Charles B.] [Harger.

Milwaukee illustrated. Its trade, commerce, manufacturing interests, and advantages as a residence city .. online

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Online LibraryCharles B.] [HargerMilwaukee illustrated. Its trade, commerce, manufacturing interests, and advantages as a residence city .. → online text (page 1 of 9)
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We take pleasure in sending you a copy of
Milwaukee Ili.ustratkd, in order that you may have placed before
you more particularly the advantages ot our beautiful city.

ftd'Sec Folio 95.


Wisconsin Leather Company.

This is not a corporation, but a copartnership, consisting principally of
the members ot the Allen family. The founder of the house, Rufus Allen,
established in the tanning business in Central New York in 1809, and the busi-
ness has not been interrupted by a single day up to the present time. Hence it
is probably the oldest continuous tanning firm in the United States. Bark
becoming exhausted in Central New York, the business was removed to
Wisconsin in 1846, to take advantage of the bountiful hemlock forests existing
in this State. firm ranks among the largest tanners in the World, unequaled but
by one firm in all Europe. They manufacture sole, upper and harness
leather, and have the capacity to turn out over 200,000 sides of leather per

They manufacture for apcl ship to.,an markets, as well as to the
larger markets of ,'tl>i? cytyitjrv^ ; "Th^ir byjiniegs is more connected with the
Eastern States and Eurppe, tl]ai3[ xyitlj the Western States.

Their leathc- 9tandfe.higi\iri'the'miirfcets o{ the world, from the skill in
the manufacture. The firm obtained three of the highest premiums at the
Vienna Exposition, over other American and all European competitors. Mil-
waukee contains some twenty-five tanneries, and is probably the largest lea-
ther producing cenfre in this country. Many of these tanneries are of large
capacity, but the largest are those of the Wisconsin Leather Company.

M 1 LW AUKEE Past and Present.


IT was about the year 1674 that the first white man pushed aside the bushes
and picked his way through the tangled undergrowth that covered the
ground upon which now stands the beautiful City of Milwaukee. This ad-
venturous traveler was Father Marquette, the famous missionary, and even
his keen foresight would not have warranted a prediction, at that time, that
the ground would, ere long, be covered with palatial residences and costly
business blocks. Wandering tribes of Indians, coming annually to worship
the Manitou, pitched their rude lodges on the banks of the great lake and
sought the finny game in its clear waters. Later on, a solitary missionary,
journeying from St. Francis Xavier (now Green Bay) to Chicago, would re-
main a dav or two with the tribes that chanced to be located here at the time;
still later, French traders smoked the pipe of peace with the natives and bar-
tered goods with them. In 1805 Jacques Vieau, a half-breed trader whose
home was at Green Bay, visited the Indians at this point, remaining during
the winter and returning to his home in the following summer. Every year
thereafter he appeared, pursuing the same method of life, and on September
14th, 1818, brought with him a young man named Solomon Juneau, who
became his son-in-law. Juneau determined to locate here, and accordingly
ground was selected about two miles west from the mouth of the stream that
flowed into the lake. Here a block-house, warehouse, etc., were erected, and
Juneau settled down to a peacelul life, having established friendly relations
with the Indians. In 1822 he erected a block-house on the spot now desig-
nated as the corner of East Water and Wisconsin streets. For 18 years he
remained the only permanent white resident ot the place, being visited oc-
casionally by agents for the Fur Company, and other traders, to whom he
disposed of his goods.

Wisconsin was, at this time, remotely west, according to the geography,
and more particularly so in the accepted ideas and notions of Eastern people.
It required an adventurous spirit and hardy determination to break away
from the pleasant surroundings of a comfortable home and strike into the
wilderness — uncertain whether fortune or poverty, long life or sudden death
at the hand ot a treacherous Indian, would be the result. Just in proportion
to the characteristics required to face these privations and dangers, is the
life-work of the pioneer; the man who can determine to brave all, is not the
man who dies and leaves no mark behind; thus we find that the earliest set-


Icrs, those who were responsible lor the foundation of this great city which
ofTers its advantages to us, are still honored and revered in memory.

