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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Term: Mazzuchelli, Samuel Charles 1806 - 1864


Catholic priest, missionary, b. Milan, Italy. He was educated at Somaschi Fathers' School, Lugano, Switzerland, and served as a Dominican novitiate (1823-1828). In 1828 he migrated to the U.S. and completed his studies at Cincinnati, where he was ordained a priest in 1830. In the same year, he was assigned as a missionary at Mackinac Island, operating in Michigan, the Upper Peninsula, Green Bay, and southern Canada. One of the first Catholic missionaries to operate in Wisconsin after the withdrawal of the Jesuits, he built churches in Prairie du Chien, Potosi, Shullsburg, Platteville, and several other towns, and opened schools in New Diggings, Sinsinawa, and Benton. In 1848 he founded Sinsinawa Mound College, which operated until 1854. In 1849 he founded a community of Dominican Sisters, and in 1852 established at Benton the St. Clara Female Academy, which was continued at Sinsinawa after 1867. A noted amateur architect, he designed churches and public buildings in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa, as well as several of the buildings for Sinsinawa College. In his science courses at Benton (1854-1864), he was one of the first teachers in the state to utilize laboratory methods and visual aids. Dict. Amer. Biog.; R. Crepeau, Apotre Dominicain ... S.C.G. MazzucheIli (Paris [1932]); Wis. Mag. Hist., 18; M. E. Evans, Seed and the Glory (New York, 1950); P. L. Johnson, Crosier on the Frontier (Madison, 1959); WPA MS.

The Wisconsin Historical Society has manuscripts related to this topic. See the catalog description of the Samuel Charles Mazzuchelli Papers for details.  See also the Samuel Charles Mazzuchelli Letters. See also the Samuel Charles Mazzuchelli Biographical Notes.

View newspaper clippings at Wisconsin Local History and Biography Articles.

[Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography]
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