chicago, though not as a delegate, and addressed an open-air mass 
meeting that was called to promote the nomination of Gen. Grant. 
This was his last public appearance, and after a lingering illness 



his death occurred at Washington, D. C, on Feb. 24, 1881. Among 
the distinguished members of the committee of the Senate who es- 
corted the body to Wisconsin was Roscoe Conkling, and upon that 
occasion the New York senator made use of the following beautiful 
sentiment, addressing Gov. William E. Smith : "Deputed by the 
Senate of the United States, we bring back the ashes of Wiscon- 
sin's illustrious son, and tenderly return them to the great com- 
monwealth he served so faithfully and loved so well. To Wis- 
consin this pale and sacred clay belongs, but the memory, the serv- 
ices, and the fame of Matthew Hale Carpenter are the nation's 
treasures, and long will the sister states mourn the bereavement 
which bows, all hearts to-day." 

John Landrum Mitchell was born in the city of Milwaukee, 
Oct. 19, 1842, the son of Hon. Alexander and Martha (Reed) Mitch- 
ell. He received careful educational training in early youth and 
was then sent abroad, spending six years in England, Germany and 
Switzerland. Returning at the end of that time to his home, he 
was preparing to enter upon a full collegiate course when the Civil 
war began and materially changed his plans. He assisted in re- 
cruiting a company, of which he became second lieutenant when it 
was mustered into the service. He was soon promoted to a first 
lieutenancy and was then assigned to duty on the stafif of General 
Sill, later being made chief of the ordnance department. After serv- 
ing some time in this capacity the failure of his eyesight necessi- 
tated his retirement from the service and he resigned his commis- 
sion. When he returned to Wisconsin health considerations and a 
natural fondness for the country caused him to become a farmer by 
occupation, and, purchasing a tract of 400 acres of land in the town 
of Greenfield, he turned his time and attention to its cultivation 
and improvement and speedily developed a tract of wild land into 
one of the finest farms in the state. He became prominently con- 
nected with different stock-breeders' associations, served as presi- 
dent of the Northwestern Horse Trotting and Breeders' Association, 
president of the Wisconsin Horse Breeders' Association and mem- 
ber of the Board of Appeals of the National Trotting Association. 
He was also appointed chairman of the Live Stock Committee of 
the World's Columbian Exposition at Chicago, but on account of 
a pressure of other business was compelled to decline the appoint- 
ment. Senator Mitchell's public life began when he was about 
thirty years of age, when he was elected a member of the state sen- 
ate. He was again elected four years later without opposition, and 
was tendered a third nomination, which he declined. Fully endors- 



ing the principles of the Democratic party, he was at all times ac- 
tive in promoting its interests in state and national campaigns, and 
soon became one of the leaders of the party in Wisconsin. Nomi- 
nated for Congress in what had previously been a Republican dis- 
trict, he carried it by a large majority, thus evidencing his personal 
popularity and his ability as a campaigner. In 1888 he was a mem- 
ber of the National Democratic Campaign Committee, and became 
a conspicuous figure in national politics. As a member of Congress 
he strengthened his hold upon the public in Wisconsin, and when 
the Democratic party obtained full and complete control of the 
state, everyone at all conversant with political affairs recognized 
the fact that this result was largely due to his efforts, and many of 
the leaders in the party favored his promotion to the Senate. A 
somewhat spirited contest was waged when the legislature met at 
Madison, but it was settled in favor of Mr. Alitchell and he became 
a member of the upper branch of the national legislature in March 
of 1893, serving until 1899. Mr. Mitchell died on June 29, 1904. 

Governors. — From March 21, 1856, to March 25, 1856, Arthur 
McArthur; April 19, 1862, to 1864, Edward Salomon; 1876 to 1878, 
Harrison Ludington ; 1878 to 1882, William E. Smith ; 1891 to 1895, 
George W. Peck. 

Arthur McArthur was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 181 5. His 
father died when the son was an infant, and he was brought to 
America when a mere child. He was educated in Amherst, Mass., 
and at the Wesleyan university, at Middletown, Conn. He studied 
law in New York, being admitted to the bar in 1840, and he prac- 
ticed in that city and in Springfield, Mass., for some years with 
marked success. While residing in Springfield he occupied the po- 
sition of judge advocate of the Western military district of Massa- 
chusetts. In 1849 l''^ removed to Milwaukee, where he at once be- 
came prominent, and two years afterward he was elected city attor- 
ney. In 1855 he was elected lieutenant-governor of Wisconsin on 
the ticket with Governor Barstow. The title of Barstow was dis- 
puted on the ground that he was^ not elected, but McArthur ran 
ahead of his ticket and his election was not questioned. Bashford, 
Barstow's contestant, had a quo warranto issued against Barstow, 
and the latter resigned when the matter was decided. At this stage 
a very important point arose. The constitution of Wisconsin pro- 
vides that in case of the death, resignation or inability to serve on 
the part of the governor, then the duties of the office shall devolve 
on the lieutenant-governor. McArthur took the ground that he 
was entitled to the vacant office, holding that the question was a 



political one— not a judicial one; that the board of electors had de- 
clared Barstow elected governor and that was a finality, the courts 
having no jurisdiction. Thus Barstow having been declared by 
competent authority elected, his resignation left the office vacant to 
be filled according to the provisions of the constitution, McArthur 
being undeniably the lieutenant-governor. During the hiatus Mc- 
Arthur held his position as governor and administered the duties of 
the office until after the courts had decided in favor of Bashford, 
when he gave up the office and resumed his duties as lieutenant- 
governor and president of the senate. Before his term was out, 
however, he was elected judge of the Second judicial circuit — the 
most important in the state at that time — and in that position he 
became one of the most popular men in Wisconsin. His course was 
so upright, his decisions so just and courageous, and his bearing so 
blameless, that he was re-elected at the expiration of his first term 
of six years with great unanimity. In 1870 he was appointed by 
President Grant an associate justice of the supreme court of the 
District of Columbia, which position he filled until 1888, when he 
resigned under the act of Congress which permits federal judges to 
retire upon full pay after having reached the age of seventy years, 
and after having served at least ten years. While on the bench 
Judge McArthur undertook the task of reporting the decisions of 
the court in banc, beginning in 1873, and he published four vol- 
umes of these decisions. In 1886 he published a book entitled 
"Education and Its Relation to IManual Industry," which received 
a decidedly widespread and favorable recognition among eminent 
educators and others, and was noticed extensively by the press in 
terms of high appreciation. He was also the author of a book of 
great learning and research called "The Biography of the English 
Language, with Notices of Authors, Ancient and Modern." He 
also published a volume of "Essays and Papers on Miscellaneous 
Topics;" also a volume on the subject of "Law as Applied in a 
Business Education." In history he was particularly intelligent, 
and frequently lectured on historical subjects. He was for a time 
the chancellor of the National university, an institution of great 
promise in Washington City, and he always took a leading part m 
movements for social advancement. Judge McArthur died in 1896. 
Edward Salomon was governor of Wisconsin for the greater 
portion of the term of 1862-63. He was born in Germany and canie 
to this country when quite young. Pie studied law and was ad- 
mitted to the bar in Milwaukee. In 1861 he was elected lieutenant- 
governor on the Republican ticket headed by Louis P. Harvey. 


When in 1862 (April 17) Governor Harvey met his tragic death at 
Pittsburg Landing, Salomon became governor. At the end of his 
term he returned to his law practice in Milwaukee and later re- 
moved to New York, where he died. 

Harrison Ludington was born at Ludingtonville, Putnam 
county, N. Y., July 30, 1812, one of fifteen children born to Fred- 
erick and Susan (Grififith) Ludington. He received a good aca- 
demic education in his native village and in 1838, at the age of 
twenty-six, settled in Milwaukee and engaged in business as suc- 
cessor to Solomon Juneau, the first of the founders of the city. 
Soon thereafter he laid the foundations of a business which he con- 
tinued forty years, passing through financial depressions, war pan- 
ics and various commercial revulsions with credit unimpaired, and 
becoming a leader among the lumbermen of the Northwest. He 
was also, at one time, largely interested in the Ludington mine at 
Iron Mountain, named after him ; besides, he owned large real es- 
tate interests in Milwaukee, including the corner of East Water and 
Wisconsin streets, afterward leased by Captain Pabst for ninety- 
nine years, at an annual rental of $10,000. He was a lover of blood- 
ed stock, devoted much time to his farm at Wauwatosa, and was 
one of the leading promoters of the "Wisconsin Agricultural So- 
ciety," serving as its efficient treasurer many years. He served 
three years as president of the "Pioneer Association," of which he 
was an honored member, and was present at its reunion held at 
the Plankinton House,. Feb. 22, 1891. He was originally a Whig, 
but became affiliated with the Republican party on its organization 
in 1856 and always stood true to its principles, though he was a 
patriot rather than a partisan. He served as a member of Mil- 
waukee's Common Council in 1861 and again in 1862. In 1871 he 
was elected mayor, re-elected in 1873, and held the office till Janu- 
ary, 1876, when he resigned to assume the duties of the governor- 
ship of Wisconsin, to which he was elected the preceding Novem- 
ber, receiving 85,164 votes, as against 84,374 cast for William R. 
Taylor, the Democratic candidate.' He was the only Republican 
nominated for a state office elected at that time, a fact which was 
in a measure due to his popularity among the German workingmen 
of Milwaukee, as well as with the strong Irish element. He was a 
man of independent action, able to think for himself, and, by reason 
of his fidelity to his own convictions of duty, he incurred the oppo- 
sition of some of the old-time leaders of his party, who prevented 
his nomination for a second term — an honor, however, which he 
himself did not seek, having the assurance of a good conscience and 


knowing that he had discharged his duty faithfully and well. His 
political career terminated with the close of his service as governor, 
and he at once resumed the duties of his private business, which 
thereafter engaged his attention. As a pioneer citizen of Milwau- 
kee he brought thither the first seed wheat from the East, and 
bought the first load of grain brought to that market. His last 
illness dated from the winter of 1885, when he was injured by a fall 
on an icy sidewalk. On June 17, 1891, he suffered a stroke of pa- 
ralysis and passed away. 

William E. Smith began life as a merchant, and during his long 
residence in Wisconsin was actively engaged nearly all the time in 
mercantile pursuits. A native of Scotland, he was born June 18, 
1824, and when eleven years of age came with his father's family 
to this country. A quarter section of land was secured in Michigan, 
near Detroit, on which a rude log cabin was soon erected, and in 
the spring of 1836 the family took possession of it and commenced 
the labor of making a new farm. Hard work was a matter of 
course, and the young son who was destined to become the chief 
executive of a great state performed with willing hands his full 
share of the toil ; nor did this break the fibre of even one of so 
fine a nature, but his courage met hardships bravely and surmount- 
ed all difficulties. For several years he thus worked, attending 
school a portion of the time and taking a deep interest in a village 
debating club. In 1841 he was ofifered a clerkship in a small store 
and entered upon the duties of the position with a fixed determina- 
tion to do his full share of work. During his term of service in this 
capacity he availed himself of a town library and read extensively 
works of history, travel, science, etc., and also kept a close watch 
of the newspapers. He remained in this clerkship about five years 
and, being frugal in his habits, saved a large portion of his small 
salary, which was voluntarily handed over to his father. In 1846 
Mr. Smith was tendered a position in the well known dry-goods 
house of Lord & Taylor, in New York, where he spent one year, 
and then accepted an important position in the wholesale house of 
Ira Smith & Company of that city. In the fall of 1849 he started a 
general store at Fox Lake, Wis., and from that time made this state 
his home, and the record of his life is a part of its history. In the 
fall of 1850 he was elected a member of the assembly, and during 
the session of 1851 took an active part in shaping its legislation. 
He was a. member of the state senate in 1858 and 1859. and again 
in 1864 and 1865. He took a deep interest in the cause of educa- 
tion and was chairman of the committee on that subject. In the 


fall of 1865 he was elected state treasurer and was re-elected in 
1867, thus serving four years in that important position. In the 
Republican state convention of 1869 he was a prominent candidate 
for governor, but was not successful in securing the nomination. 
At the expiration of his term as treasurer he returned to Fox Lake, 
and in the fall of 1870 was again elected to the assembly, and on the 
meeting of that body in January, 1871, was made speaker. He went 
to Europe in 1871 and on his return his friends urged his nomina- 
tion for governor, but without success. In 1877 he received that 
nomination without opposition and was elected by a handsome ma- 
jority, and re-elected in 1879. I" addition to those already named 
Governor Smith filled many other places of public trust of im- 
portance to the state. He was twenty-one years a regent of nor- 
mal schools and four years a director of the state prison. He also 
served as trustee of the Wisconsin Female College at Fox Lake for 
twenty-six years ; of the Wayland University at Beaver Dam ; of 
the Milwaukee Female College, and of the Chicago University. 
For many years he was a trustee and member of the executive com- 
mittee of the Northwestern Life Insurance Company ; was at one 
time vice-president of the Milwaukee Chamber of Commerce; was 
one of the vice-presidents of the National Board of Trade, and was 
long a member and once president of St. Andrew's Society. After 
successful business operations at Fox Lake for over twenty years, 
as merchant and banker, in 1872 he removed to Milwaukee and 
established himself in this city as a wholesale grocer. On being 
elected governor of the state he sold out his interest in that busi- 
ness and devoted himself wholly to state affairs. On retiring from 
official position he again engaged in mercantile pursuits, formed a 
copartnership with H. M. Mendell and his son, Ira Smith, in the 
wholesale grocery trade, and continued in business up to the time 
of his death. In politics he was in early life an ardent Whig, and 
upon the formation of the Republican party became a zealous and 
influential member of that organization. He died on Feb. 13, 1883, 
and not only the entire state of Wisconsin but the country at large 
mourned his loss. 

Lieutenant-Governors. — From 1856 to 1858, Arthur Mc Ar- 
thur; Jan. 6, 1862. to April 19, 1862. Edward Salomon. 

State Treasurers. — From 1874 to 1878, Ferdinand Kuehn ; Jan. 
5, 1903, to July 30, 1904, and 1905 to 1907, John J. Kempf. 

Ferdinand Kuehn was born in Augsburg, Bavaria, on Jan. 22, 
1 821. He received a liberal education in the public schools and col- 
leges of that place, and became an apprentice in a banking house 


at the age of fifteen years. He subsequently served four years in 
a banking house in Switzerland; then came to America in 1844. He 
first settled in Washington county, a few miles north of Cedarburg, 
Wis., where he engaged in farming two years, and then came to 
Milwaukee in the summer of 1846. He had little means and de- 
pended on his exertions for his support. He at first served as a 
clerk for a few months, but subsequently learned the trade of a 
cigarmaker and followed that vocation four years, earning an inde- 
pendent, though by no means sumptuous, living. He added what 
he could to his income by desultory work at bookkeeping, often as- 
sisting friends in Kenosha and Racine, and making the trips to and 
from Milwaukee on foot. In 1849 Charles Geisberg, then city treas- 
urer and a friend of Mr. Kuehn, gave him a permanent position at 
a moderate salary in his office. He remained in this position, under 
Mr. Geisberg and his successors, Lucas Seaver and Alex. H. John- 
son, five years. At the expiration of Mr. Johnson's term of office, 
in 1854, Mr. Kuehn was elected city treasurer by a large majority, 
and in 1855 was re-elected without opposition. He declined a re- 
election in 1856 and entered into business relations with the late 
Charles Quentin, which continued up to the time of Mr. Quentin's 
death, which occurred in May, 1862. During the four years suc- 
ceeding his retirement from the office of city treasurer he was a 
member of the city council in^ 1857-58, and school commissioner of 
the Sixth ward. In i860 he was elected city comptroller, and was 
re-elected as often as his term expired till 1B66, at which time he 
retired from official life, having been seventeen years in the munici- 
pal service. At this time he entered into a co-partnership with 
Christian Ott and engaged in the real estate business, in which he 
continued till 1874, at which time he again entered the public serv- 
ice, having been elected state treasurer in the fall of 1873. He held 
this important office of trust four years. On retiring from the office 
he visited' Europe, after an absence of thirty-five years. Upon his 
return he became interested in banking and engaged in the fiduciary 
business of managing the property and estates of non-residents. 
Mr. Kuehn died on Jan. 31. 1901. 

Attorneys-General.— From 1848 to 1850, James S. Brown; 
1850 to 1852. S. Park Coon; Oct. 7, 1862. to 1866, Winfield Smith. 

James S. Brown was born in Hampden, Maine, Feb. 12, 1823. 
He was a precocious boy, and under careful private tutelage was 
fitted for college before he had reached the age necessary to matric- 
ulation. Continuing his studies under the private tutorship of Prof. 
Worcester, brother of the noted author of Worcester's Dictionary. 


he finished the entire course prescribed in the college curriculum 
before he was sixteen years old. When he reached that age the 
death of his father threw him upon his own resources and for a year 
he engaged in school teaching. At the end of that time he came 
West as far as Cincinnati, Ohio, and took up the study of law in the 
office of an elder brother, who was practicing in that city. At the 
end of a two years' course of study he was admitted to the bar in the 
state of Kentucky, where the fact that he lacked two 3^ears of at- 
taining his majority did not operate as a bar to his admission to 
practice, as it did in Ohio. He remained in Cincinnati until 1844, 
and while there formed the acquaintance of Father Henni — after- 
ward Archbishop of Wisconsin — who induced him to come to Mil- 
waukee. He was then but twenty-one years of age, but he at once 
began the practice of his profession and very soon achieved distinc- 
tion as a member of thejpioneer bar. In 1845, ^ year after he began 
practicing in this city, he was elected district attorney for Mil- 
waukee county and discharged his official duties with a zeal and 
ability which commended him^both to the bar and the general pub- 
lic. In 1848 he was elected first attorney-general of Wisconsin, be- 
ing at that time but twenty-five years of age, and one of the young- 
est men who have been called upon to fill a state office in this state. 
In 1861 Mr. Brown was elected mayor of Milwaukee on the Demo- 
cratic ticket, and became the chief executive officer of the city at a 
critical period in its ^ history. Not only was he called upon to deal 
with matters to which the exigencies of war gave rise, but he found 
a readjustment of the financial affairs of the city imperatively nec- 
essary. So distrustful was | everybody of the city's ability to meet 
its obligations that when the first steam fire engine was purchased 
for the use of the city Mr. Brown found it necessary to make a per- 
sonal guarantee |Of payment. Co-operating with the commission 
appointed under an enactment of the state legislature, empowered 
to refund and readjust the obligations of the city, he averted what 
seemed like impending bankruptcy and restored the credit of the 
municipality, which has never since been impaired. The bank riots, 
famous in the history of the city, occurred during Mr. Brown's ad- 
ministration, and it became his duty to read the "riot act" from the 
steps of the old "Mitchell Bank" to the excited and turbulent mob 
gathered in front of it. He performed this duty unflinchingly while 
a shower of missiles was falling around him,, and afterward charged 
the mob at the head of the militia which had been called upon to 
quell the riotous uprising. His political affiliations were always 
with the Democratic party, but during the Civil Avar he favored the 


suppression of the Southern uprising and a vigorous war policy. 
In 1862 he was elected to Congress as a war Democrat, and sat in 
the national legislature during the closing years, of the great con- 
flict. While not of the same political faith as President Lincoln, lie 
was an admirer of the great commoner, and on the occasion of his 
death delivered an eloquent and touching funeral address in old St. 
Paul's church. After serving one term in Congress he resumed the 
practice of law in Milwaukee, but failing health compelled him to 
retire from active professional work after a few years, and he died 
while still a comparatively young man, April 16, 1878. 

S. Park Coon was for many years one of Milwaukee county's 
most prominent lawyers and politicians, and he was the second man 
to fill the office of attorney-general of Wisconsin. He was a leading 
Democrat, but like too many others who have entered the political 
arena, he fell a victim to dissipation and became a beggar. He was 
supported by the charity of his brother lawyers for several years 
before his death, which occurred at the Passavant hospital on Oct. 
12, 1883. He was a genial, whole-souled fellow in his palmy days, 
and but for the fatal cup would no doubt have reached high posi- 
tions of trust and influence. 

Winfield Smith was for many years one of the leading citizens 
of the city of Milwaukee and state of Wisconsin, and he was born 
at Fort Howard, Wis., Aug. i6, 1827. He received a careful educa- 
tional training in early youth, and in his seventeenth year entered 
an advanced class in the Michigan University, at which institution 
he graduated in the class of 1846. Immediately after his graduation 
he took charge of a private school at Monroe, Mich., which had 
been his home since 1833. A year later he began the study of law 
w^hile acting as private tutor to a few advanced scholars, and in 
1848 he entered the law office of Judge Isaac P. Christiancy to com- 
plete his preparation for admission to the bar. He remained in 
Judge Christiancy's office until 1849, when he removed to Mil- 
waukee and entered the office of Messrs. Emmons & Van Dyke, 
then among the leaders of the bar of the city. In 1850 he was ad- 
mitted to practice in the supreme court of Wisconsin, and in 1851 
opened an office in Milwaukee, practicing alone until 1855. In that 
vear he formed a partnership with Edward Salomon — afterward 
governor of Wisconsin — which continued fifteen years, and until 
Governor Salomon's removal to New York city. In 1862 Mr. Smith 
was appointed by Governor Salomon attorney-general of the state 
to fill out the unexpired term of James H. Howe — afterwards a 
judge of the United States court — who had resigned that office to 


enter the military service. In 1863 Mr. Smith was elected attorney- 
general for a full term, which expired in 1866. As the law officer 
of the state he discharged his duties with zeal, care and ability, ren- 
dering to the public services of special value in the investigation of 
the claim of the Rock River Canal Company against the state. For 
over ten years he served as United States Commissioner and Mas- 
ter in Chancery in Milwaukee, and during this period occurred the 
fugitive slave riots and the prosecutions growing out of what has 
been known as the "Glover Rescue." In 1872 he was elected to the 
assembly of Wisconsin, served as chairman of the judiciary com- 
mittee during the ensuing session and was recognized as one of the 
ablest debaters on the floor of the house. In 1876 he was tendered 
an appointment as United States district attorney to succeed Judge 
Levi Hubbell, but declined the appointment. After the dissolution 
of his partnership with Governor Salomon he practiced law in part- 
nership with Joshua Stark from 1869 to 1875. In the year last 
named he became associated in practice with Matthew H. Carpen- 
ter and A. A. L. Smith, and the firm thus constituted was one of the 
most widely known in the Northwest. With some changes of asso- 
ciations he continued the practice as one of the recognized leaders 
of the bar of the state until his retirement a few years before his 
death to the enjoyment of a comfortable fortune and well earned 
rest from professional labors. Of Democratic antecedents, Mr. 
Smith affiliated with that party up to the time the Republican party 
came into existence, and then transferred his allegiance to the new 
party. He had, however, apparently no ambition for official posi- 
tion, and declined a United States judgeship when offered him; and 
he also refused to become a candidate for member of the supreme 
court of Wisconsin and for local judicial positions when solicited 
to do so by many friends and members of the bar. In later years he 
resided a portion of the time in New England and traveled abroad 

State Superintendents. — From July 6. 1870, to 1874, Samuel 
Fallows; 1899 to 1903, Lorenzo D. Harvey. 

State Prison Commissioner. — From 1856 to 1858, Edward Mc- 

Railroad Commissioner. — From 1874 to 1876, George H. Paul; 
1907. John Henry Roemer, present incumbent. 

George H. Paul was born at Danville, Vermont, March 14. 
1826, and at eleven years of age began in the office of the North Star 
a connection with the printing business, which he continued during 
the greater portion of his life. In 1840 he entered Phillips Acad- 


emy, where he spent three years preparing for college. He received 
the degree of A. M. from the University of Vermont and spent a 
year in the study of law at Harvard, being admitted to the bar in 
1848. During all the time while he was securing his education he 
supported himself by teaching and. working at the printing busi- 
ness. In 1848 he became editor and proprietor of the Burlington 
(Vermont) Sentinel, and transformed that paper into a daily — the 
first daily newspaper regularly published in Vermont. In the same 
year President Polk appointed him postmaster at Burlington. In 
185 1 he sold the Sentinel and removed to Kenosha, Wis., where he 
began the publication of the Kenosha Democrat. In 1853 Presi- 
dent Pierce appointed him postmaster at Kenosha, and he was re- 
appointed to the office by President Buchanan, holding the position 
till the expiration of his commission in 1861. He was mayor of 
Kenosha and held other local offices of trust and honor, and in the 
spring of 1861 he went to New York, where he did editorial work 
for several months. Returning to Wisconsin, he became interested 
with J. M. Lyon in the proprietorship of the Daily News at Mil- 
waukee, and was the leading spirit in the management of that paper 
until May, 1874. In 1867 he was a member of the Milwaukee Char- 
ter Commission, and in 1870 a member of the board of school com- 
missioners. He resigned from the board to accept the position of 
superintendent of the public schools, which he held until May, 1871. 
In February, 1874, he was appointed a member of the board of re- 
gents of the University of Wisconsin, a position which he held until 
his death in 1890, and during most of the time he was president of 
the board. He was a member of the Wisconsin Board of Railway 
Commissioners during the administration of Governor Taylor from 
1874 to 1876, and served two terms in the state senate from 1877 to 
1 881, representing what was at that time the Sixth senatorial dis- 
trict, comprising the portion of Milwaukee city and county lying 
south of the Menominee river. As a member of the senate Mr. Paul 
was the author of numerous measures of importance, among them 
being the bills for creating the Milwaukee Councy Insane Asylum 
and the State Industrial School for Girls; also the bills creating the 
office of health commissioner in the city of Milwaukee, and promot- 
ing the public health by a system of intercepting sewers for the pro- 
tection of the rivers of the city. He .was one of the trustees of the 
Milwaukee County Insane Asylum for a number of years. In 1885 
President Cleveland appointed Mr. Paul postmaster at Milwaukee 
and he served in that capacity till the appointment of his successor 
by President Harrison in 1889. He was a delegate to four Demo- 


cratic national conventions, and he was a member for Wisconsin of 
the Democratic national committee from 1864 to 1868, and from 
1872 to 1876. In 1872-3 he was chairman of the Democratic state 
central committee of Wisconsin, and planned and conducted the 
campaign which brought the Democrats into power after an exile 
of fifteen years. Mr. Paul was one of the organizers of the Mil- 
waukee Cement Company and for many years held the secretary- 
ship of that corporation. 

Insurance Commissioners. — From 1895 to Oct. 15, 1898,. Wil- 
liam A. Fricke ; Oct. 15, 1898, to 1903, Emil Giljohann; 1903 to 1907, 
Zeno M. Host. 





Members of Congress. — From June 5, 1848, to 1849, William Pitt 
Lynde; 1853 to 1857, Daniel Wells, Jr.; 1863 to 1865, James S. 
Brown; 1865 to 1871, Halbert E. Paine; 1871 to 1875, Alexander 
Mitchell; 1875 to 1879, William Pitt Lynde; 1879 to 1885, Peter 
V. Deuster; 1885 to 1887, Isaac W. Van Schaick; 1887 to 1889, 
Henry Smith; 1889 to 1891, Isaac W. Van Schaick; 1891 to Feb. 10, 
1893, John L. Mitchell ; from April 4, 1893, to 1895, Peter J. Somers ; 
1895 to 1907, Theobald Otjen; 1903 to 191 1, William H. Stafford; 
1907 to 191 1, William J. Cary. 

William Pitt Lynde was born at Sherburn, N. Y., Dec. 16, 
1817, and came of English antecedents, the lineage being traced 
back to 1675, when a common ancestor landed on the shores of 
Massachusetts, in which commonweath a large number of his de- 
scendants still reside. After availing himself of the advantages of 
a common school education, William Pitt Lynde when quite young 
attended for some time Hamilton academy, at Hamilton, N. Y. He 
then entered Courtland academy, at Homer, where he fitted for col- 
lege, after which he attended Hamilton College. He then entered 
Yale, where he prosecuted his studies with untiring assiduity, grad- 
uating with the highest honors in 1838. He had the rare distinction 
among the thousands of men who have graduated at Yale since it 
was founded in 1700 of being chosen to deliver the valedictory from 
his class on commencement day. Soon after leaving college he en- 
tered the law department of the University of New York, which 
was then presided over by Benjamin Franklin Butler, an eminent 
statesman and ex-law partner of President Van Buren. About one 


year was spent in this institution, when he went to Cambridge and 
entered the law department of old Harvard, in which he graduated 
in 1841, and at the May term of the same year was admitted to prac- 
tice at the bar of New York. He was a Democrat, not only politi- 
cally speaking, but in the true and underived meaning of the term, 
and he was the efficient champion of the poor and oppressed. In 
1841 Mr. Lynde set out for Milwaukee with the purpose of making 
it his home and the theatre of his activities and his hopes. Early in 
the following year he formed a law partnership with Asahel Finch, 
which was only dissolved by the death of Mr. Finch in 1883, after 
a felicitous and lucrative association of forty-one years. This seems 
more remarkable as the partners were of different political faith, 
and the singular coincidence is recorded in the local annals of party 
history that they were once pitted against each other, each being 
the choice of his respective party for a seat in the state legislature. 
Mr. Lynde's strong judicial qualities, his prudent judgment, his 
thorough theoretical knowledge of law, brought from the schools, 
and his studious habits, which speedily made him familiar with the 
practical workings and intricacies of law, all conspired to place him 
at an early period in his practice in the front rank of his profession. 
His worth and standing among his fellow members of the Mil- 
waukee bar were duly recognized, and he was for years president 
of the Bar Association. He had been practicing law in Milwaukee 
only three years when, at the age of twenty-seven he was appointed 
by President Polk attorney-general of the territory of Wisconsin. 
He resigned this office the following year to accept the still more 
desirable position of United States District Attorney for the district 
of Wisconsin. He favored the acceptance of the rejected constitu- 
tion presented to the people of the territory in 1847, which was es- 
sentially duplicated and adopted in the second constitution the fol- 
lowing year, and he called to order the large mass meeting held in 
the old court house, Feb. 18, 1847, to urge the ratification by the 
people of the original constitution. Upon the admission of Wis- 
consin territory to the dignity of a state Mr. Lynde was elected to 
represent the First district of the new commonwealth in the Thir- 
tieth Congress, his term of office running from June 5, 1848, to 
March 3, 1849. Several years later, when anti-slavery sentiment 
had become strongly developed, he made the run for Congress 
against the Hon. Charles Durkee, afterward governor of Utah un- 
der President Johnson's administration, and was defeated on a Free 
Soil issue. The two candidates were the best of friends and stumped 
their district together in like manner as Abraham Fincoln and 



Stephen A. Douglas did when competing for a seat in the L'nited 
States Senate. In i860 he was elected mayor of Alihvaukee. Mr. 
Lynde belonged to the progressive wing of the Democratic party. 
He acquiesced in the results of the war and heartily approved of the 
enfranchisement of the blacks, whose bondage he had ever held in 
abhorrence. His fealty to party was, however, strong, and if sum- 
moned, as was several times the case, to lead a forlorn hope, he 
would obey the call. One instance in point was when he was de- 
feated by Byron Paine in a contest for a seat on the bench of the 
supreme court of the state. After serving in both branches of the 
legislature the services of Mr. Lynde as a legislator were again re- 
quired in a larger sphere, and in 1874 he was elected from the 
Fourth district to the Forty-fourth Congress, the party rival whom 
he defeated being Harrison Ludington, later governor of Wiscon- 
sin. He became a leading member of the judiciary committee and 
maintained the position through his congressional career. He also 
had the distinction of being selected as one of the seven members 
of the House to take charge of the Belknap impeachment trial be- 
fore the Senate. The prominent part taken by him in the Forty- 
fourth Congress insured his return to the Forty-fifth, and accord- 
ingly, in 1876, he was elected over the late William E. Smith, re- 
ceiving the handsome majority of 5,600. In 1867 he felt the neces- 
sity of relaxation from labor so urgently that he took a six months' 
tour abroad, resting while at the same time enriching his mind in 
contact with distinguished scenes and art products of the old world. 
But at length, after many years of varied usefulness had rounded 
a well-spent life, he died on Dec. 18, 1885. 

Halbert E. Paine was admitted to the bar of Milwaukee on 
Aug. 3. 1857, having practiced in Ohio from 1848. For a year or 
two he was associated with Carl Schurz. He was commissioned by 
the governor of Wisconsin, in 1861, colonel of the Third Wisconsin 
infantry, served brilliantly in the Army of the Potomac, became 
brigadier-general in January, 1863, and before the close of the war 
was honored with the rank of major-general by brevet in recogni- 
tion of distinguished service. From December, 1865, to March. 
1871, he represented the Milwaukee district in Congress, and after 
his retirement resided in Washington in the practice of his profes- 
sion, serving for several years as commissioner of patents. He died 
on April 15, 1905. 

Alexander Mitchell was born Oct. 18, 1817. in the parish of Ellon 
in the central portion of Aberdeenshire. Scotland. He grew 
up on his father's farm under the care of his eldest sister, and re- 


ceived the usual education of the parish schools. He was after- 
ward, for two years, an inmate of a law ofifice in Aberdeen, where 
he enlarged his range of study and reading, and acquired some 
knowledge of the higher branches. He was, still later, a clerk in 
a banking house at Peterhead, and the business occupation and hab- 
its of his life there established controlled his later career. George 
Smith, the founder of the Wisconsin Marine and Fire Insur- 
ance Company, was also a native of Aberdeenshire, where he 
had known Mr. Mitchell and his relatives, and he induced him to 
come to Milwaukee as the secretary of this company. This was in 
May, 1839, when Mr. Mitchell was a little more than twenty-one 
years old. He entered upon the full management and control of the 
institution soon after it was successfully established, and Mr. 
Smith's connection with it ceased to be more than nominal. All 
who know anything of Milwaukee know that Mr. Mitchell soon be- 
came recognized as one of the leading bankers and financiers of the 
West, and retained that prominence as long as he lived. In the 
midst of small beginnings he laid slowly and with care and circum- 
spection the foundations of his great wealth. The plan formulated 
in 1861, after an act had been passed by the legislature for the read- 
justment of the city debt of Milwaukee, and for the redemption of 
the city from impending bankruptcy, was largely the suggestion of 
Mr. Mitchell, and he was appointed the first commissioner under 
the law, with Charles Quentin and Joshua Hathaway as his asso- 
ciates. Under successive city administrations the membership of 
the Board of Debt Commissioners was changed from time to time 
except as to Mr. Mitchell, who was reappointed, and served term 
after term until his decease, and he continued to act as the guardian 
of the credit of the city which he aided so greatly in rescuing from 
destruction, and which exists unimpaired as a mark of his public 
spirit and of his financial skill and sagacity. He contributed, indi- 
vidually, more of the money which was actually invested in build- 
ing the early Wisconsin railroads than anybody else, and he aided 
in negotiating the great variety of securities which were used in 
procuring the means that originally constituted the resources of 
the railroad companies. And while the crisis in railroad and com- 
mercial affairs was pending, but as it was drawing toward its close, 
an arrangement was formed by Mr. Mitchell and those acting with 
him by which the bond-holders of the various imperiled lines of 
railroads associated themselves together in a corporate capacity for 
the purpose of protecting and improving their property and en- 
hancing its productive value. Mr. Mitchell was elected president 



of the new corporation, with S. S. Merrill as general manager. In 
1869 the former was elected president of the Chicago & Northwest- 
ern Railway Company, but wise considerations of public policy ap- 
peared to render it inadvisable that two great parallel and compet- 
ing lines of railway should be under the same management, and he 
held the office but a single year. As a practical banker Mr. Mitchell 
became a Whig, which was the bank party, as the Democrats con- 
stituted an anti-bank party previous to the division of parties on 
sectional lines and on the question of slavery. He was afterward a 
Republican, and entered with considerable ardor into the Wide- 
Awake movement, and with many of his distinguished personal 
friends and associates carried a kerosene torch in the political pro- 
cessions in i860. He was a firm supporter of the war policies of the 
government during Mr. Lincoln's administration and until after the 
war closed. He then supported the measures adopted by the ad- 
ministration of Andrew Johnson for the reconstruction of the states 
which had been at war against the Federal Union, and in the reor- 
ganization of parties which followed he became a Democrat. He 
supported Horatio Seymour, the Democratic candidate for Presi- 
dent, in 1868, and was himself the Democratic candidate for Con- 
gress in that year in the First Wisconsin district, composed of the 
counties of Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha, Walworth and Wauke- 
sha. The adverse fortunes of the Democratic party in that election 
involved him in defeat, but in 1870 he was again the Democratic 
candidate for Congress in the same district, and was elected by a 
very large majority, W^ P. Lyon, of Racine, one of the associate 
justices of the supreme court, being his Republican opponent. In 
1872 he was re-elected, but political life was not agreeable to his 
tastes and he declined to be a candidate for an additional term in 
1874. In 1876 he was chosen by the Democratic state convention 
one of the delegates-at-large from Wisconsin to the Democratic 
national convention, in which he supported the nomination of Sam- 
uel J. Tilden as the Democratic candidate for President. He as- 
sumed an active part in the ensuing campaign and. at its close, re- 
tired permanently from active party politics. In 1879 he was nomi- 
nated by the Democratic state convention for the office of governor, 
but he peremptorily declined to be a candidate. During the time 
that he was a member of Congress Mr. Mitchell was prominent and 
zealous in his support of such financial measures as were adapted 
for the protection of the public credit, and for the restoration of 
specie payments. He made a remarkably clear and able speech 
upon this subject on March 27, 1874, presenting in a cogent and en- 


tertaining style the solid arguments which financial science sug- 
gested against an inflated currency, and the evils which he claimed 
were inseparable from a deranged monetary system and from any 
basis except that of specie for the circulation of the country. At 
an earlier day, April 6, 1872, he made a speech on the subject of 
American shipping, showing that it could be revived as a successful 
industry only by removing the burden of tariff taxation which 
rested upon it. He died on April 19, 1887. 

Peter Victor Deuster was a native of Prussia, and was born 
near Cologne in that kingdom on Feb. 13, 1831, the only son of 
Mathias and Anna C. (Koenen) Deuster. The groundwork of the 
lad's education was laid at the common school, where he pursued 
his studies until he attained the age of thirteen. He was then re- 
moved to an academy, and continued there until his parents immi- 
grated to America, three years later. Mathias Deuster bought a 
farm in Milwaukee county, and his son turned his hand to farming 
until winter set in, when he entered the printing office of Moritz 
Schoefifler, editor of the Wisconsin Banner, as an apprentice. He 
remained in this employment until his indenture expired and then 
worked for over a year longer as Mr. Schoefifler's accountant and 
collector. At the end of that time he commenced the publication 
of a literary weekly paper called the Haus-freund, which he edited, 
printed and carried for about six months, at the end of which time 
he was engaged as foreman in the See-Bote office and held that po- 
sition until November, 1854. About this time he was offered the 
charge of a newspaper published by Judge A. Heidkamp, at Port 
Washington, Wis., and accepted the proffered position. He entered 
at once upon his duties, but did not confine himself to the task of 
superintending the paper. He ran the postoffice, was deputy clerk 
of the circuit court, notary public, land agent, did a banking busi- 
ness, and at night taught a school for young men. In 1856, after 
having made all arrangements for starting a paper at Green Bay, 
he was offered a third interest in the See-Bote, and in September of 
that year returned to Milwaukee and entered into partnership with 
Messrs. Greulich and Rickert as publishers of that newspaper. A 
year afterward he purchased Mr. Rickert's interest, and in i860 he 
bought out his remaining partner, Hon. August Greulich, and con- 
tinued at the head of that important publishing enterprise. He was 
sole proprietor of the paper until 1879, when other parties were ad- 
mitted and the firm became P. V. Deuster & Company. Interesting 
himself actively in politics, he became and continued to be influen- 
tial in the councils of the Democratic party. In 1862 he was chosen 



by the citizens of the South side of Milwaukee to represent them in 
the legislative assembly, and in 1869 he was elected to the state 
senate from the Sixth senatorial district, which was composed of a 
part of the city of Milwaukee. He was elected a member of the 
Forty-sixth Congress and returned to the Forty-seventh and Forty- 
eighth congresses, and was one of the most influential members of 
that body who has represented Milwaukee in the national legisla- 
ture. Mr. Deuster died on Dec. 31, 1904. 

Isaac W. Van Schaick was born in Coxsackie, Greene county, 
N. Y., Dec. 7, 1817; was brought up on a farm, received his educa- 
tion in the common schools of his native county, and worked on a 
farm till he was twenty-eight years of age, after which he was ex- 
tensively engaged in the manufacture of glue until coming West. 
He removed to Milwaukee in the fall of 1861, and there engaged in 
the milling business, as a partner in the firm of E. Sanderson & 
Company, of the Phoenix Mills. He had never taken any active 
part in politics until he was elected to the general assembly of the 
state in 1872, although he had previously served two years in the 
city council as alderman of the First ward. He was re-elected to 
the assembly in 1874, and in 1876 was returned to the state legisla- 
ture as senator from the First district. He was twice re-elected as 
his own successor, his last term in that position expiring in Janu- 
ary, 1883, ^^^ he was elected to the Forty-ninth and Fifty-first 
congresses as a Republican member from Wisconsin. His death 
occurred on Aug. 22, 1901. 

State Senators. — Session of 1848, Riley N. Messenger; from 
1848 to 1850, Asa Kinney; 1849 to 1851, John B. Smith; 1850 to 
1854, Duncan C. Reed; 1851 to 1853. Francis Huebschmann ; 1852 
to 1854, John R. Sharpstein; 1853 ^o 1855, Ed M. Hunter; 1854 to 
1856, Edward McGarry ; 1855 to 1857, Jackson Hadley ; 1856 to 
1858, Edward O'Neill; 1857 to 1859, Augustus Greulich; 1858 to 
i860, Patrick Walsh; 1859 to 1861. Cicero Comstock ; i860 to 1862, 
Michael J. Eagan ; 1861 to May 9, 1862, Charles Quentin ; session of 
1862, Francis Huebschmann; from 1862 to 1864, Edward Keogh ; 
1863 to 1867, WilHam K. Wilson; 1864 to 1866, H. P. Reynolds; 
1866 to 1870, Charles FI. Larkin ; session of 1867, Jackson Hadley; 
from 1867 to 1869. Henry L. Palmer; 1869 to 1871, William Pitt 
Lynde; 1870 to 1872, Peter V. Deuster; 1871 to 1873, Francis 
Huebschmann: 1872 to 1874. John L. Mitchell; 1873 to 1875. A. 
Frederick W. Cotzhausen ; 1874 to 1876, John Black; 1875 to 1877, 
William H. Jacobs ; 1876 to 1878, John L. Mitchell ; 1877 to 1879, 
George A. Abert ; 1877 to 1883, Isaac W. Van Schaick; 1878 to 1882, 


George H. Paul; 1879 to 1881, Edwin Hyde; 1881 to 1883, Edward 
B. Simpson; 1882 to 1885, Enoch Chase; 1883 to 1887, J. P. C. 
Cottrill and WilHam S. Stanley, Jr., 1885 to 1889,, Julius Wechsel- 
berg; 1887 to 1891, Theodore Fritz; 1887 to 1891, Christian Widule ; 
1889 to 1893, John J. Kempf ; 1889 to 1893, Herman Kroeger; 1891 
to 1895, Paul Bechtner; 1891 to 1895, Christian A. Koenitzer; ses- 
sion of 1893, James W. Murphy; 1893 to 1897, Oscar Altpeter; 1893 
to 1897, Michael Kruzka; session of 1895, James C. Officer; 1895 to 
1899, William H. Austin; 1895 to 1899, Charles T. Fisher; 1897 
to 1903, William H. Devos; 1897 to 1905, J. Herbert Green; 1897 
to 1909, Julius E. Roehr; 1899 to 1903, Frank A. Anson; 1899 to 
1907, Barney A. Eaton ; session of 1903, Rip Reukema ; 1903 to 
1907, Cassius Rogers; 1905 to 1909, Theo. Froemming; 1905 to 
1909, Jacob Rummel; 1907 to 191 1, E. T. Fairchild; 1907 to 191 1, 
George E. Page; 1909 to 1913, H. H. Bodenstab; 1909 to 1913, Win- 
field R. Gaylord ; 1909 to 1913, J. C Kleczka. 

John B. Smith, who came to Milwaukee in 1845, was no ordi- 
nary man. He had a large amount of push and a fair amount of 
executive ability. He had a strong will and would not play "second 
fiddle," as the phrase goes, to anyone if he could avoid it, and was 
always climbing for an inside seat. He was the president of the 
Horicon railroad and one of the unfortunates financially in that dis- 
astrous enterprise, from which he never fully recovered. He was 
one of the aldermen in 1847 ^ud served a considerable portion of 
his term as acting mayor. He was a staunch Son of Temperance, 
in which cause he took a deep interest, but his determination to do 
as he pleased regardless of consequences finally brought social ruin 
as well as financial, and he who ought to have been one of Mil- 
waukee's most respected and honored citizens died in comparative 
obscurity. His was a case of good material badly put together, 
and after a stormy life he passed away. He came to this state from 

Ed M. Hunter was born in Bloomingsburg, Sullivan county, 
N. Y., Feb. 19, 1826. When twenty-one years of age he was ad- 
mitted to the bar in New York city. Two years later he settled in 
Milwaukee, and was admitted to partnership with S. Park Coon, 
afterward attorney-general, and Charles James, afterward collector 
of the port of San Francisco. Mr. Hunter was elected to the state 
senate in 1852 and was private secretary to Mr. Barstow until that 
gentleman was ousted by Coles Bashford. After his short political 
life he returned to the practice of his profession in Milwaukee, hold- 
ing the position of United States Court Commissioner for many 
years, being in office at the time of his death, Sept. 13, 1878. 



Jackson Hadley was born in Livonia, Livingston county, N. 
Y., on May 22, 181 5. The early portion of his life after he became 
of age w^as devoted to teaching school. Though mainly self-edu- 
cated, he acquired a proficiency in the text books of the day that 
insured for him an honorary degree from Union College and a high 
reputation in his profession. As a teacher he was engaged at Clar- 
ence, Erie county, N. Y., two or three years, whence he removed to 
Buffalo, N. Y., where he organized a high school and became its 
principal. Afterward he was engaged in mercantile pursuits in Al- 
bion, Orleans county, N. Y. He first came to Milwaukee on a tour 
of inspection in 1839, but did not permanently settle here until 
1849, when he engaged in the produce business with Hon. Charles 
H. Larkin, afterward his colleague from this county in the senate. 
From that time until the day of his death he almost constantly oc- 
cupied a conspicuous position before the public. First, he was as- 
sistant treasurer of the county under Senator Larkin. From 1852 
until 1858 he was a member of the common council, being elected 
to that body for six years successively. Much of this time he was 
president of the board and acting mayor of the city. For many 
years also he was an active and influential member of the school 
board. For one or two years he was a member of the board of su- 
pervisors and chairman of the board. For a considerable time he 
was secretary of the La Crosse Railway Company, in the construc- 
tion of which road he took an active part. In 1853 he was chosen 
to the assembly. In 1854 he was elected to the state senate and 
served in that body for two years. In November, 1864, he was 
again chosen to the assembly, and again in November, 1865. In 
November, 1866, he was again elected to the senate. In 1856 he 
was the Democratic candidate for Congress against John F. Potter, 
and receiving a majority of over 4,000 votes in this county, was 
beaten by less than 300 in the district. Among his business en- 
gagements was the construction of the military road from Green 
Bay to Houghton on Lake Superior. He died in March, 1867. 

Edward O'Neill and his wife were among those who settled in 
Milwaukee in 1850, coming in October of that year from Manches- 
ter, Vermont, where they had resided for many years. Mr. O'Neill 
was born in Kilkenny, Ireland, in 1820, and immigrated to Ver- 
mont, where he engaged in business until his removal to Wiscon- 
sin. In i860, with John Dahlman and Timothy Dore, he estab- 
lished a large wholesale grocery house, which continued very pros- 
perous for ten years. In 1870, in company with other capitalists he 
orcjanized the Bank of Commerce, of which he became president. 


which position he held until 1879, when the Bank of Commerce and 
the German Exchange Bank were united to form the Merchants' 
Exchange Bank. This became a very strong and popular bank, and 
Mr. O'Neill was its president until his death in 1890. In 1852 Mr. 
O'Neill helped to organize the Milwaukee Union Guard, of which 
he was elected captain, and continued in the office until elected 
lieutenant-colonel of the First Regiment of Wisconsin State Militia. 
In 1853 he was elected a member of the state assembly, in which he 
served two terms, and also one term in the state senate. He intro- 
duced a number of important measures and laws, but the one in 
which he took the greatest pride was that which made provision for 
the establishment of the State Reform School for Boys at Wauke- 
sha, which, through his persistent efforts, became a law. He was 
president of the board of managers of this institution for ten years, 
being repeatedly reappointed by Republican governors on account 
of his interest in the school. He was nine years a member of the 
school board of Milwaukee and served four years as president. In 
1863 he was elected mayor of Milwaukee, re-elected in 1867, again 
in 1868 and for the fourth time in 1869. The first and last elections 
were without an opponent. He was urged to become the candi- 
date of his party for governor of the state but declined. After the 
measure was adopted providing for a system of water-works, call- 
ing for the expenditure of a million dollars, he was appointed presi- 
dent of the Board of Water Commissioners, and served in that ca- 
pacity until the great works were completed. During the twenty 
y(!ars spent in banking Mr. O'Neill saw the resources of the bank 
of which he was president grow from the modest sum he and his 
friends subscribed in 1870 to over $2,000,000 in 1890, and every pa- 
tron had his rsoney when demanded. Charitable during their lives, 
both in word and deed, in their wills he and his estimable wife, be- 
sides making bequests to schools, churches, hospitals and asylums, 
left $20,000 to St. Rose's Orphan Society, the interest alone to be 
used for the support of orphan -girls. 

Charles Ouentin was born in Prussia in 181 1 and came to Mil- 
waukee about 185 1. He was several years a member of the Board 
of School Commissioners, and, at the time of his death, was state 
senator from his district. He was the founder and owner of Ouen- 
tin's Park, and had done more than any other private citizen toward 
beautifying the city. He died on May 9, 1862. 

Edward Keogh was born in the county of Cavan. Ireland. May 
5. 1835, ^"fl came to America with his parents. Thomas and Ann 
(Boylan) Keogh, in 1841. Arrived in this country, they went di- 



rectly to Utica, N. Y., where they sojourned for about a year, and 
in 1842 removed to Milwaukee. Young Keogh obtained his early 
education in the public schools of this city. His parents being in 
limited circumstances, he was forced by necessity to earn his own 
living, and made his start in life by playing "devil" in a printing 
office. He then served a printer's apprenticeship on the Sentinel 
and Gazette. After thoroughly mastering his trade in the leading 
printing offices of Milwaukee, he saw his opportunity in 1867 and 
embarked in business for himself by starting a very small job print- 
ing office. In 1889, when the leading railway offices removed to 
Chicago, Mr. Keogh, by force of circumstances, with five thousand 
dollars' worth of special materials, established a branch office on 
Dearborn street, which enterprise proved quite a success. Mr. 
Keogh served fifteen years in the state legislature, either as senator 
or member of the assembly. In 1861 he w^as the youngest member 
of the senate ever elected in the state, he being then only twenty- 
six years of age. In 1893 he was honored by being elected speaker 
of the house. He was first elected to the assembly in 1859, and was 
re-elected in i860. The year 1862 found him in the senate, and his 
subsequent terms in the assembly were in 1876, 1877, 1878, 1879, 
1880, 1881, 1882, 1887, 1889, 1891 and 1893. He was an honored 
member of the Old Settlers' Club, of the Wisconsin Mutual Aid Al- 
liance, of the Knights of Pythias and of many social and political 
clubs. He was a communicant of St. John's cathedral, and through- 
out his political life affiliated with the Democratic party, liberal 
views governing him in local political action. Mr. Keogh died in 

Charles Henry Larkin was born in the famous old town of 
Stonington, Conn., May 2, 1810, and came of good New England 
stock, being a typical representative of the element which has done 
so much for the advancement of American civilization in all por- 
tions of the United States. In his youth there were no free schools 
accessible to him, but he had the benefit of the district pay school, 
an academy at Alden. N. Y., to which place his parents removed in 
1825, and he finished at a private school. At the age of sixteen 
years he set out to make his own way in the world and took em- 
ployment as a clerk in a general store at Alden, where he remained 
for three years. He was subsequently employed in Buffalo and at 
other points in a similar capacity. In 1836 he arrived in Milwaukee, 
having previously visited Michigan and other western territory, and 
decided to settle here. He at once made claim to a quarter-section 
of land in what is now Greenfield township, on which he dwelt for 


two years to perfect his title. AVhile residing on his claim, which 
is now a fine farm, 100 acres of which he owned up to the time of 
his death, he bought and sold horses and engaged in various enter- 
prises, which employed his youthful energies and kept the wolf 
from the door. In 1848 he opened a warehouse at the foot of East 
Water street and dealt extensively in all kinds of produce, live 
stock and everything produced by the farmer. He also invested in 
real estate, and after a few years retired from the warehouse busi- 
ness and gave his attention chiefly to his real-estate interests. He 
built a block of stores on Reed street, and as late as 1893 was en- 
gaged in the construction of a handsome block at the corner of 
Lake and Reed streets. Always public spirited and ready to serve 
the interests of the city of which he was in a sense one of the found- 
ers, and of which he never ceased to be proud, he was associated 
with Guido Pfister, Alexander Mitchell and others on the public 
debt committee, to which was entrusted the difficult task of refund- 
ing the city debt, which was successfully and creditably accom- 
plished. During his residence in Greenfield he served as a member 
of the Board of Supervisors, and in 1866-67-68-69 represented his 
district in the state senate. In 1872, 1874 and 1875 he was a mem- 
ber of the state house of representatives from Milwaukee, and a 
few of the legislators who have represented this city in the gen- 
eral assembly of the state have wielded as much influence as Mr. 
Larkin. He was a member of the second constitutional convention, 
which framed the present organic law of the state, served as school 
commissioner four years, was county treasurer for a time, pension 
agent by appointment of President Buchanan, and sheriff of Mil- 
waukee county one term. In 1862 he was commissioned by the 
governor to raise a regiment of troops, but feeling that he was too 
old to engage in warfare, he assisted his son, Courtland P. Larkin, 
to enlist a company, of which the son was commissioned second 
lieutenant, rising to the rank of major of the Thirty-eighth Wiscon- 
sin infantry. He was an ardent, admirer of Henry Clay and a Whig 
in his political affiliations in, early life, but allied himself after the 
death of that eminent statesman with the Democratic party. His 
religious affiliations were with the Episcopal church, and the Mil- 
waukee County Pioneer Society was one of the social institutions 
in which he was always deeply interested. Surrounded by true and 
faithful friends, gazing on the setting sun with unflinching eye, he 
passed away at his home in Milwaukee, Aug. 16, 1894. 

John Black was born in Bidache. France, Aug. 16, 1830, the 
son of Peter and Magdalena Black, his father being a farmer by 



occupation. The son was well educated in the schools of his native 
city and had also some collegiate training. In 1844 in company 
with his parents, three brothers and a sister, he bade adieu to the 
city of his birth and the vine-clad hills of France and came to Amer- 
ica, the family taking up a residence in Lockport, N. Y., in the fall 
of that year. In 1845 his father settled on a farm near Lockport, on 
which John passed the remainder of his boyhood. Here he started 
in to attend a public school for the purpose of mastering the Eng- 
lish language, but he soon discovered that his education was al- 
ready superior to that of his teacher, and he left school and turned 
his attention to other matters. In 1845 he tied a couple of shirts in 
a handkerchief, took a little money — which came from his good 
mother with her parting blessing — and set out for Lockport. He 
entered the employ of J. and N. S. Ringueberg, who were engaged 
in the wholesale grocery, wine and liquor trade, for a term of three 
years at a salary of thirty dollars for the first, fifty for the second 
and eighty dollars for the third year, board and washing included. 
After completing this term of service he entered the employ of 
Dole & Dunlap as a drygoods clerk at a salary of ten dollars per 
month — board and washing included — which was soon doubled on 
account of his command of foreign languages. In 1855. at the so- 
licitation of his original employers, he became a member of the firm 
of J. and N. S. Ringueberg & Company, but in 1857, finding that the 
greater portion of the labor of conducting the business fell to his lot, 
Mr. Black made his partners a proposition to buy or sell. The re- 
sult was that they purchased his interest and Mr. Black started, 
accompanied by his wife, for the West, arriving in Milwaukee in 
July, 1857. Here he engaged in the wholesale liquor trade, but suf- 
fered considerable loss in the start owing to the disastrous financial 
panic of '57. In 1870 a number of the leading capitalists of the city 
organized the Bank of Commerce and Mr. Black becoming one of the 
principal stockholders of this bank and a leader in the work of or- 
ganization, was elected vice-president, a position which he held for 
many years. He was a large stockholder also in the Merchants' 
Exchange Bank, and was one of the prime movers in bringing about 
its consolidation with the First National Bank in January, 1894. 
He was a director and member of the executive committee of the 
Northwestern National Fire Insurance Company, a director of the 
Merchants' Association and a director of the Exposition Associa- 
tion. A Democrat in politics, he held various official positions. For 
several years he was one of the railroad commissioners of Mil- 
waukee, was elected a member of the board of aldermen in 1870, 


and served as mayor of the city in 1878 and 1879. He was a candi- 
date for state treasurer on the Democratic ticket in 1869, but was 
defeated, as were all the other candidates on the ticket. As a mem- 
ber of the city council he was one of the prime movers in creating- 
the present waterworks system, laboring long and earnestly to 
inaugurate and carry to completion this great work. In November, 
1871. Mr. Black was elected a member of the Wisconsin state as- 
sembly. In the presidential election of 1872 he was one of the elect- 
ors-at-large on the Democratic ticket for the state of Wisconsin. 
In November, 1873, he was elected a member of the state senate, 
and during his term as senator he introduced two very important 
measures — one for the punishment of persons found guilty of brib- 
ery at elections, and the other to secure liberty of conscience to in- 
mates, of state institutions. In 1886 he was the Democratic candi- 
date for Congress from the Fourth district, but was defeated. In 
1884 and again in 1888 he was a delegate to the Democratic na- 
tional conventions. Mr. Black died in 1899. 

William H. Jacobs was born in the village of Holzen, province 
of Brunswick, Germany, Nov. 25, 1832, the son of Heinrich Jacobs, 
a man of character and prominence, who held, during his lifetime, 
various important official positions, and whose family history can 
be traced, through records which have been carefully preserved, 
back to the beginning of the thirteenth century. The son was care- 
fully educated, under the preceptorship of a private tutor, special 
attention being given to study of the modern languages and natural 
sciences. When he was eighteen years of age he left home, coming 
at once to this country and to Milwaukee. Soon after his arrival 
here he entered the banking house of Marshall & Illsley, where he 
familiarized himself with American banking methods and fitted 
himself for engaging in the business on his own account. Leaving 
the Marshall & Illsley bank in 1855, he established the Second 
Ward Savings Bank, of which he was for several years sole owner. 
During the Civil war his business interests were subordinated to 
what he looked upon as his duty as an American citizen and pa- 
triot, and in 1862 he entered the Federal army as colonel of the 
Twenty-sixth Wisconsin infantry. Leaving the state on Oct. 6, 
Col. Jacobs proceeded with his regiment to Washington, and from 
there to Fairfax Court House, where he joined. the Eleventh army 
corps then under command of Gen. Franz Siegel. In the battle of 
Chancellorsville Col. Jacobs was wounded, but returned to the field 
after a short leave of absence and participated in the battle of Get- 
tysburg, in which his regiment suffered severely. Soon after the 



battle of Gettysburg he resigned the colonelc}- of the regiment and 
returned to Milwaukee to look after business interests, which 2-reat- 
\y needed his attention. After the war he extended his banking 
operations by establishing branches of the Second Ward Savings 
Bank in the Sixth and Ninth wards and establishing also the South 
Side Savings Bank. A Democrat in his political affiliations, Col. 
Jacobs served as clerk of the courts of Milwaukee county, and in 
1874 was elected to the state senate, in which body he served with 
credit to himself and his constituency. He died in Milwaukee, Sept. 
II, 1882. 

Enoch Chase was born in Derby, Vt., Jan. 16. 1809, and 
he may be said to have been a pioneer from childhood to mature 
manhood. Brought up on a farm, he attended the district school 
two summers before he was seven years of age, and after that dur- 
ing the winter months only until he was fourteen years of age. At 
the, age of eight years he began to work in the fields as steadily as 
a man, but when sixteen years of age he received an accidental in- 
jury-forever disqualifying him for heavy physical labor, and the fol- 
lowing year commenced the study of Latin and mathematics 
preparatory to a professional life. Two years later he commenced 
the stud}'- of medicine, attending lectures at Bowdoin College, in 
Maine, and Dartmouth College, in New Hampshire, graduating in 
the last named institution in June, 1831, with high honors. Each 
winter while reading medicine he taught school in Canada. Imme- 
diately after his graduation, receiving a letter giving flattering ac- 
counts of Chicago, from one of the soldiers composing the garrison 
at Fort Dearborn, he determined to migrate to the far-off Western 
town. When he arrived, in Coldwater, Mich., he found his purse 
empty, and therefore from sheer necessity was compelled to locate 
there for the time being, and commence the practice of his profes- 
sion. While at Coldwater he was commissioned adjutant of militia, 
Aug. 16, 1831, soon after his arrival, and the next year was ordered 
out to help suppress the Sauk war, but was only called upon to do 
guard duty. In 1834 he decided to leave Coldwater, and journeyed 
to Chicago to meet his brother, Horace. The result of their inter- 
view was that they concluded to locate in Milwaukee instead of 
Chicago. Horace came here and made land claims for both in the 
fall of 1834, and on April 9 following Dr. Chase became a resident 
of the town with which he continued to be identified to the end of 
his life. He at once selected what became known as "Chase's 
Point," at the mouth of the river, and erected a log cabin thereon, 
sleeping in the shanty of Horace Chase near by while building his 


domicile. After a time he sold his original "land claim" and pur- 
chased, at five dollars per acre, the quarter section on the south side 
of Lincoln avenue, on which he resided until his death, having 
owned his homestead fifty-nine years. He was a member of the 
"judiciary committee" of the famous "Claimants' Union," was elect- 
ed to the assembly in 1848, re-elected in 1849, 1850 and 1852,, and again 
in 1869. In 1880 he established the Chase Valley Glass Works, of 
which he was the sole owner, the establishment being the only one 
at that time in Wisconsin. Among other industries which he 
brought into existence was the extensive Chase Valley Brickyards, 
in 1876, the largest in the city. Dr. Chase also made the extensive 
improvement on the Kinnickinnic river known as "Chase's slip," 
and the long line of docks which he constructed contributed ma- 
terially to the navigation and commercial interests of the city. In 
1881 he was called from his retirement, and again served the people 
of Milwaukee in an ofificial ^ capacity, being at that time elected to 
the state senate, of which body he was an honored and influential 
member. In politics he was a Democrat of the Jacksonian school, 
and in personal characteristics, he was not unlike the "patron saint 
of Democracy." Dr. Chase died on Aug. 23, 1892. 





Assemblymen. — Session of 1848: William W. Brown. Horace 
Chase, Leonard P. Crary, Augustus Greulich, Perley J. Shumway 
and Edward Wunderly; 1849: Zelotas A. Cotton, John Flynn, Stod- 
dard H. Martin, Andrew Sullivan, Robert Wason, Jr., and Julius 
White; 1849 to 1851. James B. Cross; 1849 to 1852, Enoch Chase; 
session of 1850: Samuel Brown, John E. Cameron, Garrett M. 
Fitzgerald and Edward McGarry ; 1850 to 1852, Charles E. Jenkins ; 
session of 185 1 : Patrick Caverny, John L. Doran, Tobias G. Os- 
borne, George H. Walker and William K. Wilson; 1852: William 
Beck, Jonathan L. Burnham, Charles Cain, Wilson Graham, Ed- 
ward Hasse, Valentine Knoell and Joseph A. Phelps; 1853: Rich- 
ard Carlisle, Enoch Chase, Herman Haertel, William A. Hawkins, 
Edward McGarry, Joseph Meyer, Henry L. Palmer, John IT. 
Tweedy and Henry C. West; 1854: Henry Beecroft. John Craw- 
ford, Jackson Hadley, Timothy Hagerty, William Reinhard. John 
Tobin and William E. Webster; 1854 to 1856, Edward O'Xeil ; 1854 
to 1857, Peter Lavis ; session of 1855: Reuben Chase, James B. 
Cross, Edwin DeWolf. I. E. Goodall, Charles J. Kern. Frederick 
Moscowitt, John Ruan and Jasper Vliet ; 1856: Henry Crawford, 
Augustus Greulich, George Hahn, William A. Hawkins. John 
Mitchell. Joshua Stark and John Tobin; 1856 to 1858, Andrew Mc- 
Cormick; session of 1857: Frederick K. Bartlett, Herman Haertel. 
Jasper Humphrey, Frederick Moscowitt, James D. Reymert, James 
Reynolds, Moses M. Strong and Jonathan Taylor ; 1858 : Frederick 
R. Berg, Duncan E. Cameron, Joseph Carney, Dighton Corson, 


Alexander Cotzhausen, Orlando Ellsworth, Michael Hanrahan, 
John Hayden and Mitchell Steever; 1859: Jacob Beck, William S. 
Cross, Thomas H. Eviston, Edward Hasse, Frederick Moscowitt, 
Edwin Palmer, James A. Swain and Joseph Walter; i860: Patrick 
Dockry, Andrew Eble, Theodore Hartung, Edward G. Hayden, Ed- 
ward D. Holton, Mathias Humain, Henry L. Palmer, John Ruan 
and Louis A. Schmidtner; i860 to 1862, Edward Keogh ; session of 
1861 : Charles Caverno, William Dieves, Robert Haney, John Han- 
rahan, James Riordan, John Rugee and Carl Winkler; 1861 to 1864, 
George Abert ; session of 1862: Milo Coles, Adam Finger, George 
K. Gregory, Henry Kirchoff, Henry L. Palmer, Jacob V. V. Platto, 
Perley J. Shiimway and John M. vStowell ; 1863: John Bentley, Ed- 
ward Collins, Peter V. Deuster, John Hanrahan, Martin Larkin, 
Jr. ; Adam Poertner and John R. Sharpstein ; 1863 to 1865, John W. 
Eviston; session of 1864: Anton Frey, Levi Hubbell, Edward Mc- 
Garry, J. C. U. Niedermann, James Watts and Frederick T. Zette- 
ler; 1864 to 1866, David Knab ; session of 1865: DeWitt Davis, 
Henry Fowler, Jacob Obermann, Jared Thompson, Jr. ; Gottlieb E. 
Weiss and Richard White; 1865 to 1868, Jackson Hadley ; 1865 to 
1869, James McGrath; session of 1866: Ammi R. R. Bntler, Thru- 
man H. Curtis, Edward Daley, John H. Deuster, William Pitt 
Lynde and Charles H. Orton ; 1866 to 1868, Joseph Phillips ; session 
of 1867: George W. Clason, Henry Fowler, Louis Hellberg, Harri- 
son C. Hobart, Edwin Hyde, Truman H. Judd and Valentine 
Knoell ; 1867 to 1869, William J. Kershaw and William A. Prentiss; 
session of 1868: James Reynolds, Daniel H. Richards, John Sulli- 
van and Patrick Walsh ; 1868 to 1870, Patrick Drew; 1868 to 1871 : 
George Abert, John Fellenz and Henry C. Runkel ; session of 1869: 
James Hoye, Joseph Phillips, Henry Roethe, John Scheffel and 
Samuel C. West; 1869 to 1871, Daniel H. Johnson; 1870: Nathan 
Brick, Enoch Chase, Stephen A. Harrison, James McGrath and 
Frederick A. Zautcke ; 1870 to 1872, Daniel PL Richards ; session of 
1871 : Charles F. Freeman, J^mes Hoye, Charles M. Hoyt, Mat- 
thew Keenan, Valentine Knoell. August Richter, John L. Sem- 
mann, James Watts and James S. White; 1872: George Abert, John 
Black, John W. Cary, John Fellenz, Henry Fowler, Adin P. Ho- 
bart, Charles H. Larkin, L. Semmon, Winfield Smith, Emil Wall- 
ber and Frederick C. Winkler; 1872 to 1874, Moritz N. Becker; ses- 
sion of 1873: John A. Becher, Henry L. Palmer, Jacob Sander, 
Casper M. Sanger, Galen B. Seaman, John B. Stemper, Thomas 
Tobin, Isaac W. Van Schaick and John W. Weiler; 1873 to 1875, 
James McGrath; session of 1874: Alfred L. Cary, Napoleon B. 
Caswell, Joseph Hamilton, James Mclver, A. Warren Phelps, Peter 


Perth, John L. Semmann, Frederick Vogel and Francis H. West • 

1874 to 1876, Charles H. Larkin and Daniel H. Richards; session of 

1875 : Stephen A. Harrison, Frederick Moscowitt, Thomas O'Neill, 
Bernard Schlichting, Isaac W. Van Schaick and Frederick T. Zet- 
teler; 1875 to 1877, Lemuel Ellsworth and Peter Fagg; session of 
1876: Bernard F. Cook, Patrick Drew, Carl Frederick, Wilhelm 
Kraatz, Hubert Lavies, George H. Walther and Frederick A. 
Zautcke; 1876 to 1878, Henry Fink and David Vance; 1876 to 1883, 
Edward Keogh ; session of 1877: Aloysius Arnold, James G. Flan- 
ders, Joseph Hamilton, David P. Hull, Florian J. Ries, Peter Salen- 
tine, Christian Sarnow and Richard Stapleton ; 1877 to 1879, Edwin 
Hyde; session of 1878: Charles T. Burnham, John C. Dick, Henry 
P. Fischer, Charles H. Hamilton, Charles Holzhauer, William Law- 
ler, Frederick Moscowitt and Henry Smith ; 1878 to 1880, Edward 
C. Wall; 1878 to 1881, John Bentley ; session of 1879: Anson C. 
Allen, Judson G. Hart, William W. Johnson, Christian Sarnow and 
Christian Widule ; 1879 ^o 1881, Christopher S. Roesser and Ed- 
ward B. Simpson; session of 1880: Washington Boorse, Charles L. 
Colby, Charles F. Freeman, Patrick Merrity and Charles P. Paine ; 
1880 to 1882, Luther F. Gilson and Otto Laverrenz ; session of 1881 : 
Thomas M. Corbett, Theodore O. Hartmann, Henry Herzer, Es- 
chines P. Matthews, William Pierron, David J. Price and Ashbel 
K. Shepard; 1881 to 1883, William S. Stanley, Jr.; session of 1882: 
Arthur Bate, Francis J. Borchardt, Charles Findago, George P. 
Harrington, Arnold Hutching, William Lindsay, William M. Wil- 
liams and C. A. M. Zabel ; 1882 to 1885, George A. Abert; session 
of 1883: Frederick C. G. Brand, Fred N. Comdohr, Michael Egan, 
George W. Everts, John Fellenz, Frederick Scheiber and John A. 
Wall; 1883 to 1887: Jacob E. Friend, Daniel P. Hooker, Robert W. 
Pierce and Michael P. Walsh; session of 1885: Charles Elkert, 
Frank Haderer, Gottfried Inden, Fred G. Isenring, John Lagrande, 
James Lemont, George Poppert and Hugh Ryan ; 1887 : John Adams, 
J. R. Brigham, George H. Chase, Ben Charles Garside, Emerson D. 
Hoyt, Joseph A. Meyer, Gustav J. Riemer, Theodore Rudinski and 
Henry Vogt ; 1887 to 1891, Michael Dunn and William McElroy ; 
1887 to 1895, Edward Keogh; session of 1889: George Christian- 
sen, W. L. Dennis, Charles Elkert, H. E. Legler, Christopher S. 
Roesser, Henry Siebers, E. J. Slupocki, Amos Thomas and Frank 
E. Woller; 1891 : Charles H. Anson, H. J. Desmond, W. J. Fie- 
brantz, John Horn, Konrad Krez, Michael Kruszka, Ambrose Mc- 
Guigan, William Pierron, Henry Scheutz and O. T. Williams; 1891 
to 1895, Philip Schmitz, Jr.; session of 1893: George A. Abert. 
William H. Austin, Michael Blenski, Joseph Deuster, C. F. A. 