As tidings from the adventurous ones reached the less hardy spirits in the
East, enthusiasm was aroused and young men, with the world before them,
determined to try the West. Milwaukee's location, to the observing eye of the
new-comer, contained the requisites tor a great city; "Chikagu," just then
becoming a good-sized village, was making strenuous exertions to push ahead;
each place, by its efforts, materially aided the other (unconsciously, perhaps)
and so we find that tor years the towns grew in about the same proportion.

Topographically "Milwackv" differed greatly from Milwaukee, more par-
ticularly on the East Side. On the ground now occupied by Market Square,
arose a high hill, extending towards the lake. In the neighborhood of the
lake shore were deep ravines, where now appear graded and paved streets,
lined with handsome residences. In the river were several islands, and along
the river banks was a marshy lowland, frequently covered with water during a
rise in the stream. It will be interesting to remember that less than forty
years ago the ground now occupied by the Third and Fifth wards was fre-

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quently under water, and that the forest thereupon was extremely dense; that
the land on the West Side was swampy, (but covered with trees,) frequently
the bed of the swollen stream — and that two or three crooked paths through
the underbrush and thickets marked the location for the East Water, Wiscon-
sin and Michigan streets of to-day.

Accompanying will be found interesting sketches showing the place as it
appeared in the early days, long before it showed evidence of its coming
greatness, although the year of the first sketch was 1834. In the second
engraving is clearly set forth the hill spoken of above as having been located
on what is now known as Market Square.

But to trace the growth of the trading-post known as "Milwacky,"
through the various stages by which it arrived at the greatness it to-day en-
joys, would require a volume which we cannot present. In the briefest
manner we can but give leading dates and names, those necessary to roughly
sketch the outline.


Amonp^ the earliest arrivals were Byron Kilbourn and George H.
Walker, and so closely identified have their names been with the growth of
the city, that we may say the fathers of Milwaukee were Juneau, Kilbourn
and Walker — Juneau being the father of the East Side, Kilbourn of the West
Side, and Walker of the South Side. Indeed, until lately "Kilbourn-
town" and "Walker's Point" were frequently used to designate these respective
localities. The accompanying engravings are excellent portraits of the three
men whose names with others will evey remain associated with Milwaukee's
growth and prosperity.

After Solomon Juneau's long residence of i8 years, during which he had
to deal almost entirely with the natives who came and went (and by whom
he was greatly beloved,) a new era dawned for him. At this time the pioneers
began visiting the neighborhood and soon evinced a determination to build up
the site, the Indians having ceded their title in 1831 and 1833. Juneau laid
claim to a large extent of land on the east side of the stream, and entered
into the new project with great zest, being first in pushing forward all enter-
prises. He lived to see the place he founded become a large and flourishing
city, for his death did not occur until 1856. He died while visiting the
Indians, upon the occasion of the annual payment to the Menomonee tribe in
the northern portion of the state. Thus it proved that he should not, in
death's moments, be separated from those with whom the greater portion of
his life was spent. He was 64 years old.

Byron Kilbourn came to Milwaukee from Ohio, in 1834, and laid claim to
the West Side, which he immediately commenced to improve. His previous
knowledge of similar work in Ohio stood him in great stead here. He early
proposed the construction of a canal to join the Rock river, and by his per-
sonal exertions secured from the national government a land-grant to aid in
the work. Owing to the unfavorable action of the legislature, however, the
plan was abandoned and the state appropriated the moneys derived from the
sale of the land to other i)urposes. As the town grew, Mr. Kilbourn, who
was eminently qualified to assume the lead, was frequently called to places of
trust and honor. Twice was he mayor, and he was one of those chosen to
draw up a constitution for the state. In 1855 he was a candidate for the
United States Senate, but was defeated by one vote, Charles Durkee being his
successful opponent. Mr. Kilbourn was elected president of the Milwaukee
& Mississippi Railroad in 1849. He lived until a comparatively recent date,
his death occurring in Jacksonville, Fla., in 1870. He was 69 years old.

