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Sheboygan & The Falls, Wisconsin
A Family Heritage

Read our

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Sheboygan County (Wisconsin)
(Images of America


string of port cities dot Lake Michigan's western shore  including -- from south to north -- Kenosha, Racine, Milwaukee, Port Washington, Sheboygan, Manitowoc and Sturgeon Bay.  Each was a key economic locale and a doorway to the interior of Wisconsin.  Native Americans, French fur traders, New York and New England settlers, and European immigrants including Germans were all part of their histories.

The first permanent white settlers in Sheboygan County are said to have been William Payne and Oliver Crocker who built a sawmill near today's Sheboygan Falls in 1834. Sheboygan and Sheboygan Falls soon grew into busy manufacturing hubs. Here are resources on Sheboygan history and genealogy.

GO TO:  History | Biographies | Genealogy | Today | Germans | Maps

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Sheboygan Falls (Images of America)


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Kneevers Hotel:



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Great Lakes and
Great Ships: An
Illustrated History
for Children


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The German-
American Experience


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German-American Names


Search-German-Roots.jpg (7676 bytes)
In Search of Your German Roots. The Complete Guide
to Tracing Your Ancestors in the Germanic Areas of Europe


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German Immigrants (Immigration to the
United States)


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Calling This Place
Home: Women
on the Wisconsin Frontier, 1850-1925


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Women's Wisconsin:
From Native
Matriarchies to the
New Millennium


Wisconsin-German-Element.jpg (1723 bytes)


German-Americans-Spirit.jpg (5553 bytes)
German Americans
(Spirit of America)


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Plymouth (Images
of America

located in
Sheboygan County


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German Milwaukee:
Its History ~

Its Recipes


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Cream City
Chronicles: Stories

of Milwaukee's Past


History of Sheboygan & Sheboygan Falls   [ Top ]

Sheboygan County History:   a look at the region's key groups, from French explorers to early white settlers from New York and New England to immigrants groups such as Dutch, Germans and Irish who came by ship to settle in today's City of Sheboygan and Sheboygan Falls. The development of farming and dairying, the cheese-making industry and the wood-working industry are covered. The county's population growth is also a focus.

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(Great Lakes
Album Series)

History of Sheboygan from 1833 including the role of fur trader William Farnsworth who had a trading post at the mouth of the Sheboygan River in the early 1800s, the Payne and Crocker sawmill, wild claims by land speculators, arrival of Dutch immigrants in 1845, and the predominance of German settlers in the county. The lumber industry, the rise of agriculture and cheese manufacture, the appointment of a harbor commission, the arrival of the railroad in 1872 and more are chronicled.

Sheboygan - Furniture Capital:  The city's fame as the furniture capital or "Chair City" began in 1865 with the Crocker Chair Company that became one of the town's major employers. Mentions the Phoenix Chair Company, the Northern Furniture Company founded by George B. Matoon, and the Sheboygan Chair Company.

Cheese and Chairmaking: 1920 article views Sheboygan's leadership in these industries, "chair city" status, enameled plumbing ware as the third major industry, Peter Reiss, the Kohlers and Vollraths.

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American Wooden Chairs: 1895-1908 (Schiffer Book
for Collectors)

Focuses on Sheboygan's Phoenix Chair Company

Early Settlers of Sheboygan: an 1889 report of a Sheboygan County Pioneers gathering with a list of pioneers, including maiden names, birthplace, where they lived and occupation. Most were born in New York with others from Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont. Two were from Wales and one --- G. H. Brickner who came in 1855 -- was born in Germany and settled in Sheboygan Falls. Includes an essay with recollections of Sheboygan in 1851 and letters from old settlers.

Sheboygan's Start - A Bit of Early History:  browse an 1889 article from the Sheboygan County News, mentioning several Old Settlers leaders including Geo. End and Evan Evans, Sheboygan; G. H. Brickner and James Trowbridge, Sheboygan Falls; and others.  Also includes the story of Mr. and Mrs. Dennison, early Sheboygan Falls settlers from New York, and other news stories from the late 1800s.