Hintze, C. H. Lenck, C. W. Milbrath, Peter J. Rademacher, Rip 
Reukema and Frank W. Suelflow ; 1893 to 1897, Gustav J. Jeske; 
1893 to 1899, Emerson D. Hoyt; session of 1895: Andrew H. Bon- 
cel, Henry S. Dodge, George R. Mahoney, Edward C. Notbohm, C. 
Patilus, Theodore Prochnow, Elliott R. Stillman and Charles A. 
Winter; 1895 to 1899: Frank A. Anson, Barney A. Eaton, Rein- 
hardt Klabunde and Albert Woller ; session of 1897: John F. Burn- 
ham, Charles N. Frink, Charles A. W. Krauss, Charles Niss, Jr. ; 
Charles Polacheck, Charles H. Welch and John H. Yorkey; 1897 
to 1901, Julius Feige ; 1897 to 1903, August M. Gawin ; session of 
1899: Edward J. Dengel, Abraham L. Grootemaat, Matthew R. 
Killilea, Ernest Loth, George Schoenbaum, John Sneddin and Al- 
bert Woyceichowski ; 1899 ^o 1903: Francis M. Eline, Francis B. 
Keene, Henry J. Saltwedel and August Zinn ; 1899 to 1905, Reinhold 
Thiessenhusen ; 1899 to 1907, Frederick Hartung; session of 1901 : 
Fred Esau, John C. Karel, Maurice A. McCabe, Levi A. Miner, 
John E. Norton and Herman Pomrening; 1901 to 1905, Charles 
Barker and George Rankl ; session of 1903: F. Breitwisch, R. W. 
E. Fritzke, Frank Haderer, F. Hassa, J. Kehrein, C. A. Sidler, T. F. 
Timlin and H. W. Waterman ; 1903 to 1907 : Joseph Martin Crow- 
Igy, Philip H. Hamm, John H. Szymarek and F. C. Westfahl ; ses- 
sion of 1905 : J. S. Bletcher, August Dietrich, Henry J. Holle, 
Louis Metzler, George E. Page, Thomas F. Ramsey, A. W. Streh- 
low and Oscar F. Thieme ; 1905 to 1909: W. J. Aldridge, Ed J. Ber- 
ner and Frederick Brockhausen ; session of 1907: Elmer E. Cain, 
William Disch, J. A. Domachowski, Charles E. Estabrook, Herman 
E. Georgi, George F. Grassie, Otto Harrass, Herman H. Heilbron, 
Simon Kander, Jacob Luy, Lucian H. Palmer, Earl .D. Thompson 
and Frank J. Weber; session of 1909: John T. Farrell, Otto A. Har- 
rass, William Disch, Carl H. Dorner, M. W. Kahaler, Thomas F. Ram- 
sey, George G. Brew, Fred R. Zimmerman, Edward J. Berner, Her- 
man E. Georgi, Fred Brockhausen, Carl Busacker, C. E. Estabrook, 
Jos. A. Domachowski, P. F. Leu9h, and Frank J. Weber. 

Perley J. Shumway was born in Worcester, Mass., in 1810, and 
his ancestors were of French extraction. At an early age he learned 
the blacksmith's trade in his native state. After reaching the years 
of maturity he came West, first settling in Milford, 111., where he 
began farming. While residing in Illinois he married Miss Mary 
Gibson and in 1842 removed to Wisconsin and settled in Wauwa- 
tosa, where he was the "village blacksmith" for many years. In 
1848 he was elected to the assembly and in 1861 he was again elect- 
ed a member of that body. At the expiration of this term of office 




he accepted a position as jailor and deputy sheriff of Milwaukee 
county, and died in 1863 while holding that position. 

James B. Cross was born at GencYa, X. Y., in June, 1818, and 
settled in Milwaukee in 1841. Aside from his legislative career, he 
was mayor of the city in 1855-57, but the one disappointment to his 
political hopes seemed to entirely change him as a man. and he al- 
most sunk out of sight as a public character. The disappointment 
referred to was the result of his contest with A. W. Randall for the 
governorship in 1857. Though Mr. Randall was elected by only 454 
votes, Mr. Cross felt that this was the turning point backward in 
his career, and quietly dropped out of sight. He was for a number 
of years employed in the postoffice, and at the date of his death, 
Feb. 3, 1876, was head clerk. 

Samuel Brown — who was known to all early settlers as "Dea- 
con" Browm — was born at Belchertown, Hampshire county, Mass., 
Jan. 8, 1804, growing up on a farm, which he left when eighteen 
years of age to learn the carpenter's trade. In 1833 he came to Chi- 
cago, where he found employment as a builder, remaining there 
until he came to Milwaukee, in 1835. Here he was engaged for 
many years as a master builder, and took a lively interest in every- 
thing pertaining to the upbuilding of the city up to the time of his 
death, which occurred on Sept. 22, 1874. As a public man he ren- 
dered valuable services to the city as a member of the state legis- 
lature and city council, and as a member of the board of directors 
of the Milwaukee & La Crosse railway he was an active promoter 
of that pioneer railw'ay enterprise. 

John E. Cameron was a man of considerable importance as 
well as influence from 1846 to 1850. He ran the Plankinton House 
stable for a short time. He was a jovial, whole-souled fellow, very 
fine looking and extremely popular among his associates. Mr. Cam- 
eron died of cholera in 1852, and it is said that when told by his 
attending physician that he could not live he replied in his charac- 
teristic manner, "Let her flicker." 

John Crawford was born in Worcester, Mass., Dec. 4, 1792. 
His parents moving to Chester, Vt., in 1810, young Crawford, in 
romantic term, "set out to seek his own fortune." In Lawrence 
county, N. Y., he found employment among the farmers of that and 
adjoining localities. The breaking out of the War of 1812 found 
him in Quebec, having been engaged in the rafting of vessel spars 
to that city. Returning to Waddington, N. Y., as soon as possible, 
he joined the New York state militia. In 1820 he reorganized the 
state militia, having received for that purpose a commission from 



Governor DeWitt Clinton. He rapidly rose in rank until commis- 
sioned major-general of the Twenty-ninth division of the New York 
infantry b}^ Gov. John A. Dix. On Nov. lo, 1834, President Jack- 
son appointed him inspector of revenue for the district of Oswegat- 
chie, with headquarters at Waddington, N. Y. It was thus quite 
late in life, in 1836, that General Crawford started westward and 
began life anew at Michigan City, Ind. During that year he vis- 
ited Milwaukee as the agent of a company who desired to purchase 
a steamer plying between his home (the latter city) and Chicago. 
Going to Detroit, he purchased the steamer "Detroit," and spent 
the winter in getting it ready for travel. After several trips on 
Lake Erie, he arrived in this cit}^ on June 14, 1837. From that time 
forth he engaged in regular trips between Milwaukee and Michi- 
gan City, touching at Racine, Southport (now Kenosha) and Chi- 
cago. He later revisited his old home in New York state, and on 
his return he claimed the homestead in the town of Wauwatosa, 
upon which he subsequently settled. He at one time run the har- 
bor steamer "Badger" for the people of Kilbourntown, now the 
West Side, and in 1840 he took the census of Wauwatosa. It was 
chiefly through his efforts that the new court house was located on 
the East Side, and he was therefore deemed the person most fit to 
lay the corner stone of that edifice. With that honor his appear- 
ance in public ceased, and he afterward lived in retirement, deaf- 
ness and other infirmities forbidding further participation in public 
affairs. He passed away, with well deserved respect earned by a 
life well spent, on March 8, 1881. 

John Ruan, one of the well-known pioneer settlers in this 
county, was born in County Mayo, Ireland, in 1813. His early edu- 
cation was such as could be obtained in the parish schools of his 
native town, and when he was twenty years of age the allurements 
of the new world influenced him to come to America to seek his for- 
tune. In 1834, after marrying Catherine Clark, he sailed with his 
bride for America, landing in -New York and remaining there two 
years. In 1836 he came west to Illinois, in which state he re- 
mained seven years as a foreman on the Illinois & Michigan canal. 
He came to Wisconsin and attended the first public land sale in 
Milwaukee in 1839, remaining here six weeks, a guest of Matthew 
Keenan's parents. He then returned to Illinois, and had he been so 
disposed, could have bought 160 acres of land now in the heart of 
Chicago with the means at his command. Owing, however, to sick- 
ness and the marshy character of the land, he decided not to buy, 
but returned to Milwaukee and remained for some time. Early in 
May, 1841, he took up his residence on a tract of land which he 


purchased from the government and which consisted of 160 acres. 
Mr. Ruan gave his entire time and devoted all his energies to the 
cultivation of this land, and until his death, May 14, 1892, "-ave it 
his personal supervision. During the legislative sessions of 1855 
and i860 Mr. Ruan was a member of the assembly, in which body 
he served his constituents to their entire satisfaction. He also 
served one year in the '70s as supervisor of the town of Oak Creek. 
In religion Mr. Ruan was a Catholic and in his political affiliations 
^vas a true and consistent Democrat. 

James Reynolds was born on Feb. 17, 1830, three miles from 
Dublin, Ireland. While he was an infant his parents came to this 
■country, living for three years in New York, and then concluding 
to establish themselves in the West, thev removed first to Michisan 
and later to Wisconsin, taking up a quarter-section of land in the 
towai of Greenfield, Milwaukee county, in 1836. Young James re- 
ceived the rudiments of an education at the district school in Green- 
field, and at an early age proved materially useful in assisting his 
father on the farm. At a time when many youths are more intent 
upon skylarking than upon applying themselves to the serious pur- 
suits of life he was in command of a gang of men and built a por- 
tion of the Janesville plank road. Upon the discovery of gold in 
California he sailed from New York, making the voyage by way of 
Cape Horn, and arriving in San Francisco in the spring of 1850. 
The next year found him, just turned of age, back in Milwaukee, 
where he organized an expedition to take a drove of horses and cat- 
tle across the plains and mountains to the Pacific slope. It was a 
hold experiment, but he planned it carefully and carried it through 
in 1852, realizing profits amounting to several thousand dollars. 
With part of the proceeds of this enterprise he established himself 
as a farmer in the valley of the Sacramento, and also engaged on a 
large scale in the cattle business, making purchases at Salt Lake 
and taking his droves over the mountains to different sections of 
California, where cattle were scarce. In 1853 he returned to Wis- 
consin and shipped to California the threshing machine and reaper 
with which modern improved farming was inaugurated in the 
Golden State. In 1854 he took another drove of cattle across the 
plains, and on this expedition had several skirmi.shes with the In- 
dians. In 1855. at the request of his father, whose health had be- 
come precarious, he left his California interests and resumed his 
residence in Wisconsin. For a time he lived on a farm near Mil- 
waukee. Entering politics, he was elected to the legislature as a 
member of the assembly in 1856, and from 1864 to 1868 served with 
•credit in the responsible office of treasurer of Milwaukee county. 


In 1867 he was again elected a member of the assembly. Soon 
thereafter Mr. Reynolds removed with his family to Kansas, taking 
with him some fine blooded stock, and devoting five years to an 
endeavor to make a profit from stock farming in that state. There, 
as in Wisconsin, his neighbors honored him by electing him to the 
legislature. In 1874 he removed to Kansas City, Mo., and engaged 
in the commission business, losing everything which he possessed 
except his courage and his ambition. His next field of operations 
was Chicago, where he re-embarked as a commission merchant. 
Before long he became interested in mines in Colorado, and also 
engaged in the sheep business. Continuing to reside in Chicago, he 
was engaged in an important work of improvement in Wisconsin — 
the' reclamation of swamp lands in the vicinity of Muskego and 
Wind lakes, a few miles west of Milwaukee. In religion Mr. Rey- 
nolds was a Catholic, in politics a Democrat. 

Moses M. Strong is given by the Blue Book as a representative 
from Milwaukee, and the city directory for 1857 locates him at Mil- 
waukee as land commissioner for the La Crosse & Milwaukee rail- 
road, residence at the Newhall, which accounts for his appearance 
as a Milwaukee member, although his residence here was only for 
a special purpose. He was a lifelong resident of Mineral Point after 
locating in Wisconsin in 1836, and he died at that place on July 20, 

Jonathan Taylor was a prominent politician and contractor in 
the Fourth ward of Milwaukee for several years. He built a frame 
dwelling at No. 149 Second street, which was his residence. He 
went from here to New York city, where, in connection with 
Charles Trainor, another old-time Milwaukee contractor, he made 
a large amount of money in putting down the block pavement. 

Thomas H. Eviston was born in the north of Ireland and came 
from Providence, R. I., to Milwaukee in 1842. He was quite prom- 
inent as a fireman under the old volunteer system, and also as a 
lumber dealer in connection with the late Sanford B. Grant. He 
and his wife were both lost on the ill-fated steamer. Lady Elgin, 
on Sept. 9, i860. 

Robert Haney was born on June 8. 1809. in Batavia. Genesee 
county, N. Y., grew up in that state, and began his business career 
there. His boyhood and early manhood were passed in Batavia, where 
he received a fair English education, being graduated at the Boys' 
Academy at that place. In 1839 ^^ began as a hardware merchant 
in Batavia and continued in that business until 1850. In 1848 he 
brought a stock of goods to Milwaukee, and left it in charge of John 


De Bow, with whom he had entered into partnership, until two years 
later, when, after a disastrous fire in Batavia, he removed both his 
family and his business to Milwaukee. Engaging in the wholsesale 
and retail hardware trade, he first did business in a store on one of the 
lots on which the Plankinton House has since been built, and two years 
later removed to East Water street, where he continued in active busi- 
ness up to the end of his life. His career was a prosperous one and 
at his demise, which occurred on Jan. 7, 1885, he left a handsome 
fortune as well as a good name. A Democrat of the old school he 
adhered firmly to that political faith, but only once allowed himself 
to accept any kind of political preferment. That was in i860, when 
he was chosen a member of the assembly from the First ward of Mil- 
waukee, and served through the important session of the legislature, 
which was charged with the responsibility of putting the state on a war 

John Rugee was born in Lubeck, Germany, Jan. 3, 1827, the son 
of Christopher and Christina Rugee, both of whom were also natives of 
Germany. From 1832 to 1839 he received instruction from private 
tutors, and as he showed a marked fondness for drawing and design- 
ing special attention was given to his education along these lines. In 
1839 h^ accompanied his father and sister on a visit to this country, 
sailing from Hamburg, where they waited several days to take passage 
on an English vessel, hoping to pick up some knowledge of the English 
language on the way over. They landed in New York in July, and 
after spending a few months in the United States, the elder Rugee 
and his son returned to Germany, leaving the daughter in New York. 
The following vear he returned to this country accompanied by his 
family — consisting of his wife and two sons, John and Herman — join- 
ing in New York city his daughter, Ann, who had remained there to 
await their coming. For two years they resided in New York, and then 
removed to Ulster county, where they settled temporarily on a farm. 
John Rugee tired of farming at the end of a year and went to Pough- 
keepsie, where he served an apprenticeship of three years to the car- 
penter's and joiner's trade. This constituted his start in life, and for 
several years afterward he worked at his trade as a journeyman car- 
penter, being employed during the years 1848-49-50 as foreman in the 
construction of breweries, grain elevators and bridges. He came to 
Wisconsin in 185 1, and in the fall of that year entered the employ of 
Stoddard Martin as superintendent of construction in the work of 
building bridges and grain elevators. In 1853 he entered into partner- 
ship with his employer, Mr. Martin, the firm thus established becom- 
ing known as architects, builders and manufacturers of sashes, doors, 


and blinds, and entering upon the construction of public works and 
building-s upon an extensive scale. In the spring of 1855 ^^^- Rugee 
completed the construction of a bridge, resting and swinging upon a 
center pier, across Black river at Port Huron, Mich., an achievement 
which attracted at the time much attention. In 1854 he built at Spring 
street the first bridge in this city to swing on a center pier, and was 
also the builder of the bridge at Walker's Point. He and his partner 
were the builders of the ill-fated Newall House in 1856-57, but from 
that date to the time of his retirement from the business in 1880 he 
devoted himself almost entirely to the manufacture of building mate- 
rials, to architectural work, and the erection of private buildings. In 
1872, Mr. Martin having died, he entered into a partnership with Emil 
Durr, under the firm name of Durr & Rugee, becoming a wholesale 
and retail dealer in lumber, lath and shingles, and in 1887 be became 
interested with T. Stewart White and Thomas Friant,, of Grand 
Haven, Mich., in the manufacture of lumber. In 1880 he disposed of 
his interest in the sash, door and lumber business, and engaged for 
the next three years with his son, John C. Rugee, in the manufacture 
of refrigerators. From 1872 to 1880 he was supervising architect 
for the Best, Schlitz and Falk brewing companies, and many of the 
buildings connected with these great breweries were erected under his 
supervision. The first official position which Mr. Rugee held in Mil- 
waukee was that of alderman, to which he was elected in 1855. He 
was re-elected in 1857, and in i860 was elected member of the legisla- 
ture. In 1880 he accepted the Republican nomination for sheriff of 
Milwaukee county, was elected over one of the most popular men in 
the Democratic party, and served two years in that office, a thoroughly 
competent, honorable and worthy official. He was appointed to super- 
intend the construction of the present court house, was for many years 
a trustee of the Milwaukee County Insane Asylum, was a member of 
the Old Settlers' Club, and affiliated with the order of Odd Fellows. 
He built up a large fortune and continued in active business until 
August, 1893, at which time h^ was stricken with a fatal illness. 
Accompanied by his wife and son he went to California in December 
of that year, hoping to regain his health through change of climate, 
but the effort proved unavailing and he died in Redlands, March 7, 

George Abert was born on May 10, 1817, in the province of Al- 
sace, then in France, now a part of the German Empire. The father 
died at the age of thirty-one, and the son was left at the tender age of 
ten years without paternal care or guardianship. He manifested a 
determined purpose to seek his fortune in America and accompanied 


his uncle, who arrived in New York in 1829, settling at Lyons, in 
Wayne county, of that state. Here he worked during the summer 
months and attended the schools, such as they had at that time, during 
the winter, until he was fourteen years of age. At that time he de- 
cided to throw off the fetters of boyhood and manage his own ship, and 
bidding adieu to his uncle and family at Lyons, he came west to Colum- 
bus, Ohio, where he at once succeeding in finding employment, al- 
though the compensation for labor at that time was a mere pittance 
as compared with that of the present time. At the end of three years 
he returned to Lyons, and after a short visit again bade his relatives 
adieu and started for Buffalo, N. Y., where he secured passage on one 
of the first boats leaving Buffalo for Milwaukee, reaching here in July, 
1836. He readily found employment with Byron Kilbourn, assisting 
him to make land surveys in various sections of the territory, and also 
in laying out roadways leading from Milwaukee into the interior. In 
1837 he accompanied Mr. Kilbourn, who had important legislative 
business to attend to, to Burlington, now in Iowa, at which place the 
territorial legislature was in session. In the winter of 1838 Mr. Abert 
was selected to make a trip to Washington, D. C, and he traveled 
alone from Milwaukee to the capital in a sleigh. In 1839 ^^ P^^" 
chased a corner lot at the intersection of Third and Poplar streets, 
on which he erected a building in which the first bakery on the West 
Side was established. In 1843 ^""^ established a pottery in this city, 
having secured a practical potter to superintend it. In 1846 when Mil- 
waukee was by charter made a city, he was elected an alderman, rep- 
resenting his word in the first council of the city government. He 
was a representative in the state legislature in 1861, '62 and '63. He 
was again elected to the same office for the sessions of 1868, '69, '70 
and '72. In politics he was a Democrat of conservative tendencies, 
supporting all war measures by his vote in the legislature, and dili- 
gently working to secure all necessary legislation for the city of his 
adoption, and for the general welfare of the State. In 1865 he estab- 
lished the first iron foundry in the Northwest devoted exclusively to the 
manufacture of stoves and hollow-ware — at that time the only one west 
of New York state — which was for many years carried on successfully. 
Mr. Abert died on Oct. 14, 1890. at the family residence erected by him 
in 1849. 

Jacob Van Vechten Platto was born in Schenectady, N. Y., Jan. 
17, 1822. His father removed from Schenectady to Albany, N. Y., 
when the son was six years old, and as a builder was engaged there in 
the construction of some of the public buildings of the capital city. 
J. V. V. Platto grew up in Albany and obtained his education in the 


public schools of that city. When he was sixteen years old he entered 
the office of Judge Rufus Peckham, famous among- the lawyers of New 
York state at that time, as a lawyer's clerk and student, and devoted the 
next four vears of his life to a study of the law in connection with the 
various duties which he was called upon to perform. In connection 
with his law studies Mr. Platto gave special attention to book-keep- 
ing while employed in this law office, and becoming very proficient 
in what was then a comparatively lucrative calling, immediately after 
his admission to the bar, in 1843, ^^ went to New York and for two 
years held the position of book-keeper in a large wholesale drygoods 
house in that city. He was engaged in commercial business in the 
East until 1848, when he came to Milwaukee and became interested 
in the wholesale liquor trade, to which he gave a large share of his 
attention for several years thereafter. It was about the year 1856 that 
he first became recognized as an active member of the bar, and only 
a few years later he attained special prominence by his able conduct of 
a case which was one of the causes celehre of that period — the George 
P. Shelton murder case. In 1849 ^^ purchased a block of ground on 
Eighth street, near what was then Spring street — now Grand avenue 
— and built a little home there, into which he moved with the young 
Avife to whom he had been married in New York state in 1843. Affili- 
atating with the Democratic party, Mr. Platto was a conservative in 
politics, and, while taking an active interest in public affairs, cared little 
about figuring as a public official. The only elective office which he 
held was that of representative in the general assembly of Wisconsin 
in 1862. Mr. Platto died in 1898. 

John Bentley, a native of Wales and the son of Thomas and 
Jane (Jones) Bentley, was born at Newtown, Montgomeryshire, North 
Wales, March 23, 1822. At an early age he was engaged as a clerk 
in a seed store in Wales, and soon developed traits of character which 
made him greatly admired by his employers. At the age of seventeen 
years he joined his father in America, and upon his arrival in New 
York apprenticed himself to a plumber and brass-fitter in Brooklyn. 
After remaining in this employ a year and a half he went to Saratoga 
count}- in northern New York, where he found employment with a 
farmer who was engaged to some extent in the lumber business. The 
following spring he went down the Hudson river on a raft to New York- 
city. The metropolis had no attraction for the young Welshman, and 
while visiting his father in Orange county he apprenticed himself to a 
master builder and mason, and in this business learned his trade thor- 
oughly. He came to Milwaukee in 1848, and followed this business here 
up to the time of his death. Politically he was prominently identified with 


the Democratic party. He cast his first vote for James K. Polk, and 
ever after interested himself in advancing the interests of the Demo- 
cratic party to such an extent as he found himself able to give attention 
to politics without interfering with his business interests. The first 
oflfice to which he was elected was that of chairman of the board of 
supervisors of the town of Lake, in which town he resided when he 
first came to Wisconsin. He was next a member of the legislative as- 
sembly in 1863. He was a war Democrat, and was active in filling the 
quota of soldiers required from the state of Wisconsin, and in various 
ways helped the cause of Union and national supremacy. After his 
removal to Milwaukee he was elected to the board of aldermen, and 
subsequently re-elected ; at the same time he served as county super- 
visor and helped to complete the court house. He was known as a 
liberal Democrat,, and was again elected to the legislature, serving 
in that body in 1878, 1879 ^^^ 1880. He served on the Committee on 
Claims for two years, and was also chairman of the Milwaukee dele- 
gation ; and it was undoubtedly his untiring effort and energetic action, 
coupled with those of the late George H. Payne, which secured to 
Milwaukee the State Normal School. Mr. Bentley was the author of 
this bill and the measure was one which brought the leading cities of 
the state into hot competition, each striving to become the seat of the 
proposed institution of learning. He was also the author of the joint 
resolution which was sent to Washington requesting the Senate and 
House to make Milwaukee a harbor of refuge. In the fall of 1880 
his party nominated him for sheriff of Milwaukee county, but he was 
defeated by John Rugee, that being the only time he was ever defeated 
for an office when before the people. He was later elected to the 
office of sheriff and served two years, and it is the expression of the 
business men of the community that the affairs of the office were never 
better managed. For a few years after he retired from the sheriff's 
office he devoted himself to his private business, but after 1889 lived a 
retired life. He was too closely identified with the city, however, to be 
entirely idle, and was appointed by Mayor Brown to the office of park 
commissioner in 1889. which office he held up to the time of his death, 
which occurred March 5, 1894. 

Levi Hubbell was born in Balston, Saratoga county, N. Y.. in 
1808, and graduated at Union College in 1827. During his college 
course and while a beardless boy of sixteen, he did good service on the 
stump for Andrew Jackson. Four years after he finished his educa- 
tion, he commenced to practice law, and soon came to the favorable 
notice of Governor Marcy, who appointed him private secretary. He 
was a member of the New York legislature in 1833, and previous to 


his departure for Wisconsin served a term as adjutant-general. Com- 
ing to this city in 1841, he became one of the law firm, Hubbell, Finch 
& Lvnde, and soon acquired a large practice and an extensive acquain- 
tance by his urbane and polished manners. The first judicial election 
under the state organization of 1848 resulted in the election of Mr. 
Hubbell as judge of the Second circuit, consisting of Milwaukee, 
Waukesha, Jefferson and Dane counties. The term expired in 185 1, 
but in the same year he was re-elected and he retained the office until 
1856. He then returned to the practice of his profession, and, al- 
though a Jacksonian Democrat by education, joined the Republican 
ranks at the breaking out of the war. He was a member of the state 
legislature in 1864, and United States district attorney in 1871, being 
succeeded by George W. Hazelton in 1875. Mr. Hubbell died on Dec. 
8, 1876. 

John C. U. Niedermann was born on Jan. 8, 1810, in Baireuth, in 
the German province of Bavaria. He received his early education in 
his native city, where he attended the parish school until he reached 
his fifteenth year, and was confirmed in the Lutheran faith, after which 
it was decided that he should learn a trade. As his father was a baker 
by occupation, it was quite natural that he should adopt that calling, 
and he was apprenticed to the baker's trade. Upon completing his 
term of apprenticeship, young Niedermann made the customary jour- 
ney as a journeyman baker, visiting Austria, Bohemia and Silesia, re- 
turning then to Baireuth, where he remained until he was twenty-six 
years old. He then emigrated to America, landing in New York in 
1836. He remained there five years, working at his trade, and then 
decided to come to Milwaukee, where he arrived early in 1842. He 
purchased a lot on East Water street, on which he built a shop and 
established a bakery, the property thus acquired remaining in his pos- 
session until his death. In 1845 ^^ removed to the South Side and en- 
gaged in the manufacture of brick, but after five years gave up this in- 
dustry and never after that engaged in active business pursuits. 
Though in no sense a ])nlitician, he represented the Eighth ward several 
terms as an alderman, and served one term — during the session of 
1864 — in the state legislature as member of the assembly. He was an 
ardent Republican after that party came into existence, and before 
its birth had affiliated with the Whigs. During the last fifty years of 
his life he resided at the corner of Fifth avenue and Scott street, where 
he died on Oct. 8, 1892, sincerely mourned by a large circle of friends 
and acquaintances. 

Harrison Carroll Hobart was born on Jan. 31, 181 5, in Ashburn- 
hani, Worcester, Mass., his father being a typical New England 



farmer. At sixteen he went to New Hampshire and spent three years 
learning the printer's trade. As a journeyman printer he earned the 
means to prepare for college at the Concord Literary Institute and at 
New Hampton Academy, and in 1838 entered Dartmouth College, sup- 
porting himself there by teaching winters at the Rochester Academy, 
graduating with honors in 1842. It was young Hobart, while in col- 
lege, who first suggested organizing the Phi Kappa College Society. 
He studied law in the office of the late Robert Rantoul, Jr., and many 
years later, when he became a citizen of Calumet county, he caused one 
of the towns of that county to be named Rantoul, in honor of his 
former friend and instructor. He was admitted to the bar in Suffolk 
county in 1845, ^^^ the next year settled in the village of Sheboygan, 
and at once became prominent as a lawyer and successful in his prac- 
tice, a practice which continued until the breaking out of the war of 
1861. He very soon took an active part in politics as a Democrat. In 
1847 ^^^ ^^'3-S a member of the territorial legislature from the counties of 
Sheboygan and Washington, and an able, industrious and influential 
member. It was while a member of that body that Mr. Hobart intro- 
duced a bill, which was passed, to construct a railroad from Milwau- 
kee to Waukesha. He also introduced a bill to abolish capital punish- 
ment. He was a senator from the First district in the first state legis- 
lature, and served as chairman of the Judiciary committee that year, 
having the most difficult work of any committee during the session. 
He introduced and secured the passage of the homestead exemption 
law, and was active in securing the passage of the liberal franchise 
law, granting civil rights to women, the school laws, which have re- 
mained about the same ever since, and the law creating the State Uni- 
versity and the State Historical Society. In the next legislature he 
appeared as a member of the assembly and was promptly chosen 
speaker. It was in that session that he procured the passage of a bill 
for incorporating the Sheboygan & Fond du Lac Railroad Company. 
On its organization he was attorney for the board of directors. In 
1850 he was the Democratic candidate for Congress in what was 
known as the Third district, but was defeated. In 1854 he removed 
to Calumet county and assisted in founding the city of Chilton, which 
he made his home. In 1856 he was again nominated for Congress, his 
Republican opponent being the late Charles Billinghurst, and he was 
defeated by a small majority. In 1859 he returned to the assembly 
from the Calumet county district, and, among other bills introduced by 
him, was one incorporating a company to build a railroad from Mil- 
waukee to Green Bay. In 1858 he was also chosen a regent of the 
State University. Without any effort on his part. Mr. Hobart was 


nominated by the Democrats for governor in 1859, that being his last 
appearance in politics until after the war. He went down to defeat, 
but he lost none of his personal popularity. That April day in 1861, 
when the news reached Chilton that the war had begun, his law books 
were closed and he proceeded at once to raise a company for the coun- 
try's service. He was the first man to enlist in the company, and his 
comrades enthusiastically elected him as captain. While the Fourth 
Wisconsin cavalry, of which this company became a part, was at Balti- 
more,, Captain Hobart, on the order of General McClellan, served as 
judge advocate in the trial of officers in that city. He took an active 
part in all the operations of General Butler's army as far up the Mis- 
sissippi from New Orleans as Vicksburg, and was an active partici- 
pant in the battle of Baton Rouge when the late Confederate General 
Breckenridge attacked the Federal forces under General Williams. 
On Aug. 21, 1862, Captain Hobart was promoted to lieutenant-colonel 
of the Twenty-first Wisconsin, his old neighbor. Col. Benjamin J. 
Sweet, being the colonel. Colonel Hobart actively participated in the 
battle of Murfreesboro and in a subsequent movement of the Army of 
the Cumberland. He was in the action at Hoover's Gap, with the ad- 
vance upon Tullahoma, at the crossing of the Tennessee river, Sept. 11, 
1863, and in a fight at Dug Gap. At the battle of Chickamauga, the 
order from General Thomas to fall back was not received by Colonel 
Hobart, who continued to hold his ground until he saw the other regi- 
ments retreating. He then fell back slowly, contesting all the ground, 
until the regiment was nearly surrounded, when he attempted to cut his 
way through the enemy, in which movement he was partially success- 
ful, for the main portion of the regiment reached a safe position, but 
Colonel Hobart and about seventy men were made prisoners. In com- 
pany with 1,700 prisoners, he went to Atlanta, and a few days later 
was on his way to Libby prison, Richmond, riding in a box car. There 
he was placed in charge of the execution of the project to escape and 
109 passed through a tunnel, which was excavated from the base- 
ment of the old tobacco warehouse under the street, the outer opening 
being made in a shed in sight of the prison. Colonel Hobart and his 
associates reached the Federal outposts near Fortress Monroe, and re- 
ported to General Butler. At the expiration of a furlough he rejoined 
his regim'ent in the field and was given a commission as colonel, Sweet 
having been promoted to brigadier-general. He participated in the 
capture of Atlanta and witnessed its surrender on Sept. 2, 1864, 
and was there promoted to command the First brigade, First division, 
of the Fourteenth corps, and was its commander until the end of the 
war. He was in the "march to the sea," under General Sherman, and 


on the capture of Savannah was promoted by President Lincohi, on the 
recommendation of General Sherman, to brigadier-general by brevet, 
for meritorious service. After the surrender of the Confederate army 
he marched through Richmond to Washington and led his brigade in 
the great review of the Federal armies. On June 8, 1865, more than 
four years after he had closed his law office at Chilton, this brave sol- 
dier, successful commander, who had won his way from a private to a 
brigadier-general, unbuckled his sword, parted with his command and 
was elected to the common council, chosen as president, and was acting 
to settle in Milwaukee and begin anew his professional and business 
pursuits. In the fall of 1865 he was again, without solicitation, nomi- 
nated for governor by his party, and was defeated by a small majority. 
In 1867 he was sent to the assembly from the Second district of Mil- 
waukee. He introduced and carried through a bill prohibiting, forever, 
the consolidation of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul and the 
Chicago & Northwestern railroads. He was the author of the bill 
creating the Milwaukee High School, and was the author of the eight- 
hour law. In 1868 he opened a law office in Washington and was ad- 
mitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the late 
Chief Justice E. G. Ryan making the motion. He was not well satis- 
fied with life in Washington, and in due time returned to Milwaukee, 
was elected to the common council, chosen as president,, and was acting 
mayor for a time ; was president of the Public Library Association and 
for years was a school commissioner. For a long time he managed the 
extensive real estate business of the late Alexander Mitchell, and per- 
formed similar duties for his son, the late Senator John L. Mitchell. 
General Hobart died on Jan. 26, 1902. 

Truman H. Judd, who was for many years a leading spirit among 
the manufacturers of Milwaukee, and one of the men who contributed 
in many ways to the social and moral as well as to the industrial de- 
velopment of the city, was born in Milton, Saratoga county, N. Y., Oct. 
27, 1817, and died in San Jose, Cal., May 9, 1884. When he was 
eleven years of age he removed with his father's family to Chemung 
county, N. Y., and remained there several years, witnessing the con- 
struction of the Chemung canal as a boy. At a later date 
he lived for a time at Buffalo, and came West from that city 
the first time in 1836. He was educated in the public schools 
of New York, and developed early into a resourceful, self-reliant 
young man,, ambitious to make the best of his opportunities, 
and willing to labor earnestly and industriously to achieve hon- 
orable success. Attracted to the West by what he heard of its 
wonderful resources, he set out for Illinois in the spring of 1836, and 


first visited Chicago, then a village which was anything but attractive 
in appearance, and which to the casual observer gave little promise of 
future greatness. After stopping a little time in Chicago he extended 
his tour of observation into Wisconsin, then a territory and only a little 
time before separated from Michigan territory, of which it had pre- 
viously been a part. After traveling somewhat extensively through 
this new and promising country, he returned to New York state, and 
two years later, having attained his majority, engaged in business first 
on his own account as a contractor on the Genesee Valley canal in 
Allegany county. He had formed a good opinion of the West, how- 
ever, and in 1843 removed to Wisconsin to continue his occupation as 
a public works contractor. In 1844 ^^ began building a turnpike road 
from Milwaukee to Muskego, a distance of twelve miles. The funds 
for this enterprise were furnished by subscriptions of citizens of Mil- 
waukee and the adjacent country who were interested in the improve- 
ment, and Mr. Judd completed it in 1845, ^^''^^ being the first public 
highway leading out from Milwaukee and penetrating the interior of 
the territory. Soon after completing this work he removed to Dodge 
county, where he built a sawmill and began the improvement of lands, 
which he developed into a farm. In 1850 he was chosen superintendent 
of the Milwaukee & Watertown plank road, and removed to Hartland, 
where he resided during the years of 1850 and 1851, while engaged 
in making this improvement, and for four years thereafter, during 
which time he had charge of the conduct and management of the 
road. Retiring from this position in 1856, he removed to Milwaukee 
and engaged in the lumber business, which he followed successfully 
and contmuously until 1879. In addition to this enterprise he also 
entered into a partnership with John Hiles, another of the noted pion- 
eer manufacturers of Milwaukee, and engaged in the manufacture of 
sash, doors and blinds. In 1871 Mr. Judd erected the brick business 
block at the corner of Clybourn avenue and West Water street. In 
addition to constructing some of the earliest public highways in Wis- 
consin, he was also one of the builders of the Milwaukee & Water- 
town railway, one of the first railroads in the state. As earlv as 1854 
he constructed two bridges over Rock river on this line, and was 
afterward connected for a time with the business management of the 
railroad. In 1879 ^^^ retired from active business other than the care 
of his estate, and after 1880 impaired health caused him to reside much 
of the time in California. For many years after the Republican party 
came into existence he was in full sympathy with, the principles and pol- 
icies of that organization, but during the later years of his life did not 
fullv endorse its financial policy. In 1866 he was elected to the lower 


branch of the legislature of Wisconsin, and in 1878 was the candidate 
of the Greenback party for member of Congress from the Milwaukee 

Daniel H. Richards was born on Feb. 12, 1808, in Burlington, Ot- 
sego county, N. Y. At the age of sixteen he went to Canada and 
learned the printer's trade. In the spring of 1835 he opened a store of 
general merchandise near Peoria, 111. During the same year he came 
to Chicago, and, in 1836, he established the Milwaukee Advertiser, as 
is noticed in the sketch of that paper. He made an arrangement with 
Col. Hans Crocker, who, for some months, was its sole editor, while 
its business management and the mechanical work devolved upon the 
former. From the time of his arrival in Milwaukee until the Civil 
war, Mr. Richards was much interested in the public enterprises which 
most concerned Milwaukee — the Horicon road, the Rock river canal, 
etc. — but, in common with others who dabbled in such schemes for the 
city's advancement, his personal gains were nothing. He invested 
some in real estate, and finally died at the old homestead in the Thir- 
teenth ward, on Feb. 6, 1877. He was a thorough Democrat to the 
time of his death. 

Henry Conrad Runkel was born in the province of Nassau, Ger- 
many, April 17, 1834, and was a son of George P. and Anna M. 
(Lemb) Runkel. When he was seven years of age the family re- 
moved to Mayence on the River Rhine and he received the major part 
of his education in that city. He attended first the public schools and 
later the School of Arts, leaving that institution to come to America 
in 1 85 1. Landing in New York, in August of that year, he remained 
there a short time and then came to Milwaukee, where he engaged in 
various kinds of employment and in teaching school until 1858. At 
that time he turned his attention to the study of law, and in 1862 was 
admitted to the bar. He began the practice of his profession in this 
city immediately thereafter, and drew about him a large circle of 
clients Avithin the few years next succeeding. In 1877 he formed a 
partnership with Hon. R. N. Austin and in 1886 W. H. Austin was 
admitted to the firm. This partnership continued under the firm name 
of Austin, Runkel & Austin until 1891, when it was dissolved by the 
election of the senior member of the firm to the Superior judgeship. 
After the dissolution of this firm, which for many years had been 
conspicuous at the bar, Mr. Runkel associated himself with his son, 
Albert C. Runkel, and under the firm name of Runkel & Runkel con- 
tinued the practice up to the time of his death, which occurred on June 
27, 1895. In 1858 he was elected a justice of the peace and served in 
that capacity until 1864. From i860 to 1862 he was assessor of the 


city, and in 1868, 1869 and 1870, he represented the Ninth ward in 
the lower branch of the legislature of Wisconsin. For twelve years 
he was a member of the city school board, and in advancing the edu- 
cational interests of the city was a potent factor during that time. 
Reared a Protestant, he always affiliated with that branch of the Chris- 
tian church, and was a Democrat in politics so far as the national 
issues were concerned. A pronounced opponent of paternalism in 
government, and in sympathy in the main with the principles and poli- 
cies of the Democratic party, he espoused the cause of the Democracy 
with ardor, and wielded an important influence in the counsels of the 
party in the city and state. 

Daniel H. Johnson was born near Kingston, Ontario, July 21, 
1825, and spent the years of his boyhood in the Dominion of Canada. 
His early education was obtained in the schools of Kingston, and after 
coming to the United States he attended Rock River seminary at Mt. 
Morris, 111., one year. From 1842 until 1849 he engaged in teaching 
school and in the meantime read law. xA.t Prairie du Chien, Wis., he 
was admitted to the bar, in the Circuit court of Crawford county, and 
began his practice there. For two or three years while he was resid- 
ing at Prairie du Chien he published the Courier at that place, but with 
the exception of the time devoted to editorial work he practiced law 
continuously in Crawford county until 1861. He was a member of the 
lower branch of the state legislature in 1861, representing the counties 
of Crawford and Bad Axe — now Vernon county — and served as 
assistant attorney-general of the state during 1861 and a portion of 
1862. In the summer of the year 1862 he went South and was engaged 
for some months as a clerk in the paymaster's department of the United 
States army. Returning to Wisconsin in the fall of that year, he came 
to Milwaukee and turned his attention again to the practice of law. 
In 1869 and in 1870 he represented the Seventh ward of this city in the 
assembly of Wisconsin. From 1878 to 1880 he was city attorney, and 
in 1887 was elected Circuit judge. He was re-elected to that office in 
1893, and again in 1899. Judge Johnson died in 1900. 

Nathan Brick was born in South Gardner, Worcester county, 
Mass., Dec. 24, 1820. His father, Nathan Brick, and his mother, Mary 
(Edgell) Brick, both died before he was nine years of age, and he was 
reared by a brother of his mother, Farwell Edgell, of South Gardner. 
After receiving a common school education he was apprenticed to a 
chairmaker, learning his trade with S. K. Pierce, another uncle. Hav- 
ing mastered his trade, and having the pronounced taste for adven- 
ture which was characteristic of the New England youth ot sixty years 
ago, he shipped aboard the whaling vessel "George Washington" as 


ship's carpenter, and spent four }ears cruising about in various parts 
of the world. When he left the sea he applied himself to his trade and 
worked in South Gardner until 185 1, when he came West for the 
purpose of looking up a location which should promise better returns 
for labor, or at least a field in which he should find more opportunities 
for advancement and the accumulation of fortune than that in which 
he had spent the earlier years of his life. Fixing upon Milwaukee 
as a satisfactory location, he returned to Massachusetts in 1852 and 
married Miss Lucy Newton, who was born in Hubbardstown in 1827. 
Coming to Milwaukee immediately after their marriage the voung 
couple established their home here and Mr. Brick engaged, in a small 
way at first, in the furniture business. In 1880 he sold his business to 
his son, but continued his connection with it until 1885, when he re- 
tired from commercial pursuits. He was a Republican from the date 
of the organization of that party to the end of his life, and believing 
fully and unreservedly in its principles and policies he missed no oppor- 
tunity to promote its interests in a legitimate and proper way. He was 
for several years a member of the board of aldermen of Milwaukee, 
and in 1870 served with credit in the state legislature as a member of 
the assembly. Mr. Brick died at his home in this city on Feb. 11, 
1890, and with the majority of his old friends rests in Forest Home 

Stephen A. Harrison was born on Sept. 18, 1829, in England, and 
came to this country from London in 1854. In the fall of that year he 
came to Milwaukee, having previously stopped for a time in Chicago, 
where the cholera was then prevalent and where other causes operated 
to prevent his permanent location in that city. Before settling down to 
engage in business he traveled over considerable portions of Illinois 
and Wisconsin, visiting the lead regions, La Crosse, Madison, Portage, 
Sparta and other towns which were then just beginning to be looked 
upon as places of some consequence. For something like two years 
after he came to Milwaukee, he did not engage in any regular busi- 
ness. Early in the winter of 1856 he arranged with Mr. Ransom and 
L^. B. Smith, who had taken a contract from the United States to build 
light houses on Lakes Superior and Winnebago, to take charge of a 
portion of their work, and his connection with public improvements in 
the Northwest began in this capacity. After completing his work at 
Menasha, he returned to Milwaukee with a cash capital of about $1,600, 
and soon afterward became actively engaged in construction work of 
various kinds. In the spring of 1857 he began business as a contractor 
by erecting the block of stores at the intersection of Huron and West 
Water streets, known as the "Waldo Block," and the same year, in 



company with a partner, constructed the first large gas holder in the 
Third ward, and did other work for the gas company. Until 1870 he 
was largely engaged in general contract work, and no one who en- 
gaged in this work in Milwaukee did more for the material improve- 
ment and building up of the city. As early as 1861 he had engaged in 
railroad construction, and after 1870 turned his attention entirely to 
this business. Prior to 1892 he and those associated with him in his 
various enterprises had constructed for the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. 
Paul railroad company upward of 1,000 miles of railway in the states 
of Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and the Dakotas. He also built 
the tunnel now in use on the La Crosse division of this system at Tun- 
nel City, which was constructed in the winter of 1875-76. Much of the 
railroad construction work done was difficult, one section of 212 miles 
in northern Wisconsin and Michigan, built in 1887, having been built 
through a region so heavily timbered that only fifteen miles of the 
right of way could be ridden over on horseback. x\fter 1887 he gave 
but little attention to contract work, his old employes, William Blood- 
good and A. D. McDougal, to whom he attributed much of his success, 
having taken charge of the work in which they became jointly inter- 
ested. With Col. George B. Goodwin and six others, Mr. Harrison or- 
ganized the first Republican club in Winnebago county, in the fall of 
1855, at a time when Republicanism was looked upon by a consider- 
able portion of the population of Wisconsin as a reproach, this little 
band of pioneers in the movement being held up to ridicule by "Jerry" 
Crowley, editor of a Menasha paper, as "Shanghais." Mr. Harrison 
was ever after an active and prominent member of the Republican 
party in Wisconsin. In 1869 ^^ was elected to the Milwaukee* common 
council, and served as a member of the committee which accepted the 
plans for the present sewerage and water systems of the city. He was 
also a member of the committee on bridges, and one of the first to ad- 
vocate the construction of permanent stone "center piers," and the 
substitution of iron for wood in building all future bridges across the 
rivers. In 1870 and again in 1875 he served as a member of the state 
legislature from Milwaukee, and in this official capacity rendered ex- 
ceedingly valuable services to the city, in helping to procure legislation 
providing for the construction of the present canal system of the Me- 
nomonee valley. He died in 1898. 

Frederick A. Zautcke was born in Prussia, July 25, 1838, the sec- 
ond son of Ernest and Louisa (Schallock) Zautcke. His parents came 
to America in 1841 and settled in the town of Granville, where the 
son received his education, after which he attended the Spencerian 
Business College of Milwaukee for about nine months. In 1869 Mr. 


Zautcke was elected to the state assembly on the Republican ticket, 
and was re-elected in 1875. In 1869, when he was first honored by the 
suffrages of his friends and fellow citizens, the district was largely 
Democratic, but his personal popularity and sterling worth led to a 
Republican triumph, and he was elected over his Democratic opponent 
by a majority of 188 votes. He served as clerk of the Granville school 
board for fifteen years and always evinced a great interest in matters 
pertaining to education. Mr. Zautcke died in 1901. 

John Watson Gary was born in Shoreham, Vermont, Feb. 11, 
1 81 7, and died in Ghicago, March 29, 1895. In 1831 the family re- 
moved to Sterling, Gayuga county, N. Y., and for a time after this 
removal he found employment in a country store. He had little taste 
for this business, however, and soon returned to the farm on which his 
father had settled, embracing the opportunity afforded him at that 
time for advancing his education through attendance at a private 
academy at Hannibal, then conducted by Rev. Jason Lathrop, at a 
later date well known in Wisconsin. While preparing himself for col- 
lege, Mr. Gary taught school and worked on the farm alternately until 
1837. He then entered a lyceum at Geneva, N. Y., and was fitted for 
college under the preceptorship of Rev. Justus French and Rev. Wil- 
liam Hogarth, rceieving some instructions also from Martin French, 
who was then principal of an academy at Victory, N Y. In 1838 he 
matriculated in Union Gollege, and was graduated in that institution 
in the class of 1842. During the last year of his college course he be- 
gan the study of law in the offfce of Samuel W. Jones, of Schenectady, 
and after his graduation he completed his law studies in the office of 
George Rathbun, of Auburn, N. Y. He was admitted to the bar in the 
Supreme court at Albany, N Y., in 1844, Justice Samuel Nelson pre- 
siding at that time, and Ghancellor W^alworth, the last of the New 
York chancellors — admitted him as a solicitor in chancery, at Saratoga, 
soon afterward. In February, 1844, he began the practice of his pro- 
fession at Red Greek in Wayne county, N. Y., and remained there until 
1850, when he removed to Wisconsin, locating in Racine. At Racine 
he became a partner of Judge James R. Doolittle in 185 1,, and this 
partnership continued in existence until Judge Doolittle was elected to 
the bench in 1854. Mr. Gary became a member of the Milwaukee bar 
in 1859, removing to this city at that time. Devoted to his profession, 
he held comparatively few public offices, although he was a Democrat 
of the old school and took an active interest in promoting the success 
of his party. The first oflfice which he ever held was that of postmaster 
at Red Greek, N. Y., which he filled by appointment of President Polk. 
In 1853 ^^^ 1854 ^^ was a member of the Wisconsin state senate and 


was mayor of Racine in 1857. After his removal to Milwaukee he 
served as a member of the city council and one term in the state legis- 
lature. He was also at one time during the war period the candidate 
of his party for Congress, and at a later date on different occasions 
received the complimentary vote of the party for United States senator. 

Frederick Vogel, Sr., was born at Kirchheim, in the German prov- 
ince of Wuertemberg, May 8, 1823, the youngest son of Jacob and 
Elizabeth Vogel. His father gave him a thorough education in the 
local gymnasium and afterward trained him to the tanning trade, 
which he followed the remainder of his life. At the age of twenty- 
three years he left his native land for America, arriving in New York 
in July, 1846. After a few weeks' stay in New York he continued his 
journey to Buffalo, where one of his cousins had a few years before 
started a small tannery. He remained in Buffalo two years in the em'- 
ploy of his cousin, being engaged in buying hides and skins and selling 
leather. He then succeeded in interesting his cousin and the late 
Guido Pfister in a plan to build and operate a tannery in Milwaukee, 
and this project was carried out in 1848. Mr. Vogel served as a mem- 
ber of the common council,, in 1856, and as a member of the state legis- 
lature in 1874. He was, after the Civil war, a supporter of the Repub- 
Hcan party, and believed in Republican principles, although not a 
strong partisan, frequently voting for the best man in local politics in 
preference to the candidate of his party. He died on Oct. 24, 1892. in 
his sixty-ninth year, while on his return from Europe, aboard the 
steamer "Lahu." 

Carl Frederick Wilhelm Kraatz was born in Jatznick, Germany, 
May 17, 1835, and was the son of Carl and Caroline (Schultz) Kraatz. 
As a boy he attended the village school of his native town and secured 
a good business education. Then having to make his own way in the 
world, he apprenticed himself to a stone mason and learned the trade 
while he was still a mere lad. In 1854 he came to this country and 
stopped for a time after his arrival in Wisconsin, in Milwaukee. From 
here he went to Sheboygan, with his parents, who settled on a farm 
and engaged somewhat extensively also in the lumber business. Not 
being favorably impressed with farming as an occupation, he deter- 
mined to seek a new field of labor,, and went from Sheboygan to New 
Orleans on a prospecting tour. In New Orleans he worked at his trade 
for a year or more, and then went to Independence, Mo., famous in 
the old days as an outfitting point for the wagon trains sent across the 
plains, and the eastern terminus of the historic Sante Fe trail. Being 
a Unionist in sentiment, Mr. Kraatz was compelled to seek a more con- 
genial locality and came North in 1861, returning again to Milwaukee. 


In 1866 he engaged in contracting on an extensive scale in company 
with his two brothers, John and Wilhelm^ Kraatz, and for many years 
they were among the most extensive builders in the city. In 1880 he 
engaged in the manufacture of brick, establishing yards at Wauwatosa, 
where he built up an extensive and valuable plant. In 1868 he was 
made a member of the common council of Milwaukee and served as 
an alderman from the Sixth ward two terms. In 1875 he was elected 
a representative to the lower branch of the state legislature and served 
with credit to himself and his constituency. Mr. Kraatz died on Jan. 
27, 1892. 

Charles L. Colby was born in Roxbury, Mass., May 22, 1839. He 
received his education at Brown University, Providence, R. I., and 
graduated with high honors in 1858. In 1859 ^^ entered the employ 
of Page,, Richardson & Co., of Boston, engaged in foreign shipping, 
with whom he remained three years, visiting Europe in their interest 
in i860. In 1862 he located in the city of New York, entering into a 
partnership with his brother under the firm name of C. L. & J. L. 
Colbv, and engaged in the shipping trade, which business they con- 
ducted successfully for nine years. From 1865 to 1871 they had 
charge of the large government warehouses, where importations of 
foreign goods entering the port of New York were held in bond. In 
1870 Mr. Colby first became interested in the building of the Wisconsin 
Central railroad. In 1873 he was elected its vice-president, and being 
a large stockholder he devoted his energy and business talent to the 
work of developing the railroad system of which the Wisconsin Cen- 
tral is a part. After embarking in railroad enterprises in 1870, he 
widened his sphere of operations in that direction and constructed new 
roads, all parts of one system and all tributary to Milwaukee. In poli- 
tics he was a prominent Republican, and served as a member of the 
Wisconsin Assembly in 1880. He was a member of the board of trus- 
tees of Brown University, his alma mater. In 1886 he removed to New 
York city, where he has since died. 

Jerome Ripley Brigham was born in Fitchburg, Mass., July 21, 
1825, the son of David and Elizabeth (Ripley) Brigham. He came 
with his parents to Wisconsin in 1839, and after he was fourteen years 
of age he resided in this state. zA.fter being fitted for college in West- 
ern schools he was sent back to New England to complete his education 
and was graduated at Amherst College in the class of 1845. Return- 
ing to Wisconsin after his graduation, he taught a private school in 
Madison one vear, and in the meantime studied law. In 1847 he was 
elected town clerk of Madison and held that office one year. He was 
clerk of the village of IMadison for several years, and upon the organ- 


ization of the Supreme Court of the state in August,, 1848, he was ap- 
pointed clerk of the court, and this office he held until 1851, when he 
resigned, having been admitted to the bar and being desirous of enter- 
ing upon the active practice of his profession. Removing to Milwaukee 
about this time, he formed a co-partnership with Hon. A. W. Stow, 
who had served as chief justice of the Supreme Court of the state, and 
Hon. Edward G. Ryan,, who became chief justice at a later date. This 
partnership lasted but a short time, and in 1852 he associated himself 
in the practice with Charles K. Wells, thus establishing a professional 
partnership which continued until the death of Mr. Wells in 1892. For 
many years the style of this firm was Wells & Brigham, but in 1879 
Horace A. J. Upham was admitted into the partnership, and the firm of 
Wells, Brigham & Upham came into existence. Mr. Brigham was for 
several years a member of the board of regents of the University of 
Wisconsin, served for a time as member of the city school board and 
was also one of the trustees of Milwaukee College. He was elected city 
attorney in 1880, and served in that capacity two years. He was a 
member of the board of City Fire and Police Commissioners from the 
organization of the board in 1885 until he resigned in 1888, and was a 
member of the state assembly in 1887. Identified politically with the 
Republican party, he championed the interests of that organization 
with ardor in all contests in which political issues were involved, but, 
at the same tirrte„ he favored such independent political action as would 
give the city the best kind of local government. A ready writer, he 
was a frequent contributor to the press, and had an official connection 
with the Sentinel Publishing Company. Mr. Brigham died in Milwau- 
kee on Jan. 21, 1897. 

Sheriffs. — The first executive officer of the courts in Milwaukee 
county after the adoption of the state constitution was Egbert Mose- 
ley. He was elected in April, 1848, and was re-elected in November 
of that year for the full term. Mr. Moseley was among the very earli- 
est settlers in the county, and his successors in the office of sheriff, 
with the years of their election to office, are as follows : 1850, John 
White; 1852. Herman L. Page; 1854. Samuel S. Conover; 1856, Her- 
man T>. Page; 1858, Andrew J. Langworthy ; i860, Charles H. Larkin; 
1862, Nelson Webster; 1864, C. M. Hoyt; 1866, Joseph Deuster; 1868, 
Gustav Brunst; 1870, William G. Parsons; 1872, John F. McDonald; 
1874, Charles Halzhauer; 1876, Casper M. Sanger; 1878, P. Van 
Vechten, Jr.; 1880, John Rugee ; 1882, John Bentley ; 1884. George 
Paschen; 1886. Newell Daniels; 1888, John F. Burnham ; 1890, Michael 
P. Walsh; 1892, Michael Dunn; 1894, William S. Stanley; 1896, Fred 
G. Isenring; 1898. George Durner; 1900, Theodore Zillmer; 1902, 


Frederick Tegtmeyer; 1904, William J. Gary; 1906, William R. Knell; 
1908, Herman E. Franke. 

Herman L. Page was born in Oneida county, N. Y., May 27, 
1818. In 1844 he removed to Milwaukee and opened a drygoods store. 
On his retirement from business, he accepted the position of under- 
sheriff of the county, in which office he particularly distinguished him- 
self as a detective in 185 1. In 1853 he became sheriff of the county 
and appointed William Beck as his deputy, and, being a man of great 
will and nerve, he was one of the most efficient officials the county ever 
possessed. He was chosen to the position again in 1856 and has the 
distinction of being the only man as yet to serve two terms as sheriflf of 
Milwaukee county. He was the first Grand Patriarch and the third 
Grand Master of the Odd Fellows of Wisconsin, and in 1848 was a 
representative to the Grand Lodge of the United States. He was 
elected mayor of Milwaukee in 1859, ^^^ materially advanced the in- 
terests of the city by increasing the efficiency of the police force. Mr. 
Page died at Dresden, Germany, in October, 1873. 

Nelson Webster was a native of Stockbridge, Berkshire county, 
Mass., where he was born in May, 1818. He followed bookkeeping 
during his early life; came West in 1850, and established a wholesale 
wine and liquor business in Milwaukee. He was elected alderman in 
i860, and held the office of sheriff from 1862 to 1864. He died in 

Registers of Deeds. — The following occupants of this office are 
given in the order of their service : Andrew McGormick, Moritz 
Schoeffler, Charles J. Kern, Albert Bade, Samuel Waegli, Ghristian 
Fessel, Francis Baggeler, John W. Fuchs, John B. Stemper, Frederick 
Charles Best, Frederick Schloewitch, Emiel Weiskirch, H. Schloemer, 
John E. Eldred, Bernard W. Doyle, Henry J. Baumgartner, Louis 
Auer, August Kieckhefer, John J. Kempf, Henry A. Verges, Oscar H. 
Pierce, Otto Seidel, Jr., Charles C. Maas. 

Moritz Schoeffler was born on March 8, 1813, in Zweibruecken, 
Rhenish Bavaria. The printer's trade he learned in due course of time, 
becoming an expert in the art, and acquiring at the same time a good 
general knowledge of the publishing business. In August, 1842, he 
came to this country, landing in New York and spending a short time 
there working at his trade as a journeyman printer. From New York 
he went to Philadelphia and from thence to Pittsburg, Cincinnati, 
Louisville and St. Louis, in which cities he found sufficient employment 
to defray his expenses while traveling about, seeking to broaden his 
knowledge of the country in which he proposed to make his home. 
After leaving St. Louis he worked about six months in the Advocate 


office at Belleville, 111. Going from there to Jefferson City„ Mo., he 
established in that capital city a German newspaper, which he edited, 
printed and delivered himself, after the pioneer fashion. In the early 
spring of 1844 he came to Milwaukee and located here permanently. 
Shortly afterward there appeared the first number of a very modest 
weekly newspaper, published in the German language, and entitled 
the Wisconsin Banner. The names of Polk and Dallas, nominees of 
the Democratic party for president and vice-president, respectively, 
appeared at the head of its editorial column, and it was thus committed 
to the support of Democratic principles and policies. In 1845 ^I^- 
Schoeffler was elected the first German school commissioner of ]\Iilwau- 
kee, and he was also prominent about the same time as one of the 
organizers of the "Washington Guard," a German military company, 
of which he acted as secretary. Having been active in his efforts to 
secure the admission of Wisconsin territory as a state, Mr. Schoefffer's 
services in this behalf were recognized in the fall of 1847 by his elec- 
tion as a delegate to the constitutional convention of that year. In 
January, 1850, he began publication of a daily issue of The Wisconsin 
Banner, which had become the leading paper of its kind in the Northwest. 
Five years later he brought about a consolidation of his newspaper and 
the Yolksfreund — another German paper started at a later date — and 
under the name of the Banner- Volksfreund he continued its publica- 
tion with signal success until 1874. In that year he organized the 
Banner and Volksfreund Printing Company, to which corporation he 
transferred his interests, living in quiet retirement thereafter until his 
death, which occurred on Dec. 29, 1875. In 1851-52 he was register 
of deeds, and at a later date he served as collector of the port during 
the administration of President Buchanan. 

Frederick Charles Best was born in Alettenheim on the Rhine, 
near Worms, in the ])rovince of Rhein-Hessen, Germany, Jan. 26, 181 2. 
He was the eldest son of Jacob Best and received a fairly good educa- 
tion in the schools of Mettenheim, after which he learned the cooper's 
trade. In 1840, he came with his>brother, Jacob Best, Jr., to America, 
and the same year settled in ^filwaukee, where they engaged first in 
the manufacture of vinegar. That he was pleased with the country 
and had a keen appreciation and intelligent comprehension of its ad- 
vantages and opportunities is evinced by the fact that in 1841 he re- 
tiu-iK'd to his old home in (lerniany with a report which induced his 
father and the entire family to return with him to Milwaukee in 1842. 
Soon after this second arrival in Milwaukee. Frederick Oiarles Best 
and his brother Jacnl) sold out the Inisiness which they had established, 
and in coni|ian\ with their fathtr and two other brothers founded the 


brewing business which afterward grew to such vast proportions. At 
the end of three years he withdrew from the partnership with his father 
and brothers and again engaged in the manufacture of vinegar, ex- 
tending his trade to Chicago and other towns. After a time he added 
to the vinegar plant a small brewery, and in 1850 he founded what 
was known as the Plank Road Brewery, associating with him his 
brother,, Lorenz Best. During the panic of 1857 ^e lost the larger share 
of his accumulations through the manipulations of a partner, and went 
to Chicago, where he lived from 1857 to 1864. He then returned to 
Milwaukee, where he came more prominently before the public there- 
after as a county official than as a business man. In 1870 he was elected 
register of deeds for Milwaukee county and was twice re-elected, serv- 
ing the public faithfully and acceptably in that official capacity. Al- 
though not an active politician, he was a Democrat in his political 
affiliations, and acted always with the conservative element of that 

County Treasurers. — 1848, A. S. Sanborn; 1849, John White; 
1852, Garrett M. Fitzgerald; 1858, Garrett Barry; i860, Timothy 
Carney; 1862, M. Hackett ; 1864, James M. Reynolds; 1868, William 
Kennedy; 1872, Edward Ehlers ; 1874, Richard Rooney; 1876,, Hiram 
H. Evarts; 1878, Lemuel Ellsworth; 1882, James L. Foley; 1884, John 
C. Corrigan; 1886, Eugene Gary; 1890, Frederick Lange; 1894, George 
W. Mayhew ; 1898, Henry F. Schultz; 1902, George Thuering; 1906, 
Julius J. Goetz. 

County Clerks. — 1848, Charles Lorenzen ; 1852, Albert Bade; 
1856, Charles F. Kasten ; i860, F. W. Hundhausen; 1862, Henry 
Gosch; 1866, Henry Hillmantel ; 1870, John Saar; 1876, Christian H. 
Meyer; 1878, Theodore O. Hartman ; 1880, George P. Traeumer; 
1886, Frederick Wilkins ; 1888, Frank Sebastian; 1890, Charles S. 
Brand; 1894, August F. Zentner; 1898, Otis T. Hare; 1902, Frank O. 

Henry Hillmantel was born in Neubruenn, Bavaria, Feb. i, 1826, 
and received a liberal education at one of the seminaries of Augsburg. 
Shortly after he graduated he emigrated to this country and settled at 
Covington, Ky., in 1850, and there his musical abilities gained for 
him the position of organist of St. Mary's church of that place. He 
took up his residence in Milwaukee in 185 1,. and for nearly twenty 
years, until his death, presided at the organ in St. John's cathedral, 
with great favor and success. From the time of his arrival he took a 
warm interest in politics, linking his fortunes with the Democratic 
party. When the municipal court was established in 1858, Mr. Hill- 
mantel was elected clerk. At the close of the term he was appointed 


deputy sheriff, in which capacity he served the people until 1866, when 
he was elected county clerk, to which office he was re-elected in 1868, 
and performed its duties with credit up to the time of the attack of the 
disease which caused his death. He died on Jan. 8, 1870. 

Clerks of Court. — Henry K. White was the first clerk of court in 
Milwaukee county after the adoption of the state constitution in 1848, 
and continued in the office until 1853, when Mathew Keenan succeeded 
him, holding the office until 1861, when he was in turn succeeded by 
William H. Jacobs. In November, 1862, Duncan McDonald was elect- 
ed clerk of court and served one term. The successors of White, Kee- 
nan, Jacobs and McDonald have been the following, all men of ability 
and prominence: 1864, James Hickox; 1872, Patrick Connolly, Jr.; 
1876, Julius Wechselberg; 1882, Christian Paulus ; 1886, John B. Mill- 
ington; 1888, Albert De Leur; 1890, Ignatz Czerwinski; 1892, Fred- 
erick C. Lorenz ; 1894, Alexander W. Hill; 1898, Gabe Ringenoldus; 
1902, Albion A. Wieber; 1906, Fred W. Cords. 

Surveyors. — 1848, Frederick F. Schumacher; 1850, John Greg- 
ory; i860, H. W. Buttles; 1862, George K. Gregory; 1872, John K. 
Gregory; 1874, George F. Epeneter; 1878, Moses Lane; 1880, Robert 
C. Reinertsen ; 1886, Frederick F. E. Seyring; 1888, Robert C. Rein- 
ertsen; 1890, Gustav Steinhagen ; 1892, Hans Reinertsen; 1894, Fred- 
erick Kirchmann ; 1906, Hans Reinertsen; 1908, H. R. Barnes. 

Coroners. — 1848, Leverett S. Kellogg; 1850, Thomas Hatchard; 
1852, Timothy O'Brien; 1856, Robert Wasson, Jr.; 1858, Duncan C. 
Reed; i860, Charles C. Mayer; 1862, Andrew McCormick; 1864, 

Charles J. Rattenger; 1868, Holland; 1870, Charles Ost- 

helder; 1872, Albert Bade; 1874, Charles Kuepper; 1880, W. W. Hick- 
man; 1881, Charles Kuepper; 1884, Charles Fricke ; 1886, John Czer- 
winski; 1888, Ernst A. M. Leidel ; 1890, Fred Leich ; 1892, Henry Ott; 
1894, John W. Winkenwerder ; 1898, Jacob P. Van Lare; 1902, Harry 
J. Broegman; 1908, Frank Luehring. 

County Judges and Prosecuting Attorneys. — See chapter on 
Bench and Bar. 

County Superintendents. — See chapter on Schools. 




This town was originally created by act of the territorial legisla- 
ture on Jan. 2, 1838. Since its organization the territory has been sub- 
divided, and the encroachment of the city of Milwaukee has reduced it 
until it is now considerably smaller than an exact congressional town- 
ship. The town of Lake was originally organized from towns five and 
six north, ranges twenty-one and twenty-two east. It will be noticed 
that this extended the town to the Waukesha line on the west, and in- 
cluded what is now Oak Creek, Franklin, Greenfield and Lake, as well 
as one tier and half of another tier of sections, since absorbed by the 
city. The territory bordering on Waukesha county was lost when the 
town of Kinnickinnic (now Greenfield) was created, March 8, 1839. 
The territory on the south was taken from it when the town of Oak 
Creek was organized, Aug. 13, 1840, and the tiers of sections on the 
north have been given up at different times in response to the demands 
of the steadily growing metropolis. The present limits of the town ex- 
tend four and one-half miles north and south, and an average of about 
five miles east and west. This gives to the town about twenty-one sec- 
tions of land and makes it the smallest subdivision of Milwaukee coun- 
ty. It is bounded north by the city, east by the Lake, south by Oak 
Creek, and west by the town of Greenfield. 

The town of Lake was settled, as was Milwaukee county generally, 
by people from the Eastern states, with an occasional immigrant from 
the mother country, and a considerable number from the Fatherland. 
Descendants of these early pioneers people the town to a considerable 
extent, but of later years it can be said that the population is decidedly 
cosmopolitan. But whatever their ancestry or wherever their birth- 
place, the residents of the town of Lake are a class of intelligent and 


progressive citizens, many of whom are highly cultured and intellec- 

The town has but a small number of running or unfailing streams. 
The largest of note is Kinnickinnic river. It drains the northwest 
corner of the town, and in its course is very crooked and sluggish, and 
passes into the city limits in a northeasterly course to the Milwaukee 
river near its mouth, and all of the streams of the town of course 
finally reach Lake Michigan. 

Traditional history at best is unreliable, but becomes especially 
so when transmitted to the third or fourth generations. No written 
record exists as to the first settler in the town of Lake ; neither have 
we the names of the first town officers. The lands in this township 
were kept out of market longer than those north of it for the reason 
that the Pottawattomie Indians while ceding their lands in 1833, still 
retained possession until 1838; and they were not at all pleased with 
the eagerness with which the white intruder overran and made himself 
at home in advance of his time. Add to this the effect of the passage 
of the Rock River canal grants, which included much of this township, 
and we have a clue to the fact that no titles were obtained in this town 
until late in the year 1838, and but seven pieces during that year. The 
purchasers were as follows : Jacob Mahany, John Ogden, George H. 
Wentworth, Lewis Millery, H. Bigelow, John Davis and John Howell. 

John Ogden was born on Feb. 18, 1801, in Essex county, N. J., 
and was one of a family of thirteen children. He was apprenticed to a 
wagon-maker and served five years, afterward spending ten years at 
the bench, and subsequently to that was connected with a bank, but not 
liking the business he disposed of his interest. The four years follow- 
ing he spent in Elizabeth in mercantile pursuits. At the end of that 
period he sold out, and in the fall of 1834 moved to Ohio. After 
spending several months visiting his brothers in Cincinnati, he re- 
turned to Elizabeth and spent the winter. In 1835, "^ company with 
H. H. Magie, he visited Chicago and attended the great government 
sale of lands there, where, as' agent, he purchased three or four sec- 
tions of land, near what is now Riverside. In September of the same 
year he reached Milwaukee and bought one claim of forty acres and 
another of 280 acres of land in the present limits of the city, to which he 
obtained title in 1839 from the United States government. His first 
settlement was in the town of Lake, at the mouth of the river, where 
the Illinois Steel Company's rolling mill now stands, in what after- 
ward became Bay View. There late in the year he erected a two-story 
frame building, so near the lake that it was afterward nearly under- 
mined and had to be moved. In 1835 and i83ri he and Moses Ordway 


and Rev. Cutting Marsh — the last two named were missionaries here — 
formed on April ii, 1837, the first church in the territory of Wisconsin, 
which adopted the confession of faith of the Presbyterian church. The 
first eight years immediately following his settlement here, Mr. Ogden 
cultivated the farm he had settled upon, which is to-day covered with 
factories, stores and residences, and immensely valuable. From 1843 
to 1849 ^^ ^^^^ engaged in a manner as a live-stock merchant, receiv- 
ing from stock dealers herds of cattle often amounting to 200 or 300 
head. In 1849 ^^^ ^aw a favorable opportunity to go back to his old 
employment, and started in business as a dealer in carriages at what 
is now Nos. 165 and 167 West Water street. In the year 185 1 he built 
a building, the frame of which was put up of hewed timbers, for a car- 
riage shop, on Spring street, at what is now 218-22 Grant avenue, 
where he continued the business till 1867, when he sold it to G. W. 
Ogden & Company, the silent partners of the firm being J. G. Ogden 
till 1879, and later Henry M. Ogden. In politics Mr. Ogden was a 
staunch Republican. In 1842 he was appointed justice of the peace 
and served one term. His death occurred on Jan. 23, 1891,, when he 
had almost attained the age of ninety years. 

