CITY WEBSITE LINKS

PRAIRIE DU CHIEN LINKS

OTHER LINKS OF INTEREST

Located along the Mississippi River, Prairie du Chien is a great place to visit, work and live. With a wide selection of natural beauty, a history dating back many centuries, events all year around, and a variety of business, shops and attractions, we invite you to visit and stay in our corner of the Upper Midwest.

PROFILE

HISTORY

FAMOUS PEOPLE WHO CALLED PRAIRIE DU CHIEN HOME

City Jobs Available

Doing Business with the City

The city of Prairie du Chien is now on Facebook. Click on the logo for more information.

Click for Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin Forecast

 


The Fall and Winter Activity Guide

 

ABOUT PRAIRIE DU CHIEN

Prairie du Chien is the county seat of Crawford County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 6,018 at the 2000 census. Referred to as Wisconsin's second oldest city, Prairie du Chien was established by French voyageurs in the late seventeenth century. The city is located near the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers, a strategic point along the Fox-Wisconsin Waterway that connects the Great Lakes with the Mississippi.

Early French visitors to the site found it occupied by a group of Fox Indians led by a chief whose name, Alim, meant "Chien" in French, or "Dog" in English. As a result, the French explorers named the location "Prairie du Chien", French for "Dog Prairie". The English pronunciation is "prairie doo sheen". Originally this name applied only to the plain upon which the settlement is located, but it was later extended to mean the city as well. The city of Prairie du Chien is located between the Town of Prairie du Chien and the Town of Bridgeport.

Prairie du Chien has five National Historic Landmarks and nine sites on the National Register of Historic Places. The five National Historic Landmarks were the first designated in the state. Its close proximity to Wyalusing State Park in Wisconsin and Effigy Mounds National Monument and Pikes Peak State Park in Iowa, along with its rich history and location alongside the Mississippi River make the city a popular destination. In 2001, Prairie du Chien gained national attention for its first annual New Year's Eve celebration, during which a carp from the Mississippi River was dropped from a crane over BlackHawk Avenue at midnight. The "Droppin' of the Carp" celebration has been held every New Year's Eve since.

Getting Here!


Click on the map to use Mapquest and plan your trip to Prairie du Chien


PROFILE

* As of the 2000 census of 2000, there were 6,018 people, 2,376 households, and 1,473 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,075.9 people per square mile. There were 2,564 housing units at an average density of 458.4/sq mi.
* The racial makeup of the city was 95.06% White, 3.61% Black or African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.08% from other races, and 0.78% from two or more races. 0.88% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
* There were 2,376 households out of which 29.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.7% were married couples living together, 10.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.0% were non-families. 33.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.92.
* In the city the population was spread out with 24.2% under the age of 18, 11.4% from 18 to 24, 24.3% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 18.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 100.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.3 males.
* The median income for a household in the city was $34,038, and the median income for a family was $43,444. Males had a median income of $29,595 versus $20,183 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,680. About 6.4% of families and 8.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.7% of those under age 18 and 4.8% of those age 65 or over.


