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On This Day: April 1

1852 - Milwaukee Charters Insurance Company

On this date the Governor signed into law legislation creating the Milwaukee Mechanics Mutual Insurance Company. This was the first and largest insurance company in the nation to underwrite fire insurance policies. Isaac Neustadtl served as the company's first president and the first policy was issued to Joachim F. Luck. [Source: History of Milwaukee, Vol. II, pg. 45]

1856 - First Elections Held in Ashland

On this date the first elections in Ashland took place in Shuyler Goff's Store. The elections were for chairman and supervisors. More information on early Ashland is available at Turning Points in Wisconsin History. [Source: "B" book : beer bottles, brawls, boards, brothels, bibles, battles & brownstone by Tony Woiak (1996).]

1865 - (Civil War) Spanish Fort and Five Forks

On the 1st of April, Union forces surrounded Spanish Fort on Mobile Bay. The 8th, 11th, 14th, 20th, 23rd, 27th, 28th, 29th, 33rd, and 35th Wisconsin Infantry regiments participated in the Battle of Spanish Fort. Meanwhile, in Virginia, the Battle of Five Forks forced Confederate troops to begin abandoning Petersburg and Richmond. At Five Forks, Wisconsin's Iron Brigade regiments helped drive the enemy out and then joined in the pursuit and capture of prisoners.

1892 - First Town Meeting in Iron River

On this date the first Iron River town meeting was held in a gambling "establishment," later declared an illegal gathering. The second town meeting was on April 30, at which time the group formally and legally convened to elect a chairman, supervisors, clerk, treasurer, assessor, justice of the peace, and constable.  [Source: "B" Book: Beer Bottles, Brawls, Boards, Brothels, Bibles, Battles & Brownstone by Tony Woiak]

1909 - Actor and Director Abner Biberman Born

On this date Abner Biberman was born in Milwaukee. Biberman, known for his acting, directing, and writing, appeared in many TV series episodes, including Kodiak, and he directed on occasion The Twilight Zone, The Untouchables, and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. [Source: Internet Movie Database]

1939 - UW Boxing Team Hosts and Wins Championship

On this date the University of Wisconsin hosted and won its first NCAA boxing championship before a crowd of 15,000 at the UW Fieldhouse. Gene Rankin, Omar Crocker, Woody Swancutt and Truman Torgerson of the Badgers won four of the eight individual titles. [Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Online]

1969 - Congressman David Obey Elected

After serving in the Wisconsin Assembly in 1962, 1964, 1966 and 1968, Obey won the April 1, 1969, special election to fill the unexpired term of Melvin Laird, who had been appointed Secretary of Defense by President Richard Nixon. Obey went on to hold a wide variety of committee appointments and chairs, including chair of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. [Source: Wisconsin Blue Book; Rep. Obey's Web site]

1970 - Milwaukee Brewers Founded

On this date the Milwaukee Brewers, Inc., an organization formed by Allan H. "Bud" Selig and Edmund Fitzgerald, acquired the Seattle Pilots franchise. The team was renamed the Milwaukee Brewers, a tribute to the city's long association with brewing industry.