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Milwaukee historical notes transcribed from the Newspaper

Reference Book

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**John Farmer's map of Michigan and Wisconsin, 1830, is

thought to have been the first American map to mark Milwalky

Bay and Milwalky River.

**The first survey of lots was made by Wm. S. Trowbridge in 1834.

**Byron Kilbourn built the first bridge. It spanned the

Menomonee to connect the Chicago road with Kilbourntown.

In 1840 the Chestnut Street bridge was built by the County

Commissioners, after much conflict between the East and West

Sides. A bridge war ensued which resulted in action by the

Legislature fixing the number and location of bridges, etc. In

1857 there were eight bridges. The construction of iron

bridges began in 1879.

**A volunteer hook and ladder company was organized in

1837. A second one in 1840 and a third in 1844.

**Milwaukee had 10,000 population in 1845.

**The charter of 1845incorporated nearly eight square miles.

**The Common Council first met in the basement of the Spring

Street (now Grand Avenue) Methodist Church, and in 1847

Moved from there to a city hall, over a stable, which burned in

1850. From 1860 to 1872 at the Old City Hall, Market Square.

Then a part of the Court House was rented. The present City

Hall was occupied in December, 1895.

**Private schools were established in 1835.

**Thirteen schools were in operation in December, 1845, only

four of which were public schools, with 356 pupils out of

1,781 children of school age in the community.

A School Board was organized April 14, 1846, and in June of

that year five schools were in operation and one more was

opened in October. The aggregate attendance was 753.

**The city got on with a marshal and watchmen until September

10, 1855, when a Police Department was organized. Chief's

salary $800. Patrolmen got $30. A month The department

organized with a chief and eleven men.

**By 1857 Milwaukee had obtained a good harbor after many

trials, at an excessive cost of nearly $450,000.

**Milwaukee issued certificates for street improvements during

the years 1853-1857 inclusive, for $570,000, to which should

be added ward expenditures of $375,000, making an aggregate

of about $900,000.

**In 1871, after the city had nearly 71,000 people, steps were

taken to provide a water supply. When the completed water

system was turned over to the Board of Public Works in June,

1875, the total cost of it was over $1,900,000, exceeding the

estimates of 1871, about 40 per cent. At the close of the fiscal

year 1887 the total cost of the water works aggregated


**The first action looking to the building of a system of sewers

was in 1863, but it was six years before a beginning was made.

**The Public Library and Public Museum Building was

completed and occupied in 1898. It cost $627,674.42.

**First paper mill in Wisconsin was built on the north side of

the Menomonee River, in 1848, about a block west of West

Water Street bridge. It was a four-story brick building, and

owned by Ludington & Garland. In 1849 it employed ten

hands. It was destroyed by a freshet in 1864.

**Milwaukee increased in population in the five years 1860-

1865, from 45,246 to 55,641, or 23 per cent, a rate twice as

rapid as the growth of the State.

Milwaukee increased in the decade 1900-1910 from 285,315

to 373,857, 31 per cent., almost three times that of the State

as a whole, and its growth represented about one-third of the

growth of the State.

**Barley forms about one-third of Milwaukee's total receipts

of grain.

**Milwaukee's four chief products in 1913, in the order named,

were: iron, steel and heavy machinery, $46,519,509; packed

meats, $30,500,000; leather, $30,500,000; beer, $25,381,615.

Coal receipts at the port of Milwaukee have grown almost

300 per cent since 1900.

**Milwaukee postoffice receipts for 1913 were $1,894,789.46,

a gain of over $140,000 in the year.

**Milwaukee has the oldest woman's college west of the

Allegheny Mountains, Milwaukee-Downer College, the

Consolidation of Milwaukee College founded in 1848, and

Downer College, 1853.

Marquette University was founded in 1864.

The State Normal School was established in 1885

**One of the largest iron smelters in the State is operated by

The Illinois Steel Company.

**In 1848 Pfister & Vogel erected the first tannery. The

precursor of an industry with an output, in 1913, valued at


**The first message by telegraph was received in Milwaukee

January 17, 1848, three years before there was a railroad in the State.

**The opening of the Milwaukee & Mississippi Railway, to

Waukesha, was celebrated on February 25, 1851.

