Month: December 2015

Winnebago County’s Struggle to Save a Courthouse

Austin M. Frederick

The original courthouse as it appeared in 1944 The original courthouse as it appeared in 1944

At the end of  my previous post about the construction of the first Winnebago County courthouse, I briefly mentioned the attempt to save the structure. This venture never worked out, and the original building that stood for 100 years was dismantled. I thought it was important to tell a bit of the story of how a local organization, the organization that I am now the vice president of, attempted to preserve this landmark.

In 1938, the citizens of Winnebago County had just erected a new “million dollar” courthouse on the corner of Algoma Boulevard and what was then called Jackson Drive. The courthouse prior to this stood on the old county grounds between Otter and Ceape streets. As the move from old building to new took place, something needed to be done with the old property. The County Board voted 31 to 10…

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Morgan House Rehabilitation

It has been a busy year of renovating the upstairs bedrooms of the Morgan house. Earlier this spring, rain seeped in the house around the chimney that caused damage to two of the bedrooms on the second floor. Thankfully, the damage was not too severe and insurance covered the cost of repairs. We had the plaster walls repaired and woodwork repainted by M&M Painting. The painter did an exceptional job, and he was very attentive to detail.

Next, we had professional wallpaper hangers come in and hang our brand-new Bradbury & Bradbury wallpaper. One room features the company’s B.J. Talbert Room Set, and the other room is decorated with the Herter Brothers Room Set. We hired Mary Johnson Grundle out of Milwaukee to hang the paper. She, along with her helper, did an outstanding job. They came a weekend in October for one room and December for the other—both rooms took 3 to 4 days to finish. Below are a few snapshots of the rooms as they look now. The restoration project cost approximately $30,000. All but $2,500 dollars was covered by insurance. The rooms are beautiful once again, and we cannot wait to show you at our open house this spring!


Winnebago County Courthouses- Part 1

Austin M. Frederick

As part of my job, I have been assigned to sort and organize our collection of blueprints for all of the county buildings. My first collection of prints is of the county courthouse constructed in 1937-38. It had me wondering about previous courthouses built in Oshkosh. I did some research at the Oshkosh Public Library and Oshkosh Public Museum and found some interesting information.

On January 6, 1840, an act of the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature  divided parts of  Brown County  and established the boundaries of new counties, one of them being Winnebago. In 1842, an act of the Legislature formally organized Winnebago County. However, Winnebago remained attached to Brown County and then Fond du Lac County for judicial purposes until another act establishing a seat of justice in Winnebago County was passed in 1847. This is just some basic information of the county’s establishment. For more information, I recommend History of Winnebago County by Richard…

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