Young Mildred FishA Young Mildred Fish
Mildred Elizabeth Fish was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on September 16, 1902.  She attended West Division High School, and in 1926 worked at what is now the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as a lecturer on German literature.  During this time she met her future husband, a German, Arvid Harnack, who was in the U.S. studying at University of Wisconsin-Madison.  They wed in Wisconsin and left for Germany in 1929 where she studied for her doctorate.  The couple moved to Berlin from Giessen in 1930 where she worked as an assistant lecturer of English and American literature and also as a translator.

Mildred Fish Harnack, Educator and Resistance   1902-1943
Clara, Mildred and Arvid Harnack c. 1931, Deutscher Widerstand, BerlinClara, Mildred & Arvid Harnack c. 1931
It was during this time in Berlin that Mildred became interested in Communism as a solution to poverty.  In 1932, she was let go from her teaching position and toured the Soviet Union with her husband and other academics. Arvid and Mildred began a discussion circle that debated the political situation of the time.  This circle became the center of a resistance group that by 1941 was feeding Soviet agents information about German intentions in the upcoming invasion of Russia.  Mildred and her husband recruited more members who were against the Nazi regime and this group became a hub of resistance inside Germany.  

Mildred Fish Harnack Building in Milwaukee, WIDr. Mildred Fish Harnack Bldg, Urban Milwaukee photo
Unfortunately, this group’s radio messages were intercepted and decoded.  The Gestapo arrested Arvid and Mildred on September 7, 1942, and after a quick trial Arvid was executed on Dec. 22, 1942.  Mildred Fish Harnack was originally given a six year sentence by the court, but Hitler refused to endorse this and ordered a new trial.  Upon Hitler’s direct order, Harnack was found guilty and beheaded on Feb. 16, 1943.  Her last words were, “I loved Germany so much.”

“And I have loved Germany so much.” Mildred's Final Words
For more information, view this short documentary by Wisconsin Public Television:

Born Carrie Lane on January 9, 1859 near Ripon, Wisconsin, Carrie was to be a key figure in the passing of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the founding of the League of Women Voters. She gained a college education from what is now Iowa State University. After working as a teacher and school principal, Carrie married Les Chapman in 1885, a newspaper editor. Unfortunately, he died the following year.

Carrie Chapman Catt, Suffrage Leader & Educator  1859-1947
The year 1887 marked a new part of her life as she became involved in the Iowa Woman Suffrage Association. Carrie quickly became a leader in the fight to win women the right to vote and by 1900 she became the president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), taking over for legendary women's rights advocate Susan B. Anthony. Her second marriage to George Catt ended in 1905 with his death, and she became involved with the International Woman Suffrage Alliance.

Carrie was asked by NAWSA to return in 1915 to help the struggling organization after suffragist Alice Paul and others had left the group. Ms. Catt got the organization back on solid financial ground and developed a plan to get women the vote through passage of a federal amendment. Carrie was so sure of women getting the vote that she helped establish the League of Women Voters in 1920 before the amendment was passed. After the 19th Amendment was adopted, Catt left NAWSA to help women around the world gain the right to vote. She also endorsed the short-lived League of Nations and the later United Nations.

Elsa Ulbricht Works Progress Handicrafts Project for Milwaukee
Elsa Ulbricht was born on March 15, 1885 in Milwaukee. She studied at the Milwaukee Normal School, receiving a degree in education before attending the Pratt Institute in New York, from which she graduated in 1911. Ms. Ulbricht was asked to join the faculty of the art department of the Normal School upon her return from the east. Elsa was influenced by Wisconsin artists during this time and spent the summers of the 1920s and 1930s painting. Her work in teaching and developing a curriculum at the Normal School led to her appointment as the director for the Works Progress Administration Handicrafts Project for Milwaukee. She had a genius for organizing and a determination to get the job done to create in her words, "socially useful and durable art."

Elsa Ulbricht, Artist and Educator   1885-1980
"Our Club" sketch by Elsa Ulbricht
During eight years of the Great Depression, 1935 to 1943, five thousand Milwaukee County residents were lifted from welfare by working on dolls and toys for poor children; wall hangings, rugs and drapes for hospitals, schools and nurseries; and a myriad of other items including furniture, quilts, pillows, book binding, and costumes for theatrical groups. This WPA project became a model for others around the country, with Eleanor Roosevelt visiting Milwaukee to view its productivity. Elsa also saw to it that African Americans were employed by the project at a time when many were being turned away. She believed that everyone had one thing in common - the need for work.

