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January 2010 Odd Wisconsin

Cat Escaped the Nazis

Madison architect Herb DeLevie grew up in Stadtskanaal, Holland, where his father ran a successful business. Their large household was home to a number of pets, including an enormous black cat that adopted them. "Before the war," DeLevie recalled, "before my father went into hiding, we had a great big black cat that appeared one day... This cat was a...
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Posted in Animals on January 31, 2010

Frontier Justice

Judge William C. Frazier arrived in Milwaukee on a Sunday night in June of 1837. Newly appointed to the Eastern Judicial District of Wisconsin, he had time on his hands that evening and joined a friendly game of poker at his inn. The stakes were small at first, but the wagers increased over the course of the night until "small...
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Posted in Odd Lives on January 23, 2010

Civil Rights in Wisconsin

This weekend we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day to commemorate his life-long struggle to secure "liberty and justice for all" in segregated America. Our own state was no exception to the rule of racial injustice, but the process by which civil rights were guaranted to all Wisconsin children is perhaps unique. When the residents of Wisconsin decided they were...
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Posted in Curiosities on January 14, 2010

Plain Speaking & Fair Dealing

Thomas Bowen (1808-1883) settled on the border of Wisconsin and Illinois, just south of Monroe, in 1836. He had such a prosperous farm that five years later he raised 4,000 bushels of corn. This flooded the market, and corn became almost worthless, bringing only 10 cents a bushel. In frustration Bowen swore that he wouldn't take less than 25 cents...
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Posted in Curiosities on January 4, 2010

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