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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Search Results for: Keyword: 'Roads'

Term: Kilbourn, Byron 1801 - 1870

Definition:

surveyor, land speculator, canal and railroad promoter, politician, b. Granby, Conn. He moved with his parents to Ohio in 1803, and left school at the age of 13 to clerk in his father's store. In 1823 he secured an appointment as an Ohio state surveyor, and for ten years was active in surveying canal routes in that state.

In 1834 he surveyed a portion of Manitowoc and Sheboygan counties, Wis., and in 1835 purchased land on the west bank of the Milwaukee River. To promote this town-site, Kilbourn helped finance the Milwaukee Advertiser, and, hoping to make Milwaukee a trade center, actively promoted the Milwaukee and Rock River Canal Co., which would have connected the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River. He also sponsored Milwaukee harbor improvement, boat building, the Milwaukee Claim Association, and the Milwaukee County Agricultural Society. In 1838 he and Solomon Juneau (q.v.), his townsite competitor, secured the union of Kilbourntown and Milwaukee village (Juneau's promotion on the east bank of the river). Differences soon arose over the bridging of the Milwaukee River, however, and the final settlement did not come until 1846.

A Democrat, Kilbourn served in the territorial lower house (1845), but opposed the state constitution of 1846 because of its banking provisions. Elected to the second constitutional convention (1847- 1848), he was chosen chairman of the committee on general provisions, and helped draw up the preamble, the declaration of rights, and the articles on banking, boundaries, and amendments. In 1855 Kilbourn was defeated in the contest for U.S. Senator. He was twice elected mayor of Milwaukee (1848, 1854).

A pioneer in promoting Wisconsin railroads, Kilbourn was the principal organizer of the Milwaukee and Waukesha R.R. Co. (1847), the first railroad company in the state to begin actual construction. The line was soon renamed the Milwaukee and Mississippi R.R. Co., with Kilbourn serving as president until 1852, when he was forced to resign because of alleged fraud and mismanagement. He then became the principal organizer of a rival road, the La Crosse and Milwaukee, and obtained a land grant from the state to aid in its construction. It was later discovered that Kilbourn and his associates had used $900,000 in railroad bonds to bribe various state officials in obtaining the land grant. The subsequent scandal and investigation ruined Kilbourn's public career and the company eventually went into receivership. In 1858 he attempted to obtain a charter from the state for a liberal arts college for poor boys that he intended to call Kilbourn University. The legislature denied his request and he retired from public life. In 1868 he moved to Florida.

Sources: B. Still, Milwaukee (Madison, 1948); Wis. Mag..Hist., 19; A. M. Thomson, Political Hist. of Wis. (Milwaukee, 1900); A. W. Derleth, Milwaukee Road (New York, 1948); [F. A. Flower], Hist. of Milwaukee (Chicago, 1881); WPA field notes.

The Wisconsin Historical Society has manuscripts related to this topic. See the catalog description of the Byron Kilbourn Papers for details. View related newspaper clippings at Wisconsin Local History and Biography Articles.

[Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography]

