The Origins of Some Madison, Wisconsin, Street Names
By Burr Angle, Dolores Kester, and Ann Waidelich
Copyright © Burr Angle 2010
Please credit the source if you use this resource - thank you!
Part V - The Origins of Some Eastside Madison, Wisconsin, Street Names: Streets Between the Yahara River and Starkweather Creek
By 1900 the City of Madison, population about 20,000, was well-suited for manufacturing small- to medium-sized metal products, especially machine tools and farm implements. Coal, iron, and steel arrived by rail, finished products left by rail.
A number of industrial firms had grown up along the railroad tracks from Blair Street to Dickinson Street. The machinists, tool makers, and other skilled workers in these factories were inclined to remain in the Madison area because of good working conditions and the excellent public schools but needed land on which to build their houses.
In 1901 the East Side Land Company platted Fair Oaks on farm land in the Town of Blooming Grove east of the Yahara River. Fair Oaks was in the general area of the present Schenk’s Corners. James P. Corry became the sales agent. The subdivision was promoted as an ideal neighborhood for the “working man.”
Lots sold quickly. Fair Oaks soon had first, second, third, fourth, and fifth additions. Other firms established nearby subdivisions such as Elmside and Hudson Park. Even the Madison Turnverein sold some of its land in Schuetzen Park for residential development.
In 1906, Fair Oaks became an incorporated village; in 1913, Fair Oaks, Elmside, and Hudson Park were simultaneously annexed by Madison.
Meanwhile, industries had crossed the Yahara along the railroad tracks near Fair Oaks, where a metal-casting firm, Mason-Kipp (later Madison-Kipp) and the American Plow Company built factories. In 1903 George C. Riley and several others platted Madison Square east of First Street, south of Pennsylvania Avenue, north of East Washington Avenue and west of North Street. The East Side High School designed by Frank Riley opened in 1922.
By the mid to late 1920s, even more houses were needed, partly because the Oscar Mayer meat packing and sausage company had become so successful. This led to the creation of Eken Park by three brothers, Thomas, Ole, and Iver Eken, on land east of North Street, north of Commercial Avenue to Coolidge Street and east most of the way to Starkweather Creek.
In the 1930s some of the land near the intersection of North Street and Coolidge Street was occupied by the Madison Airport, a private firm.
Smaller subdivisions south of Commercial Avenue to East Washington Avenue and east to Starkweather Creek included North Gardens, East Lawn Park, and North Lawn.
By 1930 almost all of the land between the Yahara River and Starkweather Creek, north of Lake Monona, and south of the Town of Burke, was within Madison city limits. Only a few residential streets have been added or vacated since then although the highway network has greatly expanded.
Most of the Eastside street names belong to ten categories:
- Extensions of existing Madison streets – Jenifer, Rutledge, Washington.
- Natural beauty and landscaping – Elmside, Linden, Evergreen, Riverside, Waubesa.
- Farmers and developers – Dunning, Stang, Corry, Corscot.
- U.S. presidents, states, and national politicians – Washington, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Bryan.
- The period of exploration – Marquette, Winnebago.
- Wisconsin judges and governors – Bashford, Ludington, Hoard, Upham, La Follette.
- Episodes in U.S. history – Fair Oaks, Buena Vista.
- Local businesses – Mayer, Sugar.
- Political limits and road destinations – Division, Center, Milwaukee.
- Miscellaneous – North, Commercial, St. Paul, East Lawn.
Alphabetical List of Eastside Streets
First through Eighth Streets – are all north-south streets in the Madison Square development. Several extend south of East Washington Avenue.
Algoma Street – (S off 2800 block Commercial Avenue) for the Wisconsin city
Amoth Court – (S from 2017 Atwood Avenue) for the Amoth family who had lived in the area since at least 1888; Christian Amoth, b.1841 d. 1918, and his son Theodore, b.1877 d. 1943, owned a blacksmith shop and house at the corner of Amoth and Atwood Avenue.
Anzinger Court – (S from 2641 Milwaukee Street) Anzinger, an early Madison family. Theo Anzinger, b.1871 d. 1939, landscape gardener, lived at 2641 Milwaukee Street when he died
Atwood Avenue – (First Street to Schenk’s Corners then E to Monona Drive, changed from Milwaukee Avenue in 1913) David Atwood, b. 1815 d. 1889, Mayor of Madison, 1868-1869, founded the Wisconsin State Journal newspaper
Bashford Avenue – (E from 2221 Winnebago Street, changed from Elmwood Avenue in 1913) Robert M. Bashford, b. 1845 d. 1911, Wisconsin State Supreme Court Justice, Madison Mayor 1890-1891
Bryan Street, North & South – (off 3100 block Milwaukee Street) for William Jennings Bryan, b.1860 d. 1925, presidential nominee
Buell Street – (NE from 1800 Winnebago Street to railroad tracks) Charles E. Buell, b. 1855 d. 1938, attorney, developer. Buell platted the Monona Subdivision in 1891. See also Merry Street.
