The Founders That Help Created Milwaukee

Clarence Schreiber By Clarence Schreiber, 15th Jun 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>History

The following article is a description of the three main men that helped placed together Milwaukee. The men are Solomon Juneau, Byron Kilbourn and George H. Walker. Read a little about them and how each one shaped Milwaukee.

Solomon Juneau

Life To Milwaukee

Solomon Juneau came to Milwaukee as a clerk for Jacques Vieau in 1818. Juneau had stayed with Juneau's family in a log cabin home (and fur trading post), which was located by the Menomonee Valley, which is now Mitchell Park.

Juneau had married Josette , one of Vieau's daughters. In 1825, Juneau worked for American Fur, like his father- in- law, and had opened a trading post, which is now the intersection of Water Street and Wisconsin Avenue. His trading post had became one of the most busiest in the area.

Reputation with Native Americans

Juneau had a reputation for being as "one of Nature's noblemen" and had a very strong relationship with the Native American Indians. The languages that he spoke well in was Potawatomi and Menominee as well as English.

Building of Juneautown and Newspaper

Some of the other things that Juneau was noted to do here in Milwaukee was that he was Milwaukee's first mayor, he also started the Milwaukee Sentinel, also served as a postmaster. Juneau also had teamed up with Morgan Martin, who was a Green Bay lawyer, who helped Juneau to develop the east side of the Milwaukee River into a village in 1833.

Photo Credit:

Byron Kilbourn

Byron Kilbourn was the founder of Kilbourntown, in which he purchased land near the Milwaukee River (which is the present day Westown), prior to Milwaukee becoming a city. To Kilbourn the land was a promising location for commerce. Before coming to Milwaukee he had worked as a surveyor and also as a state engineer in the state of Ohio. The first time that Kilbourn had visited Wisconsin was back in 1834, in which he was in Green Bay and worked as a government surveyor in the area.

Great Promoter

Kilbourn wanted to promote his town-site (Kilbourntown), so he decided to help finance the Milwaukee Advertiser, and hoping to make Milwaukee a trade center. Kilbourn actively promoted the Milwaukee and Rock River Canal Co., in which would have connected the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River. He also went on to sponsor the Milwaukee harbor improvement, boat building, the Milwaukee Claim Association, and the Milwaukee County Agricultural Society.

Government Official

As a political official, Kilbourn had served in the Wisconsin Territorial House of Representatives in 1845 and was also a member of the second Wisconsin Constitutional Convention of 1847. In Milwaukee, Kilbourn served as a Milwaukee alderman and also was elected to two non-consecutive terms as mayor in 1848 and 1854.


Byron Kilbourn was also to become involved in the railroad industry, and he served as president of the Milwaukee and Mississippi Railroad for about three years until 1852. Kilbourn was fired by his directors. Then, he decided to start a new railroad that went from Milwaukee to La Crosse, which was on the border of Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Photo Credit:

George H. Walker

Walker's Point

George H. Walker had occupied a position in the development of south side of Milwaukee that was similar to that of Solomon Juneau on the east side, and to that of Byron Kilbourn on the west side of the Milwaukee River. But it was hard for Walker to develop on the land due to problems of getting clear title of the land that he had bought. Once Walker had officially cleared then he was on his way to develop the land. His land which was south of the Third Ward and the eastern part of the Menomonee River Valley.

Public Office

George H. Walker did serve in the Wisconsin Territorial House of Representatives 1842-1845 and in the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1851. He also had served as the city's supervisor, register of the land office, alderman, and as mayor in 1851 and 1853.


Walker was a leading promoter of many of the state's early railroad ventures, he was especially interested in the Milwaukee and Mississippi R.R., the Milwaukee and Watertown R.R., and the La Crosse and Milwaukee R.R. B. Walker was also one of the builders of the city's first street car line in 1859.

Photo Credit:


Byron Kilbourn, Founder, Founding Fathers, George H Walker, History, Milwaukee, Solomon Juneau

Meet the author

author avatar Clarence Schreiber
I live in the Upper Midwest and I enjoy collecting sports cards, history to name a few. Some of the things that I like to write about varies bio on people, television stations, places and more.

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author avatar Trillionaire
10th Aug 2013 (#)

Thanks for an interesting post.

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author avatar writestuff
14th Aug 2013 (#)

Thanks for this informative article. When we acknowledge the past our movements forward are surer.

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3rd Dec 2013 (#)

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