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Carroll University

This photograph provides a view of Carroll University as it looked from the southeast in 1967, when it was still known as Carroll College.
Founded by territorial charter in 1846 in Waukesha, Wisconsin, Carroll College grew out of the then five-year-old Prairieville Academy, a preparatory program to fit young men for entry into the state university or eastern colleges. Carroll’s official charter, signed on January 31, 1846 by Territorial Governor Henry Dodge (two days before he signed the Beloit… Read More

Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist

Photograph of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist as seen from across Cathedral Square Park.
This historic church, often used as an emblem of the city of Milwaukee, is the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. The cathedral was the work of the first bishop of Milwaukee, Swiss-born John Martin Henni, who served as head of the local Catholic Church from 1843-1881. When Henni arrived in Milwaukee in… Read More

Catherine B. Cleary

As a lawyer, philanthropist, and businesswoman, Catherine B. Cleary was a pioneering force in both Milwaukee and the broader United States.
Catherine B. Cleary (1917-2010) was a formidable figure on a local and national scale, and a trailblazer for women in business. Born to a prominent family, she intended to pursue a career in education and law. When, despite her credentials, local law firms only offered her positions that did not take advantage of her legal… Read More

Catherine M. Conroy

In 1978, Catherine Conroy (seated, left) was honored as Woman of the Year by the Milwaukee chapter of NOW. In this photograph with her, from left to right, are Katherine Clarenbach, Mary Jean Collins, and Gene Boyer.
Catherine M. Conroy (1919-1989) was a prominent leader in the labor and feminist movements in Milwaukee. Born in Milwaukee, Conroy worked as a cafeteria worker in a county tuberculosis sanitarium and County General Hospital after high school in 1938. She was hired as a long-distance operator at Wisconsin Bell in 1942, later transferring to the… Read More


This photograph shows the flour mill built in 1855 in the heart of Cedarburg.
The City of Cedarburg is located in Ozaukee County approximately 20 miles north of the City of Milwaukee. Incorporated as a city in 1885 with a population of approximately 1,000 people, by 2010 the city’s population was 11,412. The Town of Cedarburg remains a separate entity that manages services such as parks and roads. Cedarburg… Read More


This 1871 plan of Forest Home Cemetery shows it as small, separate city whose curvilinear design provided a counterpoint to the urban grid.
Like all urban areas, early Milwaukee faced many issues when it came to burying the dead. There were concerns with sanitation and the threat of disease, the competition for space with businesses and housing, and the need to properly memorialize those who died. Milwaukee’s early cemeteries had neither the permanence nor the grandeur of its… Read More

Chain Belt Company

Chain Belt Company employees work at metal lathes. Finished parts and gears are stacked behind the men.
Chain Belt Company originated in the late-nineteenth century as a manufacturer of chain links designed to replace leather belts in driving large agricultural implements. Throughout the twentieth century, it diversified, improving the inner workings of machinery in a wide array of industries. The company’s success was largely attributed to the fact that its innovations were… Read More

Charles Whitnall

Charles Whitnall was a prominent Milwaukee conservationist and regional planner during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He is considered the foundational mind behind the Milwaukee County Parks System.
Charles B. Whitnall, planner and conservationist, is considered the main inspiration for Milwaukee County’s system of public parks and also an influential advocate of regional planning in early twentieth century Milwaukee. Whitnall was born in 1859, four miles north of downtown, in present day Riverwest. Charles’s father, Frank Whitnall, was an English immigrant and gardener… Read More

Charlotte Partridge

To honor their "unusual foresight and great courage," Miriam Frink (left) and Charlotte Partridge (right) were presented with illuminated scrolls at the Layton School of Art's 34th commencement in 1954.
Charlotte Partridge (circa 1881-1975) was an internationally renowned art educator, the founder of Milwaukee’s Layton School of Art, and Chair of the Federal Art Project in Wisconsin. Her legacy allows us to trace the growth of socially-engaged art practice during the first half of the twentieth century in the United States. Partridge was born in… Read More

Charter Schools

Constructed in 1955 as the gymnasium for St. John’s Cathedral High School, this building on N. Jackson Street now houses Tenor School, one of Milwaukee’s area charter schools.
The concept of a public charter school emerged as a response to calls for public school reform, with the first charter school law in the United States passed in 1991 and the first school charter awarded in 1992 in Minnesota. Since then, more than forty states and the District of Columbia have established charter school… Read More