Elsa Ulbricht newspaper image
Elsa taught and developed an amazing variety of subjects in the art department of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and its predecessors over the forty-four year period 1911-1955, serving the last two years as head of the department. Elsa was also a founding member of the Wisconsin Players, the Milwaukee Art Institute, and the Wisconsin Designer-Craftsmen. She was an accomplished painter, print-maker, weaver and puppeteer as well as a zealous promoter of crafts as major art forms. Ms. Ulbricht died in Milwaukee on March 13, 1980.

"And still they gazed and still the wonder grew, 
how one small head could carry all she knew." 
-1914 Normal School Graduating Verse on Elsa Ulbricht

Young Edna Ferber at desk with typewriter
Edna Ferber was born on August 15, 1885 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She grew up mostly in her native Michigan, in Iowa, and in Appleton, Wisconsin. Edna began her working career at age 17 as a reporter for the Appleton Daily Crescent, later working as a reporter for the Milwaukee Journal. Her 1912 move to New York led her into a circle of influential friends such as Katherine Hepburn, Moss Hart and George Kaufman. In 1920 she covered both the Democratic national convention in San Francisco and the Republican national convention in Chicago for the United Press Association.

Edna Ferber, Author and Newspaper Reporter   1885-1968
Edna Ferber having tea and reading a manuscript
Her talents turned to writing books that offered an accurate, lively portrait of middle-class Midwestern experiences in the 1920s and 1930s. Frequently the heroines of these books were women whose strength and talent made them successful in business, like Emma McChesney in Roast Beef or Fanny in Fanny Herself. Ferber believed that working people still retained "a kind of primary American freshness and assertiveness."

Edna Ferber's Showboat starring Ava Gardner
Edna won a Pulitzer Prize in 1924 for her book, So Big, of which there are three film adaptations. She garnered much critical acclaim for Show Boat, later turned into the musical play and movie. Her later novels Giant, Saratoga Trunk, Cimmaron and Ice Palace were all made into motion pictures. World critics hailed Ferber as the greatest woman novelist of the period. She died on April 16, 1968 in New York City. Her published works include twelve novels, twelve collections of short stories, nine plays and two autobiographies. 

"A Closed Mind is a Dying Mind" - Edna Ferber
Young Meta Berger of Milwaukee
Born on February 23, 1873 in Milwaukee, Meta Schlichting was educated at the Wisconsin State Normal School (now the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee). Meta taught primary school after graduating. She was forced to resign when she married Victor Berger in 1897 due to rules that required female teachers to be single.

Meta Berger, Educator and Politician   1873-1944
Milwaukee's Meta Berger with fancy hat
Meta was elected to the Milwaukee School Board in 1909, and as a school board member, she supported progressive measures such as the construction of playgrounds, "penny lunches," and medical exams for children. Ms. Berger also advocated on behalf of teachers for tenure, a pension system, and a fixed salary schedule. She was re-elected again and again, serving a total of 30 years on the board. Meta's work for the school board led to her appointments to the Wisconsin State Board of Education, the Wisconsin Board of Regents of Normal Schools and the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents.

Meta Berger and Wisconsin Governor Heil in 1941
After the death of her husband, Victor, in 1929, Meta was selected to fill his seat on the Socialist Party's National Executive Committee, a position given to few women. She resigned from the Socialist Party in 1940 and spent her remaining years on her farm in Thiensville where she died on June 16, 1944. Meta was a daughter of German immigrants who became a prominent and outspoken activist and politician at a time when women's roles and place were hotly contested.

"We never obtained Suffrage until we made a row about it." 
- Meta Berger
The University of Wisconsin-Madison has many well-known and well-loved traditions, from the Jump Around, to Halloween on State Street, to the Fifth Quarter. Their fight song, “On, Wisconsin,” is one of their most famous. The song has been utilized by thousands of high schools and grade schools across the country, and some version of the melody can be found in many other colleges’ fight songs. “On, Wisconsin,” along with Notre Dame’s “Victory March” and Michigan’s “The Victors,” is one of the nation’s most recognizable tunes. John Phillip Sousa, composer of “Stars and Stripes Forever” and “Semper Fidelis,” stated that “On, Wisconsin” was “the best college song he had ever heard.”1

William T. Purdy originally composed the melody for a contest the University of Minnesota was holding for their new fight song. His roommate and former Madison student, Carl Beck, convinced him to pull the song from the contest and use the lyrics Beck had written himself. Ironically, the fight song was first used on November 13, 1909, in a game against Minnesota at Camp Randall. This first version had these lyrics:
On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Plunge right through that line!
Run the ball 'round Minnesota,
A touchdown sure this time.
On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Fight on for her fame
Fight! Fellows! Fight!
And we will win this game.
The earliest versions of the song changed depending on who the Badgers’ opponents were. The third line was often amended to “Run the ball clear ‘round Chicago” or “Run the ball clear ‘round Northwestern” for those bigger rivalry games. The current version sung at Camp Randall keeps the third line at “Run the ball clear down the field,” the lyrics no longer changing based on opponents.