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Historic Sheboygan,
Wisconsin, c. 1885,
Town View Map

Sheboygan County History seen through historical documents, with a sketch of Wm. Payne's log cabin built in 1834. Sheboygan was known the “City of Cheese, Chairs, Churches, and Children."

An illustrated historical atlas of Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, including its history, with several towns and townships highlighted:
  Sheboygan County with a look at agriculture, manufactuing
  City of Sheboygan with early settlers, saw mill, woolen mill
Sheboygan Falls  with early settlers, saw mill, grist mill, foundry and
   woolen mill started by Wm. H.Prentice, owned by Geo. H. Brickner.
Lyndon and Lima, Holland
Plymouth and more on Plymouth including town and village
  Mitchell and Herman
Rhine, Mosel and RussellGermans from the Rhine River region
   were early settlers in Rhine township, that includes Elkhard Lake

Germans from Darmstadt -- a Hessian city -- settled northern Sheboygan County's Rhine Township where a Darmstadt dialect remains,
and more on Rhine-Hessian immigration to Sheboygan County [see book at right]

Map of Wisconsin counties in 1880 showing the percentage of settlers from Germany with Sheboygan, Manitowoc and Calumet counties among those in the highest category.

European-born German Speakers: a map based in the 1890 census shows concentration from Pennsylvania through Midwest, Wisconsin -- from Web site How German is American?

Large version of map from 1890 census shows Milwaukee County and Sheboygan County in darkest brown, thus with the highest concentration of European-born German speakers at that time

German ancestry in Sheboygan County:  today 47 percent of county residents claim German ancestry. In Sheboygan Falls, 60 percent do.

Wisconsin's European Immigrant Pioneers: a 1923 article tells the story of Wisconsin's Yankee settlers followed by European groups who fled the Continent seeking a better life -- Norwegians, Poles, Swiss, Belgians, and the Germans so influential in Eastern Wisconsin

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Wisconsin German
Land and Life

Includes Calumet, Washington and Sheboygan counties


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The Spirit of 1848:
German Immigrants,
Labor Conflict, and
the Coming of
the Civil War

Elkhart Lake in Rhine Township, Sheboygan County, also had early German settlers including Otto and Paulina Osthoff who opened the Osthoff Hotel in 1886. Scroll down to Sheboygan article excerpt that also touches on Austrian immigrant John Michael Kohler who founded the Kohler Company (see also Biographies below)

New Holstein:   German immigrants from Schleswig-Holstein who in 1848 began settling the township of New Holstein in Calumet County first arrived in Wisconsin at Sheboygan, then traveled west to carve out farms from the dense forests.

In neighboring Manitowoc County, the southwest township near the Calumet County border is Schleswig, and one its towns is Kiel, founded in 1854. The importance of its German settlers is seen in a 2005 Founders Day program.

Sheboygan County History including immigrants groups, early industry, population growth and the famous Sheboygan bratwurst

Sheboygan: Wurst City:  the city 50 miles north of Milwaukee is famous as the home of a unique German sausage, the bratwurst

Sheboygan History: from the meaning of Sheboygan to the USS Sheboygan, more

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Sheboygan County:
150 Years of Progress

Sheboygan Pictures: early 1900s, including the Grand Hotel in downtown Sheboygan and the H. C. Prange Co. department store

Sheboygan County History including Sheboygan with its natural advantages and Sheboygan Falls

Sheboygan Falls History starting with Silas Stedman in 1835 and his sawmill -- and an historic walking tour and clickable map including:
  Mill House built in 1837 to house mill workers, now Sheboygan
   County Historical Research Center
  Greek Revival store
built in 1848, now Rochester Inn
  Brickner Woolen Mills
built in 1879
  George Brickner House
built in 1889
  Schlicting Grocery and Drygoods
built in 1896

Richardson Industries of Sheboygan Falls stretches back to 1848 when Joseph Richardson and Egbert Burnhans built a sawmill on the Mullet River to make use of the logs coming off the 200 acres of land that Richardson was clearing for his farm. And the end of an era in 2003 as the company begins manufacturing all its furniture in China.

