Henry Mulberger, Sr
Henry Mulberger, Jr
Henry Mulberger Sr. Recalled
Abstracted from WDTimes article of 03 18 2011
Henry Mulberger Sr. who was at one time president of Globe Milling in Watertown, served in many capacities
in this young city and was also an entrepreneur who was involved with many
back to the beginning of this story we'll have to take you to Spire, Germany,
where he was born in 1824. That would
mean by the time Watertown was first settled in 1836 by Timothy Johnson, Henry Mulberger would have been 12 years of age. In Germany he attended public schools and
when he left school, Mulberger joined his father's
company which manufactured woolens.
age of 23 he emigrated to the United States where he first lived in New York
and later moved to Cleveland. It was in
1849 that he moved to Watertown. He came
here five years before Watertown was incorporated as a city in 1853. Back at that time, Watertown was a bustling
city of over 4,000 people.
he arrived in Watertown he operated a general
merchandise store. But,
he only stayed with that business about three years before deciding to study
law. He was admitted to the state bar in
1956 and two years later he became part of the law firm of Enos &
Hall. At the time it was one of the most
prominent law firms in the state.
he left that affiliation and practiced law alone and then he became a partner
with Harlow S. Orton who was chief justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. That partnership ended in 1860 and he once
again returned to a sole practice. He
was one of the pioneer lawyers in Watertown and was highly regarded and quite
successful in his law business.
Watertown was in its infancy, Mulberger operated a
large fire insurance business and had the insurance on many of Watertown's
biggest and oldest businesses. He was
the local agent for one of the companies for 33 years and he was the oldest
insurance agent in the country when he resigned late in life.
Henry Mulberger Sr. was
one of the founders of the Wisconsin
National Bank which was later sold to Valley Bank. Valley Bank in turn was
sold to M&I Corporation and was consolidated with M&I's North Second
Street location in Watertown. The Wisconsin National location is the present
Town & Country Bank. For many years
he served as vice president and a director, positions he held until just days
before his death on Jan. 19, 1896, at the age of 72.
also president of Globe Milling Company on South Water Street,
and was involved with many other enterprises in Watertown and also in
North Dakota and Michigan.
addition to all of those businesses, Henry Mulberger Sr. had time for public service. He was justice
of the peace in Watertown from 1853 to 1854.
In 1854 he was also elected clerk of the municipal court. He became
Watertown's city attorney in 1856, 1857 and 1858. In 1865 he served as an alderman and then two
years later, in 1867 he was elected mayor of Watertown.
a staunch Democrat, Mulberger was personal friends
with Carl Schurz, a Republican who spent some
years living in Watertown and later moved to New York and who was active in
The Mulberger home
was one of the biggest and most elegant in the city. The home is located at 311 S. Washington St., and was built by Mulberger
in the 1870s for his family. The home has a Second Empire roof on the main
house and a distinct tower. The home has
Italianate, French and Victorian influences throughout it. The home was built with a large central hall,
an open stairway and wide moldings and woodwork throughout it. The family lived
in the home for many years. We're told the home was originally lighted by gas chandeliers but they were later converted to
electricity. For many years the home was
owned and used as a group home for Bethesda Lutheran Communities and
was later sold and it's now in private hands.
Henry Mulberger wasn't the only member of his family who served
the city of Watertown. He had six
children, three boys and three girls.
All three of the boys went on to become mayor of the city. Henry Jr. became mayor in 1898, Arthur in 1906 and Charles in 1916. Charles
also served as a Wisconsin state senator.
the men who have served Watertown as mayor during its first 100 years — prior
to the advent of the city manager form of operation, one family has supplied
four chief executives, the Mulberger family. A father and three of his sons were elected
to terms as mayor.
elder Mulberger, Henry Mulberger,
Sr., was elected mayor in 1867-68. He
was the city's eleventh mayor. Henry Mulberger, Jr., a son and for many years president of the
Bank of Watertown, served as mayor from 1898 to 1899. The other two were brothers of the former
banker — the late Attorney Arthur Mulberger, who
served from 1906 to 1908, and the late Charles Mulberger
who was mayor from 1916 to 1920. He was
later a state senator.