George H. Walker also came to Milwaukee in 1834, and laid claim to
land on the south side of the river, which thereafter was known as "Walker's
Point." Col. Walker identified himself with the interests of the place, and had a
reputation for moral courage and physical bravery. He was elected mayor in
1851, and re-elected a^the exjjiration of his term in 1853. During the later
years of the city's history Col. Walker was interested in the gas company, the
street railroad and other matters of that kind. He died in this city in 1866,
having seen Milwaukee attain the dignity of something like 70,000 inhabitants.

And now come up to us the familiar names of many others, whose early
struggles and faithfulness to the welfare of the city entitle them to honorable
mention among tht- fathers. Among those now with us who came before 1837
Horace Chase, M. L. Hurdick, B. H. &. W. Edgerton, P. C. Cole, Daniel Wells,
Enoch Chase, U. B. Smith, John Ogden, Geo. Dousman, And. Douglas. Benj.
Church, John Bowen, the Sivyers, P. W. Dodge, L. W. Weeks, W. P. Merrill,
M. Stein, Jos. Cary, A. W. Hatch, Arthur yVldrich. Fred. Wardner, Geo. Abert,
Rob. Davis, John Furlong, W. S. Trowbridge, John Crawford, J. A. Noonan,
Reuben Strong, the Treysers, Hans Crocker,|the Rogers, J. H. Tweedy, Elisha
Starr, the Bleyers, J. C. Smith, Ezra Dewey, W. B. Johnson, C. H. Larkin.

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Up to 1836 the east and west sides of the stream which flowed between,
contained separate villages, but in that year, by a common vote, they were
united; in 1845 the South Side was admitted, and in 1846 the City of Milwau-
kee was incorporated, having five wards, viz: on the East Side the ist and 3d;
on the West Side the 2d and 4th, and on the South Side the 5th. As will be
readily imagined, Solomon Juneau was the first mayor.

One by one the old landmarks have passed away, until now there remain
but lew of those once-prominent structures. The illustration below is of
the Milwaukee House, at one time a hotel of fine standing. The Bellevue
House, kept by Elisha Starr, was built in 1835-6 and located on the corner ot
Broadway and Wisconsin street, the site now occupied by the Library building.
Sometime after being enlarged in 1837, and called the Milwaukee House, it was
removed and afterwards destroyed by fire, except one wing which stands
to-day on the corner of Milwaukee and Detroit streets. The Light House,
designated in the preceding illustration (N) stood on the blufi at the foot ot
Wisconsin street, near the present location of the C. & N. W. R. R. depot. It

was built in 1838. The Lake Brewery (35), erected \n 1S36, still stands and is
in use according to its original purpose. St. Peters (15), the first Catholic
church, erected in 1849, niay yet be seen on Martin street, near Jackson. Ju-
neau's warehouse (19) was built in 1836 and removed up to East Water street,
soon to be torn down. The Washington House (11), built in 1836, is the
present Republican House, corner of Third and Cedar streets. Dousman's
warehouse (25), erected in 1836, is occupied by John Furlong as a fish-depot.
To-day Milwaukee contains 13 wards; trom the old ist ward was made
the 1st and 7th; from the 2d, the 2d, 6th, 9th, loth and 13th, and from the 5th,
the 5th, 8th, nth and 12th. The original 3d and 4th wards remain. The
growth in population is interesting to note, being as follows:

1836 , 275

1840 1,810

1850 19,873

i860 45,286

1870 71,640

To-day the city numbers 123,000.







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extends from the Shooting- Park, on the north, to Forest Home cemetery on
the south, ;i distance of about 6 miles; and from the shore of Lake Mich'ig-an
on the east to the l)orders of the town of Wauwatosa on the west, a distance
of about 4 miles.


RESIDENCE Portion of

The illustration on the preceding page gives the reader a fine view of
certain portions of the Milwaukee ot to-day. The observer is standing on a
high elevation in the Sixth ward — ^the site of the Humboldt School-building —
and takes in, in comprehensive sweep, the chief business portions of the East,
West and South Sides. The view represents a distance of about 5 miles in
length and \\ miles in breadth.

We will now take the reader through the residence portion of the East
Side, starting near the original center. Samples will be shown, and the
stranger must take our assurance that they fairly represent the whole. This
order of division of residence-portions with their respective sides, and division
of other portions of the book will be adhered to throughout.


