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Cartwright, Carol Lohry; Shaffer, Scott; Waller, Randal / City on the Rock River : chapters in Janesville's history
(1998)

14. Notable people,   pp. 249-261


Page 258

Tallman, William Morrison
The Tallman family was one of the most prominent in nineteenth-century Janesville. William
Morrison Tallman, a native New Yorker, studied law at Yale University and practiced in
New York State before coming to Janesville in 1949. At first, Tallman practiced law there. But
he achieved his greatest success as a land speculator and real estate investor, particularly in
agricultural lands. A successful businessman, Tallman is best remembered today for hosting
Abraham Lincoln when he visited Janesville, and for constructing a beautiful Italianate
residence at 440 N. Jackson Street now operated as a house museum. (Rock River Valley II
1926:188-189)
Tallman, William Henry
Son of William Morrison Tallman, William Henry was born in Connecticut in 1832 and came
with his family to Janesville in 1849. In 1860, William H. Tallman and Henry W. Collins
started a perfume manufacturing shop in the old Baptist Church building just south of
downtown Janesville. The factory, which produced perfumes, plasters, and powders, was a
modest success, taking a prize at the 1876 Paris Exposition. Around 1886, Tallman moved to New
York and joined the Lanman and Kemp drug and perfume company, but his local factory
remained in operated until around 1900. Tallman returned to Janesville in 1896, where he
resided until his death in 1902. (Rock River Valley II 1926:189)
Traxler, Henry
Henry Traxler was Janesville's first city manager. His outstanding administrative and
community relations skills were largely responsible for retaining the city's council-manager
form of government during the mid-twentieth century and for making Janesville one of the best-
managed communities in the state. Born in Wisconsin in 1889, Traxler received an engineering
degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1910. After working as an engineer in California for
two years, he became a partner in an Iowa engineering firm that specialized in public works
engineering. Traxler was named city manager at Clarinda, Iowa, in 1918 and served that
community until 1923, when he became Janesville's first city manager. Traxler remained in that
position until 1951. Throughout his tenure on the job, he modernized and expanded city services
without substantial rises in the tax rate. His most lasting accomplishment was the
development of the city park system, one of the best in the state. ("Traxler Helped Shape the
City" 1985sec 1: 1; Rock River Valley II 1926:149-150)
Willard, Frances
Frances Willard rose to prominence as one of the most influential women of the nineteenth
century. Born in New York State in 1839, she moved with her family to a farm near Janesville
in 1846. Willard was taught at home by her teacher/parents until she was 12, when her father
built a one-room schoolhouse (now the Frances Willard School ) near their home. She attended
the Woman's College in Milwaukee and graduated from the Northwestei-n Woman's College in
Evanston, Illinois. Willard began teaching at the Woman's College in Pittsburgh, then held a
position at the Genesee Wesleyan Seminary in Lima, New York. She was a professor of science
at the Woman's College in Evanston before being named dean of the Evanston Woman's College
at Northwestern University in 1870. In 1874, she was made corresponding secretary of the
newly formed Women's Christian Temperance Union, which became a social and political force
in nineteenth-century America. In 1879, Willard was elected president of the organization.
Her travels on behalf of Prohibition made her a national and international celebrity and role
model for women. She was granted a honorary degree from Ohio Wesleyan University, a rare
Notable People
258


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