HISTORY

June 17, 1673 - The first Europeans to reach Prairie du Chien were the French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet, who reached the area by canoe while trying to discover a route to the Mississippi River. Travelers, explorers and traders moving between French Canada and the Mississippi River passed through Prairie du Chien.
1685  - The French explorer Nicolas Perrot established a trading post in the area as part of the massive French fur trade industry. The Astor Fur Warehouse became an important building in the fur trade in Prairie du Chien. The significance of Prairie du Chien as a center of the fur trade did not diminish until the mid-nineteenth century.
1763 -
Great Britain defeated France in the French and Indian War, and took possession of the French territory in North America, including Prairie du Chien. The British expanded the fur trade during their occupation of the area. During the American Revolutionary War the city was used as meeting point for British troops and their Native American allies.
1783 - After the Treaty of Paris granted the area to the new United States of America, the British and their Loyalists were slow to withdraw. Only after the War of 1812 did the city become fully American.
File:Prairie du Chien map 1870.gifWar of 1812 - The U.S. was slow to present any authority over Prairie du Chien, but late in the War of 1812 when the U.S. realized the importance of holding the site to prevent British attacks from Canada, it began construction of Fort Shelby in 1814. In July, the fort was captured by British soldiers during the Siege of Prairie du Chien. The British maintained control over the city until the war's end in 1815. Col. Zachary Taylor, who later became the 12th U.S. President, was the commanding officer at Fort Crawford during the Black Hawk War of 1832. Taylor oversaw the surrender of Black Hawk in Prairie du Chien. Lt. Jefferson Davis, who later became president of the Confederate States of America, was stationed at Fort Crawford at the same time. It was at this fort that Jefferson Davis met Zachary Taylor's daughter, Sarah "Knoxie" Taylor, whom he married in 1835.
1816 - Not wanting another invasion through Prairie du Chien, the Americans constructed Fort Crawford in 1816. The fort was the site of the Treaty of Prairie du Chien (1825 and 1829).
September 21, 1821 - Prairie du Chien was incorporated as the Borough of Prairie des Chiens by the secretary of the Michigan Territory. It is the only municipality in Wisconsin other than Green Bay to have been known as a borough, rather than a city, town, or village. The borough existed for a few years before the government stopped operating in 1825.
1829 - Army doctor William Beaumont carried out many of his famous experiments on digestion in the hospital of Fort Crawford. Beaumont's discoveries are still the basis of our knowledge on the human digestive process.
1849 - The Town of Prairie du Chien was created, consisting of most of present-day Crawford County.
1857 - The city was first connected to the Milwaukee & Mississippi Railroad, but the width of the Mississippi River posed a challenge for further expansion of the railroad into Iowa. This problem was temporarily solved by disassembling the trains at Prairie du Chien and ferrying them across the river to be put back on the tracks on the other side.
1870 - Louis Dousman used his inheritance to construct a luxurious Victorian mansion over the site of the former Fort Shelby. When Louis died unexpectedly in 1886, his family renamed the home "Villa Louis" in his memory. The Dousman family continued to occupy the home until 1913. Nearly 40 years later, in 1952, the mansion became Wisconsin's first state-operated historic site.
1872 - The city of Prairie du Chien was incorporated. Pictured to the left is how the city looked in an 1870 lithograph.
1874 - A better solution to getting trains across the Mississippi River is created by Michael Spettel and John Lawler, who designed a permanent pontoon bridge to span the river. Lawler took most of the credit for this invention, and made a small fortune through its operation. Lawler later donated property to establish two Catholic boarding schools in Prairie du Chien, St. Mary's Institute (now Mount Mary College of Milwaukee), and Campion High School in the later part of the century. Campion High School produced several notable alumni including Vicente Fox, Congressman Leo Ryan, Governor Patrick Lucey, actors David Doyle, George Wendt, and Kevin McCarthy, and writer Garry Wills. Campion was closed in 1975.

FAMOUS PEOPLE WHO CALLED PRAIRIE DU CHIEN HOME

Barbara Bedford (1900–1981)
Bedford was born in Prairie du Chien and was educated in Chicago. She felt the urge to appear on the silver screen at that time and immediately set out for Hollywood, where she impressed Lambert Hillyer, William S. Hart's director, by her unusual beauty and charm. Despite the fact that she had no stage or screen experience, he cast her for a role in Hart's The Cradle of Courage (1920). She starred in the 1927 silent film "Mockery" with Lon Chaney. Her career declining after the switch to sound, she signed with MGM in 1936 to play bit and extra parts. Her last known film appearance was in 1945. She died in Jacksonville, Florida, October 25, 1981.

