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On This Day: March 17

1849 - Patrick Cudahy Born

On this date Patrick Cudahy was born. A philanthropist and meat packer, Cudahy was born in Callan, County Kilkenny, Ireland, and arrived in Milwaukee with his family in 1849. He began working in the meat packing industry at the age of 14. He became superintendent of the Plankinton and Armour plant in Milwaukee in 1874. Cudahy became partners with Plankinton in 1884 and formed John Plankinton and Company. Upon Plankinton's death in 1888, Patrick Cudahy and his brother John purchased the company which became the Cudahy Brothers. He founded and promoted Cudahy, Wisconsin, as an industrial city. Patrick Cudahy served as company president from 1893 to 1915. He was a director of the First Wisconsin National Bank of Milwaukee. His extensive real estate holdings in Milwaukee were incorporated as the Patrick Cudahy Family Company. He was active in and contributed to the Milwaukee Association of Commerce, Ancient Order of Hibernians, and Friends of Irish Freedom. [Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin Biography, SHSW 1960, pg. 91]

1862 - (Civil War) Peninsular Campaign begins in Virginia

The Peninsular Campaign commenced in Virginia, as Union forces sailed south to Fortress Monroe and tried to take Richmond from the south. The 5th Wisconsin Infantry and Company G of the 1st U.S. Sharpshooters participated in the Peninsular Campaign.

1929 - Bascom B. Clarke

On this date Bascom B. Clarke, editor of the American Thresherman and a prominent Madison citizen, died in Madison. In May, 1898, he founded the American Thresherman, a publication devoted to the interests of threshing and farm power, which informed farmers of the latest practical and scientific farming practices. The publication's offices were located at 115 West Main in Madison until 1909 when Robert La Follette took over the space for his new publication, La Follette's Weekly Magazine.

1941 - General Mitchell Field Named

On this date Milwaukee's airport was named to honor the city's famous air-power pioneer, General William Mitchell. [Source: History Just Ahead: A Guide to Wisconsin's Historical Markers edited by Sarah Davis McBride]