Even 1839 furnished but few buyers, and they were as follows : 
Joel S. Wilcox, Horace Chase, Alexander Stewart, David Merrill, 
John Hodgson, Joseph Cross and Enoch Chase, all within or adjoining 
the present city limits. Of the persons named, Horace Chase seems to 
have been the first settler to have cast his lot in the town of Lake, as 
at first organized, he having arrived on Dec. 8, 1834. 

Joel S. Wilcox was one of the pioneers who, by his genial, whole- 
souled manner, kindness of heart, strict integrity and uprightness, en- 
deared himself to his many friends and acquaintances. Born on Oct. i, 
1809, at Vesper, N. Y., he was the son of Jonathan and Sybil (Smith) 
Wilcox. He attended the common schools of his native place, and until 
1834 worked on the farm with his father. He was married in Decem- 
ber, 1833, to Jane Shields, and in the fall of 1834 left his native state 
and came to Detroit, and from there "footed" it around the lakes to 
Chicago. He then came to Milwaukee and took up land in section four, 
town of Lake, which was the first high land south of the old harbor 
mouth. Here he decided to locate and build his home, and with that 
object in view he made arrangements to have a house built on the place 
and returned East for his wife. The next summer they came together, 
by way of the lakes, to Milwaukee on the steamer "United States", 
landing here on July 17, 1835. Mr. Wilcox immediately repaired to his 
claim, where he found that nothing had been done toward building 
his dwelling, and with his young wife he made a temporary home in 


a brush shanty. He immediately commenced building a home and im- 
proving his farm, and being a man of resources and energy, was soon 
on the high road to fortune. At this time, when the young settlement, 
like all Western towns,, was growing fast, the freight and most of the 
immigrants were coming by way of the lakes by sail and steam vessels, 
and Mr. Wilcox went largely into the business of supplying these ves- 
sels with fuel. This business grew to large proportions, and for a 
number of years he had a thriving trade in this commodity, but when 
the harbor mouth was changed and the vessels were enabled to come 
up the river he gradually withdrew from the business and gave his en- 
tire attention to the cultivation of his farms, until during the later 
years of his life, when he gave especial attention to gardening, from 
which occupation he derived much pleasure and comfort. He died in 
1873, sincerely mourned by a large circle of friends and acquaintances. 
Alexander Stewart was born in Scotland in 1799, and resided there 
until 1822. He had learned the carpenter's trade, and in that year 
came to America with his young wife and settled at Parisburg, Giles 
county, Va., where he was engaged in farming, owning property on the 
edge of the village and at the same time holding the appointment of 
postmaster at Parisburg until 1834, when with his family he moved 
West, coming first to Chicago, where he took up a claim near what is 
now the center of the city. There he remained through the winter of 
1834, and came to Milwaukee in the spring of 1835, settling in the 
town of Lake,, where he filed a claim on 160 acres of land before the 
government survey was made, and later in the year went to Green Bay 
and bought the land from the government at the minimum price of 
$1.25 per acre. Mr. Stewart was for many years actively engaged in 
working his farm, and for several years was interested with the well 
known pioneer, Joel S. Wilcox, in the wood business, the main feature 
of which was supplying wood to the lake steamers when they put into 
the bay. Mr. Stewart was in every sense a progressive, public-spirited 
man, and is credited with having given the first land donated by any 
private citizen for the purpose of establishing a school in the town of 
Lake. Through his personal efforts, given to the circulation of a sub- 
scription paper among the settlers, the first school in the settlement was 
opened in the court house and was taught by Mr. Bates, who, during 
the first term of school made his home with Mr. Stewart. He also 
donated one-half acre of land for the use of a burying ground for the 
neighborhood, and this is believed to have been the first cemetery es- 
tablished in Milwaukee county. Mrs. Stewart died at the old home in 
1869, ^"<^ Mr. Stewart died there in 1873, mourned by all who knew 


David Merrill was born in Maine, 1793, and married Eunice 
Lord, who was also of New England ancestry. Leaving New York 
state in 1835, his intention was to come as far West as Milwaukee at 
that time,, but reaching the conclusion that the place was then too near 
the border line of civilization to be anything approaching a comfortable 
place of residence for his family, he stopped in Cleveland, Ohio, and 
remained there two years. In the fall of 1837 ^^ determined to make 
the contemplated settlement in Milwaukee, and loading his goods and 
wares, together with his family into wagons, he made the long trip 
overland, arriving here late in the season. A log house on the Me- 
nomonee river, which had been vacated by a more fortunate pioneer, 
was the only house he could find available as a place of residence, and 
in this the family was domiciled — with blankets hung at the openings 
cut for doors and windows — during the first six months of its resi- 
dence in Milwaukee. At the end of that time more comfortable quar- 
ters were secured, and the following spring Mr. Merrill became the 
proprietor of a log hotel, where for a time he dispensed old-fashioned 
hospitality, at old-fashioned prices. About 1840 or 1841, however, he 
engaged in a new enterprise. In company with another gentleman he 
built and put into the carrying trade on Lake Michigan, the schooner 
"Marvin", which was one of the first vessels launched at Milwaukee. 
He next built "The Michael Dousman", and later built for himself and 
others numerous vessels employed in the lake traffic. He died in Mil- 
waukee on March 12,, 1872. 

The spring and summer of 1835 brought, as settlers, to the town, 
Joel S. Wilcox, Elijah S. Estes, Alexander Stewart, Enoch Chase, a 
Mr. Carlton, Barzillai Douglass, Zebedee Packard, William Piper, 
Hezekiah Brennon, William Bunnell, John Ogden, James McFadden, 
Jacob Mahany, George H. Wentworth, H. Bigelow, John Davis, Mr. 
Shaft, Andrew Douglass, Israel Porter, and no doubt quite a number 
of others, whose names we have not obtained. 

Morgan L. Burdick, who accompanied Horace Chase to Milwau- 
kee, and a native of Jefferson county, N. Y., was born in 1813. He 
came West as far as Dayton, Ohio, in 1833, and two years later trav- 
eled on foot from that city to CWcago. While in Chicago he helped 
build the first frame dwelling erected in that city, and after he came 
here in 1834, he also helped build the first frame dwelling erected in 
Milwaukee. He settled on land in the town of Lake in 1834, returned 
to Ohio in 1837, and married Oli've S. Patterson,, a native of St. Law- 
rence county, N. Y., and lived during the remainder of his life on the 
farm which he claimed from the public domain and brought under 


The tide of immigration increased in 1836, and the town received 
its full share of "squatters", and among the arrivals of 1835 '^^''^ 1836 
will be noticed several men of mark in the early history of the county. 
The year 1836 brought Horatio Nelson, Noah Prevost, Uriel B. Smith, 
Russell Bennett, Joseph Williams, James C. Howard, John Ogden, 
Samuel Dexter, and doubtless many others, some of whom invested 
nearl}- "their all" in land claims, so as to secure what were deemed 
the most eligible sites, and in not a few instances the amount paid 
for the claim rendered them unable to purchase at ten shillings per 
acre when the land came into market. 

Uriel B. Smith, notable as one of the earliest settlers of Milwau- 
kee, was born at Tully, Onondaga county, N. Y., Feb 18, 1812. He 
resided in the county in which he was born until he attained his 
majority, during which time he served an apprenticeship to the tailor's 
trade. He then moved to Shelbourn Falls, Mass., where, in 1834, 
he was united in marriage to Miss Lucy C. Corse, of Leyden, Mass. 
The following year they moved to Wisconsin and arrived in Milwau- 
kee on July 17, 1835. Mr. Smith immediately sought out Solomon 
Juneau and counseled with him as to the advisability of locating here 
and opening a tailoring establishment. There had been a saw-mill 
established four miles up the river that spring and Mr. Juneau 
suggested that he go to this mill, state his case and make his arrange- 
ments for lumber for his storeroom and home. Mr. Smith immedi- 
ately acted upon this advice and a few days later with the help of a 
boy rafted the lumber down the river to the bank opposite the site 
of the new store, which was built on East Water street, between Wis- 
consin and Michigan streets, and became the first tailor's shop in 
the town. His business steadily increased, and having followed the 
advice of his friend Juneau to "do as nearly as possible a cash busi- 
ness," he accumulated money fast and in 1838 moved to the South 
side and located on George H. Walker's "claim," which at that time 
was in litigation. There he built his shop and home and continued 
merchant tailoring for some twelve years, gradually turning his atten- 
tion, however, to the real estate business, which finally occupied his 
entire attention. He made a trip to California in 1850, leaving Mil- 
waukee in February of that year and going to Independence, Mo., 
where he fitted out with teams, and in company with six other fami- 
lies started in March and arrived at his destination in August. He 
remained in California about one year, and then returned to Milwau- 
kee by the way of the "Panama route." In politics he was a Repub- 
lican and he was an active member of both the Old Settlers' and 
Pioneer clubs of the city from the time of their organization. He 



is certainly well entitled to prominence among the pioneers, as he 
was not only one of the first settlers, but was the father of the first 
Anglo-Saxon child born here — a daughter named Milwaukee Smith. 
Mr. Smith died on Nov. 30, 1902. 

Joseph Williams came to Bay View in 1836 and settled on a claim. 
He was born in Amsterdam, N. Y., in 1795, and he died in May, 1877. 

James Corydon Howard was born at Brattleboro, Windham coun- 
ty, Vt., Sept. 25, 1804, and was the third son in a family of 
eleven children born to James and Eleanor (Church) Howard, who 
were natives respectively of New Hampshire and Vermont. The father 
was in every respect a representative pioneer citizen and moved with 
his wife and five children to the then wilderness of St. Lawrence 
county, N. Y., in 1813, and there his services were engaged by David- 
Parish — the owner at that time of nearly the entire county — to super- 
intend the construction of a furnace and other works at Rossie, in said 
county. He built and owned several mills in St. Lawrence county, 
and James C. remained there and worked on the farm and in the 
mills until his removal with his family to Milwaukee in 1836. Soon 
after he came to this county he "claimed" and settled on a tract of land 
which afterward became known as a part of section twenty in the town 
of Lake, on which he continued to reside until his death, which oc- 
curred on Oct. 18, 1880. A year before Mr. Howard came to Wis- 
consin — then Michigan territory — his father-in-law, Israel Porter, ac- 
companied by his eldest son, had come to Milwaukee and made a num- 
ber of claims near what was called Prairieville — now Waukesha — and 
bought one also near Milwaukee, after which they returned to New 
York to prepare for removal to the west shore of Lake Michigan the 
following spring. Upon his return to the East Mr. Porter told Mr. 
Howard of the new country, of the claims he had taken and of the 
advantages of soil, climate,, etc., and offered him his choice of any of 
the claims — excepting one which had a mill privilege on it and was 
located near Prairieville — if he would accompany them to the new 
country in which they proposed to settle. Mr. Howard accepted the 
proposition, and after looking the ground carefully over selected the 
^ claim on which he made his home, on account of its location and close 
proximity to Milwaukee, which place his foresight and judgment led 
him to believe would some day become a thriving metropolis. In 
August, 1836, he settled on this claim, in the unbroken forest, and 
began the work necessary to bring it under cultivation, while Mr. 
Porter and his three sons pushed on to Waukesha and settled in what 
was called one of the "openings." At the organization of the town 
of Lake, Mr. Howard was elected town clerk, which office together 



with Other pubHc positions of trust and honor he creditably and con- 
scientiously filled. He was opposed to all secret societies, and in 
politics was a strong and consistent Whig during the life of that party, 
and a Republican after that organization was formed. 

Provisions were very high when navigation closed in 1836. Corn 
meal poured loosely into the measure was worth $2.50 per bushel, eggs 
six shillings per dozen, and butter the same per pound. Rough lumber 
was also worth seventy-five dollars per thousand. 

The first town meeting of which there is any record extant, was 
held at the house of William Bunnell, in April, 1842, Solon Johnson 
acting as moderator, and James C. Howard, clerk. Of course there 
were prior meetings and much town business transacted. At the meet- 
ing of 1842, it was resolved to elect three assessors, three constables, 
and that the supervisors should receive seventy-five cents per day while 
doing township business, and that the clerk should receive six cents 
per folio for records, and six cents each for filing a paper or adminis- 
tering an oath. And it was also voted that the treasurer should receive 
one per cent, of all moneys received and paid out. Jared Thompson 
was elected chairman, and Samuel Dexter and Spencer Burlingame 
members of the board of supervisors, and James C. Howard, clerk; 
assessors : John Douglass, Joseph Williams and Daniel W. Patterson ; 
treasurer, Daniel W. Patterson ; collector, Lucius P. Packard ; com- 
missioners of highways : John Ogden, George McCready and Samuel 
Dexter ; commissioners of schools : John Douglass, George McCready 
and Samuel Dexter ; constables : Lucius B. Packard, Jacob Mahany 
and Sylvester Brown. A resolution to levy one-fourth of one per 
cent, tax for support of schools, offered by D. Chase, was negatived. 

Jared Thompson was a native of Mansfield, Conn., who was car- 
ried west with the tide of stalwart and adventurous manhood, which 
flowed into Milwaukee in 1837 and laid the foundation of her commer- 
cial greatness. He opened a tin store on East Water street and for 
many years was prominent in business, social and church circles. He 
was a member of the territorial legislature, which met in 1843, ^"^^ "^^'^^ 
for many years a member of the county board of supervisors, a justice 
of the peace and a local Methodist minister, filling the pulpit with more 
than ordinary ability. He lived many years in the town of Lake, 
where he died on Feb. 22, 1890, revered and beloved by all the early 

At a general election held on Sept. 26, 1842. the entire vote cast 
was forty-seven, and the highest number given to any candidate, thirty- 
seven. Ten votes were for, and thirty-three against, forming a state 


At a subsequent meeting in the same year, a committe estimated 
that the contingent expenses of the town would be $55.50; the meeting- 
adopted the report and ordered that amount raised by taxation. 

At a meeting held in 1844, it was shown that the collector re- 
ceived $2.23 for his arduous services, and that the treasurer's percen- 
tage netted him the princely sum of eighty-nine cents. The collector 
was allowed seventy-five cents per day, and his modest bill indicates 
that he lacked about one hour of spending three days in the service 
of the town. These facts demonstrate clearly that the day of small 
things had not passed away in 1844. 

The people were doubtless as hard pressed to raise the few dollars 
of tax required in 1844, ^^^ the larger tax of to-day. There was per- 
haps not a man in the town then who paid as much as five dollars in 
taxes, and few that paid half of that. But it is said to be just as easy 
to pay $1,000 when you have the money as one dollar when you do not 
have it. 

A considerable portion of the soil in this town is not so valuable 
for farming purposes as in some other parts of the county, and yet the 
high state of improvements, together with its proximity to the city, 
etc.. have conspired to fix upon its farm lands the highest value of any 
in the county. The population of the town, including the village of 
Cudahy, is 9,785. or about 466 per square mile. 

Cudahy is the principal village in the town of Lake, and it was 
organized about fifteen years ago. The census tells a story of prog- 
ress in its returns of the population of the village : 1900, thirteen hun- 
dred and sixty-six; 1905, twenty-five hundred and fifty-six. Since the 
taking of the last census, however, it has had a good growth, but as 
no enumeration has been taken, the population can only be estimated. 
Cudahy Bros.' meat packing firm started the village in 1892. 


This is one of the two towns that were created when the county 
was first divided, and prior to the organization of the towns of Gran- 
ville and Wauwatosa. it included all the territory now embraced by 
them and the major portion of the city of Milwaukee. When origin- 
ally organized, the town of Milwaukee was described as follows : Be- 
ginning on the shore of Lake Michigan, at the southeast corner of 
township seven north, of range twenty-two east; thence west to the 
southwest corner of town seven north, of range twenty-one east; 
thence north to the northwest corner of town eight north, of range 
twentv-one east; thence east to Lake Michigan; thence southerly 


along the shore of said lake to the place of beginning. The town 
of Granville was created on Jan. 13, 1840, and the town of Wauwa- 
tosa on April 30, of the same year, the town of Milwaukee being thus 
reduced in size. It then comprised Congressional townships seven and 
eight north of range twenty-two east, being twelve miles in length 
from north to south, with an average breadth of about three miles. In 
1846, when a city government was established, the town and city were 
separated, and two miles off the north end of township seven, and all 
of township eight retained the name of the town of Milwaukee. About 
ten years ago another strip, one-half mile wide, was annexed to the city. 
The present area of the town is seven and one-half miles in length, 
and nearly three in average width, being about four miles wide at the 
south end, with a shore line along Lake Michigan of fully eleven miles. 
This extends to the county line on the north, with the lake for its 
eastern boundary, the city for its southern limit, and Wauwatosa and 
Granville on the west. 

The town of Milwaukee was created on Jan. 2, 1838, but the 
names of the officers who were then elected to administer civil affairs 
are no longer remembered. The earliest records at present to be found 
in the town run back no further than 1846, at which time the town 
was separated from the city. The first meeting was held at the house 
of G. Mathias on April 7, 1846, Jasper Vliet, acting clerk. It was or- 
dered at this meeting that $200 be raised for building and repairing 
roads, $50 for the town poor, $100 for common schools, and 
$150 for town officers and contingent expenses. An election was had, 
at which forty votes were cast. The following were the officers 
elected : Supervisors : Garrett Vliet, chairman, James W. Jones and 
Buel Brown ; clerk, John B. Vliet ; treasurer, Samuel Brown ; col- 
lector, Jasper Vliet ; commissioners of highways : Samuel Brown. Reu- 
ben M. Keene and Robert Lane ; commissioners of schools : Reuben M. 
Keene, Samuel Brown and Isaac Williams ; constables, Charles H. Dill 
and Martin D. Webster ; fence viewers, David Mathias and Martin D. 
Webster ; justice of the peace, James W. Jones. The total amount of 
taxes imposed upon the town for that year was $670.43. Three years 
later Anson W. Buttles was elected town clerk, which position he con- 
tinued to fill for a period of about fifty years, with the exception of 
about three years when he was railroading, and a portion of the time 
he also filled the position of justice of the peace. 

Garret Vliet, descended from Daniel Van Vliet — who emigrated 
with his brother, William, from Holland to New Brunswick, N. J., 
shortly before the Revolutionary war — was born on Jan. 10, 1790. 
Some time after his birth the family moved into Pennsylvania, near 



Wilkesbarre. A few enterprising men were venturing into that coun- 
try to convert its magnificent pine timber into merchandise and 
money, but few or none dreamed of the immense wealth that lay em- 
bowelled in its mountains, and under these circumstances Garret Vliet 
grew to manhood with but the few privileges of frontier life, in a 
rugged, heavily timbered country. He early became a hunter, and 
many were the stories of hunter's life which he recounted in after 
years. He was for a short time a soldier in the last war with Great 
Britain, serving with a company of sharpshooters. Notwithstanding 
the poverty of his advantages he acquired a moderate education, and 
learned the theory and practice of land surveying, ■ in which he after- 
ward became an adept, being employed for a time in the survey of 
the Holland purchase in the state of New York. About the year 1818 
he left his old home and pushed west, stopping the first winter in 
Eastern Ohio. The next year he went down the Ohio river and up the 
Mississippi to St. Louis. Spending only a few months in that region, 
and being detained at Cape Girardeau several weeks by severe illness, 
he returned to Miami county, Ohio, where he subsequently married 
Rebecca Frazey. Soon after his return to Ohio the canal improve- 
ments of that state were inaugurated and he was employed in the 
construction of the Miami canal. After the completion of the canal 
he took charge of the four locks at Lockland, ten miles from Cincin- 
nati, and afterward was elected and re-elected surveyor of Hamilton 
county. In the spring of 1835 he came with Byron Kilbourn to that 
part of the Northwest territory now known as Wisconsin, and pro- 
ceeded with him to Green Bay, where they attended the land sales. 
Mr. Kilbourn having acquired a considerable quantity of land on the 
west side of the river at Milwaukee, Mr. Vliet came from Green Bay 
and laid out a portion of it into town lots, afterward returning to 
Green Bay and making a careful examination of the water power 
along the Fox river, with the view of purchasing same part of it. In 
the fall he returned with Mr. Kilbourn to Cincinnati, and soon entered 
into a contract with the surveyor-general to survey for the government 
towns 7, 8 and 9 of ranges 18, 19 and 20, and town 7. range 21, being 
the towns of Delafield, Pewaukee, Brookfield, Wauwatosa, Merton, 
Lisbon, Menomonee, Erin, Richfield and Germantown, in the present 
counties of Milwaukee, Waukesha and Washington. In January, 
1836, he started with his party to execute the contract. In the spring 
of 1837 he went to Dubuque, and began the laying-out of that town- 
site, for which, together with four other towns on the Mississippi and 
in Wisconsin, he had taken a contract from the government. Return- 
ing to Cincinnati, he closed up his affairs there, and on Aug. 23, 1837, 


started with his family for their new home in ^lilwaukee. For many 
years he lived in this city, respected and loved, but avoiding any act 
which would tend to bring him into public life, though he was a mem- 
ber of the first Constitutional convention,, in 1846. He died a quiet and 
painless death on Aug. 5, 1877. 

The surface of the town of Milwaukee is quite undulating in some 
parts and quite level in others, and it contains, perhaps, miore broken 
land, in proportion to area, than any other portion of the county. 
The bluff along the lake is generally 100 feet or more in height, and 
perhaps the general surface of the township will average near that. 
Landslides into the lake or onto the beach are of frequent occurrence 
and considerable dimensions. The greater part of the northern por- 
tion of the town was heavily timbered, and contains, naturally, the 
strongest and readiest soil for agricultural purposes, A great deal of 
the town is what, in common parlance, is calle-d "openings," or "open 
lands," a designation or qualification as applied to the character of the 
land, the origin of which is somewhat difficult to determine. There is 
comparatively little waste land in the town, and the condition of the 
farms, buildings, and surroundings are indicative of thrift and pros- 
perity. The natural drainage of the town consists of the Milwaukee 
river and its tributaries. The Milwaukee river enters the town near its 
northwestern corner,, and runs in a general direction a little east of 
south the length of the town, nearly parallel with the lake shore, and 
frequently only about a mile distant. The valley is probabl\' from 
fifty to 100 feet below the high lands of the town, and serves, by its 
meandering,, to greatly diversify the landscape. While much of the soil 
in the town is very fertile, other considerable tracts are of poor quality. 
The principal varieties of timber were black walnut, sugar maple, elm, 
ash, oak, beech and hickory. Some of the choicest timber was used 
for buildings, making rails, and sawing into lumber, but much of it 
which would now be very valuable was burned in clearing the land. 
The soil is especially adapted to diversified farming, fruit growing and 
truck gardening, in which pursuits, combined with stock-raising, the 
intelligent and industrious farmers have met with phenomenal suc- 
cess. The pleasant homes and thrifty surroundings are abundant proof 
of this,, while an occasional stately mansion, with modern improvements 
and appliances, affirms the conclusion that even in this favored land, 
some liave lieen more successful than their worthy rivals. And thus 
it will ever be, so long as accimiulated wealth is the measure of success. 

This town was surveyed during the summer of 1835, at the same 
time as the lands within the present cit\ limits, and no less than thirty- 
one tracts in the north end of town seven were sold at Green Bay 



on Sept. 4, of that year. Among those purchasing at this time were 
John and Andrew Douglass, Amos and James Biglow, Eshorn Day, 
Peter Cure, Goulding Amet, Daniel Wells, Henry Penoyer, Thomas H. 
and Nelson Olin, David Morgan, William Underwood, Charles Vale, 
John Bowen, William Lafferty,, James B. Clements, Hiram Burdick, 
Rodney B. Cumer, James Woods, Henry M. Hubbard, Lucius I. Bar- 
ber, Alfred Orendorf, Luther Childs and John McLane. These all 
bought lands in sections numbered from three to ten in town seven, 
and supposing each to have entered a quarter section, must have 
taken every available acre in the upper, or north end of the town, in 
whk^-the citjv' of Milwaukee lies. 

The following historical letter was written for a previous publi- 
cation by Nelson Olin, one of the above-named first settlers, and it is of 
interest at this time as a description of the experiences of the early 
pioneers of Milwaukee county : 

"I was born May 22, 1809, in the town of Canton, St. Lawrence 
county, N. Y., where I lived until April 25, 1835. I then came to the 
conclusion to take Horace Greeley's advice, 'Go West.' I therefore 
shipped at Ogdensburg, on the St. Lawrence river, ran up through 
rivers and lakes to Cleveland. From there I was accompanied by my 
brother, Thomas H. Olin, who had come from the land of his birth in 
the spring of 1834, and had been engaged in school teaching near 
Cleveland. Together we went to Detroit. There we fell in with B. E. 
Wheelock, whose destination was the same as ours. Green Bay, which 
at that time was said to be very near the North Pole. We shipped at 
Detroit, on board the schooner 'Jacob Barker,' bound for Chicago. 
We encountered high and low winds, fogs and calms, before reaching 
Mackinaw. We lay in sight of Mackinaw twenty-four hours in a calm, 
the fog so thick we could not see four rods from the vessel. The cap- 
tain said if we would help the boys (sailors) pull the vessel into Mack- 
inaw, we could see all the sights gratis. We did so, but it was at the 
expense of blistered hands,, and very tired arms. Before we reached 
Mackinaw the Indians came on board with fish. The captain pur- 
chased one weighing nearly eighty pounds for one dollar. It was a 
Mackinaw trout nearly six feet long and well proportioned. Arriving 
at Mackinaw, we bade good-bye to the 'Jacob Barker,' as she was bound 
for Chicago, and we for Green Bay. At Mackinaw we first heard the 
name, from the Indians, Mil-li-wau-kee, accent on the last syllable. 
There we became acquainted with the Dousmans, who were afterward 
some of our best friends in Wihvaukee. We staid in Mackinaw two 
weeks waiting impatiently for some way of conveyance to Green Bay, 
On the 24th day of May a small fifty-ton vessel hove in sight, from 


Detroit, bound for Green Bay, on which vessel we embarked (it being 
Saturday). Had a good run to the mouth of the bay. The captain 
(Campbell), a stranger on the lakes being somewhat fearful of running 
aground, let her lay to (a sailor's phrase), it being near night. By 
the next morning she had drifted away near to the Fox islands, nearly 
lOO miles from the mouth of the bay. Hoisted sails and steered for the 
bay again, arriving at the place where we were the night before. The 
captain ventured in, finding the water very shallow at the mouth. On 
Monday, 26th, we arrived at the bay. Before landing,, Mr. Menus 
from Ohio, a house-builder, came on board to see if there were any 
on board who could handle saw and chisel. I engaged to him at twenty- 
six dollars per month. After working for him half a month, the 
founder of Milwaukee, Solomon Juneau, came to the bay to prove up 
and procure a title to his claim, on which the city of Milwaukee now 
stands. Juneau said to my brother and myself, that if we would go 
with him he would do what would be better, by us, than to stay at the 
Bay and work for one dollar per day. Green Bay was an old French 
town, with about 1,000 inhabitants; a very likely place and the only 
village in the territory of Wisconsin except an Indian trading post at 
Prairie du Chien. The government fort (Howard) was across the 
river from the Bay, Captain Scott (afterward Gen. Winfield Scott) 
commanding. It was commonly reported that the captain was the best 
shot in the world ; that he could and did shoot an apple from a man's 
head at a distance of ten rods, without injury to the man. To the 
ladies of Green Bay belongs the honor of organizing the first temper- 
ance societv in Wisconsin, the organization taking place on Sunday, 
the loth of June, 1835, with seventeen members — fifteen ladies and two 
men, the names of the men were, Thomas H. Olin and Nelson Olin. 
The ladies' names ought to be secured and hung as high as Haman, 
so that all could see who had the courage to make the first move in 
the temperance cause, as early as 1835, i" the then wilderness of Wis- 

"The 17th day of June, the steamer 'Michigan,' lay at the wharf, 
at the bay, bound for Chicago, Captain Blake commanding. Juneau 
savs to him : 'Captain, if you wall take me and five or six more on 
board your vessel, and land us at Milwaukee, I will give you your 
choice in village lots on my claim.' The captain at first said he would 
not do it, as he could not get into the mouth of the river, and the 
vessel being a large one, had not sufficient anchors to hold her in case 
of storm; Imt concluded if the weather was calm he would run in as 
near shore as he dare and set us ashore in tl:e yawl. At 2 o'clock 
p. m.. she left llic (l(x-k and steamed down the bay into Lake Michigan 


on our way to the new place called Milwaukee. Everything went love- 
ly until we arrived in sight of the North Point. The pilot began ring- 
ing the little bell to hold up on the steam and let her run into the bay 
very slow until she came near the cut, as it was then called, not far from 
where the harbor was afterward built. The captain ordered a boat 
lowered and set the passengers ashore, who consisted of Solomon 
Juneau, Alfred Orendorf, Thomas H. Olin, Nelson Olin, and five or 
six others whose names I have forgotten. The passengers and trunks 
filled the boat. As there was a very heavy sea on, we were washed 
back into the lake as often as we would run ashore, but at the third 
time trying, when near the beach, the sailors jumped out and pulled the 
boat ashore by main strength. The boat filled with water as did also 
our trunks. Every one of us was wet to our armpits, but finally suc- 
ceeded in landing from the first steamboat that ever ran into Milwaukee 
harbor, on the 17th day of June, A. D., 1835. The captain did not go 
on shore that evening to locate the village lot, but in the course of the 
season it was located. He chose the corner lot, east of the Newhall 
House, corner of Wisconsin and Main, now Broadway, streets. He 
sold the same in the course of the year for $1,000. 

"Mr. Orendorf had claimed a fraction on the lake,, at the cut-oflF, 
as it was called, at an early day, and spent some time in digging a hole 
through from the beach to the river, which proved to be the place 
where the harbor was finally located. Our first night in Milwaukee 
was spent in Mr. Orendorf 's claim shanty, on the fraction above stated, 
in wet clothing, smoke and mosquitoes. I never knew before the 
number of mosquitoes that could be crowded into a shanty, with a 
strong northeast wind, and smoke too thick for comfort. When we 
killed one it seemed as though a million came in place of it. The next 
morning we went over the bluffs to the river, there we found a few 
white men and a great many Indians. 

"The first store that was opened in the town was then in process 
of building and owned by A. O. T. Breed. William Burdick had the 
job of erecting said building. Charles James and myself engaged to 
Mr. Burdick to enclose the building while he was making ready the in- 
side for the goods. The store was located on the corner of Wiscon- 
sin and East Water streets, where Martin's Block now stands. There 
were about fifty white men in town at that time I think and twenty 
Indians to one white man. Harmon & Hayden came very soon after 
with another stock of goods. Solomon Juneau had a frame up for a 
house. Breed's store was the first building enclosed on the east side 
of the river. P. Balser was the first baker in town. He came from 
Michigan City in a boat containing his family and goods. Thomas 


Holmes came with him. The boat was drawn by a horse, with the 
beach of the lake for a tow-path. George Sivyer was the first white 
male child born in the city. Milwaukee Smith, daughter of U. B. 
Smith, was the first girl born in Milwaukee. When she became of 
marriageable age she took a partner by the name of Bernard Hochel- 
berg, of California. The first person buried was James Porter. The 
first painters and glaziers were James Murray and T. H. OHn. Nelson 
and T. H. Olin and B. F. Wheelock dug the first cellar and built the 
first wharf for Juneau, in July, 1835. The first brick was made at the 
foot of Huron street by Nelson and T. H. Olin, and Loomis & Reed, 
September, 1835. Samuel Hinman and James H. Rodgers came to Mil- 
waukee, October, 1835. In November, 1835, Nelson and T. H. Olin 
contracted with Juneau to build and grade East Water street from 
Huron street to the river, opposite Walker's Point. We worked but a 
few days when we sold out to Sylvester Pettibone and Alvin Foster, 
who came into town a few days previous. This was the first grading 
done in Milwaukee. My brother and I then entered into a contract 
with George Reed, Juneau's agent, to build and grade Wisconsin 
street from Spring street bridge east to the lake, for the sum of 


"I left Milwaukee Feb. 27, 1836, for St. Lawrence county, N. Y., 

for my family, and arrived there the 19th of March. Started for 
Milwaukee again the 25th of April. On my way back, in Ohio, I con- 
tracted for horse-carts and other necessary tools,, and arrived at Mil- 
waukee on the first day of June, ready for action. C. C. Olin, of 
Waukesha, came to Wisconsin with me at that time, and was in our 
employ in building said street. 

"The Olins made the first streets, did the first grading, dug the 
first cellar, and made the first wharf in the city of Milwaukee. 

"Oct. 5, 1835, Ellsworth Burnett was killed by the Indians on 
Rock river, now called Theresa. He was cut up and buried in a marsh 
near where he was killed. Narcisse, one of Juneau's sons, said to me 
ten years afterward, old Ash-cab-way, the Indian who killed Burnett, 
told him where they put him in the marsh, and he had seen his head very 
near the surface. The hair was on his head the same as ever. 

"About the 25th of May, 1836, three men were drowned near the 
mouth of the Milwaukee river in attempting to cross. T. H. Olin 
was rowing and steering the canoe in which were three other occu- 
pants,. Henry Shaft, David Lyons, and a young man whose name I 
have forgotten. When midway of tlie river, the current being strong 
out in the lake, Lyons, being a little excited, and fearing they would 
l)c drawn into the lake, took up a paddle and pulled the boat into the 



lake in spite of Olin at the helm. And the consequence was, when the 
canoe reached the breakers, Lyons, Shaft, and the young man jumped 
out of the boat, being swimmers, and started for the shore, but were 
not able to reach it. All three were drowned within five rods of the 
shore, with any number of people near them, but not able to lend them 
assistance. In jumping out, the boat was capsized and turned bottom 
side up ; but Olin, not being a swimmer, hung to the boat and drifted 
out about three miles. When the boat capsized he lost his paddle, 
consequently had nothing to propel it with but his hands. He made 
calculations, however, to land at or near South Point, but was rescued 
when about three miles out. Jonathan Wheelock, a tavern-keeper at 
Green Bay, was standing on the deck of the schooner 'Wisconsin,' 
about two miles away, and saw the whole afifair. He said to the sail- 
ors : 'Let down the yawl, there has a boat gone out into the lake and 
capsized — be quick' ! The order was obeyed. Uncle Jonathan, as he 
was called, took the helm ; the sailors pulled for dear life and came 
up with my brother, very unexpectedly to him, and he was saved. This 
circumstance, without the details or names, I heard when on my way 
to Milwaukee, between Michigan City and Chicago. The thought 
came to me in a moment that my brother Thomas was one of the three 
w^ho had found a watery grave ; but when I arrived at Patterson's tav- 
ern (Gross Point), eighteen miles north of Chicago, I heard that 
Thomas H. Olin was the only one saved of the four who were carried 
out into the lake. 

"The first court house was built by Juneau, M. L. Martin, and 
Geo. D. Dousman, in the summer of 1836. Deacon Samuel Brown had 
the contract and commenced it in the fall of 1835. There was no snow 
in the winter of 1835 and 1836, to amount to anything like sledding. 
Teaming w^as principally done on the river and that was very unsafe, 
the ice being very rotten the most of the time." 

Alfred Orendorf, whose name appears often among the early set- 
tlers, came to Milwaukee in 1835 and settled upon the northeast 
quarter of section thirty-three, township seven, range twenty-one. The 
entry of this claim bears date, on the record, March 17, 1837, just 
four days subsequent to the great claim meeting held at the court 
house, March 13, to organize for self-protection against the specula- 
tors, and at w^hich he was one of the leading spirits. He also entered 
the southwest and southeast quarters of the same section, afterwards 
known as the Russell Sage farm. Mr. Orendorf was a native of 
Kentucky, and possessed in no small degree the reckless spirit for 
which the people of that state are so noted. James S. Buck is authority 
for several anecdotes concerning him, among which is the statement 


that he would frequently swim his pony across the river at Wiscon- 
sin street, even after the ferry was established. He was a splendid 
woodsman and famous hunter. He was one of the party who volun- 
teered to go out after and arrest the two Indians who killed Ellsworth 
Burnett on Nov. 5, 1835, and take them to Green Bay, and upon this 
occasion there occurred an incident that showed the metal that was in 
him when once aroused. The Indians were taken to Fort Howard for 
safe keeping until they could be tried, but the commanding officer at 
first declined to receive them, giving as a reason that if they had 
killed Burnett they no doubt had sufficient provocation. At this an- 
nouncement all the lion in Orendorf was aroused in a moment, and 
stepping in front of the officer, rifle in hand, his whole frame quivering 
with excitement, he looked him steadily in the eye, and hissing out his 
words between his clenched teeth, addressed him as follows : "You're 
a nice man — you are — for the government to send out here to protect 

the frontier — you d d white-livered scoundrel ! You just let them 

two Indians go, if you think best (here he elevated his voice and put in 
an adjective that made the officer's hair lift), and I will shoot them 
both before they can get across Fox river." It was not often that a 
United States officer had to back down in those days, particularly upon 
the frontier, but this one did. While on a trip to Green Bay in 1836, 
Mr. Orendorf entered the cabin of a settler named Smith to obtain a 
night's lodging. He was cold, wet, hungry, tired and used up gen- 
erally, his countenance representing such a woe-begone aspect as to 
cause Mrs. Smith to inquire what had happened. She asked if he had 
been in a bear fight, or treed by wolves, or beaten by some squaw in a 
game of moccasin, or blown up with gunpowder, or struck by lightning, 
or what? To which he replied: "Narry one; but you better believe, 
Madam, that I've had the worstest luck, and the mostest of it that, 
perhaps, by jim-eni, that you did see." It was upon his claim that so 
many swarms of bees (twenty-eight) were found in one day, in 
June, 1837. The woods were literally filled with bees in those days. 
Mr. Orendorf was not a man to settle down in one place for any great 
length of time ; he was too fond of excitement for that. Consequently, 
no sooner had the rough and tumble of the first few years worn oflf 
than he got restless and uneasy, and finally went to California, where 
he died. 

In 1835 Joel Butler, Stephen Peck. Peter Lyon, George Reed, 
John Hodgson, J. H. Seargent, John R. Robinson, Alexander Stewart, 
James Clyman, Thomas Martin, Archibald Clyburn, Henry Merrill, 
Gabriel Long, Samuel W. Beall. Garrett Denniston. and a number of 
others purchased land in township eight, or the north half of the 


town. A few of those named were merely land speculators, who 
bought without the slightest view of ever occupying the lands ; but 
the bulk of them came to the county either at that time or within the 
next few years. A number of these, however, resided at or about the 
village of Milwaukee, just then beginning to give promise of becoming 
an important point. 

Among the first settlers in the town may also be mentioned, M. 
Lynch, native of Ireland, who came in 1835; Frederick Stoltz and 
William Sauer, of Germany, also in 1835; E. Souneman, Germany, 
1838; and William Stange, Germany, 1839. Among other early citi- 
zens of township eight, the time of whose coming to the county we 
have not learned, were : G. Mathias, Jasper and John B. Vliet, James 
W. Jones, Buel and Samuel Brown, Isaac Williams, Reuben M. 
Keene, Martin D. Webster, Charles H. Dill, J. D. Whiting, Anson W. 
Buttles, and a few others. 

We have no means of coming at the population of the town of 
Milwaukee for the first few years, as it was included with the village 
of Milwaukee for the first ten years of its existence. Judging 
from the smallness of the vote cast in 1846, it had scarcely inhabitants 
enough to fill all the offices without bestowing two or more on some of 
the individuals. In 1850 the population had increased to 1,349; in 
i860, to 2,468; 1870, to 3,096; 1880, 3,472; 1890, 6,403; 1900, 5.122; 
and the state census of 1905 showed a population of 5.945. A part 
of the town of Milwaukee was annexed to the city following the census 
of 1890, and this fact explains the reduction in population in 1900 and 
1905. i 

Whitefish Bay is an incorporated village in the town of Milwau- 
kee, six miles north of the city, and is connected with the latter by the 
Chicago & Northwestern railway and also by an electric line. It is 
on the shore of Lake Michigan and has a population of 527. The 
village of East Milwaukee was organized in 1900, and lies contiguous 
to the city on the north, comprising a population of about 500. There 
are several energetic and enterprising business establishments in each 
of these villages. 


Topographically, this town in general is level. Kinnickinnic and 
Root rivers and Honey creek, with their tributaries, drain the terri- 
tory and flow respectively in an eastern, a southern, and in a northern 
direction. Root river enters the town at its western boundary and 
flows across it until the water finally makes its way to Lake Michigan. 
The other two streams have their source within the limits of the town. 


The valley or bottom lands adjacent to these streams are especially 
fertile, highly improved and very valuable. Some other parts are not 
so rich for agricultural purposes, but the town in general is really a 
very fine l)ody of land, scarcely second to any in the county. The 
streams mentioned above afford the drainage of the surrounding 

The principal varieties of timber which abounded in exhaustless 
supply and excellent quality were hickory, walnut, butternut, ash, 
poplar, sugar maple, oak of all kinds, cherry and sycamore. 

With the advent of the first white settlers, the woods abounded 
in game of all kinds known in the country. Deer and wild turkeys, 
exceedingly plentiful, afforded the principal meat su})ply of the early 
settlers. Every man and boy and some of the female population 
were expert hunters, and many are the tales told of hair-breadth escapes 
from, and single-handed contests with Bruin, the arch enemy of the 
young domestic animals about the settlers' cabins. Wolves, panthers 
and wildcats also made night hideous and nocturnal travel precarious 
with their prowling, stealthy and deceptive methods of attack. 

The first settlement of the town of Greenfield antedates its organ- 
ization by about three years. The town was created on March 8, 1839. 
At the time of its creation the town was named Kinnickinnic. and in 
territory the division included what are now the towns of Franklin 
and Greenfield. The town of Franklin was erected on Dec. 20, 1839, 
thus reducing the size of Kinnickinnic to its present limitations, and on 
Feb. 19, 1841, the name was changed by legislative enactment to 
Greenfield. The town comprises the full Congressional township No. 6 
north, and of range 21 east, and lies south of Wauwatosa, west of 
the city of Milwaukee and the town of Lake, north of Franklin, and is 
bounded on the west by Waukesha county. A small portion of the 
town was canal lands. 

The earliest white settlers known to enter the town did so in 
1835, but the number who came prior to 1836 was very small. Reuben 
Strong came with his family in October, 1836, and found already in the 
town, Joseph C. James, Albert Fuller and Erastus Montague with their 
families, and Joseph Guild, Harvey Hawkins and William Strathman, 
all single men. George S. West and a few others arrived at about the 
same time. William Strathman was the first German immigrant in 
the county. In 1836, also came F. D. Weld, William S. Trowbridge, 
Sidney Evans, and a niunber of others. 

William Salisbury Trowbridge, son of Calvin and Margaret 
(Packard) Trowbridge, was born in New Hartford, Oneida county, 
N. Y., Dec. 25, 1812. When the boy was seven years of age, his father 



removed with his family to VermiHon county, Ind., locating on the 
bank of the Vermilion river, where they remained for about nine years, 
and where the boy's experience of pioneer life really began. The un- 
healthfulness of the climate, together with the financial depression 
prevailing in the country at that time, proved so serious a consideration, 
as at last to induce Mr. Trowbridge to abandon the idea of a perma- 
nent home in Indiana, and so in the autumn of 1827 they returned to 
New York, and New Hartford became again the family residence. 
Entering now upon his sixteenth year, and having become the eldest son 
through the death of his brother Horace, three years his senior, the 
youth was employed in assisting his father^ — -whose varving fortunes 
made such service most grateful — and, at the same time, he was look- 
ing toward his own future. At one time he was a student at an acad- 
emy in Cazenovia, N. Y., but he completed the course of study in civil 
engineering — which fitted him for his chosen occupation in life — at 
the Liberal Institute in Clinton, Oneida county, N. Y. The last days of 
September, 1834, found the young man on the way from the place of 
his birth and early association toward the site of the present city of 
Chicago. From Detroit, our young Trowbridge chose the most prim- 
itive of all means of transportation and made the entire distance, 300 
miles, on foot. The exact date of arrival in Chicago is not obtainable, 
but it must have been during the first half of October, 1834, for in 
November following he was one of a party of government engineers, 
whose chief was a Mr. King, and who were detailed to survey govern- 
ment lands in and about the place now known as Sheboygan, Wis. 
On their way north the party was wind-bound here, Nov. 9, 1834, and, 
at that time Mr. Trowbridge made the first survey of lots in the present 
city of Milwaukee, viz : blocks one, two, three and four in the First 
and Seventh wards. The survey in Sheboygan and vicinity occupied 
the whole winter, so that it was not until x\pril, 1835, that the party 
returned to Chicago. In December, 1835, Mr. Trowbridge returned 
to Sheboygan for another winter. In 1836 he visited the East, return- 
ing in the autumn of the same year to Milwaukee as a permanent resi- 
dent. In 1837 he again returned to his early home, and in April of 
that year, married Miss Abigail C. Richardson of New Hartford, and 
in June following returned with his young bride to their new home. 
This home was in the town of Greenfield on Thirty-third avenue, south 
from National avenue. Mr. Trowbridge was the first city surveyor 
elected in the city of Milwaukee, which office he held until the passage 
of an ordinance requiring that officer to be a resident of the city. His 
last work was the re-survey of the town of Wauwatosa, completed in 
1880. In religious belief he was a Universalist and in politics a Re- 


publican of the most pronounced type. His earthly record was closed 
by death on Sept. lo, 1886. 

The land sales in this town began March 13, 1839, and twenty- 
four pieces were disposed of, while on Oct. 18, following, no less than 
sixty-eight tracts were bid ofif, and on April 30, 1840, forty-five addi- 
tional tracts found purchasers. 

Among the purchasers in 1839 ^'^^^ ■ Frederick Eggart, George 
Baird, A. W. Morgan, W. H. Bennett, Eleazer Chase, C. F. Elsworth, 
David Curtain, Edward Welsh, Henry Martin, George Smith, James 
Fohay, Ebenezer Hale, Seneca Hale, Michael Hacket, William Mero- 
sey, Philip Minser, John Furlong, Martin Ward, Nathan Cobb, Peter 
Jordan, John Conoly, Hiram Dayton, James Delisle, Samuel Milling- 
ton, Ira Blood, Luther Ayers, J. H. Leavenworth, John Julian, Rufus 
Scott, James G. Herbert, John Sheldon, Antoine Doville, John Arm- 
strong, Reuben Strong, and about twenty-five others. 

Seneca Hale was a native of Onondaga county, N. Y., born Oct. 
5, 1811. He came to Wisconsin in 1837 and settled in the town of 
Greenfield, where he remained on his farm up to the time of his death, 
which occurred when he was seventy-nine years old. He had been a 
member of the school board a number of years and was one of the first 
settlers in the town. 

John Furlong was born in the village of Buttevant, County Cork, 
Ireland,, on March 26, 181 2, being one of three children of George and 
Martha (Gorman) Furlong. The family came to Quebec, Canada, in 
1821, and soon afterward Mr. Furlong bought a large tract of land 
near the head of Lake Champlain, in the state of New York, where he 
was engaged in farming until 1832. At that date he moved West and 
settled on land at Conner's Creek, near Belle Isle, which is now within 
the municipality of Detroit, Mich. The family tarried here only four 
vears, and then yielded to the impulse which has moved the star of 
empire westward, and which has prompted so many to seek new homes 
in the undeveloped richness of new countries, they once more turned 
their faces toward the setting sun, and traveled to the west shore of Lake 
Michigan — where the city of Milwaukee has since sprung into exis- 
tence — in time to be among the very earliest of the pioneers of this 
county. After a short residence in the town of Greenfield, John Fur- 
long returned to Milwaukee, which became his permanent home, and 
he then engaged in the contracting business, and together with Richard 
Hackett, did nearly all the grading of streets done in this city up to 
1857. He also constructed a lime kiln on his farm and was the pioneer 
of this region in that industry, but sold out his business at the date last 
mentioned. He was engaged in the wholesale grocery business from 



1848 to i860,, and then engaged in a packing enterprise, the packing 
house which he built on the lake shore being now a part of the Schlitz 
malt house. In 1866 he established himself in the business of whole- 
sale dealer in fish at Nos. 197 and 201 East Water street, occupying one 
of the oldest landmarks in Milwaukee, the Dousman warehouse, which 
was built in 1837. Five years later his sons, Morgan and John M. 
Furlong, were admitted as partners in the business. In 1873 they pur- 
chased Washington Harbor on Washington Island and a part of St. 
Martin's Island in northern Michigan, which was used for a fishing 
station, the firm having an extensive trade in both lake and salt-water 
fish for many years. Mr. Furlong died suddenly on Dec. 26, 1883. In 
politics he was a Democrat, but ofiice-holding had but little attraction 
for him, and his public service in that way was confined to the common 
council in the early days of Milwaukee's history. He was a devout 
Catholic, and was one of the first to suggest and support the building 
of St. John's Cathedral, to which he contributed very largely, and to- 
gether with John Dahlman, Edward O'Neill and Bishop, afterward 
Archbishop Henni, he founded St. Rose's Orphan Asylum, which was 
incorporated in 1851. 

Reuben Strong was born in Tully, Onondaga county, N. Y., in 
1814, and there was reared on a farm. He came to Wisconsin in 1836, 
and purchased a "claim" to ninety acres of land on the Janesville road, 
in what is now the town of Greenfield, the land having previously been 
"located" by Albert Fuller. He afterward bought a claim filed on 160 
acres near by, which he improved, and on which he lived and died. Mr. 
Strong married Miss Pamelia Fuller, in New York state, in 1835, and 
seven children were born to them after they came to Wisconsin. Mrs. 
Strong belonged to the noted New England family of Fullers, of which 
the present chief justice of the United States Supreme Court is a dis- 
tinguished representative. Albert Fuller, a brother of Mrs. Strong, 
was one of the earliest settlers in the town of Greenfield, and the first 
township election was held at his house. Mr. Strong died on Sept. i, 
1889. He was a Republican, and both he and his wife were members 
of the Baptist church. 

The record of the first election in the town of Greenfield has been 
lost or improperly kept,, but it is known that it was held at the resi- 
dence of Albert Fuller, in April. 1839. The notice of the election 
named as judges persons not then within the town, and when the voters 
assembled they selected the officers to suit themselves. Eben Corn- 
wall, Stephen Sargent and Reuben Strong were made judges, and 
Francis D. Weld and Peter Marlatt, clerks. The settlers were detained 
till after dark and took supper at Mr. Fuller's. Coffee being scarce in 



that early day they were compelled to make out with milk punch. Of- 
fices were not sought then as they are now, and an office now abolished, 
and which it was difficult to get anyone to fill, was that of fence viewer. 

Eben Cornwall came of good Connecticut stock, in which state he 
was born in 1790, and from whence he removed to Williamson, Wayne 
county, N. Y., when he was twenty-five years old. He was a good 
mechanic as well as farmer and followed those occupations all his life. 
He was married in Wayne county, N. Y., to Miss Cynthia Sheffield, in 
1814, and shortly after the marriage removed to Macedon, where he 
lived until 1838. In that year he came direct to Milwaukee by lake, 
on the steamer "Madison." Seeking a home in the country, he and 
his wife went to the town of Greenfield and settled on a quarter section 
of land, on which he died in 1879, his wife having died in 1873. 

The earliest attainable records go back only to April, 1842, when 
an election was held. George S. West was elected chairman of the first 
town board, and John Marsh and C. S. Elsworth members; clerk, 
Hiram Dayton ; assessors, H. Moore and William Hale ; treasurer, Wil- 
liam Cobb ; collector, F. D. Weld ; commissioners of highways : George 
S. West. John Cooper and Albert Fuller ; commissioners of schools : 
Charles F. Elsworth, F. D. Weld and Peter Marlatt. At a subsequent 
meeting it was shown that $100 had been raised by taxation, and all 
the officers fully paid, except the clerk, whose bill, $44,123^ was pro- 
nounced too high, and it was recommended that it be reduced to thirty- 
five dollars. The total disbursements for the year were ninety-six dol- 
lars, and the supervisors were of the opinion that $100 would be a 
sufficient sum for the coming year. This is quite a contrast with the 
present day, when the cost of assessing alone is a number of times as 
great as the entire revenues in 1842. The population of the town is 
entirely rural, and numbers 6,348, or about 176 per square mile. 

The first white child born at Hale's Corners, and it may be the 
first in the town of Greenfield, was to William Hale and wife, Feb. 27, 
1838. The infant then ushered into the world was Napoleon B. Hale, 
who after reaching manhood removed to San Bernardino, Cal. 

The Methodists were the leaders in religious efforts in the town 
of Greenfield, the first meetings being held in the settlers' cabins. After 
continuing the services in the houses of the members for several vears, 
school houses were used, and later, houses for worship were erected. 
The first religious services remembered in the town were conducted 
by Rev. James Ash, in January, 1837. In 1841, the Greenfield Baptist 
church was organized at the residence of Eben Cornwall. In April, 
1842, a Methodist Episcopal class of five members was formed by Rev. 
Mr. Ash, and Rev. William W. Johnson was appointed leader, a posi- 


tion he held for more than jfifty years. In 1870, the members here 
united with those at Wauwatosa and helped build the Methodist Epis- 
copal church of that place. At the present time the town has nine 
houses of public worship located as follows : Three at or near North 
Greenfield Station, one each on sections 7, 14, 17, and 29, and two on 
section 22. Nearly all the early churches provided a place for the in- 
terment of their dead, but these were gradually abandoned, and Pil- 
grim's Rest Cemetery and Forest Home Cemetery in the city of Mil- 
waukee contain the remains of many of the early pioneers. 

The first tavern in the town of Greenfield was opened by William 
Hale at Hale's Corners and was called the South Side Hotel. He kept 
a little tea and tobacco for sale, and on Sunday always had preaching 
in his house, so his was a dwelling,, tavern, store and church. This 
was really the first beginning of business at Hale's Corners. 


Franklin was one of the two towns formed out of the original 
town of Kinnickinnic. The date of its formation by the territorial 
legislature was Dec. 20, 1839. Franklin is the southwestern corner 
town of Milwaukee county, and it was christened at the time of its 
erection as a civil division. The name was doubtless given in honor of 
that distinguished statesman, diplomat and philosopher. Dr. Benjamin 
Franklin. The town is a full one, its area being of the regulation Con- 
gressional size, thirty-six square miles. The town of Greenfield lies to 
the north of it. and Oak Creek to the east, while Racine and Waukesha 
counties bound it on the south and west. The surface of the country 
IS somewhat varied, but the major portion of it is generally level, par- 
taking somewhat of the character of the land in the towns of Greenfield 
and Lake. The soil is referable entirely to the drift deposits, and would 
be classified as drift clays. A large portion of the land is of excellent 
•quality, while another portion is rough, with immense quantities of 
boulders thickly strewn everywhere. Root river, with its numerous 
small tributaries, furnishes nearly the entire drainage of the town, 
passing as it does nearly centrally through it. 

Franklin was originally covered with heavy timber, mostly of the 
■hard wood varieties,, as walnut, butternut, hickory, the various kinds 
of oak, beech, maple, yellow poplar, whitewood, white ash, elm, etc. 
These were abundant, while the buckeye, sycamore, wild cherry, iron 
wood and doe: wood were less generally distributed. The shrubs were 
the hazel, blackberry, huckleberry, Jnneberry, hackberry and spice. 
]\Iost of the varieties of timber and shrubs are still represented, though 


the best has long since found its way to the mills and markets, if not 
the pioneer "log heaps." 

The town was noted in early times for its abundance of wild ani- 
mals, and was a favorite hunting ground for the Indians for many 
years after the cession- of the land to the whites. By general consent, 
they were permitted to make annual visits, which they seemed to 
greatly enjoy. There were bears, panthers, wolves and wild-cats in 
great numbers, while deer and wild turkeys furnished the principal 
meat foods to the early settlers. The larger wild animals were of 
course for many years a source of annoyance and danger. 

The town of Franklin was settled nearly as early as any of the 
towns in Milwaukee county. The earliest sale of land was in the latter 
part of the year 1838. Among the purchasers at that time were Hor- 
ace Flint Smith, Rufus Cheney, Eleazer Wales, John W. Howard, Wil- 
liam Shields, John White, Herman Veeder, and Aaron Whitcomb. 

Rev. Rufus Cheney was one of the earliest, best known and widely 
respected pioneer settlers of Milwaukee county. In 1833 he moved 
from Western New York to Erie county. Pa., and in the spring of 1835 
came West and settled on a farm in Milwaukee county He attended 
the first government land sale held that year at Green Bay, and pur- 
chased some tracts of timbered lands. At the first land sale held in 
Milwaukee, in 1838, he entered about 2,000 acres of farming lands for 
himself,, his sons and relatives, and soon afterward they followed him 
to the new land he had spied out, all becoming heads of families and 
leading citizens of the embryo state. Elder Cheney, as he was familiar- 
ly called, was in many respects a remarkable man. He was an ordained 
preacher of the Free Will Baptist denomination, and preached the Gos- 
pel for over sixty years, and during all that long period never received 
a salary for his laborers, choosing rather, having the zeal and faith of 
the Apostles, to look as did they to the great Master above, whom he 
so faithfully served, for his eternal reward. All through his life he 
kept his worldly afifairs subservient to the greater ministerial work to 
which he early dedicated himself, and carried his religion into his prac- 
tical life, as few have the strength given them to do. He died in New 
Berlin, Waukesha county, at the residence of his son John, at the ripe 
age of ninety years. He was a man of remarkable physical as well as 
mental strength and energy, and was eminently practical in his re- 
ligious teachings, as is shown by the following anecdote : During the 
war of 181 2, while he was preaching at Alexandria, N. Y., news was 
brought to the church that the British were burning Buffalo, and that a 
call for volunteers was made. He immediately brought his sermon to 
a close, saying: "By the grace of God I will go. Who else?" Thirty- 



two of the congregation rose, and under his lead went to the defense 
of the city without delay. He was the first preacher of his denomina- 
tion in the state, and founded many of the early churches in this 
vicinity, among them those at New Berlin, Pike's Grove and Honey 
Creek, Wis. 

William Shields was born in New York, Sept. 6, 1813. He came 
to Wisconsin in the year 1836; entered a claim for a homestead and re- 
turned to New York, where he was married on July 19, 1838, to Miss 
Mary Ann Evans. He then returned to Wisconsin, settled in the town 
of Franklin, on his homestead, where he remained up to the time of his 
death, which occurred on Nov. 12, 1879, aged sixty-six years. There 
were but three settlers in the town before him, viz : William Shehan, 
who came in 1834; Thomas Hogan and Mrs. McAnany, settlers of 
1835. The first settler was undoubtedly William Shehan, who made 
his claim in 1834 and not long thereafter moved into the town. It is 
found that he built a cabin on his claim and made his home there for 
many years. He was a very prominent man with the first pioneers, 
and was very influential in all the affairs of the town. He was pros- 
perous in all his business ventures and bore well the hardships incident 
to early life in a new country, his home being an asylum for the dis- 
tressed and unfortunate. He was an active man and performed his 
full share of labor in the development of the town in its very primitive 
days, holding the plow to break the first piece of land, and building the 
first cabin of which there is any record. 

On March 13, 1839, ^^^ persons purchased tracts of land in the 
town of Franklin, which was truly a wonderful day's transaction. Of 
these we have room for the names of only a few — John Everts,. Edgar 
Managan, Cyrus Curtis, Patrick Casper, Timothy Ryan, Elisha S. 
White, John Lane, Seneca Harris, Dennis Cornell, Israel Smith, John 
Kavanaugh, Lewis G. Higby, Thomas Dyer, Thomas Hogan, James 
Mills, Laurence Rooney, and many others. It would seem that nearly 
all the lands in the north part of the town were purchased in March, 
1839, and nearly all the remainder of the town by the close of the year. 
Many persons, not intending to become residents of the town, pur- 
chased one or more tracts, and among them were George Smith, Mar- 
tin O. Walker, Byron Kilbourn, and others. The whole number of 
tracts taken up during the year was 204, and these,, if only eighty-acre 
tracts, would aggregate more than 16,000 acres, or more than two- 
thirds of the town. Among those who came to the county before the 
land sale and later became honored citizens of the town of Franklin, 
were the following: William Shehan, from Ireland, in 1834; Thomas 
Hogan and Mrs. McAnany, Ireland, 1835 : William Shields, New York, 


1836; William Stephan, Germany, 1836: ]\lrs. T. ]\IcCarty, England, 
1836; George Kahn, France, 1836; George Carman, England, 1837; 
E. Managan, Ireland, 1837; William Cobb, of Connecticut, Fred 
Schwartz, of Germany, and William Stahr, of Prussia, in 1838. Of 
course, there were many others whose names have not been obtained, 
or the date of their arrival. 

The earliest obtainable records of this town only date back to 
1842, when the first town meeting was held under the law passed in 
1841. At this meeting the following persons, thirty-seven in all, were 
recorded as voters : Thomas Hay, J. N. Loomis, John Lane, Eleazer 
Wales, Garrett M. Fitzgerald, Loan Deny, Hiram L. Connett, Elias 
Burr, John Lynch, John T. Veeder, Robert P. Norton, John Kava- 
naugh, Harry B. Howard, Joel Rogers, Edward B. Hart, John Grant, 
Thomas McNinny, Charles S. Postal, Marion A. Stcy-ms, James 
Shields, Samuel Wales, Winslow P. Storms, George W. Beckwith, 
Henry Moore, Nelson F. Beckwith, Garrett Fitzgerald, Douglas D. 
Jennings, Samuel Heath, John Everts, William Shields, H. W. A'and- 
erin, Patrick Healey, John W. Howard, Horace F. Smith, James Colby, 
J. C. Loomis and Jonathan Loomis. This meeting, as well as the suc- 
ceeding one, was held at the residence of J. C. Loomis, the date of the 
first being April 5, 1842. H. W. Vanderin and Jonathan J. Loomis 
acted as clerks of this meeting. It was voted that the town officers 
should be allowed seventy-five cents per day, except the clerk, who was 
allowed pay by the 100 words. It was also voted that all fences should 
be four and one-half feet high, "and of such material as are mentioned 
in the statutes," whatever that may have been. It was also voted to 
raise by taxation twenty-five dollars for the support of paupers, and 
$100 for the town officers and incidental expenses. The following 
ticket was then elected : Supervisors : J. A. Jennings, chairman, Elias 
Burr, and Garrett Fitzgerald ; clerk, John Lane ; treasurer, John Everts ; 
assessors, Jonathan Loomis and Robert P. Norton ; commissioners of 
highways, Samuel Wales and E. B. Llart ; commissioners of schools : 
Junia A. Jennings, G. W. Beckwith, and Jonathan J. Loomis. Two 
years later, but seventy-nine votes were cast, which, considering the 
proportion of single men and newly-married couples that go to new 
countries, would indicate that there were probably not over 400 per- 
sons in the town. 

The town of Franklin has always been a favorite resort for the na- 
tives of the Emerald Isle, who formerly were in a majority in the town. 
A large number of Germans during the more recent years have been 
finding homes there, and to-day they probably outnumber those of Irish 


The population is almost exclusively rural, there being but one 
small hamlet, that of St. Martin, or Franklin, which contains but a few 
houses. It is located in the western part of the town, and of course is 
in the southwestern part of the county. The hamlet is pleasantly lo- 
cated on elevated and comparatively level ground. In 1835, there were 
but one or two small clearings in the forest, but each year thereafter 
new settlers were attracted to it. While Franklin had no phenomenal 
growth, its progress for a time was steady and substantial. The popu- 
lation has been nearly stationery for the last twenty years, increase in 
that direction being retarded to some extent by the advent of railroads 
in near-by towns. The place boasts of an excellent school, in which 
the patrons take great interest, taught by excellent instructors. 

The experiences of the early settlers were similar, regardless of 
locality, and, to some extent, without regard to wealth. Necessaries of 
life, as we of later generations class them, were not to be procured, 
bv reason of the great distance to be traveled, and hazards encountered 
in reaching the older settlements. The forest supplied the meats, for 
the most part, as it did, also, the fruits and sugar. Cofifee and tea 
were luxuries seldom used. This is mentioned to show the simple fare 
that satisfied the demands of the times. A dinner of corn bread alone, 
or of meat without bread, was a common repast. Often the corn was 
pounded on a stone, or in a mortar, and thus prepared for the cooking 
before the open fire-place, and no doubt there are those living today 
who remember the relish with which they devoured grandmother's 
"pone." Potatoes were early raised, but had not become a household 
necessity as now. Maple sugar and syrup were among the old-time 
luxuries easily obtained. The cabins usually had a "shake" roof, fas- 
tened on by weight poles, with a clay or puncheon floor and a door 
made of boards split from native timber, and fastened together with 
wooden pins, or, in the absence of this, a blanket hung in the opening; 
if a window was provided, the aperture was sometimes covered with 
greased paper instead of glass. The dimensions of the cabin were 
usually limited to the smallest size which would accommodate the fam- 
ily, the walls of rough logs, cracks "chinked" with split sticks or stones, 
and plastered with clay, with sometimes a little cut straw mixed in the 
"mortar" to prevent its falling out. The chimney was usually the 
most liberal arrangement on the premises,, and often filled nearly the 
entire end of the cabin. It was generally built of split sticks liberally 
plastered with mud to prevent their taking fire from the heat of the 
tremendous "log-heap" beneath. In those days' there was no scarcity of 
fuel, as the timber had to be removed before the land could be culti- 
vated, and the logs which could not be utilized in making rails, or con- 


structing buildings, were rolled together in great heaps and consumed 
on the ground. With the advent of the saw-mills and various other 
appliances for manufacturing lumber, as devised by the ingenious 
pioneers, the best of the timber was usually worked into lumber. 

A "full-dress" suit in those days consisted of buckskins, over a 
flax shirt, and moccasins for the feet, the latter sometimes "reinforced" 
by a sole of stiff leather fastened on with buckskin thongs. These 
were all the product of home industry, even to the raising, heckling, 
scutching, spinning, weaving and making, of the flaxen garments. 

The pioneer shoemaker, gunsmith and blacksmith were welcome 
adjuncts to the early settlements, as were also the back-woods school- 
masters and preachers. The first schools were conducted on the sub- 
scription plan, and usually embraced only the rudiments of the "three 
R's." The "master" taught twenty-two days for a month at a salary 
of about eight dollars per month, and "boarded around." He was oft- 
ener selected because of his muscular development than on account of 
his scholastic attainments, though both were considered essential to 
complete success. The unruly boys of pioneer days were prone to mis- 
chief, and happy, indeed, was the schoolmaster who escaped "barring 
out," for a treat, on holidays. Should the master arrive in the morning 
before a sufficient number of the belligerents reached the scene of hos- 
tilities, they would smoke him out by placing boards over the chimney. 
The school "furniture" was in keeping with that which adorned the 
homes of the pupils, entirely home made, and of the variety created for 
utility rather than beauty. The desks were puncheons, or at best planks 
resting on wooden pins driven into auger holes in the logs of the walls. 
These were bored at an agle of about thirty degrees. Fronting the 
desks were stationery seats made of slabs of puncheons, with flaring 
legs of wooden pins, and these were made high enough to accommodate 
the larger pupils, while the smaller ones sat with their feet dangling 
in mid-air. Globes and outline maps were unknown to the pupils, and 
a mystery to the masters. The "text books" comprised Dabol's arith- 
metic and Webster's elementary spelling book. These covered the cur- 
riculm of reading and spelling, mathematics, language and literature, 
history and science. The ancient "pot-hooks," more difficult to form 
than any letter in the alphabet, comprised the first lessons in writing, 
but were never heard of afterward. There was no system by which 
these characters were made, hence each "master" had a "system" of his 
own. Sundry boxing of ears and other barbarous punishment often 
followed the pupil's futile efforts at imitating these useless hieroglyphics. 
And yet we must credit the pioneer schools with producing a class of 
plain and neat writers, a feature very noticeable, and often commented 


upon, in the reading of ancient documents. It is equally true that most 
of the students of those early days were excellent spellers according to 
the rules then in vogue. But the primitive schools of pioneer days 
have long since been succeeded by the excellent school system so nicely 
provided for, in part at least, by the reservation of a portion of the 
public domain for that purpose. 

For many years after the settlement of the town of Franklin, re- 
ligious exercises were conducted by the traveling ministers of various 
denominations, usually at private houses or in the school houses of the 
town. Perhaps fully one-half of the population are members of the 
Catholic church, to accommodate which there are two substantial build- 
ings at the village of St. Martin. In the year 1848, Very Reverend M. 
Kundig, vicar-general of the diocese of Milwaukee, founded a congre- 
gation of German and Irish Catholics, building a frame church and lay- 
ing out the village of St. Martin, better known as Franklin. In a short 
time the Germans had largely increased in numbers and a church to 
themselves was determined upon, and the corner stone was laid in the 
year 1858, by Rev. F. X. Winehardt, who became the first pastor. The 
building was of stone, 40 by 100 feet in size, and was dedicated by 
Archbishop John M. Henni, in 1859, when Rev. H. Tansen was pastor. 
The Rev. William Boneacamp became the pastor in 1865, and had the 
pleasure of seeing his flock increase to more than 150 families. For 
some time the Rev. Boneacamp lived in a genuine loghouse, like his 
ancestors, but his energy and zeal gave his flock courage to build a 
priest house in 1866, and a school house the next year, at an expense 
of $4,300, and another school house about five miles from the hamlet. 
The church,, which bears the title of the "Sacred Heart of Jesus and 
Mary," is one of the best furnished country churches, having a good 
organ, bells and a beautiful altar. The old frame church of the Irish 
Catholics was burned down in 1866, and was soon replaced by a nice 
brick building, 40 by 80 feet. A new priest house was also built. 

Franklin is one of the most wealthy and prosperous towns in Mil- 
waukee county. The farms are larger upon an average than in any 
other part of the county, the population being about fifty per square 
mile, a much smaller number than are found in any other town. There 
are but few persons engaged in manufacturing or merchandising in the 
town, while there are more acres in oats, corn, rye and wheat in propor- 
tion to population than any other division of the county. It is regarded 
as a very pleasant town, where many well-to-do farmers have happy 
homes. Agriculture being the principal industry, and in fact almost 
the exclusive occupation of the people, it has received careful and 
thoughtful attention, and the farmers are equipped for the varied 


branches of agricultural pursuits, including extensive stock-raising 
and fruit-growing. Early attention was given to the introduction of 
improved strains of domestic animals, and this has proved a source of 
pleasure and profit. The well tilled farms, with their substantial resi- 
dences of modern design, or the old and well built mansions of more 
ancient days,, together with an occasional log house or unpretentious 
cabin, all evince the varying degrees of prosperity attained 1\v their 
owners, and emphasize the fact that "there is no place like home." The 
inhabitants are a class of intelligent, public-spirited people, who in sev- 
eral instances trace their lineage, with just pride, to the founders of our 
great Republic. 