Nicholas Boilvin (1761–1827)
Boilvin was a 19th century American frontiersman, fur trader and U.S. Indian Agent. He was the first appointed agent to the Winnebagos, as well as the Sauk and Fox, and one of the earliest pioneers to settle in present-day Prairie du Chien. His sons Nicholas Boilvin, Jr. and William C. Boilvin both became successful businessmen in Wisconsin during the mid-to-late 19th century. In a chance meeting while in St. Louis, he met with the American surgeon whom his father had befriended in Quebec. The surgeon was able to arrange for Boilvin to be appointed the principal Indian agent for the Prairie du Chien region on March 14, 1811. He resided here for several years, however, during the War of 1812, he and his family were forced to leave the village and evacuated onto an American gunboat during the attack on Prairie du Chien by Lieutenant Colonel William McKay on July 14, 1814. Prior to the attack, Boilvin had directed a local resident to drive up his cattle, wishing to kill one of the heifers for some fresh meat. When the man spotted the approaching British forces, he returned to warn Boilvin. Going out to see for himself, Boilvin returned to raise the alarm and assisted in the evacuation of the settlement. The officers stationed at the garrison had been preparing to go riding in the countryside and, had McKay's forces arrived an hour or two later, it is thought the garrison would have been without an officer during the subsequent battle. Boilvin studied the customs and culture of the Winnebago and provided the Department of War with a written vocabulary of the Winnebago language. During the summer of 1827, Boilvin drowned while traveling upriver on a keel boat to St. Louis and was later buried there.

Pat Bowlen (b. 1944)
Bowlen was born in Prairie du Chien and is the Majority Owner, President, and Chief Executive Officer of the Denver Broncos. The Bowlen Family, including his two brothers and sister, purchased the team from Edgar Kaiser in 1984 and saved the team from possible bankruptcy. Besides being owner and president of the Broncos, Bowlen was also part-owner of the Arena Football League's Colorado Crush. He shared ownership with Denver-based sports mogul Stan Kroenke and legendary Broncos quarterback John Elway. The Crush entered the AFL as an expansion franchise in 2003. After going through a 2-14 season in '03, the team soon became a perennial playoff contender and one of the league's top franchises. The Crush won the Arena Football Championship in 2005. Bowlen has won 3 championships as a football franchise owner; 2 Super Bowl titles with the Broncos in 1997 & 1998, and an Arena Football title in 2005 with the Crush.

Michel Brisbois (1759–1837)
Brisbois was a French-Canadian voyageur who was active in the upper Mississippi River valley as early as 1781. Originally a fur trader for the Hudson's Bay Company, he eventually settled in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin where he became a baker. Still a trader at heart, Brisbois, noting the lack of stability in early government currency, encouraged the use of bread (from his bakery) as a unit of exchange. During the War of 1812, he furnished supplies to both the American and British forces but maintained a pro-British attitude. Arrested for treason at the close of the war, he was sent to St. Louis for trial but was acquitted. He was appointed associate justice for Crawford County by Governor Cass of Michigan Territory (1819), and thereafter held various local offices in the Prairie du Chien area. He died in Prairie du Chien in June, 1837.
Brisbois House - Built in 1815, the Michel Brisbois House served as a trading post and warehouse of the American Fur Company. In the 1850s the house was demolished. By 1923, the Bernard Brisbois House was believed to be the Michel Brisbois House and was thought of being one of the oldest European-American buildings in the State of Wisconsin. However, after careful research by the Wisconsin Historical Society, it was determined that this structure was not the famed Michel Brisbois House but rather a home built by Joseph Rolette as part of a separation contract negotiated in 1836 for his estranged wife Jane Fisher Rolette, a relative of Michel Brisbois, who upon her second marriage transferred the title of the property to her cousin Bernard Walter Brisbois.