The handsome Court House, of which Milwaukeeans speak with pardon-
able pride, was erected in 1872, at a cost of $650,000. It is built of Lake
Superior sand-stone, upon land donated to the county for that purpose by Sol-
omon Juneau. The park surrounding the building is, as the above illustration
shows, very beautiful, containing a dense growth of trees, gravel walks and a
handsome fountain, lately put up by C. Hennecke & Co. During the summer
months open-air concerts are given in the park, and it becomes then a
thronged promenade.

The building accommodates the various county offices and courts of jus-
tice, and, in the east wing, the city offices, the city paying a rental to the '
county of $12,000 for the privilege. The adornment of the interior is elab-
orate, and in every respect the building is a credit to the county. By a long
flight of winding stairs the top of the dome is reached; the view of the city

The east side.


from this exalted spot is unequaled, and it is only from some such position that
one forms an idea of the density of the forest skirting the limits of the city.
The original Court-house was built of wood, in 1836, and served as a jail
also. Despite the early date of its construction, the old building was kept in
constant use until iSji.when it was razed to make room for the present struc-
ture. The park is, by terms ot the gift-deed, forever to be used for the pur-
pose named. It occupies one block, bounded by Jefferson, Oneida, Jackson
and Biddle streets, and as time goes by will be constantly improved and ren-
dered more attractive. The improvements seen are the work of the present.


Facing Court House Square is St. John's Cathedral, erected in 1850. It
is still an attractive, substantial building. Adjoining it, on the right, is the
residence of Archbishop Henni, whose long services as Catholic Bishop of this
diocese were rewarded by an advancement to the Archbishopric in 1874. On
the left of the cathedral is seen St. Rosa's Orphan Asylum, an institution
under the patronage of the church, and directly back of the cathedral, on Van
Buren street, is Bishop's Hall, a new building devoted to a parochial school,
and often used for church lectures, etc.




Standing at the corner ot Court House Square and looking north on Jet-
ferson street, one sees, in the left foreground, the commodious and substantial
residence of Gov. Harrison Ludington. To the right, on the same street,
looms up the spire of the 15aptist Church, while directly opposite is seen the
Hadley School,


Within a tew moments' walk from this locality are numerous costly
churches, illustrations of which follow: — the first of Temple Emanu-El, a
Jewish housr of worship on the comer of Broadway and Martin street, the



second of Immanuel Presbyterian Church on Astor street, by far the most
costly and elaborate edifice of the kind in the city. The churches of Mil-
waukee are in a flourishing condition, and support, in addition to the ordinary
surroundings, various societies whose object it is to assist the unJortunate,
This leads us naturally to the subject of working societies.

In addition to the secret organizations whose branches are to be found in
every city — the Masons, C>dd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, etc — Milwaukee is
to be congratulated upon having numerous bands ot willing workers in everv
good cause. We call to mind the names of several of these: "Mission Band,"
"Plymouth Church Benevolent Society," "Helping Hands,' "Local Visiting
Committee," "Church Home Committee," "Little Sisters of the Poor," "Ger-
man Ladies' Associacions," several Hebrew Societies, and many others; also


various charitable institutions, such as the "Industrial School," "Home of the
Friendless,". "Young Women's Home," "St. John's Home," "Bethel Home,"
"Wisconsin Seaman's Friend Society," are kept open to relieve suffering hu-
manity. These societies, emanating from all denominations of religious
belief, exert a wide-spread influence for good and are matters of pride to Mil-
waukeeans. There are three orphan asylum (2 under Catholic and i under
Protestant supervision), 2 hospitals (St. Mary's and the Passavant), and three
convents or cloisters.

To the ladies especially should be given the credit for the maintenance ot
the working societies; their persistent efforts, and ingenuity in devising ways
and means, produce the funds necessary to carry out the great work which
each association finds before it.


A MooNLiGtir View.

One noticeable feature in the residence portion of Milwaukee is the fre-
quency of larjje g-rounds surrounding elegant homes. In no other city ap-
proximating ours in population, is this so universally the case. The effect, in
a busy city, is at once striking and exceedingly beautiful. The following illus-
tration of the handsome residence and grounds of C. T. Bradley, on Marshall,
Martin and Astor streets, will afford the reader a more detinite idea ol our
meaning. This elegant structure (one of the most elaborate in the North-
west in design and finish,) bears evidence of the skill of E. Townsend Mix,
the well-known architect, whose handiwork will be observed in many of the
other buildings, illustrations of which are to follow.

