Random Facts For The History Nerd In All Of Us

Did you know that in 1930 La Crosse Rubber Mills was the largest employer in La Crosse, employing 2000 people? For more on the history of La Crosse Footwear, GO HERE.

Did you know that Dr. Frank "White Beaver" Powell, four-time Mayor of La Crosse in the late Victorian era, counted among his many antagonists a scholarly gentleman named Ellis B. Usher? Usher was the editor of the Morning Chronicle newspaper, a Democratic organ which frequently attacked the Mayor over political differences. Ellis B. Usher loved history and was the founder of the first La Crosse County Historical Society in 1898. However, the organization floundered. On a related note, Ellen Hixon purchased Granddad Bluff from Mrs. Ellis B. Usher, the daughter of Henry Bliss. Of course, Bliss Road is the route to Granddad Bluff ... because Henry Bliss himself built the road. For more details about the rescue of Granddad Bluff, GO HERE.

Did you know that the name Ho-Chunk means "people of the big voice?". For a great fact sheet about the Ho-Chunk people that was designed for kids, GO HERE.

Did you know that between 1000 and 1650 A.D., this region was populated with a people known as the Oneota? The culture lived in large villages which farmed corn, beans and squash. For more information on this fascinating culture of early Southwest Wisconsin people, GO HERE.

Did you know that after the repeal of Prohibition only about a third of La Crosse's breweries re-opened? Many brewery owners, over the span of the thirteen year law, either changed jobs or passed away. For more on La Crosse's brewing history, GO HERE.

Did you know that General Cadwallader Colden Washburn commanded the cavalry of the XIII Corps in the opening stages of Ulysses S. Grant's Vicksburg Campaign? He lived in La Crosse, and among the many things he was known for, including terms served in the House of Representatives and as Wisconsin's Governor, having the city of Washburn (in Bayfield County) and the county of Washburn (in northern Wisconsin) named after him, was a little mill company that he owned ... a little company called "General Mills". For more on Cadwallader Washburn, GO HERE.

Did you know that the worst recorded flood in La Crosse (and Upper Mississippi River) history was in 1965? For more on the great flood, GO HERE.

Did you know that Cargill is the largest privately held corporation in the United States in terms of revenue? Brothers William and Sam Cargill expanded operations to La Crosse in 1875 because the city of La Crosse was strategically located at the junction of the Milwaukee Road railroad and the Southern Minnesota Division. For more on the history of Cargill GO HERE.

Did you know the local "lumber boom" lasted fifty years? For more on the rise and fall of the timber industry in La Crosse County, GO HERE. And, for a wonderful, entertaining look at lumberjack poems ... GO HERE.

Did you know that cemeteries provide a wealth of fascinating historical information? For more on La Crosse County's cemeteries, GO HERE.