Walter Bradford Cannon (1871–1945)
Cannon was born in Prairie du Chien in 1871. A high school teacher, Mary Jeannette Newson, became his mentor. "Miss May" Newson motivated and helped him take his academic skills to Harvard University. In his first year at Harvard he started working in Bowditch's at Harvard Medical School in 1896, and in 1900 he received his medical degree. After graduation, Cannon was hired by Harvard to instruct in the Department of Physiology. In 1906 Cannon became Higginson Professor and chairman of the Department of Physiology at Harvard Medical School, a position he held until 1942. From 1914 to 1916 he was also President of the American Physiological Society. Cannon began his career in science as a Harvard undergraduate in the year 1896. Here Cannon began his research: he used the newly discovered X rays to study the mechanism of swallowing and the motility of the stomach. He demonstrated deglutition in a goose at the APS meeting in December 1896 and published his first paper on this research in the first issue of the American Journal of Physiology in January 1898.
Scientific Contributions
Use of salts of heavy metals in X-Rays - He was one of the first researchers to mix salts of heavy metals (including bismuth subnitrate, bismuth oxychloride, and barium sulfate) into foodstuffs in order to improve the contrast of X-ray images of the digestive tract. The barium meal is a modern derivative of this research.
Fight or flight - In 1915, he coined the term fight or flight to describe an animal's response to threats (Bodily Changes in Pain, Hunger, Fear and Rage: An Account of Recent Researches into the Function of Emotional Excitement, Appleton, New York, 1915).
Homeostasis - He developed the concept of homeostasis from the earlier idea of Claude Bernard of milieu interieur, and popularized it in his book The Wisdom of the Body,1932.
Cannon-Bard theory - Cannon developed the Cannon-Bard theory with physiologist Philip Bard to try to explain why people feel emotions first and then act upon them.
Dry mouth - He put forward the Dry Mouth Hypothesis, stating that people get thirsty because their mouth gets dry. He did an experiment on two dogs. He cut their throats and inserted a small tube. Any water swallowed would go through their mouths and out by the tube, never reaching the stomach. He found out that these dogs would lap up the same amount of water as control dogs.

Hercules Louis Dousman (1800–1868)
Dousman was a trader and real-estate speculator who played a large role in the economic development of Wisconsin. He is often called Wisconsin's first millionaire. Dousman was born on Mackinac Island, Michigan, the son of Michael Dousman, a prominent fur trader on the island. Hercules went on to be educated in Elizabethtown, New Jersey, and then worked as a clerk in a New York City store. Later he returned to Mackinac Island, where he was employed by the American Fur Company. In 1826, the company sent Dousman to the frontier settlement of Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, where he worked as an assistant to the company's local agent Joseph Rolette. In Prairie du Chien, Dousman proved his abilities as a trader, quickly rising in the company's ranks. By 1834 he had acquired an interest in the company's Western Outfit, and in 1840 he became an equal partner in the business together with Joseph Rolette and Henry Hastings Sibley. Then in 1842 the American Fur Company declared bankruptcy, and in order to continue in the trade Dousman entered into a joint venture with Rolette, Sibley, and Pierre Chouteau to organize a new company which would take its place on the upper Mississippi. Only a few months later, Rolette died in debt to the new company, and most of his estate was seized by the remaining partners, including Dousman. With this and other revenue, Dousman's wealth began to rise, and it only grew as Dousman began to invest in lumber mills in northern Wisconsin and real estate in some of the states growing population centers. In 1852, Dousman became a principal investor in the Madison & Prairie du Chien Railroad, a company formed to ensure that the larger Milwaukee & Mississippi Railroad would meet its goal of connecting Lake Michigan with the Mississippi River. The two companies combined only a few years later, and would eventually grow into the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad. Dousman was very influential in bringing the railroad to Prairie du Chien by 1857, making the Milwaukee & Mississippi the first railroad to lay track all the way across Wisconsin. Prairie du Chien's new rail connection caused a small boom in the city's population and business. Since Dousman owned much of the land in the city he made a large profit from this, and his net worth grew substantially, reaching a million dollars at a time when fewer than a thousand Americans could claim to possess such a figure. Dousman died of heart failure on September 12, 1868. By this time he was regarded as one of Wisconsin's wealthiest and most influential men, and his property passed to his wife Jane and son Louis. Dousman has since been immortalized by the Villa Louis historic site in Prairie du Chien (Pictured) and as the central character of two novels by August Derleth, Bright Journey and The House on the Mound. Dousman is buried at Calvary Cemetery in Prairie du Chien.