**The first shipment of grain was made in 1841.

**In 1840 Milwaukee had one brick building, the Sivyer

dwelling, razed in 1913, that stood a little north of Mason on

the west side of Jackson Street.

**The first dam on Milwaukee River was built by Capt. John

Anderson, for the Rock River Canal Company, in 1842.

**The first grist mill was built in 1843.

**The first music hall was constructed by John Hustis, in 1840,

on the corner of Third and Chestnut Streets. It was brick,

40x50 feet, 3 stories. The first theatrical performance is said

to have been given in this building.

**The first lighthouse was built in 1838. The life saving

station was opened May 4, 1877.

**The bank riots occurred June 24, 1861.

**Wilhelm Strothman, said to be the first German settler, came in 1835.

**The United States signal service was established on

November 1, 1870.

**Nunnemacher's Grand Opera House, on the present site of

Pabst Theater, was opened September 17, 1871, with the

opera of Martha, presented by the local Philharmonic Society.

**The Young Men's Christian Association was formed in

December, 1876.

**A full paid Fire Department was established in March, 1874.

**The Court House Park, Milwaukee's first park, together with

the first court house, were given to the city by Solomon

Juneau and Morgan L. Martin, original proprietors of the East Side.

**Soldier's Home, opened March, 1864; transferred to United

States authorities, April, 1867.

**Steam heating, first through streets, October, 1879; failed 1881.

**Site ceded by Indians, East Side, February 8, 1831; West and

South Sides, September 26, 1833.

**State street changed from Tamarack, September 10, 1866.

**Storm Signal Service, established November 1, 1870; Sergt. Brimer.

**Telephone Exchange established, Prof. C.H. Haskins, May 10, 1879.

**Third Ward partially inundated, November 2, 1858.

**Vieau, Jacques, agent, arrived from Quebec with Jean Baptiste

Mirandeau, 1795.

**Walker's Point, now South Side, annexed February 5, 1845.

**Wall, Caleb, Fort Caleb, first public pound, August 14, 1865.

**War Meeting in Kneeland's grove, Spring Street, 30,000 people

in from surrounding country, July 31, 1862.

**Waterworks, first supply from river, October 24, 1873: first

supply from lake, September 14, 1874.

**Whisky cases, October, 1875 to July, 1876.

**Woman, first white, Mrs. Quartus Carley, May, 1833.



**Bank, first chartered, Bank of Milwaukee, 1836; no business;

charter repealed, 1839.

**Brewery, first, Owens & Pawlett, spring of 1840.

**Brick, first made, Nelson Olin, September, 1835.

**Bridge, first, Chestnut Street, 1840.

**Building, first frame, by Soloman Juneau in 1824, at the

intersection of East Water and Wisconsin Streets; first brick,

William Sivyer, in the fall of 1836.

**Child, first white, Miss Milwaukee Smith, born October 10, 1835.

**Court House, first, built by Juneau and Martin, 1836; razed in 1870.

**Drydock, floating dock built by Capt. S. Hubbell, 1847; slip

Dock, Wolf & Davidson, February, 1877.

**Electric light on street, Prof. C.H. Haskins, April 5, 1880.

**Firearms, breech-loading, Lee Arms Company, March 28, 1866.

**Fire Engine, first hand engine built, E.B. Howland, February

1857; first steam engine by Thos. M. Corbett & Co., October, 1877.

**Flouring Mill, first, Anderson & Wolcott, September 30, 1844;

**First steam mill, Goodrich & Easton, September 26, 1847.

**Gas, first city lighting, November 23, 1852.

**Grain Elevator, first steam, Alanson Sweet, 1848.

**Locomotive, first, landed from Schooner Abiah, September 12,

1850; first built, by Walton & Co., in 1852.

**Navigation, first vessel to anchor in Milwaukee Bay, His

Majesty's Sloop Felicity, November 3, 1779; first vessel to

enter Milwaukee River, Chicago Packet, 1823; first pier for

steamer landing, at Huron Street, by Horace Stevens, 1842.

**Newspaper, first English, Milwaukee Advertiser, July 14,

1836, the beginning of The Evening Wisconsin; first German,

Das Wisconsin Banner, September 7, 1844.

