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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Term: First [sic] Workers' Compensation Law (Historic Marker Erected 1985)

Definition:

The Wisconsin Workmen's Compensation Act of 1911 assured victims of work-relat­ed accidents or illnesses just compensation regardless of fault. With this law, enact­ed on May 3, 1911, Wisconsin became the first state to have a constitutional system for providing medical expenses, wage loss payments, or death benefits to employ­ees or their families. The law is regarded as a pioneering act of social legislation and a major accomplishment of Wisconsin's progressive movement. On September 1, 1911, the date the law became fully effective, a mutual insurance company began operations in a one-room office in downtown Wausau. The company, which was formed by a group of central Wisconsin businessmen as a means of meeting their responsibilities under the new law, is today known throughout the world as Wausau Insurance Companies. The purchaser of the first policy issued by the fledgling insurer was the Mosinee Paper Corporation, then known as Wausau Sulphate Fibre Company. That contract is recognized as the nation's first valid workers' compensation policy.
 
[This marker has been confirmed missing, and its text is provided from a photograph in the possession of the Wisconsin Dept. of Workforce Development. It was likely located near 44° 46.233′ N, 89° 40.744′ in a wayside area along I-39/U.S. Hwy 51 at milepost 178, 1 mile south of State Highway 153 (on the right when traveling north) in Mosinee, Wisconsin. When the highway was upgraded, the wayside was closed, and the marker removed. It is said to have been stored in the back hallway of the Marathon County Historical Society ever since.  We are grateful to associate editor Kevin White of the The Historical Marker Database (www.HMdb.org) for calling our attention to it.

Note: although legislatures in Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana and New York all passed earlier workers' compensation laws, their legislation was blocked by their courts from taking effect. Washington state passed the nation's first workers' compensation law, seven weeks before Wisconsin's took effect. By 1920, 42 other states had secured similar legislation, often using the Wisconsin legislation as a model.]

[Source: Kevin White, The Historical Marker Database (http://www.HMdb.org)]

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117 records found

facing (railroads)
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factory system (fur trade)
fall (maritime)
Fallen Timbers, Battle of
Falling Waters, Battle of
fallowing (farming)
Falls of St. Anthony
false front or boomtown (architecture)
fantail (maritime)
Fantus Report
farina (farming)
Farmers' Guards (Civil War)
fastening (maritime)
fathom
fattigmanns bakkels (food)
federal (architecture)
Federal Guards (Civil War)
feed crops
feldspar (mining)
Fender-boom (logging)
fermented milk (dairy)
fetch (maritime)
fetlock (farming)
fettle, fettling (railroads)
fieldstone (architecture)
Finagle (Civil War)
firebox (railroads)
fireman (railroads)
fires in Wisconsin
First Capitol
first rate (Civil War)
first school in Wisconsin
First [sic] Workers' Compensation Law (Historic M
firsts
Fish (logging)
fish boil (food)
fish fry (food)
fishing industry in Wisconsin
fittings (maritime)
flank (farming)
flatcar (railroads)
flitch (farming)
flocculent (farming)
floods in Wisconsin
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fluke (maritime)
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flying junction (railroads)
folle avoine (Fr.)
following (maritime)
Folsom culture (archaeology)
Fond du Lac Badgers (Civil War)
forage (Civil War)
fore (maritime)
forecastle (maritime)
forest fires in Wisconsin
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Forest Union Rifles (Civil War)
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forty (survey)
forty-eighters
forward (maritime)
four-foot (railroads)
Four-Wheel Drive Auto Company
Fox and Wisconsin River Improvement Company
Fox River Zouaves; North Wisconsin Tigers (Civil W
Fox Wars (ca. 1710-1740)
frames (maritime)
frametops (maritime)
Frank Holton Company
Fredericksburg, Battle of
Free Soil Party
Freedom from Federal Supervision Act (1953)
Fremont Guards (Civil War)
Fremont Rifles (Civil War)
Frisked (logging)
Frog (logging)
Fugitive Slave Act
fur farming
fur trade companies
furloughs (Civil War)
fusee (Fr.)
Fusée (Fr.)
futtock (maritime)

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