BLACKSMITHS, MILWAUKEE COUNTY AND CITY GENEALOGY AND HISTORY
THE FIRST BLACKSMITH SHOPS
(Source: History of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, The Western Historical Company, Chicago; A.T. Andreas Proprietor, 1881, pg. 1312)
The following letter was published in the Milwaukee Sentinel, October 10, 1877, from the pen of D.W. Patterson, of Caldwell Prairie, Racine County, Wis., and explains itself:
"I came to Milwaukee in 1834, and during that Winter claimed what is now Sherman's Addition. I built a cabin on the plat near the present site of the North Milwaukee shops of Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Company. Early in the spring of 1835, I cut wood and burnt coal, and as early as May I went to Chicago, purchased a lot of tools and opened a blacksmith shop in my cabin. I worked there all Summer, until I went to Green Bay to attend the last sale and purchase my claim. ON my return I built me a shop down town, nearly opposite the spring at the foot of the bluff, near where the Kirby House now stands. I carried on the shop all through the following Winter of 1835, and did all the work that was done in Milwaukee in that particular branch of trade. I made all the bars and bolts for the warehouse of Geo. B. Dousman. In the same Winter, that of 1835, a company of United States Troops came up from Chicago, to capture the Indians who killed Burnett and wounded Colonel Clyman, and I was called on to shoe sixteen of their horses. It was a very cold Winter, there was very little snow and the ground was covered with ice, as near as I can remember. I also remember shoeing a pony for Solomon Juneau. It was the animal's first experience and he raised the very d---l. We had to string him up, but the shoes went on. I sold my shop and tools, early in the Spring, to J.B. Miller, who soon after sold out to S. Pettibone."
A letter in the same Journal, date September 25, 1877, from B.H. Edgerton, contains the following extract from Ed. Clinton then of Brodhead: "I came as partner in business with Jedediah Rice to Milwaukee on the 29th of June, 1836. He was a merchant and I was a blacksmith by profession. I bought a shanty opposite to where the Kirby House now stands, which was used by Sylvester Pettibone for a blacksmith shop to repair his tools used in grading streets. He had a blacksmith by the name of Cline whom I hired when I bought the shop, and i know of no other shop in Milwaukee at that time."