The territory embraced within this town is known as Congres- 
sional township No. 8 north of range 21 east, and lies in the north- 
west corner of Milwaukee county. It is bounded on the north and 
west respectively by Waukesha and Washington counties, while the 
town of Milwaukee lies on the east, and the town of Wauwatosa on the 
south. This is also a full Congressional township. The organization 
of Granville dates from Jan. 13, 1840. It is not only one of the most 
fertile and naturally wealthy towns of the county, but it is also one of 
the most prosperous in its material development. It is a beautiful, 
rolling and generally very fertile part of the county. Its lands are not 
rated as high for the purpose of taxation as in some other parts of the 
county, but it is doubtful whether there is another so large a tract of 
land of equal value for agricultural purposes. Not being joined up to 
the city of Milwaukee, the prices of lands are, perhaps, not so nutch 
effected by the price of city lots as some of the others. The Milwaukee 
river passes through the northeast corner of the town, and flowing 
south only a little way from the town line, with its small tributaries, 
furnishes good drainage for the eastern half of the town, while the 
north branch of the Menomonee river with small adjuncts effectually 
drains the western part of the town. The water power afforded by 
these streams was utilized in a very early day, when the primitive mills 
were hailed with delight by the industrious pioneers. 

The first permanent improvement which was made in the town of 
Granville is accredited to W. W. Woodward and C. M. Woodward, 
who came in 1835. It is an impossibility to find out the names of all 
the parties who came into the town during the first three or four years 
of its settlement. In addition to the gentlemen named, a Mr. Barber, 
a Mr. Hazleton. and John McLane settled in the southeast corner in 
1835 or 1836, and (|uitc a num])cr of single men "shantied out'' during 


these two vears. In 1837 the settlement of the town proceeded with 
greater rapidity. M. Bourgardt came from Germany in 1837; S. C. 
Enos, New York, 1837; A. S. Hawks, New York, 1837. Thomas 
Falkner came from Scotland, arriving in Granville in September, 1837. 
He reports that there were no settlers to the north or northwest of 
him. He bought his claim of a gentleman named Archibald Don Carlos, 
who was just about leaving the country. There were none living near 
him at first, but a Mr. Brazleton, Mr. Grifitin and a Mr. Everts. In 
1838, Mr. Falkner thinks he had every man in the town to help him 
raise a log barn. These numbered just twenty-six. The earliest sale 
of lands in this town took place in 1838, when three tracts were sold 
to William Worth, Jesse Scholl, and Jonas Barndt. In the year 1839, 
however, thirty-four tracts were sold. A large proportion of the lands 
of the town were kept out of the market by the Rock River Canal com- 
plications, and it was not until 1849 that these impediments were re- 
moved, and on Sept. 28, 1849, they were offered at auction and several 
thousand acres were sold in. a day; the entire number of tracts sold in 
the latter part of that year being about fifty. Noah Leister and Isaac 
Leister came from Pennsylvania in 1839; while Joseph R. Thomas and 
Amos and Benjamin Thomas came from Illinois in the same year. 
Joseph R. Thomas followed the trade of carder and fuller for some 
years at Georgetown, 111., and in October, 1839, moved to Milwaukee 
county, settling on a heavily timbered farm of 160 acres in the town 
of Granville, purchasing the land from the government at $1.25 per 
acre. Daniel Newland was among the early settlers. There was some 
trouble brewing out of the Indians killing stock belonging to some of 
the first settlers in the town, and Mr, Newland and some others went 
to see Mr. Juneau about it, when he told them that he would do what 
he could — that he once had a good deal of influence with the Indians, 
but of late other white men and whisky had more influence than he 

The first election of which we have any record occurred on April 
10, 1842, and the names of the fortunate ones — who were called from 
obscurity and compelled to withstand the trying ordeal of having po- 
litical honors, thrust upon them — are as follows :' Supervisors: Leon- 
ard Brown, Solomon C. Enos and Lyman Wheeler ; clerk,. C. W. Mid- 
dick; commissioners of highways: Squire Sacket, Edward S. Earles 
and Justin Eastman ; treasurer, Jonas T. Barndt ; constables : Harvey 
Custer, B. C. Brazleton and Benjamin S. Stinson; commissioners of 
schools : C. W. Middick, Joseph R. Thomas and Leonard Brown. The 
number of votes cast at the first election is not given, but the whole 
population five years after the first settlement was but 225. The town 


when org-anized as a civil division was christened Granville, at the re- 
quest of Jonathan Brown, Hosea Crippen, Charles and Truman Everts, 
Hiram Lake, and several other pioneers, who had removed from Gran- 
ville, N. Y. At the election mentioned above, it was resolved to pay 
the town officers one dollar per day, and the clerks one shilling per lOO 
words, to raise seventy-five dollars for the payment of officers, and fifty 
dollars for incidentals. 

Nearly the entire population of the town is engaged in agricultural 
pursuits. North Milwaukee, an incorporated village, has the greater 
portion of its limits in the town of Granville, and is situated five miles 
north of the city of Milwaukee. It had a precarious existence for the 
first years of its life, but gradually assumed the proportions of a thrifty 
village. Prior to the construction of the Wisconsin Central and the 
Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railways, which pass through the vil- 
lage, it was scarcely a business center and had a small population, 
though there were successful business enterprises located in the village. 
But with the building of the railroads and the establishment of stations 
there, the village began to take on life, and about fifteen years ago was 
incorporated. It is supported by a rich agricultural district and its 
business men are a class of progressive and enterprising people, who 
command ample capital and first-class facilities for the transaction of 
the large volume of business. Though it has not made rapid strides in 
growth, its population is mainly of that solid, permanent character 
which adds financial strength and stability. According to the state 
census of 1905, the population is twelve hundred and thirty-six. The 
village has well built residences and business blocks and good educa- 
tional advantag'es and church facilities. 

The population of the town in 1840 was 225; in 1850, 1,713; in 
i860, 2, 663; in 1870,. 2,401 ; in 1880, 2.370; 1890, 2,272; 1900, 2,267; 
and in 1905, 2,114. The figures for 1900 and 1905 are exclusive of the 
village of North Milwaukee. It will be noticed that the population of 
the town increased during the decade 1840 to 1850 nearly 800 per 
cent., and but about 150 per cent, from 1850 to i860, and that it has 
been on the decrease from i860 to the present time. The increase of 
manufacturing establishments at Milwaukee, increasing the demand for 
artisans and laborers, has doubtless had much to do with this. The 
population of the town to-day is a little more than sixty per square 
mile, exclusive of the village of North Milwaukee. Four railroads and 
several fine gravel roads intersect the town. 

Granville is well supplied with district schools now. in striking 
contrast with the log houses and antic|uated methods of instruction of 
former days. There arc ten places of religious worship in the town. 


the denominations represented being Lutheran, Alethodist, Presby- 
terian, and CathoHc. 

The soil of the town of Granville is generally fertile and well 
adapted to the raising of all kinds of grain, grasses and fruits. The 
valleys of the small streams are rich and productive, and as a whole 
the soil of the town is of excellent quality. It was originally covered 
with a fine growth of timber, in which the hardwood varieties predomi- 


Previous to April 30, 1840. the territory of the town of Wauwatosa 
was attached to the town of Milwaukee for the convenience of the peo- 
ple in the adjustment of local affairs. On the date above written, the 
town of Wauwatosa was created by taking from the town of Milwau- 
kee township seven north, range twenty-one east, but the first town 
meeting of which any record is preserved was held on April 5, 1842. 

The town of Wauwatosa originally included in its domain all of 
the above named Congressional township, but the encroachments of 
the city of Milwaukee have taken from it several sections of land on 
the east ; and the last change in boundary, which reduced Wauwatosa 
to its present size, was made under the provisions of an act which took 
effect on Sept. 4, 1900, said act giving to the city an area of land con- 
taining a population of 3,608. The adjoining towns to Wauwatosa 
are Granville on the north and Greenfield on the south, while the city 
of Milwaukee and the town of Milwaukee lie on the east and Waukesha 
county on the west. 

The topographical features of the town are not very striking, if to 
be so comprehends a great variety of natural scenery. The broad and 
fertile fields, rich and productive, are the principal sources of agricul- 
tural wealth. Wauwatosa as a whole is a very fine body of land. It is 
a town where nearly all is good, and some of it the finest in the county. 
It seems to have been so esteemed from the first, and was perhaps 
more largely taken up in advance of the land sale than any other town, 
and has taken the lead in population throughout the greater part of its 
history. The ]\Ienomonee river is the principal water course in the 
town, and with its tributaries furnishes ample drainage and a beauti- 
fully diversified surface. There are a very large number of small, well 
tilled farms, many of them largely devoted to market-gardening, dairy 
purposes, etc., and a person riding out on any of the principal thor- 
oughfares radiating from the city will be struck with the village-like 
aspect of the whole town. In the valley of the Menomonee are a num- 
ber of the most valuable and extensive stone quarries in the county, 


where the finest flagging- and building stone can be had in inexhaust- 
ible quantities, while such as is suitable for burning into lime or for 
rough work can be had almost for the picking up. These quarries are 
practically inexhaustible for hundreds of years to come. 

The first settlers of the town were of the class of the heroic pio- 
neers who were identified with the settlement of all of this portion of 
Wisconsin. They were seeking homes on productive soil, and hence the 
lands of the town of Wauwatosa were very generally occupied by 
actual settlers at an early day in the history of the present limits of the 
county. The following are the names and places of nativity of a few 
of those who settled in the town in the early pioneer days : Charles 
Hart, Connecticut, 1835; John Bowen, New York city, came in 1835; 
George D. Dousman, Mackinac, Mich., 1835; Charles James, England, 
1835; G. D. Watson, New York, 1836; J. H. White, Vermont,, 1836; 
Thomas B. Hart, Connecticut, 1836; William and F. A. Hobbs, Con- 
necticut, 1836; Jeremiah Hobbs and E. G. Fowler, Mass., 1836; 
Emery, S. B., A. H. and N. J. Swan, 1837 ; W. S. Wells, Maine, and 
John Daily, of Ireland, both in 1838. Besides these were a Mr. Gregg 
and family, Mr. Underwood and family, Mr. Foley and family, Mr. 
Longstreet, Mr. Tobin, Martin Curtis,, T. G. Osborn, B. Barber, and a 
Mr. Johnson. 

Charles James was born in the parish of St. Minvern, Cornwall 
county, England, March 31, 181 2, and was the son of George and 
Christiana (Roberts) James. His father, appreciating the opportuni- 
ties awaiting honest, industrious men in the new world, and having 
only limited means, determined to seek his fortune in America, sailing 
from England with his family on March 27, 1830, and arriving in New 
York on May 5 of the same year. Soon after his arrival in this country 
the elder James settled at Horse Heads, N. Y., and both he and his 
son entered the employ of Mr. Jay, a contractor on the Chemung canal. 
Young James labored all the first summer on the canal and in common 
with his fellow laborers lost the greater share of his wages through 
the dishonesty of one of the contractors, who ran away with the money 
of the firm. Being left practically penniless he went to Painted Post 
and entered the employ of a Mr. Fish, a farmer, from whom he was 
to receive as wages eight dollars per month. In that employ he also 
acquired a knowledge of the carpenter's and joiner's trade, and after 
losing a year's wages by the death of his employer, who left an insol- 
vent estate, he worked for a time at that trade to discharge some in- 
debtedness which he had contracted. Tn [he spring of 1835 '"^^ ^^^^ 
New York state and sought the more promising field of the West, ar- 
riving in Milwaukee on June 25 of that year. TTcrc he found the wil- 


derness scarcely touched by the hand of civilized man, but the lands 
yielded kindly and generously to the touch of the husbandman. He 
encountered upon his native heath the Winnebago Indian,, at that time 
the owner of the lands and master of the whole situation. In company 
with Emanuel Cawker, a fellow Englishman, Mr. James blazed the first 
line of civilization and carried the first surveyor's chain around section 
thirteen, township seven north, range twenty-one east, later in the 
town of Wauwatosa, and now^ included in the Ninth and Tenth wards 
of the city of Milwaukee. Daniel Brown "located" the southeast quar- 
ter, Emanuel Cawker, the northeast quarter, Samuel Brown the north- 
west quarter and Charles James the southwest quarter of this section 
of land. The Indian title to the land upon which he settled was extin- 
guished the following year, and after some delay growing out of the 
canal land-grant complications he purchased the land at the minimum 
government price — $1.25 per acre. In 1836 his father joined him in 
the West and took up his residence with the son, wnth whom he lived, 
labored and enjoyed the fruits of his arduous and early toil during 
his declining years, and at whose home he died in 1846. His body 
rests in Forest Home cemetery. Mr. James was one of the builders of 
the first, frame store building in Milwaukee, of which A. O. T. Breed 
was owner, and also worked as a carpenter on Solomon Juneau's first 
frame dwelling house, w^hich stood on the land now occupied by the 
Marine National Bank. He was employed by Samuel Brown, father 
of ex-Mayor Thomas H. Brown, who built the historic "store" of 
Solomon Juneau, which stood on the land now occupied by the Pabst 
building,, at the corner of Wisconsin and East Water streets. Mr. 
James died in 1900. 

George D. Watson was a native of Wayne county, N. Y.. where 
he lived until 1836, when he came to Wisconsin territory to find a 
home. He settled on a quarter section of land on the Granville and 
Wauwatosa township line, where he erected a small log house and be- 
gan to clear the land. He lived there in a humble way for several 
years, carrying all his supplies from the village of Milwaukee on his 
back until he raised a crop. He prospered in later years and none of 
the pioneers in this portion of the county were more highly esteemed 
by his neighbors. He lived a useful life and died in Wauwatosa vil- 

Emanuel Cawker was a native of Devonshire, England, who im- 
migrated to the United States in 1836 and settled in the town of Wau- 
watosa, on land now included in the Ninth and Tenth wards of the city 
of Milwaukee. His claim to this land was filed in advance of the 
United States survev, and as the claim was located within the limits of 


the grant of canal lands, the price paid when it came into market was 
$2.50 per acre. In 1837, soon after securing his claim, Mr. Cawker 
located in Fulton, Rock county. Wis., where he purchased a tract of 
320 acres of land, surveyed a portion into village lots and established 
the village of Fulton. He also built a flouring mill, saw-mill and card- 
ing factory at that place, and was engaged in business there until his 
death, in July, 1850. 

The first sale of land in the town of Wauwatosa took place on Oct. 
10, 1839, and the whole number of tracts disposed of during that year 
numbered but twenty-eight. The blight of the Rock River Canal grant 
rested heavily upon the town, and although large numbers of persons 
flocked to the town in 1836-7, for ten years after the settlement of 
Milwaukee much of the lands of this town rested in a state of uncer- 
tainty, and we find that in 1849 there were fifty per cent, more tracts 
disposed of than in 1839. The following are the names of parties pur- 
chasing lands in 1839: William W. Brown, Alanson Sweet, Richard 
Hackett, Oliver P. Root, Joseph Nichols, David Morgan, George F. 
Austin, Ezra C. Sage, Thomas M. Biddle, Albert Fowler, William 
Hunt, Morris D. Cutler, Samuel Melundy,, J. H, Leavenworth, Andrew 
G. Miller, Abel L. Barber, E. G. Fowler and William D. Haight. 

Emory Swan was born in Ontario county, N. Y., Oct. 22, 1801, 
and was reared in the Empire state. In 1837 ^^ decided to come West, 
and arrived in Milwaukee during the spring months of that year. When 
he arrived in Milwaukee with his family he first settled on a claim 
west of what was known As the "Cold Springs," in the town of Wau- 
watosa. In February, 1838, he settled on a tract of land in section 
seventeen,. where there was not a white settler near him nor any roads 
in the country other than Indian trails. He "blazed" the trees and thus 
marked the way to the Menomonee river and to the village of Milwau- 
kee. The claim on which he settled was one which had been forfeited 
by a former squatter, who had left the country, and contained 160 
acres. Mr. Swan lived in the "squatter's" shanty for two years and 
then built a block house. The first year he cut the timber from five 
acres of land and planted the land in corn and potatoes. After digging 
up every foot of the ground, working loy moonlight, he would cut down 
the larger timber on his claim, and his three sons,. Nathaniel J.. A. H., 
and S. D., who were very young, would 'iimb" the trees and burn them 
in two by piling dry logs and brush across the large green trunks. 
During the day Mr. Swan worked wherever he could find employment, 
to earn bread for his familw Tie also shot deer and carried the ven- 
ison to Milwaukee, selling it for twelve and one-half cents a pound, fre- 
quently paying from fifteen to twenty-five cents for pork, which sup- 


plied a necessary change of diet. Often it would be midnight before 
he could get home from the village with his supplies and now and then 
he would get lost in the woods, getting his bearings at such times by 
firing his gun, to which there was always a response if he was within 
hearing distance of his home. When Mr. Sw^an first landed in Mil- 
waukee there was but one house on the South side, and that was a log 
"tavern," at which accommodations were limited and rates high. He 
lived to see this portion of the city thickly populated and the surround- 
ing country splendidly improved. He died in 1887. 

Thomas M. Biddle started a log cabin hotel near Wauwatosa, 
about 1836. Jefferson Gregg is reported as the first white child born 
in the town. A Mr. Orn, of Massachusetts, Joseph Higgins, of New 
York, Daniel Proudfit, New York, Jonathan Warren, of Massachu- 
setts^ and L. L. Gridley, were all very early settlers. 

^Leander L. Gridley was born in Vernon, Oneida county, N. Y., 
March 8, 1817, and was the son of Lot and Dorcas (Lindsley) Gridley. 
His early education was obtained in the common schools at the place 
of his birth. At the age of twenty-two he decided to come West to 
visit a brother who had preceded him, and arrived in Milwaukee — 
coming by way of the lakes — in September of 1839. Not long after 
his arrival here he and his brother "claimed" 320 acres of land in the 
town of Wauwatosa in section 28, the tract being that which after- 
ward became known as the Ludington farm. After the land was 
thrown on the market by the government Mr. Gridley bought 180 
acres, on which he erected a small frame house, one of the 
first in the town. He and his brother also leased a saw-mill be- 
longing to Thomas B. Hart, wath a grist-mill attached, and op- 
erated it for four years. It was located in the village of Wau- 
w^atosa, and was the first mill erected for the grinding of grain 
in the county. This grist-mill was erected by Mr. Hart in 1837, 
and it is said that a Mr. Fellows got the first half bushel of corn 
cracked on it, after which he went home shouting with joy. Parties 
went from Milwaukee to this mill for grinding. Mr. Gridley died in 

The first election in the town of Wauwatosa of which any record 
is preserved was held at Samuel Putnay's Inn on April 5, 1842, with 
A. L. Monroe, moderator, and Jonathan Warren and C. C. Savage, 
clerks. It was determined to raise twenty-five dollars for contingent 
expenses, and that the elections should be by ballot. The following 
officers were elected : Supervisors : Charles Hart, chairman, William 
O. Underwood and Albert Fowler ; clerk. Jonathan Warren ; treasurer. 
Allen O. T. Breed ; assessors : Sanford Wheeler, Biglow Case and 



C. A. Hastings ; commissioners of highways : Richard Gilbert, John 
Crawford and Hendrick Gregg; commissioners of schools: Albert 
Fowler, Levi B. Potter and Enoch D. Underwood; constables, Silas 
H. Brown and Thomas D. Hoyt; collector, Silas H. Brown. The 
highest vote cast was sixty-seven, and at the general election in the 
September following seventy votes were cast, with three votes for and 
fifty-one against forming a state government. 

Allen O. T. Breed, the first merchant to engage regularly in 
business in Milwaukee, was born in the township of Manlius, Onon- 
daga county, X. Y., Feb. 21, 1804. He received a thorough education 
at Hamilton college. New York, and at an early age became a clerk and 
bookkeeper in the store of Reuben Bangs, a successful merchant, con- 
tractor, and business man of Fayetteville,, N. Y., and whose son, 
Anson Bangs, was a noted civil engineer. From Fayetteville he went 
to Buffalo and was engaged as clerk in a bank for two years. Leaving 
Buffalo at the end of that time he went to Monroe, Mich., and pur- 
chased a farm. This he left in the hands of a neighbor — who later sold 
it and kept the proceeds — and located in Chicago, 111., wdiere he entered 
into partnership with a ]\Ir. Kimball, under the name and style of 
Kimball & Breed, general merchants. Later he disposed of his inter- 
est in this business to his partner and in September, 1835, he settled 
in Milwaukee. Here he built the first frame store, and engaged in 
business on East Water street, between Michigan and Wisconsin 
streets, being the first dealer in general merchandise to establish him- 
self in the infant city. Mr. Breed conducted the mercantile business 
successfully for four years, when he disposed of his property and stock 
of goods and purchased a pre-emption claim, known as the southeast 
quarter of section twenty-three in the town of Wauwatosa, for a con- 
sideration of fifteen dollars, which claim he later improved and upon 
which he resided until his decease, Sept. 27, 1875. His remains rest 
with those of other pioneers in beautiful Forest Home cemetery. A 
Republican in politics and a Baptist in religious views,, he was a suc- 
cessful man of affairs, and a much esteemed citizen. Mr. Breed was 
one of the earlv supervisors of Milwaukee county, and was for several 
years also a justice of the peace in Wauwatosa. 

Among the earliest pioneers of Milwaukee county there were 
none of higher character or more w^orthy of a place in its history than 
Thomas D. Hoyt. He was born in Tuftonborough, N. H., Aug. 5, 
181 5. and obtained his education at the public schools of his native 
town. With his parents he emigrated from New Hampshire and 
located in Chicago, 111., in 1830. In 1835 young Hoyt came to Alil- 
waukcc county and located iCyo acres of land in the town of Wauwa- 


tosa. He returned to Chicago, and after a time came back to Wiscon- 
sin, accompanied by his father, and located on the farm. In the year 
that Mr. Hoyt located on his farm, and for several years thereafter, 
the United States mail from Chicago to Milwaukee and to Green Bay, 
Wis., was carried on horseback in winter and by water during the 
summer. Mr. Hoyt built a dwelling on his newly-acquired farm, and 
in 1841 married Miss Catherine Smith, of Milwaukee. Mr. Hoyt 
died on the farm on May 5, 1850, respected and honored by all who 
knew him. 

In 1843 the contingent expenses of the town of Wauwatosa were 
estimated at $100. For support of schools, $100; support of poor, $25. 
The town clerk was allowed twenty dollars. The tax roll of 1842 
shows that there was levied: county tax, $394.46; town tax, $193.65; 
delinquent school, $29.75; road tax, $15.88; total, $633.74. 

Wauwatosa does not differ materially from the other towns of the 
county in regard to early industries. The pioneer mills, churches and 
schools had their existence, and with the exception of the latter have 
mostly passed away, with the increasing prominence of Milwaukee 
and the city of Wauwatosa as marketing and trading points, coupled 
with the superior advantages of those cities in a religious and educa- 
tional way. The principal grain crops are wheat and -corn, for the 
production of which the soil is admirably adapted. There are twelve 
school districts in the town, exclusive of the public schools of the 
city of Wauwatosa. With a carefully graded course of study, these 
give the persisting students the advantages of a good common school 
education, and fit their graduates for the ordinary business of life. The 
work of the common schools should not be passed w'ithout mentioning 
Rev. Enoch D. Underwood, who in 1839,, taught the first school in the 
first school house erected in the town, in section nineteen. He left 
his impress on the youth of those days. 

The city off Wauwatosa is romantically situated on the Menom- 
onee river, and on the sides of the small hills that slope upward from 
its banks. From Milwaukee it is reached by an electric railway, and 
the Chicago. Milwaukee & St. Paul railroad also passes through the 
city. With an honorable record of more than twenty-five years, since 
it was first incorporated as a village, Wauwatosa well sustains her es- 
tablished reputation for solidity and the merited compliment of being 
a thriving city. The men who established the little hamlet years ago 
founded that reputation, and their descendants and successors have 
well maintained it. The religious and educational affairs of the city 
also received early attention and liberal support. Merchants were 
aggressive and public-spirited, their stocks often rivalling in value 


those exhibited by present dealers. The city of Wauwatosa has a pop- 
ulation of two thousand nine hundred and thirteen according to the 
state census of 1905. It contains a number of handsome and expen- 
sive residences and other buildings, while the average homes evince 
the air of thrift and prosperity in their surroundings, in keeping with the 
industry and frugality of the occupants. The city contains fewer poor 
and squalid residences, indicative of poverty and misery, than most 
cities of its size. The sanitary conditions are excellent and the drainage 
system as good as can be had. The board of health and sanitary 
ofBcers are vigilant in the discharge of their official duties, and the 
streets and alleys are kept in the most perfect sanitary condition. 
A well organized and trained volunteer fire department is equipped 
with the latest and best apparatus for the purpose designed. The 
efficiency of the department has been demonstrated on many occa- 
sions. A police force, the guardians of the public peace and property, 
although few in number, is noted for its efficiency in the line of official 

Nothing like an extended notice of the various religious organ- 
izations which have existed in the town and city of Wauwatosa can 
be attempted in this volume. The little leaven planted so many years 
ago has grown to mammoth proportions, and no community of like size 
in the state of Wisconsin possesses greater evidence of spiritual 
growth, or more devout and conscientious leaders in the great cause 
of Christian life. Several churches have been organized from time 
to time, in which the zeal of their promoters exceeded the demand for 
their services, hence they had but an ephemeral existence. lUit of the 
persisting organizations which have grown to })romincncc and intlu- 
ence, there are several, and their present day status is the best evi- 
dence of their high standing and liberal support. The first preaching 
in the town is believed to have been by Rev. Crawford, a l^resbyterian 
minister, at Mr. ^^'arren's house. Preaching was also had about the 
same time on Mr. Johnson's farm, in section nineteen, in the first 
school house that was erected. 

The public burial place of Wauwatosa is located just bc\ond the 
corporation limits, far enough away from the busy bustle of city life 
to give it the quiet and seclusion wliich one alwa\s associates with the 
burial place for the dead ; hence the selection of the site, which has 
been beautified as the years passed, until it is now an ideal spot. Tt 
contains the mortal remains of several of Milwaukee county's most 
distinguished citizens, whose final resting places arc rendered con- 
spicuous by the erection of worthy monuments. The private citizen 
and the soldier arc cf|ually honored bv the reverence and sacrifice of 


surviving friends, to the end that this sacred spot is rendered beautiful 
in keeping with the sadly reverential purpose which made its exist- 
ence a necessity. 

The business interests of the city of Wauwatosa are varied and ex- 
tensive. The mercantile houses compare favorably in extent, variety 
and quality of goods with any city of equal size in the state. The 
volume of business is very large when the close proximity of the city 
of Milwaukee is considered. The mercantile houses are generally 
backed with resources commensurate to their demands, and the element 
of losses from bad accounts is reduced to the minimum, by reason of 
the stable character of the buyers. Perhaps no city in the state, of 
equal size, has a smaller percentage of losses from bad debts. This is 
due, in part, to the fact that buyers are permanent residents, usually 
owning their own homes, though the element of honesty and business 
integrity among them is a dominant feature. 

West Allis is an incorporated village on the Chicago & North- 
western railway in the town of Wauwatosa, six miles west of Milwau- 
kee. It has a population of 2,306 and is connected with Milwaukee 
by electric railway. The village was formerly called North Green- 
field. A portion of North Milwaukee is also in the town of Wauwa- 


On Aug. 13, 1840, the territorial legislature created the town of 
Oak Creek by taking from the town of Lake township number five 
north, range twenty-two east. This was the last of the civil divisions 
of the county to assume an independent position among the "powers 
that be." It lies in the southeast corner of the county, with the town 
of Lake on the north, the great lake to the east, Racine county on the 
south, and the town of Franklin on the west. Its southeast corner is 
the most easterly "portion of the county, about 160 acres of it being 
in section thirty-one, town five of range twenty-three east ; it thus ex- 
tends about four miles further east than the mouth of the Milwaukee 

The great water drainage of this town is to the east by the way 
of Oak creek, which stream receives nearly all the tributary streams 
of the entire town, and are emptied by said creek into Lake Michigan 
at the village of South Milwaukee. Oak creek has its rise in the 
eastern part of the town of Franklin, and running in an easterly 
and then northerly course through the town of Oak Creek, at the vil- 
lage of South Milwaukee becomes quite a stream of water, which in 
the days before steam, was utilized as the motive power for machinery. 


The soil of a considerable portion of the town is much less pro- 
ductive than some other portions of the county, and myriads of 
boulders, varying in size from a few pounds to several tons, cover 
several sections of its surface, and thus renders grazing- about the only 
branch of husbandry that is available. The town was originally 
covered with excellent timber, and was one of the finest hunting 
grounds in the county. Game of all kinds known in the country was 
here to be found in almost exhaustless supply. The heavy growth of 
timber afforded ample cover and protection, and many are the "bear 
stories" and daring feats of frontier life remembered of the early 
pioneers of Oak Creek. They were brought daily in contact with 
bears, wolves, wild cats and panthers, and these were formidable 
enemies to the young domestic animals about the settlers' cabins, as 
well as dangerous companions in the lonely wilderness. Deer and 
wild turkevs were also to be found in great numbers, and these, with 
an occasional "bear steak," furnished the principal meat supply, to 
which the epicurean of to-day would have no occasion to object. 
Venomous reptiles, and especially the dreaded rattlesnake,, were among 
the enemies of modern civilization, and these added their share to the 
discomforts and perils of pioneer life. 

The settlement of the town began under the same discouraging 
circumstances which prevails everywhere in districts remote from the 
natural thoroughfares. The meager supplies of actual necessities had 
to be brought through trackless forests, infested with dangerous op- 
ponents of civilization. The pack-horse was the faithful friend who 
was the means of connecting the pioneers with the outside world, 
carrying to them the few articles of commerce which this simple mode 
of living demanded. Ammunition, meal and salt were the three articles 
most required, but the first was always an absolute necessity. The peri- 
odical trips to the "base of supplies" were always fraught with peril, 
both to the travelers who made them and to the helpless and defense- 
less ones who were left behind. Several days were ofttimes required 
to go and return with a cargo of supplies. The base of supplies for the 
early settlers of Oak Creek was at Milwaukee, which, considering the 
state of the roads and means of transportation, seemed a long way oflF. 
This, with the financial discouragements of 1837-8, retarded the settle- 
ment of the town to some extent, and by 1842 there had, perhaps, not 
more than forty families located within its limits. 

As early as 1835, John Fowle, Joseph and Elkanah Dibley. i\Ioses 
Rawson, and Elihu Higgins, and no doubt a few others had located in 
the northeast part of the town, some of them bringing their families. 

John Fowle was a native of England. In 1835 ^^ immigrated 


with his family to America, stopping- first at Rochester, N. Y., where 
he had friends. After a sojourn there of several weeks he came by 
steamer "Thomas Jefferson" to Chicago, at which place he arrived 
early in June, 1835. After a stay of about ten days in Chicago he came 
by ox team to the site of his future home in the town of Oak Creek. 
From the present site of Racine, which was then known as Root River, 
he had to make his own road, as there was nothing but a footpath or 
trail. At Oak Creek he immediately set about erecting suitable build- 
ings for the comfort of the family, and while he was thus engaged the 
mother, four daughters and one son were taken to Milwaukee and 
domiciled in a log cabin erected and owned by Horace Chase, and 
which stood on the lake beach at the old river mouth. Mr. Fowle, 
assisted by his four sons, soon had the buildings erected, and then com- 
menced the improvement of the land which he had taken up, which 
comprised 550 acres and which was covered with a dense growth of 
forest timber. In 1840 he built a saw-mill about forty rods from the 
mouth of the creek and derived power from a dam on Oak creek, 
which furnished a fall of twelve feet. This power was also used to 
drive a small grist-mill which was put in about the time the saw-mill 
was completed, with one run of stone. It was purely a home-made 
affair, the mill stones having been made from "hard heads," or granite 
boulders,, by Mr. Fowle, assisted by William Sivyer, of Milwaukee. 
Ehhu Higgins built the first saw-mill on the creek, located about one 
mile west of Mr. Fowle's mill, but it was not as good a mill, owing 
to its having but an eight-feet head of water. Owing to the dam 
being carried out in the spring of 1852, the mill was abandoned, and 
later on two mills were erected, a saw-mill on the former site and a 
grist-mill further up the creek. Before the erection of the first mill 
it was customary to grind the corn either in the coffee mill or in a 
groove cut in a hardwood log, and the settlers made all their own 
sugar and syrup from the sap of the maple groves surrounding their 
homes. The log cabin erected by Mr. Fowle was a large and commo- 
dious dwelling for that period, and stood close to the edge of the 
bluff near the mouth of Oak creek, and Mr. Fowle kept a tavern and a 
stage station, it being the only place between Milwaukee and Racine 
where stage passengers could find accommodations, and where stable 
accommodations*and forage for the horses could be obtained. A gov- 
ernment survey of this land was made in June, 1836, by Elisha Dwelle. 
The tavern was conducted by Mr. Fowle for about five years, when it 
was abandoned, and owing to the constant wearing away of the bluff 
by old Lake Michigan both the old tavern and the road have long since 


Joseph Dibley was also a native of England, and with his family 
accompanied John Fowle and family on their migration to America. 
With them the family stopped two weeks at Rochester, N. Y., where 
they had friends, and then proceeded to Buffalo, where they embarked 
on the steamer "Thomas Jefferson" and started for Milwaukee, but 
owing to rough weather on the lakes when opposite the little settle- 
ment at the mouth of the river of that name, the steamer ran on 
down to Chicago. Together the two families left Chicago for Mil- 
waukee by the usual ox-team conveyance. They had only reached 
Gross' Point, about the present site of Evanston, 111., when Mr. 
Dibley and family parted company with Mr. Fowle and his family, 
Mrs. Dibley being taken suddenly ill. The Dibleys remained in camp 
at Gross' Point about two weeks, when Mrs. Dibley died and was 
buried there. The family then proceeded to Milwaukee by vessel and 
landed on July 5, 1835, ^^ ^^"'^ old river mouth, where it joined Mrs. 
Fowle and children. The members of the family then proceeded to 
Oak Creek, where they remained until the fall of the }ear, when ^Ir. 
Dibley took his family up to Milwaukee and bought from Solomon 
Juneau a lot on Jefferson street, where the Layton Art Gallery now 
stands. Mr. Dibley was a carpenter and joiner, and worked at his 
trade in Milwaukee for about two years, when the family disposed of 
the Milwaukee home and moved to Oak Creek, where the father pur- 
chased 100 acres of land, on which the family resided until his death, 
which occurred on Dec. 31, 1884. 

In 1836 settlement became more active. In that year came Jere- 
miah McCreedy, Joel Hayman, Thomas and Luther Rawson, John T. 
Haight, John Q. and Cyrus Carpenter, and several others whose names 
we are unable to give. 

Jeremiah McCreedy was born at Oswego,, N. Y., in 1812. He 
came to Oak Creek in 1836 and settled on a tract of land, after which 
he returned to Hannibal, N. Y., and married. He broucrht his wife 
back with him to Oak Creek and lived there the remainder of his life, 
dying at his home in that place on Feb. 2, 1888. 

Luther Rawson was a native of Buckland, Franklin county, X. Y., 
and came to Oak Creek in June, 1836. There he bought 400 acres of 
land, mostly from the government, and with few neighbors then in the 
new country proceeded to make a home there. He resided alone until 
1846, when he married a most estimable lady. Miss Persis P. Howes, 
who was 1)1 irn in October, 1823, at Middleburv. Wvoming countv. 
N. Y. 

The sale of lands in this town began in October, 1838, or about four 
years after the sales in some other parts of the countv. Of those pur- 


chasing during- the first year were John Dibley, Luther Rawson, Joel 
A. Higgins, John Quincy Carpenter and George A. Cobb. During 
the year 1839 we find only Thomas Fowle, Elizabeth Haight, Herman 
Lee Bates, Samuel Dresden and William Howard making good their 
claims to their homesteads. A large number of claims, however, had 
been occupied long ere this. 

The first town gathering was held on the first Tuesday of April, 
1842, at the residence of J. J. Mason, with Asa Kinney as moderator. 
At this meeting it was voted not to fix the compensation of the of- 
ficers until after the election, and also that Luther Rawson have power 
to use all necessary means to keep the dogs from disturbing any meet- 
ing at the school house, and when the election came off it was formally 
recorded that he actually received six votes for "dog whipper." It 
is not known whether this was an office created by statute, or whether 
there was a particular emergency existing that was paramount to all 
statutes. After closing the polls, it was voted to pay the town officers 
one dollar per day, and to raise $125 for school purposes, and that all 
fines be not less than one dollar or more than ten dollars, "and col- 
lected by a justice of the peace upon the complaint of a freeholder,," 
and that "a moiety shall go to the complainant, and a moiety to the 
commissioner of highways." Whether it was competent for a town 
meeting to legislate as to the amount or disposition of fines, or who 
might make complaints against those guilty of crimes or misdemeanors, 
and pocket half the penalty, we are unable to say, but certainly outside 
of Oak Creek that is not the usage to-day. The officers elected at that 
first meeting were : Supervisors : E. D. Phillips, chairman, George N. 
Cobb, and Jeremiah McCreedy ; clerk, William Shaw ; treasurer, Leon- 
ard Stockwell ; assessors, Leonard Stockwell and Asa House ; com- 
misioners of highways, George N. Cobb and Jonathan Learned ; com- 
missioners of schools, Asa Kinney and E. D. Phillips ; fence viewers : 
L. Stockwell, Luther Rawson and Jarius Chadwick ; constable a"d col- 
lector, John J. Mason ; sealer of weights, John Fowle. 

At the annual meeting in 1843 there were but forty-seven votes 
cast, and so late as 1846 a town meeting voted but sixty dollars for the 
annual pay of the officers and contingent expenses, and but twent^y- 
five dollars for support of paupers, which goes- to show that ten years 
after it began to be settled the town was not a very large affair finan- 
cially. To-day the expense of assessing the revenue alone costs, per- 
haps, several times as much as the entire town government sixty-two 
years ago, while the population has increased to 7,241, including the 
city of South Milwaukee. 

The village of Oak Creek was started some years after the first 


settlement on its site at the mouth of Oak creek, and although for 
years it never enjoyed nor was cursed with a "boom," its growth was 
steady, and the population was judged by its quality rather than quan- 
tity. It was a desirable trading point and was sustained by an excel- 
lent farming community, the principal claim to the distinction of being 
a village being a steam saw-mill, a postoffice, a store or two, and a 
number of comfortable residences in close proximity. The develop- 
ment of the place began in 1891 by the establishment of industrial 
plants there, and in a comparatively short time it achieved the dignity 
of a city and assumed the name of South Milwaukee. It has a popula- 
tion of 5.284, and is located ten miles south of Milwaukee, on the shore 
of Lake Michigan and on the Chicago & Northwestern railroad. It 
is also on the Milwaukee-Racine interurban electric line. It contains 
a bank and two newspapers, the South Milwaukee Times-News and 
the South Milwaukee Journal. 

THE ^v.\l YORK 


Cn"\' II ALl, 













The history of the city of Milwaukee properly begins with its 
incorporation and organization under the charter, Jan. 31, 1846, but 
a portion of the pioneer annals has been reserved for this chapter, in 
order that the record of the metropolis might not be disassociated from 
the earlier and important events. It was at a very early period that the 
site of Milwaukee first attracted attention. The name is of Indian 
origin, but there is much uncertainty as to its original form and the 
tribal source from which it is derived. The first well authenticated 
mention of the name appears to have been made in 1761 by Lieut. 
James Gorrell, a British officer stationed at Green Bay, who rendered 
it "Mil wacky." The fact that a tribe of Indians dwelt at the mouth of 
the "Mellioke" river in 1679 is recorded in the journal of Father 
Zenobe Membre, who visited the Illinois country with La Salle in that 
year, and this reference is supposed by some to have been made to the 
site of the present city of Milwaukee. If this supposition is correct, 
"Mellioke" should be recognized as the earliest recorded form of the 


word. And the origin and significance of the word is also a matter of 
uncertainty, as the Indians, with whom the early traders and mission- 
aries came in contact, differed materially in their statements. Augus- 
tin Grignon was informed that the name was derived from Man-wau, 
an aromatic root, and that Man-a-waukee was the proper form of the 
word, which signified the place where the root grew. Louis M. 
Moran, an interpreter of the Chippewas, was authority for the state- 
ment that the name signified "rich or beautiful land" and should be 
rendered INIe-ne-waukee. And Joshua Hathaway, who was consid- 
ered a very scholarly man among the early settlers of the place, as- 
serted that the name was of Pottawattomie origin, derived from 
"Mahn-a-wauk-ee seepe," meaning a "gathering place by the river." 

The most important evidence that the version of Mr. Hathaway 
is the correct one is the fact that the site of Milwaukee, long before its 
discovery by the white man — as well as thereafter — was a popular 
meeting-place or "council ground" for different tribes of Indians. 
That one of the names given to the place should be that which signified 
"meeting place," in the Indian language is a reasonable and logical 
conclusion from the fact that the Pottawattomies were the occupants of 
the country at the mouth of the river ; and if Mahn-a-wauk-ee was the 
name used to designate the place by some tribes of Indians and Mel- 
lioke by others, Milwaukee could easily have been formed by the 
blending of the two. 

Another question which has given rise to controversies of such 
magnitude as to be entirely out of proportion to the importance of the 
subject, is the one as to who is entitled to the honor of being handed 
down in history as the first settler on the site of the present city of 
Milwaukee. Many of the statements made in this connection bear 
the imprint of intense partisanship, rather than of historic research, 
and as there is little or no difference in the statement of facts by these 
partisans, their claims seem to become but a quibble over terms. 
"That Solomon Juneau was the magnet around which civilization 
clustered in the beginning, and that he laid the foundation of the 
settlement which has developed into the city of Milwaukee, is un- 
deniably true. That his settlement here was antedated many years by 
that of another white man who, although he has left no impress upon 
the community, and can hardly be said to have contributed anything 
to the advancement of civilization, was an actual settler here, is equally 
true." Long before Juneau came, Jean r)aptiste Mirandeau — or Mor- 
andeau — regarded tliis as liis permanent abiding place, lived here 
with his family, and reared several children, one of whom died in this 
city at an advanced age a number of years ago. This fact certainly 


emphasizes the distinction between him and the traders, who were 
in the habit of making temporary sojourns on the "council ground" at 
the mouth of the Mihvaukee river, and entitles him to be considered 
a "settler" in the complete meaning of that term. As to the person 
and character of Mirandeau there is very little information that is 
considered entirely authentic, but the following from the pen of one 
who gave the subject considerable attention and weighed well the 
diversrent statements, is considered as nearly reliable as anv that can 
be given : 

"Mirandeau was of French extraction, but whether he was born 
in France or Canada is uncertain ; and nothing is known of his early 
life. While it is probable that he came to Milwaukee originally in 
company with some of the old Indian traders, he does not appear to 
have been known as a trader himself, but, as early as 1795. was a 
settler on the present site of Milwaukee, where he built a cabin and 
engaged, to a very limited extent, in tilling the soil. There is testi- 
mony to the effect that he was a man of some education, and that he 
brought with him to Milwaukee a small collection of books, to which 
he devoted much of his time. A tinge of romance is given to his his- 
tory by the statement — not well authenticated, however — that he 
plunged into the wilderness of the Northwest in his young manhood, 
to find surcease of sorrow when the course of true love failed to run 
smoothly with him, and that he found solace in the companionship of 
a Chippewa Indian woman, to whom he was legally married. What- 
ever may have caused him to immure himself in a Western wilderness, 
where he seldom saw the face of a white man, Mirandeau appears to 
have adapted himself readily to his surroundings, and to have had no 
desire to return to the civilization he had left behind him. He estab- 
lished friendly relations with the Indians, and having a knowledge of 
blacksmithing, made himself useful to them in the manufacture of 
knives, spears, and other things for which they had use, and in return 
for these and other favors he was promised by the Indians a large tract 
of land, to which, however, he did not live long enough to obtain title 
when the lands were ceded to the government. 

"The cabin in which he lived for many years was situated on the 
east side of Milwaukee river, and if the testimony of his daughter, Mrs. 
Victoria Porthier, can be credited, occupied the site of the present 
Mitchell Bank building. Juneau also resided on the same plat of 
ground at a later date, and hardly any other spot in the city can claim 
equal prestige as historic ground. Here Mirandeau lived with his 
squaw wife, and reared a family of ten children, all but two of whom 
reached the age of adults. Here, too, he did work for the Indians, as a 


blacksmith, and undoubtedly earned for himself the title of 'first 
artisan' of Milwaukee. His death occurred in 1819 (one authority 
says in 1820), and he is said to have been buried somewhere on the 
plat of ground now bounded by Wisconsin, Broadway, Milwaukee and 
Mason streets. After his death his wife took up her residence with the 
Indians and died some years later at Muskego. The younger children 
of his family also remained with the Indians and removed with them 
to the country west of the Mississippi river in 1836. Victoria Miran- 
deau, the fifth child of Jean Baptiste Mirandeau, married Joseph 
Porthier, and after living some years in Chicago, returned to Milwau- 
kee, where she continued to reside to the end of her life, dying at an 
advanced age and surviving all but one of her own large family of 

"As to the character and accomplishments of Mirandeau, much 
has been written which can hardly be more than mere conjecture on 
the part of those who have dealt with this subject. He left no family 
or other records to throw light upon the mystery of his existence, and 
the members of his family who had grown up among the Indians and 
were unable to read or write, could give little information to those 
who sought to learn something of his career, in later years. Solomon 
Juneau was the only white settler of Milwaukee who ever had a per- 
sonal acquaintance with him, and as his impressions of the man were 
never given to the public, there are no avenues of information open to 
the historian who seeks material for a faithful pen picture of Miran- 
deau. While some assert with a positiveness born of conviction that he 
was a man of liberal education — a sort of scholarly recluse in the wil- 
derness — others declare with greater vehemence that he was an intem- 
perate camp follower of the Indians, with few of the attributes of citi- 
zenship, who allowed his children to grow up as ignorant as their savage 
neighbors, and who has left behind no evidence of his own intelli- 
gence. To settle this question is not within the realm of possibility at 
this late date, nor is it of material consequence as a matter of history. 
As the first white settler of Milwaukee, he is of interest only as a sort 
of land mark, inasmuch as no portion of the subsequent development 
has been traceable to his influence or existence." 

It is certain that he was not a pioneer in the true sense of that 
word, nor can he be considered as an advance agent of civilization. He 
did not seek to establish a colony or start a "settlement," and had the 
inducement to others to locate here been left to his initiative, the site 
of what is now a thriving city would doubtless still have remained a 
gathering place for the red men. So it remained for another to take 
the first steps toward building up a civilized community and make for 


himself the distinction of being the founder of Wisconsin's metropoHs. 
Mirandeau can properly be spoken of as the first white inhabitant, but 
Solomon Juneau is entitled to all the honor that attaches to the term of 
"the first pioneer citizen." It was he who made the first survey of 
the village, who became its first president, was the first postmaster, 
donated the first public square, and later on,, when the village had 
grown to a city, was its first mayor. "Before Juneau's time there was 
nothing much of Milwaukee but the river and the lake, the blue sky 
overhead and the bluffs and the swamps and the marshes round about, 
and the dark, unexplored wilderness surrounding it on the west and 
called a part of the Northwest territory. The name of Alilwaukee 
and the name of its principal founder are as inseparably connected as 
the name of Watt and the steam engine are interlocked for all time. 
Juneau's life, public services and picturesque career are part and parcel 
of the city's history, and it can be truthfully said that before Milwaukee 
there was not much of Juneau, and before Juneau there was nothing 
at all of Milwaukee." , 

Juneau was the first to introduce a civilized mode of living on 
the west shore of Lake Michigan, for with the single exception of 
Alirandeau, his predecessors had been simpl}^ Indian traders, who had 
no intention of making a permanent home and spending their days 
here. But when we approach the subject of Juneau's life, again we 
meet with difficulties, for but little is known of his career before he 
came to Milwaukee. No effort seems to have been made to preserve 
the facts of his early history, which is due no doubt to the fact that 
amid the vicissitudes of a pioneer existence the early settlers gave 
but little thought to the importance of minor events in the lives of those 
who were to be the objects of interest to the future historian. The 
greater part of Juneau's career before he came to the present site of 
Milwaukee is therefore shrouded in mystery, and what little is known 
can be briefly stated. The following account of his career is consid- 
ered as nearly accurate as any that has been published : 

"Laurent Solomon Juneau was born on the 9th of August, 1793, 
at L'Assumption Parish, a few miles from Montreal, Canada. His 
parentage was French. His name has had almost as many ways of 
being spelled as that of William Shakespeare, being rendered Juno, 
Junot, Juneau, Jeauno and Juneaux ; but Juneau was his own way 
of spelling it and the one that was in use by his family. His baptis- 
mal certificate was written in French by the priest who performed the 
rite, and is as follows : 

" 'The ninth day of August, 1793,, by us subscriber, priest of the 
parish of Repentiguy, Lower Canada, was baptized Laurent Solomon, 


born this day, afternoon, of the legitimate marriage of Francis Juno, 
surnamed LatuHppe, and Maria Galeeno; both not knowing how to 
sign their names, were interrogated pursuant to ordinances. 

" 'L's Lamottes^ Priest.' 

"Juneau's certificate of naturaHzation is signed by Peter P. Grig- 
non, clerk of the circuit court of the United States, and was issued 
in the town of Green Bay, county of Brown, and territory of Michi- 
gan, June 15, 183 1, so that it appears he did not become a citizen of 
the United States until he had resided within our national domain more 
than thirteen years. He is first heard of in the West in September of 
1816, at Mackinaw, where he met his future father-in-law, Jacques 
Vieau, for the first time, and entered his employ as a clerk. 

''Although Vieau never established his home at Milwaukee, and 
hence cannot properly be termed one of the pioneer settlers here, his 
history is of interest in this connection because he spent much of his 
time here, both before and after Juneau's coming, and some of the 
members of his family were born here. It is said that Jean Baptiste 
Mirandeau, the first permanent white settler on the site of Milwaukee 
came here at his suggestion, and it is certain that his acquaintance 
with this region dates back further than that of any other man with 
whom the early settlers were brought into contact. He was born in 
Montreal, Canada, May 5, 1757, of French parentage, and leaving 
Canada about the time our Revolutionary war broke out, made his 
way into the wilds of the Northwest, for the purpose of engaging in 
the Indian trade. He is first heard of at Mackinaw, and next in Green 
Hay. Here he entered into the service of some Indian traders, with 
whom he worked until he became expert in the fur trading business, 
learning the language of many of the tribes and acquiring an exten- 
sive acquaintance with the chiefs and others who wished to trade with 
the whites. His great capacity and success attracted the attention of 
John Jacob Astor and the agents of the American Fur Company, who 
kept \"ieau well informed as to the prices of dififerent kinds of fur, and 
thus enabled him to trade greatlv to his own advantage. He first 
opened a store in Green Bay, and later another one in Milwaukee, in 
which goods that suited the Indian trade were kept, to be exchanged 
for the furs and peltry of the aborigines. Vieau generally spent his 
winters here and his summers in Green Hay, where his family resided 
and where he cleared up a fine farm for those days. His wife was the 
daughter of a sister to the famous chief Puch-wau-she-gun, and was 
one-quarter French and three-quarters Menomonee Indian. Mrs. 
\'icau's father was not an Indian but a Frenchman, and from the fore- 
going statement it appears that however much the children of Jacques 


Vieau may have talked, dressed, lived and appeared like Indians, 
it is reasonably certain that not more than three-sixteenths of their 
blood was Indian, and that was Menomonee. These children were as 
follows: INIadeline, who died at Stevens Point, Wis., in 1878, as Mrs. 
Thibeau, aged seventy-eight; Paul, who died in Kansas in 1865; Jo- 
sette, who died as Mrs. Solomon Juneau in 1855; Jacques, Jr., who 
died in Kansas in 1875 ; Joseph, who died in Green Bay in 1879; Louis, 
who died in Kansas in 1876, chief of the Pottawattomies, and a million- 
aire; Amiable, Charles, Andrew J., Nicholas, and Peter J. The two 
last named were born in Milwaukee; the others were born in Green 
Bay,, except Mrs. Juneau, who was born in Sheboygan. Andrew J. 
A^ieau once had a large store in Milwaukee, and Jacques, Jr., was well 
known to many of the early Milwaukeeans, having built and kept for 
many years a hotel, which stood on the east side of East Water street, 
midway between Michigan and Huron streets, and which was called 
the "Cottage Inn." He died in 1853, ^^ ^^e age of ninety-six years, and 
his wife was 105 years of age at the time of her death. 

"Vieau's trading post, or store, was located two miles up the Me- 
nomonee, where the Green Bay trail crossed the river, on ground now 
owned by the estate of the late Charles H. Larkin, and near the site of 
the present stock-yards. Vieau at one time intended to become an 
actual settler, and took measures to pre-empt the quarter-section on 
which his log house stood, but the government land office set aside his 
claim on the ground that the lands south of the river were not subject 
to pre-emption at the time he made the entry. The ruins of his cabin 
and fur repository were objects of interest in 1836, and are well re- 
membered by many 'old-timers.' 

"After working for Vieau two years at Green Bay Solomon 
Juneau came to Milwaukee in September of 1818, as an agent of the 
American Fur Company, to take charge of a trading post at this point. 
Two years later, in 1820, he married Vieau's fifteen-year-old daughter, 
Josette, and in the fall of that year brought his young wife to the place 
where he was to found a city a few years later. During the first two 
years of his married life he and his wife resided, with other members 
of the Vieau family, at the trading post on the Menomonee river, and 
it was not until 1822 that he moved into the cabin which became his- 
toric as his first home, on the site of the present city. The structure, 
or structures rather, were a combination of dwelling and store rooms, 
built of tamarack logs, in close proximity to each other, and located 
near the present intersection of East Water and Wisconsin streets. In 
this rude shanty the 'father of Milwaukee' began housekeeping in prim- 
itive stvle, and here he began trading with the Indians on his own ac- 



count, and laid the foundation of a fortune which shpped from his 
grasp in later years. In 1835 he built a frame dwelling, on the site of 
the present Mitchell Bank building, and during the later years of his 
life lived in a more pretentious residence at the corner of Juneau 
avenue and Milwaukee street, the site being that now occupied b\- the 
handsome residence of ]\Ir. John Black. This building — familiar to 
some of the present generation of Milwaukeeans as the 'Juneau home- 
stead' — interesting as a relic of the pioneer era, now stands on Xortli 
Water street near the Van Buren street viaduct. The first frame struc- 
ture of any kind erected in Milwaukee was built by Juneau in 1834, 
near his log store-house and dwelling, at the intersection of Wisconsin 
and East Water streets. Its dimensions did not exceed 12 by 16 feet, 
but, nevertheless, it served, at different times, the purposes of a jail, 
a justice's office, a recorder's office and a school room. During the 
first sixteen years of his residence here, Juneau was undisturbed by 
white adventurers, other than those who, like himself, were engaged 
in the Indian trade, or the hunters and trappers who paid him occa- 
sional visits. He carried on a profitable trade with the Indians, be- 
coming conspicuous among the men engaged in a trade which then 
represented all there was of commerce in the Northwest, and as agent 
of the American Fur Company he sustained intimate relationships to 
John Jacob Astor, Ramsey Crook, and other members of the famous 
fur company, who had great confidence alike in his sagacity and in- 

"In personal appearance he was a remarkably fine looking man 
both in his early life and in his mature manhood. Standing full six 
feet in height, straight as an arrow, broad chested and of splendid 
muscular development, he had black curly hair, clear dark eyes, and a 
face that would have attracted attention in any assemblage of men. 
His fine physi(|ue, his courage, tact, and good judgment made him a 
favorite with the Indians from the start, and in a few years he had ac- 
quired an almost unbounded influence over those who laid claim to the 
lands of this region, or who were attracted to his trading post at ^lil- 

"Prior to 1834 it is not probable that he had ever seriously con- 
sidered the project of founding a town licre. although it must be ad- 
mitted he had selected an admirable location for his trading post, had 
negotiated with the Indians with a view to acquiring their title to 
lands lying between Milwaukee river and the lake, and may have had 
aims and ambitions other than those of the typical Indian trader. How- 
ever this may have been, it is certain tliat when a f|uartct of hardv ad- 
venturers arrived here late in 1833, to be ft)llowe(l l)y a dozen or more 


new settlers in 1834, he was quick to perceive the trend of events, and 
prompt to take advantage of the earhest opportunity to acquire title to 
the land upon which a hamlet was already springing into existence. 
When the land office was established at Green Bay in 1835,, and the 
•first sale of Wisconsin lands ceded by the Indians to the government, 
took place, Juneau purchased the northeast quarter of section twenty- 
nine, in township seven, range twenty-two. a portion of which lav be- 
tween ^Milwaukee river and the lake, and the remainder west of the 
river. Soon after making this purchase he exchanged the land which 
he had acquired west of the river, for a portion of the southeast quarter 
of the same section lying east of the river, which had been purchased 
by Byron Kilbourn, and thus came into possession of land having a 
mile of river frontage on one side and the same extent of lake frontage 
on the other side. He added to this tract of land by purchasing other 
claims, so that in 1835 he and his partners (Morgan L. Martin, of 
Green Bay, and jXIichael Dousman, of Mackinaw, who had acquired an 
interest in his realty holdings), were the owners of all the lands south 
of Division street on the east side of the river. In this connection it is 
of interest to note the fact that, in the fall of 1833, Martin had pur- 
chased of Juneau a half interest in the lands to which he had then only 
a 'squatter's' claim, for $500. The price which Juneau accepted for 
this interest indicates that no visions of a future city in this location, 
had at that time dazzled his eyes, and it is possible that the project of 
laying out a town here originated with Martin and Dousman, both of 
whom were conspicuous among the pioneers of Wisconsin for their 
enterprise and sagacity. Martin came here in the summer of 1833, 
and looked the ground over carefully, taking into consideration the 
facilities for harbor improvements and other essentials to the building 
up of a lake shore city, and the result was his purchase (in which 
Dousman shared) of a half interest in Juneau's claim, the following 

"In the summer of 1835, a portion of this land, to which Juneau, 
Martin, and Dousman acquired title, was platted — the plat being duly 
recorded Sept. 8 of that year — and named 'Milwaukie,' and thus were 
taken the initiatory steps toward the founding of a city. These three 
men acted in concert in laying out and building up the town, and to- 
gether expended, within a few years after they became associated to- 
gether, nearly $100,000 in opening and grading streets, erecting the 
first court house, and making other improvements. Juneau having his 
residence here, and having personal charge of all these improvements, 
maturally came to be regarded as the projector of the enterprise, and 
hence he has properly passed into history as the founder of Milwaukee. 


"Whether or not too large a share of the honor of founding a 
splendid metropolis has been accorded to him,, may be left to critics to 
determine, but there can be no question that his public spirit, gener- 
osity, enterprise, and devotion to the upbuilding of the infant city, con- 
tributed vastly to its rapid growth and development. Among all the 
pioneers there was none more unselfish than Juneau. What he lacked 
in culture, education and intellectual attainments, he made up for in the 
warmth of his impulses, the kindliness of his nature and the rectitude 
of his purposes. 

"For some years after Milwaukee was laid out, Juneau was pros- 
perous in a financial way, his operations both as merchant and in real 
estate being exceedingly profitable. A vast fortune was within his 
grasp, but nature and education had not fitted him to retain it. Grad- 
ually his possessions slipped away from him and passed into hands of 
shrewder and more sagacious men, and on the 14th day of November, 
1856, he died at Shawano, Wis., a comparatively poor man." 

Thus ended the career of Solomon Juneau. After losing the 
greater part of his wealth he had given up his residence in JNIilwaukee 
and again engaged in the Indian trade. In fact he had gone to 
Shawano to make a settlement with the Indians when stricken with the 
illness that resulted in his death. Samuel Wooton Beall, who was with 
him during his last hours, thus tells the pathetic story of his death and 
burial at Shawano : 

"Mr. Juneau was too old to endure the cold and hard fare he ex- 
perienced for days and weeks. His age had begun to reflect the toils 
of his youth. His strength and vigor, as he frequently told me, had of 
late years gradually given away, unfitting him for the Indian trade and 
maturing his purpose to return to Milwaukee and his friends at an 
early date. His chief pride was in the city, and certainly his affections 
v/ere mostly there. The day before his death, expressing his desire to 
be in Milwaukee, and referring to many of his old friends by name, he 
observed, 'I do not think I have an enemy in the place.' 

"He evinced great anxiety in the result of the presidential election, 
and rode over bad roads and in a lumber wagon twelve miles to de- 
posit his vote. The day was inclement. He returned fatigued and wet, 
and was not well afterwards. The Menomonee payment was made two 
days before his death. From dawn to midnight of each day he was 
harassed by the Indians while engaged in making collections and 
superintending the sales of his two establishments ; and, retiring to his 
bunk which was adjacent to my own, on Wednesday night, declared 
himself overcome with fatigue. He arose early, however, on Thursday 
morning, aroused and directed his clerks for business, and appeared 


animated and cheerful in the prospect we both had of a speedy return 
to our families. In a very few moments he suddenly complained of 
great uneasiness, attempting violently and in vain to relieve his stom- 
ach. Paroxysms of pain supervened, and his tortures were expressed 
in groans of agony, and streams of sweat bursting and pouring down 
his face. We removed him, as soon as a bed could be procured, to the 
home of Mr. Pricket, and surrounded him with every comfort and at- 
tention within our power. The superintendent. Dr. Heubschmann, ap- 
plied the proper remedies, both himself and Dr. Wiley exhibiting the 
most kind and anxious care. But in a few hours the vanity of hope 
and effort were apparent. The stubborn intensity of his malady defied 
the devotions of skill and afifection, and it became evident that the 
strong frame of our friend was yielding to the shocks of his last and 
only enemy. 

"About four o'clock the priest was introduced, and being left to- 
gether alone, at his own solicitation, the last consoling rites of his 
church, it is presumed, were administered. The type of his malady be- 
came milder at intervals. His reason, which had never forsaken him, 
became active in directing a disposition of his property on the pay 
ground, and in dictating messages of love to his children. Turning to 
me, he observed : 'It is hard to die here ; I hoped to have laid my bones 
in Milwaukee' ; and immediately afterwards directing his eyes aloft 
and crossing his hands upon his breast, with a sigh of profound and 
peaceful languor, he breathed : T come to join you, my wife.' The 
slumbers of syncope supervened, as the night moved on, and at twenty 
minutes past two o'clock, a. m., Solomon Juneau breathed his last. 

"Perhaps no trader ever lived on this continent for whom the 
Indians entertained more profound respect. The grim warrior, with 
stately tread and blackened face, and the silent, bending squaw passed 
in review the corpse of their dead friend — and the chiefs, in solemn 
council, summoned their braves to attend his funeral. 'Never,' said old 
Augustin Grignon, 'have I heard of this before.' Many instances oc- 
curred of individual homage. In the middle of the night an old squaw 
of decent appearance — the wife of a chief — entered the apartment, and 
kneeling before the body clasped her hands in silent prayer; then re- 
moving the cloths from his face, impressed kisses upon his mouth and 
forehead, and retired as noiselessly as she had entered. Another 
clipped off a lock of his hair and charged me to deliver it to his chil- 
dren. The place of his repose was selected by the Indians themselves, 
and the order of his funeral which was entrusted to Mr. Hunkins, was 
as follows : 

"ist. Priest in full canonicals, followed by Indian choir, chant- 
ing funeral forms. 


"2d. Ten pall-bearers, four whites and six Indians (Oshkosh, 
Carron, Lancet, Keshenah and others). 

"3d. The employes of the Agency, male and female. 

"4th. Indian women and Indians, two abreast, to the number of 
six or seven hundred. 

"Appropriate services were rendered at the grave by the priest, 
and a few affectionate sentences of farewell interpreted to the Indians, 
at their request, were expressed by the Agent. 

"Solomon Juneau sleeps upon an elevation far above the Agency 
and Council House and burial-ground of the Indians, commanding a 
view of the 'Wolf, as it defiles away in the wilderness of the distant 
hills, and overlooking the hunting grounds, which in years gone by he 
had known and traversed himself for many a league." 

The remains of Solomon Juneau were removed to Milwaukee on 
Nov. 28, 1856, and after an imposing ceremony had been held in the 
cathedral of the Catholic church, they were interred in the old ceme- 
tery on Spring street, from which place they were removed later to 
Calvary cemetery, where they now rest. 

Not much need be said of Juneau's family in this connection, as 
none of them made any very marked impress upon the public mind, 
with the exception of his good wife. Mrs. Juneau, who, as heretofore 
stated, was a daughter of Jaccjues Vieau, was born in 1804, ^^ Sheboy- 
gan, grew up without educational advantages and became a wife when 
she was fifteen years old. She was nevertheless a woman of character 
and good natural endownments, and was greatly esteemed among the 
pioneers for her kindliness and generous hospitality. She acquired a 
wonderful influence over the Indians, partly owing to the fact that she 
had a trace of Indian blood in her veins, and also because through life- 
long association with them, she became thoroughly familiar with their 
language, customs and habits ; and this influence was always used to 
foster the interests of the whites and promote the advancement of 
civilization. She died in Milwaukee in 1855. one year before her hus- 
band's eventful career was brought to a close. 


It was in 1835, ^^ already stated, that Juneau and his partners 
laid out the little town between the river and the lake, and it is from 
that date that the history of ^Milwaukee, as a hamlet or village, may 
be said to begin. The village was a small rind mean one, apparently, 
given up to Indian trading, and for a time its history was nearly de- 
void of interest. Like the knife-grinder, it had no story to tell, and 



the narrator of what little gossip there is about it may be told, as ]\Ia- 
caulay was about his "History of England", that it is his story, and not 
history. Still, within the succeeding months and years the foundations 
were laid for the city as it exists to-day, and it does not do for cities, 
anymore than individuals, to despise the day of small beginnings. It 
was for years prior to the first Anglo-Saxon arrival proiuinent as a 
trading post ; it has always, too, kept pace with the growth of the great 
West, and has always had reason to congratulate itself that its founders 
had some conception, even if an inadequate one, of the great prospect 
before it. 

Xothing more than a trading post could have been claimed for the 
place prior to 1834, and in fact the maps of the Northwest Territory 
of that date indicated a trading post at the mouth of the Mahn-a-wau- 
kee — Alilwaukee — river. But Solomon Juneau was here, and his broth- 
er, Peter Juneau, had also settled near him, while members of the 
Vieau family and other French Canadians were occasional visitors to 
the post. The vanguard of "settlers", using that word in contra-dis- 
tinction to "Indian traders", came in the fall of 1833, when Albert 
Fowler, Rodney J. Currier, Andrew J. Lansing, and Quartus G. Car- 
ley took possession of an abandoned cabin, which had probably been 
built by Vieau or Le Claire. These pioneers had journeyed hither from 
Chicago, and had been six days making the trip, traveling with a team 
of horses and a wagon through a country which bore no evidence of 
having been previously traversed by vehicles of any description. They 
had been attracted to the West by reports concerning its wonderful 
resources, which had traveled back to the Eastern states immediately 
after the close of the Black Hawk war, and they had stopped for a 
time at Chicago. But when they learned that fine lands lying on the 
Milwaukee river had been ceded by the Indians to the United States 
government at the Chicago treaty of 1833, ^^ey concluded to move to 
this point, and with their coming the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Mil- 
waukee began. They lived during the winter of 1833-34 in the trader's 
cabin mentioned above, and which they found ready for occupancy, 
doing their own cooking and living in much the same manner as the 
traders and adventurers who had preceded them. But their plans and 
purposes were of an entirely dififerent character — they were home- 
seekers, and came for the purpose of becoming permanent residents. 
Currier, Lansing, and Carley drifted away from Milwaukee within a 
few years, never having become identified very prominently with af- 
fairs, but Fowler remained for more than twenty years and was a con- 
spicuous figure among the pioneers. He was born in Monterey, Berk- 
shire county,, Mass., Sept. 8, 1802, and was reared in New York, to 


which state his father's family removed soon after the close of the war 
of 181 2. He remained in that state until he came to Chicago in 1832. 
Soon after he came to Milwaukee he entered the employ of Solomon 
Juneau as a clerk, accompanied him on his trading expeditions among 
the Indians, and when Juneau was appointed postmaster of Milwaukee, 
in 1835, assisted him in the postoffice, making out the first quarterly 
report ever made from that office. He opened the first real-estate office 
in Milwaukee in 1834, and in 1835 was commissioned first justice of 
the peace and clerk of the court in and for Milwaukee county, his com- 
mission being issued by Stevens T. Mason, then governor of Michigan 
territory. He removed to Rockford, 111., in 1853, ^^^"^ ^^r many years 
thereafter was a prominent resident of that city. 

In the spring of 1834, "the ancient trading station at the mouth of 
the Milwaukee river," which for years had been the meeting place of 
the traders with their customers, the Menomonees, Winnebagoes, Pot- 
tawattomies, Chippewas, and Ottawas had developed into a white set- 
tlement with a total population of seven men. Three of these men — 
Solomon Juneau, Peter Juneau, and Paul Vieau — had families, and 
Mrs. Carley, who had remained in New York state when her husband 
started on his exploring expedition with Albert Fowler, joined him here 
in the summer of 1834, and has passed into history as the first female 
resident of Milwaukee who was not of mixed French and Indian ex- 
traction. George H. Walker, who had visited the place the previous 
year and had spent the winter of 1833-34 at Skunk Grove, came back 
to stav when the spring opened, and two new settlers, one of whom was 
named White and the other Evans, formed a partnership and opened 
a store on the lake shore, at what is now the foot of Huron street. 
Morris D. Cutler, Alonzo R. Cutler, and Henry Luther arrived here 
about the first of May, but remained only a short time before making 
their way back into the interior and "locating claims" on which a por- 
tion of the city of Waukesha has since been built. Besides those men- 
tioned, a considerable number of travelers, land-seekers, and ad- 
venturers, visited and passed through Milwaukee during the sum- 
mer, but if one may judge from the few who became actual 
settlers, a comparatively small number of those who saw the 
place were favorably impressed with it. In addition to those whose 
names arc given above, Horace Chase, Skidmore E. Lefiferts. }* [or- 
gan L. Burdick, D. W. Patterson, Samuel Brown, George F. Knapp, 
Dr. Amasa Bigelow, Otis K. Hubbard, and George W. Hay. 
became actual settlers before the close of the year 1834. Bigelow 
and Hubbard began the construction of saw-mills, from which was 
obtained, a littlr lakT, Iniilding material f(M- many of the dwellings, 


stores, shops and offices erected by early settlers. In this way they 
paved the way for improvements of a more substantial character than 
any that had been made up to that time. 