Buena Vista Street – (1 blk E of Atwood from South Fair Oaks to Garrison Street) In 1847, during the war with Mexico, U.S. soldiers defeated a much larger force led by General Santa Anna during the Battle of Buena Vista. Buena Vista means “a pleasant or fair view” in Spanish, so the phrase refers both to the American victory at Buena Vista and to a pleasant view in general. Coincidentally there is a Fairview Street one block from Buena Vista Street.
Carey Court – (1/2 blk NE on Second Street from East Washington Avenue) in the Carey plat east of East High School. There were several Carey families on the East Side from at least 1904.
Center Avenue – (2 blks S of Atwood, from Division to Atwood) runs through the center of the Elmside subdivision
Clemons Avenue – (NW off Rutledge, 1 blk E of Yahara River) Clemons was the maiden name of Mary (Mrs. Rufus B.) Smith and the mother-in-law of William Swensen, a leader in developing the Riverside Park and Groveland areas
Clyde Gallagher Avenue – (N from 3000 Milwaukee, 4 blks W of South Fair Oaks) Clyde A. Gallagher, b. 1890 d. 1947, an important Eastside developer who built hundreds of houses in the area
Commercial Avenue – E from 500 North Sherman Avenue to Hwy 30)
to suggest economic activity
Coolidge Street – (3 blks N on North Street from Commercial Avenue) Calvin Coolidge, b. 1872 d. 1933, U.S. President, 1923-1929
Corry Street – (N from 2700 Atwood Avenue to Milwaukee Street, changed from Mendota Street in 1913) James P. Corry, b. 1867 d. 1912, a founder of the Fair Oaks Land Company and its most vigorous promoter
Corscot Court – (N from 2100 Atwood Avenue) Gerrit J. Corscot, b. 1860 d. 1957, a founder of the Fair Oaks Land Company and president of the Dane County Title Company
Dahle Street – (2 block N on North Street from 2500 Commercial Avenue) Dahle Street may have been named by the Eken brothers in honor of a Norwegian family or a location in Norway.
Daley Drive – (W off 100 South Fair Oaks along Starkweather Creek)
Named for Grace Daley Mooney’s father’s family. She worked with James P. Corry to develop the area
Dayton Street, East – (E off 200 North First Street) continuation of a street in the 1836 Doty plat, Jonathan Dayton signed the U.S. Constitution for New Jersey
Dexter Street – (1 blk N on Mayer Avenue, 1 blk W of North Street)
two streets in Woodland, a small 1920s subdivision, Myrtle Street and Dexter Street, may be named for Luzerne Dexter, b. 1850 d. 1934, and his wife Myrtle, b. 1873 d. 1946
Division Street – (N & S from 2100 Atwood Avenue) dividing line between Madison and the Village of Fair Oaks
Dixon Street – (S from 2921 Milwaukee Street & N from 200 South Fair Oaks Avenue) Luther S. Dixon, b. 1825 d. 1891, Chief Justice Wisconsin State Supreme Court 1859-1874
Dunning Street – (N & S from 2200 Atwood Avenue, changed from Jefferson Avenue in 1913) Philo Dunning, b. 1819 d. 1900. After farming and operating a saw mill on Starkweather Creek, Dunning became a druggist and grocer. The family built the house at 2212 St. Paul Avenue in 1849 and lived there for 20 years.
East Lawn Court – (E off North Street, 1 blk S of East Johnson Street)
imitative of West Lawn, a successful West Side development
Eastwood Drive – (Easterly of 1900 blk Winnebago Street to intersection with 2200 blk Atwood Avenue) In the early 1970s, the City of Madison decided to relieve traffic congestion through Schenk’s Corners by constructing a two-lane Atwood Avenue bypass. A city committee recommended that the new street be named Eastwood Drive. It opened on November 7, 1974.
Elmside Boulevard – (S off 2800 Atwood Avenue to Lakeland Avenue)
for “Elmside,” a large farm owned by Simeon Mills, b. 1810 d. 1895, whose house still stands at 2709 Sommers Avenue He was Madison village president, 1851-1852.
