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On This Day: July 16

1808 - Daniel Wells Born

On this date Daniel Wells, democratic Congressman, was born in West Waterville, Maine. Wells moved to Milwaukee in 1838, engaging in banking and lumbering. He was appointed probate judge of Milwaukee in 1838 and served as a member of the Territorial council from 1838 to 1840. Wells served in Congress from March 4, 1853 until March 3, 1857. After his time in Congress, he engaged in the development of railroads and served as director of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad from 1865 to 1866. He served as president of the La Crosse & Milwaukee Railroad, the Southern Minnesota Railroad, and the St. Paul & Minnesota Valley Railroad. Wells died in Milwaukee on March 18, 1902 and is buried in Forest Home Cemetery. [Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress]

1843 - Wisconsin's First Woman Physician Born

On this date Laura Ross Wolcott was born in Maine. She attended one of the first normal schools in New England. She then privately studied medicine at Harvard, as women were not admitted into colleges at that time. She moved to Wisconsin and became the state's first female physician and the third in the nation. [Source: Wisconsin Women's Council]

1861 - (Civil War) Manassas Campaign opens in Virginia

The Manassas Campaign, also called the Bull Run Campaign, commenced in Virginia. The 2nd Wisconsin Infantry participated.

1900 - Alvin Kraenzlein Wins Olympic Gold

On this date Milwaukee native Alvin Kraenzlein won his fourth gold medal at the Summer Olympic Games in Paris. He earned gold in the 200-meter hurdles after winning the 60-meter dash, 110-meter high hurdles and long jump over the previous two days. [Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

1913 - Boxing Legal in Wisconsin

On this date Governor Francis E. McGovern signed a bill, sponsored by assemblyman A.J. Hedding, legalizing boxing in Wisconsin. [Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

1941 - Horicon National Wildlife Refuge Established

On this date the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge was established after a 20 year struggle by conservationists. The refuge is over 21,000 acres, encompasses the Horicon Marsh, the largest freshwater cattail marsh in the United States, and is home to over 223 species of birds and other wildlife. [Source: History Just Ahead: A Guide to Wisconsin's Historical Markers edited by Sarah Davis McBride, p. 6 and Horicon National Wildlife Refuge]

1995 - Deadly Heat Wave Ends

From July 12-15, 1995, the Midwest was subjected to a deadly outbreak of hot and humid weather responsible for 141 deaths in Wisconsin. According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, this was the "greatest single event of weather-related deaths in Wisconsin history." Most of the fatalities happened in the urban southeast counties of the state, and at one point several Milwaukee-area hospitals were unable to admit more patients. Milwaukee Temperatures (from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel): July 12: Hi=91, Lo=65 July 13: Hi=103*, Lo=78 July 14: Hi=102, Lo=84 July 15: Hi=92, Lo=69 July 16: Hi=88, Lo=68 *Some communities reported highs as high as 108. Heat Index values were 120-130 degrees. NOAA’s Natural Disaster Survey Report on the outbreak is available at http://www.weather.gov/os/assessments/pdfs/heat95.pdf [Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]