Port Washington 1835 to 1985
People, places and events, pp. 22-31
The beer that made Milwaukee furious, Preiho Beer, was brewed by the Port Washington Brewing Company. The brewery was located on Lake Street and a portion of the building is now the Van Ells Schanen American Legion clubhouse. Notice the lighthouse on the hill behind the brewery with the lamp intact and the flag flying. Photo courtesy of Ambrose Mayer People, Places and Events Lincoln's Visit The details are lost in the mists of time, but the story of Abraham Lincoln's visit to Port Washington in the mid 1830's persists, and is documented in a number of reputable publica- tions. Historians agree that Lincoln did spend a period of time on the road in his early years, possibly affected by the untimely death of his beloved Ann Rutledge. Local belief is that he did spend at least one night, perhaps more than one, at the home of the city's founder, Wooster Har- rison, while on a walking trip from Milwaukee to Sheboygan. Years later, while visiting Fort Monroe during the Civil War, Lincoln is reputed to have approached an officer, a Captain Beger, who when questioned about his origins, indicated that he was from Port Washington, Wisconsin. The President then, is said to have identified the loca- tion, and asked for the names of early settlers. When Harrison's name was mentioned, Mr. Lin- coln confirmed the fact that he had been a guest in the home of Mr. Harrison. Leland Stanford Leland Stanford, a young attorney from Albany, New York, having recently arrived in Chicago, heard of a promising village to the north known as Port Washington. He made his way to Port Washington in 1848, and purchased five lots for $250 in the center of town with Barnum Blake, a resident of the village. By 1850 his holdings were valued at $1000, and he returned east to marry Jane Lathrop. The newlyweds returned to Port 22 Washington, and spent several years living in a log house at the top of the Main Street Hill. From his office on Main Street, he wrote glowing reports of the city's growth and promise for the Milwaukee Sentinel, while conducting his law practice. In 1850, after being defeated for District Attorney, Stanford was elected as a village trustee, taking part in promulgation of ordinances such as outlawing "naked bathing in Lake Michigan." He served as the Village President pro tem from August, 1851 to the end of January 1852, after the resignation of B. O'Connor. Following the loss of his law library in a fire which destroyed a number of stores and the post office as well, Stanford chose to leave Port Washington to join his brothers in California. He went on to become the governor of California, President of the Union- Pacific Railroad, officiating at the ceremony dur- ing which the "golden spike" was driven, uniting the railroad between the East and the West. He served as a United States Senator from 1884 to 1897, and founded Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. Efforts made by Anna and Viola Ubbink to preserve Stanford's Port Washington of- fice failed, and the building was demolished in 1976. Cholera Epidemics In the summer of 1849 and the spring of 1854, cholera swept through Port Washington, causing death to touch almost every household in the village. The exact number of deaths which occur- red in 1849 is not recorded, but the 1854 epidemic resulted in 65 deaths within a period of ten days.
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