Henry Leavenworth (1783–1834)
Leavenworth was an American soldier active in the War of 1812 and early military expeditions against the Plains Indians. He established Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, and also gave his name to Leavenworth, Kansas, Leavenworth County, Kansas, and the Leavenworth Penitentiary. He was born at New Haven, Connecticut. He was appointed a captain in the 25th U. S. infantry. A few months later he was made major; was wounded at the Battle of Niagara on July 25, 1814, and the following November was brevetted colonel. He then served in the New York State Assembly, and then he went to Prairie du Chien as Indian agent, and on February 10, 1818, was made lieutenant-colonel of the Fifth U. S. infantry. In 1820 he began constructing Fort St. Anthony from the Cantonment New Hope stockade. In 1823, he led U.S. Army troops in the Arikara War, the first U.S. military expedition against a Great Plains Indian nation. While on duty in the West he built several military posts, one of which was Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, established May 8, 1827 as Cantonment Leavenworth, now one of the leading military establishments of the country. In 1825 he was made brigadier-general by brevet, and in 1833 received the full rank of brigadier-general. In 1834 he commanded the 1st United States Dragoons during its expedition from Fort Gibson, IT to the Wichita Mountains. They hoped to meet and open formal relations between the United States and the Comanche, Kiowa, and Wichita peoples. He died in the Cross Timbers, in the Indian Territory, July 21, 1834, of either sickness or an accident while buffalo-hunting, while leading an expedition against the Pawnee and Comanche.

Patrick Joseph Lucey (b. 1918)
Lucey graduated from Campion High School in Prairie du Chien in 1935. He then attended St. Thomas College and graduated from the University of Wisconsin. He served as justice of the peace in Ferryville, Wisconsin, and in the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1949 to 1951. He was elected lieutenant governor in 1964, elected governor in 1970, and was reelected in 1974. He resigned in 1977 when he was appointed Ambassador to Mexico by President Jimmy Carter. One of Lucey's executive initiatives was to revive an idea to merge the state's two university systems, the Wisconsin State University (WSU) system and the pre-eminent University of Wisconsin (UW), in Madison. The idea was suggested in the 1890s, then revived in the 1940s and 1950s by Governor Oscar Rennebohm and Governor Walter J. Kohler, Jr. In 1971, Lucey raised the issue again, saying a merger would contain the growing costs of two systems; give order to the increasing higher education demands of the state; control program duplication; and provide for a united voice and single UW budget. Merger legislation easily passed the Democratic-controlled Assembly. After much maneuvering and lobbying, it was approved by a one-vote margin in the Republican-controlled Senate. It took until 1974 for implementation legislation to be finalized. Lucey also recommended additional funding for tourism, which spurred development throughout the state. Two examples were the expansion of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources park system and the Mt. Telemark Resort in Cable, Wisconsin. Since 1974, Cable and Mt. Telemark hosts the American Birkebeiner each year, the largest cross-country ski race in North America. The John Anderson—Patrick Lucey presidential ticket received 5,719,850 vote for 6.6% of the total vote in the 1980 presidential election.

Thomas Mower McDougall (1845-1909)
McDougall was born on May 21, 1845 in Prairie du Chien. He would pass away on July 3, 1909 in Brandon, Vermont. Both he and and his wife, Alice, are buried at Arlington National Cemetery. McDougall originally jointed the Union Army during the American Civil War. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant. Battles he served in included the Siege of Vicksburg. Following the war he accepted a commission in the 14th Infantry Regiment in the United States Army. Later he was assigned to the 7th Cavalry Regiment. On June 25, 1876 he was in command of Company B of the 7th Cavalry, escorting the pack train. When fighting broke out his company would engage in battle with the battalion commanded by Marcus Reno. Following the battle McDougall would remain in the Army until he retired as a Major in 1904.