1918, 12 02 MAYOR
CHARLES MULBERGER, INFLUENZA APPEAL
MAYOR APPEALS TO
CITIZENS FOR HELP IN STAMPING OUT INFLUENZA.
After finding that the
influenza was on the increase, Dr. Habhegger and
Mayor Mulherger telephoned Dr. Harper, secretary of
the State Board of Health, for advice, and he replied as follows:
Have all doctors report
new cases promptly.
Have the afflicted
family isolated from the public and let only the bread winners of the family
out of the house. . . .
mayors is an old custom for the Mulberger
family, for it has furnished mayors in the historic city of Spires in Rhenish
Bavaria, also known as Speyer. That,
city, twice overrun by the French, has had Mulbergers
for mayors or burgomasters at intervals for a period of nearly 400 years.
Philip Henry Mulberger, burgomaster of Spires, who
was levied on for troops and funds by M. Marin, one of Napoleon's marshals, in
1809, and records show that Jean Mulberger, a
paternal ancestor of the Watertown family, was burgomaster of Spires[*] way back in 1666.
[*] Spires is one of the most famous
cities in Europe. It was the seat of
the diet of many German emperors in the Middle Ages, and the ashes of eight
such rulers lie in its famous cathedral which was begun in 1030 by Conrad and
completed in 1061 by Henry IV.
addition to serving as mayor of Watertown, Arthur Mulberger
was also city attorney for several years.
Daniel Mulberger, father of the first Henry Mulberger in Watertown, was among the members of the family
who served as burgomaster of Spires.
doubtful if any city in the United States can equal the record of having a
father and three of his sons elected to serve as mayor as is the case in
Mrs. Mathilda Mulberger
MRS. M. MULBERGER,
RESPECTED PIONEER, CALLED BY DEATH
Watertown News, 02 11
Mrs. Mathilda Mulberger, widow of the late Henry Mulberger
who died in 1896, answered the call of the angel of death in the family home,
311 Washington Street, Friday night, after an illness of several weeks
following an injury caused by a fall in her home.
Mrs. Mulberger, nee Wolf, was born in Darmstadt, Hesse-Cassel,
Germany, May 12, 1833, and after her marriage in her native land she came to
this country and to Watertown in 1858 and she has resided in the home where she
died since that time. She was the mother
of eight children, six of whom survive:
Elizabeth Mulberger, Watertown, Mrs. N. P. Valerius, Chicago, Mrs. Edward May, Pittsburg, Henry Mulberger, vice president of the Bank of Watertown, Senator
Charles Mulberger, mayor of Watertown, Arthur Mulberger, United States Assistant District Attorney. There are also eight grandchildren and two
In Mrs. Mulberger were found those beautiful, womanly graces which
exert so powerful an influence for good in the home, in society and in the
community at large. She was a woman of
high principles, of generous impulses, a promoter of good, conscientious in the
discharge of her duties, an esteemed neighbor, a faithful friend. She was that most precious of all earthly
ideals, a good mother, and her home was made sacred to her family through her
tender love and devotion and because of her ever wise
counsel. Her friends in this city where
she lived so many years are legion and they loved and revered her for her
Christian charity, her gentleness and her innate
kindness of heart.
Mrs. Mulberger’s life was such a useful, helpful one — her
tender sympathy was extended to anyone in sorrow; she was glad of the good
fortune that came to others and her bounty was given freely, though modestly,
to the needy wherever found.
All that makes life
worthwhile and keeps our faith in the good and beautiful may be traced to the
uplifting influence of such women as Mrs. Mulberger. Through them the Master teaches us who are
the truly great and instinctively we pay them the truest homage we are capable
of. Mrs. Mulberger’s
mission in this life has been nobly fulfilled and she has gone to her reward in
the Life Eternal.
To Mrs. Mulberger was given the distinction of being the wife of a
former mayor of Watertown and the mother of three sons, all of whom served in a
The funeral will take
place on Tuesday afternoon. Services will be conducted in the home at 2 o’clock
by the Rev. H. A. Link of St. Paul's Episcopal church. The burial will
be in Oak Hill cemetery.