**Opera, first, by Musical Society, Czar and Zimmermann,

April 8, 1852.

**Paper Mill, first, Ludington & Garland, spring 1849.

**Physician, first regular, Enoch Chase, April 19, 1835.

**Piano, first made in Milwaukee by William Ashman,

September 3, 1849.

**Tavern, first kept by Amable Vieau, 1835.

**Telegraphy, first Morse, January 15, 1848; first Marconi

wireless, June 1, 1903.

**Wheat, first wagon-load purchased, 1839, at 50 cents a

bushel; first shipment, Schooner Illinois, spring of 1841;

first shipment to Europe direct, July 21, 1856.

**Woolen Mill, first, Walter Burke, on canal, now Commerce Street, 1843.

**Railroad, first train from Milwaukee to Waukesha, February,

1851; first line to Chicago completed in 1855; Milwaukee to

LaCrosse, opened August 22, 1858.

**Sawmill, first operated, 1843; burned, 1846.

**Schools, first private, Mr. Heth, fall of 1835; first select,

David Worthington, teacher, fall of 1836; first public, fall of

1836; first school board, Rufus King, president, April 14, 1846;

first public school building, 1849; first high school, spring of

1858, J.G. McKinley, principal; first superintendent, Rufus

King, 1859; kindergarten, first, Miss Fisher, 1879.

**Shipbuilding, first, Schooner Solomon Juneau, by Capt.

George Barber; first side-wheel steamer, Badger, 1837; first

screw steamer, Allegheny, July 21, 1855-6; first bark, Utica,

1846; first brig, C.I. Hutchinson, 1846.

**Street Railway, first horse cars, Wisconsin to Albion Street,

May 30, 1860, abandoned 1869; first electric, April 5, 1890;

cars first electrically heated, November 10, 1891.

**Type Foundry, first established, December, 1856.



**Aberdeen, Earl of, July 9, 1887

**Alexis, Grand Duke, banquet, January 2, 1872

**Cleveland, Grover, President, October 6, 1887

**Douglas, Stephen A., October 14, 1860

**Henry, Prince of Prussia, March 4, 1902

**Garfield, James A., November 2, 1870

**Grant, Gen. U.S., September 4, 1865; June 9, 1880

**Hayes, Rutherford B., President, September 12, 1878

**Kuroki, Tamemato, General Baron, May 29, 1907

**Lincoln, Abraham, speech, September 30, 1859

**Lipton, Sir Thomas, October 16, 1906

**McKinley, William, speech at Schlitz Park, October 9, 1894;

**Reception and banquet, October 16-17, 1899

**Schurz, Carl, honest money speech, October 21, 1896

**Sherman, Gen. Wm. T., October 2, 1865

**Roosevelt, Theodore, June 20, 1889; June 28, 1899; September

1, 1901; April 4, 1903; September 7, 1910

**Wilson, Woodrow, November 17, 1910



**Burns, Robert, Prospect Avenue, gift of James A. Bryden, June 26, 1909

**Elk, lake front, gift of B.P.O.E., March 25, 1901

**Ericson, Leif, lake front, gift of Mrs. Joseph T. Gilbert, Nov. 15-16, 1887

**Juneau, Solomon, lake front, gift of Chas. T. Bradley and Wm.

H. Metcalf, July 6, 1887

**Kosciusko, Thaddeus, Kosciusko Park, popular subscription, June 19, 1905

**Schiller-Goethe, Washington Park, popular subscription, July 14, 1908

**Soldiers', Grand Avenue, popular subscription, June 28, 1898

**Washington, George, Grand Avenue, gift of Elizabeth

Plankinton, November 7, 1885



**Camp Scott: North boundary, Cedar Street; south boundary,

Grand Avenue; east boundary, Twelfth Street; west boundary,

Fourteenth Street

Camp Scott was platted in 1868, as George Smith's new addition

**Camp Washburn: North boundary, Vliet Street; south

boundary, Chestnut Street; east boundary, Twenty-seventh

Street; west boundary, Thirty-fifth Street

**Sigel and Reno: North boundary, Irving Place; south boundary,

half a block south of Kane Place; west boundary, Bartlett

Street; east boundary, Prospect Avenue

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