Chicago & North Western Railway

Constructed in 1889, the Chicago and North Western rail depot on Milwaukee's lakefront served as a city landmark until its demolition in 1968.
Until its corporate death in 1995, the Chicago & North Western Railway (C&NW) had long served greater Milwaukee. Although the Milwaukee & Mississippi Railroad was the first carrier to appear in the area, in the early 1850’s a predecessor of the Milwaukee Road, two future units of the C&NW, the Illinois Parallel Railroad, and the… Read More

Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railway

This 1910 postcard showcases the large Milwaukee Road station once located on W. Everett Street. It was designed by prominent architect E. Townsend Mix and first opened in 1886.
The Milwaukee Road, incorporated in 1847 as the Milwaukee & Waukesha Railroad Company, operated a 10,200-mile system stretching from the Midwest to the Pacific Northwest into the 1970s. Its accomplishments included the first tracks connecting Lake Michigan at Milwaukee with the Mississippi River; high-speed, luxurious, beautifully designed HIAWATHA passenger trains; efficient freight services; an innovative… Read More

Childhood and Youth

Two small children stand on the rear porch of an apartment building once located on N. 8th Street. The yard is filled with scrap metal from junked cars.
Over the course of Milwaukee’s history community leaders worked to provide the ideal childhood to the city’s boys and girls. Educators, social workers and other child experts believed that every boy and girl should have adequate food, clothing, and shelter, as well as a stable family. The ideal upbringing also required girls and boys to… Read More

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

Photograph of the modern Children's Hospital of Wisconsin building. It is part of the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center.
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin traces its history from a little house on Brady Street offering free pediatric care in the late nineteenth century to its current manifestation on the County Grounds in Wauwatosa, where it is part of the Regional Medical Center. Unique among the state’s hospitals with its exclusive focus on child care, Children’s… Read More


1932 photograph of the Toy Building, once located downtown at 736 N. 2nd Street. Built in 1913, the building was home to Charlie Toy’s Shanghai Chinese Restaurant.
Due to restrictive legislation, Chinese immigration to America remained very small in the late nineteenth century and remained so until the 1940s. Originally from Canton, China, the immigrants that arrived in Milwaukee migrated from the West Coast. The Chinese who came to Milwaukee usually were men who left behind their wives and children to find… Read More

Christian Scientists

An interior photograph of the former First Church of Christ, Scientist located on Prospect Avenue. Built in 1907, the building is now used as a venue for weddings and other events.
Mary Baker Eddy, the founder and discoverer of Christian Science, published her landmark book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, in 1875. Four years later, Eddy founded the Mother Church in Boston, and within five years, Christian Scientists began practicing their Christian healing faith in Milwaukee. The Milwaukee Christian Science community is one… Read More

Church of the Gesu

1991 photograph featuring the north facade of Gesu Church. Dedicated in 1894, its two towers are a unique feature to this landmark building.
In 1894, along Milwaukee’s most elegant of boulevards (Grand Avenue, now Wisconsin Avenue), arose an imposing, twin-towered Gothic church whose façade was reminiscent of the cathedral at Chartres. The Church of the Gesu was designed by H.C. Koch who also served as architect for Milwaukee’s city hall, then still under construction. It named after the… Read More

City Beautiful Movement

The grand staircase at Lake Park was designed by Alfred C. Clas, Milwaukee's strongest supporter of the City Beautiful movement, and completed in 1908.
The City Beautiful Movement was a turn of the twentieth century national movement focused on creating attractive, well-designed urban landscapes. While the City Beautiful crusade is typically associated with places such as Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Denver, Milwaukee also experienced a push for beautification during this period. Influenced by the municipal reform movement and inspired… Read More

City Hall

City Hall from the south, with a message advertising Festa Italiana on the upper stories.
The Milwaukee City Hall is located on the site of the previous “Market Hall” on the triangular parcel of land between Market Street, Water Street, Wells Street, and Kilbourn Avenue. In 1891 an architectural contest was held to replace the “Market Hall” with a new headquarters for city government. Chicago architect Henry Ives Cobb submitted… Read More

City of Brookfield

Three men provide a ski demonstration for onlookers at the Brookfield Square Mall in 1980. Opened in 1967, it was the first enclosed mall in the Milwaukee area.
The City of Brookfield is located in the northeast corner of Waukesha County. It is north of New Berlin, south of Menomonee Falls, and east of Pewaukee. According to the U.S. Census, the City of Brookfield had almost thirty-eight thousand residents in 2010. Its elected officials include a common council of fourteen alderpersons and a… Read More
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