Emmet Street – (E off South Fair Oaks Avenue, 3 blks N of Atwood Avenue) Robert Emmet, b. 1778 d. 1803, Irish nationalist rebel, subject of several nineteenth century poems and dramas
Evergreen Avenue – (S from 2300 Atwood Avenue) for evergreens along the street
Fairfield Place – (W off Kedzie Street, 1 blk S of 2700 Commercial Avenue) a pretty name
Fair Oaks Avenue, South – (S from Milwaukee Street to 2900 Atwood Avenue) One of the developers of the Fair Oaks subdivision had been wounded at the Battle of Fair Oaks, near Richmond, Virginia, on May 31 and June 1, 1862. Also, the Dunning family farm was called Fair Oaks.
Fairview Street – (3 blocks E of Atwood, west from South Fair Oaks to Marquette Street), a pretty name, may also have been a deliberate translation of Buena Vista Street.
Farwell Street – (S off 2600 Milwaukee Street, 1 blk E of East Washington) Leonard J. Farwell, b. 1819 d. 1889, Wisconsin Governor 1852-1854, an important early Madison developer who was especially active on the north and east sides
Garrison Street – (N from 3100 Atwood Avenue) William L. Garrison, b. 1805 d. 1879, abolitionist
Gateway Place – (W off 100 South Fair Oaks Avenue)
a pretty name
Hauk Street – (E off 300 Oak Street, ½ blk S of 2900 East Washington Avenue) possibly for the Hauk family listed in Madison City Directories from at least 1888 through 1933. Helen Hauk was a teacher at Hawthorne School.
Helena Street – W off Division, 1 blk S of Eastwood Drive)
in honor of Helena (Mrs. Thorvald) Swensen, b. 1840 d. 1928, mother of William Swensen, an East Side developer.
Hermina Street – (E off 200 blk of North Marquette Street (pronounced Her-meen-ah) – Named by Harry Sauthoff in honor of his mother, Hermina Brueggmenn Sauthoff, b. 1848 d. 1921
Hoard Street – (E off North 5th Street, 2 blks N of East Johnson Street, changed from East Gilman Street in 1913) William D. Hoard, b. 1836 d. 1918, Wisconsin Governor 1889-1891, dairy industry pioneer
Hudson Avenue – (S from 2700 Atwood Avenue) located on land platted by John W. Hudson, b 1831 d. 1901, and William T. Fish Sr., b. 1833 d. 1904. John Hudson was a grain dealer, manufacturer, banker and real estate developer. He lived at 2709 Sommers Avenue
Ivy Street – (E off South Fair Oaks Avenue, 2 blks S of 3300 Milwaukee Street) for the plant
Jackson Street—(N from 2300 Atwood Avenue)
Jackson Reuter, b. 1858 d. 1946, treasurer of the East Side Land Co., developer of Fair Oaks and an officer in many other firms including the American Plow Company
James Street – (E & W off South Bryan Street, 2 blks S of Milwaukee Street) James P. Corry, see Corry Street and/or James Mooney, b.1875 d. 1951, Grace Daley’s fiancé/husband. They were married November 21, 1913. Grace Daley was a bookkeeper and stenographer with the James Corry Land Co.
Jenifer Street – (E off Riverside Drive, 1 blk S of Winnebago Street) continuation of a street in the 1836 Doty plat. Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer signed the U.S. Constitution for Maryland
John(s) Street – (SE off Walter Street, 1 blk N of 3400 Atwood Avenue)
John Daley, brother of Grace Daley Mooney, a bookkeeper and stenographer with the James Corry Land Co.
Johnson Street, East – (E off 300 blk Wisconsin Avenue to 2800 East Washington Avenue) continuation of a street in the 1836 Doty Plat. William Samuel Johnson signed the U.S. Constitution for Connecticut.
Kedzie Street – (N & S off 2800 Commercial Avenue, 3 blks S of North Street) no information
La Follette Avenue – (E off Division Street, 3 blks N of Atwood Avenue, changed from Oakwood Street in 1913) Robert M. La Follette, Wisconsin Governor, 1901-1906, U.S. Senator, presidential candidate
Lakeland Avenue – (E from Rutledge Street and Division Street to Garrison Street, changed from Lake Avenue in 1913) for its proximity to the shore of Lake Monona
Lindbergh Street – (E off 200 blk South Fair Oaks Avenue, 2 blks N of Atwood Avenue) Charles A. Lindbergh, b.1902 d. 1974, aviator
Linden Avenue – (SE from 2100 Winnebago Street) for linden (basswood) trees
Linden Court – (W from 2060 Winnebago Street) for linden (basswood) trees that the A. J. Steinle family planted on the land that they owned and then platted.
