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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Term: Saint Francis [brief history]

Definition: Saint Francis is located in Milwaukee County just west of Lake Michigan and south of Milwaukee.  Founded in 1849, the community derives its name from the patron saint of the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi, who immigrated to the spot from a rural village of Ettenbeuren, Bavaria at the request of Archbishop J. Martin Henni (1805-1881).  As the first Archbishop of Milwaukee, Henni intended to have the sisters serve as missionaries to the growing number of German immigrants in the area.  With the construction of a seminary for German-speaking young men in 1856, a religious community began to develop.  

Incorporated in 1951, the city of St. Francis presently boasts a population of over 8,662.  Today, many residents work in the city of Milwaukee or in other local municipalities.  

Among other attractions in St. Francis, is the Foamation plant, manufacturer of the world-famous “Cheeseheads” worn by Wisconsin sports fans at Green Bay Packers football games.  In addition, the Archbishop Cousins Center, the famed practice facility for the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team, is located in Saint Francis.

[Source: WHS Library-Archives staff, 2009]

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