Next to Byron Kilbourn and George H. Walker, Horace Chase 
was perhaps the most interesting character among the pioneer arrivals 
of 1834, and he continued to reside in Milwaukee from the date of his 
first settlement there until the time of his death. He is given a more 
extended mention in another chapter, so it is sufficient to say at this 
place that from the time of his arrival he was conspicuously identified 
with the upbuilding of the village and city, and in the advancement 
of Wisconsin as a commonwealth. The following account of his first 
journey, in company with "Deacon"' Samuel Brown and Morgan L. 
Burdick, to Milwaukee, is also inserted here as an illustration of the 
hardships endured by the early pioneers, in order to reach this land 
of promise : 

We started, in substance wrote Mr. Chase a short time before his 
death, from Chicago on Dec. 4, 1834, in the morning; Messrs. Brown 
and Burdick having a one-horse wagon, in which our tent and baggage 
were placed, and in which they rode, while I was mounted upon an 
Indian pony, or mustang. We made twenty-four miles the first day, 
and then camped on the edge of a beautiful grove of timber. The night 
was clear and fine, but we were prevented from sleeping by the wolves, 
who kept up an incessant howling throughout the night. This camp 
was about equi-distant between Chicago and Waukegan (then called 
Little Fort) and had the appearance of having been at some time a 
favorite resort of the Indians, the ground being strewn with the debris 
of their dismantled lodges. With the dawn, however, we were up and 
away, reaching Hickory Grove, west of Kenosha, which place was then 
called Southport, at dark, the distance traveled being thirty-four miles. 
No sooner had we made camp than it commenced to snow and blow 
from the southeast, making the night a very unpleasant one. We 
pushed on in the morning and at night reached Vieau's trading house 
at Skunk Grove, west of Racine. This was on Dec. 6, and we remained 
there until ^londay, the 8th, when we again set forward and reached 
Alilwaukee that night. This last day's journey was a very severe one 
on account of the snow and wet. The country was well watered, as we 
found to our cost, being compelled to cross twenty-four streams, big 
and little, and getting mired in most of them. In those cases we would 
carry our baggage ashore and pull the wagon out by hand, the horse 
having all he could do to extricate himself. Our route was the old 
Indian trail, which came out at the present cattle yards, and there Paul 
Vieau had a few goods in the old trading house which was built by his 
father in 1795. From there the trail led along the blufifs to the point, 


where we fomul Walker, in the log store built the previous summer. 
We found at Milwaukee, besides Solomon Juneau, his brother Peter, 
White and Evans, Dr. Amasa Bigelow and Albert Fowler. Solomon 
Juneau's claim was the present Seventh ward, and Peter Juneau's the 
present Third ward. Albert Fowler's claim was upon the west side, 
the frame of his cabin standing a little north of Spring street, on West 
Water, in the present Fourth ward. John Baptiste LeTontee had 
claimed what is now Milwaukee proper. This was bid off at the land 
sale in October, 1838, by Isaac P. Walker, who sold it to Capt. James 
Sanderson for $1,000. The latter afterward sold an undivided one- 
half interest to Alanson Sweet. The way this came'to be called Mil- 
waukee proper was in this wise : Sanderson and Sweet were sure the 
town would be there, or ought to be, and therefore, when the plat was 
recorded, insisted on recording it as "Milwaukee Proper", meaning that 
here was where Milwaukee ought properly to be. 

Continuing his narrative, Mr. Chase says that Juneau sold, while 
at the treaty meeting held in Chicago in October, 1833, one-half of his 
claim, which comprised what is now the Seventh ward, to Morgan L. 
Martin for $500, in which purchase Michael Dousman was an equal 
partner. This, though a verbal agreement, was faithfully kept by Mr. 
Juneau, notwithstanding the land had increased in value a thousand- 
fold before a title was perfected ; and had he wished he could have sold 
the interest in the claim for a much larger amount at any time, as no 
writings were ever made between himself and Mr. Martin. Resuming 
the narrative in the first person, Mr. Chase says : As our business 
here was to secure claims, we of course lost no time in making them. 
I\[ine was made upon the southwest quarter of section 4, town 6, range 
22, upon which T built a log cabin.. This cabin stood where the present 
Minerva Furnace does. "Deacon" Samuel Brown's was where the 
Sixth ward school house now stands — southeast quarter of section 20. 
This claim was subsequently floated, however, and the Deacon made a 
new one in the present Ninth ward, where he lived and died. Burdick's 
claim was upon the east side where the present German market stands, 
southwest (|uarter of section 21. Having secured our claims, we all 
started on our return to Chicago on the 14th. reaching there on the 
17th. after wliicli i s])cnl the time until the middle of February in ex- 
ploring the country south and west of Chicago. But finding nothing 
that suited me any better. I returned to Chicago, closed up my business, 
and. in company with Josej)!! Porthier (alias Purky) left that place for 
Milwaukee on I^cb. 27, 1835. reaching there on March 8. Then, wish- 
ing to secure the lands at the mouth of the river. T made a new claim 
upon the southwest quarter of section 4, my log house standing where 
the foundr}- of George L. Graves now does — southwest corner of 


Stewart and Kenesaw streets — after which I returned to Chicago for 
means with which to erect a warehouse. I left there again on the 21st, 
reached Alilwaukee on the 23d, and commenced a final and permanent 
settlement. Joseph Porthier's claim was a part of the northeast quar- 
ter of section 5, town 6, range 22, his house being built with the logs 
from my first one, which was taken down and put up again on his claim. 

Dr. Bigelow erected a saw-mill where Humboldt now is. This 
mill was commenced in 1834. but was not completed until 1835. ^^ 
was a small concern, the dam being shaped as the letter A. The mill dis- 
appeared long ago, but the ruins of some of the log shanties built near 
it were to be seen as late as 1870. There was also a mill built by Otis 
K. Hubbard and J. K. Bottsford in 1835, but all traces of it have long 
since disappeared. The work upon it was done by Messrs. Currier and 
Carley, who accompanied Albert Fowler to Milwaukee. Of Otis K. 
Hubbard, one of the proprietors of this mill, James S. Buck, the pio- 
neer historian has this to say : "This man was noted for his profanity, 
in which vice he certainly surpassed all the men I ever knew. He was 
a very smart man and could, when he would, be a perfect gentleman ; 
but when his passion was roused he would go through the streets for 
hours pouring forth such a torrent of blasphemy as was awful to hear. 
The boys would stand in silence until he had passed ; even the dogs 
gave him the sidewalk, and men who made no pretensions to godliness 
would flee his presence. These fits of passion would sometimes last for 
a week. Many thought him insane. He has been dead for many 

Daniel W. Patterson, who was also one of the pioneers of 1834, 
appears to have been one of the first blacksmiths in Milwaukee, his 
shop having been opened early in the spring of 1835, in a cabin which 
he had built on his "land claim", comprising what became Sherman's 
addition to the city at a later date. 

There were numerous evidences that the place was becoming 
known to the outside world to some extent as early as 1834, notwith- 
standing the fact that the settlement showed but slight growth, and in 
1835 the foundation of Milwaukee as a place of importance was actu- 
ally laid. In that year began the subdivision of lands into small par- 
cels, the laying out of streets and the grouping of buildings, which are 
distinctive features of an urban settlement, 


Contemporaneous with the early settlement on the east side of the 
Milwaukee river, where Solomon Juneau and his partners in the owner- 


ship of a "squatters" claim were contemplating the founding of a town, 
the lands on the west side of the river had attracted the attention of 
another man who was destined to play an important part in the early 
industrial and political life of the future city. That man was Byron 
Kilbourn, a native of New England, who had been brought up in Ohio, 
where he began his business career under favorable auspices and be- 
came identified with some of the great public improvements made in 
the Buckeye state. He was born at Granby, Conn., Sept. 8, 1801, and 
few native Americans have sprung from a more ancient and honorable 
lineage. He was carefully educated and devoted much time to the 
study of mathematics, history and the law, giving considerable atten- 
tion also to music, for which he had a natural fondness. Having ac- 
quired some knowledge of surveying, in the year 1823, when the sur- 
veys were commenced by the state of Ohio for the stupendous system 
of internal improvements, which was subsequently carried out, he en- 
tered the service of the state as an engineer. In that important ca- 
pacity he was identified with the public works of Ohio until the com- 
pletion of the Ohio canal, from Lake Erie to the Ohio river, and of the 
Miami canal, from Dayton to Cincinnati, in 1832. In the spring of 
1834, having obtained an appointment as surveyor of the public lands, 
he started on an exploring expedition through the Northwest, and 
landed at Green Bay on May 8 of that year. A portion of the spring 
and summer he spent in the region adjacent to Green Bay, and in the 
Manitowoc and Sheboygan country, making government surveys, and 
the remainder of the season in exploring the lake shore. 

Finally deciding to locate on Milwaukee river, Kilbourn made his 
selection of a tract of land lying west of the river, above the Menomo- 
nee, in 1834, with a view to purchase when the land should come into 
market, his purpose and intent being, from the start, to lay out a town 
there. His associations had been with men of large ideas and broad 
capacity, his educational attainments were of a superior character, and 
having traveled extensively, he came to the Northwest admirably fitted 
to pave the way for the rapid advancement of civilization. He had 
familiarized himself, to a greater extent perhaps than any other man, 
with the conditions existing in that portion of Michigan territory ly- 
ing west of Lake Michigan, and his keen perceptions made him fully 
alive to the wonderful possibilities of development which its resources 
and advantages offered. At the land sale at Green Bay in July and 
August, 1835, he purchased the southeast quarter of section 29. in 
town 7, range 22, anrl 1iy exchange of a portion of his tract for a por- 
tion of Juneau's tract, acquired a mile of river frontage. He subse- 
quently added to the original tract by purchases extending westwardly 


and northerly toward the interior, his entire purchase embracing in 
tlie aggregate 300 acres, which constituted his plat of "Milwaukee 
on the west side of the river," or "Kilbourntown," as it was commonly 
called. He engaged actively in making improvements, and in 1837 or- 
ganized a town government, of which he became first president, this 
village being entirely independent of the village of the same name on 
the opposite side of the river. In 1840 Kilbourn was a candidate for 
delegate to Congress, but his opponent. Governor Doty, was elected by 
a small majority. In 1845 ^^ ^^'^^ elected to represent the county of 
^Milwaukee in the territorial legislature, and rendered valuable services 
to the county and territory in that capacity. In 1846, the city of Mil- 
waukee was chartered and Mr. Kilbourn was chosen a member of the 
first board of aldermen. In 1847 ^e was re-elected to the office of 
alderman, and was also chosen a delegate to the convention which met 
at Madison on Dec. 15 of that year and formed the present state con- 
stitution. In that body he was chairman of the committee on the gen- 
eral provisions of the constitution, and as such drew up the present 
preamble and declaration of rights, the articles on Boundaries, the arti- 
cles on Banks and Banking and the articles on Amendments. In 1848 
and again in 1854, he was elected mayor of the city of Milwaukee. In 
the former year he was also elected a delegate to and one of the vice- 
presidents of the Free Soil Democratic national convention, which met 
at Buffalo. When the public mind began to comprehend the import- 
ance of railroad communication with the interior, Mr. Kilbourn was 
b}- common consent designated as the most suitable person to head the 
first enterprise of that description, and was accordingly elected pres- 
ident of the Milwaukee & Mississippi Railroad Company, by unainmous 
vote of the board of directors. He afterward engaged with zeal in 
promoting, as director and chief engineer, another work of equal merit, 
the La Crosse & Milwaukee railroad. Mr. Kilbourn died on Dec. 16, 
1870, at Jacksonville, Fla., leaving a large estate as the result of his 
investments and extensive business operations. 

"walker's poixt." 

While Juneau and Kilbourn were the original proprietors of two 
of the natural divisions of Milwaukee, George H. Walker, who made 
his first visit to this locality in the fall of 1833 as an Indian trader, be- 
came the owner of the third division which was afterward included in 
the limits of Wisconsin's metropolis. A biographical sketch of Mr. 
Walker is given in the chapter devoted to "Territorial Era" in this 
work, so it is only necessary to give in this connection an account of his 



services as one of the three founders of the city of Milwaukee. His 
first visit to the site of the present metropoUs impressed him so favor- 
ably that he returned to the place in 1834 with the intention of locat- 
ing here permanently. He accordingly selected a tract of land lying 
south of that portion of Milwaukee river which runs eastward to the 
lake, and there established a trading post, laying claim to the land as 
first settler and "squatter", as no survey of the land had been made at 
that time. The first improvement which he made on the land to which 
he hoped to acquire title in due time, was to build a small cabin, not 
unlike that which Juneau was occupying at that time, at what is now 
the intersection of South Water and Ferry streets, the site being that 
at present occupied by the Ricketson House. For more than fifty years 
thereafter, and long after his first claim was merged into the munici- 
pality of the present city, "Walker's Point" had an identity of its own 
in the minds of all the settlers who came here in territorial times. The 
pre-emption law of that time, what there was of it, was dependent for 
its interpretation and application upon the treaties with the Indians, 
and was so carelessly drawn that claimants never felt secure in their 
possessions, and it was not until 1849, a^^^ Wisconsin had been ad- 
mitted into the Union as a state, that Walker finally obtained a patent 
from the Federal government for 160 acres of land, which cleared the 
title of all clouds. The first plat of "Walker's Point", as it appears 
on the county records, was filed in August, 1836, but was not finally 
recorded until March 7, 1854, although other plats of the same land 
were filed and recorded in the interval between these two dates. The 
story of the struggle for the possession of his "Walker's Point" claim, 
and the dififerent though unsuccessful attempts to dispossess him, 
would read like a romance, but as a matter of history is not important. 
Mr. Walker was a man of the strictest integrit\- and in all his ac- 
tions lived up to the high standard of moral ethics which he believed 
it every man's duty to adopt. One of the notable features of his admin- 
istration of the afifairs of the local land office, to which he was ap- 
pointed as Register in 1845, was that he neither allowed himself nor 
any of his subordinates to make use of their positions to advance their 
private interests in the way of land speculation. The same strict 
probity characterized his conduct through life, cou]iled with broad lib- 
erality, which was an equally conspicuous trait of his character. His 
personal appearance was very much to his advantage, and in any public 
assemblage of men the spectator would have selected him as a man of 
mark. Tt is said that his great personal popularity would easily have 
made him governor of the state if his ambition had been in that direc- 
tion, lie had. however, a supreme contempt for the deceit, intrigue, 


and double-dealing of professional politicians, and preferred social life 
and leisure to the excitement and turmoil of public life. He was al- 
ways active in every movement calculated to advance the material pros- 
peritv of the city and state, and his influence was freely given to the 
early railway projects. 


Solomon Juneau, Byron Kilbourn, and George H. Walker, each of 
whom in his own way contributed vastly to the upbuilding and develop- 
ment of Milwaukee, were unquestionably the three most conspicuous 
names connected with the early settlement of the place. They laid the 
foundations of the present metropolis, and although they were in one 
sense rivals, they were never personal enemies, and at last they all 
worked together in perfect accord for the common good. They were 
all large, fine looking men, but owing to the difference in their early 
environment there was a marked inequality in their educational acquire- 
ments. Kilbourn had been well trained in early life, and his long ex- 
perience as a civil engineer was of great advantage to him, while both 
Walker and Juneau were uneducated men. In the location of the land 
which he platted as a town site, Juneau had the advantage of the other 
founders, as between the river and the lake the land was well adapted to 
general building purposes, and its residence sites were numerous and 
attractive. Access to it from the river was easy, and it also overlooked 
the bay, which, with other advantages of location which were fully 
comprehended by Juneau caused him to contemplate the efforts of -Kil- 
bourn and Walker to build up rival settlements without a feeling of 
jealousy. His complacency in the matter, however, was no doubt in 
part due to his generous nature, and also in part to the fact that his 
environments had been such that he knew little of the manner in which 
great cities are brought into existence and comparatively little of the 
agencies that build them. While he came to fully realize the fact that 
in all probability Milwaukee was destined to become a great city, yet 
he thought there was room enough on the east side of the river to ac- 
commodate the future metropolis, and in view of its natural advantages 
he had little or no fear that "Kilbourntown'' and "Walker's Point" 
would become more than outlying settlements, suburbs, as it were, to 
the city built upon the site selected by him. 

But his range of vision, compared with that of Kilbourn, was de- 
cidedly limited, and the latter viewed the situation in an entirely differ- 
ent light. He had been identified with some exceedingly important 
enterprises, was a skillful engineer, and had had occasion to make a 
study of the growth of cities and the causes which contribute to their 


development. No sooner had he secured his patent than he took im- 
mediate steps to improve and advertise his town-site. Some of his 
claim was hilly, but more of it was a dense tamarack swamp, "bris- 
tling on the outskirts with black alder and ash." In 1835 he made two 
contracts : one to clear the tamarack swamp, and the other to build a 
stationary bridge across the Menomonee river. He began his city 
along what is now Chestnut street, as that was the most favorable 
ground he had for building lots. He commenced the improvement of 
his town with the vim and energy that characterized all his acts, 
and in a short time the two solitary dwellings belonging to himself and 
Garrett Vliet, on Chestnut street, were separated by a score of others. 
He had removed the cloud from the title to his land while in Washing- 
ton in the winter of 1835, and that made purchasers of lots in "Kil- 
bourntown" feel that their investments were secure. He had also made 
substantial improvements, the Menomonee river had been spanned by 
a substantial bridge, the tamarack swamps that had disfigured what is 
now the Second ward had been cleared away, a newspaper made its ap- 
pearance, and a steamboat was soon plying on the river. It was in the 
very nature of things that jealousy would soon manifest itself between 
the two sections of Milwaukee, and it presented itself on schedule time. 
"The Badger", which was the name of the little steamer that plied the 
waters of Milwaukee river, would visit the bay when a big steamer 
made its appearance, and all the passengers that wanted to land were 
given a free ride ashore. They of course were taken to "Kilbourn- 
town", where the statement was impressed upon them that the future 
city of Milwaukee was to be built upon the west bank of the river, with 
Chestnut street as the main thoroughfare, and as for the East side, "it 
was well enough as an Indian trading post, but no one would seriously 
think of ever building a town between the river and the lake, for the 
simple reason that there was not land enough." The first impressions 
of the site of the future city were not altogether favorable, and to the 
minds of some they were not improved by the pictures of inevitable 
greatness painted by Kilbourn and his associates, D. H. Richards and 
Garrett Vliet. The Milwaukee river was in some respects an erratic 
stream, at that time not being very sure where its mouth was, and 
it possessed the uncertain habit of sometimes emptying itself into the 
lake at one place and sometimes at another. The embryo city 
had been started nearly two miles from the mouth of the 
river and its not prepossessing site was reached by a tortu- 
ous river channel, through a wet morass, the little steamers 
having to paddle through the maze of wild rice and grass 
from the mouth of the river to the foot of Wells street. Water 


covered what is now the Third, Fourth and Fifth wards, and inter- 
mixed with it was a thick undergrowth of bush peculiar to swamps. 
A good deal of the hard lands was occupied by high hills or knolls that 
made straight thoroughfares impossible until an immense amount of 
grading had been done — a kind of work that has been a necessity even 
unto the present time. 


The original topography of the city as it appeared in 1836 is thus 
given in substance by James S. Buck, in his "Pioneer History of Mil- 
waukee'', published a half-century after his first visit to the place : 

On the South side, or "Walker's Point", there has been an im- 
mense amount of grading and filling done, changing its appearance 
very materially. What is now Reed street was formerly all water and 
marsh, except where it cut the old point, which was about midway be- 
tween Lake and Oregon streets. This point ran in a southwest direc- 
tion from the foot of Barclay street to the bluff, which it struck at or 
near the intersection of Reed and Oregon streets. It was about twelve 
feet high in the center and from four to six rods wide, and sloped each 
way to the marsh and river. On its southern side all was marsh and 
water, and on its northern all marsh and river, over which I have 
sailed in a small boat many times. Where the St. Paul railroad yard now 
is there was at least ten feet of water and where the present elevator 
stands I have passed in a steamboat often. The water at that place 
was at least eight feet in depth, with a hard, pebbly bottom. Where 
now stands the best business portion, then all was water and marsh. 
The west side of Reed street skirted the bluffs, or hard ground, with 
one or two exceptions, from Florida to Railroad streets, now Greenfield 
avenue. These bluffs were from ten to twenty-five feet high, reaching 
the last-named altitude between Greenfield avenue and Greenbush 
streets from Oregon to Mineral. At Mineral was a ravine, where the 
grade from Reed west to First avenue was practically the same then as 
now, and from there to the railroad the bluffs were lower. Oregon 
street runs along what was originally, in part, their northern face. 
This face was quite steep and abrupt until it terminated near Fourth 
avenue, where the Wunderly & Best property still shows their original 
height. At that point there occurs a fault or set-off in the bluff, re- 
treating south to Park street, from where it continued west at its 
original height until merged in the main high lands. The bluffs upon 
Oregon street were covered upon their southern face from Reed street 
west to Second avenue with a growth of poplar and hazel, a great re- 
sort for black, grey and fox squirrels; and all that portion lying be- 



tween Florida,, Virginia, and Grove streets and Second avenue was 
also covered with a thick mat of hazel, interspersed with a few black 
and burr oaks. At the northwest corner of Virginia and Hanover 
streets was a sharp hill fifteen feet in height, and from there to Pierce 
street the ground descended to about its present grade, where it com- 
menced to rise again, and at Elizabeth street has been cut at least twen- 
ty-five feet, from there it again descended to Mineral street to about 
its present level. Where St. John's church stands was a pond hole in 
which the water stood nearly all the year. And all that part lying be- 
tween Pierce, Virginia and Greenbush streets and First avenue, or the 
most of it, was a tamarack swamp, where the water was knee deep, 
while the grade on Elizabeth street is nearly as it was then, except 
where it cuts the hill in Elizabeth street (now National avenue) from 
Greenbush to Hanover, where the cut was at least twenty-five feet, and 
the cut on those two blocks lying between Hanover, Greenbush, Walk- 
er and Pierce streets has been an average of twenty feet over their en- 
tire surface. That block bounded by Reed, Clinton, Elizabeth and 
Mineral streets,, known as "the old Weeks Garden" was a low point 
extending into the marsh and so thickly covered with plum trees as to 
be impassable, except in one place, and then it could only be done in a 
stooping position. The cut on Reed street through or past this garden 
was at least fifteen and I think twenty feet, a round point so to speak 
extending into it from about the center of block 100 at least eighty 
feet. The cut has also been heavy from Hanover to Reed street on the 
south side of Elizabeth street, the whole distance, including block too, 
and on the north about half way, a piece of bottom land ending here 
that extended to Virginia street. This bottom was in form a crescent 
and was bounded on the west by Hanover from Virginia to Pierce 
street, where the bluffs again approached Reed street. The west half 
of this block has been cut about fifteen feet on an average from Pierce 
to Elizabeth street, as well as that between Florida and Virginia street, 
which has been both cut and filled upon an average at least fifteen feet. 
A small brook came into the marsh at the intersection of Reed and 
Mineral streets and had its rise in the marsh or lake in tlic rear of 
Clark Shephardson's farm. It flowed the year around, and T have shot 
suckers and jiickcrel as far west as Grove street. This brook has long 
since disappeared anrl its fountain head is now all covered with build- 
ings. This fountain head or ancient lake occupied all that portion of 
what is uo\x known as Wechselberg & Elliott's subdivision, lying be- 
tween Twelfth and Fifteenth avenues and \\^ashington and Lapham 
streets, its outlet being on Muskego avenue l)ct\veen Lapham street 
and Greenfield avenue, from whence it wended its tortuous wav via 


the present Eighth ward park street to its terminus in the marsh at 
Mineral street. The fish used to go up this brook to the meadow then 
Iving directly west of the present Muskego road, and great numbers 
have been taken there in the spring of the year with a spear by 
Horace Chase and others. All that portion of the present Fifth and 
Eisfhth wards bounded bv Elizabeth, Hanover and Railroad streets 
and Eleventh avenue was thickly covered with hazel brush inter- 
spersed with a few black, burr, and white oaks. This part has not 
changed so much, although the changes there are quite apparent to 
an old settler. The grading upon this portion has been more uniform, 
but will, I think, amount to an average of eight feet over its entire sur- 
face, the cutting and filling being about equal. All the marsh proper 
was covered at times with from one to two feet of water in every part, 
and in the spring would be literally alive with fish that came from the 
lake, and great numbers of the finny tribe were caught. And the 
number of ducks that covered the marsh was beyond computation. 
Thousands of young ones, apparently not a week old, could be seen 
in the breeding season, swimming around as happy as need be, 
wholly unconscious of the fate that awaited them from the hands of the 
sportsmen. But all is changed now, their ancient haunts are covered 
with the dwellings of the white man, and they, like the fated Indian 
whose cogeners they were, have gone toward the setting sun. Their 
day in Alilwaukee is over. 

So nnich for the topography of the South Side. The East, or 
Juneau's side, as that part of the city was called in 1836, was much 
the largest part of Milwaukee, the reason for which can be easily 
accounted for. x\ll its upper portion was high and dry ; but aside from 
this and its position between the lake and river, it had got the first 
start. Juneau lived there, and being in a position to do so had ofifered 
inducements to immigrants and speculators that Kilbourn and Walker 
were at first unable to do. The amount of cutting and filling that has 
iDeen done on the East Side in the Seventh and Third wards is very 
great and would seem perfectly incredible to a Milwaukeean born 
fifty years hence. Beginning at Michigan street, which was the south- 
ern limit of the high lands and from whence the ground descended 
gradually to Huron street. I will first give a description of the present 
Third ward. All that portion lying between these two streets was soft 
and boggy, or mostly so, caused by the numerous springs which came 
from the bluffs. From Huron south all was marsh and water, except 
two small islands and the strip along the beach. One of these islands, 
the largest, was bounded, or nearly so, by Jefferson, Milwaukee, 
Chicago, and Buffalo streets, and was called Duck Island by the boys, 


probablv on account of the numerous duckings they used to get in try- 
ing to reach it. The other was on that block bounded by Alenomonee, 
Broadway, Erie, and East Water streets. Where the chamber of 
commerce now stands, southwest corner of Michigan and Broadway, 
the ground was soft and spongy. From jNIichigan to Wisconsin the 
ascent was rapid, and at Wisconsin the cut has been at least twenty- 
five feet in Broadway; from there to Division (now Juneau avenue) 
on Broadway it has been from ten to twenty feet. The bluffs at this 
place were originally very steep, and of course the cut has been corre- 
spondingly large. From Broadway east on Wisconsin street the cut 
has been eight feet, on an average, to the ravine at Van Buren street. 
From Wisconsin south to Michigan, on Milwaukee, Jeft'erson, and 
Jackson streets, the cut has been from eight to eighteen feet, running 
out at Michigan street, as the bluffs here were quite steep, while from 
Wisconsin street north to Mason street it has been very little, just 
enough to make it level and uniform. And all that part lying between 
Wisconsin, Division, and Milwaukee streets and the lake was mostly 
covered with a thick growth of small bushes, interspersed with black, 
burr, and white oaks. From Broadway to East Water street the 
descent was rapid ; that is, East Water street bounded these bluffs on 
the west from Michigan to Mason street, where they commenced to 
trend east a little on Market street. From midway, or near there, of 
Wisconsin and Michigan streets, on the west side of East Water, the 
ground was low and wet to Detroit street. This low point did not ex- 
ceed four rods in width, the west line of East Water not touching it. 
From Detroit to the foot of East Water street all was marsh, and from 
midway of Michigan and Wisconsin streets, north to Mason street, 
it was hard, sloping and grassy. At Mason street was a hill from 
which enough dirt was taken in 1842 to fill East Water street from 
there to Division (now Juneau avenue). The cut there must have 
been at least forty feet, while all that part north of Oneida street 
and west of Market street was low and wet, a bayou extending the 
entire length of River street, and in this bayou the water was from 
four to ten feet in depth. All along the east side of Market to 
Oneida street the cut was heavy, the bluffs being nearly uniform the 
whole distance and thickly covered with bushes. The east side of 
Market street skirted the hills which reached their full height between 
there and Broadway, that is, the deepest cutting was there,, it being 
at least thirty feet on the Market street front. These bluffs termi- 
nated on the east side of Broadway in a series of small sand dunes, 
some of which were standing in the vicinity of St. Mary's church as 
late as 1846. The foimtain from which the pump formerly standing 


on the square was supplied was originally a spring, called the Ball 
Alley Spring, coming directly out of the bank, and a ball alley once 
stood in the ravine just above it. There was also an excellent spring 
coming out of the bank at the place where the Northwestern Mutual 
Life Insurance Company building stands, about the center of the block, 
and many of the people formerly went there for water. From Broad- 
wav to the lake on Michigan street, the hills were steep on their 
southern face, and as before stated were full of springs the entire 
length. Returning to Wisconsin street we find all that block lying 
between Wisconsin, Van Buren, Cass, and Mason streets, or the most 
of it, was a quicksand hole, in which grew a few tamaracks, and in 
which the water was four feet or more in depth. The east half of the 
block bounded by Van Buren, Jackson,. Wisconsin, and Michigan 
streets was a ravine, whose northern terminus was in the next block 
north and its southern in the marsh at Michigan street. From Van 
Buren street to the lake, and from Wisconsin to Huron street, it has 
been cut an average of fifty feet over the entire tract, it being forty 
feet at Van Buren and seventy feet or more at the lake ; and from 
Wisconsin street north and Cass street east to the lake the cut was 
nearly as much, running out on the north at Oneida street. This bluff 
terminated at Huron street and upon its terminal point was an Indian 
cemetery, where Manitou, the Indian who was killed by Scott and 
Bennett in 1836, was buried. From Huron street to the mouth of the 
river the lake beach was at least ten feet in height and from one to two 
hundred feet wide, upon which was the roadway up to the city. This 
roadway followed the beach to about midway of Huron and Michigan 
streets, whence it turned west to the ravine just mentioned, then north 
along the ravine to Wisconsin street, thence west on Wisconsin to East 
Water street. This ravine was an immense hole and was filled by the 
late John Furlong in 1839. The beach was quite thickly covered with 
white cedar, balm of Gilead, crab apple, and oak timber, many of the 
trees being eighteen inches and some of them over two feet in diameter. 
And in addition to this the whole bluff from Mason street north has 
worn away from 150 to 200 feet. All that part lying between Oneida, 
Biddle, Astor, and Cass streets, or the most of it, as well as a portion of 
the block on the northwest corner of Biddle street was a swamp hole 
and has been filled from two to four feet over its entire surface. A 
small ravine also ran along here in a northeast and southwest direction. 
There was also a large ravine now nearly all filled, whose terminus was 
in the Milwaukee river at the foot of Racine street, and which ran in 
a northeasterly direction to Farwell avenue; also one now partly filled 
near the intersection of Cambridge and North avenues (terminating 


also in the river), one near the present pumping works with a terminus 
in the lake; and this, as far as I can remember, comprises all the ra- 
vines not previously mentioned within the limits of the present First 
and Eighteenth wards. There was also a large hole in the court house 
square, where I have seen the water four feet deep ; also a low place 
on the northwest corner of Jackson and Biddle and on the northwest 
corner of Jackson and Division, the one on Biddle extending to Jeffer- 
son street ; one where the Musical Conservatory stands and one on the 
southeast corner of Milwaukee and Oneida streets ; but the largest was 
known as Cabbage Hollow, upon which quite a history could be written. 
The bluffs overlooking Market street were, as before stated, extremely 
bold, and from there north to the ravine, from whence flow cool 
Siloam's healing waters, the ground was covered with oak bushes, 
commonly called scrub, from six to twelve feet in height and so thick 
as to be almost impenetrable. 

The West Side, or Kilbourntown, as it was called in 1836-37, did 
not present a very inviting aspect to the eye as a site whereon to build 
a city, and did not compare with the east, or Juneau's side, the only 
advantage which its founder or its friends could or did claim for it 
over the East Side being that it held the key to the beautiful lands 
beyond the timber, and that the East Side being merely a narrow strip 
of land, lying between the river and lake, twenty-five miles in length, 
and in no place exceeding four in breadth, was in fact an island ; and 
its future inhabitants must of necessity pay tribute to them instead of 
receiving it. Although the changes upon the West Side do not show 
as much to the eye as do those upon the East or South Side, yet they 
fully equal them in magnitude,, and a stranger seeing our city to-day 
for the first time could not comprehend the amount of filling that has 
been done here. All that portion of the Fourth ward bounded by the 
Menomonee on the south, the Milwaukee on the east. Spring street 
on the north, and to a point about midway between Fourth and Fifth 
streets on the west, where the hills commenced, was a wild rice swamp, 
covered with water from two to six feet in depth ; in fact, an impassa- 
ble marsh. The amount of filling that has been done upon this ])ortion 
is immense, averaging twenty-two feet over the entire tract. There 
was a small island near the corner of Second aufl Cl\l)ourn streets, 
upon which was a large elm tree. All else was a watery waste. At 
Spring street the ground commenced to harden, and from there to 
Chestnut, with the exception of West Water from Spring to Third 
(which was also marsh), the whole was a swamp, upon which grew 
tamaracks, black ash. tag alder and cedar in abundance. From Spring 
to Third (on West Water street), as before stated, the ground was 


covered with at least two feet of water, and where the sidewalk now 
is, east side of West Water, crotched stakes were driven into the mud 
and cross-pieces laid, and upon them was a plank two feet above the 
water for a sidewalk, which was in use up to 1838. From the inter- 
section of West Water with Third to Chestnut streets the ground was 
soft and difficult to pass over with a team. Some work had been done 
upon it in 1836, but it was as yet nothing but a mud hole. At Chest- 
nut street the ground was hard enough to build upon, and it was there 
that Kilbourn commenced his city. From Chestnut to about midway 
between Vliet and Cherry it was nearly the same. This was the north- 
ern terminus of the low land, and from this swamp between Spring 
and Chestnut, I have obtained cedar as late as 1852. The bluffs, or 
high land, had a uniform front along the line mentioned from the Me- 
nomonee river to about midway between Spring and Wells streets, or 
nearly so. Here occurred a fault, or set-off, to the west to a point mid- 
way between Eighth and Ninth streets. From Wells to Chestnut the 
course of these blufifs was north. Here occurred a second fault, to the 
east, to about midway between Sixth and Seventh ; from there to mid- 
way of Vliet and Cherry their course was again north to Walnut, then 
due east to the river, along which they ran to the dam, their termini 
being the crown at North street upon which stands the reservoir. 
These blufifs were exceedingly beautiful in a state of nature. Their 
fronts were bold and round, and from Spring street to the jMenomonee, 
and from Seventh to Twenty-fifth streets, were covered with a young 
and thrifty growth of oak, mostly being what is termed "openings." 
From Spring north to Chestnut, and from Eighth west to Seventeenth, 
it was much the same, but from these streets west and north the timber 
was heavy, including all of the present Ninth ward. These bluffs 
have been cut from ten to forty feet in order to make the streets run- 
ning west and north practicable, and I think the cutting on Winne- 
bago, Poplar, Vliet, and Mill streets west of Seventh, and on Fourth, 
Fifth, and Sixth, north of Cherry, has been more than forty. But 
the deepest as yet was on Spring street, it having been cut in some 
places as much as sixty feet or more. At the southwest corner of 
Spring and Sixth streets was a quicksand hole with tamaracks grow- 
ing in it, which had its terminus at Fifth street, where the Methodist 
Episcopal church now stands. This may seem incredible, but it is true, 
and fish have been caught in that hole. The amount of earth taken 
from the bluffs along Fifth street, from Spring south to Fowler, and 
from Fifth west to Eighth street, and along Fowler, west to Ninth and 
north to Clybourn street, to help fill up the marsh, is immense, and 
would, I think, average twenty feet over the entire district. Eighth 


Street l)eing the point of minimum, and Sixth street of maximum grade, 
upon the East or Fifth street front, and Sycamore the minimum and 
Clybourn the maximum upon the south or Fowler street front. But 
from Eighth west to Tenth street, and from Spring south to Sycamore 
street, the average has been about eight feet. The cut upon Spring 
street, from Seventh to Eighth street, west, and from Spring south to 
Sycamore, has been at least fourteen feet on an average, being at 
the southeast corner of Eighth and Spring streets,, where there was a 
sharp hill, as much as twenty feet. Sand enough was taken from that 
lot in 1857 ^o pave Broadway from Wisconsin street to the river. 
From the north side of Spring street the ground descended toward 
Wells street quite rapidly. A beautiful ravine had its head or northern 
terminus in the block bounded- by Spring, Wells, Eleventh and Twelfth 
streets, its direction being southeast until it reached the intersection 
of Tenth and Sycamore, from where it curved to the southwest. At 
Clybourn street it was the most beautiful ravine in Milwaukee and a 
great resort for the youth of both sexes in pleasant weather. There 
was also a large ravine between Thirteenth and Fourteenth streets, its 
head being at Sixteenth and Cedar streets and its terminus in the 
marsh at Clybourn and Thirteenth streets. This was the drain for 
the swamp then existing between State, Vliet, Sixteenth, and Twen- 
tieth streets. This swamp is now dry and covered with buildings. 
Also a deep ravine (now filled up) running in a southeast direction 
through the block bounded by Spring, Clybourn, Fifteenth, and Six- 
teenth streets, terminated in the marsh at Fifteenth and Clybourn. 
It was filled in 1875. There was also a circular basin-shaped depres- 
sion, filled with surface water six feet in depth, which,, up to 1869, 
was a swimming place for the boys, upon that block bounded by 
Spring, Wells, Sixteenth, and Seventeenth streets, that is now filled 
up ; also one now filled, extending from the southeast corner of Spring 
and Nineteenth streets in a southeast direction, whose terminus was in 
the marsh at the foot of Sixteenth street. These last ravines were 
both surface water channels. There was also a large ravine whose 
northern end was at Walnut and Eighth streets, now (1889) nearly all 
filled, that ran in a southeast direction, crossing Mill street (now 
Central avenue) between Seventh and Eighth streets. Cherry just west 
of its intersection with Seventh, Seventh midway between \'lict and 
Pojilar (now Cold Spring avenue) and terminating in the low gnumd 
on Fifth at its intersection with Chestnut. Also one known as the big 
ravine, now (1889) partly unfilled, which had its rise at or near the 
intersection of North avenue and Hubbard streets, and its terminus 
in the Milwaukee river at the foot of Hubbard street. This was bv far 


the largest ravine within the present corporate limits of the city. There 
were, however, in addition to these a few smaller ravines upon the 
west bank of the Milwaukee river just above the present dam, one of 
which, known in the olden time as the "Picnickers' Retreat," is as yet 
unchanged, the others having mostly disappeared. 

This topographical description from the pen of Mr. Buck, al- 
though somewhat lengthy, will no doubt be deemed by the reader of 
sufificient importance to justify its insertion in this history of Mil- 
waukee. All now is changed, but it is interesting to go back and com- 
pare the site of Wisconsin's metropolis in a state of nature with what 
it is to-day. 


We will now return and take up events that were important in 
their way in laying the foundation of the splendid city on the western 
shore of Lake Michigan. The survey of the plats of the two rival 
towns was made in 1835. Although Juneau and Kilbourn did not 
purchase their lands from the government until late in the summer 
of that year, their claims to the tracts of which they had taken pos- 
session were generally respected, in accordance with the unwritten law 
relative to the occupation of the public lands, and their plans and pur- 
poses were therefore matters of interest to incoming settlers and 
visitors. That both men intended to lay out town-sites became known 
early in the year, and this had its influence upon those who came here 
to "spy out the land" and seek homes for themselves and famiUes. 
The United States survey of public lands in Milwaukee county, had 
been commenced in December, 1834, by William A. Burt, and in Feb- 
ruary, 1835, ^i^ '"'^'^1 completed the survey of fractional townships 7 
and 8, in range 22, between Milwaukee river and the lake. It should 
be stated in this connection that in the treaties made with the Meno- 
monee Indians, by the general government at Washington, in 1831, 
the Indians ceded all the lands north and east of the Milwaukee river 
to which they had previously laid claim, and in the treaty of 1833, 
made at Chicago, the Pottawattomie Indians ceded to the government 
the lands west and south of the river, which they had long claimed 
as their own. The survey made by Burt was designed to include 
only lands ceded by the Menomonees, but in order to fill out the two 
townships the survey was extended west and south of the river into 
lands which had been reserved to the Pottawattomies by treaty stipu- 
lations until 1836, when their final removal from the lands was' to 
take place. This tract of land was sold at Green Bay in 1835, and 
the tracts purchased by Jnneau and Kilbourn respectively were platted 


and town lots were offered for sale long before the close of the year. 
As soon as the towns were laid out sales of lots commenced, many 
applications having been inade before the surveyor's notes were trans- 
ferred to paper. In fact, Juneau had platted his lands in advance of 
purchase, and made his first sale of a lot to Albert Fowler, in August, 
1835. The first sale of a "W^est Side" lot was made by Kilbourn to 
Samuel Brown on Oct. 16. 1835, and the first recorded plat of that 
portion of the city, made by Garrett Vliet. was placed on record Oct. 
9, 1835. Many people bought lots who did not immediately build 
on them. This is always the case with new towns. In some cases 
householders may have bought the lots adjoining them, for garden 
and pasturage, not an unusual thing to do. On Sept. 17, 1835, the 
first election was held in Milwaukee and the whole number of votes 
cast was thirty-nine. The only law authorizing such an election was 
the law of necessity, which required that some provision should be 
made for the government of the settlement, and by common consent 
a supervisor, a town clerk, three assessors, two commissioners of 
roads, one constable, two inspectors of schools, three pathmasters, one 
poundmaster and three fence-viewers were elected. It is reasonably 
certain, however, that there was not much necessity for the election 
of persons to fill some of these offices, as there were no schools to 
inspect and no fences in Milwaukee or in Milwaukee county for that 
matter, to "view.'' But these early settlers were from the Eastern 
states,, where the "town" system of government prevailed, and they 
evidently were determined to have the full complement of local officials. 
The vote cast at this election would indicate that there had not 
been a large addition in population to the new settlement during the 
spring and summer months of 1835 ^ ^"*i this fact is further evidenced 
by the burden of official honors heaped upon George H. Walker, 
Enoch Chase, and Uriel B. Smith. It is plainly impossible to give the 
names of all those who became settlers of Milwaukee during the 
pioneer period of its history, but as the year 1835 was when it secured 
its start a peculiar interest is attached to those who sought a domicile 
here in that year. The following is believed to be an approximately 
correct list of those who became actual settlers in that year : Owen 
Aldrich, Lucius I. Barber, A. O. T. Breed, William Bunnell, Amasa 
Bigelow, Hiram Burnham, Chaunccy r.rownell. Benson Brazee, John 
Bowen, P. Balser, Ellsworth Burnett, Paul Burdick, H. H. Brannon, 
Samuel Burdick, William Baumgartner. N. W. Cornwall, Enoch 
Chase, Alfred L. Castleman, Parker C. Cole, Luther Cole, Mathew 
Cawker. Luther Childs, John Childs. Harvey Church, Benjamin 
Church, Lorcn B. Carlcton, William IT. Chamberlain, William Clark, 


James Clyman, George D. Doiisman, Talbot C. Dousman, Andrew 
Douglas, Martin De Laney, John Davis, B. H. Edgerton, E. W. Edger- 
ton, Andrew Ebel, N. Eseling, E. S. Estes, Hiram Farmin, Uriel Far- 
min, Jonas Foltz, Elon Fuller, Worcester Harrison, Cyrus Hawley, 
Joshua Hathaway, P. W. Hodge, Thomas Holmes, Henry H. Hoyt, 
Thomas D. Hoyt, H. M. Hubbard, David Jackson, Isaac B. Judson, 
J. K. Lowry, Jacob Mahoney, James McFadden, B. S. McMillen, 
James McNeil,. David Morgan, James Murray, Patrick Murray, John 
Ogden, Nelson Olin, Alfred Orendorf, Almon Osborn, Zebedee Pack- 
ard, S. Parsons, William Piper, Joseph Porthier,, George Reed, D. H. 
Richards, Thomas M. Riddle, Hiram Ross, S. Rowley, Edmund 
Sanderson, James Sanderson, Walter Shattuck, Henry Shaft, Robert 
Shields, Henry Sivyer, Samuel Sivyer, William Sivyer, William Skin- 
ner, Isaac Smart, Joseph Smart, Richard Smart, Uriel B. Smith, 
Alexander Stewart, I. Stewart, Samuel Stone, Wilhelm Strothmann, 
Alanson Sweet, Joseph Tuttle, William O. Underwood, Garrett Vliet, 
E. Weisner, Daniel Wells, Jr., George H. Wentworth, George S. West, 
Henry West, Joel Wilcox, Joseph Williams, Wallace Woodward, and 
William Woodward. A number of these gentlemen grew to promi- 
nence in the county and state, and have already been given extended 
personal mention on other pages of this work. 

Ellsworth Burnett was numbered among these worthy pioneers,, 
but he was not destined long to labor or enjoy the fruits of his efforts. 
He was a native of Gouvenor, St. Lawrence county, N. Y., and upon 
coming to Milwaukee made a claim on the southwest quarter of section 
31, township 7, range 22, afterward the home of Clark Shepardson, 
the Burnhams, and others. In the fall of 1835, in company with Col. 
James Clyman, he went to Rock river on a land-hunting trip, and 
while making camp near the present village of Theresa, in Dodge 
county, was shot dead, and his companion was badly wounded in the 
left arm and his back was filled with small shot. The crime was com- 
mitted by two Indians named Ashe-ca-bo-ma and Ush-ho-ma, alias 
Mach-e-oke-mah (father and son) for some fancied wrong. They 
were promptly arrested, confined in the fort at Green Bay until June, 
1837, when they were brought to Milwaukee and tried before Judge 
Frazier, convicted, and the old man was sentenced to be hanged ; but 
both were finally pardoned by Gov. Henry Dodge as an offset to the 
escape of the two white men, Scott and Bennett, the murderers of 
]\Ianitou, the Indian who was killed in 1836, Scott and Bennett having 
escaped from the jail in April, 1837, and were never retaken. 

Among those whose names are given above there were doubtless 
all the tvpes of men who are usually drawn to a new settlement. 


James S. Buck thus describes William Baumgartner, who enrolled him- 
self among the settlers o,f 1835 • "This man was noted for his personal 
ugliness. Short in stature, with an immense head and face, flat, short, 
thick ears and a mouth that, when open, would have fooled a king- 
fisher or a sand martin. But his chief deformity was his eyes^ these 
organs being like those of the trilobite, placed nearly in the side of his 
head, and in addition to all this he was cross-eyed. He properly be- 
longed to the oolitic period when monsters were the rule. The only 
way to approach him unseen was to come directly in front of him. 
He was, without exception, the worst looking human being that it was 
ever my fortune to see. His very presence caused a chill wherever 
he went and no child could be induced to approach him. Even strange 
dogs eyed him askance. Where he came from or where he went to 
I never knew ; he disappeared in 1838." 

Alfred L. Castleman was one of the pioneer physicians who came 
in 1835, hailing from Kentucky. He had read medicine in his native 
state, and attended lectures in Louisville. He left Milwaukee for a 
time to make his home in Washington, D. C, but soon returned, and 
in 1847 ^^^s elected a member of the Constitutional convention, serv- 
ing on the Banking and Corporations' committee. He was for several 
years a regent of the State University, in which he took an especial 
pride, and was president of the Wisconsin State Medical Society in 
1850-51 and 1855. Originally a Democrat, the move made to extend 
the number of slave-holding states and the demands in general of 
the advocates of slavery displeased him, and he became a member of 
the Republican party in its infancy. On the breaking out of the Civil 
war he did not hesitate as to where he would cast his lot ; he was from 
the first an outspoken defender of the Federal cause, became interested 
in raising troops, was commissioned surgeon of the Fifth Wisconsin 
infantry, and went at once into active service, the regiment being as- 
signed to General Hancock's brigade. During his connection with the 
regiment he kept a diary of events, which, after his resignation in De- 
cember, 1863, he published under the title "The Army of the Potomac 
Behind the Scenes.'' He returned to Milwaukee after his resignation 
to find that others had supplanted him during his absence. For a 
time he carried on a farm in Delafield ; afterward a "hydropathic 
sanitarium" in Madison, but failing health, brought on by exposure in 
the arm\- finally induced him to go to California in 1873. and there he 
remained imtil his death in 1877. 

Col. James Clyman was a native of Kentucky, and previous to his 
settlement in Milwaukee had not onlv been a resident of nearly every 
state north of the Ohio river, but he had also explored much of the 


vast territory lying west of the Mississippi, then an unbroken wilder- 
ness. He had crossed the Rocky Mountains three different times and 
returned, going once to California and twice to Oregon, besides serving 
five years in the United States army ; and he was probably not over 
forty years of age when he came here. He became part owner of the 
saw-mill erected upon the northwest quarter of section 26, township 
7, range 21, town of Wauwatosa, the mill being afterward known as 
the "Ross Alill," every vestige of which has long since disappeared ; l)ut 
a large amount of lumber was manufactured there during several 
years, and it was a faithful worker while it lasted. With Ellsworth 
Burnett,, Colonel Clyman left Milwaukee on Nov. 4, 1835, for a trip to 
Rock river, in search of land, and it was on this ill-fated trip that 
Burnett was killed by the two Indians as related above. Clyman was 
severely wounded in the left arm at the same time, but he bound up 
the injured member with his handkerchief and started for Milwaukee, 
with the Indians in pursuit for some distance. He held his left arm 
in his right hand, traveled hard all night, during which it rained 
steadily, the next day and night, and in the forenoon of the second 
day came out near the Cold Spring, having eaten nothing during all 
this terrible journey. He was taken to the house of William Wood- 
ward, at the Cold Spring, where his wounds were dressed by John 
Bowen, and where he remained until he had recovered from his in- 
juries. As an exhibition of physical endurance this has seldom been 
equaled. The country had no sooner begun to settle up than Clyman 
went away, going first to California, where he was at the time of the 
gold discoveries, and lastly to Oregon, where he took an active part in 
the Indian wars of the '50s. 

Andrew Douglas was born in Scotland on April 18, 1810, and was 
the son of James and Ann (Oliver) Douglas, natives of the south of 
Scotland. The family came to America in 1828, when Andrew was 
eighteen years old, and first settled on a farm in Virginia. In 1834 
Andrew Douglas decided to come to the great and new West, and in 
the fall of that year arrived at Chicago, where he secured employment 
with Archibald Clybourn, who had a meat market, and young Douglas 
delivered meat to all the residents of the town. He took up a claim 
on the present site of Lincoln park, but owing to the prevalence of fever 
and ague he abandoned it. He attended the first land sale at Green 
Bay in 1835, and returned via the present site of Oshkosh, where he 
and his companions camped one night, and where at that time there 
was not even a cabin. The next night he camped on the present site 
of Fond du Lac and decided to take up a claim there, but upon being 
informed by a passing mail carrier that the land had been put in the 


market he returned to Milwaukee and in 1835 took up the northwest 
quarter of section 17, town of Lake, where he resided until his death 
in 1896. Air. Douglas was always prominently identified with the 
affairs of his town and acted as one of the first assessors, and he was 
also chairman of the town board a number of times, the last being the 
year 1879. In February, 1852, he went to California via Panama, 
arriving at San Francisco on April i of the same year. After spend- 
ing a year in mining, in which business he was very successful, he 
returned via the Nicaragua route, arriving in Milwaukee in May, 
1853. During the winter of 1871 and 1872 he again went to California 
to visit old scenes and associations, this time going via the Central 
Pacific railway and making the trip in six days. He spent the summer 
of 1881 in Scotland. He was a member of the Old" Settlers' Club from 
the time of its organization and was a staunch Republican in his 

James Murray came to Milwaukee from Crieff, Scotland, in 1835. 
When news was received of the killing of Ellsworth Burnett, mention 
of which is made on a previous page, he was one of those who went 
in pursuit of the murderers, captured them, and saw them safely lodged 
in the fort at Green Bay. He sold to the city for charitable purposes — 
at the nominal sum of ten dollars per acre — the present sites of the 
Industrial School for Girls, the Protestant Home for the Aged, the 
Protestant Orphans' Asylum, and St. Rose's Orphan Asylum, the 
transfer amounting in effect to the gift of a splendid property. In 
politics he was a Republican, and took an active interest in all the 
political issues of the day. He died in June, 1863. 

Capt. James Sanderson, who came to Milwaukee from Cleveland, 
as master of the schooner "Nancy Dousman," was a man noted for his 
marked peculiarities and eccentricities of character, as well as his some- 
what remarkable subsequent career. He was a native of Rhode 
Island, was naturally of an uneasy and restless disposition, and, like 
thousands before him, went early to sea; and after visiting different 
parts of the world in the capacity of a common sailor,- finally brought 
up, about 1830, in P)uffalo, then a young and promising inland mari- 
time city, where, with many others, who like himself were seeking a 
rise in their profession, he hung out his shingle as a full-fledged 
"master mariner." James S. Buck is authority for the statement that 
"if a temper like a hyena, backed by a will of iron and innate cussed- 
ness enough for a plantation driver in the palmiest days of slavery, 
would fit a man for that position, then he was certainly qualified be- 
yond a (Hiestion, and entitled to a full diploma." Captain Anderson 
settled upon a portion, forty acres, of the nt)rthcasl c|uarlcr of section 


5, township 6, range 22, town of Lake, in 1836, and there he built a 
frame house and a barn on Grove street, just south of Railroad 
street. He was the owner at one time of what is known as Milwaukee 
proper, half of which he afterward sold to Alanson Sweet. He was 
also the owner of considerable other real estate, and about 1850 he 
purchased an interest in the old steamer "Globe," which was run one 
season between Chicago and Bufifalo, with him as commander, and this 
was the immediate cause which resulted in his social and financial 
ruin. With what he could save out of the sale of his property in 1853, 
he left for California, there to commence life anew in his old age. 
He had become completely demoralized and sank lower and lower in 
the social scale, until the last known of him he was working in a livery 
stable for a small pittance and his whisky. 

William Sivyer, a native of England, was born at Wadhurst. 
county of Sussex, Feb. 27, 18 10, being the second son of John and 
Lydia Sivyer. His early life was passed with his parents and, at the 
premature age of ten years he was permitted, on account of his natural 
inclinations and aptitude exhibited for building, and his own expressed 
desire, to serve an apprenticeship to an architect and builder. Before 
the expiration of the required term of seven years his talent for his 
adopted profession, mainly that of masonry structure and artistic 
plaster work, had so developed as to render him capable, at seventeen 
years of age, to superintend construction of buildings, while at the 
age of twenty-one years he individually contracted for the construction 
of buildings at St. Leonard's-on-Sea, on the south coast of England, 
and engaged in the business to some extent in the city of London, 
and at Gravesend, on the lower Thames river. On April i, 1835, ac- 
companied by his wife and child (George J., one year old) and his 
brothers, Henry and Samuel Sivyer, he, with a party of friends and 
acquaintances, embarked at Rye, county of Sussex, upon the schooner 
"Alfred Pilcher." After reaching New York, with no special point in 
view and a desire to see the interior or frontier regions lying to the 
westward, taking the most comfortable means of transportation then 
afforded, he and his party again embarked, steaming up the beautiful 
Hudson river to the city of Albany. Thence to Rochester on an Erie 
canal boat, and being favorably impressed with this city and surround- 
ing country,, a period of three weeks was very pleasantly passed here, 
when, again taking a canal boat, two days' journey brought him to 
Buffalo. Five days sufficed for this city, and, securing passage for 
himself and party on a lake steamer, a voyage of four days landed him 
at Detroit. A stop of four days here, and he again embarked, and this 
time upon a steamer, the "Daniel Webster," destined for the head of 


Lake Michigan. Mr. Sivyer found Chicago, June 14, 1835, the day 
of his arrival, a wild, savage-appearing place, with Fort Dearborn and 
its stockades giving about the only substantial protection afforded to 
about 300 settlers and traders, against 3,000 red warriors, then en- 
camped in the environs, trading and awaiting government annuities. 
Skilled labor in this remote locality was almost impossible to obtain, 
and the work upon the "Lake House," for years the best hostelry in 
Chicago, was constructed mainly by Mr. Sivyer's own hands ; and the 
work was of such superior order and so quickly executed, that his repu- 
tation was at once established and his services were in demand. To 
investigate reports from Milwaukee to his own satisfaction, he en- 
gaged passage for himself and family in a sailing yacht from Chicago 
to Milwaukee, landed and was received by Mr. Juneau at a point on 
the east side of Milwaukee river, where Grand avenue bridge now 
spans it. This was on Oct. 27, 1835, when Milwaukee — in the in- 
cipient stages of civilization, with its paucity of rude habitations and 
dwellers of unknown character, commingled with the aborigines, 
gathered about the place of landing in startling numbers — was any- 
thing but inviting as a place of residence. Following his arrival Mr 
Sivyer made tours of observation over perhaps all of the present 
limits of Milwaukee, and indulged in occasional shooting or hunting 
expedition into adjacent forests, wherein abundant game not only 
gratified his love for sport but afforded ample opportunities for gun 
practice, exhibitions of skill as a marksman, and his extraordinary 
physical powers. Finding one brick mason in the little settlement and 
employing him, Mr. Sivyer, with the assistance of his brother Henry 
(who had not yet learned the building business) started work, and 
with his own hands laid the first brick, and in the completion of a brick 
oven, fireplaces and a mammoth old-fashioned chimney in a new build- 
ing for Mr. Juneau, finished the first brick masonry work ever con- 
structed in Milwaukee. With his family Mr. Sivyer passed the winter 
of 1835-36 with some English friends who had settled at Oak Creek. 
On March 15, 1836. he removed his family from Oak Creek to a cabin 
near the mouth of Milwaukee river, where he remained a few weeks 
before beginning the occupancy of a little home provided in the village. 
On May 4, 1836. in their new home, a boy baby was born to Mr. and 
Mrs. Sivyer, and the village folk some days later, headed by Solomon 
Juneau, requested that the newcomer be named ?ililwaukee, as the first 
born white boy. Mr. and Mrs. Sivyer had concluded to name the boy 
Charles, but in compliance wilh the request settled upon Charles Mil- 
waukee, as later he was christened. Tn the fall of 1836 Mr. Sivyer 
Iniilt the first brick Imilding erectcfl in ^lilwaukee — a dwelling for 


himself — and for fifteen years thereafter he was actively engaged in 
contracting and building. His last contract was the building of St. 
John's cathedral, on Jackson street, opposite the court-house, when, 
feeling that a competence had been acquired in the various city prop- 
erties he owned, and which were of sufficient importance to consume 
considerable of his personal attention, he retired from the building busi- 
ness. On Aug. 5, 1890, in the eighty-first year of his age, saying, 
"Lucy, good wife, I am going home; come to me soon," he passed 
away to his everlasting and final rest, a good, honest man and a strong 
character, whose life had been well and profitably spent. 

The speculative fever had not yet become epidemic in Milwaukee 
in 1835, and not much real estate changed hands, neither was there 
much done in the way of making building improvements. The most 
important of the year were the fitting up of a temporary tavern by 
John and Luther Childs and another building for the same purpose by 
Jacques Vieau. The last mentioned structure became somewhat fa- 
mous as a pioneer hostelry, was known later as the Cottage Inn and 
was destroyed by fire in 1845. Juneau and Martin began the erection 
of the Bellevue in this year, which building was later called the Mil- 
waukee House, but it was not completed until 1837. ^^ ^^as located 
at the northeast corner of Broadway and Wisconsin streets. The 
establishment of a postoffice with Solomon Juneau postmaster was an- 
other evidence of the advancement of civilization during the year. 
Religious services were held for the first time in the new settlement 
in the month of May under Methodist auspices, and in July the first 
Presbyterian church service was held with Rev. A. A. Barber as the 
officiating minister. Several dwellings were erected during the year, 
Juneau moved into a new frame building, and Horace Chase, who had 
formed a business partnership with Archibald Clybourn, of Chicago, 
built a warehouse and was prepared to engage in the forwarding trade 
as well as merchandising. The greater number of those who came 
to the embryo city in 1835 were unmarried men, or if married, they 
left their wives behind until they had selected a place for settlement. 
A few of the new settlers, however, had families, and the first child 
born in Milwaukee of purely white parents was a daughter of Uriel 
B. Smith, born in 1835, and christened Milwaukee Smith. The first 
male child born in the settlement was Charles Milwaukee Sivyer, here- 
tofore mentioned, who was born the following year. 

The rivalry which had sprung up between the East and the West 
sides was for the first time injected into politics this year. The inhabi- 
tants of "Walker's Point" had joined those of "Juneau's Place" against 
those of "Kilbourntown," and in the county convention held in another 



part of the county succeeded in having Gilbert Knapp and Alanson 
Sweet nominated as candidates for the legislative council. This action 
was repudiated by Byron Kilbourn and his friends, and they nominated 
George Reed against Sweet, who was particularly objectionable to 
them. But at the election the East Side gained a substantial victory 
over the West Side, and the result was far reaching in its consequence. 
The building of the court-house and the establishment of the postoffice 
on the East also contributed to its advantage, for the early settlers be- 
coming accustomed to transacting their business there, in later years 
the public was influenced to place the government,, county and city 
buildings in that part of the city. 

^ Although the Government land office was opened in ^Milwaukee in 
the fall of 1836, a peculiarity of the land laws of that period made it 
impossible for settlers to obtain even a shadow of the title to the lands 
which they occupied until such lands were ofifered for sale in 1839. 
Those who came here in 1834. 1835, 1836, 1837, and 1838, except 
such persons as purchased lots from Juneau and Kilbourn, were all 
"squatters" on public lands, in danger of being compelled to pay for the 
improvements which they themselves made, when the lands were of- 
fered for sale at public auction, or of being ousted from their possessions 
by those who could outbid them. The dangers which threatened them 
made it necessary for the early settlers to organize themselves into 
associations designed to facilitate the settlement of disputes among 
themselves, to protect themselves against lawless adventurers, and 
for the maintenance of their rights against the unrestrained competition 
of speculators. A full account of this movement and organization upon 
the part of the actual settlers is given in a previous chapter, and the 
success that crowned their efforts is an important incident in the history 
of Milwaukee and the country surrounding it. But in their accounts 
of this early struggle between actual settlers and those who desired 
only to get a title to the land and then await the development of the 
community by others, when they would come into possession of the 
unearned increment, other historians have failed to mention a very im- 
portant fact, which had a decisive influence in giving the victory to the 
actual home-seekers. Daniel Wells, Jr., who was elected as a member 
of the Territorial Council in the fall of 1838. introduced and secured 
the passage of a law providing that all improvements should be exempt 
from taxation and that all taxes should be assessed against the unim- 
proved value of the land. This protected the actual settlers against 
non-resident land holders who had monopolized large tracts for specu- 
lative purposes during the land excitement of 1836, and preserved, 
while the law remained in force fimtil the territory of Wisconsin be- 


came a state), the right of free access to the soil to those who desired 
to till or otherwise improve it. This Wisconsin law was probably 
the first enactment of its kind passed by any legislative body in the 
world, but during the last thirty years the idea has grown rapidly in 
favor among students of political economy, the theory being com- 
monly denominated the "Single-Tax Philosophy." Forty years after 
the passage of this law Henry George wrote his "Progress and Pov- 
erty," in which he maintained that the unearned increment — i. e., the 
increase in land values that comes by reason of the greater demand 
caused by a growing population — is sufficient to sustain all the insti- 
tutions of any country; that this value should be taken by the state, 
and that all other forms of taxation should be abolished. "This truth," 
said he. "has always existed, if economists could only see it." The 
.action of the. pioneer legislators of Wisconsin is a corroboration of 
Mr. George's theory. They saw the truth long before he expounded it. 
Comparatively few new settlers came during the year 1837, and 
many of those who had been considered permanent settlers returned to 
their old homes in "the East," or went elsewhere in "the West." These 
movements were occasioned by the stagnation in afifairs that followed 
the close of 1836. The "land craze" has been mentioned in a previous 
chapter, as has also the "hard times" that followed it. The activity in 
real estate suddenly ceased, business operations of all kinds were prac- 
tically suspended, and the situation became exceedingly uncomfortable 
for a large proportion of those who remained in Milwaukee during the 
winter. Everything the people needed to live on had to be shipped in 
from the older communities of other states, and when the transporta- 
tion facilities afiforded by the open waters of Lake Michigan were sus- 
pended, prices became high and food hard to get at any price. It 
followed as a natural consequence that there was much suffering 
among the early settlers, and many of the worthy pioneers experienced 
hardships and privations during the winter of 1836-37, which they 
remembered to the end of their lives. And when the spring opened 
in 1837 they were doomed to be disappointed in their hopes and expec- 
tations of a revival and continuance of the "flush times" of the year 
before. The financial panic of 1837 was on, and there was a stagnation 
of business. everywhere. So far as the erection of buildings was con- 
cerned, little was done in the new settlement, but considerable progress 
might have been noted in other directions. On the east side of the 
river a village government was organized, of which Solomon Juneau 
became the official head, and on the west side the same logic of events 
made Byron Kilbourn head of a similar municipal organization. In 
addition to the prevailing industrial depression, the antagonism of 


interests between Juneau and Kilbourn, and the feeling which it en- 
gendered between their friends and adherents, further prevented 
harmonious action for the general upbuilding of the community. 
When Kilbourn put the first steamboat ('"The Badger") on the river, 
in 1837, for the purpose of conveying passengers to and from the lake 
vessels, which, in the absence of harbor facilities, anchored in the bay, 
the little steamer was not permitted to land its passengers on the 
east side. 

Among the principal events of importance in the history of Mil- 
waukee in 1836 was the establishment of the jMilwaukee Advertiser, 
which occurred on July 4. It is doubtful if the town had at that time 
grown to sufficient size to warrant such an undertaking, but Byron 
Kilbourn and others welcomed it as an aid in the contest for supremacy 
between the east and west sides of the embryo city. The owner of the 
enterprise was D. H. Richards, a practical printer, but its editors and 
contributors consisted of such talented men as H. N. Wells, J. H. 
Tweedy, Hans Crocker, Byron Kilbourn and others. It was a very 
grave task to undertake the publication of a paper at such a time. 
Paper and ink had to be brought a long distance, and there were few 
mails. The owners persevered, however, amid all discouragements, and 
the paper still lives under the name of the Daily Wisconsin, much heart- 
ier and stronger than when it was born. Many a similar venture has 
gone to the bottom in the more than sixty years that have since elapsed. 
It was like all the papers of its time — filled with news from abroad. The 
proceedings of the legislature are given with great fullness, and of 
foreign news there is an abundance ; but of home news very little, and 
of editorials, practically none. Editors, then, did not write. Nearly 
everything original in any newspaper of that period is communicated, 
and the writers all have classical signatures — "Cato," "Brutus," "Cas- 
sius," "Cicero," etc. The young lawyers and doctors of that dav prob- 
ably aired their college education in this way, and seemed to be hap- 
piest when they could stir up a controversy about something. The 
api)roach of an election is perceptible by communications on the danger 
the country is in, which can be averted only by the election of John 
Smith to the legislature. A rival newspaper, the Sentinel, was estab- 
lished on the Juneau side early in 1837, and the two engaged in heated 
controversies. The strife between the two sections continued unabated, 
and it was not until a legislative enactment consolidated the two 
villages under one government, in 1839, that an era of harmonious 
action dawned upon Milwaukee. 

The county was organized for judicial purposes in 1837. with the 
designation of Milwaukee as the county seat, and the other principal 


events of the year were : The holding of the first session of the terri- 
torial court in Milwaukee by Judge William C. Frazier ; the organiza- 
tion of a medical society by Drs. Thomas J. Noyes, Sullivan Belknap, 
S. H. Green, William P. Proudfit, and others ; the organization of a 
county agricultural society by Byron Kilbourn, Solomon Juneau,, S. 
Pettibone, Hugh Wedge, L A. Lapham, James H. Rogers, George D. 
Dousman. J. Alanderville, John Ogden, D. S. Hollister, William R. 
Longstreet, and Henry M. Hubbard ; and the organization of the first 
temperance society by S. Hinman, W. P. Proudfit, F. Hawley, Wil- 
liam A. Kellogg, Robert Love, George H. Dyer, H. W. Van Dorn, 
Daniel Worthington, and Daniel Brown. 

Dr. Thomas J. Noyes> who is thus mentioned in connection with 
this early medical society, came to Milwaukee in 1836 from Franklin, 
N. H., and at once became prominent in politics as well as eminent in 
his profession. In political faith he was a Jeffersonian Democrat, and 
served as justice of the peace for several years, the duties of which 
office he performed faithfully and fearlessly. He died while on the way 
to California in 1852. 

Dr. William P. Proudfit came to the rapidly-growing town from 
Rome, N. Y., and immediately entered upon the practice of his pro- 
fession, a work from which nothing swerved him. "Buck's History of 
Milwaukee" says that at the time of the organization of the medical 
society in 1837, Dr. William P. Proudfit was its treasurer, but there 
are no known records of the association. During the inclement win- 
ter of 1842-43, pneumonia was unusually severe, and after great ex- 
posure required to reach a patient who was ill of this disease. Dr. 
Proudfit himself succumbed to it on March 11, 1843, ^^ the early age 
of thirty-seven years. 

Increase A. Lapham, who was one of the most prominent of the 
early settlers of Milwaukee, became in later years a national figure, and 
it is fitting that more than a passing mention should be made of him 
here. According to the family record he was born in Palmyra, Ontario 
county, N. Y., on March 7, 181 1. In 1818 his father removed to Penn- 
sylvania, where he had a contract with the Schuylkill Navigation Com- 
pany, but soon afterward returned to Galen, Wayne county, N. Y., 
where he was employed in the construction of the locks of the Erie 
canal. In 1826, the father secured for Increase a place as rodman on 
the Miami canal in Ohio, and he went by steamer to Cleveland and San- 
dusky. In December of the same year he went to Louisville, Ky., 
secured a better position on the canal around the falls, and attended the 
school of Mann Butler, the historian, of Kentucky. His first scientific 
paper was published in "Silliman's American Journal of Science," in 


1828; notice of the Louisville and Shipping-port canal, and of the 
geolog\' of the vicinity. As Mr. Lapham had received only a com- 
mon-school education, his acquirements were the result of self-culture. 
Under these circumstances he was greatly surprised to receive a 
parchment from Amherst College conferring upon him the honorary 
title of LL. D. in August, i860. In 1833 he was appointed secretary 
of the Ohio Board of Canal Commissioners, and in the performance 
of his duties in the office of the state treasurer was instrusted with 
large sums of money. In 1835-36 he was appointed one of the com- 
missioners to report on the best mode of carrying out the law author- 
izing a geological survey of the state of Ohio. In 1836 he came to 
Milwaukee, where he at once became a conspicuous figure among the 
early settlers and later among the scientific men of the state of Wis- 
consin. He made an extended survey of the most noted of the animal- 
shaped mounds of Wisconsin, an account of which was published in the 
"Smithsonian Contributions" in 1855. In 1846 he made a donation of 
thirteen acres of land in the Second ward to the city of Milwaukee for 
a high school. In 1849 he made a series of very careful observations, 
by which he discovered in Lake Michigan a slight lunar tide exactly 
like that of the ocean. In 1869 he sent to Hon. Halbert E. Paine, 
member of Congress, a memorial representing the duty and necessity 
of some effort to prevent the loss of life and property on the great 
lakes ; showing the practicability of predicting the occurrence of great 
storms. In 1873 he was appointed state geologist of Wisconsin and 
organized and conducted the survey for two years, during which time 
much valuable work was done and reported to the governor. Dr. 
Lapham's death occurred at Oconomowoc, Wis., Sept. 14, 1875. 