The sheet music we have displayed in our piano exhibit at the Chudnow Museum is from the 1927 “Revised Edition,” which includes verses and three versions of the familiar chorus. The first chorus depicts the lyrics chosen as Wisconsin’s state song, while the second chorus is comprised of Carl Beck’s original football-oriented lyrics. This one has the third line stating “Run the ball clear ‘round Chicago.” The third chorus was added by Dr. Filip A. Forsbeck, whose lyrics are aimed again at praising the state of Wisconsin as a whole. Our copy was also produced by the Flanner-Hafsoos Music House here in Milwaukee.

Flanner & Hafsoos has had a long and interesting history as a home entertainment store in Milwaukee. Joseph Flanner opened the original store in 1891 after his move from New Orleans. It was located on what was then called Grand Avenue, now known as Wisconsin Avenue. In 1915, the store moved to Broadway, also known as Music Row, as the business grew. Flanner’s had merged with another music retailer, Eric Hafsoos, to create Flanner & Hafsoos in 1913. Flanner & Hafsoos would remain the company’s name until 1994. Flanner & Hafsoos was the first retailer to sell the gramophone in Wisconsin in the early 1920s. They also sold the first amplifier made by Avery Fischer in the early 1940s. In 1960, Joseph Flanner’s grandson, also named Joseph, opened a second store in Mayfair Mall with his brother, Stuart, and Roy Hafsoos. Along with the move, the store continued updating their stock, moving increasingly toward electronic music players and home entertainment systems, including TVs. The Mayfair store soon became their primary location, and they let go of the downtown store in 1963. In 1994, Flanner’s moved out of Mayfair and into a new facility in Brookfield because they needed more space to accommodate the larger inventory of home entertainment systems. The name was also changed to Flanner’s Audio and Video, and has since been changed to Flanner’s Home Entertainment.

The copyright of the song has actually been fairly controversial in the years since its debut. The very first version of the song was originally published by Purdy and Beck themselves. They produced about 5,000 copies through Hillson, McCormack & Company out of Chicago. The copyright was later transferred to Flanner-Hafsoos Music House. This company bought out Purdy’s shares in the song’s copyright for less than $100 in 1917, a fact which Purdy’s family would later contest. The dispute between Purdy’s widow and Beck arose when Beck tried to obtain the full copyright for the song in order to leave it to the Wisconsin Alumni Association or University in 1937. The situation was eventually resolved by splitting the publishing rights between Melrose Publishing and Broadcast Music, Inc for Purdy’s and Beck’s contributions, respectively. Today, the song is considered to be in the public domain, although there are rumors that the international rights belong to Michael Jackson’s Estate or Paul McCartney.

“On, Wisconsin!” has become so ingrained in the culture of the state that it became the state’s song, too, in 1959. There had, however, been alternate lyrics more appropriate to a state-wide song since 1913. Those were written by JS Hubbard and Judge Charles D. Rosa for the centennial anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie. Since then, the song had been widely recognized as the state song of Wisconsin, but was not officially adopted until 1959. The song, clearly, has been a defining feature of Wisconsin life for 100 years, one that will undoubtedly continue in the years to come.
Bryn Cooley,
Museum Intern, Valparaiso University History Majory
Milwaukee Badgers, NFL in Milwaukee, Borchert Field
A score of attendees were at author Michael Benter's September 19, 2013 talk on the Milwaukee Badgers. This was an NFL era of about $100 paid per game instead of multi-million dollar contracts, working class owners not billionaires, and athletes who played both offense and defense for the entire game.

In the first decades of the 20th century, few collegiate athletes joined the professional ranks as they found the game both brutal and childish for adults to participate in. Red Grange, who began playing for the Chicago Bears in 1925, was the greatest collegiate player of his time and the first nation-wide star. Not until the 1930s did NFL games air on the radio. 

Milwaukee NFL, Milwaukee Badgers, Delavan Red Devils
Football was a part-time job for the players. To make matters worse, the Badgers would often be unable to practice since Borchert Field, then Athletic Park, would schedule popular high school double-header football games in the evenings. When they did play, the $1.00 to $2.00 admission was judged too steep and at most only a few thousand fans attended.