Henry Mulberger, Sr
large Watertown brick Second Empire home was built by Henry Mulberger,
father was a burgomaster of a good sized German
city. His grandfather had been a city
official in 1809 and was active in arranging tax assessments as requested to
help support Napoleon's army.
in his footsteps three members of this family served as mayor of
Watertown Artillery formed; 2LT Henry Mulberger.
07 12 “Brutalities”
committed by Henry Mulberger and Henry Tigler on German citizens. WD
Sr., a lawyer and an insurance man, was elected mayor
11 06 H. Mulberger
& Co. finished burning their first kiln of bricks from their yard at Hubbleton last week, meeting with good success. The proprietors report the brick to be of a rich
cream color, very durable, and of high general quality for building purposes,
which all tends to illustrate the excellence of the Hubbleton
clay deposits. These deposits have been
known for many years, but no one has heretofore made use of them. WR
Kemmeter Bros of Jefferson have
bought the machinery of H. Mulberger & Owen
Hughes at Hubbleton and will move it to Jefferson to
add to their plant there. Source
04 20 Mr. Henry Mulberger and the new common council were ushered into office last night
amid a perfect bower of verdant beauty and a significant display of "Old
Glory." The council chamber looked
cozy and bright with its decorations of potted plants, palms, flowers, flags and bunting — all the handiwork of Janitor Krueger and
Chief Block. Each desk was adorned with
plants and the mayor and aldermen all wore boutonnieres. Not even the reporters table was
forgotten. Shortly after 8 o'clock the
new administration filed into the chamber, ex-Mayor Racek
escorting his successor. The oaths of
office were then administered by City Clerk Biever,
and the roll call which followed showed all members present. WR
his son, was mayor in 1908.
was elected mayor in 1916. Charles went
on to become a Wisconsin State senator.
03 08 Our enterprising young mayor, Henry
Mulberger, left for Bay City, Mich., to
inspect the beet sugar. WR
Monument dedication participant, Charles
1906 Arthur Mulberger,
cartoonist drawing, WDT series, “Men in the Public Eye”
09 22 While there have been rumors about the
city for some time that Mayor Arthur
Mulberger was to resign, give up his practice and remove to Chicago, the
announcement of the truth of the report will come as a surprise to many. The mayor returned yesterday from Chicago
after an absence of three days and upon returning gave it out as authentic that
he really was to leave the old home town to take up the practice of his
profession in the metropolis of the west.
Mr. Mulberger has disposed of his law business to District Attorney
Robert Lueck of Waterloo, and J. E. Davies, his
present partner, who is now a resident of Madison but who will devote a
portion of his time to the practice here.
Mr. Lueck, however will become a permanent
resident of our city and is expected here this week. Mayor Mulberger will tender his resignation
as mayor of the city at the meeting of the city council . . . It will in all
probability take effect very soon, as Mr. Mulberger is planning on leaving
Watertown about the 15th of October.
06 04 LOUIS MULBERGER, brother of the late Henry Mulberger of this
city, died at Speier, Palatiniate, Rheinpfalz, Bavaria, a few days ago. He was 78 years of age and leaves his wife,
two sons and one daughter surviving him.
In the early 1850s he was engaged in the mercantile business with his
brother here, but in 1856 returned to Bavaria.
01 07 ARTHUR MULBERGER, mayor, organized a little party of
friends to investigate Texas. WG
HENRY MULBERGER SR. HOME
Home was built by Henry Mulberger Sr. in the 1870s.
See section on home below
11 13 WATERTOWN WILSON MAN
Ex-Mayor Arthur Mulberger of this city, who
was secretary of the Woodrow Wilson League in Wisconsin before the Baltimore
convention, has been appointed special attorney in the Bureau of Corporations,
for work in connection with trust investigations. Daniel J. Boyle, Appleton, Wis., a member of
the Democratic state central committee and a Progressive Democrat, has been
made a special agent for the census bureau.