James Higson Rogers was born on Jan. 11, 1794, in the city of 
Troy, N. Y. His business career may be said to have begun when he 
was sixteen years of age, because at that time he left home to make 
his own way in the world. With a cash capital of three dollars he began 
business in Glens Falls, N. Y., and built up a considerable mercantile 
establishment at that place. He next kept a hotel at Lake George, and 
must have accumulated some capital in these enterprises because he 
shortly afterward became somewhat prominent as a government con- 
tractor both in the carrying of mails and the making of public im- 
provements. In the spring of 1836 he started westward,, the trip to 
Milwaukee being of the typical pioneer kind. As early as 1844 he 
erected a brick block three stories high, on East Water street, and 
shortly afterward he built the old United States Hotel, one of the fa- 
mous pioneer hostelries, at the corner of Huron and East Water 
streets. In 1837, with other enterprising citizens of the promising 


village which had sprung into existence here, he organized the Milwau- 
kee County Agricultural Society, nucleus of the present State Agricul- 
tural Society, becoming a member of the first board of directors. In 
1857 he inaugurated the improvements which have given the city that 
splendid street known as Grand avenue. Mr. Rogers' death occurred 
on April 30, 1863, when he was a little more than sixty-nine years of 

David S. Hollister came to Milwaukee from Newark, Ohio, in 
June, 1836, making the entire journey by land. He was an energetic 
business man, but his fondness for trading, together with an inordi- 
nate love of money, prompted him, as it did many others,, to go into 
debt beyond his ability to pay, and, as a natural sequence, like many 
of his compeers, when the full force of the crash of 1837 came, he 
went to the wall, and in the end was compelled to leave for newer 
fields. In political faith, though acting with the Whig party in the 
main, he was an out-and-out Abolitionist, and as fearless and out- 
spoken upon the subject of slavery as any one who ever lived in Mil- 
waukee, not excepting Sherman M. Booth or the Hon. Edward D. 
Holton ; and he was among the first in Milwaukee to befriend a slave 
when fleeing from his master, always acting openly. He ran for the 
assembly in 1838 upon that issue, the Hbn. C. H. Larkin stumping the 
county for him. Upon coming to Milwaukee he located upon the south 
half of block 99. in the present Fifth ward, where he erected, in the 
summer of 1836, the most substantial frame dwelling in that part of 
the town. There he lived until the fall of 1838, when he removed to 
a suburban residence erected upon the southeast quarter of section 
36, town 7, range 21, Wauwatosa, afterward the homestead of Col. 
William H. Jacobs, and there he remained until June, 1839, when he 
left the country, temporarily, as he supposed; but fate had ordained 
otherwise, and he never saw Milwaukee again. 

There were numerous evidences of recovery from the extreme 
depression of the previous year, in 1838. The settlers were reinforced 
before the close of the year by such sterling characters as Lewis Lud- 
ington, Judge Andrew G. Miller, Lyndsay Ward, David S. Ordway, 
Harvey Birchard, and others, who helped to make the history of the 
city and state in later years. 

Harvey Birchard was born in the town of Bridgeport, Conn., in 
1800, and received his education in the schools of his native county. 
He came to Milwaukee in 1838 in company with Lewis and Harrison 
Ludington, with whom he formed the co-partnership firm of Luding- 
ton, Birchard & Company, and opened a general store on the north- 
west corner of Wisconsin and East Water streets, in a building which 


occupied a site where the Pabst building now stands. Mr. Birchard 
retired from the firm in 1840. and with his available means., perhaps 
$20,000, which was considered a large sum in those days, commenced 
dealing in real estate and lending money in the city and surrounding 
country. His work in the way of building improvements was as 
follows : Birchard's Hall, corner of Grand avenue and West Water 
street, rebuilt by him in i860 and again rebuilt by his wife and son in 
1880, now a part of the Plankinton House block; five brick tenements, 
l)uilt in 1858, on the north side of Grand avenue, between Eighth and 
Ninth streets; six brick stores, built in 1862, on the west side of West 
Water street, a few doors south of its intersection with Grand avenue. 
In politics he was a Republican, and took a very decided stand in sup- 
port of the Federal cause in the Civil war, but he always declined to be- 
come a candidate for any public office. Mr. Birchard died at his home 
in Milwaukee in 1864, and was buried on the family lot in Forest Home 

The close of the year 1838 brought with it the opening of a road 
to Madison — a government appropriation having been made for that 
purpose — and other roads were also opened and improved into the 
interior, and north and south along the lake shore. A light house was 
l)uilt on the shore at the terminus of Wisconsin street, the expenditure 
of funds for this purpose being the first outlay of money by the govern- 
ment for public improvements in Milwaukee. 

There was a marked improvement of the condition of affairs in 
Milwaukee, with the opening of the year 1839. During that year 
docks were built, streets graded, new stores and business-houses opened, 
the Milwaukee and Rock River Canal project was inaugurated, and 
evidences multiplied that the town was preparing for a rapid and sub- 
stantial growth. But the land sale, which began on Feb. 16 and lasted 
until March 16, was the greatest event of the year. All the public 
lands of the district ready for the market were offered for sale, nine- 
tenths of it was purchased by actual settlers, and the total sales of the 
month aggregated in round numbers half a million dollars. The sales 
continuing, on March 19 reached a total of $600,000, and the total sales 
for the year 1839 amounted to nearly $800,000. the Commissioner of 
Public Lands at Washington declaring this to have been "the largest 
and most remarkable sale of lands known to the department" up to 
tliat time. In considering the progress toward an advanced stage of 
civilizatitin, made by Milwaukee and the adjacent country prior to 1840, 
the rcnunal nf llic Indians to the country west of the Mississi])])i river, 
in 1838, was an event, the importance of which should not be over- 
looked, as it invited immigration and dispelled the fear that was always 
present of trouble with the red men. 


The first church erected in Milwaukee was built in 1839, ^^ 
Martin street, west of Jackson, Rev. Patricius O'Kelly being the priest 
in charge of the Catholic congregation which erected it, and "St. 
Peter's" was the name given to it upon completion. The first fire en- 
gine was also brought to the xity in that year, and was christened 
^'Neptune No. i." George D. Dousman was the first foreman to take 
charge of this engine, which was kept in service some years and then 
sold to a town in the interior of the state. An event occurred just be- 
fore the close of the year which was to have a marked influence upon 
the future of the city. This was the arrival of a colony of immigrants 
from Germany and Norway, the advance-guard of the thousands who 
have since contributed so largely to the development of this city and 
state. In this company of immigrants there were 800 persons, and they 
came with money to purchase homes, or were prepared to labor in- 
dustriously to acquire homes. 

The first brick business block ever built in Milwaukee was erected 
by John Hustis in 1840, and it was situated on the northwest corner 
of Third and Chestnut streets. It was three stories high, and one of 
the floors was occupied as the first theater of the town. The first 
bridge joining the East and West sides was built in 1840, and spanned 
the river at Chestnut and Division streets. Prior to this Byron 
Kilbourn had built a bridge across the Menomonee river, near its 
junction with the Milwaukee river, and this structure was the first 
bridge built in the vicinity of the future city. It connected the Chicago 
road with the road which terminated in the village on the west side 
of the Milwaukee river, and its tendency was to divert travel from the 
road which led up to a ferry at Walker's Point, and terminated in 
Juneau's village on the east side of the river. Settlers on the east side 
were not pleased with this enterprise, and naturally enough it served 
to increase the animosity which had already sprung up between the 
two sections. After a time a ferry was established at the foot of 
Spring street, now Grand avenue, and this provided a means of com- 
munication which the growth of the two villages made an imperative 
necessity. The county commissioners had been authorized by an 
enactment of the territorial legislature in 1836 to construct a bridge 
which should connect Wells and Oneida streets, but the project was 
dropped for the time being, owing to the manifestation of intense op- 
position. When the two villages were consolidated by the legislative 
enactment of 1839, ^ provision was made for the building of a bridge 
at Chestnut street under the auspices of the new village government,, 
but no action was taken under this authority, and in the face of much 
opposition the bridge was finally built under a contract let by the 


countv commissioners. It was originally constructed as a draw- 
bridge, but not being satisfactory in its operation, it was remodeled 
so that a span could be hoisted high enough to permit the two little 
steamers then plying on the river to pass under it. In 1843 a bridge 
was constructed at Spring street, and in 1844 anothej bridge was 
built, connecting Oneida and Wells streets. The consolidated village 
was divided into east and west wards, and the expense of maintaining 
these bridges was borne mainly by the people living on the east side ; 
and this soon came to be regarded by them as a heavy burden, al- 
though they were unquestionably the principal beneficiaries, and they re- 
garded with disfavor an increase in the number of bridges. The 
Spring street bridge was seriously damaged in the early summer of 
1845, the "draw" being entirely torn away by a schooner, and while 
the "east siders" claimed that the happening was purely accidental, the 
"west siders" charged them with having deliberately and intentionally 
instigated the act. The people of the east side awoke a few mornings 
later to discover that the west end of the Chestnut street bridge was 
being torn away, and that the west end of the Oneida street bridge had 
been already rendered impassable. So intense was the feeling of re- 
sentment among the "east siders" that they soon congregated on the 
river front, and some of the more vindictive and fiery spirits brought 
out a small cannon with which they proposed to bombard the home of 
Byron Kilbourn, who was looked upon as the prime mover in the act 
of destruction which had provoked their hostility. Consequences ex- 
tremely tragic in their nature might have ensued had not Daniel \\^ells, 
Jr., brought to the infuriated crowd the news that Kilbourn's daughter 
had died the night before and that the home they proposed to destroy 
was at that moment a place of deep grief and mourning. Jonathan E. 
Arnold appealed to the infuriated crowd, thus quieting the mob spirit 
that had manifested itself, and the assemblage dispersed for the time 
being; but a few days later the Spring street bridge and the bridge 
over the Menomonee were destroyed, the "east siders" apparently be- 
ing willing to suffer the inconvenience of doing without bridges entire- 
ly, rather than allow their west side neighbors to dictate where those 
means of travel and communication should be maintained. The con- 
troversy continued to be waged with much bitterness for many weeks 
thereafter, and it was accompanied by both serious and hi(licrt)us in- 
cidents. In the interval which followed temporary expedients were 
resorted to, and it was not until the winter of 1846 that the matter was 
finally settled. Then, James Kneeland, who was a member of the 
Territorial Council, succeeded in obtaining a legislative enactment 
which restored peace between the sections of the village and amicably 


settled the bridge controversy. The measure provided for the construc- 
tion of bridges connecting East Water with Ferry street, Wisconsin 
with Spring street, and North Water street with Cherry street. The 
Chestnut street bridge was to be vacated as soon as the North Water 
street bridge was completed, and the Oneida street bridge was to be re- 
moved within five years from the date of the enactment. The cost of 
maintaining the bridges was apportioned among the wards, and the en- 
tire plan of settlement of this vexed question was submitted to a vote 
of the people of the east and west wards at an election held on Feb. 12, 
1846. It was ratified by a decisive majority, and comparative harmonv 
henceforth prevailed in locating new bridges and in providing for the 
expenses of their construction and maintenance. 


The formative period of Milwaukee's history has now been treated 
of, and comprises the period extending from 1833 to 1846. With the 
exception of Solomon Juneau, who made his home on the east side of 
the Milwaukee river in 1818, and a trader or two like Vieau, there 
were no white settlers until the fall of 1833, when the first Anglo-Saxons 
made their appearance. All sections of the village increased rapidlv in 
population and wealth during the ensuing thirteen years, and the need 
of a more complete organization came to be felt. The little settlements 
of 1834 and 1835 had increased to 1,500 inhabitants in 1839; in 1843 
to 6,000, and by June, 1846, to 9,000. Naturally the question of a city 
organization came to be agitated, and on Jan. 5, 1846, an election was 
held which resulted in a decisive vote in favor of a new charter, the 
East ward alone giving a majority against the project. The vote upon 
the proposition of incorporating as a city was as follows : For the 
charter — East ward, 182; West ward, 348; South ward, 113; total, 
643. Against the charter — East ward,, 324; West ward, i ; South ward, 
7 ; total, 332. The majority in favor of the charter it will thus be seen 
was 311. The life of Milwaukee as a village covered in all a period of 
nine years, beginning in 1837 ^'""^ ending in 1846. Solomon Juneau 
was the first president of the consolidated village, and the last to hold 
that office was Lyndsay Ward. Other pioneers who officiated in that 
capacity were H. M. Hubbard and James H. Rogers, and both Juneau 
and Kilbourn were village presidents while the East and West sides 
had separate governments. In the list of village trustees appear the 
names of such men as Dr. Lucius I. Barber, Horatio N. Wells, Henry 
Miller, B. H. Edgerton, Daniel Wells, Jr., George D. Dousman, Wil- 
liam A. Prentiss, Albert Fowler, D. H. Richards, Elisha Starr, I. A. 


Lapham, Jbhn Hnstis, Matthias Stein, D. A. J. Upham, Ed. D. Helton, 
Moses Kneeland, George H. Walker, Lemuel W. Weeks, Alexander 
Mitchell, Levi Hubbell, James S. Brown, and others who achieved dis- 
tinction in later years. The most of these gentlemen have been given 
extended personal mention on other pages of this work in connection 
with the history of lines of endeavor in which they became prominent. 
Moses Kneeland, who came to ]\Iilwaukee about 1843 or 1844, was one 
of the most energetic as well as one of the most aggressive men, both 
in politics and business, that has ever resided in Milwaukee. He was 
in political faith a Democrat and in religious a Presbyterian, being a 
prominent member of the old First (the present Emanuel) church. He 
accumulated a very large property, his residence being at No. 575 Mar- 
shall street, and there he died on Jan. 21, 1864. 

Lemuel Willis Weeks was born at Hardwick, \i., Nov. 18. 1805, 
the son of Lemuel, who was the son of Joseph Weeks, of Hardwick, 
Mass., a soldier in the American revolution, and whose father was an 
Englishman. Dr. Weeks' boyhood was spent upon his father's farm, 
but he early developed aspirations for something better than a plodding 
life, his thirst for knowledge leading him to walk many miles to the 
nearest town to obtain books to read evenings after work was done; 
and the few months' schooling each winter, which was all that the dis- 
trict afforded, was so unsatisfying to his ambition that by dint of his 
own exertions he secured the means for an academic course, and later 
taught school and studied medicine at Castleton, Vt. After receiv- 
ing his diploma, he was married on Feb. 9, 1829, at Montpelier, 
Vt., to Mary Sands, who was born on March 15, 1809, at Bux- 
ton, Me., and the young couple went immediately to Fort Ticonder- 
oga, N. Y., where he commenced the practice of his profession, in which 
he developed a marked talent, and later moved to Keeserville, N. Y. 
After about five years of successful practice. Dr. Weeks finding the 
life of -a country physician too arduous for his health, gave it up and 
entered into mercantile pursuits, in which he was also successful from 
the start. In a few years the western fever overtook him and he trav- 
eled by stage coach and on horseback to St. Louis, Chicago, and Mil- 
waukee. He finally decided to settle here, and returning with his fam- 
ily in the spring of 1837, took up his permanent residence and was for 
several years a merchant and trader, also occupied in locating, buying 
and selling government lands and town lots, and entering into many 
enterprises with the pioneers of those days. He took an active part in 
the first city government, being at times president of the council and 
holding other public offices. About the year 1846 his real estate trans- 
actions having increased so largely as to take up most of his time, he 


retired from mercantile business and, as the majority of his holdings 
were on the South side, known then as "Walker's Point", the family 
removed from its residence on Main street (Broadway) to the corner 
of Hanover and Elizabeth streets (National avenue), where they lived 
many years in a fine rambling old house with handsome grounds, occu- 
pying a commanding position, but since leveled down. He built "the 
first grain warehouse in the city, known as the "Checkered warehouse" 
on the South side, below East Water street bridge, and in companv 
with the late Alexander Mitchell built the "Blue warehouse" on Erie 
street, considered a mammoth in its day, and the "South Pier" at foot 
of Erie street. In about the year 1855 he purchased of Alexander 
Mitchell 130 acres of land adjoining the. city on the south, which he 
platted as L. W. Weeks' subdivision, and had just fairly put it upon 
the market when the panic of 1857, followed later by the war, so de- 
pressed real estate that with other unfortunate speculators he was 
forced to the wall, and the bulk of his fortune was swept away. Still 
later his health became seriously impaired and he was obliged to relin- 
quish all business,, and after a year or two of travel abroad he returned 
to Wisconsin and bought a small farm near Oconomowoc. Amid peace- 
ful scenes he passed away from earth on May 7, 1884, in the seventy- 
ninth year of his age. 

The legislature passed an act of incorporation of the city of Mil- 
waukee in the winter of 1846, and the first election under this charter 
was held on the first Tuesday of the following April. Solomon Juneau 
received the appropriate honor of being elected the first mayor of the 
city, and his colleagues of the west and south sides, Kilbourn and 
Walker, in after years also achieved the same distinction. The other 
officers elected in 1846 were as follows : aldermen for the First ward : 
John B. Smith, Joshua Hathaway, and A. W. Hatch; Second ward: 
Byron Kilbourn, George Abert, and Cicero Comstock ; Third ward : 
W. W. Graham, Nathan B. Holman, and Richard Murphy ; Fourth 
ward : Moses Kneeland, Leonard P. Crary, and George C. Blodgett ; 
Fifth ward: L. W. Weeks, A. Smart, and Peter N. Cushman. Henry 
Bielfeld was appointed clerk ; Robert Allen, city treasurer ; James 
Holliday, city attorney; Thomas H. Fanning, city marshal; and 
Charles A. Tuttle was designated from the justices of the peace to bear 
the title and perform the duties of police justice. 

As a comparison between the original and the present territory of 
the city, we insert here the boundaries as they were in 1846. The in- 
corporating act or charter begins as follows : 

"An act to incorporate the city of Milwaukee : 

"Be it enacted by the Council and House of Representatives of the 
Territory of Wisconsin : 


"i. That the district of country included within the following 
limits and boundaries in township number seven of range numbered 
twenty-two east, in the county of Milwaukee, to-wit : beginning on the 
lake shore in the northerly part of Milwaukee bay where it is inter- 
sected by the section line running east and west on the north side of 
section numbered twenty-two ; thence west along said section line and 
the north line of section twenty-one and section twenty to the quarter 
post on the north line of section numbered twenty ; thence south along 
the quarter section line to the center of said section numbered twenty; 
thence west along the quarter section line in said section numbered 
twenty and section numbered nineteen, to the west line of said township 
and range ; thence south along the said range line to the north bound- 
ary line of township numbered six ; thence east along said north line to 
the lake shore in the southerly part of Milwaukee bay ; and the north 
and south boundaries as herein described are to extend from the two 
points of intersection with the lake, respectively, in lines running due 
east to the eastern boundary of the territory of Wisconsin in Lake 
Michigan, shall be a city by the name of Milwaukee ; and the peple now 
inhabiting, and those who shall hereafter inhabit within the district of 
country hereinbefore described shall be a municipal corporation by the 
name of the city of Milwaukee, and shall have the general powers 
possessed by cities at the common law ; and in addition thereto shall 
possess the powers hereinafter specifically granted ; and the authorities 
thereof shall have perpetual succession, shall be capable of contracting 
and being contracted with, of suing and being sued, pleading and being 
impleaded in all courts of law and equity ; and shall have a common 
seal, and may change and alter the same at pleasure." 

The city was divided into five wards, the first of which comprised 
all the territory east of the Milwaukee river and north of the middle of 
Wisconsin street ; the second all west of the river and north of the mid- 
dle of Cedar street; the third all of the east side south of the First 
ward ; the fourth,, loosely speaking, included all of the west side south 
of the Second, and the fifth embraced the entire South side. At this 
date the Fourth ward included all south of the middle of Cedar street, 
and within sections 29 and 30 of the township in w hich the city lay, and 
the Fifth ward included territory north of that river. In order to 
straighten the Menomonee river, many years afterward a canal running 
due east and west was cut tli rough the southern part of sections 29 and 
30, and at presennt this canal constitutes the main channel, a portion of 
the original water-way being filled up, so that as it now runs, the river 
lies north of the south boundary of the Fourth ward. Each ward was 
constituted a separate township and school district ; its aldermen were 


to act as town supervisors and as school commissioners ; and their 
chairman, chosen by themselves, had a seat in the county board of 
supervisors. The charter provided for annual elections, to be held on 
the first Tuesday of April in each year, at which the officers to be 
elected were a ma}"or, from the city at large, and from each ward three 
aldermen, a constable and a justice of the peace. The term of office 
was one year in all cases except that of justice of the peace, and these 
officers were to serve for two years. A year's residence in the city 
and three months' residence in the ward was required of voters. Aliens 
might vote who had legally declared their intention to become citizens 
of the United States, and who had been assessed and had paid a tax on 
either real or personal property within a }ear„ or had been assessed for 
and actually performed highway work within a year, or had been for 
six months members of a fire company. The president and trustees of 
the town of Milwaukee were to determine the result of the first election 
under the new charter, and subsequent elections were to be determined 
by the mayor and common council. The mayor was made the chief 
executive officer, and the head of the police of the city. He had power 
to nominate, and with the consent of the common council to appoint a 
marshal of the city and an additional constable from each ward. It was 
further provided that 'The mayor or acting mayor, each and every alder- 
man, justice of the peace, marshal, deputy marshal, constable, and 
watchman, shall be officers of the peace, and may command the peace 
and suppress in a summary manner all rioting and disorderly behavior, 
in a manner consistent with the ordinances of the city within the limits 
thereof, and for such purpose may command the assistance of all by- 
standers and, if need be, of all citizens and military companies ; and in 
all cases where the civil power may be required to suppress riotous or 
disorderly behavior the superior or senior officer present, in the order 
mentioned in this section, shall direct the proceedings." Thus it was 
many years before a separate police department was found necessary. 
One of the justices of the peace was to be designated by the common 
council as a police justice for the term for which he was elected as a 
justice of the peace,, and whenever a vacancy occurred in that position 
by death, resignation or removal another justice was selected in his 
place. The police justice, besides the ordinary civil jurisdiction of the 
other justices of the peace, was vested with exclusive jurisdiction to 
hear all complaints and conduct all examinations and trials in criminal 
cases within the city, and with exclusive jurisdiction of all cases in 
which the city might be a party. His salary in criminal matters was 
to be paid by the county, and in civil cases by the city. 

In addition to the officers already named power was conferred on 


the common council to appoint and at pleasure to remove a city treas- 
urer, city clerk, one assessor in each ward, a chief engineer of the fire 
department and as many assistant engineers as might be expedient, city 
attorney, sealer of weights and measures, one or more surveyors ; and 
as many measurers of fuel, grain, lime and other marketable articles, 
weighers of hay, pound-masters, sextons, or keepers of burial grounds, 
inspectors of streets,, inspectors of flour and provisions, and harbor- 
masters, as expedient; and to prescribe their several duties and the 
compensation which each should receive. Members of the common 
council were forbidden to be parties to or otherwise interested in any 
contract or job with the city ; and any contract in which this prohibition 
was disregarded was to be null and void and of no force against the 

The most general grant of power was contained in the following 
section : 

"The common council shall have power to enact, establish, publish, 
enforce, alter, modify, amend or repeal all such ordinances, rules and 
by-laws for the government and good order of the city, for the sup- 
pression of vice, for the prevention of fires, and for the benefit of the 
trade, commerce, and health thereof, as they shall deem expedient, de- 
claring and imposing penalities, and to enforce the same against any 
person or persons who may violate any of the provisions of such ordi- 
nances, rules or by-laws ; and such ordinances, rules and by-laws are 
hereby declared to be and have the force of law ; provided that they 
are not repugnant to the constitution and laws of the United States, or 
of this territory ; and for those purposes shall have authority, by ordi- 
nances or by-laws." Then follows an enumeration of a large number 
of subjects over which it was intended the powers of the common coun- 
cil should extend. In every modification or revision of the city charter 
down to the present time this general grant of legislative power has 
been retained, but the enumeration of subjects intended to be covered 
by it has been extended as attention has been called to various evils or 
abuses which seemed to require especial attention in the course of the 
growth of the city in territory and population. Summarized as con- 
cisely as possible, the original list included the license and regulation 
of taverns, groceries, and victualing houses ; of persons engaged in the 
sale of spirituous, vinous, and fermented liquors, and of shows, cir- 
cuses, and theatrical performances ; the restraint and prohibition of 
gaming of all descriptions ; the prevention of riots and disorderly as- 
semblages ; the suppression and restraint of disorderly houses, shows, 
and exhibitions ; the abatement and regulation of trades and places 
which, though lawful in themselves, might be dangerous, unwhole- 


some, or offensive in a city; the prevention of improper incumbrances 
of streets, alleys, and sidewalks,, and of rapid driving in the streets ; 
prohibition of cattle, swine, sheep, poultry, geese and dogs running at 
large; the establishment of public pumps, wells, cisterns, and water 
works ; licensing of hacks, cabs, and drays ; the establishment of a 
board of health, hospitals, and cemeteries ; regulation of burials and ex- 
emption of burial grounds from taxation; the purchase of fire engines 
and fire buckets and the establishment of fire limits ; the regulation of 
"the size and weight of bread" ; the regulation of wharves, bridges, 
mill-races, and canals, and of exhibitions of fireworks and shooting of 
firearms or crackers ; the restraint of public drunkenness and obscenity, 
and the punishment of persons guilty thereof ; the restraint and regula- 
tion of runners or solicitors for boats,, vessels, stages, and public 
houses ; the regulation of the police and the appointment of watchmen 
and firemen, and the making and enforcing of rules for their govern- 
ment; the establishment and regulation of public markets; the licensing 
and regulation of butchers' stalls and stands for the sale of game, poul- 
try, butter, fish, and other provisions ; regulating the place and manner 
of weighing and selling hay and of measuring and selling fuel and 
lime ; compelling the removal by the owner or occupant of buildings or 
grounds, from sidewalks, streets, and alleys, of snow, dirt and rubbish, 
and, from any part of his premises, of all such substances as the board 
of health should direct. 

The common council had power to lay out and vacate, to regulate, 
pave, and improve, extend and widen streets and alleys, paying dam- 
ages to be assessed by twelve freeholders. The council was authorized 
to levy annually,, for general ward purposes, on all property, real and 
personal, not exceeding one per centum of its assessed value, and a tax 
of one per cent, on all real estate, exclusive of the value of buildings 
thereon, to be applied in the payment of debts previously contracted by 
the president and trustees of the town of Milwaukee and on behalf of 
the east and west wards, and due and owing on the last day of Decem- 
ber, 1845 ; such tax to continue in the First and Third wards until the 
debts of the East ward should be paid ; and in the Second and Fourth 
wards until the debts of the West ward should be paid ; also a tax not 
exceeding one-quarter of one per cent, of the assessed value of both 
real and personal property, for school purposes in each ward ; and a 
similar tax for the support of the poor, to be levied upon all property 
in the city, collectively; a tax not exceeding one-quarter of one per 
cent, for preserving the health and regulating the police of the city ; 
also a tax not exceeding one-half of one per cent, in each ward for the 
purpose of building and maintaining bridges ; and such further tax for 



county purposes as might be established by the county board of super- 
visors, pro rata with the other towns in the country. A proviso in 
the charter prescribed for such lands in sections 19, 30, 31, and 32, as 
were not used for city purposes nor laid out into city lots, a complete 
exemption from all taxes under the act, save for schools and for poor 
and highway purposes ; an exemption which, however equitable or 
politic, was completely destroyed by the clause in the state constitution 
adopted two years later, which prescribed uniformity of taxation. 

The general approbation of the plan of Lieutenants Center and 
Rose, U. S. Engineers, for opening a harbor north of the mouth of the 
river and nearer to the crown of the bay shore, was testified by section 
2^2 of the charter, which authorized a tax to be levied for that object in 
the First, Second, Third and Fourth wards, if voted by the citizens of 
those wards. Two days' work on the highways, streets, and alleys 
were to be performed by each person liable to that duty under terri- 
torial laws. The assessment roll for each ward was to be made out in 
May of each year by the assessor of the ward, and returned by him to 
the clerk of the city, who was to lay it before the common council. 
That body was to consider, revise, and equalize the assessments, after 
which the taxes were to be levied. The rate per centum on the as- 
sessed value of the estate, real and personal,, was to be determined for 
each ward by the majority of its aldermen, except for the general tax 
and the tax for the payment of ward debts, which were to be fixed by 
the common council, and for the county tax which the county super- 
visors should prescribe. The council and the county supervisors hav- 
ing settled the rates of all the taxes, the clerk was to make out a sched- 
ule of all the property and the taxes chargeable thereon, separating and 
classifying them so that the description of each piece should be followed 
by the several taxes levied upon it, arranged in a book for each ward, 
which was to constitute the tax list. The warrant of the common coun- 
cil to collect the taxes being attached to the list, the whole was to be de- 
livered to the city treasurer, who was to execute it. The tax upon real 
estate, which constituted the great bulk of the whole, was enforced by 
public sales of the several parcels thereof by the treasurer, after six 
weeks' public notice, from which sale the owner might redeem within 
three years on paying the amount of tax with interest at twenty-five 
per cent. \)QX annum. The tax was a lien on the land, charged from the 
time of levy of the tax, and a deed might be claimed on it by the pur- 
chaser at the tax sale after the ]:>eriod of redemption expired. Per- 
sonal property was placed in a separate part of the tax list,, and the 
tax thereon was collected by seizure and sale at auction ujion previous 
notice of six days. 


Money could only be borrowed upon credit of the city by the com- 
mon council when authorized by a vote of two-thirds of the electors 
voting at an authorized election, "who shall have been assessed and 
have actually paid a tax on real and personal estate the year preceding 
such vote, except that a loan might be made in anticipation of the reve- 
nue for the year and not exceeding the amount of the anticipated reve- 
nue."' No ward should be liable for a debt incurred "to promote the 
measures of any other ward." If a loan should be made for general 
city purposes no liability thereof should devolve upon any ward nor on 
the property of citizens thereof, unless a majority of the aldermen of 
such ward should have voted in favor of such loan ; but all those wards, 
the aldermen of which should have voted for the loan should be liable 
in their corporate capacity for the payment of the same in proportion 
to the assessed valuation in each, when the debt should become due. 
Improvements in each ward, the disbursement of corporate funds there- 
in, and the management of its local affairs were placed under the sole 
supervision, direction and control of its aldermen. But these provisions 
were soon found unsuitable for use and were speedily abolished. 

The city authorities were authorized to fund the existing indebt- 
edness of the town of Milwaukee and its east and west wards at a rate 
of interest not exceeding ten per cent, per annum. Suits might be com- 
menced against the city by service of process upon the mayor or clerk. 
Residence within its limits did not thereby render any one incompetent 
to act as judge, justice, witness or juror in suits in which the city was 
a party. 

Fire engine, hook and ladder, and hose companies were provided 
for, each to be composed of not more than forty able-bodied men, be- 
tween the ages of eighteen and fifty, officered and governed in ac- 
cordance with their own by-laws. Membership was to be voluntary 
and gratuitious ; the only rewards being freedom from highway labor 
and military duty. Engine houses, hook and ladder houses, the lots 
upon which they stood, and all fire engines, carriages and fire apparatus 
used by any authorized company were exempt from levy of sale under 
any execution, except in cases where the judgment was for the pur- 
chase price. The council was authorized to impose penalties for viola- 
tions of ordinances in the shape of fines, not exceeding fifty dollars in 
.any one case; and in default of payment might authorize imprisonment 
in the county jail not more than thirty days. 

The above is a summary of the original charter of the city of Mil- 
waukee, stated as briefly as possible. It was amended in 1847, so as to 
make the offices of treasurer, attorney, and marshal, elective instead 
of appointive, and the number of assessors in each ward was increased 


to three. Other changes were made from time to time, and in 1852 a 
substantially new charter was passed by the legislature, under the title 
of "An act to consolidate and amend the act to incorporate the city of 
Milwaukee and the several acts amendatory thereof." This was sub- 
mitted to the electors of the city for their approval, and was adopted 
by them at an election held on the first Monday of February, 1852. This 
new charter enlarged the boundaries of the city somewhat, without in- 
creasing the number of wards, and changed the date of the spring elec- 
tion from the first Monday of April to the first Monday of March in 
each year. The elective officers were mayor, treasurer, marshal and 
police justice elected from the city at large,, and from each ward three 
aldermen, one assessor, one constable and a justice of the peace. The 
terms of office of police justice and of justice of the peace were for two 
years. Two aldermen were to be elected every year in each ward, one 
to serve for one and one for two years, the two elected for two-year 
terms being also members of the county board of supervisors. The 
terms of the other officers mentioned were to be annual. The qualifica- 
tions for suffrage were made to consist in one year's residence in the 
city and ten days in the ward, in addition to the qualifications required 
under the general laws of the state of persons voting for state and 
county officers. The common council was authorized to elect a pres- 
ident, who should preside in the absence of the mayor, and a president 
pro tempore in the absence of the other two. A clerk was to be chosen 
by the council. The duties of the city attorney, treasurer, and marshal, 
were defined ; and the office of city comptroller was created, to be filled 
by the common council, the incumbent to be the financial officer of the 
city and to keep a careful oversight of all contracts entered into for 
public improvements. The council was to have the general control of 
the public funds ; but its authority was limited by provisions intended 
as a safeguard against extravagance in expenditures and in taxation. 
Tiie council was authorized to issue bonds bearing interest at not more 
than seven per cent, in payment of existing indebtedness of the citv and 
of its several wards, contracted for general city or ward purposes. 
Taxes might be levied as follows : A general city tax on all property 
subject to taxation, not exceeding one per cent, for paying off existing 
indebtedness ; a tax not exceeding three-fourths of one per cent, to 
defray current city expenses ; a tax of not over one per cent, in each 
ward, to pay ofif the indebtedness of such ward, which was assumed by 
the city ; and a tax of not over one per cent, in each ward to defray 
the current expenses of the ward. The aldermen in each ward were 
made street commissioners with authority within its limits to direct 
the grading of streets and the construction of sewers, wharves, and 



alleys. The membership in each volunteer fire company was increased 
from fort\- to sevent}-, and exemption from jury duty was added to the 
privileges of the firemen. 

The charter of 1852 required the city to maintain bridges across 
the Milwaukee river at Cherry, Wisconsin, and Ferry streets, and over 
the Menomonee at West Water street; all of which, except the first, 
were to be divided with draws. This number of course has since been 
greatly increased. The offices of city attorney and city comptroller 
were made elective in 1853, and at the same time the office of railroad 
commissioner for each ward was created and made elective. 

Chapter 117 of the local laws of 1858 made important changes in 
the charter. It took from the members of the common council the 
functions of street commissioners, and in their place provided for the 
election of three street commissioners in each ward, to whom was com- 
mitted the supervision of streets, alleys, public grounds, bridges, rivers, 
wharves, sewers, and nuisances. The city comptroller was given super- 
vision over all contracts let. The mayor, comptroller,, and treasurer 
were made commissioners of the sinking fund for the redemption of the 
bonded indebtedness, and taxes in any year for general city purposes, 
not including special taxes, were limited to $175,000. In addition, for 
ward purposes, there might be levied in each year not to exceed $60,- 
000. The ward assessors elected under the charter of 1852 were abol- 
ished and their duties were devolved upon three assessors to be ap- 
pointed by the mayor with the approval of the common council. The 
mayor, treasurer, comptroller, and city attorney, with the assessors, 
constituted the board of review. By this act the office of city marshal 
was also abolished and that of chief of police substituted. The most 
important change made by the act of 1858 was in the constitution of the 
common council, which was divided into two bodies, the board of coun- 
cilors and the board of aldermen. The councilors were elected, two 
from each ward, for terms of two years; the aldermen, one from each 
ward,, were elected annually. The mayor possessed the power of veto, 
which might be overcome by a majority — changed in 1861 to a two- 
thirds vote — of all the members of each board. 

The office of street commissioner was abolished in 1859, and his 
duties laid upon the councilors of the several wards. The power of ap- 
pointing the assessors was taken from the mayor, and one assessor was 
directed to be elected annually in each ward. The mayor was, how- 
ever, still allowed to appoint an officer known as city assessor ; and this 
officer and the ward assessors had places on the board of review. 

The present charter of Milwaukee is the one enacted by the legis- 
lature in 1874, and known as Chapter 184 of the laws of that year, with 


such amendments as have been enacted from time to time since that 
date. At every session prior to 1893, there had been enacted a mass of 
special legislation creative or amendatory of municipal charters, but in 
1 89 1 there was submitted to the people, and adopted by them, an amend- 
ment to the constitution of the state extending the prohibitions against 
special legislation, contained in that instrument, to legislation "incor- 
porating any city, town or village, or to amend the charter thereof." 
, The charter of 1874 abolished the double chamber organization of 
the common council and restored the single chamber of earlier days. 
The elective officers are the mayor, treasurer, comptroller, attorney, 
two aldermen from each ward,, eleven justices of the peace, to each of 
whom a separate district is assigned, and eleven constables, one for 
each of such districts ; the term of office of all these being two years, 
with the exception of the city attorney, whose term is four years. The 
president of the common council and the city clerk are elected by the 
common council ; and the former presides over all of its sessions and be- 
comes acting mayor, in case of the disability of that official. Other 
officers are a board of public works of four members, including the city 
engineer, holding for three years ; a tax commissioner to serve for 
three years ; an assessor for each ward, to serve for two years ; a board 
of commissioners of the public debt of three members, holding for three 
years ; a commissioner of health to serve for four years ; and a board 
of park commissioners of five members, holding for five years ; all of 
whom are appointed by the mayor, with the concurrence of the common 
council. There is also a board of fire and police commissioners of four 
members, serving for four years, whose members are appointed by the 
mayor alone. There is also a school board, composed of two members 
from each ward, who are chosen by the common council on the nomina- 
tion of the aldermen from the several wards and who serve for three 
years. The fire and police departments were placed under a system of 
civil service regulation for the first time in 1885, by an act creating the 
board of fire and police commissioners. 

The following is a list of all who have held the office of mayor of 
the city since its incorporation in 1846, the year given being the time 
of the election of each, and the term of service extending to the year 
given as the time of the election of his successor. 1846 Solomon Ju- 
neau; 1847, Horatio N. Wells; 1848, Byron Kilbourn : 1849, Don A. J. 
Upham ; 1851, George H. Walker; 1852, Hans Crocker; 1853. George 
H. Walker; 1854, Byron Kilbourn; 1855, James B. Cross; 1858, Wil- 
liam A. Prentiss; 1859, Herman L. Page; iSC^o, William Pitt Lynde 
1861, James S. Brown; 1862, Horace Chase; 1863, Edward O'Neill 
1864, Abner Kir1)y; 1865. John J. Tallmadge ; 1867, Edward O'Neill 



1870, Joseph Phillips: 1871,, Harrison Ludington ; 1872, David G. 
Hooker; 1873, Harrison Ludington; 1876, A. R. R. Butler; 1878, John 
Black; 1880, Thomas H. Brown; 1882, John M. Stowell ; 1884, Emil 
Wallber; 1888, Thomas H. Brown; 1890, George W. Peck; 1891, Peter 
J. Somers; 1893. John C. Koch; 1896, William G, Rauschenberger ; 
1898, David S. Rose; 1906, Sherburn M. Becker; 1908, David S. Rose. 
Many of these gentlemen have been given appropriate mention on other 
pages of this work. 

Abner Kirby was, in many respects, one of the most interesting 
pioneers of Milwaukee and was long one of those most widely known 
throughout the Northwest. He was born on April 11, 1818, at Starks, 
Somerset county, Maine. His father was one of the forehanded farm- 
ers of that county, and during his boyhood young Kirby worked on the 
farm and received such instruction as was afforded by the district 
school. While still a boy of less than fourteen years of age he began to 
buy cattle for his father, and about the same time went into logging 
camps, and though too young to chop, he did the cooking. Before he 
was of age he learned the jeweler's trade in Bangor, Me., and at the 
age of twenty-one he opened a watchmaker's and jeweler's shop in 
Skowhegan, where he carried on the business about seven years, and 
until he came West. Soon after his arrival in Milwaukee, on May 18, 
1844, he bought all the lots on Wisconsin and East Water streets lying 
within 200 feet of the northeast corner of those streets, and built on 
that corner a brick building, occupying the ground floor as a jeweler's 
shop for the next ten years. In 1855 he engaged in the lumber busi- 
ness in Milwaukee, and the following year built a saw-mill at Menomi- 
nee, Alich., where he manufactured a large amount of lumber. Be- 
sides his lumber business, for many years he was one of the largest 
vessel owners in Milwaukee, and engaged in the carrying trade for 
many years, continuing in that line until about 1880. He was the first 
to use steam barges on the lakes, and the Cream City was the first 
barge thus equipped. The first meeting in Milwaukee to consider the 
practicability of establishing railroad connection with Waukesha was 
called by him, and he was one of the first subscribers to the stock of the 
company organized for the purpose of building the railroad. As early 
as 1856, with Daniel Wells, Jr., he became owner of the City Hotel, 
afterward known as the Walker House. In 1862 he became sole owner 
and its name then became known as the Kirby House. Mr. Kirby was 
a Democrat of that type which does not allow one to remain long in 
doubt as to his political standing, but his patriotism was as pronounced 
as his politics, and during the continuance of the Civil war he was 
what was known as a war Democrat, and earnestly supported measures 


for the vigorous prosecution of the war. His generosity and geniality 
made him very popular, and in 1864 he was elected mayor of Milwau- 
kee unanimously, there being no candidate opposed to him. One writer 
states that "when he received the telegram from Washington announc- 
ing the surrender of Lee, and the end of the war, he testified his joy 
by issuing an 'edict' announcing these facts, and notifying the citizens 
of Milwaukee that any man found sober that day on the streets of the 
city would be forthwith locked in the city prison." Mr. Kirby died on 
Sept. 21, 1893, at his home on Woodland Court, which he erected some 
years previous to his death. 

John J. Tallmadge, who was identified with Milwaukee from 1855 
to 1873, was one of the most interesting and attractive figures in the 
history of the city. He was born in the town of Calverick, Columbia 
county, N. Y., Jan. 10, 1818, and was educated in the public schools of 
the community in which he was reared. When he was sixteen years 
old he became a clerk in a dry-goods store at Lyons, N. Y., and received 
his early business training in that establishment. When he attained his 
majority be began business for himself with a small stock of goods, but 
after a short time removed to Albany, N. Y., where he engaged in the 
transportation business. Although he had had small opportunity for , 
the study of economic problems, he was a natural student of markets 
and their sources of supply, and in 1848 he shifted his transportation 
agency from Albany to Buffalo. He remained in Buffalo until 1855, 
and then removed to Milwaukee, which had by that time become an im- 
portant receiving station for the east-bound freight of the Northwest. 
So closely did he become identified with the trade and commerce of the 
city and so active was he in promoting its growth and development that 
in 1863 he was chosen president of the chamber of commerce and re- 
elected to the same office the following year. The high order of exe- 
cutive ability which he displayed as president of the chamber of com- 
merce made him the candidate of his party for the mayoralty of Mil- 
waukee in 1865. He had been a Democrat from the time he cast his 
first vote, but he was a "war Democrat" when war issues were to the 
front. His admirable record made him mayor of the city, although his 
party was at that time in the minority,, and he was re-elected at the end 
of his first term. In 1867 he was nominated by the Democratic party 
for governor of Wisconsin, and although he failed of election, so great 
was his personal popularity that he almost wiped out the normal Re- 
publican majority, although Gen. Lucius Fairchild. then one of the 
strongest men in that party, was the candidate against him. Retiring 
from public life after his candidacy for governor of Wisconsin, he de- 
voted himself to his transiiortatinn interests until failinc health com- 



pelled him to retire to his farm in Summit, Waukesha county, where 
he died on Oct. 16, 1873. 

The present Hmits of the city of Milwaukee may be defined as fol- 
lows : Beginning on the shore of Lake Alichigan where it is intersected 
by the quarter section line in section 10 of township 7 north, range 22 
east, running thence west to the northwest corner of the southeast 
quarter of section 12, range 21 east, thence south to the southwest cor- 
ner of the southeast quarter of the same section, thence west to the 
northwest corner of section 13 of the same town and range, thence in a 
southerly direction by an irregular line to the southwest corner of the 
northwest quarter of section 7 of township 6 north, range 22 east; 
thence east to the one-eighth section line running north and south 
through the southwest quarter of section 9, range 22 east ; thence 
south to the south line of said section 9 ; thence east to the east bound- 
ary of Milwaukee county ; thence north to a point due east of the place 
of beginning ; thence west to the place of beginning — the east boundary 
of Milwaukee county being the boundary line between Wisconsin and 
Michigan, and situated in the middle of the lake. The actual territory 
embraced within these limits, not including any portion of the lake, is a 
little less than twenty-five square miles. Politically the city is divided 
into twenty-three wards, and each addition to the original five wards 
has represented an increase both in population and in territory. The 
outer limits of the outer wards are changing from time to time with the 
extension of the city's boundaries and the addition of new territory. 
The population of the city in 1905, according to the state census, was 


All cities have riots, at some time in their history, and Milwaukee 
had her share in 1886, when general and wide-spread restlessness pre- 
vailed throughout the country and the demands of organized labor for 
better wages and shorter hours were attended with scenes of violence 
and collisions with the civil and military authorties in many states. It 
has been well said that "this was the period of strikes and boycotts", 
and it marked the beginning of an era of low prices, occasioned by a 
diminution of the world's gold supply — by which all values are meas- 
ured — from which there was little permanent relief until the mines of 
South Africa and Alaska turned their golden streams into the channels 
of commerce and industry in 1898. At the period of which we write, 
the entire Gould system of railway lines was efifected in the Southwest 
and freight traffic on all lines was at a standstill in Chicago. And it 
could not be expected that a city like Milwaukee, with its many im- 
portant industries and many thousands of laborers, both skilled and un- 


skilled, should escape. The West Milwaukee car shops, the Allis 
works, the rolling mills, the great breweries and hosts of other con- 
cerns became involved in disputes with their men. In some cases the 
employers refused the concessions demanded by their employes, while 
in others they yielded often under practical duress. The organiza- 
tions of the Knights of Labor and of the Trade Unions increased in 
numbers and in importance, stimulated as they were by occasional 
successes and irritated by repeated rebufifs. Strikes were ordered by 
the officers of one organization or the other in factories where there 
was no disagreement between employers and employed, and men who 
were satisfied with their relations with their employers were not per- 
mitted to remain in peace. The tendency to disorder began gradually 
to manifest itself and came to a head suddenly before the full extent 
of the danger was realized, and the beginning of May marked the 
culmination of the trouble. Large bodies of excited men went from 
shop to shop stirring up dissatisfaction, and attacks by mobs upon 
persons and property occurred in a number of instances. On May 3, 
a thousand strikers raided the West Milwaukee car shops of the St. 
Paul railway, and partly by persuasion and partly by show of force, 
induced the 1,400 men at work there to lay down their tools and walk 
out. A large portion of the same body of men made their way down 
the railway tracks to the Allis works, where they were met by em- 
ployes who turned the hose on them and routed them for the time be- 
ing. It was deemed wise by the Allis .management to shut down the 
shops at once and remain closed until they could be assured of efficient 
protection, as the civil authorities seemed unprepared to handle the 
situation. The following day 2,500 men gathered at the Rolling Mills, 
many armed with clubs, but they met with some resistance and were 
at first refused admission into the grounds. Irritated at this, they vir- 
tually made a prisoner of the superintendent and extorted permission 
to confer with the men who were at work. This disturbance resulted 
in summoning the militia, and the Milwaukee battalion was hurried to 
the scene. Others from outside the city were later added to this force. 
The part taken by the National Guard was effective in quelling the 
strikers. Bullets were fired before the trouble was ended, resulting 
in serious wounds and the death of a few laboring men, but the spirit 
of disorder was checked in time to prevent more numerous casualties. 
A special session of the grand jury ended the trouble and a large 
number of indictments were brought in against the principal leaders 
and promoters of the disturbance. One of the most notable trials 
was that of Paul Grottkau, editor of the Arbeiter Zeitung, who was 
indicted and convicted of riot, he having taken part in what was con- 
sidered by the authorities disorderly meetings of striking workmen 


which had ended in riotous attacks on factories whose employes were 
still at work. There were many other indictments and many other 
convictions, and several of these cases reached the supreme court of 
the state before they were finally disposed of. On the first trial of the 
Grottkau case the jury disagreed. The second trial took place in 
April, 1887, and resulted in a conviction, and on May 7 the accused 
was sentenced to confinement in the house of correction at hard labor 
for the term of one year. The case was taken to the supreme court on 
the ground of alleged errors in the proceedings, and while the appeal 
was pending Grottkau gave the security required by law and was 
released from custody after one week's imprisonment. The supreme 
court affirmed the sentence of the lower court and remanded the case 
to the Municipal court to cause the sentence to be executed. The 
record was sent down on March 13,. 1888, and Grottkau was committed 
to the house of correction on April 5, having been at liberty on bail up 
to that time. On May 8 — a year and a day from the date of his 
original sentence — he applied to the circuit court commissioner for a 
writ of habeas corpus and asked to be released from confinement on 
the ground that his term of sentence had expired. The commissioner 
denied the application, and decided that the prisoner must serve out 
the full year in the house of correction. The question was immedi- 
ately carried to the circuit court, which took the opposite view, 
reversing the commissioner's ruling and ordered Grottkau's release 
from custody. He was accordingly set at liberty. Dissatisfied with 
this decision, the attoreny-general of the state took the case to the 
supreme court, which upheld the ruling of the court commissioner 
and decided that the term of sentence did not run while the person 
sentenced was out on bail, pending a review of the sentence in the su- 
preme court. The order of the circuit court was thus reversed ; but 
subsequently, on an application for a rehearing, it was contended on 
behalf of Grottkau that, whether the order of the circuit court was 
right or wrong, he had been lawfully set at liberty and could not, by 
a review and reversal of that order, be returned to imprisonment. 
This contention was based upon the constitutional provision that "no 
person for the same offense shall be twice put in jeopardy of punish- 
ment." This contention was sustained by the supreme court, the re- 
sult of which was that the period of Grottkau's actual confinement 
under his sentence was something less than two months, instead of a 
full year, as contemplated by the municipal court. 


The origin of the present water-works system of Milwaukee is of 
comparatively recent date ; though more than sixty years ago,, the 


need of an abundant supply of pure fresh water arose. Prior to that 
time the supply of water was drawn almost exclusively from pumps, 
affixed to deep wells, and the water was not only cool and pleasant to 
the taste, but, until the town became thickly settled, healthful. Fine 
springs also abounded along- the base of the hills in different parts of 
the city. When the United States Hotel, which was destroyed in the 
great fire of Aug. 24, 1854, was built at the corner of Huron and East 
Water streets, the enterprising proprietor laid mains made from tama- 
rack timber, cut into proper lengths and bored by hand, from the hotel 
to a living spring located on the south side of Wisconsin street, 
midway between Jackson and Van Buren streets. The experiment was 
a decided success, and these primitive water-works furnished the hotel 
with an ample supply of pure water as long as it stood, and were 
utilized by residents along Michigan street for many years. The 
increase of population in the city and the growing importance of her 
thriving industries made imperative the demand for an ample water 
supply, and led to much discussion and many proposed plans. But 
notwithstanding this early and continued agitation of the question, act- 
ual progress toward the desired result was not made until 1872, various 
causes interfering to delay the project. In that year twelve acres at 
the foot of North avenue,, having a water frontage of feet, were 
selected as a site, and buildings were erected. These consisted of an 
engine house seventy by eighty-four feet, a boiler house forty by 
forty-two feet, and a coal shed forty by one hundred feet, all con- 
structed of brick and roofed with iron and slate. The chimney, 150 
feet high, was built apart from the main buildings. From the engine 
house, extending 2,000 feet into the lake, was laid a cast-iron conduit 
with an interior diameter of three feet, and at the outer end a crib 
to protect it was built, and so constructed that the water supply was 
drawn from a depth of some twelve feet below the lake's surface. 
The water-works tower, which enclosed the stand-pipe, was built of 
stone, circular in form, and was erected on an eminence back from the 
other buildings, and is 175 feet high itself. Its summit, which is 
reached by means of winding stairs around the standpipe, is 250 feet 
above the lake. It is a model of architectural skill,, and reflects much 
credit upon its designer, C. A. Gombert, architect, who also planned 
the other buildings. In order to protect the works against the lake 
storms, a fine wharf nearly 600 feet in length was built at great ex- 
pense. The engine house, which was built to accommodate four 
engines, was supplied with two, which were then sufficient to do the 
work required, and these were coupled to one fly wheel, and could be 
operated singly or together. 


The works were in charge of a board of water commissioners 
until Jan. i, 1875, since which time they have been in charge of the 
city engineer and board of pubhc works. Edward O'Neill was presi- 
dent of the water commissioners : Moses Lane, chief engineer ; David 
Ferguson, treasurer ; Mathew Keenan, secretary ; and the membership 
included E. H. Brodhead, George Burnham, Alexander Mitchell, 
John Plankinton, Frederick Pabst, Guido Pfister and James C. 
Spencer. The commission erected temporary pumping works on the 
west side of the river above North avenue bridge, and put a 1,500,000 
gallon pump into operation on Oct. 24, 1873, and let the water from 
the reservoir into the fifty-five miles of water pipes on Nov. 3, 1873. 
On Sept. 14, 1874, the pumping engines at North Point were started, 
a year and seven months from the time ground was broken. The cost 
of the temporary plant, which was abandoned, was $6,067.09. The 
175-foot water tower was finished in 1874. The stand-pipe holds 
12,000 gallons and the top of the pipe is 210 feet above the lake. The 
North Point station, prior to 1908, cost the city $881,295.53, and it 
was considerably enlarged during the past summer. In 1877 a high 
service station was established at Chestnut and Eighteenth streets,, and 
was continued in use from July, 1877, to Sept. 29, 1887. Then a new 
high service station was erected at Tenth street and North avenue, 
and the 3,000,000-gallon pump was moved from the old plant. The 
average head maintained at this station is 220 feet above the datum- 
line. There are now four pumps in the plant of 25,000,000 gallons 
daily total ca^Dacity. The station has cost $183,102.59. At North 
Point there is a machine shop and both the North Point and high 
service stations are lighted with electricity from plants located in the 
buildings. The old intake at North Point was thirt\-six indies in 
diameter and extended 2,100 feet out in the lake. The new intake cost 
$689,948.03 and over a score of lives of workingmen. It is brick, 
seven and one-half feet in diameter, 140 feet below the lake surface and 
3,200 feet long to the crib, from which point two five-foot iron pipes 
extend 5,000 feet out into the lake, making the total length 8,200 
feet. This intake was begun on July 23, 1890, and finished on Sept. 25, 
1895. The construction was in charge of City Engineer George H. 
Benzenberg, for many years the head of the water department, and 
whose progressive policy has been continued with unabated vigor by 
his successor, Charles J. Poetsch. The reservoir, built upon a natural 
hill in Kilbourn park, holds 21,500 gallons and cost $172,339.56. The 
water department keeps the grounds about its stations in fine shape, 
making them parks in fact. It provides excellent bathroom facilities 
in the stations for its employes. It furnishes water to the citizens at 


a very low rate, and fire protection is had at 2,891 hydrants. It is 
in many respects a model municipal utility. It has had the great advan- 
tage of municipal ownership, and its mains reach nearly every corner of 
the city and far beyond the corporation limits in some instances. It 
has tunnels under the rivers to carry its pipes far below the keels of 
ships, and its pumps work ceaselessly day and night, but it has such, 
reserve power that never are all the pumps running at once. Prob- 
ably no department of the city government, say its admirers, has been 
developed to such a high state of efficiency during the past twenty-five 
years as the water department. It pays the interest on its small debt, 
it is claimed, pays for extending its system, and in addition has handed 
over to the general city government nearly $i„ooo,ooo in the past ten 
years. The average daily consumption of water in Milwaukee last 
year was 33,729,944 gallons. The total amount of water pumped in 
1907 was 12,311,429,760 gallons, and sixty-one per cent, of this was 
metered. Every resident is regarded as a consumer of water from the 
municipal water works, and the number of wells is so small that they 
are not taken into account. Water consumers paid the city $531,- 
191.06 last year and the whole income of the water department was 
$650,788.10. The department paid out $511,823.32, the actual cost 
of operation being $198,942.21. One of the big expenses of the 
department was $207,387.25 for construction work in extending the 
system, and the balance on hand was $138,823.32. The city has five 
pumping engines at the North Point station, and they have a daily 
capacity of 66,000,000 gallons. Engine No. 6 is about completed,, and 
this will increase the pumping capacity to 86,000,000 gallons a day. 
This immense capacity is not for Milwaukee alone, but the city supplies 
many of its neighboring municipalities with water. 

Closely allied to Milwaukee's water-works system, and quite as 
essential, is the sewerage system, than which no city can boast a more 
perfect one, and few equally complete and satisfactory. Prior to 
1869, however, the city had no definite plan for sewerage; and although 
the population then numbered 68,000, but little more than three miles 
of sewers had been built. In that year, a general sewerage system 
covering four and a half square miles in the heart of the city, and 
designed 1)\- E. S. Chesbrough, city engineer of Chicago,, was 
adopted. This system has l:!cen extended from time to time and now 
covers the whole area of the city. The sewage was originally emptied 
into the Milwaukee, Menomonee, and Kinnickinnic rivers to be thence 
carried by them into the lake ; but these streams being sluggish and 
also receiving the refuse from factories situated along their banks, the 
water became so polluted as to be made a subject of earnest public 


complaint. Finally, in 1880, a plan was adopted which provided for the 
construction of an intercepting sewer from the lake at a point south of 
the harbor, westward into the packing house district, and the next 
year the work of construction began. But it was a number of years 
before the problem of taking care of the city's sewage and at the same 
time keeping the streams free from pollution was solved. At length, 
however, and in the face of bitter opposition from those who failed to 
see the practicability of the plan, a flushing system was devised to clear 
the rivers of putrid matter. Each year witnesses an extension of the 
sewerage system to meet the growing demands, and it is a matter of 
civic pride that this, like Milwaukee's water-supply system, is equaled 
in completeness and utility by few and surpassed by none. 

For many years the municipal offices of the city of ]\Iil\vaukee 
were for the most part located in the court-house ; but the rapid devel- 
opment of the city and the vast increase of municipal business long 
ago outgrew the limited facilities and space there afforded, and an 
urgent need of a permanent building, in which the business of the 
city's various departments could be transacted and her records be 
preserved, began to be felt. This demand for a substantial and per- 
manent home assumed definite shape in 1893,, when it was decided to 
erect a building that should be in all respects worthy of the city. The 
site selected was the triangular block bounded on the west by East 
Water street, on the north by Biddle and on the east by Market 
street. The building was constructed by Paul Riesen, after plans and 
specifications prepared by Messrs. H. C. Koch and H. J. Esser, and 
it presents an appearance at once substantial, imposing, handsome, 
and unique. The style of architecture is the modern renaissance., 
The heavy foundation rests on over 25,000 piles, which are driven to 
depths sufficient to prevent any material settling of the superstructure. 
The building has a frontage of 330 feet on East Water, 105 feet on 
Biddle, and 316 feet on Market, and is eight stories in height. The 
basement and first two stories are of granite and limestone, and the 
other six stories are of pressed brick and terra cotta. The building 
terminates at the south end in a massive tower, fifty-six feet square 
and rising to the height of 350 feet, and which is built of steel, stone 
and brick. Besides the council chamber, which is 50x100 feet with 
ceiling of thirty feet, on the the seventh floor there is a public hall 
suitable for large assemblages. The building is supplied with nu- 
merous massive vaults, and the interior arrangements throughout have 
been constructed after the most carefully studied plans, with a view to 
convenience, comfort, and artistic efifect, with the result that every- 
thing has been secured that seemingly could be desired. The cost of 


the building was about $900,000, and at the time of its completion it 
was considered the finest public building of its class in the west. 

Prior to their occupancy of the court-house, the city officials had 
various habitations. On what seems to be good authority, it is related 
that the first meetings of the common council of Milwaukee were held 
in the basement of the old Methodist church on Spring street (now 
Grand avenue). These meetings were held immediately after the 
organization of the city government, and a little later the "City 
Fathers" occupied quarters over George F. Oakley's livery stable, 
which occupied a portion of the ground on which the Plankinton 
House has since been built. In 1850 they were driven from these 
quarters by a fire, and were later domiciled in the Martin block, at 
the corner of Wisconsin and East Water streets, and still later in the 
Cross block, at the corner of East Water and Huron streets. The 
Cross block was destroyed by fire in i860, and many valuable city 
records were lost. Immediately thereafter some of the city offices 
were established in what had been known as Market Hall, built in 
Market Square in 1852, to be used as a city market. In 1861, the 
Common Council began holding its meetings in the same building, 
which became known as the old city hall. This building was occupied 
by all the city offices until 1872, when som6 of them were removed to 
the court-house, the others continuing to occupy the quarters until 
the old city hall was torn down to make room for the present city 
hall, which was completed in 1895. 

The first government office established in Milwaukee was the 
postoffice, and the first building for that use was at the corner of East 
Water and Wisconsin streets, which building was owned by Solomon 
Juneau, who was appointed postmaster by President Jackson in Decem- 
ber, 1834. Mr. Juneau's term of service continued from the summer of 
1835,, when his commission reached him, until Aug. 7, 1843. ^is suc- 
cessors have been: 1843 ^"^ 1849, Josiah A. Noonan; 1849 ^o 1851, 
Elisha Staar; a short time in 1851, John H. Tweedy; 1851 to 1853, 
James D. Merrill ; 1853 to 1857, Josiah A. Noonan ; 1857 to 1858, John 
R. Sharpstein ; 1858 to 1861, Mitchell Steever ; in charge for several 
months as special agent in 1861. William A. Bryan; 1861 to 1864, 
John Lockwood; 1864 to 1868, C R. Wells; 1868 to 1870, Henry A. 
Starr; 1870 to 1876, Samuel C. West; 1876 to 1885, Henry C. Payne; 
1885 to 1889, George H. Paul: 1889 to 1894, W. A. No well; 1894 to 
1898, George W. Forth; 1898 to 1906, Ellicott R. Stillman : and the 
present incumbent. David C. Owen, who received his commission in 
1 906. 

Shortly after the ofiice was established in Milwaukee it was re- 

THE KE"f. ... 










moved from its first location to Mr. Juneau's store, which stood on 
the site of the present Pabst building. It was removed from that place 
to a building erected specially for it by Mr. Juneau, on Wisconsin 
street, where the First National Bank now stands. When Mr. Noonan 
assumed the duties of the office, in 1843, ^^ moved it to the City Hotel 
m the corner of Mason and East Water streets, and afterward changed 
it to John H. Tweedy's block on Wisconsin street, whence it was moved 
by Mr. Merrill to the northwest corner of Mason and East Water 
streets, where it remained until the government building, at the north- 
west corner of Wisconsin and Milwaukee streets, was finished and 
taken possession of on Jan. i, 1859. This building gave ample accom- 
modations for transacting the business necessary at that time, but with 
the phenomenal growth of the city and the enlargement of the de- 
mands upon the postoffice, to meet the urgent need the United States 
government decided upon a new building. In 1888, a bill was intro- 
duced in Congress by Hon. Isaac W. Van Schaick, and the same was 
passed, making an appropriation of $1,200,000 for the purpose, which 
amount,, with the $235,000 for which the old building and site were 
sold, gave an available building fund of $1,435,000. The site of the 
building is the block bounded by Wisconsin, Jackson, Michigan, and 
Jefiferson streets, and was secured at a total cost of about $400,000. 
Work was commenced in March, 1893. The building is four stories 
in height above the basement and covers an area of 210 feet square. 
Wisconsin granite is used in the walls of the basement story and Maine 
granite in the stories above. The style of architecture is the modern 
renaissance, being a combination of various styles, at once ornamental, 
substantial, and impressive. A chief architectural feature is the mas- 
sive tower, rising on the Wisconsin street side to a height of 244 feet. 
On this side also is the main entrance, reached through a spacious 
portico, whose broad arches and ornate balustrade are supported by 
massive polished marble and carved granite columns, and to which 
leads broad, gradually-rising granite steps. In the center of the build- 
ing is an area about 100 feet square, from the top of the first story up- 
ward, covered with glass. The building throughout is finished and 
furnished after the most approved style, and gives the government's 
postal service and other offices in Milwaukee a home commensurate 
with their importance and dignity, and it is also worthy of the city. 


Milwaukee has a park system almost unrivalled. It consists of 
974 acres, scattered through fifteen of the twenty-three wards of the 


city, and there is not a man, woman or child Hving in any part of Mil- 
waukee who cannot reach an open space of grass, water and fresh air 
in a five minutes' walk from home. And most of the park lands have 
been purchased by the city within the last quarter century. Previous 
to 1889 Milwaukee had a park system consisting of little triangles, odd 
corners and patches — so small that they looked like specks on the map 
of the city — aggregating about fifty-nine acres, which shows that 
within the last twenty years over one and one-quarter square miles has 
been added. It was in 1889 that Milwaukeeans awoke to a realization 
that the city needed parks. Long before that time the court-house 
square, the First ward park, the Fourth ward park, Kilbourn, Juneau, 
Walker, Waterworks, Flushing Tunnel,, Clarke and Grand avenue parks, 
as well as the triangles at Lincoln street and First and Chicago avenues, 
and at Mitchell street, Kinnickinnic avenue, and Clinton street had been 
donated to the city ; and these, eleven in number, still remain under 
the direction of the proper officials. Four of them are sufficiently 
large and pretentious to be properly called parks, and these are : Kil- 
bourn Park (twenty-nine and sixteen one-hundredths acres), some 
five acres of which were donated by the late Byron Kilbourn. This 
fine park surrounds the water reservoir in the Thirteenth ward, the 
park itself being partly in that ward and partly in the Sixth. The 
park has fine trees and shrubbery, with flower beds, an excellent 
driveway and gravel walks. The reservoir, with its placid sheet of 
water elevated high in the air, is in itself a feature of great beauty. 
The walks on top of this reservoir afiford a splendid view of the city. 
Juneau Park contains thirteen and seventy-five one-hundredths acres. 
This is situated on the lake front, extending with varying breadth from 
Wisconsin street to Juneau avenue, exactly half a mile. It has no trees, 
but it is ornamented with flower beds, a grotto, a bridge, a high liberty 
pole, gravel walks, and toward the north two statues, one of Solomon 
Juneau and the other of Lief Erickson, this latter being a replica of 
Miss Whitney's Boston statue. The Flushing Tunnel Park (between 
six and eight acres, and constantly growing larger by the accretion 
of land made by the lake) is situated around and above the flushing 
tunnel works. The buildings of the works, situated below the bluti*, 
and a driveway proceeding down to the beach from LaFayette Place, 
arc l)ordered with grass and tlowcr beds. The Waterworks Park 
contains four and seventy-five one-hundredths acres. This lovely 
park in Uie Eighteenth ward is situated around and above the chief 
pumping works, which are situated so 1(t\v down that they are nearly 
out of sight frc^m the upper portion of this park, which is eighty 
feet above the lake and contains the water tower surrounded by shrub- 
bcrv and lawns. 


As above stated, these four are the only ones sufficiently large in 
extent to deserve the name of parks, and the seven which we will 
now mention are in reality only ornamental city squares. They are : 
Grand Avenue Park (about one acre), which is in reality only a broad 
grass plot ornamented with handsome flower beds and a statue of 
Washington, donated by Aliss Plankinton. It extends on Grand 
avenue from Ninth to Eleventh streets, the driveway being on each 
side. Court-House Square (one and ten one-hundredths acres) is in 
front of the court-house in the Seventh ward, and contains some of 
the finest old trees in the city. A handsome fountain ornaments it. 
Walker and Clark parks (each two and ten one-hundredths acres) are 
both situated in the Eighth ward and are partially improved with grass, 
fountains and some flowers. Fourth Ward Park (one and one-half 
acres) is in front of the St. Paul railroad station and is improved with 
grass plots, trees, walks, etc. The handsome Emergency Hospital, 
the site of which was donated by John Johnston, occupies the north 
side of this square,, opposite the station. First Ward Park, containing 
three-fourths of an acre, is situated at the head of Prospect avenue 
in the triangle formed by the junction of the avenue with Franklin 
street. It contains fine trees, flower beds and a handsome fountain. 
This little but delightfully situated park was donated to the city by the 
late James H. Rogers. Lincoln Park, containing five and nine one- 
hundredths acres, is in the Eighteenth ward, and with Fifth Ward 
Park completes the list up to 1889. 

Prior to the year named there was no park board, and the only 
way Milwaukee had of getting parks was by donations from generous 
citizens. In that year, however,. Christian Wahl, Louis Auer, Moses 
H. Brand, and Theobald Otjen, headed the movement which was to 
result in the establishment of the present park system. Together with 
other prominent Milwaukee business men, these gentlemen urged the 
passing of the bill by which the city was enabled to purchase, main- 
tain, and govern park lands. But unfortunately the law was so drawn 
up that Milwaukee had no jurisdiction beyond the city limits. More- 
over, the city was confined to the territory north of North avenue and 
south of the Menomonee river, making it impossible to obtain land on 
the West side. But the act permitted Milwaukee to issue bonds to the 
amount of $100,000 for parks within the prescribed territory. It was 
provided that the park board should consist of five members, and 
Mayor Thomas H. Brown appointed on the first board Christian 
Wahl, Calvin E. Lewis, Charles Manegold, Jr., Louis Auer, and John 
Bentley. Mr. Wahl, the father of the park system, was chosen chair- 
man of the board. In 1890 the board bought 124 acres of what is 


now Lake Park. The same year, twenty-four acres, constituting 
Riverside Park and twenty-five acres of Mitchell Park were purchased. 
John L. Mitchell gave a tract of five acres adjoining, the following 
year, and the park was named in his honor. It was not rounded out 
until 1900, when the city purchased from the Wisconsin Fire Insur- 
ance bank twenty-eight acres adjoining the old park. In the spring 
of 1906 five more acres was added on the south side. This piece was 
transferred to the city by the Milwaukee Southern Railway Company 
in accordance with a franchise given to the company by the city. In 
lieu of this tract the company was to get a strip sixty-sixfeet wide off the 
northern end of the park for right-of-way, provided that the railroad 
was built within the city limits and over the strip conditionally trans- 
ferred to the Milwaukee Southern within three years of the granting 
of the franchise. The company has some time yet in which to com- 
plete the work, otherwise the strip reverts to the city. Mitchell Park 
now contains fifty-eight acres. 

•Kosciusko Park in the Fourteenth ward, between Lincoln avenue 
and Beecher street, and Fifth and Second avenues, another late 
acquisition, contains thirty-seven acres, twenty-six of which were pur- 
chased in 1890. The remainder was bought in 1902. The Seventeenth 
ward, or what was formerly Bay View, has Humboldt Park, contain- 
ing forty-six acres, purchased in 1890. It answers truly a great need 
on the South side and is located between Oklahoma avenue and Idaho 
street extension, and Howell and Logan avenues. 

Two years after the passing of the first park commission law, 
an amendment was passed giving the city the right to purchase park 
lands anywhere in Milwaukee county. A supplementary act provided 
for the issuing of bonds, in the sum of $150,000, of which amount one- 
third was to be used for buying park lands on the West side. The 
amended law of 1891 authorized the park commission to lew an 
annual tax of not to exceed a half-mill to be used for the maintenance 
and improvement of the park system. The method which has pre- 
vailed in the purchasing of park lands makes the council the only 
body authorized to buy the land, while the park commission is the 
controlling body which sanctions and recommends the purchases. 

One of the latest and perhaps the most important acquisition of 
the commission is Washington Park, also known as the West Park, 
the last section of which was acquired in 1902. The park now con- 
tains 148 acres, and includes an artificial lake and the zoological 
garden. Like most of the other parks it is well covered with trees 
and may quite appropriately be called the children's park. It is located 
in the Nineteenth ward and is bounded on the south by Vliet street. 


on the north by Pabst avenue, on the west by Forty-seventh street, and 
on the east by a hne 100 feet west of Fortieth street. Sherman Park 
in the Twenty-second ward was bought in the early nineties. It con- 
tains twenty-four acres and Hes between Sherman boulevard and 
Forty-first street. In 1898 the city turned over to the park board a tri- 
angular piece of four acres in the Eighteenth ward, known as Lincoln 
Park, which has been heretofore mentioned, and which lies near Mary- 
land and Bradford avenues. 

