Browse by Subject

Showing 61-69 of 69 Entries


An overexposed sepia-colored photo of the four-story Temperance House building. All upper floors have balconies enclosed with balustrades. Several people stand on the balconies. More appear on the porch. Atop the building is inscribed "Wisconsin Seaman's Friend Society." The Temperance House sign is attached to the third's floor's balusters. Another building appears on the left.
Temperance, or the crusade against alcohol in Jacksonian and antebellum America, resulted in the first support groups for alcoholics, the first local license laws, and then (in the 1850s and mostly in the Northeast and Midwest) statewide laws banning the manufacture and sale of liquor. The movement coincided with the settlement of Wisconsin and Milwaukee,… Read More

Territorial Jurisdiction

Map of the Northwestern Territories of the United States. Lines that symbolize rivers, mountains, and lakes are visible. The red lines indicating the route taken by Lewis Cass appear dominantly on the map. A yellow line differentiates the American territory from the Canadian. A small picture at the top illustrating a natural landscape is titled "Upper Red Cedar, or Cassina Lake."
The Treaty of Paris (1783), which ended the American Revolution, recognized the legal jurisdiction of the United States over lands north of the Ohio River. For the next sixty-five years, the area that became Milwaukee fell under the jurisdiction of various federal territories. Although the authority of the federal government over what would become Wisconsin… Read More

Transportation Policy

Grayscale long shot of automobiles, horse-drawn carriages, and trolleys traversing E. Wisconsin Avenue. The vehicles run from the background toward the left foreground. Overhead wires are visible. The lane near the camera lens is almost empty. A few people walk on the right side of the image. Tall buildings line either side of the street.
Milwaukee sits at the confluence of three rivers: the Milwaukee, Menomonee, and Kinnickinnic on Lake Michigan’s western shore, some eighty miles north of Chicago. This location has always been central to its appeal. The first sailing vessel to dock on its shores arrived in 1778, seventy years before Wisconsin became a state. For centuries, native… Read More

Urban Renewal

Grayscale elevated view of a demolished lot on the left and other buildings on the right and far background. A two-story commercial place appears on the left back with a sign that reads "Baensch Food Products Co" attached to the upper floor wall, and another sign reads "Leading Machinery Co" on the ground floor wall. Utility poles stand in the foreground next to a dirt road stretching right to the left.
In Milwaukee, urban renewal largely took place between the mid-1960s and the early 1980s, primarily in Midtown and adjoining neighborhoods during the mayoralty of Henry W. Maier. In preceding decades, due in large part to the economic stagnation and dislocation caused by the Great Depression and World War II, significant portions of Milwaukee’s infrastructure had… Read More


Sepia-colored group photo of survivors of Co. H, 11th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry posing in three rows. Men in the front row are seated on the floor. Men in the second row are kneeling and those in the back standing. They all make eye contact with the camera lens. Text beneath the photo includes the names of all the veterans.
The most remarkable reminder of the presence of veterans in Milwaukee is the Milwaukee County War Memorial Center (WMC), which was built on the downtown lakefront as a “living memorial” to veterans. Finished in 1957, the War Memorial building is the home of the Milwaukee Art Museum, while the non-profit organization that administers the WMC… Read More

Victor L. Berger

Portrait of Victor Berger in grayscale tone sitting facing slightly to the right in an armchair. He wears round glasses and a curvy collared suit. Both his arms rest on the chair. His eyes look to the right radiating confidence.
Newspaperman, co-founder of the Socialist Party, and first Socialist U.S. Congressman, Victor L. Berger (1860-1929) created the party apparatus that shaped Milwaukee politics for a half century. Berger fought for free speech, opposed war, and advocated for programs ranging from old-age pensions to Milwaukee’s public parks. Berger believed that change would come through evolution and… Read More

Water Policy

A painted postcard illustrates a bird's eye view of the grand building of Milwaukee's 1939 Water Purification Plant with Lake Michigan behind. The building has two wings. The central part is elaborate and features an entrance. Vehicles traverse a u-shape driveway around the entrance. Extensive green lawns appear in front of the building. Green trees span the foreground. Blue sky is above. Text at the top center reads "Water Purification Plant, Lake Park, Milwaukee, Wis."
Water policy in Milwaukee has evolved with both changes in scientific knowledge and federal law; as understanding of the ecological role of water systems and legal acknowledgement of hierarchical structures in the use of those systems has changed, so has the focus of Milwaukee’s water policy. Like other cities in the nineteenth century, whether extant… Read More

Whig Party

Front page of a leaflet entitled "Democratic Whig Meeting!" Names are listed in the leaflet's bottom portion.
This political party’s influence in Milwaukee, first apparent in the late 1830s, was circumscribed because of the city’s substantial foreign-born population. German and Irish voters tended to align themselves with the Democratic Party against the Yankee-dominated Whigs, who were seen as nativists and temperance advocates. Over the course of the 1840s and 1850s, Milwaukee Whigs… Read More

William Beck

Image of one of the pages of William Beck's 1870 report. The document's heading reads "Annual Report of Chief of Police" written in the largest font. Displayed beneath the title is Beck's short letter to the Mayor and Common Council of the City of Milwaukee. The report's table of contents fills the bottom portion of the page.
William Beck was appointed Milwaukee’s first police chief in 1855 after a series of arsons, thefts, and murders. German-born, Beck migrated to New York, serving as a police officer before becoming a farmer in the Town of Granville outside of Milwaukee. He served as a deputy sheriff for two years before beginning an on-again/off-again span… Read More