John Muir (1838–1914)
Muir grew up near Portage, attended the University of Wisconsin for a semester, and lived in Prairie du Chien briefly before embarking on the career that made him famous as a founder of American environmentalism. His letters, essays, and books telling of his adventures in nature, especially in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, have been read by millions. His activism helped to save the Yosemite Valley, Sequoia National Park and other wilderness areas. The Sierra Club, which he founded, is now one of the most important conservation organizations in the United States. One of the most well-known hiking trails in the U.S., the 211-mile John Muir Trail, was named in his honor. Other places named in his honor are Muir Woods National Monument, Muir Beach, John Muir College, and Muir Glacier.
W.H.C. Folsom House (109 Blackhawk Avenue) - Folsom, a businessman, built this residence in 1842. Captain Wiram Knowlton, a prominent attorney, recruited local militiamen from his office in this building during the Mexican War, and naturalist John Muir worked here briefly as a printer.

Leo J. Ryan (1925–1978)
Ryan was born in Lincoln, Nebraska. Throughout his early life, his family moved frequently through Illinois, Florida, New York, Wisconsin, and Massachusetts. He graduated from Campion Jesuit High School in Prairie du Chien in 1943.He served as a U.S. Representative from the 11th Congressional District of California from 1973 until he was murdered in Guyana by members of the Peoples Temple shortly before the Jonestown Massacre in 1978. After the Watts Riots of 1965, then-Assemblyman Ryan took a job as a substitute school teacher to investigate and document conditions in the area. In 1970, he investigated the conditions of Californian prisons by being held, under a pseudonym, as an inmate in Folsom Prison, while presiding as chairman on the Assembly committee that oversaw prison reform. During his time in Congress, Ryan traveled to Newfoundland to investigate the killing of seals. Ryan was also famous for vocal criticism of the lack of Congressional oversight of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and authored the Hughes-Ryan Amendment, passed in 1974. He was also an early critic of L. Ron Hubbard and his Scientology movement and of the Unification Church of Sun Myung Moon. On November 3, 1977, Ryan read into the United States Congressional Record a testimony by John Gordon Clark about the health hazards connected with destructive cults. Ryan is the only U.S. congressman ever to be killed in the line of duty. He was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 1983.

Joseph M. Street (1782–1840)
Street was a 19th century American pioneer, trader and US Army officer. During the 1820s and 1830s, he was also a U.S. Indian Agent to the Winnebago and later to the Sauk and Fox tribes after the Black Hawk War. During 1832 and 1833, he was extensively involved in post-war settlements with the Sac and Fox and was eventually named as a government liaison and representative of the Sauk and Fox in 1836. The following year, he accompanied a Sauk and Fox delegation to Washington, D.C. where they agreed to relinquish 1,250,000 of their lands In Iowa to the United States officially signing the "Second Purchace" treaty on October 21, 1837. He later accompanied the Fox chieftain Poweshiek to select a location for the Sac and Fox agency on the Des Moines River. The agency was located on the Lower Des Moines, at the site of present-day Agency City, Iowa. Using money from the U.S. Indian Fund, he oversaw the construction of several buildings including a small farm for his family when they arrived from Prairie du Chien in April 1838. Recognizing the scarcity of game in the region, he encouraged the federal government to introduce farming to the agency as well as the establishment of Presbyterian missions to provide education to the local tribes. Street had been in negotiations with the U.S. government on behalf of the Fox and Sauk for another purchase of Sac and Fox lands in Iowa, however he had been in failing health for some time and died at the agency on May 5, 1840. His son-in-law, Major John Beach, took over his position as agent to the Sac and Fox and hosted a week long council which resulted in the signing of the treaty on October 11, 1842. One of the clauses requested by the chieftains was a special stipend to be paid to Street's widow.