The first two seasons the Badgers were competitive in the league. Their team was made up of players like Fritz Pollard and Jimmy Conzelman, eventual Hall of Famers. Later years were not as successful although the team recruited local stars Red Dunn, Clem Neacy and Francis "Oxie" Lane to try and increase attendance levels. 

The year 1925 was an exceptionally low point for the team. As Benter describes it: 

"No wins... only one touchdown... and that was on defense... a fumble recovery in the end zone. Clem Neacy scored that touchdown."
Milwaukee Badgers, Borchert Field, Milwaukee Badgers team photo1926 Milwaukee Badgers, photo courtesy Dr. Kit Neacy DDS
The end of the 1925 season provided additional insult. The Chicago Cardinals were looking to play extra games so that they could accumulate enough wins to claim the championship. They scheduled a game with the Badgers, a sure win that year. However, most of the players had left the area figuring the season was over. The Cardinals were happy to assist the Badgers by recruiting three Chicago area high school players. The Cardinals easily won 59-0. When it was reported to the Chicago Board of Education that high school students had played in an NFL game, the Badgers' owner was forced to sell his franchise and the team folded after the 1926 season.

Football, Milwaukee Badgers, Lapham Athletic Club, NFL in Milwaukee
Although attempts were made after the 1926 Badgers, professional football in Milwaukee failed for a number of reasons. One reason was the Badgers 0 wins, 9 losses and 1 tie against the Green Bay Packers whose fans traveled in large numbers to away games. Another reason were the large number of quality high school, amateur and club football teams playing in Milwaukee. One such team, the Lapham Athletic Club, played the Badgers in a charity game on Dec. 8, 1923. Although the professionals played mostly second stringers they handily won 13-0.

The NFL would finally succeed by changing the rules of the game with innovations such as the forward pass. (An MATC student attending the lecture said that Wisconsin's Carroll College completed the first legal forward pass in 1906). In the future the league concentrated on large, proven markets like New York, Chicago, Green Bay and Philadelphia. Lastly, the televised Super Bowl made the game accessible to everyone with the result of a clear-cut champion. Green Bay has won a fair share of those.
In the center is author Michael Benter, too his right is Dr. Kit Neacy, daughter of '25 & '26 Badger standout Clem Neacy.
Michael Benter is the author of The Badgers: Milwaukee's NFL Entry of 1922-1926, The Green and Gold Glory Years, and Roll Out The Barrels: The Brewers of Eastern Dodge County.
The Badgers: Milwaukee's NFL Entry of 1922-1926 can be purchased at the Chudnow Museum of Yesteryear's gift shop.

By Joel Willems,

Curator, Chudnow Museum of Yesteryear
The victorious Brewers of 1926 -Photo courtesy
A big first win for the Brewers on April 21, 1926 helped to begin a season of victories. A team of 22 players brought thousands of fans to Athletic Park (later known as Borchertfield field) to experience the excitement of that season.

Thus began Jack Lelivelt’s successful career with the Milwaukee Brewers, who set a new club record for victories in 1926 with 93. By June 15th, 1926, the American Association standings in the Milwaukee Sentinel placed the Brewers in first place ahead of Indianapolis, Kansas City, Toledo and St. Paul. 
Jack is in the picture above third from left in the middle row. Dressed in the suit to his right is Otto Borchert, the president of the team, who would tragically pass away the following year. 

Sylvester Simon (pictured fourth from left in the top row) only played one season with the Brewers but saw action in 107 games and hit a .308 average. Californian Clyde Beck (second from left in top row) also only played for the Brewers in 1926. Pitcher Ossie Orwoll (second from left in the bottom row) had the team best record with 12 wins to 4 losses. In June of 1926 he played in Athletic Park for the first time and aided in their ninth consecutive win. They defeated St. Paul 4 to 1 with Orwoll scoring one of those critical runs and bringing the two thousand fans to their feet on a rainy Wednesday afternoon. The whole city seemed to be in baseball fever as the streak continued.

An article by Chance Michaels of the Borchertfield Museum stated that in the 21st victory of the season they played the Toledo Mud Hens and won 9 to zero! That game was played on June 14th. 

On the 16th the Brewers again played Toledo but fell 9 to 6, their first loss since May 26. It concluded the amazing 21 game undefeated streak. Hefty Heaving from the Toledo Mud Hens had three home runs and hit one through the hands of outfielder Bunny Brief (to the right of Borchert in photo) with the bases loaded in the fifth inning. Hefty's fine offense and the fatigue of pitcher Dave Dansworth proved decisive in the defeat. Dansworth (not in the photo above) otherwise had pitched a great season leading up to the Toledo game. However, he was ill for some time before the game and his performance suffered. 