Standing at the head of any of the residence streets, one sees what would
afford material sufficient to enrapture the most exacting artist — particularly
if the view be taken looking toward the lake. Indeed, very tew artists have

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conceived anything so beautiful as Milwaukee by moonlight, the lights and
shades on the handsome streets admirably contrasted, and the s])arkling
waters of the bay dotted here and there by tairy boats.

The following illustration represents a moonlight view sketched from the
observatory on the residence of James B. Martin, corner of Cass and Division
streets. The scene gives a general idea of the many costly homesteads,
smooth, shaded streets and numerous attractive features to be seen in even so
small a part of our great city. To the far right is noticed the Baptist church,
to the left the Summerfield M. E. Church, and just back of that looms up St.
John's Cathedral. This is but one of a large number of equally beautiful
scenes that might be taken from the same spot. Milwaukee abounds in them,
and volumes could be filled with their description.



Tlie residence of T. A. Chapman, the extensive dry-goods merchant, is a
handsome frame structure, combining- beauty and comfort in the highest de-

But to enumerate the handsome residences in Milwaukee would rccjuire
by far more space than we have to spare, and we dismiss the subject for the
present with the remark that visitors invariably express themselves astonished
and delighted at the succession of homesteads that show evidences of so much
taste, culture and wealth.

Indeed, Milwaukee is a pleasant surprise to all who visit it. Nature was
lavish in her gifts, affording three hills admirably suited for the site of a pic-
turesc}ue, beautiful city. Owing to the diversity in surface the drainage facil-


ities are excellent, thus keeping the city pure, cleanly and healthy. Winding,
navigable streams aid commerce, and Lake Michigan, over which the city
looks from its bluffs 80 and 100 feet high, adds both to the commercial and
artistic value. Rarely are the various components so gathered, as they are in

Waverly Place, a short thoroughfare extending from Martin to Division
streets, is a favorite residence portion. Here was first put into practice the
pretty idea of removing all fences, thus throwing the beautiful grounds into
one immense and beautiful park. The reader can appreciate that summer-
night's entertainments and lawn-parties, in these grounds, with beautiful illu-
minations, prove exceedingly popular. Such an one was given a short time
since, for the benefit of the Industrial .School, resulting in great pleasure to
those who partici[)ated and much profit to the school.




Division street affords many beautiful sii^Hits. The accompanying- illus-
tration is of the beautiful honie of James E. Patton, near the corner ot Pros-
pect Avx'nue, one that draws forth encomiums from all who see it. A short
distance west, on the same street, is All Saints' Cathedral (Epis.), the home-
church ot Bisliop Welles.



One block east of the central house in the illustration, directly upon the
lake bluflf, is the Protestant Orphan Asylum, a well managed institution that
is constantly doing much good, Commencing at this point and running



south for a distance ot two blocks, is the Sev'enth Ward Park, a plat of
ground consisting of the lake bluff. The slope has been terraced and laid
out with walks, and when com]-)leted will be adorned with shrubbery.
Comfortable seats have been provided at the top of the bluff, and during
the warm summer evenings the promenade is. densely crowded. The view
of the bay, which is said to rival the famous Bay of Naples, from this point is
very tine.

A view is here given of Prospect avenue looking north, once considered
the principal street in that locality. It is ornamented, in a public way, by the
First Ward Park, a triangular piece of ground, in the center of which a
large and handsome fountain has been erected. In the neighborhoocL of this
avenue, for a distance of a few blocks west and running parallel with it, ap-
pears a new city. The most wonderful improvements have there been made
within the past five — we might almost say tlie past two or three years. Streets


have been opened and graded, laid with water and sewer service, and build-
ing have sprung up as if by magic. They are largely uniform in style, and

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Online LibraryCharles B.] [HargerMilwaukee illustrated. Its trade, commerce, manufacturing interests, and advantages as a residence city .. → online text (page 1 of 9)