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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Term: Brockhausen, Frederick Carl Jr. 1858 - 1929


labor leader, politician, b. Fredericia, Denmark. He attended public schools and became a journeyman cigarmaker (1877), and on the German island of Fohr affiliated with the Socialist party and the cigarmaker's union. He migrated to the U.S. in 1879, and to Milwaukee soon after, but also lived in Chippewa Falls and St. Paul, Minn., before settling permanently in Milwaukee in 1894. He joined the Cigar Makers Union at St. Paul (1890), and in 1897, after participating in the People's party, affiliated with the Milwaukee branch of the Social Democracy of America. He served as state assemblyman (1905-1912). He was an associate of Frank J. Weber (q.v.) in the formative years of the Wisconsin State Federation of Labor, and served as its unpaid secretary-treasurer (1900-1912) and, in effect, its executive officer and legislative representative. In 1903 he began a drive for statutory recognition of an injured worker's right to compensation without court action, and eventually saw this principle enacted into law in 1911. In 1912 he relinquished his union and party responsibilities to devote his time to his cigar business, but retained his Socialist and labor zeal, serving on the State Council of Defense (chairman of its labor committee) during World War I, and on the board of trustees of the Milwaukee County Institutions (1921-1929). Milwaukee Leader, June 17, 1929; Wis. Blue Book (1911); F. Brockhausen Papers.

The Wisconsin Historical Society has manuscripts related to this topic. See the catalog description of the Frederick Brockhausen Papers for details.

[Source: Blue book]
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