All the park lands of the city acquired prior to 1889 and amount- 
ing to fifty-nine acres, are not under the control of the park commis- 
sion, but all of the land bought since then, aggregating in 1907 the 
amount of 530 acres, is ruled over by the commission of five. For 
some years prior to 1907 the commission had been slack in acquiring 
additional lands, but the annexing of the tract of 180 acres, known 
as the Lindwurm farm, in that year, made up for the delinquency. 
Besides the Lindwurm farm, in 1907, the city also bought the Reynolds 
tract of eighty acres ; the Gordon place, opposite Riverside Park and 
east of the Milwaukee river ; the Baker tract of a little more than two 
acres in the Twentieth ward, near the North Division high school 
building; seven acres adjoining the Twentieth district school on Bur- 
leigh and Twenty-fourth streets, and a one and a half-acre piece in the 
Twenty-first ward adjoining the ward school. The entire amount of 
park lands purchased during the year 1907 aggregates 285 acres, 
making the total park lands of Milwaukee 816 acres, and the city 
obligated itself for $434,422.75, which added to $1,338,982.45, the 
amount of the purchases up to 1907, makes $1,773,405.20, the entire 
amount of money spent by the city for the purchase of park lands, 
nearly all of which has been expended in the last twenty years. It 
can be a matter of great pride to Milwaukee that the total indebted- 
ness of the city for park lands at the beginning of the present year 
was only $859,737.90. 

Milwaukee parks compare favorably with those of other cities, and 
it is doubtful whether the sunken garden of Mitchell Park is excelled 
by any other park landscape features in the Northwest. Its sloping 
sides, covered with roses of varied colors in fancy designs, extend to 
the graveled walk around the lily pond, where all the water lilies 
which thrive in this climate grow. Humboldt Park has both an open 
and a closed pavilion, a children's pavilion, a boat house and a refresh- 
ment stand. Lake Park has one of the prettiest golf courses in the 
state. The pavilion there shelters hundreds of people and at the ter- 
minus of the street railway is a station. There is also a pavilion for 
children. During the summer band concerts are given in Lake, 


Washington, Mitchell, Kosciusko, Humboldt,, and Riverside parks. 
During the winter season the park board keeps the ice on the ponds 
in Riverside, Washington, Kosciusko, Humboldt, and Mitchell parks 
in the finest condition for skating. The two animal houses in Wash- 
ington park, as well as the individual outside cages, have recently been 
built, the new animal house being one of the most up-to-date in the 
whole country, and the eagles' cage is said to rank with the best. The 
park board has wisely seen fit to leave Humboldt Park alone to a large 
extent, and in this spot a Milwaukee visitor may have a glimpse of 
some of the typical virgin forest. 

In the summer of 1907 the council created the Metropolitan com- 
mission of eleven members, selected from among Milwaukee's repre- 
sentative men, to plan for the improvements and extensions of the 
park and boulevard system. At the end of three years from the date 
of its appointment the commission is to report to the park commission 
and the council. A definite plan of action in the purchase of park lands, 
the laying of boulevards and driveways is expected. The park board 
has numerous plans for the immediate future, such as terracing of the 
slope to the lake in Lake Park. It is planned to build a grand stair- 
way from the pavilion to the beach, while walks are to be laid down 
the slope and arbors are to be built. The board contemplates opening 
a lake shore drive from the foot of Mason street to Flushing Tunnel 
Park, along a levee built on crib work out in the lake,, making a lagoon 
between the driveway and the mainland, and thence to Lake Park along 
the beach. The board has under consideration also the establishment 
of children's playgrounds all over the city, so that these places of sport 
may be even more accessible to the youngsters than the parks. Lake, 
Kosciusko, Washington, Humboldt, and Mitchell parks have chil- 
dren's playgrounds, and Baker's tract is primarily intended for a field 
for sports. 

There are ten patrolmen on the pay-roll of the park commission, 
and the personnel of the board is as follows : Daniel Erdmann, presi- 
dent; August Rebhan, Henry Weber, Alfred C. Clas, and August M. 
Gavin, with F. P. Schumacher, secretary. Charles G. Carpenter, expe- 
rienced in landscape gardening and park management, is superin- 
tendent of the public parks. 


"The poor ye have always with you." This indictment of the 
social system which existed nineteen hundred years ago is equally 
applicable to that of the Twentieth century, and ^lilwaukee is no excep- 



tion to the universal rule in these later days. But the benevolence of 
the city's more prosperous population in the support of the great num- 
ber of charitable organizations for the aid of the unfortunate ones 
who are unable to keep the wolf from the door, is one of the things of 
which the Cream City may well be proud. Nearly all of the 180 
churches of Milwaukee have auxiliary societies, composed mostly of 
the women of the church, which deal more or less with charitable 
work, and there are numerous asylums and homes within the city. 
The municipality and the county, with poor departments, contribute 
largely to the succor of the poor, and besides there is the Associated 
Charities, which is perhaps the largest single agency for the relief 
of the financially distressed. 

The first meeting for organized charity ever held in Milwaukee 
was held on Oct. 30, 1847, i" response to a call issued in the city 
papers, at the school-house on the corner of Jefferson and Mason 
streets, on the site now occupied by the Layton x\rt Gallery. Those 
present formed themselves by resolution into a benevolent society for 
the relief of the poor and the destitute within the city. The first 
officers of the society were Mrs. G. P. Hewitt, president; Mrs. M. B. 
Taylor, vice-president, and Mrs. Eliphalet Cramer,, treasurer. This 
was a season of great business depression, when men were out of work, 
and their families suffering for the necessaries of life, as a consequence 
of this lack of employment. The society was maintained by donations 
and subscriptions. At the annual meeting in 1850 the secretary re- 
ported that a liberal grant of $500 from the city for the foundation 
of an orphan asylum had been made. The establishment of this insti- 
tution became a subject of much discussion, and different plans were 
proposed and advocated by Catholics and Protestants. Finally two 
institutions were decided upon, the Protestants renting a small house 
on Van Buren street, engaging a matron to take charge of it; and the 
Catholics, under the direction of Right Rev. J. M. Henni, established 
St. Rose's Female Orphan Asylum, which has ever since been one of 
the notable institutions of the city. A report submitted by the officers 
of the society on Jan. 4, 1850, states that the orphan asylum had been 
established and a constitution had been prepared and adopted, the 
constitution being that which still governs the organization and the 
conduct and management of the institution, a few necessary changes 
having been made therein. The board, containing sixteen members, 
was organized that year,, with Mrs. Hewitt as president, Mrs. Elisha 
Eldred, vice-president, and Mrs. McVicar, treasurer. At the expira- 
tion of a month after this organization was affected a house was 
rented, a matron was engaged, and nine children were gathered into 


the asylum. The main support of the asylum for a number of years 
were the receipts of an annual fair, but it finally became difficult to 
raise money in this way and the managers pledged themselves to raise 
funds by their own individual efforts in addition to a system of street 
collections. This system became fairly successful, and the institution 
has been maintained with the funds thus collected. Mrs. William P. 
Young gave a lot of ground situated on Marshall street to the asylum 
in 1 85 1, and at a quarterly meeting in 1852 it was decided to erect 
a building. At the annual meeting in December, 1853, the sum of 
$830 was reported as collected and work on the building was com- 
menced. The quarterly meeting in January, 1854, found the basement 
and first story finished and the family of orphans occupying the same, 
and in 1854 the treasurer reported that the sum of $3,408 had been 
expended, and formal possession was taken of the building. This was 
afterward sold and the house of Wallace Pratt, on the corner of 
Juneau avenue on the lake shore, was purchased at auction and used 
until 1873. This building was from time to time enlarged and im- 
proved, until the city gave to the institution five acres of land, upon 
which the present commodious and handsome building, known as the 
Milwaukee Protestant Orphan Asylum, was erected with funds realized 
from the sale of the other building and some borrowed money. The 
present building is very satisfactory and convenient and most admira- 
bly suited for its purpose. 

The Home for the Friendless, now located at 378 \ an Ikiren 
street, had its origin in the kindly impulses and sympathetic hearts of 
Chief of Police Beck and a few ladies, who felt that a place of tem- 
porary shelter should be provided for the women and children who 
might otherwise be compelled to seek the cold charity of a police sta- 
tion. This movement was started in 1868, before any of the numerous 
institutions, which have since relieved the home of a share of its 
burdens, had come into existence. Among the ladies who founded 
this worthy charity was Mrs. H. H. Button. In the beginning they 
labored under many difficulties, but finally succeeded in throwing o])en 
the doors of a temporary refuge for women and children in 1868. It 
is supported by the generous donations and subscriptions of the people 
of Milwaukee. 

Among the most notable charitable institutions where destitute 
people are cared for in the city are : The Milwaukee Protestant 
Home for the Aged. Mrs. E. J. Lindsay president. Downer and Brad- 
ford avenues ; Home for the Aged, conducted by the Little Sisters of 
the Poor at Twentieth and Wells streets ; Home for the Friendless, 
378 \'an Burcn street; Lutheran Home for Feeble Minded and Epilep- 



tics, 1385 Humboldt avenue; Milwaukee Protestant Orphans' Asylum, 
Mrs. C. H. Watson president. East North and Prospect avenues; St, 
John's Home for Old Ladies, Mrs. William Wettig president, 640 
Cass street; St. Rose's Orphan Asylum, Lake Drive and East North 
avenue; St. Vincent Orphan Asylum, Greenfield and Third avenues; 
St. Aemilianus Orphan Asylum, Archbishop S. G. Messmer, presi- 
dent; Wisconsin Industrial School for Girls, Lake Drive and Downer 
avenue; Catholic Boys' Home, Joseph Crowley president. South 
Pierce and Twenty-fifth streets ; the Milwaukee House of Mercy, E. 
J. Lindsay president ; the Boys' Home Industrial School of St. Francis, 
and several others. Each of these has its special form of charity 
and all are doing a great amount of good. 

When adversity overwhelms them and gnaws their vitals to the 
point where their pride can no longer keep them away from seeking 
help to tide them over, it is to the Associated Charities that the city's 
poor people go. The watchword of this organization is to "Help 
people to help themselves." The Associated Charities works in per- 
fect co-operation with the police department, the city and county poor 
offices, the district attorney's office, the various homes and other insti- 
tutions, and with the benevolent societies and church auxiliaries. It 
has established three branches of its own : the Mission Band, having 
for its field the North and East sides of the city ; the Charity Union, 
with the West side for its field, and the Industrial Band,, operating 
on the South side. These branches are composed of kind-hearted, 
public-spirited women. The Associated Charities began on Jan. i, 

1882, when a little group of men and women organized it in the old St. 
Paul's church that stood at the corner of Jefferson and Mason streets. 
The first president was James G. J. Campbell,, and Howland Russell, 
now vice-president, was its first secretary. F. G. Bigelow was the first 
treasurer and was re-elected for the twelve succeeding terms. Begin- 
ning without an agent, the work of the Associated Charities grew to 
such an extent in a few months that in June of the following year 
Gustav Frellson was appointed agent, and he has been its agent ever 
since. He was connected with the police department prior to June 7, 

1883, when he began his work as charities agent. In the fall of the 
same year the society was incorporated under the Wisconsin laws. 
The Associated Charities was the pioneer organization dealing wholly 
with relief work in Milwaukee. Prior to that time the relief work of 
the city had depended on the county poor list, the church aid societies, 
and individual alms-giving. The Associated Charities systematized 
charitable work so that imposition by professional mendicants was im- 
possible. The agent has a complete record of every case handled from 


the beginning of the work, and until Feb. 25, 1908, there had been 
39,919 cases handled. 

All families found deserving arc furnished with necessary fuel, 
food, and clothing; abandoned wives and children are looked after; 
reconciliations between estranged couples are efifected ; erring husbands 
are brought to justice. Encouragement is given by advice and help; 
the despondent are stimulated to renewed effort ; disheartened ones 
are reimbursed with ambition and self-respect. Nurses and medical 
care are furnished in cases of illness ; employment is obtained for men 
and boys. It is through the work of the Charities that begging on the 
streets and in business houses has been largely wiped out, and im- 
posters prosecuted. The society has done valiant service in preventing 
children from becoming charges upon society, and through its efiforts 
the Investigation and Protection Bureau was established, which is 
now saving Milwaukee citizens thousands of dollars annually from all 
sorts of fraudulent solicitors. During the year 1907 the number of 
subscribers nearly doubled, and there are now more than 800, the sub- 
scriptions varying from $6,000 to $10,000. The officers and directors 
are : William Lindsay, president ; Rowland Russel, vice-president ; 
Robert Camp, treasurer ; Fred W. Rogers, secretary ; Mrs. H. W. 
Johnson, registrar; G. Frellson, agent; and E. W. Frost, the Rev. C. 
H. Beale, James P. Brown, A. W. Rich, the Rev. William Austin 
Smith,, J. Mills Campbefi, Archbishop Messmer, T. W. Buell, Edward 
Bradley, the Rev. P. B. Jenkins, Charles B. Weil, Clarence H. Young, 
Albert Heath, and William G. Bruce, directors. 

Among other general relief associations, all of which, however, 
more or less co-operate with the Associated Charities, are the Women's 
House to House Charity, Mrs. M. Falbe, president; the United 
Jewish Charities, Hebrew Relief Association ; Jewish Widows' and 
Orphans' Society, Federated Jewish Charities of Milwaukee, Milwau- 
kee Rescue Mission, Deaconess' Aid Society, and the Deutsche Gesell- 
schaft, with a score of branches. 

The hospital accommodations of Milwaukee are abundant. The 
first step taken toward establishing a permanent hospital was in 
1848, when a small building was erected by the Sisters of Charity to 
provide accommodations for cholera patients. It was located on the 
corner of Jackson and Oneida streets, and called St. John's Infirmary. 
Sister Felicita Dellone, from St. Joseph's, Emmitsburg, Md.. com- 
menced the good work, which was at first supported by charity. In 
January,, 1857, the city donated three acres of land to the Sisters of 
Charity for the purpose of building and maintaining thereon a hos]iital, 
now known as St. Mary's. It is a well organized and useful institu- 



tion, largely upported by paying' patients, but it has from time to time 
received appropriations from the state treasury. In 1863, Dr. W. A. 
Passavant. a Lutheran clergyman then resident in the city, interested 
himself in organizing a hospital. It Avas established in 1864 under the 
guardianship of the Institution of Protestant Deaconesses, and has had 
for its directors and patrons many of the leading citizens of Milwaukee. 
The hospital is governed by a board of visitors, who are elected by 
the life patrons, and at present Rev. H. L. Fritschel is the general 
director, and Martha Gensike the directing sister. It is a popular 
institution and its numerous beneficiaries attest its usefulness. St. 
Joseph's Hospital, under the care of the Sisters of St. Francis, was 
dedicated and opened for the reception of patients in 1883. There are 
no "free beds," but many charity patients are cared for. In 1888, the 
Elms Hospital was opened, devoted exclusively to the treatment of 
surgical diseases of women, and the same year the Emergency Hospital 
was established. It was maintained at first by voluntar}^ contribu- 
tions, but after a short time the city assumed its support, and in 1892, 
John Johnston donated a piece of land on Sycamore street for the use 
of an emergency hospital, providing the city erected a suitable build- 
ing upon it within two years. This was done, and the institution is 
now known as the Johnston Emergency Hospital. It is governed by 
a board of trustees, who are nominated by the mayor, the Commis- 
sioner of Health being ex-officio a member. It is a well equipped 
hospital, provided with all necessary appliances, and the staff is 
selected from among well-known physicians and surgeons, resident in 
the city. As the name implies, it is used only for cases of emergency. 

The Lake Side General Hospital was organized in 1891 through 
the instrumentality of Drs. F. E. Walbridge and Ralph Chandler. 
One feature of the hospital is that only trained nurses can be employed 
to care for the patients. It is managed by a board of directors, who 
are elected by the stockholders, and it ranks among the very best 
hospitals in the city. In 1894, some ladies of Milwaukee, realizing 
the necessity for a children's hospital, founded an institution for their 
care and treatment. In addition to those named above there are in the 
city the Hanover Hospital, on Hanover street at the northeast corner 
of Madison ; the Knowlton, at 830 Sycamore, and of which Miss O. R. 
Knowlton is superintendent; the Milwaukee Maternity Hospital, at 
424 Vliet street; Mt. Sinai Hospital, a Jewish institution of which 
Mrs. M. A. Hardaker is matron; and the Post Graduate Hospital, at 
603 Milwaukee street. 

. Thus it will be seen that the people of Milwaukee have by charitN 
or otherwise made ample provision for the sick and suffering among 


them, and the hospitals are well supplied with the requisites de- 
manded by modern sanitary science, being- in these respects fully 
abreast of the time. And besides the reguarly established hospitals 
there are a number of asylums, houses of refuge, industrial schools 
for boys and girls, homes for the aged and the friendless ; for the 
wayward, for infants, for foundlings, and for orphans ; there are also, 
as have been enumerated, several benevolent aid societies and asso- 
ciations largely maintained by the charity of citizens, and designed 
to care for the infirm, the destitute, the struggling, the fallen ; to 
clothe the naked, feed the hungry, and bind up the wounds of the 

NATIONAL soldier's HOME. 

Although not strictly a Milwaukee institution, and not altogether 
one of charity — what the soldier gets is his by right — the National 
Soldier's Home is one of the things which justly merits local pride. 
The United States is foremost among the nations of the earth in car- 
ing for its needy former soldiers. The home which it established here 
was the direct outgrowth of a movement inaugurated by the benevolent 
and patriotic women of this city for the purpose of extending aid to sol- 
diers. These women are generally credited with originating the idea of 
a home for disabled soldiers, and not only with originating but also 
with putting it into practical operation. Matthew Keenan was a po- 
tent factor in securing the location of the home here and it is said to 
have been the first one of its kind established by the National gov- 
ernment. It was located in the town of Wauwatosa, west of the Mil- 
waukee city limits and comprises 400 acres of land. Accommodations 
are provided for more than 2,500 soldiers and here where the beauties 
of nature are enhanced by the skill of the landscape artist the inhabi- 
tants of the home may spend their declining years in peace, 

"Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife." 


Milwaukee has always had a reasonably good fire department, 
and has generally managed well in providing securities against loss 
by fire. But of course the city has had frequent visits from the fire 
fiend. Prior to 1845 there had been numerous small blazes, but it 
was on Monday morning, April 7, of that year, that the first fire of 
note occurred. It originated in a small store on the west side of East 
Water street, between Michigan and Huron. Some thirty buildings 
were destroyed, among which was the Harriman House, formerly the 
Cottage Inn. 







The most disastrous fire that up to that time had visited the city 
occurred on Aug. 24, 1854, after a drought of six weeks had pre- 
vailed and everything" was parched and dry. The flames were first 
seen darting from Davis' Hvery stable on Main (now Broadway) 
street, in the rear of the old United States Hotel ; thence they were car- 
ried by a strong wind northward and westward, and another livery 
stable, and the Tremont House and barns were soon in ruins. Other 
buildings followed in quick succession and in two hours the entire 
block bounded by East Water, Huron, Main, and Michigan streets 
was a mass of smouldering ruins. Then leaping across East Water 
street the flames attacked the stores of Bosworth & Son, Haney & De- 
Bow, and J. Gardiner, which establishments were soon destroyed in 
spite of the heroic efforts that were made to save them. The men 
of the Milwaukee fire department were well-nigh exhausted, the entire 
membership having been called into action, when their courage was 
revived by the appearance on the scene of a large force from Racine, 
who had come in response to a telegram from Mayor Kilbourn. The 
losses in this fire aggregated $381,000,, with insurance, amounting to 

The Milwaukee House, the second wooden hotel erected in Wis- 
consin, and which was built in the spring of 1836 by Solomon Juneau 
and Morgan L. Martin, was burned on Dec. 23, 1855. It was located 
on the northwest corner of Broadway and Detroit streets, and at the 
time of the fire was kept by Theodore Wettstein. A fire that is sadly 
remembered, on account of the burning of five young men, was the 
burning of J. B. Cross' five-story block, at the northeast corner of 
East Water and Huron streets, on Dec. 30, i860, and which caused to 
the owner of the building a loss of $40,000. Except that of the treas- 
urer, all the city ofiices were in this building at the time, and city 
records valued at $500,000 were destroyed. Another peculiarly sad 
calamity was the burning of the Gaiety Theatre on the night of Nov. 
15, 1869. During a sword combat in one of the scenes of the drama 
that was being enacted,, a kerosene lamp was broken and the burning 
oil ignited the scenery. A large audience crowded the hall on the 
occasion, and when the flames spread with lightning-like rapidity a 
panic was caused among the people who were attempting to get out 
of the building. The wildest confusion reigned, two lives were lost, 
and many persons were seriously burned or otherwise injured. Other 
notable fires which occurred while the city was dependent, in whole 
or in part, upon its volunteer fire department for protection, was the 
burning of Rice's Theatre in 1853; of Albany Hall in 1862; of St. 
James' church in 1872; of the Juneau school building in 1873; of the 
Blatz brewery in 1873, and of the House of Correction in 1874. 


Early in the history of the embryo city it was deemed advisable 
to provide for some means to stay the progress of such fires as might 
from time to time break out in the village, and thus the Volunteer 
Fire Department had its beginning in 1837. In that year a hook and 
ladder company was organized, and among the members thereof were 
such men as Alexander Mitchell, Rufus Parks, Lewis J. Higby, 
Elisha Starr, Benjamin Edgerton, F. C. Pomeroy, A. O. T. Breed, 
Albert Fowler, George D. Dousman, and John Pixley, all of whom 
were young men who became widely known in later years. Benjamin 
Edgerton became the first foreman of the company and T. C. Pomeroy 
was its first secretary. By dint of much solicitation, the department 
succeeded, in 1839, in obtaining for its use the hand engine which be- 
came known as "The Neptune," which was considered at that time 
a great acquisition, and which later did good service on more than one 
occasion. There were three fire companies in existence at the time 
of the incorporation of the city in 1846, and each company was uni- 
formed and pretty well equipped for that period, the members of each 
taking pride in their organization. A joint organization of the com- 
panies had been efifected in 1845, '^^^^ they assumed the name and dig- 
nity of a fire department, with Capt. L. H. Cotton as chief engineer, 
and Gideon Hewitt as assistant chief. An ordinance was passed soon 
after the incorporation of the city, under which ordinance a chief 
engineer and three assistants were elected, and five fire wardens — one 
for each ward — were appointed. The first officials thus charged with 
the conduct and management of the city fire department were Gideon 
Hewitt, chief engineer; N. Dewey, Herman Haertel, and William 
Brown, first, second, and third assistants, respectively ; and James 
Bonnel, J. D. Butler, Levi Hubbell. Harvey Birchard, and David 
Merrill, fire wardens. But is was not until 1874 that the full pay fire 
department came into existence, although for a dozen years prior to 
that time the department had what was termed a half pay system, 
under which its members followed such occupations as they chose 
during the day, and were required to be on duty as firemen only at 

The Newhall House fire, which occurred on Jan. 10, 1883, should 
be mentioned among the conflagrations, as it was so dreadful in its 
consequences as to leave a lasting impress upon the history of the city. 
When the flames were first discovered, at 4 o'clock on the morning of 
the fated day, they had gained such headway that it was useless to 
attempt to save the building, and the energies of the members of the 
fire deimrtment were directed to the attempt to save the unfortunate 
inmates. The hotel was six stories high, contained 300 rooms and was 


well filled with guests on the night of the fire. Springing from their 
beds, dazed and panic-stricken,, men and women rushed to the win- 
dows and implored the firemen and the crowd which had gathered 
to come to their rescue. In their despair many persons flung themselves 
from the windows or fell in attempting to lower themselves to the 
ground. Forty-seven charred and dismembered bodies were exhvmied 
from the smoking mass of debris, when with much difficulty the work 
of excavation amid the ruins was performed, and it is known that 
sixty-four persons lost their lives in the terrible holocaust. But as 
the hotel register was lost and no complete list of the guests could be 
made out, there is a possibility that the loss of life was even greater. 
Forty-three bodies or portions of bodies which were found in the 
debris after the fire remained unidentified, twenty of which were 
buried in Calvary and twenty-three in Forest Home cemetery. The 
inquest on the dead resulted in the rendering of a verdict in which 
it was set forth that the fire was of incendiary origin ; that the pro- 
prietors of the hotel were guilty of culpable negligence in not having 
employed sufficient watchmen to guard the house against fire, and the 
owners were guilty of negligence in not having provided niore outside 
fire escapes. 

On the evening of Oct. 28, 1892, between the hours of 5 and 6 
o'clock, a fire broke out in an oil warehouse at No. 275 East Water 
street, between Detroit and Buffalo streets. This warehouse was 
occupied by the Union Oil Company, and the fire was immediately 
communicated to an extensive wholesale drugstore adjoining. By the 
prompt action of the fire department the flames were got fully under 
control, when, at about 7 o'clock, a second fire was discovered in the 
large furniture and upholstery manufacturing establishment of Bub 
& Kipp, situated on the corner of Broadway and Buffalo street, over 
200 feet distant. The origin of this fire remains a mystery, as it com- 
menced in the interior of the building, and when first noticed the interior 
was a mass of flames from cellar to roof. It was a seven-story build- 
ing, covering 120 feet square on the ground, and was filled with 
inflammable material ; so that with the start the fire had it soon spread 
over a large portion of the Third ward and completely destroyed 
sixteen blocks. The conflagration was prevented from extending 
farther northward than Detroit street only by the strong wind which 
prevailed from that quarter. It extended eastward and southerly to the 
lake in one directon and to the main arm of the river in the other. 
It swept over the side-tracks of the Chicago & Northwestern Railway 
Company, which were filled with standing cars. 215 of which were 
consumed and most of these were loaded with merchandise of 


various kinds. The total number of buildings destroyed by the lire 
was 440, of which eighty-one were brick and 359 were frame or wood. 
The- value of the buildings and contents destroyed, as estimated by the 
officers of the fire department, was upward of four and a half millions 
of dollars. The insurance thereon was $2,742,050, of which $2,111,- 
438 was very promptly paid. This did not include the loss sus- 
tained by the railroad company, including claims paid to owners of 
freight damaged and destroyed, and which amounted to $160,000. 
Two firemen were stricken dead while in the performance of their duty 
and four others were borne from the scene disabled, although thev had 
bravely battled on until the fiames were subdued. One unknown man 
was killed in endeavoring to protect a building from the flames, and 
the two firemen who lost their lives were Charles F. Stahr and Henry 
Peddenbruch. Mrs. Rose Callahan and Mrs. Mary O'Brien died from 
the effects of the shock produced by the sudden destruction of their 
dwellings, and four other persons were seriously injured in fighting the 
fire and rescuing property from the flames. The cities of Racine, Ke- 
nosha, Sheboygan, and Oshkosh, promptly furnished fire engines to aid 
in the struggle with the flames, and they did effective service after their 
arrival, between 10 and 11 o'clock. Four engines, with forty men and 
officers, were also quickly dispatched from Chicago, and althouugh they 
did not reach the scene until near midnight, when the fire had been 
brought pretty well under control, they afforded great relief to the al- 
most exhausted force of the Milwaukee Fire Department, in staying 
the further progress of the flames. Hundreds of families were driven 
from their homes, without opportunity to rescue any of their posses- 
sions, but the charitable people of Milwaukee arose to the occasion, and 
the record they made in the relief afforded to the destitute stands al- 
most unparalleled in the annals of charitable work. More than $137,- 
000 was collected and expended, and none who had been rendered des- 
titute were refused the needed aid. 

On April 9. 1894,, the Davidson Theatre was destroyed by fire, 
and this catastrophe was also attended with a sad loss of life. The fire 
started in the kitchen of the Davidson Hotel in the same building, and 
had gained great headway before the fire companies reached the scene. 
An heroic effort was made by the firemen to check the flames in their 
progress, and while the battle was being waged, without a moment's 
warning, the ceiling of the theatre gave way and in falling carried with 
it to the pit several men. A section of the roof was carried down with 
the ceiling, and men at work on the roof were also carried to the pit 
below, which was a seetliing furnace. Still others who were working 
below were pinned down by the mass of debris and were unable to 


extricate themselves, and as a result of this catastrophe nine firemen 
lost their lives and a number of others were seriously injured. 

There have been other fires of note in Milwaukee, but those men- 
tioned have been the most destructive both as to life and property. The 
Stadt Theatre was destroyed in 1895, and on March 26 of the same 
year fire destroyed property on Grand avenue valued at nearly $1,500,- 
000, one of the largest business blocks in the city being entirely de- 
stroyed and seven other buildings greatly damaged. On Aug. 22, 1895, 
in the afternoon, a fire occurred in the lower part of the Fourth ward, 
which for a time threatened to rival the Third ward fire of 1892; but 
thanks to the gallant and well directed efforts of the firemen, the prog- 
ress of the flames was stayed and the loss was small compared with 
that resulting from some previous visitations of the fire fiend. The fire 
started in what was known as the Union Warehouse,, and rapidly ex- 
tending to adjacent buildings of the same character, five warehouses 
were quickly consumed, besides thirty-six cars standing in the freight 
yards of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railway company. Wis- 
dom has dictated the adoption of precautionary measures during the 
later years, and it is thought that catastrophes of the nature de- 
scribed may be prevented. 


The social spirit of the city of Milwaukee is revealed in a long list 
of secret and benevolent societies, and from the records of each organ- 
ization it would seem that each one is prosperous. The first meeting 
of the Masonic fraternity in the city was held on July 5, 1843, i" ^^ 
Cottage Inn, which afterward became known as the Harriman House. 
At that time there were between forty and fifty Masons in Milwaukee, 
and among those who petitioned for a dispensation, under which a 
lodge of Free and Accepted Masons could be organized, we find the 
names of Lemuel B. Hull, A. D. Smith, David Merrill, J. B. Zander, D. 
F. Lawton, W. W. Kellogg, and J. Gale, Jr. The dispensation was 
granted and came from Springfield, 111., signed by the Grand Master 
of that state. The document bore the date of June 12, 1843, ^"^ ^^^ 
first officials of '"Milwaukee Lodge" were: Lemuel B. Hull, mas- 
ter; A. D. Smith, senior warden, and David Merrill, junior warden; 
and in addition to these gentlemen, those who signed the by-laws were 
Walter W. Kellogg, treasurer; Charles S. Hurley, secretary; Dwight 
F. Lawton, senior deacon ; T. F. Wainwright, junior deacon. But for 
some reason or other, the charter of the lodge was not signed until 
Jan. 17, 1844. Among the early members of the Milwaukee Lodge 



was Byron Kilbourn, who exercised a deep interest in the fraternity, 
and especially in the lodge which made him a Mason. In 1859 ^^ 
leased the hall in which the lodge met to the Order for the term of 
ninety-nine years, in consideration of one dollar a year rent and the 
annual payment of taxes. In 1866, the lease was modified and the term 
was extended to 999 years, beginning with the death of himself and 
wife. According to the lease the entire block was let on these condi- 
tions : First, that one-half of the net income from rentals was to be 
devoted to the establishment and maintenance of a Masonic library ; 
second, a library of general information ; third, a Masonic temple ; the 
other half of the proceeds from rentals going to his son and daughter 
in equal parts, and to their heirs of direct descent. One year after the 
lease was executed the name of the lodge was changed to "Kilbourn" 
and it is now known as Kilbourn No. 3. 

Wisconsin Lodge No. 13 was organized as "Tracy Lodge'' in 1847, 
the dispensation being issued on Feb. 11 of that year, and the charter 
was granted on Jan. 15, 1848. Among the charter members were Dr. 
L. M. Tracy, worshipful master, and in honor of whom the first name 
was selected; A. W. Hatch, senior warden, and O. Alexander, junior 
warden. This lodge has been quite prosperous. Aurora Lodge No. 30 
came next in point of organization, the dispensation being granted on 
Jan. 7, 1850. The charter was granted on Dec. 14, following, and the 
original officers were x\. C. Crom, worshipful master; A. C. Williams, 
senior warden ; and D. Upham, junior warden. Independence Lodge 
No. 80 was organized under a dispensation issued on July 17, 1856, 
the charter being granted on June 10, following, and the original offi- 
cers were Melvin L. Youngs, worshipful master; J. S. Harris, senior 
warden; C. Holland, junior warden. 

On Feb. 21, 1863, a dispensation was issued, and on June 10, fol- 
lowing, a charter was granted for the organization of a lodge to be 
known as Harmony Lodge No. 142, the first officers being Lawrence 
Phillips, David Adler, and Henry Friend. During the thirty years of 
its existence its membership was confined almost exclusively to 
brethren of the Hebrew faith, and in 1893, owing to differences which 
had arisen among the members, the charter of the lodge was sur- 
rendered. After the surrender of the charter, a petition signed by 
twenty brethren who had been members of Harmony lodge, was pre- 
sented to the Grand Master, asking a dispensation to form a new lodge ; 
and this being granted in June, 1894, a charter was issued under which 
a lodge was organized, known as Milwaukee Lodge No. 261. Later a 
new lodge was organized which took the name and number of the de- 
funct lodge and is known as Harmony Lodge No. 142. 


On Jan. 21, 1869, a dispensation was issued for the organization 
of Excelsior Lodge, and the number given it was 175, the charter being 
granted on June 9 of the same year. The first officers of this lodge 
were M. L. Youngs, worshipful master; W. H. Seymour, senior 
warden, and George Hackney, junior warden. Lake Lodge No. 189 
was organized in accordance with a dispensation issued on Sept. 7, 
1872, and the charter was granted on June 11 of the year following. 
Lafayette Lodge No. 265 and Damascus Lodge No. 290 complete the 
list of what is known in Masonic circles as the "Blue lodges" in Mil- 

On Feb. 16, 1844, was organized the first Chapter of Royal Arch 
Masons in the city,, under the name of "Milwaukee Chapter No. i" 
and on Feb. 5, 1862, by resolution the name was changed to "Kilbourn 
Chapter". The charter members were D. F. Lawson, Maurice Lewis, 
B. A. Foirsseth, Benjamin Church, and A. C. Williams, and the first 
convocations of the chapter were held at Cottage Inn, corner of East 
Water and Huron streets. Wisconsin Chapter No. 7 was organized 
tinder a charter granted on Feb. 11, 1852, the charter members being 
L. M. Tracy, A. W. Hatch, and S. S. Daggett. Excelsior Chapter No. 
30 was the third chapter of Royal Arch Masons in Milwaukee, and with 
Calumet Chapter No. y^, completes the list. Of the Royal and Select 
Masters there are two councils in the city : Wisconsin Council No. 4 
and Kilbourn Council No. 9. 

On June 12, 1850, the first commandery in the state of Wisconsin 
was organized in Milwaukee,, and the charter members were L. M. 
Tracy, Henry L. Palmer, and George W. Chapman. The charter was 
granted by the Grand Commandery of Wisconsin on Oct. 21, 1859, and 
the first officers under this charter were H. L. Palmer, eminent com- 
mander; Daniel Howell,, generalissimo; L. M. Tracy, captain general; 
H. M. Thompson, prelate ; E. F. Townsend, senior warden ; W. T. Pal- 
mer, junior warden; S. S. Daggett, treasurer; J. B. Kellogg, recorder; 
E. Irons, standard bearer; H. W. Gunnison, sword bearer; Ellis 
Worthington, warder; S. Haack, sentinel. The Ivanhoe Commandery 
No. 24, was given a charter in October. 1890,. and was instituted in 
December of the same year. The original officers were M. J. Haisler, 
eminent commander ; Samuel Wright, generalissimo ; C. D. Rogers, 
captain general; E. J. Stark, prelate; S. P. Cole, senior warden; A. W. 
Hard, Junior warden; C. L. Clason, treasurer; J. H. Barber, recorder; 
W. H. Thurston, standard bearer; J. E. Bast, sword bearer; C. M. 
'Cottrill, warder. 

To epitomize the Masonic order in Milwaukee there are now, 
thanks to the persistent work of the members of the organizations, ten 


Blue lodges, five Royal Arch Chapters, two Commanderies of Knights 
Templar, the Scottish Rite bodies, four Eastern Star, and six lodges 
of Colored Masons. One of the acts of Masonry in the city was the 
erection of Ivanhoe temple, which is one of the most beautiful lodge 
buildings in the West. Wisconsin commandery also has a fine temple. 

Milwaukee Lodge No. 2 was the pioneer Odd Fellows' lodge in the 
city of Milwaukee, and it was duly instituted on March 14, 1843^ t)y 
John G. Potts, assisted by Past Grand William C. Taylor, and Past 
Grand A. D. Robinson of Galena, 111. James S. Baker was installed 
as noble grand, W, W. Caswell, vice-grand, and Edward Staats, re- 
cording secretary. In 1846, Kneeland Lodge No. 5 — afterward changed 
to Menomonee No. 5 — was instituted, the charter members being H. L. 
Page, Rufus King, S. P. Coon, W. M. Cunningham, and James Knee- 
land. On July 21, 1847, ^ charter was granted for a new lodge in Mil- 
waukee, to be known as Excelsior Lodge No. 20> with the understand- 
ing that it should be located on the west side of the Milwaukee river, 
and within the limits of the Second ward. This lodge was duly in- 
stituted on July 29, 1847, by Duncan C. Reed, the first officers installed 
being : Edwin Bridgeman, noble grand ; Thomas Ward Taylor, vice- 
grand ; John B. Vliet, recording secretary ; William Doughton, perma- 
nent secretary, and A. J. Langworthy, treasurer. Teutonia Lodge No. 
57, chartered in 185 1, was the first one authorized to work in the Ger- 
man language. Its charter was granted on the petition of John P. 
Jager, Anton Schaehner, Charles Kupper, Guido Pfister, Henry 
Friend, Charles Hackendahl,, Jacob Kipp, and Charles F. Bode, and its 
first officers were : John P. Jager, noble grand ; Charles Kupper, vice- 
grand ; Guido Pfister, recording secretary, and Henry Friend, treasurer. 
Other German lodges in Milwaukee are : Armenia Lodge No. 97, in- 
stituted in 1859; Aurora Lodge No. 145, organized in 1868; Bee- 
thoven No. 206, established in 1872 ; Moritz Arndt No. 218, instituted in 
March, 1873; Evening Star No. 224, organized in 1873; Allemania No. 
248, instituted in 1875; and Humboldt No. 266, established in 1877. 
The other Milwaukee lodges are : Cold Spring Lodge No. 100., Kin- 
nickinnic Lodge No. 131, and Taylor Lodge No. 173. In the city there 
are thirty-five organizations of all sorts of the Odd Fellows fraternity. 
Inasmuch as this organization was the second to take root in the newly 
formed city of Milwaukee its growth has been favored with that advan- 
tage. It has expanded to the extent that there are several lodges 
of the uniformed rank and a number of organizations of which women 
arc the directing geniuses. 

Milwaukee Lodge No. i of the Knights of Pythias order was or- 
ganized by H. C. Berry, Grand Chancellor of Illinois, assisted by John 



G. Sprague, J. A. Winters, John White, John J. Healy, and other mem- 
bers of the order resident in Chicago. Among those who became 
members of this pioneer lodge of the Knights of Pythias were H. A. 
Rogers, George Des Forges, E. S. Finch, A. T. Riddell, George R. 
Milmine, Frank \\\ Cutler, L. W. Coe, L. C. Curtis, Charles H. Sweet- 
land, Charles A. Curtis, S. F. Kahle,, and Charles H. Bingham, the nine 
gentlemen last named constituting the first corps of officers. Schiller 
Lodge and Wisconsin Lodge were instituted in 1871 and Columbia 
Lodge in 1872. From that time foinvard the order grew rapidly in 
popular favor and in membership, and Juneau Lodge and Franklin 
Lodge were organized within the next few years. Since then Richard 
Wagner Lodge, Walker Lodge, Taylor Lodge, Garfield Lodge, Damon 
Lodge, Bay View Lodge, Prospect Lodge, National Lodge, and Lake- 
side Lodge have been instituted, and there are now in existence in the 
city fifteen lodges in all. The Uniform Rank division of the order is 
also represented by Milwaukee Company No. 2, Juneau Company No. 
5, John B. Zaun Company No. 6, and Columbia Company No. 8. Cres- 
cent Temple No. 3 and Star Temple No. 8 are the lodges of Pythian 

The first lodge of the Knights of Honor was established in this 
city in 1876 with forty members enrolled, W. E. Howe, A. W. Baldwin, 
E. W. Clark, W. H. Brazier, J. O. Thayer,, G. E. Fernald, C. D. How- 
ard, and others being the charter members and organizers of the lodge. 
Four lodges are now in existence in the city, bearing the following 
names : Milwaukee Lodge, Wisconsin Lodge, Security Lodge, and 
Aurora Lodge. Of the Knights and Ladies of Honor, six lodges are in 
existence in Milwaukee, as follows : Thusnelda, Concordia, Milwau- 
kee, Cream City, Prosperity and Rovnost. 

The Royal Arcanum instituted Alpha Council in Milwaukee on 
Dec. 19, 1877, ^^^^ seven councils are now in existence in the city, 
known respectively as i\lpha, Allen, Occident, Milwaukee, Bay View, 
Daniel Webster, and Fairchild. 

Milwaukee has more lodges than any other city of its size in the world 
and of the 350 who find a home here it is practically impossible in the 
space allowed to give an individual mention of more than a few. In 
doing this an effort has been made to select those which to the greatest 
extent have withstood the vicissitudes of years. The younger organ- 
izations are equally entitled to honorable mention and if it were possi- 
ble to do so within the scope of this work it would cheerfully be given 
them. Both of the local lodges of Elks and Eagles have had a phe- 
nomenal growth in the period since their formation, and together they 
have a total membership of about 250.000, and constantly increasing. 


The Elks have two lodges in the city and the Eagles one. One of the 
features of lodge life in the Cream City was the general convention 
of the Eagles in 1906, when thousands of delegates from all portions 
of the United States attended and made merry in the city for a week. 

The Modern Woodmen of America, one of the largest orders in 
existence, has twenty active lodge organizations in the city. This lodge 
held its biennial convention in Milwaukee in 1904, bringing to the city 
about 15,000 of its members. 

The Catholic Knights of Wisconsin have organized twenty-nine 
lodges in the city. There are a great many Catholic organizations, of 
which may be mentioned two lodges of Knights of Columbus, twenty- 
nine lodges of the Catholic Order of Foresters, two lodges of Colum- 
bian Knights, and two lodges of Druids. The work of these lodges has 
been co-operative with the work of the Roman Catholic church and the 
result has been shown in the interest taken in the acquiring of insurance 
protection and in the fraternal features of the lodges. 

There are twelve lodges of the Independent Order of Foresters in 
the city, and in all there are in Milwaukee, counting the temperance 
organizations which class themselves as fraternal organizations, 344 
lodges. It points to the vast fraternal spirit which pervades the Cream 
City and the fact that Milwaukee is a city of home-loving men and 
women. And women are not weak in their organizations. In the 
auxiliaries to the Masonic, Odd Fellows, and other organizations are 
found memberships as great if not greater than any found in the male 
orders. This may be explained in a measure when it is seen that the 
women's orders may be joined by any female members of the family of 
a member of the main organization. 

Of labor organizations the number at present in existence in Mil- 
waukee is legion, and a volume — which would not be without interest — 
might be written concerning their rise and progress. In 1907 there 
were 133 labor unions, of different kinds and having different names, 
represented in Milwaukee. 

In addition to the fraternal and labor organizations, of which brief 
mention has been made in the foregoing pages, there are in existence 
at the present time hundreds of associations, societies, and clubs of 
various kinds, including the sporting and recreation associations, the 
musical societies, and established associations for promoting what may 
be called the general business interests of Milwaukee. There are also 
many minor associations of business and professional men, organized 
to advance special interests or promote social intercourse among the 

Among the organizations that have characterized the social life of 




"the l^E"^ ''""I'^v 


Milwaukee in the past, some of which are in existence to-day, were the 
Arions, the Gessang Verein Milwaukee, the Bay View Chorus, the 
Cecilian Choir, the Deutscher Mannerverein,, the Harmonie Singing 
Society, the Liederkranz Society, the Liedertafel Singing Society, the 
Milwaukee Musical Society, the Palestrina Society, the Philharmonic 
Club, the Burns Club, the Chautauqua Literary and Social Circle, the 
Germania Society, the Milwaukee County Pioneers' Association, the 
Milwaukee Cricket Club, the Milwaukee Curling Club, the Milwaukee 
Gun Club, the Milwaukee Lawn Tennis Club, the Milwaukee Rifle 
Club, the Milwaukee Schuetzen Verein,, the Milwaukee Whist Club, 
the Milwaukee Yacht Club, and the Wisconsin Industrial Exchange. 
The Harvard Club and other organizations made up of alumni of diff- 
erent universities play an important part in the community life. An- 
other department is represented in the Athenaeum, a third in the Mil- 
waukee Collegiate Alumni Association, a fourth in the Milwaukee 
College Endowment Association, a fifth in the Society for Sanitary 
and Moral Education, a sixth in the University Club, a seventh in the 
Milwaukee Blue Mound and Woodmount Country clubs, an eighth in 
the Mothers' and Teachers' club of the Eighteenth ward. The Equal 
Franchise Club is one of the organizations that point to some of the new 
thoughts gaining ground. The Art Students' League is a flourishing 
organization, and the Galileo Galilei is heard from. The Oconomowoc 
Country Club and the golf clubs ; theMillioki, Calumet, Deutscher and 
Sunset clubs ; the Westminister Civic League, the Milwaukee Club, the 
Milwaukee Athletic Club, the Milwaukee Chi Psi Association, the Mil- 
waukee Zoological Association, the Women's School Alliance, the 
Social Economics Club, each has its sphere,, and they are all taking an 
acceptable part in their respective ways. 


Around the resting places which have been set apart for the sacred 
burial of the dead lingers the tenderness of the living, and it is fitting 
that this chapter which is devoted to the city of Milwaukee should be 
closed with a brief review of the cemeteries. 

Forest Home cemetery was established in 1850, by the vestry of 
St. Paul's (Episcopal) church, and at that time was described as being 
situated "at the junction of the Janesville plank road and Kilbourn 
road," but it is now within the corporate limits of the city. The first 
purchase was for about seventj-two acres (including five acres donated 
by the seller, Mrs. Hull, for the free interment of indigent members 
of the Protestant Episcopal church), but the original tract has since 


been largely added to. The main body of the land is about four miles 
from the postoffice, and it was originally laid out by the lamented I. A. 
Lapham ; but since then thousands of dollars have been expended in 
cutting and smoothing wide graveled roadways, maintaining beautiful 
flower beds, planting trees, erecting a fine fountain and otherwise mak- 
ing it a beautiful and restful city of the dead. For beauty of natural 
location and taste in artificial adornment it has not a superior in the 
West. The first interment on the record appears Aug. 3, 1850, being a 
child of John P. McGregor. In 1864. under authority from the legis- 
lature of the state, the bodies interred in "Milwaukee Cemetery", then 
located in the Fifth ward on National avenue, and numbering about 
1,200, were removed to Forest Home. 

In the early history of Milwaukee there was a plat of ground 
in the First ward, near the lake, which was fenced in and used as a 
burial place for citizens, regardless of their religious views. It later 
became a Catholic cemetery, and in 1844, Bishop Henni purchased 
what was known as the "Old Cemetery," situated on Grand avenue. 
The first interments were the remains of many taken from the First 
ward cemetery. The "Old Cemetery" consisted of ten acres, and 
contains the dust of several pioneer Catholic clergymen. This ground 
becoming too small, and also being in the city limits, what is now 
known as the Calvary Cemeter\- was purchased by the Right Rev. 
John M. Henni, Bishop of Milwaukee, and consecrated by him on 
Nov. 2, 1857. This cemetery is located in the town of Wauwatosa 
and it is nicely improved. The first interments were the remains of 
persons removed from the old cemetery. Among the prominent men 
buried here may be mentioned George Furlong, father of John Fur- 
long, who, it is said, was the second white man to die in Milwaukee ; 
Solomon Juneau; Peter Bradley; Thomas Eviston,, chief engineer of the 
fire department ; Captain Barry and other victims of the "Lady Elgin" 
disaster; P. J. Englehardt, H. Hilmantel, A. H. Johnston, Andrew Mc- 
Cormick, C. D. Nash, H. Stoltz, J. Hathaway, and M. J. Zander, who 
was the first Catholic undertaker in the city. Trinity (Catholic) ceme- 
tery is situated in the town of Lake, on New Road one and one-half 
miles south of the city limits. The grounds,, which originally con- 
sisted of six acres, were purchased by the Trinity congregation, who 
afterward admitted St. Anthony and St. Stanislaus. The original 
cemetery was consecrated in 1859. and an additional six acres were 
consecrated on July 8, 1877. 

Union Cemetery is situated on Teutonia avenue opposite Bur- 
leigh street. The association was organized on Jan. 11, 1865, and the 
groiuids were selected and purchased by Rev. Mulhauser, J. H. In- 



busch, Nic. Shoof, Charles Kieckhefer, and Henry Dube. The orig-- 
inal officers were : President, Charles Kieckhefer ; secretary, Nic. 
Shoof; treasurer, John Inbusch. 

Pilgrim's Rest Cemetery, situated in the town of Greenfield, west 
of Forest Home, and less than a half-mile outside the citv limits, was 
established in August, 1880, by St. Stephen's (Lutheran) congrega- 
tion, and the grounds were laid out in handsome style by Engineer 

Greenwood Cemetery is situated south of and adjoining Forest 
Home. The Greenwood Cemetery Association was organized on April 
I, 1872, under the laws of the state. The land, consisting of ten 
acres, was purchased from Levi and Caroline Blossom by D. Adler, 
Henry Friend, and A. F. Leopold, and was devoted exclusively to the 
use of the Israelites. The original officers were : D. Adler, president ; 
H. Friend, vice-president ; Henry Bonus, treasurer ; J. Nathanson, 
secretary. Among the prominent persons buried here are Henry 
Friend and wife, who went down in the steamer "Schiller" ; and 
Edward Adler, son of David Adler, who after receiving the highest 
educational honors from European universities,, was stricken with 
brain fever and died. 

Other cemeteries are : Mt. Olivet, situated at Eighth and Okla- 
homa avenues ; the Polish Union, on Eighth avenue south of the city ; 
Spring Hill, on Hawley road south of Calvary cemetery; and Wan- 
derer's Rest, near the city limits on Lisbon avenue and Burleigh. 
Most of the above named cemeteries are fitted with convenient down- 
town offices, where all arrangements may be made, and at the ceme- 
teries there are offices and rest rooms fitted with every convenience. 
Attendants are ready to minister to the wants of the members of 
funeral parties, and careful records are kept by the secretaries to do 
away with any confusion. These are found invaluable in hundreds 
of cases. Neat graveled walks and in many instances walks of cement 
are found everywhere, and nearby fountains provide water with which 
the graves may be watered. Caretakers keep the cemeteries looking 
like beautiful parks, and the lawns and hedges are carefully clipped. 
No sign of neglect or carelessness is allowed, and thus the modern 
cemetery is no longer a tangle of overgrown weeds and grass as it was 
in years gone by. 







The growth of religious sentiment in Milwaukee has kept pace 
with the development of the city and county along commercial and 
Other lines. The past fifteen years have been years of great activity 
in the erection of churches, not only in the building of churches for 
newly organized congregations, but also in the erection of edifices for 
older societies which have outgrown the buildings which they occu- 
pied. In 1892 it was estimated there were 120 churches, or religious 
organizations which in a work of this kind are classed as such, within 
the limits of the city. To-day there are in the city more than 180, 
while the churches in the rest of the county would bring the total to 
considerably more than 220. 


While there may be reason for doubt as to which religious faith 
was the first to hold services in the new settlement of Milwaukee there 
can be no denial of the fact that the first apostle of the Christian 
religion to teach that faith on the site of what is now Milwaukee was 
a Catholic. As early as 1665 Father Claude Allouez, a member of 
the Jesuit order, had penetrated as far west as Wisconsin and had 
tarried for some days with the Mascoutin and Kickapoo Indians, on 


the banks of the Milwaukee river near the site of the present city. 
Accompanying Father Allouez was Father Dablon,, and during their 
brief stay they made many conversions among the red men. Later 
on, probably in the fall of 1674, Pere Marquette passed by the harbor, 
but it is not recorded that he entered it. Notwithstanding, his 
teachings came to the ears of the Indians from other tribes visited by 
Marquette and served to keep alive the interest created in the Indian 
mind by the visit of Allouez. While no echo of the wars which 
wrested the country from French dominion and afterward from 
England into an infant republic reached the vicinity of Milwaukee, 
the territory immediately surrounding underwent various changes in 
ecclesiastical rule. While a French possession it was a dependency 
of the diocese of Quebec, and remained as such until 1810. When the 
diocese of Bardstown — now Louisville — Ky., was organized it was 
placed under the archbishop appointed to govern that district. Sub- 
sequently it became part of the diocese of Cincinnati and ten years later, 
in 1832, was made a part of the diocese of Detroit. While the church 
claimed jurisdiction over the territory of what is now Milwaukee 
county it made no effort to establish missions or churches, and for 
many years the entire Northwest waB visited only by Jesuit missionary 
priests. The historian Bancroft says of these, "Away from the 
amenities of life, away from the opportunities of vain glory, they be- 
came dead to the world and possessed their souls in unalterable peace. 
The few who lived to grow old, though bowed by the toils of a long 
mission, still kindled with the fervor of an apostolic zeal. The history 
of their labors is connected with the origin of every celebrated town; 
in the annals of French-Americans not a cape was turned, not a river 
entered, but a Jesuit led the way." After the suppression of the 
Jesuit order in 1773 the whole of what now constitutes the states of 
Michigan and Wisconsin was left to the direction of one priest stationed 
at Detroit. The real history of the Catholic church in Milwaukee 
begins with its transfer to the diocese of Detroit, and is almost 
synonymous with the secular history of the city. 

The first permanent settler and the founder of Milwaukee, Solo- 
mon Juneau, belonged to the same faith as the early French mission- 
aries. The first Catholic mass celebrated in the city was in the home 
of the founder on East Water street, where the Mitchell building now 
stands, on a Sunday during the month of August, 1837, the presiding 
clergyman being Rev. Fleurimont J. Bonduel, a missionary from Green 
Bay. A deed bearing the date of July 13, 1837, from Solomon Juneau 
to Rt. Rev. F. Rese, the first bishop of Detroit who held spiritual 
jurisdiction over the territory, for a consideration of five dollars and 


"other valuable considerations," transferred lots ten and eleven, block 
seventy-three, for church purposes. This land is on Martin street, 
near Jackson. In the fall of the same year Rev. Patrick O'Kelly came 
to Milwaukee to become the first resident pastor of the newly organ- 
ized Catholic church. For some months he held services in the court- 
house, until the summer of 1839, when the chapel being erected on the 
lots donated by Juneau was near enough completion to allow of serv- 
ices being held in it. This chapel was dedicated to St. Peter, from the 
baptismal name of Bishop Lefevre,, and was subsequently enlarged to 
contain a school. It was the cathedral of the first bishop of Milwau- 
kee; between 1863 and 1866 it was the church of the Bohemian society 
then being organized ; later a Sunday school was held in it, and finally 
the grounds and building passed into the hands of Rt. Rev. L. Batz, 
who had it transferred and placed beside a church dedicated to the 
same saint, where it stands to-day. For five years Father O'Kelly 
served as the prelate of the Catholics of Milwaukee and was succeeded 
by the Rev. Thomas Morrissey. The first visit made by a bishop to the 
city was by the Rt. Rev. P. P. Lefevre, of Detroit, in the fall of 1841, 
accompanied by Father Martin Kundig, whose after life was insep- 
arably connected with the history of Catholicism in Milwaukee. It 
was agreed that should the conditions in Milwaukee meet with the 
approval of Father Kundig he was to take charge of the church in 
this city. The conditions were met and in the spring of 1842 Father 
Kundig assumed his duties. Following out the plan of Father O'Kelly 
he opened a school, which he placed in charge of Mr. Murray and his 
sister. The church grew apace with the city and the territory and it 
was determined that Wisconsin should have a bishop. Prairie du 
Chien, a strong Catholic city, was apparently to be the choice for the 
seat of the bishopric. Father Kundig, inspired by a love for the fast 
growing city in which he labored, determined to do what he could to 
bring the honor to Milwaukee, where he felt it rightfully belonged. 
He arranged a monster parade on St. Patrick's day, 1843, in which 
citizens irrespective of creed or nationalty participated. Father 
Kundig himself acted as marshal, and the afifair being well advertised, 
turned the balance of favor to Milwaukee, which on May 16 of the 
same year was selected by the competent bishops as the cathedral city. 
By this time the tide of German immigration had turned to Milwaukee 
and it was deemed advisable to appoint one of that tongue to assume 
charge of the Episcopal See. The Rt. Rev. John Martin Henni 
received the appointment. He was consecrated on March ig, 1844, and 
on the 3rd of May following arrived in Milwaukee to assume the 
<lutics of his new ofiice. 


Catholic history from that time on for thirty-seven years is iden- 
tical with the history of Bishop Henni's career in Milwaukee. For the 
following sketch of the earlier life of that prelate we are indebted to 
Rev. Aug-ustine F. Schinner in an article on The Catholic Church in 
Milwaukee, prepared for another publication in 1895 : 

"John Martin Henni was born June 15, 1805, in the village of 
Misanenga, Switzerland. His success at school and college was re- 
markable. He visited the grammar school of his native village, pur- 
sued his first Latin studies under the guidance of his parish priest, 
entered the gymnasium of St. Gallen, followed a course of philosophy 
and theology for some years at Luzern. and finally went to Italy to 
complete his studies in the city of the apostles. The representative of 
Bishop Fenwick, of Cincinnati, his vic^ar-general, the Very Rev. F. 
Reese, arrived at Rome in the year 1828, having come with a purpose of 
obtaining priests for American missions, especially such as were con- 
versant with the German language. J. M. Henni was persuaded to 
give his services to the new country. He landed in New York, May 
28, 1828, and was ordained priest at Cincinnati, Feb. 2, 1829. He was 
then commissioned by his bishop to traverse the extensive diocese 
particularly in search of German Catholics. This he did, extending his 
journey north as far as Detroit ; preaching, baptizing, uniting in wed- 
lock, administering the sacraments, building churches where it was 
possible. In 1834 he was appointed vicar-general of Cincinnati and 
pastor of Holy Trinity congregation, newly organized, the first German 
congregation of Cincinnati. He erected a church and added a school. 
In 1836 he visited Europe, by authority of his bishop, in quest of men 
and means. In Alunich he secured the most noteworthy of the former, 
John N. Neumann, who died as bishop of Philadelphia. Upon his 
return. Father Henni established the St. Aloysius ■ Orphan Asylum 
for German waifs. He was also the founder and first editor of the 
"Wahrheitsfreund," for some time the only Catholic paper of America 
published in German. At the Fifth Provincial Council of Baltimore, 
1843, Father Henni acted as theologian to Bishop Purcell. In that 
council the erection of five dioceses was proposed, and Father Henni 
was chosen to be the first bishop of Milwaukee. 

"Bishop Henni was accompanied to Milwaukee by the Rev. 
Michael Heiss,, his secretary, afterward his successor as archbishop. 
In Milwaukee he found his friend and former schoolmate, Father 
Kundig. The latter, after a short stay in Kenosha, during which time 
his place at the cathedral was filled by the Rev. Peter McLaughlin, 
became vicar-general. Bishop Henni and Father Kundig were born 
in the same country during the same year. Father Kundig, Nov. 16. 


They were fellow-students at St. Gallen and Rome ; both decided to go 
to America with the Very Rev. F. Rese and devote themselves to its 
missions ; they set out together, were ordained priests on the same 
day, and labored for some years in the diocese of Cincinnati. When 
the Rt. Rev. F. Rese was consecrated bishop of Detroit in 1833, Father 
Kundig accompanied him thither. After a separation of eleven years 
he again met Bishop Henni, to be parted from him no more ; thence- 
forth their lives and labors were united like the waters of twin streams 
that, having risen in the same mountains, and wound their way amid 
common scenery, are separated, then re-approach and, advancing side 
by side, end their course almost simultaneously to be gathered to- 
gether in the all-absorbing ocean." 

Bishop Henni's field of labor was not one to cheer men who 
had been accustomed to lives of ease. On the occasion of his eleva- 
tion to the newly formed archbishopric he told of how, after he had 
received the welcome of the Catholic community of Milwaukee and 
had become acquainted with the means at hand for the futherance of 
his work, he went with Father Kundig to a secluded spot on the lake 
shore and silently wept. Four priests in the whole extent of his dio- 
cese, a few thousand Catholics scattered over the district, a small frame 
church and a heavy church debt were what he found. It is related that 
as he was about to sit down to his frugal meal he was called from the 
table to be presented with an overdue note on the house which he 
occupied. With the $500 presented him as a farewell offering by his 
Cincinnati congregation he paid the note and returned to his meal. 
The number of Catholics increased as rapidly as the population, so 
that in July, 1847, ^""^ ^""^^ thirty priests in his diocese and in October 
of that year his force was augmented by the arrival from abroad of 
four priests and two theological students, among them Rev. Joseph 
Salzmann, D. D., whose career deserves a high place on the pages of 
Wisconsin church history. To Rev. A. F. Schinner are we again 
indebted for a sketch of this unusual character : 

"This extraordinary man was born at Mucnzbach, a village in 
Austria. According to his own words, he felt a desire for the priest- 
hood already at the age of five. Possessing uncommon talents, and 
being of exemplary conduct, he was declared the best and ablest of 
his classmates and selected to be sent to the Gymnasium at Linz, where 
the village had a scholarship. The examination he passed on entering 
caused universal astonishment. It was a presage of his future life 
at the gymnasium ; he always received the highest mark possible in 
all branches, a thing which had not occurred within thirty years. 
* * "* * * * '•' * Having completed his course in the 



classics, he entered the seminary for the immediate preparation for 
the priesthood. He was ordained, again because of his success, pro- 
nounced the best quahfied among the competitors and sent to the 
University of Vienna to continue his studies. Here he took the title 
Doctor of Divinity after a term of three years, the usual course of 
four years having been abridged in his instance on account of his 
phenomenal progress. He labored for three years as assistant and 
catechiser, people coming from great distances to hear his sermons. 
When Bishop Henni visited Europe in behalf of his diocese, Dr. 
Salzmann resolved to put him himself at his disposal. Before setting 
out for America, he solicited pecuniary support for the American mis- 
sions ; he collected seven thousand gulden beside vestments and church 
furniture, which he insured for four thousand gulden. His first 
missionary work in America was performed at Germantown, twenty 
miles from Milwaukee. The sentiments with which he entered on his 
labors are expressed in his first address to the people at that place : 
'The cry is heard in your forests. The shepherd has arrived ; he has 
come from a great distance. What has drawn him thither? The 
beauties of this country? Oh, no; the country of my birth is far more 
beautiful. The richness of the soil? Oh, no; the men of my country 
would have amply provided me with all that I need. Or, the thirst 
after honor? or, the love of ease and comfort? No one will believe 
that — it was the thirst after your souls ; for, many would perish 
without a priest and without the sacraments.' ****** 
Poor as his congregation was Dr. Salzmann began building a school. 
In 1850 he was transferred to St. Mary's church,, Milwaukee, as 
assistant to the Rev. M. Heiss, at the same time supervising the 
building of Holy Trinity church. When Father Heiss was com- 
pelled by illness to abandon his charge,, Dr. Salzmann became his 
successor at St. Mary's church. This placed him in the midst of the 
tumult of a religious warfare and made him the butt of attack on the 
part of the 'Freethinkers.' " 

The institution which to-day stands as a monument to Dr. Salz- 
mann is the seminary of St. Francis of Sales (Salesianum), at St. 
Francis, a suburb of Milwaukee. Something of the history of that 
institution can be learned from the chapter on the Educational Devel- 
opment of Milwaukee. On Jan. 14, 1874, Dr. Salzmann passed to his 
eternal rest. 

To return to Bishop Henni and the development of Catholicism 
in Milwaukee it is noticeable that the large influx of immigrants 
brought mostly Germans to the city. It soon became apparent that 
some means of worship must be provided for these people. Consequent- 


ly on the 19th of April, 1846, Bishop Henni with fitting ceremony 
laid the cornerstone of St. Mary's church on Broadway and on Sept. 
12 of the following year the edifice was consecrated. Most Rev. 
Michael Hess, who had come to Milwaukee with Bishop Henni, 
was made its first pastor and continued as such until ill health com- 
pelled his retirement in favor of Dr. Salzmann in 1850. Bishop Henni 
returned to Europe in 1848 to solicit funds for the maintenance and 
development of his fast growing diocese. Just prior to his going 
he had blessed, on Dec. 5, 1847, the cornerstone of a new cathedral, 
which had been begun the summer before. The same year he had 
opened the first hospital under Catholic auspices in Milwaukee, in 
charge of the Sisters of Charity. It was during his trip to Europe 
that he obtained in Munich, Bavaria, the School Sisters de Notre 
Dame, and it was in Annecy, Savoy, while kneeling at the grave of 
St. Francis de Sales, the bishop of Geneva, that he conceived the idea 
of founding an ecclesiastical seminary and naming it in honor of the 
saint, the "Salesianum." On his return to Milwaukee in 1849 ^^ 
provided a home for orphans and resumed the building of the cathedral, 
for the completion of which in 1852 he made a collection tour of Cuba 
and Mexico. By the following year the cathedral, which had received 
the name of St. John the Evangelist, was ready for occupancy and 
on July 31 the consecration ceremonies occurred. The papal ablegate, 
Msgr. C. Bedini, archbishop of Thebes, performed the ceremonies 
and celebrated the first high mass. Archbishop Hughes, of New York, 
preached the sermon in the morning and Archbishop Purcell, of Cin- 
cinnati, in the evening; and among other distinguished visitors present 
were Bishop O'Connor, of Pittsburg; Bishop Lefevre, of Detroit; 
Bishop Van de Velde, of Chicago, and about seventy priests. In 1862 
Bishop Henni, in compliance with the wish of the pope, journeyed to 
Rome and was present at the canonization of the Japanese martyrs, 
which was pronounced on June 9 by Pius IX, before the college of 
cardinals and some three hundred bishops from all over the world. 
In 1866 the Second Plenary council of Baltimore lightened the burden 
resting upon the shoulders of Bishop Henni by the establishment of 
the dioceses of La Crosse and Green Bay. Again in October, 1869, he 
went to Rome to participate in the Vatican Council, the first ecumen- 
ical council held since that prorogued at Trent in December. 1563. In 
1875 Mibv.'uikee was raised to the rank of an archbishopric, and Bishop 
Henni was honored with the pallium. Monsignor Cesare Roncetti, 
who had been sent from Rome with the red cap for the first American 
cardinal in New York, was also commissioned to invest Bishop Henni 
with the pallium. At the end of the pontifical mass the ofiiciating 



bishop, Rt. Rev. M. Heiss, of La Crosse, placed the palhum upon the 
shoulders of the venerable prelate and the sermon was preached by 
the Rt. Rev. P. Ryan, the bishop coadjutor of St. Louis. On Feb. 
2, 1879, ^^'^s celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of Archbishop Henni's 
ordination to the priesthood, Father Kundig, who had been ordained at 
the same time, saying the mass, and Archbishop Purcell, of Cincinnati, 
who had proposed Bishop Henni for the Milwaukee charge and con- 
secrated him, pronouncing the jubilee. The infirmities of age were by 
this time beginning to tell on the venerable archbishop, and the death 
on March 6 of his life-long friend and co-worker, Father Kundig, only 
helped to hasten the shadow of death. His waning strength was sup- 
plemented by the apppointment of Rt. Rev. M. Heiss, bishop of La 
Crosse, as coadjutor. On Sept. 7, i88i„ Archbishop Henni departed 
this life, and on the loth of the same month the obsequies were held, 
Archbishop Heiss celebrating the requiem, and Bishop McMullen, of 
Davenport, la., preaching the sermon. His remains to-day rest be- 
neath the sacristy of the Cathedral which he built. 

Much can be written of .the institutions and organizations which 
came to Milwaukee as the direct result of the efforts of Archbishop 
Henni, but they are more properly treated under different chapters 
and the limitations of space forbid more than their mention in this 
connection. In 1850 came the School Sisters of Notre Dame, and 
early in 1851 he opened St. Mary's Convent. Under his auspices also 
was founded in 1856 the seminary of St. Francis de Sales, at St. 
Francis, and at the same place was opened on Jan. 2, 1871, the semi- 
nary of the Holy Family for the education of Catholic teachers. In 
connection with the last named institution were organized the Pio 
Nono College, which gives a thorough business education, and St. 
John's Deaf-Mute Asylum. In 1880 Rt. Rev. M. Heiss, acting for 
Archbishop Henni, who was confined to his home by the infirmities of 
age, blessed the cornerstone of Marquette College. In 1856, negotia- 
tions which had been pending for some time relative to establishment 
of the Society of Jesus in the city, were brought to a successful issue on 
the occasion of the first provisional council of St. Louis, which was at- 
tended by Bishop Henni. St. Gall's church, which had been erected 
in 1849, ^^'^^ placed in charge of the Society of Jesus with the under- 
standing that a college for high education should be maintained by 
them. The first Jesuits stationed in Milwaukee were the Rev. Fathers 
P. J. De Smet and F. X. De Coen. Another order, that of the Capu- 
chin Fathers, was established in 1869, and the forerunners of the 
society were the Rev. Bonaventure Frey and Rev. Ivo Prass. In 
1876 also was established the House of the Little Sisters of the Poor 



on Wells street for the indigent and aged and a year later were opened 
St. Vincent's asylum for destitute infants, and the House of the Good 
Shepherd for the reformation of wayward women and abandoned 

Succeeding Archbishop Henni came Rt. Rev. Michael Heiss, who 
had come to Milwaukee as private secretary to Henni. Archbishop 
Heiss was born in Phahldorg, Bavaria, on April 12, 1818. At the age 
of nine years he entered a Latin school, and when seventeen finished 
with the highest honors the classical course in the gymnasium of 
Neuberg on the Danube. From 1835 to 1839 he studied law and 
theology at the University of Munich and in the fall of the latter year 
entered the clerical seminary at Eichstaett to prepare for holy orders, 
with which he was endowed when but little over twenty-two years of 
age by Bishop, afterward Cardinal, Reisach, on Oct. 18, 1840. For 
three months after his ordination he remained in the seminary as pre- 
fect of studies. With a close friend, Charles Boeswald, he had become 
imbued in 1838, during a visit of Rt. Rev. Purcell to Munich, with 
the idea of migrating to xA-merica and there entering the work of the 
church. A conference with Boeswald re-awakened the spirit and the 
young men made their arrangements to leave. As they were about 
to embark Boeswald was detained for military service and Father Heiss 
set out alone. After a perilous voyage of forty-five days he arrived 
in New York on Dec. 17, 1842, whence he went to Louisville, Ky. 
His first appointment was to the Church of the Mother of God at 
Covington, Ky., and he remained in the charge until December, 1843. 
By that time Boeswald had secured his release from military duties 
and Father Heiss vacated for him the Covington parish. Accepting 
the invitation of Bishop Henni he came to Milwaukee and on the third 
day of May, 1844, „ he began his labors in the new field, which at the 
time extended fifty miles west and north of the city. In 1846 he 
founded St. Mary's church, and served as its pastor until ill-health 
compelled his retirement in 1850. In order to recuperate he returned 
to Europe and there remained until Nov. 2, 1852, Early in 1853 he 
and Dr. Salzmann started the movement for the erection of St. Francis 
seminary, and between that year and 1856, when the building was 
ready for occupancy he conducted a class of young men in the bishop's 
house on Jefferson street. When the institution was fully organized 
he was made its first president, and he served in that capacity until 
his consecration on Sept. 6, 1868, as bishop of the newly organized La 
Crosse diocese. In 1880 he returned to Milwaukee to accept the coad- 
jutorship of Milwaukee, with the title of archbishop of Adrianople. 
Upon the demise of Archbishop Henni he ascended to the office of 



archbishop of Milwaukee. For many years before his elevation to the 
episcopal see he was known as one of the most learned theologians of 
the country. The provincial council began its sessions under his ad- 
ministration. Archbishop Heiss succumbed to old age and overwork 
at the St. Francis hospital at La Crosse, whither he had gone in search 
of health, on March 26, 1890. From that time until December the 
see was without an archbishop, the administration resting in the hands 
of Rt. Rev. A. Zeininger. In the latter month Very Rev. F. X. Katzer, 
of Green Bay, was appointed to fill the vacancy caused by the death 
of Archbishop Heiss. 

