History Unbound History Unbound Murphy Library, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse La Crosse Library 2005 WLA/Highsmith Award Winner History Unbound Murphy Library, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse La Crosse Library 2005 WLA/Highsmith Award Winner Murphy Library, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse La Crosse Library 2005 WLA/Highsmith Award Winner History Unbound Murphy Library, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse La Crosse Library 2005 WLA/Highsmith Award Winner Murphy Library, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse La Crosse Library 2005 WLA/Highsmith Award Winner


An Examination of the La Crosse Press and the Republican Party in the Wisconsin Election of 1904 / by James M. McQuin, 1972.

This 34 page UW-La Crosse seminar paper compares the editorial content of three La Crosse, WI newspapers during the 1904 Wisconsin gubernatorial campaign highlighting their respective positions on key issues and the Republican candidates including Robert M. LaFollette.

Editorial Opinion of the La Crosse Tribune and Leader Press Prior to U.S. Entry into World War Two / Darryle D. Erickson, 1971

This Wisconsin State University-La Crosse seminar paper examines the editorials of the La Crosse, WI daily newspaper from 1933-1941 and its gradual shift from isolationism to acceptance of war preparations against Nazi Germany.

Examination of the La Crosse Press During the Political Campaign of 1912 / Charles W. Birch, 1967.

UW – La Crosse Seminar Paper

George Edwin Taylor

Taylor was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, in August 1857, to Amanda Hines, a free black woman. Taylor later reported that his father was Nathan Taylor, a slave. Hines was forced to leave Arkansas in 1859 as a consequence of a new law which required all free blacks to leave the state by 1 January 1860 or be sold as slaves. Hines died in Alton, Illinois, in 1861 or 1862, and young George was forced to live in “dry goods boxes” and fend for himself.

In 1865 when he arrived in La Crosse, Wisconsin, onboard the “Hawkeye State,” a side-paddle vessel then operating on the upper Mississippi River. Taylor lived in La Crosse only one or two years, after which he was “bound out” to Nathan Smith of rural West Salem where he lived until he reached the age of 20 years. He attended Wayland University in Beaver Dam from 1877 to 1879, after which he settled in La Crosse and in the employ of Marcus “Brick” Pomeroy, editor of Pomeroy’s Democrat. From 1880 to 1885, Taylor wrote for several local papers and contributed articles to the Chicago Inter Ocean. In 1885, he was the editor of a newspaper supported financially by Frank “White Beaver” Powell, and eventually became an important player in Powell’s first two terms as mayor of La Crosse.

Lastly, In 1886 and 1887, Taylor became a crucial figure and office holder in Wisconsin’s People’s Party and then its Union Labor Party. His Wisconsin Labor Advocate was the voice of Wisconsin’s labor party in 1886-1887. From 1891 to 1910, Taylor lived in Oskaloosa and Ottumwa, Iowa, where he published a national magazine called the Negro Solicitor. During this period he rose to prominence in national black politics, acting as president of the National Colored Men’s Protective Association and the National Negro Democratic League and served high office in various other black organizations. In 1904, Taylor was selected to lead the ticket of the National Negro Liberty Party for the office of president of the United States. From 1910 to 1925, Taylor retreated from the national stage and lived an active life in Jacksonville, Florida.

History Repeats Itself, Annexation of the Town of Campbell

The Town of Campbell was created at the time La Crosse County was organized in 1851.Campbell lost land mass when dams were constructed on the Mississippi River in the 1930s.  By 1954 the Town of Campbell had been split in two by the southern growth of the city of Onalaska and the northern growth of the city of La Crosse.   As a result, the town of Medary was formed west of Oak St., leaving the borders of the Town of Campbell largely to French Island and its environs.

This grouping of articles highlights the ongoing discussion between the Town of Campbell and the City of La Crosse regarding annexation, boundaries, efforts to cooperate, and public services such as water.   Since 1983 the city has tried to actively encourage Campbell residents to annex to the city. A court decision in 2002 over annexation led to a split: the city of La Crosse gained some properties on Hiawatha Island, a small island east of French Island, while ruling that annexation into French Island itself was invalid.  Also several moves to incorporate as a village began as early as 1966 and with the most recent effort as late as 2002.

