Milwaukee County History 1850-1940

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 1674-1850  1850-1940  1940-1980  1980-Present

Courthouse Square circa 1920

 

 YEAR

HISTORICAL FACT

1850

First public market opens.

1851

February 25
Milwaukee and Waukesha Railroad begins operations

1852

First sailing vessel arrives, British ship "Felicity".

1853

Milwaukee Turnverin founded.

1855

Police force organized with Chief William Beck in command of six policemen.

1856

November 14
Solomon Juneau dies at Menominee Indian Reservation at Kenshena.

1859

Legislature establishes first municipal court in City of Milwaukee.
September 30
Abraham Lincoln delivers an address at State Fair, Milwaukee County.

1860

September 8
Milwaukee excursion steamer "Lady Elgin" sinks in Lake Michigan with tremendous loss of lives.

1864

Registration of voters established. Marquette College granted a charter.

1867

Board of Health established with Dr. James Johnson as first health officer. National Soldiers' Home opens for Civil War Veterans. Newell Daniels founds the "Knights of St. Crispin" a national labor organization.

1868

Sholes and glidden invent and patent the first typewriter.

1870

Board of Public Works created.

1871

City's Board of Water Commissioners created with Alexander Mitchell as its head.

1873

City of Milwaukee begins supplying water to the citizens of the city.

1874

March
City of Milwaukee establishes full-time-pay fire department.

1877

Telephone service begins with 15 subscribers.

1878

Garbage collection and disposal service inaugurated in City of Milwaukee.
February 7
Public Library established.

1880

Deep Snow. Eleven feet fell between February 12 and March 23
April 5
First electric lights.

1881

First public school kindergarten opens. First Industrial Exposition. Marquette College opens its doors to enrollment for first time. Concordia College (Ev. Lutheran) opens.

1882

Milwaukee establishes city's first public museum.

1883

Newhall House burns down.

1885

Milwaukee Normal School (Later Milwaukee State Teachers' College) opens.
December
City of Milwaukee inaugurates electric street lighting.

1888

Frederick Layton presents citizens of Milwaukee with Layton Art Gallery.

1889

Board of Park Commissioners established, with $100,000 to build public parks.

1889 or
1890

Frank Toepfer, machinist and Gottfred Schloemer, barrel maker, build first automobile with motor shipped from Michigan.

1890

April 3
First electric trolley run.

1891

State Senate picks permanent site for State Fair in West Allis. Oak Creek changes name to South Milwaukee.
Patrick Cudahy builds a packing plant and founds "Cudahy".

1892

Third Ward Fire. South Milwaukee granted a village charter, has first election of village officers with F. E. Mansfield village president. Whitefish Bay granted village charter.

1893

First asphalt paving laid in City of Milwaukee.

1894

February 24
Cornerstone of present Milwaukee City Hall is laid.

1895

Milwaukee Female College and Downer College of Fox Lake merge to become Milwaukee-Downer College (later merged to form the University School of Milwaukee).
Cudahy granted a village charter with Barney Eaton as first village president.

1897

South Milwaukee incorporated as a city.
Wauwatosa (formerly Hart's Mill) granted a city charter.

1898

October 3
Present Public Library and Public Museum building opens.

1900

Shorewood granted a village charter. State authorizes a juvenile court in Milwaukee.

1902

West Allis granted a village charter, F. W. Henderson elected village president.

1903

Milwaukee School of Engineering opens.
April 1
Garbage disposal plant starts operation.

1906

Cudahy granted a city charter, with Dr. A. C. Sidler elected first mayor. West Allis granted a city charter with Frank E. Walsh elected first mayor. West Milwaukee granted a village charter. First motion picture shown, exhibited by Saxe Bros.

1907

Marquette College becomes Marquette University.
Metropolitan Park Authority established under County Board of Supervisors.

1910

Milwaukee's first Socialist Mayor, Emil Seidel, elected.

1911

November
Board of Harbor Commissions founded.

1912

Milwaukee Vocational School opens and becomes a model in the field of vocational education.

1913

Metropolitan Sewage Commission authorized by State Legislature.

1916

Daniel Webster Hoan wins first term as Mayor of Milwaukee and serves continuously until 1940.

1919

County Park Commission opens first public airport at Currie Park.
July 1
Federal prohibition stops manufacture of beer.

1920

First traffic lights installed.

1921

Gimbel Brothers operates first radio broadcasting station, WAAK.

1923

Debt Amortization fund set up by City of Milwaukee.

1925

June 26
Jones Island Sewage Disposal Plant completed, is the largest of its kind in the world.

1926

June 7
Airmail service inaugurated. County Park Commission purchases land for new and larger airport later named "General Mitchell Field". Fox Point granted village charter. Milwaukee wins first of many top national awards in fire prevention.

1927

Maitland Airstrip opens. Lincoln Memorial Bridge opens.

1928

New buildings of Milwaukee Vocational School and University of Wisconsin Extension completed.

1929

September 16
Mount Mary College opens to enrollment.
October
Federal government completes breakwater at harbor mouth.

1930

Safety building completed.

1931

Present Courthouse completed.

1933

April 6
City celebrated return of beer and reopening of breweries.

1935

Milwaukee Road and Chicago and Northwestern Railroad inaugurate "streamliners".
Work on Parklawn and Greendale housing projects begun.

1937

City of Milwaukee, suburban and county park systems consolidate under the Milwaukee County Park Commission.

1938

August 24
Emil Blatz Bandshell at Washington Park dedicated.

1939

July 2
Filtration plant for water purification starts operating. Greendale awarded village charter.

 
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MILWAUKEE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
Milwaukee County Courthouse

901 North 9th Street, RM 201 • Milwaukee, WI 53233
Phone: 414-278-4222 • Fax: 414-223-1380