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Visiting Nurse Association of Milwaukee

Visiting Nurse Association of Milwaukee founder Sarah Boyd (left) is shown with two nurses in this 1922 photograph.
The Visiting Nurse Association of Milwaukee originated in 1906 when Milwaukee businesswoman Sarah Boyd hired Maude Tompkins, a nurse with the Visiting Nurse Association of Chicago, to live in her home and provide free health care to nearby low-income residents. In 1907 Boyd, Mariette Tweedy, and other civic leaders incorporated the Visiting Nurse Association of… Read More

Wisconsin Humane Society

Buffy the kitten had been thrown from a moving car before being adopted by Stacey, Sally, and Jim through the Wisconsin Humane Society and given a new lease on life.
When founded in 1879, the Wisconsin Humane Society (WHS) aimed to prevent cruelty to animals, children, criminals, and “defective and dependent people.” In 1880 the society appointed Richard Whitehead its first superintendent and shortly thereafter the state granted the society limited police powers. Although Whitehead vigorously investigated cases of cruelty to horses and livestock until… Read More

YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee

Fundraising efforts following the end of WWII led to the construction of a new central YMCA building on Wisconsin Avenue in 1957, as pictured here. The building has also served as a dormitory for Marquette University.
Local Protestant church leaders founded the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) of Milwaukee in 1858 at a meeting at Plymouth Congregational Church. Grounded in the Christian revivalism of the late 1850s, Milwaukee’s YMCA served the young men migrating to the rapidly industrializing city. Early on, the association’s program featured fellowship and prayer meetings, educational lectures,… Read More

YWCA Southeast Wisconsin

A group of young women are gathered at the Milwaukee YMCA for an exercise class in this undated photograph.
In 1892 prominent Protestant women founded the Milwaukee chapter of the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA). Their goal was to help girls, particularly those migrating to the city from the countryside, adjust to urban life by providing affordable housing and helping the migrants find employment. The YWCA offered a range of professional development, social improvement,… Read More