Biographies & Obituaries   [ Top ]

George H. Brickner: Sheboygan Falls woolen mill owner, U.S. Rep., 1889-1895, and his brief bio

Howard Dale Conger: Sheboygan Falls native, son of Robert Owen Conger and Eda Dell Morey Conger

Lucille Marguerite Luehr Conger: wife of Howard Dale Conger; daughter of William Henry Luehr and Clara Hachez Luehr, both New Holstein natives

Frederick Hildebrand: carpenter and builder, he built the Lutheran Church in 1869

John M. Kohler:   founder of the Kohler Company, Kohler family dynasty, and the Kohler village, and more on John Michael Kohler and company

Henry F. Leverenz: Sheboygan school principal

Asahel P. Lyman: pioneer store owner, shipbuilder

George B. Mattoon: furniture manufacturer

H. C. Prange: his flagship department store was in Sheboygan, and the H. C. Prange family

Clemens A Reiss: coal dealer whose company owned its own fleet of ships

Jacob J. Vollrath and his eldest son Andrew J. Vollrath, both enameled products manufacturers. More about Jacob Johann Vollrath.

Sheboygan County Biographies

Sheboygan County Obituaries

Wisconsin Biography Index: names, sources

Genealogy Resources   [ Top ]

Sheboygan County Historical Research Center in Sheboygan Falls, with helpful resources:
  list of surnames for family genealogies in the
   center's collections
  a store with many county history books
  Mill House or Cole historic home
  cemeteries of Sheboygan County with notation
   on those copied and indexed

Plymouth Historical Society

Sheboygan County Page: detailed genealogy and history site with biographies, census records, vital records indexes, obituaries, more. Includes:
 1870 Census - Town of Rhine with the Fred.
   Schneider family including daughter Mary
- Bradley-Schneider marriage: 1882 nuptials of
  Sherman A. [S. A.] Bradley, Milwaukee, and Mary
  Schneider, Plymouth
- Union Cemetery, Plymouth, with Schneider family
   members including Fred Schneider, 1825-1900, as
   well as Union Cemetery, with the burial of infant
   daughter of S. and M. Bradley
- 1910 Census -  Sheboygan Falls: including the
   Robert O. Conger household. Full record shows
   Robert, Eda, Howard, Stella and Winifred.
- 1922 Obituary for Mary Schneider Bradley, widow
   of Sherman A. Bradley

Howard Dale Conger was born in Sheboygan Falls in 1887 and married Lucille M. Luehr there in 1912. He was the son of Robert O. Conger, who worked at the woolen mill, and Eda Dell Morey Conger.

William Henry Luehr was principal for Sheboygan Falls starting with the 1910 school yearHe was a native of nearby New Holstein.

Wisconsin Ancestors: offers family group sheets, obituaries, news articles for all of Washington and Ozaukee counties plus some for Sheboygan and other counties. Search here for ancestors.

Sheboygan County WIGen: with maps, lookups as well as Indexes of Biographies

Cyndi's List - Wisconsin

Cyndi's List - Germany

Genealogy Research in Northern Germany

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Finding Your German Ancestors : A Beginner's Guide


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Germans in

(Ethnic Series)




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The German Americans
(The Immigrant


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Sheboygan County (Wisconsin)
(Images of America


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Genealogist's Guide
to Discovering Your Germanic Ancestors


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A Student's Guide to
German American Genealogy


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Great Lakes Region: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin

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Genealogical Dictionary


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Immigrants in
America - The

German Americans

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Germans to America (Series II) October 1848-December 1849

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Then and Now

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Germans to America:
Lists of Passengers
Arriving at
U.S. Ports

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Lighthouses of Wisconsin:
A Guidebook and Keepsake


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Remember My Name in Sheboygan:
People and Places


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Coming to America:
The Germans


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Ancestors in German

Archives: A Guide to
Family History Sources


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Address Book
for Germanic
Genealogy 6th ed.