We congratulate both Mr. Mulberger and Mr. Boyle on their appointments,
for they deserve them. Mr. Mulberger's
appointment, being a very important one, is particularly gratifying to the
people of Watertown. WG
04 29 MULBERGER STRIKES AT TRADITIONAL DOINGS OF
SHARP HORSE TRADERS
“Senator Charles Mulberger, Watertown, who
represents the Democratic Thirty-third district, was born, reared, educated and
elected in his home town. He has the
reputation of being a good business man, who is much interested in city
he was placed on the Committee on Corporations where he would have opportunity
to exercise his special training.
“Mulberger tends strictly to business, but he
does it without making many speeches or introducing many bills. One of the bills he has introduced, however,
may cause all the David Harums and other hoss-traders to organize a lobby,
because it includes livestock in the category of things which it is forbidden
to fraudulently advertise.
Mulberger graduated from the Watertown high
school and the university law school and has been manager
of the Globe Milling Co. for eighteen years. He was alderman four years, and president of
the fire and police commission the same period.” WG
Mulberger was without question Watertown’s most flamboyant mayor, a very
popular executive. He had a law degree
but never practiced law. He would come
down to the business section every morning around 10 o’clock, go to the old Seager Barber Shop for his daily shave and a
trim, then walk over to a floral shop and buy a fresh carnation which he wore
each day in his bottonhole, then make the rounds of downtown business places,
including the old Deutsches
Dorf which was then the gathering place for many Watertown business men and
executives. It was by far the finest
saloon Watertown ever had and was located at the corner of Main and
was a “promotive” mayor of Watertown and never missed an opportunity to advance
and publicize the city. He played an
important part in promoting the old Watertown
Inter-County Fair and for years was its superintendent of speed, or the
a distinction which he shared with his family.
His father, Henry Mulberger, Sr., and two of his brothers, Henry
Mulberger, Jr. and Attorney Arthur Mulberger all
served the city as mayors. Thus Watertown has had four Mulbergers who occupied the
office of mayor, a father and three sons.
WWI DRAFT BOARD OF JEFFERSON COUNTY
03 08 Charles
Mulberger Injured in Milwaukee.
Ex-Mayor Charles Mulberger of this city was injured in Milwaukee last
Saturday night by being hit by an automobile on the Fond du Lac
road near Milwaukee. He and his
wife were driving to the home of a relative of his wife, Mrs. Mulberger being
at the wheel, when their automobile skidded off the concrete road and got stuck
in the mud, and while a garage man was trying to get the machine out of the
mud, Mrs. Mulberger remained there in and Mr. Mulberger was standing about 10
feet away watching the garage man work on his machine, when a car going at a
terrific speed came along and knocked him over, injuring his spine. He was taken to a hospital. Dr. Habhegger of this city was sent for, who
reports his injury not very serious and he may be
taken home in a few days. WG
09 13 Will of the late Henry Mulberger, Jr.,
left sum of $2,500 to the city of Watertown for additional park purposes WDT
imposing Mulberger home shows many architectural influences. It is built with a Mansard roof [French] with
Victorian influence throughout [American] and the original tower known as a
Bismarck helmet [German] still tops the home.
are many windows, even in the almost two story section of the Bismarck helmet, and .protruding through the roof. The home was built as were
many other large homes of this era, with a large central hall, open stairway,
gleaming and excellent woodwork throughout.
Mulbergers occupied the home for many years.
It is currently owned by Randy and Sandy Effinger.
1959, the home was purchased by Bethesda Lutheran Home and converted into a
group home for residents. Randy and
Sandy bought it from Bethesda in the spring of 1990. Much of the interior and exterior remains as
it was originally built. The present
porch is a remodeled remnant of the large porch that at one time extended
across the front of the house. The house
has original woodwork, two beautiful original gas chandeliers that have been
converted to electric, four fireplaces and an open stair case.
house is a restoration in progress. A
newly remodeled, beautiful master bedroom suite has a fireplace, whirlpool tub,
wet bar, fourteen wall papers and borders from the Bradbury & Bradbury
Neo-Classical Collection, and tow originally oil chandeliers converted to
electric. Many Christmas decorations
including two trees, one crystal and white with a Santa flying around the top,
a Snow Village and some Christmas Anna Lee collectable
 contained within photograph album donated by Henry Mulberger estate.
History of Watertown,