Ludington Avenue – (S from 3100 Atwood Avenue, changed from Lincoln Avenue in 1913) Harrison Ludington b. 1812 d. 1891, Wisconsin Governor 1876-1878
Lunder Court – (W off 2100 blk Linden Avenue) perhaps for the Lunder family listed in Madison City Directories since at least 1888. In 1933 Orin Lunder owned the Lunder Furniture Company, 2044 Atwood Avenue.
Main Street, East – (NE from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to 4th Street) continuation of Main Street in Madison
Maple Avenue – (S from 3000 blk Atwood Ave to Oakridge Avenue)
In 1870 Charles B. Miller, b. 1843 d. 1923, purchased the Dunning farm which had been called “Fair Oaks” and renamed it “Maples.”
Margaret Street – (E off 3700 Atwood Avenue, 2 blks SE of Walter Street) Margaret Daley who became Sr. M. Francina, sister of Grace Daley Mooney who worked with James Corry to develop the east side.
Marquette Street, North & South – (N & S off 2800 Milwaukee Street) Father Pere Marquette, b. 1637 d. 1675, Jesuit missionary & explorer
Mayer Avenue – (NW from North Street & Commercial Avenue)
Oscar F. Mayer, b. 1859 d. 1955, founder of Oscar Mayer Foods Corp., originally a meat packing company
Maywood Street – (S off Commercial Avenue, 1 blk E of North Street)
a pretty name
Merry Street – N off 1600 Winnebago Street) for Martha Merry Buell, b. 1864 d. 1942, wife of Charles E. Buell. See also Buell Street.
Mifflin Street, East – (E from North First Street to North Street) continuation of a street in the 1836 Doty plat. Thomas Mifflin signed the U.S. Constitution for Pennsylvania.
Miller Avenue – S from 2800 Atwood Avenue) Samuel R. Miller, b. 1856 d. 1922, bought 185 acres and the house at 2709 Sommers Avenue in 1890 which he called Elmside, later he and James Corry subdivided the farm into the Elmside Plat.
Milwaukee Street – E from 2600 East Washington Avenue to Sprecher Road) for the City of Milwaukee
Moland Street – E off North Street, 1 blk N of Commercial Avenue) for the Moland district in Norway, birthplace of Birgit Eken, the wife of Thomas Eken
Myrtle Street – E & W off North Street, 4 blks N of Commercial Avenue) see Dexter Street
North Court – E off Farwell Street, 1 blk S of Milwaukee Street, 2 blks E of East Washington Avenue) north of South Court
North Lawn Avenue – (N & S off 2800 Commercial Avenue)
imitative of West Lawn, a successful West Side development
North Street – (N from 2600 East Washington Avenue)
for its direction and location north of East Washington Avenue
Oak Street – (N from 2800 Milwaukee Street) – for the tree
Oakridge Avenue – (E off Division Street, 3 blks S of Eastwood Drive)
for the oak trees on a high ridge of land near Lake Monona
Ohio Avenue – (N & S from 2400 Atwood Avenue, changed from Madison Street in 1913) for the U.S. state
Packers Avenue – (N from N 6th St and Pennsylvania Avenue) for the Oscar Mayer Foods Corp., the meat packing company
Pawling Street – (N & S off 2800 Commercial Avenue) no information
Pennsylvania Avenue – (N off 2000 E Johnson St to Commercial Avenue) for the U.S. state
Riverside Drive – (S off 1600 Winnebago Street to Lake Monona)
Alongside the Yahara River
Roth Street – (E off 1100 N Sherman Avenue, 3 blks N of Commercial Avenue) for the Roth family of farmers and merchants who lived on the street and developed the Northgate Shopping Center on their land
Rusk Street – (N off 2000 blk Atwood Avenue , 1 blk E of Winnebago Street) Jeremiah M. Rusk, b. 1830 d. 1893, Wisconsin governor 1882-1889
Russell Street – (S off 1900 blk Winnebago Street, S off 1900 blk Eastwood Drive) probably for one of the several Russell families in Madison from at least 1904. Possibly Harry L. Russell, b. 1866 d. 1954, Dean of the UW College of Agriculture 1907-1931
Rutledge Street – (NE from 600 South Ingersoll Street to Division Street) continuation of a street in the 1836 Doty plat. John Rutledge signed the U.S. Constitution for South Carolina
Ryan Street – (N from 200 S Fair Oaks Avenue, 2 blks N of Atwood Avenue) for Edward G. Ryan, Wisconsin Supreme Court justice, 1874-1880.