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Encyclopedia of


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Genealogist's Guide
to Discovering Your Female Ancestors: Special Strategies


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The Making of


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Your Guide to the Federal Census: For Genealogists, Researchers, and Family Historians


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Finding Your
Roots Online


Sheboygan County Today  [ Top ]

Sheboygan, Wisconsin including education, notable people, bratwurst, from Wikipedia

Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin with economy, maps,  demographics, from Wikipedia

Sheboygan Falls Chamber and Main Street

Photos of Sheboygan and Sheboygan Falls with the river, falls, houses, churches, parks, historic storefronts, more.

Sheboygan County, Wisconsin with towns, demographics, from Wikipedia

Sheboygan County Government

Sheboygan County Chamber of Commerce

Whistling Straits: world-class golf course at Kohler parallels Lake Michigan, resembles British and Irish links, and enhances tourism.  View Whistling Straits holes 9-18 and
  17th green along Lake Michigan
  Kohler's American Club complex

Plymouth Chamber of Commerce for an historic town in Sheboygan County

Elkhart Lake: beautiful lake, famous resorts, with visitor info, plus Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Commission and Village Board

Photos of Elkhart Lake, historic resorts. more

Wade House: historic stagecoach inn served travelers from Fond du Lac to Sheboygan in the 1850s and 1860s, now restored -- with thanks to the Kohler FoundationIncludes:
  Herrling Sawmill
Jung Carriage Museum
honors German immigrant carriage maker Jacob Jung, family

Sheboygan River Basin: pictures including:
  Sheboygan Marsh has northwoods feel
  Sheboygan Marsh with cedar forest
  Mullet River near Plymouth, in winter
  Maps show Sheboygan River and tributaries, and Sheboygan Marsh located south of New Holstein and west of Elkhart Lake

Sheboygan Marsh, a glacial lake remnant

Kettle Moraine State Park - northern unit with part of Wisconsin's Ice Age Trail

The Sheboygan Press

Sheboygan's Mead Public Library with
  Sheboygan Press Index since 1940s
  Sheboygan Press Obiturary Index since
   2000, still in development

University of Wisconsin Sheboygan

Calumet County: neighboring county to the west of Sheboygan County, maps

Germans in Wisconsin  [ Top ]

How Wisconsin Came by its Large German Element in the 1800s, an 1892 article

German Forty-Eighters: while this focuses on Germans to Texas, this 1848-1849 upheaval in Germany sent many Germans to Wisconsin

Wisconsin: Hints for Emigrants: an 1848 guide by farmer Carl de Haas of Calumet, Fond du Lac County, for German immigrants

Germans in Wisconsin: including why Milwaukee was seen as a German Athens

Arrival of German Immigrants - 1840s: Milwaukee became known as the German Athens due to its rich German culture

Map of Wisconsin counties in 1880 with the percentage of German settlers, and map of settlement by European groups, early 1900s

German, Scandinavian and other immigrants influenced music and art in early Wisconsin.

Immigrants to Wisconsin:  from England, Ireland, Germany, Holland, Scandinavia, Poland, Switzerland and more

Turnverein Movement: German immigrants called Forty-Eighters brought to America the turnverein or turner society movement to set up athletic, gymnastic and cultural groups

German-Americans:   history, genealogy

Milwaukee Genealogy   [ Top ]

Links to the Past for Milwaukee:  major source for genealogy and history

Milwaukee Genealogical Society

Milwaukee County Historical Society and the county's area historical societies

Wisconsin Genealogy   [ Top ]

Wisconsin Historical Society:  Genealogy resources including Vital Records database

Wisconsin History Dictionary

Wisconsin State Genealogical Society

Cyndi's List for Wisconsin: starting place for the state and its localities

Rootsweb Resources for Wisconsin

Other Genealogy Resources   [ Top ]

Family Research Tips & Tools including an index to our growing series of Finding Family for Free segments, reviewing remarkable resources that help you discover your ancestors.