Jeremiah Burnham Tainter (1836–1920)
Tainter, who was born in Prairie du Chien, was an inventor and engineer known for having invented the Tainter gate in 1886. He began his work in hydrology in 1862, with the modification of pre-existing mill pond dams in Menomonie. is a type of radial arm floodgate used in dams and canal locks to control water flow. A side view of a Tainter gate resembles a slice of pizza with the crust facing the source or upper pool of water and a triangle pointing toward the destination or lower pool. The face or skinplate of the gate takes the form of a cut cylinder. Triangular arms extend back from each end of the cylinder section and meet at a trunnion which serves as a pivot point when the gate rotates. The Tainter gate is used in water control dams and locks worldwide. The Upper Mississippi River basin alone has 321 Tainter gates, and the Columbia River basin has 195. A Tainter gate is also used to divert the flow of water to San Fernando Power Plant on the Los Angeles Aqueduct.

Ormsby B. Thomas (1836-1904)
Thomas was born in Sandgate, Vermont, and he moved with his parents to Wisconsin in 1836.  In 1856 he began practicing law in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. He then served as district attorney of Crawford County, Wisconsin. He served in the Union Army during the Civil War as captain of Company D, Thirty-first Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. After returning from the war, he served as member of the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1862, 1865, and 1867. He served in the Wisconsin State Senate in 1880 and 1881. Thomas was elected as a Republican to the Forty-ninth, Fiftieth, and Fifty-first Congresses (March 4, 1885-March 3, 1891). He served as chairman of the Committee on War Claims in the Fifty-first Congress. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1890 to the Fifty-second Congress. He resumed his practice of law in Prairie du Chien and died on October 24, 1904. He was interred in Evergreen Cemetery.

William Miller Wallace (1844-1924)
Wallace was born at Prairie du Chien. He was educated at Bowens and Loomis schools, Washington, DC, Georgetown, DC and Churchill's Military Academy, Sing Sing, New York. Wallace was appointed First Lieutenant, New York Artillery, March 29, 1864 and was honorably mustered out, May 6, 1864. Wallace was appointed from New York, Second Lieutenant, 8th United States Infantry, October 2, 1866. He was promoted to First Lieutenant (September 25, 1867), assigned to the 6th United States Cavalry (December 15, 1870), promoted to Captain (May 17, 1876), Major, 2nd United States Cavalry (November 10, 1894), Lieutenant Colonel (October 18, 1899), Colonel, 15th United States Cavalry (March 1, 1901), and Brigadier General and retired at his own request after over 40 years of service, October 2, 1906. General Wallace died on November 24, 1924 and was buried with full military honors in Section 1 of Arlington National Cemetery.

Wapello (1787–1842)
Wapello, a Fox chief, was born at Prairie du Chien in 1787, and 30 years later headed a village on the east bank of the Mississippi where the town of Rock Island, Ill., would later be founded. Under pressure from white settlers, he relocated in 1829 to the west shore of the river opposite Muscatine Island. During the Black Hawk War he supported Keokuk and the peace party, and did not follow Black Hawk into Illinois and Wisconsin. He ultimately moved his village 125 miles up the Des Moines to the same location as Appanoose.  In 1837, he accompanied the renowned chief Keokuk and Indian agent General Joseph M. Street (see above) on a tour of northeastern and mideastern states. During this trip, Wapello made an eloquent speech at Boston, wherein he expressed friendly sentiments towards white settlers and raffirmed his desire to continue harmonious relations with them. While on a hunting trip near Ottumwa, Iowa, Wapello died on 15 March 1842. He was later buried in accordance with his oft-expressed wish that he be laid to rest alongside his good friend General Street, in Agency, Iowa.

(SOURCES: Wikipedia, Wisconsin Historical Society, United States Congress, Arlington National Cemetery, Prairie du Chien Chamber of Commerce and various other websites)


Jobs With The City

The City of Prairie du Chien lists full and part-time job openings here for your information and convenience. Job Application forms are available at City Hall.


Doing Business With The City

The City of Prairie du Chien has established this site to assist those who provide goods and services to the City. The City will post Requests for Proposals and Invitations for Bids on this site for your information.

 

This website is the property of the City of Prairie du Chien. Copyright 2011 by the City of Prairie du Chien. All rights reserved.