Sachs Street – (E off N Marquette Street, 3 blks N of 2800 Milwaukee Street) John and Catherine Sachs owned a nine-acre market garden and the house at 2838 Milwaukee Street in the late 1800s
St. Paul Avenue – (off 3100 blk Milwaukee Street) for the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad
Schiller Court – (S off 2300 Oakridge Avenue, changed from Madison Court in 1913) Christoph Friedrich von Schiller, b. 1759 d. 1805, German poet and playwright
Schurz Avenue – (S from 2121 Oakridge Avenue to Lake Monona)
Carl Schurz, b. 1829 d. 1906, German-American lawyer, politician, journalist. His wife, Margarethe Meyer Schurz, b. 1833 d. 1876, started first U.S. kindergarten in Watertown in 1856.
Scofield Street – (S off 2300 blk Commercial Avenue, 1 blk E of Packers Avenue, changed from East Langdon Street in 1913) Edward Scofield,
b. 1842 d. 1925, Wisconsin Governor 1897-1901
Sommers Avenue – (E off Division Street, 1 blk S of Eastwood Drive), changed from Park Place in 1913) for the Ernst Sommers homestead; Sommers, b. 1822 d. 1909, was an early associate of Leonard J. Farwell and a landscape gardener whose house stood at the corner of Atwood and Sommers Avenues.
South Court – (E off Farwell Street, 2 blks S of 2600 Milwaukee Street) south of North Court
Spaight Street – (E from 500 Walton Place to Russell Street) continuation of a street in the 1836 Doty Plat. Richard Dobbs Spaight signed the U.S. Constitution for North Carolina
Stang Street – (N&S off 2600 Commercial Avenue, 2 blks E of North Street) for the Adolph and George Stang families who had a truck farm near North Street and Commercial Avenue.
Sugar Avenue – (NE from 3248 Atwood Avenue) for the U.S. Sugar Co., sugar beet and cane refinery, 1906 - 1924
Sumach Road – (intersects 89 S. Fair Oaks Avenue) Alternate spelling for the sumac tree/shrub
Sutherland Court – (from 2041 Winnebago Street to 2022 E. Main Street) possibly for the Sutherland family
Talmadge Street – (N off Bashford Avenue, 3 blks E of Dunning Street, changed from Miller Street in 1913) Rev. T. De Witt Talmadge, b. 1832 d. 1902, nationally known Presbyterian preacher, clergyman, and reformer
Thorp Street – (E & W off 10 South Fair Oaks Avenue, 1 blk S of Milwaukee Street) for the Thorp Addition of about 1908 near the street car barns on Fair Oaks Avenue. The addition was named for John Miller Thorp who had owned the land.
Union Street – (E from 2625 East Washington Avenue) for the intersection of several major streets at East Washington Avenue. The Union House tavern, 2601 East Washington, was in operation during the Civil War when Union soldiers patronized the bar.
Upham Street – (W off North Street, 1 blk N of East Johnson Street, changed from East Gorham Street in 1913) William H. Upham, b. 1841 d. 1924, Wisconsin Governor 1895-1897
Walton Place – (N & S off 1800 Rutledge Street, 1 blk E of Clemons Avenue) for Izaak Walton, b. 1593 d. 1683, English author of The Compleat Angler. Also for the Izaak Walton League of America, an important fishing and conservation society
Washington Avenue, East – (NE off Pinckney Street at Capitol Square to city limits, was also known as Sun Prairie Road) continuation of the most prominent street in the 1836 Doty plat. George Washington signed the U.S. Constitution for Virginia.
Waubesa Street – (N from 2800Atwood Avenue to Milwaukee Street)
for Lake Waubesa
Welch Avenue – (S from 3200 Atwood Avenue to Lakeland Avenue, changed from Monona Avenue in 1913) Families named Welch are listed in the Madison City Directories from at least 1888 through 1917.
Willard Avenue – (E off Evergreen Avenue 3 blks S of 2300 Atwood Avenue, changed from Mills Place in 1913) perhaps for Frank H. Willard, editor of The Western Farmer/Wisconsin Farmer, published 1887 - 1929
Winnebago Street – (continuation of Williamson Street from the middle of the Yahara River E to Milwaukee Street) for the Indian tribe most numerous in the Madison area during the 1800s. This was a portion of their trail through Madison to Fort Winnebago on the Wisconsin River near Portage
Wirth Court – (S off 2800 Milwaukee Street, 1 blk E of Waubesa Street)
for the Wirth family. Jacob Wirth, a plasterer, and his wife Anna built the house still standing at 2817 Milwaukee Street.
Yahara Place – (E of Riverside Dr., 1 blk N of Yahara River) For the Yahara River