Brick Wall Genealogy Solutions: guide to helpful advice for times when you run into a dead end in your research and need new ideas and strategies to keep making progress.

Genealogy Resources:  links to many of the most helpful online resources for family history research, many available free, and including a section on getting started in genealogy

Relative Musings:  our blog on genealogy and family history research, including the growing number of Finding Family for Free entries.

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Whistling Straits:
The Rise of a Classic
American Golf Course


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Road America: Five Decades of Racing at Elkhart Lake



Guide to Old Wade
House Historical Site


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Wisconsin Office of Emigration 1852-1855 and Its Impact on German Immigration to the State


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Pickled Herring and Pumpkin Pie: A Nineteenth-Century Cookbook for German Immigrants to America


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German Pioneers on
the American Frontier


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Of Kindred Germanic
Origins: Myths, Legends,
Genealogy and History

of an Ordinary
American Family


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Becoming Old Stock:
The Paradox of



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Urban Culture: Writers
& Theaters in Early Milwaukee


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Organizing Your
Family History Search


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Wisconsin Frontier
(History of the

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.Genealogy 101: How to
Trace Your Family's
History and Heritage


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RootsMagic Family
Tree Genealogy


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Planting Your Family
Tree Online: How to
Create Your Own Family
History Web Site


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Wisconsin Atlas
and Gazetteer


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Cultural Map of Wisconsin:
A Cartographic
Portrait  of the State


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Mapping Wisconsin History:
Teacher's Guide


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Rand McNally
2006 Milwaukee


Maps of Sheboygan  [ Top ]

Map of Sheboygn & Vicinity including Kohler

Sheboygan Map with Chamber location

Map of Sheboygan from Yahoo

Map of Sheboygan with Kohler, Sheboygan Falls, from Google, interactive

Map of Sheboygan Falls from Google

Map of Sheboygan County

Map of Sheboygan Townships: Plymouth, Rhine, Sheboygan, Sheboygan Falls, more

Map of Calumet Townships showing New Holstein in the southeast corner and the city at the heart of the township

Maps of Wisconsin   [ Top ]

Cultural Map of Wisconsin: click for large image of cover -- order the map at left

Menominee Clans Maps: shows land ceded to the U.S. Government during 1817-1856, with an enlarged map for easier viewing. Includes the area now Sheboygan County

Map of Wisconsin counties in 1880 shown by the percentage of German settlers

1895 Wisconsin Atlas: state and county maps plus index to towns, cities

Historical Maps of Wisconsin: digital maps

Wisconsin Geography Maps: five maps show relief, elevation, rivers and lakes, counties, cities and roads

Wisconsin History Reference Maps

WorldAtlas Map Collection for Wisconsin: historic maps. outline maps, more

Wisconsin Map: click for regional maps such as East Central Wisconsin road map

Wisconsin Counties Map from the U.S. Census Bureau

Wisconsin Counties Map and click for county maps in PDF format, from WisDOT

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Wisconsin's Past
and Present: A
Historical Atlas


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The Atlas of Ethnic Diversity in Wisconsin


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Indian Names on Wisconsin's Map


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The Milwaukee

Neighborhood Map
(Maps & Atlases)


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Swiss in

Danes-Wisconsin.jpg (6838 bytes)
Danes in Wisconsin:
(Expanded Edition)


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The Researcher's

Guide to American
Genealogy 3rd Ed.


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Milwaukee Streets:
The Stories Behind
Their Names



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