History Repeats Itself, Ten Commandments Controversy

The Ten Commandments Monument was donated to the city and dedicated in Cameron Park in conjunction with a state Eagles Club convention held in La Crosse in 1965. Seen as a religious symbol on public property, a lawsuit in 1985 sparked a court battle between the Freedom From Religion Foundation, led by Anne Gaylor, and the city. The case was dismissed in 1988. The issue resurfaced in 2001 with more local citizen support, and the city sold the small parcel of land where the monument stands to the Eagles Club in 2002.

Mark M. Pomeroy: Copperhead Editor: A Study in Transition by Harry Frederick Bangsberg (Ames, Iowa : Bangsberg), 1953.

This paper written by Harry F. Bangsberg was in partial fulfillment of a graduate class assignment while attending the State University of Iowa (now Iowa State University). Bangsberg tackles the question of why La Crosse Democrat editor Mark "Brick" Pomeroy switched from first supporting Lincoln and the Union cause to being a leader in the Copperhead movement and labeling Lincoln as the "widow maker."

La Crosse County Historical Sketches, 1931-1955

Since the Turn of the Century in La Crosse / Cameron L. Baldwin

Memoirs of La Crosse County / Benjamin Bryant; 1907.

This work, along with History of La Crosse County, 1881, are the preeminent published sources for 19th century La Crosse history. Bryant’s Memoirs, as it is commonly called, is a wide-ranging work that covers the early history of La Crosse as well as the social, education, government, religious, and business institutions. The book is divided into 22 chapters and also includes brief histories of the smaller towns of La Crosse County. An alphabetical name index to Bryant’s Memoirs was prepared and digitized in 2004 and is available for searching at the “name index” button.

Political History - Organization-First County Election-County Seat-Organization of Trempealeau County-La Crosse County Reduced to Present Limits- Early Political Preferences-A Political Document of 1858-Congressional District-Senatorial District Assembly Districts-State Senators-Assemblymen-Speakers of the Assembly-Governors-Congressmen-United States Senator-Comparative Strength of Political Parties-Present Political Representatives-State Officials from La Crosse-Present County Officers-Personal Sketches, Timothy Burns, E. D. Campbell, C. C. Washburn, Geo. W. Peck, Angus Cameron, Charles Seymour, W. A. Anderson, W. R. Finch

Milo Knutson: The Man and the Myth / James Anderson, 1971.

UW – La Crosse Seminar Paper

Political Career of White Beaver Powell, Mayor of La Crosse, Wisconsin / Clarence L. Schlicht, 1966.

UW – La Crosse Seminar Paper

Political and Social Activism within the Campus Community of Wisconsin State University-La Crosse from 1966-1970: Local Expression of a National Movement / Robert C. Kenneth, 1988

UW – La Crosse Seminar Paper

Wisconsin Labor Advocate

Newspaper published in La Crosse in 1886-1887. La Crosse was a hotbed of Labor political party activity in the 1880s and the “Labor Advocate” was one of at least four La Crosse area Labor-related newspapers from that time. What makes the “Labor Advocate” unique was its editor and owner: George Edwin Taylor. Taylor was an African-American, born in Arkansas in 1857. As a black business owner, he was an anomaly in La Crosse in the 1880s. Taylor got his start in publishing working at other La Crosse newspapers. He also became increasingly interested in politics as reflected in his editorship of the “Wisconsin Labor Advocate.” The last existing edition of the paper dates from August 6, 1887 and George Edwin Taylor left La Crosse soon afterwards. He maintained a life-long interest in politics and by 1904 had become involved an all African-American political party called the National Liberty Party. Taylor accepted the nomination of that party in 1904 as its candidate for the office of the U.S. President. In doing so, Taylor was the first candidate of a national African-American party for the U.S. presidency.

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Welcome to La Crosse History Unbound. Learn more about La Crosse County, history through these digitized collections from La Crosse Public Library and Murphy Library, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.