Athletic Field drew thousands of fans to the stands to watch the great victories of the 1926 Milwaukee Brewers team. The excitement of baseball, and the Milwaukee Brewers, are significant trademarks of the Milwaukee area. Congratulations 1926 Brewers! Welcome to a new baseball season, Milwaukee!

Brews Beaten After Winning 21 Straight Games [Electronic version]. (1926, June 17). The Milwaukee Journal, p. 10.

Hamann, R., & Koehler, B. (2004). American Association Milwaukee Brewers (pp. 52-59). Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. Retrieved April 2, 2013, from

Michales, C. (2012, November 12). In Borchert Field . Retrieved April 2, 2013, from

Ossie Orwall Faces St. Paul in Second [Electronic version]. (1926, June 2). The Milwaukee Journal, p. 39.

By Dustin Hochmuth,
Museum Intern, UW-Whitewater Communications Major

The Iron Block Building is located at the intersection of East Wisconsin Avenue and North Water Street in Milwaukee. It is the only remaining cast iron building in Wisconsin. Historic preservation is the goal for this 150 year old building. It was originally built in 1860 when cast iron buildings were increasingly popular in New York, Chicago or Milwaukee because they were much more efficient to assemble. Originally commissioned by J.B. Martin after viewing other structures by D.D. Badger Co. assembled in New York. Martin was impressed with the facades of the buildings and ordered one to be built in Milwaukee. 
This is the third major renovation to the building since it was built. In 1898 the building to the right in the photo burned down causing the roof to need rebuilding and the redesign of some of the 4th floor. Shockingly, many artifacts have been found during the 2012 renovation from that fire including shards of chimney structure and other burned pieces found in the walls.

In 1984 there was a large renovation done to the exterior to reverse weathering. The interior was refurbished to accommodate the modern businesses. 

The renovation that Dental Associates began in 2012 is to bring the image of the building back to its original appearance. The renovations include sandblasting and cleaning the facades. The goal is to “restore the building to the same look it had when Lincoln was still President”. Other remnants have been found in the walls and attic of the building including a dental chair from the 1930’s! How ironic! This progress can be followed Here

The Iron Block Building is a landmark in the history of Milwaukee. These preservations are important to maintaining our nation’s history, and more important our local history. Congratulations to all involved in keeping the deep history of Milwaukee alive! The renovations are scheduled to be fully completed by this summer!

Building History. (2012). In Dental Associates Iron Block. Retrieved March 23, 2013, from 

Milwaukee: A Half-Century of Progress. Retrieved March 28, 2013 from Google Books

Historic Americans Building Survey: Iron Block Building, Retrieved March 29, 2013

By Dustin Hochmuth,
Museum Intern, UW-Whitewater Communications Major

It was 100 years ago today that there was a march around the Nation’s capital with over 5,000 protestors, advocating for Women’s rights. The march helped bring needed political attention to the matter. The Women’s rights movement began in 1878, and took until 1920 to be ratified. The march took place March 3, 1913. It was a tactic that proved to be more successful than their years of petitioning and picketing.  

This march was the day before Woodrow Wilson’s inaugural address, and was strategic for setting the political agenda. It was a climatic time for change and needed influence. The movement was joked and laughed at by men in town waiting for Wilson’s inaugural address, but it made the necessary impact.

In Wisconsin, there was a lengthy struggle for women suffrage groups. When the Wisconsin constitution was written in 1848 there was no women suffrage rights of concern. As activist groups formed by 1870, and some movements were being made it was difficult persuasion as many related suffrage with temperance movements. In Wisconsin this delayed progress in suffrage as much hostility was formed towards temperance as breweries were a large industry for the State.

In 1912 Wisconsin was the first state to ratify the 19th amendment giving women rights. This was a large success story as so much progress had been made since the original constitution was signed only 65 years earlier. Celebrate the State’s rich history and progress today celebrating 100 years since the suffrage march, and nearly 100 years since the 19th amendment was ratified.

19th Amendment to U.S Constitution. (2013). In Our Documents. Retrieved March 3, 2013, from

Harvey, S. (2001). Marching for the Vote. In American Women. Retrieved March 3, 2013, from

The Women's Suffrage Movement. (2013). In Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved March 3, 2013, from

By Dustin Hochmuth,
Museum Intern, UW-Whitewater Communications Major