Frederick Xavier Katzer was born at Ebensee, Austria, on Feb. 
7, 1844, a son of Charles and Barbara (Reinhartsgruber) Katzer. His 
preparatory scholastic training he received at Gruundia, Austria, and 
in 1857 began his classical studies at the Jesuit college of Linz, 
Austria. In 1864 he was graduated at that institution and in May of 
the same year immigrated to America. He entered the seminar}' of 
St. Francis de Sales at St. Francis for theological study and was 
there ordained a priest on Dec. 21, 1866. He remained at St. Francis 
as professor of mathematics, theology and philosophy until July, 1875, 
and left to become secretary to Bishop Krautbauer, of Green Bay. In 
1879 ^^ became vicar-general of the diocese, and upon the death of 
Bishop Krautbauer on Dec. 17, 1885, he was made administrator 
of the diocese, a position which he filled until May 31,. 1886. On that 
date he was chosen bishop of the see and was consecrated on Sept. 21, 
1886. On June 30, 1891. he assumed the duties of the archepiscopal 
see and held the office until his death at Fond du Lac in 1903. The 
chief feature of the administration of Archbishop Katzer was the 
question of the Bennett law, and his active part in the campaign against 
it. In 1902 the archdiocese under his charge had 317 churches, 
thirty-six chapels, four seminaries, six schools for the higher educa- 
tion of boys, seven young ladies' academies and 144 parochial schools. 
The Catholic population was 245,000, ministered to by 312 priests. 
Rt. Rev. Sebastian G. Messmer was chosen to succeed Archbishop 
Katzer and the pallium was conferred upon him in 1903. An extended 
•sketch of Archbishop Messmer may be found in the biographical 
section of this work. 

There are in Milwaukee to-day thirty-three churches of the 
Catholic denomination, beside a number of missions scattered through- 
out the county. The Church of the Gesu, on Grand avenue opposite 
Twelfth street, is the finest and largest edifice in the city. It was 
dedicated in 1896 and its first membership was formed by the com- 
bination of the parishes of St. Gall's, organized in 1848, and Holy 


Name, organized in October, 1875. Holy Rosary, located at Oakland 
avenue and Lafayette, was dedicated in 1885. The Church of the Holy 
Trinity, at the corner of Greenbush and Park streets, was the first 
church organized on the south side of the city, its founder being Dr. 
Salzmann, and the date of its origin, 1850. The congregation of the 
Church of the Immaculate Conception, whose edifice is at the corner of 
Russell and Kinnickinnic avenues, was organized in 1871. St. Ann's 
church, on Thirty-sixth street between Meinecke avenue and Wright 
street, is one of the more recently organized churches, its edifice having 
been dedicated in 1895. St. Anthony's, at Fourth avenue and Mitchell 
street, a German congregation, was organized in 1872 by Father 
Anthon Decker, and the first mass was held in the church edifice on 
October 3. St. Augustine's, at Graham and Homer streets, was dedi- 
cated in 1888 and St. Bonifacius', on Eleventh street, in the year 
following. The consecration of St. Cyril and Method church, at the 
corner of Smith street and Windlake avenue, occurred on Dec. 17, 
1893. The congregation of St. Francis church was organized by 
Capuchin brothers in 1869 and the edifice of the parish was conse- 
crated on Feb. 8, 1877. The first Polish church organized on the east 
side was St. Hedwig's, at Racine and Brady streets, which was 
founded by Rev. John Rodowicz in 1871. St. Hyacinth church, at 
Becher street and Tenth avenue, was consecrated in 1882. The church 
of St. John de Nepomuk, located at Fourth and Cherry streets,, was one 
of the churches organized by Father Kundig in 1867. St. Josephat's, 
at Lincoln street and Second avenue, was dedicated in 1889 ^"*^ St. 
Joseph's, at the corner of Eleventh and Cherry streets, was conse- 
crated by Father Henni in 1856, a year after the organization of the 
congregation by Rev. H. J. Holzbauer. St. Casimir's and St. Law- 
rence's, at Clarke and Bremen streets, and Twenty-first avenue and 
Orchard streets, respectively, are among the more recently organized 
congregations, the former in 1895 and the latter in 1889. St. Mat- 
thew's, at 430 Twentieth avenue, and St. Michael's, at Twenty-fourth 
and Cherry, were both consecrated in October, 1892. St. Patrick's 
church, located at the corner of Second avenue and Washington 
street, was consecrated in 1876 and Rev. John Vahey, who had organ- 
ized the congregation, became the first pastor. SS. Peter and Paul 
church, Cramer and Bradford streets, and St. Rose of Lima, Svcamore 
and Thirtieth streets, were organized in 1889 a"^ 1888 respectively. 
St. Stanislaus church, now located at Grove avenue and Mitchell, had 
its inception in 1852 in a visit of Rev. John Polack, a missionary priest, 
and the organization was effected a year later by Father Bonaventure 
Buczynski. St. \'incent de Paul, at Sixteenth avenue and Mitchell 



street, and St. Wenceslaus, on Scott street between Ninth and Tenth 
avenues, were organized in 1888 and 1883 respectively. The follow- 
ing named churches, with their location, have all been established 
within the past thirteen years : Holy Ghost, Lincoln and Twenty-sixth 
avenues; Aladonna de Pompeji, 301 Jackson street; St. Elizabeth's, 
Second and Burleigh ; St. Gall's on Third, between Clarke and Center 
streets ; St. Mary's Help of Christians, a Slavonic congregation, at 
Fifth and Walnut streets ; and St. Thomas Aquinas, at Thirty-fifth 
and Brown streets. 

The report of the secretary of the Milwaukee school board for 
1907 states that there are in the city thirty Catholic parochial schools, 
employing 297 teachers and having a total enrollment of 16,922 
pupils. The church also maintains a number of hospitals and other 
charitable institutions, all of which are mentioned under different 


The early history of the Episcopal church in Milwaukee is some- 
what obscured by reason of the fact that at the time of the first settle- 
ment in Milwaukee the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Wisconsin was a 
contested point and no bishop was actively engaged in the direction 
of the work. When in 1837 Bishop Kemper, in a call issued for a 
primary convention to organize the diocese of Wisconsin requested a 
history of each parish, St. Paul's of Milwaukee reported : 

"There is neither register nor record to show what ministerial 
acts were performed in this parish previous to Jan. 25, 1845, "or is it 
known when the parish was organized. As near as can be ascertained, 
it was in April, 1838." 

About a year prior to the formation of Wisconsin territory the 
diocese of Michigan had been formed, and included the few churches 
on the west side of Lake Michigan, Green Bay, Navarino and the 
Oneida mission. Rev. Samuel A. McCoskry, D. D., had been elected 
bishop of the Michigan diocese and was consecrated as such on July 7, 
1836, just four days after the separation of Wisconsin into a territory 
by itself. Dr. McCoskry maintained that the ecclesiastical jurisdiction 
^till belonged to the Michigan diocese and the clergy in the territory 
took issue with him. On Sept. 25, 1835, Rev. Jackson Kemper,, D. D., 
was consecrated as the first missionary bishop of the church, under the 
title of bishop of Missouri and Indiana. The only two dioceses 
organized west of the Ohio at the time were Michigan and Illinois 
and Bishop Kemper was to have charge of the balance of the North- 
west wherever there were settlements. It was the desire of the clergy 


in Wisconsin to be put under the direction of Bishop Kemper, and on 
May 31, 1836, the rector, wardens and vestry of Christ church, Green 
Bay, petitioned the general board of missions to that effect. Bishop 
McCoskry's position was that no act of the government could take 
from him his ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and that despite the fact that 
Congress had made Wisconsin, a separate territory it was rightfully 
under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Michigan. The discussion filled 
the church papers of the day, and involved many of the bishops of the 
dioceses of other states. Bishop Kemper, who himself desired Wiscon- 
sin to be a part of his territory, obtained from Bishops Chase, of Illi- 
nois ; Otey, of Tennessee ; Smith of Kentucky ; and H. U. Underdonk, 
of Pennsylvania, opinions favorable to the Wisconsin view. While 
the matter was under discussion Bishop Kemper's delicacy forbade 
his visitations in Wisconsin,, but in the summer of 1838 an agreement 
was reached whereby Dr. McCoskry invited Bishop Kemper to perform 
visitations in Wisconsin. Although the latter agreed to the arrange- 
ment he did not personally come to Milwaukee. Upon motion of 
Bishop Kemper, seconded by Dr. McCoskry, at the general convention 
of the church in the fall of 1838, the exact bounds of his jurisdiction 
were fixed and the territory of Wisconsin became part of the jurisdic- 
tion of the apostolic Kemper. 

There has been some discussion also as to the time of the first 
Episcopal service held in Milwaukee. One fact is agreed upon, how- 
ever, and that is that the service was conducted by the Rev. Henry 
Gregory, a missionary, who was passing through the then village of 
Milwaukee to the Menomonee Indians. In a series of Early Remin- 
iscences published in the "Church Register" for September, 1869, under 
the initials, "J. B. S.", the statement is made upon the authority of 
Cyrus Hawley, Esq., that "the first ministerial service of our church, 
south of Duck Creek, east of Mineral Point and north of Chicago, 
was held in the house of George Dousman, Esq.,, in December, 1835. 
The Rev. Mr. Gregory, of Homer, New York, officiated. Mr. Gregory 
— afterward Dr. Gregory, of Syracuse, New York — was then on his 
way to an Indian mission at Butte-des-Morts." On the other hand 
there is a letter, published in 1861. from Dr. Gregory to Mr. John W. 
Hinton, which tells of Dr. Gregory's journey west and continues "At 
Root River we 'ran agin a stump', and broke the axletree of the 
wagon. Getting that mended, we started for Milwaukee (22 miles) 
on Saturday, the 9th of January, 1836. Night overtook us, and we 
encamped three miles out of Milwaukee. Early on Sunday morning 
we came in, and stopped at (I believe the only tavern) a small story 
and a half frame house. There was a Presbvterian minister who had 


held services in a school-house, but on hearing of my arrival he desired 
me to officiate, which I did. and preached in the afternoon ; and that 
was the first service, according to the liturgy of the Protestant Epis- 
copal church, in Milwaukee, and was held on the first Sunday after 
the Epijihany, Jan. 10, 1836." Whichever date may have been 'the 
correct one is immaterial, but the visit of Mr. Gregory created a desire 
for services under Episcopal auspices, and the same chronicles of 
1869 record that in the spring of 1836 "a few men whose sympathies 
and feelings inclined them to the church, met together and arranged 
for the holding of services on Sunday. A young man was found who 
was studying for the ministry with Bishop Chase, and who cheerfully 
complied with the desire expressed that he would read the service. 
***** These services were held in Mr. Hawley's office, 
who was at the time Deputy Register of the Land Office. This room 
was in the second story of a small wooden building, occupied by 
Winslow & Co., which stood on the west side of East Water 
street, near the center of the block bounded by Michigan and Wis- 
consin streets. Among those present at this first service were Hans 
Crocker, B. H. Edgerton, Wm. N. Gardner, Wm. Campbell, Joshua 
Hathaway, John S. Rockwell, Allan W. Hatch, Cyrus Hawley and Mr. 
Nichols. After the departure of Mr. Chase a Mr. Gardner read the 
service, and subsequently Jonathan E. Arnold was induced to join them, 
and being a good reader was induced to read the sermons, most of them 
being from Bedell and Dewey's." The above history also has been the 
subject of some controversy, and the early history of St. Paul's church 
as prepared for "Wheeler's Chronicles" gives the following history of 
the early Episcopal services. 'Tn the summer of 1836 several church- 
men met in the register's office, * * * and a Mr. Nichols, father of 
the Rev. Mr. Nichols, now of Racine, read the service. These meet- 
ings were kept up for about two months, until a nephew of Bishop 
Chase visited the town. This young man was studying for the minis- 
try, and he officiated in a voluntary manner during the summer. * * * 
Two reverend gentlemen by the names of Beardsley and Berry, visited 
the village and remained long enough to give the young and feeble 
society a fresh impetus." During the year a subscription list was 
started and some $2,000 was raised to call a clergyman to the village. 
Rev. Dr. Henry Gregory, who had held the first Episcopal service in 
Milwaukee, was asked to become the rector, but declined, and before 
another call could be sent to any clergyman the great financial crisis of 
1837 swept the country and rendered void the subscription list. It was 
nearlv a vear afterward before the Episcopal communicants of Mil- 
waukee had sufficientlv recovered from the financial difficulty to extend 


a call to Rev. John Noble, who accepted. He preached his first sermon 
on Ash Wednesday, 1838, in a building at the corner of East Water 
and Wisconsin streets. In April of the same year the organization of 
the society was effected at a meeting in the court house. Rev. Mr. 
Noble presiding. Dr. J. S. Hewitt and Samuel Wright were elected 
wardens and A. S. Hosmer, Cyrus Hawley, H. Crocker, Joshua Hath- 
away and John S. Rockwell were chosen vestrymen. In the summer 
of 1839 t^^^ R^y- Lemuel B. Hull was installed as rector, and served as 
such until his death in October, 1843. Bishop Kemper's first visit to 
Milwaukee was made in January, 1839, and on the 13th day of that 
month celebrated Holy Communion, the first to be held in the city. 
The bishop's visit occurred during the interim between the resignation 
of Mr. Noble and the assumption of the duties of rector by Rev. Mr. 
Hull. Again in August of the same year Bishop Kemper visited Mil- 
waukee, after Mr. Hull had assumed his new duties, and in a letter 
to his daughter speaks highly of the cordiality and Christian spirit of 
the Milwaukee people. The first convocation of the Wisconsin clergy 
was held at the court house on Sept. 11 and 12, 1840. Beside Bishop 
Kemper there were present Rev. Aaron Humphrey, of Beloit ; Rev. R. 
F. Cadle, of Prairie du Chien ; Rev. Benjamin Eaton, of Green Bay; 
and Rev. Mr. Hull, of Milwaukee. The advisability of forming a 
diocesan organization in Milwaukee was discussed and decided im- 

The Milwaukee parish,, which had been named St. Paul's, was 
without a pastor for the two years succeeding the death of Rev. Mr. 
Hull. Under the latter's administration the congregation had ])ur- 
chased property at the corner of Jefferson and Mason streets, the pres- 
ent site of the Layton Art Gallery, and a small frame edifice, valued at 
$4,500 was under construction. On March 18, 1845. Rev. Benjamin 
Akerly was tendered the rectorship of St. Paul's and on the 26th day of 
the same month held the first service in the new church. The church 
membership grew rapidly and it was determined that the parochial 
bounds of St. Paul's church should be restricted and two other par- 
ishes, one on the west side and one on the east, should be established. 
This was in January, 1847. ^"*^^ ^'^ ^^^ fourth of that month Trinity 
church, now St. James', was organized with thirty communicants and 
Rev. J. P. T. Ingraham, a recent graduate of Nashotah. placed in 
charge. On June 7 of the same year St. John's parish was organized 
on the south side and Rev. David Keene, another Nashotah graduate, 
was made its pastor. The first service in the edifice erected by the con- 
gregation, a small frame building eighteen by fifty feet, was held by 
Mr. Keene on the Sunday after Ascension, 1847, ^^^^^ ^^""^ church was 



consecrated by Bishop Kemper on St. John's day, Dec. 27, 1847. This 
was the first consecration of a church under Episcopal auspices in Mil- 
waukee. In the same year St. Paul's church was reorganized under 
the laws of the territory. 

On Feb. 27, 1847, Bishop Kemper called a convention of the 
clergy and lay deputies from all the parishes in the state for the pur- 
pose of organizing a diocese. Wisconsin was emerging from its mis- 
sionary character and it began to be felt that the seat of a see should 
be in Milwaukee. The diocese of Wisconsin was organized, and Bishop 
Kemper was elected bishop of Wisconsin,, but it was not until 1854, 
when he again was unanimously elected as bishop of the diocese that 
he gave up his work as missionary bishop of the Northwest, to assume 
that of bishop of Wisconsin. At the session of the annual council in 
1866 Rev. William Edmond Armitage was elected coadjutor and dur- 
ing December of the same year was consecrated. To him was assigned 
the duty of developing the cathedral idea in the city of Milwaukee. 
By 1869 the matter had so far progressed that Nov. i witnessed the 
laying of the corner stone of All Saints Cathedral by Bishop Kemper. 
Bishop Kemper passed away at Delafield, Waukesha county, on May 
24. 1870, and Bishop Armitage succeeded to the position. His time 
for the months immediately following was so taken up that he could 
not devote his entire time to the cathedral, but on July 17, 1873, *^^ 
cathedral was consecrated. 

No history of the Episcopal church in Milwaukee would be com- 
plete without a review of the life of Bishop Kemper, whose part in the 
early development of the church was the leading one. Jackson Kem- 
per was born in Pleasant Valley, N. Y., on Dec. 24, 1789, a son of 
Daniel and Elizabeth (Marius) Kemper. Paternally he was descended 
from a long line of American patriots and his mother's ancestors were 
immigrants from Holland. In 1809 he graduated at Columbia Univer- 
sity, and then began the study of theology. On March 11. 181 1, he 
was ordained as a deacon in the Protestant Episcopal church by Bishop 
White and was made assistant in three churches of Philadelphia. In 
1814 he was ordained as a priest of the Christ church of Philadelphia 
and served in that capacity until 1831. When he left it was to accept 
a call to St. Paul's church in Norwalk,, Conn., a charge which he filled 
for four years. In 1835 he was made the first missionary bishop of 
the Episcopal church and went to St. Louis to reside. Ten years later 
he removed to Milwaukee and his later life is the history of the church 
in this city and state. It was due to his efforts that the theological 
seminary at Nashotah was founded. In 1829 Columbia University 
conferred upon him the degree of doctor of sacred theology and in 


_i868 the University of Cambridge gave him the honorary degree of 
doctor of laws. 

Bishop Armitage, who succeeded Bishop Kemper, was born in 
New York city on Sept. 6, 1830. He was graduated at Columbia in 
1849, ^"d ^t t^^ General Theological Seminary in 1852, was ordained 
deacon in 1852 and priest two years later. His first charge was as as- 
sistant minister at St. John's church, Portsmouth, N. H., and he re- 
mained in that capacity until he was made rector of St. Mark's church 
at Augusta, Me. In 1859 ^e accepted a call to St. John's church in 
Detroit and was there consecrated to the episcopate. Upon coming to 
Milwaukee his chief labor, as previously stated, was the development 
of the cathedral idea and with what energy he devoted himself to his 
task can best be judged by the results he achieved. On Dec. 7, 1873, 
Bishop Armitage passed to his rest. 

The logical successor to Bishop Armitage was Rev. James De 
Koven, D. D., warden of Racine college. Dr. De Koven was recog- 
nized as the leader of the more advanced wing of the American 
church and was a theologian of the first rank. It was fully expected 
that he would succeed Bishop Armitage, but certain unfortunate divis- 
ions in the church led to the rejection of the nomination of Dr. De 
Koven made by the clergy by the lay members of the special council, 
and the matter was postponed until the meeting of the regular council 
in June. When that body convened Dr. De Koven refused to allow his 
name to be presented, and a compromise was affected whereby Rev. 
E. R. Welles, D. D., was elected bishop. On Oct. 24, 1874,, Dr. Welles 
was consecrated in St. Thomas' church. New York, as the third 
bishop of Wisconsin. He was born in Waterloo, N. Y., on Jan. 10, 
1830, and graduated at Hobart College. He was ordained to the min- 
istry by Bishop De Lancey; to the diaconate in 1857 and to the priest- 
hood a year later. In 1858 he became rector of Christ church, Red 
Wing, Minn., and served in that capacity until his election to the 
episcopate. His assumption of the duties of the office was under 
rather adverse conditions. The diocese had just concluded one of the 
most bitter struggles in church history, with two factions arrayed in 
opposition to each other. The forces which had opposed Dr. De 
Koven turned their enmity to the cathedral and instead of lessening 
only increased the burden on Dr. Welles' shoulders. It was some 
years before a satisfactory arrangement could be made whereby the 
property of All Saints' parish could be transferred to the "joint 
tenants" of All Saints' cathedral, but the matter was finally culminated 
on June 19, 1882. Bishop Welles' health had been gradually failing 
for some years prior to June, 1888,, when his congregation raised a 


purse to send him to England to seek health and attend the Lambeth 
conference. He remained abroad until September of that year, and 
upon his return he went at once to his birthplace at Waterloo, N. Y., 
and there breathed his last on Oct. 7, 1888. 

While a contest marked the session of the council of Dec. 12, 

1888. for the election of a successor to Bishop Welles no such scenes 
as marred the council of 1874 were enacted, and the choice of the 
council was Rev. Cyrus Frederick Knight, D. D., D. C. L., rector of 
St. James church of Lancaster, Pa. Bishop Knight was born in 
Boston, Mass., on March 28, 183 1, and graduated at Burlington 
College, Harvard University and the General Theological Seminary. 
He was ordained deacon in 1854 and two years later was made a priest. 
He then spent some years in travel and study abroad, and was after 
his return successively rector of St. Mark's, Boston, the Incarnation 
(now St. James'), Hartford, and St. James, Lancaster. Frederic 
Cook Morehouse, writing of the history of the Episcopal church in 
^Milwaukee for a publication issued in 1895, says of Bishop Knight: 

"Bishop Knight's episcopate was too short to have left any marked 
impress upon the church in Milwaukee, but he was enabled to see, 
and, in a measure himself to be instrumental in bringing about a better 
feeling among churchmen in the city, and a gradual loosening of the 
narrow factional lines which had once been so tightly drawn. His 
most notable act was the appointment of Rev. G. Mott Williams as 
dean of the cathedral, in succession to Mr. Mallory, who resigned in 

1889. * * =!: * Bishop Knight's ministry was terminated by 
his death, on June 8, 1891, and the diocese was again in mourning. 
His work had been constant, and had probably caused his speedy 

The regular council met on June 16, 1891, and proceeded to the 
choice of a successor to Bishop Knight. Rev. Isaac Lea Nicholson, 
S. T. D., at the time rector of St. Mark's church in Philadelphia, was 
elected to fill the vacancy, and on Tuesday, Nov. 10, was enthroned 
in the cathedral. Bishop Nicholson was born in Baltimore, Md., on 
Jan. 18, 1844. His early eduation was received at St. Timothy's Hall, 
Catonsville, Md. Impaired health prevented his carrying out the plan 
of studying further in order to enter the ministry, and for seven years 
he was employed in his father's bank. At the end of that period he 
had recovered his health and matriculated at Dartmouth College, at 
which he graduated in 1869. While a student there he studied under 
Rev. James Haughton, to whose influence he always attributed his 
final entrance into the ministry. His theological training was received 
in the Episcopal seminary at Alexandria and in 1871 at Grace church, 


Baltimore, he was ordained a deacon by Rt. Rev. Bishop Whittingham. 
A year later he was made a priest by Rt. Rev. Pinckney in St. Paul's 
church in Baltimore. Bishop Nicholson's diaconate was spent under the 
special guidance of Rev. Mr. Haughton at Hanover, N. H. ; he then 
became assistant priest at St. Paul's church in Baltimore under Rev. 
J. S. B. Hodges, with whom he served four years. During the four 
years immediately following he had charge of his first parish, the 
Church of the Ascension, at Westminister, Md. In 1879 ^^^ ^'^^s ten- 
dered and accepted a call to St. Mark's in Philadelphia and there re- 
mained for twelve years until his elevation to the episcopate. Bishop 
Nicholson in 1883 declined an election as bishop of Indiana. The 
degree of doctor of sacred theology was conferred upon him by the 
seminary at Nashotah in 1889 and subsequently he was made dean of 
that institution to succeed the Rev. Dr. Cole. Failing health necessi- 
tated the appointment of a coadjutor bishop to Bishop Nicholson and 
on Feb. 24, 1906, occurred the consecration of Rt. Rev. William Walter 
Webb as bishop coadjutor of the diocese. Upon the death of Bishop 
Nicholson Bishop Webb succeeded to the episcopate, and is still the 
incumbent of that office. At the present time there are nine Epis- 
co])al churches in Milwaukee county, four organized missions and 
three unorganized missions. Beside the churches already mentioned 
there are the following with the dates of their organization : St. 
James, 1851 ; St. John's, 1847; St. Stephen's, 1891 ; St. Andrew's, 1898; 
St. Edmunds, 1884; St. Mark's, 1893; and St. Mark's of South Mil- 
waukee, 1878. The organized missions and the dates of formation are : 
Christ church, 1873 ; St. Luke's at Bay View, 1873 ; St. Peter's at 
West Allis, 1881 ; and the Church of the Nativity at North Milwau- 
kee, 1896. The unorganized missions are St. Cornelius at the National 
Soldiers' Home ; St. Paul's in the Third Ward ; and St. Margaret's in 
West Milwaukee. There are to-day some fourteen hundred com- 
municants of the Episcopal church in Milwaukee county. 


The Lutheran church did not gain as early a foothold in ]\Iil- 
waukee as some of the other denominations, but its growth has been 
as rapid as that of the other churches. The original Lutheran church 
was organized under the auspices of the P>ufifalo synod in 1845. there 
being at the time but two other Lutheran congregations in the territory. 
One of these was at Freistadt in Ozaukee county and the other at 
Kirchhayn, Washington county, and both were made up of Prussian 
iniinigrants. The ^lilwaukee societv, which was called St. Paul's, 


was for a time served by the same pastor as the other two congrega- 
tions and services were first held in temporary quarters on East Water 
street near Division. Subsequently the congregation worshiped on West 
Water street and later on Fourth street, occupying such quarters as 
could be obtained. Just a year after its organization dissension arose in 
the ranks of the members over questions of church doctrine and gov- 
ernment and a portion of the congregation withdrew and by attaching 
itself to the Missouri synod organized Trinity church, a short review 
of which is given below. About 1855 a church building was erected 
on Fifth street between State and Prairie streets. Eleven years later 
under the pastorate of Rev. G. Wollaeger factional differences again 
split the congregation and part of the members withdrew and held 
services in a room in the old La Crosse depot. When a satisfactory 
settlement of the difficulties had been made the members returned to 
the Fifth street church and continued to worship there until 1870, when 
the edifice now occupied by St. Paul's congregation at the corner of 
Seventh and Galena streets was erected. Rev. Carl Gram, who was 
called to the pastorate in 1873, is still serving the congregation. Mr. 
Gram succeeded Rev. I. A. A. Grabau as the president of the Buffalo 
synod in 1879, and St. Paul's church is to-day the only Lutheran con- 
gregation in Milwaukee under the jurisdiction of that synod. 

As before stated Trinity Lutheran church was organized as a 
result of disaffection in the membership ranks of St. Paul's. Most 
of the members were Prussian immigrants and upon the formation of 
the Missouri synod in 1847 Trinity became the parent church of that 
synod in Wisconsin. Until 1851 the congregation occupied a small 
frame edifice at the corner of Wells and Fourth streets and on Trinity 
Sunday. 1851, a new building was dedicated. In 1868 John Pritzlaff 
donated to the society a plat of ground at the corner of Ninth and 
Prairie streets on the condition that a church or school building should 
be built thereon. During the next year a school building was erected 
and the church moved from its old location to the newly acquired lot. 
Before many years had elapsed it became apparent that a more com- 
modious structure was necessary and on July 7, 1878, the cornerstone 
of the present church was laid with impressive ceremonies, the old 
building being removed to Concordia avenue where it is now occupied 
by the Holy Ghost congregation. The new Trinity church was dedi- 
cated in 1880. Since 1876 its pastor has been the Rev. Henry F. 

There are several Lutheran churches in the city whose organi- 
zation is the direct result of the growth of Trinity. In 1855 the in- 
crease in membership, especially from the south side of the city, of 


Trinity made it necessary that a church be organized there, and as a 
result St. Stephen's was established. The first meetings of that society 
were held in a frame building at the corner of Greenbush street and 
National avenue, but within two years a brick church and school 
building were erected at Grove and Mineral streets. Subsequently 
the congregation erected its present edifice at Scott and Grove streets. 
Rev. B. C. Sievers is the present efficient pastor of the society. St. 
Martin's church is the direct outgrowth of St. Stephen's and has always 
been located at the corner of Eleventh avenue and Orchard street. 
Rev. Gotthold Loeber has been its pastor for a number of years. 

Immanuel church is also an outgrowth of Trinity, and had its 
inception in a mission started in 1866 by Rev. Frederick Lochner. 
Five years later it was incorporated as Immanuel church. The first 
church edifice was erected in 1866 on land donated by John Pritzlafif. 
Its present location is at Garfield avenue and Twelfth street and its 
pastor is the Rev. C. Dietz. Zion church, at North avenue and Twenty- 
first street, William Matthes, pastor, can credit its origin to the growth 
of Immanuel church. Zion grew apace and in 1895 gave birth to 
another congregation known as Nazareth church. The first location 
of the latter was at Lee and Twenty-fifth streets, but it is now housed 
at Twenty-fifth and Meinecke avenue. Rev. E. Albrecht has been its 
pastor ever since its formation. 

Other churches belonging to the Missouri synod in Milwaukee are 
Bethany, organized in 1893, on Thirty-third street near Brown, Rev. 
Edward Sylvester, pastor; Bethlehem, at Cold Spring avenue and 
Twenty-fourth, organized in 1888, and of which Rev. John Schlerf 
has been pastor ever since its inception; Emmaus, established in 1893, 
located at Twenty-third and Hadley streets. Rev. J. F. Rubel, pastor ; 
Holy Ghost, Concordia avenue and Sixth street, Rev. H. G. Schmidt, 
pastor ; and Ebenezer, established in 1894, on the west side of Thirtieth 
avenue near Scott street, of which Rev. Frank C. Geise is pastor. 

While Grace church, which is now located at Broadway and 
Juneau avenue, was the first church organized under the auspices of the 
Wisconsin synod the oldest Milwaukee congregation in that synod 
to-day is St. John's. This latter society was organized as an inde- 
pendent body, and although the first pastor, Rev. William Dulitz, 
joined the Missouri synod the church did not follow. Rev. John 
Bading resigned as pastor of the church in 1908 after a continuous 
service of forty years. A brief review of his career appears in the 
biographical section of -this work in the sketch of his son. Dr. G. A. 
Bading. St. John's church is located at the corner of Eighth avenue 
and Vliet street. Grace church was organized in 1849 ^Y ^^v. John 


Mulhaeuser, who came to Milwaukee as a missionary and was event- 
ually the originator and first president of the Wisconsin synod. The 
first church edifice erected by the society was dedicated in 185 1. The 
pastorate is now filled by Rev. C. Gausewitz. 

St. Mark's church was organized in 1875, and shortly after the 
organization had been effected a lot at the corner of Garfield and 
Island avenues was purchased from the St. .John's society. There was 
a school building on the property in which the first services were held. 
Since then a fine structure has been erected. The society's pastor is 
Rev. E. Dornfeld. 

xA.s early as i860 the need of another German Lutheran church 
was felt on the south side. Members of St. John's and Grace churches 
organized in February of that year the society which eventually came 
to be known as St. Peter's. Worship was first held in the church be- 
longing to the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran society,, but before the 
end of i860 a small building suitable for church service was purchased 
from the Congregationalists. In the spring of the following year a lot 
was purchased at the corner of Third avenue and Scott street and the 
building of an edifice was immediately commenced. The presiding 
pastor is Rev. Adolph Baebenroth. 

The preliminary steps to the formation of St. Matthew's church 
were taken at a meeting held at the home of William Knoelke in 1865. 
The Rev. John Muhlhaeuser preached the first sermon to the congre- 
gation and purchased for it the lots at Garfield avenue and Tenth 
street where the school buildings and church were erected. Rev. A. 
C. Bengler is the pastor in charge of the church. 

St. Jacobus church was organized in 1873 by former members of 
the congregation of St. Peter's, the incorporation of the society occur- 
ring on Oct. 5. Rev. William Dammann was the first pastor of the 
society and continued in charge until his death, when he was succeeded 
by his son-in-law, Rev. John Jenny, the present incumbent. The 
church is located at the corner of Forest Home and Eighth avenues. 

The other Lutheran churches in Milwaukee county belonging to 
the Wisconsin synod are the Apostle, at Sycamore and Twenty-eight 
streets, of which Rev. Fred Graeber is pastor ; Bethel, at Twenty- 
fourth and Vine streets, Rev. Otto J. R. Hoenecke, pastor; Bethesda, 
at Eleventh and Chambers, Rev. H. F. Knuth, pastor; Christus, 
Greenfield and Eighteenth avenue. Rev. Henry Bergman ; Jerusalem, 
Holton and Chambers streets. Rev. G. F. Harders ; St. Luke's, Kinnic- 
kinnic avenue and Dover street, Bendix P. Nommensen, pastor ; 
Salem, Cramer and Thomas streets, Rev. O. Hagedorn, pastor ; and 
Gethsemane church at Lavton Park. 


Of the English-speaking Lutheran churches in the city the 
Enghsh Church of the Redeemer is the oldest. Under the direction 
of Rev. W. K. Frick, the present pastor of the church, work was begun 
in the autumn of 1889. So successful was his work that on Jan. 5, 
1890, the Church of the Redeemer was organized and on Sept. 14 
of the same year Rev. William A. Passavant, Jr., laid the cornerstone 
of the church on the lot on Sixteenth street between Wells street and 
Grand avenue. Other English Lutheran churches are Mount Olive, 
organized in 1894, on Fourth street between Walnut and Sherman 
streets, of which Rev. William Dallman is pastor,, and which was 
organized under the auspices of the Missouri synod ; Church of the 
Ascension, at 306 Scott street, Rev. Gustave Stearns, pastor; Church 
of the Reformation, 3412 Lisbon avenue. Rev. W. K. Frick, pastor; 
English Church of the Epiphany, 914 Third street, Rev. George 
Keller-Rubrecht, pastor ; Hope English Lutheran, Thirty-fifth and 
Cherry streets, Rev. Ernest Ross; and Faith church, established 1907, 
Rev. H. C. Steinhof, pastor. 

The largest of the Norwegian Lutheran churches is Our Saviour's 
at the corner of Scott street and Fourth avenue. This church was found- 
ed in 1858 by Rev. Mr. Thalberg. The present pastor. Rev. O. H. Lee, 
has served the church since 1881. Trinity Scandinavian church, on 
Fifth avenue near Orchard, of which Rev. Harry E. Olsen is pastor, 
is in flourishing condition. Mr. Olsen established an English Lutheran 
church, known as the Layton Park English church, at Layton Park 
in 1907, and also conducts a Norwegian Lutheran mission at South 
Milwaukee. The only other Norwegian Lutheran church in Mil- 
waukee is Emanuel on Scott street between Seventh and Eighth 

Besides the Lutheran churches in Milwaukee already mentioned 
are Ephratha, at Concordia avenue and Second street. Rev. T. Schu- 
barth, pastor; First Swedish, at 490 Reed street, Rev. Albert S. 
Hamilton, pastor; Holy Cross, corner of Fond du Lac avenue and 
Brown street. Rev. John Strasen, pastor; and Saron, Ninth and 
Prairie streets. Rev. H. H. Ebert, pastor. There is also a service 
conducted for deaf mutes who have been organized into a congregation, 
known as the Emanuel Congregation of Deaf Mutes, and its place of 
worship is at 171 1 Meinecke avenue. The report of the secretary of 
the Milwaukee school board for 1907 states that there are twenty-nine 
Lutheran schools in the city, employing ninety-nine teachers and 
having an enrollment of 5,627 pupils. 

The Lutheran cluu-ches of Milwaukee are under the jurisdiction 
of five different svnods. The Wisconsin and Missouri synods control 



a large majority, and the balance belong to the Hauge, Norwegian and 
United Church synods. 

There are in Milwaukee two churches known as Free Lutheran 
societies, the Freie Deutsche Evangelische Lutherische Gemeinde, at 
Vine and Twentieth streets, of which Rev. Johannes Dross is pastor, 
and the Norwegian Free Lutheran church at Second avenue and 
Madison street, of which Rev. D. C. Andersen is pastor. While the 
forms observed in the churches are purely Lutheran,, the doctrine is 
said to be very similar to that of Congregationalism. 


Methodism in Milwaukee had its beginning as early as 1835. Rev. 
John Clark, a member of the New York conference and one of the 
missionaries of the church, in his diary,, recorded that he arrived in 
Milwaukee during one of his missionary journeys on Jan. 19, 1835, 
and was "kindly entertained at the house of Solomon Juneau." There 
is little doubt that he was the first minister of the Methodist faith to 
visit the settlement. In June of the same year the Rev. Mark Robin- 
son visited the citizens and preached the first Methodist sermon, and 
it was also probably the first religious service of any nature held in 
the settlement. In the autumn of 1835 ^^- Robinson was received 
into the Illinois conference and was assigned to the Milwaukee mission, 
which at the time extended over a vast territory. Acording to 
Methodist usage he formed, in 1836, a class for the purpose of organ- 
izing a church. In the same year Rev. John Clark was made presiding 
elder of the Chicago district which included all of eastern Wisconsin 
and the conference designated Rev. William S. Crissey as the pastor 
at Milwaukee. Services were held in the carpenter shop of W. A. 
and L. S. Kellogg, which stood on posts in the water at the corner 
of East Water and Huron streets. The first quarterly meeting of 
the church was held Jan. 8 and 9, 1837, the only people present being 
Messrs. Clark (who presided), Crissey and David Worthington. On 
July 22 of the same year at a meeting at the home of the pastor the 
society was legally organized according to the laws of the territory. 
Elah Dibble was chairman and W. A. Kellogg secretary of the meeting 
and the trustees elected were Elah Dibble, David Worthington, W. A. 
Kellogg, L. S. Kellogg, J. K. Lowry, Jared Thompson and Joseph E. 
Howe. The conference of 1837 assigned Rev. James R. Goodrich as 
pastor of the Milwaukee church. Mr. Goodrich's health failed before 
the year was out and Mr. Jared Thompson, a lay preacher of the church 
filled the pulpit for the balance of the year and during the year 1838, 



the financial difficulties of the time making it impossible for the mem- 
bers to support a clergyman. The conference of 1839 appointed Rev. 
Julius Field as presiding elder of the district and he soon secured for 
the Milwaukee charge the Rev. Daniel Brayton. The latter was 
succeeded by Rev. John Crummer, under whose pastorate the society 
built its first edifice on a lot donated by Morgan L. Martin, of Green 
Bay, on Broadway between Oneida and Biddle streets. The pastors 
succeeding Mr. Crummer, whose terms were for various periods, were 
the Revs. Silas BoUes, William H. Sampson, Abraham Hanson, W. 
M. D. Ryan, Francis M. Mills, and James E. Wilson. In the spring 
of 1844 the necessity of a larger church resulted in the erection, at the 
northwest corner of West Water and Spring streets, of the church 
which later became known as the Grand Avenue Methodist church. 
Succeeding Mr. Wilson came Rev. W. G. Miller, and it was during 
his pastorate that the growth of the congregation made necessary a 
branching out. 

The above in brief is the early history of Methodism in Milwau- 
kee. Following the fortunes of this church it is learned that on Jan. 
14, 1854, the edifice at the corner of West Water and Spring streets 
was destroyed by fire and the congregation purchased what had been 
the Spring Street Congregational church at the corner of Spring and 
Second streets. Again on July 4, 1861, the society again suffered the 
loss of its edifice by fire, and erected, in 1863, on the same site a busi- 
ness block with an audience room on the second floor where services 
were held. In the interim between 1861 and the completion of the new 
building, in 1864, services were held in a small hall over Ogden's car- 
riage repository. In 1869 the church block was sold and the property 
at the corner of Grand avenue and Fifth street was purchased. The 
new edifice erected by the congregation was dedicated on Oct. 8, 1871. 

To avoid the enroachments of the business district the members of 
Grand avenue church determined to go farther out and property was 
purchased at the corner of Tenth street and Grand avenue. Upon 
this property was erected the fine new edifice which the church is now 
occupying. The present pastor of the congregation, which is the 
second largest in point of membership of the Methodist churches in 
the city, is Rev. G. A. Scott. 

The need of a new church on the east side was felt by the Metho- 
dists of Milwaukee as early as 185 1, but nothing was done toward 
carrying out the movement until in September. 1852. Rev. S. C. 
Thomas, then pastor of the Spring street congregation purchased from 
the Universalists the church which they had occupied on the corner of 
Broadway and Michigan streets, where later the Newhall House 



Stood and subsequently after the disastrous fire in that hostelry, the 
present Insurance Building was erected. The building was removed 
to a lot previously purchased on Jackson street between Biddle and 
Martin and was there dedicated on Dec. i, 1852, by Rev. A. Hanson. 
The conference on Sept. 9, 1853, made the church which had come to 
be known as Summerfield. Two years later the membership had in- 
creased to such an extent that it was thought advisable to build a 
larger church. With the help of the Spring street congregation the 
property at the northwest corner of Biddle and Van Buren streets was 
purchased and the building of a parsonage and church was begun at 
once. On April 4, 1858, the church was dedicated by President R. S. 
Foster, of Northwestern University. This building was later remod- 
eled, the lower floor being used for store purposes and the upper for 
church services. 

Summerfield, like Grand avenue, began to feel the encroachment 
of the business district, and early in the years of the twentieth cen- 
tury an effort was started to erect a new church. This resulted in 
the dedication in 1905 of the edifice at the corner of Cass street and 
Juneau avenue. Rev. M. J. Trenery is the present pastor of the 
congregation. Trinity church, at Kinnickinnic and Clement avenues, 
had its inception in the fall of 1866 in the meetings held by John Bishop 
and Henry Ballster. The first service under the direction of a Meth- 
odist pastor was held during the following year and on April 26, 1868,. 
an edifice erected on a lot, donated by the mill company, was dedicated. 
The present church building was erected in 1889, and Rev. W. A. 
Peterson is the incumbent of the pastorate. The present Wesley 
church, the largest in point of membership, is the continuance of the 
old Washington avenue church, which was organized by the Milwau- 
kee Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal church, in 1883. 
When the new church at the corner of Grand avenue and Twenty-fifth 
street was finished it became necessary to change the name because of 
the change of the location, and the church became known as Wesley. 
Its present pastor is Rev. Enoch Perry. 

Asbury church is the outgrowth of a society organized as a class 
in 1847, consisting of nine members. Prior to this time the station was 
known as a part of the Root river circuit. The conference of 1848 
recognized the class as a mission and Rev. Warren Oliver was ap- 
pointed to take charge of it. Meetings were held in a school-house and 
at the end of its first year the mission contained thirty-two members. 
At the conference held on July 3, 185 1, the name of the mission was 
■changed from Walker's Point to Reed street, and the following year, 
a more desirable location being secured at Virginia and Grove streets, 


the church building was again moved and the name again changed, 
this time to Grove street. The edifice was destroyed by fire in the 
spring of 1857. The lots on which the church had stood had not been 
purchased, but merely leased, and a member of the congregation 
secured for the church lots at the corner of First avenue and Park street, 
and a temporary structure erected thereon for church purposes. Sub- 
sequently a more permanent building was constructed, which was dedi- 
cated in 1858 free of debt. It was at this time that the church became 
known as Asbury. In 1863 a new brick veneer church, forty-two by 
seventy-four feet, was erected and the old church, remodeled, became 
the parsonage. In 1887 the church had outgrown its quarters and lots 
were secured at the corner of Third avenue and Washington street 
and the edifice which now houses the congregation was shortly after- 
ward erected. The present pastor of Asbury is Rev. E. D. Kohlstedt. 

On Oct. 3, 1888, Sherman Street Methodist Episcopal church was 
dedicated by Rev. H. W. Bolton, and four years later was greatly 
enlarged. The church is located at the corner of Eleventh and Sher- 
man streets and its present pastor is Rev. C. W. Turner. Simpson 
church, at the corner of Scott street and Nineteenth avenue, whose 
present pastor is Rev. Henry Colman, D. D., was built and dedicated 
in 1888. Epworth church is the outgrowth of meetings held by Rev. 
J. E. Farmer in the north part of the west side and its organization 
was effected on Jan. 4, 1891, and the church was erected and dedicated 
in the same year. The Epworth church is located at Center and 
Fourth streets, and the pastor in charge of it is Rev. W. Bennett. 
Park Place church can trace its origin to the formation of the Oakland 
Avenue church. When the Farwell avenue congregation, which occu- 
pied the old battery building on Farwell avenue and had for its first pas- 
tor Rev. S. W. Naylor, now at the head of the department of theology 
of Lawrence University at Appleton, Wis., was disbanded, many mem- 
bers joined Park Place church. The present pastor of Park Place 
is Rev. H. C. Logan. Kingsley church, which for many years was 
situated at the corner of Twenty-ninth and Brown streets, has within 
the past year moved into a new edifice at Walnut and Thirty-third 
streets. The pastor. Rev. J. S. Davis, has been connected with the 
Methodist church in Milwaukee for many years. 

There are to-day six German Methodist Episcopal churches in 
Milwaukee. Immanuel is situated on Center street between Richards 
street and Island avenue, and its pastor is the Rev. A. C. Keyser. 
The First German Methodist is situated at the corner of Prairie and 
Twenty-first streets, and its present pastor is Rev. Henry Lemcke ; the 
Second German Methodist is at Garfield avenue and Second street, 



and its pastor is Rev. W. J. Weber; the Third is at Mineral and 
Seventh avenue, with Rev. A. F. Fuerstenau pastor; the Fifth is 
located at the corner of Fifteenth and Wright with the Rev. Charles 
Hedler as its minister; and Galena street church, at Twenty-ninth and 
Galena streets, Rev. J. Schott, pastor. There is also a colored con- 
gregation known as St. Mark's, whose place of worship is at the corner 
of Cedar and Fourth streets, and its pastor is the Rev. H. P. Jones. 

There is at the corner of Scott street and Seventh avenue a Scan- 
dinavian Methodist Episcopal church, over which Rev. Jens P. Ander- 
sen presides as pastor. On Oct. i8, 1908, the cornerstone of the first 
Swedish Methodist church in Milwaukee was laid at the corner of 
Scott street and Seventeenth avenue. The pastor of the congregation, 
which was recently organized, is Rev. L. Johnson. 

Probably one of the most bitter church riots in the history of any 
church was that which occurred in Milwaukee in 1850. For the fol- 
lowing account of the affair we are indebted to a publication issued 
in Milwaukee in 1881 : 'Tt was during this year (1850) that the 
notorious church riot occurred, brought about by the presence of the 
Rev. Mr. Leahy, an ex-monk, who had renounced his vows and joined 
the Protestant Methodist church. During the progress of an evening 
service held by him in Spring Street church, one Sabbath evening, 
the doors were forced and the building filled with a mob armed with 
bludgeons and other missiles. A short conflict ensued ending in the 
retiring of the mob. The affair caused a great deal of excitement in 
the young city, and a public meeting was held to condemn this outburst 
of mob law. Mr. Leahy was guaranteed the protection of the com- 
munity and under this protection spoke several times afterwards at 
different places without molestation.'' 

The church in Milwaukee has in the course of its history been 
under the direction of three different conferences. From its earliest 
recognition until 1840, the year of the formation of the Rock River 
Conference, it was part of the Illinois conference. From 1840 to 1848 
it was under the jurisdiction of the bishop of the Rock River Confer- 
ence and since the latter year has been a part of the Wisconsin con- 
ference. In connection with the church is maintained a deaconess' 
home. The building it now occupies was formerly the parsonage of 
the Summerfield church, but was purchased in 1893 by Mrs. R. P. 
Elmore, who donated it to the church for its present purpose. 

Besides the churches in the city the Methodist Episcopal church 
has places of worship at Menomonee Falls, South Milwaukee and 
Cudahy (one charge), Wauwatosa and West Allis, all in Milwaukee 
county. The report of the Milwaukee district made at the 1908 con- 


ference held in Neenah, Wis., shows that the Methodist churches in 
the city have a total membership of 2,468, and the other churches of 
512, a total for the county of 2,980. Bishop Thomas B. Neely, pre- 
siding over the Wisconsin conference, appointed Rev. William Rollins 
as superintendent of the Milwaukee district. 

There is also one Free Methodist church in the city, at Tenth 
avenue and Madison street, of which Rev. Henry Wolfe is pastor. 


To Presbyterianism belongs the credit of organizing the first 
church in Milwaukee. Prior to 1836 the Rev. Hiram Barber, a Congre- 
gational minister, had visited Milwaukee several times and had preached 
at the services held by a few persons interested in Christian worship. 
On April 11, 1837, a number of persons met in the court-house to 
discuss the feasibility of organizing a Presbyterian society. The 
idea met with favor and two days later at an adjourned meeting held 
in the same building, with Rev. Moses Ordway presiding and Rev. 
Cutting Marsh, a missionary to the Stockbridge Indians, acting as 
clerk, articles of faith and covenant were adopted and the organization 
was efifected. Thirteen persons offered letters of dismission from 
eastern Presbyterian churches and Samuel Hinman, John Ogden and 
Samuel Brown were elected elders. On April 27 a call was extended 
to the Rev. Gilbert Crawford, of the Niagara, N. Y., presbytery, and 
he began his ministry in the July following. During the summer 
a church building was erected at the corner of Wells and Second 
streets, and was occupied until 1840. The first record of the church 
bears the date of Dec. 12, 1837, and tells of the election of John Y. 
Smith, Albert Fowler and James H. Rogers as trustees and a motion 
prevailed to call the organization "the First Presbyterian Societv of 
Milwaukee." Early in 1840 it was discovered that at the meeting of 
Dec. 12, 1837, the statutes of the territory had not been complied with 
in the organization of the society and on the 6th of February at a meet- 
ing of the society the following resolution was adopted : 

"Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed to investi- 
gate the statutes of Wisconsin relative to the organization of religious 
societies ; also, to examine the previous formation of the First Presby- 
terian Society of Milwaukee — consider the propriety of a re-organiza- 
ton ; and, if deemed expedient, to draft a constitution, and report 
at an adjourned meeting; the committee to consist of A. ImucIi, Jr., 
Rev. S. Peet and W. P. Proudfit." 

In just what manner the society had failed to comply with the 



statutes the records do not show, but at the adjourned meeting held on 
Feb. lo Mr. Finch as chairman reported : 

"That the First Presbyterian Society of Milwaukee, by the statute 
under which they are organized, has become extinct, in failing to 
comply with the requirements of the statute in the election of trustees. 
Second : That they deem it expedient to enter upon a new organization 
and third, report the following constitution of the Presbyterian 

The constitution as drafted was adopted by sections by the meet- 
ing and the re-organization was effected. In the same year (1840) 
the congregation had increased to such size that the church building 
was no longer adequate for service and a hall was leased of James H. 
Rogers. This continued to be the meeting house of the congregation 
until 1842. The building of a new church was discussed as early as 
1841 and on March 2 the society resolved "That we build a meeting 
house forty-two by sixty in size, with a basement story of brick, the 
superstructure of wood, with a steeple * * * * *" ^j^^^ 
"That we let the job of building said meeting house to William Payne 
and N. C. Prentiss for the sum of $3,300." The edifice was to be 
erected at the corner of Milwaukee and Mason streets, where the 
Colby & Abbott block now stands. Work was begun immediately 
and in the autumn of 1842 the basement was finished and ready for 
occupancy. It was not until January, 1844, that the whole was com- 
jDleted, and on the 24th of that month the dedication ceremonies 
occurred. Three years after its dedication the building was extended 
some twenty feet and again in 1853 it underwent extensive repairs and 

On Jan. 31, 1849, ^"^^^ organized the North Presbyterian church, 
being an outgrowth of a desire on the part of the old-school Presby- 
tery to gain a foothold in Milwaukee. During the sumer and fall 
immediately preceding the regular organization a small building had 
been erected on a lot at the corner of Martin and Milwaukee streets, 
and the society took possession of it. Rev. Mr. Buchanan, who had 
held missionary meetings previous to the organization, was installed 
as pastor and his services continued throughout the life of the church. 
In 1854 on the same lot a larger building was erected at a cost of 
$7,000. In the late sixties a number of members of both the First 
and North Presbyterian churches determined to organize a church 
on the west side, which afterward became known as Calvary Presby- 
terian. A history of this latter church appears below. The deflection 
caused a serious weakening of both the east side churches and it was 
determined by both societies to unite in one church. On Nov. 29, 1870, 


commissioners from both churches appeared before the Milwaukee 
Presbytery and asked for an organic union of the two. After Hstening 
to the statements of the commissioners the favor was granted and on 
December 7 the members of the two societies met and under the direc- 
tion of the Presbytery united under the name of Immanuel church. 
An act passed by the legislature of 1871 allowed the separate bodies of 
trustees to transfer all property held by them to the corporate body 
existing under the above title. On Aug. 25, 1873, the cornerstone of 
a new church on Astor street between Martin and Juneau was laid 
and on Jan. 3, 1875, the building was dedicated. At the time of its 
erection the building was the finest church edifice in the west. During 
the night of Dec. 30-31, 1887, the edifice was burned to the ground, 
and work was at once begun on a new building. The chapel portion 
of the church was ready for service on Dec. 16, 1888, and the whole 
was dedicated on March 3, 1889. During the interim the society 
secured the Athenaeum for purposes of public worship. 

As before indicated Calvary Presbyterian church is an outgrowth 
of the old First and North churches. On March 30, 1869,. west side 
Presbyterians met in the old church building so long occupied by the 
St. James Episcopal congregation and it was unanimously resolved that 
it was expedient and desirable to organize a Presbyterian church on the 
west side of the river, to be called the Calvary Presbyterian church. 
A committee was appointed to take the necessary steps for an organ- 
ization and this committee requested that all those desirous of joining 
the new church should meet a committee of the Presbytery on April 
3. Fifty-one members of the First and twelve of the North church 
members responded and these persons were then constituted the Calvary 
Presbyterian church. The building in which the society had first met 
was purchased from the St. James' society, but the next year the society 
erected its own church and the former edifice was re-sold to the St. 
James' society, which afterward used it as a chapel. Rev. A. A. 
Kiehle served the church as pastor for some twenty-five years. Its 
present minister is the Rev. W. E. Graham. 

For the following sketch of Perseverance church at the corner 
of Walnut and Eighteenth streets we are indebted to an article by 
Nicholas Smith, on "Presbyterian Church History", written for a pub- 
lication issued in 1895 : 

"What is now known as Perseverance Presbyterian church began 
its existence in the winter of 1857 and 1858. when a few Hollanders 
formed a society and began to hold religious services in a school house 
on Fifteenth and Fond du Lac avenue. In 1859 John Plankinton gave 
the society a lot on the corner of Eighteenth and Walnut streets and on 


that site a small church was built, which afterward became known as 
the First Holland Presbyterian church. * * * * =1= 

"Up to 1878, the First Holland church had a very checkered 
career. Its history was full of discouragements. In 1859, several 
months after the first church building was finished, it was totally de- 
stroyed by fire, with no insurance to cover the loss. The church was 
rebuilt, and in 1869, when Dr. Post accepted the pastorate, it was nec- 
essary to provide more commodious accommodations ; accordingly a 
large addition was erected in the fall of 1870,. but in the middle of 
January following — only three days before the day appointed for the 
dedication, fire swept everything away. =i= * * * * 

"In 1878 the church extended a call to its old pastor, Dr. Post, of 
Chicago. He accepted on condition that the English language should 
be given a prominent place in church worship, and also that the church 
should be called 'Perseverance Presbyterian Church,' instead of the 
'First Holland Presbyterian Church', which was agreed to. The name 
'Perseverance' was suggested because of the trials and tribulations 
through which the church had passed. * =i= * * * Qn the 15th 
of May, 1890, the church voted to discontinue the use of the Holland. 
This action caused the withdrawal of a large number of the Holland 
speaking members, who joined the Holland Presbyterian church only 
five blocks away. * * * * * In 1893, the church, which had 
all the years previous been more or less dependent on home missionary 
aid, declared itself to be self-supporting." The present pastor of 
Perseverance church is Rev. R. S. Donaldson. 

Westminister church can trace its origin to the establishment of 
Immanuel Mission Sunday School, opened on Nov. 17, 1876, in a build- 
ing erected on lots purchased in 1873 at the corner of Cambridge 
avenue and Dane place. A young minister, Rev. S. W. Chidester, who 
afterward became the first pastor of Bethany church, was appointed to 
take charge of the mission together with the Bethany mission on the 
south side. In 1889 the church building was moved to Thomas and 
Frederick streets and on March 14, 1890, the mission having grown to 
sufficient size, the Westminister society was incorporated and four days 
later the church organization was affected. In April, 1893, a new 
site was secured at the corner of Farwell and Belleview places, and in 
1896 the handsome new edifice which the society now occupies was 
erected. Rev. Everett A. Cutler is now serving the church as pastor. 
The church also maintains a mission at 1297 Booth street. 

Grace church, likewise, had its origin in a mission. On Nov. 23, 
1872, a committee of the Milwaukee Presbytery organized Bethany 
church on Winchester street between South Bay and Lincoln avenue, 


with twenty-two members. The organization was not a success, how- 
ever, and in April, 1879, by a formal vote of the Presbytery it was dis- 
solved. Immanuel church, however, continued to conduct a mission 
there until 1884, when Grace church was formed from the mission. 
The Grace church pastor is Rev. W. M. Clarke. 

The Holland Presbyterian church was formed by members of the 
old-school Presbytery on June 9, 1863, the original membership of 
sixty-three being mostly from the Dutch Reformed church of Milwau- 
kee. The first meetings were held in a school house on Vliet street, but 
subsequently property was secured at the southwest corner of Walnut 
and Thirteenth streets and the present church building erected thereon. 
Services are conducted at this church in the Dutch language in the 
morning and in English in the evening. The pastor is Rev. Louis H. 

The German Presbyterian church was established and located as a 
mission in June, 1890, and on May 3 of the following year was dedi- 
cated as a church. The present edifice on Nineteenth street between 
Meinecke avenue and Wright streets was dedicated on Dec. 12, 1892. 
The pastor is the Rev. Frederick L. Wolters. The parsonage was built 
in 1896. This church also maintains a mission on Jones Island, where 
Mr. Wolters conducts services each Sunday. 

The other Presbyterian churches in Milwaukee, and their pastors, 
are Berean, on Thirty-second avenue, Rev. John Kronemeyer ; Bethany, 
Washington and Fourteenth avenue. Rev. J. F. Slagle ; Messiah. Thir- 
ty-second and Chestnut, Rev. John J. Simpson ; and the Welsh Presby- 
terian church,, at Milwaukee and Martin streets, Rev. John E. Jones. 
There is also a Presbyterian church in the town of Granville. The re- 
port of the Milwaukee presbytery to the Wisconsin synod of 1905 
shows that there were 1,887 members of the Presbyterian church in 
Milwaukee county. 


The earliest Congregational service held in Milwaukee was in 
1837, ^"^^^ ^ society was started in that year, which, however, liad Init a 
short life because of the majority of its members moving to Prairie- 
ville, now Waukesha. Nothing more was done until on May 6, 1841, 
a meeting of Christians desiring the privilege of worshipping under 
Congregational auspices was held to take steps to organize the Congre- 
tional society. On May 20, a council consisting of Revs. D. A. Sher- 
man, of Troy, O. F. Curtis, of Prairieville, and J. U. Parsons, of Mt. 
Pleasant and the church was organized with the following persons 


bringing letters from other churches : Robert Love, Airs. Martha 
Love, Sarah A. Love, Wilham J. Love, John Childs, James Lyon,, 
Susan Smith, Lyman Stodard, Otis Sprague, Mrs. Catherine H. 
Sprague. Daniel Brown, Cordelia Brown, Samuel Brown, Mrs. Cla- 
rissa Brown, Joseph Dewolf and Mrs. A. W. Dewolf. After a confes- 
sion of their faith the following were also admitted to membership : 
Sarah Childs, Rebekah Burdick, x\ngeline L. Brown, Asenath Petti- 
bone, Jane A. Stodard, Sarah C. Stodard, Marietta E. Stodard and 
Almira W. Stodard. Thus the first Congregational society was com- 
posed of twenty-four members, nine males and fifteen females. By the 
close of the first -year the enrollment numbered sixty-five. The church 
was first named "The First Congregational Bethel church of Milwau- 
kee", but upon reorganization under state laws the name was changed 
on Aug. 21, 1850, to The Plymouth church of Milwaukee. On June 29, 

1841, Rev. J. J. Miter, of Knoxville, 111., was called to the pastorate 
and on Nov. 17 of the same year accepted the invitation. On Feb. 6, 

1842, the church determined to become connected with the Congrega- 
tional and Presbyterian Convention of Wisconsin. With the exception 
of a very few }ears this connection was continued for a long time, re- 
sumption under the convention being made on Oct. 13, 1853. The first 
deacons, elected in March, 1842, were Benjamin Mofifit, Samuel Brown, 
Robert Love and Daniel Brown. The meetings of the society were 
first held on the second floor of a store building at Spring and West 
Water streets and early in the winter of 1843 the society took posses- 
sion of its new edifice at the corner of Spring (now Grand avenue) and 
Second streets, which was dedicated on Jan. 3, 1844. The formal in- 
stallation of Rev. Mr. Miter occurred on the evening of the same day, 
the sermon of the occasion being given by Rev. A. L. Chapin, presi- 
dent of Beloit College. The society was formally constituted by special 
charter on March 10, 1845, ^.nd the first trustees elected were Eliphalet 
Cramer, Frederick B. Otis, Alanson Sweet, James Bonnell and Abram 
D. Smith. The church was appraised at $5,000 and the lot at $1,000. 
The increase in membership of the society was so rapid that it soon be- 
came apparent that more commodious quarters were necessary and in 
1850 the society began the erection of a new edifice at the corner of 
Oneida and Milwaukee streets. On May 24, 185 1, this building was 
appropriately dedicated. Failing health compelled Rev. Mr. Miter's 
resignation on May 7, 1856, and a call was extended to Rev. Zephaniah 
M. Humphrey, of Racine. The call was accepted and on Oct. 5, 1856, 
Mr. Humphrey was installed. 

Rev. John J. Miter, D. D., was born in Lansingburg, N. Y., on 
March 20, 1809. His father, Thomas Miter, was a communicant of 


the Episcopal church and his mother, Eleanor Miter, of the Presby- 
terian church. Dr. Miter was baptized in the faith of his father. At 
the age of thirteen years he was left an orphan and during the winter 
of 1 826- 1 827, remained in Troy, N. Y., to treat a physical ailment. 
During that season occurred a series of remarkable revival services 
by Dr. Beman and the young man was converted to the Congregational 
faith. In the fall of 1827 he was sent by a wealthy physician, also a 
convert of the same revival, to the Lane Seminary, but impaired health 
necessitated his leaving after he had completed a year of study there. 
During the following two years he was a student in a theological class 
conducted by Messrs. Beman and Kirk in Troy and at the end of the 
period was given a license to preach. A change of climate being ad- 
vised for the benefit of his health Mr. Miter came west to the state of 
Illinois in the spring of 1837. For a few weeks he supplied the pulpit 
of the First church in Chicago, and then accepted a call to the pulpit 
of the new village of Hadley. He remained in charge there for eight 
months and then went to Knoxville, 111. Thence he came to Milwau- 
kee, and his life here is already known. In i860 he accepted the pas- 
torate of the Hanover Street Congregational church, but ill health 
again compelled his resignation from active service. In 1869, the de- 
gree of doctor of divinity was conferred upon Mr. Miter by Beloit Col- 
lege, in whose behalf his labors had been incessant. In July, 1864, Mr. 
Miter was installed as pastor of the Presbyterian church at Beaver 
Dam, and served as such until his death on May 5, 1879. 

Mr. Humphrey served as pastor of Plymouth church for three 
years, until 1859, and was succeeded by Rev. Charles D. Helmer, who 
was installed in the fall of 1859 and remained as pastor for over five 
years. His successor was Rev. John Allison, who was installed in 
June. 1866. During the pastorate of Mr. Allison dissensions arose 
which resulted in a portion of the congregation leaving with Mr. Alli- 
son in the fall of 1867 to found Olivet church. This latter church had a 
checkered career for a few years, and in 1877 it was dissolved, its 
members being given letters to other Congregational churches in the 
city and its property passing into the hands of the All Saints' Epis- 
copal parish. Rev. J. L. Dudley was installed as pastor of Plymouth 
church to succeed Mr. Allison on July i, 1868, and resigned after eight 
years of faithful service to the church. In September, 1875, Rev. 
Henry T. Rose became pastor of Plymouth and served in the position 
imtil 1882. His successor. Rev. Judson Titsworth, became pastor in 
May, 1883, and is still the incumbent of that position. During the 
pastorate of Mr. Titsworth the present sightly edifice, at the corner of 
Oneida and Van Buren streets, has been erected. The building was 


started in 1889 and the cornerstone laid in March of the same year. 
A review of the career of Mr. Titsworth, who has become one of the 
leading figures in the Congregational church in the state and nation, is 
included in the biographical section of this work. 

What is now known as the Grand Avenue Congregational Church 
was organized on Feb. lo, 1847, as the "Free Congregational Church 
of Milwaukee", with a membership of twenty-two. Among other 
causes that led to the formation of this society was a conviction that 
the other ministers of the gospel in Milwaukee did not give the hearing 
and sympathy to the cause of the oppressed which the word of God 
and true Christianity required. The church at its organization adopted 
the following resolutions : 

"i^ Resolved, That slavery,, being a great sin against God and 
man, a palpable outrage on human rights, the duty, safety and inter- 
ests of the whole country require its immediate abolition. 

"2. Resolved, That duty requires of all the churches, institutions 
and benevolent associations in any way connected with or affected by 
slavery, in the name of the Lord of Hosts to lift up a standard against 

"3. Resolved, That we will not receive into this church of Christ 
nor invite to its communion table or pulpit, such persons as are guilty 
of slave-holding, or who take sides with oppressors." 

The first church edifice of this society was erected in 1848 on the 
east side of what is now Broadway between Mason and Oneida streets 
and was occupied from January, 1849, until the spring of 1852. The 
congregation then moved into the building formerly occupied by the 
Plymouth church at the corner of Spring and Second streets. Two 
years later the property was sold to the Spring Street Methodist So- 
ciety and the society erected a new building at the corner of Spring and 
Sixth streets. This was the church home until 1888, when the present 
edifice at the corner of Grand avenue and Twenty-second street was 
completed, the dedication exercises occurring on May 13. On April 7, 
1852, the name was changed from the Free Congregational church to 
the Spring Street Congregational church, and when Spring street be- 
came Grand avenue by law the name was changed to what it is at 
present. Rev. Otis F. Curtis was the first pastor of the church. The 
man about whom most of the history of the Grand Avenue Congre- 
tional church centers was the Rev. George Henry Ide. 

Mr. Ide was born in St. Johnsbury, Vt., on Jan. 21, 1839. ^^ ^^" 
ceived his preparatory educational advantages in the academy of his 
native town and entered Dartmouth College in 1861. When he had 
completed the studies of his freshman year he enlisted in the Fifteenth 


Vermont infantry for one year. At the close of his term of service, by 
^vhich time he had been promoted to the rank of orderly sergeant, he 
returned to Dartmouth and graduated with the class of 1865. For a 
year he taught in the high school of his native town and then matricu- 
lated in the Andover Theological Seminary, at which he graduated in 
1869. His first pastorate was at Hopkinton, Mass., where he served 
faith fullv for a period of seven years. He then accepted a call to the 
Central Congregational church of Lawrence, Mass., and there re- 
mained until he accepted a call to Grand Avenue Congregational church 
in Milwaukee in December, 1880, entering upon his labors early in 
1 88 1. For more than twenty-two years he remained as pastor of the 
Grand avenue church. His demise occurred on March 23, 1903. 

An article on "Congregationalism in Milwaukee" written by 
Charles E. Monroe for a publication issued in 1895. contains the fol- 
lowing concerning the Hanover Street Congregational church : 

"The Hanover Street Congregational church was organized in 
185 1 under the auspices of the Presbyterian church Society, but the 
majority of its members were Congregationalists. In 1858 the church 
formally withdrew from the presbytery and thenceforth existed as a 
member of the Congregational body. '■•' * * * * Among the long- 
est pastorates were those of Rev. Moritz E. Everz and his successor, 
the Rev. Theodore Clifton. The latter came to the church Jan. i, 1888, 
and remained at its head until March 31, 1895. ***** The first 
thing done during the last pastorate was to bring the church to entire 
self-support, ruid this was accomplished within the first year. But the 
great task undertaken was to procure a new site and erect a new build- 
ing. Late in 1888 a fine lot on the southwest corner of Hanover and 
Walker streets was purchased for thirteen thousand five hundred dol- 
lars. ''^ * * * * One of the residences upon the new property was 
kept as a parsonage and the others were sold or moved away. Ground 
was broken for the new church building in the spring of 1891 and the 
cornerstone laid Aug. 9 of that year. The church was dedicated and 
completed for occupancy April 24, 1892." The present pastor of the 
Hanover Street church is Rev. Henry StauiTer. 

The Pilgrim Congregational church was organized May 26, 1887, 
and its original members were formerly associated with the old Grand 
Avenue church. The object of the establishment of this society was to 
supply the demand for church work in the western limits of the city. 
Its present pastor is Rev. L. 11. Keller. Olivet Congregational church, 
which for many years was known as the Welch Congregational church, 
was organized in September. 1857, and until within the past few 
years worshipped on Broadway, between Michigan and Huron streets. 


The present place of worship is at 465 Superior street. The other 
Congregational churches in Milwaukee today beside those already 
mentioned are Bethlehem at Thirteenth and Harmon streets, of which 
Rev. Joseph Jelinek is pastor ; the North Side church at Wall and Lee 
streets, Rev. W. A. Gerrie, pastor; and the Swedish church at 543 
Scott street, Rev. A. E. W'enstrand, pastor. 


The earlv history of the Baptist society dates back to 1836, when 
a number of people believing in that faith gathered for public worship 
in a school house near the present intersection of Washington street 
and First avenue. The communicants were organized into a society, 
and Elder Griffin acted as pastor for two years. Upon his leaving he 
was succeeded by an Englishman, Rev. Mr. ]\Iathews, who remained 
but a short period. Interest seemed to lag, and for a year or more 
meetings were held but once a month and finally the organization was 
abandoned altogether. In 1841 the home missionary society of the 
Baptist church sent Rev. Peter Conrad to reorganize the church. When 
this was successfully done the place of worship was changed to a hall 
on Walker's Point. Regular weekly services were held during the two 
years of Mr. Conrad's stay and then the society met fortnightly, the 
pulpit being supplied by the minister stationed at Oak Creek, the Rev. 
Mr. Stickney. In 1844 the home missionary society again became in- 
terested in the organization and in May of that year sent Rev. L. L. 
Pillsbury to take charge of the same. The place of worship was again 
changed to a small room on West Water street, and shortly afterward 
to the corner of West Water and Spring streets. In October, 1844, 
Rev. Lewis Raymond assumed the pastorate and under his direction 
a lot was purchased at Milwaukee and Wisconsin streets and a church 
erected which became the first permanent home of the Baptist society. 
The organization continued to prosper until 1857, when the west side 
members withdrew from it