172 records found

1888 Bohemian Schoolhouse (Historic Marker)
Abert, George 1817 - 1890
Ameche, Don 1908 - 1993
Bacon, Edward Payson 1834 - 1916
ballast (railroads)
bank (railroads)
Barron, Henry Danforth 1833 - 1882
Bashford, Coles 1816 - 1878
Bay View Rolling Mill (Historic Marker Erected 198
Belgian Settlement in Wisconsin (Historic Marker E
Bluffton, Marquette Co.
bobber (railroads)
boiler (railroads)
boxcar (railroads)
brakeman (railroads)
branch line (railroads)
Brandemuehl, David A. 1931
Breske, Roger M. 1938
broad gauge (railroads)
Brookfield [brief history]
Browne, Edward L. 1830 - 1925
Buffalo City [brief history]
Burnham, George 1816 - 1889
Burnham, Jonathan Levi 1818 - 1891
caboose (railroads)
cant (railroads)
Carhart, John W. 1834 - 1914
Carpenter, Matthew Hale [B. "Carpenter","Decatur M
Civil War: 29th Infantry
Civil War: 43rd Infantry
Civil War: home front
Colby, Gardner 1810 - 1879
Commons, John Rogers 1862 - 1945
conductor (railroads)
Cooper, Henry Allen 1850 - 1931
coupler (railroads)
Crocker, Hans 1815 - 1889
Cross, James B. 1819 - 1876
crummy (railroads)
Davidson, James Henry 1858 - 1918
De Pere [brief history]
dead man's handle (railroads)
Dheinsville Settlement (Historic Marker Erected 19
Doty, James Duane 1799 - 1865
Edgerton, Benjamin Hyde 1811 - 1886
Eldred, Anson 1820 - 1895
Esch, John Jacob 1861 - 1941
express train (railroads)
facing (railroads)
fettle, fettling (railroads)
firebox (railroads)
fireman (railroads)
First Rural Zoning Ordinance (Historic Marker Erec
flatcar (railroads)
floods in Wisconsin
flying junction (railroads)
Fond du Lac [brief history]
Foster, Nathaniel Caldwell 1834 - 1923
four-foot (railroads)
gandy dancer (railroads)
Garland, Hamlin 1860 - 1940
gauge (railroads)
gondola (railroads)
Good Roads Movement
grab bar (railroads)
Granger Movement
Green Bay [brief history]
Guppey, Gen. Joshua J. (1820-1893)
hack (railroads)
Hasenohrl, Donald W. 1935
Hatton, William H. 1856 - 1937
Hayward [brief history]
Highway Marking (Historic Marker Erected 1956)
Hirst, Arthur Roscoe 1881 - 1932
Hoard, William Dempster 1836 - 1918
hogger (railroads)
Holmes, Frederick Lionel 1883 - 1946
Holton, Edward Dwight 1815 - 1892
hotels in Wisconsin
island platform (railroads)
Janesville, Rock Co.
Jefferson, Jefferson Co.
Johnstown Center, Rock Co.
Jones, Burr W. 1846 - 1935
junction (railroads)
Juneau, Solomon 1793 - 1856
Keep, Albert 1826 - 1907
Kenosha [brief history]
Keyes, Elisha Williams 1828 - 1910
Kilbourn, Byron 1801 - 1870
Kincaid, Lloyd H. 1925
Kneeland, Moses 1809 - 1864
La Crosse [brief history]
La Follette, Robert Marion Sr. 1855 - 1925
Lasee, Alan J. 1937
Lawe, George William 1810 - 1895
Lawler, John 1832 - 1891
level junction (railroads)
Lime industry in Wisconsin
local train (railroads)
long lots
Ludington, Harrison 1812 - 1891
Mack, John Givan Davis 1867 - 1924
Madison, Dane Co.
mainline (railroads)
Manitowoc, Manitowoc Co.
Mapes, David Parshall 1798 - 1890
Marin, Paul, 1692-1753
Mcdougal, Milton 1917
meat packing industry
Miller, Roswell 1843 - 1913
Mohrsville [origin of place name]
narrow gauge (railroads)
North Freedom [origin of place name]
Omro, Winnebago Co.
pantograph (railroads)
per diem (railroads)
Pewaukee [brief history]
Philipp, Emanuel Lorenz 1861 - 1925
piston (railroads)
Plache, Kimberly M. 1961
plank road
Potter Law (1874)
Price, William Thompson 1824 - 1886
Putnam, Henry Cleveland 1832 - 1912
quarrying industry in Wisconsin
Racine [brief history]
Racine, Racine Co.
railroads in Wisconsin
Reed, George 1807 - 1883
Rest Areas on the I-Roads (Historic Marker Erected
Ringling [Rungeling], Albert 1852 - 1916
Road gang (logging)
road monkey (logging)
roads in Wisconsin (early)
roads in Wisconsin (modern)
rolling stock (railroads)
Rustic Road (Historic Marker Erected 1976)
Sanders, Col. Horace T. (1820-1865)
Shaw, Daniel 1813 - 1881
Sheboygan, Sheboygan Co.
shoofly (railroads)
siding (railroads)
six-foot (railroads)
standard gauge (railroads)
Stevens Point [brief history]
Stone, Jeff 1961
swamper (logging)
switchman (railroads)
Taylor, William Robert 1820 - 1909
Teasdale, Howard (1855 - 1936)
ten-foot (railroads)
The "Dinky" (Historic Marker Erected 1989)
The Point of Beginning (Historic Marker Erected 19
The Saukville Trails (Historic Marker Erected 1998
The Upper Mississippi (Historic Marker Erected 198
Thompsonville, Racine Co.
through platform (railroads)
timeline of Wisconsin history, 1900 -1999
Tittemore, James Nelson 1864 - 1949
trainman (railroads)
turntable (railroads)
Van Hise Rock (Historic Marker Erected 1997)
Vanderperren, Cletus 1912
Village of Cooksville (Historic Marker Erected 199
Washburn, Gov. Cadwallader Colden (1818-1882)
Watertown, Jefferson Co.
Wauwatosa, Milwaukee Co.
way car (railroads)
wheat cultivation
WPA (in Wisconsin)
yard (railroads)

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