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1848-1870

1848
Wisconsin joins the Union as the thirtieth state. Large-scale German immigration to Wisconsin begins.

1851
First railroad opens, linking Milwaukee and Waukesha. Janesville hosts the first state fair.

1854
Wisconsin abolitionists defy the Fugitive Slave Act. Those protesting the Kansas-Nebraska bill meet in Ripon and create the Republican Party.

1856
Margarethe Meyer Schurz opens the first kindergarten in Watertown.


Margarethe Meyer Schurz
WHi(W6)20532.

America's first kindergarten is now a historic site maintained and operated by the Watertown Historic Society. Office of School Services.
1857
The first railroad is completed from Milwaukee to Prairie du Chien.

1860
Wisconsin's population reaches 775,881.

1861
The Civil War begins; Governor Alexander Randall calls for volunteers; Camp Randall opens in Madison to train Union soldiers.

1863
Cordelia Harvey, widow of Governor Louis Harvey, meets with President Lincoln in order to establish hospitals in the North for wounded Civil War soldiers. The first of three hospitals opens in Madison. After the war, it becomes an orphanage for soldiers' children.

Cordelia A. Harvey.
WHi(X3)32355.

1865
96,000 Wisconsin soldiers serve in Civil War, and 12,216 of them die in the conflict.

1867
Increase Lapham publishes a report warning that overlogging will destroy the state's forests.

Increase Lapham. Portrait by Samuel Marsden Brookes. WHi(X3)17916

Laura Ingalls Wilder is born on February 7, 1867 in a log cabin in Pepin County.

Frank Lloyd Wright is born in Richland Center in southwestern Wisconsin, on June 8, 1867 (a date sometimes reported as 1869.)

 

1868
C. L. Sholes patents typewriter.

Christopher Latham Sholes' daughter, Lillian, sits with one of his experimental machines.
WHi(X313)2865.

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